Daily dose

Daily dose

Trying something new this morning, posting this email from Capital Broadcasting Company, without including all the links (which is a major amount of work). After doing BlueNC off and on for 16 years, I confess I've gotten lazy. But I figure it's better for you to see this digest from CBC and find the links yourself, than to not see the stories at all.

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Monday, Aug. 1, 2022

TODAY'S COLUMN

BUSINESS LEADERS: Court must order state to fulfill Constitution's promise to NC children

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are highlights from the friend of the court (amici curiae) brief signed in support of implementation and funding of The Comprehensive Remedial Plan in the Leandro cases to assure that North Carolina meets its constitutional obligation to provide every child with access to a quality education. It was signed by 54 of the state’s top business leaders including the current chair of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and three former chairs. The complete list of signers follows is at the conclusion of these highlights. You can read the full text of the brief, prepared by counsel for the business leaders Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, here.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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COURT MUST AFFIRM LEANDRO ORDER AND PLAN, NC MUST FUND IT: CNBC recently lauded North Carolina as the #1 state in the country for business, yet we hear from business leaders that they struggle to find enough qualified candidates for the jobs in our state. Businesses need strong graduates from our K-12 programs, community colleges, and universities. We have countless research studies pointing to the importance of investing in public education for the long-term success of students and our economy. In North Carolina, it is the state’s responsibility to fund public education. Yet our state lawmakers make decision after decision failing to invest sufficiently in our future -- in our kids and their schools. It did not have to be like this. But years of imprudent policy and funding decisions have led to this point. The state has a significant budget surplus, $6.5 billion just this year. We have the money - and when considering the return on investment, is there a better way to spend our surplus than to invest in our students? And as long as Republicans in the General Assembly continue to low-ball education funding, NC's rural-urban divide will broaden. State funding can be the great equalizer, harmonizing the education quality of all 100 counties. But when you force those counties to supplement teacher pay, only the ones with a larger property tax base can afford to do so. Rural counties are forced to make do, and that was surely not the intent of those who wrote and approved our state's Constitution.
https://www.wral.com/mary-ann-wolf-court-must-affirm-leandro-order-and-plan-n-c-must-fund-it/20394060/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CANDIDATES, TELL VOTERS CLEARLY AND FULLY, WHERE YOU STAND ON ABORTION: It is a question every candidate for the General Assembly should be asked and one that every candidate – regardless of political affiliation – should answer in full and complete detail. Most Democratic candidates, including incumbents, have declared their support – at a minimum -- for laws that affirm the state’s current abortion laws and support for the standard in Roe v. Wade – essentially leaving the decision to the woman during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Voters need to demand and end equivocations and vagaries, like those offered up by Berger. On one hand Berger says he wants some period of “autonomy” for woman. But then, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, said: “Senate Republicans will determine whether other steps are appropriate to strengthen our pro-life laws.” Further, Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore demanded that state Attorney General Josh Stein “take all necessary actions to lift the injunction currently barring full enforcement of our state’s abortion restrictions.” This is no time for vague sloganeering that offers pacification to the partisan base while hiding specifics from more skeptical voters. The sad truth is, most of those who historically vote Republican don't want to know. They would prefer the comfortable deniability that ambiguity provides, safely avoiding the moral crossroads. It's not so much the extremism we should fear as it is the apathy that allows it to fester.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-candidates-tell-voters-clearly-and-fully-where-you-stand-on-abortion/...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IT'S TIME TO STOP. NOTHING "FICTIONAL" ABOUT JAN 6 INSURRECTION: Phil Berger can’t have it both ways – as he seems to try to do during his meandering reply to reporter Travis Fain’s question about the Jan. 6 committee hearings. In one breath, Berger says: “I generally steer away from fictional readings … What’s going on there is an effort to paint a picture that is an exaggeration, in many respects, of what happened. And, clearly, in many respects it is an exaggeration of what, or maybe even just a fictional account what someone’s perceptions is of people’s motivations.” He suggests that in 2000, Democrats did the same thing. While Democratic nominee Al Gore’s campaign sought a detailed recount of the close results in Florida, Gore also, on Dec. 13, 2000, conceded the election to George W. Bush. Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the early-morning hours after Election Day 2016, conceded to Trump. It was an act of faith in the law and our nation that American’s have yet to see from Republican Donald Trump. Aside from the fact that we all watched the insurrection as it took place, the most damning testimony dealing with "motivations" has come from within the Republican Party fold; a brilliant move by Congressional Dems. And just like with gerrymandering, Berger's, "Democrats did it too!" falls flat for lack of relevance.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-it-s-time-to-stop-nothing-fictional-about-jan-6-insurrection/20372563/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATURE GRASPS AT A SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF A PROBLEM: The State Constitution has, since 1943 had a state Board of Education largely appointed by the governor with confirmation by the legislature. With no notice in the waning hours of the current legislative session, House leaders introduced and forced through the committee system and on to the full House floor a plan to change the State Constitution to take the appointment power away from the governor and have voters elect the board members. Further, it would align the board’s representative districts with the state’s congressional districts. Given the legislature’s hyper gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts – which has been the subject of endless litigation over the last decade and continues to this day -- it would guarantee a partisan majority of Republicans on the board. Amending the state Constitution and altering the way public education is administered by the state should not be the result of a slap-dash solution concocted in secret and forced onto the ballot in the closing moments of a legislative session. Since Roy Cooper was first elected almost six years ago, Republicans have systematically usurped his powers, and even laughed about it. It's long past time the voters took them to task for such arrogant and despotic behavior.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislature-grasps-at-a-solution-in-search-of-a-problem/20359285/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TRESSIE MCMILLAM COTTOM: CITIZENS NO MORE: I grew up choosing where and how I work because Roe v. Wade gave me many of the same basic rights of personhood as men, for example. Millions of women have, to different degrees, been able to do the same. With Roe v. Wade toppled, we do not have the same rights in all labor markets. In a global market, an empowered worker is one who can migrate. With Dobbs, women cannot assume that we can safely work in Idaho the same way that we can in Oregon or Washington. I cannot negotiate wages or time off with an employer with the same risk profile as those who cannot become pregnant. An employer who offers lower pay in a state with abortion care indirectly benefits from women’s inability to take our labor on the open market across the nation. Thanks to a rogue court, women’s lives are now more determined by the accidents of our birth than they were a week ago. By the same token, if a woman wants to migrate from a Gilead state to an abortion-friendly one, she's going to have to compete with many other women seeking to do the same, like some warped game of musical chairs. Until I read this editorial, I had not considered this economic angle. Which is another reason why elevating women's voices is so important.
https://www.wral.com/citizens-no-more/20351416/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NOW IT'S THE VOTERS' TURN ON THE STATUS OF ABORTION: Those in power in North Carolina’s legislature pledge to do the opposite of what the people they represent want. State Senate Leader Phil Berger said the legislature will take “immediate action” to further restrict the state’s current abortion laws. Those current laws include requirements that patients undergo an ultrasound examination and receive information designed to discourage abortions and a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion. House Speaker Tim Moore explicitly promised further abortion restrictions. “Pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January,” Moore said. It is no exaggeration to say that “Roe is on the ballot.” North Carolina voters will elect members of the state legislature, U.S. House of Representatives and a U.S. senator along with key judges on the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. We need to make sure that when January rolls around, BergerMoore simply won't have any viable options to further restrict abortions in North Carolina. That means paying close attention to the 170 General Assembly seats in play, as well as the appellate court seats being fought over. I have not forgotten the Federal races; I just wanted to make sure readers don't forget how critical our state races are. Now more than ever.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-now-it-s-voters-turn-on-the-status-of-abortion/20346881/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DEAL TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IS BARELY A TOKEN EFFORT. MUCH MORE NEEDED NOW: It would be generous to describe as even incremental progress, the bipartisan response to the recent spate of mass shootings – including the assault-style rifle enabled slaughter of 21 at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and before that 10 dead at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store. They don’t even make modest progress toward stopping access to automatic-style weapons. There is some small progress. For that, we should be tepidly thankful? But the problems generated by the easy access to weapons whose only purpose is mass destruction is not going away with this latest action. It will not defuse it as an issue in the fall elections. Banning assault weapons is NOT an attack on the 2nd Amendment. It is about protecting public safety and health. When 57% of American parents and 51% of North Carolinians are worried that there will be a shooting at their child’s school, Congress is doing little to comfort and reassure them. How much power does the NRA have to block any meaningful efforts to control these deadly assault weapons? When North Carolinians cast ballots in the fall, it should be clearly for those who will work to ban assault weapons in Congress or in the state legislature. And they most certainly should not vote for candidates who pose for pictures holding assault rifles, or political parties who make them raffle prizes.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-deal-to-curb-gun-violence-is-barely-token-effort-much-more-needed-now...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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OIL COMPANIES SHOULD PAY WINDFALL PROFITS TAX: A month ago it was reported that ExxonMobil’s net profit more than doubled to $5.5 billion from a year earlier – and that was after taking a $3.4 billion charge from closing down its operations in Russia. Shell reports its highest profits ever and Chevron’s quarterly profit was the biggest in nearly a decade. What are these companies doing with the windfall of cash – that has come largely as a result of Russia’s unconscionable aggression in Ukraine? Why is there corporate silence instead of loud cheers of “drill baby drill?” Because oil and gas company execs are more interested in pumping up their own wealth – and that of their investors – than making sure American families can afford to get to and from their jobs, drop their kids at school, pick up groceries and take care of the other basic needs of daily life. These companies are buying back their stock and sending cash to shareholders. In other words, they are sending cash to themselves, while artificially inflating the value of their stocks. And they are artificially inflating the price of crude by not increasing production to meet demand. Their behavior needs to be modified.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-oil-companies-should-pay-windfall-profits-tax/20323516/

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