Friday News: Ineffective and incompetent

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MOORE SAYS NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DEBATE GUNS, CAN’T WE LOCK THE SCHOOL DOORS? “Folks want to try to drag the gun debate into it,” Moore said in the television interview. “Look, that’s a discussion for another time.” The state Democratic Party condemned Moore for rejecting a debate about guns. “Speaker Moore’s tone-deaf comments are shocking and infuriating,” NC Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said in a statement. “We have a gun epidemic in this country that nearly every American wants to seriously address, yet one of the most powerful legislators in our state is shutting the door on common sense reforms just days after the Parkland shooting.” Moore told journalists Thursday he wanted to focus on solutions that can win support from both sides. “We can agree, for example, that we need to enhance the security of the schools. If somebody shouldn’t be in the school, by golly they ought to not be able to get in. Is there a way that doors can lock better?”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article201630399.html



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Friday fracking video



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Thursday News: Because the Constitution

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GOP FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER FOUR WAKE COUNTY DISTRICTS: Attorneys for the state NAACP, League of Women Voters, Democracy North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and four named voters want the courts to change four Wake County districts back to what they looked like in 2011. That was before the GOP majority was forced to redraw the state’s House and Senate election maps in a federal case brought by much the same legal team and which found racial gerrymanders in a number of districts statewide. The plaintiffs’ lawyers in that case argued repeatedly that Republican legislators violated the North Carolina Constitution in that redraw because they changed district lines they didn’t have to. Absent a court order, the state constitution forbids redrawing districts more than once a decade, a process undertaken after the U.S. census produces new population numbers. Attorneys argued Republican leaders didn’t have to redraw the four Wake County House districts targeted in this latest case to address the previous racial gerrymander. Those four districts are 36, 37, 40 and 41.
http://www.wral.com/injunction-sought-could-delay-legislative-primaries-in-wake/17360781/



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Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy pockets $231 million from Trump’s tax scam

And that’s just for the last three months of 2017:

Electric Utilities and Infrastructure recognized fourth quarter 2017 segment income of $826 million, compared to $483 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. In addition to the drivers outlined below, fourth quarter 2017 results were impacted by a $231 million benefit related to the Tax Act and a $14 million after-tax charge related to regulatory settlements. These amounts were treated as special items and excluded from
adjusted earnings.

On an adjusted basis, Electric Utilities and Infrastructure recognized fourth quarter 2017 adjusted segment income of $609 million, compared to $483 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of $0.18 per share.

A couple of clarifications: That net $826 million is from all utilities, not just those actually operating in North Carolina. But that was “netted” from about $3.2 billion dollars in revenues, for the 4th Quarter alone. And one of the best ways to judge just how profitable a company is, you need to look at stockholders’ dividend payments:



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Another round of layoffs at the Greensboro News & Record

So much for Warren Buffet coming to the rescue:

BH Media Group, a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A), citing a decline in advertising revenue, has laid off employees at its two newspapers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the company said Tuesday.

The company is reducing staff by six employees at the Greensboro News & Record and not filling five vacant positions, while one person was offered a different job. At its sister paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, one person has been let go, four vacant positions have been eliminated and another two people have been offered different positions.

That may not seem like a big deal, since they cut several times that number just a few years ago. But this one hurts maybe even more. Both Doug Clark and Susan Ladd were let go this time, two strong voices of reason in both their (newspaper) blogs and the editorial pages. They won’t be replaced, they can’t be replaced. And the overall tone of the paper will suffer. I know some people tend to avoid the editorial pages so they won’t be pulled one way or another, but the truth is, those columns help us understand the impact of policy changes; what brought them about, and how they may affect us. And we just lost two of the best explainers.



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Wednesday News: Not-so-silent Sam

UNC WARNS OF POTENTIAL WHITE NATIONALIST RALLY ON CAMPUS TODAY: UNC-Chapel Hill officials warned of possible trouble on campus as rumors swirled of a white nationalist rally planned for Wednesday. Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, sent a message to deans and department chairs, saying word has spread that “individuals not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill” are planning a “Rally for Nationalism.” He did not mention the expected time or location of the rally. But a student activist sent a notice to media calling attention to what they characterized as a neo-Nazi group planning to be on campus Wednesday. The students plan a counterprotest to “unify UNC” at 2 p.m. at the South Building, home to the office of Chancellor Carol Folt and other administrators.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article201207599.html



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