Friday News: The Red(neck) menace


DAN FOREST TRIES TO STIR UP FEARS BY EQUATING DURHAM PROTESTERS TO COMMUNIST REGIMES: “Communist agitators” and “anarchists” shouldn’t dictate what North Carolina does with its Confederate statues, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says. Forest, a socially conservative Republican who plans to run for governor in 2020, told The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City that Gov. Roy Cooper was responding to the crowd in Durham that toppled a monument in front of the old Durham County courthouse when Cooper called for removal of Confederate monuments from state property. “The lieutenant governor said the destruction of the Confederate monument in Durham was an act of violence by two communist groups, and people need to remember that communists killed 100 million people,” The Daily Advance reported.

DURHAM COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD BANS CONFEDERATE FLAG AND OTHER HATE SYMBOLS ON T-SHIRTS: The changes will prohibit items that board members determined intimidate other students, including clothing that depicts the Confederate flag, the Swastika and the Ku Klux Klan. "These things, historically, were meant for hate, or at some point in history, meant hatred," Board Chair Mike Lee said. The school system also unanimously determined that Julian Carr's name will be removed from the building housing the Durham School of the Arts. Carr gave the controversial speech at the dedication of Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1913. Superintendent Bert L'Homme said Carr was a racist. The name is scheduled to be removed Friday.

NC GOP DEFENDS CONSUMER LOAN SCAMMERS WITH OVERRIDE OF COOPER VETO: A proposal opposed by consumer advocates is a step away from becoming law after the state House voted Thursday to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. House Bill 140 started out with a focus on dental care. But on the last day of this year’s regular session, lawmakers inserted an unrelated provision that would help companies that sell high-interest-rate consumer loans. Those lenders often sell something called credit insurance, which is an extra payment on top of the loan that ostensibly protects the borrower in case of an emergency. The bill would expand the types of loans that companies can add insurance to. The North Carolina attorney general’s office lists multiple warnings about credit insurance online, under its “Consumer” webpage.

IRONY ALERT: WIFE-SWAPPING DA ACCUSES ANOTHER DA OF PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT: The prosecutor handling the case of a former North Carolina district attorney has asked for a special prosecutor after the defendant complained about her. Media outlets report that Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has asked for a special prosecutor to take over the case against former Person and Caswell County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher. The News & Record of Greensboro obtained the request through a freedom on information request. Freeman made the request for a special prosecutor after Bradsher accused her of prosecutorial misconduct. Bradsher and former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer were charged with misuse of state funds after investigators learned each man had hired the other prosecutor’s wife for jobs that required little work. Blitzer pleaded guilty last month and repaid the state $48,000.

ISLAMIC STATE BEHIND ATTACK ON SHIITE MOSQUE IN AFGHANISTAN: The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for an attack that is underway on a Shite mosque in Kabul. The IS-linked Aamaq news agency carried the claim on its website on Friday, while the attack in the Afghan capital was still developing. In the claim, IS says two of its fighters, seeking martyrdom, carried out the assault. It did not give further details. The attack was the latest by IS to hit the Afghan capital. Last month, the Islamic State group attacked the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul and afterward, issued a warning to all Shiites in Afghanistan, saying IS militants would attack Shiite places of worship. Within days of the embassy attack in Kabul, IS also took responsibility for a brutal suicide assault on a Shiite mosque in western Herat province that killed 32 people.

Editor's note: We generally don't cover the myriad terrorist attacks that happen on foreign soil on an almost daily basis, but it's important to have at least a basic knowledge of who the players are, especially considering we have a very fragile nuclear deal with Iran in play. The vast majority of the groups carrying out these attacks (against Americans and others) are Sunni-based groups, not Shiite. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, were responsible for 3/4 of all terrorism-related deaths in 2015, and at least some of the funding these groups receive is coming from Persian Gulf states like Bahrain, Qatar, and (yes) Saudi Arabia. The reason I wanted to make this point is because I often hear (or read) condemnations of Iran whenever one of these attacks occur, which couldn't be farther from the truth. You don't have to immerse yourself in these troubles, but (please) don't blame the wrong people.