Thursday News: Power trip


NC REPUBLICANS ARE NOW TARGETING AG JOSH STEIN: Tucked into this year’s state budget bill is a proposal that would give Republican legislative leaders veto power over legal settlements that involve challenges to a state law or part of the state constitution — allowing them to override the attorney general or individual state agencies on details the lawmakers oppose, even if they aren’t a party in the lawsuit. This year’s proposed budget would also cut $3 million from Stein’s office, the continuation of a $10 million cut lawmakers approved in 2017 just months after Stein was sworn in. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger explained those cuts, The N&O reported, by saying he was unhappy with Stein for doing “whatever he thinks is appropriate.” Apparently the voters think those things were appropriate, too. Quit acting like 7th graders, FFS.

TED BUDD IS AN EVEN WORSE PERSON THAN YOU THOUGHT: Court documents reviewed by The Washington Post show that a trustee for farmers and other creditors alleged that his father, Richard Budd, improperly transferred millions of dollars in assets to his family, including Ted Budd. That occurred before Richard Budd and a family company faced a $15 million judgment in the case. Moreover, the trustee alleged, Ted Budd “acted in concert” with his father “in connection with the fraudulent transfers.” As a result, Ted Budd was named as a defendant in a civil case filed by the trustee. In the end, a settlement negated the need for a trial and specified that there was no admission of wrongdoing. The “Budd entities” agreed to pay less than half of the amount initially earmarked for the farmers and other creditors — some of whom remain angry they only received a portion of their lost earnings. “We got screwed and there was not a freaking thing we could do about it. There was no way to fight multimillionaires,” said Scott Scheuerman, a Wyoming farmer who had urged fellow growers to send their crop to the company, which had bought up dozens of processing plants. “We were the little guy. We were just a number, and they [couldn’t] care less about us.”

NC'S NURSES ARE OVERWORKED AND WORN OUT: A survey from the North Carolina Nurses Association shows that nurses across the state are overworked and emotionally exhausted. The majority of nurses surveyed say that their hospital facility has a severe shortage of staff, causing them to have to work longer hours. As of Wednesday, more than 3,700 people were in the hospital across North Carolina with COVID-19. That's the most hospitalizations reported since January, state data shows. Nearly 500 people were admitted to the hospital with coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The survey was conducted from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29, and 463 nurses responded. Thirteen percent of those nurses said they were prepared to leave the profession due to burnout. "I get feelings of dread when I start getting ready to go to work,” said one respondent. “After I come home I will spontaneously from time to time just start crying for no reason that I can figure out at the time.” A majority of nurses say the current COVID-19 surge they are dealing with now is more frustrating because the majority of the patients they treat are unvaccinated. "Seeing our ICU fill with unvaccinated or partially vaccinated patients is heartbreaking," another respondent said. "I have turned in my [30 day] notice at the hospital and do not currently have another job lined up.” Didn't have to be like this, but that's what happens when adults behave worse than small children.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS TEXAS ABORTION BAN TO STAND: Texas enacted the nation’s strictest state-level abortion ban Wednesday, prohibiting the procedure in most cases after six weeks of pregnancy, with an emergency request for the Supreme Court to block the statute going unanswered. The court could grant the request from abortion providers and their advocates in coming days. But for now, clinics in Texas said they will no longer provide abortions more than six weeks from a woman’s last period. Providers said the law — which relies on private citizens to sue people who help women get forbidden abortions — effectively eliminates the guarantee in Roe v. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions that women have a right to end their pregnancies before viability, and that states may not impose undue burdens on that decision. It was specifically designed to turn away pre-enforcement challenges in federal courts. If the Supreme Court declines to intervene, the most likely challenge would come after it the law is utilized by a private citizen. Then the person sued could contest the constitutionality of the law, with the backing of abortion providers and abortion rights groups. President Biden said the law “blatantly violates” a woman’s right to an abortion established by Roe. “The Texas law will significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes,” he said in a statement. “And, outrageously, it deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who they believe has helped another person get an abortion, which might even include family members, health care workers, front desk staff at a health care clinic, or strangers with no connection to the individual.” It is outrageous. And I love how Biden doesn't mince words.

KEVIN MCCARTHY IS STARTING TO MAKE JOE MCCARTHY SEEM LIKE CHARLIE MCCARTHY: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is threatening telecommunications and social media companies that comply with a request by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, declaring that Republicans “will not forget” their actions. McCarthy spoke with then-President Donald Trump on the day of the attack and is a potential witness in the select committee’s probe. The panel on Monday asked 35 companies to retain phone records and other information related to the attack as it ramps up its investigation ahead of the return of Congress next month. Several of the companies indicated this week that they intend to comply with the panel’s requests, while only one so far has publicly said it will not do so. “Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson, and Nancy Pelosi’s attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data would put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday night, referring to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the chairman of the select committee and the House speaker. You might want to ask Dick Burr about that. He wanted phone companies to provide law enforcement with the codes to break into people's IPhones and such...