Wednesday News: "Mini-budgets"


UNABLE TO OVERRIDE COOPER VETO, GOP TRIES NEW TRICK: “Day after day, they put the vetoed budget on the calendar, and day after day they don’t vote on an override. They try strong arming, bribes, public pressure, university tours and even trickery. Still, they do not vote on the vetoed budget,” Cooper said. Instead of the counteroffer he’s been waiting for, the governor said, “we get Congressional-style piecemeal budget bills. They don’t work well in Washington, and they won’t work well in North Carolina.” Cooper called the piecemeal budget bills “another trick that is bad public policy to get a budget that is 100% their way, the wrong way.” Teacher raises were not one of the three mini budget bills that made it through House committee and were later passed by the Senate that would give raises of 2.5% average to state employees, along with raises to the State Highway Patrol and other workers.

UNC WANTS TO KEEP DETAILS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES SECRET: A lawyer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told the state Supreme Court Tuesday that campus officials should have the authority to decide whether to release details about how it disciplined students implicated in sexual assault cases. In its appeal before the justices, the university is seeking to overturn a unanimous decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals, which ruled in April 2018 that UNC must turn over records containing the names, violations and sanctions imposed on anyone at the university found responsible for rape or sexual assault. The case stems from a November 2016 lawsuit filed by a coalition of North Carolina media organizations – including the university's student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, and the parent companies of the Durham Herald Sun and WRAL News – who challenged the university's denial of a records request for the case information. University officials said the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, designed to protect student educational records, prevented disclosure.

NC SENATE NOT HAPPY WITH "STUDY ONLY" VERSION OF DUKE ENERGY BILL: North Carolina senators aren't accepting House changes to a Senate bill that replace a proposal to let Duke Energy Corp. seek multiyear electric rates from state regulators with simply studying the idea instead. The Senate voted on Tuesday to reject the House version of the measure. Leaders in the two chambers appointed negotiators to work out their differences. Charlotte-based Duke Energy has pushed hard this year for the option to seek multiyear rates from the Utilities Commission and to receive some flexibility in their profit margin. House members weren't as confident that the Senate version would receive Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's support, so the study idea surfaced. The idea of multiyear rate-setting comes after state utilities regulators last year wouldn't approve a 10-year Duke Energy proposal on electricity grid updates.

TRUMP WILLING TO BREAK LAWS TO GET HIS BORDER WALL: President Trump is so eager to complete hundreds of miles of border fence ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules, according to current and former officials involved with the project. He also has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly, those officials said. When aides have suggested that some orders are illegal or unworkable, Trump has suggested he would pardon the officials if they would just go ahead, aides said. He has waved off worries about contracting procedures and the use of eminent domain, saying “take the land,” according to officials who attended the meetings. “Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” he has told officials in meetings about the wall. Asked for comment, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Trump is joking when he makes such statements about pardons.

BORIS JOHNSON MOVES TO BLOCK PARLIAMENT FROM DEBATING BREXIT: On Wednesday, he announced plans that would lengthen an upcoming parliamentary break, a surprise maneuver that would limit legislative time, potentially increasing the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. The anger from opposition politicians — and some of Mr. Johnson’s fellow Conservatives — came as the British pound fell sharply, to as low as $1.2157 in morning trading before rebounding. John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, released a statement calling the move “a constitutional outrage,” one designed “to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.” Dozens of members of Parliament appealed to a court in Edinburgh to block Mr. Johnson’s move, and the court agreed to take up the matter on Thursday. An online petition on a government website, demanding that Parliament not be suspended while a Brexit deadline looms, collected more than 180,000 signatures in less than four hours — far more than the 100,000 needed to require Parliament to debate the issue.



"The rise of the Tyrants"

That's the name of a future chapter in a history book looking back at this era, with Trump, Johnson, Putin, and a whole cast of minor supporting actors who emulate them.

How is this not an immediately impeachable offense?

Trump literally ordering his subordinates to break the law and promising them pardons if they carry out that order has to be something that Congress does not ignore. It is in direct opposition to the Presidential oath of office and the constitutional duties assigned to the President to see that the laws are faithfully executed. This is something that doesn't even require hearing to determine whether an offense has occurred, it is a prima facie case for impeaching any President who would order that the laws be broken and then offers to use their pardon power to shield the lawbreakers. Is this not finally one outrage to our constitutional system too many?

Yeah, it should be...

But I think his continual outrageous behavior has pushed everybody into sensory overload, where obviously criminal acts are lumped in with other idiotic (but not criminal) ones. I also think that's one reason why he's cleaned out his Cabinet and only replaced them with either the incompetent or corrupt, so if any of them do turn on him, he can get rid of them easily.

It's a new reality, apparently.