GOVERNOR COOPER SET TO SIGN BUDGET INTO LAW: “I will sign this budget, because on balance the good outweighs the bad,” Cooper said, adding that it moves North Carolina forward in important ways, “many that are critical to our state’s progress as we are emerging from this pandemic.” “While I believe that it is a budget of some missed opportunities and misguided policy, it is also a budget that we desperately need at this unique time in the history of our state,” Cooper said. Cooper cites raises for state employees and tax relief for “everyday North Carolinians” among the reasons for supporting it. He added the caveat that he is “clear-eyed there are ways we differ,” including that the budget does not include Medicaid expansion. It also has an ugly poison pill, taking away some of his emergency powers. But like any good leader, he puts the needs of others over his own.
UNCLE JOE WILL BE AT FT. BRAGG ON MONDAY: White House officials confirmed the president and his wife will visit Fort Bragg for an early Thanksgiving dinner with service members and their families. Further information about the visit wasn’t immediately available. Fort Bragg bills itself as “the center of the military universe” and is one of the largest military complexes in the world, employing 53,700 troops and 14,000 civilians. It is home to the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Special Operations Command and Parachute Team. In 2020, Congress ordered Fort Bragg change its name within three years because it honors a Confederate general. Fort Bragg’s naming commission plans to have recommendations back to Congress by Oct. 1, 2022. I was stationed there for 5 1/2 years, grew to (sort of) love the place.
THIS STATE POLICY NEEDS TO CHANGE: Three transgender individuals sued the state Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday over the agency's policy regarding the gender listed on someone's birth certificate. The policy states that the gender on the birth certificate cannot be changed unless an individual undergoes gender reassignment surgery. "I believe it is unjust, unfair and discriminatory for the state to require that I undergo a surgery in order to provide me with an accurate birth certificate," said Lillith Campos, one of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit. Campos is a transgender woman, but her birth certificate identifies her as a man. "It's dehumanizing and demoralizing just knowing my birth certificate doesn't match who I am," she said. Lambda Legal, a national LGBTQ advocacy group, is representing her and two minors who believe birth certificates should reflect a person’s current identity. "A birth certificate is more than just a piece of paper, it is a quintessential identity document which follows a person from birth until death," said Carl Charles, an attorney with Lambda Legal. "It is essential to every person’s ability to navigate through life." Yep, and I've taken a copy of mine with me every time I've traveled outside the United States. Just in case. They shouldn't have to sue, especially a Democratic executive agency. Come on.
FIRST BUS DRIVERS, NOW CAFETERIA WORKERS. WAKE COUNTY NEEDS TO DO MORE: When cafeteria staff called out Tuesday from more than 30 schools across Wake County, parents stepped in to make sure students would not go hungry. Christina Jones has children at Brier Creek Elementary, one of the 32 schools impacted by the sick-out. She and other parents collected food items like fruit and sandwiches to be distributed at the school. "All these children need to have full bellies. Otherwise, why are they even in school? They can’t learn if they can’t focus, and they can’t focus if they don’t eat," said Jones. Nicole Sickles and her husband responded to the news by making an early-morning grocery store run, piling their carts to the top with snacks like cheese sticks, apple sauce, apple cups, water bottles and oranges. They dropped off those snacks at Banks Road Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina where their son is in fifth grade. Some parents received emails from their child’s school saying lunch will be pre-made, non-heated items, and Wake County Board of Education chair Keith Sutton implied schools would order pizza if it came to that.
JURY IN KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL STARTS DELIBERATING TODAY: Rittenhouse is charged with five counts, including homicide and attempted homicide, after shooting three people in August 2020 amid the unrest that gripped Kenosha following a police shooting. He fatally shot 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber. He also injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty and said he acted in self-defense after being attacked by people who tried to take his gun. Prosecutors say Rittenhouse was a violent aggressor who acted recklessly. More than a year after the fiery protests that erupted in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, local authorities are bracing for potential unrest outside the courthouse where a jury is deliberating Rittenhouse’s fate. A growing number of demonstrators — including supporters of Rittenhouse — had gathered outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday awaiting the verdict. But in contrast to other recent high-profile court events, including the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, where a wide swath of downtown Minneapolis was boarded up and locked down, much of the area remained open — even as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and others urged those from outside the community to stay away. If Rittenhouse had stayed home in Illinois where he belonged this trial wouldn't be happening.