Friday News: Take your damn shot

SOME RALEIGH EMPLOYEES ARE ACTING LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN: More than 100 Raleigh police officers, firefighters and other city employees are threatening legal action over vaccine requirements they say are discriminatory. City of Raleigh Freedom to Choose, a coalition of 53 Raleigh police officers, 48 firefighters and 17 other city employees, has hired attorney James Lawrence to fight the city’s policies, according to a letter sent by Lawrence to Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin on Monday. In the letter, Lawrence cited the weekly testing requirement for non-vaccinated employees, cash bonus and paid leave incentives and a policy limiting promotions to those who are fully vaccinated as examples of a “discriminatory COVID-19 mandate.” Lawrence said the group is not “anti-vax,” and “supports the right of city employees to make their own informed medical treatment choices,” including whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Frankly, if their own "informed" opinion tells them not to, they shouldn't be on the payroll, much less toting a firearm in public.

AND THIS IS WHAT MATURE CHILDREN DO WHEN YOU PISS THEM OFF: A group of around 50 protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon to condemn Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson for his remarks critical of the LGBTQ community. In what was described as a youth rally, a mix of adults and children were seen holding signs on the sidewalk in front of the Hawkins-Hartness House on Blount Street, site of the lieutenant governor's office. Robinson has come under fire in recent days in light of the remarks. Several elected officials and LGBTQ advocacy groups have asked Robinson to resign. Demonstrators held signs with writings such as "Jesus said love everyone," "We're all God's children" and "Hate has no home here." Protesters chanted "we are not filth" and "love is love." Many attending were still in grade school with some as young as fifth graders. Police were on scene, although the gathering appeared to be orderly. Some counter protesters appeared with signs in support of Robinson. Videos of Robinson's speeches at two North Carolina churches from this summer have surfaced in recent days. Let him have it, with both...middle fingers.

BEV PERDUE WILL (AGAIN) CHAIR NATIONAL TESTING BOARD: Former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue is once again leading a board that oversees standardized tests designed to measure student achievement nationwide. U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced that Perdue will be chair of the National Assessment Governing Board for the next year. Perdue was also reappointed starting Oct. 1 to another four-year term on the board after first joining the panel in 2017, the education department said Wednesday. When Perdue previously was named board chair for a year in 2018, the board identified her as the first woman as chair in its 30-year history. The nonpartisan board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Representative samples taking the tests nationwide in grades four, eight and 12 allow states to compare themselves on academic performance. Perdue is a former school teacher, Democratic legislator and lieutenant governor who was elected governor in 2008. Since leaving office at the end of 2012, Perdue founded an education technology nonprofit and performs consulting work on education issues.

FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER LOOKS TO STATE AGS FOR HELP: State attorneys general played a critical role in curtailing the power of the tobacco industry. Now lawyers representing Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen are targeting attorneys general in states like California and Massachusetts in the hopes they could play a similar role in imposing limits on the social network. John Tye, a lawyer representing Haugen through the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid, said that his team has shared some of the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with state attorneys general offices in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nebraska and Tennessee. Some state attorneys general are already scrutinizing Haugen’s public revelations — and saying they could lead to enforcement action targeting Facebook. Connecticut attorney general William Tong and more than a dozen other Democratic state attorneys general on Wednesday sent a letter to Facebook, demanding more information about the company’s handling of vaccine misinformation, in response to a Wall Street Journal article based on internal documents Haugen leaked to the outlet. n their letter, the attorneys general say that they are concerned about Facebook’s XCheck system, which shields VIP users from standard enforcement process, might have employed by the “disinformation dozen,” a group of high-profile social media users known for spreading anti-vaccine content. Tong’s letter did not specify why they suspected the disinformation dozen were part of XCheck. The Journal article said the program grew to include more than 5 million high-profile accounts. Hopefully Josh is already involved in this.

TRUMP BEING DEPOSED IN LAWSUIT OVER SECURITY GUARDS ABUSING PROTESTERS: Former president Donald Trump will be questioned Monday at Trump Tower by attorneys for a group of protesters who claim Trump’s security guards assaulted them on a New York sidewalk in 2015. Benjamin N. Dictor, one of the attorneys, said the questioning would begin Monday morning. “I will be conducting the examination of Donald Trump under oath, at Trump Tower,” Dictor said in a written statement. “We look forward to presenting the video record of his testimony to the jury at his trial.” The questioning is related to a lawsuit in state court in the Bronx, filed by four men of Mexican descent who were protesting outside Trump Tower in 2015. They wore Ku Klux Klan suits and carried signs protesting Trump’s remarks about Latinos during his first presidential campaign. The men say Trump’s security guards emerged from the building, grabbed their signs and pushed them. One of the plaintiffs says that Trump’s then-head of security, Keith Schiller, struck him in the head with his fist. Trump was not present during the confrontation. But the plaintiffs sued him anyway, saying that these were his employees — and that his campaign-trail rhetoric gave the impression that they could use force against protesters. Oh, he's definitely responsible, for that and many other violent encounters.