Saturday News: Oh, Cabarrus...


LARRY PITTMAN COMPARES LINCOLN TO HITLER FOR INVADING "SOVEREIGN" SOUTH: It started when N.C. legislator Larry Pittman compared Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to a Democrat.It escalated after Tillis’ wife responded. And it boiled over Thursday when Pittman compared President Abraham Lincoln to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler — for the second time since 2017. “It was only a matter of numbers,” Pittman wrote on Facebook, responding to another Facebook user. “Lincoln was responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 800,000 Americans. Hitler was responsible for millions more. Both unjustly invaded and subjugated sovereign nations.” N.C. House leaders took a rare public stance against one of their own Thursday as they condemned Pittman, a Republican firebrand from Cabarrus County who has become known for making controversial remarks.

TIM MOORE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHO MEDICAID EXPANSION WOULD SERVE: "We’re not going to do it," Moore, R-Cleveland, told reporters Thursday. "I’m not going to commit the state of North Carolina to potentially billions of dollars of additional debt for expansion of an entitlement program that, under what’s being asked for by the governor, would only benefit those who are able-bodied but are refusing to work." Asked what he would say to low-income people who can't afford health insurance, Moore answered, "I’d say the best thing that folks could do is to get a job. North Carolina now has the best economy it’s had in decades, and if you want a job in North Carolina now, you can get a job." In an exclusive interview with WRAL News, Cooper said most of those who would be covered by Medicaid expansion are already working. But low-wage service jobs rarely come with health coverage, and in many rural areas, those are virtually the only jobs available for many people.

CANCELLATION OF LIGHT RAIL LEAVES EMINENT DOMAIN ISSUES IN DURHAM: The land had been in his family for more than a century, once part of a 1,000-acre tract cleaved repeatedly by inheritance, auctions and the eventual construction of Interstate 40. But in March 2018, Booker's land was split again by the regional transit authority GoTriangle, which used eminent domain to acquire more than 20 acres from him and seven neighbors. It was just one part of the Durham-Orange Light Rail project, meant to house a rail operations and maintenance facility along the line's nearly 18-mile route. "I understand it was taken for proper purposes. In other words: it was a legal use of eminent domain," Booker said. "Then everything went to hell in a hand basket." Transit and county leaders voted to end the quest for the light rail project this spring. But GoTriangle has spent $3.8 million to take possession of these properties, wedged between I-40 and Farrington Road in the southwest corner of Durham County. The land may end up costing the authority millions more as several ongoing legal disputes rage on.

COLUMNIST FOR ELLE MAGAZINE SAYS TRUMP RAPED HER IN DEPARTMENT STORE DRESSING ROOM: In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday afternoon, Carroll reiterated the allegations, saying that during a chance encounter with the then-real estate developer at Bergdorf Goodman in late 1995 or early 1996, Trump attacked her in a dressing room. She said he knocked her head against a wall, pulled down her tights and briefly penetrated her before she pushed him off and ran out. She said she hoped that telling her story “will empower women to come forward and not feel bad. . . . I blamed myself and I was silent and I felt guilty. I beat up myself terrible.” Carroll, now 75, said she told two close friends about the episode at the time. One of them told The Post on Friday that Carroll described the incident to her shortly after it occurred and that she had unsuccessfully urged Carroll to go to the police. Trump vigorously denied the accusation, calling it “fake news.” He questioned why there was no video footage of the incident or witnesses in the store.

SAVED BY FOX NEWS? TUCKER CARLSON MAY HAVE CONVINCED TRUMP NOT TO ATTACK IRAN: He heard from his generals and his diplomats. Lawmakers weighed in and so did his advisers. But among the voices that rang powerfully for President Trump was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson. While national security advisers were urging a military strike against Iran, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have the president’s best interests at heart, he said. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran, he could kiss his chances of re-election goodbye. However much weight that advice may or may not have had, the sentiments certainly reinforced the doubts that Mr. Trump himself harbored as he navigated his way through one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his presidency. By his own account, the president called off the “cocked & loaded” strike on Thursday night with only 10 minutes to spare to avoid the estimated deaths of as many as 150 people. As Mr. Carlson and other skeptics have argued, a strike against Iran could easily spiral into a full-fledged war without easy victory. That, Mr. Trump was told, was everything he ran against.