Saturday News: Solidarity


NC SENATE SCHEDULES VETO OVERRIDE VOTE FOR MONDAY: On Friday, the General Assembly announced that “pursuant to Senate rule 59.2(b), notice has been given by the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate to the Senate Minority Leader that HB 966, 2019 Appropriations Act, may be considered by the Senate on Monday, October 28, 2019.” The Senate convenes at 4 p.m. Monday, but the voting session will not be held until 7 p.m., according to a news release from the office of Senate leader Phil Berger. Both chambers are majority Republican, but a supermajority is needed to override the governor’s veto. Unlike the seven Democratic votes that would have been needed to override a veto in the House if everyone was present, only one Democrat is needed to vote with all the Senate Republicans for the needed three-fifths supermajority. Four Democrats voted for the budget — Sens. Floyd McKissick Jr., Don Davis, Ben Clark and Toby Fitch. Earlier this week McKissick told The News & Observer that he would vote to sustain the governor’s veto of the budget.

UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY FILES LAWSUIT TO STOP PITTSBORO FROM REMOVING STATUE: A pro-Confederate group wants judges to stop the removal of a monument stationed outside a North Carolina county courthouse since 1907. WRAL reports that the United Daughters of the Confederacy filed a lawsuit aiming to stop Chatham County's plans to remove the Confederate monument that the group donated more than a century ago. County commissioners gave the UDC until this month to submit a proposal for what to do with the statue. The group didn't offer a plan, so commissioners voted Monday to take down the statue if the UDC doesn't act by the end of next week. The lawsuit seeks a court order preventing the monument's removal. Moves to remove the monument have sparked protests that led to the arrest of six people in the past month.

TILLIS PUSHES BILL IN U.S. SENATE TO FORCE SHERIFFS TO COOPERATE WITH ICE: Blasting what he called “reckless sanctuary policies,” Republican Sen. Thom Tillis on Friday announced a bill he said could encourage sheriffs in Mecklenburg County and elsewhere to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Federal immigration officials — and Republican lawmakers in Washington and Raleigh — have been critical of decisions by Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden and other metro-area sheriffs not to cooperate with ICE. Sheriffs in Mecklenburg and Wake counties were swept into office last fall promising to pull out of the 287(g) program, a voluntary partnership in which deputies effectively worked as ICE officers. This summer, Tillis introduced legislation that would compel local law enforcement officials to comply with federal detainer requests or face possible civil action by victims and the loss of federal grants. On Friday, he said his new measure would offer sheriffs incentives to cooperate with ICE, in part by reimbursing them for certain costs. He was joined by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, a co-sponsor of his legislation.

JUDGE ORDERS DOJ TO HAND OVER MUELLER PROBE INTERVIEW RECORDS: A judge on Friday ordered the Justice Department to give the House secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, handing a victory to Democrats who want it for the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. The ruling from Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell says that while the department had argued that existing law barred it from sharing the materials with Congress, “DOJ is wrong.” “In carrying out the weighty constitutional duty of determining whether impeachment of the President is warranted, Congress need not redo the nearly two years of effort spent on the Special Counsel’s investigation, nor risk being misled by witnesses, who may have provided information to the grand jury and the Special Counsel that varies from what they tell” the House Judiciary Committee, Howell wrote. Justice Department lawyers argued at a hearing earlier this month that House Democrats already had sufficient evidence from Mueller’s investigation, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews.

JUNK BOND KING AND CONVICTED FELON MICHAEL MILKEN IS THRIVING WITH HELP FROM TRUMP ADMIN: These days, the Milken Institute is a leading proponent of a new federal tax break that was intended to coax wealthy investors to plow money into distressed communities known as “opportunity zones.” The institute’s leaders have helped push senior officials in the Trump administration to make the tax incentive more generous, even though it is under fire for being slanted toward the wealthy. Mr. Milken, it turns out, is in a position to personally gain from some of the changes that his institute has urged the Trump administration to enact. In one case, the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, directly intervened in a way that benefited Mr. Milken, his longtime friend. It is a vivid illustration of the power that Mr. Milken, who was barred from the securities industry and fined $600 million as part of his 1990 felony conviction, has amassed in President Trump’s Washington. In addition to the favorable tax-policy changes, some of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers — including Mr. Mnuchin, Jared Kushner and Rudolph W. Giuliani — have lobbied the president to pardon Mr. Milken for his crimes, or supported that effort, according to people familiar with the effort. One of those developments, inside an industrial park, is a nearly 700-acre site in which Mr. Milken is a major investor. Last year, after pressure from Mr. Milken’s business partner and other landowners, the Treasury Department ignored its own guidelines on how to select opportunity zones and made the area eligible for the tax break, according to people involved in the discussions and records reviewed by The Times. The unusual decision was made at the personal instruction of Mr. Mnuchin, according to internal Treasury Department emails. It came shortly after he had spent time with Mr. Milken at an event his institute hosted.



The corruption is staggering

Can you imagine the outrage if Obama's Treasury Secretary personally intervened to help an inside trader get a favorable ruling on a project that could generate hundreds of millions in profit? Heads would be exploding on Fox News day and night. But under Trump? Just another day in the swamp.