Wednesday News: The Ostrich bill

NC REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT RACISM OR SEXISM BROUGHT UP IN SCHOOL: The N.C. House Education Committee backed a new bill unveiled on Tuesday that prohibits schools from promoting concepts such as the U.S. being racist and that people are inherently racist or sexist, whether consciously or unconsciously. The legislation comes after backlash over the state’s newly adopted K-12 social studies standards and a fear from conservatives that schools are painting white people as being racist and sexist. But Rep. James Galliard, a Nash County Democrat, called it an “anti-education bill.” Gaillard talked about growing up bi-racial and said the bill would hide the nation’s injustices. “This is an act to ensure discrimination, fanaticism, bigotry,” Gailliard said. “This is really a don’t hurt my feelings bill. Don’t tell me the truth about our history because it may hurt my feelings.”

JLF-SUPPORTED BILL TO CONCEAL DONORS OF PACS MOVES FORWARD: In a party-line vote Tuesday, the North Carolina Senate passed legislation meant to guarantee privacy for people who donate to charities and other nonprofits. Democrats raised questions about whether the bill would shield political contributions. Republicans said the measure was a crucially important defense against so-called "cancel culture" and could keep people from facing blowback should their charitable donations to causes their neighbors don't share become public knowledge. A group called People United for Privacy has pushed the issue in North Carolina, along with the John Locke Foundation, a right-leaning think tank. The issue unites some of the left and the right: the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina also has backed the bill. Some nonprofits exist primarily as "dark money" groups, spending part of what they collect on issue advertising that figures heavily into political races, Jackson noted. Often, these groups give to each other, moving money around until it's difficult to determine what came from where.

REPUBLICANS PUSH ANOTHER UNNECESSARY "BORN ALIVE" ANTI-ABORTION BILL: For a second time, North Carolina’s Republican-majority legislature is moving to make it a crime for medical providers to not treat infants who survive abortion. The Senate passed the legislation in a party-line vote Tuesday evening, but it’s likely to meet the same fate as a similar bill that failed two years ago. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a “born alive” abortion bill in 2019, saying the legislation was unnecessary because laws already protect newborn babies. The legislature did not have enough support from Democratic lawmakers that year to override that veto. “The language of this bill is not based in medical science,” said Planned Parenthood public affairs director Susanna Birdsong, “and implies that medical professionals are performing infanticide.” This year’s bill is a slightly watered-down version of what Cooper vetoed in 2019, as it makes the offense of not caring for an abortion survivor a misdemeanor, rather than a felony. That change could bring some additional lawmakers to support the legislation, but likely not enough to override a gubernatorial veto.

100 PROMINENT REPUBLICANS THREATEN TO START 3RD PARTY OVER TRUMPISM: More than 100 Republicans, including some former elected officials, are preparing to release a letter this week threatening to form a third party if the Republican Party does not make certain changes, according to an organizer of the effort. The statement is expected to take aim at former President Donald J. Trump’s stranglehold on Republicans, which signatories to the document have deemed unconscionable. “When in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice,” reads the preamble to the full statement, which is expected to be released on Thursday. The effort comes as House Republican leaders are expected on Wednesday to oust Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their ranks because of her outspoken criticism of Mr. Trump’s election lies. The list of people signing the statement includes former officials at both the state and national level who once were governors, members of Congress, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, state legislators and Republican Party chairmen, Mr. Taylor said. Mr. Taylor declined to name the signers. Reuters reported earlier that the former governors Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey will sign it, as will former Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters and former Representatives Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Reid Ribble of Wisconsin and Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma. “I’m still a Republican, but I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth because how quickly the party has divorced itself from truth and reason,” Mr. Taylor said. “I’m one of those in the group that feels very strongly that if we can’t get the G.O.P. back to a rational party that supports free minds, free markets, and free people, I’m out and a lot of people are coming with me.”

ISRAEL IS ABOUT TO GO TO WAR WITH GAZA PALESTINIANS (AGAIN): Millions of civilians in Israel and the Gaza Strip endured a second night of deadly rocket attacks and airstrikes as the worst violence in years between the Israeli military and Gaza militants continued to escalate Wednesday. Even as airstrikes were launched and air-raid sirens sounded, Palestinian citizens of Israel poured into streets, burning cars and fighting police in scenes that recalled violent uprisings that rocked the country decades ago. Some 48 Gazans, including 14 children, according to Palestinian health officials, and six Israelis, including one teenage girl, according to Israeli emergency response officials, have been killed in the worst bout of violence in seven years, resurfacing familiar patterns of tit-for-tat retaliatory rocket salvos while also spurring a much more rare outburst of mass civil unrest among Palestinian citizens of Israel. On Tuesday night just before 9 p.m., Hamas, the Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, announced that it would fire rockets at Tel Aviv in response to intense Israeli airstrikes that had brought down a 13-story building, as well as other attacks on high-rises. The Israeli military said the 13-story building housed Hamas military intelligence offices and a rocket research and development unit. In response, Hamas lobbed more than 1,000 rockets and mortar shells toward Tel Aviv and its surroundings and at dozens of communities in southern Israel. One rocket directly hit a bus in the central city of Holon, injuring four people, including a 5-year-old child. Rockets also struck near Ben Gurion International Airport, which was temporarily closed and planes rerouted. On Wednesday, U.S. airlines United, Delta and American said they canceled flights into and out of Ben Gurion Airport out of security concerns.