Wednesday News: Packing the November ballot


VOTER ID AND TABOR LEAD THE SLATE OF GOP CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS BEING PUSHED: The House Elections Committee has already approved House Bill 1092, which would add a requirement to the state constitution that all in-person voters must show photo identification. House leaders have said that's likely to get its first vote this week, although House Rules Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, told reporters Tuesday that the House GOP on Wednesday may not have the 72 votes needed to pass it, due to several members' personal conflicts. Thursday appears to be first session at which that vote would be likely. Senate Bill 75 would change the state income tax cap in the constitution from 10 percent to 5.5 percent. That proposal won Senate approval in March 2017, but the House version of the measure contains a technical change, so it would need to return to the Senate for a final vote.

GOVERNOR COOPER RECALLS NC NATIONAL GUARD HELICOPTER CREW OVER IMMIGRANT ABUSE: "The cruel policy of tearing children away from their parents requires a strong response, and I am recalling the three members of the North Carolina National Guard from the border," Cooper said in a statement. Members of the NC National Guard had assisted at the southern border under Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. The current deployment includes a helicopter and three National Guard members. The National Guard members were scheduled for a 120-day rotation that started June 1, said NC National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Matthew Devivo. "The mission was to support federal and state agencies with day and night aerial observation to enhance the customs and border security operations," Devivo said. Governors in at least eight states, including Republicans in left-leaning states, are recalling National Guard troops or refusing to send them to the Mexican border over President Donald Trump's policy.

TRUMP SAYS IMMIGRATION PROBLEM IS DEMOCRATIC PLOT TO GAIN VOTES: President Donald Trump amplified his heated immigration rhetoric on Tuesday, accusing Democrats of wanting "illegal immigrants ... to pour into and infest our country," language evoking images of pests, not human beings. "Democrats are the problem. They don't care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can't win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!" he wrote. The President's Twitter language further escalated his dehumanizing rhetoric amid a developing humanitarian -- and political -- crisis on the United States' border with Mexico, where at least 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as a result of the administration's policy.

TRUMP ADMIN CALLS CHILD DETENTION CENTERS "TENDER AGE" SHELTERS: Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three "tender age" shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday. "The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it," said Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which provides foster care and other child welfare services to migrant children. "Toddlers are being detained."

CLUELESS TO THE IRONY, TRUMP PULLS US OUT OF UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Haley, Trump’s envoy to the U.N., said the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes. She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said. The announcement came just a day after the U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents. But Haley cited longstanding U.S. complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.