Wednesday News: Tarheel Taliban


MARK ROBINSON TAKES HIS "TEACHER INDOCTRINATION" CRUSADE TO THE NEXT STEP: Some North Carolina teachers are misusing their position to indoctrinate and influence students, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson claimed in a report he released Tuesday. The “Indoctrination in North Carolina Public Education Report” comes as Robinson and other state Republican leaders are trying to pass legislation that would put new rules on how schools teach about race and racism. GOP leaders say the report, which they insisted is not meant to be a teacher witch hunt, shows that there’s a need to pass legislation regulating what’s taught in schools. But Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher Justin Parmenter says the complaints he got from the task force as part of a public records request were “dominated by white racial resentment.” I don't believe a damn word coming out of Robinson's mouth. Trump 2.0.

NC REPUBLICANS ARE WORRIED ABOUT LANDLORDS, NOT THE SOON-TO-BE EVICTED: Republican lawmakers pitched a bill Tuesday to let landlords, instead of just tenants, apply for federal rent assistance to boost interest in a $1.2 billion program in North Carolina. The state-run HOPE program and related programs in North Carolina’s largest counties cover up to a year’s worth of rent for tenants who make 80 percent of their area’s median income or less. The state has struggled at times to get enough applicants, despite concerns that, when the oft-extended federal eviction moratorium ends Oct. 3, the state will see a glut of evictions. Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, argued Tuesday that landlords should be able to apply on their tenants’ behalf, and he pasted language along those lines into House Bill 110. The bill was in the Senate Commerce and Insurance committee Tuesday for discussion only, though votes may come later this week. “They’re not under a misunderstanding,” Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, replied. “They just don’t want to pay the damn rent.” Oh really? You know that for a fact, or are you just running your mouth? That are rhetorical questions.

AND OF COURSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF MORE VOTERS: North Carolina Republican legislative leaders have replaced state government attorneys with a private lawyer to defend them in litigation challenging the rules on when felony offenders can get their voting rights restored. A judicial panel plans to issue an order soon that says anyone convicted of a felony can register to vote after they've completed their prison sentence or if they received no time behind bars. State law on the books for nearly 50 years has required the offender to complete all punishments, including probation, parole or community supervision, before being able to register and cast ballots. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger — both lawsuit defendants — want to appeal the order, which could allow up to roughly 56,000 more people to register and vote starting this fall. The General Assembly hired David Thompson, a Washington-based attorney who is also defending Moore and Berger in a pending state voter identification lawsuit in state court.

COOP VETOES REPUBLICAN EFFORT TO STACK CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD: Currently two of the 11 voting members of the Charter Schools Advisory Board are chosen by the State Board of Education. The governor picks nearly all voting positions on the State Board of Education. The bill would have given the education board just one spot to fill, while the superintendent of public instruction or her designate would receive another voting position. Currently the superintendent or her designate is a nonvoting member to the advisory board, which also recommends rules on how charter schools should operate or be monitored. "The State Board of Education is constitutionally and statutorily charged with administering children's education in state public schools, including charter schools," Cooper wrote in his veto message. "It is critical that the board have both of their appointments to the (charter schools) board to carry out its constitutional duties." Both the House and Senate approved the bill by what would be veto-proof majorities, so an override is possible. But Cooper has been known to consolidate his support before override attempts by Republican legislative leaders. Damn right. Live together, die alone. Just ask Joel Ford.

BIDEN STICKING TO HIS AUGUST 31 WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN: The United States has begun to reduce its military presence at Kabul airport as President Biden seeks to stick to the Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing from Afghanistan. Biden is expected to announce Tuesday afternoon that he is ordering the U.S. military to leave by the end of the month, a senior administration official said. Another defense official said that some troops not critical to the evacuation mission have been removed already. The United States has sent thousands of additional troops to Kabul this month to assist with evacuating Americans and Afghan allies. As evacuations ramped up, Biden told G-7 leaders at a virtual meeting Tuesday morning that the United States is “on pace” to end the mission on schedule. Some U.S. allies have expressed concern about the Aug. 31 deadline, however. Asked by reporters whether the evacuations would conclude before the deadline, Psaki said yes and “that there would need to be time to wind down the presence.” She said it was necessary to assess the threat of the Islamic State to the military and to ensure cooperation with the Taliban, which has rejected Biden’s suggestion that the United States might stay beyond the deadline. “It also includes the essential aspect of having the Taliban’s coordination continue over the coming days so we can facilitate as many people as we’ve been getting out,” Psaki said at the daily White House briefing.