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Updated: 2 hours 44 min ago

US Fish and Wildlife revises plan for endangered red wolves, but Trump administration could foil it

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 12:22

Under pressure, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is updating its controversial red wolf recovery plan but scientists and  environmental groups are concerned that the Trump administration could doom the red wolf to extinction. There are only 30 to 45 endangered red wolves living in the wild in five counties in northeastern North Carolina, down from a ...

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State Superintendent Mark Johnson to begin listening tour in Winston-Salem

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:59

North Carolina’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Republican Mark Johnson, is beginning his listening tour tomorrow in his home district of Winston-Salem. While he did not provide any additional details of his plans, the superintendent announced his first stop on the tour Thursday, weeks after he stated his goal of touring the state for the remainder ...

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National voting rights expert: Cooper and Stein should take steps to accept 4th circuit ruling

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 10:37

One of the nation’s preeminent voting rights experts, Prof. Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, authored an article on Slate this morning in which he calls on Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein to take a very specific and concrete step to improve voting rights throughout the nation. ...

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The opportunity to repeal HB2 is now fully available

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:13

Members of the North Carolina Senate could easily vote to repeal HB2, the state’s infamous, all-purpose LGBT discrimination bill, today if they had the slightest inclination to do so. The bill that would take such action was introduced yesterday. Here’s the full and simple text of Senate Bill 25: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ...

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As Spellings advises DeVos, a leading charter school booster urges the Senate to reject Trump’s pick for Education Secretary

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 20:52

UNC system President Margaret Spellings, former Education Secretary under President George W. Bush, says she has confidence in Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Spellings told CBS This Morning that she has advised DeVos to travel the country and listen. “I expect her to listen a lot. This is the era of ...

The post As Spellings advises DeVos, a leading charter school booster urges the Senate to reject Trump’s pick for Education Secretary appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

State Board of Education considers relaxed charter regulations mandated by legislature

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 16:01

Members of the State Board of Education have little choice in the matter, but the board officially began consideration Wednesday of a pair of policies limiting charter school scrutiny and restricting the board’s power to shutter struggling charters. Both policies were necessitated by the approval of Republican-led legislation last year authored by staunch charter school ...

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Today in Trumpland: Dems boycott Pruitt nomination for EPA + UNC panel deals with political influence over enviro policy

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 12:52

Senate Democrats boycotted a final committee meeting on EPA nominee Scott Pruitt today, stalling a vote on the controversial attorney general of Oklahoma. In addition to his deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, as AG, Pruitt  sued the EPA more than a dozen times over what he considered federal overreach. And to be filed ...

The post Today in Trumpland: Dems boycott Pruitt nomination for EPA + UNC panel deals with political influence over enviro policy appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Meet another woman whose life the conservative Medicaid blockade is harming

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 12:25

Even though North Carolina’s uninsured rate has fallen to  11.6 percent as a result of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the state still gets an average-to-failing grade (a D+) when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and overall health and well-being. And while there are obviously lots of factors that contribute to this poor grade, ...

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Recent executive actions and rhetoric could weaken North Carolina’s economy

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:00

Recent executive actions and words are likely to cost more lives than they save, and they are already eroding the United States’ standing as a bulwark for democracy and human rights. Beyond the social and political consequences, these decisions could have profound and long-lasting economic ramifications as well. As we documented in a report from 2015, ...

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NC DEQ Secretary Regan: “I want to create an open and inclusive agency”

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 09:00

Michael Regan hugs trees. But the presumptive secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality also shakes hands with business executives, who commonly chafe at the regulations that keep those trees standing. “There’s nothing wrong with hugging a tree,” Regan told a crowd of 150 North Carolina Chamber members on Tuesday. “But protecting the environment and a having a strong business ...

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Doormats no more: Responding to the “Democrats should play by the rules” argument on Gorsuch nomination

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 07:41

Some good and well-meaning people are arguing this morning that Democrats should once again, as they almost always do, compromise and play the role of responsible grown-ups with respect to Donald Trump’s nomination of right-wing judge, Neil Gorsuch. The honorable editorial writers at the Charlotte Observer make such a case this morning. They argue that ...

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No surprise: Trump picks right-winger for stolen Supreme Court nomination; Progressives must fight back

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 20:47

As expected, President Donald Trump has selected conservative federal judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created by the death of Antonin Scalia and the absurd and outrageous blockade of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, by the Senate throughout almost all of 2016. As noted below and in this ...

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NC Senate confirmations for Cooper appointments expected to take 6 weeks

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 17:44

The Senate confirmation process for eight of Gov. Roy Cooper’s cabinet appointees is expected to take about six weeks, though that schedule is malleable and legislators will move quicker if they can. “I should certainly hope that we can speed it up,” said Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender), who is chairman of the ...

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What you need to know about rumored Trump Supreme Court pick

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 16:14

There are unconfirmed reports this afternoon that Donald Trump will nominate federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court tonight at 8:00 p.m. As was argued in this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing, there are many good reasons why senators ought to reject any nominee at this point from our lawless and ...

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Report: LGBT protections granted by Obama to remain under Trump

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 12:57

The New York Times reports that workplace protections for LGBT people granted under President Barack Obama will remain in place under President Donald Trump. From the piece: In a statement issued in response to growing questions about whether Mr. Trump would reverse the Obama order, the White House said the president was proud to embrace ...

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Report: Trump nominee Betsy DeVos may have plagiarized in Senate questionnaire

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:12

Breaking news from The Washington Post: The paper is reporting this morning that President Trump’s nominee for U.S. education secretary, Michigan school choice advocate Betsy DeVos, may have lifted passages without attribution in her written responses to a senator’s questions this week. The news comes as members of a key Senate committee are expected to vote ...

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NC NAACP President: Trump’s Muslim travel ban, new immigration policies “ugly” and “immoral” (Audio)

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 09:58

Rev. William Barber, the president of the state NAACP and head of the Moral Monday movement, is weighing in on President Donald Trump’s order to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. On Monday, Rev. Barber called the recent executive orders mean-spirited and immoral. “We have to stand up against it…” Barber said the Muslim ban ...

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Tillis and Burr must stand up to Trump or take responsibility for his outrages

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 07:00

The point at which supposedly responsible conservative American leaders must begin to disavow and push back against President Donald Trump (or, at least, stop pretending that they are anything other than accomplices to his outrageous assaults on basic American values) is coming soon. A new editorial in the Charlotte Observer does an excellent job in ...

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Boy Scouts of America to officially accept transgender youth

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 21:25

The Boy Scouts of America has announced that effective immediately it will allow transgender children in its boys-only program. Officials with the organization explained their decision this way: “While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more ...

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ACLU of NC sees outpouring of support in wake of Trump’s travel ban; attorneys ready to help those affected

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 16:49

The ACLU of North Carolina received an outpouring of support over the weekend, not just in new memberships and donations but also from folks who want to volunteer and get involved, according to communications director Mike Meno. The support comes as the ACLU and other legal groups successfully challenged President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority ...

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