Pete's Prep: Thursday, May 24, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

NC Lawmakers propose $35 million state funding for school safety

After the Parkland, FL shooting, North Carolina Republican leaders set up a study committee to examine and propose measures to improve school safety.

Today, Rep. David Lewis unveiled the proposed funding levels, including $35 million in state money plus another $30-90 million from the federal government:

The Republicans are also putting the budget into an existing, unrelated piece of legislation which will let them approve it without amendment - or much input from Democrats. As you might imagine, Democrats are angry about this.

The GOP is also putting the revamped incentives program proposal into the budget. The overhaul is widely believed to be targeted to attract Apple's new major project to the Research Triangle Park.

This means Democrats will have to approve the budget to approve the Apple deal AND the school safety measures.

As I said, they are angry about this.

They would prefer to vote for the items they like and against the ones they don't.

Republicans put the preferred items into the budget to make them vote no on those popular items during an election year.



Congressional Democrats want to hire Parkland survivors

From NBC News:

House Democrats are inviting students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — who survived a mass school shooting in February — to come intern in their offices, working on gun violence prevention.

The article does not mention if students from other school shootings will get the same offers.

Nor does it mention whether pro-Second Amendment students will be afforded the opportunity to go to Washington.

In a related story...

Kashuv is also a Parkland survivor, but has criticized the media-propelled anti-gun mission and his fellow students who have been the anointed spokespeople.



Judge: Trump can't block people on Twitter

I'm not sure Twitter is going to be happy with this decision, despite the effort to say that it ONLY applies to President Trump.

From the Washington Post:

President Trump's decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump's effort to silence his critics is not permissible because the digital space in which he engages with constituents is a public forum.

The ruling rejects administration arguments that the First Amendment does not apply to Trump in this case because he was acting as a private individual. In a 75-page decision, Judge Naomi Buchwald said Trump, as a federal official, is not exempt from constitutional obligations to refrain from "viewpoint discrimination."

The article says that the ruling "narrowly targets the Trump administration and is not binding on other public officials."

But I can't see how that's defensible - that only ONE guy's account is a public forum, when others in the political realm also use the platform for the exact same purpose.

Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor, said he thinks the case was wrongly decided and expects it to be reversed. For a public forum to exist, the government has to own or control it, he said, but in this case, Twitter also controls Trump's account.

Feldman notes - what of the people who got banned from Twitter? Wouldn't they have a constitutional right to get back on the platform to view the President's tweets?



Better late than never

It took a whole week, but the local paper has finally reported that Asheville Police Captain Mark Byrd was placed on investigative suspension.

WWNC confirmed this last week - the day it happened. I posted the City's public record on Thursday.

It's pretty amazing that it took this long to write just 450 words about it.

It's also of note that this article was written not by Joel Burgess - who has been covering APD issues for years, and was the one who wrote the story about the Johnnie Rush police beating. Instead, this article was written by Sam DeGrave.

Of course, if Burgess was the reporter who received the illegally leaked body cam footage of the incident, he'd be in an ethical box trying to write the story about Byrd - if Byrd was the leaker. 

The rumor among APD officers is that he was. 

However, when Capt. Stoney Gonce was suspended, the rumor was that HE was the leaker, too.



And another thing...

Charlotte is one of two test markets in America for the new Chik Fil-A sliders!


Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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