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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Morning Roundup: So Long, Earth. It Was Nice Knowing You.

Posted by on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Away we go.

1) Trump is set to roll back most of Obama's climate-change policies.

Another executive order from the president. From the New York Times:
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday to roll back most of President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, celebrating the move as a way to increase the nation’s “energy independence” and to restore thousands of lost coal mining jobs.
Let the celebration begin in coal country. Except, maybe not.
Yet, coal miners also should not assume their jobs will return if Trump’s regulations take effect.

The new order would mean that older coal plants that had been marked for closings would probably stay open, said Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming. That would extend the market demand for coal for up to a decade.

But even so, “the mines that are staying open are using more mechanization,” he said. “They’re not hiring people.”

2) Democrats want Trump investigator/surrogate Devin Nunes to step down.

That's what happens when you look at secret intelligence files involving an investigation into the president's administration at the White House. Again from the Times:
Top House Democrats on Monday called on the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, thrusting the entire inquiry into jeopardy amid what they described as mounting evidence he was too close to President Trump to be impartial.
The demands followed revelations that the committee’s chairman, Representative Devin Nunes of California, had met on White House grounds with a source who showed him secret American intelligence reports. The reports, Mr. Nunes said last week, showed that Mr. Trump or his closest associates may have been “incidentally” swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
3) Here’s the REAL problem with HB 2 ... and it's not money.

The INDY’s editor provided his take on the Associated Press estimate that HB 2 would ultimately cost North Carolina $3.76 billion. Read the whole piece. But here's a taste:
The AP’s estimate is important. It’s news, definitely. But it isn’t going to convince Dan Forest or Tim Moore or Phil Berger that they’re wrong. Even the monumental embarrassment of the NCAA and ACC pulling events has only led them toward a repeal in name only, an effort to appease the basketball gods but do little else, the most recent iteration of which includes a likely unconstitutional conscience clause that would offer bigots a license to discriminate.

But what the talk of boycotts and the canceled projects and the NCAA’s and ACC’s decisions to pull championships from the state have done—and how they’ve been effective—is they’ve focused a spotlight on the ignominy and immorality of the legislature’s bigotry and intolerance.
4) The Durham County Board of Commissioners backtracks a little on video visitation at the jail.

From the INDY’s Sarah Willets:
On Monday night, the Durham County Board of Commissioners clarified its position on plans to implement video visitations at the Durham County Detention Facility, after five people protesting that initiative were arrested at a commissioners' meeting earlier this month.

Board chairwoman Wendy Jacobs opened the board's regular meeting Monday with a statement on the issue, saying the board supports the pilot program that would launch video visitations at the jail this summer only in addition to in-person visitations.

"We believe that in-person visitation is important for inmates in the detention center awaiting trial and for their loved ones outside of the jail," Jacobs said. "We believe having in-person visits with friends and family members can have a positive impact on the mental health and behavior of inmates and thus also on the well-being of detention center staff. ... The Durham County Board of Commissioners supports the implementation of video visitation as an additional option for detainees and their family members but not as a replacement for in person visitation."
That's it for today. Bye for now.

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