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North Carolina Republicans freak out after Obama criticizes anti-trans law

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North Carolina Republicans criticized President Barack Obama on Friday after the president told a news conference in London the state’s law on transgender bathroom use was wrong and should be overturned.

North Carolina last month became the first state to require transgender people to use public restrooms that match the sex assigned to them at birth rather than their gender identity.

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Big businesses, rock stars and other artists have boycotted the state unless it repeals the law, which transgender advocates say misguidedly whips up concern over public safety and infringes on the rights of transgender people.

Backers of the legislation in the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature say it is meant to protect privacy rights and keep children and women safe from sexual predators.

“Not every father has the luxury of Secret Service agents protecting his daughters’ right to privacy in the girls’ bathroom,” North Carolina State Senate Leader Phil Berger said in a statement.

Reporters asked Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron about the law after the British government had issued a warning to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens that recent laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi may affect them.

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Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant this month signed a far-reaching law allowing people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and protecting other actions considered discriminatory by gay rights activists.

Obama said North Carolina and Mississippi “are beautiful states, and you are welcome and you should come and enjoy yourselves.”

“I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong and should be overturned,” Obama said.

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s office released a statement saying he agreed with Obama that Britons are welcome in the state and would receive hospitality.

“However, the governor respectfully disagrees with the political left’s national agenda to mandate changes to basic, common-sense restroom norms,” spokesman Josh Ellis said in a statement.

North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore said Obama’s safety and security record on foreign policy was weak and “now it seems like he’s challenged on some basic safety issues here in the United States, too.”

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(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by David Gregorio)


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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Alternet 2020

Nancy Pelosi faces serious challenges — but she’s failed miserably in two key ways

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As I wrote earlier this week, with its muddled messaging on impeachment, the House Democratic leadership may have figured out a way of both demoralizing the Democratic base and firing up Trump's supporters. It's a mess.

But fairness requires us to acknowledge an important fact: Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't have the votes to launch an official impeachment process. And it's not close. At present, The Washington Post's tally finds 137 members of the House in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry, with 92 opposed and 6 others not taking a position. Leadership can twist arms on a close vote, but when you're close to 100 votes shy of a majority, it's impossible to whip a measure across the finish line--especially one of such consequence.

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Trump’s anti-worker labor nominee is more like the ‘Secretary of Corporate Interests’

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Progressive groups and Democratic lawmakers expressed serious concerns Thursday about corporate attorney Eugene Scalia — President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Labor Department — as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee met to consider his nomination.

"Instead of nominating a Secretary of Labor, President Trump has nominated a Secretary of Corporate Interests," declared Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the committee's ranking member. "If there's one consistent pattern in Mr. Scalia's long career, it's hostility to the very workers he would be charged with protecting, and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were confirmed."

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