DC Circuit halts the Clean Power Plan lawsuit

This may represents a win for President Trump, but it’s also a big win for North Carolinians.

The Washington Post reports that

A federal court on Friday granted the Trump administration’s request to suspend lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan rule, signaling the likely end of President Barack Obama’s signature climate policy.

The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stays litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency rule for 60 days. It does not indicate whether the D.C. Circuit will return the rule to the agency, although the EPA did not ask for it to do so. Instead, the order asks for guidance on whether to send the regulation back altogether.

“Pursuant to the president’s executive order, Administrator [Scott] Pruitt has already announced that EPA is reviewing  the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan,” said agency spokesman J.P. Freire. “We are pleased that this order gives EPA the opportunity to proceed with that process.”

Government shutdown? Trump plans to blame the Dems

Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner highlights the president’s approach to a possible partial federal government shutdown.

President Trump on Thursday made it clear he’s prepared to blame a possible government shutdown on Democrats, who he said are making too many demands for a bill to fund the government through fiscal year 2017.

“The Democrats want to shut government if we don’t bail out Puerto Rico and give billions to their insurance companies for OCare failure,” Trump tweeted. “NO!”

Congress must pass a spending bill by Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown, and lawmakers are expected to first pass a week-long stopgap measure. That will give lawmakers more time to prepare a final bill lasting through the end of September.

But along the way, Democrats have been demanding that language that would require the government to keep making payments to Obamacare insurers to help them reduce costs for low-income enrollees.

The politics of ‘hate speech’ charges

Scott Greer writes at the Daily Caller about the political motivations underlying charges of “hate speech.”

“Hate speech” has risen to the fore of public debate recently thanks to the turmoil surrounding Ann Coulter’s just cancelled appearance at UC Berkeley. …

… All of the furor against Coulter was based on the assumption that her views amount to “hate speech,” which, according to many on the Left, has no justification for being expressed on a college campus. …

… Considering the lack of a good legal argument for suppressing so-called hate speech, it’s a wonder how anyone can justify censoring views they deem offensive. That’s because the more prevalent view for the vanguard of the left is to ignore the Constitution and go straight to emotional appeals about protecting vulnerable groups from danger.

The New York Times gave a platform to this view on Monday by publishing an essay from New York University vice provost Ulrich Baer. Baer dispensed with Constitutional justification, which there’s little, and went straight for feel-good, moralistic reasoning on making the world a more equal place.

Baer argued in his op-ed that we shouldn’t be obligated to allow those who express opinions that “invalidate the humanity of some people” to speak freely. Instead, “We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding… of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.”

The meaning here is that if protected classes in society say that a view offends them, then the common good dictates for that speech to be suppressed. Just like the Founders intended!

Taking on ‘handmaid hysteria’

Heather Wilhelm uses a National Review Online column to rebut wild-eyed commentators who believe today’s America resembles the dystopia described in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

Sheesh. You’d think that, as a woman, I would have noticed the collapse of the world around me, but hey, it’s been a busy spring. I’ve had a packed social schedule, and as the old saying goes, you never notice the brutal rise of a women-enslaving dystopia when you’re attending a gala celebrating successful women entrepreneurs just a few blocks down from a clinic that cheerfully offers almost-free government-subsidized IUDs!

Well, never mind. In wild-eyed national discussions like these, one could bring up several facts: the fact that Republicans, not Democrats, have championed over-the-counter birth control; the fact that Planned Parenthood could thrive on private funding if it lost the $500 million it finagles annually from taxpayers; or the fact that our new Supreme Court justice, Neal Gorsuch, announced during confirmation hearings that he would “have walked out the door” if Trump had asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade.

These facts, of course, will promptly be ignored.

The Handmaid’s Tale hysteria, in short, is simply not serious. There are many things to worry about in the Trump era — personally, I might choose the various nukes bouncing around North Korea, but you can pick your own poison. It’s telling, however, that much of the feminist hand-flapping bounces right over Trump, landing on . . . wait for it . . . the mild-mannered Mike Pence. “Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to have dinner with women who aren’t his wife, for example,” wrote Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic, “smacks of the same kind of Puritanism that saw women condemned as witches and harlots just for the virtue of being born female.” Well. That escalated quickly.

Ending the corporate income tax

Kevin Williamson explains at National Review Online why President Trump should take an even bolder step in addressing the federal corporate income tax.

Donald Trump’s tax plan calls for reducing the corporate-income tax to 15 percent. That’s about 15 points too high.

Mitt Romney was mocked for insisting “corporations are people,” but he was right: A corporation is a cooperation, a group of people acting together as one corpus for a particular purpose. And it would be easier and more simple to tax the people. …

… What would happen if we simply eliminated the corporate-income tax entirely?

It would not represent a tax-free windfall to a bunch of pinstriped boardroom schmucks and Wall Street types and corporate shareholders. There are all sorts of things that businesses could do with that extra 40 percent of whatever they have left over after expenses. But if they pay it out in salaries and bonuses, whether to fat-cat executives or ordinary line workers, those people pay the individual income tax on that money. If they pay it out to shareholders in the form of dividends, the shareholders pay the capital-gains tax on that money. If it is distributed through other capital gains, the same thing applies. If it is used to acquire facilities or equipment, then that money becomes income for another company, which has the same choices about how to dispose of it. The money still gets taxed, but not until it hits someone’s bank account.

This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

North Carolina will host a series of NCAA championship events in the years ahead. The college sports organization’s recent announcement has prompted a mix of reactions from supporters and opponents of the now-repealed House Bill 2. Rick Henderson analyzes those reactions for the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Joe Coletti explains how small institutional changes in North Carolina’s budget process can have significant effects. Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute offers ideas for improving North Carolina’s high school accountability program.

You’ll hear from a group of African-American Democratic legislators who offer a full-throated defense of school choice. Plus you’ll learn why some military veterans in the General Assembly have filed a series of bills designed to help members of the N.C. National Guard.

New Carolina Journal Online features

The latest Carolina Journal Online parody describes basketball great Michael Jordan’s fight against a bill to name the bobcat as North Carolina’s state cat.

John Trump’s Daily Journal laments the watering down of a bill that could have removed distribution restrictions for N.C. craft brewers.

Gboro performing arts center breaks ground….

Local and state dignitaries—including Gov. Roy Cooper*—gathered in downtown Greensboro to (finally) break ground on the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts:

The ceremony followed a special Greensboro City Council meeting Tuesday night, when the council voted 8-1 to spend up to $2.5 million on Phase 1 of the Tanger Center.

The work will include site excavation and utility preparation at the 5-acre property between North Elm Street and Summit Avenue.

Although that work was projected to begin next week, it won’t begin that soon.

That’s because as of Wednesday’s ceremony, the city hadn’t finished negotiating a contract that allows site work to proceed.

Coliseum Director Matt Brown, who will oversee the center, hadn’t settled on a “guaranteed maximum price” with Skanska Rentenbach, the project manager in charge of preconstruction services.

Brown–the city’s highest-paid employee—told the N&R he will present the guaranteed maximum price the remainder of the project at the Sept. 5 council meeting. But although the council had authorized $2.5 million–max– to begin site prep work, the N&R reports the city had not finished negotiating the contract to allow that work to begin. so Gboro residents don’t hold your breath waiting for the first act to take the stage at the Tanger Center.

Video of Gov. Cooper’s comments delted from original post due to obnoxious ads. If you really, really want to see Cooper’s comments click on the link to the N&R story.