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AP: HB2 Will Cost North Carolina $3.76 Billion

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‘Such a Dumpster Fire, and Nobody Wants to Go Near It’

Despite claims by Republicans, including then-Governor Pat McCrory, that the wide-sweeping anti-LGBT law known as HB2 was having no negative affects, an Associated Press analysis finds it will cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion over 12 years. By the end of this year, the AP says the Tar Heel State will have lost “more than $525 million.” But it doesn’t end there.

“North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won’t be among them as long as the law is on the books. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott,” the AP reports.

The AP calls its own report “an underestimation of the law’s true costs” because it ignored reports that it could not quantify. 

“Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren’t included because of a lack of data on their economic impact.”

That one project sent more than 100 jobs to Canada. The AP says “more than 2,900 direct jobs” went elsewhere.

Those include PayPal canceling a 400-job project in Charlotte, CoStar backing out of negotiations to bring 700-plus jobs to the same area, and Deutsche Bank scuttling a plan for 250 jobs in the Raleigh area. Other companies that backed out include Adidas, which is building its first U.S. sports shoe factory employing 160 near Atlanta rather than a High Point site, and Voxpro, which opted to hire hundreds of customer support workers in Athens, Georgia, rather than the Raleigh area.

“We couldn’t set up operations in a state that was discriminating against LGBT” people, Dan Kiely, Voxpro founder and CEO, said in an interview.

A planned PayPal expansion was expected “to contribute more than $200 million annually to North Carolina’s gross domestic product — an overall measure of the economy. By the end of 2028, the state expected PayPal to have added $2.66 billion to the state economy.”

Shelly Green, the CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau summed up the effects of HB2: “When you think about it, this whole thing is just such a Dumpster fire, and nobody wants to go near it.”

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Image by Nathania Johnson via Flickr and a CC license 

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DENIAL IS DANGEROUS

Bolsonaro: ‘I Drank Hydroxychloroquine and I’m Feeling Great’

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly contracted COVID-19 and says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a means to recovery. The 65-year-old confirmed the diagnosis to journalists on Tuesday as he arrived to his presidential palace.

After asking reporters to step aside, Bolsonaro removed his face mask. “See, I am fine. See you next week, God willing.”

Bolsonaro said he was suffering muscle aches, fatigue and a fever but otherwise felt “normal.” This is a man who, prior to his diagnosis, repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as “just a little flu” and said the media coverage of the pandemic was “hysteria.” He also said, “Life continues. But if the economy doesn’t work it will bring new forms of death and suicide.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 — the second-highest death toll in the world after the United States. An additional 1.6 million people have tested positive for the virus in Brazil. Low levels of testing mean deaths and infections are likely much higher.

With his positive COVID-19 result, Bolsonaro now joins U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The latter two world leaders were hospitalized during treatment.

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CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

Trump Shamefully Withdraws United States from World Health Organization During Pandemic

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In an absolutely shameful move for Americans everywhere (whether they believe it right now or not), the Trump White House has announced its departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). The line was drawn in the proverbial sand on Tuesday, July 7.

“We have detailed the reforms that it [the WHO] must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.

According to The Hill, the United States contributes upwards of $400 million annually to the WHO — the group’s largest contributor — and public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization.

Following Trump’s ill-timed announcement, United States Senator Bob Menendez tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”

“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”

“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” Alexander added.. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”

It’s not the first time Trump has publicly denounced the WHO and it certainly won’t be his last. Trump said this past May that “China’s pattern of misconduct is well-known. For decades, they’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization.”

Although Trump has put the plan in motion to extricate America from the WHO, there may still be a long legal battle ahead if Congress challenges the decision in court since Congress already allocated funding for the WHO in its current spending bill.


119 days, America. The world is literally watching.

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BAD PRESIDENT

Mary Trump: President Never Took SATs — and Paid Someone Else to Do It for Him

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The explosive new tell-all book written by President Donald Trump’s niece about their family history alleges that the president only got into a good college because of a fraudulently obtained SAT score.

According to the New York Times, Mary Trump claims in her book that “as a high school student in Queens… Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf.”

Mary Trump also claims that this fraudulent score helped him get into the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school, which the president often boasts about having attended.

The upcoming book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” paints a frightening portrait of how the president was groomed by his father to be ruthless and unsympathetic toward other people. Even though the Trump family has sued to stop the book’s publication, it is currently slated to release next week.

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