It’s Friday. We made it. Now, let’s end the week with a little fun.

1) Thom Tillis says Goldman Sachs is a champion for the “little guy.”

Now that you’ve laughed out loud, read this while you’re scratching your head. From the INDY:

“I feel like sometimes I’m living a reality TV version of Atlas Shrugged,” Tillis quipped during the confirmation hearing for Jay Clayton, Trump’s nominee for chairing the Securities and Exchange Commission. “There are a lot of people in this Congress that want to beat down job creators and employers. People want to demonize Goldman Sachs. That’s an easy thing to do, right? Just beat up on a financial services institution. An institution that’s committed to, let me look at the general numbers here ― they have 36,500 employees. There’s probably a lot of little guys in there. They’ve contributed billions of dollars to nonprofits.”

Um … OK then.

2) Obamacare repeal vote stalls, so the president threatens the GOP.

President Trump isn’t having a banner week. And today, it could get much worse. From the “failing” New York Times:

President Trump issued an ultimatum on Thursday to recalcitrant Republicans to fall in line behind a broad health insurance overhaul or see their opportunity to repeal the Affordable Care Act vanish, demanding a Friday vote on a bill that appeared to lack a majority to pass.
The demand, issued by his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, in an evening meeting with House Republicans, came after a marathon day of negotiating at the White House and in the Capitol in which Mr. Trump — who has boasted of his deal-making prowess — fell short of selling members of his own party on the health plan.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan emerged from the session and announced curtly that Mr. Trump would get his wish for a vote on Friday. Mr. Ryan refused to answer reporters’ questions about whether he expected the measure to pass.

3) Take that planet! Trump earns a victory over Earth by green-lighting Keystone permit.

Just moments ago, the Trump administration gave the thumbs-up for construction of the Keystone Pipeline. We’d typically think of something witty to drop in here, but frankly, this is just too depressing. From the NYT:

The Trump administration announced Friday that it would issue a permit for construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, a long-disputed project that would link producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast.
The announcement by the State Department reversed the position of the Obama administration. It followed a 60-day review that was set in motion as one of the first acts of President Trump’s tenure.

4) NCAA gives North Carolina deadline on HB 2 repeal.

If a repeal doesn’t come soon, the state will lose rights to host championship events through 2022. From the N&O:

In its most direct statement yet, the NCAA on Thursday warned North Carolina to repeal House Bill 2 soon or lose championship events through 2022.
“As the state knows, next week our various sports committees will begin making championships site selections for 2018-2022,” the NCAA said in a statement. “Once the sites are selected … those decisions are final.” The NCAA plans to announce sites on April 18.
The statement came on HB2’s first anniversary. It also came as lawmakers and the governor remain at an impasse over repeal, though legislative leaders said Thursday they’re talking about changes in the law.

But let’s face it, this is about more than basketball. Click on that link to read the INDY‘s take on the one-year anniversary of this piece of garbage called HB 2. Here’s a taste:

To the rest of the country, HB 2 is simply the embarrassing “bathroom bill.” But it’s worth remembering how much more than that it actually does. It doesn’t just attack transgender people. They were merely the bogeymen used to sell a further-reaching agenda. The law also forbade local governments from passing nondiscrimination or living wage ordinances. This, in fact, has become a sticking point in repeal talks: Republicans have sought either a moratorium on nondiscrimination ordinances or a provision that would allow them to be put to a referendum.
In short, Republicans don’t think North Carolina’s cities—the lifeblood of the state’s culture and economy—should be allowed to govern themselves, and instead think our morals and values should be dictated by rubes like Phil Berger and Dan Forest. (So much for local control.)
In a word, that’s insulting. In another word, it’s infuriating.

On that note, have a great Friday. Bye for now.