Around the South for Feb. 23: NC, OK & FL

North Carolina: Obama faces liberal backlash over Graham tweet. On Wednesday, former President Obama tweeted a tribute to evangelist Billy Graham, who died at the age of 99. In response, according to the Washington Times, some progressives opposed Obama’s action. “[L]iberals chiefly took issue with the evangelist’s stance on homosexuality.” Others accused Graham – falsely – of racism ……. Oklahoma: Pruitt’s travel arrangements face House oversight. US Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has written to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt asking for documents related to Pruitt’s travel arrangements. In response to media criticism of Pruitt flying first class, an EPA spokesman said that he had blanket waiver to fly first class for security reasons. Later, EPA walked that back. Gowdy wants to determine if any federal laws were broken. Pruitt is the former attorney general of Oklahoma ……. Florida: Post gives Gaetz major ink. This week the Washington Post, which normally pans anything or anyone on the Right side of the political spectrum, gave freshman US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) of Florida’s 1st District a five-column feature on the front page of its Style section. Noting that Gaetz, who has been making all the cable news shows in recent weeks, prefers to be on Fox News in the early morning because that’s when President Trump will be watching, the paper quoted Gaetz’s explanation: “Nothing in this town actually happens in the absence of presidential leadership.” FYI, SPR got there first: We profiled Gaetz in a major story some three weeks ago. Stay tuned …….