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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

So There’s a Special Counsel. Now What?

Posted By on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 8:15 AM

Last night, deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein—the same Rod J. Rosenstein that Trump a week ago cited for his sacking of FBI director of James Comey—appointed Robert Mueller, a previous FBI director and close friend of Comey, to be special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russian election interference and “related matters.” In the short term, this is something of a gift to the Trump administration. Questions about former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, both of whom are reported to be key figures in the FBI’s investigation, can be sidestepped, as this matter is...

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dear Richard Burr: You Have Subpoena Power. Please Use It.

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 8:54 AM

In this week’s paper, I argued that Donald Trump had obstructed justice and lied to the American public, that he was a menace who needed to be impeached and removed from office posthaste, based on his firing of James Comey, his mendacity and obfuscation, his divulging of state secrets to the Russians, his rank ignorance and incompetence. All of that was finished and sent to the printer by two p.m. yesterday. Three hours later, The New York Times dropped its bombshell: Trump had asked Comey in February to end the FBI’s investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s ties to...

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump’s Firing of James Comey Is a Constitutional Crisis—and a Moment of Truth for Richard Burr

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2017 at 12:16 PM

Article 1 of the Articles of Impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon lays out case fairly succinctly. There was break-in as part of an effort to gain political intelligence against Nixon’s Democratic opponents in 1972. Nixon and his minions covered it up. The articles cite nine means used to implement the coverup: lying to investigators, making false statements to the public, withholding documents, etc. For our immediate purposes, number four is the most relevant. On October 20, 1973, in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon terminated Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-in, accepted the...

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

The House Could Vote Today to Rob 24 Million of Health Care. Don’t Let It Happen.

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 9:19 AM

This afternoon, the House is finally expected to vote on the American Health Care Act, the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This is more or less the same bill that died without a vote in March, after an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that can only be described as politically calamitous: Medicaid would be gutted and twenty-four million people would lose health care coverage; millions more older, sicker, and lower-income people would pay thousands more a year in premiums, and subsidies to purchase health care will be reduced; all while rich people score...

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Is Richard Burr Tanking the Trump-Russia Investigation?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 2:12 PM

There’s a lot of smoke surrounding the Trump-Russia affair: the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was not just seeking to disrupt the American election but was actively working to elect Donald Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton; the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and people in Trump’s orbit; the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn over communications with Russian officials; attorney general Jeff Session lying under oath about his contacts with Russian officials; the connections between several Trump campaign confederates, including one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Vladimir Putin’s regime; that unsettling intelligence dossier. As ignominious as Trump...

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Donald Trump Launched Missiles at Syria and We Should Really Talk About That

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 12:38 PM

I awoke this morning to the not-entirely-unexpected news that President Trump had launched fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase, in retaliation for a chemical-weapons attack allegedly launched by Syrian President Bashar al Assad Tuesday that killed more than one hundred of his own people, including more than two dozen children. Trump had telegraphed his intentions Wednesday, when he said the attack was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world.” As military strikes go, it was fairly modest—“targeted,” Trump called it; “symbolic,” a former national security adviser told ABC News. The Syrians were apparently tipped off ahead of...

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, November 21, 2011

Your notes please: How to get detained at Walmart

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM

This week looms Black Friday, a bizarre ritual in which people inexplicably camp out all night in front of department stores like Walmart and get jacked up on 2-liter bottles of Coke with the very real possibility that, at opening, they could be cudgeled or clawed, bitten or beaten as they rush the shelves for the last box of LEGO Mindstorms. Walmart: There’s a new one on Martin Luther King Parkway in Durham where a lush swath of trees used to be. But the fact that Walmart routinely gorges on tracts of green space is not the only reason I...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day, Herman Cain, sexual harassment and the asteroid

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 10:15 AM

At 8:40 this morning, I was Voter No. 39 at Rogers-Herr Middle School and, with the exception of the poll workers, the only soul in the gymnasium. Early voting turnout for this year's Durham general election was double that of the October primary (5,039 to 2,298) but still pitiful considering there are 133,452 registered voters in Durham County. The percentages were similarly low in Wake County, even though the turnout is twice that of 2009—and this is an election with municipal races in 11 towns and cities, plus the District 3 school board runoff. Will Orange County redeem democracy in...

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Whose headline is it anyway? Plus Rapiscan, David Price and X-ray scanners

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

"Light my faucet" "The pun also rises" Headline writing is an art—a lost art, thanks to Search Engine Optimization and the Internet—but those of us still living in the print world know that crafting a compelling "head" (or "hed," in journo shorthand) can be tougher than polishing 1,000 words of prose. At the Indy, the section editors and I generally write the headlines, although occasionally a writer will come up with a pithy, punchy one. "Light my faucet" introduced a story about the environmental dangers of fracking; and how could a story about the pun championships carry a headline other...

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In front of the Pitt County, Greenville, NC courthouse is a monument that honored/celebrated the county's dead soldiers by segregating …

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Please sign my petition to have an independent commission investigate Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/trumprussia-investigation?source=c.em&r_by=18274863

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