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Citizen
INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elaine Marshall for U.S. Senate? Well, that's a tough question ...

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Final answer? Don't have one. This is strictly first impression. And I want to say, too, that I have yet to make Cal Cunningham's acquaintance or Ken Lewis's. (They are the other two announced candidates in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.) So in reporting that Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, when she spoke Tuesday night in Cary, gave me no reason to think she ought to be the next U.S. senator from North Carolina, I'm not making a comparative judgment. I'm just saying that any candidate, but especially a Democrat challenger in 2010, needs to show some fire and...

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hillsborough Street bike lanes are looking good. (!)

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:44 AM

The City Council's public works committee held its long-awaited meeting on the issue last night. The verdict, by unanimous decision: There should be bike lanes on all of Hillsborough Street from downtown to the Fairgrounds. No exception for the Hillsborough Street Project (Phase 1, remember) in front of N.C. State. For a city trying to move from car-dominated sprawldom to walkable-bikeable metro, it's a huge step forward -- assuming it holds. Hillsborough Street has great symbolic importance for Raleigh. It's also a place where bikes could one day be the dominant form of transportation if given a chance....

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Passing health care reform by majority rule -- here's how

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM

h/t: Talking Points Memo. ...

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Obama's choice: Lincoln? Or Carter?

Posted By on Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Consensus of the Washington talking heads: Obama will "move to the center" following the debacle in Massachusetts. If he does, Obama will go down in history as another Jimmy Carter, a very intelligent and well-intentioned fellow who just didn't get it in his one term as president. May I recommend some reading this dreary Sunday in January? First, Frank Rich in The New York Times: The Obama administration is so overstocked with Goldman Sachs-Robert Rubin alumni and so tainted by its back-room health care deals with pharmaceutical and insurance companies that conservative politicians, Brown included, can masquerade shamelessly as the...

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The way forward in health care

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 2:54 PM

So Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts, and all of a sudden the Democrats don't have a filibuster-proof 60-vote supermajority in the U.S. Senate to pass health care legislation. Nooze flash: They didn't have one before. Joe Lieberman is not a Democrat. (Google up some video of him at the '08 National Republican Convention). I haven't written a word about health care of late because there was nothing to say that wasn't going to be disproven within a day by the clusterf--k that is the Democratic party in Washington circa November-January, 2009-10. But now, I think, the dust sh-- is settling...

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Supreme Court's dicta: Campaign financing needs a public option too

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court decision today green-lighting unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns (and labor, too, to the extent that America still has any) does one of two things, or maybe both. It (1) shreds the distinctions made in the law between free speech -- the First Amendment idea that we can say what we think without fear from the government -- and buying airtime so you can bombard the public with your message. And it (2) removes the tissue wrapping from the fiction that the distinctions made in the law are actually enforceable in practice (let alone actually enforced...

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John Edwards: I'm the dad.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

It's in The New York Times. Anyone have something they need to say about it? I don't....

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Friday, January 8, 2010

There it is: Wake GOP wants public vote on 17-story Raleigh police tower

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM

What took them so long? But today, the Wake Republican Party chairman, Claude Pope, called on the Raleigh City Council to hold a referendum on the proposed $205 million, 17-story public safety center. (There's a nice gallery of the architect's renderings up on the N&O's website.) Bonner Gaylord and John Odom, the two new (or in Odom's case, renewed) Council members, have questioned the project since taking office in December. Odom's a Republican; Gaylord, officially unaffiliated, came in with a lot of Republican backing. There are a bunch of issues surrounding the plan -- the cost, the location, the wisdom...

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

NAACP calls Sunday forum on threat to Wake schools; WakeUP sets coalition

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 5:49 PM

State NAACP President William Barber, together with the presidents of the three Raleigh-Wake NAACP chapters, terms it an urgent meeting (flyer is copied to the right) after another tumultuous session of the Wake school board on Tuesday. "What is the Nature of the Threat of Re-Segregation" raised by the new school board majority? That's what the NAACP is asking now that the board, by a 5-4 vote, has resolved to put year-round school attendance back on a volunteer basis only -- no year-round assignments. And if the demand for year-round slots outstrips the supply, as it will in many parts of...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wake school board votes 5-4 to end year-round assignments -- somehow

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Bless her heart, not 30 seconds after she'd voted in favor of the resolution ending "mandatory" assignments to year-round schools, helping to pass it by a 5-4 vote, Margiotta-5 school board member Debra Goldman piped up with an urgent "parliamentary inquiry, parliamentary inquiry" to anyone who could answer it. How's this going to work? Goldman asked. To which Superintendent Del Burns, who might've been asked that question earlier but wasn't, could only reply: "I don't have an answer now as to how implementation will occur." Burns said he'd get back to them asap. In short, it was a fitting end...

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It's Tuesday, 5:40 pm -- do you know where your school board is?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 6:39 PM

In our last dispatch of 2009 from the front lines of the Wake County Board of Education, we reported that the new conservative majority was treading lightly, lest what they don't know about student assignments catch their "neighborhood schools" plans in a big ugly slurry of unintendend consequences. But that was so last year. Today, in the first  board meeting of 2010, the Margiotta 5 are determined to push ahead, at least on the subject of ending "mandatory year-round assignments." Reprising their Dec. 1 act where they spring surprise resolutions on fellow members and on Superintendent Del Burns and his...

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