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

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Monday, March 29, 2010

PPP: Wake voters are split on new school board's performance

Posted By on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Photo by Art Howard The first question in Public Policy Polling's survey of Wake County voters: Do you approve or disapprove of the actions of the new school board majority since it took office in December? Interestingly, just 10% said they're not sure. 47% disapproved to 42% who approved. Similarly, 48 percent think the new board majority has not been "fair, open and respectful" to people with different ideas than theirs; again, the number saying the board's been respectful was 42 percent. PPP's analysis and a copy of the poll itself, with breakdowns by partisan registration (Dems, GOP, independents) can...

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Charlotte Observer to Wake School Board: Segregated schools cost "a ton of money"

Posted By on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system went down the road to resegregation after it scrapped diversity for "neighborhood" assignments. If that's where Wake County wants to go, the Charlotte Observer editorialized on Sunday, at least know that it won't save Wake's taxpayers any money. Far from it, the newspaper advises in a piece headlined "Wake schools turmoil hauntingly familiar." If Wake really cares about the performance of economically disadvantaged students after they're caught in high-poverty schools (and the Wake school board's Majority Five is nothing if not insistent that they care so much), know that it will cost the county some very...

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wake schools: It's not over; the battle is just beginning

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM

The screaming headline ("Tumultuous session ends diversity policy") in the N&O suggests otherwise, but the fact remains that what the Wake school board majority did yesterday does not end diversity. Rather, it begins a process in which the board, unless it changes course (or is itself changed in the 2011 elections) will try to do away with Wake's diversity goals over the next nine to 15 months. That's what it says in the resolution that the Board, by a 5-4 vote, adopted. (On the other hand, the N&O stories and photos, and Art Howard's photo (above), capture the police-state quality...

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Health care reform: What a lousy bill ... but it's a great day nonetheless.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Health care reform? I can't do better than Dickens. It is the best of times, even though -- on the merits -- this is the worst possible bill. But it is a bill, which means it's a start. Paul Krugman, who likes it, is exactly right. So is Firedog Lake, where they hate it and tell us everything we must do now to fix it. I go back to the Kennedy for President campaign. Ted Kennedy, that is, in 1980. He lost. No HCR. In 1991, running on an all-out platform of universal health care/HCR, Democrat Harris Wofford won...

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Elon Poll: N.C. voters are pro-public option; half like single-payer idea

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 2:10 PM

(Update: But the Ghost of Public Option still inhabits the land.) Even in a swing/conservative state currently under bombardment by anti-health care reform ads from the Americans for Prosperity bunch, the Elon Poll finds broad support among North Carolinians for 1) reform of some kind; 2) reform that goes farther than what's on the table in Washington; 3) a public option insurance plan as part of the current reform package, and 4) a single-payer system of health care, i.e., one run by or at least paid for by the federal government. You mean, the Tea Party crowd isn't a vast...

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Wake Commissioners vote 4-3 to restore abortion coverage to employee insurance

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 4:40 PM

With Democrat Harold Webb joining in by phone to break the deadlock, the Wake Commissioners today voted 4-3 to restore coverage for elective abortions to the county's employee health insurance package, overturning County Manager David Cooke's decision to drop it. The background on the issue is here. Webb's prior absences -- he's recovering from a stroke -- led to a 3-3 deadlock when the Commissioners considered Cooke's action a month ago. Thus, Cooke's move was neither affirmed nor overruled -- until today. Webb voted with his three Democratic colleagues (Lindy Brown, Stan Norwalk and Betty Lou Ward). They out-voted Republicans...

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't miss this story --

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 1:20 PM

What goes around ... (Update: The link I put up first doesn't work. This one should: click on the "Woman Donates Secret Millions" story)....

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Live, from New York, it's -- well, see for yourself ...

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 2:18 PM

You can rely on the wisdom of Elizabeth Warren, I suppose, when it comes to the subject of banking reforms. Or you listen to Slick Willie, W. and ol' 41 himself:  "We gotta regulate that thing or we're gonna get more bubbles, then pop -- money goes to the weasels." It's reform presented by all your favorite  current and ex- presidents from Saturday Night Live, with a cameo by the late, great Gipper himself. Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion from Will Ferrell...

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wake school board: the usual 5-4 for "community assignment zones"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 7:45 PM

(Update: State NAACP's statement: Intentional resegregation is still illegal -- and we will sue. Letter from the Rev. William Barber to Board Chair Ron Margiotta is below the fold.) You know, there's a good way to make public policy, and then there's just ram it through and the hell with anybody who doesn't like it. That the new school board majority just voted, by the usual 5-4 split, to establish "community assignment zones," before a student assignment committee has even been named, let alone met, just takes the damned cake, doesn't it? Just sayin' -- the Tea Party is in...

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Lightner: It's a loser. Plan B?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:16 PM

That was one unhappy Mayor Charles Meeker today when he called for a vote on the proposed Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center ... knowing it would lose. And lose it did, 4-4, as Councilor John Odom joined the trio (Thomas Crowder, Bonner Gaylord, Russ Stephenson) who've questioned it for weeks. So the Lightner plan stalls. But Meeker refused to call it dead; it goes on the shelf, he said, until one of the opponents changes his mind or there's a new Council. And just to be sure no one puts a stake in it, Meeker blocked any consideration of...

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