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

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Progress Still Possible

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fast-track trade for the TPP: David Price says — No. (With an *) Plus, an afternoon update …

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 12:16 PM

[Update II, 3:30 p.m.: Let me bottom-line this as far as Congressman Price is concerned. TAA is likely to be voted on again. Price, if he's really opposed to fast-track, should vote no on TAA on any re-vote, given today's events — unless and until the trade-deal process itself (as he describes it in his statement below) is reformed. I say this because the fast-track bill has already been approved, 219-211, despite Price's opposition. All it requires now to be signed by Obama is House approval of TAA, which Price is so far supporting — but, to repeat, should not....

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day: A "Moral Monday" makeover is needed

Posted By on Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

photo by Bob GearyAFL-CIO's MaryBe McMillan with NAACP President William Barber (to her right) at Labor Day rally in Raleigh Today, Monday, is Labor Day, an excellent day to consider the work of the Forward Together, a.k.a. Moral Monday movement. Because as State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan said this morning, "If ever a Monday needed a moral makeover, it's Labor Day." McMillan spoke at a rally in Nash Square, in front of Raleigh City Hall, before getting on a bus with union members and leaders of the state NAACP, including the Rev. William Barber, the state president, and the Rev....

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two years later, Amendment One is already overdue for the scrap heap

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM

photo by Bob GearyPaula Womack (right) and Jane Weidig were married in Massachusetts. Their marriage isn't recognized in NC — but as of today, it is recorded at the Wake County Register of Deeds office. Singing "One Step Closer Now, Love Won't Be Denied," same-sex couples who were married in other states marched with supporters to the Wake County Register of Deeds office this morning to have their marital status recorded, if not yet legally recognized by the state of North Carolina. Nine couples paid the $26 fee, and courteous clerks in the Register of Deeds office duly accepted their...

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Equality NC: "Enormous victory" over federal DOMA, but discrimination remains the rule in N.C.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Equality NC [Update, 1:45 p.m.: Feel like celebrating? Equality NC is hosting a Decision Day event tonight in Raleigh: TIME AND DATE: Wednesday, June 26, at 8 PMPullen Memorial Baptist Church 1801 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC 27605 Still much to do in North Carolina.] Equality North Carolina, the LGBT rights group, has a statement out about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that makes two good points: (1) The wicked witch called DOMA is dead, and (2) its death matters most in states where same-sex unions are recognized — but North Carolina, because of Amendment One, is prevented from recognizing...

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Why are they converging on Raleigh ... and when?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Answer: Climate Convergence on Raleigh is coming next weekend, April 20-21. It's a major coming-together of the growing network of people and groups working on climate change and related issues (e.g., fracking) in North Carolina. If you've been looking for a chance to link up with this movement and with 350.org, the great grassroots organization that is spreading not just across the U.S. but the world, here it is. All the events are free, and you can take in as much or as little as you want. There's a schedule on the website, but it needs to be fleshed out...

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Conscience, Raleigh: Protesters highlight Gitmo prisoners still in hell though "cleared"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Jule Shanklin, Peggy Misch and Christina Cowger (in the picture below, from right to left) were part of the anti-Gitmo protest contingent at the federal building on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh today. Did you know that 80-some prisoners at Guantanamo have been "cleared for release" — i.e., they've never been charged with anything, because there's no evidence they were ever more than in the wrong place at the wrong time in the "War on Terror" — yet they continue to be held more than a decade later. Forgotten and desperate, they're on a hunger strike which is now in...

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Friday, March 29, 2013

A Good Friday note: Resurrection will "Save Our State" (plus two upcoming events in Raleigh)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

First up, there's a strategy meeting set for 6 p.m. next Tuesday, April 2 at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh — 1801 Hillsborough St. If you are among those outraged by what's going on in the General Assembly these days, and especially with the new voter-suppression legislation — this will be the NAACP and allied social justice groups and individuals coming together to make some plans. Then, the following Tuesday, April 9, is a day for mass lobbying at the General Assembly. The same people and groups will gather at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 101 S. Wilmington...

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wealth inequality in America: Take 6:23, see why it's a crisis

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

The middle-class. The American Dream. It's not a matter of "under siege" — it's the greedy looting our country, and they've been getting away with it for years. This excellent data visualization — not new, but all over the social media for the last week — might even make you angry enough to get involved:...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In referendum, 77% of UNC-CH students call on university to divest from coal.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

UNC-Chapel Hill students are part of a national movement to put college and university endowments where their values should be when it comes to climate change. In short, get their money out of coal and fossil-fuel stocks and send a message to the investment world that it's wrong to finance companies whose products threaten to wreck the planet. We've had a couple of columns about the UNC campaign previously — in November and in December. The latter noted UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp's view that doing the right thing would get in the way of his $2 billion endowment buying the...

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Can you handle the truth? Ex-U.S. prosecutor at Gitmo speaking out Thursday, Friday at a college near you.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Col. Morris (Moe) Davis was chief U.S. prosecutor for military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba until he quit in protest over orders to allow so-called evidence gained via enhanced interrogation techniques, the methods formerly known as torture.Col Morris Davis Davis will be speaking at UNC and Duke during the day on Thursday (tomorrow), at Johnston County Community College Thursday evening, and on Friday, noon, at N.C. State. All are free lectures open to the public. (Here's a column I wrote about anti-torture efforts in the Triangle a couple of weeks ago, centered on Johnston County Airport and its tenant, Aero...

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Remembering Olivia Engel, 6, and finding resolve after Newtown

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Don’t lose this feeling. This mix of tears and resolve—don’t get over it; don’t set it aside. This is what I’ve been telling myself since Friday. Keep it. Act on it. Last night, Pam and I took part in the vigil at Pullen Church in Raleigh. At the end, everyone lit a candle using one of the 27 candles already burning in memory of the victims in Newtown. Read the name beside your candle, the minister said, and keep it in your heart. Olivia Engel, 6, from the Friends of the Engel Family Fund page on FacebookThe name I read:...

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Obama: You guys .. are the source of my hope and my strength and my inspiration

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Obama thanking his campaign staff in Chicago and talking about his adult beginnings — and theirs. I put off watching this until I could sit down and appreciate it. If you haven't seen it, do not miss it....

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Message of 2012: Moderation, in DC and in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 1:13 AM

Obama a decisive winner, though the popular vote is close. Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin head a cast of new Democrats in the U.S. Senate, which stays Democratic by 55-45. The House is Republican. Averting the fiscal cliff and moving the country forward now requires — what? Compromise. Pat McCrory wins the governor's office for the Republicans, who dominate both houses of the General Assembly. They can do what they want, but North Carolinians split down the middle for lieutenant governor, and most of the Council of State went Democratic. Obama lost North Carolina, but not by much. Our state is...

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Election predictions? Mine are as follows —

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Obama gets 51 percent of the popular vote nationally, net of what the Republicans can suppress or disqualify. He carries North Carolina and Florida by a hair. I said the other day that he'd lose Colorado and wind up with 338 electoral votes — not a landslide, but close. Colorado, because of the marijuana referendum, is the one place that Libertarian Gary Johnson may draw support, and if he does, it probably comes out of Obama's total. I think now that Obama will also carry Colorado ... but for consistency's sake, I'll stick with 51 percent and 338 electoral votes...

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From Alternet: A must-read on white men of the South

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Today's must-read by Lynn Parramore, once (and still) of Raleigh, urges her fellow progressives to get past the redneck stereotype in their heads about the southern white male. If they do, they'll realize: What liberals and progressives don’t seem to understand is that you don’t counter a myth with a pile of facts and statistics. You have to counter it with a more powerful story. Because I married southern, she's talking about some people I love — a.k.a., the Republican base. The piece is so good I just tweeted it! This is just excellent! "What if Liberals and Progressives Could...

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Monday, October 22, 2012

GOP out to suppress the Ohio vote — as in 2004.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Last week I wrote in the Indy about early voting as an antidote to Republican efforts to obstruct the voting process. I mentioned the Republican Party's post-1965 history of "ballot security" campaigns to discourage minority voters, as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. if space permitted, I'd have gone back to my first experience with voter suppression, which was Tony Imperiale and his armed Italian-American Republicans "guarding' the polls in Newark, New Jersey in the 1970s. I did mention the billboards in minority communities warning residents about the penalties for voter fraud. So over the weekend we've had these stories....

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Early Voting II: Lessons from her great-grandmother

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

photo by Bob GearyFrom left: Pota Vallas, her great-granddaughter Maya Eriksen, and her granddaughter Stephanie Eriksen Goslen A post-script to my Early Voting post yesterday. When I arrived at the Talley Center (N.C. State), I was greeted by a pair of Democratic poll workers: Stephanie Eriksen Goslen, who's been in the Indy before, including as part of the Code Pink contingent honored in our 2005 Citizen Awards, and Stephanie's grandmother, Pota Vallas. Vallas, who used to own the National Art Interiors furniture and design shop on the corner of Hillsborough Street and Glenwood Avenue, is 104. That's right, she's been...

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Early Voting "stars" — and starts — today: Especially handy for college students

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM

photo by Bob GearyOutside the early voting site at N.C. State. I followed my own advice and voted today. In the Indy, I focused on the wisdom of early voting 1) to be sure you do vote; 2) to help get that bandwagon moving to the polls; and 3) to deal early with any challenges, obstacles or fear tactics that may be coming your way — especially in minority communities — in an effort to keep you from voting. Here, I want to emphasize how easy it is to vote early — how easy I found it to be, anyway,...

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

I guess this is funny. Wasn't funny last night ...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Found near the scene of last night's mugging in Denver: Somebody_sdebatenotes.pdf...

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential debate grades — Obama: INC. Romney: DQ.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I have to say I got very little out of that mess. The moderator let Romney run all over the so-called time limits early, while Obama listened and tried to stay cool. But after awhile, Obama started taking extra time too, so Romney took more. But hey, Lincoln and Douglas didn't have any stinkin' moderator and went at it for hours, and their debates are the stuff of legend. But I think they probably stuck to the issues (slavery, no slavery) and the facts a bit more. At the end of 90 minutes, Romney has no platform left whatsoever. He's...

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Public service: "Empowering people to work for themselves"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

This will take less than 3 minutes of your time, and it will lift your spirits about politics. (h/t BlueNC)...

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On being called a liar by the Pope/Civitas team

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Let me see if I can manage the right level of umbrage about this. On the one hand, do they have so little to do over at the Pope Empire that they have to make up a story about me? On the other hand, though, they are calling me a liar because of this post from last week. If I had more time, I'd make a little video of me flicking this off my shoulder, Obama-style. (Loved that, by the way.) As I'm in a bit of a hurry, I'll just note that my piece was about what I did...

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Art Pope and the future of education in North Carolina

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

photo by Bob GearyMembers of NC Student Power parlay about Pope. The bus behind them came to Raleigh courtesy of Patriot Majority, a progressive, anti-Koch Brothers group. First off, I want to 'fess up for that headline. I wrote something the other day and pitched it on Facebook with the word denouement in the header. This prompted a friend (she writes for the attention-grabbing Huffington Post) to remind me that words like denouement are not how you cause readers to click on your stuff. That said, yesterday I dropped in at the Doubletree Hotel to hear Art Pope's remarks at...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Case closed: Two years later, remaining Buen Pastor defendants free of deportation threat

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

It was Easter weekend in 2010 when members of a small Hispanic church, Iglesia Buen Pastor, while returning from a religious exercise in Texas, were pulled over by federal agents in Louisiana for looking suspiciously like they might be immigrants — undocumented immigrants, even. Those with no children were deported immediately. Those with children were threatened with deportation, and they've been fighting it since. We reported on their case last year. Today, we have good news from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. They won't be deported. And it only took two years — Immigration Charges Dropped For 22 Raleigh...

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democrats in Charlotte: From their hearts.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I'm back in Raleigh and collecting my thoughts about the Democratic National Convention for an Indy story next week. My logistics in Charlotte were tricky and didn't leave time for blogging after Monday morning. blurry photo by Bob GearyMy vantage point Tuesday at the Time Warner Arena. Fortunately, I could watch on the big screen too.So I haven't had a chance to say what a profound experience it was for me to take in the convention, especially Tuesday night. I've been telling people it was like taking an immersion course in what Democrats believe and who they are — correction,...

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