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Progress Still Possible

Monday, September 3, 2012

Who built it? Workers built it. A Labor Day message from Charlotte.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The Democratic National Convention doesn't kick off officially until tomorrow. But the all-but-official start day is today, Labor Day, as thousands of delegates, media types, activists and interested citizens pour into Charlotte. I was here yesterday for the March on Wall Street South, a demonstration and march by about 1,000 of our progressive friends from around the country, some (most?) but not all of whom will be voting for Obama in November and prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, though in a lot of cases not by much. I'll be writing about it for the Indy this week....

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Indy sold!! But wait, what about me?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

It's a rule of old-school journalism that you are never the story. I'm going to violate it today to say that when the Indy is sold, my role will be changing. I'll be writing a column for the paper rather than, as now, doing the job of staff writer. What's the difference? I don't have a simple answer. If I did, I'd be — well, a columnist! Seriously, I've had the luxury at the Indy of writing in whatever style suited me or, better, best suited the material. I've done some straight news reporting, a lot of opinionated reporting, some...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All-in? Money is speech, the Supreme Court says, and politics is a no-limit game. So, place your bets.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

The town hall meeting in Raleigh Monday evening was informative and polite. All of the more than 100 people who packed into Quail Ridge Books & Music were able to express themselves on a topic of high public significance. Now imagine that each of us at the meeting, while retaining our power to vote at election time, would not be allowed to speak in this town-hall setting without paying for the privilege. With limited time, only a few slots would be offered, and they’d be reserved for the highest bidders—not necessarily the richest among us, but obviously nobody struggling to...

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Romney endorses national health care system with price controls

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Price controls? I thought the Republican term for that was death panels? Still, at the risk of seeming to ask for intellectual coherence from politicians who'll say anything to get elected and have no principles whatsoever, I submit this story from the Los Angeles Times about Mitt Romney's admiration for the way Israel handles health care: Romney praised Israel for spending just 8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare while still remaining a "pretty healthy nation." "We spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare," he said of the U.S. "Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10% cost, let...

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It's your anti-gay Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Or, in my case —

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Not. I have never made a big point, or any point, about not eating at Chick-fil-A. The company is anti-gay. OK, it's a free country. And I don't have to buy their products. Also, a free-country thing. *** But since, between the company and Mike Huckabee, it's now Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, when everybody who appreciates how anti-gay they are is supposed to show it by eating their stuff, I will take the occasion to say: I don't appreciate Chick-fil-A. And I don't eat there. Not saying you shouldn't. To each his own....

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quotable: Harry Reid on the Republican opposition

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells the Huffington Post that his Democrats are in pretty good shape to hold the Senate in the fall elections. In Hawaii, Montana, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the Democratic candidates have pulled ahead, Reid says. And then he added— "We feel comfortable in the Senate," said. "Where the problem is, is this: Because of the Citizens United decision, Karl Rove and the Republicans are looking forward to a breakfast the day after the election. They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Corporations aren't people, Mitt: Meeting tonight in Raleigh (and Raleigh City Council is pro-amendment too)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Ah, Mitt. You know as well as anyone that the whole point of a corporation is to shield the people who run it from personal liability — while letting them reap the profits, of course. So, yes, there are people in corporations. And these people are entitled to their rights (free speech, political activity). They're just not entitled, or they shouldn't be, to exercise their rights from behind a corporate shield. So glad to get that off my chest. Now for the news. "Move to Amend" is meeting tonight, 6:30-8:30, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Ave....

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Read the Court's opinion(s): Obamacare upheld by 5-4 vote

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, survived the Supreme Court today by the narrowest of margins. In fact, five justices out of nine found that Congress does not have the power to mandate health-insurance coverage under the Commerce Clause. However, four justices said it does have that power, and Chief Justice Roberts made it five in favor by declaring that Obamacare is a tax measure, not (strictly) an effort to regulate commerce, and is constitutional on that basis. Here's a link to the decision and the various opinions if you care to dive in. *** And the...

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Friday, June 15, 2012

RT: DREAM'ers gain with Obama immigration move

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Major news in Obama immigration policy: DREAMers won’t be deported -ow.ly/bBpoN #ncga #ncpol #ncdreamteam— NC Policy Watch (@NCPolicyWatch) June 15, 2012...

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Saturday: A fair in Raleigh of, by and for 99% of the people

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Bicentennial Mall is the space between the Capitol and the General Assembly building, flanked by the state Museum of History and the state Museum of Natural Sciences. In other words, it's a good place to visit on any given Saturday. Tomorrow, from 11-3, it will be especially good as (at last count) 19 progressive organizations set up shop — tables — to let the public know what they're doing to make North Carolina a better place to live. courtesy SEIU.org The ON TRAC N.C. Community Engagement Fair has a Facebook page, of course. The Raleigh Action Collective (TRAC) is among...

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama video: Barack rocks Romney on marriage issue

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

It's short:...

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Charlotte's showing Raleigh a thing (transit) or two (same-sex benefits)

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Interesting story in the Charlotte Observer about the Queen City's new budget. Check it out: Money for infrastructure investments in underdeveloped parts of Charlotte. (Is there a Southeast Raleigh analogue?) And a plan to offer insurance benefits to same-sex partners of city employees. (Raleigh, so far, has ducked this one.) Thus, in Charlotte: US DOTThe city would spend $119 million to continue building a streetcar line through uptown. The first 1.5 miles is expected to open mid-decade. This project would extend both ends of that starter line past Presbyterian Hospital and to Johnson C. Smith University. How about a streetcar...

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Love = Love: Find 3 minutes today to watch this gem.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

from Love = Love This little film by Mimi Schiffman is a gem. It's about Isak. 12, and his "big happy family." A sister, a dog and two moms. It's also, of course, about Amendment 1. "Love is just when you know you want to be with someone, and a world where everything's right," Isak says. *** One of the moms, Tanja Atkins, was our general manager at the Indy for years and is much-missed. I loved this piece a little more when I first saw it on Huffington Post for knowing Tanja and Connie and who they are. But...

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

(Updated w/ pix) Ides of Love march in Raleigh against Amendment 1 ... falls on the Ides of March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

[Update, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Running around today, I missed the march but caught some of the preparations at the Bell Tower and the end of the rally at Halifax Mall. Not thousands, but several hundred marched and/or came to the Mall for the speeches. "We cheered extra loud as we went by the Civitas building," Lee Sartain told me. Sartain is running in the Democratic primary for a newly created seat — District 38, there's no incumbent — in the N.C. House of Representatives. [I've posted some pictures: *** *** *** *** What follows is the original post from...

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Elon poll buoys anti-Amendment One campaign: Shows majority opposed

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM

The Coalition to Protect N.C. Families is out with a statement about the new Elon University Poll, which shows a majority of voters in North Carolina opposed to Amendment One, the anti-LGBT amendment to the state constitution on the May 8 primary ballot. Amendment One would prohibit the state from recognizing gay marriages, civil unions or any other domestic partnership arrangements, whether between gay or straight couples. Only a one-man, one-woman marriage would count. Oddly, the Elon Poll results are roughly the opposite of the poll taken less than two weeks ago for the J.W. Pope Citivas Institute, the Art...

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tonight at UUFR: Phone bank to beat Amendment One

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 3:20 AM

If it's Thursday, it must be time (6-9 p.m.) for the anti-Amendment One phone bank at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh. Bring your cell phone and, if you have one, your laptop. From Tracy Hollister, whom you may remember from this story: Phone Bank at UUFR for Coalition to Protect NC FamiliesThu., March 8, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Community, Politics Use your cell phone to simply identify how voters will vote on Amendment One and recruit more volunteers. Hosted by UUFR's Task Force to Protect All NC Families and local chapters of PFLAG and HRC as well as the Triangle...

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gary Pearce: No need for GOP primaries ... lol.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:24 PM

After all these years, now I learn that Carter Wrenn is a liberal! #ncpol talkingaboutpolitics.com— Gary Pearce (@jgaryp) March 6, 2012...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raleigh events tonight, Saturday in anti-Amendment 1 campaign

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Late notice this week, but phone banking to defeat Amendment One, the so-called DOMA*, is taking place every Thursday night at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh hall, 3313 Wade Avenue. It starts at 6:30 — bring your cell phone and a laptop computer if you have one. Here's a Facebook link. Starting March 26, phone banks will be held at the UUFR on Mondays and Thursdays. And on April 24, as the May 8 primary election date comes close, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. So don't say you didn't have time(s). *** And this Saturday night, February 18, there's a...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unconstitutional: California's same-sex marriage ban is discriminatory, federal appeals court says.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision applies only in California, according to its terms. But by striking down California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved anti-gay marriage initiative, the court put the issue of gay marriage bans squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court. North Carolina has an anti-gay marriage statute, and we'll vote in May on an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriages and also civil unions between same-sex partners. However, a state — even in its constitution — can't discriminate against citizens in a way the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to the...

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Planned Parenthood: "Enormously grateful" for the support, Komen's reversal

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

HUGE!! Komen reverses decision.See statement from PPFA President Cecile Richards - tinyurl.com/7v2nr3f— PlannedParenthoodCNC (@PPCNC) February 3, 2012...

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Komen backs down, will fund Planned Parenthood (Update: Now Ellmers is deeply disappointed.)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

(Update: I don't read Komen's statement as being ambiguous about future funding for Planned Parenthood. But a writer for DailyKos is dubious.] (Update 2: Komen's cave-in has Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., deeply disappointed from her anti-choice perspective. I've posted her statement below.] Komen for the Cure just released the following statement from Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors: We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and...

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Miller vs. Price: Should've been a good thing

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:27 AM

photo by D.L. AndersonCongressman Brad Miller looks into something or other. [Update: I'm updating this as I post it. The news about Bev Perdue has folks asking Brad Miller about a possible gubernatorial run, and I read that he hasn't ruled it out. In our conversation yesterday, the subject of governor never came up — I would say Brad hadn't heard anything about Perdue; if that's not the case, I'd put my money on him in a poker game.] Ahem ... Brad Miller is my congressman. I should add, he's also my kind of congressman — the kind who gets...

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Thought for MLK Day: On Wealth and Poverty

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM

RT “@thinkprogress: "God never intended one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty." — MLK Jr.” Think Progress is tweeting MLK today. One good thought after another....

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On MLK Day, the most tolerant U.S. city? It's our very own ...

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

photo by Bob Geary ... Durham, N.C. San Francisco is 3rd, my old home town of Trenton, NJ is 7th, and Raleigh checks in at a not-too-shabby 18th, just behind Orlando, FL and San Diego and ahead of Riverside, CA and Tampa. It's all right here in the Daily Beast. (And who could argue with the DB?)...

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Hark! The Occupy rally & march in(to) Raleigh is tomorrow afternoon

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

The OccupyRaleigh encampment as it looked a week ago "Tis the season to Occupy something, yes? (I mean, other than a checkout line at the mall?) So tomorrow — Saturday, December 17 — the Walking Occupation marchers from #OWS will reach Raleigh, the halfway mark in their trek from New York City to Atlanta. They'll march into Raleigh in time for a 3:30 p.m. rally at Mordecai Historic Park. At 4:30, they and all who join them will step off toward the State Capitol. From the Capitol, the march will move to the Occupy Raleigh encampment in "the triangle" —...

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