On a recent interview with WUNC, Barack Obama was asked to weigh in on the N.C. Community College System's decision to extend its ban on illegal immigrants attending degree-granting programs. Here's what he had to say, after the jump:
In the latest North Carolina poll from Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, Barack Obama has taken a 2-point lead over John McCain, within the 3-point margin of error. Meanwhile, Kay Hagan has leaped ahead of Elizabeth Dole, 46-38. Last week, Rasmussen also placed Obama ahead, 49-47. In last week's N.C. poll, PPP had Obama and McCain tied, and Hagan with a 5-point lead. Apparently, the financial crisis is contributing to the shift toward Obama and Hagan: PPP found that both candidates lead among voters who listed the economy as their top concern. (Among these voters, Obama has a 55-38 advantage over McCain, while Hagan bests Dole 55-32.)
A troubling sign that the advertising slump causing daily newspapers' financial problems is hitting alt weeklies, too: Creative Loafing filed for bankruptcy protection today. The company has more than $40 million in debt, following its purchase last year of the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper. A statement from the CEO says the move will result in "reorganization" of the company's finances, not a halt to business nor a liquidation.
For a look at how this crisis is affecting the City Paper, see this deep read in The Georgetown Voice, a student weekly. Editor Erik Wemple explains that new financial realities mean an end to the deeply reported, long-format narrative journalism the paper is known for. New strategy: Blog. And keep cutting staff. Gallows humor in the newsroom has been replaced with "more outright angst and anger and misery over what’s going on," he says.
The closest Creative Loafing paper to the Triangle is Creative Loafing Charlotte.
Bloomberg explains what happened overnight.
Wachovia will be left with its retail brokerage and Evergreen asset management units. The brokerage has about 14,600 financial advisers and more than $1 trillion under management, making it third in the U.S. behind Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup's Smith Barney unit.
The transaction is likely to hurt Charlotte, where Wachovia is the largest private employer with about 20,000 workers, said Michael Nix, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates LLC in Greenwood, South Carolina. The bank said today in a statement that the corporate headquarters will stay in Charlotte.
U.S. Rep. Miller, the Raleigh Democrat, voted yes on the bailout bill, swallowing hard. He's out with a statement; it's attached below. The bill failed in the House a few minutes ago, sending the stock market into conniptions.
"As with much of her campaign, Hagan takes a cautious approach to health care reform, not proposing anything that might rock the boat. That having been said: her proposals are much better than the alternative," Linker says. "Our current Senator's greatest accomplishment was siding with the insurance industry to block the expansion of children's health insurance."
The Durham People's Alliance, a progressive grassroots citizens' group, announced last week that its political action committee voted to support a ballot referendum to impose a 1 percent sales-tax surcharge on restaurant meals in the city order to fund a minor league baseball museum and other cultural amenities.
"[M]embers of the organization engaged in a spirited discussion over the wisdom and desirability of the proposed one percent prepared meals tax," the release said. "During the discussion, PA members sharpened their understanding of the balance between the impact of the tax on ordinary citizens and the local governments’ need for a reliable funding source in addition to the property tax. After a well-informed and spirited debate, the People’s Alliance decided to lend its support to the tax referendum."
Bull City Rising has this analysis.
Meanwhile, another Durham institution has announced opposition. In an interview (reg. required) with The Herald-Sun, Elmo's Diner manager Cammie Brantley sounded convinced by the position statement of the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, which opposes the tax because of the rising economic hardships on restaurants and their customers.
"It's not necessarily a bad thing for another time," Brantley told the paper. "Our position is it's not a great thing for right now."
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="155" caption="Bill Thorpe"][/caption]
Thorpe had announced earlier this month that he was taking a medical leave of absence to deal with matters related to his heart condition.
A memorial service is being planned for later this week. Meanwhile, Orange Politics has this discussion going, with local leaders posting remembrances of Thorpe.
From New Raleigh, word that the old Greenshields pub in City Market will be turned into Cobblestone Hall, a place for your wedding reception or bidness blowout. And at 213 Fayetteville Street, the Foundation will be another great place to forget that you ever owned Wachovia stock. Charlotte, you are now HQ to one mega-bank. The second one was rustled away to New York City.