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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Morning Roundup: Tar Heels Reach Final Four; Senate Eyes Kushner's Russia Meeting

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 8:45 AM

Hope everyone had a solid weekend. Let's get started. 1) UNC beats UK in a thriller to reach the Final Four. Unlikely hero—and former walk-on—Luke Maye sunk the winning shot with less than a second remaining in what had been a back-and-forth game to send the Tar Heels to their NCAA record twentieth Final Four. From ESPN: “I just shot it, and luckily, it went in,” said Maye, who scored a previous career high of 16 points against Butler in the Sweet 16. “It was a great feeling. I thank my teammates so much and my coach for putting me...

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Democracy in Crisis: Paul Ryan’s No Good, Very Bad Day

Posted By on Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 11:17 AM

Friday afternoon, after a dramatic capitulation, House Speaker Paul Ryan walked out before the press and conceded defeat on what had been his party’s primary concern for the last seven years. “Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.” It was stunning. Even though the president insisted on Thursday that there would be a vote Friday, he called the Washington Post one minute after the floor debate was scheduled to end and said: “We couldn’t get one Democratic vote, and we were a little bit shy, very little,...

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Census Bureau: Raleigh Among Fastest Growing Metros in U.S.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 2:43 PM

Raleigh is growing. Fast. (You’re shocked, right?) That was the message delivered by a new report issued Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. But before we get into what this actually means, here's a look at the fourteen fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation. As you can see, all but one of the metros that grew faster than Raleigh (Austin) are considerably smaller, which means they had to lure fewer people. And even for Raleigh, the ranking, while noteworthy, doesn't represent an enormous population boom. From 2015–16, only 31,585 people joined the city (and nearly 16,000 of them were...

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ACA Repeal Protesters Put Senator Burr on Blast, Stage Die-In at Duke

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 1:56 PM

On Friday morning, Ezra Farber was standing in the cold on Cameron Boulevard, holding his own tombstone. OK, it wasn't a real tombstone but rather a poster board on which Farber had drawn the shape of a tombstone and a sad face with Xs for eyes and written, “My brain tumor was a pre-existing condition.” Farber, who lives in Chapel Hill, survived a severe brain tumor as a teenager. “My continued surviving and thriving as an adult depend on seeing a lot of doctors,” he said. Farber currently gets health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, which forbids insurers...

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The Morning Roundup: Thom Tillis Speaks Up For ... Goldman Sachs?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:22 AM

It's Friday. We made it. Now, let's end the week with a little fun. 1) Thom Tillis says Goldman Sachs is a champion for the "little guy." Now that you've laughed out loud, read this while you're scratching your head. From the INDY: "I feel like sometimes I'm living a reality TV version of Atlas Shrugged," Tillis quipped during the confirmation hearing for Jay Clayton, Trump’s nominee for chairing the Securities and Exchange Commission. "There are a lot of people in this Congress that want to beat down job creators and employers. People want to demonize Goldman Sachs. That’s an...

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Democracy in Crisis: Congress Is Losing Its Sh*t Over Russia

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Like the rest of the country, Congress has gone crazy. “The idea that Russia could come in and interfere with our election, all of us should be going berserk,” U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said Thursday, summarizing the mood on at least half of the Hill. On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee questioned FBI Director James Comey and Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the NSA, during a hearing investigating Russian interference into the U.S. election. Democrats focused their questioning on collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Republicans focused, almost exclusively, on tracking down and prosecuting the source of...

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Morning Roundup: Terror in London, Obamacare Repeal on the Ropes

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 9:21 AM

It's Thursday. Let's catch up on some headlines. 1) Terror attack leaves four dead, dozens injured in London. In what is being described as act "inspired by international terrorism," a man drove an SUV through a crowd Wednesday and then stabbed a police officer outside Parliament, prompting the evacuation of several high-ranking officials, including the prime minister. From The New York Times: At least four people, including the assailant, were killed and at least 40 others injured in the confusing swirl of violence, which the police said they assumed had been “inspired by international terrorism.” It appeared to be the...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kaiser Family Foundation: Elderly Tar Heels Will Suffer Disproportionately Under Trumpcare, Premiums in N.C. Will Skyrocket

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Tomorrow, the House will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with Paul Ryan's much-touted alternative, the American Health Care Act. The GOP proposal—or Trumpcare, as it's known—would, among other things, make massive cuts to the Medicaid program and stealthily cut taxes for wealthy Americans (shocker). Given that the Republicans have been griping about the ACA for years, you'd think they'd have enough support to ram the bill through. Not necessarily. In fact, the bill faces opposition not only from conservative factions of the GOP wing, including members of the Freedom Caucus, for not going far enough, but also...

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Democracy in Crisis: Republicans Seek Leaks, Raise Possibility of Prosecuting the Press

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Republicans collectively twisted themselves into knots Monday in order to ignore what was really happening in the hearings on Russian election hacking and tried to use it as an opportunity for another attack on the free press. In case you missed it: FBI Director James Comey confirmed during the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing that the FBI is investigating connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. “The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with...

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The Morning Roundup: Charles Murray Talks About White People Problems at Duke; Trump Threatens N.C. Republican

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:05 AM

Good morning, one and all. Away. We. Go. 1) Charles Murray avoids calling blacks inferior during his lecture at Duke University Tuesday. Amazing when the headline is about somebody not making the horrific comments he's become kind of known for. But his lack of blatant racism begs the question: Is our buddy Charles, a man labeled a white nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, evolving? We doubt it. But anyway, INDY reporter Sarah Willets burned some of her remaining hours on Earth last night having to listen to this guy do his thing. Click here to read all about it. Oh,...

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Morning Roundup: Durham Cop Won't Face Charges; FBI Director Says Putin Wanted Trump, Hated Clinton

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 8:48 AM

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Yesterday was loaded with headlines, so let's get to it. 1) Durham District Attorney will not prosecute cop who fatally shot Frank Clark. It's been four months since Durham PD Master Officer Charles Barkley shot McDougald Terrace resident Frank Clark and it looks like, for now anyway, the case is closed, as D.A. Roger Echols told the public, via a statement, that he would not pursue criminal charges against the shooter. It's worth noting that the DPD is keeping Barkley on administrative leave until it completes its own investigation into the matter, but here is what Echols...

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Morning Roundup: HB 2 Strikes Again

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 9:21 AM

Roundup is back, friends. Sorry it's been a while. With that said, let's dig in. 1) HB 2 claims its latest victim: the Duke basketball team. Those of you who watched the NCAA tournament Sunday might not have been thinking about former (it still feels good to say that) governor Pat McCrory. Here at the INDY, we try to think of him as little as possible. But after suffering through UNC's near-loss and South Carolina's upset win over Duke, we started to wonder: Would the Blue Devils still be dancing if HB 2 hadn't cost North Carolina the chance to...

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SBI Completes Investigation into Frank Clark’s Shooting, Case Is Now in Durham County District Attorney’s Hands

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 11:15 AM

A spokesperson for the State Bureau of Investigation told the INDY Tuesday evening that the bureau's investigation into the November 22, 2016, officer-involved fatal shooting of Durham resident Frank Clark has concluded and that "the case is pending the district attorney's review and decision." In other words, Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols now knows the facts of the case and is expected, by the end of the week, to determine whether or not Durham Police Department Master Officer Charles Barkley will be prosecuted for fatally shooting Clark. As Clark’s friends and family wait to learn what, if any, action...

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wake County Principals, Leaders to Seek Solutions Following Race-Driven Incidents

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 7:18 PM

Wake County Public Schools principals will converge on Cary Thursday to discuss the implications of two recent, high-profile episodes of racial disruption—incidents that have brought lost trust and even tears to some system parents. Board of Education Chair Monika Johnson-Hostler said Tuesday that the principals, Superintendent Jim Merrill and other leaders will look for answers in the wake of the episodes. Meanwhile, officials from the Raleigh-Apex NAACP appeared at WCPS headquarters to express their dismay at the incidents and to support the school system's efforts to deal with them. "The faith and the trust in protecting out school children has been lost,"...

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Reorganizing the Executive Branch and Deconstructing the Administrative State

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 2:40 PM

On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order christened a "comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive branch." The order directs the "Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs." That's right, to get rid of federal agencies. And we can guess which ones they will be. When Trump's budget is released...

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Racially Charged Incident Videotaped in Wake School

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Two incidents of racial violence that have unfolded in a single week in Wake County Public Schools—both videotaped and widely circulated on social media and one including a chant of “KKK!”—have administrators seeking ways to stop such incidents from occurring in the system. But whatever next steps Wake County officials undertake will come in addition to the current practice of cautioning students in their code of conduct and elsewhere against racist conduct and bullying. (Students already receive training that forbids the use of the racially derogatory language heard in a video made by Leesville Road Middle School students and another shot at Wake Forest High...

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The Loyal White Knights of the KKK Plan a Cross-Burning in Asheboro. Sorry, People of Color, You’re Not Invited.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 11:52 AM

You might remember the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from such recent events as their Trump victory "parade" in early December—which amounted to a handful of pickup trucks making their way through Roxboro as the drivers shouted "white power." Or maybe you remember the stabbing between members that unfolded the night before. From The New York Times: Well, they’re back, in all their racist glory. According to the organization's website, a good old-fashioned cross-burning is coming to the Old North State May 6—but only after speeches, a dinner and a "klavern meeting." Here are the details, in...

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let These Two Middle Schoolers Tell You Why International Women’s Day Matters

Posted By on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 1:04 PM

Laura Gonzalez and Belen Willott are no strangers to activism. Gonzalez recently participated in the nationwide Day Without Immigrants strike. Willott is in a feminist book club. Both joined January’s Women’s March in Raleigh and a rally put on this morning by Action NC as part of International Women’s Day and a corresponding day of strike, A Day Without a Woman. Both have also yet to finish middle school. Gonzalez and Willott, on opposite sides of their respective thirteenth birthdays, attended Wednesday’s rally in downtown Durham with their mothers in tow—joining about eighty others—waving signs with the standard symbol...

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Supreme Court Sends Transgender Teen's Bathroom Case Back to Lower Court

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 12:01 PM

The Supreme Court has asked a lower court to reconsider its previous ruling in a favor of a transgender student who sought to use the boys' bathroom at his Virginia school. The case, involving seventeen-year-old Gavin Grimm and the Gloucester County school board, is being watched closely in North Carolina, because a ruling would have a direct bearing on portions of House Bill 2 that require people to use public restrooms corresponding to their birth certificates.  The Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments in the Virginia case later this month, but on Monday the curt decided to vacate...

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sorry, President Trump, But Your Raleigh Supporters’ Rally Was Definitely Not the Biggest of Them All

Posted By on Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 8:48 PM

It was a quiet Saturday morning at Halifax Mall as a crew began to set up a small stage embellished with American and Trump flags. Merchandisers were hanging up red shirts with slogans like “Pumps for Trump” and, of course, “Make America Great Again.” A slow but steady trickle of Trump supporters began to populate the lawn for the March 4 Trump/Deplorables United rally that was held in Raleigh this afternoon. Things were about to get loud. Enter stage left: a group of counterprotesters with signs reading “Total Liberation from Domination” and “Against White Supremacy and Patriarchy.” Orchestrating...

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Breaking: Representative G.K. Butterfield Calls for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Recusal from Trump-Russia Investigation “At Minimum”

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 10:42 AM

After news broke last evening that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing in saying that he’d had no contact with Russian officials during last year’s presidential campaign, forty-seven Democrats and counting—most recently including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—have called for Sessions’s resignation. Just now, in a press release, Democratic U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield didn’t quite go that far, though he does call for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation into the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia and an independent commission to oversee the inquiry. His statement is below. WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman G....

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Democracy in Crisis: Stoned Reflections on a Day at CPAC

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:17 PM

I am stoned at CPAC. I am in hell. Here’s how it happened: Shortly after Steve Bannon laid out his vision of nationalism and the deconstruction of government on the first day of CPAC, I was writing a story over a beer at the National Press Club. On the television was Sean Spicer, who said the regime would likely start enforcing federal anti-pot laws in states that had voted for recreational marijuana. Never mind that he had just invoked “states’ rights” as a rationale for refusing to protect trans students. Never mind, that world-class racist Jeff Sessions would be the...

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Michael Peterson, a Convicted Killer, Is a Free Man

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 1:37 PM

Michael Peterson walked out of the Durham County Courthouse on Friday a free man after entering an Alford plea to the charge of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, in 2001. The Alford plea allows Peterson, a novelist and former Herald Sun columnist, to accept a guilty verdict without admitting guilt. Convicted of first degree-murder in 2003, Peterson served eight years in prison before that conviction was overturned by a judge in 2011. He has already served ninety-eight months in prison, not including house arrest, more than the eighty-six-month maximum sentence his plea agreement carries. After...

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Democracy in Crisis Podcast: What Can the Classic Political Film The Battle of Algiers Teach Us About Resistance Today?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:09 PM

In the latest episode of Democracy in Crisis, we hear a conversation between Sohail Daulatzai and Brandon Soderberg about Daulatzai's book, Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past As Prologue. They discuss the lasting legacy of the classic film, its different uses and interpretations through history, and what it can teach us today about resistance, neocolonialism, and counterinsurgency. Sohail Daulatzai is associate professor of film and media studies and associate professor in the African American Studies School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Brandon Soderberg is chief adviser and editor at large for Democracy in Crisis and...

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Updated: Jewish Day School Evacuated Amid Bomb Threat. Police Clear Scene.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM

A concerned parent who received an automated message from Lerner Community Jewish Day School told the INDY moments ago that the Durham school was being evacuated amid a bomb threat. The auto-call went out at 10:58 this morning. The incident comes amid a wave of similar threats made against American Jews since Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation's forty-fifth president. From NPR: Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. were targeted by bomb threats on Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America, in the fourth wave of such threats in the past two months. In total,...

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As an exercise in futility, I write to Thom about once a month. His answers are always very long and …

by margaretS on Thom Tillis, Textbook Definition of a Schmuck, Says Goldman Sachs Is a Champion of the "Little Guys" (News)

A response to the open letter: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/24/an-open-letter-to-duke-universitys-class-of-2007-about-your-open-letter-to-stephen-miller/

by fanonscholar on In an Open Letter, 2,943 Fellow Duke Alumni Ask Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller How He Became Such a Horrible Person (News)

A rebuttal to the political apathy in this open letter: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/24/an-open-letter-to-duke-universitys-class-of-2007-about-your-open-letter-to-stephen-miller/

by fanonscholar on In an Open Letter, 2,943 Fellow Duke Alumni Ask Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller How He Became Such a Horrible Person (News)

More bottom feeders attacking Murray without even having the faintest idea of anything he is actually written or believes. Hey, …

by jfarmer on Charles Murray's Duke Appearance Avoids the Blacks-Are-Inferior Thing, Talks About “Cognitive Elites” and the White Working Class (News)

Huh. Eller has stopped accepting Section 8 before:

http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2015/0…

Now there are two stories. The …

by morecoffeepls on Garner Residents in Subsidized Housing Face Increased Rent, Eviction (News)

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As an exercise in futility, I write to Thom about once a month. His answers are always very long and …

by margaretS on Thom Tillis, Textbook Definition of a Schmuck, Says Goldman Sachs Is a Champion of the "Little Guys" (News)

A response to the open letter: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/24/an-open-letter-to-duke-universitys-class-of-2007-about-your-open-letter-to-stephen-miller/

by fanonscholar on In an Open Letter, 2,943 Fellow Duke Alumni Ask Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller How He Became Such a Horrible Person (News)

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