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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Donald Trump Jr. Tastes the Rainbow and a Poll That Makes You Go Hmmm

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 8:40 AM

Good morning, everybody. Let's get going. 1) Donald Trump Jr. hates Skittles ... and refugees. Remember when you were a kid and people warned you to stay away from red M&Ms? Well, Donald Trump Jr. apparently didn't understand the difference between fact and urban legend. Or maybe, this explains more than we think. I mean, we all remember Ronald Reagan's affection for jellybeans. Perhaps, the former president was simply picturing things he didn't like before sending them down the hatch. "Umm. Those kids smoking pot are the red ones. I LOVE the red ones. Wait. This sugar high is giving...

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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Donald Trump’s Campaign Swears Donald Trump Is No Longer a Racist Birther, and We Totally Believe Them

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 8:17 AM

Polling better than he has since August 20, Donald Trump started Wednesday with the wind at his back. And then: Of all these things—any one of which could be fatal in a more normal political year—the one getting the most attention today is his return to birtherism, or at least his refusal to disavow birtherism because “I don’t want to answer it just yet.”  After Hillary Clinton hit Trump’s birtherism in a speech that night, the Trump campaign tried to clean up the boss’s words.  Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very...

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Doomed Republican Congressional Candidates in Triangle Have Pretty Cool Signs

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 2:24 PM

The preposterous gerrymandering of North Carolina by Republicans following the 2010 elections means Republicans win in most parts in the state but lose horribly in others. In addition to the snake-like Twelfth Congressional District, the districts where Republicans stand no chance of winning are the First and Fourth Districts, home to Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh.  The GOP sacrificial lambs running in those districts this year are Sue Googe (Fourth District) and H. Powell Dew, Jr. (First District). Since nobody has ever heard of these people before, here are their respective platforms. Now, let's take a few moments to...

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What's Up with That Questionably Zoned Durham GOP Headquarters?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 12:57 PM

“It would have been very foolish of us to take ownership of a location and not be sure we could use it as such,” Durham County Republican Party chairman Immanuel Jarvis told the INDY last month, after we questioned whether the local GOP chapter was violating local ordinances by housing its new headquarters in a home zoned for residential use.  Turns out: It was! Durham's planning department subsequently sent a notice of violation to the property owner—the GOP was leasing the home, which is at 215 N. Briggs—and gave it a month to file a response and a formal plan...

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The Morning Roundup: Farewell to ACC Championship Games and Hello Again to Hillary

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Happy Thursday, folks. Here's your daily dose of calamity to keep everything nice and regular.  1. HB 2 basically kills championship games in North Carolina, and there's nothing we can do about it (except vote in November to get rid of the people who thought up this crap in the first place).  First the NBA All-Star game, then the NCAA championship games, and now the ACC, which yesterday announced all neutral-site championships would leave the state, too. In North Carolina, you can mess with a lot of things, but you don't mess with sports—especially not college sports. By moving these...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Three for Three: Atlantic Coast Conference Follows NCAA's Lead, Pulls "All Neutral-Site Championships"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Thanks, Pat. The hits just keep on coming.  Earlier this week the NCAA announced it was pulling championship games out of North Carolina, and it was only a matter of time before the ACC made the same decision. Well, a matter of time turned out to be less than forty-eight hours.  The decision means "all neutral-site championship" games will be relocated next year. Here's what the ACC Council of Presidents had to say:  “As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every...

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In INDY Interview, Chelsea Clinton Says She ‘Can’t Imagine’ Why People Don’t See Her Mother Like She Does

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Chelsea Clinton, days after having her ailing mom over for a quick pick-me-up in New York City, came to North Carolina to campaign in her mother’s name, and to rally the millennial voters Hillary Clinton will need to carry her over the finish line in the Tar Heel state.  The latest Quinnipiac University poll found Clinton up four points over Donald Trump, with 47 percent of voters saying they’d likely vote for her. That changes slightly when you throw in Gary Johnson as a third-party candidate, but we’ll get to that later. Last month’s Public Policy Polling results showed...

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Chelsea Avoids Plague, NCAA Avoids McCrory's North Carolina

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 7:41 AM

Good morning, folks. And for those of you who consider the opportunity to laugh at lunacy a gift, this isn't just any morning. This is Christmas morning. So let's dive toward that tree and start ripping through some wrapping paper ... so to speak. 1) NCAA pulls tournament games from North Carolina because of HB 2. Sorry college basketball, women's and men's soccer, golf, lacrosse, tennis and baseball fans. This just happened because of HB 2 (and, more to the point, that guy who lives in the Governor's Mansion). From the INDY: Greensboro was slated to host first- and second-round...

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bubba’s Still Got It: Former President Bill Clinton Talks Policy—Not Trump—During Speech in Durham

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 1:07 PM

President Bill Clinton didn’t take a lot of jabs at Hillary’s opponent, but he didn’t need to—that’s what the local politicians were for (more on that later). Instead, his time at the Community Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park in Durham’s West End yesterday was spent talking about education, immigration, and everything except what he was billed to talk about—early voting and voter registration. To a crowd of more than seven hundred (capacity was 720, and fire marshals stopped admitting people before Clinton spoke), he said,  “North Carolina at its best represents the future of America...

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Donald Trump Is Pretty Confused, and Bill Clinton’s Coming to Durham

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Hope everyone had a solid Labor Day. Now, let's get back to it. 1) Donald Trump doesn't know, "OK?" It seems like a pretty fair assessment of Donald Trump's last several months to say that he disagrees with quite a few people. But now, the White House hopeful can add another foe to his list. Himself? That's right. Remember the super-hyped immigration speech he delivered in Phoenix last week—the one where he said this: For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for reentry...

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Op-Ed: On Labor Day, A Tale of North Carolina’s Two Economies—and How to Give Those at the Bottom a Leg Up

Posted By on Mon, Sep 5, 2016 at 9:36 AM

At first glance, North Carolina’s workers have a lot to celebrate this Labor Day. In many ways, it is the best of times. An economy based on textile and furniture manufacturing a generation ago is being rebuilt with the help of industries such as banking, high tech, health care, and pharmaceuticals. Our Tar Heel State is now adding jobs at the ninth-fastest rate in the country, and several areas are emerging as small-business hot spots. With the famed Research Triangle Park just down the road, a host of health and technology companies have fled the expensive Northeast Corridor to set...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Morning Roundup: To Help African-Americans Learn to Love Trump, a Surrogate Depicts Hillary in Blackface

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Good morning, everyone. In case you've missed it, the Donald Trump campaign is still living in a fantasy world in which black voters will actually decide the Republican nominee is their guy. Let's jump right in: 1. Trump continues to sell the "African-Americans love me" schtick, despite poll numbers that suggest he's lost his mind. Monday, he gave the Twitterverse this gem: They do? Wait a second. Let's take a look at the Aug. 29 numbers from the Monmouth University Poll. So that's 14 percent of people who are NOT white and non-Hispanic, meaning these numbers include the...

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Hillary Shot a Campaign in Reno Just to Watch It Die

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 8:46 AM

Good morning! I didn’t come up with that headline, but damn if it doesn’t fit.  Let’s dig in:  1. Behold the evisceration.  In Reno yesterday, Clinton laid into the Trump’s campaign’s alliance with what’s known as the alt-right, which is a polite term for white supremacists, including the hiring of Breitbart CEO/alleged wife beater Stephen Bannon.  Watch it below; the good stuff starts around the eight-minute mark. Or read a transcript here.   State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turn-over rate for his minority employees was way...

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

In a New Ad, Richard Burr Loves (the Wrong) Black People

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Close your eyes and picture a campaign ad that screams, “I love black people.” Can you see the African-American preacher? How about the wide-eyed black schoolchildren in bright clothing and clean, spacious classrooms? Splice in a few quotes from said preacher about how Burr is, “genuinely interested” in the black community — how he has worked tirelessly to “narrow the education gap.” Sounds downright touching, doesn’t it? Here, take a look.  Maybe Senator Richard Burr really gets it. Wait. What’s that you say, Talking Points Memo? Two pieces of the footage from Getty’s iStock catalogue that were used in the video are...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

'Transgenderism' Is a 'Feeling,' Explains Dan Forest, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Confused by all this talk lately about "transgender" people in North Carolina? Don't even bother trying to figure it out for yourself. Just ask Dan Forest, a straight, white, Christian, conservative man who somehow ended up being elected lieutenant governor of the ninth largest state in the country. Sure, Dan's got weird beliefs on most topics. But on transgender issues, the guy is a true progressive. Why, back in April he came out and declared that HB 2 was discriminatory. How many Republicans in the state have the guts to say something like that?  Actually, strike that. Forest said the Charlotte ordinance...

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Donald Trump and the Silence of His Defenders

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 12:51 PM

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” —Edmund Burke If Donald Trump were a better politician, this is the headline we’d be talking about this morning: “Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation and State Dept. Overlap.”  A new batch of State Department emails released Tuesday showed the close and sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state. The documents raised new questions about whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department, a...

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Planning Department Says Durham County GOP Headquarters in Violation of Zoning Rules

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Last week the INDY questioned whether or not the Durham County Republican Party was operating illegally out of a house on the 200 block of North Briggs Avenue. At that time, Steve Medlin, the director of the City-County Planning Department, told the INDY said the house was “most likely a zoning enforcement violation.” The house the GOP is using is zoned Residential Urban 5(2), a zoning designation that would allow for mostly single-family and two-family residential units. There are some other uses allowed, including family care homes, group living facilities, schools, museums, and government facilities.  But those additional uses require the property owner to...

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Roy Cooper Won't Appeal Voter ID Ruling, McCrory Says He'll Do It Without Him

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 12:27 PM

The ramifications of last week's federal appeals court ruling that North Carolina's racist 2013 "voter ID" law is, in fact, racist, are coming into closer focus. Today, Attorney General Roy Cooper—who's also running for governor—announced that his office would not participate in defending the law on appeal to a higher court. Here's Cooper's brief statement on the matter:  "The 4th Circuit has unanimously said that the governor and the legislature have engaged in intentional discrimination to make it harder to register and vote, and two other Circuits have struck down similar laws. The governor is wasting taxpayer money in trying...

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Friday, July 29, 2016

North Carolina Voter ID Law Is Discriminatory, Federal Appeals Court Rules, Striking It Down

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:18 PM

A major victory for voting rights in North Carolina today: A federal appeals court in Richmond has struck down the state's 2013 voter ID law. The decision reverses a lower court's April ruling that upheld the law.  In an opinion issued today, a three-judge panel found that "the photo ID requirement, the reduction in days of early voting, and the elimination of same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and preregistration...were enacted with racially discriminatory intent in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act."  In other words: Moving forward, there will be no photo ID requirements,...

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Is the Durham GOP’s New Headquarters Violating Zoning Laws?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 2:38 PM

About six weeks ago, Trace Ramsey noticed new neighbors moving their belongings into 215 North Briggs Avenue, the long-vacant house next door to him in east Durham. Not long after, he says, he observed people out in the yard, trimming the lawn and the bushes. But nobody was sleeping there at night. “So, a few weeks ago, I walked over and peeked in the window,” Ramsey says, “and there was this big ‘DURHAM REPUBLICANS’ banner in the living room.” Ramsey did a little research online and discovered that his new neighbor was, in fact, the Durham County Republican Party....

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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM

1. The Speech If you missed Trump’s RNC acceptance speech last night, you can find the text of the speech here; but really, to get the whole effect, you need to watch the video—seventy-six minutes (that’s six minutes longer than Bill Clinton in 1996 and the longest convention speech in modern history) of an angry old man yelling about how terrible everything is and what a dystopian hellscape America has become and how Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants are going to murder your children while Hillary Clinton watches and cheers.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/politics/donald-trump-rnc-speech.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=span-abc-region®ion=span-abc-region&WT.nav=span-abc-region Americans watching this address tonight have seen the...

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Worst Governor in America Says North Carolina Must Rally Behind McCrory

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 3:28 PM

All these horrible ideas the Republicans in charge of North Carolina have tried to push through these last four years? A lot of them have already been implemented in Kansas, the land of my birth and the home of my kin. Kansas has always been a conservative place, but since Sam Brownback was elected governor, in 2010, Kansas has gone completely off the rails. In 2012, Brownback signed into law a massive tax cut for the rich and eliminated the corporate income tax for small businesses. He literally called it an "experiment" and said it would be a "shot of...

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mike Krzyzewski Weighs in on HB 2

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Last week, the Duke men's basketball team released its schedule for the upcoming season. The Blue Devils were supposed to play Albany in November as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament, but that game is no longer taking place, owing to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's banning of non-essential travel to North Carolina by state employees in New York.  Cuomo's executive order is, of course, rooted in the hideous and shameful passing of HB 2 here in North Carolina.  USA Today caught up with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski yesterday at a practice for the U.S. men's Olympic team,...

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

It Begins: N.C. House Candidate Holding Pokemon-Themed Campaign Event

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 3:20 PM

Joe Parrish, a twenty-four-year-old Democrat, seeks to represent District 2 (Person and Granville Counties) in the North Carolina House of Representatives, a position currently occupied by Larry Yarbrough, a Roxboro businessman. Parrish is trying to court the youth vote up in Person County, and what better way to connect with the Youths of Today™ than Pokemon Go?  "I play it myself," Parrish tells the INDY, "and I thought it might be interesting to use Pokemon as a way to reach out to the younger voting public, which is usually a difficult group to reach out to."  On Friday evening, at 7...

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Monday, July 11, 2016

McCrory Signs Dumb and Bad Body Camera Bill into Law

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 4:50 PM

As expected, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law today body-camera legislation that essentially defeats the purpose of having body cameras in the first place. The bill, HB 972, received Democratic support due to the fact that legislators attached a provision decriminalizing needle-exchange programs to it. It is otherwise a terrible, terrible bill. Here's our quick explainer on it, from last week's roundup of legislative activity, but just to sum up: Everybody is sick of police officers killing people and using excessive force and not being held accountable. Body cameras are a way to hold police accountable. A bunch of local...

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