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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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Friday, July 1, 2016

The Morning Roundup: The HB 2 ‘Fix’ Won’t Appease the NBA, Appears DOA

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 8:13 AM

1. Well, that went nowhere fast. Earlier this week—around the same time the legislature moved $500,000 in disaster relief money to its HB 2 defense fund and irony died—word leaked that Republicans were considering tweaking the law so as to keep the NBA from pulling its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte. Because, you know, making marginalized people suffer is all well and good until it pisses off sports fans. The proposed fix would basically require trans people to carry a state document indicating that they had undergone gender reassignment to use the facilities in schools and government buildings (nothing...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Light Rail Funding Once Again Jeopardized by State Budget

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 12:07 PM

You'll recall that, last year, the Durham to Orange Light Rail Transit project was derailed by a sneaky, last-minute provision inserted into the state budget that capped state spending on light-rail projects at $500,000. The D-O LRT funding plan called for the state to contribute $400 million. Because of the way the budget process works, it's difficult to know who was responsible for slipping the provision into the budget, and because the Republican leadership is spineless and secretive, not a single GOP official stepped forward to claim authorship of it. Democracy, baby! Some Republicans, including Gov. Pat McCrory (who pushed...

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North Carolina House Advances Body Camera Bill That Defeats Purpose of Body Cameras

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 5:08 AM

Communities across North Carolina (and the entire country) have spent a great deal of time over the last year trying to iron out thoughtful policies regarding how accessible police body camera footage should be. It's tricky business, a balancing act of transparency objectives and privacy concerns. But the entire reason these conversations are taking place is because people want more accountability from their police departments; they want evidence that what officers write in their reports lines up with what actually happened on the street. They don't want what happened with Laquan McDonald to happen in their cities and towns.  Both...

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Friday, June 24, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Anarchy in the U.K.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 8:18 AM

So, there is some news this morning from across the pond. By a 52–48 margin, the United Kingdom—swept up in the same sort of economically illiterate, racism-laced populism that gave rise to Donald Trump—voted yesterday to leave the European Union. From The New York Times:  Britain has voted to leave the European Union, a historic decision sure to reshape the nation’s place in the world, rattle the Continent and rock political establishments throughout the West. Not long after the vote tally was completed, Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the bloc, appeared in front...

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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Lebron Doesn’t Quit, Bernie Almost Does

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 7:45 AM

Happy Friday, everyone. Let’s make this short and sweet and get to the weekend already.  1. Bernie Sanders didn’t quite concede last night.  The Vermont senator didn’t officially quit or endorse Hillary Clinton, but in a message to supporters released last night, he said he’ll soon be joining the fight to defeat Trump (who, frankly, is doing a pretty bang-up job defeating himself, but the more, the merrier, I guess). “Our vision for the future of this country is not some fringe idea,” he said.  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Thursday in an address to his supporters that he...

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Durham's Lamont Lilly is Running for Vice President (of the United States)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 11:42 AM

In February 2015, the INDY recognized Durham's Lamont Lilly with a Citizen Award for his activism and journalism in the interest of advancing civil rights. At the time, Lilly was beginning to travel the country for speaking tours, protests, and political rallies, discussing issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, the criminal justice system, and the negative effects of American imperialism. Lilly's profile has continued to grow outside Durham to the point that, come November, you can vote for him for Vice President of the United States. Monica Moorehead, the Workers World Party candidate for President, has selected Lilly as...

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Friday, June 10, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Delete Your Account

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 8:35 AM

And we’ll begin with Barry Bamz slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon. To be honest, I’m not sure when—or if—we’ll see another president so effortlessly adept at pop culture. Surely won’t be Hillary. Although this was pretty astute use of social media.  (Here, by the way, is the inevitable Vox explainer on what “Delete Your Account” means.) Which brings us to the Roundup:  1. Democratic elites rally around Hillz.  Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren—probably the three biggest ostensibly uncommitted names in the Democratic Party—all came out yesterday to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, shortly after the...

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

McCrory Eats Bowl of Shit, Says He'll Support Trump

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 1:28 PM

If you were making bets on which Republicans might be brave and principled enough to oppose Donald Trump's candidacy for president, Gov. Pat McCrory would not be your Seabiscuit.  Today—just a few days after Trump said that an Indiana judge's Mexican heritage made him unfit to rule in a fraud lawsuit against Trump University—McCrory got backed into a corner and admitted, with the reluctance of a genuine political coward, that he would support Trump in the general election. From the N&O:  Asked by a News & Observer reporter if he’ll support Trump – the presumptive Republican nominee – McCrory said “yes”...

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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Morning Roundup: The End of Days Is Officially Nigh

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 8:29 AM

1. The Four Horseman are suiting up. We’ll begin with an item that, while not really being “news,” is nonetheless kind of mind-boggling: Donald Trump—the orange-hued reality-TV insult comic, the animated incarnation of those conspiracy chain emails your aunt sends you—will officially be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Of the United States.  God help us all.  The New York billionaire shrugged off signs of discord in his party hours after sewing up the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, a feat that completed an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the...

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Margaret Spellings Installs AEI Conservative as UNC Senior Vice President

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 7:49 AM

So it begins: Yesterday, new UNC president Margaret Spellings announced the appointment of Andrew Kelly to a newly created position called "senior vice president for strategy and policy." The school will pay him $245,000 a year.  A UNC release notes that Kelly was a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute from 2002-2005, and returned to AEI in 2009 as a research fellow in education policy studies. He is also the founder and director of AEI's Center on Higher Education Reform.   The American Enterprise Institute: Why does that ring a bell? Oh, right: It's a big, conservative think tank...

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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Morning Roundup: We Are Governed by Morons

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Happy Moogfest Friday, everyone! There’s a lot in the news this morning, so let’s jump right in.  1. We’ll begin with Congress, home to many a moron.  Yesterday Republicans in the House decided, in a very close vote that required a ton of arm-twisting, that it’s just hunky-dory for federal contractors to openly discriminate against LGBTQ folks.  Democrats shouted “Shame! Shame!,” but seven Republicans switched their votes under pressure from House leaders Thursday and defeated a measure to protect gay rights. “They literally snatched discrimination from the jaws of equality,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said.The final vote was 213-212 after...

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Friday, May 13, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Pat McCrory, Bully Fighter

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 8:32 AM

Another day, another round of HB 2 news.  1. The feds won’t cut off our funding (yet).  Even though the Department of Justice is suing the state for violating the Civil Rights Act, the White House has announced that it will not defund North Carolina while the lawsuits are in progress.  North Carolina won’t lose billions in federal education money while the Department of Justice and state leaders spar over House Bill 2 in court, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday. The department sent state leaders a letter last week saying that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act...

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