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Monday, February 19, 2018

The Very Stable Genius™ Just Had Another Twitter Meltdown

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 8:55 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Here is what the self-proclaimed “very stable genius” president of the United States did this weekend: told by aides that it would be a bad look to go golfing a few miles from where seventeen people were massacred in a high school, he sat in his mansion watching the news—specifically, a barrage of reports about Robert Mueller’s indictment of thirteen Russians for...

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Why Does North Carolina Still Shackle Women Prisoners During Childbirth?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 8:47 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Back in 2010, when I was working in Philadelphia, there was a big controversy over whether the Pennsylvania prison system should put inmates who are giving birth in restraints. Doctors tended to think this was a barbaric practice that makes labor and delivery more difficult and dangerous. Lawmakers agreed; they passed a law prohibiting prisons from restraining women during childbirth except if...

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Politicians and the Gun Lobby Want You to Think Parkland Is About Something Other Than Guns. Don’t Let Them.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 9:26 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. The president, who couldn’t even bring himself to say the word “gun” in a six-minute speech on a mass shooting, wants us to talk about mental health instead, even though he repealed an Obama regulation that sought to prevent the sale of guns to some people with mental illness or whether Nikolas Cruz’s classmates and neighbors bore some responsibility because they...

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria Will Seek Reelection Instead of Challenging Nelson Dollar for State House

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 1:00 PM

In December, Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria announced that he would run for State House District 36, a seat currently occupied by Republican Nelson Dollar. But in light of a recent court decision that blocked new districts in Wake and Mecklenburg County, Calabria announced today that he has reconsidered. “With the recent court rulings, it's now clear that the legislature's gerrymandering will prevent me from running in NC House District 36,” Calabria told the INDY in a text message. “They split my precinct, which is uncommon, drawing the line very near my house to make sure I couldn't run against...

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The NCGOP Is Desperate to Put the Stink of Scandal on Roy Cooper

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 9:27 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. For the state Republican Party, the troubling thing about Roy Cooper is that, well, he’s popular. In the most recent poll, he’s at 46 percent approval, with only 26 percent disapproving [ABC 11]. His exceedingly safe, uber-centrist form of Democratic politics doesn’t polarize people the way that, say, the General Assembly’s merry band of ideologues does. So, with elections forthcoming and the...

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You’re Damn Right I’m Going to Politicize This Tragedy. You Should Too.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 9:23 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. I’ve struggled this morning to write about the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which is, incidentally, about a forty-five-minute drive from where I grew up. It’s horrifying—and we should be horrified that an apparently disturbed and gun-loving nineteen-year-old was able to a) obtain an assault rifle and b) bring that assault rifle onto campus and kill seventeen people....

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Will Lecture UNC Journalism Students

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, once called "literally our greatest ally" by neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, will give the 2018 Roy H. Park Distinguished Lecture for the UNC School of Media and Journalism. According to UNC, Carlson "will share his insights on today's political landscape, including candid commentary on the latest insider political news out of Washington, D.C." during the April 12 lecture, which is free and open to the public. It's a choice that seems bound for backlash on a largely liberal campus recently embroiled in protest — whether that backlash is a reaction to Carlson's politics or the idea...

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Durham Commissioners May Be Called to Testify in Confederate Monument Trial

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Durham County commissioners may be called to testify Monday as eight people accused of dismantling a Confederate monument in front of a county building last summer appear in court. Attorney Scott Holmes, who is representing the defendants, requested the subpoenas, which were hand-delivered to each of the five commissioners by attorney Tom Cadwallader in the board's chambers just before their regular meeting Monday night. "You are being called to testify as to the value and meaning of the county property at dispute in this case," each document reads. Holmes declined to comment.   The commissioners were inside the county building...

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'A Matter of Life and Death': SONG, People's Alliance and Durham HRC Hold Bail Forum

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:08 AM

"Imagine this," Isaac Villegas implores a crowd filling the pews at downtown Durham's First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday night. "On your way home tonight you're snatched from your life —disappeared. You don't show up where you're expected, where your people are expecting you to be. Perhaps you don't come home tonight because you're in a cage in jail." Stuck in jail without money to post bail, you begin to miss your children, bills and work, he continues. After weeks awaiting trial, you accept a plea deal just to get out. Your incarceration may be over, but the mark on your...

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How the White House’s Handling of the Rob Porter Mess Became a Bona Fide Scandal

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. To be honest, I haven’t been following the Rob Porter scandal as closely as I should have. After all, what’s one more scandal in a White House teeming with them? President Trump’s lawyer paid a porn star to keep quiet about her affair with the president and it barely made a dent. Trump called African countries “shitholes” and his poll numbers didn’t...

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The NCGA’s Next Big Idea: Break Up the Wake County School System

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 8:56 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. If you were wondering what the next the legislature would do to mess with urban areas, wonder no more: next week, lawmakers will begin studying how to break up large school systems, like in Wake and Mecklenburg, which, as far as I know, no urban government has asked for. From the N&O: “A newly formed joint legislative study committee is charged with...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trump’s Proposed 2019 Budget Is a Shockingly (Even for Him) Immoral Document

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 9:01 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. There’s a saying that budgets are moral documents, in that they reveal moral priorities. Yesterday, Donald Trump released his second proposed budget. And while it’s unlikely to become law, it reveals plenty about his administration’s priorities. WaPo: “The White House on Monday offered a $4.4 trillion budget plan that brought into sharp focus the fiscal strains created by the Trump administration and...

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Economists Are Begging HQ2 Finalists Not to Offer Amazon Huge Incentives. Fat Chance.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 8:52 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. More than anything else, what Amazon’s RFP for HQ2 sites was intended to do was to induce a bidding war, in which cities try to one-up one another to win Jeff Bezos’s favor. With the promise of fifty thousand good jobs in the offing, the world’s richest man was, in essence, asking the “winner” to spot him a few billion bucks in...

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Durham County Adds Positions to Address 'Critical Staffing Needs' in Child Protective Services

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 7:51 PM

Durham County's Child Welfare Division is adding more staff to keep up with heavy workloads and increasingly complicated cases. Department of Social Services director Ben Rose says the six additional positions are needed to address "critical staffing needs" and keep the division in-line with state limits on how many cases each social worker should have. Rose told Durham County commissioners last week that turnover is the primary reason Child Protective Services employees have such heavy workloads — and heavy workloads are the main driver behind employees leaving. At full staffing levels, each case worker has fourteen cases — above the state standard...

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These Tar Heels Are Super Pissed About TV News Anchors Saying “Shithole”

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Remember last month, when President Trump called African countries “shitholes” and the news media took an almost schoolboyish delight in saying that word over and over on live television and slapping it on all of the chryons? As immune as we’ve become to salty language—the president, after all, once boasted about grabbing women by the pussy and still got himself elected—there were still people sufficiently angered by the sudden proliferation of this naughty word during prime time to complain to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the words that cannot be said on broadcast television. Those FCC complaints are public...

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“All Leverage Is Gone”: Dems Face Shrinking Options in Immigration Fight

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 8:49 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. With last week’s brief government shutdown in the rearview, it’s now time for Congress to refocus on immigration—and the parties seem no closer to a deal now than they were a month ago, even as the March deadline for fixing DACA quickly approaches. The biggest difference between then and now is that the Democrats have forfeited their best leverage to force Republicans...

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Does Southern Wake County Really Need a Massive Toll Road?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 8:42 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. A few weeks back, there was a kerfuffle over the final environmental impact statement for the completion of the N.C. 540 beltway around southern Wake County. NCDOT officials, environmental groups said, had misled them about the timeframe for the public comment period [N&O]. The NCDOT’s chicanery aside, it seemed a relatively minor quibble, in the sense that the wheels of bureaucracy—this project,...

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Charges Dropped Against Two Accused of Bringing Weapons to Anti-Klan Rally

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 12:25 PM

Last summer, Dwayne Dixon was charged with bringing a weapon to a spontaneous anti-Klan demonstration that brought hundreds of people to downtown Durham. On Thursday, the charge against him was dismissed. Dixon, without hesitation, says he would do it all over again. But, he hopes next time (if there is a next time) other people would join him—not necessarily by carrying a semi-automatic rifle, like he did on August 18—but by defending the people around them in their own way. "They can do these things too," he told the INDY. "They can participate in these really diverse, passionate, engaging, liberatory...

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The Class-Size Bill Is Really Another NCGA Power Grab

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 9:40 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. The above-the-fold headline in today’s N&O might as well be an in-kind donation to the Republican Party. Indeed, it’s exactly what Republicans in the General Assembly want people to see: them giving school districts a break from the onerous K–3 class-size rules that so riled local leaders all over the state, while increasing funds for schools. Never mind that they were...

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The Brief, Dumb Government Shutdown Is Over. Paul Ryan Is Coming for Your Social Security Next.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 9:28 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. It was, in the words of Politico’s headline writer, “The Dumbest Shutdown Ever.” On Thursday night, Senator Rand Paul—who has suddenly found religion on the deficit again, after voting in December for a trillion-dollar, deficit-funded tax cut—delayed a roll call vote to pass a budget resolution until after the midnight deadline. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi rallied House Democrats against the measure—and the Republicans...

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

The NCGA’s New Class-Size Bill Is Loaded With a Bunch of Other Crap You’re Not Going to Like

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 3:59 PM

This afternoon, with much pomp and circumstance, the General Assembly released a proposed fix for its self-imposed class-size crisis, which school districts around the state feared would strain their resources, as the legislature had created what was, in essence, an unfunded mandate. And so, at a press conference today, Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore unveiled what their press release called “an aggressive effort to improve student outcomes in the early grades by phasing in smaller class sizes and lower student-to-teacher ratios in kindergarten through third grade classrooms, providing millions of additional state dollars to fund special...

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The Senate Has a Budget Deal, But Are Dems Selling Out Dreamers?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 9:15 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to keep the government open for the next two years, which would avert a shutdown. Assuming it makes it through the House, of course—and that’s no guarantee. After all, the deal will add hundreds of millions of dollars to the federal deficit, which is already shooting through the roof thanks to tax cuts. And there’s...

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North Carolina’s Redistricting Fight Ain’t Over Yet

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 9:08 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. So you thought that, since the Supreme Court weighed in Tuesday, North Carolina’s gerrymandering redistricting saga was, if not over, then at a resting point. You were wrong. From the N&O: “Democrats and voters who filed the first lawsuit this decade challenging North Carolina lawmakers’ redistricting plans went back to state court on Wednesday, seven years after challenging the 2011 election maps,...

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More Than 700K N.C. Residents Live in Deep Poverty

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 9:03 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. A new analysis from NC Policy Watch shows that more than 7 percent of North Carolina households—an estimated 725,000 residents—live in what’s known as deep poverty, meaning they earn 50 percent or less of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s $12,300 a year, or $8 per person per day. These rates are highest in Watauga and Scotland counties,...

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

NC Child: It’s “Risky” to Give Birth in North Carolina—and in Durham County

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 11:08 AM

A new report from the advocacy nonprofit NC Child says that North Carolina’s fetal and infant mortality rates are still among the highest the nation, but legislators can take steps to fix it by “expanding health care access and utilization for women of childbearing age.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina lags the nation in reducing its infant mortality rate, ranking thirty-ninth in 2016 with a rate of 7.2 deaths out of 1,000 live births, or 870 infant deaths. (NC Child’s report offers a slightly different number—873—than the CDC.) Compounding that problem is North Carolina’s nearly...

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Most Recent Comments

It is about the guns, and the efforts of liberalsocialists to keep them out of the hands of victims.

by Pat Orsban on Politicians and the Gun Lobby Want You to Think Parkland Is About Something Other Than Guns. Don’t Let Them. (News)

Plenty of warning signs here. All ignored. No law would have stopped this. One law allowed the body count to …

by Pat Orsban on You’re Damn Right I’m Going to Politicize This Tragedy. You Should Too. (News)

This should read "prescribe" not "proscribe," which has the opposite meaning.

by Jeffrey Vanke on Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Will Lecture UNC Journalism Students (News)

"There are fifty-five hundred residential units in downtown, up eighteen hundred from just a couple of years ago, and with …

by JeffG on DRA Report: Downtown Raleigh Is Still Killing It (News)

What does this clown know about journalism?

by John Sagar on Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Will Lecture UNC Journalism Students (News)

Comments

It is about the guns, and the efforts of liberalsocialists to keep them out of the hands of victims.

by Pat Orsban on Politicians and the Gun Lobby Want You to Think Parkland Is About Something Other Than Guns. Don’t Let Them. (News)

Plenty of warning signs here. All ignored. No law would have stopped this. One law allowed the body count to …

by Pat Orsban on You’re Damn Right I’m Going to Politicize This Tragedy. You Should Too. (News)

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