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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tillis, Burr Vote Yes on Motion To Debate Health Care Bill Despite Having Absolutely No Idea What It Contains

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 4:34 PM

It's the bill that just won't die. After the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare seemed doomed to failure just last week, Senate Republicans narrowly voted this afternoon to begin debating a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite having no replacement in sight. Vice President Pence broke a 50–50 tie, after two Republican defections. Senator John McCain of Nevada, who was just diagnosed with brain cancer, returned to the Capitol to vote to proceed a bill that could leave tens of millions of people without health insurance over the next decade. As of now, it's unclear...

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Durham's Municipal Candidates

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:28 PM

There seems to be a palpable sense among candidates that this fall’s municipal elections in Durham have the potential to be a pivotal point in this growing city’s trajectory. Equity, managing growth and giving a voice to the voiceless are common refrains. There is the opportunity to change the fabric of Durham’s leadership. One of it’s longest serving members, Mayor Bill Bell, is not seeking another term after sixteen years as the face of this city. The other, Cora Cole-McFadden, who was first elected to the council in 2001, is running for re-election to her Ward 1 seat against three...

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In “Resistance to Political Repression,” Local Activist Katie Yow Will Refuse Grand Jury Order

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:26 PM

Katie Yow doesn't know why she has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury next week. But she has no doubts about refusing the order, although it could land her in jail. "I have been an anarchist for nearly half my life. My convictions as an anarchist inform every part of my life, and being part of the anarchist movement gives me all the strength I need to resist this subpoena," says Yow, an activist and former teacher and bookstore proprietor. Yow, in a statement, says she received the subpoena July 10, ordering her to appear before a...

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Monday, July 24, 2017

N.C. Congressman Mark Meadows Wants to Gut the Congressional Budget Office

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 7:07 PM

U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, chair of the Freedom Caucus and representative of North Carolina's Eleventh Congressional District, wants to make big changes to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office—the federal agency that has consistently projected that Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave more than twenty million Americans in the cold. In an amendment introduced Monday, Meadows proposes slashing eighty-nine positions from the agency's Budget Analysis Division, which is responsible for estimating the costs associated with bills introduced in Congress. The elimination of those positions would result in a $15 million funding cut and would effectively abolish the division....

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Triangle Refugee Resettlement Agencies Prepare for a Tough Road Ahead After Yesterday's Supreme Court Decision

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 3:54 PM

Yesterday, the Supreme Court made yet another consequential decision on President Trump’s refugee and immigrant travel ban. The ruling consisted of two parts. It said that travelers from six Muslim-majority countries who have family members here must be allowed to enter the country, but it also allowed the Trump administration to enforce tighter restrictions on refugees. It's not immediately clear how the decision will affect the Triangle’s refugee resettlement programs. But local agencies are already bracing for a tough road ahead. “There is so much change even on a day-to-day basis that it has become very difficult for us...

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Hundreds of North Carolina FC Fans Gather at City Market to Support the Team’s MLS Bid

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Yesterday evening, hundreds of Oak City soccer fans flooded downtown Raleigh in support of the North Carolina Football Club’s January bid for a Major League Soccer franchise. The night began around four thirty with a march from London Bridge Pub and ended with a rally in City Market, sponsored by Lonerider, which gave out free beer . The rally, held in conjunction with a visit from MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott, was part of an effort to make Raleigh stand out among the dozen other cities across the nation—including Charlotte—vying for a MLS franchise. North Carolina FC...

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 1:09 PM

At a press conference and in a press release this morning, North Carolina FC—formerly the Carolina Railhawks—announced that, as part of their bid to join Major League Soccer, they had partnered with megadeveloper John Kane (think North Hills, Warehouse District) to plot out this rendering of a mixed-use stadium, which they’d like to place on a thirteen-acre parcel on the north end of downtown Raleigh. The parcel is state-owned, underdeveloped, and would, according to a Facebook post from Wake County Commissioner John Burns, go about where the outline is below. From the press conference, while it’s still early days, it...

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Farmworkers Blast Governor Cooper for Signing a Bill They Say Hurts Their Ability to Unionize

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:28 PM

Farmworkers were joined by other activists outside Raleigh’s Capitol building Tuesday to denounce a bill that they say threatens their ability to organize. Senate Bill 615, signed by Governor Cooper last Wednesday, makes it illegal for farmers to deduct voluntary union dues from their workers’ paychecks and also prohibits workers from reaching a legal settlement as part of a union agreement. Justin Flores, vice president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, says it’s a shameful attack on the union’s ability to raise funds and hobbles a proven strategy for farmworkers who are already earning very little in reaching agreements...

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trump More Corrupt Than Nixon, and Health Care Is a Disaster for the GOP, PPP Survey Finds

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:37 PM

It's been another blockbuster week for the GOP. After spending seven years slandering Barack Obama's signature health care law and pledging to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, Republicans woke up this morning to a harsh reality. Their signature promise to replace Obamacare failed abysmally, after four Senate Republicans defected—some because it was too draconian, others because it wasn't draconian enough. For now, at least, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's best efforts, it appears as though Obamacare is the law of the land. This, of course, comes in the wake of news that rocked the party last week, after...

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Meet the Small-Town Pastor Walking to DC from North Carolina to Protest Medicaid Cuts

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 6:39 PM

On an otherwise uneventful Sunday, fifty-one-year-old pastor James Brigman was preaching a sermon about Abraham and Isaac at his church in Rockingham when he heard a voice. Not just any voice, mind you, but God’s, with a simple message: practice what you preach. Brigman has a daughter with special medical needs, and he’d been thinking about the Senate's proposed health care plan, which could make drastic cuts to the Medicaid-funded program his family relies on. And so, less than a week after his epiphany and without any preparation, Brigman laced up his shoes and decided to walk the 356...

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Watch U.S. Representative David Price’s Staffers Rap About the Budget or Something

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:28 AM

Last night, Triangle congressman Price posted this to Facebook, with the note: “Appropriations season means late nights, but I am lucky to have the most talented staff on Capitol Hill. Here’s proof:” Judge for yourself. ...

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Barber Remains Banned from NCGA Visits Unless a Judge Permits

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 11:38 AM

The Reverend William J. Barber Jr. will remain barred from the General Assembly while a second-degree trespassing charge is pending, unless a judge authorizes his return, court records show. In a Wednesday hearing at the Wake County Justice Center, District Court Judge Michael J. Dennis upheld parts of a May 30 order that barred civil rights leader Barber, fifty-three, from the General Assembly. The ruling came after a hearing in which Barber and others asked that the conditions of their release—not returning to the legislative building—be modified. "Defendant shall not to return to the North Carolina Legislative Building for...

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do North Carolina's Members of Congress Have to Say About the Donald Trump Jr./Russia Revelations?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 6:22 PM

The Trump family made headlines once again this morning with a major revelation about Donald Trump Jr.’s dealings with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in exchange for dirt on Hillary Clinton. The details of the encounter, which were first published as an email exchange on Twitter by none other than Donald Trump Jr. himself, came after days of dogged reporting by The New York Times, which essentially backed Trump Jr. into a corner by claiming it was in possession of the emails. The bizarre exchange shows Trump Jr. agreeing to meet with a lawyer who was said to possess damaging information about...

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Primer: When Donny Met Vlad, How Wake Lost $600K, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:13 AM

Happy Friday, y’all. You know that relatively slow news week we’ve been having? Today found a way to make up for it. Before we jump in—and I’ll do my best to keep it snappy—I’d like to take one last chance to plug this week’s Primer sponsor, Inner Engineering, which will be hosting courses at the end of the month in Raleigh. Get more information here or by clicking on the ad below. —Jeffrey C. Billman 1. TRUMP MEETS PUTIN. THE GIST: Today, at the G-20 summit in Germany, President Trump and President Putin, who American intelligence officials believed helped...

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Primer: The DOJ’s Voting Purge + Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Thursday. Let’s get started. —Jeffrey C. Billman 1. THE DOJ ASKS STATES ABOUT COMPLIANCE WITH VOTING REGISTRATION ACT. THE GIST: It’s not as benign as it sounds. Last week—the same day President Trump’s voter fraud commission sent letters asking states for detailed information on every voter on their rolls—the U.S. Department of Justice sent letters to all forty-four states covered by the 1993 National Voting Registration Act, including North Carolina, asking about their compliance with a section of the law that specifies when voters can be kicked off the voting rolls. Money quote: “These two letters,...

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

After Raleigh Approves Its Own Brunch Bill, You Can Now Booze at Ten on Sunday Morning

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 5:48 PM

Raleigh's brunch people will be able order up a Bloody Mary, a full-bodied Malbec, or even (woah!) a Miller Lite two hours earlier with the city council's approval Wednesday of its own Brunch Bill, made possible by a change in state law. Senate Bill 155, signed by Governor Cooper June 30, made a host of changes to state liquor laws, notably allowing cities and counties to set a ten a.m. starting time for Sunday sales of the drinks their ABC licenses allow. The ordinance was made effective immediately, meaning that affected restaurants no longer have to wait until noon to...

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Primer: NoKo Nukes, Hog Waste, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Hey, everyone. Hope you had a wonderful Fourth. Holidays tend to be slow news days, and this one was no exception, particularly on the local front. But I do have a few items to get through this morning, including the increasingly messy North Korea situation. So, without further ado, let’s get into it. —Jeffrey C. Billman. 1. TRUMP HAS NO GOOD OPTIONS WITH NORTH KOREA. THE GIST: Remember in January, when President Trump pledged that North Korea would never be able to develop a missile capable of reaching the U.S.? As The New York Times notes, “there were two things...

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Primer: While Trump Tweets, the EPA Chief Plots an Assault on Climate Science, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 9:33 AM

Hey, everyone. Given that this Monday is sandwiched between a weekend and a holiday and many of you are off, I’ll try to keep this roundup short and sweet. One caveat: for logistical reasons, I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, as opposed to early Monday morning, so if anything important breaks overnight and it’s not here, that’s why. Also, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to this week’s sponsor, Inner Engineering, a four-day course designed to give you the tools to create your life the way you want it. Classes are held in Raleigh on July 27–30. Click here...

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Primer: Late-Night Lawmaking, Donald Gets on the Twitter Machine, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 9:07 AM

Hey, y’all. Happy Friday, and happy holiday weekend. Let’s do this. —Jeffrey C. Billman 1. LATE-NIGHT LEGISLATING ON JONES STREET. THE GIST: Late last night—technically, early this morning—the General Assembly wrapped up its long session. Here’s a quick rundown of some things that passed at the eleventh hour. Expanded gambling: Assuming Governor Cooper signs the bill, restaurants and bars will now be able to host nonprofit fundraisers that feature both games of chance and alcohol, though they’d need a permit and would be limited in how many of these events they could host a year. In addition, business and trade...

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Brunch Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 9:01 AM

A bill that would allow Sunday morning alcohol sales and let distilleries sell more of their products directly to customers is headed to the desk of Governor Cooper. Senate Bill 155, or as it's better known, "the brunch bill," passed the Senate 37–9 late Wednesday night. Before it can take effect, the bill must be signed by the governor and local governments must opt in to the Sunday sales provision by passing an ordinance. The bill would allow restaurants and stores to begin selling alcohol at ten a.m., two hours earlier than under North Carolina's blue law. SB 155, among...

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Primer: N.C. Republicans Want to Impeach Elaine Marshall, Because Why Not, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 8:54 AM

Howdy everyone. How’s Thursday treating you? We’ve got a bunch of state news to plow through, with the legislature about to wrap up its work for the year. So let’s get to it. —Jeffrey C. Billman 1. N.C. REPUBLICANS WANT TO IMPEACH ELAINE MARSHALL. THE GIST: Republican Representative Chris Millis—he’ll make another appearance in item 3, if you want to skip ahead—does not like Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who had the audacity to win reelection in November. So yesterday, he introduced a resolution requesting an investigation of Marshall to see if she should impeached, the first time a...

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Primer: The Senate Health Care Bill Stalls, Problems in N.C. Hog Country, and Other Things You Need to Know Today

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 9:38 AM

Morning, everyone, and a happy Wednesday to you. My apologies for this arriving later than usual. True story: one of the dogs managed to let the cat outside, which kickstarted a chain of events that no doubt appeared rather comical to everyone who wasn’t the cat or me. Anyway, everyone is safe and secure inside now, so away we go. —Jeffrey C. Billman 1. THE SENATE DELAYS ITS HEALTH CARE BILL. THE GIST: Following a devastating CBO score Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided he didn’t have the votes after all. At least, not yet. Yesterday afternoon, Republican leaders...

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Primer: Senate Health Bill CBO Score—Fatal Blow or Flesh Wound?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 10:08 AM

Hey, y’all. There’s A TON of news today, and, as ever, I’ll move through it as expeditiously as possible. First, though, a teaser: later this afternoon, the INDY is going to drop part one of what will be a three-part series on North Carolina’s pork industry and its effect on the state’s environment and hog farms’ eastern North Carolina neighbors. Reporters Erica Hellerstein and Ken Fine have been working on this project for months. It’s deeply reported and a very (in my estimation) important read. Keep an eye out for it. Anyway, let’s begin. 1. CBO SAYS 22M WILL LOSE...

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Over Accusations of Gerrymandering, Republicans Introduce Bill to Redraw Judicial Maps

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 6:05 AM

A controversial and last-ditch effort to overhaul the state’s judicial maps before the legislative session ends generated fierce debate at a committee hearing Monday, but passed and is headed to the House floor for debate. The Republican proposal, sponsored by Representative Justin Burr of Stanly, would fundamentally alter the state’s existing judicial districts by redrawing prosecutorial districts as well as district and superior court lines—an effort critics say is a transparent attempt to stack the bench with Republican judges and an attack on the judicial branch. They also expressed concern that the bill was drafted without consulting key stakeholders...

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Roy Cooper Vetoes GOP Budget, GOP Leaders Pledge Quick Override

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 12:37 PM

This morning, Governor Cooper announced he would veto the budget passed by Republicans in the General Assembly last week, citing concerns about education funding as well as tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. "This budget shortchanges our state at a time when we don’t have to," he said at a press conference. "Rather than matching the dreams and aspirations of our people, this budget is shortsighted and small-minded. It lacks the vision that our state demands at this pivotal time of growth and change." The proposed $23 billion  budget would raise teacher pay by an average of 3.3 percent and make...

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It's spelled "Zainab Baloch".

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I live in Durham NC. We have a large growth in the last 6 years. The city have really gotten …

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The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

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I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

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It's spelled "Zainab Baloch".

by jason0x21 on Baldwin Bows Out of Raleigh At-large Race; All Council Candidates Have Opposition (News)

I live in Durham NC. We have a large growth in the last 6 years. The city have really gotten …

by Margaret Houston on Section 8 Voucher Holders Are Having a Hard Time Finding Housing in Durham (News)

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