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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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Friday, February 9, 2018

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 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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Friday, February 2, 2018

The Three Things to Remember When Trump Talks DACA

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 9:11 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. Yesterday, both in a speech and on Twitter, Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the lack of action. Per the NYT: “President Trump turned up the pressure on Democrats on Thursday to come to an agreement with Republicans on protections for young undocumented immigrants, asserting that opposition leaders ‘talk a good game’ but cared more about politics than actually resolving the matter.” “Mr....

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The State of the Union Is Clapping for Itself

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 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. I’m sorry to say that I did not stay up to watch Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. I did this for two reasons: 1) yesterday was a long and trying day and the last thing I wanted to think about was politics; 2) I really didn’t care what Mango Mussolini had to say, as his words and his actions...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

GOP Steps Up Effort to Protect Trump, Discredit FBI

Posted By on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 9:18 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 series of breaking reports yesterday underscored how serious Robert Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice investigation is and indicated that the special counsel could be gunning for the top . There was news that Mueller wants to question President Trump about his former national security adviser, the disgraced Michael Flynn, and his fired FBI director, James Comey . Word came that he had already questioned...

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

GOP Claims That Fusion GPS’s Research into Trump-Russia Collusion Was a Hit Job Are Falling Apart

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 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. Last week, Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Charles Grassley made a criminal referral to the FBI, asking the feds to investigate former British spy Christoper Steele, who contracted with Fusion GPS to investigate the Trump camp’s ties to Russia in 2016. Also last week, the former journalists behind Fusion GPS asked the Senate to release the transcript of Fusion founder Glenn Simpson’s...

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

NCGA Republicans Want to Replace Judicial Elections With an Appointment System. Here Are Four Ways They Could Do That.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 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. Yesterday, we got our first look at what the General Assembly’s proposed reforms for the judiciary, changing an elected system to one in which judges are appointed. As The News & Observer reports: “There has been talk for months about a plan that could emerge from state lawmakers proposing to abandon the election of judges in North Carolina for an appointment process...

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Iranian Protests Are Turning Violent, and That Could Be a Big Deal

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 9:53 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. Over the last six days, demonstrators in Tehran and other Iranian cities have taken to the streets to protest economic and political conditions in the country. As The Washington Post reports, “The protests have been stunning in their ferocity and geographic reach, spreading to far-flung towns and cities that are strongholds of the middle and working classes.” As the protests grow, the...

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

NCGA Republicans Keep Screwing with the State’s Judiciary

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 9:14 AM

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Democratic Party sued the legislature over a law passed this year that will eliminate judicial primary elections in 2018 and then lower the threshold for candidates to win the general election in potentially crowded fields. This was part of a larger plan to first redraw legislative districts to favor Republican judges (which, the Republicans said, necessitated the elimination of primaries, to give them some time to hash out new districts) and eventually to end judicial elections in favor of legislative appointments altogether. And that’s where our story picked up yesterday, in a hearing of the...

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Woman’s Place Is in the North Carolina General Assembly

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 8:42 AM

Yesterday, North Carolina Democrats unveiled a slate of nine new candidates, including six women, for next year’s General Assembly elections. As Darren Jackson, the Dems’ House leader, said on Twitter: “It’s something we were seeing way before all the sexual harassment scandals started to break. After the 2016 election, a lot of women started turning out for events, indivisible groups, house parties. Many for the first time. Been seeing it for a year now.” Right now, just 26 percent of the Senate, and 25 percent of the House, is female. These candidates include: Sydney Batch, a Wake lawyer who will...

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Republican Power Plays at the Heart of N.C. Politics

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 8:45 AM

I’ve started working on the INDY’s Year in Review issue (due out December 27), and it’s occurred to me that one of the prevailing themes of 2017 is the aftermath of Republican efforts to consolidate their power after Governor Cooper defeated Pat McCrory last year. There’s the ongoing imbroglio with the elections board, as well as lawsuits challenging the legislature’s decisions to block Cooper from appointing Court of Appeals judges and members of the N.C. Industrial Commission. The legislature also stripped much of the control of the state’s schools from the State Board of Education, who are appointed by the...

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Friday, December 8, 2017

The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law

Posted By on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 8:55 AM

The N&O has an interesting piece this morning on a rising number of kids who are attending school without getting necessary vaccinations, thanks to a broad religious exemption. “The number of N.C. kindergarteners opting out of required childhood vaccinations on religious grounds more than doubled in the five school years from 2012 to 2016. And both public health officials and anti-vaccine advocates agree that the exemption is being claimed by parents whose true objection to the shots has nothing to do with faith.” The more unvaccinated kids are in a school, of course, the more likely there is to be...

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Analysis: Under GOP Tax Plan, Tens of Thousands of Triangle Residents Would Lose Health Care Coverage

Posted By on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 6:12 AM

Tens of thousands of Triangle residents could lose health coverage if the Senate's version of the tax bill passes, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. That's due to a provision in the GOP bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's much-loathed individual mandate, which requires everyone to purchase health insurance. The move would likely result in fewer sign-ups among young, healthy people and higher costs for people bound by health necessity to remain in the individual market. If the individual mandate is slashed, millions of Americans could lose insurance over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional...

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Study in Contrasts: Today, Democrats Will Likely Force Al Franken’s Resignation. The GOP, Meanwhile, Is Backing Roy Moore.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Yesterday, after yet another woman accused Senator Al Franken of harassment, the dam broke. Democrat after Democrat began demanding his resignation. By last night, Democrats were expecting him to do so today, though Franken’s office pushed back against claims that he’d reached a final decision. Still, it’s hard to see him carrying on without any support from his caucus, and the governor of Minnesota is ready to appoint his lieutenant governor—a woman—to Franken’s seat if he steps down. In North Carolina, Democratic legislative leaders Darren Jackson and Dan Blue both called for Franken’s resignation, though Governor Roy Cooper did not...

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Monday, December 4, 2017

What North Carolina’s Experience Tells Us About the Republican Tax Overhaul

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 9:25 AM

Deep in the night on Friday—actually, on Saturday morning—Senate Republicans narrowly passed its version of Trump’s tax bill, which was rushed to completion—Democrats complained that they didn’t see the five-hundred-page bill until an hour before voting started, and even then it literally had handwritten notes in the margins—with little in the way of hearings or testimony (but with a ton of lobbyist insight), and which will increase the deficit by $1.45 trillion even accounting for growth, according to the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper. Mitch McConnell, the most cynical man in modern political history, then told reporters with a straight face that...

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The End of the Internet As We Know It, Coming Next Month

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:42 AM

Last week, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, announced a plan to effectively end net neutrality, which prevents them from blocking access to web pages, slowing some connections, or prioritizing some content over others. In other words, big telecoms will, in theory, be able to alter their fee structures so that you have to pay more to access social media websites, and still more to get on Netflix, and still more if you want to game. More troublesome, though, is that some of these internet service providers are also in the content game, so they could prioritize their...

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At Least 85 Wells in North Carolina Have Been Contaminated by the Chemical GenX

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Before we dive in, some quick background if you haven’t been following this saga: In June, the North Carolina departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services began investigating the presence of a chemical compound called GenX in the Cape Fear River. A Chemours facility in Fayetteville produces the chemical for use in industrial processes. By August, the DEQ had ordered Chemours to stop discharging GenX and two other compounds into the river. Then, on September 5, the state ordered Chemours to stop releasing all fluorinated compounds into the river or face legal action and the suspension of its...

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Friday, November 10, 2017

In Alabama, a Bible-Thumping Bigot Gets His Comeuppance. Come Enjoy the Schadenfreude With Us.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 9:16 AM

This story is shocking, sure. But I didn’t find it altogether surprising. In case you missed it, yesterday The Washington Post released a bombshell report that, as a thirty-two-year-old prosecutor, Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore—a man best known for erecting a huge replica of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom—sexually molested a fourteen-year-old. Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore. It was early 1979...

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday: That Time When a Prescient INDY Writer Warned in 2004 That Donald Trump Was a Danger to the Republic

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 9:45 AM

Our copy editor, David Klein, stumbled upon this piece in the archives. Called “Apprentice to Greed,” the Front Porch entry by Erik Ose talks about now-president Donald Trump’s then-reality show, The Apprentice. “So it makes sense,” Ose writes, “that Trump's riding the wave of reality TV. He's an opportunist, and there's gold in them hills. Whether you're a Bachelorette or an Average Joe, a would-be Survivor or American Idol, there's a show out there for you. We're slowly entertaining ourselves to death, and reality TV is our current mind-numbing weapon of choice.” Amazingly, three of the four shows Ose mentions...

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Can North Carolina Democrats Duplicate the Virginia Tsunami in 2018?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 9:29 AM

When the results from Virginia started rolling in Tuesday night, local Democrats on my social media were elated—not just because it was finally something resembling a win, but because maybe they can replicate that wave in North Carolina next year, especially with new, fairer legislative districts apparently on the way. “North Carolina Democrats say the election results in and out of state show a rebuke of President Donald Trump and the divisive rhetoric that they say local Republicans employed in races across the state. Furthermore, they see reasons to believe they can gain influence in the state legislature by picking...

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Last Night’s Elections, in the Triangle and Beyond

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 8:48 AM

There are lots of election-related headlines to get through after a Democratic wave began to take shape Tuesday. We’ll start local, then talk about the national picture. ABOUT LAST NIGHT. THE GIST: Throughout the Triangle, elections turned out about how most observers expected. In Raleigh, Mayor Nancy McFarlane cruised to a fourth term. In Durham, Steve Schewel won the mayor’s seat easily. On the Durham City Council, all three candidates who finished first in the primary—DeDreana Freeman, Mark-Anthony Middleton, and Vernetta Alston—won, and none of those races were particularly close. In Chapel Hill, Pam Hemminger thumped a write-in candidate. Hongbin...

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

It’s Election Day in Raleigh and Durham. Here’s What You Should Know.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 9:03 AM

THE GIST: In Wake and Orange counties and the city of Durham, voters—if history is a guide, not all that many of them—will go to polls and chart the futures of their respective municipal governments. The marquee races are in Raleigh (mayor) and Durham (mayor, city council). In Raleigh, an increasingly vituperative campaign has culminated in challenger Charles Francis attacking Mayor Nancy McFarlane for overlooking the city’s poorest residents while the rest of Raleigh thrived, and McFarlane hitting Francis for speaking to the local Republican Party and taking money from antigay bigots. McFarlane outperformed Francis by twelve points in October...

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Raleigh Mayoral Candidates McFarlane, Francis Work to Score Points in Debate Leading to November 7 Runoff

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM

Like high-stakes gamblers in a pivotal game, Mayor Nancy McFarlane and challenger Charles Francis sat across from each other Friday and worked to make the most of the cards they were dealt. The mayoral candidates were playing the odds that they could reach voters in the Nov. 7 election with persuasive answers to questions posed by Spectrum News anchor Tim Boyum In a lightning round of sorts—the debate only lasted 30 minutes—three-term incumbent McFarlane pushed her experience in government and business, while Francis pledged to operate the city more efficiently and to take more vigorous steps to reach some of...

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thom Tillis: Trump Has Shown "More Respect for Our Troops in Nine Months" Than Obama Ever Did.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:02 AM

President Trump set off a firestorm earlier this week when he falsely claimed that Barack Obama never contacted the relatives of fallen soldiers. Since then, he has been dogged by revelations calling into question the sincerity of his relationship with Gold Star families. The mother of a soldier slain in June claimed the president disrespected the family in a condolence call, telling his widow her husband "knew what he was signing up for" and referring to him merely as "your guy." The story took a local turn yesterday, when the father of a soldier from Wake County, who was gunned...

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Police murdered MR. CLARK and got away with it. IT WON'T STOP UNTIL ALL DIRTY COPS ARE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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In the Montessori School of Raleigh Defendants' Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the 18 CVS 000702 case in Superior Court …

by Sam Harrison on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

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