Archives for June 2018

Opinion: Trump May Have American Carnage, but Biden Has American Corny

You know the lights may be dimming on the American experiment when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resurrects an abbreviated Bible passage that slaveholders once used to justify selling children away from parents to justify separating children from parents on America’s Southern border and then parses the difference between his “zero tolerance” plans and Nazi tactics — as a defense. Leaving aside that using any interpretation of the Bible (or the Koran or any holy book) in setting government policy slides awfully close to a theocracy, this is strong stuff.

And don’t forget the 2018 version of the Pips — Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen — singing backup to their official and unofficial leader on immigration, with special guest Corey Lewandowski adding his signature mocking “womp, womp” refrain.

Under pressure and mindful of the optics, if not the empathy gap, the president on Wednesday said he would use an executive order to end his administration’s family separation policy. But the hallmark of U.S. leadership remains government by grievance and division, driven by a belief that certain human beings are not quite human and do not even merit the tiniest bit of concern.

Can Washington Advance Policies that Secure the Border Humanely?

The images of children behind chain-link walls and audio of children crying for parents have touched hearts around the country and the world. Administrations and legislators of both parties have struggled with uncertain and unsettled immigration policy. But since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “zero-tolerance” this year, Trump administration policy has separated children from parents on our Southern border as their asylum cases work their way through the legal system.

Opinion: Supreme Court Resurrects the ‘Purge,’ and McConnell Saw It Coming

It was a brilliant and, opponents would say, devious move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Stall, obstruct and block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court replacement for the late Antonin Scalia.

That pick, Judge Merrick Garland, once a thoroughly acceptable and moderate choice to many Republicans, never had a chance in a ramped-up partisan atmosphere. Instead, the next president, Donald Trump, appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch, with immediate and long-lasting repercussions, this week reaching into the voting booth.

By a 5-4 vote in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the conservatives on the court reaffirmed an Ohio law an appeals court had rejected as being a violation of the National Voter Registration Act, which says states cannot purge voters for failing to vote but can figure out how to remove those who have moved or died from the list. The state — a crucial battleground — has a particularly stringent test, using failure to vote in a single federal election cycle as the trigger to start the process.

Singapore Summit: Was It a First Step to Peace?

CHARLOTTE, NC — As promised, the June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took place in Singapore, with flags of both countries, the red carpet and a much-photographed handshake. Dennis Rodman even showed up, giving the occasion a reality-show air.

But what was accomplished and what happens next?

Opinion: Don’t Expect to See Bill Clinton Campaigning for Hopeful Democrats

In the Wednesday morning quarterbacking after Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, one criticism was that she had not employed that consummate politician former President Bill Clinton enough in her campaign, to speak to “the people” he could connect with and she could not.

But for all the mistakes the Clinton 2016 campaign operation and the candidate herself made — and there were plenty — sidelining Bill was not one of them.

Education or Segregation? Fight Over HB 514

CHARLOTTE, NC — It’s called House Bill 514, steadily working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly, and if passed, it could change North Carolina’s education landscape in historic ways. What is at stake?

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: State Budget On Fast Track; Panthers Respond To NFL Policy

On the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup…

Budget season is well underway. We’ve already discussed city and countybudget on Charlotte Talks. And now on Monday, the proposed state budget was released, and is on the fast track in the legislature.

The budget has many educational components. We’ll discuss teacher and principal pay… and the $200,000 set aside for a non-profit that gives money to classroom teachers- and why that’s turning heads.

We’ll discuss the status of the house bill that would allow area towns to create their own charters and budget talk that concerns the I-77 toll lanes under construction in Northern Mecklenburg.

We delve into the response of Carolina Panthers players to the new NFL Anthem Policy and about the conversation new Panthers’ owner David Tepper had with the team about the NFL owners meeting last week.

City Council has endorsed a plan to increase pay for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers. The city has cut ties with a developer who has not delivered on affordable housing near the light rail. And Cardinal Health is back in the news, as the former CEO files yet another lawsuit.

Guest host Erik Spanberg from the Charlotte Business Journal and our roundtable of reporters go through these stories and more on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher of Q City Metro 

Ann Doss Helms, reporter for the Charlotte Observer 

Nick OchsnerWBTV news reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB