Archives for September 2018

Brett Kavanaugh Isn’t Clarence Thomas, but It’s Still About Race

OPINION — Orrin G. Hatch, the Republican senator from Utah, is nothing if not consistent.

His words about distinguished lawyer and professor Anita Hill in 1991 — when she testified in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee on which he sat — were clear. He said there was “no question” in his mind that she was “coached” by special interest groups. “Her story’s too contrived. It’s so slick it doesn’t compute.” Hatch mused she may have cribbed some of her testimony from the novel “The Exorcist” — the horror!

And when considering current nominee Brett Kavanaugh — sitting, as Thomas was, on the verge of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court — Hatch had this to say about professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when she was 15 and he 17: “I think she’s mistaking something. But I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know her.”

Kavanaugh’s Accuser Wants FBI Investigation Before Testifying

CHARLOTTE, NC — The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault isn’t ready to testify just yet. Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team says their client won’t testify in a public hearing offered by Republicans unless the FBI first investigates her allegations. Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were at a high school party in the 80’s. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The allegations brought against Kavanaugh echo a similar incident in 1991, when Anita Hillaccused then SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and was called to publicly testify.

Midterms Show We’re Not Any Closer to a Post-Racial America

OPINION — Remember the time when Trent Lott got in a heap of trouble for remembering the time?

It was 2002, and the Senate Republican leader representing Mississippi was waxing nostalgic for what he considered the good old days at a 100th birthday celebration for South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond. Carried away by the moment — and in remarks that recalled similar words from 1980 — Lott said: “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

No surprise that those for whom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential run represented the bad old days objected. Segregation was the heart of the platform for Thurmond’s States’ Rights Democratic Party (a.k.a. the Dixiecrats).

Serena Williams cartoon controversy

Beverly O’Connor talks to journalist Mary Curtis about a now infamous cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams.

This Is Not Your Father’s Bible Belt. Can Dems Make It Theirs?

OPINION — There’s a series of striking images in a televised ad for Dan McCready, who is seeking to represent North Carolina’s reliably conservative 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It puts the candidate’s military record and faith front and center — not entirely surprising for someone vying for voters in a swath of the state that includes an affluent section of Charlotte, as well as parts of rural counties all the way to the Fayetteville area, with its strong military presence.

In the ad, McCready stands with his troops as an announcer states that after 9/11, he “was called to serve his country.” Then the scene shifts, and the narrative continues to describe the Marine Corps veteran as finding another calling when he was baptized “in the waters of the Euphrates River.”

He is the Democrat in the race.

Bob Woodward’s Bombshell Book on the Trump White House

CHARLOTTE, NC — Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear,’ the Long-Awaited Book on the Trump Presidency.  Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward has written books on every president since Richard Nixon. The latest, “Fear,” on Donald Trump’s administration has garnered the Watergate reporter headlines, again. In it, he quotes chief of staff John Kelly as saying, “We’re in Crazytown,” a statement Kelly has denied saying. The book joins others from Omarosa and Michael Wolff on the best-seller list. (Mary Curtis)

Is the Woodward book being taken more seriously, and why? WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: CMS Board vs. the Suburbs; NC Board of Elections Halts Ballots

On this edition of the local news roundup…

Redistricting is back in the news with a panel of federal judges ruling (again) that congressional districts in North Carolina are unconstitutional, having been drawn along partisan lines. Now, new districts need to be drawn quickly. Plus, the NC Board of Elections has halted preparation for ballots for the upcoming election. What will this mean for November?

School started for CMS this week, but the school board, rather than students, are making headlines- the CMS School Board passed a measure that blocks future school construction in area suburbs, after those suburbs have been authorized to create their own charter schools. We’ll hear what school board members said and responsefrom the communities.

Scooter safety concerns are mounting as rental scooter use is increasing in the Queen City and many of those using scooters aren’t doing so safely. We’ll talk about what city leaders are saying, including those predicting that these unsafe uses will eventually prove fatal.

President Trump visits the Queen City on Friday for a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidates. While here, he’ll sign an executive order regarding retirement security.

South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham remembers John McCain and we remember former Observer writer Doug Robarchek.

Those topics and more with Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Ann Doss Helms, reporter for the Charlotte Observer

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher of Q City Metro

Mary C Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB