Opinion: Art as Soul Food – A Tough Yet Essential Case to Make

… when most people think arts and humanities, it usually conjures something a little snooty, out of reach and not at all essential. Cue video of the Broadway “Hamilton” cast, with the approval of audience members who have paid hundreds of dollars for a ticket, lecturing Vice President Mike Pence, and it certainly confirms a stereotype.

Truly, though, as someone who has sat in those orchestra seats — and that’s a show that needs no help surviving — the road there was paved with more than a few federal dollars.

 

Rex Tillerson’s Plan to Skip NATO, Visit Russia Puts Allies on Edge

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The State Department scrambled Tuesday to suggest new dates for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers after his plan to skip the annual gathering, but travel to Russia came to light. Tillerson’s decision to miss his first NATO meeting but visit Russia a week later plunged his department into damage control, frustrated allies and left analysts scratching their heads at an administration that once again is rubbing Europe the wrong way and raising questions about its commitment to its Western allies. WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary Curtis weighs in.

The GOP and White Evangelicals: A Forever Match?

Will a health care proposal that could toss “the least of these” off its rolls cause divisions between evangelicals uncomfortable with a close relationship with the Republican Party and those who feel just fine with the political association?

A shared anti-abortion stance, with the promise to appoint like-minded judges, has so far helped to keep the link between evangelicals and the GOP strong. But strains — along policy, generational, and racial lines — are showing within conservative faith groups, despite agreement on core beliefs.

 

President Trump’s Revised Travel Ban to Take Effect

President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Today, his executive action will be scrutinized in federal courtrooms across the country. In Maryland, a federal judge will hear arguments from the ACLU and others who want to stop the new directive. Hawaii’s lawsuit is heading to a U.S. court in Honolulu, while Washington state wants its own hearing before a federal judge in Seattle. Questions remain… What’s next? Why are states still suing? WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

 

The Heat: Journalist round table talks Wikileaks, THAAD, travel ban

China’s Two Sessions continue as the U.S. begins to install the controversial THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. Meanwhile, international outcry as WikiLeaks reveals CIA secrets and Trump’s travel ban makes its second appearance.

All these stories and more on The Heat’s weekly roundtable with a panel of journalists:

    • Qinduo Xu, political analyst for China Radio International
    • Nathan King, CGTN correspondent
    • Eduardo Cue, an international freelance journalist
    • Mary C. Curtis, a columnist for Roll Call

Vol. 1: Mary C. Curtis Writes Because the Problem is Not “Fake News”

Writing, today, seems different, especially when you write and report on issues of politics, culture, and race, as I do. Growing up, journalism as a profession had always felt a little sketchy to me—and not just because my mother thought doctor or lawyer seemed a lot surer a bet for an African-American girl raised in West Baltimore, trying to make something of herself. It was also because the job of observing the world to make sense of it seemed not to fit the description of “job” I grew up on.

We Need Robert Osborne to Tell Us This Is Only a Movie

Robert Osborne, why did you leave us when we need you most? The death this week of the Turner Classic Movies host only highlights, as political developments spiral from the unexpected to the unbelievable, that film may be the best outlet for explanation and escape.

‘A Day Without a Woman’

CHARLOTTE, NC– Timed to coincide with the U.N.-designated International Women’s Day, organizers hope today’s ‘A Day Without a Woman’ movement will help people realize the contributions women make to society.  They are asking women to take the day off from paid and unpaid work, not spend any money, and wear ‘red’; the color of solidarity.  In North Carolina, some school districts including Chapel Hill-Carborro canceled classes…but will there be a lasting effect? WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

What ‘Us Versus Them’ Looks Like Beyond America’s Borders

The problem is not “fake news.” It’s not enough news.

That point was made crystal clear during a trip this past week to South Africa, where a brief glance at the international programming on cable channels served as a corrective eye-opener. It was full of news and features barely glimpsed on many U.S. channels, and, in truth, they probably would not be ratings grabbers.

In the U.S., we are instead fed a diet of Beltway political intrigue and reports on the country’s partisan divide, with mere moments of in-depth reporting on what America can learn from other countries. In this narrative, “foreigners” are takers, not givers, and America has all the answers. We so often see “them” through the lens of “us.”

The NCAA / HB2 Deadline

CHARLOTTE, NC — The NCAA gave North Carolina until the end of February to repeal HB2 – or no games for six years. That deadline has passed and both sides are still at odds over what repeal would look like. WCCB Political Contributor Mary. C Curtis weighs in.