Updated 9:30 a.m. yesterday
A tourist, right, discovers that the Statue of Liberty is closed due to the government shutdown, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in New York. President Donald Trump’s budget director is holding out hope that feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress can reach a short-term spending agreement before the start of the workweek Monday, but he worries that the government shutdown could last for several more days if progress remains elusive. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 — A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis — government shutdown, women marching, confederate monuments and more.
MARK LANDER: Open, Closed or Something in Between: What a Shutdown Looks Like(New York Times analysis) — A North Carolina National Guard infantry battalion called off a training exercise that had been planned for a year. Flu samples from around the country will no longer be collected and tested. A skeleton staff of workers at the Internal Revenue Service girded themselves to answer a deluge of questions about the new tax law. The vast machinery of the federal government began grinding to a halt on Saturday morning, hours after the Senate failed to reach a funding deal. But like an aircraft carrier after its propellers stop turning, much of the bureaucracy will stay in motion for a while, and some essential services, like the armed forces, the post office and entitlement programs, will not stop working at all.
Shutdown cancels North Carolina National Guard training (AP news analysis) — The federal government shutdown has scuttled plans for a National Guard training exercise at Fort Bragg and created uncertainty for the Army base’s civilian employees and local businesses.
PAUL WOOLVERTON: Fayetteville businesses shudder with federal shutdown (Fayetteville Observer analysis) — Cut off of cash could have severe effects in Fayetteville-Fort Bragg region if it’s not resolved soon.
JEANETTE PIPPIN: Government shutdown raises local concerns (Jacksonville Daily News) — News of a federal government shutdown wasn’t well-received locally as residents wait to see how it will impact jobs and services. Edith Wampler of Hubert has a family full of military affiliated, including a son retired from Marine Corps, a daughter who served in the Navy and a grandson now serving in the Air Force. News of the shutdown was disappointing.
ANDREW KREIGBAUM: What Government Shutdown Means for Higher Ed (Inside Higher Ed analysis) — Student aid won’t face immediate impact, but civil rights investigations are likely to halt. Research agencies are unlikely to review and act on grant proposals.
MARGARET MOFFETT: Walker says he’ll give up congressional salary during shutdown (Greensboro News & Record analysis) — U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R-Greensboro) says he’ll forgo his salary while the government is shut down. Walker posted a message on his website Sunday, saying he told a U.S. House administrative officer not to pay him during the shutdown.
WOMEN ON THE MARCH
HANNAH WEBSTER: Thousands rally for second Women’s March on Raleigh one year since Trump inauguration (WRAL-TV analysis) — On the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Donald Trump, between 5,000 and 10,000 people gathered in Raleigh’s Halifax Mall to build support for a liberal-leaning agenda on issues such as women’s rights, reproductive rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights and environmental issues
ANN DOSS HELMS & LAVENDRICK SMITH: Thousands at Women’s March in Charlotte: ‘Fired up, ready to go’ (Charlotte Observer analysis) — Thousands rallied and marched through uptown Charlotte for the city’s second annual Women’s March.
JENNY DRABBLE: Thousands march, protest at Winston-Salem Women’s March (Winston-Salem Journal analysis) — Under a clear blue sky, thousands of Triad residents painted downtown Winston-Salem in a river of pink hats, a symbol of their united effort to demand change.
SCOTT SEXTON: Voices lifted, but will they be drowned out by money? (Winston-Salem Journal column) — The response to a simple request raised on a hand-painted sign really depends on who’s listening. Hear Our Voice. Certainly the thousands of women and men who flooded downtown Winston-Salem on Saturday afternoon will. They came out on the one-year anniversary of a national Women’s March on Washington. for a follow-up of sorts.
ADAM WAGNER: Wilmington women demand to be heard at 2nd annual march (Wilmington Star-News analysis) — Event drew nearly 1,000 people according to police estimates
ALEXANDRIA BORDAS: Asheville Women’s March looks to inspire: ‘We must take the reins of power’ (Asheville Citizen-Times analysis) — The Asheville march started Saturday morning at Memorial Stadium, where about 3,000 people gathered on the turf field to listen to speakers before walking to Vance Monument. Hundreds of pink beanies altered to have cat ears could be seen bobbing through the crowd and many of the marchers sported bright pink T-shirts with slogans like, "We the People." Ralliers displayed colorful signs supporting an array of causes — Planned Parenthood, climate change, net neutrality, anti-Trump, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), immigration rights, health care, the #metoo movement and, of course, women’s rights.
Protesters in Hillsborough denounce Trump, back DACA, support women’s issues (Durham Herald-Sun analysis) — More than 500 people athered on the front Lawn of the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough Saturday to express their displeasure with the Trump Administration at a women’s rally late Saturday afternoon.
AMANDA DOLASINSKI: Women march downtown: “We need to continue to be strong" (Fayetteville Observer) — Waving signs and chanting together, women marched in downtown Fayetteville in support of equality and against sexual assault and harassment on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
VERA HALLER, MARK GUARINO & BRADY DENNIS: Clad in pink and vowing to vote, activists around the globe flood streets for another Women’s March (Washington Post analysis) — Before the sun rose on Saturday over a Washington gripped by gridlock, pink hats and poster-board signs already were emerging around the world. The second iteration of the Women’s March began in cities such as Rome, where crowds raucously rallied on a clear, sunny morning.
Women’s March 2018: Thousands of Protesters Take to the Streets (New York Times analysis) — A year after millions of people turned out for the Women’s March and took to the streets en masse to protest President Trump’s inauguration, demonstrators gathered on Saturday in cities across the United States, galvanized by their disdain for Mr. Trump and his administration’s policies.
SUSAN CHIRA: The Women’s March Became a Movement. What’s Next? (New York Times analysis) — A year ago, when millions of people stormed the streets in women’s marches to proclaim their outrage and despair at the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, no one knew whether it was a moment or a movement. Now the answer is coming into focus. Women have become the foot soldiers and emerging leaders of a two-pronged effort: sustained political resistance to the Trump presidency, as they run for office in unheard-of numbers; and a broader cultural challenge to men’s power and privilege, embodied by the #MeToo uprising.
LAURA KING, ANDREA CASTILLO & NINA AGRAWAL: At Women’s Marches nationwide, setting sights on the ballot box and hailing #MeToo (LA Times) — In a boisterous coast-to-coast outpouring, hundreds of thousands of marchers in dozens of cities staged a reprise of last year’s massive Women’s March, seeking to not only deliver a powerful rebuke to the policies of President Trump, but also mount a crucial mobilization for this year’s midterm election. “Because of you, the revolution is rolling!" actress Natalie Portman told marchers in downtown Los Angeles, drawing — like many speakers in the #MeToo movement — on the drive to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, a galvanizing force at many of the rallies.
POLICY & POLITICS
SETH THOMAS GULLEDGE: Worker remains in sanctuary church; says U.S. offered better life (Greenville Daily Reflector analysis) — As the debate over immigration reform rages , Samuel Oliver-Bruno spends the entirety of his days inside a Durham church. If he so much as walks outside, he may never see the United States again. Bruno, 46, a resident of Greenville since 1994, has been in the country on a work order since 2014. But when he visited Immigration and Customs Enforcement in October to renew his paperwork, agents told him they would not renew it and he had to leave the country. Instead, Bruno sought out the help of a couple former pastors, who are now members of the CityWell United Methodist Church in Durham, which was preparing its facilities to give sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation.
Committee examines Confederate monument relocation request (AP news analysis) — A group of academic historians, preservationists and business people are meeting for the first time to evaluate the request by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration to remove three Confederate monuments from North Carolina’s old Capitol grounds.
CELIA RIVENBARK: Hate Fox News? CNN? Don’t sweat it (Wilmington Star-News column) — Life Time Fitness, which operates 128 fitness centers in the U.S. and Canada, recently announced it is eliminating cable network news stations from its TV screens, claiming the networks’ “politically charged content" was unhealthy for its clients. From now on, the overhead TVs will only offer USA, A&E, Discovery, ESPN, HGTV and a few local stations.
JOHN RAILEY: ‘The Post’ and McCain set the bar high (Winston-Salem Journal column) — Thinking about the movie “The Post" while walking my dog Wednesday night in the supposed innocence of that deep and powdery snow brought to mind the old quote widely attributed to the actress Tallulah Bankhead: “I’m as pure as the driven slush." It was a good night to be a dog-loving, snow-loving newspaperman, a break from the dark slush of lies that will keep coming. It was a good night because that Wednesday morning, U.S. Sen. John McCain had busted out in The Washington Post with a column headlined “Mr. President, stop attacking the press."
MARGARET SULLIVAN: Once a pregnant teen, editor takes on new challenge: Saving local news in her home town (Washington Post column) — Robyn Tomlin remembers, all too well, the high school teacher who tried to persuade her to drop out of school. “She basically told me I didn’t belong there anymore," Tomlin said. Instead, Tomlin persevered and eventually crossed the stage, in 1989, to pick up her diploma.
TRAVIS FAIN: Court: Use our maps, not the GOP legislature’s, in 2018 General Assembly races (WRAL-TV analysis) — A victory for Democrats in one of North Carolina’s long-running redistricting battles, but another appeal likely to U.S. Supreme Court.
Take redistricting out of lawmakers’ hands (Rocky Mount Telegram) — It is well beyond time to take redistricting out of the hands of state legislators. The state legislative and congressional district boundaries first drawn in 2011 by Republican lawmakers and redrawn in 2016 after a successful court challenge remain under litigation today.
High court goes where legislators won’t – redistricting (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) – Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to clarify the legal requirements that govern redistricting, the process of drawing geographic boundaries to determine representation in federal and state government.
BRUCE CAIN: Drawing the line on redistricting (The American Interest column) — The most important changed contemporary condition is the conjunction of race, ideology and party. In the earlier period, there were more conservative Democrats (especially from the South) and liberal Republicans (especially from the Northeast), but the numbers of both have dwindled. The racial divide between the parties has also increased, which has important implications for the separate lines of reasoning the Court developed in recent decades for partisan and racial gerrymandering. … The Court found a manageable standard for determining the racial but not the political cases. The racial bias problem could draw on the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination, the Reconstruction Amendments and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was also easier to identify unfairness when a group is systematically excluded from power than it is to determine fair allocation of seats between two groups that regularly rotate in and out of power no matter the particular redistricting circumstances.
Words of warning from brave senators (Greensboro News & Record) — History will record that two Republican senators spoke up for American values in opposition to a president of their own party. It will ask where were all the others.
Let’s connect students with skilled jobs already here (Wilmington Star-News) — The tragic loss of Austin Wilson, an apprentice on the PBS television series “This Old House" and recent New Hanover High School graduate, prompted us to applaud him in this space for helping make young people aware of the opportunities in construction trades. He had honed his skills at the Wilmington nonprofit Kids Making It and was studying construction management at Cape Fear Community College.
MOLLY OSBORNE: Districts address teacher turnover by providing affordable housing (EdNC column) — Recruiting and retaining teachers are difficult tasks for many districts in N.C. While salary supplements are one solution, some districts are thinking outside the box for creative ways to recruit and retain talent. Housing market analyses and surveys revealed a lack of affordable housing. Five districts built apartment complexes for their teachers. For three of them — Asheville, Dare, and Buncombe County — teacher salaries have not kept pace with rising housing costs, leaving many teachers unable to afford housing.
RICK SELTZER: ‘Anemic’ state funding growth (Inside Higher Ed analysis) — States’ financial support for higher education grew only slightly between the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, with more than a third of states decreasing their funding and another dozen increasing it only slightly, according to an annual survey
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY
STEPHANIE CARSON: Money Grows on NC Wind Farms (Public News Service analysis) — Money may not grow on trees, but it does on wind farms in North Carolina. This month, the Amazon Wind Farm paid the two counties it calls home – Perquimans and Pasquotank – $640,000. The tax revenue makes the farm, powered by Avangrid Renewables, both counties’ largest taxpayer.
VAUGHN HAGERTY: Lawmakers: Chemours should pay for NC GenX efforts (Wilmington Star-News analysis) — Legal experts, though, are doubtful about options to obtain such funding
SEN. BEN CLARK: Keep politics out of our water supply (Fayetteville Observer column) — Protecting the safety of our drinking water should be a top priority for legislators. We cannot afford inaction on the threat that Gen X poses to the public. Regardless of your party affiliation, as legislators, we all have one primary job: to develop policies and pass laws that protect our community. To date, Republicans have failed to do their jobs.
GREG BARNES & MICHAEL FUTCH: Forced child labor allegations and a leader called ‘Daddy’ (Fayetteville Observer analysis) — A closer look at McCollum Ranch, a religious compound where authorities say children as young as 9 were forced to work in Fayetteville fish markets.
Our growing war against human trafficking (Fayetteville Observer) — At first glance, the statistic is mind-boggling: In the last fiscal year, there were 48 human trafficking cases filed in North Carolina courts. Twenty-seven of them were filed in Cumberland County. The next-closest number came from Pitt County, which saw four human trafficking cases in its courtrooms. How could that be?
In the running for HQ2 (Fayetteville Observer) — That’s enough to quicken the pulse of the whole state: Amazon has Raleigh on its short list, a finalist for the opportunity to host Amazon’s second headquarters operation. That’s a huge deal. Amazon’s “HQ2" will create tens of thousands of new, high-paying jobs and invest billions of dollars in a new corporate campus. It would be a game-changer for even the biggest of cities.
East Point Prosthetics and Orthotics provides help to Ivory Coast (Kinston Free Press analysis) – Paul Sugg, founder of EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, along with his wife Emily founded the nonprofit EP Legacy Inc., On Friday, the nonprofit completed their mission of outfitting two shipping containers to send to Tanda on the Ivory Coast, Africa that will provide prosthetics to people without limbs.
WILLIAM DOUGLAS: N.C. player to skate for Korean hockey team at Winter Olympics (McClatchy D.C. Bureau) — Randi Griffin knew she was doing something unique when she left North Carolina to play ice hockey for South Korea’s national women’s hockey program. Griffin, a 29-year-old from Apex, N.C., is poised to be part of Olympic history as a member of a unified South and North Korea women’s hockey team that will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang.