N&O launches Morning Memo

This is the kind of stuff they’re going to have to do if they want to have a paywall.
It’s a lot like Politico’s Huddle and Playbook and, yes, it’s got birthdays and births.
Via Under the Dome folks:

***Welcome to the new DOME MORNING MEMO. This daily feature will serve as a tipsheet for the day in North Carolina politics — previewing the next day’s big story, breaking news that drives the political agenda and reviewing the latest dispatches from the state’s political scribes. Consider it a nod to Dome’s favorite D.C. morning briefings from the likes of Politico, NBC and TPM. It’s an evolving product, so send tips, ideas, thoughts or even a better name to dome@newsobserver.com. And thanks for reading. ***

What’s wrong with DC?

Just got another fundraising letter that pitched the battle as National-Us versus National Thems.
Sorry, not really in the mood. Kinda thinking local. Just me and my 10 million homies and, you know, our civil rights.

Sometimes the popular posts on Politico reminds me of everything wrong with D.C.

McCrory and a yes vote?

It all seemed so easy a few months ago, but now, with the sentiment turning, not so much now.
Pat McCrory appears to be hedging his bet on Amendment One.
Politco quotes the Char-O after noting in a piece headlined North Carolina GOP gubernatorial hopeful laying low on marriage law:

Emily and I wrote the other day about the growing divide between the GOP base and some of its most prominent donors on gay marriage as national voter opinions are now split about even, and this Charlotte Observer piece about the North Carolina gubernatorial race underscores just how much the voter sentiment has moved on the issue, even in a Southern state

Tolerance in Durham

One notable aspect of the Daily Beast MLK feature naming Durham the country’s most tolerant city is the photo they chose to use for the illustration.
That’s Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis. How the civil rights organizer and the former KKK leader developed “An Unlikely Friendship” is an interesting story that helps illustrate the transition of race relations in Durham in the 1970s and 80s. Local filmmaker Diane Bloom captured it in a documentary a few years back.
The sad coda to the story is in this piece for the Indy by Mosi Secret.
Here’s Ann about that time talking to NPR.

I’m glad that Durham was named a place of tolerance, but as I’ve said many times the top ten (or 20 or 50) list is one my least favorite forms of cheap journalism. It’s made even worse because people paid to be boosters of the top places fuss over them way too much.
Here’s the criteria the Daily Beast used:

To find out, we first limited the cities under consideration to those with a population greater than 250,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. From there, we considered three major categories:

– The number of reported hate crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010, according to the FBI, (weighted 25 percent).

– State-wide statistics on the scope of anti-discrimination laws, attitudes regarding same-sex marriage, according to projections by Columbia University professors, and religious tolerance, based on a Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life survey (weighted 25 percent).

– And the diversity of the urban population in terms of race, according to the Census; the number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households, based on research by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute at UCLA; and religion, according to the most recent statistics on adherents from the Association of Religion Data Archives (weighted 50 percent).

That’s a start, but it hardly captures the full reality. Is Durham a tolerant city in terms of how health care is distributed, percent of children in poverty or supporting ailing, elderly civil rights heroes?

And there’s a glaring omission in the data. The description of each city doesn’t break out Hispanic populations, something that would have been interesting and informative in Durham’s case since the city is fairly evenly divided between black, white and brown.

Nice to be at the top of a list, but let’s be real about it.

File under Just Making It Up

This Bernstein post kind of reminds me of why that fact check discussion started by the NYT ombud pissed me off.
There’s just so much of this misinformation around it probably would be inhumane to ask reporters to run down everything.
But somebody needs to.

Gov Romney is singing from the same playbook as Rep Paul Ryan along with a litany of conservatives whose goal for years has been for the Federal gov’t to shed the responsibility for Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), low-income housing, and so on. Once you “block grant” these functions to the states, it’s easier to cut them. And remember, this is from a candidate (and the same is true for the House R’s budget) that wants to cut taxes deeply for the richest households.