Jessica Holmes and the Wake Commissioners

Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes

The new Wake County Board of Commissioners were sworn in last night and got to the business of picking its chair and vice-chair positions. Sig Hutchinson got unanimous support for Wake Chair while Matt Calabria won a split vote for vice-chair over Jessica Holmes. Jessica, apparently caught up in the moment, then announced she was resigning from the board.

This was a real shame and a shocker. Jessica has pushed some awesome initiatives during her two years on the board and her energy and enthusiasm made you want to cheer for her. Fortunately for all of us, she rescinded her resignation today and will continue to serve.
Contine reading

Raleigh quietly pulled the plug on Camp Ranoca. Why?

We met Kelly’s family at a Virginia state park for our new “Cabin Thanksgiving” tradition. Standing around the campfire Friday night, we were close to exhausting our measly repertoire of camp songs when Hallie and Travis giddily led the others through several zany camp songs they had picked up from their summers at Raleigh’s Camp Ranoca. Anything that gets both of my kids to happily cooperate gets my attention and it was obvious they both looked back fondly on their Camp Ranoca experiences.

Hallie was greatly looking forward to the chance to be a camp counselor this summer at Camp Ranoca. She is excellent with kids and loves the camp experience. Goofiness runs in the family (if you couldn’t tell). She would’ve been great. I was probably as crushed as she was when we found out at the beginning of the year that Raleigh had quietly discontinued Camp Ranoca.
Contine reading

Jon Stewart on President-elect Trump, hypocrisy in America – YouTube

After Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show” last summer, much of the presidential campaign went on without his unique and satirical point of view. Charlie Rose met with Stewart to discuss his new book about the more than 16 years he spent at the Comedy Central program. Stewart was quick to give his post-election analysis.

Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

However well-intentioned, this talk assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a “normal” politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one.

More dangerously, Clinton’s and Obama’s very civil passages, which ended in applause lines, seemed to close off alternative responses to his minority victory. (It was hard not to be reminded of Neville Chamberlain’s statement, that “We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.”) Both Clinton’s and Obama’s phrases about the peaceful transfer of power concealed the omission of a call to action. The protesters who took to the streets of New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities on Wednesday night did so not because of Clinton’s speech but in spite of it. One of the falsehoods in the Clinton speech was the implied equivalency between civil resistance and insurgency. This is an autocrat’s favorite con, the explanation for the violent suppression of peaceful protests the world over.

Source: Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

The Right Way to Resist Trump –

Five years ago, I warned about the risk of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Most people laughed. They thought it inconceivable.

I was not particularly prescient; I come from Italy, and I had already seen this movie, starring Silvio Berlusconi, who led the Italian government as prime minister for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011. I knew how it could unfold.

Now that Mr. Trump has been elected president, the Berlusconi parallel could offer an important lesson in how to avoid transforming a razor-thin victory into a two-decade affair. If you think presidential term limits and Mr. Trump’s age could save the country from that fate, think again. His tenure could easily turn into a Trump dynasty.

Source: The Right Way to Resist Trump –

Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening? | New Republic

President Barack Obama’s remarks about Donald Trump in his Monday press conference contained some of the most ominous words I’ve heard since news networks began calling the election for Trump early last Wednesday morning. But you may not have heard them.

It is an understatement to say that Obama’s departure from the White House is occurring under unusual circumstances. He is managing a transition to the presidency of someone he believes is unfit for that office, who has empowered racist hate groups, wants to undo the Obama presidency, and shouldn’t be entrusted with nuclear weapons.
In a tense environment where reporters, government workers, world leaders, and anxious citizens and immigrants understandably are scrutinizing every Donald Trump tweet and utterance and leak, Obama’s closing thoughts on the presidency and his successor will be given short shrift. But the things he says about the transition contain critical information about its progress and his confidence that, on the other side of it, things will run smoothly.

His Monday comments suggests he has very little confidence that they will.

Source: Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening? | New Republic

The Role of Rural Resentment in Trump’s Victory – CityLab

Donald Trump’s victory in Wisconsin last week marked the first time a Republican presidential candidate has won there since 1984. The seemingly massive political shift that took place in this Midwestern U.S. state on Election Day, particularly in its rural counties, has since been thrust into the national spotlight.

In trying to better understand what happened in Wisconsin, and for that matter in the outcome of the election nationwide, one of the first people I wanted to speak with was Kathy Cramer. For almost a decade, the political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been inserting herself into the casual political conversations of smaller rural communities in her state—listening, asking questions, and ultimately identifying the common threads she’s been able to uncover.

Source: The Role of Rural Resentment in Trump’s Victory – CityLab