January 20, 2014
A Rising Economy Lifts Obama Going Into State of the Union Night
The most important number in our brand-new NBC/WSJ poll is this: 45% of Americans say they’re satisfied with the state of the economy — the highest number in 11 years (since Jan. 2004). Let us repeat: 11 years!!! In other words, it means the country, mentally, has exited the Great Recession. "For the first time, we have numbers that kind of bust out of the Great Recession Era," says NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R). And all of this is the political backdrop to President Obama’s State of the Union address at 9:00 pm ET. Read more here.
Republicans target Social Security disability
They say new limits will force Congress to fix the ailing program. Liberals see a ploy to weaken all of Social Security. Read more here.
State of the Union: Tax war
President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address Tuesday night to stake out a populist vision of tax reform and new middle-class benefits — and practically dare Republicans to say no. The message: Wage stagnation? Obama’s on it. And if Republicans say no — especially to catchy-sounding ideas like getting rid of the “trust fund loophole” — they can explain it to voters in 2016. Read more here.
Black jobless rate heads to single-digits
WASHINGTON – After three consecutive months of the economy adding more than 25,000 jobs, the black unemployment rate could dip below 10 percent by mid-2015 if current trends continue, says Valerie Wilson, an economist and director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy at Economic Policy Institute. Read more here.
Vote expected on abortion bill in Congress this week
Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. All 10 members of North Carolina’s Republican congressional delegation support the bill, according to the North Carolina Values Coalition. Read more here.
MLK prayer breakfast in Charlotte: Still work to be done
Decades after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched for change, much of his dream for America remains unrealized, the former president of the NAACP said Monday at a Charlotte prayer breakfast marking the national holiday honoring the late civil-rights leader. Read more here.
Big Changes Ahead for North Carolina Taxpayers
The Statue of Liberty’s sign is spinning and that means only one thing, tax season is officially here. Experts are gearing up for the big rush, but they’re also preparing for change. Read more here.
Another editorial criticizes Ross firing
The tone is very measured, but the basic message of this morning’s editorial in the Wilmington Star News echoes the the negative reviews that have been appearing over the last few days to the UNC Board of Governors’ decision to fire President Tom Ross. Read more here.
Charlotte woman to be guest at Obama’s State of the Union address
A Charlotte woman who purchased health insurance under the Affordable Care Act so that she could be treated for a brain tumor will be a guest Tuesday at President Obama’s State of the Union address. Astrid Muhammad, who lives in the University City area, will join first lady Michelle Obama in her box, along with other invited guests. Read more here.
Raleigh Council to make choice on Airbnb
Should Raleigh’s residents be allowed to rent out their houses online? Well, they already do – but the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday will decide whether to more broadly legalize Airbnb and similar online services. Read more here.
Gay leader presented Charlotte MLK award as community celebrates King holiday and legacy
A longtime African-American and LGBT community leader was honored Monday morning with the city’s annual award named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jermaine Nakia Lee is thought to be the first openly gay person to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Medallion Award, presented to locals who exemplify the ideals of King. The award was presented this morning during the city’s and McCrorey Family YMCA’s annual MLK Holiday Prayer Breakfast at the Charlotte Convention Center. Read more here.