by Danny Hooley
Time magazine reveals how the first joint campaign appearance of the president and his hopeful Democratic successor happens in North Carolina due to a change of plans, brought about by tragedy:
President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaign together on Tuesday for the first time this year. Meanwhile, Trump will hold a dueling event in North Carolina Tuesday: just hours after Clinton and Mr. Obama are in Charlotte, Trump will be rallying supporters in Raleigh.
Both presumptive nominees' presence in North Carolina says a lot about what an important place the state holds on the 2016 electoral map—and how crucial it could be to each side's strategy toward winning the White House in November.
Democrats see North Carolina as a prime place to expand into Republican territory against Donald Trump, building upon one of Obama's biggest triumphs in 2008 and his narrow loss four years ago.
The state's electorate has become more diverse since Obama's first presidential campaign. Women play an increasingly influential role in the state's politics, giving Clinton an opportunity to play up her potential to become the first woman to win the White House.
As for the orange toxic heap known as the presumptive Republican nominee, the best he could do the last time he came to North Carolina was to bring Richard Petty to the stage. Don't expect an A-list of Republican leaders to stand near Trump today, either.
And yes, we're sorry to report that the story has a North Carolina connection:
From The In a series of interviews with the Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration — a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s — is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers.
It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today because groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, N.C.
“Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.”
An environmental group is helping affected residents fight back:
Rene Miller recorded cell phone video that captured the problem: the farm across the street from her lifelong home in Warsaw, North Carolina is spraying hog waste, and the slightest breeze blows it into her yard and over her home and car.
"I want to sit out in the front porch today but I can't because of the spray," she said, adding how it's "disgusting" that she sometimes walks inside her home covered with a layer of moisture from the spray.:
Kinda makes that morning Sausage McGriddle seem a little less appetizing, doesn't it?
Environmental advocacy group Waterkeeper Alliance filed a complaint against DEQ alleging "environmental racism" by allowing farms to locate disproportionately near minority communities. The EPA is investigating the environmental justice claims and DEQ says it's cooperating.
"Nobody's trying to put this industry out of business, just out of the pollution business," said Rick Dove, who works for Waterkeeper Alliance.
In a statement, the North Carolina Pork Council called those claims "wildly exaggerated," adding "we strongly reject any charge that race plays any part in the location or operation of hog farms."
Rene Miller and more than 500 residents have filed civil suits against Smithfield's Pork Division, claiming the farms are making it impossible for them to enjoy their homes.