TODAY IN POLITICS: Gov. Pat McCrory will address the media for the first time since his inflammatory comments about higher education funding and liberal arts studies at a 10 a.m. press conference ostensibly about the state's Medicaid system. At the statehouse, House lawmakers will consider a controversial bill to curtail unemployment benefits while senators work on legislation to block the expansion of Medicaid under the federal healthcare law. In Washington, the confirmation hearings for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel begin as U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan faces pressure in recent TV ads to vote against.
OP-ED: McCRORY'S EDUCATION REMARKS BETRAY CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES: Political communications consultant and college lecturer Jonathan Riehl and former Reagan campaign official Scot Faulkner write in this morning's N&O: "With the governor’s star rising in the GOP, his comments no doubt were strategic. They also represent a total betrayal of conservative principle."
***This is the Dome Morning Memo -- a look at North Carolina politcs news and analysis. Click "Read More" for additional headlines and news.***