Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Progressive Voices Top Story

Proposals to close the health insurance coverage gap should follow the data on what actually works

North Carolina’s dubious ranking of having the 10th highest rate of uninsured people in the nation continues to play out across the state in ways that challenge our collective well-being and community stability, even as it leads to worse health outcomes and diminished livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Two competing tax cut proposals symbolize the ideological debate in NC

There are a lot of important public policy issues right now in North Carolina on which right and left diverge in fundamental ways. Medicaid expansion and health care, reproductive freedom, gun violence, education spending, climate change and environmental protection, public transportation, voting rights, immigration policy: the list is a long one. If, however, one were forced to select a single debate that really captures the essence of the ideological divide...

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Original Commentary Top Story

Teachers to march again in Raleigh, but some lawmakers seem to be missing the message

We know Sen. Phil Berger, perhaps the most powerful lawmaker in North Carolina politics, can speak. If there’s a piece of legislation in the last five to ten years that advanced without the Big Berger’s caustic input, I can’t name it.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at taxes and who pays what in North Carolina

Today is Tax Day. It’s a day that many Americans have come to instinctively dread, but here are a couple of important facts worth remembering today: Number One: much as we all might wish it weren’t so, taxes and the widespread adherence to paying them are what sets our country apart...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Cynical, hypocritical, dangerous: Proposal to force cooperation with ICE is Trumpism at its worst

The nation is more than two years into its destructive dalliance with Trumpism, but new and toxic waves of regressive policy continue to ooze across the national landscape. For a recent and disturbing example in North Carolina, check out proposed legislation advanced by Republicans in the state House last week that would require all of the state’s 100 sheriff’s departments to act as an extension of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Flawed classroom supplies legislation is based on lawmaker’s false premise

Last Wednesday, Superintendent Mark Johnson was joined by important members of the House and Senate for what they promised would be “a major announcement regarding education in North Carolina.” While the hype for the announcement was major, the announcement itself was a dud. The “major announcement” was a plan to divert funding for classroom supplies from school districts to an app that would give every teacher $400 to spend on classroom supplies.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the destructive impact of work requirements and premiums for Medicaid recipients

Despite years of obstruction by Republican leaders in the General Assembly, North Carolina seems to be inching, ever so slowly, in the direction of expanding eligibility for Medicaid health insurance under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Cooper has made expansion a key component of his proposed state budget...

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Setting the Record Straight Top Story

Four initial takeaways from the Robin Hayes corruption case

This has been another remarkable week in North Carolina. Once again, a dark cloud of corruption has descended upon and enveloped the state’s politics as federal prosecutors unsealed an extraordinary grand jury indictment of one of the state’s best known politicians and a trio of well-heeled businessmen.

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Original Commentary Top Story

After sweeping order, an end to coal ash in NC? All bets are off.

North Carolina’s coal ash problem didn’t begin in February 2014, when a corrugated pipe at a Rockingham County Duke Energy facility vomited 39,000 tons of coal ash and about 27 million gallons of contaminated water into the Dan River. The documented dangers of the coal byproduct predated even a one billion gallon spill in Kingston, Tennessee, six years prior, a spill large enough to fill thousands of Olympic swimming pools.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

House Speaker needs to take action regarding lawmaker accused of domestic violence

By many of the usual political metrics, State Rep. Cody Henson ought to be an up and comer. Henson, a young (he was graduated from high school in 2010) Republican from western North Carolina is an ex-Marine with a winning smile. His biography on the website VoteSmart.org reports that he was an infantry machine gun team leader in the Marine Corps Reserve who then found work as a call center supervisor with a global marketing company.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Hidden history: How NC’s education system overlooks harsh realities of Natives past and present

In February, a stare-down between a Native American man beating a drum and a white teenager in a MAGA hat caused a national stir outside the Lincoln Memorial. Three years ago, President Trump began calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.”

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Original Commentary Top Story

On Medicaid expansion, John Kasich is unchained in North Carolina

John Kasich insists he’s a free man. Free from politics? Free from partisanship? Free from Trump? Certainly not free of ambition – the former Ohio governor all but acknowledged last week that he hasn’t ruled out another run for president.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Latest school testing proposals are emblematic of NC’s failed public ed policies

There’s an old adage – often attributed to Albert Einstein and/or Mark Twain – that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Neither Einstein nor Twain ever had occasion to review the effectiveness of North Carolina’s K-12 education policy, but it seems likely...

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