Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Top Story Weekly Briefing

The freedom for which they fought

Yesterday – the 75th Memorial Day since the end of World War II (and the first in more than century to take place during a global health pandemic) – seems like an apt point on the calendar to reflect for a moment on the question what it was that the Allies fought and died for in the battle against fascism. If you agree that the obvious answer to that question is “freedom,” then perhaps it also makes sense to take a few more minutes to reflect upon what it is that we mean by that word.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Latest ‘scandal’ a reminder of the Obama we know and the one in Trump’s head

We’ve known for a long time that former President Barack Obama lives rent-free inside Donald Trump’s brain. From trying to tear down the Affordable Care Act to his bizarre and baseless accusation that the prior administration didn’t leave him the testing apparatus or counsel to prepare for the current COVID-19 pandemic...

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Other Voices Top Story

NC teacher: Pandemic provides a welcome opportunity to reimagine public education

Ask a public education advocate when our society began doubting and undervaluing public schools and you will get a different response depending on whom you ask. Some advocates say that public education in America began to change after the publication of the 1983 report, “A Nation at Risk,” which created a false perception that our public schools were failing children.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

“Not really essential … just expendable”: Advocates describe the people that rapid reopening puts in harm’s way

Mindy Bergeron-Lawrence seemed to be struggling with her emotions at times as she spoke into the computer that connected her to a national Zoom press conference. As she worked to maintain her composure, the host of the conference, Rev. William Barber, offered occasional words of comfort and encouragement to the New England fast food worker as she struggled to explain the reality she confronts every day as a 17-year McDonald’s restaurant veteran.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Making the 2020 election, safe, fair and efficient: Now is the time to act

Members of the North Carolina House and Senate, resolutely confronting the deadly and disastrous coronavirus pandemic, have offered up shining examples of just what friends are for. Friends are there to rescue you as you are about to commit a major blunder – a blunder betraying long-held principles and maybe even helping some people who aren’t campaign mega-donors. The House, taking its cue from Speaker Tim Moore, agreed it would be a good idea – at least while the virus continues to cut its swath...

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

We can’t keep living this way

There are a lot of ways to interpret the headline to this commentary. For some, the obvious allusion is to the current state of pandemic-driven semi-quarantine in which much of the world finds itself mired. For others, it might just as obviously apply to a pair of recent incidents in Raleigh in which groups of weapon-toting “demonstrators” terrorized the local citizenry by doing their best impressions of war zone militia thugs.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Trump order puts workers in meat and poultry processing, other essential industries in harm’s way

Frontline workers’ health and safety took another hit last week, after new Trump administration rules put meat and poultry processing workers at increased risk. This week COVID-19’s grim toll crossed 60,000 deaths. Over the past several weeks, the epidemic has ravaged workers in essential industries, from warehouses to grocery stores to meatpacking plants. Forced to work shoulder-to-shoulder without access to adequate, or in some cases, any protective gear, hand sanitizer, paid sick days, frontline workers across dozens of essential worksites are contracting and dying from COVID-19.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The politics of COVID-19: Everything is different, but nothing has really changed

Something truly strange and appealing happened in the world of policy and politics this past Saturday: North Carolina lawmakers of both major political parties came together to pass compromise COVID-19 relief legislation by overwhelming margins. Shortly thereafter, Gov. Cooper issued a statement in which he applauded lawmakers for acting so swiftly and collaboratively.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The pandemic and North Carolinians battling drug addiction

COVID-19 is making community alternatives to incarceration more important than ever before Much important attention is focusing on how the COVID-19 pandemic is gravely affecting people who are incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons, a crisis that is worsening daily. There are also very serious concerns about justice-involved people who are living in the community during the pandemic, and are at particularly high risk.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Former longtime AP reporter: Trump defamation suits pose a chilling prospect for the press

In the long and dubious history of nasty presidential politics, the anti-Trump attack ad that the pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA paid NBC affiliate WJFW-TV in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, to televise in America’s 134th largest market seemed tame enough. The 30-second spot uses rapid-fire audio snippets of Trump dismissing the seriousness of the nascent but fast-growing COVID-19 outbreak from late January through late March while an on-screen graph ticks increasingly upward as U.S. cases exponentially multiply. In one snippet, Trump appears to dismiss the virus as “a hoax.”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

While COVID-19 spreads, Trump and McConnell prioritize packing the courts

The United States joins the rest of the world in struggling through a public health emergency, the likes of which few alive have ever seen. Not since 1918 has a pandemic taxed our health care systems, and stressed our economies, in such extraordinary ways. One would expect key leaders such as the President of the United States and the Senate Majority leader to focus like a laser on protecting the American people. Yet, President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have decided to focus, instead, on packing our federal courts with dangerous and unqualified conservative ideologues.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Assistance for incarcerated people discharged during the pandemic: The humane and constitutional thing to do

As local, state and federal officials race to arrange for the discharge of sick, elderly and non-violent incarcerated persons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its swift spread through correctional institutions, a big question arises: must there be discharge plans for these men and women to help protect their health and that of the public? It’s been more than four decades since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that that the Constitution entitles people held inside jails and prison to necessary medical care.

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