Original Commentary

Original Commentary

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The speech and academic freedom wars at UNC: A summary of lessons learned from the man at their epicenter

In “Lessons on political speech, academic freedom, and university governance from the new North Carolina” – an article in the most recent edition of the First Amendment Law Review, Prof. Gene Nichol of the University of North Carolina School of Law provides a detailed and fascinating account of the battles in which he and other faculty members have found themselves enmeshed in recent years as they have grappled with the regular interference of conservative politicians, advocacy groups and university officials.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Signs of hope amidst the horror

Cracks are forming in the NRA’s death grip on American politics At some point, it’s going to happen. At some point in the not-too-distant future, shifting attitudes in the American body politic will reach a tipping point and the death grip that the gun lobby has on our government will begin to ease and, perhaps, even collapse.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers complicate class size “fix” with partisan power grabs

As the General Assembly wraps up its weirdly timed and generally ill-conceived winter session, it would be nice to think that the grand dispute over class sizes in North Carolina’s public schools had been resolved in a way ...
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Taking cynicism to new levels

The General Assembly’s latest mashup legislation is an example of government at its worst In the complex world of modern politics, it’s easy to imagine scenarios in which difficult compromises must be made. Sometimes, the circumstances are such that there simply isn’t any way for elected leaders to proceed without making multiple accommodations to multiple parties.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Why we are calling on Congress to protect basic food assistance

Every day brings new reports that Congress is interested in further whittling away at the programs comprising the social safety net for low-income households, the disabled, and the elderly. One of the programs at risk is SNAP, formerly Food Stamps, a program that helps 1.5 million low-income North Carolinians buy essential groceries each month for themselves and their families.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Congress must act ASAP on two noncontroversial healthcare programs

When Congress finally passed a continuing resolution last month allowing the government to re-open, there was much rejoicing. In addition to agreeing that continuing basic government services is a good thing, lawmakers reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which provides critical funding for more than 10 million children nationwide. Unfortunately, CHIP was but one in a long list of “must do” items that, for one reason or another, was left undone.

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Darkness descends on the General Assembly

Stealth, secrecy, and laws crafted behind closed doors are now the norm at the state Legislative Building To their great and lasting credit, the people who run the Washington Post adopted a new motto last year as the Trump era dawned. The Post’s print and online mastheads began prominently featuring the phrase “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Report raises new questions about Amazon, economic development

Amazon jobs and cash incentives to bring those jobs to North Carolina may not be all they’re cracked up to be, according to a new report released today by the Economic Policy Institute.

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A rare chance to make trickledown economics work

Why regulators should order utilities and insurance companies to pass along their federal tax windfalls When Congress and the Trump administration enacted their massive tax cuts for profitable corporations and wealthy individuals at the end of 2017, they (and the corporate special interests behind the scheme) promised...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

National School Choice Week highlights movement’s lackluster track record in NC

This week is National School Choice Week. In North Carolina, the week’s main event was yesterday’s rally, attended by Superintendent Mark Johnson. But hopefully the week will also serve as an opportunity for reflection. The track record for North Carolina’s school choice programs – charter schools and voucher programs – has been lackluster. The movement could benefit from less cheerleading, and more reckoning with evidence.

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Bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake: Why work requirements for Medicaid do not represent a reasonable healthcare compromise

It’s one of the great and bitter ironies of our modern American policy debates that it is conservatives who are often the chief architects of the largest and least useful government bureaucracies. No, this is not intended as a dig at the military or our departments of transportation.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Now more than ever: Why we must fight for reproductive freedom

On the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States of America, many people may be wondering if the era of safe and legal abortion in our country is coming to an end. While the reality is that access to safe and legal abortion is actually out of reach for too many Americans, recent court cases have reaffirmed the fundamental right to access legal abortion care in this country. But political rhetoric, policy proposals and anti-abortion extremism at the state and federal levels have continued advance and enact unnecessary, dangerous, and ideologically-motivated roadblocks to a form of basic healthcare that one-in-four American women will access in their lifetimes.

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