Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Sen. Phil Berger sidesteps an inconvenient truth about NC teacher pay

Despite having voted to expand the economics and personal finance curriculum in the state’s high schools, North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger fails to apply basic principles of these subjects when touting supposed accomplishments in teacher pay in his November 25 op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer, “Yes, Republican tax policies are working in North Carolina.”

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

After Republicans’ latest gerrymandering low, now is the time for your outrage

It may be difficult to say how you are feeling this morning, two mornings after a Superior Court panel — facing the impending launch of the 2020 election cycle — choked down another GOP-manipulated map for North Carolina congressional districts.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Eight errors and omissions of the 2019 legislative session

Well, that appears to be a wrap. The 2019 legislative session that commenced way back in January and dragged on in desultory fashion for months past its usual adjournment date finally petered out a couple of weeks back. Now, barring some new and unforeseen holiday season power grab – something that’s always a possibility for legislative leaders who maintain only a passing interest in quaint concepts like notice, public input and process – the honorables have absented themselves from the state capital until mid-January.

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Other Voices Top Story

The extreme danger in not holding Trump accountable for his actions

Donald J. Trump used the power of his office to blackmail a foreign ally into undermining a political foe here at home. Nothing in U.S history approaches that abuse of presidential power, yet the gravity of the charges apparently does not matter. The overwhelming evidence proving those charges – the sworn testimony, the emails and direct messages, the de facto public confessions by President Trump, his personal attorney and his acting chief of staff, explaining that yes, they did pressure Ukraine to produce political dirt – that too does not matter.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump and his allies: Channeling the true spirit of the original American Thanksgiving?

Americans, like the inhabitants of just about every country – especially the ones that find themselves having come out on top in a number of historical conflicts – have a penchant for rewriting history in a light that’s flattering to themselves. Wars tend to get sanitized of their brutality, disasters and horrific mistakes. Crass greed, materialism and acquisitiveness get recast as drive, ingenuity and the entrepreneurial spirit.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Trump administration: Poor immigrants need not apply

Carlos came to the U.S. looking to provide a safer and more financially stable environment for his family. Like thousands of others, Carlos crossed the border out of necessity. His wife, and one of his young daughters, joined ...
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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

A 1960s population control organization rebranded in 2002. Now it’s recruiting UNC students.

Organization does good work to promote reproductive freedom, but it should disclose and disavow its troubling past and connections. Population Connection is the largest grassroots population organization in the United States, with over 40,000 members. In 2018, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. When it was founded in 1968, however...

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

How NC’s broken politics made a disaster of Medicaid again

Tuesday’s inevitable announcement of a delay in North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation is an unqualified disaster. We will labor over who to blame. Republicans will castigate Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who vetoed the “mini-budget” funding transformation in August. 

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The GOP’s latest gerrymander ought to be the last straw for NC

Republican legislative majorities took yet another stab at enacting new congressional districts last week (the state constitution gives the Governor no veto authority in this realm) and, for those who didn’t dig below the surface, it would have been easy to get the misimpression from some reports that things had gone well.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Wallowing in the mire: The UNC Board of Governors hits another low

“The hymn in church yesterday,” Dan Gerlach, the embattled former ECU interim chancellor, tweeted Sunday. “‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well…’ And it will.” Whether you’re inclined ...
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Top Story Weekly Briefing

GOP swings and misses with pipeline attacks on Cooper

Back in the early 1990’s, the late and sorely missed Bob Hensley – a talented, feisty and frequently funny trial lawyer and Democratic state representative from Wake County – was engaged in a tense debate on the House floor with a Republican adversary when things suddenly turned personal. Having been cornered by Hensley’s formidable skills at debate, the GOP lawmaker lashed out and accused Hensley of being untruthful in some of his claims about the bill in question.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Teacher: 100 days in, Superintendent Mark Johnson still hasn’t turned over my public records request

Today marks 100 days since I filed an official request with the Department of Public Instruction to release records of communication related to NC Superintendent Mark Johnson’s Istation contract award. North Carolina public records law deems such records “property of the people,” and continued failure to furnish them may amount to a violation of state law.

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