Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Logo for NC Policy Watch series "The Path Forward - North Carolina's 2017 Political Landscape"
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Hopeful signs for the path forward

Trump lights a fire under the American progressive movement; you can keep up and help

Well, this is it. The week that a sizable majority of Americans have been dreading is here and, come Friday at high noon, a morally bankrupt and utterly unqualified snake oil salesman will occupy the office of Washington, Lincoln, the Roosevelts and Obama.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday words (from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane. (March 25, 1966)

There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether [she or] he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer…. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum and livable income for every American family. ( “Where Do We Go From Here?” 1967)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies

More misinformation about GOP power grab

The Right continues its push for a post fact world in Raleigh. Example number one this week would be Senator Andrew Brock.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Cooper’s correcting a colossal blunder on Medicaid, not making one

The folks on the Right are apoplectic these days that Governor Roy Cooper thinks it’s a good idea to follow the lead of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Kasich and 28 other governors and expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage to 500,000 people in North Carolina and help local hospitals while creating thousands of jobs in the process.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Will the GOP really sentence thousands of Americans to early deaths?

The stunning impact that repeal of Obamacare would produce

At the dawn of the Trump era in American politics, it’s important for caring and thinking people to guard against the use of hyperbole and alarmist rhetoric and to avoid making too many “the sky is falling pronouncements.” As was noted in this space last November, there are plenty of reasons to think that some of the worst components of Trumpism can be blunted or even defeated with a little luck and a lot of hard work. And, as North Carolinians have learned during six years of aggressive right-wing rule, the conservative movement is often a fractious, divided and mistake-prone crusade that is fully capable of committing absurd and self-destructive blunders. It can and will be defeated in the months and years ahead.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

5---number of days since Governor Roy Cooper announced that he was pushing ahead with plans to expand Medicaid in North Carolina to create jobs, help hospitals and provide health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of people who are currently uninsured (“Gov. Roy Cooper wants to expand Medicaid; Republicans vow to fight, News & Observer, January 4, 2017)

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

North Carolina’s school voucher program: an accountability and transparency wish list for 2017

A common refrain I hear in the course of my reporting and writing about school vouchers — a program that is set to take a large bite out of our public coffers in North Carolina in the months and years ahead — is that at the end of the day, it’s the parents who should be the enforcers of accountability for this publicly funded effort to shift state money into private schools.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

There’s finally a grownup in Raleigh

We are only a few days into the New Year but two starkly different political styles are already on display in Raleigh.

Newly elected Governor Roy Cooper is beginning his term by methodically announcing his choices for cabinet posts after calling Republican legislative leaders to inform them of his decisions. And they are good ones.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

One heck of a year: A final lookback at 2016

As we watched the egregiously unqualified Donald Trump campaign for and win election to the White House, any good news on the government and politics front was likely to be obscured amid concerns about what Trump’s ascent could ...
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Roy Cooper’s promising start

The new governor projects an image of competence, confidence, candor and a willingness to fight

It’s been less than 72 hours since the administration of North Carolina’s 75th governor got underway this past weekend when Roy Cooper took the oath of office just after midnight on New Year’s morning. Under normal circumstances, one wouldn’t expect any particularly noteworthy actions from the new chief executive for several days, or perhaps even weeks. Such a situation would seem especially likely (and excusable) for Cooper – someone who wasn’t even officially declared the winner in the November election until the onset of the Christmas holidays. Four years ago, one got the distinct impression at times that Pat McCrory was still figuring out his way around Raleigh several weeks after taking office.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers: The disastrous planned repeal of the ACA

1---number of weeks until the Republican majority in Congress plans to vote for a budget blueprint that will call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Job No. 1 for a New Congress? Undoing Obama’s Health Law, New York Times, December 31, 2016) 4---number of weeks until a House committee is expected to act on legislation to carry out the blueprint that will include repeal of both the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid under the health care law (Ibid)

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Bad news, good news in end-of-year conflict in Raleigh

There have been a lot of missives in recent weeks by people from North Carolina warning their fellow Americans about what it is they're about to endure under the coming era of right-wing rule in Washington. The basis for these warnings, of course, is the damage that’s been inflicted on the state since ideological conservatives took control of state government. The list is a long and sobering one and it includes, among many other things:

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