Other Voices

Other Voices

Progressive Voices Top Story

More than just a giveaway to the rich: GOP tax plan also endangers church-state separation, access to health care for millions

With Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House desperate to post a big legislative win, their push for so-called tax reform – the label being used to sugar-coat costly tax changes mostly benefiting profitable corporations and the wealthiest among us – has reached red-line intensity.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The radical Trumpcare scam hidden in the Senate tax reform bill

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit so that they can give corporations permanent tax breaks. And now Senate Republicans have decided to turn their already awful tax bill into a secret Trumpcare bill by including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Alamance County sheriff should not regain immigration enforcement powers

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson. Following a two-year investigation and interviews with more than 100 witnesses, DOJ amassed widespread evidence that the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) was systematically and unlawfully targeting Latino residents for investigation, traffic stops, arrests, seizures, and other enforcement actions.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Déjà vu: Another tax plan for the rich

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest households and corporations as a boon to everyday Americans – but North Carolinians, in particular, should recognize this canard. We have heard it before in defense of state-level tax changes that have yet to pan out and that each day cause us to miss opportunities to boost our communities’ well-being.

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Other Voices Top Story

Special report highlights Trump judicial nominee in NC who championed voter suppression

Editor’s note: A new report released this week by the Washington, DC-based Center for American Progress shines a new and disturbing light on some of the extreme federal court nominees submitted in recent months by President Trump. The report devotes special attention to Thomas Farr, Trump’s nominee to fill the decade-plus long vacancy on the federal bench in North Carolina’s Eastern District. As Policy Watch has reported previously, Farr’s nomination has drawn passionate opposition from the national civil rights community.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Playing political games with women’s lives

This past September 30th marked the 41st anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, an unjust rule passed by Congress in 1976 to impose an anti-abortion ideology on a group with little power to fight back – low-income women. Barring Medicaid recipients from using their federal health insurance to pay for abortion, except in very narrow cases, the Hyde Amendment and the underlying notion that “no tax money supports abortion” has been allowed to expand over time, unchecked for the harm it is doing in the lives of women.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

UNC: Still defending the right to discriminate against the trans community

After two years of being attacked by their very own state government, trans North Carolinians are moving closer to obtaining partial victory.

Recently, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein proposed a possible settlement to limit the harms of the state’s anti-transgender laws on trans and gender non-conforming people living in and visiting North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Dissecting the legislature’s effort to rig the state judiciary

To the Republicans who run the N.C. General Assembly, the concept of judicial independence – central to our bedrock American principle of checks and balances and to the rule of law – must seem as alien as the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people-eater of vintage Top 40 radio. Yes, it must be a strange concept indeed. Or as the old song remarks, “What a sight to see!” But in reality, it’s not strange at all. Consider this straightforward pronouncement in the state constitution: “The legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of the State government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other.”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Make no mistake: Trump decision spurred Blue Cross Blue Shield rate hike

President Trump is rarely right about much, but he was correct earlier this year when he observed that health care is complicated and that fixing it is hard. Sadly and ironically, however, these difficult truths are now conspiring to confuse some observers as they try to report on Trump’s recent efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and the rate hikes they have spurred for consumers.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Tillis among senators to vote on “repugnant” Trump judicial nominee today

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (which includes North Carolina’s Thom Tillis) meets today at 10:00 a.m. to consider a bevy of President Trump’s nominees to serve as federal judges and U.S. Attorneys. Each of the judicial nominees is being considered for a lifetime appointment. As was highlighted in a July issue of the NC Policy Watch “Weekly Briefing,” none of the nominees on this list has received more negative national attention than Thomas Farr, who was nominated to fill a long-vacant slot on the U.S. District Court for the North Carolina’s Eastern District.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

As Congress slashes the federal budget by $5 trillion, North Carolina stands to lose big

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America, because they demonstrate just how much we value our priorities and are willing to contribute to achieving them.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Las Vegas aftermath: Responding to the gun lobby’s assault on freedom and liberty

There are lots of reasons for people to get off of the sidelines and commit themselves to new and sustained action and activism in the aftermath of the gun violence horror in Las Vegas.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New report highlights General Assembly’s failed record on higher education

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a nonpartisan organization that provides independent data and policy recommendations to its 16 member states in the southeast, has published new state-specific data on college affordability that paint a damning picture of the General Assembly’s record. The report shows that both cost of attendance and student loan debt have risen dramatically from 2008 to 2014. These increases disproportionately create barriers to economic advancement for students of color and students from low-income families.

North Carolina’s constitution places a very important responsibility on the General Assembly. State leaders are required to provide higher education for free “as far as practicable.” Article IX, Section 9 reads:

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Gerrymandering is only the latest attack on North Carolina’s courts

The framers of the U.S. Constitution designed a system that helps insulate federal judges from political pressure. Federal judges are appointed and can only be removed by impeachment. Congress cannot even reduce their salaries. This gives judges the freedom to protect individual rights, even when their decisions might be unpopular with voters or politicians.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Why NC schools must get our kids moving

As a pediatrician, it is my job to advocate for the health of our children. It is also my job to promote and advocate for evidence-based programs and policies that work. That is why I believe so strongly that we must require high-quality, regular physical education in our North Carolina schools. There are three very clear benefits of physical education for our state’s youth.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Why this pro-business advocate supports raising the minimum wage

When I began exercising regularly, I had a decision to make. Was I going to keep buying inexpensive sneakers and suffer through foot pain and high-cost medical care, or invest in a more expensive shoe that protects my feet and last longer? After wasting a lot of time and money on low-cost shoes, I finally got wise and chose the latter. Albeit small in comparison, my dilemma is similar to a more significant issue that many businesses face when considering whether to support raising the minimum wage.

In fact, the benefits for businesses of raising the minimum wage far outweigh the costs.

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