Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Meaningless or dangerous? Hunting and fishing constitutional amendment raises huge questions

The highest profile public policy debate in North Carolina in the summer of 2018 revolves around the controversial decision of state legislative leaders to place a package of six constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Just yesterday, all five living former governors of the state...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New national poll: Consumers overwhelmingly reject Trump’s financial industry deregulation

A decade ago, the entire nation suffered through a financial crisis that led to the brink of a global financial collapse. While Wall Street reckoned with its risky practices, America’s families suffered lost wealth of nearly $2 trillion, half of it coming from communities of color who were targeted for high-cost and unsustainable mortgages. Now a new poll finds that even with the passage of a decade, consumers still support financial regulation and related enforcement.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

How things got to where they are: The November ballot power grab explained

The drive by Republicans who control the General Assembly to enhance their already formidable power, often at the expense of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, has been relentless. Why is this a problem? Because legislative power for the past several years has been used to further an agenda in which the needs and concerns of many ordinary North Carolinians, so far as government might be able to address them, scarcely matter.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Attention Chinese capitalists: Clean up your North Carolina hog farms

The issue of international trade – particularly with the world’s largest nation, China – has been much in the news of late. In Washington, the Trump administration continues to pursue a controversial trade war with China that it claims will bolster the U.S. economy, but which many analysts of varying ideological stripes view as distinctly unhelpful.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the final sobering numbers from the 2019 state budget

The source for this week's Monday Numbers is the latest special report from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center: "2019 Budget Fails to Effectively Address N.C.’s Existing and Emerging Needs: North Carolina can afford to invest in our communities as they grow and change if policymakers reject tax cuts."

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

What Donald Trump will never understand about journalism

More than a decade ago, a man who identified himself as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans told me in a crudely-written email that I should leave the South—my home for nearly my entire life—after I authored a critical column on “Silent Sam,” UNC-Chapel Hill’s Confederate statue and perennial controversy.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

When the future of the country is at stake, civility may have to suffer for a while

There’s been a lot of talk in various circles of late lamenting the demise of “civility” on the American political landscape and the degrees of rancor and hostility that are so regularly on display. According to this narrative, “polarization” and the growing dearth of “centrists” are at the root of the problem.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

It’s past time for North Carolina to make rape kit testing a priority

About 30 years ago, my sweet, elderly aunt for whom I was named was brutally beaten and raped in the country church where I was baptized and where five generations of my ancestors are buried. She had gone there on a Saturday morning to practice the organ selections for the next day.

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Original Commentary Top Story

North Carolina lawmakers remind us yet again why they’ve earned our distrust

Forgive us if it’s difficult to stomach General Assembly leaders’ attempt to cast themselves as avenging heroes in this scenario, rather than anti-democratic bilkers. Spare us the Batman and Robin act, jokers.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Kavanaugh nomination reminds us that religion and politics can be a toxic mix

God is dead. Well, almost. We know that God is on life support because recent polls say so. He, She or it has been around a long time, always, theologians say. But the number of people who believe that is rapidly diminishing.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Expect anything different?

The lawless leaders of the General Assembly prepare to do once again the thing they do best It’s always tempting to open each and every commentary about the North Carolina General Assembly in 2018 with that most ubiquitous of modern pop culture phrases: “You can’t make this s(tuff) up.”

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

A constitutional amendment worth celebrating (and enforcing)

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, a landmark to be celebrated July 28 by the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. In recalling the amendment’s essential role in enabling the “new birth of freedom” Lincoln envisioned at Gettysburg, it’s worth remembering that its interpretation has not always lived up to its promise.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at the remarkable economic inequality that plagues North Carolina

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (“The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county”) shows that the level of income inequality in the United States and North Carolina has increased over the past several years to a point...

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