Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Unbecoming of a judge: NC Supreme Court justice’s Trump-like comments go too far

It’s no secret that the United States has a significant and growing problem when it comes to the matter of selecting judges. This problem was on vivid public display in 2016, when the Republican majority of the United States Senate refused to consider a highly qualified presidential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court for nearly a full year on blatantly partisan grounds.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

The big scam: Why North Carolina should dump virtual charter schools

Linger long enough in Raleigh’s legislative lagoon and you’ll find there are three kinds of lawmakers: The pragmatists: Take a photo if you spy one of these. Theirs is an isolated, lonely caucus, and their agenda is a more nebulous sort. Find the logic, find the rationale for a proposal and you may have an ally here.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Republican legislative leaders could end the Common Cause gerrymandering lawsuit tomorrow

There’s an old adage in the law that’s often used to describe situations in which a judge jails someone for contempt of court. Because the jailed individual normally needs only to comply with the judge’s directive in order to be released, it’s said that they “have the keys to the jail cell door in their pocket.” Today in North Carolina, there is an analogous situation under way in state Superior Court

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday Numbers: Don’t be fooled by the raw numbers. ICE is seizing more undocumented immigrants without criminal records.

The right-wing wallflowers of The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, with an almost palpable sense of frustration, that President Trump’s promised weekend roundup of undocumented immigrants did not materialize.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Latest GOP trial balloons confirm Cooper has been right to keep pushing for Medicaid expansion

It’s going to happen eventually. It may not be right away and it may not look exactly like it ought to look at first, but at some point in the not-too-distant future, North Carolina is going to expand its Medicaid program.   The momentum to move forward is too strong and the arguments against doing so are just too weak. Consider the following:

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Will NC run with Supreme Court’s gerrymandering punt?

You have to wonder: What would U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. tell that proud North Carolina gerrymanderer David Lewis if they ever came face to face, just the two of them? OK, we can imagine the cynical answer. He’d tell his fellow conservative...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Dear Sen. Tillis: Eastern NC needs you to take action on the climate crisis

Throughout North Carolina, the start of summer means late-night barbecues, well-earned vacations from work and breaks from school. But as we know all too well, this time of year also marks the start of hurricane season. Last year, ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

Watching Trump hold forth on the Fourth? No thanks.

Here’s one set of eyes and ears that won’t be fastened on President Trump’s speech on July 4 at the Lincoln Memorial. The aural and visual blackout has nothing to do with politics or ideology, though Trump’s policies and politics are 18th Century leftovers, at best. Everything a president says, good, bad, even ungrammatical, is important to the nation and the world. Forget that he lies, misrepresents and dissembles.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

What else is in the mysterious Hofeller files? A few (satirical) ideas…

Between his work for Republican redistricting leaders in the N.C. General Assembly and the Trump administration, the late mapmaker Thomas Hofeller could have been privy to a veritable legion of party secrets, many of them none too flattering to our political leaders.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The border is here: Fear-based immigration policies are wreaking havoc in NC

As images of the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the U.S. southern border continue to horrify every person with a pulse and Trump administration policies fail to ameliorate the crisis in any way, North Carolina policymakers seem intent on bringing the crisis home. Last week, the state Senate approved House Bill 370, a proposal that would force sheriffs to comply with every “detainer” request...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The Lt. Governor is wrong; multiculturalism is our hope for the future

It comes as little surprise that the inhabitant of the second highest elected office in the state of North Carolina would stoop to engage in the kind of dog whistle talk that one would normally associate with white nationalists like Congressman Steve King and David Duke. After all, as Policy Watch has reported on multiple previous occasions, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers bring forth another bad budget for kids

House and Senate leaders released their compromise budget proposal Tuesday. With a few exceptions, the proposal fails to include important funding and policy changes, including Medicaid expansion, that are sorely needed to help children and families thrive in North Carolina.   Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re most concerned about:

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