Setting the Record Straight

Setting the Record Straight

Setting the Record Straight

Holding the unemployed hostage

GOP budget ploy is as cynical as it gets A new standard for gall, chutzpah, brazen cynicism – whatever you want to call it, the latest act by Republican leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly hits a ...
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Setting the Record Straight

Right vs. far right

Competing budget proposals don’t offer much of a choice As most people are well-aware, Governor Beverly Perdue released her proposed state budget this week. Responses from the state policy world have been mixed. Democrats were, not surprisingly, broadly ...
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Setting the Record Straight

An open letter to newly elected conservative lawmakers

Don't let myths and ideology control your actions

Dear Friends:

Now that the campaign is over and you are about to take over the levers of power in North Carolina government, there are a few things that some of us in the progressive movement would ask you to consider - about our state, about the budget and the public services and structures it funds and about the nature of our concerns.

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Setting the Record Straight

A dirty baker’s dozen

Thirteen things to fear if the far right takes over the N.C. General Assembly in 2011

During the month of October, NC Policy Watch released a series of special reports that detailed some of the policy initiatives that are likely to gain traction in the North Carolina General Assembly if ideologues on the far right assume significant power in 2011. This edition of Setting the record straight provides a brief summary of each of those reports along with easy-to-follow links that will connect the reader with the original reports.

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Setting the Record Straight

Turning back the clock on progress

How women and immigrants are likely to fare under a right-wing General Assembly

"Freedom": It's one of the great ironies ("lies"? injustices"?) of modern American politics that this word is so often appropriated by the far right. Think about it. How often have you heard one of the spokespeople for a far right think tank or political candidate describe his or her work as "pro-freedom" or as promoting a "pro-freedom agenda." One local right-wing group has even dubbed its local organizing groups "Freedom Clubs."

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Setting the Record Straight

Bulls in the china shop

The Wake School Board majority continues to leave a trail of destruction

In urging caution in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell once famously counseled President Bush to remember the "Pottery Barn Rule": "You break it, you own it." Bush, of course, ultimately ignored the warning and, as the cost and casualty figures make painfully clear, Powell's forecast came true in spades.

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Setting the Record Straight

Saying “no” to fear and hate

Nine years ago this weekend, a cabal of insane criminals carried out one of the most horrific acts in recent world history. Now, as we commemorate yet another anniversary of the tragedy, people all over the world - Americans in particular - are remembering and trying to make sense of the horror that occurred on that awful Tuesday morning. ...
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Setting the Record Straight

Phony allegations of class warfare

The right wing's latest courageous defense of the super-rich

Self-deception is a universal human phenomenon. Everyone is capable of convincing him or herself that the world's problems are all someone else's handiwork and that he or she has been doing everything and more to make the world a better place.

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Setting the Record Straight

Conservative self-deception

Exploring and debunking the latest arguments in support of school re-segregation

You've got to hand to some of the folks on the modern far right: their capacity for manipulating facts and statistics to the point of self-deception is often quite impressive. Take, for instance, two of the loudest voices in the debate over the move to re-segregate the Wake County public schools: school board member John Tedesco and the Raleigh News & Observer columnist, Rick Martinez.

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Setting the Record Straight

Urban myth as campaign talking point?

N.C. congressional candidate tells a whopper

American politicians of all ideological persuasions have been spouting misleading statements, half-truths and bald-faced lies since the beginning of the Republic. We've also always had our share of plain old kooks running for office. Remember Lyndon LaRouche?

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Setting the Record Straight

Undermining a lynchpin of success

New Wake County Board of Education plans jeopardize magnet school grants

Here's a topic that hasn't received the attention it deserves in the ongoing battle over the future of the Wake County public school system: magnet schools. This is surprising since, in many ways, the accomplishments and prevalence of Wake County's magnet schools have been synonymous with the system's national reputation as a beacon of progress and success.

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Setting the Record Straight

A history lesson on our public schools

One of the most common problems for those involved in contentious policy debates is a lack of historical perspective. For those with little or no memory of the events that led up to present-day controversies, it's often difficult to see the forest for the trees. ...
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Setting the Record Straight

The myth of “liberal” corruption

The connection between prominent political leaders and the causes they stand for (or, at least, the causes they come to be associated with) is often very strong in the minds of the members of the general public. Sometimes, it's as if the political leader and the stands he or she takes are indistinguishable. It's hard to think of New Deal, for instance, without thinking of Franklin Roosevelt (and vice versa). For those who champion a particular cause, however, these kinds of automatic connections are frequently a two-edged sword. ...
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Wanted: “Lifeline” for conservative lawmakers

Fifth grader sought to act as resource and provide basic science lessons. Good grammar and spelling a plus.

Are you smarter than (or at least as smart as) a fifth grader? If so, you probably know the difference between "weather" and "climate." In case, however, you find yourself having a senior moment and wouldn't mind a little refresher, here's a brief one courtesy of good ol' Webster's New World College Dictionary:

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Wanted: A little courage when it comes to crime and punishment

North Carolina's hypocritical approach to criminal sentencing continues to produce bad results

Few things are more irresistible to a politician contemplating reelection than a good old "get tough on crime" bill. Whatever your political party or constituency, there's something intoxicating about having one's name attached to a new law that "cracks down" on a particular class of criminal offenders. It's almost like pulling a string in front of a cat: Shop such an idea around the legislature and chances are that you'll have a dozen lawmakers begging to be your champion.

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Setting the Record Straight

The harvest of shame continues

And most of the N.C. congressional delegation doesn't appear to give a damn

Forty-nine years ago this month - the time in which most Americans gorge themselves on the fruits of the nation's incredible agricultural bounty - legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow hosted one of the most acclaimed documentaries in the history of television. The program was entitled "Harvest of Shame" and it explored the largely hidden scandal of American agriculture: the treatment of the nation's farmworkers.

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