Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

Top Story Weekly Briefing

North Carolina’s big government conservatives and the endless legislative session

It’s long been understood by those who pay attention to public policy debates that the age-old conservative talking point about the supposed evils of “big government” was always just that – a talking point more than a genuine belief. The truth of the matter is that American conservatives love government in a wide variety of circumstances.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

GOP moves ahead with voter ID while turning blind eye to evidence of genuine electoral fraud

At some point, you would think the embarrassment factor would kick in for North Carolina Republican leaders. Someday. Maybe. But not yet. For years, of course, the GOP has pushed restrictive voter ID proposals...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

What legislators should do this week (and what they’ll probably do instead)

The North Carolina General Assembly has returned to Raleigh this week for yet another convening. Contrary, however, to some previous erroneous references, this will not be—at least technically—a “special” session like the three that convened in July, August and October. Rather, lawmakers will merely reconvene the regular 2017-18 session that left off at the end of June. Of course, whatever formal label one attaches to this week’s proceedings is mostly a matter of semantics.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Judge “No”? Senate moves closer to confirming reactionary Jesse Helms disciple to the federal bench

If you’re looking for a hopeful sign about modern North Carolina, here’s a small one to buoy your spirits on a holiday week: Fewer and fewer North Carolinians have any idea who Jesse Helms was. The trend has been evident to me in recent years as I’ve traveled the state giving talks about policy and politics. Each time I bring up Helms’ name and the mostly toxic legacy he constructed during three decades in the U.S. Senate, I get a growing number of blank stares...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The next big battle in North Carolina politics is just days away

The 2018 election may finally be in the rear view mirror, but for better or worse, the next battle over the state’s future will commence very soon – on Tuesday, November 27. That’s the day that Republican legislative leaders will convene the latest of their endless stream of “special” legislative sessions.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Today is just one small step in the effort to rescue our country

You’ve seen the headlines and no doubt received hundreds (thousands?) of action alerts from well-meaning groups and individuals informing you that the 2018 election is the most important in recent American history.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The 2018 election: Fear on trial

It would be an understatement to say that a lot of very different issues and individuals will impact the outcome of the 2018 election that climaxes next Tuesday. Here in North Carolina, there are more than 200 different congressional, legislative and judicial races, multiple local bond proposals and, of course, a slate of six controversial constitutional amendments to be decided.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump’s irresponsible tax policies: Tillis defends, state constitutional amendment mimics

It’s one of the great ironies of modern American politics that it is so-called “conservatives” who have become the most ardent champions of what can only be described as hedonistic, live-for-today, instant gratification public policy. Think about it.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Lack of support for power-grabbing amendments speaks volumes

There are a lot of strange – even downright bizarre – aspects to the ongoing effort by North Carolina Republican legislators to pass a slate of six constitutional amendments during this fall’s election. There is, for instance, the absurd dearth of process...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Spare us the sanctimonious lecture, Senator Tillis

It would be bad enough if North Carolina’s junior senator, Thomas “Thom” Tillis, had merely voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court this past Saturday after hearing the heartrending testimony delivered by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. It was even worse that Tillis has attempted to justify his action...

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Whistling past the graveyard: Conservatives ignore Florence’s dire warnings for NC

If there’s been a single most maddening public narrative to accompany the hurricane disaster that has afflicted so much of North Carolina in recent weeks, it probably has to be the chipper, upbeat tone adopted by a number of conservative politicians and think tankers that Florence was, in effect, just “business as usual” for a state located on the nation’s southeast coast.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Tillis, Burr and other Kavanaugh supporters must cling to one or more of four very troubling beliefs

The sordid saga of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination to serve a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court is quickly careering toward some sort of very explosive and disturbing conclusion.

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Hurricane Florence: Another powerful reminder that we can stick together or sink separately

On June 6, 1944, the day of the great Allied Forces D-Day invasion of France, many historians agree that something unusual in the annals of war occurred on the beaches of Normandy. Despite a host of errors and setbacks – landing in the wrong places, being pinned down initially by murderous enemy fire...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The dirty half dozen: What you need to know about all six proposed constitutional amendments

The 2018 midterm elections are upon us and North Carolina voters will soon pass judgment on, among many other things, an unprecedented raft of six constitutional amendments. The proposals include:

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Ethics officials must take a close look at Superintendent Mark Johnson’s iPad purchase

If you missed it last week and care at all about the subject of ethics in government, please take a few minutes to read Policy Watch reporter Billy Ball’s investigative report on the recent $6 million iPad purchase that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson completed earlier this summer.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Desperate times for the Right lead to desperate measures in Washington and Raleigh

To say that these are extraordinary political times for our state and nation is to put things rather mildly. Across the country, open, high-level conversations about the President of the United States’ serial dishonesty and possible involvement in illegal – perhaps criminal – activity are as common as complaints about the infernal summer weather.

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