Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Dire school bus driver shortage is emblematic of the GOP-authored crisis in our public schools

Zac Campbell paused suddenly and took a minute to gather himself, while colleagues shuffled toward him to touch his back in support. The emotion that can sometimes accompany the act of baring one’s soul in front of a phalanx of TV cameras, photographers, and notepad-bearing journalists on a controversial matter of public policy had briefly caught up with the veteran Wake County school bus driver.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

America dumbs down freedom, with disastrous consequences

Death and tragedy were front and center in the news again last week. In Winston-Salem, a young high school student was shot and killed by another child. Only a few hours later, tragedy was mercifully avoided at a Raleigh high school when two guns were taken from a student who had brought them to campus.

. ...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Who’s kidding who? Setting the record straight on the political ancestry of modern American racism

“Why do you pick on Republicans so much? Don’t you know it was the Democrats who were the authors of Jim Crow?” That's one the gripes frequently voiced by my conservative correspondents these days when I write about race and racism – especially when it comes to barbs directed at GOP leaders over racially-charged policy decisions like making it harder to vote, punishing protesters, or denying access to healthcare.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

State lawmaker’s take on climate change is sadly emblematic of a toxic worldview

It’s relatively rare that North Carolina lawmakers utter illuminating statements during committee discussions, but it happened last week at the Senate confirmation hearing for Governor Cooper’s latest nominee to head the Department of Environmental Quality, Elizabeth Biser. Paul Newton is a Republican senator from Cabarrus and Union Counties and during an exchange with Biser, he reiterated an argument that he and many others of the right have previously championed...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Several days late and billions of dollars short: Another untimely and inadequate budget takes shape at the General Assembly

The North Carolina House finally approved a proposed budget bill last week for the fiscal year that began six weeks ago. Now comes a period of negotiation with the Senate, which passed its version a few weeks before, and after that one hopes, some measure of legitimate give and take with Gov. Cooper.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Ideology, fear, and denial: the GOP and the state budget

By far the single most important legislation with which North Carolina elected leaders grapple each year is the state budget bill.  The budget details how the state will spend tens of billions of tax dollars on hundreds of core public services and structures and includes scores of other large and important changes to state law. Virtually all other priorities at the General Assembly pale in comparison.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The resistance to vaccines and masks: Decades of anti-government propaganda take their toll

“I just don’t trust the government.” That’s at the heart of the explanation provided by millions of Americans these days who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, or even to wear masks. While these doubters and deniers advance all manner of more specific rationales...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

It’s time to say ‘no’ to the massive tax conservatives are imposing on Americans

As P.T. Barnum is so famously credited with observing a century and half ago, Americans can be a surprisingly credulous people. Whether it’s a circus sideshow curiosity, a new cure-all elixir or a supposedly surefire “get rich” scheme, ours is a nation of hopeful people who like to believe...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Sowing death and destruction for political gain: the GOP and vaccine hostility

There have been many contributing factors to the disastrous scope and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States over the past year, but right now, tragically, misinformation and ignorance top the list. As NC Policy Watch investigative journalist Lynn Bonner reported last week, despite the rapid spread of the deadly and highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, millions of North Carolinians are still steering clear of vaccination...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

A flickering ray of hope for families in need

State rental assistance program stands poised to help thousands of tenants and landlords, but time is running short North Carolina has almost never done a good job of helping people who are down on their luck or simply ...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Modest medical marijuana bill comes up short, highlights the unfairness of NC’s healthcare system

State senators took a small, but positive step last week when they advanced Senate Bill 711 – a proposal to legalize medical cannabis/marijuana. As numerous witnesses – including military veterans struggling with PTSD and other service-related illnesses, as well as others battling the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Personal responsibility phonies: Conservative pols’ griping about baseball team’s dismissal is sadly emblematic

No modern politician ever got in trouble with their constituents by complaining about the way a hometown sports team was treated by officials. Especially in recent decades, griping about unpopular official rulings has become the default position for public figures looking to curry favor with voters.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The legislature’s secret energy bill: For our children and grandchildren, we simply must do better

In these divided, tumultuous and, occasionally, frightening times we inhabit, one powerful source of shared solace and hope for people of all identities and beliefs is this: we humans love our children and grandchildren. We may differ sharply on countless social, political, religious and ethical issues, but when it comes to our kids and their future, there is precious little to distinguish two gay parents...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

“Divide and conquer” politics: Thom Tillis’s infamous directive to the GOP still resonates a decade later

It’s a common phenomenon for well-known politicians to become associated with, or remembered for, an inspiring or infamous utterance. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” “Ask not what your country can do for yourself. Ask what you can do for your country.” “Mr. Gorbachev: tear down this wall.” “I am not a crook.” And this doesn't apply just to presidents.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

At the state GOP convention in Greenville, Donald Trump’s fade to black continues

He’s baaaack. Well, sort of. Former President Donald Trump emerged from his self-imposed Florida/New York internal exile this past Saturday evening by delivering a typically rambling and narcissistic speech at the 2021 North Carolina Republican Party convention in Greenville. It was his first such appearance since leaving the White House in January.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

White Americans can handle truth about the nation’s history

When Europeans first came to the Americas in the middle of the last millennium, scholars estimate that there were roughly 60 million indigenous people here. And while the actions and motivations of those who immigrated to this hemisphere obviously ran the gamut, there is simply no denying that the impact on the native population was catastrophic.

...
Read more 0

Send this to a friend