Original Commentary

Original Commentary

PV-8272014
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

On tomorrow’s 96th anniversary, the struggle for women’s equality continues

Tomorrow, August 26, is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. This amendment proclaimed that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Sounds like women got the right to vote on that day in 1920, right? Well, not entirely.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Four reasons to believe NC may finally stop sending children to the adult criminal system

Right now, North Carolina is one of only two states left in the country that continues to treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system – without exception. It’s a law that dates back to 1919, and in the intervening 97 years, criminal justice experts, child psychologists, neuroscientists and others have compiled a mountain of data that tells us just how wrong this policy is.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Successful Teaching Fellows program is back…in Indiana?

State lawmakers have finally taken a bold step toward addressing the looming teacher shortage in public schools. The Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate worked with Democrats to create a scholarship program to encourage bright high school students to enter the teaching profession.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

A major failure for conservative policymaking

One of the greatest strengths of President Franklin Roosevelt – especially in the early days of his first administration when he was conducting what amounted to lifesaving CPR on the American economy (and maybe even preserving the nation’s experiment with democratic government itself) was his candid willingness to try new things. Though he is often castigated by conservatives and lionized by liberals for having birthed the New Deal and the idea that the federal government has a duty to combat poverty, FDR was, at heart, a genuine pragmatist.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Audit of Achievement School District in Tennessee raises more red flags for NC

A new report from Tennessee’s Division of State Audit has ominous implications for a newly-created education program in North Carolina. The report details the gross financial mismanagement of Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD) – a plan that turned control of low-performing schools to private charter school operators. North Carolina passed its own version of the ASD program this summer, with Governor McCrory quietly signing the controversial bill three weeks ago.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

3---number of days since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate in North Carolina fell to 4.7 percent in July (Unemployment rate for states, Bureau of Labor Statistics) 3---number of days since the Office of Governor Pat McCrory issued a news release claiming McCrory’s policies were responsible for the decline in the unemployment rate in North Carolina (News Release, Office of Gov. Pat McCrory, August 19, 2016) 4.9---national unemployment rate in July (“The Unemployment Situation---July 2016, Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 5, 2016)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies (of two widening scandals in Raleigh)

More national outrage about NC GOP voter suppression efforts

The controversy swirling around the efforts of the North Carolina Republican Party to make it more difficult for African-Americans to vote went national this week, with stories around the country about the memo by NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse urging support for local elections boards to restricting access to early voting.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The GOP effort to suppress the African-American vote continues

An extraordinary thing happened three weeks ago when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit threw out most of the massive voter suppression law passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

The court found that legislative leaders asked for data broken down by race about how people vote and then as the court put it, with “surgical precision” changed the voting methods used disproportionately by African-Americans.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

The Olympics of right-wing whoppers

NC pols and advocates hit some medal-worthy new lows

With so much attention being paid to the presidential race and the reliably controversial comments of one of the major party candidates in recent weeks, it’s been tough for state-level politicians and advocates to break through and garner much attention for their own inane comments. Like the badminton and trampoline athletes at the Rio Olympics who find themselves constantly overshadowed by the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, these hard right North Carolina voices are no less serious about their work and over-the-top reactionary views; it’s just a matter of a crowded election year news environment in which there’s only so much mainstream media coverage to go around.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Gerrymandering in North Carolina: Have conservatives finally gone too far?

The Republican Party developed a national strategy to seize and hold legislative power, and in North Carolina executed it with relentless precision. Six years into that process, however, the adverse legal judgments are beginning to accumulate.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

7.25---amount in dollars of the current federal minimum wage (“Prosperity Watch Issue 64, No. 2: More than 120,000 North Carolinians are paid minimum wage or less,” N.C. Budget & Tax Center, August 15, 2016)

9---number of years since the federal minimum wage was increased to $7.25 from $5.15 (Ibid)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies

The falling credibility of the McCrory Administration in drinking water scandal

The McCrory Administration has a big problem on its hands---and so do people living near leaking coal ash ponds who are counting on the administration to protect the safety of their drinking water.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

McCrory’s determined efforts to make it harder for certain people to vote

After listening to Gov. Pat McCrory talk about the recent decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn much of the voter suppression law he signed in 2013 you are left with only two explanations.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

North Carolina: Big talk but little real action in protecting pregnant workers

One of the less-well-reported aspects of North Carolina’s notorious HB2 law as it originally read was a provision that removed state protections from on-the-job discrimination (a protection later added back in, but in a weaker form). As we ...
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