Original Commentary

Original Commentary

XGR_2013
Fitzsimon File

Republican legislative leaders and the will of the people

The General Assembly is returning to Raleigh next week for a special session to help areas of the state suffering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina.

There’s nothing surprising or controversial about that. Communities across the state ravaged by the storms and the fires need the help.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

McCrory the mayor who never figured out how to be governor

Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded the 2016 election to Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday, December 5 but he actually lost the race on March 23 when he signed the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2.

That not only created a firestorm of protest and boycotts and damaged the state’s reputation around the world, it confirmed what voters had come to realize about him ---that he was either unable or unwilling to stand up to the radical agenda of his own party in the General Assembly.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Trump’s America is already here in at least one important area

New Duke study helps confirm that conservative policies have damaged American racial equality and economic wellbeing

Here’s some news for the many conservative supporters of Donald Trump who yearn to “make America great again” – you know, like it supposedly was in the 1950’s: In a very important and troubling way, we’re already there.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Court ruling striking down Obama overtime rules leaves workers high and dry

December 1, 2016 was supposed to be a great day for an estimated 156,000 salaried workers in North Carolina. But thanks to a recent federal court order, the day instead brought disappointment and confusion for most of them.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

23---number of years since the Smart Start early childhood program began in North Carolina (“Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School,” Dodge, KA ; Bai, Y ; Ladd, HF ; Muschkin, CG; Child Development, 2016)

18---number of years since Smart Start was expanded to serve children in all 100 counties (Ibid)

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Misguided claims about the election and HB2

The election in North Carolina may be almost finally over but the debate about HB2 is as absurd as ever. Supporters of the sweeping anti-LGBT law that has cost North Carolina thousands of jobs and damaged the state’s reputation around the world are now claiming that the reelection of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest shows that HB2 wasn’t a major reason for the almost certain defeat of Gov. Pat McCrory---which should be made official after Monday’s recount of votes in Durham. The law’s staunchest defenders also continue to brush aside the obvious damage the law is doing to the state. N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said this fall that HB2 has had no effect on the economy. Other pro-HB2ers blame job losses and the relocation of events like NCAA championships out of the state on national pro-LGBT groups and Democratic politicians.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The troubling machinations of preserving political power in Raleigh

That sound you hear from Raleigh these days is coming from leading North Carolina Republicans, astonished that their iron grip on state government is in jeopardy, thrashing around desperately as they consider extraordinary mechanisms to maintain it by thwarting the will of the voters and ironically complaining about decisions by the federal courts.

The most stunning news for the state GOP elite on election night was that voters rejected Governor Pat McCrory in what turned out to be an almost Republican wave election, with Donald Trump and Senator Richard Burr both winning, the GOP maintaining its super majority in the state House and Senate and Republicans capturing a majority of seats on the Council of State for the first time.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Lessons Governor-elect Cooper should take from the Obama presidency

In these divided times, there’s precious little common ground to find with the right-wing opposition

With Gov. Pat McCrory’s efforts to stave off his political demise by casting doubts upon the 2016 election results now, finally and blessedly, all but over, it’s past time to start talking seriously about how Governor-elect Roy Cooper should approach his new job. Indeed, Cooper’s inauguration is now set to take place just 37 days from now, so there’s no time to waste.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

A big step forward for children with complex needs in North Carolina

Let me tell you about a girl I’ll call O.B. Her story exposes a lot of what’s wrong with North Carolina’s behavioral health system. O.B. has moderate to severe intellectual disability and autism, as well as intermittent explosive ...
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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

630,000---number of households in North Carolina in which people do not have enough food to eat (“Hunger in the Tar Heel State, N.C. Budget & Tax Center, November 2016)

8---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states with the highest levels of food insecurity (Ibid)

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aclu
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

This Thanksgiving, fight fear with facts

After this election, many Americans’ Thanksgiving may feature divisive, often uncomfortable, conversations with friends and family who disagree politically. For those of us frustrated by the myths and misinformation that now fuel many such debates, it’s more important ...
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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Thanksgiving resolutions

In the time of Trump, waiting till New Year’s is not an option

For a lot of progressive websites and publications, it’s become a holiday tradition in recent years to feature “how to talk to your conservative relatives about policy and politics” essays at this time of year – especially prior to Thanksgiving. The usual premise is that progressives can win a little peace and grudging acceptance from conservative relatives if they offer up some incontrovertible facts along with a few olive branches and areas of common ground. A few years back, we went so far in this space as to offer up “five fast facts that might help you win (and five areas of common ground that might help you keep the peace).” Last year, colleagues at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center propounded some “Thanksgiving talking points on taxes and the economy.”

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13days
Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

13---number of days since Election Day 2016 (N.C State Board of Elections)

4,979—number of votes that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper was ahead of Republican Governor Pat McCrory by as of Monday, November 14 (Ibid)

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