Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

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UNC Board of Governors: Some speech is “more free” than others

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the current members of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors and their General Assembly backers. Like the dictatorial pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm—who declared “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”—the Board is putting a noble veneer on self-serving and disingenuous arguments.

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NC company’s troubling role in CIA torture the subject of Raleigh hearings

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years have faced an unusual dilemma: What to do about the local company whose airplanes and personnel helped the Central Intelligence Agency carry out an interrogation program featuring human rights abuses that amounted to torture.

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Stealth provision in GOP tax plan would undermine reproductive freedom

Tax “reform” is on the front burner in Washington this holiday season and, as many knowledgeable observers and economic experts have explained, there are many reasons for average Americans to be concerned about the competing GOP plans.

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Republican tax plan could fuel offshoring and automation, killing manufacturing jobs

In the dog days of summer in 2003, people in Kannapolis and neighboring towns northeast of Charlotte got news that more than four thousand people working for Pillowtex were losing their jobs. Several hundred more in Concord got the same news, along with other communities outside of North Carolina.

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Why NC could lose big in the 2020 Census

Alarms about poor preparations for the constitutionally-mandated 2020 Census are ringing across the nation. The Tar Heel State, and our almost 10 million residents, have a large stake in a fair and accurate census.

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Monday numbers

The NC Utilities Commission is holding an evidentiary hearing today at 1:30 p.m. on a proposed 14 percent overall rate increase by Duke Energy Progress.

$16 — The amount a typical residential customer’s monthly electric bill would increase under Duke Energy Progress’s rate hike proposal (Charlotte Business Journal)

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More than just a giveaway to the rich: GOP tax plan also endangers church-state separation, access to health care for millions

With Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House desperate to post a big legislative win, their push for so-called tax reform – the label being used to sugar-coat costly tax changes mostly benefiting profitable corporations and the wealthiest among us – has reached red-line intensity.

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The radical Trumpcare scam hidden in the Senate tax reform bill

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit so that they can give corporations permanent tax breaks. And now Senate Republicans have decided to turn their already awful tax bill into a secret Trumpcare bill by including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

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Alamance County sheriff should not regain immigration enforcement powers

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson. Following a two-year investigation and interviews with more than 100 witnesses, DOJ amassed widespread evidence that the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) was systematically and unlawfully targeting Latino residents for investigation, traffic stops, arrests, seizures, and other enforcement actions.

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Déjà vu: Another tax plan for the rich

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest households and corporations as a boon to everyday Americans – but North Carolinians, in particular, should recognize this canard. We have heard it before in defense of state-level tax changes that have yet to pan out and that each day cause us to miss opportunities to boost our communities’ well-being.

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Playing political games with women’s lives

This past September 30th marked the 41st anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, an unjust rule passed by Congress in 1976 to impose an anti-abortion ideology on a group with little power to fight back – low-income women. Barring Medicaid recipients from using their federal health insurance to pay for abortion, except in very narrow cases, the Hyde Amendment and the underlying notion that “no tax money supports abortion” has been allowed to expand over time, unchecked for the harm it is doing in the lives of women.

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UNC: Still defending the right to discriminate against the trans community

After two years of being attacked by their very own state government, trans North Carolinians are moving closer to obtaining partial victory.

Recently, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein proposed a possible settlement to limit the harms of the state’s anti-transgender laws on trans and gender non-conforming people living in and visiting North Carolina.

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Dissecting the legislature’s effort to rig the state judiciary

To the Republicans who run the N.C. General Assembly, the concept of judicial independence – central to our bedrock American principle of checks and balances and to the rule of law – must seem as alien as the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people-eater of vintage Top 40 radio. Yes, it must be a strange concept indeed. Or as the old song remarks, “What a sight to see!” But in reality, it’s not strange at all. Consider this straightforward pronouncement in the state constitution: “The legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of the State government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other.”

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Make no mistake: Trump decision spurred Blue Cross Blue Shield rate hike

President Trump is rarely right about much, but he was correct earlier this year when he observed that health care is complicated and that fixing it is hard. Sadly and ironically, however, these difficult truths are now conspiring to confuse some observers as they try to report on Trump’s recent efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and the rate hikes they have spurred for consumers.

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Tillis among senators to vote on “repugnant” Trump judicial nominee today

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (which includes North Carolina’s Thom Tillis) meets today at 10:00 a.m. to consider a bevy of President Trump’s nominees to serve as federal judges and U.S. Attorneys. Each of the judicial nominees is being considered for a lifetime appointment. As was highlighted in a July issue of the NC Policy Watch “Weekly Briefing,” none of the nominees on this list has received more negative national attention than Thomas Farr, who was nominated to fill a long-vacant slot on the U.S. District Court for the North Carolina’s Eastern District.

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As Congress slashes the federal budget by $5 trillion, North Carolina stands to lose big

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America, because they demonstrate just how much we value our priorities and are willing to contribute to achieving them.

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