Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

Budget cuts
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Locking in North Carolina’s decline

Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore love to boast that North Carolina is in the midst (or, perhaps, on the cusp) of a rousing economic “comeback.” Hardly a day goes by anymore in which one or more of these men isn’t issuing some kind of release claiming that conservative fiscal policies have somehow turned around the state’s economy and “unleashed the private sector” to create all sorts of new jobs and development. Recently, the mantra has been all about how North Carolina was rated the third best state in the country “for business” by yet another “CEO” magazine. Never mind that it won virtually identical (if not more glowing) plaudits throughout the Perdue and Easley administrations and even during the Great Recession.

...
Read more 0
wb-517
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Did the McCrory administration fail to perform the most basic job of government?

Deposition indicates administration officials and Duke Energy pressured regulators to loosen water safety standards, jeopardize public health

There are a lot of serious indictments that can be leveled at a public official. Corruption, ineptitude, disloyalty – the list of potential offenses is a lengthy one. At some basic level, however, it’s hard to imagine a more damning allegation than that he or she knowingly jeopardized the physical health and wellbeing of his or her constituents.

...
Read more 2
WB-1040
Weekly Briefing

HB2: Not the only area in which NC will soon trail the field

State lawmakers are preparing to make poor services, crumbling structures and regressive taxes permanent

The ongoing crisis surrounding North Carolina’s embattled governor and his controversial, all-purpose discrimination law (HB2) grew more serious yesterday as state and federal officials turned to the courts to sort out their dispute. What started out two months ago as a skirmish over a public restroom access policy in one city has now morphed into a national (and even international) conflict over LGBT equality.

...
Read more 0
wb-503
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Time for McCrory and Burr to shut things down for the year?

Under conservative standards applied to President Obama, they would have no other choice

In case you missed it amidst the hubbub surrounding North Carolina’s new and infamous all-purpose discrimination law, HB2, there was other news in the public policy world last week. One of the more important developments for North Carolina took place on Thursday when President Obama nominated former state Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson to fill a decade-old vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the state’s Eastern District. If confirmed, Timmons-Goodson would be the first judge of color to ever serve in the Eastern District (a region of North Carolina in which the African-American population is higher than any other) in the history of the federal courts.

...
Read more 1
hb2-xgr3
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Why McCrory and Berger have already lost the debate over HB2

Regardless of what happens in the new legislative session, North Carolina’s “brand” is badly damaged for the foreseeable future

It’s funny how politics and policy debates work. For five years, politicians with a destructive and reactionary agenda have been taking a wrecking ball to the once forward-looking state of North Carolina to relatively little national note. As was detailed at length last December in the special NC Policy Watch report, Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have transformed North Carolina, the list of subjects in which once moderate-to-progressive laws and policies have been razed and reversed is as long as your arm. Taxes, health care, civil rights, the social safety net, environmental protection, reproductive freedom, voting rights, consumer protection, LGBT rights; name the topic and North Carolina has moved backward.

...
Read more 2
wb-banthebox-400
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

One local government ordinance that state lawmakers seem unlikely to override

Wake County shows the power of progressive, open-minded local solutions and, for once, the Right goes along

Quick: What do President Obama, the NAACP, the ACLU and a long list of progressive politicians have in common with the Koch Brothers, John Kasich, Georgia’s conservative Republican governor Nathan Deal, and a raft of conservative Christian advocacy groups?

...
Read more 0
WB-411
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

The good news hidden in the debate over HB 2

Why Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders may be doing the state an inadvertent favor There are a lot of reasons for caring and thinking North Carolinians to feel pretty discouraged these days about their home state and, in ...
Read more 3
wb-405b
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Ayn Rand-Franklin Graham government

A toxic combination of economic and religious fundamentalism is poisoning North Carolina

North Carolina’s latest spasm of state-sponsored bigotry -- the LGBT discrimination law that has once again made the state a national pariah and laughingstock in recent days -- was clearly driven to a great degree by a desire to appease the religious right.

...
Read more 3
WB-HB2-330
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Why did the religious right support a bill to enable discrimination against Christians?

The confused and cynical politics behind the passage of North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law

There are a lot of mysteries surrounding last week’s “(Isn’t that) special?” legislative session in which the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory rammed through a radical overhaul of several important state laws and local government ordinances in less than 12 hours. As was noted in a post on The Progressive Pulse yesterday afternoon, one of the most obvious ones involves the North Carolina Chamber and its deafening public silence:

...
Read more 1
wb-321
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

A North Carolina version of the Flint crisis?

The McCrory administration’s latest disturbing actions on water safety near coal ash sites

The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan in which penny pinching government officials have endangered and likely damaged the health of thousands of people in order to save a remarkably small sum of cash has become a symbol for much of what’s wrong with our modern, tax cut-obsessed politics.

...
Read more 0
WB315
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Staying calm and focused in a raucous election year

Keeping perspective, commitment to peaceful change the best path for progressives In a 1947 speech in the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill famously and correctly observed that “it has been said that democracy is the worst form ...
Read more 1
wb-308C
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

The presidential primary carnival comes to North Carolina

Campaign spurs high emotions, but mostly ignores local issues For those who harbor any doubts about how wacky and illogical the American presidential primary season has become, what’s happening this week in North Carolina ought to dispel them. ...
Read more 0
wb-shift
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

New sales taxes highlight NC’s “worst of all worlds” fiscal policy

The state is raising taxes on average people while bringing in fewer dollars to fund essential public structures and services

Here’s one thing you can say for the conservative elected leaders running North Carolina state government these days: they don’t lack for audacity.

...
Read more 1
WB-223B
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Yet another absurd Burr blockade

North Carolina’s senior senator doubles down on his commitment to fouling up the federal courts

It probably shouldn’t come as any great surprise that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has thrown in with the obstructionist hard right when it comes to the consideration of any nominee that president Obama might put forth to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Antonin Scalia. It is, after all, an election year and right now the Senator has primary challengers from his party’s extreme right wing.

...
Read more 2
WB2_217-400B
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Conservative hypocrisy in Congress hits a new low

Same forces that would block Obama Court nominee in 2016 are happy to pass laws expanding predatory lending

It’s fair to say that calling out conservative leaders in Congress for talking out of both sides of their mouths is no particular challenge these days. The list of issues on which our lawmakers pay lip service to their supposed deep concern for the needs of “ordinary Americans” even as they’re lining up to do the bidding of corporate predators with slick lobbyists and big PAC’s is as long as your arm.

...
Read more 1