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Grounds for optimism: NC’s election machinery is doing its job

With North Carolinians on track to cast eye-popping numbers of votes in advance of Election Day, Nov. 3, perhaps it’s time to breathe a cautious sigh of relief. A system that could have buckled under the strain of massive early voting, both by mail and in person, amidst the coronavirus pandemic may have creaked and groaned but so far looks to be meeting the challenge.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Stereotypes, elitism at work in conservative praise for “working mom” Barrett

In the rush to replace Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, we’ve heard a lot of praise from Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s supporters about her role as a mother, including references to the fact that she will be the first “working mother with school-age children” to sit on the highest court. Interestingly, however, raising children is rarely, if ever, commented on when men are being considered for high-profile public service jobs, even though many of the men who have sat on the Supreme Court bench have also been parents.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

SC-based GOP mega-donor with shady past and ties to Burr, Tillis is behind controversial Catawba casino

Wallace Cheves, whose previous legal troubles include millions in civil fines, used this money to clear legal obstacles for the project When the Catawba Indian Nation began a seven-year battle to open a new casino resort in Cleveland County, it faced long odds. The South Carolina tribe needed to change federal law and longstanding Indian gaming policy to move across the border, to a state friendlier to gaming.

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Environment Top Story

Controversial plan would bring waste processing facilities to struggling southern NC community

Company proposes to process old railroad ties in low-income Richmond County locale already burdened by pollution Two industrial plants that would “cook” creosote-treated railroad ties and release tons of harmful air emissions are proposed for a predominantly low-income neighborhood near Hamlet, an area already burdened by pollution.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Less access to care, more premature deaths and financial insecurity if ACA lawsuit succeeds

If the Trump Administration and a group of 18 states convince the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), its Medicaid expansion — which covers more than 12 million low-income adults across the country — would end along with the rest of the law.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

In the wake of disaster we find community

In the 16 years I’ve lived in this exact spot, I’ve been no stranger to disaster. It’s been two years since Hurricane Florence roared through and devastated my community, and I’m still walking around on barely repaired floors looking up at barely repaired ceilings. Every time I see news of a new storm — in Texas, or Puerto Rico, or Florida, or Louisiana...

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News Top Story

Host committee for Republican convention in Charlotte doles out millions in leftover cash with few restrictions

WASHINGTON — After the Republican National Convention pulled out of Charlotte earlier this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the host committee pledged to give more than $3 million to local community groups by the fall. But a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission shows the committee has handed out less than $400,000 in cash so far, and the vast majority of the money leaders plan to dole out has yet to come in the form of grants reserved for unnamed economic development organizations.

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Must Reads News Top Story

Your voice, your vote: 14 issues to use in assessing the candidates

[Editor's note: As a part of an ongoing effort to help North Carolina voters become better informed and to use their knowledge in casting ballots in the 2020 election, experts at the North Carolina Justice Center (parent organization of NC Policy Watch) have prepared a series of brief and informative voter guides on 14 key policy issues.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC should listen to teachers and resist the rush to reopen schools

It’s been seven months since the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down in North Carolina, but it feels like seven years. In just over 200 days, we’ve seen at least a quarter-million of our neighbors contract the coronavirus and 4,000 die. Nationally, more than 8 million people have become infected and 220,000 have perished. And, of course, these tragic statistics are far from the only gloomy news.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Veteran journalists: Barrett’s extreme views should disqualify her for the Supreme Court

[Editor’s note: The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on President Trump’s nomination of appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court this Thursday. Last week, in response to the public hearings the committee held at which it heard from Barrett and a number of outside experts, two veteran journalists – Ruth Conniff of the Wisconsin Examiner and Quentin Young of Colorado Newsline -- published powerful essays (reproduced below) in which they explored Barrett’s extreme views and why they should disqualify her from serving on the high court....

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: NC hit by big spike in the number of children lacking health insurance

The number of uninsured children in America increased by 726,000 between 2016 and 2019, reversing a long-standing positive trend, according a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.   Coverage losses were widespread, with a majority of states showing statistically significant increases.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW investigation: Proposed Catawba Indian casino no sure bet for surrounding community

Land ownership records, experiences elsewhere raise big questions as to where benefits from controversial Cleveland County resort would flow Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler is among several well-connected politicians, developers and major landowners who could financially benefit from the controversial $273 million Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, a Policy Watch investigation has found.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Pandemic points to needed cooperation on the climate crisis

In a time of multiple and unprecedented challenges to individuals and societal well-being, our nation badly needs to pull back from the growing acrimony that plagues us and revisit our many shared values.   It won’t be easy to gradually return to patient talking – and listening – to each other. However, lessons from the ongoing global pandemic provide a critically important opportunity to spring forward to “a better normal” in dealing with the even larger crisis of climate change. 

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

The U.S. and COVID-19: A bad situation could be about to get significantly worse

Potential demise of health care law leaves millions – especially women – on the brink The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been one of the most significant advancements for women’s health and economic security in a generation. The law expanded coverage to millions of uninsured people through financial assistance and public insurance and also improved the quality of existing coverage, including by expanding access to reproductive and maternal health services and by prohibiting discrimination against women and people with preexisting conditions.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor grew from the militia movement’s toxic mix of constitutional falsehoods and half-truths

The U.S. militia movement has long been steeped in a peculiar – and unquestionably mistaken – interpretation of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and civil liberties. This is true of an armed militia group that calls itself the Wolverine Watchmen, who were involved in the recently revealed plot to overthrow Michigan’s government and kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Special DC update: The Barrett confirmation hearings

Republicans, including Tillis, endorse controversial nomination while Democrats express deep concerns Day Two of the extraordinary U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett stretched into the evening hours yesterday, but the event generated few surprises and little new information as the nominee avoided taking controversial stances.

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