Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Impeachment, Syria and tonight’s Democratic presidential debate

Tonight's Democratic presidential debate will be dominated by two urgent issues: the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Trump, and Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from northern Syria. Impeachment and Syria should produce a high degree of unity among the 12 presidential contenders on the stage. However, the surface agreement masks complex political calculations.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

To seem rather than to be

Supporters of public education fight back against empty promises of state’s school privatization movement Americans are suckers for advertising and, in some ways, it’s an admirable trait. It speaks to our national traditions of optimism and hope for the future.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Is the national resistance to Medicaid expansion starting to crack?

Survey of hold-out states indicates the Medicaid expansion debate has entered a new phase Across the states, the approach of an election year typically provides an excuse for policymakers to avoid taking on controversial and complex policy issues for fear of offending one side or the other.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Friday Follies: The tangled tentacles of Trumpism

We’re now almost 33 months into the one of the darkest eras in American political history – a period during which the President of the United States has been essentially indistinguishable (in his mendacity, in his self-dealing, in his narcissistic self-importance, in his demands of absolute obsequiousness from underlings, and in his ignorance of, and disregard for, the rule of law) from an organized crime boss. The latest scandal...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Trump’s trickledown scheme: Soaring debt, weak job growth, and huge windfalls for his rich friends

You can’t teach an old dog new lies. Two years ago, while stumping to give huge tax breaks to multinational corporations and stock market mavens, Trump administration officials made some bold claims. Team Trump foretold a soaring economy ...
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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Latest Supreme Court battle a reminder that true LGBTQ equality is far from won

"The struggle for gay rights is over,” the writer James Kirchick wrote in The Atlantic in June. And just like that, you could almost smell the smoldering keyboards across the country.  I loathe sports metaphors, but if we were playing football, this headline still smacks of celebrating a touchdown on the opposing team’s 20-yard-line.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Legislature pushes another troubling attack on voting and immigrants

Sometimes you have to wonder if there isn’t a very specific chapter in the political playbook of Donald Trump’s modern American right that includes the following entries under the heading “default strategies”: A. Attack immigrants B. Restrict voting rights C. If possible, combine strategies a and b

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Finding the flesh and blood in NC’s politicized Medicaid war

North Carolina’s Medicaid coverage gap looks like Brenda Pernell, who went by “Miss Brenda” to her students and, until a heart condition killed her in April at the age of 52, treated her high blood pressure with vinegar.  It looks like Jessica Jordan, who inherited her father’s blue eyes and her mother’s fiery hair and who, lacking the coverage to pay for mental health and substance abuse treatment, died from an accidental overdose last May at the age of 32. 

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The UN Climate Action Summit: What does “two degrees” of warming really mean for North Carolina?

On September 23rd, leaders from around the world met in New York for the UN Climate Action Summit. Four years ago, in Paris, it was agreed to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius to stave off dire consequences for our planet, but too little has changed since then. Now world leaders meet again to determine a new set of actions to avoid this daunting threshold. “Two degrees” of warming is a global number, and it doesn’t sound very big.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Secretary of State should take swift, public action re: business dealings of UNC Board of Governors member

It’s been almost two weeks now since an exclusive Policy Watch investigation by reporter Joe Killian revealed that former North Carolina state senator and current University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Thom Goolsby has been engaged in business dealings that demand an examination by officials in the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office. In case you missed it, here are the relevant facts:

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Remembering and celebrating the life of a trailblazing feminist

"We are in it for the long haul” Jan Allen used to conclude her Lillian’s List events with this phrase, “we are in it for the long haul.” The audience understood because, like Jan, most of the people in attendance had been feminist activists for decades. Respected and dignified with a slight chip on her shoulder, Jan was a part of every modern wave of feminism in the United States.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Climate crisis highlights the fight for environmental justice in NC

As activists and leaders from around the world travel to New York this week to rally global efforts to address the climate crisis, I’m reminded of our own state’s history-making contributions to the environmental cause. In 1982, Warren County sparked a movement when local residents of the poor, mostly African American community rose up to oppose the dumping of toxic chemicals in their neighborhoods.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

The future of North Carolina’s economy depends on climate action

Tandy Jones, a farmer and business owner of 36 years from Chatham County, wrote of climate change’s impact on his farm in a recent Op-Ed piece in the News & Observer: “With ever-changing conditions, it’s increasingly difficult to plan and prepare.”

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