Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Top Story Weekly Briefing

It’s time to say ‘no’ to the massive tax conservatives are imposing on Americans

As P.T. Barnum is so famously credited with observing a century and half ago, Americans can be a surprisingly credulous people. Whether it’s a circus sideshow curiosity, a new cure-all elixir or a supposedly surefire “get rich” scheme, ours is a nation of hopeful people who like to believe...

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

My daughter is enrolled in Pfizer’s vaccine trial because I don’t trust COVID

On a sunny Wednesday a little over a month ago, my 7-year-old daughter bravely held my hand as we walked into Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial.  After a numbing agent, a blood draw and a nasal swab, she was finally injected with either a placebo or the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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Sowing death and destruction for political gain: the GOP and vaccine hostility

There have been many contributing factors to the disastrous scope and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States over the past year, but right now, tragically, misinformation and ignorance top the list. As NC Policy Watch investigative journalist Lynn Bonner reported last week, despite the rapid spread of the deadly and highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, millions of North Carolinians are still steering clear of vaccination...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Experts warn against ‘sham election audits’ movement

Experts from four different national nonprofits (the Brennan Center for for Justice, Protect Democracy, Fair Fight Action and States United Action) came together last week at an online panel discussion to examine the latest worrisome trend in undermining democracy: illegitimate election recounts.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Pandemic’s true impact on farmworkers remains elusive

Limitations of government record keeping, journalism conventions likely helping to obscure the true impact of COVID-19 on migrant communities It’s long been established that agricultural workplaces are among the nation’s most dangerous. The latest census on fatal occupational injuries by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that...

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A flickering ray of hope for families in need

State rental assistance program stands poised to help thousands of tenants and landlords, but time is running short North Carolina has almost never done a good job of helping people who are down on their luck or simply ...
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Modest medical marijuana bill comes up short, highlights the unfairness of NC’s healthcare system

State senators took a small, but positive step last week when they advanced Senate Bill 711 – a proposal to legalize medical cannabis/marijuana. As numerous witnesses – including military veterans struggling with PTSD and other service-related illnesses, as well as others battling the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Trustees’ handling of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure application shows how university boards often fail the accountability test

University boards of trustees hold considerable power over the institutions they govern, but get attention only when they’re hiring a new president or if there is a crisis. Yet, increasingly boards aren’t navigating or mediating crises – they are creating them. On June 30, after deliberating in a closed session, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted 9-4 to grant journalist, MacArthur Fellowship recipient and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

No more excuses for lawmakers when it comes to public schools

Veteran civil rights attorney explains why the General Assembly must comply with a court order to adequately fund public education Recently, state Superior Court Judge David Lee issued the latest order in the Leandro v. State lawsuit. The judge directed the state to remedy the longstanding violation of the constitutional right of North Carolina public school children to a “sound basic education” ...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Protecting the health of North Carolinians shouldn’t be a game

Durham high school student explains why vaccine lottery could backfire in the long run North Carolina’s vaccine lottery just announced its first two winners. But while the $1 million and $125,000 prizes are going to two very lucky (and admittedly, very deserving) individuals, the lottery itself runs counter to our values as a society and a state.

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Personal responsibility phonies: Conservative pols’ griping about baseball team’s dismissal is sadly emblematic

No modern politician ever got in trouble with their constituents by complaining about the way a hometown sports team was treated by officials. Especially in recent decades, griping about unpopular official rulings has become the default position for public figures looking to curry favor with voters.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The NC Drug Tax is designed to ensnare and penalize people, especially those of color

Damned if you do, damned if you don't: The tax is required, but nearly impossible to pay Last week, I tried and failed to pay the North Carolina Drug Tax. Turns out, failure was inevitable: It’s virtually impossible to pay this tax. So why is it still law?

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