Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Eight errors and omissions of the 2019 legislative session

Well, that appears to be a wrap. The 2019 legislative session that commenced way back in January and dragged on in desultory fashion for months past its usual adjournment date finally petered out a couple of weeks back. Now, barring some new and unforeseen holiday season power grab – something that’s always a possibility for legislative leaders who maintain only a passing interest in quaint concepts like notice, public input and process – the honorables have absented themselves from the state capital until mid-January.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump and his allies: Channeling the true spirit of the original American Thanksgiving?

Americans, like the inhabitants of just about every country – especially the ones that find themselves having come out on top in a number of historical conflicts – have a penchant for rewriting history in a light that’s flattering to themselves. Wars tend to get sanitized of their brutality, disasters and horrific mistakes. Crass greed, materialism and acquisitiveness get recast as drive, ingenuity and the entrepreneurial spirit.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The GOP’s latest gerrymander ought to be the last straw for NC

Republican legislative majorities took yet another stab at enacting new congressional districts last week (the state constitution gives the Governor no veto authority in this realm) and, for those who didn’t dig below the surface, it would have been easy to get the misimpression from some reports that things had gone well.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

GOP swings and misses with pipeline attacks on Cooper

Back in the early 1990’s, the late and sorely missed Bob Hensley – a talented, feisty and frequently funny trial lawyer and Democratic state representative from Wake County – was engaged in a tense debate on the House floor with a Republican adversary when things suddenly turned personal. Having been cornered by Hensley’s formidable skills at debate, the GOP lawmaker lashed out and accused Hensley of being untruthful in some of his claims about the bill in question.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

North Carolina’s full-time part-time legislature

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned its 2019 legislative session last week. Sort of. Lawmakers did head home, but unlike in years gone by when the end of the so-called legislative “long session” inaugurated a break that typically stretched to the following spring, the honorables have already announced that they will return next Wednesday, November 13 with a plan to take up redistricting legislation and, essentially, anything else that captures their fancy.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

A reminder of what the GOP budget would mean for North Carolina

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger placed a motion to override Gov. Cooper’s June veto of the 2019-2021 state budget bill on the Senate calendar this week and though no vote was taken last night, Berger’s action appears to make it possible that a vote could take place at virtually any moment.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Now is no time for another giveaway to Duke Energy

In any discussion of North Carolina politics and policy debates, it’s hard to overstate the footprint of a player like Duke Energy. That’s mostly because there is no other player like it. Charlotte-based Duke is the largest investor-owned utility provider in the United States and while it is not technically the biggest corporation in the state, it clearly touches more lives more regularly – both directly and indirectly – than any other North Carolina-based private actor.

...
Read more 0
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.

...
Read more 0
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

...
Read more 0
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:

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five simple truths about the Medicaid expansion debate

Medicaid expansion is back on the table at the North Carolina General Assembly. Sort of. Maybe. The latest maddening and semi-hopeful development in this seemingly never ending saga arose in the aftermath of the September 11 budget veto override debacle when House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would fulfill “a promise” to revive the GOP version of the proposal now that the House was “finished” with the budget.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC’s late summer political turmoil undermines democracy

The confluence of three essentially unprecedented events combined to make last week an extraordinary one in the modern history of North Carolina policy and politics. On Tuesday, the state conducted a special election to choose 15% of its delegation to the U.S House of Representatives. Under normal circumstances, such an event and its aftermath would have dominated the news cycle all week – especially given that one of the two districts had been the subject of intense national scrutiny ever since rampant ballot fraud tainted the 2018 vote. Not last week.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Gerrymandering in NC: Not dead yet

Nomination of longtime conservative financier and partisan as possible referee makes clear that GOP is still resisting real change There has been a great deal of understandable celebrating in recent days in the aftermath of the September 3rd ruling by a bipartisan panel of Superior Court judges that struck down North Carolina’s state legislative maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. Across the state and nation...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The Right’s silly and simplistic attacks on “socialism”

Ever since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders launched his first campaign for the presidency in 2015, America has found itself immersed in a renewed debate over the concept of “socialism.” This is, of course, not a new discussion. The word itself goes back at least to the 19th Century and many of the ideas associated with it can be traced to the beginning of human history.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

New school year brings the Right’s war on public education into sharp focus

There was a time in the United States not that many years ago in which K-12 public education was taken as a given – something as fundamental to the health and wellbeing of society as drinking water and law enforcement and public roads. It may not have always lived up to this ideal (particularly in places where the great evil of racial discrimination and segregation held sway), but it’s fair to say that the American public school classroom was widely understood...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Now is no time to settle for inadequate half measures on gerrymandering

If there is a single brightest and most hopeful bit of news on the North Carolina public policy horizon these days, it has to be that our state could, at very long last, be on the verge of ending partisan gerrymandering. With a three-judge panel set to rule in the Common Cause v. Lewis litigation any day (a case in which much of the key evidence offered by legislative defendants was thrown out for being not credible), good government advocates are having to work hard to avoid a sense of giddy optimism about where the case is headed.

...
Read more 0

Send this to a friend