Setting the Record Straight

Vending machine government

BY: - May 21, 2011

The problem with the move to expand tax check-offs Several weeks ago, a column in this space raised the ire of some good guy advocates and at least one confused state Representative when it questioned the wisdom and sincerity of a House bill that will create a check-off box on the North Carolina income tax […]

Doublespeak from the Speaker

BY: - April 29, 2011

The Charlotte Observer hosted an online “chat” today in which the public was invited to ask questions of North Carolina House Speaker, Thom Tillis. Though it was probably too much to expect that Tillis would have used the event as an opportunity to make some real news or admit some errors in his party’s heavy-handed handling […]

Holding the unemployed hostage

BY: - April 15, 2011

GOP budget ploy is as cynical as it gets A new standard for gall, chutzpah, brazen cynicism – whatever you want to call it, the latest act by Republican leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly hits a new low. This past week, in an out-of-the-blue announcement, the House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem […]

Right vs. far right

BY: - February 19, 2011

Competing budget proposals don’t offer much of a choice As most people are well-aware, Governor Beverly Perdue released her proposed state budget this week. Responses from the state policy world have been mixed. Democrats were, not surprisingly, broadly supportive. The progressive advocacy coalition Together NC also praised some parts of the proposal. Meanwhile Republican leaders […]

An open letter to newly elected conservative lawmakers

BY: - December 3, 2010

Don't let myths and ideology control your actions

Dear Friends:

Now that the campaign is over and you are about to take over the levers of power in North Carolina government, there are a few things that some of us in the progressive movement would ask you to consider - about our state, about the budget and the public services and structures it funds and about the nature of our concerns.

A dirty baker’s dozen

BY: - October 29, 2010

Thirteen things to fear if the far right takes over the N.C. General Assembly in 2011

During the month of October, NC Policy Watch released a series of special reports that detailed some of the policy initiatives that are likely to gain traction in the North Carolina General Assembly if ideologues on the far right assume significant power in 2011. This edition of Setting the record straight provides a brief summary of each of those reports along with easy-to-follow links that will connect the reader with the original reports.

Turning back the clock on progress

BY: - October 22, 2010

How women and immigrants are likely to fare under a right-wing General Assembly

"Freedom": It's one of the great ironies ("lies"? injustices"?) of modern American politics that this word is so often appropriated by the far right. Think about it. How often have you heard one of the spokespeople for a far right think tank or political candidate describe his or her work as "pro-freedom" or as promoting a "pro-freedom agenda." One local right-wing group has even dubbed its local organizing groups "Freedom Clubs."

Bulls in the china shop

BY: - September 17, 2010

The Wake School Board majority continues to leave a trail of destruction

In urging caution in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell once famously counseled President Bush to remember the "Pottery Barn Rule": "You break it, you own it." Bush, of course, ultimately ignored the warning and, as the cost and casualty figures make painfully clear, Powell's forecast came true in spades.

Saying “no” to fear and hate

BY: - September 10, 2010

Nine years ago this weekend, a cabal of insane criminals carried out one of the most horrific acts in recent world history. Now, as we commemorate yet another anniversary of the tragedy, people all over the world - Americans in particular - are remembering and trying to make sense of the horror that occurred on that awful Tuesday morning.

Phony allegations of class warfare

BY: - August 28, 2010

The right wing's latest courageous defense of the super-rich

Self-deception is a universal human phenomenon. Everyone is capable of convincing him or herself that the world's problems are all someone else's handiwork and that he or she has been doing everything and more to make the world a better place.

Conservative self-deception

BY: - July 2, 2010

Exploring and debunking the latest arguments in support of school re-segregation

You've got to hand to some of the folks on the modern far right: their capacity for manipulating facts and statistics to the point of self-deception is often quite impressive. Take, for instance, two of the loudest voices in the debate over the move to re-segregate the Wake County public schools: school board member John Tedesco and the Raleigh News & Observer columnist, Rick Martinez.

Urban myth as campaign talking point?

BY: - May 7, 2010

N.C. congressional candidate tells a whopper

American politicians of all ideological persuasions have been spouting misleading statements, half-truths and bald-faced lies since the beginning of the Republic. We've also always had our share of plain old kooks running for office. Remember Lyndon LaRouche?