Weekly Briefing

North Carolina General Assembly (File Photo)

NC GOP lawmakers betray a surprising lack of confidence

BY: - September 26, 2023

North Carolina Republican legislators have rarely, if ever, been in a stronger position. Their leaders — Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore — have a combined 23 terms of legislative experience and political chits upon which to draw, millions of dollars in campaign cash and dark money at their disposal, […]


Gambling with people’s lives: A tragic legislative session devolves into farce

BY: - September 19, 2023

A game. An utterly cynical game that’s about nothing other than power, money and winning. That’s clearly how North Carolina state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, and the minions with whom they surround themselves are treating the never-ending 2023 state legislative session over which they exert such complete and unmerited […]

an empty classroom

Start to the new school year sends a message about North Carolina’s future

BY: - September 12, 2023

Blistering summers that go on and on and the discomfort they cause for humans are far from the only (or worst) negative impacts of the global climate emergency. Similarly, when it comes to public education in North Carolina, bringing school facilities up to snuff is just one item on a to-do list that’s as long […]

cartoon illustrations of a red elephant and blue donkey butting heads

The dumbest political attack of the year in a big roomful of contenders

BY: - September 5, 2023

As with all previous presidencies, there are undoubtedly some legitimate criticisms that can be leveled at the Biden-Harris administration for its performance over its first 31 months in office. While the decision to face reality and end the United States’s hopelessly futile occupation of Afghanistan proved correct, the process and communication surrounding it could have […]

Voters line up at a polling place

Integrity, huh? The truth about the political right’s election law agenda

BY: - August 29, 2023

On one level, you’ve got to hand it to the conservative politicians, Fox News talking heads, and right-wing think tankers who drone on incessantly about their supposed passionate commitment to “election integrity.” Like any number of political actors who, despite the absence of supporting facts and data, have managed nonetheless to drive significant political and […]

Sylvia Hatchell speaks at a microphone

Former UNC basketball coach launches an airball with ill-informed advocacy

BY: - August 22, 2023

Former UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell doesn’t appear to be an insincere person.  At a rally at the Legislative Building on Aug. 16, organized by right-wing culture warriors in support of a bill to ban transgender girls and women from participating in middle, high school, and college level sports, Hatchell seemed to really believe the […]

aerial view of Maui, Hawaii wildfire damage

In an era chockful of crises, this one dwarfs all others

BY: - August 15, 2023

The world of policy and politics is one that lends itself to urgent, even alarmist, appeals and calls to action. If you’ve ever supported a cause or contributed to a politician’s campaign in the recent past, you’re probably inundated each day with pressing pleas for money and assistance. On a typical day last week – […]


The NC legislature’s irresponsibly undisciplined budgeting

BY: - August 8, 2023

Imagine yourself in the following situation: Your children lack decent clothing and shoes and depend on reduced-price school meals to meet their weekly nutrition requirements. Your house has become dilapidated, with a leaky roof and poorly functioning HVAC system, and the power company is threatening to turn off your electricity for nonpayment. The sole family […]


A job well done: Pioneering NC website wraps up a long and successful run

BY: - August 1, 2023

Blog. Blogger. It’s amazing how terms that seemed so new and cutting edge just a few years ago now strike us as obsolete and almost quaint. In the first decade of the 21st century, blogs – mostly rudimentary websites in which, typically, an individual or a small group posted a series of takes and initiated […]


Trees and casinos: imaginary solutions to real and serious problems

BY: - July 25, 2023

Plant a trillion trees. U.S. House Republicans offered that idea last week as their plan for addressing the global climate emergency. And it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry in response. Yes, planting more trees is always a fine idea, as deforestation is a big and deeply worrisome contributing factor to the world’s […]

NC Senate chamber (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

Endless summer? It’s time for lawmakers to end the 2023 legislative session

BY: - July 18, 2023

Since the beginning of the Republic, American politicians, advocates, pundits and citizens have argued about the appropriate length of state legislative sessions. Owing to concerns about the threat posed by rogue legislatures drunk – sometimes literally — with power, as well as the costs associated with endless sessions, most states have long imposed a formal […]

Hillside High School students

Of automobiles, guns, and our children’s lives

BY: - July 11, 2023

There are a lot of vexing and seemingly insoluble problems that confront elected leaders in 2023 North Carolina – problems with which states and nations across the globe are struggling. How can we manage rapid population and economic growth without wrecking our already sorely burdened natural environment beyond repair? How can we continue to grow […]