Featured Articles

NC DPI’s second-in-command offers pivotal advice, warning about partisan politics as she prepares to retire

BY: - February 16, 2017

It’ll be a matter of weeks, March 1 to be exact, before N.C. Department of Public Instruction Deputy Superintendent Rebecca Garland is expected to leave here for the last time.

Her Raleigh office in DPI headquarters, festooned with N.C. State sports apparel, still seems mostly in place. And Garland, an integral leader in various roles for this state agency for more than two decades, is amicable and reserved when she talks about her pending retirement.

Conservative NC legislators eye national constitutional convention

BY: - February 16, 2017

The flurry of bills in the current session of the North Carolina General Assembly include some real political firestorm issues - guns, abortion, public education.

But several new bills dealing with a much more esoteric issue deal with a growing national controversy: the movement to amend the U.S. constitution.

Lawmakers obsess over “rainy day fund” while much of NC remains under water

BY: - February 15, 2017

The latest BTC Brief from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center is out and it is a “must read” for anyone interested in what’s really going on with state budget debate. In “Saving for a rainy day when NC needs and umbrella today,” BTC analyst Cedric Johnson provides a powerful critique of recent proposals at the state Legislative Building to further bolster the state “rainy day fund” at the same time that a host of core public systems and structures remain destructively under-funded.

Berger rejects Cooper’s efforts to remove the dark stain of HB2

BY: - February 15, 2017

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other Republican leaders have spent the last few days desperately distorting the facts and rewriting history to try to blame Governor Roy Cooper for the disaster of HB2 that was passed by the GOP supermajority in the House and Senate and signed into law by former Governor Pat McCrory last March.

Cooper tries again to broker a deal to repeal HB2

BY: - February 14, 2017

Step 1: Repeal House Bill 2, North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Step 2: Strengthen penalties for individuals who perpetrate crimes that violate the safety, security and privacy of people in public bathrooms or dressing rooms.

Hopeful lessons from Saturday’s Moral March (and one important way in which progressives are screwing up)

BY: - February 14, 2017

This past Saturday’s 11th annual HKonJ-Moral March on Raleigh was by any estimation, a rousing success. At a point in time in which caring and thinking people are being inundated with multiple calls to action on a daily – if not hourly – basis, tens of thousands of people found the time and energy to make their way to downtown Raleigh to denounce Trumpism and the destructive actions of the North Carolina legislature and promote a vastly different vision of American society.

Welcoming the stranger: A Christian activist responds to Trump’s immigration order

BY: - February 13, 2017

On Friday, January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Even though the courts have temporarily blocked the President’s actions on immigration and refugees, this is only a temporary halt to the ban. Meanwhile, the mere introduction of these harsh restrictions on immigration and refugee resettlement has serious, long-term consequences for our new political landscape.

Monday numbers

BY: - February 13, 2017

1.3 million---number of people with a serious mental illness who will lose health care coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed (“ACA Repeal Would Jeopardize Treatment for Millions with Substance Use Disorders, Including Opioid Addiction, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 9, 2017)

The Follies

BY: - February 10, 2017

Not so fun fact of the day.

North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law HB2 was featured on Jeopardy Thursday night. The answer was "HB2 is this state’s controversial public facilities privacy and security act, aka the Bathroom Bill."

Fear of Trump immigration order in NC spreads as potential human costs emerge

BY: - February 9, 2017

President Donald Trump has paid a lot of lip service to rounding up the “bad hombres” but it turns out he wants to deport a much larger group of immigrants than he led America to believe.

Trump signed an executive order in January to enhance “public safety in the interior of the United States.” The order did away a previous deportation priority list promulgated former President Barack Obama’s administration and is expected to have dire consequences for a majority of unauthorized immigrants, not just individuals with criminal convictions.

Safer? A veteran perspective on Trump’s border wall

BY: and - February 9, 2017

Six days into his presidency, President Trump ordered construction of the border wall that he so often referenced during his campaign. His stated purpose was to “ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States.” While no one would argue that safety and border security aren’t among the President’s most important priorities, the wall strategy comes with tremendous liabilities and it deserves our scrutiny.

Legislative leaders condemn Superior Court order placing confirmation of Cooper’s cabinet on hold

BY: - February 8, 2017

A N.C. Senate confirmation hearing was postponed Wednesday morning after a court order restraining the Senate from holding hearings to confirm Gov. Roy Cooper’s cabinet nominees.

Larry Hall, the former Democratic N.C. House member tapped by Cooper to head the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, chose not attend the meeting at which he was to be vetted.