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Columns

For a balanced diet, limit media
RALEIGH — Thank you for reading this column. It’s not just that I appreciate your interest in what I have to say. I appreciate the fact that you are reading this publication at all. Accord ...



Lawsuit over ID law heats up
Plaintiffs wanted Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan to strike down the state’s voter ID law as unconstitutional last week. That didn’t happen. The state wanted him to toss out the lawsui ...



A revealing moment in House's incentive debate
Something fascinating happened during this week’s House debate over economic incentive programs for businesses that could have a bigger impact on the state than whatever incentives the General A ...



Rogue legislators shouldn't automatically be scorned
RALEIGH – For someone who listens to many General Assembly debates, it’s refreshing when the most contentious votes don’t come down precisely along party lines. That’s what ...



No easy road for incentives package
RALEIGH – If history is a guide, the economic incentives package that begins a trek through the General Assembly this week won’t face an easy path. The “NC Competes Act,” ex ...



Assessing a poor command decision
Amid criticism over measures to mothball the 440th Airlift Wing based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield, Air Force spokesman Col. Robert Palmer has fired back with assurances that steps taken includ ...



Pivot back to markets in North Carolina
RALEIGH — Over the past four years, state policymakers in Raleigh have adopted a series of sweeping changes in public policy, including a new state tax code, school choice, new energy policies, ...



Not fooling anyone
Amid criticism over measures to mothball the 440th Airlift Wing based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield, Air Force spokesman Col. Robert Palmer has fired back with assurances that steps taken includ ...



The song remains the same in state elections
RALEIGH — Governors make lots of decisions. They propose budgets. They hire Cabinet secretaries and other key officials. They appoint members to governing boards. They sign or veto bills. They o ...



Appeals court makes just ruling
It’s been a long time coming and we haven’t reached the end yet. But we’re glad the “beltway landowners” are one step closer to justice. We have long pushed, on this p ...



UNC controversy puts spotlight on poverty
RALEIGH — A silver lining in the highly politicized controversy over whether to close a center on poverty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the new attention it focused on th ...



The risks of transporting energy
America, and the world for that matter, uses lots of energy. The energy source used more than any other in the United State is oil — at 36 percent of the energy consumed in this country. In t ...



What we hope not to hear during legislative debates
RALEIGH – With another General Assembly long session upon us, we once again will get to hear hundreds of hours of political debate over the next few months, ranging from the extremely mundane to ...



Cybersecurity an important issue
Cyberspace, one of a host of once-exotic words now in the everyday vocabulary, isn’t the mysterious sort of “Star Wars” frontier it used to be. But its further development and explor ...



Primer on the General Assembly's incentives debate
RALEIGH — The annual incentives debate in the General Assembly is under way, and this year’s installment is expected to be as robust as any in recent memory. Gov. Pat McCrory has said repe ...



The political song remains the same
RALEIGH — Governors make lots of decisions. They propose budgets. They hire Cabinet secretaries and other key officials. They appoint members to governing boards. They sign or veto bills. They o ...



Gas tax hike ominous sign for legislative session
If you are looking for a sign about what sort of legislative session to expect this year, the gas tax increase passed by the Senate last week is an ominous one. Don’t be confused by the misle ...



A Black History Month connection to Valentine's Day
Each February we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. There is an important, but seldom if ever mentioned, connective link. Here it is briefly: Valentine’s Day’s ...



School grades teach lessons
RALEIGH — Those who care about education reform learned a lot on February 5 when North Carolina released its first letter grades for public schools. The grades reflect three sets of information: ...



Dean Smith a towering figure
North Carolina, with its long and rich sports traditions, especially in basketball, has seen many towering figures mold teams and reputations. None towered more than Dean Smith, who died Saturday a ...



Freedom is our goal
RALEIGH — “What do you people want?” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked that by lawmakers, activists, or reporters who don’t share my views. Th ...



Letter grades are 'tough love' for education
RALEIGH – “Tough love” is now part of government’s role. That’s what happened in many areas across North Carolina last week when every public and charter school in the ...



McCrory's long, cautious State of the State
RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory’s 80-minute “State of the State” speech last week didn’t break much new ground. Instead, it laid the groundwork for a 2016 re-election campaign ...



Fair is not foul, in the redistricting drama
RALEIGH — At the beginning of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, three grotesque witches enter the stage with thunder rumbling in the background. You may recall that the witches ending up chanting in ...



A different kind of stepping stone
RALEIGH – Former House Speaker Thom Tillis used his prominent position in state government to help him climb the ladder to the U.S. Senate, where he is serving his first term. Former state Re ...




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