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Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

NC’s NAACP President on lessons from Ferguson (video)

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 20:57
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, has issued a statement on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the non-indictment of the police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, in Ferguson on August 9th. Read the full statement here and click below to hear ...

Another life-saving act by the Obama administration

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 15:00
Good government can do a lot of to things to improve the quality of life for its citizens, but when you get down to it, making people healthier and safer is pretty much at or close to the top of any reasonable person’s list. That’s why the Affordable Care Act was and is, ultimately, for ...

Woodhouse claims dark money ads during election were not political

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 14:00
Here’s your ridiculous claim of Thanksgiving week from a story by the Center for Public Integrity.  Dallas Woodhouse of the right-wing advocacy group Carolina Rising says the 4,000 ads the group ran praising Republican Thom Tillis during the recent U.S. Senate race were not political at all. They were just about issues and happened to ...

Charitable giving down in North Carolina

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:36
The N.C. Secretary of State’s office had a report out yesterday that found North Carolina residents are continuing a downward trend in their charitable giving. The office, led by Elaine Marshall, a Democrat, monitors charities in the state and puts out a report each year about the how much of a charity’s incoming revenue goes ...

Employment in NC still below 2007 levels

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:19
In December 2007, just as the Great Recession started, 62 percent of North Carolina’s working-age population was employed. As of October 2014, employment had fallen to 56.5 percent as measured by the employment to population ratio. Despite the important milestone of replacing all the jobs lost during the Great Recession, North Carolina still has not ...

North Carolinians speak out on Ferguson decision

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:52
In cities across North Carolina, thousands of people gathered Tuesday evening to voice their feelings about the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo. not to indict a white policeman for the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Here’s a sampling of those remarks: As reported by WBTV in Charlotte: “Until we have ...

Americans pay the price for refusing to be honest about taxes

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 06:36
Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post has an excellent essay in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer about how the American aversion to taxes has become an irrational and destructive affliction. Not only are we leaving core public structures and services chronically underfunded, we’re skewing our entire political system by turning our public ...

Preparing for your turkey table debates

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:22
If you’re preparing for the inevitable political discussions that will accompany your family get-togethers this week, here are three new Thanksgiving-themed posts that might help you out: #1 is today’s Fitzsimon File, which highlights the hypocritical change of heart that so many conservative politicians display toward people in need around the holidays. As Chris notes, ...

New analysis: Up to 50,000 NC voters silenced by new rules, confusion, poor preparation at the polls

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:20
There was a good deal of anecdotal evidence during the November election indicating that something was amiss in a lot voting places around the state. Now, sadly, there is damning confirmation in a new report from the watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina. This is from the report summary: “New voting restrictions and unprepared poll workers ...

Quantifying the beneficiaries and broad benefits of immigration action

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:26
The stories of children held back from pursuing educational opportunities, of families separated and weakened by deportations or their threat, of communities uncertain how to integrate and engage immigrants, provide the most compelling support for President Obama’s announcement of a new proposal to grant temporary, limited immigration status to certain immigrant families. To complement these ...

NC protests over grand jury decision in Mike Brown case held tonight (with updated list)

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:25
Several protests will be held today in response to a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer who shot and killed a teenager last August. The shooting death of Mike Brown, who was black, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, touched off protests and unrest across the nation. ...

What you need to know about Ferguson

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:08
The Marshall Project has this excellent summary of the grand jury proceedings that concluded yesterday with the return of no indictment of Ferguson police office Darren Wilson for the death of teenager Michael Brown. The summary has links to many relevant stories and sources, including legal commentary on the unusual nature of the prosecutor’s handling of ...

Charter school’s failure a testament to inadequate standards and oversight

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 08:48
It’s funny and sad how humans have to constantly relearn basic lessons of history. The latest exhibit here in North Carolina comes from the world of education where, once again, we’ve been reminded of just why it is that our forebears established a uniform system of public education. It’s not that children didn’t receive education ...

Recount confirms Beasley win in Supreme Court race

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 05:48
Late yesterday, the state Board of Elections completed the recount of votes cast in the Supreme Court race between sitting Justice Cheri Beasley and her challenger, Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, with Beasley coming out ahead by more than 5,400 votes. When Robinson initially requested the recount, the tally showed Beasley ahead by 5,427 votes.  Final ...

Update on North Carolina’s missing workers

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 13:45
Coverage of the latest labor market release on Friday has focused on the fact that the state has replaced all the jobs lost in the Great Recession, a milestone achieved after nearly seven years since that recession started.  There is still much progress to be made to achieve a full recovery in the labor market. ...

New national report: Energy industry behind push from McCrory and other governors to expand off-shore drilling

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:12
There’s a hard-hitting report out today from the Center for Public Integrity peeling back the layers behind the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a group of primarily Republican governors pushing to allow off-shore drilling in Atlantic waters. The coalition is chaired by Gov. Pat McCrory, and the Center for Public Integrity report (also published in ...

Data tools for policymaking: USDA Food Atlas

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:04
As I wrote about last week, it is increasingly urgent that emphasis be put on facts as the foundation of policymaking. And there are some great data tools out there to support identification of the issues facing North Carolina’s communities and the most effective solutions. One such tool is the USDA Food Atlas which provides ...

Solar and wind prices now compete with fossil fuels

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:57
Some good news today for renewable energy and global warming!  A new study shows that the cost of utility-scale solar energy is as low at 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour in comparison to natural gas at 6.1 cents and coal at 6.6 cents.  The investment banking firm Lazard, who conducted the study, highlights that even without ...

Rep. Justin Burr forwards racist tweet

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 08:46
Just a day after he lost his long shot bid to be Speaker of the House, state Rep. Justin Burr forwarded the tweet show below to his followers from Young Conservatives.  Very classy Rep. Burr.

A small bit of good news to start your week

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 07:30
There’s still a long way to go in transforming our criminal justice system into what it needs to be. Indeed, the lead editorial in Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer reminded us that the ongoing assault on North Carolina’s court system by the General Assembly and Governor McCrory is as absurd as it is ...