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Updated: 2 hours 16 min ago

Right-wing paranoia drives attack on UNC centers

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 08:51
There were lots of compelling responses delivered by the defenders of various UNC Centers at yesterday’s inquisition in Chapel Hill, but one of the best came from Dean Jack Boger of the UNC Law School. This is from the account in Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Boger pointed out that the law school’s Banking Institute was ...

October labor market data for NC counties confirms that your view of the labor market depends on where you live

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 15:33
Yesterday, the Labor and Economic Division released October labor market data for all 100 counties.  The headline of the release was that the unemployment rate had dropped in 98 counties, or nearly all, in the past month.  It sounds like good news, and it is, but the new data also show that many parts of ...

Vigil in Durham tonight to mark anniversary of Newtown tragedy

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:32
Here’s something that would be worth an hour of your time tonight: North Carolinians Against Gun Violence will hold a vigil tonight at 7:00 p.m. to mark the second anniversary of Newtown and to organize against future tragedies of this kind.Sadly, there have been at least 91 school shootings in the U.S. just since the Newtown ...

Time slipping away for North Carolina federal court nominees

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:00
North Carolina’s latest nominee for a seat on the federal bench, Loretta Copeland Biggs, is slated for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, and if approved moves one-step closer to a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. But Biggs — like several other pending nominees hanging on as Congress approaches adjournment for the ...

More bipartisan support for redistricting reform: Will current state leaders listen?

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 10:04
ICYMI, the editorial page of the Charlotte Observer features another great op-ed this morning that was co-authored by former Raleigh mayor, Charles Meeker (a Democrat) and former Charlotte mayor, Richard Vinroot (a Republican). The subject: the urgent need for redistricting reform. As their honors note: As former mayors of North Carolina’s two largest cities, we ...

Tillis joins Burr in support for stifling the truth on torture

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 07:23
Well, this is off to a good start. Senator-elect Thom Tillis is already staking  out a less-than-courageous profile in his new job by essentially parroting the absurd remarks of his new colleague Richard Burr on the CIA torture report and attempting to make it a partisan issue — even though people of both major parties ...

Op-ed: College student “die in” protest a hopeful sign in race relations

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 15:04
John Deem, the Senior Editor of a suburban Charlotte community newspaper called the Lake Norman Citizen wrote a thoughtful opinion piece this week about a “die in” protest that Davidson College students conducted during their community’s recent Christmas festival to protest the nation’s epidemic of police killings. (He also took the photo at left.) One ...

Drunken lawyers, missing Supreme Court plaintiffs, and high-cost punishment

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 13:23
What can you do with a drunken lawyer?  Last night Georgia executed Robert Wayne Holsey,  a man of questionable intellectual capacity convicted for killing a sheriff’s deputy in 1995 — despite the fact that his court-appointed lawyer failed miserably in his defense and admitted to drinking up to a quart of vodka in the evenings while ...

Yet another encouraging report on the growth and potential of renewable energy

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 11:51
In case you missed it, the good people at Environment North Carolina released another very encouraging report last week on the growth and potential of renewable energy — this time focusing on wind. The report is entitled “More Wind, Less Warming: How American Wind Energy’s Rapid Growth Can Help Solve Global Warming” and it’s worth ...

Metro areas see recovery strengthening, still have long way to go

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 09:34
North Carolina’s metro areas have been the location of the strongest job growth since the Great Recession.  But as the October 2014 county data released yesterday demonstrate, the improvements for metro areas have been insufficient to make up for the lost ground during the Great Recession. Instead, 13 of the state’s 14 metro areas still ...

North Carolina’s senior senator embarrasses himself and the state

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:33
It’s nothing new for Senator Richard Burr to express embarrassing views or to engage in inexplicable political behavior, but the senator’s comments yesterday on the horrific findings in the new report on the CIA’s un-American torture program hit a new low. As you can read for yourself here and here, the torture report details a ...

Lawmakers struggle to find the right recipe for Medicaid ‘stew’ (video)

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 19:58
North Carolina’s General Assembly reconvenes five weeks from now and it’s becoming clear that House and Senate Republicans are divided on the best approach for Medicaid reform. At Tuesday’s meeting of the  Joint Legislative Oversight Committee of Health and Human Services, House members backed away from a Senate’s plan that would allow out-of-state, managed-care companies ...

Review of UNC systems centers and institutes set to begin tomorrow (with list and agenda)

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 16:11
A working group of UNC’s Board of Governors will be meeting tomorrow and Thursday to hear presentations from 34 centers and institutes from across the university system. This week’s meetings is part of a system-wide evaluation of academic centers and institutes by the board of governors, and a final report will make recommendations about whether ...

Vigil to mark second anniversary of Newtown tragedy this Thursday evening

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 14:49
As today’s Fitzsimon File explains in detail, not a whole lot of good things have happened on either the gun violence or mental health fronts in North Carolina during the two years since the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut: “The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report this week ...

A solution to inequality and stagnant nonprofit fundraising: Cap CEO pay

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 12:22
The good people at Too Much Online - a newsletter put out by the group have an interesting and provocative idea that would seem guaranteed to improve the image of  America’s nonprofit community (which has been suffering from depressed contributions of late) and help combat the nation’s runaway inequality: cap nonprofit CEO salaries. “Jack ...

Recent police controversies: Another byproduct of tax cut mania

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 08:31
The issue of young men of color dying in police custody has been dominating the national news of late and rightfully so. Millions of Americans in many cities — mostly people of color — live in fear and/or distrust of the police in their communities and this is not a recipe for a healthy society. ...

“Choose Life” license plate case on hold at U.S. Supreme Court

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 15:10
For several weeks now, the state’s “Choose Life” license plate case — pending for potential review at the U.S. Supreme Court — has been scheduled for consideration by the justices during conference and then relisted for a later date. It now appears, though, that consideration of the case will be on hold while the high ...

Another important, “as promised” success for Obamacare

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 14:08
Reporter Dylan Scott at Talking Point Memo has the details of another wonky but important way that the Affordable Care Act is succeeding in holding down health care costs: A key provision of the Affordable Care Act that was designed to keep insurers from overspending on administrative costs or else be forced to rebate premiums ...

Another very disturbing story about water pollution in NC

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 11:44
If all of the coal ash leaking into the state’s various waterways isn’t enough to get you steamed at the state’s  leadership for eviscerating our environmental regulations and regulators, here’s another story that might put you over the edge — it comes from Dan Besse of the League of Conservation Voters and Charlotte’s public radio ...

On our 10th Anniversary – 10 of our favorite John Cole editorial cartoons

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 09:58
As we mark our tenth anniversary, we thought we’d share this week’s very special editorial cartoon on the Progressive Pulse along with ten of our all-time favorites by the talented John Cole. If we happened to miss one of your favorites, let us know in the comment section below!