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Updated: 31 min 29 sec ago

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!  

Editorial: Time for a new direction at DENR

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 08:30
As Clayton Henkel reports below, even national news media have taken note of the embarrassingly cozy relationship between Duke Energy and North Carolina’s environmental regulators. Of course, federal prosecutors have too. If ever there was a time for the state’s governor to signal a new direction and put the public ahead of polluters, now’s the ...

ICYMI: ’60 Minutes’ examines coal ash spill at Dan River

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 07:33
Duke Energy Chief Executive Lynn Good, Governor Pat McCrory, and the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Frank Holleman all weighed in on coal ash disposal during Sunday night’s 60 Minutes. Click on the image below to watch the full segment with Leslie Stahl, which is now archived at

UNC Board of Governors narrows review of centers down to 34 for possible closures (with list of centers)

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 16:05
The University of North Carolina’s board of governors has narrowed its probe of centers and institutes for possible closures down to 34 groups. The Republican-led state legislature paved the way for up to $15 million in cuts in last year’s budget by requiring that the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors and campus leaders ...

Attorney General not joining Gov. McCrory in lawsuit over President’s immigration order

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 15:19
North Carolina will not be joining Gov. Pat McCrory as a plaintiff in the multistate lawsuit filed earlier this week challenging President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration. McCrory signed on to that lawsuit in his capacity as governor and without the apparent support of his attorney general. Seventeen states and three other governors are ...

Just in: Innocence Commission sends Sledge case to judicial review

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:36
According to WRAL, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission has found that 70-year-old inmate Joseph Sledge’s claim of innocence in two Bladen County murders is supported by sufficient evidence to warrant further review for a three-judge panel. Sledge, who has been behind bars since 1978 after his conviction for those murders, has steadfastly maintained his innocence ...

McCrory, Duke, coal ash in national spotlight Sunday night

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 13:32
Try as some people might to wish North Carolina’s massive coal ash problem away, it isn’t going anywhere soon — either physically or politically. Another chapter will begin to unfold this coming Sunday evening when the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes  examines the situation. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Duke CEO Lynn Good will ...

Advocates call on Gov. McCrory to “Stop the Hate” and support immigrant families

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:15
Just days after Governor Pat McCrory announced he would join 14 states in a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order on immigration, North Carolina advocates are speaking out. Familias Unidas, Action NC and community allies are holding a Friday press conference in Charlotte to address their concerns. Here’s more from the group’s press advisory: According ...

One reason fast-food workers want $15 wages? Ability to see a doctor

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 09:27
There’s an interesting article today from North Carolina Health News about fast-food workers who make too much to qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina but make too little to afford health care on their own. North Carolina is one of several states that declined to expand coverage of Medicaid in the state, after the state ...

What a 21st century voting system looks like

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 08:12
Here’s something North Carolina voters can put on their wish lists for 2015:  voting reforms like those enacted by the Illinois legislature earlier this week that make registration simpler and more reliable, cut election costs in the long run, reduce voter fraud and, most importantly, expand the right and ability to vote. In just about every way, ...

Fayetteville Observer calls for federal investigation of Lennon Lacy’s death

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 07:41
In case you missed it, the Fayetteville Observer has added its voice to the growing chorus demanding a fully-fledged federal investigation of the hanging death of Bladenboro teen Lennon Lacy. This is from an editorial published in the paper this week: An independent pathologist hired by the state branch of the National Association for the ...

Federal Court of Appeals strikes down Florida’s law mandating drug testing for public benefit recipients

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 17:15
When North Carolina lawmakers passed a law last year mandating drug testing of public benefit recipients modeled (at least in part) on a law in Florida, civil liberties and anti-poverty advocates told them it was a bad and unconstitutional idea. Today those advocates are feeling some vindication as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ...

Huge growth in North Carolina’s imprisonment rate and corrections spending

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:42
An insightful interactive map created by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the extraordinary growth in imprisonment rates nationwide. For North Carolina, the number of individuals under state or federal correctional authority nearly tripled from 1978 to 2013, increasing to 356 from 214 individuals per 100,000 residents over this time period. This growth ...

Data tools for policymaking: The National Equity Atlas

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:14
PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity have put together a new data platform, the National Equity Atlas, which provides community leaders with information to measure, monitor and make the case for inclusive growth across the country. The creators note that before the creation of this Atlas it was difficult to secure ...

Hanging death of Bladenboro teen attracting more national attention

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:07
The August death of a Bladenboro teenager found hanging from a swingset in a rural part of southeastern North Carolina is continuing to attract national attention. Journalist Katie Couric recently profiled Lacy’s death, as part of her new reporting project with Yahoo and as the nation reacts to recent decisions not to pursue criminal charges ...

Amid a mass layoff, a hard look at North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 09:36
As media outlets focus on the news that GlaxoSmithKline will lay off about 900 research and development workers in the Research Triangle Park, be sure to make time to read Rob Schofield’s latest column on NC Policy Watch’s main website. Schofield takes a critical look at North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system, and more changes on ...

More reason to distrust for-profit charter schools

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 09:32
NC Policy Watch contributor Betsey Russell recently forwarded a story from the Akron Beacon Journal that raises further doubts about for-profit charter schools. It turns out that the Beacon-Journal has been conducting a months-long study of charters in Ohio and discovered that for-profit charters were consistently among the worst performers. As the article notes: “Ohio’s charter ...

Editorial: AP history flap shows that lawmakers would do well to go back to school

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 07:37
Today’s editorial in the Wilmington Star News speaks the truth about the controversy manufactured by some on the Right about the AP history course taught in our high schools. Here’s the excellent conclusion: “Students learn from the time they are in grade school that America is special, that it is a force for good in ...

Gov. McCrory joins states suing President over immigration executive order

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 15:58
Gov. Pat McCrory today joined 14 states and the governors of three others in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration, which among other things halted the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants.” “The president has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution and his unilateral expansion ...

Fast food workers will strike tomorrow all across North Carolina

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:23
Fast food workers and their allies will be gathering in several locations tomorrow to demand higher wage and union rights. This is from the good people at Raise Up for 15: Fast Food workers across North Carolina are joining a nationwide strike with fast food workers all over the country. Let’s build the Fight for ...