Opinion & Commentary

Opinion: County races turn on governance

August 3, 2020

by John Hood As the fall homestretch of the 2020 election approaches, you’re probably not spending much time considering the implications of county commission races in North Carolina. But I am. I’m just that weird. Our state boasts some of nation’s most-watched electoral contests this year. North Carolina is a likely a must-win for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, for example. And the U.S. Senate seat being defended by Thom Tillis could end up tipping the partisan balance of that chamber. The reason I’m paying attention to county-level races, as well, is that they provide useful insights about North Carolina’s…

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Opinion: N&O editorial asking Cooper to get ‘heavy handed’ is irresponsible, shameful

July 31, 2020

by John Trump I’m tired.  Tired of the lecturing from Gov. Roy Cooper and his cohorts. Tired of waiting for his edicts. Tired of his pedantic lecturing. I’ve written about that. All of it. I’ve written about it probably way too much, as a colleague mentioned to me this week. “How often can you write about being tired?” he asked as he laid on my desk a proof page of the upcoming Carolina Journal.  He was joking, but just a little. I started thinking, and those thoughts led me to “Columbo,” the rumpled yet brilliant TV detective who never was…

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Opinion: Going viral — Cooper, Cohen spread data; officials, media report it without context, proper analysis

July 30, 2020

by Joe Coletti It is hard to know things. It’s harder to know how to know things. Harder still is knowing how to know the right things. In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper and much of the press corps have frequently repeated that he’s basing decisions about masks, bowling, schools, and anything else related to COVID-19 on “science and data.” This contention leaves open the question of whether state government and the reporters are collecting and analyzing the right data the right way. My colleagues Don van der Vaart and Jon Sanders have argued in a series of reports on…

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Opinion: New Monuments Could Unify State

July 29, 2020

by John Hood If you’ve lived in North Carolina for even a few years, you’ve probably formed an opinion about whether statues and monuments honoring Confederate leaders and soldiers ought to remain in or near courthouses, town halls, state buildings, and other public property throughout the state. Whatever your opinion on the issue, you can be sure a significant share of North Carolinians agree with you. That’s how divided we are. According to the polls I’ve seen, around a third say Confederate statues and monuments should be removed. About a quarter say they should be left precisely as they are,…

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Opinion: Government’s Basic Tasks Need Doing

July 27, 2020

by John Hood One morning in late March, I drove from my home in Southern Wake County to my office in North Raleigh to pick up some files so I could work from home. As I exited the Beltline onto Six Forks Road, I noticed a deer lying beneath the overpass, the apparent victim of a high-speed impact. It’s a familiar sight on the side of the road, in urban or rural areas, and I thought little about it at the time. I assumed it would be cleaned up by the next time I drove to my office. But it…

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Opinion: How We Win the War Against COVID-19

July 27, 2020

by Senator Thom Tillis Over the last several months, our families, our communities and our country have been in a war against COVID-19, a fight that continues to this day. The highly-contagious virus has taken countless lives and forced us to shut down sectors of our economy in order to stop the spread to protect our loved ones and neighbors. My top priority as your U.S. senator is protecting the physical and economic health of you and your family, which is why I’ve worked across the aisle to provide billions of dollars to support our hospitals, advance vaccine research and…

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Opinion: Medicaid expansion isn’t ‘free’ to the state

July 27, 2020

by Jordan Roberts Amid the pandemic, state lawmakers and liberal advocacy groups continue a push to expand Medicaid, as allowed by the Affordable Care Act. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Medicaid expansion is optional, state lawmakers have decided against moving forward with the policy.   Expansion proponents say the state won’t have to pay anything, and that such a policy should be uniformly supported. But a careful consideration of Medicaid expansion funding shows the program is anything but free for residents.  One must begin with the financing structure of Medicaid. Just like benefits for the typical Medicaid population, the expansion…

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Opinion: Congress Needs to Act Now and Extend Unemployment Benefits for Struggling Workers

July 23, 2020

by Governor Roy Cooper Next week, thousands of North Carolinians who are out of work due to COVID-19 will see a drastic reduction in their unemployment benefits despite this pandemic being far from over. The additional $600 a week unemployed workers have received from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program has been a lifeline for struggling families and communities over these past few months.  But unless the federal government acts quickly, these benefits will expire this weekend and many people will be without money they need to pay bills and provide for their families. I am urging Congress to do…

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Opinion: The assault on working parents must stop

July 23, 2020

by Dr. Terry Stoops A Union County teacher recently declared, “This might be rude, but I don’t care about parent child care issues. That should not be a valid reason for opening schools. #ihave3” Of the 367 comments to that Facebook post, a sizable majority agreed. “It’s time to hold parents accountable for raising the children they decided to have. School should never have been implied child care,” responded a Kannapolis City Schools teacher. “We are not babysitters although we are treated like one,” opined a former North Carolina educator now teaching in Georgia. As I have written previously, it…

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Opinion: Latest job numbers look promising

July 22, 2020

by John Hood For inveterate optimists, the past several months have been excruciating. A global pandemic has produced great suffering and death. A protest movement that began with righteous anger about the death of George Floyd has devolved in all too many locations into vandalism, looting, and violence. Reeling from these blows, economies sank into recession as businesses bled money, shed jobs, and, in some cases, shut down for good. Families struggled. Social ties frayed. Partisan divides widened. To be an inveterate optimist, however, is to reject despair as unhelpful and, in the end, unrealistic. You champion context. You look…

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