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(Don’t) Blame the media

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist It’s a fad – if not an obsession – for politicians to blame the “liberal mainstream media” for just about everything. What they write about. What they don’t write about. How they write about what they write about. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign is sending…

At last, partisan gerrymandering challenged

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Another month, another legal challenge related to voting and election fairness in North Carolina. And this one – which challenges partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts by the Republican-led General Assembly – could have far greater impacts on voters and the future of this state than perhaps…

A word to make Trump immortal

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist  He has put his mark on buildings and businesses that might last a lifetime. But could he more effectively gain immortality by adding his name to the language? That is the way, for instance, that Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry did it 200 years ago. He signed…

Jobless rate misses full story

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Is the full picture of our labor market captured in the official unemployment rate? The answer to that question is no — but that doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy afoot. In Washington, Republicans have long argued that the steady decline in America’s unemployment rate doesn’t mean…

Language matters: Resetting our sights on low-cost housing

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VANESSA BROWN CALDER Guest Columnist Housing affordability, an issue paid considerable attention over the previous two decades, doesn’t show signs of meaningful national improvement. This even despite the almost $50 billion HUD spends in taxpayer dollars annually on solving the affordability crisis and related concerns. So what gives? One likely…

Battling the Islamic State: U.S. must focus on its own enemies in future

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist The so-called Islamic State is losing ground. The liberation of Mosul, Iraq’s third most populous city, may be the Baghdad government’s next objective. Yet even as the “caliphate” shrinks in the Middle East, Daesh, as the group also is known, is increasing its murderous attacks on…

Three bipartisan proposals that fell through the cracks at the 2016 General Assembly

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BILL ROWE Guest Columnist It’s not often that North Carolina lawmakers find bipartisan consensus these days – especially on legislation that would help workers, boost tax revenues, spur the economy and make North Carolina a better and fairer state. That’s what makes the demise of three important and commonsense bills…

Pointing fingers gets us nowhere

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist “You started it.” “No, you started it.” “No, you did.” Sound like a fourth-grade playground quarrel? Certainly. Unfortunately, it also sounds like our state’s elected leaders over House Bill 2 and the recent federal appeals court ruling on the state’s voter ID legislation. In recent weeks,…

Don’t super-size the minimum wage

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist Well, this isn’t a typical election year. Why should the perennial fight over the minimum wage be any different? We usually hear calls to raise it by a dollar or two. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, so you’d expect advocates of a higher starting…

Hometown debates will inform voters

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolina is urbanizing — that much is certain. You can chart it in the economic data about population, income, and job creation. You can see it in the cranes that rise into the skylines of our largest cities. You can hear it as you travel…