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OUR VIEW — Let campuses be a home for free speech

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There was a time when universities were known as bastions of free speech and the free, unfettered exchange of ideas. Depending upon whom you talk to, that distinction might remain true. But the sad reality is that institutions of higher education are now too often responsible for stifling free speech…

Ten reasons for late-night budget releases

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PATRICK GANNON Guest Columnist Oops, they did it again. Senate Republican leaders released their $22.2 billion budget for 2016-17 to the public through the General Assembly website at 11:52 p.m. on a recent Tuesday, about nine hours before its initial consideration by senators on the Appropriations Committee. Two days and…

State pollsters earn good grades

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolina has one of the most-polled electorates in the United States. As we head into a general election full of highly competitive races for governor, senator, president, and other offices, those of us who closely follow politics in the Tar Heel State will again appreciate…

Obama’s misguided reversal on Social Security expansion

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CHARLES HUGHES Guest Columnist In a speech this week, President Barack Obama called for an expansion of Social Security, saying “it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits.” Obama was undoubtedly influenced to some degree by the developments in the Democratic primary, where both Bernie…

Expect an eventful June on Jones Street

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – For the first three weeks of this legislative session, the House and Senate puttered along. The House worked on its budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, while the Senate considered few bills of note. Speculation arose that the General Assembly might just pass a…

Dialogue on Fort Bragg is necessary

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They took the tarp off the elephant in the room, letting three visiting members of Congress in on a muted controversy that’s slowly brewing. Fayetteville City Councilman Kirk deViere brought it up at a Greater Fayetteville Chamber roundtable discussion that brought Sen. Thom Tillis, Rep. Richard Hudson and House Armed…

Why Clinton won’t win the foreign policy debate

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A. TREVOR THRALL Guest Columnist Hillary Clinton clearly believes that she enjoys a decided advantage over Donald Trump when it comes to foreign policy. Her speech on June 2 in San Diego launched what will clearly be a sustained attack on Trump’s qualifications as commander-in-chief. Citing his support for torturing…

Making children’s lives safer

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It’s been a tragic several months for the lives and well-being of children and young people in our area. Wednesday was especially heart-rending. First, we learned of the motor-vehicle deaths of two area high school students. By the end of the day, Wilmington Police reported the death of an 8-month-old…

Keep a lid on state debt

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — It’s cheap to borrow right now. That doesn’t mean you ought to load up with new debt, however, and this same wisdom applies to the public sector. North Carolina has traditionally maintained low levels of indebtedness, at least when compared to other states. According…

What if the United Kingdom departs the European Union?

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist Donald Trump’s success in the U.S. is not unique. Europe is being buffeted by similar populist currents. The United Kingdom might vote to exit the European Union in June. Moreover, a yes victory might spark what John Gillingham of the Harvard Center for European Studies and…