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The Trump era begins

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The impulse to declare that President Donald Trump is “not my president” or is an illegitimate leader is as inappropriate today as it was when those terms were being used to refer to Barack Obama eight years. Trump is president for at least the next four years, like it or…

Putting a ‘face’ on addiction

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Several years ago, we had the task of writing an obituary for a relative, someone who had struggled for years with drug addiction. The addiction and lifelong efforts at recovery had become such a central part of their life that we felt it needed to be mentioned, even though it…

Stealing lunch

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist The separation of powers principle shouldn’t be so vexing to state leaders. It was, after all, clearly explained in middle school civics class. The legislature writes the laws. The executive implements the laws. The judiciary applies the laws when there are disputes between parties, either…

Urban-rural gap isn’t new

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist One of the best gifts I received this Christmas was a history book entitled The Country Church in North Carolina. The author, a Duke University specialist in rural sociology, began with a brief overview of the state. Observing that the growth rate of North Carolina’s largest…

Voters didn’t give Republicans a mandate

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THOM TILLIS Guest Columnist Since the election, I’ve heard some of my fellow Republicans claim that the party received a decisive mandate from voters. Let’s be clear: the American people didn’t give the GOP a stamp of approval or a mandate to ram through an ideologically-driven, far-right agenda. If the…

Single-payer Trumpcare won’t work

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Republican-dominated legislatures in several states won’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but President-elect Donald Trump would have us believe that Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate are prepared to pass single-payer healthcare — far and above the most un-conservative proposal Trump has offered since winning election…

Local abuses don’t boost economy

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Thomas Jefferson had lots to say about lots of things. As the North Carolina General Assembly begins its 2017 session and new Gov. Roy Cooper begins his term, it’s worth considering what Jefferson had to say about striking the proper balance between local and central authority.…

NC Republicans have clout in the new Congress

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist In the new Republican-dominated Washington, North Carolina will have one of its most influential congressional delegations in recent memory. The Tar Heel delegation is heavily Republican (12 of 15), very conservative, many with Tea Party connections and heavy on the testosterone, with only two women. The…

GOP shouldn’t block special election

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A three-judge federal panel has delivered, to no one’s surprise, an expected order that North Carolina must push ahead with a special election in 2017. The election comes as a result of an earlier ruling ordering new legislative maps to be drawn by March 28 for new districts. Any districts…

Why Democrats dominate NC governor’s races

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist The election of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper should surprise no one. During the past 100 years, no state in the continental United States has elected more Democratic chief executives or fewer Republican governors than North Carolina. North Carolina has elected three GOP governors during the past…