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State economy outpaces nation again

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolina’s economy continues to outperform the national and regional averages — which is one reason why, the results of the gubernatorial election notwithstanding, the state’s policy fundamentals are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. A few days ago, the federal government released its latest…

Charter schools could use more oversight

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Republicans who lead the General Assembly are tough on accountability when it comes to traditional public schools and public school teachers. They’ve pushed changes that put a letter grade on public schools and moved to end teacher tenure to make it easier to fire poor performing teachers. But when it…

We almost didn’t have the Bill of Rights

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist Ask someone to quote from the U.S. Constitution, and you’ll likely hear the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …” Ironically, though, if some of the Constitution’s framers had had their way, these words wouldn’t even have been in the document…

Carolina lawmakers become leaders

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist When the 115th Congress convenes in early January, North Carolina’s delegation is poised to play a prominent role in charting a post-Obama course on a host of policy issues. As I’ve previously noted, Sen. Richard Burr will begin the 2017 session as chairman of the Intelligence…

Once more Mr. Nice Guy

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist North Carolina’s most popular politician reappeared last week, almost four years after disappearing from public view. Seven times elected mayor of Charlotte, then elected governor by 12 points, Nice Guy Pat McCrory appeared on a YouTube video just in time to say goodbye, to concede…

As Aleppo burns

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For practically the entirety of the Syrian civil war, the United States has remained on the sidelines as President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Islamic State seized territory and brutalized anyone who didn’t adhere to its brand of religious fanaticism and Russia and Iran plotted and…

Facing lobotomy and other stories

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist When the actions of a mentally challenged teenaged boy begin to frighten other children and alarm their parents, what should be done? By the boy’s family? By the state? Is it time to institutionalize the boy? Are there medical procedures that can eliminate his offensive and…

Why NC’s first GOP governor in a generation lost

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist The stars seemed aligned for Republican Pat McCrory to easily win re-election as North Carolina’s governor. When McCrory took office in January 2013, the economy was already months into its recovery from the Great Recession and would continue its upswing during the next four years. McCrory…

Seeking ways to avoid police-involved shootings

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The Charlotte police officer who shot Keith Lamont Scott was exonerated last week. And while there was some dissatisfaction with Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray’s report, there was no rioting, no violent reaction, not even peaceful protest marches. The finding was accepted, albeit grudgingly by some critics of the way…

The role of states, as states, in the Electoral College

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ROGER PILON Guest Columnist Of all those whose predictions were dashed by this year’s presidential outcome (“Trump is headed toward a major loss” his Oct. 19 headline blared), few have been more exercised than the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne (“white identity politics and male self-assertion triumphed” he railed the day…