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Spotlight turns to state courts

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist One key consequence of the 2016 elections in North Carolina was that the state’s court system drew a great deal of attention. You can expect that attention to continue, and perhaps to lead to constructive change, during the coming year. Four election stories had the effect…

Books for New Year’s reading

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist So, have you got something about reading more books on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, I have some help. Four different books, at least one of which will be right for you. A best-selling inspirational cookbook-memoir by North Carolina’s most celebrated woman these…

GOP needs plan to replace Obamacare

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The disaster that has been the Affordable Care Act will some reach its end. President Barack Obama’s signature legislation has, by all measures, been an enormous failure. Premiums are increasing, insurers are leaving the law’s marketplace and consumers, the very people the law was supposedly written to protect, are bearing…

We made our own democracy

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The terms “fascist” or “communist” are thrown around far too often, used primarily to describe something that really could be better termed “undemocratic.” Which word people use depends wholly upon where they fall on the ideological spectrum. But even then, “undemocratic” has different meanings for different people. Many critics of…

Why shouldn’t Denver incorporate?

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NIC HAAG Guest Columnist The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Denver incorporating is the new taxes I would have to pay. Another fear is the amount of new laws and ordinances that could be put forward by the new layer of government. Looking around…

Respond wisely to next recession

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist If I could predict the onset of America’s next recession with precision, I wouldn’t tell you about it. I’d become a money manager and make a pile by timing the market. But I can’t, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll simply observe that based on historical precedent,…

Thanks, Gov. McCrory

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist When historians assess Pat McCrory’s term, I don’t think he will be remembered as nearly as successful as North Carolina’s previous two Republican governors, Jim Martin and Jim Holshouser. McCrory was never able to overcome his lack of background in state government and politics, and he…

Republican actions on HB 2 won’t help win elections

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist When it comes to House Bill 2, legislative Republicans are absolutely hapless. Republicans conceived HB 2, the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, last March, hoping to use it as a wedge issue against gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper and other Democrats. It backfired. When…

Health reform needs state leaders

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist As recent events have reminded us, North Carolina’s state government is not a precise analogue to the federal government. Its leadership is more diffuse. The state legislature is stronger, relative to the executive branch, than Congress is to the presidency. Moreover, the executive branch isn’t unitary.…

Yes, there is such a thing as ‘fake news’

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Whether President-elect Donald Trump and his most fervent supporters like it or not, there is such a thing as “fake news,” and it isn’t what’s coming out of the New York Times or the Washington Post. Granted, there are some glaring issues at those publications related to the way they…