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No complaints here on prison contracts story

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist What Gov. Pat McCrory and his staff didn’t complain about says a lot. In case you missed it, The News & Observer of Raleigh and The Charlotte Observer published a lengthy investigation over the weekend about a meeting last fall between the governor, a prison contractor…

A modest proposal: UNC chancellors, return those pay raises

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MICHAEL C. BEHRENT Guest Columnist Something surprising has happened in Raleigh: Republicans have suddenly become spendthrifts. And they’re even spending money on education, to boot. Of course, there’s a catch: the money in question is going overwhelmingly to the wealthy. When it comes to education, the Republicans are following their…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Haters gonna hate

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MICHAEL GEBELEIN Managing Editor Politicians love to hate The Media. And they say it just like that, “The Media,” as if there’s a cabal of the political press that meets in secret every quarter to plot and scheme against whichever politician needs to be taken down a peg or two.…

Voters key to NAACP leader’s mission

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Seven people played dead on the steps to the side entrance of the State Capitol building on a rainy day last week. They held cardboard “tombstones” bearing such phrases such as, “I died from a heart attack because I couldn’t afford cholesterol medication” and “I died…

Reader’s Forum — 11-4-15

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Reader’s Forum: Say no to bars Thank you to Larry Mac Hovis, Alex Patton, and Devin Rhyne for your stance against the establishment of bars in Lincolnton in the Oct. 23 edition of the Lincoln Times-News. This is indeed still the Bible Belt and the desire to allow the opening…

Interest can drive progress

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist If you base your political views on the assumption that people don’t tend to act in their self-interest, you doom yourself to chronic disappointment. That’s not to say that most people are venal, evil, or contemptuous. They aspire to serve their fellow human beings and care…

The University of North Carolina system’s new president

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Margaret Spellings’ tenure as president of the University of North Carolina system might not quite be the “fruit of the poison tree,” as Wilmington’s own Thom Goolsby put it. Still, the former U.S. education secretary will find her service hobbled by the manner of her selection. At best, she will…

Budget deal undermines tax reform

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CHRIS EDWARDS Guest Columnist The budget agreement between congressional leaders and the Obama administration would break prior budget caps and increase spending over the next two years by $80 billion. The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 would theoretically offset that cost with savings down the road, but promises of…

More mission creep in an illegal war

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GENE HEALY Guest Columnist In the 15 months since the president unilaterally launched our latest war in the Middle East, he’s repeatedly pledged that he wouldn’t put U.S. “boots on the ground” in Syria. As he told congressional leaders on Sept. 3, 2014, “the military plan that has been developed”…

School vouchers: We need accountability before further expansion

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MATT ELLINWOOD Guest Columnist The subject of school vouchers remains a controversial and divisive matter in North Carolina. To many opponents, they pose an existential threat to the future of public education. To many proponents, they are a potential cure for all that is broken or imperfect in K-12 schools.…