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NC governor is selling mediocrity

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PATRICK McHUGH Guest Columnist Governor Pat McCrory is trying to convince everyone that, thanks to his team’s leadership, our economy is in great shape. In defending a largely status quo budget for next year, the governor is clearly happy with where North Carolina is economically, and thinks that he deserves…

A coach’s lesson

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Recently, I watched a kids’ baseball scrimmage. A few innings into the game, a kid walked up to the field, apparently with his dad. The dad looked dirty, like he had just gotten off work as a mechanic. The kid wore shorts and a T-shirt that was…

OUR VIEW — A last-ditch effort

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Here’s hoping the John Kasich-Ted Cruz cooperation pact doesn’t come to be too little, too late. The Republican presidential nomination contenders announced on Sunday that “they had agreed to divide key remaining primary states between them, giving each a better chance to stop Donald Trump head-to-head and force a contested…

For Republicans, no history of backing down

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Since taking control of the state House and Senate in 2011, Republicans on Jones Street have weathered their fair share of criticism – and that may be the understatement of the decade. They’ve been deemed heartless. They’ve been called racists, bigots and homophobes. They’ve endured sit-ins…

Budget restraint creates options

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist “My problem,” the notoriously reckless actor Errol Flynn once quipped, “lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.” When it comes to state budgeting, too many governors and legislators across the country have indulged their own gross habits, such as buying votes with unfunded…

America should stop paying to defend the world

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist Donald Trump is a genius for gaining media attention. Sometimes his opinions also reflect basic common sense. Consider his complaint that Washington’s prosperous allies in Asia and Europe don’t pay enough in return. Defenders of the status quo contend that it is in America’s interest to…

OUR VIEW — Scout’s project deserves applause

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We’re all the custodians of our history, so it’s refreshing to see a local young man take the time and effort to improve upon one of Lincoln County’s genealogical research resources. Blair McMurry, a 15-year-old Lincolnton Boy Scout, recently “raised about $1,200 and, along with help from his grandfather, designed,…

A good start on savings

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Republicans who control the state budget have been criticized for tax changes in recent years, as well as for the spending priorities they’ve expressed through state budgets. That comes with the territory. But one aspect of those budgets that’s gone relatively unnoticed is the amount of…

North Carolina’s big ‘tax swap’ is coming up short

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ALEXANDRA FORTER-SIROTA Guest Columnist Tax Day 2016 is upon us and it’s clearer than ever that North Carolina’s recently re-formulated tax code is failing to fulfill its purpose of ensuring that every community can thrive. Rather than collecting the badly needed revenue to meet the growing — and changing —…

Domestic developments in U.S.-Saudi relations

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EMMA ASHFORD Guest Columnist In the run-up to President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia later this week, two domestic issues which concern the U.S.-Saudi relationship are also gaining attention. Yet these developments – a congressional bill which allows Americans to sue foreign governments for supporting terrorist groups, and growing calls…