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Visa caps are protectionist occupational licenses on steroids

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DAVID BIER Guest Columnist Conservatives across the country, from Michigan to Arizona, are challenging burdensome occupational licenses. “Insiders use the false cover of consumer protection to get laws enacted that keep out new competitors,” Minnesota Republican state Sen. Chris Gerlach recently said, explaining his reform bill. While a welcome development,…

North Carolina is headed backwards on childhood lead poisoning

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FAWN PATTISON and TOM VITAGLIONE Guest Columnists When the NC legislature adjourned last week, they left behind some unfinished business. One bill left hanging, House Bill 1074, would have required (and paid for) lead testing in the drinking water of every school and child care center in North Carolina. We…

A property rights bill

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A bill enacted last week gives a tough assignment to the Department of Transportation. It’s supposed to recommend “a process that equitably balances the interest of the State in protecting proposed transportation corridors from development, the property rights of affected landowners, and the taxpayers of the State.” This is meant…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Free speech isn’t always pretty

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MICHAEL GEBELEIN Managing Editor My favorite part of any newspaper has always been the opinion page. Opinion writing, when it’s done right, can be better than any hard news because it combines the best of reporting with analysis, it helps put the news into context. Opinion writing is also where…

Liberals change subject to H.B. 2

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — Do you want to know why the Left has tried to make North Carolina politics into an “all H.B. 2, all the time” zone? Here are some reasons: Since mid-2013, when Gov. Pat McCrory’s first budgets and other policy priorities were enacted, North Carolina’s…

Our two great Robert Morgans

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist North Carolinians of my generation have been blessed with two important Robert Morgans. One is the mountain-born-and-raised and acclaimed writer who is featured this week on North Carolina Bookwatch for his latest novel, “Chasing the North Star.” The other, the former U.S. senator, died on Saturday.…

One Legislator’s parting words – or shots

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – Frustrated, defeated and over it. Those words sum up the feelings of Rep. Nathan Baskerville, a Henderson Democrat, as he finishes his second, two-year term in the state House. He isn’t running for re-election. Baskerville spoke matter-of-factually in a lengthy interview on Domecast, the…

Could an independent make it onto the ballot?

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ILYA SHAPIRO Guest Columnist As we enter the summer of Crump (or Trinton, take your pick), many Americans are unsatisfied with the two-party oligopoly that has produced the two most unpopular presidential candidates in modern memory. While some of these will nevertheless hold their noses and pick whomever they see…

If Black lives matter, repeal the minimum wage

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THOMAS A. FIREY Guest Columnist The civil unrest following last week’s police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, followed by the sniper attack on police officers in Dallas, has sparked a new bout of public concern over the hardships of Black America. Those hardships include significantly higher violent…

Duke gets a pass on coal ash cleanup

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When the N.C. Legislature adjourned last week, it was no surprise that lawmakers gave Duke Energy a pass on having to fully clean up coal ash lagoons across the state. The glare of publicity that followed the massive 2014 coal ash spill has long faded, eclipsed by other news such…