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Pipeline explosion’s effect on NC

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We’ve heard this song before and don’t want to hear it again. But like that earworm melody we can’t get out of our minds, a gasoline crisis is back. For the second time in two months, a problem has shut down one of the major pipelines that carries gasoline from…

Presidential campaigns reflect NC divide

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist When Hillary Clinton appeared with Michelle Obama last week at Wake Forest University, it followed a pattern of the Democratic presidential candidate campaigning in North Carolina’s major metropolitan areas. But when Republican Donald Trump campaigned in recent days it tended to be in parts of North…

NC Sen. Richard Burr closes well

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist When then-Congressman Richard Burr first ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he drew a tough Democratic opponent: former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Bowles, a respected businessman and son of prominent Democratic politician Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles, had a stellar resume and a…

Always a cause for concern

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist A few years ago, a young friend joined us older guys for a beer at our local spot. He’d been watching a lot of Fox News and had had Rush Limbaugh on the radio that afternoon, so when the conversation moved from sports to politics,…

Fixing the Affordable Care Act

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It’s enough to scare you into a heart attack: Across the country, premiums for health-insurance policies bought through the Affordable Care Act are skyrocketing. The price hikes will average about 25 percent in the coming year. Here in North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield says its Obamacare premiums will…

Not so fast on a universal child benefit

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MICHAEL D. TANNER Guest Columnist Sam Hammond and Robert Orr of the Niskanen Center have published a very thoughtful paper proposing the establishment of a Canadian-style Universal Child Benefit. They make a compelling argument that replacing the current mish-mash of child-centered social welfare programs with a single cash benefit would…

Reader’s Forum

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Support for Underwood Anyone else perplexed with whom to vote into office this election? As election time is drawing close, I have found a candidate that I can fully support. Neil Underwood is running for Lincoln County commissioner. Underwood is someone I have known for more than 10 years. He…

Hillary Clinton’s debt promise (that she’d definitely break)

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CHARLES HUGHES Guest Columnist In the third and final debate last week, Hillary Clinton tried to flex her fiscal responsibility bona fides by vowing that she “will not add a penny to the debt” on three separate occasions. That must mean she has comprehensive reforms to address entitlements, rein in…

Senate candidates in tight races reject anti-immigrant message

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DAVID BIER Guest Columnist As Donald Trump doubled down on his anti-immigration message in last night’s debate, Republican candidates for Senate across the country are not adopting his lines. In fact, they are overwhelmingly going the other way, rejecting mass deportation and endorsing legal immigration and various forms of legalization…

State elections aren’t about gridlock

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist After Republicans won their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, and particularly after they won the U.S. Senate in 2014, the nation’s capital became a place of active inaction. There was plenty of furious activity — bills filed and debated, President Obama calling…