Almost all African-Americans won by landslides – or by default

by Patrick Gannon Of the 11 African-Americans elected to the state Senate last year, eight took their seats with no opposition last November. The remaining three won by garnering an average of 71 percent of the votes against opponents. There were no close contests in Senate...

N.C. case may roil U.S. religion debate

by Elliot Engstrom In recent months, headlines on religious liberty across the nation have referred almost exclusively to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) — both the federal version passed in 1993 and various state versions, or “mini” RFRAs, that have been passed...

Time to repeal Renewable Fuel Standard

In a rare act of bipartisanship, Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently introduced a bill that would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. That’s good news. Instead of bolstering energy security as intended, the RFS is undermining the economic success...

Please raise this tax

In a rare act of bipartisanship, Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently introduced a bill that would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. That’s good news. Instead of bolstering energy security as intended, the RFS is undermining the economic success...

Lawmaker wants to bring back forced busing

by Brian Balfour Five years ago, in response to a groundswell of parental complaints, Wake County schools finally ended its long-running policy of forced busing. Wake had long been one of a few remaining holdouts still clinging to this failed experiment that disrupted so many...

Death and dying issues on the legislative agenda

by Patrick Gannon If you had a fatal disease, would you want to try experimental drugs if there was a chance they would save your life, even if they might kill you sooner? Or would you consider ending your own life if you were in great pain with no chance of recovery? Those are...

Freedom is a weighty issue

by John Hood Have you been eating right? Getting enough exercise? How far away are you from your ideal weight? You may think that I have no business asking you such personal questions, but I beg to differ. Privacy is no longer a legitimate excuse. And you can blame the so-call...

Capital idea for growth

by John Hood If you want to understand the debate about how best to promote growth within a capitalist society, start with the root word: capital. Although economists continue to differ widely and strenuously about what causes short-term events, few would disagree with the...

North Carolina ‘grays’ a bit more each year

by Patrick Gannon Call it the “graying of North Carolina.” The state is getting older, a phenomenon that brings with it many issues and problems for government to address in the coming years and decades. Some already are here. It’s also a trend legislators and other state leaders...

Early voting bill ignores election facts

by Susan Myrick They say “timing is everything,” but it’s hard to understand the timing behind our most recent “Bad Bill of the Week”: House Bill 239 Restore Early Voting Days. HB 239’s primary sponsors Larry Hall (D-Durham), Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland), Garland Pierce (D-Hoke)...

Beware of fiscal storms

by John Hood When I tell audiences that I have always been a committed Marxist, I usually get a combination of disbelieving snorts and knowing chuckles. The cleverest response goes something like this: “I can believe you’ve been a committed Marxist, but I can’t believe they’d...

State legislators not ready for medical marijuana

by Patrick Gannon As far as I could tell, most of the speakers weren’t hippies or druggies or ne’er-do-wells. They were everyday people from across the state who traveled to Raleigh last week to beg state legislators to legalize medical marijuana to treat various physical and...