Start up the rural economy

D uring most of its history, North Carolina was a state of widely dispersed residents. There were no truly big cities, many small towns and fewer sparsely populated counties than, say, Virginia or Georgia had. Particularly along the state’s rivers and streams, you’d find a...

Give the president more power

by John Hood Congress should give President Barack Obama more power — when it comes to the issue of free trade, that is. Conservatives and constitutionalists are rightly concerned about recent arrogations or abuse of power by the executive branch. They should demand greater...

Turning up the heat on Wos

by Scott Mooneyham In Congress, the drama of a committee hearing where lawmakers get into confrontational question-and-answer sessions with those testifying before them are not so unusual. In the North Carolina General Assembly, that kind of contentiousness is rare. Any...

Legislators look again at the revolving door

by Scott Mooneyham Since North Carolina legislators first approved the State Ethics Act in 2006, policymakers and political observers have continued to discuss to what extent state law should control the revolving door between government and the private sector. The problems...

Strong reasons to oppose Common Core

by Bob Luebke On June 2, 2010, the North Carolina State Board of Education adopted Common Core Standards. The standards emerged out of a national discussion over the decline in the value of a high school diploma and growing concern over America’s poor performance on international...

‘Unaffordable’ Care Act is unfixable

by Brian Balfour In a recent interview with WebMD (webmd.com), President Obama admitted that yet another of the promises used to sell the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — to the American public turns out to be a lie. In the interview, he confessed that some Americans might have...

Who will pay for Duke’s coal ash disposal?

by Scott Mooneyham It didn’t take long for the real debate to begin regarding Duke Energy’s 31 coal ash ponds at 14 sites around North Carolina. As I noted in this column al-most a month ago and shortly after the massive coal ash spill into the Dan River, any idea that Duke could...

Will N.C. make par in 2014?

by John Hood If North Carolina Democrats were to gain some legislative seats this year, state and national pundits would probably spill gobs of ink — or at least fill gobs of pixels — with elaborate explanations of how the party began to recover its footing in a state it once...

Plant native species to preserve state’s diverse flora

by D.G. Martin First question for you, says UNC-TV’s “Exploring North Carolina” host, Tom Earnhardt, when he begins his talk to a Rotary club or other civic group, is, how many of you have spare parts somewhere in your body? A few hands go up. I’m not just talking about new knees...

Making sense of teacher pay

by Bob Luebke Do other professions require their best employees to give up an accomplishment to get a raise?  Do other professions use raises to lure employees into giving up due process?  Those are two questions Wake County public school teacher Dyane Barnett asked in a recent...

How about a look at the good and bad of school choice now?

by Scott Mooneyham A decision by a Superior Court judge last week to block a new school voucher law was met with howls of disapproval from school choice advocates. One of the sponsors of the law, Wake County Republican state Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, called it disappointing. A...

North Carolina politics and the Bard

by John Hood “I am hurt,” says the dying Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet after trying to stand up for his friend Romeo and getting stabbed for it. “A plague o’ both your houses!” In popular remembrance, we actually invest the Bard’s line with even more poetic force by...