Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Editorial Cartoon Top Story

Year in review: Our top editorial cartoons of 2022

For going on two decades now, NC Policy Watch has been fortunate enough to be able to feature the expertly crafted, frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, and always thought-provoking commentaries of one of the nation’s top editorial cartoonists, John Cole. While it would be worth your time to look through all of John’s contributions to Policy Watch from the past here are some his best entries from 2022.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

A holiday wish list for North Carolina pols and their pals

Well, the season of giving is upon us again, and while it’s clear that North Carolina ethics statutes prevent public servants and other “covered persons” from receiving any gifts that might influence their official actions, the law includes a number of – nudge-nudge, wink-wink – exceptions, so one hopes that perhaps there is a way to make the following list a reality. For Senator-elect Ted Budd: A collector’s edition set of official Donald Trump superhero trading cards.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC Treasurer puts politics ahead of humanity’s future

Can morality play a role in capitalism? Should it? Human society has, of course, wrestled with this dilemma for centuries. For some market fundamentalists on the ideological right, all morality – at least when it comes to the roles of investors and consumers – is to be found in profits and bargains.

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Editorial Cartoon

Home for the holidays?

Cartoon inspired by this story. ...
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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Five steps Gov. Cooper can take to ensure the Leandro ruling benefits students for years to come

In November, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in the long-running Leandro court case. By a 4-3 margin, the justices ordered the state to provide our public schools, early education providers, and higher education institutions the funding necessary to implement years two and three of the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan. The court ruled that the state continues to violate the constitutional rights of North Carolina’s students to have access to a “sound basic education.”

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Cooper administration should bring same approach it brought to education funding to serving people with disabilities

One of the most hopeful developments to occur in decades with respect to the public services, systems, and structures provided and maintained by the state of North Carolina was the recent seminal state Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Leandro education funding case. By directing the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars currently squirreled away in savings accounts on the state’s long-neglected public schools, the high court struck a powerful and vitally important blow for basic human and constitutional rights and... ...

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Immediate action is needed to aid Afghans who put their lives on the line for Americans

U.S. Marine vet from North Carolina: Congress should pass the Afghan Adjustment Act ASAP More than a year ago, as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, I concluded twenty-seven years of uniformed service. I spent more than a year of my life in Afghanistan, serving in special operations, a fact only relevant because it brought me into close contact with members of the Afghan National Security Forces and Afghan civilian interpreters.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The link between politicians and anti-LGBTQ+ violence

It’s an age-old, chicken and egg discussion: Is it extant societal forces of exclusion, hatred and reaction that give rise to authoritarian politicians who in turn foment division, prejudice, and violence, or does it work the other way around? A global survey reveals compelling examples of both scenarios in action. It’s hard, for instance, to imagine the repressive religious fundamentalism and secular authoritarianism we see enforced today in many modern nations if there weren’t already some preexisting levels of support for it in pockets of the general public.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Judges not legislators: State Supreme Court’s legitimacy depends on continued respect for precedent

Maybe the change was an inevitable byproduct of our current charged and contentious era. Maybe it was naïve to ever think that things were dramatically different in the past. Whichever the case, one thing for sure in 2022 is that public perceptions of the American judiciary as a neutral dispenser of blind justice ain’t what they used to be. And indeed, those altered perceptions may reflect a new, sobering, and thoroughly politicized reality.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Could election results spur an immediate reversal of a landmark state Supreme Court ruling?

The North Carolina Supreme Court – or at least a slim majority of its members – invoked its solemn duty to uphold constitutional rights when it agreed in a Nov. 4 ruling that the state must spend more money to upgrade its system of public education. The General Assembly – or at least the Republicans who run things in the legislative branch’s mid-century modern temple in Raleigh – now is gearing up to invoke its solemn power to convince the court to buzz off.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Voters to politicians: Leave abortion rights alone

So now what? What are we to make of the results of the 2022 midterms now that they are – at least for the most part – finally in the books? While most everyone agrees that the results generally defied expectations given the much-smaller-than-anticipated size of the Republican “red wave” (and the best performance by a sitting president’s party in more than 40 years), triumphant claims of ideological victory and mandates have been understandably scarce.

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