Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

NC demonstration in support of Ukraine
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Putin’s war on Ukraine provides a powerful reminder to Americans: Maybe we’re not as divided as we had thought

It seems certain that one of the contributing factors in the disastrous calculus that led Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to believe he could get away with his murderous and criminal invasion of Ukraine was his perception of weakness and division in the United States. And, of course, it was not a completely unreasonable perception to hold.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The message Americans need to hear at a critical moment in history (and that too many are unwilling to receive)

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, then-President George W. Bush famously prescribed a somewhat surprising course of action for Americans looking to do their part to combat the dark forces behind the terror: consumerism. Rather than lifting up concepts like shared sacrifice, self-reflection, or God forbid, slightly higher taxes to pay for the multi-trillion-dollar war he was about to launch, Bush told Americans to “Get on board. Do your business around the country....

...
Read more 0
Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Masking the truth: If only Republican lawmakers really cared about our children as much as they claim to

To listen to North Carolina Republican lawmakers last week as they advanced a bill to end school mask requirements, it was hard not to be struck and even impressed by the passion that some of them displayed in expressing their love and concern for the state’s children. Multiple lawmakers talked of the terrible impact that the pandemic has had on children and the desperate need...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

In our schools: ‘Yes’ to books, science, diversity…and discomfort

Public school book banning is back in the news. Yes, I know; it’s an amazing development in an era in which every imaginable form of explicit violence, sex, and hate speech resides just seconds away at our children’s fingertips. Research indicates that 95% of American teens have ready access to a smartphone and that more than 90 percent of kids play video games...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

When it comes to gerrymandering, there simply must be a limit

Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the most recent batch of egregiously gerrymandered legislative and congressional maps fashioned by Republican majorities at the General Assembly. It should not have been necessary.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

When the market economy and public well-being clash

Controversial Greenville facility proposal provides latest reminder that what’s good for business is not always good for society There’s no doubt that when it comes to the generation of wealth and innovation, the market economy is one of the great inventions of modern human history. Legitimate arguments can and must be had about how much longer humans can keep up the pace of economic growth to which they’ve become accustomed...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC GOP’s judicial impeachment threats are a new low in Trump-like lawlessness

Impeachment. Like the snowflakes that flew last week in many parts of North Carolina, that word has been in the air in the state capital of late – darting crazily here and there in wild and erratic patterns and, ultimately, depositing a kind of icy blanket on state government. A few weeks’ back, right-wing politicos were rattling the impeachment saber at Superior Court Judge David Lee because they didn’t like his attempts to enforce the state constitution when it came to the right of schoolchildren in poor counties to a sound basic education.

   ...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The inflation blame game: Five important facts to keep in mind

The subject of inflation has been on many tongues in the public policy world of late – especially as Republican politicians comb every nook and cranny of the news cycle for topics with which to launch broadsides at the Biden administration. In November, Congressman Ted Budd – a candidate for Richard Burr’s soon-to-be-available U.S. Senate seat – introduced a snarky bill that would “require all personnel in the Biden White House to complete a financial literacy course focused on inflation.”

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Takeaways from a snowy night in I-95 purgatory

“My boss told me if I didn’t come in, I’d get fired.” So spoke a rather grumpy but nonetheless sight-for-sore-eyes Exxon attendant near Manassas, Virginia last Monday night around 10:00 pm as he mercifully allowed my wife Noelle and I to fill our gas tank and use the restrooms. The circumstances of our visit – we had recently taken leave from the excruciating crawl of a snowbound Interstate 95 a couple miles east – made both services essential.

...
Read more 0
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The five freedoms we must champion in the New Year

Eighty-one years ago this week, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered what was, from a substantive perspective, the most important speech of his unique and remarkable presidency. While the 1933 inaugural speech (“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”) is almost certainly better known, FDR’s January 6, 1941 address to Congress – commonly referred to as the “Four Freedoms Speech” – is now rightfully remembered...

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Last minute stocking stuffers for the naughty and nice of NC politics

Ho, ho, ho! It’s that time of year again – the fleeting period during which Americans of all stripes set aside petty partisan and ideological differences (hah!) and focus their attention on the one thing that, as humorist Jean Shepherd so accurately observed in his holiday classic “A Christmas Story," tends to unify us all in and around the winter solstice: “unbridled avarice.”

...
Read more 0
Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Toyota deal highlights the political right’s detachment from reality on the seminal issue confronting humanity

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in North Carolina – or, at least, the Christmas we’ve come increasingly to expect. This week’s forecast shows high temperatures will average in the 70s on multiple days. Meanwhile, across the nation and the globe, similar weather events that would have been seen as extraordinary in past decades have, increasingly and worrisomely, become the norm.

...
Read more 0
Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Undermining a basic right: Republican politicians espouse a truly radical stance on public education

It’s a bedrock principle of American law that average people can vindicate their legal and constitutional rights in courts of law and have those courts compel or prevent acts of other branches of government. From preventing the taking of private property without compensation, to ordering necessary services for, say, people living with disabilities, or even an incarcerated person, such action can take several forms.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Right-wing extremism hits new lows but “responsible” conservatives remain largely silent

These are, by any fair estimation, divided times in our country. Especially since the onset of the pandemic, the level of venom and bitterness that’s gripped millions of Americans is a sometimes-frightening phenomenon to behold. This troubling reality has clearly been fueled at times by the relative anonymity provided by internet, but it’s also the case that many of those voicing and spurring on aggression, hatred, and even physical violence are only too happy put their names and faces out there.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Ruthless and relentless: NC GOP election rigging continues apace with new voter suppression bills

You’d think, at some point, the folks who lead the North Carolina Republican Party might experience just the tiniest twinge of sheepishness. Indeed, one can at least imagine a conversation in which, upon being presented with the latest demand to draft yet another voter suppression bill, a still marginally idealistic young aide might muster the gumption to speak up.

...
Read more 0
Top Story Weekly Briefing

Judge’s order to up school funding is legally, practically, and morally correct

It’s about time. What took so long? Better late than never. Those are some of the obvious reactions that caring and thinking people have had in recent days to last week’s order from state Superior Court Judge David Lee directing state legislators to pry open the state’s massive savings account and pony up the first $1.7 billion-plus installment toward bringing the state’s broken public school system into compliance with the state constitution.

...
Read more 0
Send this to a friend