NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 10 min ago

The Patrick Cannon mess: Helping to make the case once again for campaign finance reform

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 08:37

By all (or at least, most) indications. Charlotte’s disgraced former mayor Patrick Cannon is a rather pathetic, small-time crook. Though it’s hard to know exactly how someone with such a massive character flaw will behave in every circumstance, it … Read More...

Economist Dean Baker: The Long Downturn: Why it persists – (full video)

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:48

For those who missed NC Policy Watch’s Crucial Conversation with Dean Baker on the state of the economy and getting back to full employment, the full program is now available online:

 …

Charlotte mayor arrested on federal charges of corruption, bribery

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 15:26

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, a Democrat who took office this year, was arrested today on charges stemming from a federal corruption investigation.

Cannon is accused of accepting bribes from business developers who were actually working undercover for the FBI in … Read More...

Why Courts Matter: Sen. Burr blue slip watch Day 280

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 14:53

If you’re wondering why Senator Richard Burr’s absurd and unexplained (and unexplainable) one-man filibuster of Federal District Court nominee Jennifer May-Parker really matters and is one of the most important and under-reported political stories in the Old North State, consider … Read More...

Lunch Links: Now for something completely different

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:34


Looking for a break from the headlines dominating your workday? Weary from breaking news about March Madness, Malaysia Flight 370, Hobby Lobby and Obamacare at the Supreme Court?

Here’s a few fun, quirky, noteworthy and just plain happy bits … Read More...

DHHS finds Guilford County foodstamps backlog bigger than thought, state at risk of not meeting federal deadline

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 11:23

Guilford County is sitting on an unknown number of pending applications for food stamps, a development North Carolina health officials say puts the state at risk of not meeting a March 31 federal deadline.

N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary …

State of public education in NC the subject of Thursday evening forum

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:07

The group Carolina Jews for Justice is hosting a worth-your-time forum Thursday evening in Raleigh entitled “The State of Public Education in North Carolina.” Speakers will include former Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction J.B. Buxton, Hillside High School teacher and … Read More...

New report documents the impact of racial exclusion at county level

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 15:47

The UNC Center for Civil Rights has released a new report as part of a series of in-depth examinations of exclusion and the legacy of racial segregation in individual counties. The subject is Lenoir County in southeastern North Carolina. Both … Read More...

Retta Riordan: An Apex small business owner describes her Affordable Care Act success

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 14:46

Last year Retta Riordan, a small business owner in Apex, was uninsured.  She had pre-existing health conditions so serious one insurance company called her “uninsurable.” She was willing to pay even a fairly large premium for health coverage but couldn’t … Read More...

Lunch links: coal ash, Duke lacrosse and Stephen Colbert

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:30

Hope everyone’s enjoying their lunch on this chilly March day. Does anyone know when the sun is supposed to come back?

First up, here’s the latest in the ongoing fallout over the Feb. 2 coal ash spill in North Carolina’s … Read More...

One area in which NC should strive to be unexceptional

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:56

It’s National Farmworker Awareness Week: Time to celebrate the dedication and strength of the people who plant and harvest our food.  Farmworkers are exceptional people in so many ways: their incredibly hard work, the courage of many of them in … Read More...

Talking common sense on Common Core

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:51

There are no doubt many legitimate criticisms of the national education initiative known as “Common Core.” Progressive historian Diane Ravitch has put forth many of them. But as an editorial this morning’s Greensboro News & Record aptly notes, the … Read More...

Last call for tomorrow’s lunch with Dean Baker

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:40

It will be a full house, but a few seats still remain for tomorrow’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon with one of the nation’s leading economists, Dean Baker. Pre- registration is required and ends tonight. Don’t miss the … Read More...

Different town, same inaccurate claims about the unemployment rate

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:19

Governor McCrory is at it again—incorrectly claiming that his decision to dramatically cut unemployment benefits is responsible for turning around the state’s job market. During a visit to Morganton over the weekend, the Governor stated:

 “There’s nothing worse than if


McCrory announces plan to give 450 teachers $10,000 bonuses with Race to the Top funds

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:21

This summer, approximately 450 teachers in North Carolina could receive $10,000 bonuses if they are selected for the Governor’s Teacher Network (GTN), a federally funded initiative that will ask teachers to share their best work around instruction and professional … Read More...

Lunch Links: Suppressing the vote, creationism in the classroom, hiking the minimum wage, and a little Crocodile Rock (w/ videos)

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 12:07

Happy Monday! Well, perhaps ‘happy’ is not the right word if your NCAA bracket included Duke, UNC, NC State, or NCCU advancing to the Sweet 16. And with Warren Buffet’s billion dollar wager safe until next year, all that’s left … Read More...

NC clean water rules under review…for being too tough

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:07

As this recent editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer noted, the Duke coal ash disaster seems to have brought about some real (if rather hypocritical) improvements in the public debate over environmental protection in North Carolina. Sadly, however, state policy … Read More...

Another NC Affordable Care Act success story: “Thank God for Health Insurance”

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:03

Anna and Mark’s great story of how they finally got affordable health coverage is detailed in a post by Lauren Chesson at the NC Council of Churches.  Chesson describes how serious pre-existing health conditions eventually made health coverage completely unaffordable … Read More...

Editorial: Corporations should pay more than “next to nothing” in taxes

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:18

In case you missed it, a Sunday editorial in the Greensboro News & Record told it like it is when it comes to the matter of corporate taxes in North Carolina. It was entitled “Next to nothing.”

“What’s less than


Greed watch: New and remarkable numbers on the concentration of wealth

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 13:39

It’s no secret that America’s economic inequality continues to metastasize at a remarkable pace. Still, when one actually takes a moment to look at and consider the vast holdings of the nation’s richest families (and the avarice often represented therein) … Read More...