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US still has some growing up to do

I spent the past couple of weeks at Beth Israel Hospital, flat on my back and getting all kinds of tests that led to the discovery of what is known as an ablation. I finished my hospital run with a stent inserted in my wrist. It was intended to correct my heartbeat, which was irregular, and to ward off any discovered blockage.All jobs were professionally, sublimely done.At such times, one will think about many things. I read more papers than usual, watched many History C...

21 hours ago | | | Email

ACA gets it right on maternity insurance

Despite early setbacks, millions of people have now enrolled in private insurance plans that meet new standards set by the Affordable Care Act. All of these policies must now cover a broad set of benefits, including prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and hospital stays. Still, one of the most common complaints about health reform is that insurers must now cover maternity care. Why, a middle-aged man will sometimes complain, should he have to buy a more expensive plan for a benefit h...

21 hours ago | | | Email

The racist threat from the right

Another U.S. shooting spree has left bullet-riddled bodies in its wake, and refocused attention on violent, right-wing extremists. Frazier Glenn Miller, a former leader of a wing of the Ku Klux Klan, is accused of killing three people outside two Jewish community centers outside Kansas City, Kan. As he was hauled away in a police car, he shouted “Heil Hitler!” Unlike Islamic groups that U.S. agencies spend tens of billions of dollars targeting, domestic white supremacist groups en...

21 hours ago | | | Email

Playing games with the numbers

The irony seemed to completely escape Gov. Pat McCrory Wednesday as he took the podium at a Tax Day event to heap praise on last year’s tax package that gave huge breaks to millionaires and large corporations while asking many small businesses and most North Carolina families to pay more.McCrory hailed the tax changes as a boon to the state’s future just two days after a legislative committee charged with coming up with a way to increase teacher pay acknowledged there w...

1 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Who opposes school choice — and why?

RALEIGH — Liberal activists may fume, and left-wing editorialists may grind their teeth, but legislative leaders are going to defend their 2013 opportunity scholarship bill against lawsuits by the teacher union and other special interests.Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, House Speaker Pro Tem Skip Stam (the main architect of the program), and other leaders won’t be defending school choice because they oppose public education. They won’t be def...

1 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Aaron, Carter and the KKK

Hank Aaron, the black former major-league baseball who in 1974 surpassed the home-run record held by Babe Ruth, an American icon who was white, recently reflected on that bittersweet time — sweet because the record finally was his, but bitter because America was exposed as a nation with too many bigots.Aaron’s reflection came in an article in USA Today on the 40th anniversary of the record 715th home run, which was achieved on April 8, 1974, before a crowd of 53,775 peo...

2 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Local legislators don’t score well with family-value votes

To the Editor,A quick note regarding legislator effectiveness is in order with the recent release of rankings by the NC Center for Public Policy Research. The survey is fairly solid and widely quoted in the media. Overall, the group does a pretty good job.But it is worth noting that public policy groups in Raleigh generally fall into two camps. The left-of-center camp with ties to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the right-of-center camp with ties to the John William...

2 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Our once-great nation is on a corrupt and sinful path

To the Editor,Voter ID is necessary. Too many dead people, pets and illegals have voted in our country for too long and it has escalated to the point of disgrace. One must have a legal photo ID to cash a check, to take the driver’s test and for many, many other things. So what is the big deal? In one state more than 5,000 illegal votes were cast in a recent election.

2 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Reading and right

In the summer of 2010, when news broke that the football program at the state’s flagship university was being investigated by the NCAA, officials at the University of North Carolina took an accommodating posture. Instead of mounting a public-relations defense, they beared the onslaught without a grin, apparently having made the decision that if they didn’t join the conversation, perhaps it would be shortened.

3 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

This is Day 2 of earning for yourself

RALEIGH — The weather is getting warmer, the plants are in bloom, and people are starting to spend more time outside. Yes, it’s springtime, and as we get more comfortable with the season change, one thing continues to put a damper on things — tax day. April 15 arrived yesterday, but do you know exactly how long it took you to pay those taxes?If we add up every tax you have to pay — federal, state, property, etc. — how long would it take? What is the co...

3 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Rand Paul’s foreign policy problem

The oil-services company Halliburton is an old obsession of the anti-Bush left, and evidently of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.The libertarian standard-bearer and almost-certain Republican presidential candidate suggested to audiences a few years ago that Vice President Dick Cheney’s views on the Iraq War were influenced by his time as CEO at Halliburton. Cheney had opposed going into Iraq during the Persian Gulf War under the first President George Bush; then, after a stint at Hal...

3 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

Mississippi falls back to hateful ways

Mississippi, my adopted home state, place that I love, is reverting to its old ways, which many of us who live here had believed and hoped to be in the distant past.Mississippi is using religion to discriminate against minorities, and politicians are pandering to the lowest common denominator of voters, making hay of hate. This time, the targets are gays and lesbians.

4 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

The problem isn’t ‘stepping on toes’

Gov. Pat McCrory seems to think that every time people in Raleigh have questions about one of his proposals, it is because he is courageously “stepping on toes” of people in entrenched institutions who refuse to consider doing things differently.McCrory used the line in a recent speech in Charlotte — where he seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in recent weeks — talking about the lukewarm reception for his proposal to turn over the state’...

4 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

That big lie on women earning less

To paraphrase the line often attributed to Mark Twain, there are lies, damn lies and the “equal pay” statistic.The factoid that women earn only 77 cents of every dollar earned by men is the focal point of a feminist cargo cult. It has its own movement and its own quasi-holiday, the so-called Equal Pay Day, marking how far into a new year women supposedly have to work to match what men made the prior year.The figure is presumed to clinch any debate over the co...

5 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

The oppressed majority

Three judges from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing a case that may have lasting impact on North Carolina’s gay marriage ban next month. The topic came up over the weekend while out with friends, and more than one of these persons I was out with expressed a concern that repealing a law banning gay marriage would be “oppressive to Christians.”I invite you to read this sentence again, this time outloud, slowly, and while seated: “Repealing ...

6 days 21 hours ago | | | Email

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