Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: Trump's climate deal exit met with chilly response

Posted June 5

Monday, June 5, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, disarray in North Carolina's prisons, the latest thoughts on the the state's budget and more.

Around here, climate change is a very real issue (Fayetteville Observer) -- The world is reacting with shock over President Trump’s announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the global climate agreement signed in Paris in 2015. It was one of those rare global agreements that really was global: Only Nicaragua and Syria refrained from signing it. Every other country — nearly 200 — got on board. But now we stand apart with Nicaragua and Syria.

Leaving the climate accord (Winston-Salem Journal) -- During one of the most controversial presidential campaigns in our nation’s history, both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump pushed the limit in their rhetoric. Trump did that in promising to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

JIM TOLBERT: Tillis wanted out of Paris; what now? (Charlotte Observer column) -- Sen. Thom Tillis urged President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris agreement. But there’s nothing conservative about ignoring science.

Reckless to abandon Paris accord (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- President Donald Trump’s decision last week to pull the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change is a reckless and ill-conceived move that only will serve to weaken and endanger our country.

President makes a climate blunder (Greensboro News & Record) -- The United States will join Syria and Nicaragua on the outside of the Paris climate agreement.

VALERIE BAUERLEIN: Nation’s Prisons Face Acute Staffing Shortage, Fueling Violence (Wall Street Journal column) -- The nation’s 1,800 prisons are struggling with an acute shortage of guards that state officials say is leading to violence against corrections officers and worsening conditions for prisoners.

Broken N.C. prisons demand stout response (Charlotte Observer) -- A Charlotte Observer series finds North Carolina’s prisons are filled with violence, drugs and sex – thanks partly to the prison officers paid to watch over prisoners. Gov. Roy Cooper and other state leaders need to fix this mess immediately.

Jail deaths demand answers (Winston-Salem Journal) -- With two inmates dying in the Forsyth County jail last month and big questions over whether they received adequate medical care, as well as two pending suits regarding two past deaths in the jail, we urge Forsyth County commissioners to spring into action.

State budget sense and nonsense (Kinston Free Press) -- We don’t need to drive a wedge. The difference between the two plans is evident to anyone who takes even a cursory look: The House budget is conservative but responsible. The Senate version is insane.

ROSE HOBAN: 2017 – Senate vs. House Health & Human Services Budgets (N.C. Health News column) -- Each year, we slog through the budgets presented by each chamber of the General Assembly to compare and contrast what each set of lawmakers has set forth as their spending priorities for the year in health and human services. Now the N.C. House of Representatives and Senate will meet in negotiations to hash out their differences, before sending their compromise plan to Gov. Roy Cooper to sign or veto. Here’s a comparison of the proposals in the House and Senate budgets.

NANCY ROSE: ‘Balancing Act,’ an interactive tool to share budget priorities (EdNC column) -- Do you know how the budget process in North Carolina works? Here is your chance to review the House budget, weigh in on the spending priorities, create your own budget for North Carolina, and share the results. “Balancing Act” is an interactive budget simulation tool that allows you to adjust revenue and spending categories to align with your priorities. The catch? At the end of the day, you have to create a balanced budget just like our policymakers.

Holding off N.C. attempts to block voting (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- THE U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the past 30 days rejected efforts by North Carolina lawmakers to make it harder for African Americans to vote while also packing them into as few districts as possible to diminish their electoral influence.

PAUL WOLVERTON: ‘Raise the Age’ law would affect 12,000 teens charged with crimes each year (Fayetteville Observer column) -- Unless North Carolina changes its laws, it soon will be the last state in the nation that automatically treats 16- and 17-year-old teenagers as adults when they are charged with a crime. “Raise the Age” legislation to move North Carolina into the national mainstream and set the age for facing adult charges for many crimes at 18 is moving through the General Assembly despite resistance from some quarters. The change could affect nearly 12,000 teenagers who get in trouble each year, according to an estimate by the legislature’s research staff

SUSAN LADD: STOP Act will address key elements of opioid epidemic (Greensboro News & Record column) -- Slowing the legal flow of opiates and treating those already addicted are crucial to addressing the state's opioid problem.

WILLIAM MARKHAM: A nonsensical war against wind energy in North Carolina (Greensboro News & Record column) -- In recent years, a number of state legislators have committed themselves to a retrograde energy policy aimed at continuing North Carolina’s reliance on polluting, dangerous energy sources.

Where is oversight for county health programs? (Fayetteville Observer) -- As we wait for the county to issue a full report on what went wrong in the Health Department’s breast and cervical cancer screening program, we suggest to county leaders that there is a larger question that needs answering too: Where is the oversight and accountability for the department?

JOHN RAILEY: Full federal recognition for Lumbee long overdue (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- One day last September, Harvey Godwin Jr. took a flight from the flat fields and lush pine forests of his Robeson County to Washington, D.C. He was on a mission, one an ancestor of his had helped start more than a century before, that of achieving full federal recognition for their Lumbee tribe.

JOHN NAGY: The Dollars and Sense of Investing In Our Schools (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Last week, I highlighted some of our standout graduating seniors who are receiving substantial scholarships from local civic groups.

CELIA RIVENBARK: No cushy assignments for Kushner (Wilmington Star-News column) -- Jared Kushner was no doubt smitten by the lovely, lifelike Ivanka Trump many years ago, thinking at least her family would have less drama than his own, what with dad in prison for witness tampering, etc. WRONG! Oh, how Jared must miss those lazy pre-election weekends at Mar-a-lago with the missus. Now, before dinner’s over, he has somehow agreed to promise “Dad” he’ll make sure no child in America ever goes to bed hungry. Kidding. That never gets talked about.

MARK ESSIG: A proposal for Asheville’s Vance problem (Asheville Citizen-Times column) -- The Zeb Vance Monument is a tribute to a white supremacist, the leader of a political party that destroyed the promise of Reconstruction and imposed segregation upon North Carolina. The monument is a towering insult to African-Americans, an affront to American ideals and an embarrassment to the city of Asheville.


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