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Columnists

October 17, 2017

There is an abiding dream in the tech world that when all the planet’s people and data are connected it will be a better place. That may prove true. But getting there is turning into a nightmare – a world where billions of people are connected but without sufficient legal…

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October 16, 2017

Thanks to Ivana Trump’s new memoir, we now know that Donald Trump once did have a dog. Well, actually it was Ivana’s. A poodle named Chappy. And Donald didn’t like him.

Nevertheless, this appears to be the closest our current president ever came to having a pet, so attention must…

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October 15, 2017

Back when I used to commission regular surveys of North Carolina voters, one of my favorite questions had to do with tax fairness.

The wording varied over time, but here’s essentially what we asked. If someone earns twice as much as income as you do, what do you think is the fairest system:…

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October 14, 2017

Remember all the talk before Steve Bannon was expectorated from the Trump administration that he’d be a worse menace on the outside than on the inside?

Turns out it was true.

He popped up last week in a picture as unsettling as any image from Puerto Rico, North Korea or Las Vegas. It showed…

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October 13, 2017

If you are surprised by the news that Harvey Weinstein of Miramax fame, a man well-known for profane tirades and physical altercations and scrounging M&Ms off movie theater floors, is also the sort of charmer who loafs around seminude while asking subordinates for “back” massages,…

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October 12, 2017

Richard Thaler has just won an extremely well deserved Nobel Prize in economics. Thaler took an obvious point, that people don’t always behave rationally, and showed the ways we are systematically irrational.

Thanks to his work and others’, we know a lot more about the biases and…

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October 11, 2017

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Someone wants to build a factory in your neighborhood, a change that would bring noise, pollution and heavy truck traffic. Your local government has to hold a public hearing and OK the proposal first, but that’s already happened before you even heard about…

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October 10, 2017

If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim ... If only he had shouted “Allahu akbar” before he opened fire on all those concertgoers in Las Vegas ... If only he were a member of ISIS ... If only we had a picture of him posing with a Quran in one hand and his semiautomatic rifle in…

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October 09, 2017

Our topic for today is hypocrisy. The scene is – where else? – Congress.

Last week the House of Representatives voted 237-189 to make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion on a woman who has been pregnant more than 20 weeks. Victory for the anti-choice forces. One of…

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October 08, 2017

Most North Carolina voters, regardless of registration, cast their ballots consistently for either Democrats or Republicans. And the swing voters who often determine electoral outcomes tend to cast their ballots against what they dislike more than they cast ballots for what they like.

If you follow…

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