In July 1864, Confederate forces led by General Jubal Early attacked Fort Stevens and Fort DeRussy on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Union forces drove them away after two days of skirmishes, but the battle threw a scare into the capital city and constituted a high point in the Confederacy's Shenandoah Valley campaigns.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Chief Justice John Roberts has recently sided with the Supreme Court’s four liberal justices on three key rulings: barring discrimination against LGBTQ employees; outlawing draconian abortion restrictions in Louisiana; and protecting about 700,000 undocumented “Dreamers” from deportation.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Recently, I had “the talk” with my four children, two sons and two daughters. For Black families, “the talk” is not about the birds and the bees. The talk is about what to do when you encounter the police. It is a talk about how to stay alive. My mother and my father had a similar talk with me when I was a child. Their parents had the same talk with them when they were children.

Friday, July 03, 2020

With hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians out of work and millions fearful about their futures, state and local policymakers are about to encounter a parade of companies, industries, and special-interest groups asking for targeted tax breaks and other handouts.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

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Dr. Thomas Sowell has been both a friend and a colleague of mine for over a half-century. On Tuesday, he completed his 90th year of life, and I want to highlight some important features of that life. Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1930. As part of the great black migration northward during the 1930s and ‘40s, he and his family moved to Harlem, New York. Sowell attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School but dropped out. In 1951, he was drafted into the military and assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a photographer. Photography remains his hobby today.

The media often portrays the coronavirus pandemic as an urban problem. But the North Carolina counties with the highest COVID infection rates actually have more pigs and poultry than people. In these rural communities with large populations of poverty and people of color, there is a little-noticed COVID crisis.

Conventional wisdom has it that progressives champion urbanity and conservatives disdain it. There’s some truth to that. Progressives are far more likely than conservatives to prefer walkable, high-density communities over auto-dependent, detached-dwelling neighborhoods. Urban areas tend to vote heavily Democratic and rural areas Republican. Even in the more-competitive suburbs, those closest to downtowns tilt blue while outer-ring suburbs and exurbs are red.

NBC News reports that President Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up being filled. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.

Once again, a prominent leader in North Carolina is coming under intense criticism for responding to a “Black Lives Matter” inquiry with the “But All Lives Matter” retort. UNC-Wilmington Chancellor Jose Sartarelli, upon being requested to allow a “Black Lives Matter” painting to be placed on campus responded with the all-too-familiar “No. All lives matter.”

John Bolton, the former national security adviser, writes in his new book that President Trump makes decisions based on only one calculation: his own political self-interest.

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Father Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus have in common?

As soon as he heard the news that a mob had torn down statues on the grounds of North Carolina’s State Capitol on the evening of June 19, Gov. Roy Cooper realized his mistake. He had not been clear enough in instructing his aides, including Secretary of Public Safety Eric Hooks. He knew he’d have to take decisive action.

The solution to the problem of Confederate memorials is simple: Tear them down, all of them. If a few must be left standing for practical reasons -- the gigantic carvings on Stone Mountain outside Atlanta come to mind -- authorities should allow them to be appropriately defaced, like the graffiti-scrawled remnants of the Berlin Wall.

Many whites are ashamed, saddened and feel guilty about our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. Many black people remain angry over the injustices of the past and what they see as injustices of the present. Both blacks and whites can benefit from a better appreciation of black history.

Stocks sold off June 7 amid investor worries that a “second wave” of coronavirus infections could cause countries and states that are reopening to lock down again. But headlines about a coronavirus resurgence in the U.S. are overblown so far, and the bigger threat is keeping the economy in a coma.

During the month of May, 38 states saw their unemployment rates drop as governments eased COVID-19 restrictions and allowed more businesses to open and individuals return to work.

Chief Justice John Roberts is the undisputed swing vote on the Supreme Court, following in the footsteps of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (except for her Bush v. Gore ruling, the most centrist swing vote) and Justice Anthony Kennedy (a less reliable swing vote).

Did Trump lose me or did I lose Trump? It’s almost a Dickensian question of conscience in today’s political environment. In my heart of hearts, I am a Republican. But that fact does not change this one: I do not agree with my president.

As the country struggles to vanquish coronavirus, Americans are witnessing a bizarre phenomenon in which some authorities tolerate and even praise highly politicized mass gatherings while at the same time suppress small activities — like taking children to a playground — that are important to quality of life.