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Half a year into his presidency, it seems pretty clear that Donald Trump would rather continue campaigning — or golfing, or both — than actually governing the country. Who can blame him? It is so much easier and more gratifying to stir up the troops with snide remarks about Hillary Clinton or the free press and to make exciting promises about reforming health care and lowering taxes than it is to confront a fundamental truth: the Republican party has had years to consider, craft, and deliver a health care plan that would supplant the much maligned Affordable Care Act, and the best they could do was offer a plan that guts Medicaid to the tune of $830 billion to fund a huge tax cut for the wealthy, while leaving millions Americans without any health care at all. Brilliant.

The day after the Senate’s own version of a new health care bill came out, influential leader of the House Freedom Caucus and Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, wasted no time in shooting it down.

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

It’s easy to make a mistake, particularly when relying on another person’s promises or character. It’s harder to admit one. That’s just human nature.

A lot of good people who put their faith in Donald Trump still can’t accept that it was misplaced. But if they care to be good citizens, there are some hard questions to ask themselves in the light of James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee:

A friend of mine is in line at the drive-thru of a local fast food restaurant, and a guy with Trump decals all over the back of his truck pulls into the wrong lane, facing those who are trying to “drive through,” realizes his error, lifts his middle finger to all of those waiting in line, and then races off shouting out his window, “Trump, Trump, Trump! Like it or get out of my country!”

Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist

A hero is, almost by definition, someone who didn’t set out to be one. That thought is prompted by the New York Times Sunday page-one profile of our North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. Will he be the nation’s hero in the greatest constitutional crisis since Watergate four decades ago?

According to the article, Burr — a Republican — didn’t want to be assigned to the Senate Intelligence Committee, much less to chair it, as he does now.

The Affordable Health Care Act got a bit closer to repeal last week as the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that could drastically affect millions across the country and across Western North Carolina.

“What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

— John “Bluto” Blutarsky, Animal House, 1978

“I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart …. People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?”

— Donald J. Trump, White House, 2017

After a busy week of rallies around the country, the state and the county, progressives gathered at the Historic Haywood Courthouse April 23 to speak out on healthcare and welcome Asheville Republican Congressman Mark Meadows’ first Democratic challenger. 

• Democrats welcome progressives in symbiotic alliance
• Harnessing the progressive tide
• WNC groups claim Meadows isn’t listening
• A short break with Coffay

A progressive tour de force has emerged across the mountains since the election of President Donald Trump.

Thousands of pop-up progressive activist groups have emerged around the country since November’s election.

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