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Contract to cheat

If you haven't been reading the N&O current series on the economic and employment tragedy ongoing in the construction industry, you're missing a story of corruption, exploitation and greed, unlike any you've heard before. The reporting and writing are excellent.

Workers don't have protections. Companies don't withhold taxes. Regulators don't seem to care. McClatchy reporters spent a year unraveling the scheme, using little-noticed payroll records that show how widespread this practice has become and what it costs us.

Take some time out today to read the whole series, and then swing back by to share your comments and thoughts.

Red Wolf Recovery Program needs your help by *12 Sep 2014*

Did you read this diary posted last Sunday on Daily Kos?

Now, that's meta — the program to protect an endangered species is itself endangered.

You may have heard that there is a "special review" underway of the Red Wolf Recovery Program as developed in the five eastern NC counties of Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington counties.

North Carolina Democratic Party fails to renew domain name

The North Carolina Democratic Party has either forgotten to renew the party's domain name, has decided to change the domain name, or has decided to shut the site down. Either way, earlier this evening searches for information on NCDP's website returned errors. Party email accounts linked to the domain are also down.

Candidates, volunteers, and party members rely on the site for election information, party documents, and as a means to stay connected. It is hard to believe the party would let this happen in the heat of an important election year.

How North Carolina Republican women engage in war on themselves

Through fact and nature, females of all species are more nurturing than their male counterparts. In other words, their roles in life are distinct and many times, undervalued. North Carolina women, just like education, continue to be the premier backbones of this state. According to current statistics, women outnumber men dynamically. And that female force, time and again, continues to reflect poorly in the voting booth.

Demographic Population Totals

Total Population In North Carolina

Total Population: 9,535,483
Male Population: 4,645,492
Female Population: 4,889,991

Demographic Household Type

Number Of Occupied Homes In North Carolina

Total: 3,745,155
Family led homes: 2,499,174

Muni broadband battle continues in NC

Wilson seeks help from the FCC:

City of Wilson leaders filed a 59-page petition with the FCC in July asking for the overturn of state law that restricts the expansion of the city’s broadband network, Greenlight. The petition was filed several months after FCC’s chairman Tom Wheeler committed to possibly overruling state laws that restrict government-run networks.

Since the city’s filing, close to 150 individuals, organizations and companies — including AT&T and CenturyLink — have filed comments with the FCC. USTelecom, which represents communication giants including Verizon, also filed comments in opposition. Netflix, on the other hand, wrote in favor of the city’s petition. "Netflix agrees with Chairman Wheeler that the commission has the authority to preempt state laws that ban competition from community broadband, and in appropriate circumstances, should wield that authority,” Netflix wrote.

Take it from somebody who lives right on the county line: the utilities and services provided to me from the other side of that county line are critical. It shouldn't even be a consideration in this broadband issue. And neither should the paternalistic fear-mongering from Pope's puppet gallery:

Note to North Carolina candidates: How to talk about Medicaid

Having heard a number of candidates flub questions about Medicaid, I'm hoping these points will be helpful in future discussions.

  • Don't just say "Medicaid expansion" and assume people know what you're talking about. If voters don’t get Medicaid (and most don't), they wonder why it will help them to expand it. What we're talking about here is Health Care Insurance for the Working Poor.
  • Explain that the money from this program does not go to people, it goes directly to support health care providers in North Carolina – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, our hospitals, ambulance drivers, and our universities. Lead with this.
  • We are turning down $4 billion per year, every year that we are not in this program. That is $4 billion that would be used to hire more doctors and nurses and provide real jobs in hospitals or people working in drug stores. It would help businesses that make medical supplies.
  • The Tillis/McCrory position is a JOB KILLER. The federal government is ready to load up trucks with $4 billion in cash every year and spend it on jobs right here in our state. Thom Tillis is saying "no." Why?
  • That economic activity would generate TAX REVENUE for NORTH CAROLINA to pay our teachers, build roads, and support our police and firefighters. We will generate 3 to 4 times more in tax revenue through this program than what we have to lay out to implement it.
  • The Tillis claim that taking the money would bankrupt the state does not pass 1st grade math. The $4 billion we would get into the state could generate as much as at least $1 - $2 billion in STATE INCOME AND SALES TAX REVENUE. These benefits FAR OUTWEIGH the cost of the program to North Carolina, which is only $300 million per year.
  • This is the real kicker: NORTH CAROLINIANS ARE WRITING TAX CHECKS FOR $1 BILLION PER YEAR TO BUY HEATH INSURANCE FOR WORKING PEOPLE IN OTHER STATES! That's right. We are buying a billion per year of health insurance for people in California. Why is Thom Tillis doing this?
  • Other conservative states have figured out the economic benefit and have accepted the reality of the new health care economy. Why have conservative states like Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, West Virginia and Kentucky (all of which voted for Mitt Romney by wide margins) accepted the money, but not North Carolina?

Back to the Puppetshow

Years ago, much of my writing at BlueNC involved pushing back against Art Pope's Multimillion Dollar Opinion Manufacturing Machine, of which the John Locke Foundation used to be the drive shaft. Each day, John Hood brought a new level of depravity to public policy, and I did my best to keep track of it all. Under the weight of Pope's funding, however the Machine wore me down. His mercenary army of "report writers" and "analysts" did in North Carolina what Blackwater and Halliburton did in Iraq. Destroy and plunder.

These days, I don't even pay attention to Hood and his minions, but I'm glad to see that others are. Today, for example, Thomas Mills responds Hood's regurgitated, free-market happy talk about North Carolina exceptionalism. It's a brilliant piece, well worth your time.

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