Richard Burr pulls a Jesse Helms on Ebola vaccine

"It's your own fault, you shouldn't have wasted money on XYZ.":

It is unsettling that in discussing shortfalls in the federal government’s response to the Ebola crisis, some Beltway observers have resorted to the traditional Washington shell game: blame the budget. The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for example, has lamented the lack of an Ebola vaccine and therapeutics due to insufficient resources. It is not, however, all that surprising.

The blame-the-budget game diverts the conversation away from focusing on NIH accountability for past priorities and spending. Those grumbling about the lack of resources should not neglect the resources poured into low-priority and perhaps unnecessary projects at NIH during the last decade.

Oh, the irony. Burr is doing exactly what he complains about, playing a shell game and diverting the conversation. Jesse Helms was notorious for digging up some frivolous-sounding government program or research project to use as a foil to deny needed funding, even if the foil in question received very little funding and/or resources. Burr, like many of his Republican colleagues, has turned "doing nothing" into an art form.

Daily dose: You don't have Ebola, part deux

Fear of Ebola Closes Schools and Shapes Politics (New York Times) -- In the month since a Liberian man infected with Ebola traveled to Dallas, where he later died, the nation has marinated in a murky soup of understandable concern, wild misinformation, political opportunism and garden-variety panic. Within the escalating debate over how to manage potential threats to public health — muddled by what is widely viewed as a bungled effort by government officials and the Dallas hospital that managed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States — the line between vigilance and hysteria can be as blurry as the edges of a watercolor painting. … “If this was one incidence where people thought the government wasn’t doing what the government was supposed to do, it would be much less of a reaction than we see now, where there’s this long list of the government being one step behind, whether it’s the border, the IRS, the Secret Service,” Senator Roy D. Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Now this health concern is more real than it would be if there wasn’t a sense that the government is just not being managed in a way that people would want it to be managed.” With fear riding high, Democrats, particularly those running for office, have supported a travel ban. “Although stopping the spread of this virus overseas will require a large, coordinated effort with the international community,” said Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, a Democrat in a tight race, “a temporary travel ban is a prudent step the president can take to protect the American people.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/us/fear-of-ebola-closes-schools-and-shapes-politics.html

NC Bigotry Coalition's legal malpractice

The shysters so-called attorneys at the NC "Values" Coalition (you remember them, they're the rabid anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-sanity lunatic fringe group) are telling NC Registers of Deeds that they don't need to issue marriage licenses to people if they don't want to. Of course, being bigots, the people they have in mind are gay people.

One of the groups that fought to pass an amendment to the state constitution that had the effect of banning same-sex marriages has circulated a legal memo saying that registers of deeds and their staffs cannot be forced to issue marriage licenses that conflict with their religion.

"There are statutory and constitutional protections available for any Register of Deeds or staff member whose strongly held religious beliefs would make them refrain from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples," Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, wrote in an email Friday. "They can claim their First Amendment right not to violate their religious beliefs."

Ummm...yeah. As usual, Tami got it completely wrong, as in the direct opposite of the truth.

Jones County Voter's League does great job hosting candidate forum

The Jones County Voter's League held a public forum on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, for candidates from several different elections to speak to the public and allow the public to meet and greet those currently running for office and even some who plan to run for office in the 2016 elections.

All candidates were given a timed opportunity to relay to those in attendance, their vision for the office for which they are campaigning. The event included supper to all in attendance, which unlike most campaign dinners, was free. This event was coordinated by Doris Harris.

Debunking the "Stimulus" attacks on Kay Hagan

As usual, Carolina Journal only reports part of a story:

The Carolina Journal report expands on the Politico story, noting that the JDC originally projected spending $438,627 but was later revised downward by more than $100,000 and emphasizing the company "kept all of the savings, sending none back to taxpayers who had funded the stimulus grant."

However, an internal accounting of the project provided to WRAL News by JDC Manufacturing shows that that the project's final costs totaled $503,477. A company spokeswoman said the official project cost was revised downward to show the money actually spent by Dec. 31, 2010, the end of the grant's term. The rest of the money was spent in 2011, and those costs were not eligible to be reimbursed. Other records disclosed by the Energy Division show the total cost of the JDC project inching up to roughly $509,000 over two years, confirming the accounting provided by the company.

And it's a good bet the "researchers" at Art Pope's propaganda-laced "newspaper" were well aware of the total cost of the project, but chose to exclude that information from their report, because it would have completely negated their "pocketed $100,000 of taxpayer's money" smoking gun revelation.

Daily dose: Here comes Hillary edition

Hillary Clinton to campaign for Hagan (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will campaign for Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan at an early vote event in Charlotte. Hagan's campaign said Saturday that Clinton will participate in the early vote event Oct. 25 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Early voting begins two days earlier, on Thursday, Oct. 23. Tickets are required and are free. They're available at various campaign offices in the Charlotte region.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/hillary-rodham-clinton-campaign-hagan-2685879

Hillary Clinton to Join Hagan at Charlotte Early Voting Event (TWCN-TV) -- Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will join Sen. Kay Hagan in Charlotte for an early voting event Oct. 25, the Hagan campaign announced Saturday.
http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/all_nc_news/712999/hillary-clinton-to-join-hagan-at-charlo...

NC GOP continues its blatant attack on student voters

A desperate and illogical move to support a bent Watauga County election board:

Attorneys for the state have asked the North Carolina Supreme Court to block an early-voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University in Watauga County. Late Friday afternoon, the North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed, issuing a temporary stay against the site until at least Tuesday and ordering both sides to submit arguments.

The population of Watauga County is not evenly distributed geographically. Students at Appalachian State make up one-third of the county’s population. Thirty-five percent of all early voters in Watauga County in 2012 cast their votes on campus at the school’s Plemmons Student Union, which has been an early voting site since 2008. It’s been the overwhelming site of choice for early voters between 18 and 25 in the past three elections.

Which makes it enemy #1 in the eyes of power-mad Republicans. Which is obvious to anyone looking at the situation, including the NCSBE, who gave their blessing for this patently un-Democratic move against a third of the County. And the state board is well aware of how bad this recent legal move looks, which is why they tried to blame it on Roy Cooper:

Daily dose: NC #1 in outside influence edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
At $55.7 million, N.C. Senate race now No. 1 all-time in outside spending (Center for Responsive Politics) -- Thursday evening, the Koch-affiliated Freedom Partners Action Fund reported making a seven-figure ad buy attacking Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). With that buy, the North Carolina race passed 2012′s Virginia Senate election to claim the dubious honor of attracting the most-ever outside spending. The $55.7 million spent on the showdown between Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis is even more remarkable in context. By this date in 2012, the Virginia race between now-Sen. Tim Kaine and former Sen. George Allen had seen just $30.4 million of its eventual $52.4 million in outside spending. If the North Carolina election follows the same path, it would top $90 million by Election Day. The Senate contests in Colorado and Iowa are also on pace to handily surpass the Kaine-Allen race. Tillis likely knows all too well how thoroughly super PACs have blanketed North Carolina with advertising this year: Outside groups have spent more money ($17.6 million) attacking him this cycle than any other candidate. Only $7.5 million has been spent opposing Hagan, but that excludes spending that isn’t reported to the FEC — such as the barrage of ads earlier in the cycle by Americans for Prosperity, another Koch-funded group, attacking her for supporting “Obamacare” without explicitly saying to vote against her.
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/10/north-carolina-senate-race-now-no-1-all-time-in-outside-spen...

Daily dose: AFP blames Arkansas edition

Americans for Prosperity says NC voter misinformation came from Arkansas (Facing South) -- Under investigation for mailing out misinformation about voter registration in North Carolina, Americans for Prosperity says the errors came from a similar mailer distributed in Arkansas that staff failed to properly vet. In a Sept. 29 letter to elections board executive director Kim Strach, AFP Vice President and General Counsel Victor Bernson Jr. said his group drew from materials it produced for Arkansas, another U.S. Senate battleground state, and failed to fact-check them for accuracy in North Carolina. … Bernson sent his letter before receiving notice from the board that a formal complaint had been filed over the mailer by the North Carolina Democratic Party, according to an Oct. 7letter to Strach from Roger W. Knight, a North Carolina attorney who represents the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF). Knight reiterated that staff error was to blame.
http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/10/americans-for-prosperity-says-nc-voter-misinformat.html

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