Election tea leaves

Gary Pearce's blog post today hits some of the highlights of why I'm optimistic about the November election.

Republicans strode up to the plate in Raleigh with big bats and high hopes, then whiffed on three straight pitches.

Strike one was teacher pay ...
Strike two was coal ash ...
Strike three belonged to Governor McCrory alone. He stepped up to the plate to be the hero on coal ash after the legislature struck out. But he tied himself in ethical knots by wrongly reporting his Duke stock on his ethics statement.

How big a sin is this? Well, look at it this way: If Bev Perdue had done it, the legislature would have impeached her.


Tuesday Twitter roundup

The sacrificial lamb bleats:

I hope you haven't eaten yet, because this is seriously nauseating:

Daily dose: Gutting public schools edition

The N.C. Dept. of Commerce’s Division of Labor & Economic Analysis released the July monthly state employment figures Monday and the word is “up” -- as in higher than June’s. North Carolina’s 6.5 percent unemployment rate is higher than last month’s and still is higher than the national unemployment rate. That’s all stuff that can be found in typical accounts. Here are three facts about employment in North Carolina you won’t find in the usual coverage.

The only major sector experiencing a decrease in jobs over the last month as well as the last year – government. But you don’t need to tell that to folks at the public schools – particularly teacher assistants. Seasonally adjusted figures reveal a drop of 4,900 government jobs – from 710,100 a year ago to 705,200 for July 2014. When looking at stats that ARE NOT seasonally adjusted, the number of government employees in the last month, dropped from 684,300 in June to 608,800 – a 75,500 drop.

Workers are vanishing. While North Carolina’s population continues to grow, workers are disappearing from the labor force. A year ago, North Carolina’s workforce was 4,692,338. In July 2014 that number was 4,674,116. That means 18,222 people who once had jobs, or were looking for work, vanished. Imagine if the entire population of Clayton, Hendersonville, Morrisville, or Boone, just disappeared. One day they were here: contributing to the economy, playing, going to school, raising crops, and then a year later, poof and gone.

Manufacturing workers are taking home less pay. The average weekly hours for manufacturing production workers decreased 1 hour and six minutes in July compared to June – a drop to 43.8 hours. So, while average hourly wages increased a whopping 11 cents, to $16.79 an hour, those workers actually took home $13.65 LESS a week to an average $716.93.


The NC economic development wasteland

Bringing chaos and dysfunction to everything they touch.

Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2011 promising to create a more attractive climate for business, but they have dismantled more than they’ve put in place for recruiting companies, and their conservative stands on social issues have dimmed the state’s appeal. Meanwhile, their refusal to expand Medicaid has blocked billions of federal dollars from coming into the state economy.

Now lawmakers are saying more incentive funds will attract more major employers, but what they really need to do is less strangling of the state budget with excessive tax cuts and less alienating of people over social issues.

They know Clay Aiken in Northern Virginia

Just got back from a five-day trip to NoVa/DC. I was there for a big birthday party that my son-in-law was giving for my daughter. One of their friends (my daughter had already told me that he was a Democrat) started talking to me. I had met him before and knew he was one of the favorites in the neighborhood......and everybody thinks he is super smart. He asked what district I was in in North Carolina. I told him District 2, and so he asked me who was running in the district, When I told him it was Clay Aiken, he gave me a big high five. Then he announced to everyone that I was supporting Clay Aiken who was an all around super star. Then he said. "and his opponent is Renee Ellmers who told the Congress that they needed to dumb down their message so women could understand. "District 2" meant nothing, but the names meant everything. He didn't have Renee's statement exactly right, but close enough. I knew he very aware.

Charlotte Observer editorial board gets a hit before hook touches water

The Charlotte Observer editorial board inadvertently asked for takers on Saturday in regard to Governor Pat McCrory's Duke stock ownership. Like chum on the crest of a wave off of Cape Lookout, it didn't take long.

I’m a proud native of the City of Charlotte. One of my first jobs was delivering the Observer when I was in junior high school. I attended the public schools and went on to Wake Forest University for undergraduate and law school. After two years in the U.S. Army, I practiced law in Charlotte for 40 years. I even had the honor of serving as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association.

I also love our entire state. That’s why I accepted the opportunity to serve as general counsel for our former mayor and current governor, Pat McCrory.

Oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Please call your member by using the central switchboard number:
(202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to the staff person responsible for health and mental health issues.

If you prefer to use email to contact Congress, you can go to www.House.gov and in the upper right corner of the home page, there is a place to enter your zip code and find out who is your member of the US House of Representatives.Click on that and you will be directed to your Member's web page.

The purpose of the calls is to ask that the members oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Rep. Murphy was on C-Span today giving his opinions on why the bill should be passed. I wrote a letter to the editor citing several of the reasons the bill would harm persons with psychiatric disabilities.--and there are many.
Here is rthe link: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/15/4074722/martha-brock-no-help-at-a...

BlueNC is about North Carolina

But just to get it into the record, what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri, and in other cities and towns throughout America these days represents the very worst of our human species. We should all be ashamed.

Pop the cork: Timid Thom Tillis breaks his silence

If you dislike commercials and especially political advertising from right-wing, self absorbed Tillisians, it's time to head out to your nearest army-navy surplus store for defensive supplies. In my case, it will be a set of night vision goggles with the eye pieces painted over in black. Next, a wool army blanket for which I can cut up into a million pieces; for perpetual insertion into my ear canals. The muti-million dollar ad assault campaign is on. For Tillis and his group of groupies, more money down the rabbit hole. Of course if ads aren't your style, there's always online, or in print "news" from the John Locke Crock Foundation; or perhaps, a conservative think dunk tank.

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