Alternate US agency Twitter accounts being "handed off" to non-government entities

So much for whistleblowing:

As somebody who has been following Twitter for years, I have had a little voice in the back of my head telling me these might be truly faux accounts, not just "renegade" government workers resisting. The jury (mine, anyway) is still out on that issue, but going forward, it's important for folks to remember this change of the guard:

Thursday News: Zero credibility

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BERGER DEMANDS COMPROMISE BUT WON’T PROMISE REPEAL OF HB2 (Policy Watch) – Senate boss Phil Berger is continuing to demand more “compromise” from Democrats if there’s to be any action on HB2 – but won’t say there could be complete repeal. “I think it’s possible for there to be some arrangement to address that issue,” Berger said. “I think it’s going to take compromise on both sides.” The General Assembly failed to repeal the controversial last month in one of several hastily convened extra sessions just before Christmas.
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/01/25/berger-hb2-compromise-still-possible/#sthash.uVLRvtrp.dpbs

Fascism Watch: Throwing journalists in prison

Systematically demolishing the Fourth Estate:

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

Jack Keller, a producer for the web documentary series Story of America, said he was charged and detained for about 36 hours after being kettled by police at 12th and L streets on Friday morning and arrested despite telling officers that he was covering the demonstrations as a journalist. “The way we were treated was an absolute travesty,” said Keller, whose cellphone has been kept by the authorities.

If fascist actions were stocks being traded on Wall Street, this one would be a Bellwether. To wit, one that is a leading indicator of a developing trend, and possibly a driver of that trend. The effort to silence journalists through intimidation has (usually) one goal in mind, the blocking or serious reduction in future scrutiny of government actions, of which the public would likely disapprove. This isn't just an assault on one group of people; it's an assault on everybody, on our right to know what is happening in our country. And the following mindset should alarm each one of you reading this:

Wednesday News: Calling for the Puppetmaster

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GOP LEADERS ENLIST ART POPE IN FIGHT AGAINST MEDICAID EXPANSION (Winston-Salem Journal) -- As Friday’s hearing in New Bern on expanding the state’s Medicaid program looms, state Republican leaders have enlisted former state budget director Art Pope in their efforts to thwart the initiative. Pope, who served in the McCrory administration, said in a declaration submitted Monday that state money is being used already to advance Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposal. Pope said that Medicaid expansion funds would have to be diverted from projects that were authorized for funds. “They are resources and funds that will be unrecoverable once they are expended,” he said.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/gop-leaders-enlist-art-pope-in-fight-against-medicaid-expansion/artic...

Betsy DeVos and the dumbing-down of US education policy

Striving for mediocrity:

Questioned minutes later, DeVos confesses she may have “confused” the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), leading Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan to worry aloud that the presumed chief of the United States’ massive public education structure is “unfamiliar” with one of its most basic protections.

It’s scenes like these that seem to be most vexing to public education advocates like June Atkinson, North Carolina’s former superintendent of public instruction, as DeVos’ confirmation looms. Atkinson was recently ousted from her longtime post by a Republican challenger who, much like DeVos, comes to the top position with relatively little experience in public school policymaking. “It was painful to watch,” says Atkinson of this month’s DeVos hearings.

That's an understatement. After such a poor (and often confusing) performance, it's hard to imagine any Senator actually voting for her. But she'll probably make it, and she will probably end up in court before 2018 arrives, because she is clearly not qualified for the position:

Tuesday News: Wishful thinking edition

LOOKING TOWARD BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS IN N.C. POLITICS (Duke U. News) -- In the aftermath of a divisive election, Duke Professor Fritz Mayer opened an inauguration day panel Friday asking, “How do we make North Carolina purple?” The bipartisan panel of political leaders and activists expressed optimism that it would be possible for North Carolinians – and the country – work more across ideological spectrums. Three hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as the United States’ 45th president, Mayer, director of Duke’s Center for Political Leadership, Innovation, and Service (POLIS), moderated a roundtable discussion including NC Senators Tamara Barringer and Dan Blue, Pope Foundation President John Hood, and Rick Glazier, executive director of North Carolina Justice Center.
https://today.duke.edu/2017/01/looking-find-way-toward-bipartisan-consensus-north-carolina-politics

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Talk about brainless:

Yeah, those 17,000 who marched in Raleigh know exactly who they are, and they're proud of it. Also, I can't adequately describe the irony of using a cooking reference to attack women standing up for their rights. And an unhealthy cooking reference, for that matter...

Margaret Spellings is right: HB2 needs to go

It's a bigoted anchor around our necks:

“Our competitors have used this issue against us to some extent,” Spellings said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If I’m in Georgia and I’m in a competitive bidding war for a world-class faculty member, I’m going to say if this is a transgender or gay person, ‘Is this an environment where you’re going to live and work?’ So I think anecdotally there’s some of that going on.” Do you think?

Spellings is signaling the obvious. As long as North Carolina is a place that enshrines discrimination in its laws – and that is precisely what HB2 does – it will not be able to keep pace with other top-notch public and private colleges and universities. When the General Assembly gets down to work Wednesday, Senate boss Berger and House Speaker Moore need to immediately bring complete repeal of HB2, no strings attached, to the floor for a vote. Gov. Roy Cooper says there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in both houses to prevail.

I'm not sure they're capable of passing a bill with no strings attached, with no poison pills dropped in it to dissolve into ambiguous but deadly verbiage. But we'll see.

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