Art Pope Puppetshow

Art Pope and the disenfranchisement of young black voters

Another historically black college loses its voting site:

We’re disappointed in the poor reasoning behind eliminating Anderson Center at Winston-Salem State University as an early voting site. We hope the state elections board will overturn the heavy-handed decision to eliminate it.

The Forsyth County Board of Elections was split over including the site for the March 15 primary election during its meeting last week, the Journal’s Wesley Young reported. The two Republicans on the board, Chairman Ken Raymond and Stuart Russell, were against the inclusion, while Fleming El-Amin, the Democrat on the board, pushed for its inclusion.

Don't hold your breath. The state board doesn't make a habit of overturning these decisions, no matter how nonsensical or nakedly partisan they are. Especially considering the Pope of Discount Village is likely watching closely to make sure his wishes are fulfilled:

Pope's Civitas actively obstructing Amazon wind farm

Using the very same tactics they complain about:

The decision by Judge Lassiter of the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to keep the case alive means it will head for a contested case hearing, which is the OAH equivalent of a trial, said Elliot Engstrom, a lawyer for the conservative Civitas Institute, which is representing the Perquimans couple.

Iberdrola has said it needs to complete the project next year to qualify for a federal tax credit that will reduce the cost of the project by 30 percent. The credit expires at the end of 2016.

Hypocrisy, you have a whole new standard to meet. For years, the folks at JLF and Civitas have complained how over-regulation by government has delayed industrial construction and land development, costing money and souring economic growth in our state. And that's exactly what they're engaging in with this wind project. Their goal isn't to expose a danger and "make sure it's done right," and it isn't really an effort to have an authority stop the project, either. They just want to delay it long enough for the Federal credits to sunset so the project will die on its own. There are many colorful ways to describe the character of someone who would deploy these tactics, but I'll just leave it at "beneath contempt" for now.

Conservatives dodging responsibility for tuition increases

ncpolicywatch.png

It's always somebody else's fault:

“You add all those things together and it’s a recipe for difficulty if not disaster for some of the institutions that serve populations of students from less privileged backgrounds,” Leonard said. Some conservatives agree that rising tuition costs are a problem but say the remedy is that the universities should reduce administrative and management costs and become more efficient.

“The cuts from the General Assembly should have been a signal to the university system to make internal cuts rather than pushing it to students in tuition increases,” said Jenna Robinson, the director of the conservative John W. Pope Center for Higher Education. “There are a lot of places within the administration where cuts can be made.”

But apparently not at the top tier, where the GOP-dominated Board decided (behind closed doors) to lavish huge salary increases to chancellors, many of whom were already being paid hundreds of thousands per year. I'm sure the irony is lost on this particular Pope Puppet, but it isn't lost on the rest of us.

Pope puppet professor may run for NC Treasurer

Frequent JLF mouthpiece Mike Walden itching to get his hands on the purse strings:

Mike Walden, an economist at N.C. State University, confirmed he is thinking about entering the race, which was thrown open by Democratic incumbent Janet Cowell’s surprise announcement Tuesday that she will not seek re-election. Walden is a frequent writer and commentator on North Carolina’s economy and policies. He holds a master’s and doctorate from Cornell University.

“I am thinking about possibly throwing my hat in the ring,” Walden wrote. “I have some ideas for modifying the investment portfolio to increase transparency and reduce management fees.”

Of course, the N&O fails to mention any connection between the perfessor and the Pope, but we're used to that here at BlueNC and will continue to point these things out when they happen.

Art Pope's crusade against Eastern NC wind farm

Sure to earn him kudos at the next Koch Brothers retreat:

Jillanne Gigi Badawi and her husband Stephen Owens, residents of Perquimans County, are asking the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to force state regulators to subject the Amazon wind project to a new regulatory review. The couple is being aided by the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank that has criticized renewable energy as a costly boondoggle.

Iberdrola has secured about a dozen permits, approvals and certificates for the wind farm. They include the N.C. Utilities Commission, state erosion-control and storm-water permits, county conditional use permits, and approval from the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse.

Talk about hypocrisy. Renewable energy apparently has the dubious honor of being the only business sector that faux-Libertarians in JLF and Civitas believe is not regulated enough. Maybe the puppets need another lecture from el Presidente John Hood:

Art Pope's continuing attempts to manipulate UNC's curriculum

And he's not above deploying a trouble-making college student to get what he wants:

Alec Dent, an incoming freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, made headlines recently for an article he wrote for the conservative website The College Fix in which he claimed the school was offering a seminar titled "The Literature of 9/11" that "sympathizes with terrorists" and "paints [the] U.S. as imperialistic." Dent apparently did not take the course or read the books but appears to have based his opinion on Amazon book descriptions for a limited selection of its readings.

The younger Dent penned a blog post for the Pope Center back in July titled "Freshman orientation: conform or be cast out" about an interactive theater experience that addressed diversity and inclusivity. He describes the skit's topics – racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism – as "cardinal sin(s) of the liberal perspective" and takes a potshot at affirmative action while portraying white men as victims.

Pope's obsession with steering more courses (and maybe even an entire school) to the admiration and perhaps glorification of Western Civilization is nothing more than White Supremacy, albeit with a scholarly and intellectual flavoring. The truth is, Western Europe was rather late to the civilization game, and its respect for the arts and sciences could never compete with its bloodlust and unquenchable thirst for hegemony. And it appears Pope and many of his GOP buddies are still stricken with the horrific lack of vision that plagued their medieval heroes.

Art Pope, the Koch Brothers, and their defense of polluters

Spending big bucks attacking environmental heroes:

The same day it donated to the RGA, Sept. 16, Variety Stores also gave $400,000 to the Freedom Partners Action Fund, the super PAC of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which has been called the "central bank" of the Koch brothers' conservative political spending operation.

Pope's business has continued making donations this year, giving the RGA another $50,000 on June 18 and $100,000 to the Freedom Partners Action Fund the following day.

That's half a million dollars to Freedom Partners, a tidy sum even for the silver spoon-fed Arthur. While a lot of these SuperPACs hide their donors and their corporate masters very well, Freedom Partners is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch International, with a super-majority of its board actual employees of the polluting monster. They do however try to get clever with their attacks:

Calling out John Hood for his false conclusions

Getting it right and then bending it wrong:

When different governments are free to pursue different approaches to solving public problems, we all gain from the resulting increase in information about what works best. Furthermore, to the extent that governments continue their differing approaches because their citizens have different values, the resulting diversity allows households and businesses to sort themselves accordingly, choosing communities whose policies best fit their own needs and preferences.

I can’t offer similar praise to the commissioners of the FCC, however. They didn’t strike down state laws that blocked one private provider from competing with another. Instead, they struck down laws designed to keep localities from abusing their own governmental powers — their tax exemptions, access to low-cost capital, and eminent domain — to deliver a commercial service in competition with private firms. Surely states are the proper level of government to ensure that such abuses don’t occur.

You can't have it both ways, John. You can't have a dynamic community approach to solving problems and making your city competitive with other cities, while being shackled by an overbearing state government riddled with lobbyists writing their own legislation. You want to talk about outrageous attacks on the free market system? How about corporations writing their own laws and having government "proxies" put their thumbprint on it in return for a nice campaign donation? The bottom line is, if a municipality decides to provide broadband to its residents, and the formula (rates + local taxes) doesn't work to their benefit, those residents can express their disapproval at the voting booth. The crucible of public opinion is much harsher on the local level than at the state level, which is just one more reason why a paternalistic General Assembly runs counter to Democratic principles.

Esquire takes a swipe at Art Pope

And they don't pull any punches:

We have been somewhat remiss in this shebeen in our coverage of Art Pope, the A-ball Kochite who is the prime reason that the newly insane state of North Carolina has become newly insane. Governor Pat McCrory is the most conspicuous of Pope's various marionettes, which also include his pet state legislature as well as Thom Tillis, a brand-new member of the U.S. Senate. Spectacularly, McCrory appointed Pope his state budget director, which is tantamount to hiring Bernie Madoff as your Chancellor of the Exchequer. Now, though, it appears that Pope has a brand-new shiny object in his sights that he would like to break.

I consider myself somewhat gifted in the area of enhanced vocabulary, but I did have to look up the word "shebeen." Which didn't help all that much, as it is described as an "unlicensed drinking establishment" or an "after-hours speakeasy." I'm sure Greg Flynn would have known, but then he knows a lot of stuff I don't. The article also quotes our friend Bob Geary over at the Indy:

On Art Pope and the UNC System

A few jabs from Thomas Mills to set the tone:

It’s part of why North Carolina developed a reputation as a beacon of light in an otherwise dark South. Our university system became an engine of economic progress that has made the Triangle a leader in the information age and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.

Pope doesn’t believe in any of that. He believes that the free market is the key to success. Higher education should be little more than job training and critical thinking skills learned in a liberal arts curriculum have little place in his world. Pope is neither a manager nor a deep thinker. He’s an ideologue born with a silver spoon in his mouth who has spent his life forcing square pegs into round holes.

Many of those discussing the possibility of an Art Pope-directed UNC System are focusing on how he might cut programs, but the more likely result would be a skewing of the curriculum, something he's been trying to do for years. But I'll let one of UNC's professors explain:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Art Pope Puppetshow