I appreciate Rob Schofield's optimism about the possibility that Republicans are coming to their senses, but to put it bluntly ... it ain't happening. There is no change in the political climate, there's only happy talk and smokescreens.
Still, for all of the enormous shortcomings of their actions, even the recent micro-steps of conservative leaders give testament to one very important reality: these men (and they are all men) believe that they needed to do something. Each of them understands that the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians wants real action to raise teacher pay, preserve reproductive freedom, rein in DHHS abuses, reform corporate giveaways and preserve the environment (and that advocates and activists for those causes are not going to let up).
Submitted by Martha Brock on Wed, 02/05/2014 - 1:17pm
Vicki Smith of Disability Rights NC wrote this for Progressive Pulse
The NC Department of Transportation recently released a plan for the state's transportation needs looking forward to 2040. The plan "focuses on the policies and programs needed to enhance safety, improve mobility, and reduce congestion for all transportation modes." Transportation is moving 'something' from one place to another. And in much of the plan the "something" that is being transported is people. So the plan talks about personal mobility, how people travel from one place to another. But it almost entirely ignores the needs of one group, people with disabilities.
NC Policy Watch boils it down today, laying out the cold, hard numbers about the tax hike coming your way this year. It's a trail of tears, with 80% of North Carolina households seeing their taxes increase. Don't fall for the lies and deception of the GOP happy-talkers, just look at the facts. You've been screwed.
I don't often disagree with my friend Chris Fitzsimon, who leads the excellent team at NC Policy Watch. But I have to take issue with his characterization of Pat McCrory's first year as "mediocre." If only that were true. Instead, Pat McCrory's first year as Deputy Assistant Governor was an unmitigated disaster.
The list of transgressions is familiar to us all. On every front, Deputy McCrory has done his best to tilt the balance in favor of wealth and privilege. Chris does a nice job summarizing the damage:
It's hard to believe but it has been almost ten years since we started NC Policy Watch to both counter the state's large, well-fund funded conservative "think tanks" that were increasingly dominating the state public policy debate and to hold the politicians who did their bidding accountable.
We want to continue and expand our aggressive reporting and thoughtful commentaries about the dangerous new direction in Raleigh these days, but we need your help.
This one's a no-brainer, folks. NC Policy Watch has done more to explore progressive ideas and expose regressive policies and individuals than any other single entity, and it's safe to say that tens of thousands of North Carolinians would have suffered more if they hadn't been doing those things. Saying this would be money well spent is a gross understatement, but there simply aren't words suitable to place an adequate value on this organization. But you already know this.
The current conservative push in North Carolina isn’t indicative of a long-lasting political tide. Winning half the vote (and in some cases less) but grabbing unfettered power via a combination of big money, outrageous gerrymandering and misleading promises of moderation isn’t a wave. It’s more like a bit of electoral hocus pocus; a smoke and mirrors coup d’état.
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