During next month’s primary election, there will be 3,069 different ballots. According to North Carolina General Assembly Senior Counsel Gerry Cohen, Iredell County — population 162,000 — will have 249.
More than three thousand freakin' ballots isn't just a side-effect of gerrymandering, it's also a symptom of incompetence by people who don't give damn about the consequences of their policies. More ballots, more chances to screw up, more litigation, more arrogance. The hits just keep on coming.
Thom Tillis's panel to "examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act on North Carolina" has started.
It's packed with GOP right-wing nut jobs, and its clear intent is to bash Obamacare and by extension, President Obama and Senator Hagan. This is a blatant use of public money for Thom Tillis's senate campaign.
The first speaker? Dr. Chris Conover (the GOP says he's a Duke professor; he's also with the loony American Enterprise Institute.
He's telling horror stories about Obamacare costs and the right-wing nut jobs are lapping it up:
There's a fascinating column in the Times today, one that explores the growing momentum in California: reinvestment in higher ed, infrastructure planning, etc., etc. And it's all because the Governor Jerry Brown pushed through a significant tax increase on the wealthiest Californians. They now have a $5 billion surplus. Three times more people are coming into the state than leaving. You get the picture.
So what's the lesson for Pat McCrory? There is no lesson. Pat McCrory is a hapless lapdog of Art Pope, the erstwhile emperor who has no clothes. Unlike Governor Brown, who is proving the value of a progressive tax system, Art Pope is blinded by his passion to cut taxes and deregulate. Millions of hard working people in North Carolina are suffering while a few thousand laugh all the way to the bank. If I believed in hell, I'd be reserving a special place for Mr. Pope.
There is much bad news today, and it's easy to get distracted by whatever specific catastrophe is coming our way. The bigger picture is even worse, as observed in this editorial in the New York Times. It seems the all our elected officials believe they are doing good, no matter how insane or destructive their actions.
In large part, there's nothing we can do about the bigger picture. Our only course of action lies in working to avoid individual specific catastrophes. Find whatever good candidates you can find to support, and work like hell to help them win.
The GOP ploy to pay starter-teachers more than seasoned veterans has triggered outrage in public education, and rightly so. It is an irresponsible and shameless effort to divide and conquer. It also represents the false choice of rewarding the richest North Carolinians at the expense of everyone else.
McCrory's recently announced pay increase (for some teachers) can't fix this. There's simply not enough money in the coffers to properly fund public education.
What are the odds of Republicans reversing course and reinstating a progressive tax code in North Carolina? They are non-existent. No matter how much happy talk we hear, the budget bed has already been made. We're in for a nightmare.
You'll be hearing a lot of happy talk about unemployment falling. Don't believe it. If you want to know the truth, just ask your friends and neighbors who are unable to find work.
North Carolina’s unemployment picture is much worse than it appears on the surface, according to new numbers released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security today. Although the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in December, this is due almost entirely to a historic collapse in the state’s labor force, not to genuine gains in employment.
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