Phil Berger

NC GOP tries to become immune from judicial checks and balances

The NC GOP, stung by a series of judicial rulings that their unconstitutional laws are...er...unconstitutional, isn't about to put up with that.

When judges get in their way of passing unconstitutional laws, Tillisberger just passes a new unconstitutional law.

After passing laws imposing new conditions on abortions and elections, taking away teacher tenure and providing vouchers for private school tuition, Republican state legislators have seen those policies stymied in state and federal courtrooms.

So they have passed another law, this one making those kinds of lawsuits less likely to succeed when filed in state court. Beginning in September, all constitutional challenges to laws will be heard by three-judge trial court panels appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

N&O kisses up to Tillisberger

I couldn't believe my eyes -- but there it was, a great big Koch brothers AFP advertisement for the NC GOP, right there in the Raleigh News & Observer. On the front page even! "Kinder, gentler Republican legislators!" screamed the headline.

I knew that the newspaper business was going downhill, but I couldn't believe that they were so desperate for advertising dollars that they would lead their Sunday edition with such propaganda.

And then -- then the stark truth hit me. This piece of fiction was billed as a news story! Written by real N&O reporters and everything! As the NCGA leaves town with the earth scorched just as much as ever, the N&O asked:

Is this the kinder, gentler Republican legislature?

(Answer, hell no!). Thom Tillis must be thrilled that the N&O prominently featured his lie of the year:

Budget shenanigans

After grabbing headlines about a 7% teacher raise that seems to be...er...misleading at best, the Tillisberger released the budget under cover of darkness. Senators got copies on theirs desks at 8:30 a.m. and were expected to vote on the 260-page bill at 10:15 a.m.

It's no wonder that Phil & Thom want to keep the budget secret, because it has all kinds of sleazy little personal pet provisions in it, including:

  • Moving the SBI from the Attorney General's control to the control of the governor whose administration is being investigated by the SBI (something the wing nuts have been trying to do for a long time);
  • Moves the ABC & ALE to new places too;
  • Eliminates 4 badly needed special judges;

Tillisberger the defendants

Apparently the Tillisberger's jobs program consists of full employment for the lawyers defending the many lawsuits filed against the NC GOP's unconstitutional laws.

It's hard to keep track, but Tillisberger is being sued for at least:

  • School vouchers;
  • The voter suppression law (with plaintiffs including at least the US Department of Justice, ACLU, NAACP, League of Women Voters and college students and other individuals);
  • The marriage oppression law;
  • The unconstitutional legislative building rules; and
  • Teacher career status revocation.

Add to that list the possum torture lawsuit. PETA has filed suit again, this time over the new law that Tillisberger passed in response to the previous lawsuit.

Yes, we do care that the Tillisberger wastes tax dollars

It costs an estimated $50,000 per day to keep the NC general assembly in session. Tillisberger is keeping the NCGA in session much longer than estimated, and much longer than necessary, as they argue about who should suffer pain so that teachers can get a pay raise. So far, the potential pain recipients they've considered include old people, blind people, kids, disabled people, teacher assistants, school nurses and the teachers themselves.

They have not considered slightly reducing the extreme comfort level of Art Pope and his wealthy friends.

As lawmakers continue to snarl at each other over the state budget in the July swelter, predictions that the state House and Senate would wrap up their summer session by the end of June look laughably optimistic in hindsight.

$50,000 per day. For every day of the NC GOP legislators' theatrics, ten teachers could get a $5,000 raise.

Tillis, Berger & McCrory rush new legislation outlawing elitism

This is satire. Please take it in the humorous spirit in which it is written.

Both houses of the North Carolina legislature rushed into late night session to pass legislation outlawing elitism in North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory signed it this morning saying, "This is an important law to protect average North Carolinians from being discriminated against. I wish it had been in place before I selected our poet laureate. She was held to much higher standards than the average poet could meet. That isn't fair. Average people deserve a chance to get awards too."

The law addresses several areas where Tillis, Berger, and McCrory felt average North Carolinians were losing out:

NC Scholars

The NC Scholars program was started in 1983 to designate those high school students with high academic performance. The NC Scholars program will now recognize all students with a GPA of 2.0 and higher.

Tillisberger to throw 12,000 kids out in the cold

or in the heat. But either way, the NC GOP wants to stop after-school child care subsidies for 12,000 kids from low-income families.

Sen. Jeff Tarte, a Republican from Cornelius, said the goal is to shift the focus to early childhood development..

Oh, well the way Jeff tells it, this must be a good thing. Unless, of course:

Child advocates say the change could put children at risk by forcing parents to choose between work and leaving their children in potentially unsafe situations.

Oh, that doesn't sound good at all. But that's just those bleeding-heart "child advocates" talking. Let's hear from an actual parent, who would need to pay more than $1,000 more per month, something she can't possibly afford.

GOP tax changes mean you pay more

GOP tax laws took effect this week that will mean a net increase for many North Carolina tax payers. For some it may not be a huge increase, but the fact is we are paying more. Republicans will nickel and dime us to death.

Eliminated was the tax-free shopping days scheduled for back-to-school shopping. Many of us saved on clothes, calculators, computers, and basic school supplies. The savings on a laptop for high school and college students was a huge benefit to many of us. You can see the full list of potential savings here.

Also eliminated was the tax-free shopping weekend for those buying certified energy-efficient household appliances. This tax break may not have been as widely enjoyed as the back-to-school tax break, but it was a much-needed incentive to encourage people to buy appliances that are more environmentally friendly.

Guvnor Pat gives Tillisberger a good laugh again

More accurately, in this case, Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat provided major guffaws for Bergodaca by demanding that the NC Senate take a vote on the House budget, which is the budget that Guvnor McClueless has endorsed.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday demanded the state Senate take a vote on a education spending plan he supports a day after the chamber’s GOP leaders dismissed the legislation outright.

“I’m very disappointed that the Senate is not taking action on a House bill that was voted unanimously by Republicans and Democrats,” the Republican governor said. “I firmly believe the Senate needs to vote on that.”

The laughter of Sens. Berger and Apodaca reportedly could be heard all the way from Wilmington to Asheville.

Guvnor Pat gives Tillisberger a good laugh

Guvnor McClueless continues to operate under the delusion that he is somehow relevant in state government, although most everyone realizes that he's Tillisberger's hired pen, nothing more.

He recently offered two more humorous demonstrations of his view from his home in Alternate Realityville.

First, he summoned reporters to tell them what would happen if the House and Senate can't agree on a budget. It boggles the mind why any of the reporters bothered to show up, but they did, and Pat gave them the lowdown.

McCrory called reporters to his office on Monday afternoon to let them know he has told Budget Director Art Pope to issue a directive letting state agencies know how they should proceed if the current two-year budget isn’t amended in the next eight days – which is pretty much the whole reason the legislature is back in town for the short session.
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