Pins for Poll Workers

In 2008 I worked the polls in Forsyth County.

It was a temporary work job through a temporary work agency.

In 2016 I worked the polls in Forsyth County.

It was a temporary work job through the same temporary work agency.

This time, though, the Forsyth County BOE sent me a lapel pin to commemorate my work at the polls.

In 2008 my downtown post was instructed not to instruct voters about how to use the voting machines.

In 2016 my suburban post allowed us to help the voter in any way we could.

I received a pin in 2016.

Pope Center slaps new coat of paint on crumbling structure

Different name, same tired old rhetoric:

Martin will be joined by Jenna Robinson, president of the former Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a conservative think tank that has been newly renamed for Martin. The change took effect Jan. 1, when the center officially became the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

On the center’s website, Robinson wrote that confusion between the Pope Center and the Pope Foundation prompted the name change. Both organizations were named for John William Pope but had different missions, she wrote: “The new name will allow us to create our own identity – focused on our mission of academic renewal.”

Yeah, I mean, no. There hasn't been any confusion. They may have (slightly) different missions, but the guiding principles are still the same. And they won't change with a new name, or a new logo, or a new Mission Statement, or whatever other facile tweaks to its appearance you try to make. A thorn by any other name. And just to give you an idea where Jenna Robinson stands on government helping families cope with higher education costs, check this out:

Dallas Woodhouse questions the legitimacy of Trump's "victory" ... hints at need for new election

As part of his never-ending quest to disenfranchise Democratic voters, Dallas "The Bus Driver" Woodhouse yesterday said electoral fraud should be looked into.

“Look, I just think this is something that needs to be looked at,” he said. “Let’s provide some confidence to the system.” Woodhouse said he’s seen evidence of problems in North Carolina. “We’ve seen voter fraud in North Carolina, it may not be widespread,” he said. “We’ve had two local elections that were thrown out for vote buying and fraud.”

Trump himself has suggested his own election may have been tainted by fraud, a suggestion Woodhouse seems to agree with. The only solution appears to be a thorough investigation and a new presidential election.

For once, the Republicans have a point. If there was fraud, and it appears that voting operations in several swing states were compromised, we should know about it. A national inquiry into voter fraud and illegalities of any kind is called for. I'm confident that such an inquiry would reveal Trump to be in violation of numerous federal laws, resulting in the need for a new election.

PS Here's a video of The Bus Driver at his best.

Friday News: Berger channeling Trump

BERGER'S REFLEXIVE SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS STIFLE DIALOGUE (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Senate leader Phil Berger should focus on discussing issues and reaching consensus rather than seeking confrontations via social media. Sen. Berger needs to remember that North Carolina voters support Medicaid expansion -- 63 percent -- and increased funding for public schools. Gov. Cooper did not run in a gerrymandered district. He ran statewide. He has not proposed a "massive tax hike" or "massive budget busting." Someone should take Berger's phone away from him. Maybe he would then talk with the governor about his proposals and see what common ground might be found. It is what North Carolina citizens want and expect from their leaders. Sen. Berger knows that.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-berger-s-reflexive-social-media-blasts-stifle-dialogue/16474888/

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

bluenccup-1[1].jpg

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

Art Pope.jpg

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...

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