Harper's: The left must derail Hillary Clinton in the primaries

"a straightforward, nationwide electoral strategy is required if the left wants to reverse the rightward trend of both parties over the past three decades. The tea party has had much success moving the Republican Party to the right through primary challenges that should be the envy of frustrated Democrats, even though liberals of the Nation magazine – Rachel Maddow persuasion appear blind to the lessons of tea party tactics. One wouldn’t want to weaken Democratic incumbents with insurgencies lest “we” lose “our” Senate majority..

Daily Dose: Starve the beast edition

POLICY & POLITICS
N.C. revenues are $410 million behind last year and $190M short of forecast (AP) — The gap between predicted and actual North Carolina state revenues is widening because of continued tepid personal income tax collections, but improving sales tax collections approaching the holidays helped keep it spreading further. The monthly report on state revenues issued by the Office of the State Controller says revenues are running $410,1 million behind what was collected a year ago. The legislature's top economist confirmed this week revenues are about $190 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. The first-quarter gap through September was $62 million. The rate of revenue collections is also running behind the pace set a year ago. Last year, by the end of November, the state collected 39.6 percent of the total revenues collected for the fiscal year. Currently, the state has collected just 36.9 percent of the revenues it anticipates for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The critical culprit has been collection of individual income taxes. Not only did the General Assembly cut the tax rate, but the recession and skyrocketing unemployment in North Carolina, which has lagged the nation in recovery, has resulted in many workers returning to the workforce in jobs that pay significantly less then the jobs they held previously. Last summer, a decline in withholdings in the first half of the 2014 calendar year contributed to a $450 million gap in the last fiscal year, making decisions for the current budget written by lawmakers last summer more difficult.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/north-carolina-state-revenues-are-190m-short-forecast-2732391

UNC Board of Republican Governors launches inquisition

The mostly white, mostly male, mostly Republican UNC Board of Governors has launched an inquisition into several of the UNC system's centers that focus on various societal issues. Of the 240 centers statewide, the white male Republican inquisitors have chosen about 30 for special grilling on the hot seat. In case you're wondering if the centers chosen to be questioned in the spotlight largely address causes the tea party opposes (you know, poverty, women, diversity, the environment, civil rights and such), the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes.

The white male Republican inquisitors claim that their inquisition is all about efficiency, but of course it's really all about ideology and quashing opposition voices.

In a debate that at times veered into testy ideological exchange, UNC-Chapel Hill center directors mounted a vigorous justification of their work Thursday before a UNC Board of Governors panel reviewing more than two dozen centers and institutes.

Millionaires tax giveaway deficit widens

Having already come home to roost, the pigeon that is the NC GOP tax "reform" has now settled in and is coating the state with pigeon poop. In particular, the revenue shortfall resulting from Art Pope's tax cut continues to grow to nearly $200 million for the first half of this fiscal year.

The gap between predicted and actual North Carolina state revenues is widening because of continued tepid personal income tax collections.

The legislature's top economist confirmed this week that revenues are about $190 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. Two months ago, the first-quarter gap was $62 million.

Will the "police body camera" bill ever make it to the NCGA floor?

The Magic 8-Ball sez, "Don't hold your breath."

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus said Wednesday that they expect a bill to be filed when the General Assembly reconvenes in January that would require some, if not all, law enforcement officers in North Carolina to wear body cameras on duty.

The Legislative Black Caucus also plans to file anti-profiling legislation next year, said Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg.

Two major challenges to getting such legislation enacted: 1) Many GOP Legislators refuse to believe racial profiling even occurs, and 2) Most of those who would acknowledge it's happening believe it's not just okay, it's good police work. As such, the anti-profiling bill is dead on arrival, destined to collect dust in one committee or another, and the police body camera bill will probably do likewise, until some Republican writes a different one that merely "studies" the practice, possibly choosing as a test case some Mayberry-ish town with a one-bullet deputy sporting a camera. Prove me wrong, please.

Daily Dose: Two chickens cross the road

Gonna be a long six years, folks. Tillis is coming out-of-the-blocks with torture advocate Richard Burr as his role model. Neither has served a split-second in the armed forces. Not a split second.

Tillis echoes Burr on torture report (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Sen.-elect Thom Tillis, who was in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, said the release of the report on CIA interrogation practices during the Bush administration could harm U.S. relations with other countries. His comments echoed those made by his soon-to-be Republican colleague, Sen. Richard Burr.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/10/4393708_tillis-echoes-burr-on-torture.html

POLICY & POLITICS
Abortion Debate Looms: Public Asked to Comment on DHHS Rules (Public News Service) -- The future of reproductive health in North Carolina is in the hands of the general public. This month, the North Carolina Department of Health (DHHS) and Human Services proposed new regulations for abortion clinics and now the public has an opportunity to comment.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-12-11/health-issues/nc-abortion-debate-looms-public-asked-to-c...

NC GOP hypocrisy about wealth inequality

The NC GOP, champions of making the wealthy wealthier and the poor poorer, seem to have a different viewpoint when it comes to the collective wealth of cities and counties.

A redistribution of local sales tax revenue to benefit poor counties is on the agenda for legislative leaders preparing for the session that begins in January.

...

Republicans from both chambers are talking about changing the distribution formula to funnel more to rural areas. No one offered specifics, but such a shift has the potential to pit urban counties against rural.

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