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DAG McCrory's lack of attention excuse doesn't fly

And the "Three E's" thing is growing old quickly:

"With my legislature, I focused on, primarily, three areas: the economy, education, and government efficiency. Frankly, everything outside that area, I didn’t put a lot of attention to. Now I had certain state reps and state senators who focused on other things, which they need to. But I wanted to focus, as the executive branch, on the economy, education, and government efficiency."

“While he was apparently ‘not paying attention,’ the governor broke a clear campaign promise by signing into law the most egregious attack on women’s reproductive rights and safety that we have seen in over 40 years,” said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, referring to a 2012 promise by McCrory not to sign further restrictions on abortion.

It's clear McCrory is uncomfortable with many of the bills he signed. Not because of the hurt they inflicted on others, but because of the hurt inflicted on his chances for reelection.

David Price keeps the heat on McCrory administration

Representing the least powerful in society:

North Carolina was the only state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents during the 16-day partial federal shutdown, and Congressman David Price wants to know why. The state said it suspended processing Work First applications because there wasn't enough assurance the federal government would reimburse the state for payments once the shutdown ends. However Price (D-NC) said the state's skepticism raised red flags. "They said, 'Well we don't believe this,'" Price said of the McCrory administration. "Why wouldn't they believe them? Forty-nine other states did believe them. It's almost as though they were too ready or almost looking for an excuse to cut off these needy people."

They were not only too ready to punish the poor unnecessarily, they were chomping at the bit to do so. And considering that Republicans in DC may be planning further shutdown shenanigans, the McCrory administration needs to be shamed into never pulling these stunts again.

The Heritage Foundation asks semi-literate Governor to take the podium

Putting their "think tank" status in jeopardy:

Gov. Pat McCrory is taking the stage at one of the nation's leading conservative think tanks to talk about policies he's initiated in North Carolina.

McCrory is scheduled to speak at a Washington event Monday hosted by The Heritage Foundation. The event is entitled: "A Conversation with a Reformer: How the States are Leading the Way."

Here's a question that should have already been posed to the Governor or his Genardo: "How much is the Heritage Foundation paying the Governor for this speaking engagement?" We're waiting.

Teachers say "no thank you" to divisive merit-pay bonus

Solidarity in the pursuit of sound educational policies:

Decked out in matching colors and receiving a standing ovation from a crowd of their peers, a handful of teachers from Murray Middle School on Thursday presented state lawmakers with a petition to be exempt from recent legislation that replaces tenure and raises for master’s degrees with merit pay.

That was just one of many emotionally charged topics–primarily related to pay–put forth to a panel of N.C. legislators and local and state education officials during an update on public education at UNCW’s Watson School of Education Thursday afternoon.

Goolsby displayed his usual contempt for his constituency, but his meme-spouting and ignorance did not go unchallenged:

Greg Brannon practicing his flip-flop skills

That he will never get a chance to use in real life:

Keep trying, maybe you'll get more than a baker's dozen to believe the shutdown is the fault of Democrats.

Extremist Lt. Governor stokes anti-government sentiment

Telling homeschooling parents to not allow inspectors in their homes:

Forest issued a statement Monday afternoon warning of a “1980s era practice of randomly inspecting home schools across our state” by the Department of Non-Public Education after North Carolinians For Home Education reported that the department was going to randomly select five home schools for inspection.

“This policy is intrusive, unnecessary, and has the potential to infringe on the constitutionally-protected privacy rights of tens of thousands of North Carolina homeschool families,” Forest said.

Forest, who has said that he and his wife home-schooled their children, said home schools should be required to follow the law, but should not be required to let state officials in their home.

Forest is right about one thing: the Legislature needs to revise laws governing homeschools, but not in the direction Lt. Dan wants them to:

NC only state to stop signing up new TANF recipients

Taking every opportunity to punish the poor:

North Carolina, however, is the only state Lower-Basch has found that’s stopped processing TANF applications. That’s problematic, she said, because the longer the shutdown continues, the longer those applicants will see critical benefits delayed.

All of which is unnecessary. Last month, the U.S. Health and Human Services Family Assistance Office wrote a pre-shutdown letter to states, promising to reimburse money states had to spend to cover federal TANF benefits. That’s probably why so few states have yet to talk about shutting down their TANF programs.

Whether it's incompetence or actual malice towards those who would seek these benefits would be difficult if not impossible to discern, but either way DHHS is failing in its basic mission: to provide health services.

A half-million NC citizens fall into hole created by Republicans

Refusal to expand Medicaid causes unnecessary suffering:

About half a million of the uninsured earn less than 100 percent of the poverty level – $11,490 for a single person and $45,960 for a family of four. They are not eligible for insurance subsidies, and therefore are not subject to a penalty for not buying health insurance. That’s because authors of the Affordable Care Act assumed this group would get benefits through the Medicaid expansion.

Mostly these people who earn too little to get subsidies are healthy adults without children. They are “literally too poor to be eligible,” said Madison Hardee, a lawyer with Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont.

What makes this situation even worse is the sheer ignorance displayed by Republicans on the committee which oversees health issues:

GOP unemployment solution: lay off those who help laid-off workers find jobs

Creating a whole new category of stupid:

The N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions, the state agency that provides assistance to job seekers at local offices across the state, laid off 353 workers in recent months as part of an ongoing, extensive overhaul.

Reduced federal funding, partially as a result of sequestration, contributed to the agency’s nearly $25 million funding shortfall. But the great majority – about $19.5 million – is a result of the elimination of state funding.

Remember this the next time you see McCrory's Renew NC ad where he says, "we're helping the unemployed find jobs." He's definitely helping a few find jobs, but all the rest of us can go suck an egg. If you can afford to buy any, that is.

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