James @
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 1:13pm

Hey North Carolina. You've been screwed again.

Taxpayers are expected to contribute $90 million over that same period. That’s if Gov. Pat McCrory’s request to transfer 67 positions and an estimated $18 million next year to the new group from the Commerce Department is endorsed by lawmakers in budget negotiations. Draft legislation had initially put the group on the hook to raise $10 million from private sources immediately, but the language endorsed by House and Senate committees will lower that to $6 million over five years, a move that Republican sponsors is more realistic for a startup group.

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James @
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 8:58am

Listen up, asshole. Your career as a fancy consultant and squeaker of the NC House in no way qualifies you to even have an opinion about what our Commander in Chief is doing in military matters. And just because ALEC gave you some convenient talking points doesn't mean you have to use them.

Thom Tillis
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James @
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 12:55pm

Thomas Mills as been on a tear lately, this time with a definitive review of the performance of our hapless Deputy Assistant Governor. The piece is call "Remembering McCrory" and it's a doozie.

The episode highlights a lot of McCrory’s problems as governor. First, McCrory has trouble telling the truth, or at least sticking to his positions. Second, it reminds us that the senate is trying to transfer two large and essential agencies to an executive branch already under fire for managerial incompetence and instability. Finally, the whole affair reminds us that the senate is driving and directing state government while McCrory is little more than a ribbon-cutter.

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James @
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 8:46am

McCrory could have found a worse candidate to entrust with millions of taxpayer dollars, but it would have been hard. This is just unbelievable.

Dick Lindenmuth, the Raleigh businessman and “change agent” selected to steer the McCrory administration’s privatization of the state’s job recruitment efforts came into the high-profile job with no economic development background and a checkered work history.

Great job of reporting from NC Policy Watch.

Pat McCrory
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James @
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 8:37am

I was getting ready to write about Thom Tillis' ridiculous response to Kay Hagan on the subject of campaign debates. Fortunately, Thomas Mills beat me to it at Politics NC.

Last week, Kay Hagan responded to an offer by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters to host a debate by accepting their proposal and urging Thom Tillis to do so, too. In her letter, she encouraged Tillis and his campaign to agree to a debate schedule “worthy of the people of our great state.”

So what did Tillis do? He called for ten debates. That’s right – ten. What an ass. Hagan made a decent proposal and he fires back with sophomoric one-upmanship.

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James @
Saturday, May 31, 2014 - 10:03am

John Skvarla likes to joke that he was surprised as anyone when Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory named him to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Of course, that's total bullshit. Skvarla had been lobbying for more than a year to land the job, for which he is spectacularly unqualified. His mission? Find a way to gut environmental protections so vultures (like him) can make money trying to fix things after the fact. And that's just what he's doing.

Problem is, almost everything Skvarla is doing undermines federal guidelines for environmental stewardship. He is methodically destroying water and air protections, leaving North Carolina at the mercy of business interests whose only agenda is profit taking.

The latest move to lay out the red carpet for Titan Cement is but the latest in a crush of irresponsible, short-sighted actions that threaten North Carolina's present and future.

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James @
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 3:43pm

Most years, there are a ton of dedicated people working their asses off to try to influence the legislature to pass responsible, effective policies for the good of the state. I've been there and done that myself.

But today things are different. Looking to upstage their performance last year, Republican members of the General Assembly have launched an all out assault on reason, decency and fairness.

So instead of trying to moderate their insanity, let's give them free rein to push the limits beyond the breaking point. That's what it will take for the people of North Carolina to wake up and vote these sociopaths out of office. And if the voters won't rise up, then the federal government will. Virtually every policy being passed will be challenged in a never-ending spate of lawsuits, and in the end, the people will prevail.

So let 'em run, guys. Give them all the rope they want, and then some. We'll have the pleasure of seeing them hang before too long. Mark my words.

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James @
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 1:50pm

Dear teachers,

After years of toiling out of the spotlight, you've been cast to center stage, with everyone and her sister giving you advice about doing your jobs and navigating the political waters. I personally have been inspired and moved by your collective actions in the face of relentless GOP assaults over the past year.

As I think about the challenges ahead, I don't envy you. You're being asked to sacrifice teaching assistants, textbooks, and facilities ... and to surrender what small amount of job security you currently have.

In short, you are being divided and conquered, played one against the other, with callous disregard for your work, your passions, and your prosperity. You are pawns in a Republican game, pure and simple.

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James @
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 11:01am

A while back, I wrote about the devil's deal unfolding in the legislature. But even with my deeply held cynicism, I couldn't have predicted the sham in progress. They're not just robbing Peter to pay Paul, they're stomping the shit out of Peter, and telling Paul he's going to be next if he doesn't toe the line.

Meanwhile, establishment pundits are in a tither about whose austerity budget will see the light of day. Is McCrory as irrelevant as he seems? asks Thomas Mills. Will Berger's bluster trump Tillis' tantrums? Will teachers take the bait?

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James @
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 9:14am

No matter how much the Tillisberger does to destroy progress in North Carolina, in the final analysis, those actions will be not even a raindrop in the ocean of cosmic time.

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