Friday, April 18, 2014 - 11:15am

When the truth doesn't fit your narrative, just change it:

House Speaker Thom Tillis’ claim to have fired two staff caught up in a lobbyist sex scandal in 2012 doesn’t stand up to scrutiny or the public record, and his campaign should remove it from North Carolina airwaves.

The ad, which has more than $500,000 backing it according to Roll Call, contains no backup to the claim that Tillis "fired" his staffers. And Tillis’ own spokesman has repeatedly refused to make the same claim -- that Tillis "fired" the staff in question -- when discussing the ad. The Raleigh News & Observer, upon asking for a justification of the firing claim, was told that Tillis “initiated the action of asking for their resignation.”

If Tillis did "ask" for their resignations, which is not a foregone conclusion, it's only because the affairs were made public and forced his hand. But over and above the parsing of words, the intent of the ad itself is false: to make people believe he dealt with the problem in a rapid and harsh fashion. Here's a little historical context which completely undermines that message:

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 12:32pm

And more high-dollar outside contracts:

Davis and DHHS Sec. Aldona Wos told lawmakers they have hired a consultant to help streamline the agency and help make budget forecasts more reliable. "We've got here another single-bid $3 million contract," Tucker said, expressing frustration that a large agency with thousands of staffers could not have found workers to do such a review.

Wos said that DHHS' staff has shrunk and didn't have the ability to both handle day-to-day tasks as well as plan for the future. "This was an example of success. if this was able to be done by the employees of DHHS over the past 14 years, it would have done," Wos said. She added, "We would love to be at our desk working but we are here to provide you with the information you requested."

Shorter version: "It's not my fault, it's your fault." Apparently Republicans in the NCGA don't understand how job evaluations amongst the 1% really work: you fuck up, you move up, and the more money you lose in mismanaging your organization, the bigger your bonus and golden parachute. I shouldn't have to explain these things.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 10:04am

At least snake-oil salesmen put a bottle of something in your hand after their spiel:

No doubt sensing that their attacks on public education – and public school teachers in particular – might backfire on Election Day, Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders grudgingly started flirting with pay hikes for some teachers. But now they seem to be backing up and denying the real cause of their retreat.

But here’s the rub on teacher pay. Thanks to the fact that the Republican giveaway will cost the state about $2.4 billion over five years in lost revenue – personal income tax withholdings are behind forecasts by $221 million – there’s not going to be enough money for an across-the-board teacher pay increase. The entire scenario is brought to you by inexperienced legislative leaders driven by something akin to the tea party ideology of little or no government and few if any taxes. They took a leap without calculating distance and speed and looking at what might be at the bottom.

And now McCrory is saying the raises will happen in 2015, in an effort to get the Republicans past that whole pesky election nonsense unscathed. If we let them get away with it, all it will do is reinforce the value of lying to the people, and 2015 will be even more of a kabuki theatre.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 11:39am

As always, J.W. is on top of the story:

Commissioners Nathan Miller, David Blust, and Perry Yates trotted out their lists of past beefs with Boone, their grievances, their grudges going back decades in some cases, but they readily admitted that their self-righteous spite sprang mainly from the on-going feud Mr. Yates's daddy-in-law Phil Templeton has with anybody and everybody who won't let him do precisely as he wishes as a millionaire land developer.

Last night, Mayor Ball asked Commission Chair Nathan Miller if he thought it was fair that Boone raise 60% of the revenue and get 12% of it in return. You could see the ire rise in Miller. It's plenty fair, he replied with noticeable venom.

Another factor which must have played a role in this decision: Boone had the audacity to elect a dynamic and outspoken YDNC leader as Mayor. Local Republicans might not fear the influence of local Democrats too much, but they do fear what Andy Ball represents; smart, young, Progressive Democrats, who have the vision to see what the future could be, and the intelligence and drive to explain it to others. The only way to fight it is to stack the deck against the new Mayor, and hope his popularity collapses. And if the people of Boone have to suffer as a consequence, it's their own fault for wanting progress.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 10:31am

The assault on the English language continues unabated:

On Sunday, though, the official Twitter account of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory tweeted with pride that the patches on the green jackets were made in the Tar Heel State – and made double-bogey in the process.

“Great to see the patches on the infamous green jackets at @The_Masters are made in Weaverville, NC!” McCrory’s account tweeted.

But the green jackets aren’t exactly infamous – infamous, according to Merriam-Webster, means, “having a reputation of the worst kind; notoriously evil.”

This was not a typo. Apparently whoever wrote this Tweet was under the impression that "infamous" meant "really famous," something a 3rd grader might get confused, if he or she had been avoiding homework.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 11:47am

Unfortunately, there are no cliffs handy for them to march off:

Conservatives are using the April 15 deadline to celebrate tax changes that North Carolina lawmakers argue will keep more money in family wallets and encourage job creation.

Gov. Pat McCrory and key legislators plan to join right-leaning policy groups Tuesday for a tax-filing day news conference in Raleigh. They plan to highlight a new annual report from the American Legislative Exchange Council to promote the tax overhaul law.

And now would be a really good time for some of our larger news outlets to do an in-depth evaluation of how ALEC operates, including how corporations take a direct hand in the crafting of legislation that is subsequently and stealthily inserted into our "public" policy system. In the absence of that explanation to the people, reporting on state government is woefully incomplete.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 9:44am

We'll start with a fine example of ineffective government:

Here's at least part of the problem:

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Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:34pm

Greensboro's Billy Jones was also dosed, in an effort to limit the growth of questions:

"You also made a lot of other claims in your article/ blog please provide sources for those. We are concerned that you are being paid by someone who prunes trees and does not want this technology introduced as it will hurt their business. Much of what you say is not true in your blog.

Please disclose this if this is true.

You are far too articulate to have made so many errors in factual data in your blog. Plus it mimiced another blog that was written in blue DNC."

Apparently there's a conspiracy of tree-pruners out there waging a campaign against the poor chemical companies. ;) Just a little primer for Mr. Prosser on the phenomena of 21st Century blogging, and especially the hyper-local flavor of such: we in the blogging community learned a long time ago that calling attention to something before it happens can sometimes stop it from happening. If it doesn't stop it, it does often result in answers to questions a lot of citizens may have. And pointing a bulldog like Billy Jones to further information on the subject (thanks for that, by the way, my diary had fallen off the radar), is a sure-fire way to keep him interested. A few words from Billy:

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Monday, April 14, 2014 - 10:37am

A lifetime of hatred leads to tragedy:

The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who has extensive ties to North Carolina. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, ran for governor of North Carolina and for the Senate in the 1980s under the last name Miller.

According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman shot two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested him in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.

It appears this nutcase was working his way down to small children when they caught up with him. I'm going to do some digging to see how many votes this dirtbag received back in the day, but here's some more history to contemplate:

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