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McCrory: Public employee salaries should not be so public

In an interview today, McCrory said he has concerns about how public has access to information on hires, including salaries, and said he feared that could deter qualified people from pursuing government jobs.

Full story is at http://www.wncn.com/story/23467797/dhhs-hires-anti-abortion-activist

Amazing that apparently the "government of transparency" promised by McCrory is turning into a circus sideshow.

North Carolina Modernist Homes

With so much going wrong in North Carolina these days, it's always reassuring to find something going right. In this case, modernist architects and fans of modern style continue to make North Carolina one of the premier markets in the nation for mid-century modern homes. Here's the page for the architect who designed the home I live in, Arthur Cogswell. And there's lots more where that came from.

Hats off to George Smart, curator of the North Carolina Modernist Houses website.

Most people are surprised, even shocked, to learn North Carolina has the third largest concentration of Modernist houses in America, more than anywhere else except Los Angeles and Chicago. Who knew that little ol' Mayberry would be a center for great residential architecture?

US House to vote to defund Affordable Care Act

House to vote on budget bill defunding health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) says House Republicans will pass a budget bill this week that withholds funding for President Barack Obama's health care law.

The effort stands little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, setting up a showdown that could push the government toward a partial shutdown at the end of the month. Funding to operate the federal government runs out at the end of September.

Skvarla's whiny oped defies logic

Contradicting himself left and right:

In the latter piece, you attacked DENR for designating leadership positions as exempt from the state personnel act and misled residents trying to understand the important changes we are making to the way state government works...

By reviewing rules through the lens of scientific data and regulatory experience, we can make responsible choices that help residents without sacrificing the environment.

How can you review rules "through the lens of scientific data and regulatory experience" when you're turning exactly those same positions into political ones, meaning those scientists and regulators will likely be replaced by political hacks like yourself?

Anti-abortion zealot "advising" NC DHHS

Aldona Wos' gravy train picks up a Tea Party nutjob passenger:

Margaret "Mardy" Peal, 42, started with the department as a senior planner Aug. 12 and will make $95,000 a year, salary records show. She taught at ECU for about three years in the 1990s, was briefly involved in the early stages of the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party and donated $1,250 to McCrory's campaign in 2012.

Peal was also listed in 2010 under her married name, Grubb, as a member of the board of directors for the anti-abortion Carolina Pregnancy Center, which provides "abortion alternatives, post abortion support and abstinence education with the hope of transforming lives through Jesus Christ," according to its Facebook page.

I wonder what Jesus Christ would say about DHHS failing to provide food stamps for thousands of hungry children while paying one of his followers $95,000 per year. Pretty sure he would not be happy about that.

Gambling on education

An editorial in the The Pilot captured my daily outrage nicely:

Whatever the answer to that question might be, the “education lottery” remains a gimmick — one that works only because it has officially sanctioned approval to rig the odds against its users, who happen to be the residents of the state of North Carolina.

There are those who will quibble about the mechanics of how the General Assembly is distributing lottery funds, but a larger truth remains painfully clear: the lottery is a multibillion dollar perversion of every moral principle of responsible government.

Affordable Care Act

Daily Kos:

More bad news for House Speaker John Boehner, who thinks that the premium rate shock people are going to experience in the first few weeks of Obamacare enrollment will strengthen his hand in holding the debt ceiling hike hostage for a delay in Obamcare. Here's his problem: For more than six million people there won't be any rate shock, according to a new report that the Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday, obtained by USA Today.

Ezra Klein: 'Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States'

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States, Dec. 2012:

When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk about reforming our gun control laws."

Let's be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It's just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws

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Read it all here.

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