Monday News: The Primary that wouldn't die

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DEMOCRATS STILL BITTERLY AT ODDS MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER SANDERS V. CLINTON: In a sign of a party deeply divided over everything except all-out opposition to Trump, Democrats in recent weeks have engaged in one fight after the next that shows just how raw the wounds of the 2016 battle between moderates and progressives remain. "The debates and issues are real -- Women's rights are fundamental human rights and not secondary concerns, and Wall Street's grip on elected officials has rigged the economy against workers," said Josh Orton, a progressive strategist. "But the closer any debate gets to touching the tribal primary divisions, the more likely it will become an unwinnable, never-ending comment section argument battling over false equivalencies."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article149164769.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NEW HEALTH CARE BILL SICKENS FAR MORE THAN IT CURES: President Donald Trump and the Republicans who rule the U.S. House of Representatives may be crowing about passage of their prized health-care bill that repeals and replaces Obamacare. But back home in the states they represent, few are celebrating. The unfortunate reality for the nation is that this bill is more likely to be a booby prize. It is particularly astonishing and disheartening that nearly every member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bill that they knew almost nothing about. The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t even had time to “score” the bill to determine its impact, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the partisan zealots. Their blind desire to simply check repeal and replacement of Obamacare off the to-do-list for the president is no excuse for the haste and long list of important, but unanswered questions, left on the table.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-new-health-care-bill-sickens-far-more-than-it-cures/16683454/

Wayne Goodwin: How NC Democrats can move forward and fight back

Make an ally of the middle class, while it still exists:

First, we must return to our roots as the party of middle-class opportunity. Growing up in rural Richmond County, I saw how far too many North Carolinians had been left behind, even as the state thrived economically. But I also saw how smart investments by the government – especially in our world-class schools and universities – could level the playing field and create economic opportunity and mobility, regardless of a person’s background or circumstances.

If I was writing this, the above would probably be my second step, with the first being: We must set aside our cynicism over politics, and work together as if those negative aspects are the exception to the rule and not the rule. That cynicism serves no purpose other than to divide us along narrow ideological confines, and the end result is always a scattered collection of small groups, actually competing with each other instead of pooling their resources. Just a quick test: If you read Wayne's first paragraph above and found more that you dislike than you like, it's probably because you were looking for things to dislike. Ergo, cynicism. Strengthening the middle-class is not just a political ploy, it's critical in maintaining our democracy, and our consumer-based economy. You want examples of what can happen when the middle-class fails, I can provide dozens, but I don't think that's something that needs a data-driven argument. Enough from me, here's more from Wayne:

Saturday News: Cheese with that whine?

OUTSPOKEN BIGOT WITHDRAWS FROM ARMY SECRETARY NOMINATION AFTER CRITICISM: President Donald Trump’s second attempt to nominate an Army secretary failed on Friday when his pick, Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green, withdrew from consideration amid increasingly fierce backlash to his controversial comments about the LGBT community, Muslims and evolution. “It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the secretary of the Army,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction.” Green was a stark contrast to the person he would have been replacing, President Barack Obama’s appointee Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay Army secretary.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article148941829.html

GOP education plan: Unfunded mandates and temporary fixes

You can have tax cuts for the wealthy or proper school funding, but not both:

In passing the bill, Senate leaders have publicly promised to provide additional funds for enhancement teachers beginning the 2018-19 school year. Despite the pledge, the Senate worryingly voted down an effort by Sen. Jay Chaudhuri to include that funding pledge in the bill’s language. As a result, North Carolina’s class-size controversy remains unsettled.

Absent from the class-size debate has been an estimate of exactly how much additional funding will be required to meet 2018-19 class-size requirements while preserving enhancement classes for students in grades K-3. To fully-fund class-size requirements and enhancement teachers, the General Assembly will need to increase classroom teacher funding by approximately $293 million in FY 18-19.

Just a comment about messaging and word choice: I like the term "Enhancement" when classifying teachers and their subjects, much more than what I've been hearing a lot over the last few weeks, "Specials." I realize the latter is educator jargon and is not meant to be derogatory or demeaning, actually the opposite. But words don't automatically become what you want them to just because you chose them, they have their own baggage, their own connotations, and your meaning can be misinterpreted and your words used against you very easily. Special can mean enhanced, but it can also mean in addition to, on top of, on occasion, temporary, and other meanings that make it easier for someone to say, "That would be nice, but we can't afford it." I would argue these subjects are just as "Core" as the core classes, but if you're going to delineate between the two, choose the terminology wisely.

Friday News: A tale of two Houses

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SENATE WILL LIKELY CHANGE HEALTHCARE OVERHAUL BILL SUBSTANTIALLY: The next step in repealing and replacing Obamacare promises to be a long, slow slog with enough political obstacles to tie it up for months, if not years. Republicans hold a more narrow majority of 52 to 48 in the Senate. And divisions within the GOP are just as stark as the differences between its factions in the House of Representatives that stymied the bill’s progress in that chamber. But the legislation could look very different – and there is a possibility that the House bill won’t even be considered. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., congratulated the House on its bill but said the Senate would finish its own and would “take the time to get it right.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article148626219.html

To the North Carolina Republicans who voted to repeal the ACA

May you drop dead and rot in hell for eternity.

And in the meantime, here's a Facebook post from a friend.

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As I'm sure you all know, the House of Representatives is voting on a healthcare bill today. The particulars of the bill don't matter right now, for two reasons:

1. It may not pass, and if it does it will be close.
2. Even if it or a successor bill passes, it will then go to the Senate. Whatever comes out of that chamber will look very different, and we have no way of knowing what it might look like.

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