Daily dose: Plums and pits edition

BERGER GETS THE PLUMS, LEAVES McCRORY AND TILLIS WITH THE PITS
More and more it appears that Phil Berger will end up being the winner – at least as far as getting done what you want done is concerned – by the time all the air goes out of the current legislative session. House Speaker and GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate Thom Tillis just wanted to somehow look in charge. He’s looked desperate and victimized by circumstances that he hasn’t been able to control. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory wanted a teacher pay increase to get educators and parents off his back. Instead got a Senate-designed confusing mess that left teachers dissatisfied and feeling they’d been hoodwinked. McCrory wanted the legislature to pass his wife’s priority, a bill to regulate puppy mills. Didn’t happen. McCrory wanted Medicaid reform. See puppy mill bill. On the other hand, Berger and his allies in the Senate wanted to cut education spending and flatten the salary scale. Check. He wanted to deliver some action on the coal ash mess, since it happened in his district. Check. He was happy to come out with nothing, if the House didn’t go along with the incentives legislation. Check. Phil Berger isn’t running statewide and he’s got himself a custom tailored district to make sure his re-election isn’t threatened. Check. There’s more, but that would be piling on, and Berger’s too polite for that kind of thing.

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Pat McCrory's crisis continues: "legacy by damnation"

The words are haunting.

So much for McCrory orchestrating deliberations at the NC General Assembly

Hat-tip to Chris Fitzsimon for finding this:

Sen. Kay Hagan's Women's Summit

The ballroom at the Elliott University Center at UNC-Greensboro was filled Saturday with Democratic women, who were all there by invitation. The women from all over NC were there for the Kay Hagan for U. S. Senate's Women's Summit.

My overall impression of the event was this: Sen. Hagan and her campaign have a well-thought out game plan in term's of on the ground organizing and communicating (including TV) strategy. Her campaign staff is young (the only young people in the room Saturday), but they appear very knowledgeable and very engaged.

The failure of 1224

Not sure what exactly to make of the failure a few minutes ago of House Bill 1224.

One thing I do know. The economic development part of the bill would have provided some $13 million (depending on which article one reads) to extend and expand natural gas service to Canton, home of the Evergreen Packaging paper mill formerly operated by Champion International. Local news sources, including the Asheville Citizen-Times, are portraying this as a vote against the mountains.

Recent reports claim that nearly 60% of the state's economic development money over the past 5 years has gone to three counties: Mecklenburg, Wake, and Durham. Headline stories have noted $100 million to MetLife, $85 million to the Carolina Panthers, and $36 million to Sealed Air.

Voting is a right, not a privilege.

The Orange Board of Elections (BOE) held 2 meetings in July, a week apart, to discuss a request for Sunday voting hours to be added for the upcoming November election. When it was first brought up as a request from religious groups who celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, our BOE chair commented that they could not make changes without 'hearing from the other side.' That caused a stir amongst the 15 or so people present that day. The murmur in the crowd was, What other side?

Another meeting was set for the following week, and advertised through a press release. Over 70 people turned up. The chair set 15 minutes for each 'side' to speak. A petition with 700 names from our communities requesting Sunday hours was presented, along with numerous other letters with multiple signatures. Representatives of various groups spoke for Sunday voting opportunities.

Fracking is an earth-shattering experience

After averaging 2 significant earthquakes per year for 30 years, Oklahoma's magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes shot up to 145 in less than half of this year. The jump in earthquakes coincides with (SURPRISE!) Oklahoma's beginning fracking operations.

Today Oklahoma experienced a 4.2 magnitude earthquake. That's significant. It would seem that perhaps fracking can produce big earthquakes, too, not just lots of small ones.

Although the powers that be in Oklahoma, and elsewhere, still won't admit that all the earthquakes are caused by fracking. Just a coincidence, you know.

Unprincipled birds of a feather: Romney to raise cash for Tillis

Thom Tillis, who will say and do anything to get elected and who has been caught saying terrible things when he thought he was talking only to tea party insiders, has found the perfect BFF to help him raise some campaign cash: a guy with a demonstrated record of saying and doing anything to get elected and who has been caught saying terrible things when he thought he was talking only to tea party insiders.

Mitt Romney is scheduled to attend a fundraiser Tuesday evening for U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis in Charlotte.

Romney’s visit is a high-profile boost for Tillis’ campaign. The Republican House speaker is struggling to raise money to keep pace with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan as he continues to preside over a prolonged legislative session in which his own Republican caucus is pushing back on his priorities.

Election tea leaves

Gary Pearce's blog post today hits some of the highlights of why I'm optimistic about the November election.

Republicans strode up to the plate in Raleigh with big bats and high hopes, then whiffed on three straight pitches.

Strike one was teacher pay ...
Strike two was coal ash ...
Strike three belonged to Governor McCrory alone. He stepped up to the plate to be the hero on coal ash after the legislature struck out. But he tied himself in ethical knots by wrongly reporting his Duke stock on his ethics statement.

How big a sin is this? Well, look at it this way: If Bev Perdue had done it, the legislature would have impeached her.

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Tuesday Twitter roundup

The sacrificial lamb bleats:

I hope you haven't eaten yet, because this is seriously nauseating:

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