When Gov. Pat McCrory speaks, it's frequently hard to discern whether he's being disingenuous for political reasons or truly believes what he says but is surprisingly uninformed of reality. Such is the case with the governor's latest foray into immigration. McCrory on Tuesday and again on Wednesday sounded the alarm about 1,200 unaccompanied immigrant children who have trickled into North Carolina. McCrory wants these kids' deportation hearings held, and quickly.
"We do not know where the over-1,100 children are right now and what the status of their legal guardians are and whether or not these children are protected, and that's what I care about --- the protection of these children," McCrory said at a press conference Wednesday. "We have to get them with guardians we know are safe themselves." On Tuesday, he had added that the state doesn't know if the children lack immunizations and pose health risks to North Carolinians.
Well, there won't be any Gubernatorial cookies baked for these kids. It's apparent this is just one more case where the DAG opened his mouth and started spewing rhetoric without doing his homework:
The 29-count indictment charges Boggs Paving Inc., Carl Andrew Boggs, III (a/k/a Drew Boggs), 49, of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Kevin Hicks, 42, of Monroe, North Carolina; Greg Miller, 59, of Matthews, North Carolina; Greg Tucker, 40, of Oakboro, North Carolina; John Cuthbertson (a/k/a Styx Cuthbertson), 68, of Monroe; and Styx Cuthbertson Trucking Company Inc., of Wingate, North Carolina; with conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud for a scheme that lasted more than 10 years and involved more than $87 million in government contracts. All the defendants except Greg Tucker are also charged with mail fraud.
And McCrory can't claim he doesn't know this particular crook, because it appears Drew Boggs actually hosted a reception for the soon-to-be Governor:
“He drives the budgetary policy goals of the administration,” said one Republican lobbyist in town who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order not to anger either man. “The governor yields to Art. His real power, his influence in state government, is really having that turf all to himself.”
“My job, my role, my goal is not to influence and direct the governor,” Pope said emphatically. “My job is to analyze, to provide advice, facts, what the alternatives are. I present the information, and the governor decides.” McCrory said Pope defers to him, while often catching mistakes in the calculations made by state departments and legislative staffers. “We need more nerds like him in state government,” McCrory said.
The proper term is "wonk." Somebody who can explain how Senator Palpatine subverted the Republic's form of government is a nerd. But you know, Pope isn't just a wonk, either. A wonk usually writes or translates legislation for somebody else, without putting his or her influential twist on the language. That should be called "wanking." Making Art Pope a wanker.
Support for moving the State Bureau of Investigation under the governor’s control solidified Tuesday, as the proposal picked up support in the House and an administration official assured that the integrity of public corruption cases could be protected.
McCrory told reporters on Tuesday that Frank Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, supports the move, and the two plan to meet soon to discuss it in detail. “He is strongly recommending consolidation of those resources to me,” McCrory said.
That is quite possibly the stupidest thing McCrory has said in...okay, all week. It's getting hard to keep track, frankly, which is one more reason he shouldn't be trusted with even more men with guns at his disposal. And it looks like James needs to go back to posting his Art Pope Puppetshow flowchart again:
McCrory said his administration had to make some tough decisions. Unlike previous Democratic administrations, he said he was committed to lowering the state’s debt, not increasing it by taking federal handouts. He said the state owed the U.S. government over $3 billion in unemployment aid when he came to office. Now, he said, that debt is on track to be paid off three years early.
McCrory said the decision to cut unemployment benefits served to encourage people to get back to work earlier. He said before the reduction, company owners told him they couldn’t fill jobs because people were waiting until their benefits had completely expired before accepting an offered position.
Bolding mine. Once again, before you can receive your weekly benefit payment, you have to answer a questionnaire. One of the questions is "During the week ending mm/dd/yy, did you refuse an offer for work?" If you have, they can suspend your benefits, and if you lie about it, they can lock your ass up. If McCrory did have a company owner tell him this (which I seriously doubt), that employer would also know which potential worker had refused the job, and that person could have been dealt with. So McCrory's argument is completely flawed. And worse than that, it's an attempt to blame the victims for the crime against them. It's long past time for the media to set the record straight on this and expose the lie for what it is.
For the third time since Republicans took over the General Assembly, Senate budget-writers are trying to shift control of the State Bureau of Investigation from the attorney general to the governor.
SBI agents, under Cooper, helped make a criminal case against Democratic Gov. Mike Easley and against aides of Gov. Bev Perdue, also a Democrat. Both cases involved campaign finance law violations. Currently, the SBI is assisting federal investigators in a probe of coal-ash regulation, which involves McCrory’s environmental regulatory agency, and is conducting investigations that involve legislators and the Department of Public Safety, Cooper says.
And I think this is a perfect time to remind everybody about McCrory "cleaning house" at the State Board of Elections a few days before they were going to launch an investigation into Internet gambling kingpin Chase Burns' massive contributions to the NC GOP and his connections to the Governor's office. Subverting investigating bodies is becoming a habit with Republicans, just as looking away is becoming a habit of those who should be keeping watch.
“For years, the individual defendants have known that the company's coal ash containment was inadequate and posed a significant threat to the environment yet utterly failed to take appropriate action to fix the substantial problems,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of the individual defendants’ unlawful conduct, Duke Energy has expended and will continue to expend billions of dollars in fines, penalties and clean-up costs.”
The lawsuit, filed by shareholders Edward Tansey and the Police Retirement System of St. Louis, names Lynn Good, Duke’s CEO, Keith Trent, the company’s COO, and 14 current directors. The shareholders are asking Duke to strengthen controls surrounding coal ash disposal to comply with federal and state regulations.
Which brings up another issue dealing with potential conflicts of interest: when public-sector pensions are so tied into private-sector profits, will there be a hesitation on the part of government to levy fines for rule violations or otherwise punish said businesses? If nothing else, the coal ash spill in the Dan River should buttress arguments in favor of the state divesting its investment holdings in the entire coal-burning cycle.
A group of community leaders in the Wilmington area has placed a full page ad in local newspapers for this weekend in support of embattled UNC Wilmington Chancellor Gary Miller. WECT recently investigated tensions at the university over the last couple years stemming from the suspension of a fraternity on campus that has ties to Governor Pat McCrory's office. It is believed to be one of the reasons Miller is currently seeking other employment at institutions in New York and Wisconsin.
Pete Hexter, a partner in Brax Fundraising and the founder of the Landfall Tradition, which annually benefits the golf programs at UNCW, is leading the ad campaign in support of Miller. "There are many people in this community that have rallied around the issue of Gary Miller's departure. And I think that all of us who have gotten involved are heavily invested in this university both financially and emotionally," Pete Hexter said Wednesday. "And we think that his departure is not a step in the right direction for UNCW."
This is a particularly tasteless tale of privilege and physical bullying that is a hallmark of an out-of-control college fraternity, especially one with members who have achieved a level of power in government:
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