NC GOP

McCrory (again) tries to blame University system for dismal employment numbers

Tilting at the ivory tower:

In his keynote speech Sunday for UNC’s 221st birthday celebration, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said that universities must prepare more students for technology and research jobs that need to be filled right now.

If that doesn’t happen, he said, thriving industries could leave the state:

“To ensure we get a return on our investment – more importantly, to ensure that no more students at any of our universities graduate with a huge debt, and no job comparable to their investment – universities must continue to help decrease the job gap by honing in on skills and subjects employers need while also stimulating a student’s passion and interest.”

McCrory is basing much of this most recent attack against universities on a Q3 Manpower Survey, which is where he got the 36% stat on employers complaining about talent shortages. But that's the Global average; the US is actually at 40%, which tells you McCrory didn't even read the damn survey, somebody just tossed him a percentage to quote. Which also explains why he missed the most important findings of said survey:

Another NCSU professor wearing two hats

Objectivity in the fracking debate is becoming more elusive every day:

People curious about fracking in North Carolina attended an informational panel Saturday afternoon. Panel speakers were Viney Aneja, professor at N.C. State University; Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, a member of the N.C. Mining Energy Commission that is writing rules; and Hope Taylor, a fracking critic and director of Clean Water for North Carolina.

Aneja began the panel presentation by explaining the process of fracking and how it has worked in other states. He said he wanted to offer the benefits and disadvantages on the industry in the state. "Let us not be afraid of this industry," Aneja said. "Let us have the good science that we have today and make a decision based on that science."

No, Aneja isn't a geologist, he specializes in atmospheric (air) pollution. An issue that has been the subject of much research recently re fracking, as we try to determine just how much methane escapes into the atmosphere throughout the process. But he isn't just an academic, Aneja is also a "specialist" for a business consulting firm, which has natural gas drillers, coal mining companies, and other energy-related industries as clients:

Love won, hate zero

Energy Summit draws industry reps and protestors

The happy talk express gets derailed:

Three protesters disrupted proceedings inside, shouting at speakers Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who responded to their calls against offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Continuing, McCrory added, referring to the protester: “And for that individual and other individuals who will now get in their car and fill up with gas or turn on their air conditioner or heater, they’re using energy from the same sources that they’re protesting against.”

That prompted another protester to call out at McCrory before being escorted out. Rob Kaiser, publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, who emceed the event and interviewed McCrory, spoke over the outburst to ask the governor how such environmental concerns are balanced with business interests.

And he just became part of the story instead of reporting it. This forum may not have been set up to allow questions/comments from the audience, but a journalist who drowns out somebody else's voice, even if he's trying to "smooth things over" and get some kind of answer the reporter thinks may address the protestor's concerns, is no journalist at all. He's a pundit, and we have more than enough of those. As to the Governor himself, his illogical mouth runneth over:

Tom Murry's degrading propaganda back in action

Because nothing says leadership better than photoshopping pictures of your opponent:

Murry's campaign, backed by the state GOP, has been relentless in attacking Adcock and her record on the Cary Town Council. In a mailer sent out this summer, a doctored image of Adcock shows her with a Pinocchio nose, claiming Adcock and her "liberal supporters" aren't telling voters the truth.

This tactic is similar to the one the North Carolina GOP executive committee used in 2010, when it sent offensive mailers on behalf of Murry depicting then-opponent Chris Heagerty in a sombrero and claiming he supported higher taxes with the line "mucho taxo," driving jobs "south of the border."

Sadly enough, this sophomoric behavior doesn't seem to backfire as much as it should. Which doesn't reflect well on the voters who respond favorably to such tactics.

Coal Ash Wednesday: What do you think?

Coalition of government agencies seeking public input on mitigation efforts:

Love the Dan River? Hate what happened to it in this winter’s coal ash spill? Got an idea for fixing some of the damage? A government committee with a highfalutin’ title wants to hear from you, possibly adopt all or part of your plan, and stick Duke Energy with the bill for carrying it out.

The group’s trustees released its “Scoping Document for Restoration Planning for Public Review and Comment” late last week, seeking public input on ways to undo damage the spill has caused to fish and wildlife, migratory birds, places in the river and wetlands where these creatures live, people’s recreational opportunities, and surface water and sediment. The initiative stems from an agreement Duke Energy signed in June with Uncle Sam and the two states, accepting its role in causing the spill and agreeing to restore the river, to the extent possible.

I have a feeling Duke Energy's definition of "to the extent possible" would differ greatly from what you or I might define it as. That being said, large rivers affect multiple ecosystems, and there's always a lot that should be done, coal ash spill or not. This appears to be an opportunity to maybe get some of these things done:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Let's start out with a non-starter:

Wesley, according to your cohorts in the Republican Party, Medicaid fraud is a pretty dang serious issue. I understand why you wouldn't want to talk about it, it's just not a legitimate reason.

Prominent Cabarrus County Republican shoots his own son

Being Cabarrus County, this is probably not front page material:

“There appears to have been an altercation between Mr. Cowherd and his son,” said Cabarrus County Chief Deputy Paul Hunt. “A gunshot went, off striking the son.”

The younger man, whose name was not immediately available, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Phil Cowherd III was interviewed at his home but was not taken into custody Sunday, Hunt said. Deputies have collected the gun used in the shooting as evidence.

When he was finally tracked down for a comment, Cowherd replied, "Ahh, he'll be alright, I just winged him. Besides, how I discipline my children is nobody's damn business but my own." You're right, I just made that up. It happens. ;)

AFP fights public education funding, even at the local level

Bound and determined to destroy our public school system:

Last week’s sales-tax forum brought out several arguments against raising more money for Guilford County Schools: Taxes are high enough. Commissioner Jeff Phillips, state Rep. Jon Hardister and Donald Bryson of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina stated opposition to the extra levy at the forum sponsored by the News & Record and PNC Bank.

Taxes may be high enough already for most North Carolinians, but state funding for schools is lagging behind what it should be because of large tax cuts at the state level, particularly for corporations. Will these tax cuts promote economic development, which in turn will generate more tax revenue for schools? We can hope, but there’s no sign of it yet.

Donald Bryson should have been laughed (or booed) right out of this forum. Not only did he champion giving tax breaks to the wealthy, which has precipitated the state budgetary fiasco, he's also behind the push for private school vouchers, which will drain even more resources from public schools:

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