Dick Burr goes after Federal government employee pensions

Let them eat cat food when they retire:

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has reintroduced a bill that would end pensions for new federal employees. Burr had sponsored a similar bill in 2011 but it didn't very go far in the Democratic Senate.

So Burr and Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia have reintroduced the measure that would end pensions for new employees but would would allow federal employees to start Thrift Savings Plan, which is the equivalent to a 401 (k) plan paid for by the government and 3 percent employer match. Federal employees could keep their current pensions.

3 percent? Really? That's supposed to be "in line" with the private sector? The private sector in Somalia, maybe. Make no mistake, this isn't as much about attacking government as it is Burr trying to line the pockets of all his donors in the pension fund industry. I'm sure he's got a short list of those to put forward if this plan ever makes it out of the Senate.

Kay Hagan's run through the political minefield

The year of living dangerously:

The Democrat from Greensboro told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that she’s pushing to fix Obamacare problems that erupted last month.

They’re her problems, too. It’s not only that the website has functioned so badly since it went online Oct. 1 that only an estimated 50,000 Americans have been able to use it to enroll in medical insurance plans. Worse for Hagan, she joined President Barack Obama in making a promise that turned out to be untrue.

Yes, it's a long way to next November, and it will seem even longer for Kay if she makes too many unwise steps between now and the election. But there are two realities that we can't afford to ignore: the rollout of the ACA has been dismal at best, and the money being set aside to unseat Hagan appears to be limitless. It's that second thing that caused me to make this comment:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Here are some notable stats:

NC Supreme Court: Leandro rulings still in effect

But the Court fell short of enforcing those rulings:

What's been clearly affirmed is that the lawmakers are hostile to the pre-K program and would rather not have one that serves all those who need it. The court offered them no such choice.

The earlier rulings regarding a sound, basic education and the right to pre-kindergarten schooling, it warned, "remain in full force and effect." As for the revisions that moved the lawmakers off the tracks, the court went out of its way to say, "We express no opinion on the legislation now in effect because questions of its constitutionality are not before us."

Meaning Republicans can continue to nibble away at pre-school funding while placing subjective requirements on children and families who want to enroll. If not doing your job is considered a "victory" for the GOP, then they've got one.

Is Greg Brannon's campaign being milked by scammers?

Liberating cash from the Libertarian:

North Carolina US Senate candidate Greg Brannon says he's sorry his website contains material that appears copied from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's former campaign website. But he added he agrees with every word.

The Republican said Friday his campaign would revise and footnote text on his website to make clear its source. He says a staff member drafted the pages and Brannon reviewed and approved them.

I realize the title of the diary and this excerpt don't seem to mesh, but this was just the starting point which led me to other discoveries. Other discoveries that call into question the motives of those who Greg Brannon has entrusted with the direction of his campaign:

Changes at Commerce leave people using toxic well water

The dissolution of the Rural Center is a painful mistake:

Since last spring, the family has been following state-recommended precautions such as limiting their showers to 5 minutes, to avoid exposing themselves to the insecticide dieldrin. They drink and cook using bottled water delivered every two weeks.

A $953,000 project by the city of Hendersonville was supposed to start this fall, extending city water lines to homes... But a delay in state permitting for the project — along with setbacks with a N.C. Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant — have pushed back the start of construction to January or February, city officials said last week.

City Manager John Connet said the Department of Commerce is "in the process of a rule change about what qualifies. We're kind of in limbo. Basically, we've got a project that there's questions whether it fits in a pot of money under the old guidelines or a pot of money under the new guidelines."

It's safe to say McCrory's and Decker's priorities don't include a few dozen rural families whose water is contaminated. I have a feeling this is merely the tip of the iceberg of needed projects that will be canceled under the new regime, but tracking them will be a challenge. If you are aware of any other previously approved grants in jeopardy, please let us know.

Beth Wood speaks out on GOP's misuse of Medicaid audit

The only thing that's "broken" is the Governor's integrity:

Q: So you were saying you need to change how you oversee it, but in terms of money wasted, you weren’t saying that. In terms of actual malfeasance, your findings weren’t of that nature.

A: You’re exactly right. That is not what my audit says. I can take you through about 10 points that ... my audit, the whole thing about how we denigrated them, all these things my audit supposedly says, you won’t find that stuff in my audit.

I’ve said in interviews that ‘broken’ is the governor’s term. I never said it. My audit doesn’t say it. The governor said it was broken before my audit ever came out.

The only thing I would accuse Beth of being is naïve. She wants to perform her job in a neutral, non-partisan fashion. But that's simply not possible when the GOP has control over her purse strings and her mission, and has demonstrated countless times that it will twist any findings presented to the NCGA to meet their ideological goals. And while this might be true:

Peacock blames McCrory's anti-Midas touch for his loss

Just when you thought it was safe, the pesky Pat question:

Peacock said McCrory, the Republican governor and former Charlotte mayor, often came up when he talked to voters – and usually, not in a positive way.

“What they would ask me is, ‘Are you going to be another Pat McCrory?’” Peacock said. “I do think it was a contributory factor. This was the anti- McCrory, anti-legislature sentiment.”

Comes with the territory, pal. If you don't like the direction in which your Party's heading, do something about it. If you stand up for people, they're more likely to stand up for you when they step into the voting booth. Your opposition to Amendment One was laudable, but that's just one of many outrages perpetrated by the NC GOP. And your silence is tacit approval.

Greg Brannon plagiarizes Rand Paul's campaign website

Apparently the free market doesn't concern itself with intellectual property:

For more than a week Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has been fending off criticism for using the writings of others, unattributed, in his own speeches, in an opinion article and in one of his books.

But now it appears that Mr. Paul has also been the possible victim of literary larceny himself; he has apparently had his own material lifted without credit.

Wow. He didn't just take some ideas, he Xeroxed 'em.

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