NC Policywatch

Parsing the 9th District's embarrassing election fraud situation

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And the NC GOP's all-over-the-map efforts to handle it:

The Earth shook and the seas parted as politicos from both parties appeared to join hands, perhaps taking in the gathering evidence that a Republican operative may have hacked our election apparatus, piloting an alleged spider web of a get-out-the-vote campaign or perhaps more appropriately, a get-the-vote-out campaign, accused of illegally handling – or, worst-case scenario, destroying – thousands of absentee ballots.

The accord was over before you could fully appreciate it, shattered Monday when top Republicans in the 9th urged members of the state’s elections board to certify the results of Baptist minister Mark Harris’ supremely suspect victory if they cannot produce evidence of wrongdoing by Congress’ return in January.

Which merely drives home the message the 9th District is incapable of policing itself. There is a *lot* of evidence, including direct testimony, that considerable wrongdoing occurred. Yes, much of that evidence was discovered/compiled by local media outlets, as opposed to the state Board of Elections. But it exists, nonetheless. That fraudulent cat is not going back in the bag, no matter how much local Republicans want it to. As to having another Primary, Rob Schofield has (once again) brought my better angels to the surface:

NC Republicans emulate Trump in their Budget "process"

If it walks like an orange-haired duck, well you know the rest:

Secrecy. Greed. Dishonesty. Self-dealing. Neglect disguised as concern. Contempt for democracy. If one were asked to describe the most notable hallmarks of the administration of President Donald Trump, it would be hard to come up with six more accurate characterizations. To see the latest concrete confirmation of this appalling state of affairs, North Carolinians need look no further than the preposterous state budget bill that Republican legislative leaders rolled out yesterday.

Whether it’s yet another round of tax giveaways to the rich, the continued underfunding of public schools and early childhood education, new assaults on environmental protection and public transit, the shocking neglect of school safety, dozens of outrageous pork barrel giveaways to favored special interests or just the absurd lack of process that accompanied it, the new 2019 budget is an example of Trumpism at its absolute worst.

Since I'm in the mood to dole out some totally unqualified psychoanalysis: One of the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or Sociopathy) is a complete disregard for the safety and well-being of others. Just doesn't register. So it's really hard to say if the GOP's failure to fund NC's Suicide Hotline was due to tone-deaf incompetence, or some kind of conscious coup de grâce, but either way, some 255 calls per day will likely soon go unanswered. More from Rob Schofield, who (as usual) puts these things into better words than I can:

Monday Numbers: On gold mines and shafts

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Chris Fitzsimon exposes the unfairness of GOP tax "reform":

20—amount in dollars of the average federal tax cuts in 2027 for households with children earning less than $75,000 under GOP tax framework released in late September.

230,000—amount in dollars of the average tax cuts in 2027 for households with children earning $1 million or more under GOP tax framework released in late September.

If this issue merely affected income tax rates, it would be bad enough. Even Reagan-era tax cuts gave a nod to the middle class, and his efforts to minimize deficit problems targeted tax shelters for the wealthy, and not deductions everybody used. But these new tax cuts rely heavily on deep cuts to the social safety net, Medicaid in particular:

Policymaking via the budget

Chris Fitzsimon lowers the boom:

Nobody debated the little-noticed but important provisions because nobody except a handful of Senate leaders even knew they were there. And it’s a safe bet that there are plenty more of them that have yet to be discovered in the massive budget document that is supposed to be legislation detailing how state taxpayer money is spent, not a bill that changes numerous state laws and makes significant policy changes.

The problem isn’t the merits of each idea, though most of them are clearly not in the state’s best interests, but that any significant policy change deserves a full debate and an up or down vote that is impossible when they are part of a larger budget document that legislators in the majority are pressured by their leaders to support.

I'm going to leave an open invitation here for any Republican lawmaker to explain "why" this should be considered acceptable. Buy I'm also not going to hold my breath, either. GOP leadership has demonstrated that debate is an unnecessary impediment, but what that really means is they have no respect for other opinions, even within their own party.

Poverty in NC - we promote it, have we no shame?

http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2014/11/12/helping-low-income-children-means-helping-their-families/

25% of NC children are in poverty. 40% of minority children are. Read this Policywatch article. Have we no shame? Will the GOP NCGA, bought and brought to us by Governor Art Pope take any actions to ameliorate this. And as it points out, to help the children, you have to help the parents! Like not killing unemployment insurance, like expanding Medicaid.

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