Keep the Pulse circulating: NC Policy Watch needs funds

They've given so much to us, now it's our turn to give back:

It's hard to believe but it has been almost ten years since we started NC Policy Watch to both counter the state's large, well-fund funded conservative "think tanks" that were increasingly dominating the state public policy debate and to hold the politicians who did their bidding accountable.

We want to continue and expand our aggressive reporting and thoughtful commentaries about the dangerous new direction in Raleigh these days, but we need your help.

This one's a no-brainer, folks. NC Policy Watch has done more to explore progressive ideas and expose regressive policies and individuals than any other single entity, and it's safe to say that tens of thousands of North Carolinians would have suffered more if they hadn't been doing those things. Saying this would be money well spent is a gross understatement, but there simply aren't words suitable to place an adequate value on this organization. But you already know this.

DAG McCrory and the Bergermeister at odds over Veto overrides

Serious conflict or Kabuki theater?

"All governors, without regard to party, swear an oath to uphold the Constitution," Berger said. "We expect Gov. McCrory to perform his constitutional duty to enforce the law."

McCrory said he would not enforce the new law requiring drug testing of some welfare recipients until the legislature finds the money to pay for it. And he said there would be additional legal scrutiny of the new law making it easier to hire immigrant employees.

At first glance this might appear to be nothing more than a minor tiff between power-hungry Republicans. But there could be some deeper roots, related to some previous power struggles in the NC GOP.

YDNC Collecting 5,000 Cans for Local Food Banks This Weekend

Y'all have seen the news - North Carolina is becoming increasingly impoverished and increasingly hungry.

As part of our Bootstraps Tour, the Young Democrats of North Carolina are collecting 5,000 cans of food for local food banks across the state. We need your help to reach this goal.

Please sign up to help give hungry families a hand up this weekend.

While we'll be taking the NCGA to task for 'cutting off the bootstraps' of poor and working-class North Carolinians, we don't want to talk about Poverty without doing something about it. Please help us lend a hand.

NC GOP makes government more accessible, unless you're hungry

Apparently the acronym NC FAST isn't a reference to speed, it's about fasting:

Since mid-July, thousands of families in North Carolina have had to wait weeks and months for SNAP benefits (commonly known as food stamps) as a result of the failed rollout of a new computerized program known as NC FAST. Statewide, over 50 percent of the households receiving food assistance include children under 18. From the mountains to the coast, food pantries are stretched to their limit, and parents are unsure of how they will feed their children. So far, McCrory and Health and Human Services Secretary Aldonna Wos, who oversees the implementation of NC FAST, have done little to help those affected by the delays.

This problem isn't even on their radar. If you're in such financial straights that you need food stamps to keep your family from suffering malnutrition, you won't be writing any campaign contribution checks any time soon. They need to change the acronym for this program to NC SOL.

The hypocrisy of DAG McCrory's politicization of DENR

Fear and cronyism are the tools of the mis-manager:

This is nothing more than manipulation of the people’s government for the political aggrandizement of the governor and his political cronies. It is quite the strange move from a governor who campaigned against the government he said was corrupted by politics.

This inevitably will have serious consequences. When air and water are fouled, they can be ruined for good. When health regulations are reduced, safety can be also. It is always better to be cautious than reckless when it comes to regulating. And it’s chilling to think that state employees, loyal employees, now can be fired – for doing their jobs.

It is chilling. It's one thing to put pressure on desk-jockeys, but it's quite another thing to take an official who is responsible for the hands-on implementation and oversight of both state and federal statutes dealing with health and safety, and try to bend that person to your political will. It's more than just unfair to the regulator, who will soon find him- or her-self in an untenable position. It's downright dangerous to the people who believe they are protected by those statutes.

The NC House voted to override both vetoes

NC House will meet in skeleton session tomorrow, and they set a date for next May to reconvene. NC Senate will meet tomorrow morning. Yawn. No surprises expected there. Gov. McCrory is 0-2 on vetoes being sustained.

I do look for litigation to respond to HB392's implementation.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start out with a tail of economic woe:

What? You've got a horse reporting on traffic issues? That's a little one-sided, isn't it? I mean, ever since the advent of the horseless carriage, the equine population has been virtually shut out of the transportation industry, and relegated to the less noble and bitterly competitive sports and recreation sector. I'm just saying. They may not be the best source to prevent automobiles from crashing into each other.

College students headed to Raleigh to defend their vote

When you try to stifle a voice, don't be surprised if it gets much louder:

Jarius Page, a junior at Saint Augustine University, Raleigh, is among the dozens of students expected at today's meeting. "We have a voice in our community, and it's important that we be heard, because it's our future. I believe that we should have a say," Page said.

According to Bob Phillips, executive director, Common Cause North Carolina, "If it has happened at one campus, then it can happen anywhere where early voting polling sites have been placed either on the campus or conveniently nearby."

This will be the second test of the state BOE's ability to function in a non-partisan way. They have so far failed the first test, which was to continue the investigation into the Chase Burns Internet gambling money fiasco, an issue the mainstream media has chosen to ignore.

"Frat-boy" McCrory governing the only way he knows how

By surrounding himself with other useful idiots:

It's become a standard progressive meme to say that McCrory is "dumb," but I don't think that's true, at least not in the sense of lacking intelligence. What you have to understand about the governor is that his frames of reference are really limited. McCrory is a fratboy at heart, and so he gladly hands out favors to those who fit that mold, thus the two young bucks' cushy new jobs. Never mind that others are eminently more qualified, McKillip and Diaz are the kind of true believers in a "business-first" view of government that the governor is most comfortable around.

Although I'm not inclined to readily dismiss the "McCrory lacks intelligence" analysis, the rest of this assessment seems spot-on. In the mind of Myers Park Pat, being qualified for a job is not nearly as critical as sharing the same beliefs. And it will help keep the reality of his poor decisions out of the conversation.

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