NCGA

DAG McCrory spouts nonsense about jobs and education

He's been hanging out with his imaginary friends again:

McCrory reported that he had employers practically breaking down his door with jobs just waiting for qualified workers.

“When employers are begging for qualified applicants in a state with the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation...that tells me we have a disconnect between commerce and education,” McCrory said.

The only disconnect that's apparent is the one between that little shriveled-up thing you call a brain and your mouth. This excuse is actually worse than "the dog ate my homework." That actually happens sometimes, albeit rarely. But if he actually did have employers "breaking down his door", he'd be sitting in high political cotton:

NC GOP Needs Its Healthcare Benefits

Every so often we see new evidence that there's some sort of (at least partial) cosmic justice in the world.

Today the Raleigh News & Observer reports that "hedonistic" happiness can lead to health problems, whereas "altruistic" happiness can offer health benefits. In other words, making yourself feel good at the expense of others by being selfish is bad for you; making yourself feel good by helping others and being selfless is good for you:

A study published this week by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and UCLA showed that a “hedonic” or self-gratifying type of happiness – the result of a massage or a tasty meal – made cells in the immune system act like they were under stress, a condition that over time could lead to diseases such as cancer or heart attacks.

Death by a thousand cuts: how to TRAP women's rights

Keep your pink shirt handy, because it looks like we'll need to be even more vigilant than before:

"What we typically see is that abortion opponents are really active and in charge of the process," said Elizabeth Nash, the state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank that supports abortion rights but whose research is respected by both sides. She said North Carolinians should expect that process to include a comment period, much back and forth between various governmental bodies, and probably public hearings. Nash said in Virginia, the clinic regulation process turned out to be very political. "It was not based on medical evidence," said Nash, "and was really about making it incredibly hard to open and operate an abortion clinic."

Not only do we need to keep an eye on how regulations will be developed, we also need to be prepared to fight future bills by looking at what stunts Republicans in other states have pulled:

BackwardNC launches NC Hall of Shame

[Cross-posted from BackwardNC]

With the Jones Street House of Pain in recess, and the smoke from their General Sherman-style march across the state beginning to clear, we are thankful that the unrelenting daily damage has taken a pause. Of course, the well-intentioned (that is, mean-spirited) laws they passed will continue to hurt people in The Old Backward State every day, but at least they've gone home and have stopped piling on more excrement.

Tax on fracking to be used for corporate incentives?

Two wrongs don't make a right, they combine to produce a fiasco:

The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory is pushing a proposed tax on fracking as a substantial piece of its economic recovery strategy, with key Republicans saying it would raise millions for financial incentives to recruit companies or help them expand in North Carolina. Decker told the group she wants a similar piggy bank here and that “energy partners” are ready to “provide us with the money” in a climate where increasing traditional funding streams for incentives, such as income and corporate taxes, isn’t likely. She said the money would be used to lure major projects to the state.

It will be interesting to see how John Hood and his followers try to spin this one. And it will be a minefield, as there are numerous JLF/Civitas articles railing against targeted taxes and incentives. Should be fun. Speaking of having fun, read this and see if you don't bark a laugh:

Mike Stone's trustee attack law headed to court

Drunk with power:

The complaint states that the Lee County Board of Commissioners, which wasn't affected by the bill, is controlled by a Republican majority, the same party as Stone. It also notes the four trustees kicked off the board and prohibited from being immediately re-elected are all registered as Democrat or Unaffiliated, and that the school board that elected them — which was recently changed to a partisan board, in a separate law proposed by Stone — is also majority Democrat or Unafilliated.

This isn't the first time General Assembly Republicans have misused their majority for partisan gain, and it's not the first time they've undermined the will of the people by taking authority away from local elected governments. But it may be the first time they've targeted specific individuals:

Craven County schools official: GOP budget cuts "devastating"

So much for Republicans' heated claims they're fully funding education:

After the meeting, the system issued a statement saying it was evaluating the state budget and “the devastating effect it will have on our school family” in the coming fiscal years. “Craven County Schools has worked very hard to protect the positions of the staff which are committed to working tirelessly every day to provide the best education for our students,” the statement said. “The district can no longer absorb positions through attrition based on the cuts we are faced for 2013 and 2014.”

There's no doubt that similar meetings are or will be taking place in nearly all of NC's 100 counties, and they should be followed by meetings of disgruntled parents. Whether or not over half of those parents realize they brought this about with their poor choices in the voting booth remains to be seen, which is why it's so important to continue with protests, vigils, and social media advocacy.

DHHS closes another abortion clinic

And this is the only one that would have remained open under the original bill:

Wednesday’s action against Asheville’s Femcare came after similar sanctions earlier this year against clinics in Charlotte and Durham. Each of those closings came under current health laws. The new law, among other things, calls for DHHS to draw new standards for abortion clinics. Under an earlier version of the bill – which McCrory threatened to veto – Femcare would have been the only clinic to meet the more stringent standards.

This is not a coincidence, and it's not evidence that abortion clinics are "more dangerous" than other health care facilities. But it is evidence that Aldona Wos is mismanaging her resources in order to achieve a political agenda:

Old white men meet at old white men's club

So they can settle their debts without any riff-raff bothering them:

The N.C. Republican House Caucus Leadership fund will be raising money at the Carolina Country Club next month. The Aug. 27 shindig is billed as a reception honoring the GOP House caucus. Chipping in $10,000 will get you 12 tickets to the VIP and general receptions, with less expensive options available down to $150 single tickets.

In all fairness, the Club did just decide to finally allow one (Duke Energy) African-American to join its previously lily-white ranks:

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