NCGA

DAG McCrory's lack of attention excuse doesn't fly

And the "Three E's" thing is growing old quickly:

"With my legislature, I focused on, primarily, three areas: the economy, education, and government efficiency. Frankly, everything outside that area, I didn’t put a lot of attention to. Now I had certain state reps and state senators who focused on other things, which they need to. But I wanted to focus, as the executive branch, on the economy, education, and government efficiency."

“While he was apparently ‘not paying attention,’ the governor broke a clear campaign promise by signing into law the most egregious attack on women’s reproductive rights and safety that we have seen in over 40 years,” said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, referring to a 2012 promise by McCrory not to sign further restrictions on abortion.

It's clear McCrory is uncomfortable with many of the bills he signed. Not because of the hurt they inflicted on others, but because of the hurt inflicted on his chances for reelection.

Guns on campus: the craziness in NC continues

The epitome of irresponsible governing:

"We can't keep guns off our school property, so what we've done is drawn a really tight circle around those vehicles," said CMS board member Eric Davis.

School board members say at no point would a gun be allowed in school, but the change still concerns them.

"This is another example of I believe the state stepping in and saying, 'we know better' when we should be able to have local control on what happens on our campuses," said Morgan.

I'm not sure just how secure a "tight circle" could be, but it's a good bet it's not tight enough to keep someone from breaking into one of those cars and grabbing a loaded weapon, and then walking 100 feet back into the school. And it's not just the school parking lots that are being weaponized:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

In addition to a party (Fri) and concert (Sat), there will also be a food drive this weekend:

David Price keeps the heat on McCrory administration

Representing the least powerful in society:

North Carolina was the only state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents during the 16-day partial federal shutdown, and Congressman David Price wants to know why. The state said it suspended processing Work First applications because there wasn't enough assurance the federal government would reimburse the state for payments once the shutdown ends. However Price (D-NC) said the state's skepticism raised red flags. "They said, 'Well we don't believe this,'" Price said of the McCrory administration. "Why wouldn't they believe them? Forty-nine other states did believe them. It's almost as though they were too ready or almost looking for an excuse to cut off these needy people."

They were not only too ready to punish the poor unnecessarily, they were chomping at the bit to do so. And considering that Republicans in DC may be planning further shutdown shenanigans, the McCrory administration needs to be shamed into never pulling these stunts again.

The Heritage Foundation asks semi-literate Governor to take the podium

Putting their "think tank" status in jeopardy:

Gov. Pat McCrory is taking the stage at one of the nation's leading conservative think tanks to talk about policies he's initiated in North Carolina.

McCrory is scheduled to speak at a Washington event Monday hosted by The Heritage Foundation. The event is entitled: "A Conversation with a Reformer: How the States are Leading the Way."

Here's a question that should have already been posed to the Governor or his Genardo: "How much is the Heritage Foundation paying the Governor for this speaking engagement?" We're waiting.

DAG McCrory tries to pull the wool over teachers' eyes

But that won't stop him from getting an "F" on performance:

"We need to listen to, empower and invest in our educators,” Eric Guckian said during a visit to Creekside Elementary School. Guckian said teachers need career ladders that tie advancement opportunities and better pay to student performance measures based on more than End-of-Grade tests. Most teachers would go along with that.

The real challenge for him and the governor is turning goals that sound good into policies that will get results.

In other words, happy talk. Teachers are arguably the last group you should try a snowjob with, since by the end of their first year of teaching they've already heard all the excuses that could be dreamt up by poor-performing students. And no amount of happy talk is going to make the GOP's draconian changes to their "career ladder", such as the removal of tenure and the addition of short-term contracts, any more palatable then they are right now. And every time McCrory's mouthpiece tries to offer teachers rhetorical cookies, it makes the Nov. 4 walkout seem more and more necessary.

NC's Voter ID law a multi-pronged attack on Democracy

And some of the less controversial aspects may be the most damaging:

Under other terms of the new law, the limit on contributions goes up 25 percent to $5,000 in January, and then increases automatically every two years in step with inflation. Changes also allow unlimited spending by interest groups not tied directly to a candidate, with no requirement they reveal the source of their funds during much of the election cycle.

That enables the use of “secret money” to launch attack ads against a favored candidate’s opponent, said Bob Hall, director of the voting-rights advocacy group, Democracy North Carolina.

I feel much the way James does when it comes to money in politics. I find the whole process distasteful, frankly, and the thought of having to ask for money, much less take it, will likely keep me from aspiring to elected office. That said, the harsh reality is: the money race is happening, whether we (personally) engage in it or not. So, I have a proposal for you progressives, especially the wealthy ones: only give your money to Democratic candidates, and only those Democratic candidates who will sign a pledge to vote for campaign finance reform. If they won't agree (for whatever reason), then they are not the person you want to support anyway.

Was Meadows' role in the shutdown patsy or patriarch?

Odds are it's the former:

In recent days, Meadows has played down his role in the shutdown drama, saying that it was inflated by the media. The congressman declined to comment for this article but told an Asheville newspaper that stories of Americans hurt by the shutdown tore “at his heart.” Local political observers also suggested that Meadows may have been more frontman than mastermind.

“I find it hard to believe that he’s the architect,” said Chris Cooper, a political scientist at Western Carolina. “But he’s a likely candidate for the shutdown caucus to put out there.”

He was a likely candidate alright, but not for his fellow Congressmen. Meadows was a willing and happy puppet for Heritage Action and the Club for Growth:

Teachers say "no thank you" to divisive merit-pay bonus

Solidarity in the pursuit of sound educational policies:

Decked out in matching colors and receiving a standing ovation from a crowd of their peers, a handful of teachers from Murray Middle School on Thursday presented state lawmakers with a petition to be exempt from recent legislation that replaces tenure and raises for master’s degrees with merit pay.

That was just one of many emotionally charged topics–primarily related to pay–put forth to a panel of N.C. legislators and local and state education officials during an update on public education at UNCW’s Watson School of Education Thursday afternoon.

Goolsby displayed his usual contempt for his constituency, but his meme-spouting and ignorance did not go unchallenged:

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