Republican bullies

Nut-job Tim D'Annunzio ran Facebook ads outing alleged whistleblower

Part of Trump's idiotic propaganda machine:

A North Carolina businessman and failed congressional candidate, Tim D’Annunzio, gained as many as 200,000 impressions on a pair of ads that provided the supposed name of the whistleblower. He promoted the posts using a personal page titled “Message,” targeting “people who are Christian-related, who have Christian interests,” he said in an interview.

D’Annunzio said he first came across the name of the supposed whistleblower in a Gateway Pundit article. “And then it started to pop up in other places, where it’s obvious he’s the guy,” he said.

Those of you who are not long-time BlueNC readers may not be aware of this dude, but here's a quote from his failed Congressional effort back in 2010:

Dale Folwell is not a "friend" of state employees

dalefolwell.jpg

Friends don't try to get your children booted off your health insurance:

Since he took office in 2017, Folwell has repeatedly advanced or acquiesced to policies that would ultimately reduce the number of people on the SHP rolls. In May of 2017, for example, state employees received an email and letter sent via “junk mail” rate postage instructing them to resubmit a copy of the first page of their tax returns, or children’s birth certificates in order to prove they are not fraudulently covering spouses or dependents under the SHP.

After receiving the letter, I for one thought that it was a scam since it had all the telltale signs, and I had already recently submitted my tax return to prove that my children are my children, and are eligible to be covered on my plan. Folwell’s letter said I had to submit copies of their birth certificates by July 31 through an online portal, or my children would be removed from my health insurance plan on August 1. Six hundred people were removed from the SHP for the rest of 2017. Of that number, how many were actually fraudulent?

In a sane world, the employees' union would have pushed back on that, and made sure that nobody (or their children) fell through the cracks. But "sane" and "SEANC" probably shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Tweets I saw back then were completely supportive of Folwell's "fraud" claims, and SEANC's website itself published Folwell's entire statement with no comments or rebuttal:

Stifling dissent: WUNC-TV set to cancel NC Spin

And once again, this behavior is usually associated with 3rd world dictatorships:

After almost 22 years on the air, the political debate show “NC Spin” will end on UNC-TV after its contract is up this year. Tom Campbell, the show’s founder and host, told The News & Observer this week that he learned of the decision in an email from UNC-TV’s interim director Kevin Fitzgerald last Friday.

Campbell thinks the show was essentially canceled because it had been critical of the UNC Board of Governors and its treatment of former UNC System presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol Folt and former East Carolina University chancellor Cecil Staton.

While there may have been an occasional controversial statement made by guests on the show, Tom Campbell has managed (well) to keep it balanced and informative. The truth is, the UNC BOG has made many questionable decisions, and has operated in a plainly partisan fashion on more than one occasion. Talking about that isn't "out of line," it's something everybody involved with UNC should be doing, from students to professors to alumni, and all points in-between. And to get rid of Tom's show while keeping this one:

Public mood is trending more Liberal in the wake of Trumpism

womenmarch17.jpg

For all you "too far left" naysayers, chew on this:

Democrats worry that they’ll nominate a presidential candidate who’s too liberal to win a general election, but liberal policies are what the majority of Americans want now. That’s the intriguing finding of an analysis by UNC professor emeritus James Stimson, a leading figure in American public opinion research.

In announcing his most recent analysis, Stimson wrote: “The annual estimate for 2018 is the most liberal ever recorded in the 67-year history of Mood, just slightly higher than the previous high point of 1961.”

I'm sure many of the Old Guard (Rob C) would/will tell us this is a predictable swing based on who is in the White House, and that is surely a contributing factor. But I believe it's also a trend that will continue, as Millennials get more politically active and Gen Z hit the voting age. That's why it's critical we focus our GOTV efforts at those younger folks, who are much less prone to fall for the Right's constantly re-hashed "tax cuts spur job creation!" and "government regulation is bad!" mantras. Here's more on the Presidential effect:

NC GOP has put DHHS in the crosshairs

And Secretary Mandy Cohen has had quite enough:

Cohen has spent a lot of time at the legislative building in Raleigh this week, working the halls and talking to budget writers about her qualms with the budget. She’s also been making media appearances to reiterate her priorities and concerns.

Cohen also sharply criticized the legislature for cutting out $42 million in recurring administrative funds over the coming two years. Additionally, she said that as the budget stands right now, the Medicaid budget is $63 million short. “It’s dramatic. It’s irresponsible,” she said. “It’s not like we’re trying to manage some really trying times. No one has given me an answer in this building about why are we doing this cut? We’re not in a recession. Why are they doing it this year… other than to play games?” Cohen said.

There are a couple of obvious reasons, and they both have to do with Medicaid Expansion. Cohen has been pushing them hard for it, and has the data to back up her arguments. That makes her the "enemy" in the eyes of irresponsible and capricious Republicans, so whatever levers they can pull to exert pressure on her are being pulled with a vengeance. But there's also something else: Using the excuse of a procedure change (switching to managed care), they're cutting her staff, which will make it much more difficult to handle Medicaid Expansion if it did get approved. And that will become one more reason for them to not approve it. Create a crisis, and then lament said crisis. Standard operating procedure. Dr. Cohen also has a completely unnecessary and disruptive move looming:

The NC GOP's sustained attack on local control

Municipal governments may soon be just a fond memory:

These bills significantly favor the interests of homebuilders and Realtors, but at what would be the great expense of communities across North Carolina, and here in Moore County. One of those bills we’ve already discussed here: State Sen. Tom McInnis’ bill preventing municipalities from regulating tree removal. McInnis says he’s no longer pushing his bill, but it remains ominously in the mix.

Other pending legislation is even more grievous. One bill would prohibit municipalities from regulating the minimum square footage of homes, something that has long been the purview of local government. Another bill would roll back reasons a municipal code enforcement officer may consider a building unsafe. And still another would extend the tax exemption to homebuilders from three to five years for unsold houses, and restrict a town’s ability to make a builder clean up a dilapidated site that violates an ordinance.

I've been dealing with the issue of property rights (heavily) for the last 15 months or so, and I can safely say it's a tremendous balancing act. But one thing is certain; when citizen groups get involved in the process (as opposed to one or two ranters) on a local level, they can influence said process. Nobody gets everything they want, but that is itself a sign that property rights are being respected. But apparently some Legislators simply do not understand that:

FYI, Jerry Falwell Jr. is not only a bigot, he's also a hypocrite

Big fan of campus free speech, just not his campus:

Among the incidents of alleged censorship that have become public, Falwell instructed the editor of Liberty Champion, the campus newspaper, in October 2016 to spike a column critical of then-candidate Trump after a leaked recording from Access Hollywood in which he is heard bragging about assaulting women.

In October 2017 and again the following year, Falwell and faculty members pressured student journalists not to cover a gathering of a progressive evangelical Christian group in Lynchburg, Va., where Liberty is located.

If Falwell blocked that "grab them by the pussy" article merely to help Trump's campaign, it would be bad enough. But he wanted more than that; he wanted his students to follow a false prophet, and was willing to deceive them in the process. And the school's lack of transparency and rigid control of student journalists is more akin to a cult than an institution of higher learning:

The right bill for the wrong reason: NC Senate passes whistleblower protections

sunshine3.jpg

Just in time for Sunshine Week:

A bill passed by the N.C. Senate last week to provide greater protections for government whistleblowers is a move in the right direction.

The Protecting Government Accountability Act passed unanimously, 44-0, after adopting two amendments that strengthen it. One requires heads of state agencies, departments and institutions to inform their employees about the law. The other clarifies that the protections cover state employee testimony to agents or employees of legislative inquiry panels appointed by the House speaker or Senate president pro tempore.

The key word there is "agents." They're called "private" investigators for a reason, because they operate outside normal parameters that dictate the behavior of government investigators. The Governor is right to shield state employees from their scrutiny, and to demand the General Assembly get its answers in a formal setting. And as for this observation:

Trump threatens universities with "campus free speech" executive order

whitesupremacist.jpg

Vowing to withhold billions of Federal dollars if they don't comply:

President Trump vowed Saturday to "soon" issue an executive order that would deny federal research funds to colleges and universities that do not support free speech. "If they want our dollars and we give them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people to speak," said Trump in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

During his speech, President Trump brought on stage and praised Hayden Williams, who was punched last week when he was at the University of California, Berkeley, seeking support for the president and conservative causes and criticizing Jussie Smollett, the actor who is facing charges of false reporting to the police in a hate crime he claimed to have experienced.

First of all, I don't condone physically assaulting somebody because of what they say, for several reasons. And one of those reasons is because (often) that is exactly what the speaker wants, just like this Berkeley dude. He's a field organizer for the Leadership Institute, the same incubator that produced the white supremacist group Youth for Western Civilization that plagued the UNC campus ten years ago:

UNC BOG pushes Folt out several months early

Calling the move childish would be an insult to children:

The Board of Governors accepted Folt’s resignation during a closed emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon, specifying a date months earlier than the chancellor had intended to leave. The board accepted the resignation effective Jan. 31, whereas Folt had said she planned to step down after commencement, scheduled for May.

“She resigned, we accepted it,” said Harry Smith, Board of Governors chair, during a question-and-answer session with reporters, the audio of which was provided to Inside Higher Ed. “We just felt it was better to compress the timeline and then work more toward a healing process.”

Compress the timeline? Reducing 4 1/2 months to a couple weeks is a hell of a lot more than "compressing the timeline." And as far as I'm concerned, the only "healing process" that will actually work is to purge the UNC Board of Governors of any and all political appointees, and a good place to start is with the Chairman himself, whose ethics are more than a little strained:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Republican bullies