Thursday, February 28, 2013

Religious tyranny continues

Prayer Caucus
House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, announced at the end of session Wednesday that he has signed off on the formation of a Legislative Prayer Caucus, with Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, and Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, as its chairmen. Jones then thanked Tillis on the House floor for recognizing the group and said it would be modeled after the Congressional Prayer Caucus. He said North Carolina would be one of the first states with such a caucus.(Patrick Gannon, THE INSIDER, 2/28/13).

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jobs?! Not my reproductive rights?

This meeting is a bit of a surprise given the NCGA's obsession with women's nipples, uteruses and possums. Watch carefully, my friends.

You are hereby notified that the House Committee on Commerce and Job Development will meet as follows:

DAY & DATE: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
TIME: 10:00 AM

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Required reading

It makes one wonder why "We, The People," have not yet marched on Washington with torches and pitchforks. Congress is beyond repair. There is almost no correlation between public policy and the good of the American people. Congress is owned by the NRA, big pharma, the insurance industry, the military-industrial complex, bankers, realtors and many more. The article (link below) is about healthcare and it is enough to make one sick.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

...and the rich get richer

"Sports Illustrated says that Jerry Richardson has a net worth of $500 million. His restaurant empire, which included Hardee's and Denny's, was obviously rewarding. Richardson is the major owner of the Carolina Panthers football team. It seems he has met with the current Republican leadership today to ask for corporate welfare. Richardson wants $62 million from the state budget and legislative approval for another $144 million in higher local taxes for a new stadium in Charlotte. In my view, just asking for taxpayer money is the height of chutzpah. I won't be surprised if the free-enterprise crowd in Raleigh finds the money for him.

Given the actions the Republican Majority has taken in just the first 2 weeks of the Session, it would land on the ever-growing list of troubling hypocrisy since the 2011-2012 Session. Here are just a few:

**Cut maximum cash payments to the unemployed from $535/week to $350/week and reducing the maximum number of weeks one can receive payments from 26 to between 12 and 20.

**No Medicaid expansion that would bring millions of dollars to NC and extend health insurance to nearly 500,000 North Carolinians. The Federal government would bear 100% of the costs for 3 years and 90% thereafter.

**Forbid NC from creating and running a health benefit exchange under ObamaCare that would provide North Carolinians affordable health insurance coverage and receive substantial Federal dollars.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

NC held up for national ridicule...again

US Labor Secretary criticizes state unemployment bill
Mark Binker, WRAL
Feb 11, 2013 11:28 p.m.
Raleigh, N.C.—The General Assembly's plans to reduce the amount and duration of unemployment insurance in North Carolina, and as a side-effect cut off federal benefits in the state, has attracted the attention of Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Seth Harris, who took the unusual step of issuing a news release on a piece of state legislation.
For those who haven't been following this issue, North Carolina owes the federal government $2.5 billion to repay money borrowed to pay unemployment claims during the recession.
To minimize mandatory tax increases on businesses, lawmakers are pushing through a bill that will cut how much a worker may collect in weekly benefits and the duration of those benefits.
Under the bill, federal emergency extended benefits would be cut off for all state recipients, including unemployed military veterans. Such changes will trigger a provision in federal law that cuts off federal benefits provided to workers who have been unemployed longer than 26 weeks, when state benefits currently end.
The full Senate is due to hear the bill at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Watch it LIVE on
Harris pegs the number of workers who could lose extended federal benefits at 170,000, much higher than the 80,000 to 100,000 estimates that have been bandied about the state. According to an email provided by The Associated Press, the federal government estimates that 104,000 will lose their federal unemployment benefits immediately on July 1. Another 66,000 people who would have become eligible for federal benefits between July 1 and the end of the year also would not have access to the extended unemployment insurance program, according to that email.
Harris says the federal government will have "no discretion" to cut off the aid.
In his news release, Harris wrote:
"The North Carolina legislature is considering legislation that would reduce state Unemployment Insurance benefits. If enacted, the legislation also would cut off all federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation - that is, benefits after 26 weeks of unemployment - to 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians. This cutoff is automatic under federal law. I have no discretion to stop it. As a result, families struggling to secure their place in the middle class will suffer a grievous blow, and the state's economy will lose $780 million in federal funds that are vital to reducing North Carolina's high unemployment rate.
"We know that for every dollar spent on Unemployment Insurance benefits, nearly $2 are generated in the local economy. Unemployed workers and their families spend these benefits in local grocery stores and small businesses and use them to stay current on mortgage or rent payments and utilities. For these reasons, UI programs are vital to economic growth in difficult times, particularly in states like North Carolina with high unemployment rates."
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

When ideology trumps intelligence

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:

You Might Be a NC Republican if...

1. The facts do not support your proposed ideas and actions, but you cling to them anyway.

2. Your motivation is not working for the common good of all North Carolinians, but seems to be getting even with Democrats for years in the minority.

3. You are still trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the US Supreme Court has ruled that it is Constitutional.

4. In the face of mounds of data from the last presidential election, you refuse to believe that women, African-Americans, Latinos and gay rights activists greatly influenced your disastrous results.

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