NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 55 min 33 sec ago

Today’s lamest homophobic rant

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:24
It comes from the notorious all-purpose far right minister, the Rev. Patrick Wooden of Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ. At a pastor’s anti-marriage equality event today near the state Capitol Building, Wooden said the following according to this AP story: Seventy-eight percent of our children are born into homes where there are ...

The next legal challenge to Obamacare

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:49
The dust has yet to settle since the Supreme Court  took apart the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act in its Hobby Lobby decision, but already the next and potentially more debilitating wave of lawsuits challenging a different provision of the Act are making their way through the courts. This time the target is the tax ...

Last film in Moral Movies series – Inequality for All – shows in nine cities across NC this month

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:04
In case you’ve missed it, there has been a phenomenal film series going on this summer throughout North Carolina, which concludes this month with screenings of “Inequality for All” in nine cities from July 22nd – July 31st. The Moral Movies film series, which also included showings of American Teacher, American Winter and Freedom Summer, ...

N&O headline: “Berger: Budget delay is incompetence”

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:34
What’s this? Did I read that right? Yes here it is, dated  Monday, July 14: “Berger: Budget delay is incompetence” And here’s Senator Berger’s lead quote: “For the average person, when they have a deadline and they need to get something done, they are held accountable,” said Berger, an Eden Republican, at the weekly Republican ...

Editorial explains the absurdity of repealing teen preregistration to vote

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 08:53
Thanks to the opinion editors of the Greenville Daily Reflector this morning for republishing an excellent Charlotte Observer editorial that may have gotten lost in the shuffle for a lot of folks when it ran originally over the Fourth of July weekend. The essay deserves to be reprinted repeatedly and, as they say down on ...

Date of disbursement for school voucher funds moved up, ahead of court ruling that could halt new taxpayer-funded program

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 17:42
School voucher money could be in the hands of families and schools one month earlier than planned for the upcoming school year—and prior to a court date that could rule the program unconstitutional. According to an updated schedule published on June 20 on the N.C.  State Education Assistance Authority’s website, funds for the school vouchers, ...

Controversy brews over McCrory choice for state poet laureate

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:47
Gov. Pat McCrory is facing scrutiny over his decision to name a fairly unknown Fuquay-Varina woman as the state’s top poet. Valerie Macon was named Friday as North Carolina’s poet laureate, and has self-published two collections of poetry through a small Sylva-based publisher, Old Mountain Press. (Click here and here to read some of her ...

National HHS officials tout Medicaid model now promoted by House and Guv

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:18
There’s new and compelling evidence that North Carolina’s model for delivering Medicaid (Community Care North Carolina -CCNC) is a winner — notwithstanding the often-bumbling oversight provided by embattled state DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and the attempt by Senate leaders to sell the program off to a private managed care company. (It’s worth noting that the ...

BTC Report: Changes to unemployment insurance system creates a “double whammy” for jobless

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:05
Changes made to North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system a year ago have caused pain for North Carolina workers and communities, according to a new report by the NC Budget & Tax Center. Center analysts project things will get even worse for many jobless workers because of new limits to how long anyone can receive insurance that ...

Belhaven mayor marches to (big) Washington to protest hospital closing, calls for N.C. expansion of Medicaid

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:34
The mayor of a small coastal town with a recently-shuttered rural hospital began a nearly 300 mile walk to Washington, D.C. to call attention to his community’s lack of emergency medical care. Adam O’Neal, the Republican mayor of Belhaven on North Carolina’s Inner Banks, began his walk after a brokered plan with Vidant Health to ...

The one speech Teaching Assistants want NC budget writers to hear (video)

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:16
House and Senate budget conferees head back to the bargaining table this afternoon. Last week, senators made it clear they were sticking to their position of an average 11% pay raise for teachers, even if it could result in deep cuts to Medicaid and other areas of education spending. House members are pushing for a ...

Monday good news – solar power taking off

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 08:47
The good people at the League of Conservation Voters have highlighted a couple of encouraging stories this morning in their weekly newsletter about the rapid progress occurring in the solar energy business (even as the fossil fuel industry and their paid helpers in government and the conservative think tanks do their utmost to stop it). ...

Editorial: ‘Foolish’ move to put voting restrictions in place before a full trial

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:45
The Wilmington Star News notes that the federal judge who will decide whether North Carolina’s voter suppression law should be placed on hold for the 2014 midterm elections has a lot to consider following last week’s testimony in Winston-Salem. But the editorial board concludes it would be foolish to enforce the law before a full ...

Wags at BuzzFeed frankly assess some of Governor McCrory’s claims

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 14:00
Many politicians are well known for the frequent use of a particular catchphrase,  rhetorical device (or verbal tic) when they want to call attention to a particular statement. Richard Nixon always seemed to preface every statement with “let me make one thing perfectly clear.” Both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama are known for using “let ...

Ten takeaways from this week’s voting rights hearing

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:26
Ari Berman at The Nation reports on some of what he saw and learned after spending the week at the voting rights hearing in Winston-Salem,  alongside the unsinkable Rosanell Eaton. From a list of ten points he makes, here’s number one: 1. The law disproportionately burdens African-American voters The plaintiffs, including DOJ, the ACLU and ...

Do something about the immigration crisis, billionaires tell Congress

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:47
There’s plenty to read about the heartbreaking crisis at the border and what should be done about it. Here’s a few of today’s highlights. Money talks:  Three billionaires who don’t often find themselves on the same side of issues – Bill Gates, Sheldon Adelson and Warren Buffett – take on the do-nothing Congress in this must-read ...

Budget negotiations cancelled – members try again Monday

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:54
Optimists hoping for a budget resolution heading into the weekend had those hopes dashed on Friday, as House negotiators cancelled a scheduled public meeting. Senators had already announced they weren’t going to show up. Adding to the tension, Governor Pat McCrory vowed to veto the Senate’s budget plan on Thursday as he lined-up behind a ...

Editorial: Crisis on the border makes immigration reform a must

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:00
The Greenville Daily Reflector reprinted an editorial this morning that first ran in a town with a lot of up-close-and-personal experience in the nation’s ongoing immigration crisis on the southern border. According to the editors of the Corpus Christi Times: To hear Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi tell it, Congress is willing ...

A guilty pleasure? The Real Legislators of Jones Street

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 08:13
The Charlotte Observer’s Associate Editor writes this week’s back-and-forth budget battle in Raleigh (which has included a walkout by Senators,  finger-pointing on both sides, along with Christmas stockings and lumps of coal) could challenge Bravo’s Real Housewives series for ratings this summer. Here’s Fannie Flono’s Friday editorial: My guilty pleasure these days is the N.C. ...

McCrory vows veto if final budget includes Senate’s numbers

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:59
As budget-talks head toward the weekend, Governor Pat McCrory took the unusual step Thursday of issuing a press release pledging to veto the Senate’s budget proposal, if those were somehow the final numbers to come out of the budget-writers’ conference committee. Earlier in the day, the House agreed to move to a six-percent pay raise ...

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