NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Today’s top stories on NC Policy Watch

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 13:14
Be sure to check out the newest lead stories on the main NCPW site today: This morning, N.C. Justice Center Communication Director Jeff Shaw authored a personal and exceedingly rational commentary on the latest outbreak of gun madness in our gun-obsessed culture (which even discusses his own personal experience growing up with firearms). Meanwhile, in ...

High-profile politicos make the case for Tillis, Hagan in the final days of the campaign (video)

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:00
North Carolina’s tight Senate race earned a new distinction this week – topping $100 million spent in total advertising, according to the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. The contest also brought former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Raleigh Wednesday stumping for Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis: “There’s no question but that the president’s ...

Newby banjo ad recycled for Supreme Court challenger Mike Robinson

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:30
As we reported yesterday, the Justice for All NC PAC is poised for a last-minute ad blitz supporting Republican-endorsed candidates for the state Supreme Court, after receiving a fresh infusion of $400,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee this past week. Now it appears that at least of some of that money is going toward ...

NC General Assembly: Visiting more indignities on teachers, wasting money on privatization

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:02
The follies of the North Carolina General Assembly and its shortsighted attitudes toward public education (and public service in general) are neatly illustrated by two stories in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal. In “Who’s a teacher? The legislature wrongly decides,” reporter Scott Sexton tells the story of  veteran teacher named Patti Morrison who, because of the ...

Wilmington charter school company: school salary info are “trade secrets” and should be kept from public

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:06
A group of Wilmington-area charter schools missed a Monday deadline to provide information to the state about salaries earned by employees of a private contractor that work at the public schools. But the private company contracted to run the four charter schools said it will give up the salary information under one condition – that ...

Apple CEO reminds us about importance of protecting workers from discrimination

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:46
There is lots of talk on right-wing avenue this week about North Carolina’s big jump in the business climate rankings published by the right-leaning Tax Foundation. Imagine that, a conservative think tank that evaluates states solely on their tax rates giving North Carolina a higher ranking for cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy. More ...

North Carolina cited in new national study of problems with provisional ballots

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:00
A new, lengthy and in-depth report from the Center for American Progress raises real and important questions about racial discrimination in the use of provisional ballots. The report, “Uncounted Votes: The Racially Discriminatory Effect of Provisional Ballots,”  looked at the use of the ballots throughout the country during the 2012 election and found that: “Of ...

Medicaid expansion for North Carolina coming ‘truly very soon’

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 09:30
House Speaker Thom Tillis is not the only one warming to the idea of Medicaid expansion these days. State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said in an interview with public radio station WUNC that with the state’s Medicaid program more stable, she’s preparing to present an expansion plan to Governor Pat McCrory: “We’re ...

Are more attack ads coming in the state Supreme Court race?

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:51
Three candidates for the state Supreme Court — current Justices Robin Hudson and Cheri Beasley and Court of Appeals Judge Sam J. Ervin, IV will be holding news conferences today in three cities to discuss the latest influx of “dark money” from outside independent groups hoping to steer the race toward conservative-backed candidates. As happened during the May ...

Hopeful news: SAT scores de-emphasized at three UNC system HBCU’s

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:12
Three UNC system schools will now be able to admit students with lower SAT scores if their grade point average (GPA) is higher than required. The three year pilot program, approved by the UNC Board of Governors on Friday, will allow North Carolina Central, Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State Universities to admit students on ...

Against Ebola? Support Medicaid expansion

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 11:53
People fear the unfamiliar. It’s human nature. When a new threat emerges, our minds often race about it — even when the same old threats are far more worrisome. This is one reason a healthy (heh) number of my friends are anxious about the Ebola virus. Maybe yours are, too. Heck, maybe you are. Well, ...

The Lieutenant Governor hangs on to states’ rights

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:55
Same-sex marriages may be happening in North Carolina — thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Fourth Circuit’s Bostic decision, allowing such marriages — but one day soon that might change, Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest suggests in a recent blog post on his website. In the article (written under his signature but posted ...

Have you seen this man?

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 09:50
According to some reports, serial right-wing troublemaker and convicted breaker and enterer James O’Keefe (that’s him on the left in his federal government mugshot) is back in North Carolina and looking to pull off another one of his dishonest stunts. O’Keefe, as you will recall, is a friend of the Pope groups who plead guilty ...

The Right’s big whopper about living wages and the fast food industry

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 08:41
Don’t you just love it when the business lobby and their toadies in the far right think tanks get all misty-eyed about the fate of those poor, poor workers who will supposedly be so much worse off if the minimum wage rises substantially? You know the rap: “Hey, it would be great if workers could ...

Today’s lead stories on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 14:44
In case you missed them, two commentaries on the main Policy Watch website from earlier today are worth a look this afternoon. In today’s “Monday numbers,” Chris Fitzsimon lists some of the latest sobering numbers surrounding the unrepentant efforts of Senator Phil Berger, Rep. Paul Stam and some other troubled souls to block enforcement of ...

Rick Perry blasts Common Core that McCrory supports

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:01
The folks in the North Carolina Republican Party keep wanting to have it both ways on Common Core. Abolishing the standards has become a crusade for the Tea Party wing led by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, when he is not planning wacky constitutional conventions.  But much of the state’s business community, specifically the NC Chamber, has been outspoken proponents ...

Expert explains huge masked problem with NC economy

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 10:49
In case you missed it over the weekend, Patrick Conway, the head of the economics Department at UNC Chapel Hill had an important op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer about the true state of the North Carolina economy. As Conway explains, the recent rosy claims of state officials and their apologists in the right-wing think ...

Expert: Dan Forest’s constitutional convention a “dangerous” idea

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 08:19
As reported on N.C. Policy Watch recently, some advocates on the far right — including North Carolina’s own Lt. Governor — have been pushing the radical idea of late that it’s time for a second American constitutional convention. For those who haven’t given the idea much thought, the dangers that would accompany such a move ...

GOP Senators press NC courts to revise memo, provide religious exemption on same-sex marriages

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 18:22
Senate Leader Phil Berger and a majority of the Senate GOP caucus on Friday sent a letter to the director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts asking his office revise its recent memo spelling out that magistrates must treat same- sex marriages for which a marriage license has been issued the same way ...

Pollster: Undecided will swing NC’s U.S. Senate race, Libertarian unlikely a spoiler (video)

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:29
More news for from the campaign trail: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins Sen. Kay Hagan in Charlotte on Saturday at an early voting event. Next week brings former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to North Carolina stumping for House Speaker Thom Tillis.  Then there’s word of the American Future Fund, a political group ...

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