Archive for News
“This is a textbook case of how corporations attempt to influence our democracy, election after election. No. Seriously. They have a textbook.”
If we can help Boulder succeed, whose town gets helped next?
From your friends at Upworthy:
A thousand fast food outlets in 60 cities experienced worker walkouts yesterday. The movement that began weeks ago in New York City has spread to the South and West, including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Raleigh, N.C. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and community organizing groups such as New York Communities for Change called it “the largest protest ever to hit the fast-food industry.”
About 30 workers in Raleigh, N.C., picketed outside a Little Caesars. Julio Wilson said he earned $9 an hour at the pizza restaurant, not enough to support himself and his 5-year-old daughter.
“I know I’m risking my job, but it’s my right to fight for what I deserve,” Wilson said. “Nine dollars an hour is not enough to make ends meet nowadays.”
In a letter to the News & Observer, Karen Lewis slams North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam for condescending and sexist remarks about June Atkinson, the superintendent of public instruction for North Carolina.
Atkinson said private schools funded under the new voucher program should be evaluated using the same tests as public schools so parents can compare apples to apples. “The public needs a consistent measure of reading achievement in particular,” Atkinson said. New legislation allows private schools to select which national tests to us and allows some to opt out of reporting results.
Stam suggested that Atkinson “stick to her own knitting.”
Setting aside for the moment the appallingly condescending and sexist rhetoric Stam chose, I propose that he do the same thing he calls on Atkinson to do. Voters elected him and his cohorts to create jobs and restore economic prosperity to North Carolina, but they’ve instead rolled back personal freedoms, voting rights, access to medical care and, yes, funding of the very public schools Atkinson has been elected to lead.
The American Prospect has a thoughtful analysis of where the Moral Mondays movement came from and where it’s going. A sample:
Barber’s approach inverts the religious-right rhetoric that has dominated, and warped, Southern politics in recent decades. Some liberals might be put off by Moral Mondays’ “good versus evil” approach. But not, for the most part, Southern liberals. Atheists, Jews, and Christians alike have long been accustomed to singing “This Little Light of Mine” while railing against right-wing politics; it comes straight from the civil-rights tradition of weaving together religion and advocacy.
“This is a kind of Jewish-Baptist-Episcopalian-Methodist-Catholic church,” says Tim Tyson, historian, author, and professor at the Duke Divinity School. “It’s not about dogma. It’s about having a core commitment to human rights and human values.”
Mtn #MoralMondays rally w/Rev. Barber Aug 5-Asheville NC. Forward Together. Not One Step Back #MoMoMo details at on.fb.me/1407gkK
As Moral Monday protests continue, the unfavorable national media attention on North Carolina intensified with a prominent editorial in the New York Times slamming the “demolition derby” underway in the state legislature:
In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.
“Grotesque,” the Times calls the damage being wrought on years of state progress. Political analyst Michael Bitzer observed, “If they can’t end this issue, particularly on the abortion issue, fairly soon and fairly quick, it may have a lasting impact on companies and people looking at North Carolina.”
The Times concludes:
North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.
Gives new meaning to Shakespeare’s “a plague on both your houses.”
Last Monday, Raleigh, North Carolina saw what Think Progress called The Biggest Liberal Protest Of 2013, Moral Monday 8. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, at least 3,000 people attended the state NAACP’s ongoing protests against the rightward shift of the legislature. The theme for the week’s protest was labor issues, women’s rights and economic justice. Specifically, the loss of federal unemployment benefits for 70,000 people set to take effect on July 1.
About 120 protestors were arrested, with over 100 traveling in buses from Asheville, over four hours away. An artsy, LGBT-friendly mountain city dubbed the “Cesspool of Sin” by a Republican state senator, Asheville faces state seizure of its drinking water system in a bill authored by a board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Raleigh weekly, The Indy, reacted to Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature cutting off federal unemployment benefits. The move will cost the unemployed (and the state’s struggling economy) hundreds of millions of dollars:
That’s right, this decision will deny the people of North Carolina $600 million in federal aid, and it’s not because McCrory and the Republicans slashed unemployment benefits more deeply than any other state—although they did that too. It’s because they insisted on cutting benefits in mid-2013 rather than waiting until Jan. 1, 2014, when the federal program expires. Costs $600 million. Saves nothing. That’s idiocracy.
(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)
RALEIGH – More than 100 people were arrested Monday at the largest demonstration yet of the state NAACP’s weeks-long protest of the conservative policies of the Republican-led General Assembly.
Police estimated that roughly 1,000 people attended the rally late Monday afternoon behind the Legislative Building on Halifax Mall. Hundreds then entered the building. Upwards of 150 people were arrested outside the doors to the state Senate chambers, where demonstrators chanted, sang and delivered speeches decrying what they called a regressive agenda that neglects the poor.
Others estimated about 1600 at the rally.
This is my second experience with misleading headlines today. The first was the headline on my letter on the opinion page. Then this.
Politico: Poll: 54 percent against Obamacare
Fifty-four percent of Americans oppose President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, according to a CNN poll released Monday, while 43 percent support the law.
But that headline is misleading, which the reader finds out a few paragraphs later. From the CNN poll:
According to the poll, 43% of the public says it supports the health care law, a figure that’s mostly unchanged in CNN polling since the measure was passed in 2010 by a Congress then controlled by Democrats and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they oppose the law, also relatively unchanged since 2010.
But wait! There’s more. A minor detail someone finally decided to ask [emphasis added]:
The survey indicates that 35% oppose the health care law because it’s too liberal, with 16% saying they oppose the measure because it isn’t liberal enough.
Fox News sees the U.S. Constitution as America’s Bible. And won’t hesitate to go Old Testament on your ass.
North Carolina has been taking a pounding lately at the hands of Gov. Pat McCrory’s ALEC-fueled legislature. Fracking, Voter ID, and Florida-style drug tests for recipients of public benefits like food stamps and job training are on the to-do list. With more to come. Remarkably, on Wednesday the good guys won one.
North Carolina’s renewable energy industry is safe from legislative threats, for now. Republicans and Democrats in the sponsor’s own committee voted down his bill that would have repealed the state’s clean energy standard. This bill mimicked “model legislation” from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
North Carolina is a test case. The Raleigh News and Observer reports that a bevy of conservative organizations converged on Raleigh hoping to move their agenda ahead by killing the renewable energy program: