Tag Archives: North Carolina

News & Comment

The South Is America’s Poverty Belt

map-people-in-poverty-in-us

Poverty has been on the rise in the South, which, not coincidentally is a bastion of Republican Party control, according to a Census Bureau report [PDF] released this summer, according to Huffington Post:

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Verbatim

Obama Inadvertently Helps N.C. GOP Candidate

The president has done a good job of helping refocus this race for us. Thank you, Mr. President.

— GOP strategist Paul Shumaker, quoted by the Washington Post, on how President Obama’s handling of the Ebola crisis has helped North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R).

Verbatim

N.C. Congressional Candidate Suggests War with Mexico to Cure Illegal Immigration

I will tell you if you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat. And if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don’t have a problem with that either. So yeah, whatever we need to do.

— North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Walker (R), suggesting war with Mexico might be a way to stop immigrants coming across the border, TPM reports.

Verbatim

Former ‘Idol’ Star Aiken Challenges the Press

Let’s see if you can write this whole story without mentioning how fat I’ve gotten.

— Former “American Idol” star and North Carolina congressional candidate Clay Aiken (D), quoted by the Washington Post.

Verbatim

Lawmaker Equates Right to Fire Gays to Right to Smoke

You need to respect the autonomy of somebody running their business. It’s like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property. In public spaces, absolutely, we can have smoking bans. But we don’t want to micromanage people’s lives and businesses. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?

— Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), comparing the right to fire gay workers with the right to smoke cigarettes on private property, ThinkProgress reports.

News & Comment

N.C. Dem Attorney General Roy Cooper: State Will No Longer Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Roy Cooper, the attorney general of North Carolina Attorney — and one of the few Democratic statewide officials to survive the 2010 tea party electoral sweep that put Republicans in control of North Carolina for the first time since the 1870s — announced this week that his department will no longer defend the state’s ban on marriage equality. The decision comes after judges in the federal appeals court whose jurisdiction includes North Carolina struck down a similar ban in Virginia:

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News & Comment

Should U.S. Senators Who Voted against Additional Funding for VA Hospitals in February 2014 Also Resign?

Filibustered VA hospital funding, from left: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr of North Carolina and Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake — all Republicans

With the drumbeat growing to hold VA Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki accountable for the wait lists at hospitals in Arizona and elsewhere by forcing him to resign, perhaps the U.S. senators who voted in February to filibuster a bill that would have increased the VA’s budget by $24 billion should resign as well.

You’ll find a complete list of senators who voted to filibuster the VA hospital funding after the jump.

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Enumerati

Poll Finds Troublesome News for Tea Party’s U.S. Senate Candidate in North Carolina

16%

Percentage of North Carolina voters who approve of the state’s tea-party controlled Legislature, versus 56% who disapprove, according to a new PPP survey. This is not good news for Thom Tillis, the tea partyist who, as speaker, runs the Legislature’s lower body and who won the Republican primary last week to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

News & Comment

Caught on Tape: Tea Party U.S. Senate Candidate Says GOP Must ‘Divide and Conquer’ By Pitting the Sick and Invalids against the Poor

Despite what you read, N.C. Assembly Speaker Thom Tillis, who won the primary race in the U.S. Senate election yesterday, is not a Republican “establishment” candidate. Tillis is, in fact, a tea bagger of the first order, per PM Carpenter:

Tillis takes a second, reactionary pew to no man: he opposes a federally mandated minimum wage; he denies the science of climate change; he supported a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and further restrictions on a woman’s right to abortion; and of course as a NC prophet of national Republican totalitarianism, he just can’t get enough of voter suppression.

As Tillis kicks off his campaign to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan, a conservative Democrat, he already finds himself mired in controversy after being caught on tape suggesting that, in order to advance its war on the poor, the GOP must turn sick and invalided people who receive disability payments against poor people who rely on government assistance:

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News & Comment

GOP Head of North Carolina Environmental Agency Appears to Be an Anti-Science Conspiracy Nut

John Skvarla, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, [bio] has suggested that he believes a theory promoted by World Net Daily contributor Jerome Corsi — one of the originators of Birtherism and a promoter of other conspiracy theories, including one that Pres. Obama is gay — that oil is not a finite resource created by centuries of compression of organic material but is a renewable resource created by the earth on an on-going basis, like wind or solar.

Skvarla is the head of the agency charged with regulating Duke Energy, which is responsible for the third-largest coal-ash spill in U.S. history, an on-going disaster that is still unfolding in North Carolina.

Never heard of it? You’re not alone. As Rachel Maddow says at the end of the segment above, “This North Carolina story, and this federal criminal investigation into what’s happening in North Carolina, is a terrible and amazing story from about a million different angles. Why the Beltway refuses to care about it, I do not know, but it cannot last long.”

Read more about the story here.