So much for a chance at real debate or public input

What is it about complete power and the temptation to overreach? The conservatives running the General Assembly have huge and insuperable majorities; they can pass or stop anything they want.

And yet, on just the first real day of the session, they have already spoken loudly and clearly that they have no real intention of  allowing the public to speak or the opponents of their plans to have a say on a series of controversial bills that they plan on ramming through the General Assembly in the coming days.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Tomorrow, on the second day of the session, lawmakers will take up and apparently act on bills to:

There’s no rush on any of these proposals. There is plenty of time to, at least, allow for some open debate and honest analysis. Unfortunately, open debate and time for thoughtful consideration doesn’t appear to comport with this year’s legislative playbook.



  1. Frances Jenkins

    January 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Come on Rob, how many prisoners in NC are receiving unemployment benefits?

  2. gregflynn

    January 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    As far as we know, you’re the only one. Lights out at 9PM.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    January 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I just saw the news story on TV, Greg, about prisoners receiving unemployment benefits. Of course the truth is never important to liberal Democrats. By the way, I know you are still destroyed by redistricting. Guess you cannot win all of them.

  4. gregflynn

    January 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    If the truth was important to you, you would have stated the answer you claim to know already, not the question.

  5. Rebecca Forbes

    January 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    you two are the prime example of what is going on at our Legislature, back and forth bickering and not accomplishing a darn thing with it.

  6. gregflynn

    January 31, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Welcome to the ad hominem club Rebecca. It was only one sentence but you seem to have gotten the hang of it. Frances is a heckler, pure and simple, immune to facts and logic, a conservative Republican cheerleader who comes here for disruption, not discussion. Why her mean, bitter, disrespectful and willful ignorance is tolerated here is beyond me. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, that which is asserted without evidence may be rebutted without evidence. “Frances” is not known to be a real person, has never identified herself to anyone in person at NC Policy Watch. For all we know it’s the “poor old uneducated lady” persona of some twenty something male PolSci graduate in basement of NCGOP HQ. Rhetorical questions neither require nor desire factual answers. Experience has shown that “France” does not respond to facts, and can not respond to any policy issue except in terms of absurdly stereotypical caricatures of Democrats versus Republicans. In such circumstances an appropriate response to the ridiculous is ridicule. In your case I’ll blame it on the weed and give you another chance.

  7. Jack

    January 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I agree with you Rebecca. The title of the issue at hand is “So much for a chance at real debate or public input” yet the subject is easily shifted from the issue to personalities far to many times.

  8. gregflynn

    January 31, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Well Jack, let’s back up since you seem to have fallen into the same trap. The first comment/question was disingenuous. We know this from a year’s worth of observation, and because the same innuendo has been posted three times now like spam. There is nothing to be gained from an Alice in Wonderland discussion with the online persona of “Frances”, which, as far as I can tell, exists in this forum primarily to disrupt discussion of progressive issues, not to engage in it. The typical drive-by one-liner from “Frances” is intended to kill the conversation not to kindle it. This comment about unemployment insurance benefits is a classic example. The snarky innuendo has little purpose other than interference. Thousands of people, their families, their children rely on unemployment INSURANCE benefits that they have a reasonable expectation of receiving because these benefits are part of a covenant between them, their past employers and the State that was sealed with their own labor. Employers and the State have not held up their end so now unemployed individuals and their families will suffer. Fraud exists in every aspect of human existence, public and private. The fact that a year or so ago 3 guys in the Swain County Jail managed to continue getting benefits, and were caught, is no reason to cut and restrict insurance benefits to thousands of people in a bill with dozens of pages and with no debate. A user like “Frances” is just throwing rotten tomatoes and really doesn’t care for a response except to the extent that the time spent deconstructing inanities is time away from constructive engagement in progressive issues.

  9. Doug

    January 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Interesting post.

    1. Affordable care has been out there for what three years? There has been plenty of time to show the people of NC do not want this onerous burden. Let the Feds fund and run their own ponzi-schemish program.
    2. We still have better benefits than most of the states in the region even with any cuts made. We cannot continue to run unemployment as another perpetual welfare program. At the state level $2.5 billion is a real problem.
    3. You have a point here. This sounds very similar to the past when other parties would push through candidates with liberal agendas and we wound up with the public school that currently exist. I would want some vetting of these nominees to be sure they have new ideas rather than continuing in the way we currently do things. Opportunities like online learning, vocational education, and overall workforce preparation should be looked at.

  10. david esmay

    January 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Alex/Doug is having a farcical conversation with himself again. The fact is, the GOP leadership has a complete disdain for the people they were elected to represent.

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