TGIM! Well, it doesn’t have the same ring as TGIF, but we have made it to the lunch hour and that is something to give thanks for on a Monday.
Coming-up this hour on C-Span, you can watch the Heritage Foundation as they host Gov. Pat McCrory , who will discuss his plans for reforming finance, education, and the job market.
This evening in New Bern  and in Halifax, demonstrators will chime in on the McCrory administration’s reform plans as they resume their Moral Monday protests.
Former Governor Jim Martin has an interesting take in the Charlotte Observer  on the inability of Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together, and the need for voters of all stripes “to fix the redistricting abuses.”
For those want to learn more about gerrymandering and recent changes to our voting laws, be sure to check out UC Irvine Professor Richard Hasen’s lecture at NC State University this Thursday at 7:00pm . Hasen, who was a guest on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon  in September, is a national election law expert and the author of “The Voting Wars.”
Speaking of NC Policy Watch’s radio show, last week we had the pleasure of having the president of Wake Tech join us in the studio as the school marks its 50th anniversary. We’ll have the full podcast up later this week, but for now here’s a short clip. The News and Observer also offered this nice editorial  about WTCC’s milestone as a reminder of how public education can serve a community.
While we’re talking education, make sure you take time to read Politico’s article on Teach for America’s rise as a political powerhouse . Here’s a tease:
‘With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.
It was a huge victory that flattened a coalition of big-name opponents, including the NAACP, the National PTA and the National Education Association. But it barely hints at TFA’s growing leverage.’
Progressive Pulse readers may recall that state budget writers this summer included $12 million over a two year period for Teach for America, while the NC Teaching Fellows program was phased out.
On the lighter side of things, if you are heading to the State Fair this evening to see Scotty McCreary , you might want to forgo the deep fried Oreos. A new study suggests Oreo cookies  are as addictive as cocaine, well, if you are a lab rat.
Still, in the spirit of healthy dining, NC Health News  has a rundown of how to enjoy your time on midway with fewer calories and fewer regrets.
Finally, legendary comedienne Carol Burnett  was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor  last night at the Kennedy Center. And while, I’m so glad we had this time together, I’ll let Carol close out Monday’s lunch links with this classic: