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Alaska Standard Time lunch links: Good news/bad news

Alaska

Good news and bad news from the U.S. Senate today:

The good: Overwhelming approval of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act ENDA – 64-34. The “ayes” included several Republicans including, believe it or not, that radical leftist Orrin Hatch of Utah (but not, disappointingly, North Carolina’s Richard Burr).Wonder when someone will stick a microphone in the face of Burr and the other opponents and ask them why they think it’s okay to fire people because they are gay.

The bad: More absurd stonewalling of eminently qualified women nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit – the nation’s second most important court.  

Good news and bad news on the public education front from NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner:

The good: North Carolina fourth and eighth graders continue to do better than average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests.

The bad: Really lousy new numbers for NC students on standardized tests as the state moves to align with the much more rigorous demands of the Common Core education standards. The Common Core, of course, has been a target of frequent attacks from the right (and some progressives).

Good news and bad news from the McCrory administration in recent days:

The good: Someone seems to be advising the Guv to ditch the combative, “everyone’s picking on me” shtick and start burnishing his image with lots of warm, fuzzy statements and about teachers and mental health.

The bad: Thus far, there’s absolutely no indication that these is any real substance to any of this and plenty to indicate that the McCrory administration will stick to its slash and burn, pro-privatization policies on the core issues of governance like education and health care.

And finally some good news and bad news on the immigration policy front:

The good: A new poll shows broad-based support for comprehensive immigration reform legislation. The numbers are good in North Carolina too: 69% of North Carolinians favor immigration reform. Moreover, North Carolinians are two and a half times more likely to penalize than to support opponents of reform. Forty-eight percent said they were less likely to support an elected official who opposed reform compared with just 20% who were more likely to support a reform opponent.

The bad: Some anti-immigrant lawmakers remain amazingly stubborn when it comes to spewing venom. Take Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida…please. Think Progress has the latest xenophobic gibberish from the lawmaker in this post – including his statement that giving undocumented students in-state tuition amounts to “rewarding bad behavior.”

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Upcoming Events

Friday, Feb. 16

12:00 PM

Crucial Conversation – Prof. Peter Edelman discusses his new book, Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Prof. Edelman is coming to the Triangle to mark the 50th anniversary of Durham-based nonprofit MDC. His visit is the first of a series of MDC-sponsored events focused on ways that Southern leaders can work together to create an Infrastructure of Opportunity that shapes a South where all people thrive.”