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Lunch links

vegan lunch for linksHere are your Wednesday lunch links exactly two weeks before Christmas Day.

Bob Geary at the Indy has a great take on the absurd spin about jobs coming out of the McCrory Administration these days. And speaking of misleading spin, one underreported story this week was the statement by fiscal staff of the General Assembly that the regressive revenue plan passed this summer will actually increase taxes on many people, contrary to what McCrory and legislative leaders have been claiming.

And with the announcement today of the lawsuit against the new school voucher scheme filed by the N.C. Justice Center and the NCAE, it’s a good time to go back and read about all the unanswered questions about the program, primarily the shocking lack of accountability in where taxpayer money will go. Lindsay Wagner’s series about the program is a great place to start. Here’s are links to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of her report earlier this year.

The big national news of course is the bipartisan budget agreement in Washington that will help offset the next round of sequester cuts that would have had disastrous consequences. But don’t get too excited. It’s not any sort of real solution to the federal budget problems. That would require new revenues, maybe from finally closing some of the massive corporate tax loopholes.

And as Ezra Klein reminds us in the Washington Post, the agreement does nothing for the millions of long-term laid off workers across the country who are about to lose their emergency unemployment benefits. That won’t affect folks in North Carolina.  Governor McCrory and his friends in the General Assembly have already cut off emergency federal benefits as of July 1st.

Governor McCrory’s old pal New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is leading the Republican pack in the way–too-early polls for the 2016 presidential nomination, has a huge scandal brewing, allegations that he intentionally created a massive traffic jam in a town because the mayor didn’t endorse him for reelection. Yikes.

And finally, today’s musical selection is from alt-country singer/songwriter James McMurtry, who is playing in Raleigh January 29th.  Here’s McMurtry last year with an acoustic version of “We can’t make it here,” an anthem about the economic struggles facing a lot of Americans. He released it in 2004 but it’s as relevant today as ever with lyrics like this verse.

Some have maxed out all their credit cards Some are working two jobs and living in cars, Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink, If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO, See how far 5.15 an hour will go. Take a part time job at one of your stores, Bet you can’t make it here anymore.

Happy humpday.

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