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Now that it looks like saner heads are finally prevailing over the radical reactionaries in Washington, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is taking another shot at fellow Republican Ted Cruz in the New York Times.

Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, took a swipe at Senators Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, as well as House members who linked further funding of the government to gutting the health care law, which is financed by its own designated revenues and spending cuts.

“Let’s just say sometimes learning what can’t be accomplished is an important long-term thing,” Mr. Burr said, “and hopefully for some of the members they’ve learned it’s impossible to defund mandatory programs by shutting down the federal government.”

Burr came under fire from the fringe of his party for his comments in July that trying to shutdown the government to defund the Affordable Care Act was the dumbest idea he’d ever heard of.

Maybe not THE dumbest, but pretty close. Now the question is will Burr stand up to other dumb ideas of the fringe elements of the GOP and finally be part of getting something done in Washington or will he retreat meekly back into the radical obstructionist fold?

 

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vegan_lunch_620x413-150x150Here is your slightly tardy Wednesday edition of Lunch Links and no, they don’t all have to do with Tuesday’s unusual hearing at the Legislative Building that featured state lawmakers of both parties asking tough questions of embattled DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, but here are few stories not to miss in addition to Sarah Ovaska’s roundup this morning.

WRAL, the News & Observer, and the Associated Press also had fairly comprehensive coverage of the day’s events, and WFAE in Charlotte and WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill covered things for the radio world.  WRAL had an interesting story about public records and DHHS in light of a terrific investigative piece published Tuesday by Rose Hoban with N.C. Health News about the department’s repsonse to a Medicaid audit. 

There’s plenty of commentary about the day too, from Gary Pearce over at Talking About Politics and Adam Searing earlier this morning right here on the Pulse.

The N.C. League of Conservation Voters released its 2013 Legislative Scorecard today with a record number of state lawmakers earning a zero. Sure does make you proud, doesn’t it?

Also in non-Wos news, the absurd hostage crisis in Washington continues, or as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman calls it this morning, the U.S. Fringe Festival.

If you didn’t see Frontline’s  disturbing documentary last night about brain injuries and the NFL, it is definitely worth your time. 

And finally, John Lennon would have been 73 today.  Imagine what he would singing if he were still around. Imagine indeed.

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Emery Delasio with the Associated Press has a fascinating story about the behind the scenes negotiations as state economic development officials were trying to convince executives with Sturm Ruger & Co. to locate a new factory in North Carolina.

The company finally agreed to build a new facility in Rockingham County after receiving a incentive deal that could top $15 million.

The entire piece is worth your time, but here’s a paragraph that is especially interesting. Read More

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vegan_lunch_620x413-150x150Here are today’s rather depressing lunch links on this, the second day of America held hostage by a fringe of the Republican Party in Washington.  Reid Wilson with The Washington Post has the rundown of how the shutdown is playing on editorial pages across the country and it’s not even close—the hard-right reactionaries are overwhelmingly and deservedly being blamed.

Even the big business allies of the Republicans are siding with President Obama on the shutdown.

And it’s not all about politics. The shutdown is affecting millions of people’s lives across the country and in North Carolina, where services are being denied and hundreds of people are being furloughed from their jobs.  Read More

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Here are your lunch links for this rainy Friday and today’s abbreviated edition has no particular theme. It’s more of a random collection of things that seem worth your time. vegan_lunch_620x413-150x150

First, on the national front, billionaire investor Warren Buffett weighs in on the efforts by the far-right wing of the GOP to refuse to raise the debt ceiling as part of their obsession with defunding the Affordable Care Act. Buffet thinks it’s dumb.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul is invoking the name of Charlie Sheen to describe how he is feeling these days about his efforts to grind government to a halt over a law he doesn’t like.

Longtime state government reporter and columnist Scott Mooneyham has a thoughtful take on the problems on the mess that is the state Department of Health and Human Services in his latest column.  Mooneyham addresses the “run government like a business” mantra so often chanted by politicians.

McCrory says he would like his agencies to operate like business. Government agencies, though, are not businesses. They can’t declare bankruptcy; they can’t decide to scale back and move away from a weak market; they can’t turn away customers. For government, the shareholders and the customers are one and the same. Politicians who lose sight of that difference do so at their own peril.

Peril indeed, for all of us.

Speaking of DHHS and Secretary Aldona Wos, be sure and check out the latest effort from Charlotte Observer editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers who as usual sums things up pretty well.

Governor McCrory’s public schedule  this morning includes a business/education roundtable at the N.C. Central School of Law which sounds interesting, but the event is listed as closed to the public and press, an odd decision about an appearance by the governor of the state at a public university. What’s he afraid we will hear?

And finally, your musical interlude of day and no it’s not the amazing Alabama Shakes who are playing at the Booth Amphitheatre  in Cary Friday night, though that’s a show not to miss.

It’s another rising star, the singer songwriter and often honky tonker Hayes Carll who is playing in Raleigh Monday night.

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