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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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It was another tough weekend for Governor Pat McCrory’s Department of Health and Human Services with papers from Hendersonville to Fayetteville blasting the performance of HHS and embattled Secretary Aldona Wos.

A Hendersonville Times-News editorial says  “shameless cronyism” is crippling the department, while the Asheville Citizen-Times calls HHS McCrory’s “dumping ground” for political allies and campaign workers.

The Fayeteville Observer documents the problems too in a Sunday editorial and Rose Hoban with N.C. Health News explains in an op-ed in the News & Observer how the department is stonewalling requests from reporters for public information.

And if all that’s not enough, Wake Med CEO Bill Atkinson tells the Triangle Business Journal that Wos and her top aides aren’t talking to him, despite the fact that the department owes his hospital almost $2.5 million since June.  The News & Observer also reported on the problems that HHS is causing for Wake Med.

And Governor McCrory? He’s still saying that he has the “best cabinet in America,” including Wos.

There’s out of touch, then there is simply being detached from reality—which seems to describe McCrory when it comes to his scandal-plagued Department of Health and Human Services.

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source:chow.com

source:chow.com

Today’s edition of Lunch Links starts out with a review of today’s veto override session in the Senate, which lasted less time that it took you to read this far in this post.  This comes after Labor Day weekend stories about Governor Pat McCrory working up to the last minute to convince lawmakers to sustain both his vetoes.

That didn’t work out too well for him. The Senate votes today were 34-10 and 39-5. It makes you wonder who exactly McCrory was reaching out to.  And as I said on Twitter after the vote, it’s hard not to think of this as McCrory’s new tagline: “Almost as extreme as the General Assembly and too weak to stop them when he is not.”

One of the more interesting takes on McCrory’s veto came from Travis Fain of the Greensboro News & Record, who cited  McCrory’s comments to Loretta Boniti at News 14 this week that both bills he vetoed were passed “during very late night hours, (with) very little debate and very little understanding of what bills were passed.”

This from a governor who announced he was signing the sweeping voter suppression bill before he had actually read the whole thing and then continued to misrepresent what the new law actually does. Read More