Commentary, News

National conservative website to Burr and Tillis: Time to confirm Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland

The latest sign that Richard Burr, Thom Tillis and their fellow GOP senators have lost in their effort to prevent consideration of President Obama’s nomination of federal judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court emerged yesterday as the national conservative website Red State officially threw in the towel. Here’s Red State managing editor Leon Wolf:

“Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, this is not even a close call. There is absolutely no reason to drag this out any longer. Garland is not a great choice, but he is not a terrible one, either. And more than anything, he is old (for a modern Supreme Court appointment) and will be up for replacement in probably 10 years instead of 20 or 30.

Republicans must know that there is absolutely no chance that we will win the White House in 2016 now. They must also know that we are likely to lose the Senate as well. So the choices, essentially, are to confirm Garland and have another bite at the apple in a decade, or watch as President Clinton nominates someone who is radically more leftist and 10-15 years younger, and we are in no position to stop it.

In fact, if I were the Republicans, my main concern right now would be that Barack Obama would withdraw Garland’s nomination today. The fact that Merrick Garland still exists as an option right now is a gift that should not be squandered.

The calculus has changed – confirm Merrick Garland before it is too late.”

You can learn lots more about this vital subject by attending next Tuesday’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversion luncheon on the nomination with nationally known Supreme Court expert, Prof. Michael Gerhardt. Click here for more information.


Gov. McCrory faults “political left” as US Justice Department issues warning over HB2 (video)

Governor Pat McCrory says his administration is still studying a letter from the U.S. Justice Department that found House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX, threatening billions in federal education funding that comes to North Carolina.

The governor told those attending an event hosted by the N.C. Chamber Wednesday that the DOJ letter amounts to federal overreach by the Obama Administration, with the potential to impact every state.

Later in the day, his press office released the following statement from Gov. McCrory:

“A claim by the Obama administration charges that one part of House Bill 2, which requires state employees in public government buildings and students in our universities to use a restroom, locker room and shower facility that match their biological sex, is now in violation of federal law. The Obama administration has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the U.S.

“The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy. We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.”

Click below to watch Gov. McCrory discuss the state’s next steps in defending the so-called bathroom bill. Read the DOJ letter here.

Learn more about House Bill 2 here.

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Commentary, News

HB2 update: Feds rule law violates U.S. Civil Rights Act; Minnesota bans college sports travel to NC

The walls are closing in on Pat McCrory and Phil Berger. Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer reports:

“U.S. Justice Department officials Wednesday notified Gov. Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

The department gave state officials until Monday to address the situation ‘by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.’

The letter says HB2, which pre-empted Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance, violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex.

If that determination is upheld, North Carolina could lose millions in federal school funding. During the current school year, state public schools received $861 million in federal funding.”

The news comes on top of this morning’s report that a Minnesota state university system is prohibiting athletics teams from traveling to tournaments in North Carolina in response to HB2.

The bottom line: It appears that the war will soon be over on this matter. All that Governor McCrory and Senator Berger will soon find themselves in a position to do is to negotiate the timing and terms of surrender.


2017 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

The Governor’s priorities

“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I will tell you what you value.” –Vice President Joe Biden

Governor McCrory made his vision for our state clear when he announced a summary of his budget two weeks ago, saying that his proposal followed the highest priorities he has for the state’s economic success and delivery of a high quality of life to all.  Unfortunately, however, the priorities in the Governor’s proposal are wholly out of sync with North Carolinians’ priorities for a stronger more inclusive economy, as well as unlikely to deliver the outcomes he desires.

The Governor’s clearest priority places deep tax cuts for wealthy and profitable corporations above important investments that could help build an economy that works for all. His decision to allow corporate income tax rate cuts to phase in over the next two years and personal income tax rates to drop to 5.499 percent  means the loss of at least $786 million in 2017 for the state. Since 2013, the tax changes add up to nearly $2 billion, despite the evidence that such tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations do little to grow the economy and do exact a huge cost in our effort to build thriving communities.

The Governor’s budget proposal has several other examples of how his priorities do not match the priorities of a strong, thriving North Carolina: Read more


PW contributor flays op-ed claiming that progressives are responsible for Trump and HB2

If one were looking for the strangest op-ed to grace the editorial page of a major North Carolina news daily in recent weeks, it would be hard to top the entry of Michael Jacobs, who teaches at the UNC business school. According to Jacobs, it’s progressive do-gooders in Chapel Hill and their ilk who are actually responsible for HB2 and the rise of Donald Trump. Jacobs is, by all indications, serious about this. He says he and his family are moving to Wilmington to get away from Chapel Hill’s oppressive liberalism.

Happily, Jacobs’ strange little screed inspired longtime NC Policy Watch contributor Andrea Verykoukis to compose one of her priceless take downs. We’re delighted to present it here.

Way harsh, Mi!
By Andrea Verykoukis

That’s a Clueless allusion for those of you who are wondering. Which makes it an Austen reference, a truth universally acknowledged to be a good thing. It’s in response, however, to the not good thing that is Michael Jacobs’s bitter farewell to Chapel Hill in Tuesday’s News & Observer. He actually blames this little town for the rise of both Donald Trump, Presidential Candidate, and Hate Bill 2. As if!

How, you may ask, did a tiny slice of heaven single-handedly generate a regrettable national candidate and a state bill that actively overrides the town’s own ordinances? Just by being its sweet self apparently.

“Chapel Hill prides itself on being a safe place for all of the 71 gender identities on Facebook. But its inclusiveness evaporates when it comes to political identities. Not only can no one remember the last time a Republican was elected to local office, those few residents who do vote for Republicans are afraid to put up a yard sign for fear of being ostracized by their neighbors. The support throughout North Carolina for Donald Trump and HB2 reflects a backlash against the intolerance of the political left. Christians, moderates and conservatives are tired of being branded as ignorant, knuckle-dragging bigots.”

Sorry, Mike, but your little joke about Facebook gender identities gives you away. You forgot “cake boy.” The truth is that because users can fill in the blank, there’s no limit to the number of gender options on FB, just like God intended. Any of the number of diverse and inclusive Christian churches in this small town could tell you that.

How does a business professor defend, even implicitly, HB2? Read more