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It seems like every time I debate a conservative talking head on TV or radio and warn about North Carolina’s ongoing slide to the bottom (and mention that we seem bent on becoming the new Mississippi) the response goes something like this: “No, our model is Texas. That’s where they know how to grow the economy and shrink government.”

Of course, even at a glance, it’s obvious to most intelligent people why Texas is no model worth copying.  Lest you have any doubts, however, Andrea Flynn of the Roosevelt Institute explains some very important reasons why life in Texas is increasingly third-world-like for a huge chunk of the population: Read More

Mark KleinschmidtLost in today’s news blitz is the fact that several regressive new North Carolina laws take effect today, including the state’s  new anti-woman, anti-reproductive freedom law. In response, Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt wrote an excellent essay for the Huffington Post. Here’s the excellent opening:

Women and North Carolina GOP Lose Upon Implementation of New State Abortion Restrictions

Today North Carolina’s new oppressive anti-choice law goes into effect and no North Carolina woman is safer or healthier because of it. But the biggest loser of all may be North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory, who violated a clear campaign promise when he signed the legislation into law. Read More

Take a few minutes this morning to listen to Gov. Pat McCrory, in an interview with WUNC, respond to criticisms about the voter identification law he just signed and other controversial actions coming out of his office and the Republican-led legislature.

The 12-minute interview conducted by Frank Stasio (host of the Triangle-area NPR station’s “The State of Things“) delves into many topics, from recent legislation targeting abortion clinics, the decision to not expand Medicaid in the state and the elections bill signed yesterday and already being challenged in court on allegations of violating voters’ civil rights.

To listen to the interview by “State of Things” host Frank Stasio, click on the audio link on the WUNC news story about the voter ID bill.

In the WUNC interview, McCrory again compared the voter identification bill to measures that require identification to collect public benefits and buy some varieties of over-the-counter cold medicine that’s used to make meth. He used that comparison in the minute and a half Youtube video he put released Monday afternoon for the bill signing in lieu of a press conference.

“Nobody talked about disenfranchising people to buy Sudafed,” McCrory said in the interview with Stasio. “I frankly think our right to vote deserves similar protections.”

Read More

As I noted in Wednesday in the Weekly Briefing, North Carolina has been the butt of more national media takedowns of late than Anthony Weiner. Today’s skewering is authored by Dean Obeidallah of the Washington Bureau of the Daily Beast and it’s entitled: “North Carolina, Your Anti-Sharia Law Takes the Cake.” It’s definitely worth your time. Here’s a highlight:

“Why would Republicans in North Carolina feel the need to prevent a threat they admit isn’t real?  Even the North Carolina Bar Association called the legislation unnecessary.

Maybe looking at the legislative history of this proposed bill will give you some insight. The Republican-controlled House’s version also included provisions to restrict a women’s right to an abortion. So in the very same breath these Republicans were trying to prevent Islamic law from being imposed, they were trying to impose Christian law.

No surprise, then, that they fear Muslims will be trying to impose their own religious-based laws—it’s exactly what these Republicans are trying to do.”

Read Obeidallah’s entire post by clicking here.

The editorial page of the Greenville Daily Reflector features a hard-hitting and accurate summation of Gov. McCrory’s 180 on abortion rights this morning:

Here’s the conclusion:

“This bill [SB 353] received both the governor’s blessing and, once it passed both chambers, his signature on Monday to become law.

In doing so, McCrory broke the promise he made in October. The law will restrict access to abortion, and while the former Charlotte mayor pledged he would not sign additional limits into law, he has done so.

The governor’s about-face on this sensitive issue erodes the trust voters showed him in November. It contradicts his claim to govern from the center and to avoid the ideological fringe.

Pat McCrory had everything to gain by standing up to the Legislature and living up to the ideals of his campaign. What a shame for him, and for North Carolina, that he did not.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.