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David RibarProfessor David Ribar of the UNCG Department of Economics is a frequent font of common sense on his blog Applied Rationality. This morning’s post: “SNAP in NC wasn’t broken before” is one such example:

“The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary Aldona Wos has fouled up one task after another. As I’ve been discussing in the last few posts, the department’s problems with its NC FAST have delayed food assistance for tens of thousands of disadvantaged households, creating a different kind of NC FAST.

A constant refrain from Gov. McCrory and Sec. Wos throughout these debacles has been that they inherited a ‘broken agency.’ Records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, reveal a different story and show that the previous administration managed its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) caseload competently. Read More

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Pat McCrory 4As the national news and opinion stories about North Carolina’s recent disastrous policy turns (especially the decision to terminate federal emergency unemployment benefits) pile up, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is not good news for any political aspirations that Gov. Pat McCrory might harbor.

While conservatives will dismiss stories in the New York Times, Time, the BBC and various national magazines as merely the work of the “liberal media,” the plain truth is that no one is going to develop any kind of positive national political profile with such coverage. Oh sure, McCrory can — like Scott Walker before him — win the plaudits of Fox News and the Washington Times, but that is simply not going to cut it in the long run with the bulk of the mainstream national political establishment. This is especially true if, Read More

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Looks like North Carolina’s Governor-elect  Pat McCrory is not interested in playing the silly Bev Perdue and Raleigh-bashing game enbraced with such gusto by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and the conservative shock troops at Americans for Prosperity.

In the first question at today’s press briefing. Jon Camp of ABC 11 asked McCrory for his thoughts on Perdue’s busy last few weeks in office and the hubbub in some circles surrounding her decision to lease the Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh.

Here’s what he said:

“She’s the governor. That’s how I feel about it. She has the authority to make those moves. And I uh…I’d expressed my opinion earlier on the Dix — I wish we could’ve waited. I’m, I’m all for the park.” Read More

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A columnist for Raleigh’s News & Observer attempts to take some government watchdog groups to task today for not attacking Governor Perdue and the other members of the North Carolina Council of State for their recent approval of the decision to lease the site of the former Dorothea Dix Hospital to the City of Raleigh. According to Rick Martinez:

“The Dix deal has all the elements good-government types decry – last-minute agreements crafted with no public input, million-dollar contributions from the monied elite and elected officials mocking the spirit of transparency by voting behind closed doors. All that’s missing is the smoke-filled back room….there would be howls of protest had Gov-Elect Pat McCrory used the same process to seal a deal with the Republican-led Wake County Board of Commissioners to develop Dix into a property that returns real money to the state. Then imagine a $3 million pledge from Art Pope (who helps fund a think tank for which my wife freelances) to defray development costs.”

Good lord – where to begin with this poor, confused fellow? Let’s try the following: Read More

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Governor Perdue may have ruffled some feathers in the Magnolia State with her comments last Friday about Amendment One and Mississippi, but her remarks were on the money. As I noted in this interview with ABC 11. the sentiment she expressed makes perfect sense.

Think about it; If one of your main jobs was selling North Carolina to businesspeople from all over the nation and the world, you too would feel embarrassed by having to explain such nonsense. Imagine yourself in a meeting with Tim Cook, the head of Apple Computers and a gay man or, perhaps some prominent film industry exec: How the heck to you put a smiling face on such a hateful and backward-looking change?

Of course,  one could simply defer to the wisdom of the amendment’s chief sponsor, House Majority Leader Paul Stam. He said that passage of the amendment “is only backwards if you think that forward is a good thing”