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As we noted in this space last week, Raleigh played host this past Saturday to a “Nullify Now!” event at which people closely tied to powerful groups and individuals within the modern conservative movment touted some pretty radical stuff –e.g. the notion that states have the right to nullify federal laws they don’t like and even secede from the union. Talk about going back to the 60″s…the 1860’s, that is!

 Today’s Weekly Briefing has some more information and thoughts on the event and makes the argument that, as absurdly wacky as the whole thing was, there is probably good reason for caring and thinking people to take these folks seriously and pay closer attention to what they are saying.

Click here to read more.

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As Chris Fitzsimon has been pointing out lately, a group calling itself “Nullify Now” will meet at the Raleigh Convention Center tomorrow. The event is, amazingly enough, co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon of Cary. Brannon, of course, is the fellow who recently picked up the endorsement of national Tea Party favorite, Rand Paul.

In addition to Brannon, the nullifier event is also co-sponsored by, among other fun groups, the North Carolina League of the South — a group that calls for secession from the United States, a western NC branch of the certifiable Glenn Beck creation known as the 9-12 Project, something called Dr. Dan’s Freedom Forum (a website apparently founded by an Asheville-area tea partier who has run for congress in the past) and, not surprisingly,  a for-profit gold and silver retailer.

Should be a fun time. We’ll keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for any especially inspiring moments (and any new secession resolutions). Stay tuned!

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Ted CruzSo, what did all the crazy hostage-taking politics of the last few weeks produce? According to Standard and Poors, the answer is: $24 billion in lost economic activity. For those of you keeping score, that’s a sum greater than the entire annual North Carolina General Fund budget.   

But, at least, the freak show wasn’t a total loss. The new leader of American conservatism, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, bragged in a media interview that he had added two million names to the fundraising list for a right-wing PAC. 

(Photo source: http://thinkprogress.org/.

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Pat McCrory 5A new talking point has emerged in recent days as right-wing pundits and commentators have struggled to describe and respond to the decision of a conservative Republican General Assembly to utterly disregard two vetoes issued by a conservative Republican governor. According to the spin, the dispute is a “family disagreement.”

In this narrative, legislators and the Governor are just pals quibbling over details and Gov. McCrory has “gotten almost everything he asked for” since taking office in January.

Hmmm. Read More

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In a column entitled “Tarheels down,” publisher H. Brandt Ayers of Alabama’s Anniston Star newspaper (a former N. C. newspaper reporter) pulls no punches in slamming North Carolina’s 2013 right-wing public policy revolution:

“LAKE TOXAWAY, N. C. — After decades of touting North Carolina as a model of state governance, I am sad to say that it has caught up with Alabama in a race to the bottom.

‘North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South … In a few short months Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build,’ a New York Times editorial concluded.

A Republican ‘super majority,’ like Alabama’s, has drastically cut the number of people allowed to vote, cut the education budget by one-half billion dollars, installed the failed school-voucher policy, threatened academic freedom and said, in effect, science is illegitimate.

Not since the Taliban blew up the centuries-old monuments to Afghan civilization has there been such an undoing of structures that made a state proud and effective….”

Click here to read the rest of Ayers’ column.