Blog Articles
29
The ice melting under Republicans’ feet isn’t climate change, it’s Obamacare. The issue on which they bet the house this year may be disappearing.
 
A poll this month in North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky found that, while people don’t like Obamacare, they want Congress to improve it, instead of repealing and replacing it.
 
Republicans running against the Affordable Care Act now have the same problem the President and Democrats had in passing it: Nobody knows what it is or what it does. It’s complicated, and the public is confused. So it’s hard to pin down – and separate out from health care’s other problems – what the Act does, good or bad.
 
It also may be that people are just tired of hearing about the whole thing.
 
Now, there is still strong antipathy to President Obama and anything he does, has done or ever will do. That is set in stone, and it won’t go away.
 
But Republicans may find that the gift that kept on giving has stopped giving. Maybe they can start running against climate change – or the theory of evolution. They don’t believe in those either, according to a new PPP poll.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

28
This is a story guaranteed to go on a reporter’s wall – and to set teeth gnashing again in Chapel Hill.
 
The New York Times reported on the long-running battle between UNC-Chapel Hill and The News & Observer – and, specifically, investigative reporter Dan Kane. Kane comes off best, as in this passage:
 
“…Kane is a polarizing figure, even outside the bloviating world of online outrage, as much as it is possible for someone as seemingly mild mannered as he is to rouse strong opinions. Some Chapel Hill alumni, faculty members and readers say that his paper, known locally as the N&O (and sometimes as the Nuisance and Disturber), has done a great public service in forcing the university to investigate and confront its past mistakes….
 
“Others more or less wish Kane would just go away. This category includes Tar Heels fans and alumni outraged at what they say are his wrongheaded efforts to link the academic scandal to the sports program; North Carolina administrators who, he says, no longer take his calls; and faculty members who believe Kane is looking for Watergate-style sports-related conspiracies that simply do not exist.”
 
But the last three paragraphs of the story illustrate both UNC’s problem – and the possible solution:
 
“’We admire the News & Observer’s long tradition of fair-minded journalism; we just wish they would practice it more often,’ the university’s newly appointed vice chancellor for communications, Joel Curran, said in a statement. ‘In our case, the paper seems more content to rehash old news rather than report new solutions.’

“Not surprisingly, Kane sees it differently.

“’They have done all kinds of things,’ he said. ‘But what’s left unanswered is how this all happened, and what actually happened. That’s where the battle forms. It’s like that old saying about history — if you don’t understand it, you’re doomed to repeat it’.”
 
UNC’s statement was needlessly antagonistic. Kane’s comment suggests that the university gets credit for what it has done, but it needs to simply come clean about what happened in the first place – who, what, where, when, etc. – and then say what the university did or didn’t do about it.
 
With all its problems today – a hostile state government, deep budget cuts and the Gene Nichol affair – can’t UNC simply let the facts come out and the chips fall where they may? Nothing can be worse than this constant warfare.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

25
Will Governor McCrory stand up to the rising Republican revolt against Common Core (they call it “Obamacore”)?
 
Rushing to pander to the Tea Party, Republican legislators who once embraced the standards now denounce them. The philosophy seems to be: “Everybody should be as dumb as us.”
 
Chris Fitzsimon at NC Policy Watch summed up the Governor’s dilemma in a tweet: “Governor McCrory supports Common Core; so does his SBOE Chair Bill Cobey; Would McCrory veto bill ending Common Core?”
 
If McCrory stands firm, instead of folding, will he face a primary challenge in 2016 from Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest?
 
Grab a seat and some popcorn. This will be interesting.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

24
Thom Tillis is already vulnerable over the sex scandal in his office, and he will invite more scandals if he remains Speaker in the short session. Those scandals will be about legislation, campaign contributions and pay-to-play.
 
It’s obvious why he wants to stay as Speaker: So he can raise money – either for a GOP runoff or for the fall campaign. So everything that happens in the House – every bill, every issue, every vote – will prompt sharp-eyed researchers to see who had a stake in that issue and who gives Tillis money.
 
If Tillis thinks the sex-scandal ads sting – and boy, do they ever – wait until he sees the pay-to-play ads.
 
On top of that, Tillis has shown an uncanny gift for turning a negative against him into an even bigger negative against him. Witness his shifting stories about where he went to college and, now, whether he “fired” the staffers in the sex scandals.
 
Between the primary and the session, Tillis could emerge as a badly wounded candidate. While Kay Hagan amasses a big war chest and a lot of ammo.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

23
Watching the Republican Senate debate, it would not have been surprising if all four candidates had sworn that the earth is flat. Because they went right over the edge.
 
You saw four candidates who would pay any price, bear any burden, destroy any branch of government, defend any outlandish right to have a gun and deny any reality in order to pander to a narrow and apparently narrow-minded primary base.
 
The high (or low) point came when the candidates were asked if climate change is real. They greeted the question not only with emphatic “no’s,” but with laughter.
 
Think about that for a minute. No hint that the overwhelming consensus among scientists is that climate change is a real and present danger.
 
Forget scientists. How about the Pentagon? Its 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review says: "The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."
 
Well, who believes those soft-headed, do-good ninnies at the Pentagon?
 
Now, take Thom Tillis (please). He seems to be a smart man. He was a successful business consultant. You don’t do well there by pooh-poohing facts.
 
Tillis surely knows better. But he’s afraid to say so. He would rather pander to a voting base that is trapped in the iron grip of ignorance.
 
Which tells you all you need to know about where the Republican Party is today – and where they would take North Carolina and the nation.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |

22
UNC-Chapel Hill just can’t get out of the academic fraud tar pit. The harder the school struggles, the stickier it gets.
 
First UNC got a new chancellor. Then a new vice chancellor for communications and public affairs, whose charge is clearly to get the school past this mess. They said all the right things, but nothing seems to work.
 
They paraded an all-star team of scholar-athletes in front of the media and trustees. But the exercise looked a bit contrived.
 
Then, yesterday, the employee who blew the whistle met with the chancellor, announced she is resigning and accused the chancellor of “berating” her.
 
True or not, that didn’t look good – especially on top of the Gene Nichols affair.
 
Some true-blue Heels will tell you this is all a vendetta by The News & Observer. Some of my fellow Wolfpackers – who haven’t gotten over the N&O’s pursuit of Jim Valvano – are loving it. I’m not. The university is a big part of why North Carolina has long been a progressive state. And the J School is a veritable well that waters the state with aggressive, progressive journalism.
 
Now, two of those great progressive institutions – the university and the N&O – are at war. Can’t somebody negotiate a truce here?
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |

21
Democrats are no doubt playing in the GOP Senate primary, but some of the parallels being drawn may be exaggerated.
 
Rob Christensen compared Democrats’ strategy against Thom Tillis to what Democrats did in Missouri in 2012 to help re-elect Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. There, Republicans nominated a Tea Party nut who promptly lost to the otherwise-vulnerable incumbent.
 
Yes, Democrats are running ads targeting Tillis in the primary. Both the Hagan campaign and Senator Harry Reid’s PAC are playing that game.
 
But Tillis is going to be the Republican nominee. And while I’m no expert on Republican politics, Tillis should win on May 6 without a runoff.
 
The more plausible strategy is to damage Tillis now, when people are looking at the Republican candidates. And it’s working. The negatives against Tillis are adding up. As Carter noted, the Speaker hurt himself by using taxpayers’ money to pay off staffers who had affairs. Remember Pearce’s Law: the worst wounds in politics are self-inflicted.
 
Now, it would be sweet for Hagan if Tillis is forced into a runoff. He then has to spend more time and money, as well as take more hits. And he has to decide whether to remain Speaker during this year’s legislative session. If he does, House Democrats should beat him like a piñata.
 
What’s important is that Democrats are learning to play hardball.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

18
When hundreds of teachers leave in the middle of the school year – in one of the nation’s best places to live and one of its best school systems – we have a crisis. But Republicans are in denial, and Democrats have a winning issue for this fall.
 
About one out of every 15 teachers in the Wake County schools has resigned this year. That’s up 41 percent from last year.
 
Republican leader Skip Stam sees no problem. His response was essentially, “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
 
You begin to think that Republicans’ callousness toward public schools and teachers has blinded them to the political consequences here. If your child loses a teacher, you want action and answers – not denial and evasion.
 
Underwood School Principal Jackie Jordan said she’ll lose five teachers, or 25 percent of the school’s total, by the end of this school year. The N&O said, “She noted that two of her teachers have had their houses foreclosed on this year and that one teacher is receiving food stamps.”
 
“If we’re losing teachers at this rate, what’s happening in other schools around the state that may not have as much support from the community, that may not have a beautiful facility?” Jordan said.
 
Amen.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

17
Harry Reid’s new ad is hardball with a thud. Here’s Reid’s story in a nutshell: He says Thom Tillis shared an apartment with his Chief of Staff, who had an affair with a married lobbyist, and then resigned. And Tillis said he knew nothing. Then, a week later, another Tillis staffer resigned after having had an affair with a lobbyist. And Tillis gave both aides severance pay.
 
What could Tillis say? He couldn’t contest the facts. They’d been reported in the newspapers. And he couldn’t debate the policy. How could he defend giving severance pay to aides he, himself, said acted improperly.
 
He might have said, I made a mistake. But didn’t.
 
Instead he announced to the press, “Harry Reid hit the panic button.” And blasted Reid for meddling in the Republican Primary.
 
That’s called the old bait and switch. But it won’t cut the mustard.
 
This time, Harry Reid’s tackled Thom Tillis’ judgment head-on. And, unless Tillis comes up with an answer, that’s a game changer.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

16
While Governor McCrory and his patrons at the John Locke Foundation were bragging about tax cuts on Tax Day, Republicans in the Legislative Building were digging an even deeper teacher-pay hole for themselves and McCrory.
 
The N&O’s page one headline said: “Broad teacher raises unlikely.” McCrory proclaimed, “we’re leaving a little extra money in everyone’s paycheck.”
 
Here’s the rub for the Republicans. Everybody in North Carolina knows the Governor and the legislature shafted teachers. But who really believes they got a tax cut?
 
Democrats don’t need to overdo this. They don’t need to say: “Republicans cut taxes and didn’t give teachers a pay raise.” They just need to say: “Republicans didn’t give teachers a pay raise.” Make Republicans try to tell people they cut taxes.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

Page 10 of 378First   Previous   5  6  7  8  9  [10]  11  12  13  14  Next   Last   
Carter & Gary
 
Carter Wrenn
 
 
Gary Pearce
 
 
The Charlotte Observer says: “Carter Wrenn and Gary Pearce don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues. But they both love North Carolina and know its politics inside and out.”
 
Carter is a Republican. 
Gary is a Democrat.
 
They met in 1984, during the epic U.S. Senate battle between Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt. Carter worked for Helms and Gary, for Hunt.
 
Years later, they became friends. They even worked together on some nonpolitical clients.
 
They enjoy talking about politics. So they started this blog in 2005. 
 
They’re still talking. And they invite you to join the conversation.
 
 
Follow Gary


Follow Carter

 


Order The Book


 

Carter's Book!

Purchase Carter's Book:

Spirits of the Air

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement