Viewing Author

Entries for 'Gary Pearce'

24
The “religious freedom” train ran off the rails on Jones Street yesterday. House Republicans realized the state would lose business and some of them would lose elections.
 
It was a telling turnaround for a body that had pushed through a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages just a few years back. If you ever doubted how fast and how far public opinion has moved on this issue, doubt no more.
 
Apparently, great credit goes to Republican lobbyists and Republican-leaning business leaders who stood up for what’s right, as well as what’s right for the bottom line.
 
The bottom line for the politicians, of course, was their own survival. Rep. Gary Pendleton of Wake County, a former sponsor of the bill, made clear why he had to abruptly abandon his principles: “This bill will cause at least four members to be defeated, including me.”
 
Now we’re talking about what really matters!
 
Of course, this won’t end the legislature’s obsession with regulating how people live and love. An anti-abortion bill swept through the House the same day. The debate was made memorable by one opponent’s searing personal story and one sponsor’s explanation that it’s just like requiring a waiting period for real estate transactions.
 
Well, that’s one way to look at it.
 
And the legislature will no doubt find another way to let magistrates who so choose choose not to carry out the laws they are sworn to carry out.
 
For a few hours, Democrats worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep saying that Republicans care more about regulating your personal life than about rebuilding the economy from the Bush Recession.
 
Not to worry.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

23
WRAL’s documentary on Jim Hunt brings back fond, and not so fond, memories. It implicitly brings up the dramatically different philosophy that marks North Carolina’s leadership today. It shows the toll that politics can take on all involved, especially families. And it tells a largely untold story about one key to Hunt’s success, Carolyn Hunt.
 
That’s a pretty good hour’s work, or 48 minutes. It’s a credit to producer Clay Johnson. You can watch it online here.
 
My first thought: Lord, we were young then. Most of the interviews were done soon after Hunt left office in January 2001. Some of those interviewed are no longer living: Joe Grimsley, Ben Ruffin, Jack Hawke, Governor Jim Holshouser.
 
There’s a rare interview with Bert Bennett, Hunt’s political mentor. Bert recalled the “gleam in his eye” that Hunt had during Terry Sanford’s 1960 campaign, which Bert managed. “You could see that he would like to someday maybe be in Sanford’s shoes, be Governor.”
 
Bert, always pithy, summed up Hunt’s energy, ebullience and sheer enjoyment in being Governor: “I think he hated to go to bed.”
 
Watching it, I swelled up with pride in being part of what Hunt did. It was very different from what the state’s leaders are doing today. Hunt believed that government could make a difference in people’s lives. Today’s Republicans are wedded to the proposition that government can’t and shouldn’t do anything.
 
See if you agree after you hear narrator David Crabtree go through what Hunt pushed government to do: statewide kindergartens, Smart Start, higher teacher pay, board certification for teachers, the Basic Education Plan, the School of Science and Mathematics, recruiting high-tech businesses, transportation bond issues, equal opportunities for women and minorities, on and on.
 
The program doesn’t minimize defeats (1984), disappointments and dumb mistakes. They’re part of the story, too.
 
Clay’s interviews with Carolyn and their four children give you a glimpse of how important she was, even though she remained publicly reticent. You can also see in their faces and sense in their words how tough it all was – losing in 1984, being in the public eye and feeling the pressures of office.
 
An interview with Jim Hunt’s also-reticent brother Robert shows the impact that the boys’ parents had on them.
 
Of course, I’m no objective viewer. If you like Hunt’s politics, you’ll like the program. If you don’t, you probably won’t.
 
One thing came through clearly – again, in interviews from 15 years ago, when battle scars were still fresh: Hunt just drove Republicans crazy.
 
Probably still does.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

22
A wise old Democrat notes, “Don’t forget this about Hillary Clinton: She’ll have two of the best politicians in America helping her - Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.”
 
Between them, Bill and Barack have won four presidential elections. One more than the Bushes and four more than the other wanna-be’s.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

22
This guy wanted the last laugh. But is it funny or just a sad commentary on politics today?
 
WSOC-TV reported that a Cabarrus County man who died last week, Larry Upright, 81, had one final request for his family. So the obituary they wrote concludes: “Also, the family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. R.I.P. Grandaddy.”
 
The family told WSOC it was all in good fun. The story described Mr. Upright as “a diehard Republican” (no pun intended).
 
His son said, “We know he’s up there giggling right now. Just laughing out loud.”
 
Well, good for him. But, if I live to be 81, I hope my family finds something to say other than urging you to vote against some politician.
 
Besides, Hillary may yet get the last laugh.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

21
A TAPster more knowledgeable than me offers a word of praise for one thing the legislature is doing:
 
The legislature this week will continue its napalm assault on long-standing policies and practices in the civil war to create a conservative nirvana in North Carolina. And, while most Republican efforts have hurt the poor, the sick and the feeble, raised tax payments and irritated Democrats, one target actually is getting what it deserves.
 
The so-called Map Act needs to be fixed. DOT obviously must retain its ability to buy rights of way and build roads. But DOT has abused its authority when, in essence, it condemns private property by proposing a highway through it, and then takes years or decades to actually obtain the property and compensate the property owner. This isn’t a partisan issue, because property owners of all political flavors are being screwed.
 
It’s a surprisingly good week on Jones Street when the honorables take a break from carpet-bombing history and tradition to work on something worthwhile.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

20
Here’s a TV viewing tip for those who want to see the right way to do politics and public service.
 
Wednesday at 7 pm, WRAL will air a one-hour documentary, “State of Mine: The Jim Hunt Story.” It’s narrated by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree and was produced by WRAL News Documentary Producer Clay Johnson. Clay tells me I’ll enjoy it because my interview was taped when I was many years younger.
 
Clay began working on the project soon after Hunt left the Governor’s Office in 2001, so it has a lot of material from people who are no longer with us. In a release, WRAL said, “In addition to Hunt himself, interview subjects include former key campaign staff, former cabinet members, political strategists who waged campaigns against Hunt, election opponents, personal friends and exclusive interviews with his family members.”
 
I understand Carter makes an appearance. Can’t wait for that.
 
Here’s a link. You can see a trailer and a timeline. The full program will be available online after it airs, possibly along with supplemental video.
 
An aside: Next year will mark 40 years since Hunt was first elected Governor, in 1976. Already, some Huntsters are talking about organizing a Hunt Alumni Reunion next year. Part of the price of admission: Bring along somebody under 40 so they can see the right way to do it.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

17
A TAPster who doesn’t like the legislature posed a good question, and it is reinforced by a story on the excellent EducationNC (EdNC) website.
 
The TAPster asked: Who exactly are the members of the legislature? Where are they from? Where did they go to school? What are their backgrounds and life experiences? Why do they do what they do?
 
The TAPster wonders how many of the elected representatives shaping North Carolina’s future have a first-hand knowledge of North Carolina’s past or present. The TAPster hopes that someone will research the answers.
 
Which brings us to an EdNC profile written by Alex Granados of Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union), who co-chairs both the House K-12 Education Committee and the House Education Appropriations Committee.
 
The profile begins:
 
“(Horne) is the education legislator. It’s an odd moniker considering he only moved to the state in 2005, has no education background and didn’t even start out focused on the subject.
 
“An almost 8-year veteran of the Air Force, Horn made his living as a food broker, retiring in 2002 from his business which he says was the largest food broker in the country at the time. When he retired, he worked with big names such as General Mills, Butterball and ConAgra.”
 
It reminds me of an education professor’s warning to his prospective-teacher students: “Everything you do in the classroom will be dictated by old white men who haven’t been in a classroom since college.”
 
So consider this an invitation, or a challenge, to some researcher to answer the TAPster’s questions. 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

16
To my readers: Because you often come here through Facebook or Twitter, you may not see Carter’s blogs. But you should. Because even when you don’t see eye-to-eye with him, you get to see where he’s coming from.
 
And sometimes, shockingly enough, you may find yourself agreeing with Carter. So I wanted to be sure you read his blog about the Republican redistricting of Wake County.
 
Especially this:
 
“There aren’t many lines left in politics. But redrawing districts because you lost an election goes too far.”
 
Read his post here.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

15
Paul Krugman’s column runs twice weekly on the far-right side of The New York Times’ op-ed page, which is ironic given how far left his opinions are. He’s more liberal than me!
 
But he had a good one this week on the vast differences between any Democrat and any Republican in the Presidential race. He gave Democrats who yearn for a Democratic challenger to Hillary Clinton much food for thought.
 
Krugman decried what he called “personality-based political analysis,” a debatable stance, but his real point was:
 
“There has never been a time in American history when the alleged personal traits of candidates mattered less. As we head into 2016, each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.
 
“For example, any Democrat would, if elected, seek to maintain the basic U.S. social insurance programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — in essentially their current form, while also preserving and extending the Affordable Care Act. Any Republican would seek to destroy Obamacare, make deep cuts in Medicaid, and probably try to convert Medicare into a voucher system.
 
“Any Democrat would retain the tax hikes on high-income Americans that went into effect in 2013, and possibly seek more. Any Republican would try to cut taxes on the wealthy — House Republicans plan to vote next week to repeal the estate tax — while slashing programs that aid low-income families.
 
“Any Democrat would try to preserve the 2010 financial reform, which has recently been looking much more effective than critics suggested. Any Republican would seek to roll it back, eliminating both consumer protection and the extra regulation applied to large, ‘systemically important’ financial institutions.
 
“And any Democrat would try to move forward on climate policy, through executive action if necessary, while any Republican — whether or not he is an outright climate-science denialist — would block efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.”
 
No matter how-many-angels-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin internal debates Democrats have, this is the real debate in 2016.
 
Let’s get on with it. As Krugman says, “American voters will be getting a real choice.”

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

13
Hillary Clinton’s announcement was so damn good it ought to end all the hand-wringing and bed-wetting in the Democratic Party. It won’t, of course, Democrats being Democrats. But she puts a stake down right on the ground where Democrats can win big in 2016 – from the White House all the way down the ballot in North Carolina.
 
She puts it more smoothly than this, but her message is blunt: It’s all of us against them, them being the 1 percent at the top and the Republicans who are their handmaidens.
 
Before we descend into the coming 19 months of over-analyzing, over-thinking and under-listening, let’s frame the presidential race the way most American voters will: Who understands ME and who will really be on MY side?
 
That’s what the video hits squarely: the myriad lives and concerns of real people and families – people starting out in life, people (yes, including same-sex couples) starting a marriage, people retiring, people starting a new career, people starting a new business and even people who just want to keep their dog from eating the trash.
 
The political media hates this sort of thing, of course. As The New York Times noted archly, Clinton “finally” appeared at the 1:33 mark of her 2:18-minute video, titled “Getting Started.” The Times failed to note that, in her first screen shot, she’s listening, not talking. Now we’ll have to endure endless media commentary about whether she’s said enough yet about where she stands and whether she’s done enough yet to make the media happy.
 
The video’s contrast with the Republicans who have so far announced for President was striking. Both Ted Cruz and Rand Paul had the traditional Big Speech at a Big Lectern to a Big Crowd. Their events screamed “Politician!” Clinton’s video said “People!” As of 9 am this morning, her video had been viewed 2.2 million times on YouTube alone. How many people saw Cruz’s and Rand’s announcements?
 
(By the way, Cruz staked out his turf as the reddest red-meat Republican there is. His real base is a handful of billionaires who care about one thing only: not paying taxes. Paul’s target constituency appears to be, as one TAPster noted, white males between the ages of 18 and 20. Which is fitting for a candidate who looks like a cross between a hobbit and one of Harry Potter’s classmates.)
 
Let’s do something radical here. Let’s actually pay attention to what Clinton said, and not just what the big feet and big mouths say about it:
 
“I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for President.
 
“Americans have fought their way back from some tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.
 
“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion. So you can do know more than just get by. You can get ahead, and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.
 
“So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote — because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”
 
Here’s how one wise old North Carolina Democrat sized it up: “People in this country are getting pretty damned fed up with struggling to get by while the top 1 percent take everything and tell the rest of us to go to hell.”
 
That’s the ground where 2016 can be won, and won big. That’s why Democrats who yearn for an Elizabeth Warren to get in the race are wrong. As California Governor Jerry Brown said, “the primaries get into all the little nuances and small differences of candidates of the same party. What Hillary needs is a good debate drawing the distinctions between where she stands and where all these Republicans, these wannabes running around, (stand).”
 
Those differences are big. And that debate is on.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

Page 1 of 241First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement