Maybe we all just ate too much fruitcake, but the ridiculous statements that are coming out of DC right now are just too much for us to stomach. It seems the Tea Party wing of the conservative caucus just hasn’t caught the holiday spirit quite yet.
Unfortunately, our very own NC delegation has had some zingers, as you can see above.
So, a pastor, a professor, and another pastor walk into a school board meeting… stop me if you’ve heard this one already. It’s the joke that ends with our intrepid trio in handcuffs and the former school board chairman claiming his safety was “threatened”. Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
Yes, our old friend Ron Margiotta, the erstwhile chair of the Wake County School Board, decided to break his post-election loss silence this weekend with a letter to the editor in the New & Observer, pushing for a strong punishment for the protestors who disrupted a school board meeting back in the spring. In a bizarrely emotional letter, Margiotta said, “The actions of Barber, Tyson, Petty and the others were not simple acts of civil disobedience or disruption.” Funny he should say that, because that’s exactly what they were. He goes on to claim:
The safety of the Board as well as those in the audience was threatened. The extreme and intimidating tactics of Rev. Barber and his cohorts deliberately created chaos and fear. Behavior of this magnitude is unacceptable in any public meeting.
I have had the personal privilege of meeting all of the offending parties named here (remember, two ministers and a professor) and I can assure you, none of these folks are remotely intimidating. Why Mr. Margiotta was so intensely frightened is a mystery to me, as I recall him hiding behind two police officers during the entire episode.
Conservatives are obsessed with cutting spending this year, no matter the collateral damage. Think early childhood education is important? Too bad – cut. Maybe higher-ed? Nope - cut. Healthcare for poor children? Cut. Services for seniors? Tough luck – cut.
At a certain point, you have to wonder what in the world these legislators think they are doing. Forget the moral arguments for a moment (we’ve made them), and let’s concentrate on something we know they’re focused on: self interest.
Take Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, who just reiterated his objections to fully funding the early childhood education program that the Superior Court has ordered him to support. Looking at statistical models, we can project what the rest of his life, as well as millions like him, will look like. Tillis is 52 years old, which means--at least statistically—that he has another 29 years to go. We can also project that his health will begin to decline around age 60 and continue to do so, with a probable trip to a nursing home, before he dies somewhere around 2040.
Cross-posted from the Institute for Southern Studies Facing South blog
The North Carolina Association of Educators has called for shoppers to boycott stores owned by Raleigh multimillionaire and conservative operative Art Pope for his "anti-public education" policies.
When the CEO of Wells Fargo came by Raleigh last night to offer a few words of wisdom to students at NC State, the assembled wolfpack greeted him more as prey then as predator. Is it fair to blame one man for the financial mess of the entire world? Not really, but fairness is in short supply these days, and John Stumpf can afford it more than most, so I don’t feel too bad about it – and apparently he’s used to it. The more important question is figuring out what we can do to fix the mess we’re in and try to prevent it from happening again.
Aside from taxing the super-rich, we really haven’t seen much public debate about a sane, sustainable, long-term solution to plug holes in our federal budget, and the only solution thus far has been cuts to spending. Cuts do work to a certain extent, but they produce two major problems – they put people out of work, and they reduce the amount of money floating around the economy. Neither of these would be a particular problem if were weren’t sitting on sky-high unemployment or some nasty liquidity problems, not to mention that we’re cutting programs that people really need, so maybe it’s not the economic panacea the conservatives would like us to believe it is. Austerity has never been very American anyway, and we don’t seem to be particularly good at it.