McCrory's puzzling claims
One of the oddest stories of the week is the claim by Governor Pat McCrory that he has been going into the crowd “all the time” during the Moral Monday protests and that people have “cussed him out.”
That’s what he told a reporter for the Wilson Times anyway, but no one has reported seeing McCrory at any of the events, including the head of the General Assembly police force.
Media outlets have called McCrory’s office for clarification but the calls have been unreturned so there’s no clarification about McCrory’s unusual claim.
In his interview with the Wilson Times reporter, McCrory also repeated his assertion that somehow President Obama was to blame for 70,000 workers losing emergency unemployment benefits because he didn’t issue North Carolina a “waiver pass” on the $2.6 billion the state borrowed from the federal government.
McCrory made the statement a few days after his own spokesperson admitted to WRAL-TV that McCrory misspoke about the ability of President Obama to forgive the debt. Only Congress could do that.
McCrory also told the reporter that Obama could have given the state a waiver so the 70,000 workers could continue to receive emergency benefits even with the draconian changes lawmakers made to the state’s unemployment compensation system. That’s not true either. Congress would also have to issue the waivers, not President Obama.
Either McCrory didn’t think anyone would notice that he repeated a falsehood to a newspaper outside of Raleigh or he doesn’t actually understand that what he is saying doesn’t make sense—or maybe he doesn’t care because he thinks it is a good talking point.
Maybe he has even discussed it with all those protesters he talks to every week at Moral Monday, apparently in disguise.
Disband the committees, no need for debate
Rivaling McCrory’s odd assertions about wading into the Moral Monday crowd are the claims by Republicans that the undemocratic process used in the last two weeks to ram through the unprecedented attack on women’s rights was really not all that unusual.
The House, with no notice, attacked the most sweeping anti-choice bill in the state’s history to a motorcycle safety measure and then heard no testimony from doctors or other medical professionals before voting it out of committee and passing it on the House floor.
That came the week after the Senate attached its very similar bill to legislation about Sharia law in a committee meeting with no notice, then rushed it to the Senate floor.
Senator Dan Soucek told his local paper that the process was no big deal because “these are things that have been debated for decades in the state.”
Apparently if an issue has ever been debated before, there’s no use for any real debate now and certainly no need for open committee meetings, public testimony, opinions for experts, etc.
It could mean a much swifter legislation session if you follow Soucek’s thinking to its logical end. Do away with any notice of any meeting on any issue that has come up in recent years. In fact, no need for committees at all.
Just introduce bills one day about abortion, taxes, transportation, health care and vote on them on the Senate floor the next day. Think of the money and time we could save. Thanks Senator.
The latest lie from Americans for the Prosperous
The Columbia Journalism Review recently surveyed coverage of the latest attacks on the Affordable Care Act, specifically a new commercial by Americans for Prosperity. The ad features a woman talking about the importance of the treatment her son received for seizures and how worried she was about Obamacare.
She then says “I have some questions about Obamacare. If we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family’s going to get the medical care we need?”
As CJR points out, the choice of doctors is up to insurance companies, not the Affordable Care Act. People are required to have insurance, but the ACA has nothing to do with which doctor people see.
But that doesn’t matter to the folks at Americans for the Prosperous who are dedicated to making sure that a law they don’t agree with passed by a president they loathe is never allowed to work, no matter how many people it helps.
And in case you forgot, State Budget Director Art Pope was a national board member of Americans for Prosperity until he was appointed to his current post by Governor Pat McCrory.
Chris Fitzsimon is the director of NC Policy Watch, a division of the NC Justice Center.