Senator Hagan’s AMERICA Works Act clears committee, Moral Monday makes splash in Asheville, On the 48th Voting Rights Anniversary #NCGOP mocked for voter suppression, more alarming numbers on student loan debt, an in-depth look at the GOP’s ultimate abortion plan, Obama administration crosses country in economic push, RNC throws fit over Hillary-related projects on NBC, CNN, Wendy Davis eyes future and the crumbling American Dream
Dome: Kay Hagan training bill advances
Sen. Kay Hagan said Monday that her AMERICA Works Act made it out of a Senate committee last week. The bill encourages national industries including construction. automotive and aerospace to come together and agree upon the skill sets necessary for employees and then make sure those skills are being developed at local community colleges. "The so-called ‘skills gap’ is something I hear from business owners who tell me they have trouble filling positions due to a lack of qualified workers," Hagan said in a teleconference. "Families shouldn’t be struggling to find jobs while employers struggle to find qualified workers, and my AMERICA Works Act will help close the skills gap.” The measure, which she introduced in 2011 was folded into the Workforce Investment Act, which was approved by the Senate Health Education and Pensions Commission by an 18-3 vote.
WRAL: (Video) Hagan: I’m focused on creating jobs
Sen. Kay Hagan talks with WRAL’s Laura Leslie about recent laws passed by North Carolina’s General Assembly and her goals for creating more jobs in the state.
Herald Online: ACC Commends Senator Hagan For Supporting Economic Growth And Job Creation
oday, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) launched advertisements commending Senator Kay Hagan for her support of policies that will grow the economy and create jobs in the Tar Heel State. "As representatives of one of America’s largest manufacturing industries, ACC and its members want to acknowledge Senator Hagan’s leadership on issues that encourage strong domestic energy policy, support small businesses and promote rational, science-based chemical regulation—policies that will foster innovation, stimulate our economy and put people in the state and across the country in good-paying jobs," explained Cal Dooley, President and CEO of ACC.
Citizen-Times: Protest packs Asheville
Carrying signs, singing songs and cheering for speakers, thousands of protesters rallied downtown Monday for the first Moral Monday outside Raleigh, where Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, has led 13 weeks of protests over Republican-backed legislation. Asheville police Sgt. Dave Romick estimated well more than 5,000 people attended the rally, which crowded Roger McGuire Green in Pack Square Park in front of City Hall.
Citizen-Times: What issues sparked the outrage?
Before making the trip west, Moral Monday protests in Raleigh have focused on wide-ranging issues taken up by legislators in their most recent session. Those include restrictions on voting, funding for education, restrictions on access to abortion services and transfer of Asheville’s water system to a regional authority. Here’s what speakers had to say in Asheville:
News & Record: ’Moral Monday’ protests heading to Asheville
With the North Carolina General Assembly finished for the year, protesters are bringing their Moral Monday demonstrations on the road. The NAACP and other liberal groups plan to protest Monday at 5 p.m. in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse in Asheville.
The Root: Where Voting Rights Are Under Attack
When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in August 1965, he described the law as a "triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield." In June, almost 48 years from the day Johnson declared victory, the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. The rule essentially gutted Section 4, which included a formula that determined which communities would be subject to something called pre-clearance — a requirement that the jurisdictions submit every change in voting practices, procedures, locations or election districts to federal officials for approval.
Dome: Morning Memo: Daily show says North Carolina trumps South Carolina in crazy
Another day, another national television show puts North Carolina at the butt of the jokes. The Daily Show on Comedy Central took aim at the recently approved elections bill that puts restrictions on voting. Host John Oliver joked that the state election bill would place “all voting booths on buoys that are only accessible by yacht." The segment lumped North Carolina together with Texas and Florida but the Tar Heel state (starting at 2:30) received particular attention and Senate leader Phil Berger make an appearance from a TV clip.
WRAL: NAACP, others seek sit-down with McCrory
The group behind the "Moral Monday" protests has requested a meeting with Gov. Pat McCrory about the elections changes bill. NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber asked McCrory in a letter last Thursday to veto House Bill 589, the elections omnibus that includes voter ID and host of other major changes to state voting and campaign laws. "We understand you are presently considering the Bill, to make what will be a historic decision to sign or veto it," Barber says in the letter "As you know, we, and perhaps 80% of North Carolina voters believe it to be one of the most restrictive and regressive attacks on minority, elderly and young people’s voting rights seen in this nation since the end of Reconstruction and the implementation of Jim Crow at the turn of the 20th Century."
Heartlander: North Carolina Cuts Teacher Certification Requirements for Charter Schools
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation that lets charter schools hire more elementary teachers without teaching certificates. The new law decreases the number of required elementary charter school teachers with teacher certification from 75 percent to 50 percent. That rate was revised several times throughout the legislative process, until a last-minute request by the governor brought the final number from 25 percent to 50 percent for all K-12 charter school teachers (unchanged at the high school level). The controversial change stems from the ideas that non-licensed people can make really great teachers, and charter schools are an appropriate place to try out innovative ideas, said bill author and state Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph).
Politico: Half of $1 trillion in federal student loan debt not repaid
About half of the outstanding $1 trillion in federal student loan debt in the U.S. isn’t being repaid. And 1 out of 8 borrowers are defaulting on their loans despite unprecedented federal attempts to help.
An analysis released Monday by the CFPB shows borrowers are struggling to repay their loans and are seemingly unaware of options that could them help avoid default or forbearance.
MSNBC: Reversing Roe: The GOP’s ultimate abortion plan
The Arizona 20-week ban was eventually deemed unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a court traditionally friendly to abortion rights, but the law’s defenders have signaled they’ll take it to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, if the copycat law recently passed over vociferous protest in Texas is challenged in court, it will eventually reach federal judges appointed by Republicans. Judging by past decisions, they might find a way to uphold it, creating a split in state rulings that will give the Supreme Court a strong impetus to examine the laws. That would be no accident. All this is the very deliberate groundwork laid by the savviest legal strategists in the anti-abortion movement. The strategy relies on not seeming to go too far or too fast, either for the public or the courts.
Omaha Daily: E.J. Dionne Jr.: Clinton leading gender revolution
It should be said that the same gender story cannot yet be told of the Republican Party. Still, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are two of the most prominent voices for the political right, and Govs. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Nikki Haley of South Carolina could play larger national roles. On the day she withdrew from the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton declared that from then forward, “it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories, unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States.” This much has already happened.
The Hill: 82 lawmakers ask for end to ban on gay men donating blood
More than 80 lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to allow gay men to donate blood. The lawmakers say the administration should change what they say is an "outdated" policy. Eighty-two lawmakers in the House and Senate signed on to the letter, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Enzi was the only Republican to sign the letter. They said Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should re-evaluate blood donation criteria that ban gay men from donating blood for life.
QNotes: Panel: Workplaces becoming more LGBT-friendly
When Renee Brown and her wife decided to start a family, the decision came with an added layer of stress. Brown, who now works in Charlotte as Wells Fargo’s senior vice president and director of enterprise media, said informing her colleagues of her child’s impending birth included unique coming out experiences. First would come congratulations, Brown said. Then questions. “I didn’t know you were married,” her colleagues would say. “I’m not,” Brown would respond, leading ultimately to important conversations and “teaching moments” for her colleagues.
Charlotte Observer: GOP faces conflict over Charlotte airport; issue of local control?
In the fight for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the City Council’s two Republicans – Andy Dulin and Warren Cooksey – have been closely aligned with the council’s Democratic majority. Dulin has been especially adamant that the city keep control of the airport, blasting efforts by the GOP-dominated General Assembly to put someone else in charge. He called a consultant that recommended an authority “slick.” He called an airport advisory member who was lobbying for an authority a “chump.” And he’s said passionately that the city-owned airport belongs, in part, to him – and his father and grandfather before him. But in the fall election to replace Dulin – who isn’t running for re-election – other Republicans are taking a less strident tone. In Dulin’s District 6, as well as across the city, Republican candidates are trying to walk a narrow path between powerful state Republican legislators who support an airport commission and city voters, many of whom don’t support the change.
The Hill: Obama Cabinet fans out for economic push
Labor Secretary Tom Perez said Monday that he and other Cabinet secretaries would be "out and about" throughout August to promote President Obama’s economic plan. In an appearance on the Bill Press Show, Perez said that he’d be visiting "north, south, east and west" to promote the president’s new push on middle-class jobs, which Obama debuted in a speech at Knox College in Illinois last month. "We’re taking the case directly to the American people," Perez said. The effort highlights how the White House is trying to seize momentum during the recess ahead of tough budget battles in the fall.
The Washington Post: Obama reopens the fiscal cliff tax debate for small businesses
In renewing his campaign for corporate tax reform, President Obama has reopened a fierce debate over the effect certain tax changes would have on small businesses. During a speech last week, the president unveiled his latest plan to revive the economy, including a proposal to lower the tax rate for corporations. Currently at 35 percent, the rate is one of the highest in the world, and bringing it down to a more globally competitive level has been a priority for Republicans. Obama proposed dropping it to 28 percent, and in exchange, he asked conservatives to agree to spend more on economic stimulus projects — a compromise that has not changed much since he offered it to avert the so-called fiscal cliff late last year.
The Hill: White House: ‘Core’ of al Qaeda has been ‘greatly diminished’
White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed questions Monday about whether the Obama administration had taken its eye off the threat of terrorism since the killing of Osama bin Laden. Carney said that the “president has been clear that the threat from Al Qaeda very much remains,” and said officials were particularly concerned about affiliates of the terror group outside its main “core” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “As Al Qaeda’s core has been diminished through the efforts of the United States and our allies, affiliate organizations, including in particular, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have strengthened. We have here in Washington have identified AQAP in particular as the dangerous threat,” Carney said.
CNN: Freshman congressman frustrated by extremists but hopeful of finding middle
As Congress leaves the Capitol for its five-week August recess, freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell is headed home a little frustrated. "The biggest problem for me is we’re voting on extremes. You don’t see compromise bills," he said Thursday evening on the east steps of the Capitol after a vote. "When they’re voting to just repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I want to mend it, not end it. The bills are ‘repeal it,’ with no other solution." As if to prove his point, in its last act before the recess, the Republican-controlled House on Friday passed a resolution to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from implementing Obamacare — the 40th time it has voted to repeal, dismantle or defund the Affordable Care Act. With Democrats in control of the Senate, the measure has no chance of passing there.
The Washington Post: August recess now high season for interests lobbying lawmakers
Lawmakers hoping for a respite from Washington’s intense lobbying climate won’t get a break back home during the August recess. Once a lull in the political calendar, August is now officially part of the high season. An array of interest groups has methodically plotted how to use the congressional recess to press causes. The sophisticated operations aim to drive a political narrative throughout the month, hoping to produce a strong display of voter sentiment that lawmakers will not be able to ignore when they return to Washington after Labor Day. At that point, they will immediately contend with a showdown over the budget, a House debate on immigration reform and the launch of new state health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.
Politico: RNC hits NBC, CNN for Hillary films; threatens to pull debate rights
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has threatened to pull NBC and CNN’s access to the 2016 Republican primary debates unless those companies pull their current Hillary Clinton-related film projects. In open letters to the leadership of NBC Universal and CNN International, Priebus expressed his "deep disappointment" over those networks’ decisions to produce films "promoting former Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of her likely candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016." Should the networks fail to pull those films by the RNC’s Summer meeting on August 14, Priebus writes, he will "seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor."
Huffington Post: Tea Party Distances Self From Republican Party Stars
This wasn’t the revolution the tea party had in mind. Four years ago, the movement and its potent mix of anger and populism persuaded thousands of costumed and sign-waving conservatives to protest the ballooning deficit and President Obama’s health care law. It swept a crop of no-compromise lawmakers into Congress and governor’s offices and transformed political up-and-comers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, into household names.
BuzzFeed: Republican Super PAC Wants You To “Slap” Hillary Clinton Across The Face
A Republican Super PAC prominently features a game on their website that allows users to slap former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton across the face. The game is being hosted on the website for The Hillary Project, an anti-Clinton Super PAC that lists its address in Nashua, New Hampshire, according to FEC filings, and has Christopher M. Marston, a Republican campaign finance consultant and former member of the Bush administration, as its treasurer.
Politico: Texas governor race 2014: Wendy Davis: I will run for reelection or governor
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who skyrocketed to national fame after mounting a lengthy filibuster earlier this summer, on Monday said the only statewide office for which she’s considering a run is governor. “I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: either for my state Senate seat or for the governor,” Davis said after addressing a lunch held at the National Press Club, when asked whether she’d consider running for other statewide positions. “I’m still trying to decide, but I do think people are ready for a change from the partisan, very fractured leadership we have in Texas,” Davis said during a brief interview before her speech.
USA Today: Sen. McConnell already in hot 2014 re-election race
McConnell, for example, played up the fact that Grimes’ father, Democratic operative Jerry Lundergan, wrote a check to New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s campaign, and said Grimes would serve "from the back bench" in the Senate. Grimes offered some self-deprecating jokes making fun of her short political résumé. "Do I really need to apologize for having more government experience than Rand Paul?" she quipped, referencing the state’s junior senator elected in 2010 with no prior political experience.
Politico: With Tom Cotton in, Mark Pryor to air ads
But the buy comes just after GOP Rep. Tom Cotton made clear he plans to run for the Senate seat.
Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver said, “We hope to frame the race early. People don’t know enough about Tom Cotton, I mean, he’s only been in Congress a few days. We felt that it is important let Arkansans see the real Tom Cotton. The ad will highlight what Tom Cotton has done in the short amount of time he has been in Washington.”
Politico: Schumer calls Putin a ‘school-yard bully’
Russian President Vladimir Putin is nothing more than a “school-yard bully” and President Barack Obama should cancel their meeting in Moscow next month, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) said Sunday. Last week, Putin granted National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden temporary political asylum in Russia, prompting outrage from many U.S. officials, including Schumer. “The relationship between the United States and Russia is more poisonous than any time since the Cold War because of all of this,” Schumer said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”“Putin’s behaving like a school-yard bully,” he added. “Unless you stand up to that bully, they ask for more and more and more. Always going out of his way, Mr. Putin is, to poke us in the eye with Iran and Syria, now with Snowden.
The New York Times: Crumbling American Dreams
My hometown — Port Clinton, Ohio, population 6,050 — was in the 1950s a passable embodiment of the American dream, a place that offered decent opportunity for the children of bankers and factory workers alike. But a half-century later, wealthy kids park BMW convertibles in the Port Clinton High School lot next to decrepit “junkers” in which homeless classmates live. The American dream has morphed into a split-screen American nightmare. And the story of this small town, and the divergent destinies of its children, turns out to be sadly representative of America.
CNN: Christie vs. Paul vs. Rubio vs. Cruz — the Republican implosion
American humorist Will Rogers once said, "I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat." The old saying goes that, come election time, Republicans fall in line and Democrats fall apart. The tradition in the GOP has been that, if you ran for president and came up short — Ronald Reagan in 1976, George H.W. Bush in 1980, John McCain in 2000, Mitt Romney in 2008 — next time, it would be your turn. Among Democrats, it was a free-for-all. Hillary Clinton was thought to have a lock on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, but Barack Obama had other ideas.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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