NCDP Clips for Friday, February 8, 2013


THE HUFFINGTON POST – Virginia Foxx Invokes The Holocaust In Debate Over For-Profit College Regulations
At a National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities conference this week, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) invoked a phrase associated with the Holocaust to describe for-profit college regulations issued by the Obama administration.
Inside Higher Ed reports: In criticizing the private college presidents, Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who leads the subcommittee on higher education, adapted the famous statement from the German theologian Martin Niemöller on Germans who ignored Nazi persecution. ("First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.")
" ‘They came for the for-profits, and I didn’t speak up…’ " Foxx said. "Nobody really spoke up like they should have."

THE WASHINGTON POST – Richard Burr cracks waterboarding joke
Three hours into John Brennan’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) cracked a joke about harsh interrogation techniques.
“I’ll be brief,” Burr told the nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. “I see you’re on your fourth glass of water and I don’t want to be accused of waterboarding you.”


WRAL – New NC Pre-K director quits amid questions over background
McCrory administration appointee Dianna Lightfoot now says she will not take the job leading the state’s pre-kindergarten program.
Lightfoot’s appointment was announced Tuesday. But questions were raised about potential conflict of interest because she founded and headed an organization that advocated against publicly funded early childhood education programs like NC Pre-K.
On Wednesday night, Lightfoot deleted her Twitter account, in which she referred to Hillary Clinton as a "butch" and questioned whether ultrasonic waves had caused the 2011 Japan earthquake. A Facebook account that remained online referred to gay rights protesters as "bigots."

THE HUFFINGTON POST – Dianna Lightfoot, Newly Appointed North Carolina Pre-K Director, Quits Amid Controversy
Looks like administration for North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory (R) will have to appoint a new director to oversee the state Department of Health and Human Services’ pre-kindergarten division. Their former pick for the position withdrawn amid pressing questions about her background.
Appointed Tuesday, Dianna Lightfoot was set to begin her new position as the director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education on Feb. 11. However, controversy surrounding her personal opinons on pre-K education, along with several partisan comments she made on social media networks, may have led to her decision to step down.


WRAL – Congressmen ask NC House to reject bill blocking Medicaid expansion
Three Democratic members of the North Carolina congressional delegation have asked state House leaders to defeat a bill passed Tuesday in the state Senate that would prohibit the expansion of Medicaid to cover adults under the Affordable Care Act.
Congressmen David Price, G.K. Butterfield and Mel Watt sent a letter Thursday to House Speaker Thom Tillis and House Minority Leader Larry Hall, saying they try not to stick their noses in the General Assembly’s business but worry that Senate Bill 4 poses "a grave threat to our state’s economy and quality of life."

WRAL – Senate OKs overhaul of state commissions
The state Senate gave final passage Thursday to legislation that would fire all current members of several oversight and advisory boards.
Senate Bill 10 passed 35-14 and was sent to the House, where Republican leaders have already expressed skepticism about it.
"The House Republicans have grave concerns about that bill," House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes said. "We’re going to be deliberative in our approach to it."
The bill, which sailed through the Senate in about 48 hours, would effectively fire all members of the Utilities Commission, Environmental Management Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Lottery Commission and Wildlife Resources Commission.

THE DAILY ADVANCE – Bill to fire commission members clears NC Senate
A House Republican leader says his chamber will review closely a North Carolina Senate measure that dismisses all members of prominent state regulatory panels.
The Senate gave its final approval Thursday to the measure, which would fire all current members of the state Utilities Commission, Coastal Resources Commission and Wildlife Resources Commission and others.


PAUL KRUGMAN – John Boehner, the speaker of the House, claims to be exasperated. “At some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’s time to act.”
Actually, Mr. Boehner needs to refresh his memory. During the first decade of his time in Congress, the U.S. government was doing just fine on the fiscal front. In particular, the ratio of federal debt to G.D.P. was a third lower when Bill Clinton left office than it was when he came in. It was only when George W. Bush arrived and squandered the Clinton surplus on tax cuts and unfunded wars that the budget outlook began deteriorating again.

THE WASHINGTON POST – Assassinations by remote control
EUGENE ROBINSON – If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute a U.S. citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I’d have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What’s wrong is wrong.
The moral and ethical questions posed by the advent of drone warfare — which amounts to assassination by remote control — are painfully complex. We had better start working out some answers because, as an administration spokesman told me recently, drone attacks are “the new normal” in the ongoing struggle against terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.


Clay Pittman
Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman