January 8, 2014
Obamacare pushes uninsured rate to new lows: Time will tell whether the Supreme Court intends to take a sledgehammer to the Affordable Care Act, but let’s be clear: if the Republican justices gut the law, they’ll undermine a law that’s working quite well. Read more here.
McConnell finds his go-to Dems: Senate Republicans are reaching out to about nine Democrats they see as crucial swing votes in the new Congress. Read more here.
Mitch McConnell says improved economy is result of ‘the expectation of a new Republican Congress.’ Um, probably not.: "After so many years of sluggish growth," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote in a news release Wednesday, "we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope." Fair enough. He continues: "The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama Administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress." Read more here.
Congress Introduces A National Abortion Ban On Its Very First Day Back: Republicans in Congress are wasting no time following through on the anti-abortion agenda the GOP laid out after winning significant gains in the 2014 midterm elections. Read more here.
Quirky Ceremonies, Curious Characters Mark Hill’s ‘First Day of School’: If freshman week back in November was the Hill’s equivalent of college orientation, then the formal convening of each Congress is the Capitol’s analogue to the first day of school. Read more here.
For The First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused An Earthquake Strong Enough To Be Felt By Humans: Small earthquakes have been attributed to fracking in Ohio before. But those earthquakes were all too small to be felt. Read more here.
Right-to-work booster Diane Hendricks gave $1 million to Wisconsin Republicans in 2014: Four years ago, billionaire Diane Hendricks was captured on video urging Gov. Scott Walker to push for right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin. Read more here.
The Joe Biden random compliment generator: We culled some of Biden’s bonnest of mots from Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremonies, as well as a few from the 2013 edition of Biden complimenting victorious elected officials and their families, and extracted them from the context of the moment. That means these are real things that Biden said, but you can imagine he is saying them to you. Get your compliment here.
Phyllis Schlafly: Campus sex assault is on the rise because too many women go to college: The college-educated Schlafly thinks colleges should reduce the number of women they admit. Read more here.
NC likely to move all high school students to 10-point grading scale in the fall: The State Board of Education is expected to switch all high school students to the new 10-point grading scale this fall, reversing its previous decision to phase in the change during the next three years. Read more here.
Brunswick County Republican to press legislature to reinstate NC Teaching Fellows, improve teacher pay: Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) told members of his local school board this week that his top goals for the upcoming legislative session will be to give all teachers a $2,000 raise, and convince his colleagues to restore funding for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. Read more here.
New Hanover elections board petitions to remove director: The 2-1 action, opposed by board member Tannis Nelson, came the morning after Richard Poole, chairman of the New Hanover County Democratic Party, filed a complaint suggesting the state board consider whether Board Chairman John Ferrante’s alleged misconduct and bias justify further action, such as censure or removal. Read more here.
Wake County landowners fighting NC DOT over ‘useless land’: An attorney for three Wake County residents suing the state told a Superior Court judge Tuesday that the North Carolina Department of Transportation should buy land at a reasonable price from the owners who say the property is essentially "useless." Read more here.
Western Wake towns want more water from Jordan Lake: State and local officials will gather in Apex on Wednesday to solicit opinions on a proposal that would allow Apex, Cary, Morrisville and the Wake County portion of Research Triangle Park to increase their water consumption by more than a third. Read more here.
Raleigh council weighs $1 million plaza renovation: Fifty years ago, Market Plaza and Exchange Plaza were test cases for a new downtown philosophy. Now some say they’re the last remnants of a bad idea. A million-dollar fix-up could start next month, if the Raleigh City Council approves. Read more here.
Asheville City Schools Foundation launches racial equity project: The city school system has long struggled with an achievement gap between its minority and white students. One goal of this project is to look at school cultures that could be contributing to that gap. Read more here.
Today’s Top Reason to Donate
The Deomcratic Party’s impact on the downhill slide of North Carolina can only happen with your financial support!
Republican Congress Launches With Back-Door Attack On Social Security Benefits: Republicans are starting the new Congress by attacking Social Security funding through a subtle, obscure policy measure buried in the gigantic bill that establishes parliamentary rules for the new session. Read more here.