Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

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The Follies

The bar is set for Trump on the economy

As Donald Trump takes over the reins of power in Washington today promising to make America great again, it’s worth noting where things actually stand with the economy as President Obama leaves office.

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Fitzsimon File

Real lives at stake in the chaos in Washington

Never mind the bullying tweets that unnerve allied nations and reverberate through financial markets.

Put aside for moment the disturbing confirmation hearings that have revealed not only ethical conflicts of nominees, but people who either don’t understand the issues handled by the agency they will lead or have expressed open hostility toward the fundamental mission of the jobs they have been nominated to fill.

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Monday words (from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane. (March 25, 1966)

There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether [she or] he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer…. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum and livable income for every American family. ( “Where Do We Go From Here?” 1967)

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The Follies

More misinformation about GOP power grab

The Right continues its push for a post fact world in Raleigh. Example number one this week would be Senator Andrew Brock.

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Cooper’s correcting a colossal blunder on Medicaid, not making one

The folks on the Right are apoplectic these days that Governor Roy Cooper thinks it’s a good idea to follow the lead of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Kasich and 28 other governors and expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage to 500,000 people in North Carolina and help local hospitals while creating thousands of jobs in the process.

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Monday numbers

5---number of days since Governor Roy Cooper announced that he was pushing ahead with plans to expand Medicaid in North Carolina to create jobs, help hospitals and provide health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of people who are currently uninsured (“Gov. Roy Cooper wants to expand Medicaid; Republicans vow to fight, News & Observer, January 4, 2017)

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There’s finally a grownup in Raleigh

We are only a few days into the New Year but two starkly different political styles are already on display in Raleigh.

Newly elected Governor Roy Cooper is beginning his term by methodically announcing his choices for cabinet posts after calling Republican legislative leaders to inform them of his decisions. And they are good ones.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers: The disastrous planned repeal of the ACA

1---number of weeks until the Republican majority in Congress plans to vote for a budget blueprint that will call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Job No. 1 for a New Congress? Undoing Obama’s Health Law, New York Times, December 31, 2016) 4---number of weeks until a House committee is expected to act on legislation to carry out the blueprint that will include repeal of both the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid under the health care law (Ibid)

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Monday numbers

30—number of years since President Ronald Reagan called the EITC “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress” (“Earned Income Tax Credit,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

3—number of years since North Carolina allowed its state EITC to end in 2013 (“States Can Adopt or Expand Earned Income Tax Credits to Build a Stronger Future Economy,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 19, 2016)

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Monday numbers

3---number of days since secretly called special session of the General Assembly adjourned (“Lawmakers leave town after passing bill limiting Cooper's, education board's power, WRAL-TV, Friday, December 16, 2016) 425---number of exempt positions in state government that will be under the control of Governor-elect Roy Cooper thanks to legislation passed in the special session (Ibid)

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Fitzsimon File

The startling dishonesty of the power grabbers

One of the most striking things about the unprecedented power grabbing currently underway at the General Assembly is the dishonesty of some of the people leading the offensive effort.

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The cynical, undemocratic and outrageous spectacle in Raleigh

Early in the special legislative session Wednesday called by Gov. Pat McCrory for disaster relief, House Rules Chair David Lewis responded on the House floor to a question about the rules governing the session by saying House leaders ...
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Monday numbers

29.8 million---increase in the number of uninsured people in the United States in 2019 if Congress partially repeals the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process as many Republicans have proposed (“Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation,” Urban Institute, December 6, 2016)

103---percentage increase in the number of uninsured people in the United States in 2019 if the ACA is partially repealed in the budget reconciliation process

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Republican legislative leaders and the will of the people

The General Assembly is returning to Raleigh next week for a special session to help areas of the state suffering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina.

There’s nothing surprising or controversial about that. Communities across the state ravaged by the storms and the fires need the help.

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McCrory the mayor who never figured out how to be governor

Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded the 2016 election to Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday, December 5 but he actually lost the race on March 23 when he signed the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2.

That not only created a firestorm of protest and boycotts and damaged the state’s reputation around the world, it confirmed what voters had come to realize about him ---that he was either unable or unwilling to stand up to the radical agenda of his own party in the General Assembly.

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Monday numbers

23---number of years since the Smart Start early childhood program began in North Carolina (“Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School,” Dodge, KA ; Bai, Y ; Ladd, HF ; Muschkin, CG; Child Development, 2016)

18---number of years since Smart Start was expanded to serve children in all 100 counties (Ibid)

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