Republicans Vote Partisan Judicial Elections Bill Into Law Despite Gov. Cooper Veto

Today Republicans in the State Senate voted House Bill 100 into law, which restores Party affiliation to the ballot for judicial elections, despite Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the bill last week. Yesterday Republican Representatives in the House took action and voted to override Governor Cooper’s veto. Democrats removed the partisan affiliations from judicial elections in the 90s, which resulted in a massive drop in voter participation. In 2016, nearly 800,000 fewer North Carolinians voted in the state Supreme Court race compared to the presidential race because they did not have enough information about the judicial candidates. Click here to read more.

Overnight Regulation

The Hill – THE BIG STORY

The Senate voted Thursday to strike down Obama-era Internet privacy rules.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last October passed the online privacy rules to crack down on the advertising practices of Internet service providers.

This is the latest example of Republican lawmakers turning to the Congressional Review Act to eliminate recently published regulations from the Obama administration. But it marks the first time during the Trump administration that the upper chamber initiated the repeal of a regulation.

The House is expected to pass the disapproval resolution in the coming weeks, and send it to President Trump’s desk for final approval.

The Hill’s tech team has the story:

The rules require Internet service providers such as AT&T and Verizon to obtain customers’ permission before using their personal information for advertising purposes.

Critics of the privacy regulations say they are too onerous, and subject service providers to stricter regulations than websites such as Facebook and Google, which also collect consumer data.

The Senate vote immediately drew criticism from privacy and consumer advocates like the ACLU, Public Knowledge and Free Press, while trade groups praised the move.

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who introduced the bill, said the FCC regulations were an example of a “bureaucratic power grab.”

“Passing this CRA will send a powerful message that federal agencies can’t unilaterally restrict constitutional rights and expect to get away with it,” Flake said.

But Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Ed Markey (Mass.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) railed against the measure on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, saying it would leave consumers vulnerable.

“President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result of the Republican rollback of broadband privacy protections,” Markey said in a statement after the vote.

“With today’s vote, Senate Republicans have just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared, and sold to the highest bidder without their permission,” he continued. Click here to read more.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Government

FEE – In the beginning, the universe was created,” explains author Douglas Adams. “This has made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

The Hyperspace Bypass

Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a classic work of farcical and absurd hilarity. The small volume is also possessed of no small degree of brilliance. Adams notes, rightly, that discontentedness is endemic to existence, and goes on to demonstrate (even more rightly) that humanity’s collective attempts to rectify its malcontent are usually for the worse.

Discontentedness is endemic to existence.

Put briefly, the protagonist (an exceptionally average man named Arthur) has his house demolished by the government to make way for a bypass. Shortly thereafter, the story takes an intergalactic twist when the Vogon aliens demolish Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Adventures ensue, but here we are concerned with only the first part – humanity’s discontent and its failed attempts at satisfying itself.

Click here to read more.

Venezuela: Socialism’s House of Horrors

The New American – Socialism destroys countries’ economies: Under low doses of it, countries succumb slowly to its ravages, and high doses of socialism can cause a quick demise.

Proponents of socialism such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) often point to the Scandinavian welfare states as alleged success stories that the United States should emulate. They are, however, notably reluctant to address the many other countries around the world that have tried socialism to one degree or another with considerably less success.

Case in point: Venezuela. The nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves is also its most miserable. For three years running, it has ranked number one on the world misery index, which is based on each country’s unemployment, inflation, and interest rates. It suffers from triple-digit inflation, shortages of basic necessities, poverty, crime, and corruption. Is it any wonder that Sanders refused to comment on this glittering jewel of socialism during a Univision interview last year?

From Wealth to Welfare

Why should a country sitting on one of the world’s most valuable commodities be unable to manage a welfare state when other countries are able to get by or even prosper while doing so? Socialism in any form is, of course, a bad idea, but a nation can — at least for a time — withstand moderate doses of it, particularly if it starts from a position of economic strength. Click here to read more.

Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator Orders Arrest of Bakers Making Croissants

Four bakers trying to make ends meet were arrested earlier this week in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, a country that was once one of South America’s premier economic powerhouses. Venezuela’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro, mandated that 90 percent of scarce flour be turned into bread, which must be sold at a loss, rather than higher-priced sweet bread, ham-filled croissants, pastries, and cakes.Two bakers apparently broke this law, and two used out-of-date wheat for brownies. At least one baker will have his bakery taken over by the government for 90 days. The bakers, operating under Maduro’s mandates that they use government-imported wheat for flour to bake bread and sell it below their costs, were on survival mode, as are most of the people living in Venezuela’s socialist paradise. Click here to read more.

School reform requires strong leaders

Carolina Journal – My father was Darth Vader.

No, that doesn’t make me a Jedi Knight. My father was also Boss Hogg and a range of other bad guys. During his nearly two decades as principal of North Carolina’s largest elementary school, located in the Mecklenburg County community of Matthews, Harold Hood made it an annual tradition to ride in the town’s parade dressed as a popular villain of the day. Bad guys were more fun to portray, he explained, particularly for the kids in the crowd.

When I was one of those kids, I just thought my dad was being his usual funny self. He liked to tell jokes, frequently corny, and stories of his life, frequently silly and self-deprecating. But as I got older, became a supervisor, and then a leader of an organization myself, I came to understand that school principal Harold Hood had been using humor as a management tool.

He used it to build rapport with his staff, from custodians and support staff to veteran teachers. He used it to cut the tension in stressful situations with students or parents, to nudge teachers genially rather than command them gruffly, and to help people draw the right conclusions for themselves rather than simply telling them the answer. Click here to read more.

Part Two: Islamic Jihad and the European Elections: The Dutch Skirmish and the Looming Battle of France

The Asheville tribune, Mike Scruggs – Following the results of the March 15 Dutch Parliamentary elections, pundits of the European Leftstream Media and the European Union political establishment signaled a great sigh of relief that the forces of “moderation,” multiculturalism, and European Union (EU) political power had successfully staved off the ‘far” right-wing challenge of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party. The great issues were immigration, multiculturalism, Islam itself, the continuing subjugation of Dutch culture and nationalism to the globalist European Union, and heavy-handed political correctness by the EU and Dutch governments. Incumbent Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, and his supposedly center-right People’s Democratic Freedom Party (VVD) had led the voting by capturing 33 seats of 150 seats in the lower House of Parliament, while Wilders’ Freedom Party had won only 20. Twenty-eight political parties competed, and thirteen were able to capture seats in Parliament. Rutte will need a total of 75 votes from four parties to form a government.

This glorious victory for Dutch multiculturalism and happy and grateful EU membership looks pretty shaky, if you examine the details of the Dutch election. First of all, Wilders’ PVV is now the second largest political party in the Netherlands. The PVV increased its seats from 15 in 2012 to 20 on March 15. Two other “rightist” parties bring the total to 25. This is far short of the number probably necessary to form a government, but such a gain was a long shot in this election.

However, there was some really bad news for Rutte and his governing coalition with the left-center Dutch Labor Party in this election. First of all, Rutte’s VVD lost 8 seats, falling from 41 in 2012 to 33, a whopping drop of nearly 20 percent. His center-left Dutch Labor Party allies came close to annihilation, losing 29 of its previous 38 seats, leaving the party only 9 seats in Parliament, dropping an astonishing 76 percent, Thus Rutte’s coalition, which totaled 79 seats, now only has 42 seats, a drop of 37 seats, a politically disastrous 47 percent. Surely, Dutch voters are signaling considerable dissatisfaction with the multiculturalist, pro-EU establishment. to read more.

Sweden: Asylum Seeker Forced 10-Year-Old to Watch Porn Before Raping Her

Breitbart – An asylum seeker who forced a 10-year-old to watch pornographic films before raping her is now pleading with the Swedish government not to deport him back to Iraq.

The 45-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker known only as Ahmed was put on trial for raping the 10-year-old girl in an asylum camp in Tjörn, according to newspaper Aftonbladet. The Iraqi is said to have assaulted the 10-year-old repeatedly from July to September of last year and also raped another woman in the camp on up to 20 different occasions.

In February, Ahmed was sentenced by the district court to six years in prison followed by immediate deportation back to his native country. Ahmed met the girl through her aunt who moved in with the Iraqi after she needed a place for her and her niece and nephew to stay. After being raped by Ahmed, the aunt, to protect her honour, married him and continued to be abused by him for months.

Click here to read more and then ask ourself: Why are there people in our country that want to bring in more Islamist?

No Government belongs in the Health Insurance business.

No Government belongs in the Health Insurance business. Health Insurance should be a TRUE free market, meaning the only government involvement is a State Insurance Commissioner to make sure the customer gets what they pay for – nothing more or less, and make sure that the Insurance Companies offer policies and do business in our state based upon their solvency and ability to pay claims.  Only a true open free market otherwise known as competition will lower the cost of Health Insurance and Care.

Freedom Caucus chair stands tall against disastrous ‘RyanCare’

The Hill – Remember the good old days when Republicans were against the nationalization of 1/6 of the nation’s economy through ObamaCare?

Fortunately, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and many others in the GOP conference do, as they seek to hold Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to the rhetorical standard that so many in House leadership raised for the past six years.

As the “RyanCare” battle rages in House of Representatives, many are questioning why so many conservatives find the Speaker’s approach noxious.

Fortunately, the Texas Public Policy Forum has listed 10 reasons why the Speaker’s healthcare bill falls short — not just when it comes to repealing ObamaCare, but its failure to refocus our nation’s healthcare system toward patient care and away from worrying about insurance coverage.

The first two reasons are quoted below: Click here to read more.

Defying Trump, Freedom Caucus members insist they’ll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement

The conservative House Freedom Caucus said it remains opposed to the House GOP’s ObamaCare replacement legislation Wednesday despite pressure from President Trump.

At a press conference following a meeting between Trump and some of the group’s members, the group called on leaders to start over on ObamaCare, saying the replacement bill does not have the votes to pass Thursday.

“The opposition is still strong,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the group.

Click here to read more.

The American Health Care Act: Overview

Tea Party Patriots – Below you’ll find a summary of information on the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s failed attempt to fully repeal and replace ObamaCare. In the following information you’ll learn why the GOP’s plan fails, how it leaves in place some of the worst parts of Obamacare, and how this unsustainable bill would continue the havoc caused by ObamaCare on our healthcare system. If we want to help President Trump keep his promises to the American people and not take the blame for the failure of our healthcare system, we must do everything in our power to stop this terrible piece of legislation.

The Congressional Republican leadership has unveiled its long-awaited “ObamaCare Repeal Bill.” While it has several good elements, it does not live up to the GOP leadership’s promise to repeal ObamaCare, “root and branch.” Enacting it in its current form would leave key elements of ObamaCare in place, and would likely aggravate, rather than reduce, skyrocketing premium costs.

Click here to read more.

Get U.S. OUT of the UN!

The U.S. government should immediately withdraw from the United Nations “dictators club” before the situation gets even worse. As The New American’s Alex Newman explains in this video, the outfit was established to serve as the nucleus of a future world government. It is also constantly involved in scandals, ranging from UN troops systematically raping children to UN “peace” missions perpetrating savage war crimes to make people submit to a communist dictator. Congress should pass the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 193) to Get U.S. out of the UN as quickly as possible.

Fans of free markets give Senate tax plan high marks

Carolina Journal – Senate leaders are proposing a $1 billion middle class tax reduction plan that would lower personal and corporate income taxes, increase mortgage interest deductions, and allow for unlimited medical and charitable tax deductions.

“Under this plan, 99 percent of all individual income taxpayers in North Carolina will either receive a tax cut or pay zero income tax,” said Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union. He was flanked at a late morning news conference Thursday by fellow Finance Committee co-chairmen Andrew Brock, R-Davie; and Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph; and Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.

Tucker and Berger say The Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut Act would not affect the General Assembly’s ability to meet teacher pay hikes and other funding commitments already made. Nor would the sales tax base be broadened to offset the costs.

Click here to read more.

Leftists Understand Economics When it Suits Them

FEE – What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

…the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

Indeed, it’s rumored that Reagan shared a version of this wisdom.

I don’t know if the Gipper actually said those exact words, but his grasp of tax policy was very impressive. And the changes he made led to very good results, even if folks on the left still refuse to believe the IRS data showing that Reagan’s lower tax rates on the rich generated more revenue.

Click here to read more.

North Carolina’s Teacher Salaries Rising Faster than Any State Since 2014

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore noted Monday that North Carolina’s teacher income is rising faster than any state in the country since 2014, according to available data.

Over the combined period of 2014, 2015 and 2016 budget years, North Carolina gave the largest percentage salary increase to teachers in the United States, according to the data currently available.

Speaker Moore released a statement: click here to read more.

Learn what the executive office was meant to be—and how to restore it.

In the first 60 days, Donald Trump’s presidency has proven to be one of the most unorthodox administrations in the modern era. He promised that he would buck traditional lines of communication, crony political appointments, and the Washington status quo—and so far he is making good on that promise. By voting for Trump, an overwhelming number of Americans rejected business as usual.

But what is “business as usual” for the President of the United States? What did the founders intend when they designed the office?

We have a front row seat to one of the most interesting presidencies in our nation’s history. But we must also understand the proper, good, and lawful role of the President according to the Constitution. The Executive Branch was designed to be powerful, but with important—constitutional—constraints.

To help you deepen your understanding, Hillsdale College offers you their popular online course for free – “The Presidency and the Constitution.” When you sign up for this free online course, the first lesson will be emailed to you immediately, with additional lessons to follow in the coming weeks.

I urge you as an American citizen to take this course and deepen your understanding of the proper role of the President in a constitutional republic.

To activate your free course now CLICK HERE

Warm Regards,
Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College
Pursuing Truth—Defending Liberty since 1844

The Team with a Plan is running for Buncombe County Republican Party Executive Board

We thank you for your consideration and hopefully your vote.

The Team views our job, if elected, as to promote the Republican principles, future candidates and present elected Republicans YEAR around NOT just at election time.

 

The Convention’s date and location been changed to:

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the AC Reynolds High School Auditorium, 1 Rocket Drive, Asheville, NC.

Registration will be held from 8:30am – 9:15am.

Joint Precinct Meetings will be held from 9am – 9:45am.

The Convention will convene at 10am.

YOU MUST BE REGISTERED REPUBLICAN WITHIN BUNCOMBE COUNTY AS OF JANUARY 31, 2017 TO ATTEND

Please, attend the convention as you can help the Party out by signing up in YOUR PRECINCT to be  a precinct chairman, vice chairman or secretary.

Judges can not make law. Is it not time to IMPEACH those that try too? Yes, it’s TIME!

1. The supremacy clause of the federal Constitution (Art. VI, clause 2) says that only the Constitution, laws made pursuant to the Constitution, and Treaties made under the authority of the United States are the supreme law of the land. Supreme Court “opinions” are NOT part of that supreme law.

2. Supreme court opinions are not “law” — they are OPINIONS on the cases [rightly or wrongly] before the Court. The ONLY ONLY ONLY federal law in this land is: The Constitution, Laws made by Congress which are permitted by the Constitution, and Treaties made by the President and the Senate which are permitted by the Constitution.

Supreme Courts opinions are NOT LAW.

3. But the statists have managed to convince most Americans that the Supreme Court is THE highest law making body in the entire Country. If people would only read our federal Constitution and use their heads, they would have seen through this absurd claim 100 years ago. – Publius Huldah

it is fact that Federal Judges can NOT make law but only issue opinions. As in Article 1, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution it is state that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….”. “ALL” meaning the Judges have no legislative powers and therefore have no law making powers. Also, note that on the Supreme Courts website it states OPINIONS and not the words “now law of the land”.

As for N.C. according to the N.C. Constitution in Article II, Legislative, Section 1, Legislative power “The legislative power of the State shall be visited in the General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.” Note, that it gives NO law making (legislative) powers to State judges.

Rand Paul: Republican Healthcare Plan Is “Obamacare Lite”

The New American – “Being divided into factions, they are more concerned to ruin their rivals, than to follow the dictates of reason.” — Samuel Pufendorf

The House Republican “alternative” to ObamaCare — the American Health Care Act, also known as RyanCare (after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) or TrumpCare — is no better than its similarly named predecessor, according to Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul (shown), a frequent foe of the GOP Establishment, is not happy with his party’s version of a healthcare bill, which is touted by the bill’s supporters as a “replacement,” but disparaged by Paul (and other constitutionally minded legislators) as “Obamacare Lite.”

In a lengthy statement to Breitbart News, the libertarian-leaning Paul recited chapter and verse of the American Health Care Act that made it worthy of the “Obamacare Lite” epithet. Paul told Breitbart:

I think the reason why the House leadership bill is Obamacare Lite is because it retains subsidies. Obamacare had subsidies for people to buy insurance. In the Paul Ryan bill, they keep the subsidies — they just call them refundable tax credits. Some people are predicting that it’s actually going to be more expensive than the subsidies we have under Obamacare. This isn’t you getting your own money back, this is you getting somebody else’s money. So, a family that makes $30,000 a year could actually get $14,000 that they didn’t pay. Let’s say they paid zero in income tax, they could get $14,000 back. One, we don’t have the money — it’s a new entitlement program and two, if you get $14,000 back do you think the insurance company is ever going to sell insurance for less than $14,000? That becomes the floor. So, it actually pushes insurance rates up — it doesn’t allow insurance rates to fall. So, that doesn’t allow insurance rates to fall and it sets up a new entitlement. The second thing that Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite bill does is they keep the Obamacare taxes — all of them — for a year. And then after a year, they keep the Cadillac Tax forever. That’s the tax on if you have really good insurance, Obamacare taxes that. So will Paul Ryan’s plan. The third thing they do that is Obamacare-like is they keep the individual mandate. It seems like every Republican says they were against the individual mandate. That’s if you didn’t buy insurance you had to pay a penalty to the government, a tax. Obamacare Lite, Paul Ryan’s plan, just changes it so you have to pay a penalty to the insurance companies. I consider that to still be a mandate that isn’t consistent with those of us who want less government involvement. So they keep the subsidies, they keep the taxes, and then they keep the mandate. Then the fourth thing they do is they actually subsidize the insurance companies. Right now, insurance companies are losing money and Obamacare has this rescue thing called ‘risk corridors’ to bail out the insurance companies. Paul Ryan has got the same thing, he just calls it reinsurance and it’s $100 million worth. I predict that might not even be enough. So I don’t like any of it. Now, I do think we agree as Republicans on repeal. But I don’t think we agree on the replacement. That’s why I say we should separate them, vote on repeal and then vote the same day on a separate bill that’s called replace.

Notably, Senator Paul offered his own healthcare plan — one he claimed would repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and replace it with a system relying on the market for price controls and coverage guidelines.

Click here to read more.

Restaurants Add “Labor Surcharge” to Tabs to Cover Minimum-wage Increases

The New American – Instead of increasing their menu prices in response to increased minimum-wage levels, restaurant owners are burying their increased labor costs at the bottom of each tab. The increase, between three and four percent, only comes after the customer has completed his meal. The increase also increases the tip customers leave behind as most customers leave a gratuity based on the check’s total. This is going to raise the average customer’s check, which has already increased by nearly 11 percent since 2012, close to five or six percent.

Some restaurant and fast-food owners aren’t burying the increase but are instead calling attention to it so that customers know that they’re the ones actually bearing the brunt of the forced increase in the minimum wage. Sami Ladeki, the owner of six Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill restaurants in San Diego and eight others across California, used to call it a “California mandate” but removed it after getting a call from the city attorney. Ladeki, who says he makes a profit of around one percent charging $12 to $14 a pizza, told the Wall Street Journal: “This is not sustainable. People are not going to pay $15 or $20 for a pizza.”

Click here to read more.

Jihad is Holy War against ALL NON-MUSLIMS

Tribune Papers – Holy War in the Cause of Allah

By Mike Scruggs – Jihad is one of the foundational doctrines of Islam—not “Radical Islam” or “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” just Islam. President Recip Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey told us the simple truth, when he said, “Islam is Islam.” There are many “moderate” (secular and cultural) Muslims, but there is no “moderate” Islam that is not considered heretical by mainstream Sunni and Shia clerics and scholars. Jihad is second only to the Shahada, the testimony of Muslim faith in Islamic doctrine: “La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah,” rendered in English as “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet (or Messenger) of Allah.” Jihad constitutes a whopping 31 percent of the combined sacred texts of the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad found in the Hadith (traditions) and Sira (biography) of Muhammad.

Jihad is defined in the Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law [Sharia], in Book O, Section 9.0: “Jihad is war against non-Muslims…to establish the religion [of Islam].” All of Section 9 of Book O, of this classic Sharia manual is about Jihad, including its obligatory nature for all Muslims. Muhammad also spoke of a spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs) when returning from a battle: “We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad.” But this inner struggle with the self only represents about two percent of the total text on Jihad in Islam’s three foundational texts. The other 98 percent is about the necessity, obligations, conduct, and forms of support for Holy War against all who resist Islam. It is clear from the Koran and the words of Muhammad in the Hadith(s) that the “lesser” Jihad of the sword against all non-Muslims is actually the most emphasized and esteemed part of Jihad. The “greater spiritual” Jihad turns out to be spiritual preparation for the Jihad of the sword. Muslim clerics and apologists speaking to non-Muslim audiences frequently refer to Jihad as spiritual struggle, but this is 98 percent deception. As Muhammad himself said, “Know that Paradise is under the shade of swords.”

Click here to read more.

Trump’s Voters Have Been Betrayed on Healthcare, Bigly

FEE – It’s now clear where this “repeal and replace” thing is headed. A small cadre of the GOP House leadership hammered out a few tweaks of Obamacare in secret. All the essentials of Obamacare were left in place: the mandates, the regulations, the strictures, the entitlement expansions, the preset packages, and many taxes.

The glorious reform had “lame” written all over it.

The glorious reform had “lame” written all over it. A mandate with penalties paid to government is replaced with a mandate to pay insurance companies plus a refundable tax credit which might actually cost more in the future than the present system.

You might say, as Reason observed, that it is “better than nothing.” True, and Khrushchev’s economic ideas were an improvement on Stalin’s. Still, it’s another central plan, providing no real substantial room for new innovation, competition, or genuine market forces.

When the bill was released on March 7, Trump tweeted: “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation.”

Click here to read more.

What’s the problem? May be government itself

Carolina Journal – As hundreds of bills are filed in the General Assembly, I ask: What problem are lawmakers trying to solve? If there is one, what should government do about it?

For years, people around the state have discussed the best dates for schools to start and to stop. Lawmakers, as of press time, have filed 17 bills this session addressing school flexibility.

We should allow school districts to decide what works best for their communities and for their students. The needs, for example, are different in New Hanover, Wake, and Polk counties.

The same can be said for the problems of teacher aides, classroom sizes, and textbook and digital spending. Raleigh issues orders when the solution may be for state government to do less — issue block grants to local districts and allow them to choose.

When the N.C. education lottery was enacted 12 years ago, proponents claimed the state wasn’t’ spending enough on education — as opposed to thinking about what the effects of that spending may be.

Click here to read more.

Freedom Caucus chairman: GOP health plan would raise premiums

The Hill – Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Friday he thinks the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace plan would actually drive insurance premiums up.

That’s because, he said, the plan as it stands still includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions and doesn’t remove the ObamaCare provision that requires insurance companies offer essential health benefits.

“If you take healthy people off and you keep all the mandates that are there, premiums will go up,” Meadows told reporters Friday.

He said in the short run, premiums could come down, but that they’d likely go up in the long term.

“I want to get rid of all the insurance regs and mandates that were in the Affordable Care Act.”

Click here to read more.

No Government belongs in the Health Insurance business. Health Insurance should be a TRUE free market, meaning the only government involvement is a State Insurance Commissioner to make sure the customer gets what they pay for – nothing more or less. Only a true open free market otherwise known as competition will lower the cost of Health Insurance. – Fremont V Brown III

Disputes shine spotlight on N.C. Constitution

Carolina Journal – The weekly “Front Row” political panel program on UNC-TV features a regular segment on “who’s up” and “who’s down” in state and national politics.

During a recent appearance, this panelist raised some eyebrows by assigning the “who’s up” label to John Dinan.

John Dinan? The Wake Forest University political scientist? He holds no office. Nor is he running for one. Why single him out for special attention?

The reason is linked to his area of academic expertise: state constitutions. Given the number of current N.C. political disputes that feature contrasting readings of the North Carolina Constitution, special knowledge of the state’s governing document is bound to come in handy throughout the next couple of years.

Dinan’s expertise isn’t unique, but his insights will prove useful as the rest of us attempt to make sense of various ongoing clashes involving all three branches of state government.

Click here to read more.

31 Senators Call for More Foreign Workers to Replace Blue-Collar Americans

Breitbart – Thirty-one Democratic and Republican Senators are asking the Department of Homeland Security to maximize the use of blue-collar outsourcing visas so U.S. companies can import more foreign workers instead of recruiting, training and paying unskilled U.S. workers.

The bipartisan request comes three months after the shocking November vote pressured GOP leaders to slash the H-2B visa program from a one-year high of 264,000 visas back down to the long-standing level of 66,000 visas.

The request to Department of Homeland Security John Kelly also comes as a claimed shortage of H-2B is prompted recruiters to find, hire, train and retain some of the millions of young underemployed men and women who could fill the many low-status seasonal jobs in landscaping, golf course maintenance, cleanup in restaurants, seafood processing, and hotel cleaning which are often allocated to H-2B contract-workers.

Recruitment consultants are helping employers hire alternative workers from American trade schools and from Puerto Rico. They are also warning employers to raise salaries and benefits for U.S. workers or else lose the workers to better-paying companies. “The first thing all employees want is a decent wage … Do you pay a competitive wage? This is probably the first place to start,” one employer recently urged her fellow landscaping employers.

On March 6, North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom Tillis announced a bipartisan Senate effort to increase the supply of H-2B visas, saying; Click here to read more.