Now you tell us: Hillary Clinton edition

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online peruses a new account of the failed Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

The authors are blunt about how what they observed of Team Clinton behind the scenes was completely different from what most of the public saw:

Over the course of a year and a half, in interviews with more than one hundred subjects, we started to piece together a picture that was starkly at odds with the narrative the campaign and the media were portraying publicly. Hillary’s campaign was so spirit-crushing that her aides eventually shorthanded the feeling of impending doom with a simple mantra: We’re not allowed to have nice things.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to know there was a “feeling of impending doom” inside the Clinton campaign last year?

It’s not that there was no coverage of the campaign’s infighting and stumbles. There just wasn’t much to suggest that the dysfunction of Clinton’s team would prove fatal, or even that it was worse than the usual clashing of egos in a high-stakes national race. The Trump campaign was usually portrayed as an out-of-control clown car, with feuding egos, bumbling incompetence, and campaign managers changing as regularly as Spinal Tap drummers. The Clinton campaign, by comparison, was perceived to be an experienced, well-funded, well-organized, well-oiled machine brimming with dozens of campaign offices in swing states and a proven ground game.

Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party of the future

Heather Wilhelm ponders for National Review Online the role of a self-described socialist in the future of American politics.

Welcome to today’s Democratic party, where dysfunction reigns — and fittingly, the wacky, melancholy Bernie Sanders, who refuses to even call himself a Democrat, is king.

To be fair, there is something truly majestic about a Bernie speech: The intensity, the deadpan delivery, and the fleeting impression that the senator is actually clinging to the lectern for safety, lest he slowly collapse into some invisible cavern of quicksand gurgling right below his feet. As he barks through a break-the-bank socialist laundry list, his hands occasionally float through the air, with loose jabs accompanying random syllables — the last two of “administration”; the first three of “irresponsible.” His ideology is a political cough drop, long-expired, crusty, and found at the bottom of your great-grandmother’s purse, right next to some equally old butter crackers secretly squirreled away from the local all-you-can eat buffet.

But to millions of Americans, he is a hero. His new podcast, The Bernie Sanders Show, hit the No. 2 spot on the iTunes charts in its first week. A new Harvard-Harris survey reveals that he is the most popular politician in the country, earning favorable marks from 57 percent of registered voters. Among Democrats, his favorability hits 80 percent. (Interestingly, just two-thirds of Republicans view the senator negatively, leading one to wonder whether the other third never heard him opine about how there are too many different brands of deodorant.)

Bernie’s impressive poll numbers, reports The Hill, “could buoy a potential 2020 presidential run.” Drumroll, please: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, things are that bad. A 75-year-old socialist who once literally honeymooned in the USSR is the brave new face of the Democratic party. America, it is apparent, has not suffered enough.

This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

The N.C. House has approved a measure to limit damages linked to nuisance lawsuits targeting hog farms. But a key amendment would prevent the new law from protecting major hog producer Smithfield Foods against hundreds of existing legal cases. Rick Henderson analyzes the legislation for the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Katherine Restrepo assesses the Carolina Cares proposal for expanding North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Co-authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens explain why North Carolina ranks No. 19 in their Cato Freedom in the 50 States report.

UNC professor Jessica Smith makes the case for rewriting the entire N.C. criminal code. Plus you’ll hear highlights from a debate over changing North Carolina’s charter school approval process.

New Carolina Journal Online features

Dan Way reports for Carolina Journal Online on State Treasurer Dale Folwell’s efforts to trim state pension fund management fees.

Joseph Coletti’s Daily Journal disputes a projection that the N.C. Senate tax plan would create state budget shortfalls.

Bertie’s budget woes lead to elimination of 21 positions

Bertie County Schools is laying off staff to address multi-year budget deficits.

According to an article published in the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, the district will eliminate 21 support positions over the next two months.

The school board blames past superintendents, auditors, the Local Government Commission, and others for the district’s budget deficits, but ultimately it is their responsibility.

‘Front Row’ show snags one-on-one interview with Burr

The latest edition of UNC-TV’s “Front Row with Marc Rotterman” features a one-on-one conversation with North Carolina’s senior U.S. senator.

Wake taxpayers add $8,485 to teachers’ paychecks

Local salary supplements are funds added to the state-mandated base pay of school district employees.  Because the supplements are local dollars, school boards may distribute the funds as they see fit.  Some districts choose to use their local supplement to address staffing needs and priorities, while others distribute them broadly.  For school employees in urban and suburban districts, local supplements offset the higher cost of living in those areas.

The statewide average supplement for a classroom teacher was $4,194, an 8.4 percent increase from last year.  While six of North Carolina’s 115 districts reported that they offered no supplement, 99 percent of the state’s teachers received additional local dollars in their paychecks this year.

Wake County taxpayers add more to teachers’ salaries than any other district in the state.  This year, the average teacher salary supplement for a Wake County teachers was $8,485, over $600 more per teacher than what the second highest district, Chapel-Hill/Carrboro Schools.  Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, and Orange round out the top five.

Federalist column labels new Trump policy ‘dangerous nonsense’

David Harsanyi of the Federalist pans the president’s “Buy American, Hire American” policy.

“We don’t have a level playing field for our workers,” Donald Trump told a group of workers in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday. Truth is, if we ever leveled the playing field with countries like Mexico and China, the average American worker would be making $3 an hour and spending their pittance on third-world health care and decrepit housing. Please don’t level the playing field, thank you very much.

When few things are going your way in politics, though, it’s customary to return to rhetoric that made you successful. So, as Republicans have been unable to push forward on health-care or tax reform — or anything not named Neil Gorsuch, for that matter — it is unsurprising that Trump would turn to protectionism as a way to bolster his political fortunes.

On Tuesday, the president traveled to a tool manufacturing company in Wisconsin and threw some nationalistic bromides at a blue-collar crowd (none of which included the words “I’m afraid some of your jobs will be taken by robots in the future”), then signed an executive order ordering the White House to look into ways to curb guest worker visa programs and require government agencies to buy more goods and services from American companies.

The “Hire American” chunk of the executive order is meant to crack down on “abuses” (according to Trump officials) of the H-1B visa program. Democrats have long deployed words like “loophole” to describe actions that are perfectly legal but which they haven’t yet figured out how to regulate or tax. For Trump officials, the word “abuse” is now being used in the same way. It’s hardly abusive for industries to decide who they want to hire instead of letting government decide for them.