Photo of the day

From Telegraph’s photos of the day:

A northern flicker leaving nest cavity. Seven hungry newly-hatched chicks open their beaks as widely as possible as a male woodpecker takes a peek at his young. The Northern Flicker, part of the woodpecker family, chose a dead spruce tree for its nest, which was around 10ft high. Though blind and without their feathers, this descent of woodpeckers will soon grow to look just like their beautiful father - with black bars on their backs and wings and an exceptionally bright yellow under their tail and underwings.

A northern flicker takes flight as it leaves its nest in a forest in AlaskaPicture: Michael Quinton/Minden Pictures/Solent News

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Do they think we’re stupid

The arrogance mendacity of the NC Republican legislature truly is breathtaking.  They have taken to lying about their education cuts by pretending things like inflation-adjusted (and population-adjusted) calculations simply don’t exist.  Here’s Mark Binker’s fact check:

As he debated an amendment to the $21.5 billion proposal, Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, the chamber’s senior budget writer, called attention to the fact that, in terms of raw dollars, the Senate budget would spend more on K-12 education than any of its predecessors. House and Senate budget writers still need to come to a compromise deal before a final budget bill will be sent to Gov. Pat McCrory.

“This budget spends more on K-12 education than ever in the history of this state – ever,” Brown said.

That paved the way for Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, to huff and puff and blow down the notion that lawmakers should be considering anything other than what they’re actually spending.

“It always kind of makes me nervous when someone stands up that probably never made a payroll in their life, probably is not too used to signing the front of a check, but they want to start talking about real dollars, adding inflation, arbitrary figures, this and that,” Apodaca said. “This is dangerous because we deal in actual dollars. That’s what the world deals in – actual dollars.”

Saying that the Senate shouldn’t deal in “fairy tales,” Apodaca continued, “I feel like I’m in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with some of the terminology coming out of that back row,” a reference to Democrats who occupy the back row of seats in the Senate chamber.

Seriously?!  Just wow.  If you are going to talk about “most ever” or any such formulation and not take into account inflation (much less population growth), you are either a complete moron or completely nefarious in trying to fool people.  As if “real dollars” or “inflation-adjusted” is some sort of craziness?  WTF!!!  Apodaca is literally an embarrassment to the human race.  And, hooray, he’s a key figure in making policy for my state.

Given that most of my readers surely have beyond a middle-school education, I’m not going to bother with the rest of Binker’s fact check or any further explanation on just how wrong the Republicans are here.  Though, I will mention the facts that show just how much of a cut we’ve had to K-12 education:

Figures produced by the General Assembly’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division show that, in constant 2008 dollars, education spending has dropped from $8.1 billion in the 2007-08 budget year to $7.3 billion starting July 1 if the Senate budget were enacted.

Put another way, North Carolina K-12 system has roughly 10 percent less buying power at its disposal than it did 10 years ago…

Using raw, unadjusted dollars, the state Senate budget would spend $5,386.44 per student next year. That’s more per pupil than was spent during the heart of the recession in 2010 but less than pre-recession years of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Those numbers look worse when adjusted for inflation, showing that, in 2008 dollars, North Carolina would spend $4,736.71 per pupil under the Senate budget proposal versus $5,511.08 10 years ago.

I’m going with stupid and evil to explain this.

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