‘Twas the night before Christmas

By: - December 23, 2015 4:00 am


Twas the night before Christmas and all through Raleigh town
Politicians filed for the next election round.
There was Richard and Deborah;
dont forget Chris Rey.
For GOP governor,
Bob Brawley had a say.

Brawleys filing annoyed the Guv’s re-election hunt
So they leaked scary emails to “news” team
Jones & Blount.
The list of GA candidates is worth a gander,
So many unopposed, the winner
s Gerry Mander.

Rev. Barber rallied those who refused to turn back
And lose voting rights once again under attack.
The NAACP’s again in court to fight
To ensure that none of us lose the most basic right.

UNCs Board made a call that left us at a loss
By firing—without cause—the well-respected Tom Ross.
esque gushed about Tom’s skills on-camera and off-,
The disconnect made even most Republicans scoff.

The choice to replace him was remarkably telling,
A for-profit advocate named Margaret Spellings.
The UNC system now looks to her leadership.
Working for Bush, she called for PBS censorship.

To pay for yet more tax breaks for the privileged few,
Our lawmakers again turned to the not-well-todo.
Taxing services used to fix, maintain, and install,
While sparing those of doctors, dentists, lawyers et al.

State workers were Scrooged. One-time bonuses were measly,
Meaning no real pay hike since we last saw Mike Easley.
Sound bites promised teachers
a generous pay raise,
But two-thirds were forgotten in the tax-cutting craze.

Healthcare for children and mothers and others in need,
Is now entrusted to out-of-state, for-profit greed.
orse: while other states came to their Medicaid senses,
Leaders refused expansion on right-wing pretenses.

Love wins,” said our Prez and the Supreme Court of the land.
Loves loses,” said Berger, fewer magistrates on hand.
Fairness will triumph when the ACLU prevails,
Most magistrates see through what Berger’s
stalling entails.

Lawmakers claim support for what locals are backing,
Unless it obstructs their new obsession with fracking.
Environmental protections were brought to their knees,
While applause was showered on magical solar bees.

A bill was passed to bring executions back around.
Have we really learned nothing from McCollum and Brown?
Tragic shooting deaths brought us all together in tears,
Many convinced that fewer guns would lessen our fears.

This year, the symbols of hate many said had to go
Were removed in South Carolina. We were too slow.
Nikki Haley took down a flag long flown in her state,
While Pat broke a promise about Confederate plates.

Graeme Keith had a contract he wanted to maintain,
I was in a side chat,” McCrory tried to explain.
I didnt hear all the talk of the money he gave,
But I ordered Roberts and Stith his contract to save.”

The future may be bright for well-planned online learning,
But weve got to find a way to be more discerning.
K12’s virtual charters
dont result in much learning.
The main goal for their schools is how much they are earning.

In a changing state eyed warily by the nation,
Policy Watch reviewed five years of legislation.
Altered State adds perspective for our future debates.
Heres hoping the rigid ideology abates.

Next year is the last one for many in the limelight,
Apodaca, Rucho, and Stam all will say good night.
Rick Glazier left
Jones Street too, but hes right down the way,
Leading the Justice Center
s work towards a brighter day.

Heres hoping for a year when the State gets back on track.
Prosperity for all, not McCrory
s false comeback.
Our state has rebounded from adversity before,
With progressive NC leaders who’ve demanded more.

Its time for new visionaries to step up and lead.
The Far Right is wrong. A correction is what we need.
Strong public schools, environmental oversight.
A tax system that’s fair. Healthcare as a right.

Sanity on guns. Food insecurity vanished.
Protection for workers. Predatory lending banished.
The tired and the poor, all families with a dream.
Led by those who strive to be, rather than to seem.

That’s our challenge this year, to move forward towards what’s right.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066