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Defense Department reviewing which civilian employees are covered by new law

Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican from Dunn, has been accusing President Barack Obama this week of ignoring a new law that guarantees military pay despite the shutdown.

About 7,000 civilian workers at Fort Bragg, in Ellmers’ district, reportedly have been furloughed.

Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act on Monday, and the president signed it into law. The measure was meant to make sure that soldiers would be paid without interruption.

“This was signed into law by President Obama and has been in effect since Monday, yet the president is refusing to enforce it. Therefore, these Fort Bragg furloughs should not be occurring,” Ellmers said in a statement. “Fort Bragg employees across my district are suffering because the president wants to inflict pain and play political games with people’s lives.”

Obama declares 13 hard-hit western counties disaster areas

President Obama has declared 13 counties in western North Carolina a major disaster area because of flooding, mud slides and landslides that occurred there in in July.

The president ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. Federal funding will be available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.

The counties covered by the declaration are Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Watauga, and Yancey and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA), named Michael Bolch as the Federal Coordinating Officer for the federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Elon Poll: McCrory decline is continuing

Another poll, and more declining ratings for Gov. Pat McCrory.

The Elon University Poll found the governor's approval ratings had dropped to 36 percent -- down from 46 percent in April when Elon last surveyed North Carolinians. The poll found that McCrory's steepest declines came from Democrats, but that he has also lost support among independents and Republicans as well.

The new poll shows McCrory with 36 percent approving his performance with 45 percent disapproving and 17 percent not sure.

That compares with President Barack Obama, who had a 38 percent approval rating in the state, with a disapproval rating of 50 percent with 9 percent not sure.

Only 37 percent approve of the president's handling of Syria, while 46 percent opposing it.

As for the General Assembly, 32 percent approve of the job they are doing, with 48 percent disapproving.

On the Moral Monday protests, 48 percent had a favorable opinion, while 31 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 19 percent said they didn't know.

Only 31 percent of North Carolina voters said the state was on the right track, with 58 percent believing it was on the wrong track. Asked which party they blamed for North Carolina being on the wrong track, 19 percent said the Democrats, 49 percent said the Republicans, and 27 percent said neither.

The survey of 701 registered voters was conducted Sept. 13-16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.

Obama appoints Meadows to UN post - yes you read it right

GOP Congressman Mark Meadows has been nominated by President Obama to be a representative of the United States to the 68th session of the United Nations.

Those are several words we never thought we'd be stringing together -- "Meadows" "Obama" and "UN'' but there you are.

Meadows, a conservative freshman represents the 11th district and is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Berger calls on Hagan to reverse stand on Syrian strike

State Senate leader Phil Berger, on Tuesday urged U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan to break with President Obama and take a stand against the president’s plan to intervene in Syria.

Berger, a Republican who is considering challenging Hagan, a Democrat, criticized Hagan's support for an air strike.

Richard Hudson comes out against striking Syria

Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, said Friday he will oppose U.S. military action in Syria.

"I have taken the last several days to study the situation in Syria, receiving intelligence briefings and speaking with my colleagues in Congress,'' Hudson said in a statement. "It has become clear to me that President Obama and his Administration do not have a cohesive long-term policy for the Middle East and are unable to articulate a strategy in Syria. The Administration has also not made it clear what objective and end game is achievable with a limited use of force. To make matters worse, it appears that if we were to pursue the President’s suggested course of military action, we would be acting unilaterally, as support from our allies is nearly nonexistent. Limited unilateral action will not send the right message to Iran and other bad actors, and I fear it will only further destabilize the region.''

“Up to this point, President Obama and his Administration have not done a credible job in demonstrating strength of conviction in the region and sending cruise missiles into Damascus now isn’t going to change that,'' Hudson said. "I do not believe it is in our best interest to take the military action currently proposed by the President against Syria."

Phyllis Schlafly embraces N.C. voter law

National conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly cheered the state new law limiting the early voting period because the Obama campaign used early voting to its advantage.

In a WND column published today, Schlafly wrote: "The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

Schlafy also praises stricter abortion clinic regulations, the end to teacher tenure, the new cursive writing requirement, and the cut to unemployment benefits.

Hagan feels good '14, would invite Obama to campaign

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan said she thinks she is well-positioned for re-election campaign next year, although she expects hers to one of the top targeted Senate seats when Republicans try to retake control of the Senate next year.

"I feel very, very good about my race," Hagan said in a meeting with reporters and editors of The News and Observer. "I know I have to raise a lot of money. I know the opposition will be spending an incredible amount of money in our state. I won't be able to counter that but I will certainly be prepared and put together a top notch team.''

She said that Republicans spent $40 million to try to defeat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio last year, suggesting a similar effort might be aimed at her in 2014.

Hagan said she would "be honored'' to have President Obama campaign for her.

McCrory down, Obama, Hagan up in new NC poll

Gov. Pat McCrory has seen some erosion in his support, but is still liked by most voters, according to a new poll.

McCrory is favored by 49 percent of voters, but is viewed unfavorably by 32 percent, according to a new survey conducted for The Civitas institute, a conservative advocacy group based in Raleigh. That is a slippage from March, when McCrory, a Republican, was viewed favorably by 56 percent and unfavorably by 25 percent.

The spin:" It is inevitable that a governor gets some some heat," said Francis DeLuca, Civitas institute president. "Note that at roughly the same point in her term as governor, Bev Perdue had a 36-38 favorable/unfavorable ring. McCrory retains a favorable image in the minds of voters.''

Anthony Foxx confirmed as U.S. transportation chief

The U.S. Senate voted 100-0 Thursday morning to confirm Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next U.S. Transportation Secretary after Sen. John Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said Foxx would be a “superb” person to lead the country’s transportation network.

Foxx, 42, will immediately confront safety and funding challenges in a large department that oversees the nation’s highway, transit, aviation and rail networks.

Skeptics have questioned whether Foxx brings enough heft to the job. But supporters admire his push in Charlotte for improvements to the city’s airport, highways and transit systems. Others like his experience working with the federal government on the local level.

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