Under the Dome

Art Pope is worried about Chris Fitzsimon's health

An interview with Art Pope shows up in this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek magazine with some interesting new details about the governor’s new budget director.

The wealthy and influential conservative financier tells the magazine he turned the job down at first because his wife didn’t like it that he had become a favorite target of liberal groups, and had even received a death threat on an anonymous blog post.

Pope says figures like Chris Fitzsimon, executive director of N.C. Policy Watch have waged a full-steam campaign against him. In fact, a mischievous Pope says, the day that Pat McCrory announced his appointment, “We were all worried about Mr. Fitzsimon – we thought he might have a stroke.”

Pope also tells the magazine he’s not “taking an ideological ax to the state budget. I am simply taking a fresh look.”

The article quotes Dallas Woodhouse, state director of Americans for Prosperity, predicting a “major overhaul” of state government and North Carolina’s tax code. The corporate income tax will disappear and the personal income tax will be cut at least in half, Woodhouse predicts.

In fact, Senate leader Phil Berger this week floated the idea of eliminating income taxes.

Here’s the full article.



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Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

NC is not and never has been liberal

At best, we had a moderate point of view prevailing. Now we will be dragged pack to the 1950's by the knuckle-draggers because the GOP in this state is firmly in the hands of the far right. And there is absolutely nothing healthy about that. Do not expect Pat McCrory to put any limits on this regressive government -- he has no backbone or beliefs of his own. He will blow with the wind.

I think the state is healthier................

now that we have allowed the conservative point of view. The problem with NC is that only the liberal view has been heard lo these many, many years. There is always another side of the coin and hearing the conservative view is healthy for the state. Why not let the conservatives have their say?

How great thou Art???

A stroke? Maybe Pope is not the spiteless mockingbird I had assumed. I saw Fitzsimons on “NC SPIN” today. Yes, he does sometimes growl and sometimes even snap, but overall a harmless grant-funded minority voice, one of the more literate. There wouldn’t have been a debate—or a show--without him.

Look it up, It Is a Common Phrase

My are we not overreacting a bit to a common phrase? Look it up on the web at “thefreedictionary” , or McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 for the phrase, “He had worked himself into such a sweat, I was afraid he would have a stroke.”’

Only in this case Mr. Fitzsimon is paid to work himself into a sweat personally attacking (rather than debate) Republicans and conservatives who dare to disagree with Ftizsimon’s far left progressive dogma. And he is well paid to be an attack dog, funded by Jim Goodmon’s Fletcher Foundation and former Democratic Senator Leslie Winner’s Reynolds Foundation.


I agree with your point. Chris has never liked Pope and neither have most people who know the poor soul. His arrogance was evident when he stated his name should bring him royalties when people use it as they did when he was appointed and they marched outside the cap. Art has money and needs no more. He took a family business with Variety and has made it a laughing stock sucking all the funds those who utilize his stores have. As a budget director he is only going to be looking at how the state can make money. Funny given the state really isn't supposed to be a profitable business, however Pope sees it differently.

Hypersensitive aren't we?

Are you insane?(Don't bother answering, that was rhetorical) How was Pope's comment nasty? If he had said he wanted Mr. Fitzsimons to have a stroke, that would have been. But afraid that he would? Don't see that as nasty. Unless Mr. Fitzsimons has already had a stroke that I don't know about.
Seems that there is a contingent of posters here who aren't happy unless they are complaining about anyone in the public with an R after their name. Must be a real bitch going through life that angry all the time.

Joking about strokes -- that's a laugh riot

This is a fascinating article -- I think we finally see the real Art Pope. Look beyond his determinedly friendly exterior and we find a short, tubby, passive agressive man still smarting from his defeat when he ran for Lt. Governor. His comments are carefully chosen to win him sympathy but Im not buying it. First of all: no post is "anonymous." If someone truly made a death threat against Pope, it should be investigated.

Secondly, Chris Fitzsimons is worth about a thousand Art Popes, who, in turn, is not worth the dirt on the bottom of Mr. Fitzsimons' shoes. For years, regardless of who has been in power, Chris Fitzsimons has been writing carefully and factually about this state's policies -- in sharp contrast to the hacks at Civitas, Americans for Prosperity and other Pope-funded groups.

I can only congratulate Mr. Fitzsimons for his excellent reporting and for proving that, eventually, the truth can and will hurt those who conceal it. Art Pope's nasty comment about Mr. Fitzsimons proves it.

(edited to correct the spelling of "Fitzsimons")

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