Wednesday, September 21, 2011

After slashing school funding, N.C. House speaker Thom Tillis is shocked — shocked! — by teacher layoffs

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Our hero Thom Tillis, the N.C. Speaker of the House and pride of Cornelius, has a way with words. Specifically, he has a real knack for wrestling words to the ground and shaping them into sentences that misdirect listeners and hide otherwise obvious facts that could make him look bad. Case in point: Tillis told a town hall meeting in Salisbury yesterday that it’s news to him if N.C. teachers and teacher assistants are being laid off as a result of the legislature slashing the public school budget. He told the Salisbury crowd that he wants to know about specific instances of such layoffs, because that’s certainly not what he intended when making those cuts.

Either Tillis is obfuscating like a mofo in this instance, or he’s as dull-witted as his political cohort, Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, of “gay marriage leads to legal incest” fame. Tillis, though, is certainly nobody’s dope, so we’re giving him credit for his, er, diversionary language skills. Or, as Chris Fitzsimon says at the ProgressivePulse website, maybe it's just that Tillis “remains vigilant in not letting the facts interfere with his talking points.”

If Tillis really does want to hear of “specific cases” of teacher and assistant layoffs, he’s going to have a huge pile of them to sift through, as the Department of Public Instruction reports that 1,260 teacher assistants and 534 teachers have been laid off this year due to the GOP’s budget cuts. Tillis has hinted that he doesn’t want to stay in the General Assembly a long time. If he needs a new profession after his lawmaking days are over, may I suggest leading Obfuscation Workshops around the nation for prospective politicians?

Speaker Thom Tillis gonna whomp sumbody over the head if they blame him for teacher layoffs
  • Josh Ellis
  • Speaker Thom Tillis gonna whomp sumbody over the head if they blame him for teacher layoffs

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