scharrison's blog

Richard Burr: misleading and nonsensical

Do-Nothing sings a sad song for voters:

The candidates for U.S. Senate in North Carolina don't agree on much, but they concur that with persistent high unemployment and lingering uncertainty about the economy, voters haven't stopped worrying and struggling.

"It's the American people that feel it day in and day out," Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said. "You can't judge it on whether Wall Street's up or Wall Street's down."

And if it was up to you, they'd be feeling it even more. By voting against extending unemployment benefits (several times) and voting against small business assistance, you've demonstrated your contempt for working families. But will they notice?

Hat-tip to Ricky

Even a stopped clock is gets it right twice a day:

If more of our sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends were deployed as part of mandated service, there is no way our presidents would have the political capital to get entangled in limited, non-decisive and seemingly unending warfare like that being practiced in Afghanistan.

Another troubling trend stemming from the all-volunteer force is its growing dependence on contractors to do the work citizen-soldiers performed in previous wars...In other words, you and I are funding a second, stealth force in Afghanistan and Iraq outside the direct responsibility and accountability of our military and elected leaders.

Martinez makes some good points in this piece, and I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge that. But I reserve the right to skewer him for future writings. :)

Gang of Five fails assignment

Turning in a hastily scribbled essay in place of detailed research:

Advancing Excellence in Education Worldwide, or AdvancED, had requested all information and studies used by the school board majority to adopt the new student assignment policy and to support its belief it would improve the high schools accredited by the group. The group asked for student performance data, financial impact studies, transition plan impact studies and specific case studies.

But the response the Georgia-based organization received on Friday from Wake provided a four-paragraph answer on the assignment policy question with no accompanying studies or documents.

I think somebody needs a tutor.

LaRoque fined for campaign loans

At least when you ask yourself for a loan, you don't have to worry about being rejected:

LaRoque, who is also president and sole shareholder of the LaRoque Management Group Inc. in Kinston, made two loans from his business to his state House campaign committee during the 2008 race worth $53,000.

The business was incorporated in 2004 to make small business loans through two non-profit groups, the East Carolina Development Company Inc. and Piedmont Development Company Inc. The LMG partners with the USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program and its Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program.

Just as a bonus, for all of you small-government, tax-hating Libertarians, here's where the money comes from for that "partnering":

"But I've already had my baby!"

Renee Ellmers denounces maternity care coverage:

“Maternity coverage – that’s another one. … Should you have to pay for someone else’s [maternity care]? Maybe you’ve decided you’ve had your children, or maybe we have a 35-year-old female who’s had a hysterectomy. Should she have to pay maternity coverage? Maternity coverage is very costly,” Ellmers said to the paper.

That view echoes those of some congressional Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, who said at a Senate hearing last year: “I don't need maternity care and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don't need and will make the policy more expensive.”

Off the record, Ellmers also said, "I don't have a heart, either. So, you know, me paying for cardio-vascular coverage is total bullshit."

Fate of Chinqua Penn in doubt, again

Historical plantation caught up in bankruptcy struggle:

U.S. marshals took control of the 1920s plantation and other properties Tuesday and placed them with the trustee in the bankruptcy case, Bill Stafford, the marshal for the Middle District of North Carolina, said Wednesday. He declined to describe the other properties, noting case documents were ordered sealed by a bankruptcy judge.

The estate was owned by North Carolina for nearly half a century before selling it to Phelps in 2006.

Chinqua Penn really is a treasure, folks. The Penn family didn't practice "feng shui", if you know what I mean. There's a lot of cool stuff crammed in there for you to look at. And it's one of the few genuine tourist attractions in an area that needs those dollars badly.

Homebuilders block energy efficiency code revisions

Hat-tip to Mark Binker over at Capital Beat:

New regulations that would have required houses built in North Carolina to be 30 percent more energy efficient than current models have been delayed following a vote by the state’s Building Code Council earlier this month.

The principal objections to the new regulations came from homebuilders, particularly the N.C. Home Builders Association, which said increased costs associated with the energy-efficiency measures would make houses harder to sell in the sluggish economy. Advocates for the new rules said any increase in mortgage costs would be offset by lower energy bills.

This is the same kind of crap that's happening on the national level with FHFA's opposition to PACE.

Stam's district hit-list

Power-hungry Republican leader telegraphs his punches:

House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, is on a drive to build a GOP majority in the House and has identified districts where he thinks his party can switch enough seats to put Republicans in control.

“We need nine to get a majority,” Stam said, “but I’m looking at it being 66 to 54 our way.” He added, “I’m not a prophet. I’m telling you what we would do if the election were held today.”

Republicans last controlled the House in the mid-1990s. Districts Stam thinks could switch to the Republican column this November are: Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 22, 25, 34, 35, 41, 44, 45, 51, 54, 77. 81, 88, 93, 112, 116.

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