scharrison's blog

What's really behind Senate rules ban

He who makes the rules rules the kingdom:

If an agency wants a new regulation that doesn't fit into those categories, it would have to come before the legislature, which would assess its relative costs and benefits.

The power of government doesn't rest in oratory or documents, it is manifested in the implementation of such. The Roman Senate knew this, and so does the North Carolina Senate. When Senate Republicans ponder this rulemaking ban, they don't have efficiency or economic growth in mind; for them, this represents the disarming of an opponent's troops.

NC's newest environmental threat: Our own government

When the health and welfare of citizens isn't worth a dime:

A new rule could be projected to save a hundred million dollars in avoided environmental damages or human illness, and be blocked because it cost one person ten bucks. Unfortunately, this example of anti-environmental policy is no longer a fringe position in the new N.C. General Assembly. SB 22 has 22 co-sponsors, nearly a majority of the Senate right there. … Clearly, conservationists are going to have our hands full fighting for our natural resources and public health this year.

The above quote originated with NC's League of Conservation Voters, another worthy non-profit that deserves our attention and support.

Mooresville Mayor asked to resign

But apparently asking isn't enough:

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 Monday to ask Mayor Chris Montgomery to resign over hundreds of romantic e-mails he sent from his public account to a woman who isn't his wife.

Those "cheatin' heart" e-mails don't say much about the man's character, but if they had been sent to his wife? Probably wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. Not trying to sympathize or justify, but when the real conflict of interest plays second fiddle to infidelity and e-mail misuse, a lot more people may need a refresher course on ethics in government:

No signs of fish advisory

It might help if people who actually eat the fish were warned:

The N.C. Division of Public Health, which issued the advisory for PCB-laden channel catfish, says it relies on news reports and its website to alert the public. Because signs are expensive, the division says, they go up only when communities request them and help with the cost.

You might want to ask yourself: Why would county commissioners (or other community leaders) want to request help/spend money for signs that could scare away tourists? This is a state-level responsibility, not a pass-the-hat, elective enhancement.

Speaking truth to power

It's a hackneyed expression, but its value hasn't diminished through use. With painful elections behind us and an uncertain future ahead, speaking truth to power is one of the few tools we have to shape that future. And it won't be easy. A convincing message needs solid, verifiable research, with analysis backing it up, and the determination to keep pounding that message out even when it seems none are paying attention. A passage I read recently spells it out nicely.

There's no surer path out of the wilderness than to keep making their arguments sharply, forcefully and with the well-being of ordinary folks uppermost in mind.

Naive Democrat co-sponsors voucher bill

Via Binker's Capital Beat:

Brandon said he supports public schools and wants to make sure the tax credit won’t hurt public schools funding.

“And so this allows us to at least get in the conversation, maybe, as long as other side … protects public schools in addition to this,” Brandon said.

Have you been living under a rock, Marcus? Not only has the "other side" not lifted a finger to protect public schools or the estimated 6,000 teachers about to be fired, they're actively pursuing the dissolution of said schools, and this bill is a big part of that pursuit.

The other health care battle

Suffering from free market flu:

Aetna and the UNC Health Care System are fighting over how much the insurer will pay for services. About 8,000 Aetna members are caught in the middle.

Unless there's a last-minute settlement, the dispute will force Aetna members to switch to a non-UNC doctor or facility, or pay much higher "out-of-network" costs.

As you can imagine, several of the commenters blame this on Obamacare, even though this kind of thing has been going on for years. But I see at least two facets of the new law that would help patients in this situation: The removal of pre-existing conditions and exchange shopping. What say you?

Convention funding restricted by DNC

In search of the unconventional convention:

Next year's Democratic convention in Charlotte will have to be financed without corporate money.

The Democratic Party has issued guidelines saying the $37 million to be raised by the host committee can not come from corporations, from lobbyists or from individuals in amounts of more than $100,000.

I wonder what Mayor Foxx thinks of this?


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