scharrison's blog

The Morgan Effect: Lanier's strange bedfellows

Elephants do have long memories:

"I've always known Lanier to be a very forthright, ethical person, and I am mystified at this argument," said House Republican Leader Paul Stam of Apex. "I don't see what Lanier allegedly has done, other than serve the public."

Other Republican leaders, including GOP benefactor Art Pope, lashed out at Morgan on Friday, saying he is not trying to clean up government but to keep money flowing to himself and his wife...Pope and other Republicans say they think Morgan filed the ethics complaint against Cansler to try to preserve the cash flow that Morgan and those around him get from the home and hospice care industry.

When friends attack

As much as some of us would prefer to avoid the unpleasantness that very often walks hand-in-hand with Primary elections, that's not far removed from trying to avoid death and taxes. It ain't gonna happen. But what we can do is try to steel ourselves for the inevitable anger, disappointment, feelings of betrayal, and all the other inescapably human reactions to internecine conflict.

We must be able to emerge stronger than we were before the conflict, or we will lose whatever value was gained from the painful experience. And if we do, we stand to lose many other things down the road; things we have worked hard to achieve in the betterment of our society.

Burr skills: "I can drive a car all by myself!"

For simple people, it's the simple things that count:

He drove himself to the event, arrived with no entourage and introduced himself to every worker who shook his hand, though all at the plant had certainly been made aware of his presence.

The bolding in this blog post is Burr's own emphasis. When I saw that, I couldn't help but picture a 5 year-old's first bike ride sans training wheels: "Mom! Look at me! I'm riding my bike! I'm a bike rider! Mommmmmmmmmy!" :)

Cary Allred refuses to die (politically)

It looks like I may have a zombie problem here in my home County, and this new strain prefers to guzzle clam juice after eating the brains of really stupid people:

Cary Allred will try to collect signatures from 3,564 registered voters so he can get his name on the ballot to run for an unexpired term on the Alamance County Board of Commissioners.

“I wanted to go down there and let people know I’m serious as death about this,” Allred said. “This ain’t no lark. And anybody who says it is, is … in outer space."

Wake school board doublethink

George Orwell would be proud:

"Community schools can go hand-in-hand with diversity," Tedesco told his colleagues. The district's eventual attendance plan with a community-based focus will show that, he said. Some in the community have a "false understanding" about the matter, he said.

"We value stability for families. We value parental choice, and we value diversity," Tedesco said. "They don't have to be exclusive."

Keep practicing your Newspeak, John, and you'll eventually get the hang of it.

Hunger in the mountains

It may come as no great surprise, but it should still be alarming:

In all, more than 106,600 people received help from MANNA partner agencies at least once in 2009. More than 33,000 are children. The report found that 84 percent of respondents didn't know where they would get tomorrow's meal and 76 percent of pantries have seen an increase in need.

Three employees were let go for the first time in Mission Ministry's history, said Bill Warren, with the nonprofit in Marion. He's working the front lines of what he calls a “pandemic of poverty.” “But when you go and you look into the eyes of that person face to face and say, ‘I'm out of food today, there is none … That's very painful,” Warren said. “You go home and you don't sleep well.”

Navy tries "backroom" approach to OLF

Thumbing his nose at the general public, Admiral Harvey holds secret meeting with people of "influence":

Carolyn Riggs, a former Camden County commissioner, said the purpose of the meeting was to give business owners a chance to express their concerns to Harvey “one on one” about the Navy’s OLF study in Camden.

The meeting was also an effort, she said, to put the Navy commander with authority over the OLF project in touch with “people who are influential and who have their pulse on the community” in Camden and Currituck.

NC in the middle on taxation

Contrary to what local Free-Marketers would have you believe, our state is not the Tax King of the region:

According to the Tax Foundation’s state and local per-capita tax burden for fiscal year 2008, North Carolina ranks 28th with an average of $3,663 paid per person.

You may wonder how we compare to our neighbors. Well, we’re right smack in the middle there too. Virginia and Georgia are higher while Tennessee and South Carolina are lower.

President Obama in Charlotte

Bringing good news on the jobs front:

As I said, just one year ago, we were losing an average of more than 700,000 jobs each month. But the tough measures that we took -- measures that were necessary even though sometimes they were unpopular -- have broken this slide and are helping us to climb out of this recession. We’ve now added an average of more than 50,000 jobs each month over the first quarter of this year. And this month’s increase of 162,000 jobs was the best news we’ve seen on the job front in more than two years.

This month, more Americans woke up, got dressed, and headed to work at an office or factory or storefront. More folks are feeling the sense of pride and satisfaction that comes with a hard-earned and well-deserved paycheck at the end of a long week of work.

Ballantine accused of racketeering

In a civil suit filed by a former employee:

The lawsuit, filed in New Hanover County Superior Court, also alleges Ballantine, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004, participated in “racketeering activity” and fraud, including inflating the quantities of waste the company disposed of at the New Hanover County Landfill and charging customers based on the inflated amount.

The suit names Waste Hauling Services, Ballantine, Russ Britton, Jeffrey Milliken and George Cunningham Jr. as defendants. It seeks more than $10,000 for eight separate claims, including breach of contract, fraud, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

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