North Carolina's Secret Senate

The Friday Follies over at NC Policy Watch are always worth reading, and today is no exception. Chris Fitzsimon tilts his lance at the North Carolina Senate windmill, one of the saddest examples of transparency in government you'll ever see.

Virtually unmentioned in the coverage of likely Senate budget details is the absurd process the Senate continues to use to put its plan together. Revealed is the most accurate way to describe what Senate leaders will do with the budget Monday. It has been written in secret and maybe the Senate Democratic Caucus will go over some of the big spending items in its private meeting, but you can bet there won't be a lot of amendments or protests from most rank and file Democrats about the leadership's plan.

Weekend wound-up: Paraskavedekatriaphobia

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Friday the 13th is considered a bad luck day in many parts of the world.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen appearing in any case.

The word itself is enough to scare me.

Jesse Tilton and ElectriCities Attempt to Cover and Justify

Jesse Tilton came to Tarboro this week to spin some tales about electric rates. One citizen wrote:

"In any case, apparently his reason for being at last night's meeting was to get the town council members to voice their support for some specific legislative issues. I guess he was doing what would be called "lobbying." He talked a lot about rising costs of this and that and how the lending industry is all screwed up which in turn has affected the pocketbooks of many other industries."

Realtors At It Again?

My wife and I have owned a small condo at Emerald Isle for ten years, which means we're on every mailing list of every Realtor on the coast. They're always writing to tell us they have this or that buyer (which they never have). And sometimes they write to try to enlist us in their causes.

Today I got this email from a guy at Emerald Isle. He doesn't know yet that I'd never consider doing business with him, but I do want to share his message:

The NC Division of Water Quality has proposed more stringent stormwater runoff rules (see attachment) to improve coastal water quality. While there are extremists on both sides of the issue, a reasonable person would conclude the following:

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