Principled stands . . . updated

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My friends are sick of me talking and writing about the lottery. And when one of my fellow front-pagers recently won a thousand bucks on a $20 ticket, I confess to thinking, "awwww, maybe it's not so terrible." But the truth is, the lottery IS so terrible, as Steve Ford, the editorial page editor at the N&O. wrote today.

To pirate a line from "All the King's Men," North Carolina's state lottery was conceived in sin and born of corruption. We may never learn all the gory details surrounding its passage, but to say that its supporters in the General Assembly finagled it through by hook and by crook pretty much conveys the spirit of the thing.

Drinking the Kool-Aid of ElectriCities and Liking it?

When ElectriCities does answer a question about budgets and costs, they complicate it so much and blow so much smoke, you feel like you are at the circus with magic mirrors. What is real and what is not? The Wilson Times story is like a book report. Did this reporter ask any questions? Bottom line 37% of a Wilson bill goes toward long term debt and we still do not know what goes toward the increasing operational costs of salaries, settlements and who knows what else. But if I am in Wilson and my bill is $300, more than 1/3 goes to debt that will end in 2026, some amount to Jesse Tilton's inflated salary and that of his staff and whatever else he spends money on for "increased operational costs", some amount for the electricity, and then a profit to Wilson City Government to build a fiber optic system that will probably go bust. What a deal. What brilliant leaders we have.

Frontpaged. A.

Is this story right?


Over the past couple of years, I've asked readers on several occasions to help me understand Charlotte - to no avail. But now I'm thinking that this this story in the Charlotte Observer might help, if I can figure out what it says. The story starts this way:

Democratic and Republican Charlotte City Council members say they would support Mayor Pat McCrory's run for governor, if for no other reason than its benefits to Charlotte.
At least three of the seven Democrats on council and all four Republicans support him running. Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess said she told McCrory she likes the idea because it would bring more attention to Charlotte and get all candidates in the race to focus more on urban issues.

But Burgess, a Democrat, said she's pledged her support and vote for Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, also a Democrat.

Then the mom of a friend weighs in.

"Obviously, if he were to run and win, it would be good for Charlotte," Democratic councilwoman Patsy Kinsey said. "But I know that it would be difficult for him to run and still be mayor, given his dedication to the job."

Is the reporter trying to imply that Councilwoman Kinsey "supports" McCrory for governor? I've read the story three times and can't figure out who are the three Democrats the reporter is referring to.

Can anyone help me through this?

Title changed from "Questions for Charlotte" to reflect what I'm really asking.

North Carolina Senator Supports Allowing Firearms in National Parks

North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole has reportedly joined a movement to allow individuals to carry firearms in our national parks. The movement begun by Republican Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho is pressuring the Department of the Interior to remove the federal ban on guns in our currently gun free national parks. According to reports by extreme North Carolina gun rights organizations Senator Dole has written a letter to the department asking them to lift the ban—in effect opening the door to all park visitors to carry concealed weapons provided they have a permit.

National Park Service ordinance 36 CFR 2.4, and 50 CFR 27.42(Fish and Wildlife Service), prohibits all individuals from possessing a firearm on lands managed by these agencies. These ordinances currently ensure that the national parks system remain a safe environment for visitors and visiting families. At the present time, families who travel nationwide visiting our park system can expect consistent rules and regulations throughout the country. It is likely that families may no longer feel at ease visiting a variety of national parks if they can not anticipate conditions upon arrival---put simply: they will not visit without knowing if it is a gun-free vacation spot.

Frontpaged by A. Thanks.

Day 1 in NH: Heat and light

The Indy's man in New Hampshire offers daily dispatches from the NH primary.

One day after Barack Obama’s resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, the former Illinois senator received a near messianic reception at a high school gym in Concord, while John Edwards told a more subdued convention room audience in Portsmouth that his nominal second-place victory proved he could “stand up to monied candidates.”

Frontpaged by A, in hopes of encouraging more cross-posts!


Comparing their situation to that of come-from-behind racehorse, Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Edwards introduced her husband to an enthusiastic mob of supporters at an historic mill in Manchester, NH early this morning, just hours after the Senator's second-place finish in Iowa.

Friday Feature

This year I hope to implement a series of "Friday Features" that will highlight some of the great non-profit organizations working here in North Carolina. One of the most reliable and effective is the NC Justice Center. Today's Friday Feature focuses on one part of NC Justice, the Budget and Tax Center.

People across the political spectrum can disagree on many things, but when it comes to the base of facts needed to craft effective public policy, even free-market extremists turn to the Budget and Tax Center as a dependable source. You should too, especially when you're looking for data to fend off assaults on sanity from people who make up whatever "facts" they need to support their arguments.


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