As the Queen of Commerce wrapped up her "listening tour" on economic development this week, I couldn't help thinking of Abbot and Costello.
"I'm hearing a lot of questions around how do we create jobs? What do we do? How do we help existing businesses grow? How do we create new business to the area?" Decker said. "One of the questions I am asking is what do we need to do to stimulate more business development? How do we get small business started?"
Seriously? This is all we get from the whirlwind "listening tour?" A bunch of obvious questions that any high school freshman could ask?
"One of the questions I am asking is what do we need to do to stimulate more business development? How do we get small business started?"
All of the sudden it seems, the GOP leaders who cut public education and bashed public school teachers for sport during the last legislative session are getting all warm and fuzzy and talking about giving teachers raises.
But this is no “goodness of the heart” revelation. Surely the Republicans don’t believe that North Carolina’s teachers, or its residents, will buy the notion that a new age of enlightenment has arrived and that those champions of private school vouchers and an end to master’s pay have suddenly said to themselves, “Oh, my goodness! Our teachers are 46th in the nation in average teacher pay. We’re shocked, shocked we tell you!”
No, it isn't. And in the deepest part of their black hearts, they probably blame the teachers they've screwed for their own political predicament. Or like the DAG, they blame the media. Anybody but themselves will fill the bill. All that being said, the teachers really do need a raise. Even if it slightly blunts the voter outrage next November, I hope the GOP follows through with this.
Several hundred residents plan to pack a public hearing Monday to voice their objections to a proposed 36-acre solar farm near affluent subdivisions in eastern Lincoln County at Lake Norman.
Homes worth a total of $400 million surround the site, opponent George Arena, a former Lincoln County commissioner, has said. Soybeans are now grown on the 36-acre site where Strata Solar hopes to build the farm. Webbs Road leads to pricey Sailview, the lake community where Arena lives, and to Governor’s Island, one of the lake’s most exclusive developments.
The irony of this opposition is: Lake Norman was not created as a recreational spot, it was formed to (among other things) provide water for the Marshall Steam Station, a coal-burning power plant which has caused at least 130 deaths and over a billion dollars in health care costs, due to particulate air pollution. And the pricey Sailview community gets more than just a whiff of that pollution. But setting aside the toxic and noxious elements of this story, there are some interesting private property issues you won't find unless you go hyperlocal:
A few days ago, I took the mainstream media to task for giving the Pope Administration a pass. Little did I know this column was in the works by Taylor Batten, editor of the Charlotte Observer's editorial page. It's as sharp an analysis of the Deputy Assistant Governor's record as you'll find.
Most of McCrory’s troubles stem, in his mind, not from his support of policies that a majority of North Carolinians disagree with but from a media that, through bias or incompetency, just can’t understand his greatness.
In most major departments in state government, officials must explain in writing when they want to hire an individual with a contract for services. But at the Department of Health and Human Services, where Secretary Aldona Wos has awarded at least seven such deals, those rules are not being followed in most cases. Wos, an appointee of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, has awarded a number of high-dollar contracts, including one worth $312,000 a year to former State Auditor Les Merritt and another worth $310,000 to a vice president from the company owned by Wos’ husband. But in both of those cases, and in at least four others, the department says it can’t locate any memos written to justify the contracts.
You have to hand it to the GOP, though. It took Democrats more than fifty years of governing, and still they didn't get to the level of corruption that Republicans have reached in eleven months.
If there's one thing at which we North Carolinians excel, it's beating ourselves up at our own expense. Either we're trotting off to court with ill-reasoned pleadings, or we're asking some judge to settle our political and ideological differences for us. Or both at once. I hope 30 University of North Carolina law professors won't go that far in their support of Gene Nichol, who heads the school's poverty center.
I agree that "Surveilling a professor's communications is a really troubling approach to protecting liberty," as the 30 wrote, although I'm unsure who injected "protecting liberty" into this debate. But I'm not at all convinced that it would make for a good lawsuit.
Which demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you don't fully understand the subject matter on which you're editorializing. Civitas is (supposedly) a Libertarian organization, mainly concerning itself with promoting the free market, defending property rights and protecting individual liberty. A true Libertarian would shudder at the thought of collecting and analyzing someone's personal communications, especially when the only purpose of such is character assassination with the hopeful ending of the target's chosen field of employment. And that is exactly what this is, an assault on an individual who had the guts to speak out against an oppressive government. It's a shameful tactic, and deserves an airing in court.
Thom Tillis has saddled up and is riding hard. In the months ahead, he'll spend millions painting Kay Hagan as a dirty socialist because she voted with Democrats to pass the Affordable Care Act. Next November, he'll regret that move when he loses his bid for US Senate.
Most people agree that the healthcare.gov rollout was botched. Big deal. Websites fail all the time, and this one has had the added burden of constant attacks by Republican obstructionists. More important, there's no point in signing up now anyway because you'll be paying for coverage that doesn't start until next year. Just take a deep breath and come back in January. That's what I'm going to do. Healthcare.gov will still be there, and it'll be running like a well-oiled machine.
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