Re-focus needed

A few days ago I had the privilege of addressing Scotland County citizens in Laurinburg. Here's a link to the newspaper coverage of my visit.

Among my comments, there is this assertion:

“For us to govern, we’ve got to win first, and for us to win we’ve got to get our message out, and for us to get our message out we’ve got to be organized, and for us to be organized we’ve got to have meetings like this even on rainy, dreary days,” Goodwin said from inside the Atkinson Street American Legion post.

In the coming months heading into 2016 we have an obligation - a civic duty - as North Carolina citizens to speak up, organize and rally voters to turn out on Election Day. Too much hangs in the balance for the State we love (and its future) for us to do otherwise.

Calling out John Hood for his false conclusions

Getting it right and then bending it wrong:

When different governments are free to pursue different approaches to solving public problems, we all gain from the resulting increase in information about what works best. Furthermore, to the extent that governments continue their differing approaches because their citizens have different values, the resulting diversity allows households and businesses to sort themselves accordingly, choosing communities whose policies best fit their own needs and preferences.

I can’t offer similar praise to the commissioners of the FCC, however. They didn’t strike down state laws that blocked one private provider from competing with another. Instead, they struck down laws designed to keep localities from abusing their own governmental powers — their tax exemptions, access to low-cost capital, and eminent domain — to deliver a commercial service in competition with private firms. Surely states are the proper level of government to ensure that such abuses don’t occur.

You can't have it both ways, John. You can't have a dynamic community approach to solving problems and making your city competitive with other cities, while being shackled by an overbearing state government riddled with lobbyists writing their own legislation. You want to talk about outrageous attacks on the free market system? How about corporations writing their own laws and having government "proxies" put their thumbprint on it in return for a nice campaign donation? The bottom line is, if a municipality decides to provide broadband to its residents, and the formula (rates + local taxes) doesn't work to their benefit, those residents can express their disapproval at the voting booth. The crucible of public opinion is much harsher on the local level than at the state level, which is just one more reason why a paternalistic General Assembly runs counter to Democratic principles.

Truth in numbers

Okay, so I have way too much time on my hands while I keep my phalanges cozy and warm as the ice age continues to loom just outside my window. But, give a computer-geek, who battles the threat of brain atrophy brought on by early retirement, a whiff of raw data and expect nothing less than a number crunching frenzy.

The NC State Board of Elections website and its accompanying FTP site, contains a wealth of information. Those who would take the time to do some digging would be simply amazed at how readily the nonsense metastasized by the bigoted cranks running our state is refuted by the very facts and figures made public by one of the many state agencies hemorrhaging strategically placed sycophants.

Daily dose: McCrory's confusing budget edition

McCrory budget restores historic tax credits, boosts education spending (Winston-Salem Journal) -- North Carolinians would not face higher state-government taxes to support the $21.5 billion in general-fund spending next fiscal year starting July, under Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget announced Thursday.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/mccrory-budget-restores-historic-tax-credits-boosts-education-s...

Proposed transportation budget counts on higher gas tax (Raleigh News & Observer) -- In his transportation budget, Gov. Pat McCrory avoids drastic cuts in state spending for road construction and bridge repairs. McCrory’s budget assumes that the General Assembly will change the law this spring, to fix the gas tax at 35 cents a gallon. The Senate approved this adjustment last month, in order to keep the gas tax from dropping to a projected average 30.4 cents in fiscal year 2015-16 and 31.3 cents in 2016-17.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article12725699.html

McClumsy Strikes Again

McCrory was on hand to witness the school's retiring of Sam Jones' jersey. The ten-time NBA champion played his college ball at North Carolina College.

Though there are transcendent moments, politics and sports are not always inseparable. Thursday night was clearly one of those moments, as North Carolina Governer Pat McCrory was booed at a North Carolina Central basketball game Thursday night.

Where will the "next Silicon Valley" be built?

Pat McCrory must have been licking his lips this morning when he read this story about the high-stakes game of recruiting technology companies. You see, ol' Pat's still operating under the illusion that North Carolina can compete with high-tech hubs throughout the nation. Someone needs to set him straight. Between our last place ranking in public education to our growing reputation for discrimination against blacks, gays, Hispanics, and women, today's progressive high-tech companies don't even give North Carolina a second glance. How sad is that.

Wake redistricting comments

More Redistricting,

Senate Bill 181 sponsor, Sen Barefoot: most Wake residents live outside Raleigh…bill introduces more representation on the board… changes at large process to assure geographic representation… uses Wake school districts which have been upheld by the courts… districts set when county had 300,000 people, now have 1million. Nothing local about representing 1 million people… time to increase representation for all citizens of Wake.

Public Comments on G'boro Redistricting at NCGA

The Redistricting Committee is meeting at NCGA, Sen Rucho is Chair.
(consider all paraphrased, not direct quote)
Sen Trudy Wade will speak for her bill, Senate Bill 36.
Her bill would re-district Greensboro city, and is non-partisan. Each district would have a smaller population, and, she said, would encourage more people to run for office and pay less to do so.
Among other things, the bill adds districts. Also changes the duties, so that the mayor only votes in case of a tie. If passed would apply to the 2015 elections.

McCrory picks MBA to lead EMC

Not unlike asking your lawyer what that lump on your back is:

Gerard Carroll, a former senior vice president at National Gypsum in Charlotte, will replace Benne Hutson as chair of the Environmental Management Commission. The 15-member commission makes rules for North Carolina’s air and water resources. Hutson, a Charlotte lawyer, resigned in January. He cited the time demands of chairing the EMC.

Carroll, who is known as Jerry, worked at National Gypsum for more than 22 years. He’s an Air Force veteran who completed 222 combat missions in Vietnam and earned a masters of business administration from Harvard.

From a lawyer to a business administrator. Not sure if that's a step forward, backward, or simply a step off (the cliff). Whatever the case, neither are even remotely qualified to Chair the Environmental Management Commission. Unless they're planning some bombing sorties to degrade the capabilities of fecal bacteria swimming towards Raleigh. That being said, Caroll's promotion may not be just another random act of idiocy by McCrory. National Gypsum is a big player in the reuse of coal ash residuals, and their wallboard contains some of the nastiest elements of such:

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