BlueNC @
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 11:56am

The dissolution of the Rural Center is a painful mistake:

Since last spring, the family has been following state-recommended precautions such as limiting their showers to 5 minutes, to avoid exposing themselves to the insecticide dieldrin. They drink and cook using bottled water delivered every two weeks.

A $953,000 project by the city of Hendersonville was supposed to start this fall, extending city water lines to homes... But a delay in state permitting for the project — along with setbacks with a N.C. Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant — have pushed back the start of construction to January or February, city officials said last week.

City Manager John Connet said the Department of Commerce is "in the process of a rule change about what qualifies. We're kind of in limbo. Basically, we've got a project that there's questions whether it fits in a pot of money under the old guidelines or a pot of money under the new guidelines."

It's safe to say McCrory's and Decker's priorities don't include a few dozen rural families whose water is contaminated. I have a feeling this is merely the tip of the iceberg of needed projects that will be canceled under the new regime, but tracking them will be a challenge. If you are aware of any other previously approved grants in jeopardy, please let us know.

BlueNC @
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 9:23am

Apparently the free market doesn't concern itself with intellectual property:

For more than a week Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has been fending off criticism for using the writings of others, unattributed, in his own speeches, in an opinion article and in one of his books.

But now it appears that Mr. Paul has also been the possible victim of literary larceny himself; he has apparently had his own material lifted without credit.

Wow. He didn't just take some ideas, he Xeroxed 'em.

BlueNC @
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 10:49am

The McCrory administration's inept hiring practices continue:

"Women drivers, rain and Obama care" were causing problems on the beltline Wednesday afternoon, according to a traffic alert from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. "Stay home," the alert advised.

"The individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing and for the inappropriate test message content. The contractor was let go immediately for this action," DOT officials said in a statement.

It was a stupid mistake, but what's even more stupid is the idea of making emergency messages like this automated in the first place. Road conditions change continually, and an incorrect message can cause more problems (and danger) than no message at all. A labor-saving system isn't "efficient" if it can't do the job properly.

BlueNC @
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 8:46am

For those who didn't participate in early voting this year, drop a quick note about your voting experience today.

BlueNC @
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 6:55pm

Why I vote for terrible Democrats. An interesting take on the hard reality of today's political environment.

open thread
BlueNC @
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 10:20am

The rewriting of history continues:

"We did not shut off WIC. What we did was the right thing and warned people that if the shutdown would have continued that means we would not have had the money to pay for it," said McCrory.

On October 8th, The Department of Health and Human Services discontinued issuing WIC benefits. At that point, DHHS said 80-percent of the recipients already received their checks.

Someone needs to explain to the DAG that "discontinued" is synonymous with "shut off." On second thought, get rid of the big word and just tell him they mean the same thing.

BlueNC @
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 9:08am

Choosing a faulty pattern:

A new national report says a proposed privatization of economic development in North Carolina may create scandals instead of jobs.

In Indiana, which North Carolina is using as a model, a state audit found more that 40 percent of the jobs promised by companies recruited to the state never materialized. The Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s representative in China has been accused of soliciting bribes from companies, the report states.

There's nothing wrong with bribery. Bribery is just the free market sorting itself out.

BlueNC @
Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 2:37pm

Okay. This might be a hoax. Lou Reed isn't dead, or is he? Who the heck knows, but either way, Sweet Jane is a hell of a song.

BlueNC @
Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 11:34am

How dare you try to ignore my bigoted ramblings:

Craven County Register of Deeds Sherri Richard has drawn the ire of a group opposing same sex marriage, which sent her emails defining their interpretation of her job. It didn’t sit too well with Richard and she told them so. Then Richard suggested they take her off their email list and leave her alone to do the job administering the office she was elected to fill and knows and does according to the law.

“Apparently Queen Richard thinks she is one elected official who is above criticism, or even polite prodding,” Fitzgerald continued. “Where does Richard get off, as an elected public official, demanding that people not contact her again? Is that really the way local government should operate in Craven County?”

She "gets off" because she wasn't elected by you, she was elected by 25,533 people in her own county.

BlueNC @
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 8:48am

Setting the record straight:

The Republicans’ incentive to keep teachers suggests they either failed grade school math or mastered Machiavelli. They claim repeatedly that 25 percent of teachers will get a $5,000 pay-raise to waive tenure for a four-year contract. Those teachers will get $500 annual raises for four years. They will make $2000 more in the fourth year than they did in the first. Only a Scrooge would tell an employee feeding a family that this result is “really” a $5000 raise. Stop repeating this drivel uncritically.

How many reading this already knew the $5,000 thing was wrong? We'll start with me: I didn't.