Lying with dogs

I don't envy Governor Perdue. Like every other governor, she's facing a disastrous economic situation, inherited from free-marketeers who held our nation hostage for eight long years. But that dire situation doesn't justify breaking a promise to the people of North Carolina about how the state will spend its gambling proceeds.

Last week, Gov. Beverly Perdue ordered $100 million in the state's fund for school construction be held back in the event North Carolina's general fund runs out of money to pay bills. The argument from the administration is that since the fund is made up from lottery ticket sales and corporate income taxes, it really isn't a grab at lottery funds. The practical effect, however, appears to be a clawback of $37 million in lottery ticket proceeds from state school districts.

The North Carolina Education Lottery has been a disastrous public policy from the get-go. Its only saving grace was the certainty that funds would be used exclusively for education. And now even that charade as been dropped.

We the people have learned over the years not to expect too terribly much when our elected leaders are under pressure. Cowered by the anti-government zealots on right, they'll contort every ethical bone in their bodies to avoid the hardest of choices. Apparently the choice to break a promise about the lottery is an easier call than the choice to raise the taxes on those who prospered most during Bush's horrific tenure.

Stop playing games, Governor. It's time to focus on raising revenue.


You almost had me

I thought you were about to say something true. You were on the right track with the breaking of promises and the unethical conception of the lottery then you had to go and blame the lottery and the NC budget shortfall on rich people and George Bush. Come on. We both know it is really these people and those people that are to blame for those things. And if progressives in this state would just take a moment to wipe the Kool-Aid from their faces, they might just realize that as long as those people have power you'll never really have what you want.

You need to learn to read, Brent.


I didn't blame the lottery on anyone in this post. And if you had spent even a minute looking before you leap, you'd know that I probably stand exactly where you do on the lottery, with full knowledge of who's responsible for it.

But the reason the lottery is even being talked about right now is because of this disastrous economy. Period. The state economy has no capacity to withstand the onslaught of global financial woes. That onslaught is absolutely linked to the transfer of capital to the wealthy over the past decade.

If you don't think George Bush orchestrated that gluttonous frenzy, you need more than reading remediation. Maybe a brain transplant?


We are not amused.

I read quite well

I know it is a knee-jerk coping mechanism to call people who disagree with you stupid. Get over it. I think you're better than that. This is a complicated world. It is possible that two intelligent people can disagree.

The global financial woes can all be laid at the feet of George Bush in about the same way that President Obama can make them all go away by the sheer force of his will. This is a complicated problem that can't be blamed on only one person or policy and it will require a long, complicated solution.

What else happened over the last decade? We grew the state budget by about 40% yet without serious improvements in education, transportation, health care, or any of a number of other "priorities." Where did the money go? Some got wasted, some went to cover over other short-sighted holes, and a lot went to making sure the people in power stayed in power. Our budget, now hovering around $21.4 billion, is eating away at every fund we've created and is supposed to be backed up by an $800 million "rainy day fund." We were prepared for an afternoon sprinkle but not for the hailstorm we're in now. Lack of foresight, misplaced priorities, and poor leadership are directly to blame for the state's situation. We need to take care of ourselves. Excuse me for expecting something, anything from the people we elect to lead our state.

The thing is, as misguided as I think you might be, you've got principles. I respect that. The people in power don't. They prefer power to justice. And that's not good for any of us.

Okay, maybe you do read well.

I was making a lame attempt at a joke. Sorry. I know you're smart. We just see the world differently.

I don't have time today to get into the Big Debate with you, though I would love to. That will have to wait until I get a whole bunch of work done to keep our economy bubbling along.


In any case, my post was about one thing: the lottery. I'm not entirely sure what your response was about. But as I said, let's pick it all up another day.


We are not amused.

He is, Brent, and so are you

I think you're better than that

You can't pop in here dropping references to progressives being "Kool-Aid drinkers" and not expect some push-back. BlueNC has been openly critical of the behavior of many elected Democrats, regardless of whether they are Progressives or Blue Dogs.

You would also do well to remember that you have personally supported some of the darker and myopic tactics of your Party, and have helped to contribute to the seemingly helpless minority position Republicans now have in this state. So...who needs to change the most?

Brent, your attempts to mask our state's progress are futile

The journey's not finished.

Why in the world you think we would have wanted a GOP world of Governor Fred Smith or Speaker Skip Stam or President Pro Tem Jim Forrester?

Bring a logical argument the next time you come to play.

We can only fix so much at a time, but we're getting there.

Change in US Senate: Helms then Dole then Hagan

Change in US House: Hayes then Kissell

Change in NC House: Brubaker then Black then Hackney

Chnage in NC Senate: Webster then Foriest

Which of these did you work for? That's right. You worked against them all.

And we're not done yet.