Buying influence cheap?

O-No! today wraps up yet another sorry saga of abuse of power by nasty little men here in North Carolina. This particular story chronicles the mind-boggling reign of one Eddie Carroll Thomas.

Thomas had "long-standing and widespread" influence over personnel decisions in one of the state Division of Motor Vehicles' largest sections -- Driver and Vehicle Services.

The shortest day

The tubes today are bristling with seasonal commentary. As real news slows to a trickle, writers everywhere turn their words toward the holidaze, the season that brings us the shortest day of the year. No longer in touch with planetary time, many of us slip past the winter solstice with barely a nod. Eyes set on the Christian replacement five days later, we are well armed with electricity and candles, having no need to fear this darkest and longest of nights.

North Carolina Voters Really don't like Elizabeth Dole

Public Policy Polling posted poll results last week showing that Elizabeth Dole's popularity continues to dwindle. I'm usually not one to rub salt in wounds, but I have such strong negative feelings for Elizabeth Dole I simply can't resist doing it just this once. Even Republicans are souring on the old carpetbagger.

Dear Bev

Hi ya.

It's been awhile since we last corresponded. Or should I say, it's been a while since I last corresponded. Just kidding. I know you're busy.

Anyway, things pretty much suck out here. And trust me, no matter how crappy being governor might turn out to be be, it's nothing compared to people losing their jobs, their homes, their dignity - and their hope. This swirl of distress means one thing in my book: business as usual doesn't cut it. An alternative approach is needed.

The alternative approach I recommend is called "Choose." And it just so happens to be the foundation of market positioning in business. Simply put, "Choose" requires taking a specific and unambiguous stand for something extraordinary. In the case of, say, Mercedes automobiles, that something is "excellence." In your case, that something should be the environment.

Ya think?

In this story about North Carolina's highest unemployment rate in 25 years, it's amazing what qualifies as quotable from an Official Big Cheese.

"Global and national economic challenges have had an impact on North Carolina," said Harry Payne Jr., chairman of the Employment Security Commission.

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