Lottery Revenues Miss Mark

Is anyone here surprised at the news that the revenue received from the NC Lottery missed the projected levels? Mark Johnson at The Charlotte Observer/News & Observer gives us this:

North Carolina's lottery sales have tumbled since July, and the game's director predicts that -- under the best scenario -- the lottery will generate $75 million less for education than projected in the current state budget.

:::snip:::

Shaheen said he has no clear explanation for the downturn but he theorized that sales could suffer because consumers are spending more on gas, there has been no big Powerball jackpot to drive up playing, and North Carolina placed a lower limit on prize money than other states.

N.C. law also sharply limits the amount of money the lottery can spend on advertising and prohibits the ads from encouraging people to play.

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North Carolina and The Election of 'o8

Gary Robertson of the Associated Press is offering his analysis of how the 2008 Senate and Gubernatorial races are starting to shape up in North Carolina. In part it is routine fare, and only a survey of what most people who have been paying attention already know: Gov. Easley won't run for anything, Bev Purdue and Richard Moore are strong candidates for the Democratic nomination to replace him, and the Republicans are playing catch up with 2nd and 3rd rate candidates like Fred Smith, Bill Graham and Bob Orr.

But then his analysis verges into the ridiculous as he discusses Sen. Elizabeth Dole. In connection with her upcoming election he tosses out canards that beg the reader to guess whether he's slow, uninformed or simply biased.

Here are a few of his chestnuts...

This is already getting old

From the Charlotte Observer.

When Perdue announced support at a Chapel Hill news conference for environmental legislation that, among other things, would put some of the state's investment portfolio in environmentally friendly companies, Moore quickly noted that the state investment fund he manages is already doing so.

It seems like years ago when I just about begged the two likely Democratic candidates for governor to avoid a destructive primary. I knew it would eventually degenerate into an old-time pissing contest - I just didn't realize it would happen so fast.

Presidential Christmas Card Poll

Polls for the 2008 Presidential race, which hasn't even started yet, have been all over the board. At this point in the game success in such polls has a lot to do with name recognition which is not a very scientific indicator of which yet-to-be-announced candidates might actually have the right stuff to be the President of the United States. It has not been possible to compare their positions on Presidential issues or activities on an apples-to-apples basis. That is until now. One of the tasks of any President is the issuance of Christmas cards. Today, for the first time it is possible to vote on three likely Democratic Presidential candidates on the basis of performance in a Presidential activity in a poll that is at least as scientific as any poll today. So I present to you, below the fold, three images, one each from the Christmas greetings of John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and, Barack Obama and ask you to vote for you favorite.

Christmas Day Open Thread

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Happy Christmas everyone!

It's going to be a long night for this old man. I have to wait until daughter and wife go to sleep and then start sneaking around to find the presents I've stashed here and there. I usually forget something until halfway through the morning! Out daughter is 16 and still plays along with my Santa game. Every year I get to write her a "letter from old Saint Nick" which always thrills her to no end.

Invisible women

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Via Ode Magazine, I came across the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project which, among other things, provided an extensive analysis of gender differences inside the mainstream media.

Percentage of news stories mentioning women

TV: 22%
Radio 17%
Newspapers 21%

What are the roles these women play?

Eyewitness: 30%
Subject: 23%
Expert: 17%
Spokespeople: 14%

Our news culture is so gender-biased that women don't even show up. And it's not just a problem "out there." BlueNC has only one female front-pager, the Southern Dem. We need help fixing that.

Walter Jones: All Talk



Rob Christensen interviewed Congressman Walter Jones this week. It's a story worth reading because it reveals three things we should never lose sight of:

First, we can't count on newspaper reporters to ask hard questions. There's some weird version of the Stockholm Syndrome in play between these guys and their sources - or maybe something more like co-dependency. But whatever is going on, don't expect serious pushing by North Carolina reporters about anything. Ever.

Second, the Party of Greed is scrambling like hell to make the Iraq War a bipartisan disaster instead of a Republican disaster. There's a whole diary about this at Daily Kos, but more to the point, Jones himself is shamelessly trying to spread the blame.

"Probably many of us did not know the questions that should have been asked," Jones said. "Many of us, in both parties, felt we had to accept and trust the intelligence that was being given." (emphasis added)

GOP Anger, Elizabeth Dole and Brian Nick

Sen. Elizabeth Dole's unpopularity within the national Republican Party continues to build. It has been a year with more than its share of reasons for GOP failure at the polls; the war in Iraq, Congressional scandals and George Bush's unpopularity among them. However, within the party hierarchy primary blame for the loss of the Senate is now being placed at the feet of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and most especially its chair, Elizabeth Dole.

Frustration with Dole's incompetence took form as the NRSC fell $30mm behind the Democrats in fund raising, and then burned through $4.8mm with television ads in New Jersey and Michigan probing for weakness in a strong field of Democratic candidates. Meanwhile Republican candidates like Sen. George Allen in Virginia and Sen. Conrad Burns in Montana were starved for advertising in ultimately tight races because Dole believed Allen couldn't lose and Burns couldn't win.

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