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.

NC Death Penalty Year in Review 2008

It has been an exceptional year for life in North Carolina. No one was executed, and only one new person was added to death row (the lowest number since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1977). This year, as many capital defendants were acquitted as were sentenced to death. More death row inmates were exonerated than executed. North Carolina should be proud.

The Beginning of the End?

A recent report from the State Department's Inspector General is recommending that Blackwater's contract not be renewed after it expires next year.

An internal State Department report says Blackwater Worldwide may lose its license to work in Iraq and recommends that the agency prepare alternative means to protect its diplomats there.

Car inspections a thing of the past?

Mark Binker reports today that ye olde annual car inspections may be on the way out.

The inspection program was started in 1965 in response to a rapid rise in highway accidents. When a car is inspected, a technician looks at tires, wiper blades, headlights and other safety equipment. But there’s no good data, Samberg said, that shows whether failures with that sort of equipment have contributed to any large number of accidents.

“If it’s not effective, we should eliminate it,” said Rep. Hugh Holliman, a Davidson County Democrat and House majority leader. Holliman said the inspection program had outlived its usefulness.

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