Breakfast in Burgaw

Jane and I had a quick trip to Wilmington to see my brother over the past two days. On the way home, we stopped for breakfast in Burgaw, North Carolina. It's a sweet town with a thriving main street and lots of friendly people. This beaming duo welcomed us to the Alley Cats Cafe in the lively old downtown.

Even though we're mostly vegetarian, Jane had to try what our waitress (newly relocated from Florida) said the locals eat in droves: liver sausage. "It's fresh, you know, from the plants around here," said the waitress.

Growing up in northern Maryland, Jane called it scrapple. Her father ate it with molasses. Our waitress, who said she couldn't bring herself to try it, brought hot sauce cause "that's what most folks ask for down here." It was tasty just as she had predicted, even without condiments.

Daily dose: "Pass a bill" edition

“We shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too. We are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. Whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal -– that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.”

Art Pope shuffles his puppets around

Methinks a certain syndicated columnist may have demanded a raise:

Locke Foundation President John Hood will become president of the John William Pope Foundation in January. Hood will be succeeded by Executive Vice President Kory Swanson, who also will hold the title of CEO.

At the Pope Foundation, Hood succeeds former state budget director Art Pope, who will remain chairman of the charitable group. Hood also stays chairman of the Locke Foundation board of directors.

That almost reads like one of those math/logic problems, where the answer ends up being zero because things cancel each other out. Or maybe an upper-crust nursery rhyme? One of those two things.

Obama making GOP dance to his tune with immigration action

And they'll be stepping on each other's toes even after the music stops:

Some on the right pushed for using must-pass spending legislation to try to shut-down Obama's move. One lawmaker— two-term Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama — raised the specter of impeachment. Party leaders warned against such talk and sought to avoid spending-bill tactics that could lead to a government shutdown. They said such moves could backfire, alienating Hispanic voters and others.

In a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans, McConnell urged restraint. Still, there were concerns among some Republicans that the potential 2016 presidential candidates in the Senate would use the announcement to elevate their standing, challenging Obama directly.

Good luck on that whole "restraint" thing. Even if Republican leaders actually want their flock to behave like adults, which is not a foregone conclusion, the tantrums associated with this Executive Action will be legendary. I doubt we'll be lucky enough to see any Buddhist monk-styled immolation in the aisles of Congress, but there could be some tears of frustration. In actuality, it won't be a "groundbreaking" move by the President:

Daily dose: The long arm of Duke Energy

Lawyers in McCrory's lawsuit also represented Duke Energy (Raleigh News & Observer) - When Gov. Pat McCrory sued legislative leaders last week to block their appointments to the new commission that will determine how Duke Energy cleans up its coal ash across the state, he hired a law firm with extensive connections to the company. Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, headquartered in Charlotte like Duke Energy, is one of North Carolina’s most prominent law firms. It has represented the utility in lawsuits. It is counsel for the company’s $800 million in exempt facility bonds. Several of its top lawyers have held high-level positions at the utility. Some environmentalists have raised concerns about the reach of the country’s largest utility company into state government. And Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Eden, which was the site of the Dan River coal ash spill in February, has criticized McCrory for suing over the makeup of the coal ash commission the legislature created this summer. “The governor’s primary concern appears to be a desire to control the coal ash commission and avoid an independent barrier between his administration and former employer,” Berger said earlier this fall. His office had no further comment this week.


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