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Archive for June, 2011

Day 2 of Terrible News For Wal-Mart Haters

Yesterday I told you about Sam Walton’s foundation donating millions to help low-income kids escape from failing schools – awful news for the Wal-Mart haters who want you to believe the company is evil. Today, another dastardly, anti-little guy idea from the corporate fat cats at Wal-Mart.

Three WalmartbizWatch locations in the Triangle are participating in a national 10 cent price per gallon reduction in gas that will last for 90 days.

It’s just awful that this company dares to help poor kids get an education, employs the elderly and the disabled, and offers low prices on a wide variety of products — including gas. Why the heck would any community allow these rotten folks in?

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More Tolerance and Civility From The Left

Warning: there’s graphic, ugly language in this story about the hate-filled spewing of expletives about Gov. Sarah Palin from the very people who claim to be the models of civility and tolerance — as long as you think and believe exactly as they do of course. Pathetic. I ask once again: If Gov. Palin is so irrelevant, why is the Left so unhinged and hateful toward her? Why do they even give her the time of day?

 

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A Victory For Common Sense

Gov. Perdue has signed into law a bill that rightly exempts cooking schools from a ridiculous regulation that would have required them to be permitted as commercial restaurant kitchens — something I blogged about last fall. The regulation — one of the mountains of rules imposed on business by federal, state, and local governments — was the poster child for a costly and onerous mandate that defies common sense and would have put many schools out of business.

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Wal-Mart Perpetrating Another Dastardly Deed

Wal-Mart haters will have trouble with this news. The Walton Family Foundation is continuing its work to help low-income kids escape failing urban public schools. From the LA Times comes the story of the Foundation’s donations to Los Angeles schools.

Most of the schools received more than $200,000 each. The California Charter Schools Assn. received $3.9 million, and more than $2 million will go to Teach for America in Southern California, out of the almost $17 million given overall to the program, which is aimed at boosting student achievement by placing teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

Hmm. Helping poor kids get an education, employing the elderly and the disabled, offering low prices on a wide variety of quality products. Why the heck would any community allow these dastardly folks in?

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Orange Commissioner Wants Transit Tax on 2012 Ballot

Orange County commissioners have already voted to put a quarter-cent sales tax hike on this fall’s ballot — a shameful timing decision clearly designed to disenfranchise rural voters who were instrumental in defeating the tax hike last year. Rural voters will have  no offices to elect in the fall “municipal” election. The tax hike will be the only item on the rural area ballot. Now Commissioner Barry Jacobs says a half-cent transit tax is next in the board’s tax-hike plans.

“We hope to put it on the ballot next year, so certainly it would help if it already has had success and people are talking about it in a positive way,” said Barry Jacobs, an Orange County commissioner.

While the Orange commissioners aren’t ready for a half-cent transit vote this fall, they’re pushing ahead with a November vote on a separate quarter-cent sales tax increase.

Durham County is putting two tax hikes on this fall’s ballot — the quarter-cent sales tax hike and the half-cent transit tax. If Durham voters approve the transit tax, it will fuel the tax-hike fever among Orange commissioners.

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Embezzlement at NC Central: Audit Reveals $1 Million Diverted

State Auditor Beth Wood has released the findings of an audit of NC Central University’s Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium. It is devastating. Roughly $1 million is reported as “diverted” to a private bank account. In other words, embezzlement. The person/people who did this should go to jail AND be ordered to return the money. The audit can be found here.

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An Otherwise Law-Abiding Person?

I’m always amazed by the things attorneys say about their clients. The LA Times reports that a man who worked for 10 years in LA County’s welfare office has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for filing about 200 tax returns — and pocketing refunds — in the names of indigent people he met on the job. From the story (emphasis is mine)

 

Dinh’s attorney, Neha Mehta of the federal public defender’s office, had argued for a sentence of one year in prison followed by home confinement for six months. She said her client was an otherwise law-abiding person who stole the money to support a gambling problem that had developed because of marital problems. She said Dinh lost his job as a result of his conviction.

Yes, judge, other than using his job to commit crimes, and other than the 200 identities he stole, and other than the nearly three-quarters of a million he pocketed, he’s just like you and me and he’s a swell guy.

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Durham County’s Tax-Hike Trifecta

Durham County commissioners voted 5 to nothing Monday to go forward with a tax-hike trifecta plan. This fall’s ballot will ask voters to approve two tax hikes: a quarter-cent hike in the sales tax and a half-cent sales tax for transit.

According to the Herald-Sun, Commissioner Michael Page also commented about what’s to come next year with the property tax:

“We didn’t want to bring this on next year when [an increased] property tax is likely,” Page said.

It’s a tax-hikers dream come true.

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Is a College Degree Worth $1 Million? Actually, No

Jenna Ashley Robinson of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy has written an informative piece about the value of a college degree. Most of us are used to hearing and reading the claim that over a lifetime, a college degree generates about $1 million more in income than a high school diploma. Not so.

But Mark Schneider, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, conducted a study for the American Enterprise Institute that pours cold water on that figure.

He found that the average lifetime earnings advantage for college graduates is well below the million-dollar figure when forgone wages and the cost of a college education are factored in. Incorporating those figures and using the Department of Education’s 2003 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, Schneider estimated that the lifetime earnings advantage for college graduates ranges from $150,000 to $500,000.

The data is neither good nor bad on its face. There are many reasons to obtain a degree; earning potential is only one. However, I do believe it’s critical that students and parents consider this when making the financial and time commitment to a university.

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Waiting For Perdue Veto of Abortion Bill

Will Gov. Perdue veto the bill that would require women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before ending the life of their baby? Odds are, she will. The governor has until midnight tonight to sign it, veto it, or let it become law without her signature. We’ll see if the governor who says she values children — and I believe her when she says that — will take a step to give the most vulnerable children a fighting chance at life.

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