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Archive for October 5th, 2011

Gov. Perdue on Same-Sex Marriage Amendment: “I’ve known all along where I stand.”

And politicians wonder why they’re unpopular. Gov. Beverly Perdue’s game playing on the constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman:

“I’m working with the constituency groups as you would expect me to do,” the governor said. “I am making a lot of calls. My team is talking. I’ve known all along where I stand. I’ve tried to go back and talk to people about my position and you will hear it very quickly.”

If the governor has “known all along” where she stands, then tell us. Stop the nonsense and tell North Carolinians what you believe. Is that really too much to ask of the chief executive of the state?

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‘The watchdogs are dead’

An editorial analysis piece in today’s Washington Times blasts The News & Observer for the manner in which it covered Gov. Bev Perdue’s gaffe regarding the suspension of elections:

As shocking as her treasonous plot is, even more disturbing was the sleepy reaction to it by the local media. Instead of alerting the public in a straight news story that the state’s highest elected official wants to cancel elections, a “reporter” from the Raleigh News & Observer immediately began covering for her as if she were just funnin’ around.

“File this in the random-things-politicians-say file,” the reporter spun in a blog post entitled, “Perdue: Hold off a bit on Congressional elections.”

In the first place, she never said anything about “holding off a bit” on congressional elections. She said she wanted to “suspend” them for “two years.”

Note to “reporter”: Congressional elections are held every two years. Suspending them for two years is canceling an entire election — you know, the kind of thing that happens in Third World dictatorships. And when a politician in a democracy announces her support for canceling an election, it is called a “big story.”

And there’s more:

In one apology titled “Perdue didn’t start Revolution,” the Raleigh paper explained how Mrs. Perdue has a history of offering “off-the-wall” ideas such as canceling elections.

Well, gee, how did such a danger to freedom and democracy get elected to public office in the first place? Oh, that’s right, the watchdogs are dead. Or, more accurately, sleeping in Beverly Perdue’s lap.

Ouch.

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More on the hunger hoax

The media has jumped in headfirst with stories about a nation being on the verge of kids dying of starvation in school hallways. It’s clear that the left has targeted “hunger” as a major platform from which to launch collective programs that destroy individual initiative and promote government dependency.

Durham schools, for instance, are lousy with do-gooders who simply refuse to let kids and their families subsist on their own. Guilty white liberals constantly write on their white-neighborhood list servs about weekend food backpack programs to keep kids from starving over the weekend, urban gardens, school gardens and free lunches. They see hunger and starvation everywhere.

So do the media. USAToday makes this squishy claim:

Although the number of hungry children in the U.S. is rising, fewer than half of the kids who could be eating a free or low-cost breakfast at school are getting one.

A nearly hysterical lunch lady in Oregon said this:

“When the kids came back from spring break, they were starving,” Shelly Drury says. “They wanted seconds, they wanted thirds. My principal was saying, ‘We need to cook more food.’ “

One wonders how kids survived before there were public schools.

I’ve written a couple of times recently about efforts by elected officials to coax young kids into the free-lunch programs at their schools. I called it “dependency crack,” which upset some readers, a couple of whom said I was a racist for referring to crack. My critics, I should point out, are the ones who immediately thought “black people” when they saw the word, so who’s the racist?

Thomas Sowell’s column today, “The hunger ‘hoax’ perpetuates dependency,” echos my earlier posts:

Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over “hunger in America.”

Dan Rather opened a “CBS Evening News” broadcast in 1991 declaring, “One in eight American children is going hungry tonight.” Newsweek, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with or without that unsubstantiated statistic.

When the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Agriculture examined people from a variety of income levels, however, they found no evidence of malnutrition among those in the lowest income brackets. Nor was there any significant difference in the intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from one income level to another.

That should have been the end of that hysteria. But the same “hunger in America” theme reappeared years later, when Sen. John Edwards was running for vice president. And others have resurrected that same claim, right up to the present day.

Hunger is a political cudgel used periodically to salve the guilt of those who feel they are too “fortunate,” or to bash those who think people who can take care of themselves ought to do so. The media and liberal office holders, of course, are willing conduits for the hunger hoax in America.

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Tax Something More and You Get Less Of It

It is fascinating that those who advocate for raising taxes — let’s say for example, the tax on cigarettes or a tax on fatty foods — understand that if you tax something at a higher rate, there is a disincentive to engage in or with that activity and, thus, you get less of it. The Triangle Business Journal reports here on study results of the likely impact of a proposal to raise taxes on the airline industry.

The Obama administration has proposed a $100-per-airplane departure tax and the doubling of a security fee, to $5 per passenger from $2.50 – both aimed at reducing the federal government’s budget deficit and funding Obama’s latest jobs proposal.

But the ATA says that the new tax and fees would lead airlines to reduce capacity by 2.3 percent and eliminate 9,700 jobs. That, in turn, could jeopardize 180,000 jobs in related industries, according to the ATA-sponsored study prepared by management consulting firm Oliver Wyman    .

 

Since the tax hike is related to Mr. Obama’s latest economic policy proposal  — his jobs plan — you’ll be interested in yesterday’s exchange about the jobs policy between U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Carolina Journal Executive Editor Don Carrington.

 

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Red Light Cameras on Way Back To Raleigh

Two weeks from now, Raleigh could have its red light cameras back in place, despite voting not to do so just days ago. John Locke Foundation Director of Fiscal Policy Studies Fergus Hodgson writes about red light camera operations here, providing some very interesting data about their use around the country.

 

The National Motorists Association notes that there are many ways to increase traffic-light safety without prosecution of drivers. For example, research from the Texas Transportation Institute suggests that increasing the amber light by one second reduces collisions by 40 percent. In fact, they found that the average run-in occurs when the light has been red for half a second or less, while almost every right-angle crash occurs after more than five seconds.

So have cities taken this painlessly applicable finding and extended the amber-light timing? Au contraire. At least six U.S. cities have been convicted of shortening the yellow light to catch more people on the red. The Texas study found a one-second cut from international standards to increase violations by 110 percent.

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An Inconvenient Truth About the Obama Jobs Bill

Economic policy is consequential stuff, which makes the details of a proposal very important. As blogged by Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson yesterday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has confirmed to Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington the details of the president’s jobs bill, which he campaigned on here in North Carolina and continues to campaign on around the country. The president fails to tell Americans a very important detail about his plan– but now confirmed by Secretary Duncan. A transcript of the exchange between  Duncan and Carrington is below.

Oh and by the way, Mr. Obama’s Democratic colleague, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), refuses to allow a vote on the president’s bill despite Mr. Obama’s continued campaign mantra to “pass this bill.” And that makes the president’s rhetoric embarrassingly inaccurate to anyone who cares to look beyond his campaign speech and obviously designed as red meat for his disgruntled political base which he evidently believes will not look beyond his speech.

In a call-in session with reporters this afternoon prior to President Obama’s appearance in Texas promoting his American Jobs Act, Education Secretary Arne Duncan confirmed to Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington that the jobs bill would fund positions for only one year.

A transcript of the question and answer follows:

Carrington: If you look at each state, it is very clear to me that these are just jobs for one year. So if you were going to do this over two years, you would have only half as many jobs. Am I correct?

Duncan: I think that’s exactly right and those are the kinds of tough calls and tough decisions that states would have to make of whether to do more now or whether to spread it over a couple of years. This doesn’t solve all the challenges that states are facing, but it’s a huge step in the right direction. But your math is exactly accurate.

 

For the the full story on the American Jobs Act  and what this economic policy really means for North Carolina, read Carrington’s story here.

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