kmr's blog

The 0.4 percent horror

Via Ex:

The 0.4 percent horror
I was just a kid when it happened, and I can’t imagine what it was like to experience it, let alone live through it. But driving through what is left of Cary, with its dark, crumbling cul-de-sacs and boarded up split-levels, you get a feel for the devastation of 2007.

Bob Hall on the Black sentence

Statement from Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, regarding the sentencing of former House Speaker Jim Black:

The ugly story of former Speaker Jim Black's abuse of power is not yet finished. New evidence of possible corruption involving a high-powered lobbyist linked to the video-poker industry demands the immediate and full attention of state and federal prosecutors.

From the beginning, Democracy North Carolina has pushed to hold the donors of illegal money accountable, not just the politicians. Now, with the revelation of a $500,000 "loan" from a video-poker lobbyist, we have come full circle from our original complaint in June 2004 alleging a conspiracy by the video-poker industry to funnel illegal donations into Jim Black's

Tomorrow, today

Via the editorial page of the Citizen:

Tomorrow, today
As noted previously on our opinion page, this has not been a particularly swell couple of years for efforts to secure a vote on land and water conservation bonds.

Prime farmland for sale?

This week's column may tick off a few peeps who think Republicans are never right 'bout nuthin'. Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is raising red flags about the wholesale transfer of an Ag Division to UNC.

Here's the column:

Prime farmland for sale?

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler is a bit perplexed these days.


This week's column (sorry again for the late posting here) is about the state's backsliding on health issues and a little recap of the Merritt story.

World over, if there is any consistent symptom of a sick society, it’s the infant mortality rate.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what state health director Dr. Leah Devlin said when she announced a rise in the numbers a couple years back:

Shallow indeed

Just watched Headline Saturday and I'm sorry to say that it had one of the more in-depth segments on the real estate transfer tax debate. Sorry because it was horribly shallow.

The real estate transfer tax debate is an example of inside baseball in Raleigh having a detrimental effect on the rest of us.

Nothing but a bunch of hyperbole and scare tactics and talking points and a truly flaccid press standing on the sidelines playing on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand.

The big money people are trying to make it seem like they're standing for the little folks -- that they're the only ones keeping big government from your wallet.

Here's a couple of facts I heard unchallenged:
• 81 percent of the public is opposed to a real estate transfer tax.

Farm bill fight

Vastly different House and Senate versions of the reauthorization of the federal farm bill. The big issue is funding for conservation programs. Senate, yes. House, no. Via Medill:

WASHINGTON – The chairmen of the Senate and the House Agriculture Committees unveiled drastically different plans for funding farm conservation programs last week, setting the stage for a debate that may last well into September with billions of subsidy dollars for farmers at stake.


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