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Morning Buffet

Federal Judge James Dever removes himself from Jim Black's sentencing
     N & O | C O

Wilmington Journal has strong words:
     Open Letter to the NC Black Legislative Caucus

Charter School 100 cap should remain according to NC Center for Public Policy Research:
     AP @ CO | WLOS | NBC17

Charter schools performed about the same or slightly worse than traditional schools

UPDATE: Read the full report from NCPPR

Partnership For North Carolina's Future


At a press conference at the NC State Legislature in Raleigh yesterday political, non-profit and business leaders announced a new coalition, Partnership for North Carolina's Future, to urge the NC General Assembly to prepare now for the impact of the "population tsunami" on our state's economy and quality of life.

If you didn't read about it this morning it might be because the back of the Press Room, where reporters normally sit and stand, was crowded out by lobbyists opposed to the Partnership like Andy Munn of the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, Lisa Martin of the NC Homebuilders, Rick Zechini of the NC Association of Realtors, reeking with cynical commentary and Becki Gray, registered lobbyist for the John Locke Foundation, texting frenetically on her Blackberry about the "little children" at the front of the crowd.

Press release below the fold:

Transfer Tax For Good Growth


It's no secret that North Carolina's population is growing rapidly. With that growth comes a need for additional services and bricks, mortar, asphalt, steel and concrete to deliver those services.

When my wife wants to fall asleep she asks me to explain how a telephone works. Explaining growth and infrastructure has the same effect. Mention taxes and the average person will wake up but upon hearing the trigger phrase "tax base", eyes will glaze over and deep sleep sets in. Call me a somnambulist chaser if you will but I'm trying to raise awareness of the need for local government funding options.

That's why I've created this video: Support Transfer Tax or watch below the fold:

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Ryan Teague Beckwith wrote over at Under the Dome about Fred Smith's jet and other items in the financial disclosure form Smith filed with the State Ethics Commission. There are a couple of things you won't find there that are worth a look.

The disclosure form, filed March 15th, presents a statement of economic interest as of December 31st of 2006. Since then Fred has been busy. He closed out his Senate campaign account "Friends of Fred Smith", repaying himself $66,455 in loans and forgiving his campaign $362,624.15 in loans. The loans to his campaign are not listed either as assets or liabilities on his Statement of Economic Interest.

Siege Mentality

If you ever want to understand the significance and insidiousness of James Arthur Pope and John Hood in framing political debates in North Carolina there are some articles that reveal motivation and methods in undermining progressive policies.

...perhaps it can be undermined, in the original sense of the term of creating breaches in the walls by digging underneath and using fire to collapse the tunnel.

The Pope model is a war of attrition, death by a thousand paper cuts followed by a bonfire of vanity publications to immolate the institutions against which Pope et al chafe but which bond and serve us in a free society, however flawed.

2 Million Acres Gone by 2027?

Map of projected NC Open Space lossEnvironment North Carolina just released a report showing that the Triangle will lose 37% of its natural areas, the Charlotte area will lose 30% of its natural areas by 2027 unless legislative action is taken. Developed area is increasing faster that the increase in population. If current development rates continue, North Carolina will lose at least two million acres more of forests and farmlands over the next twenty years. To compound the loss, the State's One Million Acre initiative is falling well short of its goals.

Grier Martin and the Raging Grannies

We didn't have Women on Wednesdays today but I'm squeezing this in under the wire. Apologies for the late post and shaky video [note to self: put tripod in car] but not many people get to see either Grier Martin speak or the Raging Grannies sing. Here they are in all their glory at last Saturday's Global Warming rally at the old State Capitol in Raleigh.

Raging Grannies

Grier Martin below the fold....

Environmental Faux



The John Locke Foundation loves the free market, except when it comes to the free market of ideas. They love to control the partisan message and that control is being eroded by the blogosphere as John Hood tentatively acknowledged. He bemoans:

that many people no longer have … opportunities to see people exchange very different ideas about life, religion, and politics in a respectful and thoughtful manner.

even as the John Locke Foundation’s own “LockerRoom” blog is self-referential and insulated from comments, to use Hood's words,

impoverished by insularity and circularity.

Now the John Locke Foundation has taken that "insularity and circularity" to new depths with an unattributed blog called EnvironmentNC.com. Not content with spreading disinformation through named sources the John Locke Foundation has switched to anonymous channels.

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