Morning Post

Ah, good morning. A cool 68 here in the Piedmont.
Oregon and Kentucky voting away. My guess is that very soon this election will not be about blogging.
Meanwhile, in a provincial capital not far away:
– Fitz — short session promising to be short
Geddings still having hard time getting sympathy from the justice system
– Wachovia number two, BoA number five on write-down per employee list
Binker on Hagan/Dole
– Distracting as all this is, please remember to stop and smell the Catalpa.

Ag research stations

Noted with interest, testimony by the Ag Commish on research stations.

Remember when this came up last year?

meeting notice via NCGA:

2007-2008 SESSION

You are hereby notified that the Committee on Agriculture will meet as follows:

DAY & DATE: Wednesday, May 21, 2008
TIME: 12:00 Noon


Commissioner Steve Troxler, North Carolina Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Stations

Representative Hill, Chair

I hereby certify this notice was filed by the committee assistant at the following offices at
11 o’clock on May 19, 2007.

Principal Clerk
Reading Clerk — House Chamber

Gennie Thurlow (Committee Assistant)

Here they come

This is that time in the cycle (short session in a federal election year) when people run bills through the General Assembly for purely political purposes. Case in point: Sen. Robert Pittenger, who is running for Lt. Governor, has introduced the NC Citizen Protection Act. It includes about everything you’d think, most of which have already been ruled unconstitutional. I think a more accurate title might be the Permanent Exploited Underclass Act. It would probably criminalize most churches.
But it’s a big bill and in some venue there’ll be a discussion and the senator will have his campaign ad that talks about how he’s protecting us from the hordes.
Stand by for more heroics.

Morning Post

Chris says its a decent start on the budget.
The N&O says sin taxes won’t fly.
Catch all the action here. Play by play.
A liquor tax hike to help fund mental health has been tried before. The beer wholesalers gave every legislator a mug with a red line about a third of the way down, representing how much of your beverage cost was for taxes. The sad thing about the debate was that it was more about taxes and equity and less about mental health.
Besides, they will argue this time, a recession is no time to raise the cost of folks’ drinking habits.
Things may be different this go round, however, since there is a different speaker. Let’s hope Mr. Hackney and Mr. Basnight, who have supported the sin tax idea in the past, have long ago reached some agreement to deal with the mental health crisis straight on in the short session. And let’s hope it doesn’t get bogged down in a debate over ox-goring.

Next up: Huge discussion Wednesday on the death penalty.


Not The Onion.
But it reads damn close.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California man who has defaulted on nine homes and expects banks to foreclose on all of them, forcing him into bankruptcy, says he now considers it a mistake to have invested in the real estate market.

Ah, what a tizzy

We’re at one of those moments where one horse race is over and another is beginning before the media have had a chance to frame it. When there is no settled on theme, it makes for strange reporting. The scramble is on to find the hook.
The big story for the moment is when/how the Clintons stand down. It is certainly foolish to think that anything – money, math, etc. – will drive that decision. There may be a lot of factors, but it won’t stop until they say it stops.
While that story has a lot of people in a tizzy, it’s a sideshow compared to what’s forming on the main stage. The presidency, the sea change, that’s the story. Unfortunately, media coverage has not reflected the seriousness of times and the decision coming in November. It is still depicted as a contest of personalities rather than ideas. The old rules continue to restrain reporting while in the drive to compete with those working under new rules the compunction now is to cajole, prod, wheedle and tweak — to work the embarrassing clip up to a level of political importance, because it is far and away more entertaining that their own clever insights.
What is painful to watch is how anything will be seized on – random acts, events, phrases – and turned and twisted and worked over again and again. And everything around the snippet is ignored as though the incident or the words were uttered in a vacuum. That’s the level of desperation that has infected those in whom we trust to carry the news.
Give me boredom. Give me a long, boring discussion of the economy, of how a troop drawdown would work and of how when it comes to gas prices we’re at the mercy of the supply and demand curve. Surely, someone at some network has the number for a few people who could inform us.