The Locker Room

January 20, 2011

New CJTV exclusive: Perdue opposes ABC privatization

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:30 PM

Anthony Greco's latest CarolinaJournal.tv exclusive covers Gov. Beverly Perdue's announcement today that she opposes privatizing liquor sales in North Carolina.

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Re: Perdue wants state to keep control of liquor sales

Posted by Rick Henderson at 4:02 PM

... because we all know if the liquor stores leave the control of state government, those greedy merchants will sell booze to kids. That would never happen with the government and its selfless civil servants in charge.

Oh, wait ...

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Re: Perdue wants state to keep control of liquor sales

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:35 PM

Gov. Perdue said today:

I don't want to be the governor who holds my little granddaughter's hand as I walk down the aisles of Wal-Mart or Target or Rose's1 to the toy center and have to pass shelves and shelves of liquor.2

Beer and wine, yes.3 But liquor? No no no, because (choose one):

  1. It is sinful and not what we want in North Carolina
  2. It might cost the state and local governments revenue4
  3. A--when speaking with religious activists (and being careful not to mention deregulated beer or wine sales)
  4. B--when speaking with legislators, commissioners, and big-government activists (and being careful not to mention deregulated beer or wine sales)
  5. Both C and D


Notes

1. Apparently the boycott is over.
2. In none of those stores is the toy section accessed through the alcohol section.
3. Rose's doesn't sell beer or wine and wouldn't sell liquor.
4. Except that the state could easily adjust excise taxes and (additional) licensing fees to keep revenues the same, formerly state-owned liquor stores and associated properties would begin paying property taxes, and of course the sales of those properties would result in one-year windfalls.

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Perdue wants state to keep control of liquor sales

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:33 PM

Despite the arguments in favor of privatization, Gov. Beverly Perdue has announced she opposes proposals to give up the government monopoly on liquor sales. 

2 p.m. update: Here's the response from incoming Senate Leader Phil Berger's office:

“I share Gov. Perdue’s concerns regarding the sustainability of revenue derived from the ABC system. Our state is facing a massive $3.7 billion budget deficit and a nearly ten percent unemployment rate. Our number one priority must be to balance the budget and foster an environment where the private sector can create jobs. I believe that we should continue to look at opportunities for privatizing governmental functions and continue to consider privatizing the ABC system. However, the decision to privatize should be a carefully considered long term policy decision and not a short term decision based on the state’s budget situation.”

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Rove cites poll data supporting ObamaCare's repeal

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:22 PM

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, former "Bush brain" Karl Rove says the GOP "would have deeply damaged its credibility" if the U.S. House had not moved forward with a vote to repeal the 2010 federal health care reform legislation. 

Virtually every claim the Obama administration has made on its behalf is turning out to be untrue. (Recall "If you like your current [health-care] plan, you will be able to keep it.") Or it wasn't credible to start with, such as the claim by the Office of Management and Budget that the bill will cut the deficit. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll this week showed that 62% see it as increasing the deficit, 54% think it'll hurt the economy, and 46% think the law will cost jobs. When Republicans have winning arguments, they should keep pressing them.

The House vote also gives the GOP momentum to make ObamaCare a principal issue in the 2012 election. That can't make vulnerable House Democrats who barely survived last fall's campaign, or the 24 Democratic senators up in 2012 (many in red states), happy. Nor can it be to the advantage of the president, who will also be on the ballot.

The longer this issue is around, the worse it's likely to be for Democrats. This year's ObamaCare-mandated Medicare cuts are geometrically larger than last year's. Dissatisfaction among health-care providers will continue rising as the new health-care law adversely affects their profession. The concerns of business leaders will become more pronounced as the law's mandates limit their choices while increasing their costs. And consumer discontent will grow as promised declines in insurance premiums and health-care costs don't materialize.

This is why health-care reform—unlike every other major piece of social legislation in modern history—has become less, not more, popular since it passed. A poll this week from Resurgent Republic (a group I helped form) showed that voters support Republican efforts to repeal and replace the health-care law by 49% to 44%, with independents supporting repeal 54% to 36%.

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Hanson identifies a 'Bloomberg Syndrome'

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:15 PM

Victor Davis Hanson offers National Review Online readers a new analysis of politicians who like to "resort to cosmic sermonizing" while failing to address the "mundane challenges" voters have elected them to address.

The most obvious case in point is the Arizona sheriff who looked everywhere except within his own department for villains to blame in connection with the recent shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. 

In [Sheriff Clarence] Dupnik’s case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff’s department files to ensure they don’t get guns and bullets and pop up at political events, but apparently far easier to deflect subsequent responsibility by sounding off on political issues.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was a past master of lecturing about the cosmic while at times ignoring the more concrete. Governing the boroughs of an often-chaotic New York City is nearly impossible. Pontificating on the evils of smoking, fatty foods, and supposed anti-Muslim bigotry was not only far easier but had established the mayor as a national figure of sensitivity and caring. He was praised for his progressive declarations by supporters of everything from global warming to abortion.

But Bloomberg’s carefully constructed philosopher’s image was finally shattered by the December 2010 blizzard and his own asleep-at-the-wheel reaction. An incompetent municipal response to record snowfalls barricaded millions in their borough houses and apartments, amid lurid rumors of deliberate union-sponsored slowdowns by Bloomberg’s city crews.

For the last three years, California has managed through poor governance to simultaneously achieve the highest deficits in the nation; the highest combination of income, sales, and gas taxes; the best-paid teachers; and among the lowest school test scores in the country. After failing along with the legislature to balance budgets, improve the schools, lower taxes, trim state expenditures, and deal with millions of resident Mexican nationals without diplomas, English-language skills, or legal status, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reinvented himself as a globally celebrated green-action hero of the solar, wind, and alternative-energy lobbies.

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Why a vote to repeal ObamaCare makes sense

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:01 PM

If previous arguments in favor of repeal didn't convince you, perhaps an editorial from National Review Online will help:

Some may argue the vote was a meaningless exercise, as the Senate is not likely to go along, and the president would veto the bill anyway in the unlikely event it was presented to him. But that kind of thinking is inconsistent with the way our government and politics work. For starters, it’s not inconceivable that a few Democratic senators, particularly those up for reelection in 2012, might welcome the chance to show disapproval of Obamacare, now that they have seen what happened to some of their House and Senate colleagues in the 2010 midterm election. Getting them on the record in that regard would be extremely important as the battle over this legislation unfolds over the coming months and years.

The argument that the repeal effort is meaningless is offered in bad faith. Everyone knew that Pres. George W. Bush would veto funding for embryonic-stem-cell funding, but no one — not even we — said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was therefore wasting our time in advocating it. Moreover, in our constitutional system of government, the House and Senate often take positions that are opposed by the other chamber, and presidents quite regularly send proposals to Congress that are thought to be “dead on arrival.” That does not make them unimportant. The president and his allies want to create the perception that Obamacare is now a settled matter, and that Republicans should get over it. Passage by the House of full repeal makes it abundantly clear that Obamacare is far from a settled matter. That’s a crucial message to send to the public, to employers, to the states, and to participants in the health sector, as they make decisions about what is likely to happen with Obamacare in coming years.

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New Carolina Journal Online exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:46 AM

David Bass' latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive explores Wake County school board member John Tedesco's possible loss of his home to foreclosure.

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Why is economics called "the dismal science"?

Posted by George Leef at 09:58 AM

It is not because of the supposed gloom that comes from understanding that scarcity means we have to make trade-offs. Rather, as Professor David Levy of George Mason explains in this Freeman article the term was coined by enemies of laissez-faire who thought that slavery was just fine and found the free-market case against it "dismal."

Hat tip: Frank Stephenson.

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Leave us alone, Bill

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:33 AM

Bill Gates, or Big Brother? You decide:

In the keynote address to the mHealth Summit held in November last year, Bill Gates introduced a plan to use cell phone technology to register every birth on the planet in a newborn vaccination database.

Attributing the decline in the number of children who die before their fifth birthday from 20 million in 1960 to 8.5 million today to infant vaccination, Gates told the audience of more than 2,000 at the conference, “About one-third [of that improvement] is by increasing income. The majority has been through vaccines. Vaccines will be the key. If you could register every birth on a cell phone—get fingerprints, get a location—then you could [set up] systems to make sure the immunizations happen.”

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JFK's famous line

Posted by George Leef at 09:26 AM

JFK is best known for his line, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." Most people think it profound, but it's just statist blather. Don Boudreaux explains in this letter.

Editor, Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Editor:

Unlike E.J. Dionne, I neither admire nor find inspiration in JFK's famous line
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your
country" ("Kennedy's inaugural address presents a challenge still," Jan. 20).
The late Milton and Rose Friedman explained best why that statement is
detestable:

"Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The
paternalistic 'what your country can do for you' implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, 'what you can do for your 'country' implies the government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary."*

Free men and women abhor the very thought of being either wards or servants of the state, and are not charmed out of this attitude by soaring slogans.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

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RE: Birthday gift: Embarrassing foreclosure story

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:27 AM

Terry,

It's ironic that a liberal blog would unearth and publicize these details about John Tedesco's potential foreclosure when there is ample evidence to suggest that pressure from liberal activists contributed to Tedesco losing his job in April — likely precipitating the foreclosure.

It happened Easter Weekend last year. Tedesco left his job at a Raleigh nonprofit, the official reason being to commit more time to his job on the Wake County School Board. But:

In March, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported that diversity busing supporters were gunning for Tedesco’s job at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle — a nonprofit that pairs at-risk youth with older mentors — on the basis that his views as a school board member were at odds with the group’s mission to help poor children.

The newspaper also reported that opponents of the school board majority had questioned the nonprofit’s diversity in light of Tedesco’s position there.

Reached by telephone late Thursday, one of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ board members declined to confirm or deny whether donors or advocacy groups had pressured the organization to oust Tedesco.

“I wouldn’t express an opinion one way or the other,” said Bill Fletcher, a Cary realtor and Republican candidate for superintendent of public instruction in 2004.

SNIP

[I]n an interview with the N&O in early March, Tedesco acknowledged that opponents of the school board majority were pressuring his employer.

“If they can’t get at me but go after my job, I have no fear of walking away from my job and sleeping in my car to help the kids they’re abandoning,” he said.

SNIP

Tedesco’s exit underscores the tense political atmosphere in Wake County over the busing issue. Three protesters with a history of left-wing activism were arrested at a school board meeting March 23. At the same meeting, a high school student plastered Tedesco’s Kia SUV with fliers. The car was also dented and scratched, Tedesco said.

Any argument by the liberal blogosphere that Tedesco's potential foreclosure shows poor financial judgment on his part is pablum, considering the mysterious circumstances surrounding his job loss.

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Birthday gift: Embarrassing foreclosure story

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:16 AM

Happy Birthday, John Tedesco!

For Mr. Tedesco's special occasion, an investigative reporter (or is it private investigator?) for NC Policy Watch published details about the start of foreclosure proceedings on his home in Garner.

According to their website, "NC Policy Watch generates a steady flow of timely, accurate and hard-hitting commentaries and analyses that challenge North Carolina leaders to chart a new and better course."

I suppose this sad story qualifies as "hard-hitting" in a below the belt sort of way.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:00 AM

Sara Burrows' latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive examines the links between the new Uwharrie Commission and state government plans to seize privately owned property along the Yadkin River.

John Hood's Daily Journal examines Gov. Beverly Perdue's possible approach to new Republican majorities in the General Assembly.

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