The Locker Room

January 21, 2011

New CJ Exclusive: Dell Incentive Surprise

Posted by Rick Henderson at 8:54 PM

In the latest Carolina Journal Online Exclusive, Anthony Greco reports on an unexpected development delivered to a legislative oversight committee studying the state's corporate incentives program.

To see the story, click on the video.

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Barnes takes on Obama's new job-creation guru

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:36 PM

Fred Barnes' latest Weekly Standard column has little good to say about General Electric's CEO:

In General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, President Obama may not have picked the worst possible corporate executive to head his new panel on job creation. But Immelt is pretty close.

Immelt is a classic example of a rent-seeking CEO who may know what’s good for his own company but not what produces economic growth and private sector job creation. He supported Obama on the economic stimulus, Obamacare, and cap-and-trade – policies either unlikely to stir growth and jobs or likely to impede faster growth and hiring.

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Kristol looks ahead to 2012

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:32 PM

In analyzing a fellow pundit's work at The Weekly Standard's website, William Kristol makes the following remarks about the next presidential campaign:

My conclusion from this? The 2012 GOP presidential nomination is too important to waste. And it's too important for candidates who might be successful to pass up. Any Republican leader who cares about the future of the country, and who thinks it's possible he or she might be the best nominee, should keep an open mind about running. Donors, activists and citizens should keep an open mind about who would prove to be the best nominee, and watch to see how they all perform--in Congress, in statehouses, in debates, and on the stump--over the next year. It's worth getting this nomination right.

You might recall Kristol's recent comments for Carolina Journal Radio about the resurgence of limited-government conservatism in American politics.

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The Bible Belt Loosens a Notch

Posted by Duke Cheston at 2:12 PM

Over across the pond, the European Union has created a student calendar that included "Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese holidays and festivals," but apparently forgot Christian holidays.

On a somewhat related note, at today's State Board of Community Colleges meeting board members moved to better accommodate religious diversity among students. Following a law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2009,  the board agreed to require community colleges to allow at least two days off per year for religious observances:

The State Board of Community Colleges shall direct each community college to adopt a policy that authorizes a minimum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student.

The law has not yet come in to effect, but some colleges have already adopted policies in the spirit of the law. Larry Keen, for instance, president of Fayetteville Technical Community College, has instructed faculty to allow students two excused absences per year for religious reasons.

Some critics have suggested that the policy might be abused--Keen joked about hungover students using it as an excuse to get out of class--but Keen said no abuses have been reported so far. He "didn't want to get into the business of becoming religious holiday police," but there are certain safeguards in place. For instance, religiously-excused absences must be arranged significantly in advance, cutting down on potential abuses.

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AFP announces 2011 N.C. legislative agenda

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:29 AM

From Americans for Prosperity N.C. state director Dallas Woodhouse:

I wanted to share with you the AFP-NC legislative agenda for 2011. What primarily guides this agenda is a belief in the free-market and that the individual should have the maximum freedom possible to pursue the American Dream.

In keeping with this agenda, AFP-NC will be producing a 2011 Legislative Report Card. AFP-NC grassroots members will identify key House and Senate votes that have a significant impact on promoting free-market competition, lowering taxes, restraining state spending, and protecting property rights.

AFP-NC 2011 Legislative Agenda:

• Pass a budget with ZERO tax increases

• Allow temporary sales and income taxes to sunset as planned

• Repeal ¼-cent sales and land transfer tax

• Require any referendum to take place on an even- year November General Election

• Increase the number of public charter schools and other school choice options available to parents

• Promote the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) that would limit government spending

• Promote an amendment requiring a supermajority to raise taxes

• Eliminate corporate welfare (incentives) and adjust the corporate rate from 2% to 3%

• Protect private property

• Support a Constitutional Amendment to stop eminent domain abuse

• Stop forced municipal annexation

• Stop excessive property tax increases that threatens homes & businesses

• Dedicate all lottery revenue to school construction

• Repeal “Senate Bill 3”which raised energy costs and hurt families

• End all “welfare for politicians” known as taxpayer funded elections

• Protect free and political speech rights by deregulating campaign speech

• Pass a Session Limit Amendment

• End the Golden Leaf Foundation

• Keep North Carolina a “Right to Work” state

• Protect government employees from Unions having access to pay checks

• Protect taxpayers from public employee strikes and work stoppages

• Support a State Constitutional Amendment to protect workers’ rights to secret ballot elections

• Pass Texas-style tort and lawsuit reform

• Greatly reduce the regulatory burden on business and citizens

The John Locke Foundation has produced its own 11-point plan for the General Assembly's First 100 Days.

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When Students Attack

Posted by Duke Cheston at 11:52 AM

The State Board of Community Colleges voted today to change its long-held open door admissions policy, giving community colleges the authority to exclude potential students who pose a threat to the health or safety of other people on community college campuses.

Although the vote followed by a mere two weeks the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona, involving a former community college student, board members denied any connection to the tragedy. According to policy committee chairman Stuart Fountain, the process for making the rule change began after an incident in which an unnamed community college admissions adviser was violently attacked by a prospective student.

Fountain refused to comment on specific mechanisms--such as criminal background checks, medical history, etc.--for determining whether or not a student was a threat.

The new policy is currently awaiting approval by the state rules review commission. Dr. Fountain expects the rule may take effect as early as the 2011 Fall semester.

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Deroy Murdock on our declining economic freedom

Posted by George Leef at 11:12 AM

In his NRO column today, Deroy Murdock looks at one of the canaries in the coal mine: America's steadily declining rank in the Index of Economic Freedom.

"Progressives" don't think this matters, but economic freedom and prosperity rise or fall together. It's also true that non-economic freedom falls along with economic freedom. The bigger the realm of government authority, the more likely it is that ordinary people will be fined or imprisoned for conduct (or failures to act) that they had no idea would cause them trouble with the law.

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Should we depoliticize UNC?

Posted by George Leef at 10:55 AM

The Pope Center's Jay Schalin makes the case here.

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Another critical assessment of JFK's line

Posted by George Leef at 09:46 AM

In his TGIF (The Goal is Freedom; it just happens to appear each Friday) column Sheldon Richman takes a scalpel to Kennedy's famous line and concludes that it was merely a smokescreen for expanding the power of the state and diminishing individual liberty.

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York discusses the long-term project of dismantling ObamaCare

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:14 AM

Byron York's latest Washington Examiner article explores the strategy U.S. House Republicans are using in the long-term fight against ObamaCare:

Everyone knows House Republicans (along with three Democrats) voted Wednesday to repeal Obamacare. But fewer people know what those same House Republicans -- this time, with 14 Democrats -- did Thursday.

By a vote of 253 to 175, the GOP directed key House committees to report on ways to lower health care premiums, allow patients to keep their current health plans, increase access to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and decrease the price of medical liability lawsuits. In other words, the committees are beginning work on replacing the House-repealed Obamacare with Republican health policies.

Repeal got a lot of press coverage. Replacement got far less.

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This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:19 AM

A new General Assembly starts work next week, and the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio focuses on the new legislative session from several perspectives.

Rick Henderson will examine the impact of Sen. Marc Basnight’s decision to resign his elected post, effective one day before the official loss of his 18-year grip on the Senate’s top leadership job.

Basnight and fellow Democrats are surrendering control to Republicans for the first time in more than a century. Troy Kickler discusses the history of GOP power in late 19th-century North Carolina politics.

We’ll also hear details of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s recent recommendation that the new Republican-led General Assembly pursue legislative session limits.

Outside of state legislative news, we’ll cover two topics of national interest. Recently retired UNC System President Erskine Bowles will discuss the nation’s long-term federal debt challenges, while libertarian syndicated newspaper columnist Deroy Murdock will explain why government-run health care is “bad medicine.”

Linkable Entry

New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:11 AM

This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with author Richard Lowry about his book New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah

Melissa Mitchell's guest Daily Journal finds inspiration in the biography of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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