The Locker Room

April 23, 2010

New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:34 PM

Two new exclusives top the list of stories at Carolina Journal Online. The first features David Bass' report on a packed Republican primary in N.C. House District 34.

The second features Anthony Greco's report about an Americans for Prosperity North Carolina protest this week outside the Durham office of the Center for Responsible Lending.

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Financial reform shenanigans

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:10 PM

A Washington Examiner article detailing dubious dealings involved with the federal financial regulation reform includes a quote from our own Jon Ham.

If there is any doubt in your mind about the CRL’s role in shaking down banks to provide risky loans, and the line that runs from it to the corrupt Fannie Mae, read this from Stein’s testimony in 2008 to Sen. Dodd’s Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (my emphasis): “Self-Help’s lending record includes our secondary market program, which encourages other lenders to make sustainable loans to borrowers with blemished credit. Self-Help buys these loans from banks, holds on to the credit risk, and resells them to Fannie Mae.”

For more on the topic, visit the Americans for Prosperity Web site for an interesting video presentation.

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North Carolina Governors

Posted by Dr. Troy Kickler at 10:55 AM

Some new Governor entries have been posted on  

Two include descriptions how Governors changed political parties from Federalist to Jefferson-Republican:  Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. and David Stone.  One describes an advocate for public education: Hutchins G. Burton.  Another explains the administration of one who was arrested by Loyalists: Thomas Burke.

 Spaight, Sr. was also involved in a duel, and his death prompted the General Assembly to outlaw the practice.  His son was the last governor elected by the General Assembly: Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr.   Both were related to a former royal governor: Arthur Dobbs.

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A testament to the power of entrenched interests

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:31 AM

At 152 pages, Robert B. Carleson's memoirs are among the shortest you're likely to find.

But the recollections of "Ronald Reagan's welfare reformer" offer valuable insights about the efforts needed to fight a decades-old system of open-ended welfare entitlements at the state and federal level.

Titled Government Is The Problem, Carleson's book focuses primarily on the strategies used to battle bureaucrats, politicians, and interest groups who fight any effort to control costs and eliminate waste in welfare programs.

Carleson also offers the occasional anecdote that explains how Reagan's thought process differed from most of his colleagues and critics in government. One example: his response as California governor to the damage caused by major flooding in the 1969-70 winter storm season.

From the moment I began, Reagan peered from behind his half glasses as he read the briefing paper and asked good, deep questions about the extent and types of damage in the counties. When I got to the temporary increase in the gas tax, he frowned and commented that he was opposed to tax increases. I said that I was too, but the gas tax came only from highway users and would be spent only to repair their highways. He asked, "How do we know we need two cents for six months?" I responded that the engineers and accountants in one department had reported these findings.

"Well," he said, "I know those guys are conservative in their estimates. Why don't we make it an increase for a maximum of six months, with the governor given the authority to end it sooner if enough revenue comes in before then?"

I quickly saw his point and agreed. Why hadn't we thought of that? (The emergency legislation was passed Reagan's way and the gas tax was ended in four months.)

If that anecdote piques your interest in Reagan history, you might enjoy Steven Hayward's two-volume Age of Reagan, which he discusses in the video clip below:

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:15 AM

  • A rare story on the 11th congressional district Republican primary. It's one of a few competitive House seats in the state.

  • Don't let the door hit you on the way out — four candidates are vying to replace retiring Sen. Charlie Albertsen Down East.

  • Democrats in the U.S. Senate primary are struggling to raise money, while incumbent Republican Richard Burr is flush with cash.

  • A candidate in the 6th congressional district claims her opponent offered to cover her filing fee if she dropped out of the primary.

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Cognititive Dissonance

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 07:17 AM

Carbon dioxide makes plant life possible and is therefore responsible for almost all things green in nature. Warmer climates are known for their lush green landscapes that last for much if not all of the year.

Those who favor green technologies want to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere in order to make the earth cooler.

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This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:07 AM

North Carolina needs a better process for selecting its road-building projects, not a new pool of money to pay for those projects. John Hood explains why in the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Rick Henderson will join us to explain the bizarre case of a western North Carolina “eco-farm” project dependent on millions of dollars in taxpayer support. Speaking of tax dollars, Joe Coletti offers his response to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp’s description of Carolina Counts, a program designed to help the campus save millions of dollars a year by streamlining operations.

You’ll learn why syndicated columnist and Fox News analyst Cal Thomas believes an entitlement mentality is hurting the American political process. Plus Duke professor Bruce Caldwell explains how the history of economics can help us make sense of our current economic struggles.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:48 AM

This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with Max Borders of the Free To Choose Network about the "bad socioeconomic metaphors" that skew our views about politics and the economy.

Joyce Pope's guest Daily Journal pokes holes in the notion that mandatory calorie counts will help improve our health.

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