Daily Journal

4.17.14
Kooky Keynesian Ideas Infect Minimum Wage Debate

Only if you believe that raising the cost of doing business is good for the economy can you buy into the notion that a minimum wage increase spurs economic growth.

CJ Ticker

  • N.C. official unemployment rate drops to 6.3%. JLF president says underlying data bolster fiscally conservative approach.
  • JLF president finds academic research backs fiscal conservative approach to policies promoting economic growth.
  • JLF president notes newly revised N.C. employment data contradict popular liberal talking points.
  • JLF report calls for repeal or major revision of North Carolina's Map Act.
  • JLF report recommends new permanent commissions to study changing, replacing Common Core public school standards.
  • JLF's City and County Issue Guide 2014 urges local governments to pursue policies that promote freedom.
  • JLF's president says new employment data poke holes in dubious claims about N.C. employment.
  • N.C. unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent as jobs report shows signs of strong growth.

Other Opinions

4.17.14
State debt rating

To ensure our credit rating stays solid, we may need to further tweak our tax structure says the Fayetteville Observer.


4.17.14
Tourism dollars

Next time you find yourself caught behind a slow-moving out-of-state car filled with rubber-necking tourists, temper your displeasure. Those people are lowering your tax bills says the Asheville Citizen-Times.


4.17.14
Open government

The Wilmington Star- News says that anytime legislators and officials are performing state business, all their actions need to be open to the scrutiny of the public.


4.16.14
Financial aid

Scott Mooneyham says that the UNC Board of Governors is not a big fan of using a slice of tuition paid by some students to supplement the tuition of others.


4.16.14
Tax collections

Over the years, state lawmakers have seen a number of “April surprises,” revenue collections either higher or lower than expected. Let’s all hope that this year’s surprise is on the high side says the Winston-Salem Journal.


3.31.14
Grim Tale of Life In Infamous Hanoi Hilton Tour Yields Leadership Lessons
Lee Ellis' memoir of life as a POW in Vietnam provides stories of great courage from the survivors.

Media Mangle

9.06.12
How to downplay an embarrassing story

The N&O buries the one moment of real drama at the Democratic National Convention.


3.21.12
Death of a narrative

The world's media found the neo-Nazi meme in stories about the school shooting in France just too enticing.


1.16.12
Anatomy of a Newspaper Hit Piece

In a Sunday piece, The Charlotte Observer employs all the steps used by the mainstream media to mislead readers.

Carolina Beat

4.17.14
The Vanishing Obamacare Mandate

Lead Story

Latest Employment Data Bolster Case For Fiscally Conservative N.C. Approach

April 18, 2014, By CJ Staff

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The latest federal employment data for North Carolina support the case that a fiscally conservative approach to state fiscal policy is helping improve the economy's long-term outlook. Preliminary payroll figures show that North Carolina gained 19,400 jobs in March.

04.17.14 - GOP Race for 7th Congressional District Grows More Heated

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The candidates are David Rouzer, who lost a close race to retiring Rep. Mike McIntyre two years ago, Woody White, and Chris Andrade. The race has grown heated in recent weeks, as White has charged Rouzer with being too close to the Washington GOP establishment and Rouzer countering that his experience in Washington would allow him to be a more effective legislator sooner should he win in November.

04.16.14 - Challenger Nielsen Facing Long Odds In State House District 26

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Incumbent Leo Daughtry has served 10 terms in the state House and two terms in the North Carolina Senate. He has served as the House majority leader and was a gubernatorial candidate. Challenging Daughtry is Dennis Nielsen, a retired Air Force colonel who twice ran as a Republican for state Senate District 11 and lost.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

4.17.14 - McCrory wants broader authority over coal ash

CHARLOTTE — Gov. Pat McCrory will ask legislators for broader authority over coal ash disposal, but his plan does not envision eliminating all 33 of Duke Energy’s ash ponds. The proposal, released Wednesday, calls for site-specific closures. Ash could be removed from some ponds but left in others, drained and capped to keep water out. Duke has previously said it would weigh similar options.


Related Energy Articles:
State panel finalizes gas drilling rules
NC fracking commission reviews 48 safety rules
Fracking panel set to finish writing safety rules
JLF: How energy subsidy comparisons should be calculated but aren't
Duke Energy to vacuum toxic deposits in Dan River cleanup
Judge lets Duke Energy ash lawsuit continue

4.17.14 - NC fracking commission reviews 48 safety rules

RALEIGH — The state commission that’s creating safety standards for fracking raced through 48 rules Wednesday under a legislative deadline to prepare North Carolina for shale gas exploration by next spring. The state’s recent coal-ash spill near Eden loomed over the proceedings, prompting last-minute adjustments to prevent an accidental spill of frack fluid like the power plant accident that dumped 39,000 tons of toxic sludge into the Dan River in February.


Related Energy Articles:
McCrory wants broader authority over coal ash
State panel finalizes gas drilling rules
Fracking panel set to finish writing safety rules
JLF: How energy subsidy comparisons should be calculated but aren't
Duke Energy to vacuum toxic deposits in Dan River cleanup
Judge lets Duke Energy ash lawsuit continue

4.17.14 - Reinstatement of Jordan Lake pollution controls urged

RALEIGH — Environmentalists, local officials and a Durham businessman urged lawmakers Wednesday to bring back the so-called Jordan Lake Rules to control pollution in the lake. But Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, told them no legislation is planned when the General Assembly reconvenes in late May.


Related Water & Sewer Articles:
Greensboro water supply good thanks to lessons learned
Haw River makes national ‘most endangered’ list
JLF: Variable prices can work better than restrictions
Nine technologies to clean Jordan Lake?
DENR cuts jobs in wetlands restoration program
CFCC water-testing program ensures residents’ peace of mind

4.17.14 - Environmental issues a sticking point in Dix talks

RALEIGH — Cleaning up the leaky underground fuel storage tanks, wastes from a now-shuttered manufactured gas plant, asbestos insulation and stray chemicals left behind on the Dorothea Dix campus will be a multimillion-dollar challenge for anyone hoping to reuse the site. Who will pay for that cleanup is a key point in negotiations between Raleigh and Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration.


Related State Government Articles:
Raleigh residents could vote on Dix purchase in November
State Fair’s Vortex incident becomes high-profile lawsuit
State wants to keep a portion of Dorothea Dix property
NC rejects Raleigh’s bid for Dorothea Dix property
Jobless can expect fewer weeks of unemployment checks
Legislators cool to push to restore unemployment benefits

4.17.14 - Geocaching draws scrutiny of state officials

WILMINGTON — Just inside the Holly Shelter Game Land lies a ”bling trail,“ a manmade path lined with more than 600 hidden containers filled with trinkets, maps and notes from other people who've discovered them. The trail isn’t a secret, but you probably won’t find it - unless you’re a geocacher, outfitted with GPS coordinates and a love for a nontraditional type of hunt.


Related Environment Articles:
Foodies part of a new breed of hunter in N.C.
Fight to save Southeast hemlocks takes new tack
Popular bluebird is crowding out nuthatch
Climate change links vanish from DENR website
Sand mining expansion raises concerns with residents
Agencies to spend what they have to on storm cleanup

4.17.14 - Do Guilford schools have standing in tenure lawsuit?

GREENSBORO — One of the key questions in a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s teacher tenure law is not just whether it is constitutional. It’s also whether school boards can sue the state at all. Special Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton said Wednesday during a hearing that he wants more information on the question of school boards’ legal standing.


Related Education Articles:
Education officials: Charter schools must disclose salaries
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Educators, legislators cool to NC pay report
Teacher pay report gets chilly reception
Cooper, lawmakers split on how to pursue vouchers case
Lawmakers seek to reinstate school voucher program

4.17.14 - Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight

CHARLOTTE — The Rev. Mike Whitson was surprised when his friend and fellow pastor Mark Harris told him he planned to run for the U.S. Senate. “Why would you step down from where you are to become a United States senator?” he asked him. What some may consider a step down, Harris sees as another way of living his faith, and giving his flock a voice in public policy.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments
Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat
Barfield, Martin insist they can compete
N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads
McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments

RALEIGH — A political committee supporting Democratic control of the U.S. Senate began running a TV commercial in North Carolina on Wednesday seeking to remind viewers about personnel issues that embarrassed the office of Republican Thom Tillis, speaker of the state House. The Senate Majority PAC, which already has spent more than $2 million on the state’s Senate race, plans to spend nearly $1 million more on the ad targeting Tillis.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight
Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat
Barfield, Martin insist they can compete
N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads
McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads

GREENSBORO — With the May 6 primary election about two weeks away, voters are being bombarded with appeals by the candidates and well-heeled political groups from outside North Carolina. Some experts say they’re surprised it has taken this long for one of the state’s most hotly contested GOP primaries — the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Greensboro Democrat Kay Hagan — to lead to an all-out advertising war.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments
Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight
Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat
Barfield, Martin insist they can compete
McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat

CHARLOTTE — With strong backing from women’s groups, state Rep. Alma Adams of Greensboro out-raised her Democratic rivals and holds a wide financial edge in the race to replace Mel Watt in Congress. New reports show Adams raised nearly $353,000 and has a 3-to-1 cash advantage over her nearest opponent heading into the May 6 primary in the 12th Congressional District.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments
Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight
Barfield, Martin insist they can compete
N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads
McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - Barfield, Martin insist they can compete

WILMINGTON — Democrats Jonathan Barfield and Walter A. Martin Jr. were adamant Wednesday that they could be competitive with their GOP counterparts despite being severely outpaced in terms of campaign contributions. Jon Evans, the WECT anchor who was hosting a candidate forum jointly sponsored by WECT and the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear, asked about the disparity during a candidate forum Wednesday.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments
Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight
Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat
N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads
McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - McHenry talks jobs with Millennial generation

ASHEVILLE — Asheville is different from most cities in his district, and indeed across most of North Carolina, said U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry. “If you live in Asehville you’re by and large happier than people elsewhere. You chose to be here. I don’t hear the grumbling that your job transferred you here,” McHenry told a group of younger voters Wednesday.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Democrats’ ad attacks NC House speaker’s payments
Harris became leader in church, N.C. marriage fight
Alma Adams has edge in race for Mel Watt’s seat
Barfield, Martin insist they can compete
N.C. residents bombarded by U.S. Senate campaign ads
Grant brings military mentality to Senate campaign

4.17.14 - About 11 percent of Forsyth housing ‘seriously underwater’

WINSTON-SALEM — About 11 percent of Forsyth County housing units are considered as being “seriously underwater” when it comes to their mortgage, according to a RealtyTrac report for March timed for release today. The research group defines seriously underwater as owing at least 25 percent more on their mortgages than the property is worth.


Related NC Economy Articles:
Triangle housing market sales improve, but sellers scarce
Jobless rate falls again in Guilford, but what does it mean?
Triangle unemployment rate falls to 5.1 percent
Asheville adds more professional jobs
Study: 250,000 North Carolinians missing from labor force
Buyers paying cash account for half of home purchases

4.17.14 - Guilford official: Swift action needed in gay marriage lawsuit

GREENSBORO — Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen on Wednesday urged a federal judge and North Carolina’s attorney general to “act as swiftly as possible” in resolving a lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban. Last week, three same-sex couples filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriages.


Related NC Politics Articles:
Cooper asks judge to delay new same-sex marriage case
Snowe urges Charlotte audience to fight political gridlock
John Edwards returns to the courtroom
McCrory, Clodfelter talk teamwork, ethics
ACLU sues for faster action to same-sex marriage ban
Suit cites urgency to overturn NC gay marriage ban

4.17.14 - Bladen County seeks sales tax to fund work at schools

FAYETTEVILLE — The eight-minute video is a series of shots of windows, ceilings, floors, electrical systems and other parts of school buildings in Bladen County but some might consider it a horror film. That’s because the windows are cracked and leaking, the interior ceilings are broken or stained with rainwater that has seeped through, the floors are damaged, and the electrical systems include thick tangles of cords plugged into an array of power strips.


Related Local Government Articles:
Raleigh City Council debates renovation of Moore Square
Greensboro City Council OKs civil rights museum loan
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
Winston-Salem eyes 1-cent tax hike
Job cuts, tax hikes on table for Wilmington
Guilford County tackles backlog of park maintenance
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