It wasn’t just the weather. Last week brought an unusual winter political storm.
The Republican who leads the Finance Committee in the state Senate accused the Republican governor of a “flagrant violation of power” and used an unprintable epithet to describe his fellow Republican lawmakers who pushed a bill favored by the governor, a bill that the senator calls an “abomination.”
And we know all this because someone secretly recorded the senator’s comments and released a transcript to the Raleigh News & Observer and other media.
How high would the unemployment rate be if workers who have given up finding a job were counted in the official rate?
John Hood of the conservative John Locke Foundation reminds us that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics actually does have a figure keeping track of those discouraged workers. It’s called the U-4. It isn’t calculated monthly, and there isn’t a measure for just Caldwell County, but it’s a tool we can use to put the official unemployment rate in perspective.
If we can’t get many people in Congress to voluntarily leave office, and since even the party that once championed firm term limits now seems to have forgotten about the issue, maybe there should at least be a mandatory retirement age.
If you’re sipping a cup of coffee or orange juice right now, put it down before reading the next sentence.
There’s a politician in Raleigh who championed an idea that once would have benefitted his political party, but he still champions it now that it would seem to hurt his party; he just thinks it’s the right thing to do.
According to an article on The Victorian Web website, “as late as the 1820s, the writer Leigh Hunt labeled it an event ‘scarcely worth mention,’ and it was widely believed that the holiday, both in England and throughout Europe and North America, was destined to die out.”
So what happened?
Everyone needs to just get a grip.
As a general rule, that applies to pretty much any situation. We are a nation of constant outrage, overreaction and hyperbole.
But today this applies specifically to the voices of outrage raised a few days ago over some of the comments that Phil Robertson, the father on the “Duck Dynasty” TV series, made in an interview with a writer for GQ magazine.
News that Caldwell County is applying to join the Charlotte area’s foreign trade zone is good news for the county as well as for any manufacturer in the county that has customers overseas.
Thursday’s events in Washington had a surreal feel.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and the party’s go-to guy on budget issues, got Democrats to agree to a compromise budget plan — and he was immediately attacked by conservative groups.
Did you know that North Carolina has laws on the books that make public documents, records, information and meetings available and accessible to any person?
It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, the chances are you answered that question, “No” – 68 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans are unaware that our state’s open meetings and records laws exist, according to the most recent Elon University Poll.
If there is a special spot reserved in hell for Ralph Scozzafava, the former CEO of Furniture Brands International, surely it’s a crowded room.
The past few days, we read some things that gave us hope that maybe, just maybe, Ralph Scozzafava will soon be out on his butt.
Or, more likely, deploying his golden parachute.
Either way, Furniture Brands International’s CEO can’t vacate the premises soon enough.
When it came to the legislature’s decision to cut funding for teacher assistants, Sen. Dan Soucek stuck to his party’s guns – and shot himself in the foot by suggesting that teachers should really be upset with the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners for not providing funding the assistants.
“We don’t say, 'You can’t have them in those grades,’” Soucek said. “We say, ‘You’re going to have to find the funds elsewhere.’”
On one hand, it is easy to argue that Washington might be better off with a bunch more people like Howard Coble, constituent-minded officials who mind their Ps and Qs and can joke about themselves.
On the other hand, one of the problems with Washington is how many people arrive intent on staying a short time (is 12 years short?) before clearing out to allow for new blood and new ideas, then change their minds and hang around for many years more.
“Change is good” is a cliché, said most often as reassurance when something unexpected or unsettling has happened.
We can’t possibly know in advance whether all of the new faces brought to local government boards in Caldwell County by last week’s municipal elections will prove to be good additions.
But in general, a little change in the composition of elected boards is good. New people bring new perspectives. A little fresh air can keep the atmosphere from feeling musty.
No matter whether your candidates are in office, coming or going, you can be grateful at least that your mayor is not Rob Ford.
Although you can count us as firmly on the side of those who believe teachers have been getting a raw deal from the N.C. General Assembly in recent years, especially this past year, we have to agree with Republican legislators and conservative groups that the N.C. Association of Educators and some teachers appear to be injecting politics into the classroom.
The only unexpected thing about a recent report from a conservative Raleigh think tank criticizing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is that it advocates a top-down, government-knows-best approach to higher education.
It’s not clear whether Gov. Pat McCrory intentionally spread false information last week on the national stage, did it accidentally or merely repeated what someone else had told him.
You're going to have trouble convincing us that the extra-wet summer has nothing to do with what so far is this area's relatively drab autumn.
Although we happily jump at justified opportunities to tweak politicians for greed, hubris and/or stupidity, the recent uproar over now-abandoned plans to renovate the bathrooms in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh is not one.
The wealthy have nothing to fear from this nation’s courts, and the average citizen has nothing but an uphill climb to get justice.
That is a long-held belief in this country, and Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware did nothing but reinforce it Friday when he overruled objections to the plan to pay bonuses to seven top executives of Furniture Brands International if the company reaches certain benchmarks when it exits bankruptcy protection in December.
Most of the payroll decisions that Aldona Wos, state secretary of health and human services, has made can be defended as judgment calls, even if you disagree with them.
But two of them can't be -- and no one has even tried.
If you make the bed, you ought to have to lie in it.
Unfortunately, no one in Congress is feeling any of the effects of the shutdown, and likely never will.
Scrooge does not reside at the News-Topic.
As we noted in an editorial months ago, we liked the 35-foot-tall snowman that Larry Smith set up at his Christmas tree lot on Morganton Boulevard last year. It simply violated the city’s rules for allowable advertising, and in general we support rules that keep society safe and sane.
Now those rules have changed.
Easy prediction: The stretch of U.S. 321 in front of the former headquarters of Broyhill Furniture Industries is going to be a standard part of every tour of the Lenoir area by economic development officials hosting prospective businesses.
On the west side will be the Broyhill building, now being renovated for its new life as the headquarters of rapidly growing Exela Pharma Sciences, a pharmaceutical company. On the east side, farther off the road, will be what is now called the Expo building, which soon is going to be renovated – though that word may be inadequate to describe the facelift the outside of the building is going to get – to become the new headquarters of rapidly growing Greer Laboratories, also a pharmaceutical company.