Viewing Category

Issues

06
Over at the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler has been lamenting that he’s got to cut $4 billion or $1 billion (the number seems to change from day to day) from his department’s budget.
 
When you think about it it’s an odd thing – but the liberals in the Perdue Administration have decided to cut medical care (especially Medicaid) to everyone from pregnant women to troubled children to senior citizens who receive home care so they don’t have to go into Nursing Homes.
 
So given all Secretary Cansler’s complaints about the dire financial straits of his Department it comes as shock to open the newspaper this morning and read he’s sending a troop of sixteen bureaucrats on a two-week sojourn to San Diego, paid for with $140,000 of President Obama’s ‘Stimulus Money.’
 
When the story hit the front page of the News and Observer Secretary Cansler’s P.R. machine went into high gear, waxing eloquent and telling the press how much benefit North Carolina children were going to reap from sixteen bureaucrats attending a child care seminar in sunny San Diego. But the News and Observer gave them a pretty blunt answer, pointing out there are 41,000 children (from low-income families) the state says it can’t provide financial aid to so they can receive day care.
 
Cansler’s decision puzzled even Governor Perdue’s fellow liberals and left child care advocates shaking their heads. As one told the News and Observer, “It seems like they have it backwards.”
 
But Secretary Cansler’s P.R. machine had an answer to that too. They explained Secretary Cansler had no choice, that the federal government wouldn’t let him spend the money to provide day-care to children from low income families – so he spent it on the trip to California instead.
 
So let’s get this right: President Obama forced DHHS to spend stimulus money on junkets for bureaucrats – rather than on providing child care?
 
That’s hard to believe.
 
Maybe the bureaucrats in Washington are as crazy as the bureaucrats in Raleigh but I can’t help but ask if anyone at DHHS – or Governor Perdue herself – called the White House and said, Look, we’ve got a better idea about how to spend this money – so let’s work it out.
 
DHHS is a pretty odd place so maybe it’s fitting it’s located on the old Dorothea Dix campus. Last summer in the middle of the budget crisis Secretary Cansler spent $38,000 to buy 1,100 crab pots to set a disabled man up in the fishing business as part of a vocational rehabilitation program. Now, he’s spending $140,000 to send bureaucrats to San Diego to improve child care.
 
Welcome to how government works over on the Dorothea Dix Campus.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (9) RSS comment feed |

29
There was one odd sidelight in former Governor Easley’s testimony.
 
He was busy as governor and candidate, too busy to go to headquarters or keep up with flight invoices.
 
But he was home vacuuming his chimney?

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

26
Jane said it’s good the Board of Elections is digging into “pay for play” politics.
 
Joe said it’s much ado about minor campaign reporting violations.
 
Jane said we’re lucky to have The News & Observer.
 
Joe said it’s a vendetta by John Drescher.
 
Jane said the combination of big-time appointments, free trips, cut-rate land deals and a sweet job for the First Lady stinks to high heaven.
 
Joe said politics always has been – and always will be – about helping your friends.
 
Jane said helping your friends is fine, but not using your position and your power to abuse a great university, corrupt the state’s environmental-permitting process, help yourself to the public till and enrich yourself and your friends.
 
Joe said why get out of breath about this when there are wars, global warming, atomic weapons in Iran, the huge need for health care reform and stunning rural poverty.
 
Jane said that, if we don’t clean this up, people won’t trust their government.
 
Joe recited a rhyme: “The thunder roared, the lightning flashed, a tree was felled – and a frog was smashed.”

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |

22

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

22
Public Policy Polling did a poll that seems obvious: Fox viewers don’t like Obama, and MSNBC viewers do.
 
But the point was reinforced last week by Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu (and UNC grad), in a talk in Chapel Hill.
 
Kilar said the Internet is essentially a tool that enables us to watch only what we want to watch.
 
The last episode of “MASH” had 100 million viewers – the largest TV audience ever.
 
That will never happen again in a world of 300 channels – and millions of Internet sites.
 
The great challenge in political communications today is how to reach that fragmented audience.

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General, Issues
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (6) RSS comment feed |

21
Recently I was subjected to a speech by columnist-commentator George Will.
 
He courageously took on Washington’s big spending. His implication was that President Obama is the culprit.
 
To his credit, Will did acknowledge that George Bush’s prescription drug benefit – which doesn’t let the government negotiate lower prices – is part of the problem.
 
But he ignored three other big causes of the deficit:
  • Bush’s war in Iraq
  • Bush’s tax cuts
  • Bush’s bailout.
If I was an umpire, I'd call Will out on strikes.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (11) RSS comment feed |

16
Thirty years before Governor Perdue’s trip to Asia, I went with Governor Hunt on the first trip by a North Carolina governor to China.
 
That was not long after the fall of the Gang of Four. We saw “Democracy Wall” in Beijing where people could post and read news.
 
But censorship was still strict. I had bought a Time magazine in the hotel reserved for Westerners. Going to one meeting, I was sitting in the back seat of the car with our Chinese translator. He eyed my magazine. I whispered, “Want it?” He quickly slid it into his briefcase.
 
China was gray, poor and monotonous. Everyone wore Mao suits and rode bicycles.
 
While we were there, the infamous Greensboro Massacre took place. Neo-Nazis fired on a march held by the Communist Workers Party. Several communists died.
 
There we were surrounded by a billion communists. And they’re being shot on the streets back home.

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |

15
It’s scary when Carter and I agree. But he’s right about Afghanistan (see his blog below).
 
President Obama can start earning that Nobel Prize by vetoing General McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more soldiers.
 
History teaches us to respect the courage of American military men and women.  The supposed genius of generals – not so much.
 
Forty-plus years ago, a general named Westmoreland pressed LBJ for more troops in Vietnam. Vietnam turned into Big Muddy.
 
Afghanistan looks like Big Rocky.
 
The British and the Russians went down that road. See where it took them.

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |

13
Money’s tight the Democrats in Raleigh say, so the state’s flailing away to cut health care costs – it’s slashing home care, nursing home care and hospitals.

But one group is safe.

North Carolina Medicaid spends $1 billion a year on prescription drugs. But North Carolina is one of six states without a Medicaid ‘Preferred Drug List.’

What’s that? It’s simple: A ‘Preferred Drug List’ means if there’s a generic you take it – instead of a name brand. If North Carolina had a ‘Preferred Drug List’
it would save $84 million a year in Medicaid costs.

So what’s the problem? Politics. No one can get the legislation through the legislature.

Why not? Pharma – the pharmaceutical lobby.

Last year Governor Perdue, Secretary Lanier Cansler and State Senator Phil Berger all supported cutting health care programs that serve patients with incomes under $8,000 per year – but none of them dared tackle Pharma. The bill for a ‘Preferred Drug List’ died in the legislature.

So North Carolina is cutting health care for the elderly and paying pharmaceutical companies $84 million for name brand drugs when there are generic substitutes – which is a classic example of how government works.

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (6) RSS comment feed |

13

 

The comic strip Mallard Fillmore – as well as Democrats and Republicans alike – is still beating up on poor Jimmy Carter for speaking the truth about race and President Obama’s critics.
 
Even Bill Clinton piled on. But he’s never been a Carter fan,
 
Carter overstated the case, as he often does.
 
But don’t try to pretend race has nothing at all – no sir, not one tiny thing – to do with some of the rabid opposition.
 
For all his faults, Carter had the guts back in the 1970s – as Governor of Georgia and President – to stand up to racism.
 
So cut him some slack.


 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |

Page 76 of 106First   Previous   71  72  73  74  75  [76]  77  78  79  80  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement