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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.

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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.


 

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09
It’s hard to fault President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize – after all, he was the first to admit he was as surprised as anyone and, beyond that, he’s giving the money to charity. In the end what else could he do but smile and say, Thank you, politely.
 
There’s also no point in questioning the logic of five Norwegians giving $1.4 million of pacifist dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel’s money to President Obama. They said the President was creating a nuclear free world and creating an International ‘dialogue’ – and that was good enough for them.
 
Their first point’s shaky because not a single nuclear weapon’s been dismantled. But their second point is rock solid – there’s no doubt the President can dialogue with the best of them.
 
The Norwegians also had one more thing to say: That the President was standing up for ‘world values’ and working through the United Nations – which tickled the Norwegians pink.
 
I guess that’s one way to look at it. The other is the United Nations has turned into a safe-haven for the biggest thugs on earth. In the last month its members have cheered Muammar Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hugo Chavez – three of the biggest scoundrels walking around on two legs. So, right now, ‘world values’ looks shaky too.
 
All that aside, congratulations to President Obama. And let’s hope next year about this time he brings home another Nobel Prize – for economics. Because his ‘Stimulus Plan’ worked.



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07
Inside the Beltline may be the place to live.
But it wasn’t the place to be in Tuesday’s elections.
 
One new school board member summed it up after Charles Meeker, Jim Goodmon and other prominent people spoke out for the diversity policy:
 
"Do you know who cares about those people? People inside the Beltline."
 
This political divide has been brewing for some time. It’s muted in City Council elections because Raleigh is heavily Democratic.
 
But that changes outside the Beltline.
 
Witness John Odom’s victory over Roger Koopman.
 
And watch for a repeat in next year’s county commissioners’ races.

 

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07
Here’s one reason Bev Perdue has collapsed in the polls: Today’s headline in the News and Observer reads – Perdue Too Busy on Trip to Back Health Reform.
 
The Governor told the press she was too busy on a trip to New York to join other Democratic Governors in signing a letter to support health care reform. This dodge is so superficial it’s flimsy as gauze. How long would it have taken Perdue to read the letter – five minutes? All Perdue had to say was, Well, I don’t agree but she couldn’t bring herself to take a stand and straddled the fence.
 
And, of course, everyone – Republicans, Democrats, Independents – can see through this paper-thin dodge.
 
The Governor’s answer was superficial and so silly – it ended up in a banner headline in the newspaper.
 

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06
Sometimes I hate to be right. Like on the Wake County school board races.
 
But you could see it coming.
 
Even supporters say the present board has been arrogant and high-handed.
 
Exhibit A: One diversity supporter explained the election by saying, “It’s the result of people not knowing what the issues are."
 
Wrong.
 
People who vote know the issues that matter to them.
 
And elections are about emotion.
 
Just like in last year’s presidential election, the team with more emotion won Tuesd

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05
Tom Campbell at NC Spin has an interesting alternative to my Perdue Comeback Plan.
 
I suggested she gamble on tax reform. Tom suggests ethics reform.
 
He’s right. She should. But I doubt that gets her far enough. 
  • Cynical voters will never believe the stable has been cleaned up.
  • For good reason.
  • Pass a tax reform bill, and you’ve done something. How do you measure when you’ve done ethics reform?
 So how about a two-part plan, Governor? Tax reform and ethics reform.
 
Run for reelection as a “Reformer With Results.”

 

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05
News flash: There are sane Republicans!
 
Tommy Thompson, Bill Frist and Michael Bloomberg (sort of a Republican) all say they like the health-care bill emerging in the Senate.
 
Of course, none of them can vote there.
 
If they did, the GOP Jacobins would take their heads off.
 
Why is Can Obama Pass a Bill the only story line?
 
The other side of the story: Republican lawmakers so terrorized by Fox and Rush they just say no to everything.
 
But there is justice. They’re walking a path to political perdition.

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05
An alert reader spotted this “Income Opportunities Available” banner on the WakeUp America TV ads about “corrupt Democrats.”
 

 
The reader followed the link to: http://www.wakeupamerica.com/income-opportunities.
 
There he read:
 
If you are interested in becoming a Team Leader, and building a team of commission fundraisers to help air Wake Up America TV commercials in your area as part of our organization, send an email to: Income@WakeUpAmerica.com ….
 
We’ve developed a unique fundraising and support model that provides Team Leaders with all the tools necessary to build your team.
 
Just a few of the benefits include:
 
•         a recurring commission stream
 
•         the ability to earn from the efforts of others as well as yourself
 
•         almost unlimited income potential
 
Tell us in one paragraph why you would like to join our team to help Wake Up America.
 
The reader says: “This reads like a pyramid scheme. I think politics shouldn’t be like this. I agree with some of what their message is, but not how they are doing this. It kinda smells.” 
 
Ditto that!


 

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04
In 1993, Tom Fetzer’s election as mayor of Raleigh proved to be a portent of a national Republican tide the next year. Tomorrow’s Wake school board races could be the same for 2010.

I haven’t seen any polling. But I have a bad feeling that the bad guys – the anti-diversity crowd – will win. They seem to have the energy.  And, in a low-turnout race, the angry turn out.
 
In 1993, like this year, Democrats had just won the presidential election. They were still celebrating, and they were complacent.
 
Just like this year, Republicans were angry and motivated. Fetzer (with Carter’s help) found a perfect issue in the downtown civic center. Fetzer ran a modern TV campaign while Democrats ran the familiar old handshake campaign.
 
It was a sign of worse to come in 1994. And tomorrow may be the canary in the coal mine for 2010.
 
It will be ironic if the county that carried North Carolina for Barack Obama last year signals his setback next year.

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