He hasn't won yet, but should. He should have won before Mohammed Yunus, but certain before Al Gore (who should not have won at all).
When it comes to healthcare reform, health savings accounts (HSAs) are not a silver bullet. But they certainly help where politicians hinder. The trouble is most people don’t yet know what they are. When they learn, we may see an HSA tsunami.
Adding another bizarre twist to the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, Onslow County sheriff’s investigators are trying to determine whether Lauterbach’s deceased baby was born and then killed by murder suspect Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean. Lauterbach was due to give birth to a baby girl some time between January 8 and February 14. The crucial question is whether the baby took a breath outside of Lauterbach’s womb. If she did, Laurean may be charged with two murders – instead of just one.
Budget & Taxes
The first edition of HB 933 included a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for an adult who molests (gropes/fondles) a child under the age of 12. This piece of the legislation, which is the most costly, was removed in the second edition of the bill.
Cue music. Julia stared blankly from her jail cell. She thought about the bottle that landed her there… not what was in the bottle, the bottle itself. Julia didn’t get a DUI. She failed to recycle. Now she’s paying in hard time. Thanks to a new statewide law, these are the kinds of stories we may be hearing soon.
North Carolina's political leaders evidently spent $1.2 billion last year planning the state's economy, according to the "Economic Development Inventory" recently released by the General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division. The report outlines the myriad cash awards and legal manipulations used by lawmakers to "stimulate" the economy -- all at taxpayers' expense.
Got on your green-tinted lenses? Over the coming months, you’re going to need them. More stories about various new facilities being constructed around the state make for good ink. You may have already read about the Fibrowatt turkey-waste plant slated for Stanly County. Or the ethanol plant in Raeford. There are more coming. What do they have in common? They’re zombie industries created by coalitions known as “Bootleggers and Baptists.” Wait a minute -- Zombies? Bootleggers? Let me explain.
“Cool wisdom.” That’s the phrase the News & Observer used in an editorial (“Defending Open Doors”) to summarize outgoing community college President Martin Lancaster’s statement justifying the admission of illegal immigrants to the state’s community colleges. I strongly disagree with the News & Observer’s assessment, mostly because I find Lancaster’s statement riddled with inaccuracies and doubtful claims. Let me explain.
Concerned about the rising cost of health insurance? State employees aren’t. According to state policy since 1978, tax dollars pay 100 percent of premium costs for current state employees and retirees to enroll in the state health plan. This group includes employees of State agencies and universities, local public schools, and colleges. The policy means that many state employees can retire in their mid-50s not only with healthy pension payments, but free health care insurance as well – all at the expense of North Carolina taxpayers. Such generosity comes at a heavy price, however.
South Carolina ranks second nationally in overall highway department performance, according to a study by UNC-Charlotte transportation expert David Hartgen. Although the comparison isn't exactly apples-to-apples, North Carolina ranks 31st. Maybe that's why Gov. Mike Easley's 21st Century Transportation Committee has been mulling over ideas for road reform in North Carolina. In the interest of mulling, I'd like to add my 10 favorite ideas to the suggestion box:
If someone was looking for a solid compromise on healthcare reform, they wouldn’t search in vain. But Democrats are going to have to abandon their Medicaid-for-the-middle-class crusade. Republicans are going to have to abandon tax protection for big business. That’s because critical healthcare reform is going to involve giving the American people exactly what they need: affordability, portability, quality and choice.
What does it mean to be a citizen? The stir about illegal immigrants attending N.C. community colleges forces us to confront this question head on. Despite all the rhetoric, those who would simply ignore the law for the sake of what they consider to be a nobler good not only undermine the rule of law, but what it means to be a citizen. And while voices charging xenophobia are growing louder, this issue is not about blood and soil. It is ultimately about respect for fundamental institutions.