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Entries for June 2009

30
The Home and Hospice Care Association folks are giving State Senator Doug Berger a run for his money. Yesterday they aired a TV ad in his district. Today they put a video on the Internet. (View Ad Below)
 
In his State Senate Committee Berger cut home care for 20,000 patients on Medicaid. The reason he gave was simple: He said he had a ‘study’ by a state vendor (named CCME) that proved 45% of the patients in home care were ineligible.
 
Unfortunately for Senator Berger it turned out the study didn’t say that. In fact, it didn’t say anyone was ineligible. Not one patient. Because it didn’t include an examination of a single patient. So Senator Berger cut home care for 20,000 patients (who were eligible) based on a report he misread.
 

 

Read my blog series:
 
 

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30
It’s been a rough couple of elections for Republicans, so I can understand how happy today’s news is making Carter (see his blog below).   But ...

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30
Well, even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then; a year ago Republicans couldn’t buy a break and now gifts are falling out of the sky – of all thin...

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27
My guess is hardly anyone reading this blog remembers when the movie Deep Throat came out 37 years ago – but there was an article about it in the pape...

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26
 
That old Watergate adage may dictate the 2010 elections. Democrats – both in Raleigh and Washington – may follow the money straight to big-time mid-term defeats.
 
Sometimes at the beach, two waves merge together to make a big wave that about drowns you. That may happen next year.
 
Nationally, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggests that moderate and independent voters are becoming more and more concerned about the level of federal spending. And health-care reform could add another $1 trillion. Obama is still popular, but the poll numbers should worry the White House and Congress.
 
In North Carolina, Democrats are about to walk the plank on $1 billion-plus in new taxes. All my Democratic friends say legislators need to show some “courage,” raise taxes and protect education and health care.
 
Well, who’s going to protect education and health care if Republicans win the House or Senate – or both – next year?
 
One perceptive Democratic legislator took issue with my analysis that the party – and Governor Perdue – have to choose between making Democrats mad over budget cuts or Republicans and Independents mad over tax increases. Actually, he said, we’re probably going to make both sides mad.
 
That – on top of the continuing Easley saga – could spell trouble next year.
 

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25
Senator Doug Berger’s blooper is going on television.

When Senator Berger passed a bill to cut the home care of 20,000 elderly Medicaid patients, he said he had a study that proved they weren’t eligible for care. Period. Well, it turns out, over a month ago the Department of Health and Human Resources told Senator Berger he had his facts all wrong – that the ‘study’ didn’t show what he said.
 
Next, when The Association for Home and Hospice Care pointed out his mistake, Berger gave them a pretty blunt answer;—he tried to cut the elderly and disabled patients’ care even more – a whopping $77 million. All but eliminating the program. And leaving even patients Berger, himself, has acknowledged are eligible without care.
 
Finally the Home and Hospice Care folks, who have been working with other legislators to straighten out Berger’s mistake, decided the people who most needed to know what Berger is doing – are the voters in his district. So they’re taking to the airwaves and here’s their first television ad “Hard to Believe:’
 
 

 
 
         
           Berger's Blooper - Chapter II
 
          

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25
No one seems to drive a true-blue liberal up the wall like Dick Cheney;—just about all Cheney has to do is walk into a room and say, Hello. How are yo...

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25
What are they serving these days at governor’s conferences and Senate caucuses? Viagra?
 
Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, David Vitter, John Ensign and now Mark Sanford.
 
One story has it that Sanford’s staff merely misunderstood him. They thought he said he would be “on the Appalachian Trial,” but he actually said “on some Argentine tail.” 
 
A wag from North Carolina emailed CNN last night: “Why are South Carolinians so upset that their governor was missing for seven days? Our last governor was missing for eight years.”
 
Of course, it may be that Sanford was just trying to live up to the romantic example set by that South Carolina Republican hero Strom Thurmond.
 
And Sanford’s emails certainly make more interesting reading than the ones we get from N.C.State. Of course, we don’t know what’s missing here.
 
All this just goes to prove the wisdom of what Robert E. Lee is reputed to have said about South Carolina: It’s too small to be an independent country and too big to be an insane asylum. 

 

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24
Mrs. Easley’s lost her scholastic robes and left the stage at NCSU to a communal sigh of relief;—but there’s an important question left unanswered: Who pulled the strings to get her the job?
 
After all, when someone robs a bank, gets caught and gives back part of the money they don’t get a medal for good citizenship. It’s a safe bet the professors over at North Carolina State University didn’t dream up with hiring Mrs. Easley (or paying her $875,000) on their own. So the question is, Who did?
 
And from reading the newspapers it looks like one answer may be: Former Governor Easley. Himself.
 
Which – if we really mean to clean up corruption in state government – is a question that needs to be answered.
 
Unfortunately, the states Democratic political leaders don’t seem to want to answer it. Governor Perdue put the kibosh on naming a Special Prosecutor. The Attorney General has all but vanished into thin air. And the Democrats in the House and Senate won’t hold hearings – or let Republicans hold one.
 
For better or worse, the Democrats have closed ranks behind Mike Easley: There will be no state investigation.
 
But down the road that may be a problem for the Democrats. Right now there’s not one shred of evidence Governor Perdue, Attorney General Cooper or any other elected Democrat did one thing improper. But by not appointing a Special Prosecutor and instructing him or her, Go on. Have at it and let the chips fall where they may, Democrats like the Governor risk taking part-ownership in Easley’s mistakes.
 
In effect the Governor and Attorney General have agreed to ride shot-gun on a wagon where everything hinges on Mike Easley’s innocence – and if it turns out Easley did wire up his wife’s job, Perdue and Cooper are going to have to explain why no one in state government has done one thing about it.

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23
Some people never seem to learn and Democratic Senator Doug Berger is looking like a case in point.   State Senator Berger, who back in his stu...

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