Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where was Governor "Bev" Perdue when the lights went out? AWOL?

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

As North Carolinians assessed the damage from multiple tornados that swept through the region Saturday afternoon, there was no word from the state's chief executive in the hours after the storm passed.

Update added at the bottom of this post.

Perdue's communications director, Chrissy Pearson, e-mailed a media release at 5:24 p.m. saying that the governor's staff was on "full activation."

"Right now we are obviously concerned for the safety of our friends and neighbors, and will anxiously watch the storms push east this evening," Pearson wrote.

However, Pearson did not respond to an e-mail or a phone message seeking more information about where the governor was. Perdue was not present at an 8 p.m. media briefing in Raleigh from state emergency management officials.

There was no word about whether Perdue would declare an official state of emergency, as often happens following a natural disaster. Local officials in Wake and Cumberland, two of the state's hardest-hit counties, made their own state-of-emergency declarations.

Reached on her cell phone at 9:06 p.m., Pearson said the governor had been out-of-state attending to a family obligation. However, Pearson refused to say where Perdue was or when the governor might return to the capital.

Pearson said she believed the governor was at that time receiving a briefing about the damage from the storm.
"It was not a good day for her to be traveling," Pearson said.

She referred additional questions to Mark Johnson, Perdue's deputy communications director.
Johnson could not immediately be reached.

UPDATE: Perdue's staff issued a media release at 10:16 p.m. saying she would hold a briefing in Raleigh at 11 p.m. She announced at the late night media conference that she had declared a state of emergency.

Pantano talks jobs at Whiteville Tea Party. McIntyre shows up somewhere close by.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Filed Apr 12, 2011

Ilario Pantano recently addressed a Whiteville NC Tea Party on the topic of jobs and how to best address the unemployment crisis occurring across NC's 7th Congressional District.

Pantano emphasized his belief that a return to prosperity can only be achieved by the success and growth of the private sector.  He talked about the importance of making America a more competitive place to do business by lowering taxing and eliminating burdensome regulations. 

Pantano harshly criticized the failed liberal philosopy of the government as a job creator that has led to double digit unemployment rates across much of the 7th District.

From News 14 Carolina / Ashley White

WHITEVILLE, N.C. – A rematch of the closest race in years for the 7th Congressional District seat could be happening in 2012.

Republican candidate Ilario Pantano officially announced his candidacy. Both Pantano and Congressman Mike McIntyre were in Columbus County April 11. McIntyre was hosting a Job Boot Camp and Pantano was on the campaign trail while attending a Tea Party rally.

It's no secret that unemployment is a major concern across North Carolina and it's clear job creation is one of the biggest issues to be followed for the 2012 election. For Pantano, it's a big part of his campaign platform and like he said at the Tea Party rally, it's time for a change.

"There are two views about job creation. The traditional view that has lived here in Columbus County that has been brought by Democratic representation, is that the government is going to be your job creator,” said Pantano. “You'll be on the government payroll. We'll grow the government. They'll be a new government program.”

But Pantano said relying on the government isn't the answer anymore.

"I understand the goal and importance of government but I also understand as somebody who has been in big business and in small business, that the only way we are going to get our country moving again is by private sector job development," said Pantano.

For McIntyre, job creation is an area to which he has dedicated full-time staff.

"Any way that we can get those jobs to the people we want to do it because everyone wants to be able to provide for themselves, their families and contribute to their own community," said McIntyre.

Congressman McIntyre hosted a job creation boot camp in Columbus County as a way to be proactive and teach new skills to those who need them.

"That may seem easier for people that are use to using Facebook and Twitter, the social media, but for others it's kind of a new venture,” said McIntyre. “So we want to make sure we leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating job opportunity," said McIntyre.

Tea Party Express names top five objectives for 2012


Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Friday, 15 Apr 2011

By Andra Varin
The Tea Party Express is vowing to keep up pressure on Congress to cut spending, and it’s zeroing in on moderate Republicans and at-risk incumbents as it seeks to end Democratic control of the Senate.

Amy Kremer, leader of the Tea Party Express, outlined her group’s top Tea Party Express, 2012 Electionsfive goals for the next election, according to U.S. News & World Report.

These include getting rid of moderate Republican senators, including Oympia Snowe of Maine and Dick Lugar of Indiana. The group is also targeting Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan as it seeks to bring the upper chamber under Republican control.

Kremer said her group would continue to press Republicans to be more vocal on conservative issues. She pointed to Sen. Orrin Hatch as a good example of a prominent GOP figure doing more for the cause.

She said the Tea Party Express will also keep up the pressure on House Republicans to cut $100 billion from the budget this year.

And perhaps its most obvious intention: Evict President Barack Obama from the White House.

Kremer said she believes it will take a Republican candidate, not a third-party one, to beat the Democratic incumbent in 2012.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Civitas Poll: Voters say sign the bill -- keep government open, continue unemployment benefits.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster
April 15, 2011


Raleigh, N.C. – Sign the Unemployment/No Government Shutdown bill is the message from voters to Democrat Governor Bev Perdue according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.

According to the poll of 500 registered voters in that district, 53 percent said Perdue should sign the bill while 31 percent said she should veto the bill. Fifteen percent said they were not sure.

Voters also continue to disapprove of her performance with 52 percent disapproving of her performance and 40 percent approving. Eight percent said they were not sure. In a head to head match-up of the 2008 gubernatorial race, Pat McCrory has a 51% to 39% advantage among voters surveyed.

“Governor Perdue has a growing problem with each bill she vetoes,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Perdue alienates a few more voters with every veto, especially independents who want to see spending cut and see politicians get things accomplished,” added De Luca.

On the issue of charging state employees premiums for their health care insurance, voters side with charging a fee by a 62% to 35% margin and against spending an additional $14 million to keep coverage free by a margin of 63% to 32%.

Perdue’s veto of the state employee health care bill could cost her in 2012 with 44 percent of voters saying it would make them less likely to vote for her and 20 percent saying it would make them more likely to vote for her.

The survey of 500 registered voters was taken April 14 by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Civitas Institute using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method. It carries a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.

Jesus Christ the Righteous was hated and mocked by all men. Many still repudiate Him.

"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."
--Psalm 22:7 

Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord's woe. Judas mocked Him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed Him to scorn; Herod set Him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at Him, and brutally insulted Him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed His royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at Him.

Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! 

Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured Him with such contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on the cross?

O Jesus, "despised and rejected of men," how couldst Thou die for men who treated Thee so ill? Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have despised Thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet Thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life. 

O that we could set Thee on a glorious high throne in all men's hearts! We would ring out Thy praises over land and sea till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject. 

Thy creatures wrong Thee, O Thou sovereign Good!
Thou art not loved, because not understood:
This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
Ungrateful men, regardless of Thy smile.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NY1 Exclusive: Donald Trump Slams "Evil" Bush, Praises Obama. Say What?

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Verne Sez: 'Bye Bye Donnie Boy. I Hardly Knew Ye.'

By: Dominic Carter


If there's one thing certain about real estate mogul Donald Trump, it's that he likes to win... even though he endorsed John McCain for president.

"McCain, really, that was almost an impossible situation," said Trump. Bush has been so bad, maybe the worst president in the history of this country. He has been so incompetent, so bad, so evil that I don't think any Republican could have won."

Among other topics, Trump talks about term limits and calls the Freedom Tower a “white elephant” and an upcoming "catastrophe" for the New York real estate market.

During an exclusive interview with NY1 in his Midtown office on Fifth Avenue, Trump slammed President George Bush's foreign policies.

"You know, you can be enemies with people, whether it's Iran, Iraq, or anyplace else and you can still have dialogue. These people wouldn't even talk with him. It's terrible," said Trump.

While he had harsh words for the outgoing president, he had a much different opinion of President-elect Barack Obama.

"I think he has a chance to go down as a great president. Now, if he's not a great president, this country is in serious trouble," said Trump.

"I think [Obama's] going to lead through consensus," continued Trump. "It's not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He'd go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it."

Trump was then asked if he ever thought he would see an African-American president in his lifetime.

"They always said 100 years before a black man or woman could be elected president. And the 100 years turned out to be, like, one year. He's done an amazing job," said Trump.

An Associated Press GFK poll released Tuesday shows that a majority of people share Trump's approval of Obama.

A total of 72 percent of those surveyed say they are confident the president-elect will do what it takes to revive the economy, while 68 percent say Obama will be able to carry out his campaign promises.

Strengthening the economy is a top priority for 61 percent of those surveyed.

The poll was conducted from November 6-10 by telephone interviews with more than 1,000 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

<i>NY1 Exclusive:</i> Donald Trump Slams "Evil" Bush, Praises Obama
Meanwhile, no interview with the man they call "the Donald" would be complete without a little bragging.
"I'm in many, many rappers' songs. And I know them," said Trump. "50 Cent is sort of a friend of mine. I mean, he likes me. He just did a show, it was a copy of 'The Apprentice.' It will fail because he's not Trump, but he's actually a nice guy."

But to a degree, that ego may be well-earned. Trump confirmed reports that he sold a single home in West Palm Beach, Florida for nearly $100 million before the market crashed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U.S. House Votes to Kill Preventive Health Fund. "It's a Slush Fund".

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Washington (AP) - House Republicans are continuing their attack on the health care law enacted last year by voting to eliminate a section in the law providing $15 billion over the next decade on preventive health care issues such as fighting obesity, reducing smoking and promoting better nutrition.

Republicans say the Prevention and Public Health Fund is a "slush fund" for the health and human services secretary that is not subject to congressional oversight.
The Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to go along with the House. And the White House issued a veto threat, saying the bill would block preventive activities such as reducing chronic disease and promoting physical activity.

House Republicans have made repealing the health care law, either by killing the entire act or defunding it section by section, a top priority.

Pantano to Host Town Hall Meeting on Nuclear Power and Brunswick Plant: Thurs., Apr. 10 in Wilmington.


Wilmington, NC:  / April 13, 2011 /  Ilario Pantano, candidate for US Congress, will be holding a town hall this Thursday to discuss the benefits and risks of nuclear power and the role of nuclear power in domestic energy production.  The event will focus both on the Brunswick Nuclear Plant as well as the innovative work in nuclear energy that is occurring at GE Hitachi in New Hanover County. Pantano has assembled a panel of experts on Nuclear Power as well as local government officials to lead the discussion. Citizens from across Southeastern North Carolina are encouraged to attend and participate in this discussion.


  • Ilario Pantano:  Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
  • CJ Milmoe:  Milmoe has been involved in nuclear power development for over 30 years.  Currently he is the Senior Policy Counsel for the Nuclear Infrastructure Council and is a Director of a non-profit organization building technology partnerships under the US DOE Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program.  Additionally, Milmoe worked  for over 20 years with GE operating businesses including GE Nuclear Energy and he has also served as a consultant for clients such as the US Department of Energy advising them on complex issue including  nuclear reactor projects and the management of spent nuclear fuel.  He is an active member of the American Nuclear Society.
  • Margaret Harding: Harding is one of our nation’s foremost experts on nuclear power. In  the aftermath of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami has unfolded, Harding has been called upon by NBC, FOX News, CNN, the New York Times, and many others to explain and help bring clarity to the situation. She has 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry primarily GE Nuclear Energy, departing as Vice President for Engineering Quality. Presently  she serves as a consultant to a wide range of clients in the nuclear industry
  • Representatives of Brunswick and New Hanover County Emergency Service s and Law Enfocement
  • Any citizen who wants to learn about and discuss Nuclear Power

What:  Town Hall Meeting  to discuss Nuclear Power’s impact on our community and the country, safety concerns (real and imagined), and the future of Nuclear Power

When:   Thursday, April 14, 2010 at 12:00PM

Where:   North East Regional Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road
               David M. Paynter Assembly Room

Pantano issued the following statement regarding the Town Hall:

“As concerns about the radiological hazards of the Japan tragedy continue to grow along with the need for more domestic energy production , our goal is to have an honest conversation about the benefits and the risks of nuclear power and fuel storage. We will bring the focus close to home with a look at the Brunswick Nuclear facility, its operating practices and safety procedures. This event should mark the beginning of an ongoing knowledge share with the nuclear community and the public.”

Andy Yates
(704) 467-0795    

Monday, April 11, 2011

Leland, the little town that could, hosts launch of Pantano campaign which shares the same spirit.

 By Verne Strickland
April 11, 2011

A lot of people have breakfast in Brunswick County every morning. This breakfast was different. Eggs, sausage. But no grits, a Southern staple. 

As I availed myself of a modest serving of the available vittles on the buffet line, I asked a lady behind me what was in the second serving tray. Grits? She said she didn’t think so. 

“I believe those are hash browns,” she finally said.

I knew that. I tell the story to make a point. We native Southerners are not the only ones in the South anymore.

And you know what? That’s great. The Cape Fear Region, which offers a wonderful, temperate climate, an ocean, and friendly people everywhere, is a favorite nesting place for Northerners who’ve pulled up deep roots above the SFL (serious frost line), and planted them here.

Brunswick County has been a favorite. It is touted as one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina – and ranks near the top nationally as a retirement and vacation destination as well.

“I wouldn’t say we usually come for the grits,” one good-natured newcomer admitted.

Whatever. They come. And they are not only a windfall for the economy. Their exodus from above the Mason Dixon line – in many cases way above – is a priceless windfall for conservative and Republican political activists in North Carolina’s southeastern congressional districts – many known as hidebound Democratic strongholds for as much as one hundred and fifty years. 

This story isn’t about grits. It’s about politics. Government. Philosophy. Core personal beliefs of the population here – a population being seeded with a host of new citizens who know that there is life after the Democratic Party.

They are becoming a critical mass which promises to break the grip of  entrenched Democrats on government at community, county, district, state and national levels.

The new elected leaders in government are certain to bring political evolution. But the changes already being seen appear more similar to a revolution – at least at the ballot box.

The new wave of leaders is hungry for change, impatient with a status quo which has brought mounting deficits, fiscal irresponsibility, arrogance, unresponsive treatment of constituents, declining governmental transparency, liberal attitudes on social issues, disrespect for American ideals, and a cynicism and moral laxity.

All this deeply disturbs many conservatives who are making North Carolina’s Southeastern and Piedmont area their home. 

But the fare at this April 9 breakfast gathering at Two Guys Grille in Leland is not the story. It’s what the gathering was all about, why the location has more than casual significance, and about the ripples that will widen and affect lives and institutions far beyond this once rural and undistinguished community.

Leland, you see, is becoming a thriving hub of commerce, a spreading cluster of vital residential developments where professionals, retirees and wage-earners live, raise families, work and play. 

It is one of the fastest growing incorporated communities in what is called the Cape Fear Region. Some joke that Leland may annex Wilmington in the future.

This is where conservative Republican Ilario Pantano chose to launch his campaign for the U.S. Congressional seat in North Carolina’s Seventh District – his second bid to defeat Mike McIntyre, who is now embarked on his eighth two-year term in office. 

McIntyre did win, but not by much. That was only months ago. One of the drawbacks the former U.S. combat Marine had to deal with was lack of time – only ten months to build an organization, gain awareness among the region’s Republicans, conservative Democrats and unaffiliated voters, raise funds, and come out of the starting blocks at warp speed.

Facing an incumbent who is a street-smart politician posing as a Southern gentleman, Pantano had an uphill battle against all odds, going up against a “Blue Dog” Democrat with momentum, money, and insider connections with a liberal political machine which provided clout at City Hall, the county courthouse, the State Legislature, and the U.S. Congress.

Running against McIntyre and this stacked deck was audacious. But neither Ilario Pantano nor the patriotic and motivated supporters who flocked to his campaign paid any attention. They ignored that deficit of influence and big money, which at the eleventh hour (courtesy of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the DNCC), pumped a cash infusion of over $500,000 into McIntyre’s re-election drive to stave off a spirited challenge by political newcomer Pantano.

There was disappointment, but instead of despair, Pantano’s core team went into think tank mode and began to plan for a second run at Mike McIntyre.  This time, they said early on, they would succeed. 

The Leland breakfast arranged by the Pantano for Congress Committee drew an energized phalanx of 125 Pantano faithful who socialized, had a group breakfast (sans grits) and listened to informal presentations by GOP stalwarts who will figure prominently in the 2012 Seventh District Republican primary effort.

Ilario Pantano led the charge. Others who spoke included Congressman Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), who spoke by a two-way audio hook-up from his Washington office; George Bell of Leland, chairman of the Brunswick County GOP; and District Attorney Jon David, a Republican elected in November 2004
This article detailing the 2012 bid by Pantano to unseat incumbent Mike McIntyre is only the first installment in a series of posts dedicated to the April 9th kick-off. We will feature presentations by prominent Republican leaders who for the Pantano 2012 run for the U.S. Congress. Their comments give an insightful preview of what this campaign is all about, as told by some of the conservatives who will play key roles.

In his invitation to the event, Candidate Pantano asked, “Are you ready to finish what we started?”
Judging by the rousing response from Pantano faithful, the answer left no doubt that they are not only ready -- but willing, able and not to be denied.

That this should happen in Leland, an idea that started small but expanded beyond all expectations, is quite fitting.