Archive for the ‘UNC System’ Category
President Barack Obama visited Apex, North Carolina on Wednesday, trying to sell his jobs bill to a hand-picked small business. The owner, Erv Portman, is an Obama donor, a Democrat, and a Wake County commissioner in a fight for re-election.
After the President’s speech in Apex, his motorcade drove down I-40 into Raleigh, onto the campus of N.C. State University. He arrived at a nearly packed Reynolds auditorium, where 24 years ago this month, President Ronald Reagan visited. Your blogger was in the house that day, along with Senator Jesse Helms and a number of conservative notables. She remembers it being “wall to wall people”, something that didn’t appear to be on television today.
Twenty-four years ago, President Reagan drew a much larger audience than did President Obama. Four large, industrial air conditioners were brought in to cool the huge crowd. Even so, a number of people passed out from the heat. Mr. Reagan even took off his jacket, revealing his bulletproof vest underneath his shirt, which was soaked through.
Wednesday, President Obama claimed that his jobs program would be paid for via higher taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers. Meanwhile, these people already pay the bulk of our taxes and are our major job creators.
He now wants to tax them further so that the government can provide another “stimulus” of money into our state and others. He even went so far as to promise the collegiate audience summer jobs. Additionally, he promised more teachers and a $1300 “to the average working family”.
Since we are all working families, your blogger wonders who he is trying to push off his class warfare language on?
He then tried to sound like a conservative. He promised that the government would live within its means and began his “blame Bush” tactics when he said that we had lived too well “these last ten years”.
Yet, Obama said “a lot of THEM don’t get it,” referring to Republicans, and added “Raleigh needs people who can put country before party.” Believe us, Mr. President, Raleigh has these leaders and we plan to vote you and Governor Beverly Perdue, right out of office in 2012.
The President gave his students a homework assignment. He told them to put on their marching boots and get to work contacting their members of Congress, “even writing a letter”.
We appreciate your orders Mr. President. KCC will certainly follow up. We will contact our Congressman and urge that he vote AGAINST this expensive and unnecessary jobs bill. Have a pleasant flight to back to Washington. There is a community on the south side of Chicago that is missing its organizer right now.
Word on the street is, that in setting up this visit, the President first tried to rent out a Wake County school. An advance team contacted General Anthony Tata, Supt of Public Instruction for Wake County, gave them the thumbs down. The White House then went looking for higher education. Your blogger assumes that Tata didn’t want anyone exploiting Wake County school children for political gain, and KCC applauds him for his actions.
Editor’s note: The President was very careful to stay on message and avoid using the “s” word. He didn’t want to be associated with either of the two failed stimulus acts.
Your blogger’s husband is a double alumnus of NC State University, having both undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering and minors in math.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 13, 2011
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT CREE, INC.
Durham, North Carolina
1:53 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Please, everybody, have a seat. Thank you.
It is good to be back in North Carolina. (Applause.) It’s great to be back at Cree. To all the employees at Cree, thank you so much for your outstanding work and hospitality. I actually visited this plant about three years ago. I was still running for office. Somebody in the plant showed me a picture of the two of us together — (laughter) — and I looked so much younger then. (Laughter.) But — so it’s true, I’ve got a lot more gray hair now than I did the last time I visited. But I have a better plane — (laughter) — so it’s a fair trade.
Now, that day, a wonderful man gave me a heck of an introduction. He introduced himself by saying, “I am a Cree employee, and I help build the most energy-efficient LEDs in the world. That’s what I do.” And his name was David Jones. David is the guy with the picture. Where is David? David must be — there he is, David’s back there. (Applause.) As you can see, David is shy — (laughter) — and lacks enthusiasm — (laughter) — but nevertheless.
So I got to see David looking at the new LED production line — which he now runs, by the way –- and it’s easy to see why you guys are so proud of what you do. This company has made amazing progress. And the technology at this company is growing in leaps and bounds. In fact, as I was talking to Chuck here at Cree, he was explaining how just since my last visit LEDs have become — how much more efficient have they become?
MR. SWOBODA: Twice — doubled in efficiency.
THE PRESIDENT: Doubled in efficiency just since my visit three years ago — just since my visit three years ago. (Applause.)
So today the small business that a group of N.C. State engineering students founded almost 25 years ago is a global company. It’s got 5,000 employees. Next month, your new production line will begin running 24/7. And soon you’ll add another 400,000 square feet of space on a new site next door. So you’re helping to lead a clean energy revolution. You’re helping lead the comeback of American manufacturing. (Applause.) This is a company where the future will be won.
So David was telling the truth when he said how great it is to work here and how grateful he is for the opportunities that it provides. But I also remember something else that David said that day. He talked about how, even with a good job at a great company, it was getting tougher for working people to provide for their families without having to cut corners.
What he said was, “Where am I squeezing that balloon to make sure that my family has a life; that we’re moving forward; that we’re progressing?” Now, that was in 2008, before the financial crisis, before the bottom fell out of the economy, before a vicious recession that made things that much tougher for working families.
So the world has changed since the first time David and I met. And for a lot of our friends and neighbors, that change has been painful. Today, the single most serious economic problem we face is getting people back to work. We stabilized the economy. We prevented a financial meltdown. An economy that was shrinking is now growing. We’ve added more than 2 million private sector jobs over the last 15 months alone. (Applause.)
But I’m still not satisfied. I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security. (Applause.) I won’t be satisfied until the empty storefronts in town are open for business again. I won’t be satisfied until working families feel like they’re moving forward again, that they’re progressing again. That’s what drives me every day when I walk down to the Oval Office — you, your families, your jobs, your dreams, and everything it takes to reach those dreams.
Now, our economic challenges were years in the making, and it will take years to get back to where we need to be. But for all the hits we’ve taken, we are still America. We’ve got the largest economy in the world, we’ve got the best workers in the world, we’ve got the finest universities in the world, we’ve got the most successful companies in the world. We’ve got everything we need to help our workers adapt and to help our fellow Americans through this tough period.
But it’s going to take all of us working together -– the private sector, government, non-for-profits, academia. And that’s what I came back to Cree to talk about today. I brought some folks with me. I travel with a bigger entourage these days than I did three years ago. (Laughter.)
So the group I brought today is a group called the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. These are leaders who have decades of experience in running some of America’s best businesses, creating jobs, understanding what it takes to grow our economy and strengthen our middle class. They come from the business sector, but also labor, universities. Most importantly, they come from outside Washington. And they’ve decided to dedicate their time and energy to this singular task: How do we create more jobs in America?
And by the way, we put this together many months ago, not in response to one jobs report, but because we understood even though the economy was growing, it wasn’t growing as fast as we want, and it wasn’t producing as many jobs as we want. And so I told them I wanted to hear every smart, forward-thinking idea that they have to quicken the pace of job growth and make sure our economy and our workers can adapt to changing times.
So we just had an opportunity to meet backstage to talk about how we get our job creation engine running faster, and I want to highlight a couple of their ideas that apply to companies like this, to companies like Cree.
Now, the advanced manufacturing that you do here requires skilled workers. And you guys are lucky -– you’ve got excellent schools nearby, like UNC and N.C. State and Duke. Reggie, I — don’t worry I’m not forgetting Duke. (Laughter.) Every time I come here, there’s some ACC thing that I got to work through. (Laughter and applause.)
So — but because you’ve got these great schools, you can hold your own talent draft -– not just in basketball, but when it comes to highly skilled workers. And Durham Public Schools has strengthened that talent pipeline by forming a school of engineering at Southern High School, which celebrated its first graduating class last week. And we are so pleased with that because we want more engineers in America. (Applause.)
Here’s why this is so important. Right now, there are more than four job-seekers for every job opening in America. But when it comes to science and high-tech fields, the opposite is true. The businesses represented here tell me they’re having a hard time finding high-skilled workers to fill their job openings.
And that’s because today only 14 percent of all undergraduate students enroll in what we call the STEM subjects -– science, technology, engineering, and math. Of those students, one-third will switch out of those fields, and only about 2 in 5 will graduate with a STEM degree or certification within six years.
So these are the jobs of the future. These are the jobs that China and India are cranking out. Those students are hungry because they understand if they get those skills they can find a good job, they can create companies, they can create businesses, create wealth. And we’re falling behind in the very fields we know are going to be our future.
So we can do better than that. We must do better than that. If we’re going to make sure the good jobs of tomorrow stay here in America, stay here in North Carolina, we’ve got to make sure all our companies have a steady stream of skilled workers to draw from.
So last year, in pursuit of this goal, we brought together companies and community colleges to forge pipelines directly from the classroom to the office or the factory floor -– helping workers find better jobs, and helping companies find the right workers. Last week, we announced new commitments by the private sector, as well as colleges and the National Association of Manufacturers, to make it possible for 500,000 community college students to earn industry-accepted credentials for manufacturing jobs that companies across America are looking to fill.
So what happens here now is businesses and trade organizations are going into the community colleges, helping to design the training for specific jobs that they know are going to be available, in some cases providing the equipment to help those students train on. The students then have an incentive. They know, you know what, if I do well here, I know I’m going to have a job.
And today, with the leadership of the Jobs Council, we’re announcing an all-hands-on-deck strategy to train 10,000 new American engineers every year. (Applause.) So — and by the way, our Jobs Council, led by Jeff Immelt, they’re doing this not counting on a whole bunch of federal funding. Private sector companies are teaming up to help us promote STEM education, to offer students incentives to finish those degrees, and then to help universities fund those programs. They’re going to double their summer internship hiring.
We’re talking about companies like Intel, whose CEO Paul Otellini is here today. And Paul is heading up our task force for the Jobs Council in helping to figure this out, because he understands Intel’s survival depends on our ability to get a steady stream of engineers. I’ve been, by the way, to the Intel plant out in Oregon. It is unbelievable. It’s out of — something out of science fiction. And I pretended like I understood what they were saying the whole time. (Laughter.)
But that’s what’s going to drive our competitiveness in the future. We know that if we’re going to maintain our leadership in technology and innovation, our best companies need the world’s brightest workers –- American workers.
Now, that brings me to a second idea that we discussed backstage. At Cree, you’re putting people back to work in a field that has the potential to create an untold number of new jobs and new businesses right here in America -– and that’s clean energy. And my administration has invested heavily in clean energy manufacturing, because I want to see the LEDs and solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars of tomorrow made right here in the U.S of A. I want them made right here. (Applause.)
We invested in this company with a tax credit that allowed you to boost capacity and lower costs and hire hundreds of new workers. And with a grant from the Department of Energy, you’ve made incredible breakthroughs in smart grid technology to transmit clean, renewable energy across the country more efficiently at less cost.
Now, breakthroughs like these have the potential to create new jobs in other sectors of the economy as well. Think about it. Cree makes energy-efficient lighting that can save businesses and consumers a lot of money. And there are a lot of buildings out there that need upgrading. And there are a lot of workers ready to do the upgrades. Construction workers were hit harder than anybody by recession. Almost one in six construction workers are out of work. And that makes no sense at a time when we’ve got so much of America that needs to be rebuilt.
So this is what led us to create what we’re calling the Better Buildings Initiative -– putting people back to work doing the work that America needs done. Upgrading buildings for energy efficiency could save America’s businesses up to $40 billion a year on their utility bills. And obviously that $40 billion could be better spent growing and hiring new workers. It will boost manufacturing of energy-efficient products like those made here at Cree. It will put contractors and construction workers back on the job. It is a win-win-win-win proposition.
So today, the members of my job council updated me on their efforts to push this initiative in the private sector. And they’re working closely with a champion for this kind of energy innovation, President Bill Clinton, who I asked to co-lead the effort with them.
And as we get this moving, it can snowball — because, right now, the big impediment is a lot of companies know they would save money if they had more energy efficiency, but they may not have the initial capital to do it. In some cases, building owners, they’re thinking to themselves, well, if I put in all this new lighting am I going to be able to recover it with — through the rents or the leases that I’m able to obtain? And so what we’ve got here are premier experts who are going to be able to help us design this program to really get this to take off.
Now, this is just two examples of the kind of work that’s being done by the Jobs Council. They had all sorts of recommendations that they’re talking about. How do we deal with making sure our regulations makes sense, so that we start eliminating ones that don’t work, aren’t making consumers better off, or aren’t improving our quality of life? How do we make sure that small businesses get financing? Because there are a lot of small businesses out there that are still struggling to get capital. Large businesses are doing pretty well. So they’re tackling a whole host of different issues.
Now, their recommendations aren’t going to solve every problem that we face. But slowly, steadily, they’re helping us to move forward. We’re going to pursue these ideas and any good ideas that are out there, no matter where they come from. Because even though this is a big country with a great diversity of opinion — as you discover when you’re President — (laughter) — we won’t agree with each other on everything, we can agree on some basic things.
We can agree on educating our children and training our workers to be the best in the world. We should be able to agree on investing in the research and technology that leads to new ideas and new industries. We should be able to agree on developing clean energy and manufacturing jobs that come with it. It makes sense for us to rebuild our infrastructure and all the jobs that it can create. That’s what’s going to be required to grow our economy. That’s what it takes to help our people prosper. That’s how we’re going to get to the future that we dream about for our children and our grandchildren.
And the main thing I want to communicate to all of you here at Cree, everybody here in North Carolina, and all across the country is we’re going to get there. I know that because I’ve seen it here at this company, where you’re helping to lead the clean energy revolution. I’ve seen it across the Midwest, where automakers are coming back and hiring again, even after reading their own obituaries just two years ago. I’ve seen it from coast to coast, where men and women are testing new ideas and starting new businesses and bringing new products to market and helping America come back stronger than before.
So I am optimistic about our future. We can’t be complacent. We shouldn’t pretend that a lot of folks out there are not still struggling. But I am absolutely optimistic that we’ve got everything it takes for us to succeed in the 21st century. Americans do not respond to trials by lowering our sights, or downscaling our dreams, or settling for something less. We are a people who dream big, even when times are tough — especially when times are tough. We’re a people who reach forward, who look out to the horizon and remember that, together, there’s nothing we can’t do.
And as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I’m going to be right there with you, every step of the way, fighting for a brighter future in this community, in North Carolina, and across the United States of America.
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 2:14 P.M. EDT
On Monday, President Barack Obama landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at about 11:00 a.m. EDT and headed to Research Triangle Park, on the Durham side. Joining him on Air Force One were, according to Jonathan Kappler of the NC Free Enterprise Foundation, were Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (D-NC, 1st) and Brad Miller (D-NC, 13th).
Kappler also reported that Rep. David Price (D-NC, 4th) and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D) were on the ground to meet the president on the ground. Later reports mentioned Governor Beverly Perdue (D-Craven) being on hand, as well. Additionally, there were a number of public officials including Chancellor Randy Woodson from North Carolina State University. During the short trip out to “the park”, Interstate 40 was temporarily closed, backing up traffic for miles.
Upon arrival at Cree, an industry leader in low power lighting, he toured the plant and promised an “announcement” on jobs. Oddly, Cree, and already successful company, accepted stimulus money for “job creation”. Additionally, within the past two years, they threatened to leave. The North Carolina State Legislature, then lead by Democrats, immediately voted to give that company “incentives” or corporate welfare to “keep” them in the Ole’ North State.
Further, Katy’s Conservative Corner has learned that, for Cree employees interested in the speech, they have the option by management to either take the day off or to work four, ten hour days. Many employees are upset. They didn’t ask the president to come and neither did corporate executives. But, with money comes obligation.
Update 1:14 Sometime this hour, Obama is scheduled to make a talk about his “jobs” report. This should be interesting. Labor Union Report posted on Sunday evening that many of those jobs would be “created” in China. This blogger is currently searching for that link. North Carolina is expected to be a battle ground state in 2012.
Charlotte was selected by the Democratic National Committee as the location for their national convention over the objections of unions, nationally. North Carolina is a right-to-work state, but it isn’t for lack of trying. The SEIU and other large unions have been fighting for card check legislation for the last several years.
Update 1:48 p.m EDT
The good people over at NC Americans for Prosperity are joking on Twitter that they have an office pool on how many times potus says investments when he means wealth redistribution.
Update 1:53 p.m. EDT Obama has taken stage telling unfunny jokes about how he has aged since visiting Cree when he was running for office.
Obama is standing in front of backdrop “Jobs Council – President’s Council on Jobs…” He says Cree has “doubled in efficiency just since my visit 3 years ago.” Says he’s helping to lead a comeback in clean energy revolution.
News 14 Carolina, a Time-Warner only channel reports Obama was last in the state when he visited Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC in December 2010.
Update: 2:01 p.m. EDT This “speech” is being carried on national television such as Fox News and CNN. No need to blog the details of the speech. However, we will continue to bring you behind the scenes reports.
Update: 2:05 p.m. EDT Fox News has cut their coverage but you can find all of it on their website, streaming live.
While Obama discusses “Smart Grid” technology, my poor mother-in-law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina feels certain that her power company is going to cut her power in the middle of the day or night. She recently received a letter from her power company saying they now have the power to cut her power if she used too much during peak time periods. This woman will not use a dish washer, uses barely any air conditioner due to poor circulation, and only washes clothes at night. She’s the type of customer any power company would love. They should, in fact, use her as their poster child. Yet, they send her threatening letters.
The poor woman calls KCC’s family terrified, thanks to this smart grid technology. It’s along the lines of Democrats scaring old people, making them think that Republicans are going to take away their social security.
Update: 2:11 p.m. EDT Obama says he’s optimistic about our future. He cites the positive example (ha ha) of the automotive companies coming back from virtual death just two years ago.
Update: 2:12 EDT Obama ends his speech with no questions. ”Hail to the Chief” plays and the president leaves the stage. Looks like time for clogged Interstate 40 East, from the Research Triangle Park exists to the Raleigh-Durham airport.
Your blogger finds it amazing that zero mention was made by any of the Television channels or commentators about the stimulus money that Cree took or the Incentives that Cree took from our state. What a shame. Of course they can add a third line and work 24 hours a day now. All of our money made it possible. For you who don’t even live in North Carolina, Cree thanks you from the bottom of their heart!
This blogger is glad she doesn’t have to fly out until Thursday. KCC is headed to Right Online, but that’s another story! This ends the live blogging portion of the visit.
On the 51st anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins, an instrumental moment in the North Carolina civil rights movement, those supporting the DREAM legislation plan to hold vigils. Illegal immigrants and their supporters are trying to hitch their wagons to the star of the black civil rights movement, a shameful act.
What those brave young people did in Greensboro, so many years ago, should not be considered in the same league with people who have entered the United States illegally.
It is possible to enter the U.S. LEGALLY from Mexico, but it takes time and patience. KCC encourages those people to stand and fight their corrupt government, rather than flee here.
These “dreamers” want access to to North Carolina colleges and universities without being taxpaying citizens, despite their criminal status. They also oppose State House Bill 11, which would prevent illegal aliens from entering North Carolina community colleges and public universities.
Sponsored by state Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow), the bill would prevent admission to aliens not lawfully present in the United States.
Cleveland is serving his forth term in the state house and is widely respected as one of its most conservative members. He is not afraid to stand alone in the face of compromise and this time, the Dreamers are likely out-of-luck. Officially they are criminals, and as such, this nation owes them nothing.
KCC lived in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico). She saw families living on rooftops in squalor and can understand their desire to flee those conditions. No one wants to live like that. But one must stand up and rally others for change in their own government, instead of coming here.
In other nations, many think the streets in the U.S. are literally paved with gold and that they deserve to be assisted by the U.S. government. While, that would be nice in a dream world, these people do not understand that we have our own deeply rooted budgetary problems. We must internally solve them before we can help anyone else.
Dream act will become a nightmare for illegals this session, in the North Carolina General Assembly.
According to the J.W. Pope Civitas Institute in Raleigh, the speedily confirmed Thomas Ross has a past and has many contacts on the left. He’s also involved with a little group that shocked the nation with its corruption. That group? None other than Barack Obama‘s ACORN.
You may remember a brilliant young woman named Anita Moncrief once went to work for ACORN, as a true believing lefty. However, she saw much that she didn’t like and she wasn’t willing to look away. Three years later, blew the whistle on the group, gaining national notoriety. She now works for conservative causes and is much beloved on the right. (Your blogger got to meet her recently, at the RightOnline blogger’s conference, and got the “I’m not worthy feeling“.)
Meanwhile, during his confirmation for the position to be paid for by your tax dollars, all most North Carolinians heard was that “the upstanding Ross” was the president of the well-respected Davidson College, on of the Southeast’s top private institutions. We didn’t hear about his affiliations with such liberal groups as the left-leaning Z-Smith Reynolds Foundation, where he
oversaw massive contributions to an enormous array of far-left liberal activist organizations. He took what was already a politically active foundation, founded by one of North Carolina’s most prominent families, and turned it into an active organizer and funder of the left’s political agenda in North Carolina. All manner of socially left organizations were on the foundation’s dole under Ross’s administration, including the radical and nefarious ACORN organization.
Author Andrew Henson described ACORN thusly:
ACORN is an organization of community organizers with a tarnished history of fraud, embezzlement, and conflict of interest. ACORN employees have been tried and convicted of systematic voter registration fraud according to Factcheck.org. There have been reported cases of this kind of fraud in Missouri, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and in 2007, ACORN’s Las Vegas office was even raided by state criminal investigators. In addition to fraud, co-founder Dale Rathke was found to have embezzled nearly $1 million from the so-called “charitable” funds of his organization. ACORN had strong ties to President Obama, and was actively engaged, in conjunction with other groups of identifying and turning out Obama voters in NC and across the nation for the 2008 election.