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Bladen County GOP to meet

The Bladen County GOP will conduct their monthly meeting on Monday, January 22nd, at 6 p.m. at San Jose restaurant in Elizabethtown.  There will be updated information regarding the annual convention in March. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Growing older has some advantages and some disadvantages.  Life seemed to be less complicated many years ago.  There was less news,  The Bladen Journal was about the only source of local news and if there was a big news story, chances are it was several days before we read or heard about it. Some had an AM radio, but could only pick up WTSB in Lumberton, WFNC in Fayetteville or WPTF in Raleigh, maybe WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio after dark and WSM in Nashville on Saturday night if the weather was good, but more static than news or music, constant poppin’ and crackin’.  Later, WECT-TV went on the air, but few had …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Pay Troops, not Congress

WASHINGTON – On Saturday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) became one of the first Members of Congress to co-sponsor legislation blocking Congressional pay during Senate Chuck Schumer’s government shutdown. “There are over 100,000 active duty military based in North Carolina.  Right now, they are defending our freedom while not knowing when they’ll next get paid,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “For Members of Congress to still receive pay during a government shutdown is unconscionable.  If Senate Democrats want a government shutdown, they better do it on their own time.” The Pay Our Protectors, Not Our Politicians Act: *Ensures members of the military and national security employees within the Department of Homeland Security receive …..

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Tillis Statement On Democrats Voting To Shut Down The Government

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement after Senate Democrats forced a shutdown of the federal government: “Tonight, I voted with nearly every single Senate Republican to keep our government open and fund our service members, veterans, seniors, and children who depend on CHIP. “Unfortunately, nearly every single Senate Democrat, led by Senators Schumer and Durbin, have been determined to shut down the government, and they got what they wanted. Their cynical, partisan political ploy will have real-world consequences for hardworking families in North Carolina and across our nation. “One of the most egregious parts of the Democrats’ shutdown is their counterproductive demands on immigration …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Schumer’s game hurts kids, military heroes

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after Senate Democrats voted to shut down the federal government: “Senator Schumer created an artificial deadline for an unrelated issue and just led the shutdown of our government.  He’s playing a Washington swamp game.  Low-income children, our military, and Americans who need services from our government lost.  This is truly a Schumer Shutdown.” Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The Barnum and Bailey circus has closed.  The circus has moved to D.C.  Maybe the tents could be resurrected in Washington, one for the House, one for the Senate and one for the White House. Tired of the blame game, all who made promises to get elected are to blame.  Seldom hear a politician say, ‘I am partially to blame’.  Always someone else at fault.  Shame on them all.  Leaders step up when the going gets tough.  Budget was due October 1, 2017. A little research determined the fiscal year, “prior to 1976, began on July 1 and ended on June 30.  The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 stipulated the change to allow Congress …..

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Abortion is topic of Capitol Hill this week

By U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger Monday marks Roe v. Wade’s 45th anniversary.  Since that ignoble decision, over 60 million precious, innocent babies have been intentionally killed by abortion in the United States. The Declaration of Independence states that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, chief among them the right to life.  Scripture teaches us that every human being, no matter how old, is precious in the sight of God. As a Christian, father of four, and grandfather of ten, I cannot fathom how some in our country so disrespect life.  We know of babies who have survived abortion, only to be left to die of …..

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Court Orders Special Master’s Recommended Districts Incorporated into State Legislative Redistricting Plan

Court-ordered maps are now law GREENSBORO, N.C. – A panel of three federal court judges has issued a unanimous order that incorporates the recommendations of the court-appointed Special Master, Dr. Nathan Persily, into North Carolina’s state legislative districts.  The Dr. Persily was asked to alter nine state legislative districts after the Court identified that the 2017 legislatively-enacted plans that were supposed to remedy the racial gerrymandering identified in the 2011 plans failed to adequately remedy the constitutional flaws or otherwise violated state law.  The districts as ordered by the court are now the official state legislative districts of the state. “We appreciate the input and guidance of the Special Master …..

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Tillis Statement On Government Funding

TILLIS: “Democrats are justifying their support of a shutdown by creating arbitrary deadlines and demanding an immediate vote on the ‘Gang of Six’ immigration bill. It’s a disingenuous partisan political stunt considering they know full well that a vote would fail in both chambers, a result that would make a successful deal even harder to achieve moving forward. It’s even more disingenuous since they haven’t even introduced the bill or legislative text yet. It’s impossible to vote on a bill that doesn’t exist…. All members should look in a mirror and ask themselves if they’re in Congress to make a point or to make a difference. If they truly want …..

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Congressman Pittenger On Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: ‘What Have We Become?’

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) joined House Republicans to pass the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712), which requires appropriate medical care be given to babies who survive abortion procedures. “What have we become as a nation that we must pass a law to stop abortionists from stuffing living, breathing babies into biohazard bags and tossing them in the trash?” asked Congressman Pittenger. “My body, my choice? What about the body of the baby? What about the baby’s choice? Those who defend killing a baby born alive have lost the capacity to love.” The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: · Requires any health care practitioner …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Bladen County Schools will open with a 2-hour delay today, for staff and students. Today is the deadline for a fundraiser for Senior Games that will be held later this spring. Lumber River Council of Government is selling raffle tickets for a Sceptre 50″ LED TV for $5 each. All proceeds benefit the Senior Games. If you are interested in supporting this event, contact Carol Mitchell at the Division of Aging TODAY (Friday, January 19). Her number is 910-872-6331 Black’s Tire Service and Recapping Co. will enter a truck in the upcoming Daytona race. David Gilliland will be the driver and Michael Hester of Bladenboro will be the crew chief. …..

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Are Abortion Clinics Infrastructure?

  WASHINGTON – As hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans prepare to March for Life in Washington, D.C., Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) are requesting a Government Accountability Office investigation into the use of tax-exempt bonds to finance abortion clinics. “These tax-exempt bonds are designed to build up a community by supporting infrastructure, not tear down a community by subsidizing the willful termination of innocent life. Who in their right mind would consider an abortion clinic to be infrastructure? We intend to stop this egregious misuse of tax-exempt bonds,” said Congressman Pittenger. “The nation is divided on the issue of abortion, but the government should not …..

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The partisan politics of personal destruction

Senate Democrats have been indignantly sounding the alarm that President Trump represents a threat to the independence of the judicial branch. They are apparently unaware that the real threat to our judiciary – the flagrant politicization of our courts and the confirmation process itself – has been facing them in the mirror this entire time.   Case in point: the treatment of Tom Farr, who President Trump nominated last year to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.   Since the moment Mr. Farr was nominated, he has been the subject of a coordinated and viciously dishonest smear campaign from the far-left designed to tank …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Snow could hang around for a few hours.  Sunny today with highs near 40, West wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.  Clear, with low around 24 tonight, west wind around 5 mph. Icy spots on roadways could be hazardous.  Temps increase to the 50s and 60s later this week. Don’t want to ‘jinks’ our utility companies, but year ’round preparation by Four County and Duke Energy has cut ‘down time’ to a minimum.  Zero outage at many households and businesses. Love to read John Clark’s articles related to high school sports.  Congratulations to Ja Tyra Moore-Peterson on her 1,000th point in her East Bladen high school basketball career.  The …..

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Ericsson Announces Support For Congressman Pittenger’s National Security Legislation

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) received a letter from Ericsson, a major international networking and telecommunications company, expressing support for his Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA): “We commend you, and Senator John Cornyn, for spearheading the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). This legislation provides critical and overdue updates to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review process. Our world has changed a great deal since CFIUS was created more than four decade ago – there are new competitors, new challenges, and new concerns. And we must ensure there are adequate safeguards in place to properly vet and scrutinize the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

No school today due to the weather. Snow and rain in today’s forecast, partly sunny, with a 40% chance of rain today after 2 PM. Around midnight, a 60% chance of precipitation, snow and rain with little or no accumulation expected. (Check with the NWS for updates throughout the day). With weather on the minds of many, the National Weather Service has posted the following about last year’s weather. “2017 was one of the warmest years in history across the eastern Carolinas with temperatures averaging two (2) degrees above normal. There was no extreme summer heat, instead far-above normal temperatures in January, February and April, supplemented by near normal temperatures …..

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Jefferson Weaver: Eyes half-filled with hope

By: Jefferson Weaver I have no idea how long he was lost, but it was long enough that he was grateful for a decent meal. I’d finally managed to find a few hours to head for the woods, and despite any number of ridiculous delays, I still had a good two hours of daylight to get some work done. I’d even come up with an alternative plan since it turned out I’d grabbed the wrong keys as I fled the house, and was locked out of the hunting grounds far better than anyone with criminal intent. Then I saw Will. At first, I thought he was an early-moving coyote hunting …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

When I think about someone who has died, regardless of how well I may know them, a 2 hour or more wait to speak to the family speaks volumes about the deceased individual and family. I am not a huge Twitter fan, but gaining some respect for the site.  Prefer comments of locals addressing local concerns.  Do not read them all, but do glance at a few and wish a happy birthday to friends on Facebook. In fact, many different sites offer a peak at local issues by local folks, without taking a lot of time.  Examples….LinkedIn, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram.  We can read or delete them.  I realize there are others.  . Bladen County Commissioners and …..

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Tillis Statement in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: “I join my fellow North Carolinians in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr., a patriot whose enormous contributions and sacrifices made America a more free, just and equitable nation.” Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Government offices will be closed today as well as some others as a nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Locally, a parade is set for this morning through downtown Elizabethtown to mark the occasion. Did you see the end of the Vikings/Saints NFL football game?  No time on the clock when Minnesota scored.  The Vikings advance in the playoffs, the Saints pack up the equipment and head home. Political rhetoric will pick up this week as we hear about a federal budget, DACA, funding for a wall along the Mexican border and Democrats, Republicans and a President squabble, all blaming one another for the mess.  My opinion:  All are …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

NFL playoff action yesterday:  Eagles defeated Falcons 15-10  and Patriots over Titans 35-14. Today:  Jaguars vs Steelers and Saints vs Vikings. Winter time again in Bladen!  High today 40, low tonight in low 20s.  Tomorrow, about the same.  Looking ahead, Tuesday’s high in the low 50s with lows near 30.  Wednesday, current forecast includes snow, ice and rain with highs upper 30s and lows in the upper teens. Just enjoy, if you can.  It is January. Ever think of an individual or individuals who gave you a break somewhere along the way?  Not a handout, just a hand. My list includes JZ & Sally Hinson (Hinson’s Supermarket), Mr. Chatham Clark (WBLA) and Ron Aycock (NC Association of County …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

January is always an interesting month of the year.  Cold, very cold, windy, mild, wet, dry and more cold.  Actually, I kinda like it. Not bad when compared with other parts of the US, like California.  Fires and mudslides are constantly in the news.  Tornadoes in the Midwest, near zero temps in the upper tier of states, I love calling Bladen County, North Carolina, USA, home. Speaking of rainfall, prior to whatever fell over night, at the Hester household we recorded a little less than 3/4s of an inch of rain in this new year. Ever notice how we (Americans) defend any politician we like, regardless of the charge and attack those we …..

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Actions speak louder than words

By U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger Actions speak much louder than words. This is common-sense. Yet it seems to have been lost on some of the Americans responsible for foreign diplomacy over the past few decades. At the onset of the War on Terror, Pakistan stood poised to become a crucial U.S. ally. Pakistan shares a border with Afghanistan, has a relatively stable government, and a well-funded military. They feared the instability that could have been caused by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Initially, Pakistan signaled their intent to fully support our efforts. Given its crucial strategic importance in the War on Terror, the United States declared Pakistan as a non-NATO ally, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

North Carolina made a huge offer (reportedly $1.5 billion) to the Toyota-Mazda project for new plant.  It was rejected for a site in Huntsville, Alabama.  One advantage for the site chosen, reportedly, a Toyota engine plant is less than 15 miles away. South Carolina, Alabama, and other nearby states have been very successful in attracting huge industries. Maybe next time for a Tar Heel site.  So competitive, despite incentives.  I know, incentives are not high on the list of many.  But, it’s the world we live in.  Nothing times nothing equals nothing.  Most incentives are tax breaks for a set number of years, usually on a decreasing scale, based on investment. Expect …..

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Tillis and Warren Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Protect Veterans from Predatory Home Lending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation that would protect veterans from targeted predatory home loan practices by requiring lenders to demonstrate a material benefit to consumers when refinancing their mortgage. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) are all original co-sponsors of the legislation.   The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) home loan program was designed to provide veterans and servicemembers with the opportunity to purchase their own …..

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Protecting America: Congressman Pittenger supports legislation to “connect the dots” on terrorist plots

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed bipartisan national security legislation to renew the authority of Intelligence agencies to track the U.S. contacts of known terrorists. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, supported the renewal. “If a known terrorist makes contact with someone in the United States, I think most freedom-loving Americans would agree we should know what that call was about,” said Congressman Pittenger. “Before 9-11, our Intelligence agencies didn’t have this tool.  We blocked them from connecting the dots.  We pretended like calls from a terrorist were just routine. “As Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, I have read classified …..

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Congressman Pittenger Writes U.S. Trade Representative On Behalf Of Bladen Manufacturer

  WASHINGTON – Today, Bladen County Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) wrote United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on behalf of Clarkton’s Gildan Yarns. The Government of Colombia is proposing trade measures that would effectively block the import of T-shirts and socks made from U.S.-grown cotton and U.S. spun yarns. This follows November 2016 policy changes which arbitrarily increased the cost of imports, created unnecessary red tape, and did not follow international conventions. These policies have already been challenged by Panama through the World Trade Organization. Colombia claims these policies are aimed at combatting trade-based money laundering, which is commonly used to finance terrorist organizations. However, as Vice Chairman of the …..

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Representative Robert Pittenger statement on redistricting

January 10, 2018 Contributed Today, Representative Robert Pittenger issued the following statement regarding the recent redistricting ruling: “A three judge panel with a majority of liberal appointees is seeking to usurp the NC General Assembly’s constitutional authority by improperly ordering the redrawing of North Carolina’s Congressional lines. Democrats can’t win elections so they strategically go to liberal appointed judges to change the maps to give themselves an advantage. The US Supreme Court should issue an immediate stay of this decision.” Share:

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Statement on Redistricting Ruling

Contributed We have received many questions from reporters, supporters, and concerned citizens about the impact of yesterday’s ruling by a three judge panel of the Obama-ridden United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that found North Carolina’s current Congressional districts to be unconstitutional. While we disagree with this ruling and believe it to be another example of judicial activism run amok, based on what we are hearing from judicial and redistricting experts, as well as our legislative leaders, we feel confident that the Supreme Court will stay the ruling and our election will proceed as scheduled with no changes to the 9th Congressional District. I spent today in …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Trinity United Methodist Men would like to invite one and all to their Annual Oyster Roast, Thursday (today) at the Church Activities Center, West Broad Street Elizabethtown. 2 seatings: 5:30-6:30 PM and 6:30-7:30 PM. Tickets are $40 per ticket. Menu consist of Clam Chowder, Boiled Shrimp, & Oysters. Contact the church office, Bladen Builders or Dickerson’s Pharmacy for tickets. A reminder of the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Parade in Elizabethtown, Monday, January 15, begins at 11 AM. For more info, call 910-645-4995 or email abullock1951@gmail.com. Star Communications is sponsoring a scholarship program to all 2018 area high school seniors. Deadline for applications is Monday, March 5, 2018. For more …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER: TAXPAYERS SHOULDN’T FOOT THE BILL FOR CRUEL AND UNNECESSARY DOG TESTING

 WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Pittenger met with constituents and their rescued Doberman dog as well as representatives from the White Coat Waste project, a watchdog group working to end wasteful and unnecessary taxpayer funded experiments on dogs and other animals.   Congressman Pittenger is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3197, the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act (PUPPERS Act). This bipartisan legislation will prohibit the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) from conducting outdated taxpayer funded medical research that causes significant pain or distress to dogs.    “Every year, the Federal Government allows billions of taxpayer dollars to be spent on cruel and unnecessary experiments on dogs and …..

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Analysis of N.C. Judicial Redistricting Proposal Finds Racial and Partisan Biases

Contributed DURHAM, N.C. – A white paper released today by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice documents some of the racial and partisan biases infecting the most recent judicial redistricting plan presented by a state legislative committee.  Draft judicial districts unveiled in the December meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting covered many of the same geographic areas as legislative districts found to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in some places and are likely to lead to an enormously disproportionate number of Republican judges being elected throughout the state.   “If enacted, the most recent judicial redistricting proposal would create layers upon layers of unconstitutionality in our …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

After a slow start to 2018, mostly due to the weather, all appears to be on go now. Members and prospective members of Bladen County Educational Foundation, Inc., will hold their next monthly meeting Tuesday, January 16, 5:30 PM at the Bladen County Board of Ed Public Meeting room.  Items on the agenda includes election of officers, discussion of the annual Jail-A-Thon scheduled for April.  Current members and others interested in participating are encouraged to attend.  Proceeds from fund-raisers are distributed to Bladen County Schools.  For more info, call 910-862-1488. Bladen County Law Enforcement Officer’s Association is sponsoring a concealed carry permit class, Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 8 AM to 5 PM.  Cost is …..

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National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition Commends Attorney General’s decision to rescind Cole Memo

The National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC) applauds and commends US Attorney General Jeff Sessions for taking action today to rescind the “Cole Memo”, thereby restoring the ability of Federal prosecutors to enforce Federal drug laws. The NNOAC strongly opposed the action taken by the previous administration that restricted prosecutors’ ability to enforce the law against marijuana producers and distributors. According to NNOAC President, Bob Bushman, “One of the unfortunate consequences of the Cole Memo was the encouragement it provided to the marijuana industry to expand its reach, resulting in dramatic increases in marijuana use, marijuana-related traffic fatalities and the availability of marijuana in markets throughout our country”. “Given the …..

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Tillis Applauds President Trump’s Support for America’s Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement following President Donald Trump’s speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th Annual Convention and the release of a new report by the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity outlining various recommendations to improve life in rural communities:   “I applaud President Trump for his speech to the American Farm Bureau today showing his commitment to the agricultural industry and building on the work his administration has done over the last 12 months to uphold his promise to farmers across the country. Early last year, President Trump showed he was serious about agriculture having a seat at the table when …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

If a tough beginning to a new year is cause for high expectations later in the year, we, my bride and I, are planning a huge celebration in December. Speaking of celebrations, special occasions, etc., a reminder BladenOnline was launched February 1, 2008, nearly 10 years ago and thanks to all, every day/year is better than the day/year before.  Proof!!!!!! Dec 31-Jan 6 Page views:  120,733 Visits: 18,713 Year Ago Page Views: 104,963 Visits: 21,912 MOST READ STORIES (last week) 2,064: Winter storm predicted for Wednesday 1,129: Camp Clearwater Polar Bear Plunge into White Lake 961: Winter storm watch issued for Bladen County 938: New Year’s Day barn fire 926: Vehicle overturns …..

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Tillis Discusses a DACA-Border Security Deal on Fox News

“I think we can get a deal with Democrats and Republicans who are willing to recognize we need to solve the problem facing the DACA population and secure the border.” WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) appeared on Fox News Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to talk about reaching a deal to secure our borders and provide a solution for the DACA population. Watch the video here. On shutdown threats from Democrats over DACA: “Democrats, who have pushed the DREAM Act for 16 years and couldn’t produce an outcome when President Obama was in office and they had supermajorities, need to recognize that if they are …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

It was 11 degrees at 7 a.m. on Happy Valley Road, unofficial of course.  C-O-L-D! Looking forward to Monday when hopefully temps return to near normal, in the 50s. Nearby pond  is frozen, beautiful sight. Thinking about selling all, purchasing a small house on wheels and move as the weather changes.  Hot weather move to the mountains or north, cold weather head toward Florida.  Not likely, I enjoy Bladen County, most of the time. NFL playoffs underway.  Yesterday and last night’s games: Titans defeated Chiefs 15-10, and Falcons over Rams 26-13. Today, Panthers vs. Saints and Bills vs. Jaguars. N.C. State defeats Duke, 96-85. Success comes in cans not in can’ts! …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Don’t want to wish my life away, but looking forward to Monday, when an improvement in the weather is expected.  In our area of the world, temperatures in the single figures or close are few and far between.  Hopefully, we have just about reached our quota for a new year. Average temps for January, for Bladen County, according to the National Weather Service:  High 54  Low 31. Experiencing heating problems, equipment failure and replacement during this cold weather, I thought about years gone by, when three nearly grown brothers would back up to a small, trash heater, get red from the heat and race to the bedroom, position was important.  Regular size …..

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A look back at the past Congressional year

By Congressman Robert Pittenger The New Year is traditionally a time to review and reflect on the triumphs and tribulations of the past year. In my view, 2017 was a turning point for America. Hidden behind the façade of media-induced frenzies was a year highlighted by accomplishments and progress on multiple fronts. After eight years of painful stagnation, America’s economy is energized again. With my full backing and support, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the biggest tax cut bill in a generation. Hardworking Americans and middle-class families are going to see their tax rates shrink and their paychecks grow. By cutting the noncompetitive rates imposed on businesses, our …..

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You Decide: Where’s The Economy Headed In 2018?

By Dr. Mike Walden January is my busiest month of the year for making public presentations. People want to know what the economy will be like in the year ahead. For businesses, economic forecasts are important for production and hiring plans. Government officials want to know what the economy will mean for their tax revenues and public expenditures. And, of course, the relative strength or weakness of the economy is one of the key determinants of the availability, types and pay of jobs for workers. I open my presentations by telling audiences economists are very good at predicting the past!  Although meant as a joke, there’s a large element of truth …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Think it is cold now, wait until tonight and Saturday night.  Forecast for tonight (Friday) is 11 degrees and drops to 9 degrees Saturday night. Low last night in mid-teens.  Cannot remember when temperatures were so low for as long as this one is expected to last.  Some relief expected on Monday and I am ready. Never a good time for repairs or replacements, but when they are needed, good to have experienced folks ready to assist, like when the blower motor on our heating system stopped, yesterday (Thursday), worn out and temperatures outside were very low.  Thanks to Cape Fear Heating and Cooling for assistance.  Still work to do, but we are moving forward.  There are others, reputable companies doing similar chores.  Thanks …..

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Tillis & Lankford Joint Statement On White House Meeting On DACA, Border Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following joint statement on today’s meeting between President Trump and Senate Republicans on solutions for DACA and border security:   “Today’s meeting between the President and Senate Republicans was productive, and we are all on the same page when it comes to securing our borders once and for all and providing long-term certainty for DACA youth.   “Over the course of the last several weeks, we have negotiated in good faith with Senate Democrats on a DACA agreement. Unfortunately, our discussions on border security and enforcement with Democrats are much further apart, and that is key to …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Okay, you wanted snow.  What you see is all you are likely to receive this week in eastern North Carolina.  However, we will have cold, windy weather for a few more days. Over the years, some local farmers wanted a time of very cold weather to kill the insects.  My thoughts, mission accomplished.  Looking forward to early next week when temperatures are expected to return to more normal levels, like 50s. Weather has caused disruptions, especially to the local school systems.  They are closed today, county government will be operating on a 2-hour delay.  May want to call ahead before getting on our roadways, regardless of your destination. Be aware of …..

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Congressman Pittenger applauds President Trump for blocking Chinese acquisition

CHARLOTTE – On Tuesday, the Trump Administration, through CFIUS, blocked Ant Financial’s takeover of U.S. money-transfer business MoneyGram.  The Communist Chinese government is a significant shareholder in Ant Financial, and the company’s chairman is seen regularly with Communist leadership. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is leading efforts to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), which advises the President on the potential national security impact of foreign investments, mergers, and acquisitions in sensitive industries. “The strength of America’s economy is vital to our national security,” said Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09).  “Giving China direct access to sensitive financial information, including remittances from dissidents living abroad and the ability to manipulate data …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Someone forgot to close the door. Winter storm warning from 11 AM today to 6 AM Thursday.  Heavy mixed precipitation expected.  Plan on difficult travel conditions.  Total snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected, according to the National Weather Service. The warning includes portions of northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina, including Bladen County. Prepare for significant reductions in visibility at times.  For latest road conditions in the area, call 5-1-1. NWS is calling for a 60% possibility of precipitation today , 70% tonight.  Thursday, sunny with a high near 34.  Winds will be picking up from 5 to 8 mph today to around 9 mph tonight and …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

NCAA football championship will feature  two SEC teams, Alabama vs Georgia. Alabama 24 – Clemson 6 Georgia 54 – Oklahoma 48 (OT) Bundle up today, high in Bladen County expected to be in low to mid 30s.  Could see some snow Wednesday (tomorrow) with highs in the lower 30s.  Continued cold weather thru Friday with more normal like temps (50s) next Monday and Tuesday. Bladen County schools operating on a 2-hour delay today (Tuesday). BladenOnline statistics for last week, last month and last year and they are great: Dec 24-30 Page views:  120,733 visits:  23,039 Year Ago Page views:  79,273 visits:  17,871 Most Read Stories 9,298:  Elizabethtown restaurant closing its doors 4,034:  Winter weather advisory issued for Bladen County 3,051:  …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

HAPPY NEW YEARS DAY….. Big day for college football, full slate of bowl games, with 4 teams still vying for collegiate championship, to be determined next week.. Today’s bowl game lineup: 12 noon   Outback Bowl Michigan vs South Carolina ESPN 2, Tampa, Florida 12:30 PM   Peach Bowl #7 Auburn vs #12 UCF ESPN, Atlanta, Georgia 1 PM   Citrus Bowl #14 Notre Dame vs #17 LSU ABC, Orlando, Florida 5 PM   Rose Bowl #2 Oklahoma vs #3 Georgia ESPN, Pasadena, California 8:45 PM   Sugar Bowl #1 Clemson vs #4 Alabama ESPN, New Orleans, Louisiana Collegiate Football National Championship Winner of Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl Jan. 8, 2018  8:PM on ESPN Atlanta, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Can you believe, today is the last day of the year 2017? Remember year 2000 when many “smart folks” were concerned about a new year and computers must be updated?  And for us older folks, when gasoline pumps had to be updated when the price of fuel exceeded $1 per gallon?  What’s next? Smart folks seem to always update as needed to assist us in keeping up with all the changes. The latest technology I am dealing with is an Echo, talking whatever!!!! I keep asking Alexa questions and there is no response, but there will be. Water pipes wrapped, and faucets going drip-drip?  Hope it works, Plumbers should be busy over the next week …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Wake Forest and NC State posted Bowl wins yesterday, more activity today and over the next few days. Holidays and very cold weather have given me the opportunity to spend more time than usual on the Internet, have re-connected with some of my work family over the years.  It’s been fun.  Most have retired, some more recent that others and one retired recently, after 40 + years and begins a new position next week.  All (total of 5) are talking about a get-together, soon.  Talk is easy, hope we can ‘put legs to it.’  Must work around doctor appointments, it’s what happens as we age. Speaking of retirement, someone sent info …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

For many, this is the last work day of the year!  Hope 2017 has been good for you. “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, the song has been recorded by several artists over the years, who had the original version in 1954?  Dean Martin would be the first I was aware of, then Tom Jones in 1990 and numerous others over the years.  Very true today, and will be applicable for several more days, if the weather folks are correct.  Yesterday was brutal. Discovered a quote by one of America’s greatest! “The Seven Habits of Happy People”, a tweet by Warren Buffett; 1) Don’t show off 2) Talk less 3) Learn daily 4) Help less …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Remember when Sears and Montgomery Ward mailed catalogs, huge catalogs, to everyone with an address, I guess.  They were among the best known retail outlets in the U.S. Not sure our family ever ordered anything, but know some who did.  Clothing, household needs, etc. Montgomery Ward ceased operations years ago and sounds as if Sears is on life-support. Today, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target are a few of today’s leaders. With that thought in mind, been thinking about big and small employers in Bladen County that are no more.  N.C. Rural Center posted information several months, maybe years ago, that Bladen lost over 1,000 jobs between 2002 and 2006. Remember Westpoint Pepperill, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Winter has officially arrived!  Very cold for the next week or so. There is much that can be done inside, like preparation for tax season. Time to pay local taxes, due first few days of 2018, and prepare for filing federal taxes, due April 15th.  Will be here before you know it. Have a few dates for the upcoming elections cycle. February 2 – 28, 2018    Filing season for General Election May 8, 2018   Primary date November 6, 2018  General Election Locally, 3 County Commissioners seats to be voted on.  Current office holders: District 1    Arthur Bullock District 2    Charles Ray Peterson District 3    Russell Priest Board of Education  (6 seats) …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hope your Christmas was great! This group of Hesters’ had a great time.  A late, delicious lunch in Smithfield with immediate family, opening gifts, hit a homerun in that department.  Then back to Bladen County for another delicious meal with siblings, then home and ‘worn out’, but so many wonderful memories. For us, that’s about as good as it gets.  Five siblings, all but one attended and she is usually with us, but family issues kept her in western Virginia.  (One of two sons is in the Navy and a short holiday for him made further travel nearly impossible.  They were missed.) So, how about you?  Hopefully, good as well.  The only …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

I hear the bells Saying Christmas is near They ring out to tell the world That this is the season of cheer I hear a choir Singing sweetly somewhere And a glow fills my heart I’m at peace with the world As the sound of their singing fills the air Oh why can’t every day be like Christmas Why can’t that feeling go on endlessly For it everyday could be just like Christmas What a wonderful world this would be I hear a child Telling Santa what to bring And a smile upon his tiny face Is worth more to me than anything Oh why can’t every day be like …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Christmas 2017 is just hours away! Today, Christians around the world will be gathering to hear about a babe born in a manger over 2000 years ago. Christmas season is a perfect time to re-connect with family and friends, in person or by Internet (Facebook) or a Christmas Card. Remember when merchants offered free wrapping, seldom hear that today, understandable, Amazon and others have changed the landscape. However, some of our local merchants still offer free wrapping. When I turned my computer on this AM, first thing I saw was Google’s Santa Tracker.  What we have heard about over the years, now we can follow a Jolly Old St. Nick, his reindeer and …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Not new news, but worth repeating!  Kiplinger Personal Finance has ranked UNC #1 on a list of best values in public universities and NC State is #10.  In a separate list, by Kiplinger, Duke University was ranked third-best value in private universities and Davidson College ranked as the top value in liberal arts colleges. Down to a very few hours remaining for Christmas shoppers, and for some, just beginning.  Worked with a lawyer friend (out of town) for 25 years who began his shopping late Christmas Eve, every year.  He was looking for bargains, was willing to deal with other last minute shoppers and declared he paid about half price for …..

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President signs historic tax cuts and reform legislation into law

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer released the statement below following President Donald Trump signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) into law: “Today is truly historic.  For far too long, individuals, families and businesses have been burdened by an outdated and unfair tax code that has been a drag on our economy and has penalized hard work,” said Rep. David Rouzer.  “I applaud President Trump for signing this tax relief and reform bill into law so that hardworking taxpayers will finally have a tax code that respects the challenges they face and will deliver the relief they so richly deserve.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will lower taxes and …..

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Senate Unanimously Passes Tillis & Heinrich Bill To Help American Consumers By Modifying Product Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the Senate unanimously passed the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) that modifies the implementation of two upcoming regulations that would have passed on new costs to millions of American consumers if left unchanged. There are currently two efficiency requirement regulations on ceiling fans that will begin enforcement one year apart from each other: light bulbs in January 2019 and motors in January 2020. These misaligned dates could create a significant problem for the industry when multiplied over thousands of stores, supply chain lead times, redundant employee work hours, and the transition of inventory. …..

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You Decide: Is North Carolina’s Economic Shift Complete?

By Dr. Mike Walden In a few weeks I will celebrate the 40th anniversary of my job interview at North Carolina State University. I had left a snow-covered Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University where I was finishing my Ph.D. degree – and exited the plane on the tarmac (yes, airline passengers did that in the good-ole-days) at RDU Airport. It was bright and sunny and 70 degrees. I thought to myself – I could get used to this! And I have. Next to marrying my wife, I can’t think of a better decision I’ve made in my life.  The four decades I’ve been in North Carolina have been …..

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Tillis, Grassley, Klobuchar Bill to Aid Families of Missing Autism, Alzheimer’s Patients Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to help families locate missing loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, autism and related conditions unanimously passed the U.S. Senate. Kevin and Avonte’s Law (S. 2070), named in honor of two boys with autism who perished after wandering from safety, would also support training for caregivers to prevent and respond to instances of wandering and is now pending approval in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I’m pleased to see the Senate unanimously pass Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which will support training for caregivers to prevent and respond to missing individuals with …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

If you were born in the 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s, it is difficult to explain the changes that have occurred.  Our contact with the world was a ‘cracklin’ AM radio, with the sound in and out, WFNC in Fayetteville, WTSB in Lumberton, WRRZ in Clinton, WPTF in Raleigh, on a good day, depending on your location.  In the evening time, we could listen to the Top 10 songs on WCKY, Cincinnati, Ohio, and on Saturday night, if the reception was half way decent, The Grand Old Opry from Ryman Auditorium on WSM, Nashville, Tennessee. Today, we are on information overload.  If the President or a dignitary ‘hiccups’, it is reported on one or more sources — for …..

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$375 million in Retroactive Disaster Relief Available to North Carolin and Other States

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Emergency Disaster Aid Package (H.R. 4667) in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Following a November 13th letter from Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and the entire North Carolina Congressional delegation to House Leadership, approximately $375 million of the funding approved today will be made available to North Carolina and other states still recovering from previous disasters. “Most folks don’t realize Lumberton, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown, and other southeastern North Carolina communities are still rebuilding following Hurricane Matthew,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Knowing the House would vote this year to help Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, I made sure House Leadership was aware of the unmet needs in North …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Hold nations accountable for anti-U.S. votes at U.N.

WASHINGTON – Today, the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s reality-based decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who has worked for several years to push back against anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli voting blocs at the U.N., issued this statement: “Once again, many of our ‘friends’ at the U.N. are voting against the United States and Israel.  We should look closely at holding these countries accountable with respect to the significant U.S. foreign aid they receive. “Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since the time of King David.  Israel’s legislature and courts are in Jerusalem.  Why should we continue to pretend otherwise?” Congressman …..

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Predatory lending allies in Congress seek to eliminate consumer bureau rule aimed at payday lending debt trap

On December 1, 2017, members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a proposal known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the new payday and car title lending rule finalized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in October. The announcement to roll back this important consumer protection comes off the heels of the payday lenders’ latest assault to dismantle the consumer bureau. The CRA was introduced by payday lending allies Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), along with Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). CRA in a Nutshell A CRA resolution is a fast-track legislative tool that Congress …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Today is the first day of the Winter Solstice. The sun rose at 7:18 a.m. today and will set at 5:08 p.m., the least amount of daylight annually. Winter has officially arrived (as of 4:28 p.m.)!  Actually, December 1 is the day meteorological winter season arrives, and the astronomical season begins today. I check FactCheck.com website from time to time.  Latest info includes ‘A Guide to the Tax Changes’, the best explanation I have seen.  And the website is identifying and publishing the names of sites that have published fake and satirical information.  Facebook is providing financial support in an attempt to ‘debunk’ fake news stories.  Another current feature is ‘Whoppers of 2017’.  Many will …..

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A promise made, a promise kept

By Congressman Robert Pittneger Promise made, promise kept.  This week, House and Senate Republicans, working with President Trump, delivered on our promise to give tax relief to hardworking American families. Right now, roughly half of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is focused on boosting take-home pay for hardworking American families by doubling the standard deduction, doubling the child tax credit, and preserving important middle-class deductions for charitable contributions, mortgage interest, medical expenses, and retirement savings.  All of this means the typical North Carolina family will see an extra $2,000 in their paychecks each year. Our conservative Republican tax reform will also boost the economy and create …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Obama let terror group off the hook

WASHINGTON – This weekend, POLITICO reported bombshell allegations that the Obama Administration obstructed a major investigation into terror-group Hezbollah as part of securing the Iran Nuclear Deal. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who serves as Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, on Monday wrote House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) requesting an immediate investigation. Today, Congressman Pittenger addressed the U.S. House of Representatives on the “shocking and infuriating” allegations. “I rise to express my outrage at a detailed report by POLITICO which included testimony that President Obama and his Administration obstructed a major DEA investigation into Hezbollah because they wanted to secure the Iran deal. “These …..

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Tillis Supports Senate Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) voted in favor tax reform legislation that passed the Senate. The House is expected to vote on the legislation today and will head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. “This tax reform package fulfills a long-standing promise to deliver tax relief that benefits hard-working Americans across our nation. Starting early next year, most North Carolina families will notice bigger paychecks as the federal government withholds less of their hard-earned money because of newly lowered tax rates and a significantly larger standard deduction. This historic legislation also provides a major boost to American businesses and makes our private sector even …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

One more procedural vote in the US House is all that stands between a tax overhaul bill and a formal signing of the legislation by President Trump.  He announced a news conference will be held later today.  The Senate vote was 51-48. The results were announced by Vice President Mike Pence, who was the presiding officer, in a session that ended after midnight, this morning. Corporate tax reduction drops from 35% to 21%, and is permanent.  Tax reduction for individuals is temporary. Marks the first major legislative triumph for the President. Winners and losers depends on the news source.  Will take some time to sort it all out. Wish the two major political parties would …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Final Passage of Tax Reform Bill

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted 227-203 to pass the finalized version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1): “This is truly a historic day. The House of Representatives just passed the finalized version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a transformational, job creating overhaul of our outdated and broken tax code. This is a tax cut for the Middle Class and the millions of hardworking Americans fighting to build a better life for themselves and their children. “We are nearly doubling the standard deduction, increasing the Child Tax Credit and slashing tax rates so that all Americans …..

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House passes historic tax reform conference report, heads to Senate for final vote

Washington, D.C. – Today, with the support of Congressman David Rouzer, the House of Representatives passed arguably the biggest tax cut and reform package in history.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) overhauls the tax code to bring back jobs from overseas, improve America’s competitiveness in the global economy, and create a much more dynamic economy that will naturally generate increased wages.  This legislation provides historic tax relief for American workers, families, and job creators. “For far too long, individuals, families and businesses have been forced to comply with an outdated and burdensome tax code that penalizes their effort and hard work and has been a drag on our …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Monday night’s NFL score:  Atlanta Falcons 24 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21. College Football moves to center stage as Bowl games begin.  A partial lineup: *Saturday, Dec. 23 – Appalachian State vs Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Al. *Tuesday, Dec. 26 – Duke vs Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Mi. *Friday, Dec. 29 – Wake Forest vs Texan A&M in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC *Friday, Dec. 29 – N.C. State vs Arizona State in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX *Monday, Jan 1, 2018 – No. 4 Alabama vs No. 1 Clemson played in New Orleans, LA *Monday , Jan 1, 2018 – No. 3 Georgia …..

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Congressman Pittenger Calls for Investigation into Obama Admin interference with Hezbollah Investigation

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) sent a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform urging an investigation into the Obama Administration’s alleged interference in a multi-agency investigation into Hezbollah’s illegal drug dealing, money laundering and arms running. “Now, it appears in order to secure his deeply flawed Iran Deal, President Obama and his administration shielded the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah from a major US multi-agency investigation targeting Hezbollah’s global criminal operation which included drug dealing, money laundering and arms running,” said Congressman Pittenger. “These revelations are shocking and infuriating. “While American soldiers were bravely fighting ISIS terrorists, with some paying the ultimate price, …..

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Congressman Pittenger: China targeting our tech, we must react

Pittenger legislation endorsed by Treasury Secretary, Defense Secretary,   and Attorney General as President Trump prioritizes IP Theft in National Security Strategy WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald Trump announced an “America First” national security strategy which specifically targets the theft or strategic acquisition of intellectual property and sensitive technology by China and other adversarial foreign powers. New legislation from Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) would address that issue by modernizing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which hasn’t been substantially reformed since the Ford Administration. “Chinese investment in the United States has grown from $4.5 billion in 2010 to $46 billion last …..

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PITTENGER: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LET DRUG DEALING HEZBOLLAH TERROR GROUP OFF THE HOOK

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after learning of the Obama Administration’s interference of a DEA operation targeting Hezbollah and their illicit drug dealing activities.  “The nexus between terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, and Latin American drug cartels is a subversive alliance which provides hundreds of millions of dollars to global jihad. The witnesses providing account of the Obama administration derailing and stonewalling the prosecution of this illicit funding investigation has resulted in the most serious consequences of the misguided and injudicious actions of President Obama and his team,” said Congressman Pittenger. “Last month, I hosted a forum in Buenos Aires for 220 Members of Parliament and government officials …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

One week left to shop before Christmas…. Late NFL score from last nights action….Cowboys 20 – Raiders 17. Tonight, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Several questionable calls yesterday and last night…just a part of the game. Christmas Cantatas continue this week, many were held yesterday and last night.  The Wesley’s Chapel UMC (Elizabethtown, NC) musical was well attended and well received. Bladen County Commissioners meet tonight at their meeting room in the courthouse. The weather forecast for the next week is pretty good with highs mostly in the 60s and lows in the 40s and 50s with a chance of rain Wednesday and Thursday.  Early predictions for Christmas Day are good with highs …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Obama Admin Let Hezbollah Off The Hook

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after learning of the Obama Administration’s interference of a DEA operation targeting Hezbollah and their illicit drug dealing activities. “The nexus between terrorists organizations, including Hezbollah, and Latin American drug cartels is a subversive alliance which provides hundreds of millions of dollars to global jihad. The witnesses providing account of the Obama administration derailing and stonewalling the prosecution of this illicit funding investigation has resulted in the most serious consequences of the misguided and injudicious actions of President Obama and his team,” said Congressman Pittenger. “Last month, I hosted a forum in Buenos Aires for 220 Members of Parliament and government officials …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Never a dull moment in the USA.  So much info, obviously some true and much untruth.  Check FactCheck.org when you are searching for facts vs fiction.  May be helpful. Remember the Southeastern Times?  A Bladen County publication from the 70s, owned and operated by Mike Simmons and Norgie Hester?  It is now a part of BladenOnline.  More info on the way.  Looking forward to the merger! Winter officially arrives Thursday, December 21, just a few days before Santa.  As you know, it is the day with the least amount of daylight….sunrise at 7:18 AM and sunsets at 5:08 PM. NFL scores from yesterday’s play.  Lions over the Bears and Chiefs over the Chargers. …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The parades are over, shopping is underway, church cantatas are planned (many his weekend) all in preparation for the arrival of Christmas Day. For most, a huge celebration, for others a stressful time.  A good time to reach out and help those strugglin’ individuals and those working for organizations that do good work. I attended a meeting recently where David Chesnutt, leader of Southeastern Carolina Crossroads was the speaker, the folks that work with addicted males, those on drugs and alcohol. He spoke about what was going on at the camp, about their needs.  Providing meals and $s for other needs, example, utilities, etc.  It’s an expensive project, but worth every dime.  They are a Christian based organization and not eligible …..

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Senators Tillis & Coons Statement on Reuters Journalists Arrested in Burma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, released the following statement about the Reuters journalists who were arrested in Burma on Tuesday: “As co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, we are gravely concerned about the arrests of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, in Burma who were writing stories about the crisis in Rakhine State following the military’s brutal crackdown on the Rohingya. We join the U.S. Embassy in Burma in calling for the Burmese government to explain the arrests and allow access to the journalists. Freedom of the press is a fundamental democratic value and critical to …..

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America’s national debt is in the danger zone

By U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger America is in the midst of a serious crisis, and one you won’t hear about on cable news. America’s national debt now exceeds $20 trillion and we are still borrowing $1 million every minute.  Yet, Washington just keeps spending dollars it doesn’t have. Not only is this unsustainable, it’s also very dangerous. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, is on record that America’s national debt is our most significant national security threat. And it is easy to see why.  The government is forced to spend 6.5 percent of our annual budget on interest payments.  That is $266 billion in …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

NFL results:  Denver Broncos 25 – Indianapolis Colts 13. Paul R. Brown Academy is sponsoring a fundraiser today in the Fresh Foods (BO’s) parking lot on Popular Street, in Elizabethtown.  Barbecue pork, slaw, baked beans, roll and dessert for $7, 11 AM until….Cost is $7 per plate, donations are welcomed.  Proceeds will be used to repair the gym (formally Bladen Central) on Martin Luther King Drive in Elizabethtown.  See details elsewhere on BladenOnline. And, check our Sports Page.  Read about a recent presentation to Lacey Suggs, former East Bladen athlete.  A full scholarship at UNCW to play basketball.  She was a walk-on (late commitment) and earned it the old timey way….hard work that produced results. Pretty nice Christmas …..

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Bladen GOP to have Christmas gathering

The Bladen County GOP will conduct their annual Christmas gathering on Monday, December 18th, between 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. at San Jose in Elizabethtown.  There will be hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a cash bar.   Share:

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Tillis Chairs Hearing on Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussions in Service members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Personnel, held a hearing to receive testimony updating the subcommittee on research, diagnosis, and treatment for traumatic brain injury/concussion in service members. “Since 2000, the Department of Defense diagnosed over 370,000 service members with traumatic brain injury, with the majority of them diagnosed in non-deployment settings. This is not a unique problem within the Department of Defense however– it is a national problem,” said Senator Tillis. “Last year alone, there were about 2.5 million emergency room visits related to concussions in the United States, and medical experts believe there were many more concussed individuals who …..

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Tillis & Burr Support Army’s Decision to Place Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Bragg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr applauded the Department of the Army’s recent announcement that the second of six Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB) will be activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in January 2018. SFABs are specialized units whose core mission is to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allies and partners. The Army stated the decision to station the second SFAB at Fort Bragg was based on strategic considerations including projected time to activate and train an SFAB, presence of senior grade personnel to man the unit, and required facility costs. “Fort Bragg is the tip of the spear for the U.S. military and continues to be one …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Christmas time is here, festivities are underway. Great night at Wesley’s Chapel UMC last evening.  A Christmas program that featured youngsters, if they could walk they were eligible, as a cow or some other animal.  Fun, delicious  meal and a huge crowd.   And, Christmas activities continue Sunday evening when the choir presents their cantata, ‘Christmas is Real’.  All are invited. Check with all local churches for Christmas programs, time and place.  It’s that time of the year! Causes me to think back at Christmas’ long ago when I was a youngster, in a Christmas program at Zion Hill Baptist Church near Bladenboro and later when we had 2 youngsters, on …..

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UNANIMOUS: Pittenger legislation to help those with little/no credit approved by key House committee

WASHINGTON – The House Financial Services Committee today gave unanimous approval to Congressman Robert Pittenger’s legislation designed to give hardworking Americans more opportunities to build good credit on their own merit. The bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act (H.R. 435) was introduced by Congressman Pittenger (R-NC) and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) in January. “This truly bipartisan effort could end credit invisibility, providing tens of millions of hardworking Americans more affordable credit and insurance,” explained Congressman Pittenger to his colleagues on the Financial Services Committee.  “This bill will also greatly expand lending, enabling small businesses to expand, increasing household wealth and generating economic growth.  This legislation would allow those Americans with credit invisibility to establish a …..

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Statement from Anita Earls on the Lawsuit Filed Yesterday Challenging the Elimination of Judicial Primaries in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – A lawsuit was filed yesterday by the North Carolina Democratic Party, challenging the General Assembly’s elimination of all judicial primaries in North Carolina.  The primaries were cancelled when the legislature overrode Governor Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656 on October 17, 2017.  The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction from the federal court to allow political parties to hold primaries in elections that were made partisan by another act of the legislature in March 2017. Anita Earls, a Democratic candidate for Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, issued the following statement after the lawsuit was filed: “I fully support the Democratic Party’s effort to protect the right to vote …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Alabama US Senate race results: Doug Jones (D)  673,236    49.92% Roy Moore  (R)  652,300    48.38% Write-ins 22,783 No early concession from Moore. US Senate make-up: 51 (R) 49 (D) Political prognosticators have much to talk about, both sides! Bottom line in new congressional tax bill.  Big business wins, Christmas shopping is underway, for sure. Christmas programs, Christmas parties and a Santa on every corner. It’s a most wonderful time of the year for most, for too many, not so good. BladenOnline results from last week (Dec 3-9) 170,426 page views is 6th most in a week in BladenOnline history. 47,641 page views on Thursday, Dec. 7 is 6th most for …..

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NDAA Signed Into Law; Includes Upgrades to NC Military Installations and Quality of Life Improvements for Service members & Military Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the President for signing the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. The legislation included several key provisions introduced by Senator Tillis that make critical improvements to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, provide an across the board pay raise for service members, and implement important reforms that will make life easier for military families. Senator Tillis chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, which has oversight over half of the Pentagon’s budget. On a bipartisan basis, Senator Tillis and his subcommittee colleagues secured an across the board 2.4% pay raise for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. “I applaud …..

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Tillis Names New State Director, Deputy State Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that Kim Canady Barnes will serve as his next State Director and Luke Blanchat will serve as his Deputy State Director. Barnes will be replacing current State Director Jordan Shaw, who was recently named as Executive Vice President for the consulting firm OnMessage Inc. Barnes has served as Senator Tillis’ Deputy State Director since he took office in 2015, and has managed the Senator’s regional office in Raleigh, responsible for overseeing casework and correspondence with federal agencies to assist North Carolinians. Blanchat has served as Senator Tillis’ Director of Economic Development, based out of the Senator’s regional office in Charlotte. Blanchat previously …..

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Martin (Tony) Denning declares his candidacy for NC House

Today I am formally announcing my candidacy for the Democratic Primary for North Carolina House District 22. At present House District 22 is comprised of Bladen County and a portion of Sampson County. Currently the courts and the North Carolina Legislature are determining the final district lines for House 22. I am a native of Sampson County and currently reside in Bladen County.  In 1975 I graduated from Lakewood High School and I am a member of the Class of 1979 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, I completed post-graduate work at Fayetteville State University. It has been my pleasure to serve as an educator in …..

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Charlotte Catholic student receives prestigious appointment to US Merchant Marine Academy

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is honored to announce that Carmen Adamson, a senior at Charlotte Catholic High School, has received a prestigious appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Ms. Adamson is a Cadet 2nd Lieutenant with the Civil Air Patrol, sings in the Charlotte Catholic Honor Women’s Choir, and coaches tennis for local children. “As I combed through various schools, I found that the average college life of sororities, parties, and internships seemed pointless to me.  On the other hand, everything in the military serves a purpose and has a meaning,”explained Ms. Adamson.  “I yearned to do the important work that only the military and its academies could offer …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Late night NFL action – Miami Dolphins 27 – New England Patriots 20. Newly elected and re-elected town officials across the county are being sworn-in.  Congratulations to all. Congratulations to East Bladen football coach Robby Priest who was named Football Coach of the Year.  He shares the honor with two others, both with Bladen County ties.  Russell Dove of South Columbus (Bladenboro native – former West Bladen football coach) and Whiteville’s Luke Little, (parents are Clarkton area natives).  Pretty good company, all young, all smart and all very successful. John Clark covers it all in our Sports section…. Coach Ken Cross, former East and West Bladen basketball coach, retired, sort of and is working …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

For NFL fans, the past weekend featured some great games, but the best was saved for late last night.  Steelers win over Ravens 39-38. ‘Big Ben’ Roethlisberger passed for 228 yards in the 4th quarter, and became the first QB to have three 500 passing yard games in leading his team to a 39-38 victory.  A last minute field goal clinched the victory. Tonight, the New England Patriots square off against the Miami Dolphins. If you haven’t visited Lu Mil to see the Christmas Lights, you’ve missed a treat.  Can’t explain, except, great sight for a bargain price. Opioid addiction is at or near the top of many folks list of concerns, as …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

North Carolina High School football teams decided state-wide championships in all categories yesterday and last night, despite cold weather, including snow and rain at time in many games. Among the last to be decided: Wallace Rose Hill 35 – Reidsville 28 in overtime for 2A title. Dollar General stores all across the state, makes shopping more convenient in urban and rural settings. 2.6 inches of rainfall over the past week at the Hester household, approximately  2 or 3 miles (as the crow flies) southwest of downtown E-town. For years, there has been concern about jobs for local residents, now the concern is a lack of labor, OK, a lack of labor who …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

BladenOnline continues to be a busy place. Thursday, December 7, 2017, we recorded 47,641 page views, 6th most in our nearly 10 year history. A couple of news stories topped the list, the Downing sentence and a Clarkton murder were the main factors. Sad news, but good news. You do the crime, you pull the time. From one extreme to another, there is no greater feeling for a parent or grandparent than to witness a young family member reach another milestone, and this time of year many are graduating and ready to move on, into the real world and make this a better place. That is really good news. Pray …..

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Southeastern Cruisers Car Club gets a “Thank You”

I would like to say Thank You to the Southeastern Cruisers Car Club of Bladenboro and the Police Department Of Bladenboro for what they did for the students of Bladenboro Primary Elementary School yesterday. My daughter Hannah Pait, who attends kindergarten at Bladenboro Primary Elementary, was one of the 20 students to go on a surprise Christmas shopping trip at Walmart in Elizabethtown provided and funded by the Bladenboro Police Department. The SouthEastern Cruisers Car Club of Bladenboro got together and bought 20 bikes for each of the students who went on the shopping trip. And not only did they pay for the bikes out of their organization’s money, they …..

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You Decide: Can Good Behavior Sometimes Cost You More?

By Dr. Mike Walden There’s an old saying stating, “no good deed goes unpunished.” I was reminded of it during a recent radio call-in program where I was the guest. The topic was the conservation of resources, like water or electricity, something that is encouraged and applauded. However, a caller related a story where he conscientiously reduced his water usage during a dry summer, only to be “rewarded” with an increase in the price per gallon he paid. He said since then, he has ignored all calls to conserve. I understand the caller’s frustration. When we change our lifestyle to achieve a common goal – like reducing water use – …..

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