THINGS CHANGED: Though they once dismissed talk of big tax increases, state Democratic leaders reached what they thought was a budget deal this week. Just as lawmakers and weary staff members began to envision an approaching end to the session, Gov. Beverly Perdue shredded the deal and sent negotiators back to the meeting room.
LOOKING AHEAD: Lots of folks were dreaming about their political futures this week. Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, like Rocky Balboa, is contemplating a rematch. Legislative Republicans all but began writing campaign literature for next year about the Democrats' tax increases. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall tried to build buzz on a possible challenge to U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.
HEALTHY DEBATE: Pharmaceutical company ads praised our U.S. senators on TV. At the RBC Center, hundreds enjoyed a Mexican food buffet and tales of a nightmarish future brought on by President Barack Obama's health care reform plan. The president's campaign apparatus awoke within the state. So apparently there's a big health care debate going on in Washington.
IN OTHER NEWS: State residents were shocked to learn this week that UNC-Chapel Hill has a bloated administration. Bill Harrison threw in the towel and announced he would retire as the state schools CEO, clearing the way for elected Superintendent June Atkinson to run the schools. A bill on its way to becoming law eliminates the waiting period to become a member of "private clubs," the technical definition of most bars across the state. Best to go get that drink before the new sin tax kicks in.