Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones attended a breakfast Friday where the keynote speaker, author Wes Moore, was asked his favorite quote.
"Have faith, not fear," Moore replied. It helped him through tough times while serving on a combat tour in Afghanistan, he said.
That surely had special resonance to Jones, who announced that morning that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jones told the Observer's Jim Morrill later Friday that his faith in God will help him through his ordeal. And he's doing something that we all should do: "As I wake up everyday, I count my blessings and not my troubles."
Jones' diagnosis puts the county commissioners' sometimes petty bickering into perspective. Jones has shown he's a fighter taking on some tough battles as county manager, and he now faces the fight of his life. We wish him all the best.
Banning insider trading seems like a no-brainer
It seems utterly noncontroversial: Members of Congress should not be able to personally financially benefit from inside information they obtain from holding office. But this Congress can't even cleanly fix that.
The Senate passed the STOCK Act 96-3, with North Carolina's own Sen. Richard Burr among the three. Burr inexplicably voted against banning insider trading for members of Congress, saying the issue was a distraction and voters wanted Congress to focus on bigger issues facing the country. Actually, voters also want to feel confident that Burr and his colleagues aren't using their knowledge about congressional duties to cash in.
The House on Thursday passed a version of the bill 417-2. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., stripped out an important provision. The Senate version required that those in the "political intelligence" industry register as lobbyists. Those workers collect inside information about upcoming legislation and sell it to Wall Street. The watchdog group MapLight pointed out that the investment industry has given $71 million to members of Congress over the past two years, with Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner the top two recipients.
We hope when this bill is hashed out in conference committee, members will remember that Congress's approval ratings are at historic lows for a reason.
Navy's latest should be one very strong vessel
We raise a glass to Ray Mabus and Gabrielle Giffords. Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy, on Friday announced that the Navy's newest ship will be the USS Gabrielle Giffords. It is a fitting tribute to the congresswoman who was shot in the head at an event in Tucson, Ariz., last year.
Giffords is a living example, Mabus said, of the Navy's motto of "Semper Fortis" - "Always Courageous."
The Navy demands courage from its sailors every day, Mabus said, so it is fitting to name its newest ship "for someone who has become synonymous with courage, who has inspired the nation ... and showed the possibilities of the human spirit."