scharrison's blog

There goes another $63 million

U.S. launches 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Libyan positions:

The U.S. military said 20 sites were hit as the missile strikes targeted air defense installations on or near the Mediterranean coastline, many in the western half of the country that is Gadhafi’s stronghold. The French said they were focusing on the rebel-held east.

That $63 million is just for the missiles alone, which is probably a fraction of the overall cost of the operation. Don't mean to be such a bean-counter, but since our Republican friends seem to have a blind spot where the military-industrial complex is concerned, somebody gotta say something.

Wake GOP tosses eye of Newt into cauldron

Casting a spell of forgetfulness:

"We are delighted Speaker Gingrich has chosen to come to Raleigh at this important juncture," Bryant said in a statement. "He is one of the premier public speakers of our time, and his understanding of the important issues facing the nation today is unmatched."

Here's an example of his wisdom:

“We must expect the Soviet system to survive for a very long time. There will be Soviet labor camps and Soviet torture chambers well into our grandchildren’s lives.”


No permits for handguns?

Bi-partisan, or bi-polar?

AN ACT to repeal the state law that requires a person to obtain a license or permit to purchase, sell, give away, receive, or otherwise transfer a pistol or crossbow.

I keep looking at my calendar to make sure it's not April 1st. It's not. It's strange enough that a cop would be a primary sponsor of this bill, but when I saw a recent candidate for NCDP Chair had co-sponsored this craziness, my brain just sort of slipped into neutral and revved for a few moments.

Republicans attack speck, ignore mote

And the budget gap keeps getting wider:

AN ACT to suspend the motor fuel excise tax with an offset.

Whereas, the economic downturn has adversely affected the citizens of the State of North Carolina; and

Whereas, the high rate of tax paid on motor fuels further depletes the limited economic resources of the citizens needed for necessaries

32.5 cents out of that $3.50 a gallon is what they're talking about, when they should be talking about the $2.10 part that is generated by speculators unleashed by the Republican Party back in 2000.

Stifling the voice of reason

National Public Radio under attack by Republicans:

The House on Thursday voted to end federal funding to National Public Radio. Republican supporters said it made good fiscal sense, and Democratic opponents called it an ideological attack

That's all these idiots know how to do: Tear things down. Hopefully the U.S. Senate will quash this ignorance, but the race to mediocrity, in DC and in Raleigh, will continue.

Misguided resistance to municipal broadband

Here's the bill currently being considered:

Level Playing Field/Local Gov't Competition. AN ACT to protect jobs and investment by regulating local government competition with private business.

This bill is flawed in several ways, but first let's look at that "regulating local government" thing. For a GOP-led Legislature that rarely misses an opportunity to bash the Federal government for pushing states around, they are flexing their muscles over municipalities like there's no tomorrow. But like several other issues being debated, that irony is lost on them.

Wake school board warned: 12 months to get shit together

Or thousands of students will lose accreditation:

Saying the Wake County school board has created a climate of uncertainty and mistrust in the community, the accreditation agency AdvancEd has placed Wake County high schools on "accreditation warned" status, giving the system a year to fix a series of issues or risking losing accreditation.

Hopefully it won't take a year for the board to figure out what's more important: Ideology and pride, or the future hopes and dreams of the students in their charge.

Nuke plant rate hike legislation delayed

But definitely not forgotten:

“They were going to introduce (the legislation) this week,” Duke Energy Chief Executive Jim Rogers told the N.C. Utilities Commission on Tuesday afternoon. “The decision was made that this would not be the best week to do it, but it will be done before the end of the session.”

Just to be clear, the dangers associated with nuke plants is really a side issue, although it may seem like a big issue right now. The focus should remain on ratepayers being forced to pay dearly for a project that may never be completed, and that banks wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

In the shadow of Voter ID controversy, Charter bill slinks forward

Normal business, or Legislative sleight-of-hand?:

The House Education Committee voted today to allow up to 50 new charter schools each year and to set minimum enrollment and growth standards.

Okay, it's slightly better than the Senate bill, and it's still got Committee work to be done (Finance). But to push this thing forward today, while all eyes were focused on the hugely controversial Voter ID Card bill, smacks of opportunism and a desire to work in the shadows.

County election boards to issue (picture) ID cards

What were the Republicans saying about costly redundancy?:

The State Board of Elections shall provide each county board of elections issuing North Carolina voter identification cards with the necessary equipment, forms, supplies, and training for the production of the North Carolina voter identification cards and shall maintain such equipment.

Oh, that's brilliant. Why utilize the DMV's people and ID card machines when you can buy 100 new machines and equip and train hundreds of people to use them? Idiots.


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