scharrison's blog

Senator Hagan pens op-ed on payday lending

Kay gets a blue star for taking the time to educate the public, especially since she's not (currently) running for office:

These loans seem innocuous enough. Borrowers offer checks dated days later in exchange for a "short-term" loan. Most people borrow small amounts of money to cover unexpected expenses, like a medical bill or car repair.

But there's a catch. Predatory lenders trap borrowers into an endless cycle of debt.

Administration clueless on offshore drilling hazards

Gibbs' glib statement should be viewed for what it is, an embarassment:

"In all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last," Gibbs told reporters.

Lautenberg and Menendez, who have long opposed offshore drilling, said 509 oil rig fires have broken out in the Gulf of Mexico since 2006.

NC's green economy (continued)

Before you can create a program to improve North Carolina’s economic outlook and employment woes, a thorough understanding of the state’s business demographics is critical.

Today we're going to try to put you "in the seat" of running a small business, in an attempt to expose some of the roadblocks to economic recovery. Scoot your chair up to the desk, and let's get to work.

N&O plays a dangerous game

In their quest to fill in content gaps, the N&O is giving column space to war propagandists:

I take it personally: Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wants to murder me, my family and my people.

An Israeli attack might harm U.S. interests and disrupt international oil supplies (though I doubt it would cause direct attacks on U.S. installations, troops or vessels). But, from the Israeli perspective, these are necessarily marginal considerations when compared with the mortal hurt Israel and Israelis would suffer from an Iranian nuclear attack.

Battling misinformation on cap and trade

Retired Duke Energy exec spins a yarn in a Charlotte Observer editorial:

From Bill Coley of Charlotte, former president of Duke Power:

The idea of global warming/climate change as a phenomenon is debatable, with good scientific minds taking positions on both sides of the issue. Some very bright scientists are convinced of the concept - and some equally qualified scientists are not convinced at all.

And there are still some "qualified" scientists who doubt that smoking can lead to lung cancer. But the vast majority of their colleagues know better.

Monkeytime tonight: roundtable discussion of Senate candidates

There may not actually be a round table involved, but Jack Betts and Cash Michaels will be there:

We'll be discussing the three major candidates, Ken Lewis, Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham - talking about their histories, their strengths and weaknesses, the chances any of them have unseating Richard Burr in a year expected to be good for Republicans, etc. Folks can call in, too.

Monkeytime will air live on Raleigh Television, Time Warner cable access channel 10, from 8-9pm on Wed, April 21st. The number to call is 996-6775 (it'll be up on screen).

Thanks for the heads-up, Todd.

Earth Day alert: appliance rebates may run out quickly

The sale starts Thursday, and you may not want to wait 'til the weekend:

In Florida, consumers snapped up that state's allotment of $17.6 million in a day and a half. In Illinois, it took 11 hours for the second half of its $12.4 million to disappear when it became available Friday.

In North Carolina, $8.8 million is available.

News connections: coastal development

How often when you're reading the paper or watching the news do you recognize links or common denominators between two or more stories? If it happens a lot, don't worry; it's not a foible, it's a sign of applied discretion that aids in better understanding. As an example, we'll compare a municipal dispute in Nag's Head:

The North Carolina coastal town of Nags Head has sued nearly 20 owners of damaged vacation homes who haven't responded to town orders to demolish or relocate their homes.

Tedesco sends poor students back to the 'hood

And so it begins:

Was it fair to move some 100 Garner High School students to Southeast Raleigh High this fall without prior notice or a public hearing?

As noted in today's article, the way the Garner High students were moved for this fall still leaves a bad taste in some people's mouths. Unlike past practice, the moves were made without a public hearing for those families. It was also done on very short notice.

Expanding North Carolina's green economy

There is much talk these days of the “Green Economy” and the “Green Jobs” it will produce, but what does that really mean for North Carolina?

This is the opening sentence of an experimental foray into the production of more formal policy recommendations, often referred to as "white papers." Any feedback from the readers here would be greatly appreciated. More below the fold.

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