scharrison's blog

Another NC Senate Democrat bows out

Senator Larry Shaw of Cumberland County announced today that he will not run for reelection:

State Sen. Larry Shaw of Fayetteville announced today this will be his last year in the General Assembly.

The seven-term Democrat said he won't seek re-election, ending speculation for months about his political plans.

"It's time to move on," Shaw said. "It's time to let someone else have a shot at it."

Obama's energy plan leaves much to be desired

At first glance, it doesn't appear to be much different from Bush the Younger's:

With the climate legislation stalled in Congress, however, many of Obama's allies find themselves divided by the president's push for new offshore drilling, his budget's tripling of loan guarantees for nuclear power plants, and his repeated use of the phrase "clean coal," which the coal industry uses as shorthand for still unproven and uneconomic technologies that could limit carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants.

High-speed rail: would you ride?

From a News & Record editorial:

The goal is to move passenger trains along a 500-mile route from Charlotte to Washington, D.C., at top speeds of 90-110 mph and an average speed of 86 mph. That won't match the "bullet trains" in Europe, Japan and China that reach tremendous speeds, but it would mark a significant improvement over current performance. Amtrak schedules say the "Crescent" can deliver a Greensboro passenger to Washington in six hours, 12 minutes, while the "Carolinian" takes seven hours, 47 minutes. If the train can't beat driving time, its appeal is limited.

D'Annunzio drops the "F" word

Not that one, the other "f" word:

D'Annunzio has called himself a "conservative first and then a Republican second." He blasts what he calls President Obama's "radical socialist" agenda.

"I don't tiptoe around that, that's what it is," he said Monday. "I do it a favor calling it 'socialism.' What we're experiencing is more a combination of socialism and fascism."

Blackwater under investigation for bribery

Your tax dollars at work:

The investigation, which was confirmed by three current and former officials speaking on condition of anonymity, follows a report in The New York Times in November that top executives at Blackwater had authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials to buy their support after the shooting. The newspaper account said it could not determine whether any bribes were actually paid or identify Iraqi officials who might have received the money.

Honoring the Greensboro Four

Today's opening of the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro happening on the 50th anniversary of the Woolworth's sit-in is cause to reflect:

On Feb. 1, 1960, McCain, McNeil, Khazan (then known as Ezell Blair Jr.) and David Richmond, students at N.C. A&T University, sat down at the whites-only Woolworth lunch counter and ordered coffee. They remained until the store closed, even as they were refused service and were asked to leave.

State Supreme Court to address same-sex adoption

The legality of same-sex adoption in North Carolina is called into question in this brief (pdf) headed to the State Supreme Court:

The legality of same-sex adoptions in North Carolina is a question of vital importance to adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents, judges, clerks, lawyers, DHHS, and the citizens of this State. If contrary to law, such adoptions should not be allowed.

Richard Burr and Lejeune families

The issues surrounding the contamination of drinking wells on Camp Lejeune several decades ago and the health impact for families exposed, are both sad and complex. I'm not going to attempt to solve them here, but I am going to take a look at one of the major actors in this controversy: Senator Richard Burr.

Serving two masters

Just stumbled across this while debating an issue over at Ed Cone's place:

The U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies have begun lobbying against Democratic proposals that would limit their spending on political campaigns.

President Barack Obama has called for legislation tightening election spending rules, following a Supreme Court decision last week striking down bans against corporate spending.

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