scharrison's blog

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.

Kudos to the News & Observer

I've been trying to keep my eye on editorials lately, but this one from a few days ago slipped by me:

When individuals make political contributions, at least they are making a personal sacrifice of sorts. But a CEO initiating an ad campaign for or against a candidate will simply be making a business decision as to how his company's funds should be invested in light of the potential payback. If the payback is favorable legislative treatment that could mean big savings in, say, avoidance of pollution controls, then the decision in the boardroom is likely to be, "Go for it!"

SELC writes Governor Perdue re: Titan Cement

StarNews has published a letter dated yesterday detailing the reasons why Governor Perdue should halt permitting for Titan Cement's Castle Hayne project:

Governor Perdue, with the recent scandals uncovered by the news media, the public has lost confidence in the objectivity of regulatory decisions by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources ("DENR"), and questions whether the agency is acting in the public interest.

Richard Burr misleads veterans...again

The wisdom (or lack of) surrounding the combined wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is one of the most debated issues of our time, but what is not debatable is the terrible impact those wars have had on the men and women in uniform who have served in those theaters. And, for many, coming home presents a whole new set of obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is navigating the labyrinthine maze to access benefits that can help them find their way. But for people like Senator Burr, this issue is merely an opportunity for posturing.

NC Republicans: coal ash is good

In yet another stunning example of how North Carolina Republicans put industry ahead of the well-being of their own constituents, they are opposing efforts to declare hazardous substances as hazardous:

With the Environmental Protection Agency expected to release its proposed regulations for power plant coal ash any day now, there is an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying effort by industry interests hoping to keep the waste from being declared hazardous and thus subject to the strictest federal oversight.

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