Sen. Burr: Less Money to Prepare for Bioterrorism

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, has said there will be less money coming to the states to prepare for bioterror attacks, because some states misused the money allotted them in the past. He then went on to say there were fewer restrictions on how the money could be used than there will be on future legislation. In other words, the committee did a poor job writing the legislation and outlining exactly what expenses could be covered.

Find out more on the flip side..

National News Roundup 3/21

Happy Primary Election Day in Illinois. Good luck! I just love the excitement of election day!

From The Washington Post: Even the President's success stories about the war are failures. Old forecasts about the war have been proven completely and utterly wrong - our soldiers were greeted with IEDs, not flowers - big, BIG difference. FBI wouldn't let one of their agents get a warrant to question Moussaoui before 9/11. Maybe he shouldn't be the only one on trial. Chertoff's a smart guy, but the wrong one for the job. Isn't the cow already out of the barn on this one?

From The New York Times: You just had to know the insurance companies would find a way into the terror business, right? Republicans pitch to firefighter's union: "We know we stink, but the Democrats are worse." Western states facing droughts and flood - those red states musta ticked God off BIG TIME.

More news on the flip side..

November Madness?

Here's some light reading to send you off to bed. Someone has been fantasizing about how life might be if 08's big show were more like the NCAA tournament:

No election, not even for president,
drives people happily crazy. During March Madness, people argue
about rankings, slip away to study statistics and pick their
brackets, then duck work to spend hours watching the contests.

When was the last time thousands
eagerly viewed the Iowa caucuses, cheering wildly when 10 guys
gathered by a blackboard in Waterloo for John Edwards or John
McCain?

SitNews - Column: What politics could learn from basketball By MARSHA MERCER. She's describing BlueNC, right?

While North Carolina Cannot Connect Durham and Raleigh, China Builds Train to go 260 MPH

I have been watching the debate and negative response to the TTA's proposed 18 mile diesel train route between Raleigh and Durham, and before they can even get anything together, China announces that they are building a train to travel over 1,300 kilometers at over 350 km/hr. The train will use magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction.

So, the supposedly tech-rich Triangle cannot get a diesel train going while China can build a super-advanced high-speed train. This is just one more example of America losing its competitive edge. Of course, we cannot produce engineers to supply large companies when we do not provide the funding that projects that would encourage advances in engineering. I am sure that we will be the world's leader in building roads (a technology as old as history) but we need some imagination, vision, and commitment to progressing toward a better society.

A Question for Our Readers: Sunday Hunting

North Carolina is one of a few states that still limit or prohibit hunting on Sundays. The NRA's North Carolina lobbyist resigned on Valentine's Day because he didn't want to be a part of changing a law aimed at keeping the Lord's sabbath holy. (I have to wonder: has this guy never played golf on a Sunday?)

Anyway, here's the question: is there a good reason for a state (such as, say, North Carolina) to restrict hunting on Sunday that doesn't also apply to the other six days of the week?

US House Notices North Carolina's Progressive Leadership

Reuters is reporting that a bipartisan group of US House members are looking at crafting a national law using NC's payday-lending legislation as a model.

"A bipartisan group of congressional members are working with consumer and industry groups in an attempt to fashion legislation patterned after North Carolina's law," [Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer] Bachus said. "If a consensus can be reached, a mark-up will be held."

Monday Morning Action Plan

With everything else that is going on in the world many people haven't noticed the attack by the Bush administration on some of our most precious treasures. The President has planned to make up for a shortfall in funds for rural schools by selling off the logging lands in our National Forests to make up the difference. Yes, that's right. He's selling off the land base making it even more difficult to meet the demands satisfied by logging sales. Only an idiot, right?

Steps for action on the flip side..

Thank the Gov. for Efforts to Protect Forests

Governor Easley filed a petition with the US Secretary of Agriculture to protect the roadless areas in the National Forests within our borders and to protest the Forest Service's plan to sell off National Forest lands to benefit rural schools out west (story). Consider clicking this link to email the Gov. with a word of thanks.

Proposed Mercury Rules Don't Even Qualify as a Bandaid

This from a letter published by the News & Observer:

Debate has boiled down to a simple but vitally important equation: Does North Carolina protect higher profits for electric utilities or does it protect the health of our children?

On March 10, the state Environmental Management Commission proposed its answer, and while industry stockholders should feel safe, those concerned about children's health should be worried.

Read it and wonder how a commmittee—appointed by Democrat Mike Easley, Democrat Marc Basnight, and Democrat Jim Black—can blow it so badly.

National News Roundup 3/20

From The Washington Post: Bush remains blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to the war. Press is finally getting the right picture of a completely disorganized, inept Republican party. The Pentagon paid this man millions for useless technology thanks to the Republicans he bribed. Speaking of the Pentagon....now they are outsourcing sensitive intelligence jobs.

From The New York Times: Bush and Cheney are the only two people in the world who think things are going well in Iraq. Iran, like America is a country where its people and its leaders sing a different tune. There is hope. Not all Bush cronies are incompetent jerks, but we're still going to give him time.

More great stories found on the flip side...

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