Despite all the whining from the government haters on the right, North Carolina continues to attract investments from growing businesses. It seems like every week brings announcements of relocations and expansions, like this one reported today.
Merck & Co. plans to invest about $100 million to expand its vaccine manufacturing facility in Durham if approved by county commissioners, the governor's office announced Thursday. The planned 115,000-square-foot expansion, which would create another 50 to 60 jobs, includes a sterile processing facility, testing labs and packaging areas, according to Gov. Mike Easley's office. The pharmaceutical giant began constructing the facility in 2004, and expects it to be completed next year.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:24am
The Charlotte Observer has an interesting article about the speaker's race this morning. According to the article:
Black's withdrawal launched a scramble for votes by at least seven Democrats vying to succeed him. The contest is so wide open that Democrats are debating how the votes will be taken, as well as who receives them. Candidates and key lawmakers shuttled in and out of Black's corner suite at the Legislative Building all day long, ordering in pizza like a campaign war room.
Ordering in pizza? Sounds like a high stress situation to me....or not.
The article goes on to say how powerful the speaker is. I guess they thought nobody in North Carolina was aware of Jim Black and his power. That's just it, though. The power goes with the seat and we need to make sure the person selected will know how to wield that power to the benefit of the North Carolinians who aren't warming seats in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Kirk Ross at Exile on Jones Street covers state politics as well as anyone and better than most. His entry today has photographs of the handful of people who have thrown their hats into the big oily ring Jim Black is leaving behind. And guess what? They're all men.
I'm not naive enough to think that women are the cure-all for political malfeasance, but they sure as hell can't do any worse than men have. And so I call on the women in the legislature to get their act together and take charge.
A couple of women were the first to speak publicly about the need for a new speaker last spring, a time when not a single big, bad man was saying squat.
PS I confess to bias in favor of women, which I first wrote about here at BlueNC.
Submitted by George Pence on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 4:44pm
True to earlier reports that Patrick McHenry has become the designated pit bull for House Republicans, there's a quote offered from the quarrelsome Congressman in today's Washington Times. This staunchly conservative paper has been making much of a mention in the Ethics Panel report on the Mark Foley scandal that Rahm Emmanuel may have had early knowledge of Foley's unpleasant e-mails. The Washington Times is trying to expand this insinuation into a story, without any corroboration, that Emmanuel shopped the e-mails to newspapers before November's election.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 3:09pm
Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic steering committee members have made an excellent decision in placing Heath Shuler on the Transportation and Infrastruction Committee.
Anyone who either grew up in North Carolina or has lived here for any time knows that one of our major issues is and always has been roads. Heath Shuler will be in a position to possibly bring us some help. OK, I know this committee deals with so much more than roads, but it was the first thing I thought about when I saw the announcement.
I may be showing that I just don't know how these things work. I don't think I'm talking about pork, because I know some transportation projects are funded with pork. I guess, I'm assuming that when states/cities are looking for federal aide for roads projects, this is the committee that makes the decisions about which project gets their funding. It's encouraging to think that our state might not have to fight so hard to get its fair share.
Now that we have “brown sweater” mystery cleared up…
As many of you already know, I’m an Edwards supporter, so I attend a lot of events in North Carolina where Senator or Mrs. Edwards will be appearing. In fact, I vlogged one of the campaign events Edwards did for Shuler and the event where Edwards stumped for Kissell. But, I hadn’t really planned on going to the Hardball event until I got a call letting me know that there were a few VIP tickets available for bloggers. VIP tickets for bloggers? Hmmm…that was something I thought I shouldn’t pass up, but reinforce with the Edwards’ camp that we, bloggers, are ready to take our place at the table.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 11:48am
The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Senator Elizabeth Dole has had surgery, and no, it isn't to nip and tuck those pesky wrinkles. Nor was it to fix the zipper in the back of her head.
Elizabeth Dole has had one of her hips replaced and could possibly be ready to report to work when everyone else in the Senate does on January 4, 2007.
I realize this surgery is getting more and more common, but my grandmother had one of her hips replaced a few years ago and has had a difficult recovery. She is a bit older than Dole now, but was about the same age when she had the surgery.
Senator Dole might be in a bit better health overall than my grandmother was, but if her recovery goes as slowly, Dole could face a difficult re-election.
Submitted by gregflynn on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 10:34am
The John Locke Foundation and Freedomworks are orchestrating an imminent media flurry of Bill Graham friendly anti-tax snow-jobs over a non-issue by claiming that an "option" to tax will result in a $1 billion tax hike. They are hoping to get a lot of mileage from a 4-page "report", replete with "ifs", "mights", "coulds" and "woulds"..
Dick Armey himself sent this FreedomWorks alert out Monday Dec 11th:
My fellow freedom-loving friends, I have an urgent message for you. Legislators in Raleigh are planning a new $1 billion tax hike for North Carolina. As our friends at the John Locke Foundation have pointed out in a new study, “Their scheme would take one cent from the 2.5-cent local sales tax and give it to the state. In exchange, the state would give local governments the option to raise the sales tax rate by another cent.”
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