scharrison's blog

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.

Just when you thought it was safe: Robin Hayes, in 3d

One more thing to watch out for when the propaganda wave crashes over us:

The American Majority Project (AMP) is the new kid on the block, a 527 group -- meaning it is allowed by law to accept unlimited contributions -- formed in recent days with the backing of Republican heavyweights such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and an advisory board that includes former congressman Robin Hayes (N.C.), former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan and GOP superlawyer Ben Ginsberg.

Facing the barrage

Arriving on top of other setbacks and ominous portends for the Democratic Party's outlook in the upcoming 2010 campaign, the Supreme Court's decision (fat pdf) in Citizens United v FEC almost seems like a knock-out punch, and one we can't summon the strength to block. But block it we must, or we could be faced with a U.S. Congress and N.C. General Assembly hell-bent on pushing millions of Americans off the path to progress.

Feed a blue dog, get bitten in return

Three Democratic Senators have joined with Republicans to block EPA efforts to regulate CO2:

Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas have signed onto a resolution introduced Thursday by Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The measure, which must pass Congress and be signed by the President, would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations to control greenhouse gases.

Governor Perdue resists health care reform

Joining with four other Dem Governors and one Republican Governor, Bev added her signature to a letter fighting the expansion of generic drugs:

Six governors -- five Democrats and one Republican -- wrote Obama Tuesday in opposition to his consideration of scrapping language in the healthcare bill granting brand-name biotechnology companies 12 years of market exclusivity before their products face competition generic versions of their products, known as biosimilars or follow-on biogics . Obama is weighing a shorter period, perhaps 10 years, as favored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and other liberals.

N&O covers Titan e-mails

Lynn Bonner at the N&O does a pretty good write-up of behind-the-scenes plotting by Titan officials to avoid SEPA review:

In a July 22, 2008, e-mail to economic development officials and Merritt, Marino Papazoglou, director of business development for Titan, wanted to know "why we were not made aware of the link between SEPA and incentives" and whether they could approach environmental assistant secretary Robin Smith for help.

Merritt replied via e-mail that he planned to call then-Commerce Secretary Jim Fain about it. "Please, no one make contact on this matter until you hear back from me," Merritt wrote.

This little piggy couldn't go anywhere,

because he had no legs:

Dutch scientists have been growing pork in the laboratory since 2006, and while they admit they haven't gotten the texture quite right or even tasted the engineered meat, they say the technology promises to have widespread implications for our food supply.

That'll do, pig.

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