Burr's smoke scream

Adam Linker at the NC Health Access Coalition, today makes mincemeat out of Senator Burr's laughable attempt to position himself as a leader in solving America's health care challenges. Find it here.

When politicians get nervous that they have done nothing to advance a cause dear to many of their constituents, the savvy politico will file a bill with a catchy name to misrepresent his or her voting record. That way, the politician can at least claim that he or she did something. The proposed alternative bill is always a dead letter - a political smokescreen with no co-sponsors, no support, and no hope of passing.

Call Now! Final Senate Vote on School Violence Prevention Act is later today

Still having computer issues, so just copying and pasting an email from EqualityNC. Please read and follow through.

Yesterday afternoon the NC Senate voted 25-22 to pass the School Violence Prevention Act on the first of two votes! The second vote will be today.

If it passes again today, the bill will go to the House for consideration, and will meet the important "Crossover" deadline for bills to be considered this year.

Will you take a minute to call your Senator and thank them or express your disappointment on how they voted?

You can look up your Senator and their phone number at this link: http://eqfed.org/ct/upscq7E1rEz3/

Then, check how they voted below.

***Voted FOR School Violence Prevention Act with Enumeration***

Organic food prices in NC continue to drop, plus fruit indulgence

Organic food prices continue to drop to an average of $1.65 per meal per person since the high of $1.88 in February, using the Cook for Good menu plan. Regular meals are up a penny to $1.16. You can go green for $0.52 a meal or 44% more total for the month.

See more details below, plus learn why splurging on strawberry shortcake is an affordable indulgence after all.

A small example of why things get so screwed up

We all know that lobbying on behalf of businesses distorts the legislative process. Companies of all shapes and sizes waddle up to the public trough, throwing out whatever cases they can conjure to protect their bottom lines.

That's happening again this week in reaction to a bill proposed by Paul Stam, the Republican lunatic representing Apex. Only this time, Stam is right. He's looking for ways to help local governments save a few bucks, and the businesses that would lose their monopoly are crying foul.

Swine flu and North Carolina factory farming

Opponents of factory hog farming have long argued that the practice is a disaster waiting to happen. Facing South today connects some alarming dots.

Scientists working to understand the genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus that causes the disease have linked it to a virus behind a 1998 swine flu outbreak at an industrial hog farm in Sampson County, North Carolina's leading hog producer.

Will doctors now do the State's dirty work?

Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the North Carolina Medical Board can't punish physicians who violate their sacred oaths by helping the state execute death row inmates. Today, Dr. Charles van der Horst, pushed back by drawing a bright line in the bloody sand. Please read his column in the News and Observer.

On Mercury, Cliffside, and Convenient Ignorance

Some of you may wonder why I have yet to speak out about the recent acquiescence by DAQ in the issuance of a new air quality permit for Duke Energy's Cliffside #6 coal-fired power plant. Frankly, the DAQ's complete reversal from its previous position last fall knocked my legs out from under me, and every time I think about it I see red. It's a good thing I didn't attend the recent protest, because I'd probably still be locked up. That being said, this discussion must continue, and it must be based on the real-world dangers associated with this reckless project.

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