Water Quality Battle Looms

When most people contemplate water pollution, they picture riverside factory pipes spewing an unholy concoction of steaming bubbly chemical stuff. Which did/does happen, but those source point polluters are easy to find and deal with, which we have done rather well. But when our water quality didn't really improve much, we realized we had a bigger problem, and one that would be much harder to deal with. Stormwater runoff is the single biggest polluter of our water systems in North Carolina, and it's long past the time for our leaders to face the music and start dealing with it. For the General Assembly members reading this, I have two things to say: it won't be cheap, and it can't be postponed.

New NC Chamber leaders oppose women's pay equity

On Tuesday, February 3, the NC Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as NCCBI - NC Citizens for Business and Industry), will hosts its government affairs conference in Raleigh. State legislative and government leaders will attend and speak.

What is offensive is that this organization under the new leadership of a Mr. Lew Ebert (previously of Kansas and Pennsylvania) opposed the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

See their email alert here

While most small businesses may not be members of the statewide NC Chamber, many local chambers of commerce throughout the state affiliate with this organization. People at the local level should urge their local chambers of commerce to express their disbelief that the formerly well-respected NC Chamber has sunk to the new low of opposing equal pay for women in the workplace.

Bank of America owes North Carolinians an apology

(cross-posted at dKos)

Let's give credit where credit is due -- Bank of America, and its previous incarnations as NCNB and NationsBank, played a major role in North Carolina's massive economic growth of the past 30 years. Admittedly, it was almost out of necessity--back in the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of banks down here were deathly afraid of being swallowed up by the big New York banks. The solution? Make yourself too rich to eat.

Today, we learn that Bank of America has slapped our state in the face. The AP reports (hat tip to pkbarbiegirl at dKos) that the 12 banks receiving the most from the federal bailout sought permission to bring thousands of foreign workers here for high-paying jobs. According to this NYT chart, Bank of America received $45 billion from the bailout -- more than any bank except Citigroup.

Unless I'm very wrong here, this can only mean one thing -- Bank of America has slapped its home state in the face, and owes it an apology.

Sunday fun

As some of you know, I'm on a global mission to promote the wisdom of Do good, be nice, have fun. Just in time for the new Obama administration. So I was more than delighted when a friend of a friend put together this funny little video. Even Smitty liked it! Shocking!




Schofield on Berry

Who knows how we can recall the incompetent ideologue recently elected as Commissioner of Labor? Either that, or rename her Commissioner of Management.

Since that time, Commissioner Cherie Berry has pursued what might be most charitably described as a "minimalist" approach to her job. Though paying official lip service to the notion that workplace safety is her top priority, Berry has done virtually nothing in eight years to advance that cause in a new or affirmative way. For the most part, she has pursued an approach in which she purports to work with employers in a cooperative rather than and adversarial manner. In reality, it has been an approach in which she mostly does what she can to minimize fines and other tough enforcement actions.

A Dream Of Peace (NC Congressman Works To Ease Humanitarian Crisis In Gaza)

In response to the recent Gaza War, a fundraising page was set up on ActBlue.com in order to contribute to elected officials who have been supportive of the peoples of Israel and Palestine. The page is called A Dream of Peace: Justice and Equality for The People of Israel and Palestine, and can be found here.

The mission of the page states "All of the people of the Holy Land need to live in peace and security. We need to support and elect candidates that are willing to stand up for the rights of the citizens of Israel and Palestine. These candidates support measures to stop violence, increase economic and humanitarian aid, actively engage in negotiation, and promote co-existence among these two Peoples."

To Be Young, Gifted, and Democratic

With the State Executive Committee occurring tomorrow and the election of our new party officers, recent events have made me reflect about the barriers that are in place against young Democrats being elected to party and other elected offices. And I think it's even more of a struggle for young Democratic women.

For those who think about running for any kind of office, a balance must always be maintained (however precarious) among family, professional life, and politics. However, this balance is even more difficult for those just starting out in their careers, especially those with young children. Or else they may be in school or, if they are out of school, having to battle loan payments and other debt. There is certainly an advantage for those who are retired, wealthy, have a dependable second income from a spouse (or family money), or have a job that allows them flexible hours. To be sure, so-called Young Democrats are not alone in these issues...Democrats in their 30s, 40s, and 50s face similar concerns.

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