It was a mistake

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I don't know who Joe Sinsheimer is, but he sure seems to have a lot of clout. He writes a personal letter to Joe Hackney alleging ethics problems in North Carolina politics, and boom, the news media are all over it. 'When will Hackney respond?,' they ask. 'I'll get to it when I get to it,' he says.

In the spirit of Joe Sinsheimer, I am also writing letters. Mine are going to Joe Hackney, Marc Basnight, and Mike Easley. And like Sinsheimer, my letters are about ethics in North Carolina politics.



By now it is clear that the so-called North Carolina Education Lottery is an idea whose time has come and gone. The desired income is not materializing, and new proposals to fritter away additional proceeds to stimulate more participation are too reminiscent of pushers hooking teenagers on crack. Today's story in the News and Observer lays the sad situation out for all to see:

Open thread: Easter eve

From a comment by Parmea:

Well Navy, here is a lesson learned.

Do not lie to the people you're about to steal lands from.
Come to us with a need and not a trumped up want.
Create a working dialog vice a contemptuous attitude.
Be forthright and honest with us.
Present facts that are quantifiable.
Perform all the studies needed and required.
Ensure your ducks are in a row before you start something like this.
Do not go after the poor or middle class just because you think we are stupid.

Hope your weekend is going better than the Navy guys in charge of the OLF fiasco. Anybody doing the Easter Bunny thing besides me? I love spring. Especially when the pollen passes.


Another example of unethical legislative work creating unfair favoritism of select few

In 2003 a tuition grant clause was slipped into the state budget favoring certain students by granting free tuition at UNC campuses for graduates of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the prestigious state boarding school in Durham. The provision was slipped in during budget planning by a Senator chairing the appropriations committee.

Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, is the driving force behind the tuition grant. She used her influence as chairwoman of an appropriations committee to insert the grant into the budget.

Poor Puppets Get No Respect

You'd think with all their connections, the Art Pope Puppetshow would be able to pull a few strings and get this bastion of right-wing-nuttery to agree with their views on North Carolina taxation. But alas, the Puppets' whacked out "reports" decrying our state's miserable business climate get no respect.

(Forbes) magazine ranked five metropolitan statistical areas in North Carolina among the top 25, led by Raleigh-Cary at No. 1. Raleigh-Cary was the national runner-up the past three years. Durham was ranked seventh, Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury was 21st, Asheville was 23rd and Winston-Salem was 24th. The Greensboro-High Point MSA was ranked 61st overall.

Governments Try to Control Language about Climate Change

I guess the United States isn't the only country where the government tries to tell scientists what their data actually says or should say. According to articles out in news media around the world, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries have joined the United States in requesting/requiring that scientists tone down the dire warnings contained in reports on Global Warming.

From the LA Times:

A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.

Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action.

More below the fold...

OLF prayers

Here's a good story in the Virginia Pilot, with this excellent graphic summarizing the OLF debate. Read the captions: There are no good choices for an OLF in North Carolina.

And then read the prayer:

Before sunrise, Wayne Winslow prayed loudly that a jet airfield would not be built in Perquimans County. His voice carried outside the Up River Friends Meeting chapel and above the rooster crowing nearby. But in the end, he was not demanding. "I pray your most perfect will be done regarding the OLF," Winslow said, kneeling on the floor at the front of the chapel.


Good morning, Tim

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And good morning everyone! Please join me in welcoming my friend Tim Toben to BlueNC today. If you want an on-the-ground, behind-the-scenes view of environmental issues here in North Carolina, this is the place to be.

Tim should be online for an hour or so, starting around 8.


Ever since Liddy Dole hired Brian Nick to oversee the end of her political career, I've been waiting to see the guy in action. The Dole campaign just released it first quarter numbers, and it's clear he plays a sloppy game of bullshit.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole raised more than $1.7 million during the first quarter of 2007, her campaign said Thursday. More than 9,000 donors contributed to Dole's re-election campaign, and the senior senator from North Carolina hauled in more than $1 million in March alone. Dole had hoped to raise that much during the entire quarter ending March 31.

"To almost double that number is a huge outpouring of support," said Dole adviser Brian Nick, adding that she has more than $1.5 million in cash on hand. Federal financial reports are due April 15.


When dogma rules, We all lose.

I wrote yesterday about two progressive Domestic Violence laws ratified by the General Assembly this week. Many of you were touched by the issue as a whole. I was trying to shine at least a dim light on the people who help women get out of destructive abusive or violent relationships.

In recent weeks, others here at blueNC have written eloquently about the outlandish and discriminatory 'Defense of Marriage' laws and constitutional ammendments currently being pushed by mindless dogmatic radicals like Called2Action and Fred Smith.

Those are two issues, mildly related, but independent enough that one couldn't overlap the other.



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