Recently Duke Energy received permission from the State of North Carolina to build a new coal fired power plant in Cliffside, North Carolina. Despite the facts that this new plant could be a major polluter of CO2, mercury, and evaporate 21 million gallons of water each day. You can find all the details here on NC Warn's website.

50 State Blog Roundup - 2/22/08

Rick Renzi's under indictment, Sue Myrick gets caught with her fingers in the cookie jar - possibly legally, Patrick McHenry has questions surrounding just about everything he does, John Shadegg can't make up his mind. How many more Republicans will get caught up in legal or ethical controversies prior to November?

One way to stay on top of this is to follow along with the state blogs. We're discussing our congress critters and their shenanigans long before it hits the national scene. Stop by. Check us out. You too can be the first to know.

Pat Smathers Takes The Crisis Seriously

urgent.jpgPat Smathers is running for Lieutenant Governor, and he's the first candidate to demonstrate an understanding of the depth, breadth, and urgency of our mental health care crisis. In an email sent yesterday in advance of the Mental Health Coalition Forum on Monday in Raleigh, Smathers tells it like it is:

"We must begin an honest conversation about how we can improve mental health care statewide."
Our mental health system is in crisis. North Carolina is ranked 43rd in the nation for per capita mental health spending. Privatization of the system in 2001, hailed as a solution, has resulted in the closure of hospitals and clinics and ultimately made it harder for many North Carolinians to get help. Our current mental health system is a haphazard array of chronically under-funded programs that have failed all North Carolinians, but most especially our rural residents and veterans."

Mayor Smathers hits the nail on the head. The gang in Raleigh has kicked this can down the road for years, watching as the system grew more and more fragile. With too few exceptions, Raleigh politicians have allowed and encouraged the decline and crisis in our mental health system. Smathers' outsider status couldn't be more welcome than it is in the mental health care crisis arena. Raleigh politicians have cut funding, laughed off the State consultant's recommendations, and counted on public apathy to ignore their failures.

Germany, Blackwater and Womble Carlyle

Via Blackwater watch, this story of a country operating with integrity, honor and decency.

German weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch said it would end its relationship with Blackwater after media reported that the controversial US-run military firm was using its guns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater, a private security company which has been contracted to protect high-profile US officials and foreign dignitaries in Iraq, had been using Heckler & Koch machine guns in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama's Team Comes to NC

The Obama Team hit NC today to start laying the groundwork for their campaign operations here. By standing in for a well-connected friend, I managed to attend. We heard a great presentation from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and some of their top fundraising staff.

Dome already scooped me with gossip on some of the heavy-hitters who were there. But I want to tell you about some of the more interesting details.

We got a great overview of the delegate math. They feel that if they can win or pull a draw in Texas and Ohio the race should be over. Basically if they can net delegates on March 4, it would be nearly impossible for Clinton to win enough delegates. Of course they hope she'd pull out. If not, they're planning for a long hard fight.

Sue Myrick Spends Almost $1.3 Million Advertising with her Family Ad Firm

Dating from the 1996 election cycle to the 2006 election cycle, Sue Myrick has spent approximately $1,294,869 on media buys and other advertising through her family's advertising firm, now known as Myrick Gunter Advertising. From what I know, that's all perfectly legal, but was it necessary?

In that same time period her opponents have raised a total of about $217,312. Myrick had won by huge margins garnering at least 69% of the vote until last year when she received 67%. Her job appears safe. Her district is one of the most Republican congressional districts in the state.

Worst Person In The World*

cross-posted from The Progressive Pulse.

Max Borders.

Borders is a policy analyst and media coordinator at Art Pope's Civitas Institute, and contributes to their blog Red Clay Citizen. He published a hate piece recently on our own Adam Searing, titled Mandate Mania: Does Adam Searing Hate People? Max implies that, yes, Adam does hate people. In addition, Max knows this about Adam: he lies to himself, he wants you to pay for things you don't need, he wants poor people to be uninsured (an odd accusation against the Director of the North Carolina Health Access Coalition), he hates freedom, and finally, Max knows that "Adam thinks he's smarter than you."

Adam is too much of a gentleman to rebut Borders' vitriolic post.

But I'm not.


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