Burr, Dole…Yes, to Corporate Welfare…No, to You and the Free-Market

This blog is cross posted from The Progressive Pulse.

Every politician dreads the moment when the special interest group which paid for their campaign is in direct opposition to the well-being of the citizens they were elected to represent. Such is the case with Senator Burr, Senator Dole, and the pharmaceutical industry. Last week the Senate blocked a bill which would have allowed the government to negotiate lower drug prices on the 2003 Medicare Drug Bill. The vote was 55 “yes” (49 Democrats, 6 Republicans) and 42 “no” (42 Repubs, 1 Dem). 60 “yes” votes were required to pass the bill. Senators Burr and Dole voted no.

This is a long post but please bear with me.

2 Million Acres Gone by 2027?

Map of projected NC Open Space lossEnvironment North Carolina just released a report showing that the Triangle will lose 37% of its natural areas, the Charlotte area will lose 30% of its natural areas by 2027 unless legislative action is taken. Developed area is increasing faster that the increase in population. If current development rates continue, North Carolina will lose at least two million acres more of forests and farmlands over the next twenty years. To compound the loss, the State's One Million Acre initiative is falling well short of its goals.

Hooker Odom Creates Panic, Backpedals

Carmen Hooker Odom and her minions throughout the Department of Health and Human Services, released an "effective immediately" memo to severely restrict access and authorization of Community Support services. This decision came on the heels of the precipitous rate cut on April 5.

Well - just like the Dept. was forced to climb down from their capricious decision to cut the Community Support rate, they've immediately climbed down from the April 24 memo.

Sponge Bob Squeezed by Judge Wynn?

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Bob Orr gave up his seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court to carry water for Art Pope. But based on Orr's performance today representing plaintiffs in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, it looks like they both got the short end of the same stick.

The AP story today ostensibly involved Orr's long-standing objections to the payment of economic incentives (tax dollars) to lure companies to North Carolina. Underneath that story, however, is the saga of a stressed-out man caught in a pickle. Orr is running for governor without a job, without a personal fortune, and with an albatross named Art Pope hanging around his neck.

Orr represents seven individual taxpayers who argued the General Assembly and local governments shouldn't have been able to target financial incentives for the computer maker that could exceed $300 million in value. A trial judge threw out the lawsuit last year, but Orr wants that decision reversed and the lawsuit tried.

“But what was she wearing?”…of Women, Politics and the Media

Last Thursday I attended the monthly meeting of the Mecklenburg County chapter of Woman for President 2008 where UNCC lecturer Carol Gay was presenting the topic “Media Coverage of Women in Politics.”

Although I hadn’t attended any prior meetings of the WFP ’08 group, I knew I had to participate in this discussion. You see, just a few weeks before receiving the invitation, I had read the Washington Post’s coverage of Speaker Pelosi’s decision to appoint Alcee Hastings as chair of the House Intelligence Committee over the Committee’s Ranking Democrat, Jane Harman. While Pelosi’s choice to by-pass the ranking member may have been notable, the most astonishing aspect of the story was how it was played by the media, specifically, through the use of the term

Cat Fight.

Sheriff’s Department

This is the second part of the fourth night. It's really long, but startling how much they do with so little.

The Sheriff’s Office and Jail Operations have a combined budget of $9.570,163 annually. Two thirds of this, or $6,360,258 is the Sheriff’s Office operating budget. Their motto is “Looking Towards The Future”, their mission statement “is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Moore County by providing a safe community in which the citizens can live, work and prosper. The mission will be accomplished in partnership with the citizens of Moore County through the highest ethical, professional and legal standards.”

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