Whitewashing the NC Job Outlook

I came across an interesting article in Industry Week written by North Carolina's Commerce Secretary, Jim Fain. I understand Fain's desire to make North Carolina look like it is bouncing back from the beating our textile workers have taken, but some of the article just didn't ring true.

In his opening, Fain described how the shift to a worldwide market had created a "perfect economic storm" in North Carolina. He followed with this:

Considering the magnitude of the "storm" -- a recession, 9/11 and trade policy changes that had a disproportionate impact on our industrial state -- our recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. North Carolina has seen a 29.2% decrease in the number of unemployed workers in the state over the past five years compared with 14.2% nationally.

Karl Rove is Right

WNCNN crack reporters got this exclusive footage of Karl Rove's appearance before 11th District Republicans Saturday in Henderson County. Click and listen to him explain how Republicans can take back Congress and return to the White House in 2008.

It's entirely possible for you to shape the outcome of this contest by what you do in the months between now and 2008.

Guess what, folks. He's right.

Council of State to Navy: No Dice

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The news just keeps getting better for We the People and worse for Them the Navy when it comes to the Site C Outlying Landing field. At the suggestion of Treasurer Richard Moore, the North Carolina Council of State voted unanimously to tell the Navy no dice.

The Council of State - which comprises Gov. Mike Easley, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and eight other statewide elected officials - voted to sign a still-to-be-drafted resolution opposing the Navy's plans. Such a resolution would be largely symbolic, but further signal the opposition of state leaders to the site in Washington County.

This is good.

Yes, as a matter of fact, the sky is falling.

Fellow North Carolinian James Hrynyshyn (pronounced James "H") has written an alarming piece about an alarming discovery. The Arctic summer sea ice was supposed to last until 2040, which gave us time to fix things, at least a little bit. Now, it looks like it will be gone by 2020.

I will leave it up to James to give you the whole story, but below the fold are a few puckering blockquotes. I'm off to Dick's Sporting Goods to buy a kayak and life vests.

Mental Health Parity

mental_health_matters1.gifAs you may know, legislation is pending before the House of Representatives which would require health plans to cover mental health and substance abuse services fairly, using the same coverage practices that they use for general medical care. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 2nd, we're asking everyone to help support the “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act". This legislation is long overdue, as it would help end insurance discrimination against people suffering from mental illness and addictive disorders. Over 100 national advocacy organizations have endorsed H.R. 1424.

Rep. Butterfield (NC-1), Rep. McIntyre (NC-7), Rep. Watt (NC-12), Rep. Price (NC-4), and Rep. Etheridge (NC-2) are the only NC Congressfolk among the 264 cosponsors of this legislation. We're asking all of our readers to take a moment to contact their representative to say one of two things:

Burr in the saddle?

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The right-wing rumor mill is in overdrive this morning, with insiders everywhere speculating that our own junior Bushbot, Richard Burr, is on the short list of possible running mates for John McCain. Burr's political ambitions, delusional though they may be, are probably what caused him to finally come out in opposition to the OLF at Site C. I guess he figured being a pariah in his own state wouldn't go over all that well on the Straight Talk Express. It's hard to imagine a grown man jumping from the George Bush fire into the John McCain frying pan, but if anyone would do it, Dick Burr would.


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