Support the Yadkin Study Commission: Action item

For the last 50 years Alcoa has had the opportunity to operate the power plant on the Yadkin river and has also had the chance to demonstrate their willingness to be a good neighbor and corporate citizen - but instead they have taken the resources that rightfully belong to the people of NC and have used it for their own profit, without good stewardship of the land or the economy.

Frontpaged by James.

Dome <3 Helms?

Following our coverage of the Dome two weeks ago, I received plenty of emails taking me to task for giving the blog the benefit of the doubt. "Beckwith always votes Republican," some said. "The blog leans hard to the right," others said. I dismissed most of the criticisms at the time, but after the current love-fest for Jesse Helms, that's going to be harder and harder to do.

Republicans Attack Medicare, Military Families, and Doctors.

Cross posted from The Progressive Pulse

Congress will resume debate today over the bill to prevent a 10.6% pay cut to doctors who provide care to Medicare patients. Details here. The pay cut took effect last week, July 1, but processing of claims has been delayed for two weeks in hopes of a solution. Military families, who receive coverage under the federal program Tricare, are similarly threatened.

Contact the Public Utilities Commission about Duke Energy's Save-A-Watt Scheme

By all accounts, Duke Energy is a pretty well run company. Their business model has two simple components: (1) Get customers to use more energy and charge them more for that usage whenever possible, and (2) get customers to use less energy and charge them more for their conservation habits whenever possible. It's a sweet deal if you can get it.

The Man-Who-Would-Be-Governor, of course, has spent 18 years on the "use more" side of the house, doing his best to attract more and more commercial customers onto the growing Duke power grid. With his own personal wealth inextricably tied to the fortunes of Big Energy, Pat McCrory is already emerging a reliable front-man for his ex-employer.

But things are even more insidious on the "use less" side of the Duke Energy balance sheet, as evidenced in this story in the News and Observer.

UPDATED with NC Public Utilities contact information

Binker on budget

As usual, when it comes to first analysis of complicated stuff, delivered straight and clear, Mark Binker takes the cake. He's written a good round up of the State of the State Budget. Take a look.

RALEIGH — House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a $21.3 billion budget that delays two anticipated tax cuts for one year to ensure North Carolina does not fall into a deficit.


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