Is North Carolina beating Wal-Mart?

As some of you may know, Wal-Mart is trying to sneak its way out of paying $30 million in North Carolina taxes. Well, taxpayers won a small (but important) victory yesterday when a Wake County judge ruled that Wal-Mart had to make public thousands of pages of documents. That means internal memos and strategy papers will come out of the shadows. (More after the jump)

Frontpaged by A. Thanks for catching this one for us.

Please Navy Review History - and Your OLF Statements

Floating flight deck

“You can make it as big as you want,” Khachaturian said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “If what the Navy needs is 2,000 acres, there is no question that is a possibility.”

The proposal may be cost prohibitive. The acre-sized components cost from $20 million to $30 million each, depending on how much weight they are designed to support. Two thousand such components would therefore run the Navy from about $40 billion to $60 billion.

The estimated cost to acquire land and construct the facilities needed for an OLF on land is $231 million, according to the Navy’s draft environmental impact statement released in February.

Once built, the platform could be moored to the sea bed with cables. Computers could be used to position the platform or move it to different locations, Khachaturian said. The system floats optimally in water 1,000 feet deep or more, Khachaturian said.

Frontpaged and embellished (with the photograph) by Anglico. This image is from the company Versabuoy that produces floating platforms. It's very cool stuff. Check out their site.

Open Shred: Profiles in Courage

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding immigrants who are subsidizing NC citizens in our community college system, it's reassuring to know that the Gov has weighed in with a clear position on the dispute.

Easley, a Democrat, tried to distance himself from the rising controversy over the community college system's order that all 58 campuses must admit undocumented applicants who meet admissions requirements. He refused to say whether or not he supported the new policy.


While Easley said the community college officials misread the 1997 letter, he refused to stake out a position on the admissions mandate. Asked if the state government should do anything to change the practice, he suggested that the state's current attorney general, Roy Cooper, be asked for an opinion. Cooper's office on Wednesday refused to offer an opinion, saying community colleges had not asked for one.

I wonder, does it count if We the People ask for one? Probably not.

Bev Perdue: BRAC Budget Reform

Following up on the Rural Hope Initiative, BRAC Budget Reform is the Second Installment of Bev's Building a New North Carolina series

Two weeks ago Bev announced her Building a New North Carolina series here on BlueNC. Yesterday, the campaign released the second installment of Building a New North Carolina, BRAC Budget Reform. This initiative is modeled after the federal BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) process. It is a major budget reform that will reduce the influence of special interests, allow us to eliminate wasteful spending and enable us to focus spending on our most pressing needs.

The federal BRAC process is intensively competitive with each state fighting for their own military bases. But since the beginning of the process in the late ‘80s, Congress has never blocked a BRAC package. The required up-or-down vote with no amendments is an especially good tool to bypass the barriers of special interest influence that often stymie policy change in the legislative process.

Here is how it would work in North Carolina:

Frontpaged by A. I am eager to feature real ideas and will do so for any candidate.

NC poll asks whether sexual orientation of a candidate matters

A John William Pope Civitas Institute poll from this month asked NC voters whether they would support an openly gay candidate. The results are interesting. The spin on the instutute's release is a conservative take, though if you look at the results more closely, it's actually more favorable than it appears.

First, the response to a generic out gay candidate:

Is it Illegal to Pursue Your Education?

A recent policy change by the North Carolina Community College System is stirring up all kinds of consternation, and our friends at the Pope Civitas Institute are in the middle of it.

Earlier this month, the NCCCS lawyer (David Sullivan) issued a policy memo to the state's 57 community colleges directing them to admit undocumented individuals. Previously, about a third of the state's community colleges had policies that denied admission to undocumented individuals. About a third more had no formal policy on the issue, but had practices that effectively barred undocumented individuals from attending.

As an educator, I work with the children of undocumented immigrants every day. They are top performers in high schools across the state, and they have a lot to offer to their new home if only we would let them.

See, when kids are in school they learn more than the curriculum. They learn the American Dream. Every day they hear "If you work hard and get your education, you can be whatever you want to be." Except that for these kids, the rug gets pulled out from under them as soon as they graduate from high school.

Morally, I think it's anti-American to pitch the American Dream to children of immigrants and then withhold education and opportunity from them. Economically, we need these students fully participating in our workforce to sustain our economic strength in the 21st century.

Read more below the fold...

Running on My Record: Progressive Democrat with the record to prove it.

Yesterday, two of my respected opponents in the Lieutenant Governor race engaged in a rhetorical battle over their positions on several issues of genuine concern to Democrats in our state.

This presents a good moment to emphasize my own record on those important issues. In my discussion, I emphasize experience not just because of how valuable it is to an elected official in translating stated positions into effective action. I also believe that candidates' records tell you what they genuinely believe in, far more than just what they say during the heat of a campaign.

I am running on my record, as a progressive North Carolina Democrat with the record and experience to prove it.

After the jump, you'll find the issues on which my opponents engaged yesterday—and my record on them.

Frontpaged by A, with pleasure. It's very wonderful to see this kind of substantive discussion so clearly presented.

Laura Leslie Wants Your Feedback

It's been an interesting few days around here. We saw some high drama about party loyalty, an excellent discussion among lieutenant governor candidates about actual issues, and the beginnings of a dust-up between two of those candidates regarding what constitutes "good" campaigning.

All of which brings me to today's momentous question from Laura Leslie, intrepid reporter and blogger at WUNC-FM. Laura, it seems, is trying to make sense of the ongoing resume wars between Richard Moore and Beverly Perdue. After chronicling Moore's accusations about Perdue's academic record and lampooning Moore's claim that he attended Harvard, she takes on the big question that's burning in the hearts of North Carolinians everywhere:

So you tell me - who fudged worse? And let me know if I can use your comment, with or without your name attached.

So you tell me? Why is it that professional journalists responsible for covering state politics spend so much time reporting on stuff like this? I thought that's what amateurs like us were for.


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