Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Hallie sues NC to hear her climate change petition

Saturday, November 14th, 2015
N&O photo by Harry Lynch

N&O photo by Harry Lynch

It’s been an interesting few days here. For the past two years, Hallie has been involved with an effort to bring about some state regulations on climate-change pollution. With the help of an Oregon-based nonprofit called Our Childrens’ Trust, Hallie filed a petition with the state Environmental Management Commission, urging it to regulate greenhouse gases. In spite of the petition meeting all the requirements to be heard by the full commission, Hallie’s petition was rejected outright by the chair without due consideration, thus the lawsuit.

Yesterday was her day in court, appearing before Superior Court judge Michael Morgan. Hallie has a great team of attorneys (Gayle Tuch, Ryke Longest, and Shannon Arata) working pro-bono to move this case forward and they vigorously pressed her case before Judge Morgan. Our whole family was in attendance as well as Hallie’s maternal grandparents, who drove down from Virginia to surprise her.

NC budget is a fiscally responsible Goldilocks document | News & Observer

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

N&O contributor J. Peder Zane sometimes gets it right (see Confederate monument) but the rest of the time he lives in a libertarian paradise that, frankly, doesn’t exist.

Read how he pooh poohs the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit, calling its repeal a “free market prod.” Well, it’s news to me that Duke Energy’s state-chartered monopoly on electricity is a “free market.” I was never the best student but I do seem to recall learning in school how a monopoly is pretty much the opposite of a free market.

I can’t wait to get this electricity free market that Zane promises. I’m sure that killing off competition is the best way to get it, right J. Peder?

Allowing the renewable energy investment tax credit to expire may be the best thing to happen to the green sector. Replacing the crutch of state support with the free market’s prod is our best hope of developing cheap, efficient renewables. It also addresses the fact that these well-intentioned subsidies have become a form of crony capitalism, sopped up by big corporations.

Source: NC budget is a fiscally responsible Goldilocks document | News & Observer

Why Republicans are starting to panic, in 1 paragraph – The Washington Post

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Summer is over. And Donald Trump is — still — at the top of the 2016 Republican primary field.That makes lots and lots of Republicans with an eye on winning the White House in 2016 (or even 2020) very, very nervous.

That unease — and its origins — are explained brilliantly in this paragraph, taken from a broader piece entitled “The GOP is Killing Itself,” by former Bush administration official Pete Wehner:

The message being sent to voters is this: The Republican Party is led by people who are profoundly uncomfortable with the changing (and inevitable) demographic nature of our nation. The GOP is longing to return to the past and is fearful of the future. It is a party that is characterized by resentments and grievances, by distress and dismay, by the belief that America is irredeemably corrupt and past the point of no return. “The American dream is dead,” in the emphatic words of Mr. Trump.

Source: Why Republicans are starting to panic, in 1 paragraph – The Washington Post

Renewables critics sound off ::

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Fossil-energy advocates are desperately pleading with the NCGA to revoke our state’s clean energy standards called REPS (Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard). Thankfully, they have an uphill battle as large-scale solar projects become a property-tax bonanza for the rural areas where they get built, instantly boosting the property values without requiring any public infrastructure investment.

I used to be worried about attempts like the Koch-backed American Energy Alliance but not anymore. They are this century’s buggy-whip makers, propping up a rapidly-dying industry: coal.

The writing’s on the wall for dirty-energy producers. Clean energy is kicking their ass and it’s only going to get worse for them. Hey Koch brothers, you have no chance of stopping the clean energy revolution, you’d be better off learning how to take advantage of it.

Raleigh, N.C. — Opponents of renewable energy programs held an hour-long roundtable at the Legislative Building on Wednesday about their concerns.The event was sponsored by the American Energy Alliance, the political lobbying arm of the Institute for Energy Policy, a conservative think tank funded by Charles and David Koch. The event moderator was Tom Pyle, president of the AEA and the IEP, and a former Koch Industries lobbyist.

Source: Renewables critics sound off ::

Trump’s mysterious appeal

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

One of my conservative friends and former shipmates posted this the other day about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy:

I’m probably going to lose a friend or two over this, but I’m really liking Trump. People will immediately dismiss him because they are democrats or extreme right wingers, but put parties aside and listen to what he’s saying. If you just say no because you’re not a republican, that’s ignorant. He makes more sense than anyone else running. He has the ties in Asia to work more effectively with China. He has the business knowledge to bring us back to the top. Before you jump up and say he filed bk, that was a smart business move. Many companies and individuals do that. Trump is the only person running that has the cajones to speak honestly and he’s making a lot of sense. I know exactly who in my friends list will think I’m crazy and call me an idiot, but there’s more at stake here than a decent hair cut. My gay friends took a brave stance coming out. My religious friends who post biblical scriptures are brave enough to face the non believers. I’m coming out and saying that I’m behind the Donald. Let the tomatoes fly.

His opinion is shared by surprisingly many of the conservative veterans I know, which is surprising considering many have been cheering him on after his comments regarding John McCain.

No City Council race for me this year

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

A lot of people have been asking me when I’m going to run for Raleigh City Council. It’s humbling to be considered for such public service and I appreciate all of the interest and enthusiasm for my potential candidacy.

While I considered it strongly, I have decided this is not my year to run. My family is not ready for me to devote the level of time and attention needed to do the job right. I also want to hang on to the few years left that our kids are at home. They are growing so quickly if I blink I’ll miss it.

I’ll still be involved – you know you can’t keep me from meddling! I just will do so as a civilian for the time being.

Thanks for your support and encouragement. When the time is right you’ll be the first to know.

The genitalia vote

Friday, July 10th, 2015

A liberal friend posted this on her Facebook page in an effort to drum up support for Hillary Clinton for President:

IT is time to put our ducks in a row and support a woman IMHO. We all cashed in that chip and supported Barrack Obama the last time – and we did the right thing — even though he gave us Arnie Duncan!! I want to win. I want a woman to run. I like Bernie but come on – he will not be elected and he is not a woman — if we have a qualified woman does not she deserve our support? Where are all you affirmative action progressives? And bashing Hillary is harming our party and will harm our election chances and many many days the comments against her seem like “excuses” to support another man. Many comments are on the edge of sexist innuendos and often rude. I love Bernie’s brashness- boldness-his honesty and finger wagging BUT I do not want him to be my President – Hillary has experience as Sec. Of State alone that outranks his experience. I think it is time for a woman in the USA to be President. IMHO.

I was a bit taken aback that somehow Hillary was the Chosen One and that to point our her flaws is considered “bashing.” We are over a year away from the actual election, of course. There’s a long way to go. But there’s more.

Daily Mail invents critics of Facebook’s “Celebrate Pride” feature

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

A friend shared a story on a website called the “Conservative Post” called “Everyone Who Changed Their Facebook Photos To Rainbow Just Got DUPED.” I’m always curious of what gets my righty friends all worked up so I read it.

Conservative Post got duped

Conservative Post got duped

Over a million people changed their facebook profile pictures to a rainbow filter in support of gay marriage.

New reports reveal that the “Celebrate Pride” tool may not have been the best idea…

According to Daily Mail, this tool was actually Facebook’s way of performing psychological testing on their users.

Cesar Hidalgo wrote on Facebook yesterday. “The question is, how long will it take for people to change their profile pictures back to normal.”

Experts say that by setting up the tool, Facebook was able to get an unprecedented insight on how to influence their users.


The Confederate monument has no place on the State House grounds

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

The N&O’s Josh Shaffer wrote yesterday about keeping the Confederate monument on the state house grounds. I’ve mentioned before how garish I think the monument is so I disagree with Shaffer.

Perhaps we should retire the towering, out of place Confederate monument from the state house grounds to a place of honor in the Confederate portion of Oakwood Cemetery. Perched prominently on the state house grounds, it stands as a giant middle finger aimed towards equality.

North Carolina was a reluctant successionist, even then a Vale of Humility between Two Mountains of Conceit. This helped persuade Sherman from burning Raleigh to the ground. In light of our state’s lukewarm support for the Confederacy one has to wonder what the monument really celebrates.

It’s rare that I agree with conservative N&O columnist J. Peder Zane but even he has called for the monument to be removed. Because the N&O’s website has never figured out how to preserve historical links to its content, I am reposting his column here (as seen on

William Rivers Pitt | Don’t Believe the Hype: Candidate Clinton’s Sudden Populism

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

William Rivers Pitt of Truthout compares the donor lists of Hillary Clinton and her would-be Republican challengers and finds little difference.

For reasons some may argue are not entirely fair, the Post article about those preposterous people helped crystallize a few things as I encompassed the rhetoric contained in Secretary Clinton’s big campaign speech this past weekend. Despite her long history of association with these kinds of people, Mrs. Clinton on Saturday deployed the sort of populist bombast that one might have heard at an Occupy Wall Street rally not so long ago.


Interesting, that … especially the stuff about hedge fund managers and CEOs and billionaires and fair compensation. Heady stuff; she sounded for all the world like Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders.

Yet a peek at her donor list is revealing. The roll-call of Mrs. Clinton’s top twenty campaign donors is topped by Citibank, and includes Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Group … basically, a cohort of the worst people in the United States, the ones who gamed the system by buying politicians like her and then proceeded to burn the economy down to dust and ash while making a financial killing in the process.

Source: William Rivers Pitt | Don’t Believe the Hype: Candidate Clinton’s Sudden Populism