The Locker Room

June 29, 2010

New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 8:03 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Rick Henderson's report on Erin Brockovich's role in promoting the state's efforts to take over four Alcoa-owned dams.

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Re: Domtar?

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 6:18 PM

To be clear then, our genius leaders in the General Assembly are throwing North Carolina taxpayer dollars at a French Canadian paper company with an HQ in Fort Mill.

I await the presser.

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Posted by Joseph Coletti at 4:52 PM

A line item on page H-18 of the budget money report provides $500,000 to paper and pulp maker Domtar through the Goodyear/Bridgestone big blowout incentive. (The tire companies get a combined $6,000,000 in the budget). The report mentions a "pending agreement," though it's not clear for what. From this February news report, it looks like Domtar is committed to its Plymouth mill.

Metso has been contracted by Domtar Corporation to rebuild their fine paper machine at their Plymouth, North Carolina, USA, mill for fluff pulp production. The rebuild project will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The value of these types of rebuilds ranges from EUR 15 to 25 million depending on the scope of the delivery. The order is included in Paper and Fiber Technology's Q4 of year 2009 orders received.

The existing fine paper machine will be rebuilt and converted to fluff pulp production.

Download the budget bill and money report. Get details on its legislative progress.

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McIntyre: Sink the Southport port

Posted by Rick Henderson at 3:26 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District, formally came out against the proposed North Carolina International Terminal at Southport. In a press release, McIntyre cited four reasons to kill the project, which has been a priority of the state's Ports Authority:

Its proximity to Progress Energy's Brunswick Nuclear Plant and the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point would make it a potential target for terrorists.

The use of heavy trucks, trailers, and other earth-moving equipment to build the roads and other infrastructure for such a massive port would require could harm the existing infrastructure in the neighborhood of the port.

The dredging necessary for the port could harm fish and other wildlife in the immediate vicinity.

The billion-dollar-plus cost of the port has not been accounted for, nor have any feasibility studies been concluded showing how the port could operate profitably.

Gov. Bev Perdue has not said whether she wants the project to proceed.

Read McIntyre's press release here (PDF).

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Charter schools get the shaft in proposed budget

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:50 AM

1. House Democrats added a provision to the budget that would allow school systems to withhold certain categories of funds from charter schools, overturning a recent appeals court decision. (See Section 7.17)

2. Charter schools will be denied lottery funds for classroom teachers. (See Section 5.1.e) (H/T: JS)

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Just Say No to Big Brother

Posted by Daren Bakst at 11:05 AM

Attorney General Roy Cooper is making a push for a bill that would require law enforcement to collect DNA on anyone arrested for many felonies.

I guess we'd expect an AG to push for a policy that will help him solve a very small number of crimes even at the expense of innocent people--after all, his job isn't to protect the innocent (unless a victim of a crime) or worry about how sensitive DNA information would be abused (or not protected) by the government.

Sad sob stories, I admit, do help victims groups make their cases for terrible public policy--this happens all of the time.  Legislators, and for that matter the public, need to look at these issues with a clear head and recognize Mr. Cooper is asking to turn our criminal justice system on its head--he wants to assume that someone is guilty before being proven innocent--a person who is arrested has less privacy rights than other innocent people.  He wants to treat the innocent person, when it comes to privacy, the same as he would a convicted rapist.

On Thursday, you can learn more about this issue at a special JLF/Federalist Society lunch featuring Sarah Preston from the ACLU of North Carolina.

You can read my report on collecting DNA from arrestees and this joint op-ed that Sarah Preston and I wrote for the N & O. 

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GOP leaders preview their 'no' votes on N.C. budget

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:30 AM

The N.C. Senate and House Republican leaders told reporters this morning why they plan to vote "no" on the state budget conference report that's set for consideration this afternoon.

The Legislative Building's audio system cut out several minutes into the briefing, so the video below represents just the first few minutes of the briefing, followed by the tail end of the question-and-answer session.

Click play below to view 10:05 of the 20-minute briefing from Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake.

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A chip on their shoulder the size of a giant redwood

Posted by David N. Bass at 10:15 AM

Whenever Wake County School Board member John Tedesco opens his mouth, a dozen public school establishment advocates are primed to jump down his throat. The latest example is a News & Observer report about remarks Tedesco made about his past girlfriends:

A Wake County school board member's decision to invoke his dating history to defend his opposition to the district's discarded socioeconomic diversity policy is drawing complaints from opponents.

School board member John Tedesco said he had a "few ex-girlfriends who were African American and Latino women" in a letter last week to the Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Raleigh's Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, and to the media.

"My whole life has been integrated, my family, friends and relationships," said Tedesco, who is white, in an interview Monday. "Every single aspect of my life has been integrated."


Calla Wright, president of theCoalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children, which has criticized the board majority, said Monday that the implications ofTedesco's statements were "degrading to black and Hispanic women."

Next up: an expose on Tedesco's habit of shooting bald eagles and eating cute little kittens for dinner.

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The Berlin Wall

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:22 AM

Last night PBS aired a documentary on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. The first half was excellent. It showed the flood of escapees from East Germany who found freedom by simply crossing the street in Berlin. To stop this population exodus, the communist government erected the wall in 1961. Now the flight to freedom meant risking death as in the case of Peter Fechter who was shot at the wall and allowed to bleed to death before the Vopos removed his body.

The second half was terrible. Reagan was the bad guy. Gorby was the good guy and no mention of Thatcher and the Pope. As I watched, I wondered why Bush #1 was given so much credit. He had virtually nothing to do with the reform movement in East Germany or the economic and military pressure on the Soviets. Reagan led those efforts. Then I noticed this review in the Houston Chronicle. The Houston PBS station produced the documentary. That explains it all.

For the real story, read Paul Kengor's The Crusader. Kengor documents the Reagan's plan to bring about the fall of communism.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:20 AM

  • The conservative group Judicial Watch files an ethics complaint against U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-2nd, for alleged assault.

  • U.S. House ethics investigations, including one for N.C.s own Mel Watt, a Democrat from the 12th Congressional District, advance.

  • Latest Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 52 percent still favor repeal of the health care law, the lowest opposition since it passed in March.

  • Gallup poll: In 2010, self-identified conservatives still outnumber liberals, moderates.

  • A Fayetteville Observer article explores the political dynamics for both parties in N.C.'s 8th Congressional District.

  • Latest generic congressional ballot survey from Rasmussen has Republicans leading 44-38 percent over Democrats.

  • The Associated Press fact checks Richard Burr, Elaine Marshall on fundraising statements, and finds them wanting.

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The mistakes of Keynesian economics

Posted by George Leef at 08:18 AM

Professor William Anderson does a very good job of explaining the fundamental mistakes in Keynesian theory in this article.

His immediate target is Paul Krugman, who keeps writing that the economy needs more government spending or else we'll fall into a deep depression. Anderson points out that Krugman (and Keynes) believe that it's possible to create prosperity just by having the government borrow or print lots of money. Sorry, but that's the economic version of the perpetual energy machine.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:41 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report about the impact of 2010 legislative elections on the next round of redistricting.

John Hood's Daily Journal notes that a free-market insurance analyst has good things to say about North Carolina's insurance commissioner and recent state insurance reforms.

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