The Locker Room

May 11, 2010

Pork on the menu for General Assembly's first day

Posted by Rick Henderson at 5:12 PM

On the House calendar for "concurrence" on the opening day of the short session: two thick slices of political pork House Bill 530 (Life Sciences Development Act) and House Bill 713 (Expand Film Credit).

The first would, as Becki Gray described last August, "creates a non-profit entity under the Biotech Center that makes loans to biotech start up companies funded by Golden Leaf money and private investors guaranteed by the taxpayer." Yep, Golden LEAF would put up the front money to fund fledgling and risky investments in biotech firms, leaving taxpayers on the hook for any losses if these new businesses fail.

The second would increase the state's tax credit for film production from 15 percent to 25 percent.

It's possible, perhaps likely that the House will not concur with the bills as now written and instead will kick them back to committees for further tinkering.

But at a time the state is scrambling to close a budget deficit and voters are outraged over insider deals and political pork, it appears that corporate welfare remains popular in the halls of the General Assembly.

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GOP ad campaign targets Perdue, Democratic legislative leaders

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:07 PM

If you've not visited in the last day or so, you might have missed Anthony Greco's coverage of the state Republican Party's latest ad campaign.

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New Carolina Journal Online exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:48 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Sarah Okeson's report about the impact of tanking real-estate investments on North Carolina's state pension fund. 

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JLF expert says restaurant owners should decide whether to welcome man's best friend

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:49 PM

North Carolina's Commission for Public Health will consider soon a proposed rule limiting pets' access to restaurants in the state.

Daren Bakst argues in a new report that this decision should be left up to individual restaurant owners. He discusses his findings in the video clip below.

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FDA: "There is no right to [choose your own] food."

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 1:48 PM has picked up on a story that should be of interest to any freedom-loving individuals.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) recently filed a lawsuit against the FDA for its ban on interstate sales of raw milk.

The FDA's response to the lawsuit reveals FDA's stance on consumer choice and individual rights:

"There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds." [p. 26]

"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish." [p.26]
You can read the whole story here.

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Once one adds all the subsidies and financial support the industry receives from the French government and the European Community, it is losing very little money.

Posted by Rick Henderson at 11:30 AM

That, folks, is how a French economist made the positive case for wind power.

Read Veronique de Rugy's take on a debate she witnessed here.

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Unintended mortgage defaults

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:52 AM

A new study finds that the 2005 bankruptcy reform law increased the number of mortgage defaults by 200,000 per year before the mortgage crisis and so likely made the crisis worse.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:45 AM

  • Richard Burr still beats Elaine Marshall, Cal Cunningham in a head-to-head poll.

  • Republicans Bill Randall, Bernie Reeves to debate before a runoff election in the 13th Congressional District.

  • The Charlotte Observer: runoffs are expensive and generate a low voter turnout.

  • At town hall forum, House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman says that budget cuts are in the mix.

  • Republicans in the 12th Congressional District will face a runoff to see who takes on Mel Watt.

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The lose-lose scenario tied to an Arizona boycott

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:12 AM

Byron York explores the implications for the Washington Examiner

Right now, it's all just talk. But what would happen if the boycotts become a reality? In addition to tourism, Arizona is a major presence in the construction, health care, manufacturing and aerospace industries. What if some cities, or even entire states, canceled their business with Arizona-based companies?

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if that started, at any level, there would be reciprocation from Arizona," says Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. "A boycott can only lead to harm."

It's a pretty simple situation. Lots of cities in California, for instance, do business with Arizona-based companies. But Arizona also does business with lots of California-based companies. "How many Los Angeles- and San Francisco-based companies are doing hundreds of millions of dollars of work in Arizona?" Broome asks. "We have a huge construction and public works platform."

If L.A. and San Francisco were to cut off all business in Arizona, Arizona could find itself forced to do the same thing. "We would be zeroing in on California companies," Broome says.

The result would be insanity -- a trade war inside the United States, all over a law legitimately passed by the Arizona state legislature, signed by the governor and supported by a majority of its people.

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Barone on the Brits

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:07 AM

A day after Fred Barnes offered his analysis of the fight for power in the British Parliament, Michael Barone gives Washington Examiner readers his insights

The reason a Lab-Lib coalition is attractive to the Lib Dems is that it could give them their number one demand: proportional representation voting. This is something Labour has never been interested in before, because the current system favors Labour very much and Conservatives somewhat less, and proportional representation would leave Lib Dems choosing who governs the country and on what terms for the foreseeable future--at least so long as the voting patterns of the last 20 years prevail. My own sense is that a Lab-Lib government ultimately won't happen, because (1) it would not have a majority in the Commons, (2) it would reward the two parties which lost seats last Thursday, (3) it would maintain an unpopular prime minister in office for at least four more months. But the situation looks more fluid than I expected when I left London Saturday.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:46 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Jay Schalin's report on a recent review of teacher training programs within the UNC system. 

John Hood's Daily Journal examines the latest evidence that targeted corporate tax breaks do little to no good in boosting the North Carolina economy.

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