The Locker Room

July 25, 2009

AP: Special interests? Oh, they're good this year.

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:55 PM

Get a load of this story today in the Associated Press:

Lobbyists the silver lining in health care storm?

WASHINGTON A strong force, perhaps as powerful in Congress as President Barack Obama, is keeping the drive for health care going even as lawmakers seem hopelessly at odds.


The drug industry, the American Medical Association, hospital groups and the insurance lobby are all saying Congress must make major changes this year. Television ads paid for by drug companies and insurers continued to emphasize the benefits of a health care overhaul not the groups' objections to some of the proposals.

Gee, this healthcare thing looks really bleak for the president! The more the people find out about what he wants to do, the more they recoil at it and don't want it. So wow it's a real good thing so many influential congressmen are in the back pockets of so many lobbyists in the healthcare industry!

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'HOA on steroids'

Posted by Rick Henderson at 2:50 PM

My wife and I expect to be looking at real estate in the next few months, and stories like this from today's N&O offer reason enough to consider not buying in Raleigh.

City Councilman Thomas Crowder has ... written a new ordinance that, if adopted, would require thousands of Raleigh residents to get their cars out of the front yard and possibly spend hundreds of dollars to pave parking areas. ...

His proposal would ... cap allowable [front-yard] parking space, not including the driveway, at 330 square feet. That's enough room for two parking spaces.

Front yard driveways and parking areas in new single-family homes would have to be constructed of surfaces that won't erode, such as concrete or asphalt, or of gravel or crushed stone with clearly defined edges.

Existing paved parking areas would be exempt from the new rules. But owners of all other parking areas, including gravel and crushed stone, would be given one year to comply or find alternative parking, such as on the street.

We're not talking about people leaving rusted-out chassis on cinder blocks in their yards, but parking cars on their own property.

I've lived in two subdivisions with really strict, some might say draconian HOAs. But I did so after reading the voluminous rules, so I knew what to expect. Imposing such limits on property owners without their consent citywide is downright Big Brotherish.

The story goes on to say at least one council member opposes the ordinance (Phil Isley, of the "homeowners association on steroids" quote) and two others are skeptical. But if this is any indication of what we'd have to live with in Raleigh, then maybe we'll look in Apex ... or Morrisville. To heck with the commute.

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You might be a progressive if...

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 08:15 AM think that protecting the environment is too important to allow government to invoke cost/benefit analysis in determining whether to pursue new regulations. On the other hand you think that it is absolutely necessary for the government to use cost/benefits calculations to determine whether to fund life-sustaining treatment for the elderly, infirmed or handicapped.

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