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Lunch links

For those not already headed out for the weekend here are a few end-of-the-week blog and news nuggets worth digesting:

Our own Adam Linker has the best quotes in this morning’s News & Observer story about Blue Cross Blue Shield’s latest executive pay raises:

Members certainly have a right to be worried about administrative expenses translating into higher premiums,” said Adam Linker, a policy analyst with the N.C. Justice Center’s Health Access Coalition. “All of us should be worried about how they throw their weight around to block health care reform and influence lawmakers.”

Give ‘em heck, Adam.

Unfortunately, the N&O partially missed the boat with its story about Papa Ron “Animals out of their cages” Margiotta. The debate isn’t just between the NAACP and Margiotta or trading insults as the story seems to imply (though NAACP Rev. William Barber makes some good points). The debate is between a group of in-over-their-heads ideologues and the vast group of concerned Wake County citizens whom Margiotta and his cronies are ignoring and insulting.

You can read a powerful “first persons” summary of the Wake School Board’s hearing earlier this week in this piece on Indyweek.com by two Wake County school system grads, Chase Foster and Louisa Warren.

Virginia Foxx is up to her old tricks again. As Wautaga Watch reports this morning, Foxx was the only North Carolina member of the House to vote “No” yesterday on a resolution “Expressing the support of the House of Representatives for the goals and ideals of the National School Lunch Program.” Heck, even Patrick McHenry and Michelle Bachmann voted for the darned thing.

Jack Betts at This Old State has some extra insights on yesterday’s State Board of Elections hearing into the N.C. Association of Realtors. That was the hearing in which the Board condemned (but took no official action against) the Realtors’ “immoral” practice of requiring members to contribute to conservative political campaigns in order practice their profession. Betts gets some interesting insights from lawyer Michael Weisel, whose client Rebecca Harper challenged the Realtors’ practice.

Blue NC’s take on the matter “Realtors win again, antitrust violations ignored,” is another good take.

And finally, on somber but important note, check out this article by Naomi Klein debunking the notion that market fundamentalism somehow saved Chileans from a worse disaster than they have endured (and are enduring) in the wake of the earthquake because it (Friedman-style capitalism) supposedly brought tough building codes to the nation.

There is one rather large problem with this theory: Chile’s modern seismic building code, drafted to resist earthquakes, was adopted in 1972. That year is enormously significant because it was one year before Pinochet seized power in a bloody US-backed coup. That means that if one person deserves credit for the law, it is not Friedman, or Pinochet, but Salvador Allende, Chile’s democratically elected socialist president. (In truth many Chileans deserve credit, since the laws were a response to a history of quakes, and the first law was adopted in the 1930s).”

 

 

 

 

 

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