Impeachment debate: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to an historic event of this young century. In the tradition of the Stephen Douglas-Abraham Lincoln debates, two men will discuss the principles in issue that show the deep feeling which pervades the public mind in regard to the question dividing us. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney: Should they stay or should they go now?

In one corner, wearing red, will be Bruce Fein, noted Republican constitutional lawyer and Reagan administration veteran, who will argue for the impeachment of President Bush and Cheney.

And in the other corner, wearing blue, arguing against impeachment, will be Democratic strategist Michael Tomasky, whose article in the Washington Post, “The Dumbest Move the Dems Could Make,” has provided cover for members of Congress under fire from pro-impeachment forces.

Hodding Carter III, UNC public policy professor and Assistant Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, will moderate.

There are three hundred seventy-seven days remaining in the Bush presidency. In Fein’s mind, that is three hundred seventy-seven days too long for Tweedledee and Tweedledum to linger in the White House and doodle cartoons in the margins of the Constitution. For Tomasky, while Bush’s and Cheney’s unconstitutional actions regarding the war and civil liberties merit their ousting, to impeach would “convert Bush from the figure of contempt and mockery he is now into one of vague sympathy.” And the effort would fail.

This debate will take place on the fifteenth day of January, at the hour of seven o’clock at Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. (See related story: “N.C. Grassroots Impeachment Movement,” Aug. 15, 2007).

Despite the political and financial clout behind the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, opponents of the federal disease lab have raised enough questions about its potential health and environmental hazards to concern Stem, Butner, Creedmoor and even Raleigh leaders. Earlier this week, Granville County Commissioners withdrew their support for the facility.

The discussion continues at a public forum Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Butner-Stem Middle School gym, 501 E. D St., in Butner. It is sponsored by the Granville Nonviolent Action Team (GNAT). Featured panelists include Lou Zeller of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Dr. Joe Melamed, an Oxford radiologist, and Ed Hammond of the Austin, Texas-based Sunshine Project, which monitors U.S. biodefense and bioweapons programs. Info: (See related stories: “Biotech or biohazard?” and “Feel a chill coming on?” July 25, 2007; “The battle against the bio-lab,” Oct. 10, 2007; and “Two more strikes vs. NBAF,” Dec. 26, 2007.)

Lieutenant Governor candidate Hampton Dellinger rang in the new year by opposing Duke Energy’s proposed new coal-fired power plant, Cliffside, saying in a prepared statement, “There is no overriding reason to grant a state permit now and plenty of good reasons not to.”

The Durham Democrat is asking the N.C. Division of Air Quality to reject Duke’s request for an air permit to operate the 800-megawatt plant. The National Park Service has determined that itwould severely impact the air quality in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Environmental Protection Agency has sued Duke over modifications it made to eight existing plants that didn’t include required pollution controls. (See related stories: “James Hansen won’t be quiet,” Dec. 5, 2007; “Clock ticking on Cliffside decision,” Feb. 28, 2007; “Duke Energy pays lip service to efficiency,” Oct. 4, 2006.)