Memorial Day

From the N&O.

So let us all, even as we take this day off if we are able, even as we perhaps reunite with family to celebrate the traditional onset of summertime...let us not forget that this day is about that ultimate sacrifice that so many thousands have made over so many decades. It is about those who died in noble service to their country. Giving one day, to think and pray and ponder and wonder about them, doesn't seem like too much for the rest of us to do.

Scary news for non-profits in Minnesota

Coming soon to North Carolina?

The Supreme Court in Minnesota has determined that a daycare services provider is not a non-profit organization and, therefore, must pay taxes. The rationale for non-profit tax exemptions in Minnesota is outlined here:

The idea behind tax exemptions is that the organizations provide a public service or substantially reduce the burdens of government. Standards from property-tax exemptions are set by the states, while the federal exemption means charities are not taxed on their income.

Robinson Wins Award for Worst TV Ad

Growth & Justice, a progressive think tank in Minnesota, just gave Vernon Robinson the "Willie" award for WORST Political Advertisement. The award is "named for the infamous fearmongering Willie Horton ad that led to George Bush defeating Michael Dukakis." See a small clip of U.S. Senate candidates Al Franken and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer announce the award here.

Pat McCoal on wikipedia

As part of his plan to polish up his image (sort of like the plan to polish up the image of coal), Pat McCrory's minions have invaded the interTubes with a sweet little entry on Wikipedia.

After graduation, McCrory worked with Duke Energy Corporation in various management positions.

Too bad the entry doesn't describe exactly what those various management positions were. All I can find is that McCoal worked as a senior adviser for Duke Energy's business and economic development group. Which means he was likely responsible for helping to recruit big companies with big electric bills to jump onto Duke Energy's big coal bandwagon, thereby driving the supposed need for power plants like Cliffside, which will pump tons of greenhouse gases and mercury into our environment until well after most of us are dead and gone.

Not a year for increased state and local tax?

Some people say that, with the current economic problems, this year is not one to raise taxes.

Yes, many people’s finances are tight at this time. Families are having to tighten their belts and do without many things they would like to have. Vacation travel, meals in restaurants, and many other things are being cut back. Many families will have to make the decision every time they spend money: must we have this expense?

However, the needs of municipalities, counties, and states continue. School districts have to buy more land and build more schools to handle the increased school population. The construction and land acquisition costs are far higher than they were for existing schools. Streets have to be improved to handle the increased traffic. A larger population will require more services.

Excuse our Mess

Good Morning! You might have noticed that you are receiving a few more error notices over the past couple of days. That would be my fault.

I have decided to clean up all the spam user accounts that clog our database. Of course, I've chosen to do it the hard way - one by one. Some accounts look like they are set up by real people and I have to dig into their profile to see if there are embedded links to web sites offering free porn, free sex, free money, cheap drugs, fun at casinos or surprisingly enough are simply links to legitimate businesses.

Weekend wound up

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tom Shaheen, director of the North Carolina Exploitation Lottery, proves again today that he's just another guy slopping at the public trough:

And it turns out that the staff at the lottery commission will receive a five percent raise next fiscal year, well above the likely increase for most state employees. Lottery Director Tom Shaheen says that state workers who want more money should apply at the lottery commission. He is the quite the team player.

Discussing California, marriage equality and its impact on NC on WUNC's The State of Things

Here is the audio of the show:

Today I was a guest on NPR's The State of Things (WUNC), hosted by Frank Stasio, to discuss the impact of the California Supreme Court ruling and its impact on the NC amendment effort. Also on the "Same-Sex Marriage and NC" segment were Wake Forest University Professor of political science John Dinan, and Steven Petrow, the past president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

I think there was consensus that the ruling -- and the upcoming ballot initiative, is being watched closely by other states, some for guidance on how to extend marriage equality, and others, like North Carolina, which already has a state DOMA and an onerous amendment has been introduced for the fourth time into the state Senate by good old boy Sen. James Forrester.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.

The significance of the California ruling is that, unlike Massachusetts, the Golden State does not have a no residency requirement for obtaining a civil marriage license -- and that means North Carolinian same-sex couples would be able to marry -- and contest the constitutionality of the state DOMA here. Steven Petrow mentioned that fact that the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has asked the California Supreme Court for a stay issuing same-sex marriage licenses until after the election -- and the outcome of the November ballot initiative.

More below the fold.

Dark side poll shows Dole in dumps

Poor Liddy. Even the dark forces of the Civitas Institute can't come up with numbers that make her campaign look good. Dome has the story.

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is starting off much more competitive than many people had thought.

Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole has a 45-43 percent lead over her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Kay Hagan, according to a new poll by released by the conservative Civitas Institute, Rob Christensen reports.

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