Hands off

Dear Democratic Legislators in the NC General Assembly:

I am writing you today in response to a story I read in the Charlotte Observer. Thank you for taking time to hear my concerns.

Rep. Linda Johnson, a Kannapolis Republican, plans to force a vote Tuesday on a proposal to ban same-sex marriage in the N.C. Constitution. Johnson and Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, are sponsors of the state Marriage Protection Amendment introduced earlier this year.

This sad story has been written about extensively, and you've probably already been contacted by supporters of Equality NC and others who have been mobilized by one of our state's leading progressive bloggers. As a straight, middle-class white business guy, I want to add my words of advice as well:

Don't. You. Dare.

If you've bothered to read the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, which you are sworn to uphold, you will find no section in that document that is written to restrict the rights and liberties of We the People. On the contrary, the preamble is a proud and honorable celebration of freedom. Among its 36 sections, I call your attention to these:

Section 1. The equality and rights of persons.

We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.

Action Needed by Tues., May 22 - Senate Committee Seeks to Strip Insurance Commissioner of Authority

You may recall a previous entry of mine here on BlueNC regarding SB 901 filed earlier this legislative session. Well, immediate action is needed because the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to take up the bill this coming Tuesday, May 22nd at 11 a.m. in Raleigh. ... Democrats control the State Senate and ... there is no reason for Democrats to be voting in favor of this anti-consumer bill on Tuesday morning, May 22.

I <3 Brad Miller

Think Progress is reporting a smart move by Congressman Brad Miller, rightly challenging the integrity and social responsibility of ExxonMobil.

Today, Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) wrote to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson lambasting the company for its inconsistency on global warming and urging the company to provide “full accounting of actual giving” to these climate skeptic groups, records which it has withheld from the public.

Mr. Bill Does Dunn

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A third gubernatorial candidate in the flailing Republican party officially joined the race yesterday, when trial lawyer Bill Graham announced his intentions in Dunn, North Carolina. After having spent $2 million of his own money to buy some name recognition over the past few years, the photogenic Graham appeared to have nothing to say beyond "cut taxes" and "ain't I purty!" The N&O covered the festivities.

The well-heeled nature of his campaign was evident in Dunn, where about 50 young people in matching orange T-shirts -- hired for the summer to work for his campaign -- chanted, "Go, Graham, go," giving the event the feel of a pep rally.

More like a three-ring circus. When you have nothing of substance to say, it's only natural to try to make up for that deficit with lots of happy tap-dancing. And you have to hand it to Mr. Crackers, he has some fancy footwork.

Weekend wound-up: Open thread



I don't know about you, but I'm in a good mood this weekend. BlueSouth has graduated and is off on the summer of a lifetime. The Navy has been handed its head on a Washington County platter. Wolfowitz is out. Gonzo is next. Fred Smith is in Greg Flynn's cross-hairs. Liddy Dole is getting invisibler and invisibler. I'm a "noted Democratic blogger." And the weather outside is gorgeous.

Happy weekend everyone.



Nice Work If You Can Get It

Ryan Teague Beckwith wrote over at Under the Dome about Fred Smith's jet and other items in the financial disclosure form Smith filed with the State Ethics Commission. There are a couple of things you won't find there that are worth a look.

The disclosure form, filed March 15th, presents a statement of economic interest as of December 31st of 2006. Since then Fred has been busy. He closed out his Senate campaign account "Friends of Fred Smith", repaying himself $66,455 in loans and forgiving his campaign $362,624.15 in loans. The loans to his campaign are not listed either as assets or liabilities on his Statement of Economic Interest.

What a difference a year makes

A little over a year ago, I had the opportunity to interview my friend and neighbor Congressman David Price. I was especially curious about the trials and tribulations of serving in the minority in the US House of Representatives. Needless to say, he wasn't all that thrilled about being under the thumb of Republican arrogance and corruption.

What a difference a year makes.

Immigration....reform?

A group of Democratic and Republic Senators, working with the Bush administration criminals cabinet, came up with a bipartisan plan on immigration that Ted Kennedy believes Bush will sign. The logjam was broken when:

The key breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a so-called "point system" that would for the first time prioritize immigrants' education and skill-level over family connections in deciding how to award green cards.

So, Republicans get what they've always wanted. They kick out the mothers and fathers of kids born here in the U.S. unless they are highly skilled. At the same time, if you have an education and are highly skilled you can become a documented citizen, which means you won't WANT to work the jobs that undocumented immigrants work.
So, the agreement is to screw the unskilled laborer and their families, and to grant citizenship to skilled laborers.

The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a "Z visa" and - after paying fees and a $5,000 fine and returning to their home countries - ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years.

They could come forward right away to claim a probationary card that would let them live and work legally in the U.S., but could not begin the path to permanent residency or citizenship until border security improvements and a high-tech worker identification program were completed.

Riiiiiiight. Come forward, pay $5,000, go back to your country of origin, apply for a "probationary card" to come back to the US and we'll let you back in sport (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more).

Why do I feel like the Democratic Party just got punk'd?

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