Stay Strong, Joe Hackney

The Dome and the Associated Press are reporting that the elation of homophobes in the House about getting their discrimination bill out of committee will be short-lived.

House Speaker Joe Hackney said he would use the power of his office to kill the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage.

This is why we coaxed and cajoled and fought for Joe Hackney to become Speaker. A lesser man might have succumbed to the pressures of hellfire and brimstone spewing out for the mouths of family-value Theocrats.

Robin Hayes' E85 Pump Stunt Goes Flaccid

Long time BlueNCers probably remember my post, "The Impotence of One", written last year after Robin Hayes pulled a campaign stunt to promote E85 and to announce legislation he was introducing that would promote the gas and ethanol blend. This is what I said last year after the stunt.

........Robin Hayes has been in Congress for almost eight years and this is the first time he has introduced anything that has to do with energy independence, consumer savings or environmental protection. I decided to check on his stunt to make sure he actually introduced the bill.

Transfer Tax For Good Growth

It's no secret that North Carolina's population is growing rapidly. With that growth comes a need for additional services and bricks, mortar, asphalt, steel and concrete to deliver those services.

When my wife wants to fall asleep she asks me to explain how a telephone works. Explaining growth and infrastructure has the same effect. Mention taxes and the average person will wake up but upon hearing the trigger phrase "tax base", eyes will glaze over and deep sleep sets in. Call me a somnambulist chaser if you will but I'm trying to raise awareness of the need for local government funding options.

That's why I've created this video: Support Transfer Tax or watch below the fold:

Black and Wright UPDATE

Mark Binker says we should be on the look-out for a statement today from the NC Legislative Black Caucus about Thomas Wright. He speculates the Caucus is none too happy with how Mr. Wright is being treated in comparison to the contortions the House went through in deference to Jim Black. If that's true, they're absolutely right to be angry.

. . . but another caucus member who was in the meeting said the statement would basically call for "allowing the process to work." In other words, the caucus was unhappy that the Speaker so vocally called out one of its members, especially after Democrats showed a great deal of forbearance with former Speaker Jim Black.

UPDATE: The statement from the Black Caucus is posted below.

Missing Mr. Mike

The good folks over at NC Policy Watch are tracking votes in the General Assembly on lots of issues, including some that are pretty darn discouraging. One of the potentially biggest disappointments is around mental health parity. Go read Chris Fitzsimon's column today for a close up look at what's going down.

The reason I'm writing this post is not so much about mental health parity, though I am solidly behind it. No, the reason I'm writing this post is because of what Chris has to say about Governor Mike Easley.

Good Catholics

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I've had plenty of differences with the Catholic Church over the years, but there's much to admire in their work as well. One example of the latter is this remarkable stand by eastern North Carolina's Catholic leader:

Foreigners who can't earn a living wage or ensure the security of their families have a right to immigrate to the United States, Bishop Michael Burbidge, said today.

The News and Observer has the brief story.

Burbidge said the proposal the Senate released last week was "a good beginning," but he urged Catholics to protest a provision that would remove family ties as a basis for immigration.


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