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.

State Sponsored Execution Procedures Get Murkier Still

An article posted earlier today at News 14 gives us somewhat of an update on what's going on with state execution procedures in North Carolina.

According to News 14:

RALEIGH -- A medical professor testified Monday that the state can't adequately monitor an inmate being put to death under its existing protocol.

Under the state's procedure for executing an inmate, there's no sure way to know if the patient is suffering during the procedure, said Dr. Philip Boysen, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Wherein I steal someone's great take on the World Bank Presidency.

This just in:

The World Bank's executive board has just announced that its new president will be selected using a competitive, merit-based process, paying no attention to the nationality of candidates. Breaking precedent, a White House spokesman said that the position as World Bank president is too important for parochial and political considerations to dominate.

Not!

Is it too much to ask that the new president at least know something about development?

The White House feels that....

Mixed bag

Here's what I've been able to learn from the few dozen emails I've received as a result of my flurry of messages to legislators this weekend.

On the marriage amendment:

Progressive leaders believe things are somewhere between "a bit worrisome" and "don't stress too much." We have 15 to 20 Democrats who vote like Republicans, but that may not be enough to succeed in assaulting the Constitution. Keep those cards and letters coming.


On REPS

The week ahead: Action figures

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This post starts what I hope will be an ongoing Sunday tradition: A summary of important actions for the week ahead. Please use comments to point to specific action items that warrant progressive attention. Adding links to lists with up-to-date contact information will increase the likelihood of our busy readers doing what's needed.

With cross-over day in the Legislature bearing upon us, my priorities are:

Keeping the Theocrats from upending our Constitution: Act via Equality NC

Keeping the insurance industry out of our back pockets: Recommendations for whom to contact are listed here

Keeping an ever-vigilant eye on the Puppetshow and their enablers in the mainstream media.

What else?

Restore our American Democracy

This morning has brought some interesting posts to the DNC's Kicking Ass open thread. I posted a response that I hope will provoke some thought and (somewhere, somehow) promote thought and truth to action. Herewith:

The thread started with still-more shocked posts at the Sunday bobbleheads who are praising the still-dead Falwell. I had to respond: Falwell? A hero? A man who committed daily sedition, trained moles to infiltrate the government, emplaced them in the loving arms of the Bush administration for the sole purpose of overturning the Constitution, overthrowing our system of laws and replacing our government with a twisted, Moon-soaked theocracy at which, naturally, only he and is closest adherents would be at the top? Falwell is no hero to any patriotic American.

Office of ideas

I had the chance last night to meet Pat Smathers at a small gathering in Carrboro. I found him to be smart, personable, experienced and creative. That's a pretty strong combination in my book.

Pat, who is the mayor of Canton, talked about two main themes of his candidacy. First, he's a strong proponent of local government - of empowering local boards, councils and commissions to take on more responsibility and more authority for their own jurisdictions. He's written about that here, and I found myself persuaded that he's on the right track. It'll take changing some hearts and minds in Raleigh, but I'm convinced we can do that.

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