Council of State death penalty discussion

An excerpt of the discussion today by the Council of State on a new execution protocol. Here, Governor Mike Easley responds when asked his opinion of the situation by State Treasurer Richard Moore. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall says she doesn't think the Council of State should be in the situation of deciding.

Affairs which properly concern us

French poet Paul Valery once said,

"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them."

We know all too well how true this is in the Federal Government. The whole “Crashing the Gate” concept is built around tearing down walls between regular citizens, our elections and our government. That, however, is not the only place we are prevented from “taking part in affairs which properly concern us.”

In no political arena is Valery's anecdote truer than in North Carolina counties where populations are multiplying, water supplies are thinning, schools are bursting at the seams and other services are either held together with duck tape and bailing wire, or held up by credit.

Is Prince Circumcised? (political cartoon)

Crossposted from Town Called Dobson


click to enlarge

de facto moratorium

Update:

New procedure is approved.
Marshall, Long and Atkinson vote against.

Moore: NC needs to have a debate on the death penalty--this is not the place to do it.

Marshall moves to ask the GA take up the issue. Non-binding unanimous.

Mark K. on the vote.

Yesterday's wrap up of the House Select Committee on Capital Punishment and today's live broadcast of the Council of State hearing on death penalty protocol are sure indication that we are on the brink of either halting executions or utter hypocrisy.

Killing them softly, again

The big death debate in Raleigh continues today with all the grace of a hundred grease monkeys tearing apart an old Chevy truck. At issue is not the question of state-sponsored killing per se, but rather the amount of pain we inflict on the soon-to-be dead person strapped to our tables.

The Council of State, a panel of top elected leaders that will plunge into the death-penalty debate today, has been inundated with e-mail messages, letters and phone calls from people who want it to ask the legislature to decide what role doctors should play in executions.

Late Monday, one of those leaders -- Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue -- called for an execution moratorium in North Carolina until the settling of constitutional questions about how and whether a physician can help in a lethal injection.

Rent-A-Puppet

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I knew the marriage between the Raleigh News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer would likely come to no good. Not only is the Char-O editorial page going to hell in a handbasket, but now the paper's reporters are picking up habits of the political guys in Raleigh.

Remember last year when we called out the N&O on its over-reliance on Pope Puppets as sources for their news stories? Well, the disease appears to be contagious.

Today, Richard Rubin writes about the challenges of transportation funding in Charlotte. And who does he turn to for expert testimony about how the legislature works? None other than Stagemanager Hood.

Fox Hearts Shuler

The right-wing has decided to adopt Heath Shuler because of his stances on social issues. They have to ignore his stances on the environment, the war, labor, education, and health care, but the right-wing's myopia ought never be misunderestimateded.

Here's Heath's appearance on yesterday's Fox News Sunday -

When it comes to road money, Charlotte gets Screwed

Several of you have expressed an interest in getting updates on what is happening in the Charlotte area. If you've ever driven around this city, you already know that much of what we talk about locally centers on transportation. As we struggle to add a light rail system and other modern mass transit options, we also sadly find ourselves still stuck in the roads mode and one reason is that Charlotte rarely gets its fair share of money from the state. Our municiple roads aren't repaired because we wind up having to foot the bill to repair state roads in our area since Basnight and the gang out East gobble up all the state road money to pave rural roads that nobody travels. (sour grapes much?)

Meanwhile, the projects consistently rising to the top of the list have been in the Eastern North Carolina district of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare. Seven of his eight counties were in the top 20 on a per-capita basis, though many have small populations that can skew the ranking.

Please follow below the fold....

Yes to NC Public Campaign Fund

Even though the election season is behind us, North Carolinians still have an opportunity to "vote" for for fair, ethical elections when paying their state income taxes. Campaign finance scandals, both at the national and state levels, have been very much in the news . The North Carolina Public Campaign Fund provides an alternative "clean" source of funds for state level judicial candidates who agree to limit private fundraising and campaign spending. You can support the fund by saying "YES" to a $3.00 check off on the state income tax form. Saying "YES" DOES NOT increase your taxes, but directs $3.00 of the taxes you are ALREADY paying to fair elections. Advise your tax preparer that you wish to support the Public Campaign Fund. Please join me in saying "YES" for fair elections. More at www.democracy-nc.org

Bombs away

When North Carolina's elected representatives pimps for the United States armed forces say that we're a "military friendly" state, they know what they're talking about. We'll sell out our wildlife refuges, our family farms, our environment and our peace and quiet for chump change, just as long as the Big Brass keeps bringing more tanks and bombs.

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Which is why we should all be hootin' and hollerin' for joy over the newest feature on our coastal plain . . . another bombing range where military aircraft can blow the shit out of pretend towns and hospitals!

An unlikely city sits on the swampy grounds of the Dare County bombing range in northeastern North Carolina, about an hour's drive from the Outer Banks. There is a hospital, a mosque, a water tower and a scattering of other buildings the color of desert sand, but no one lives there and no one ever will. This city was built using empty steel cargo containers and has one purpose only: target practice.

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