The Dance of the Marriage Bigots - Now Starring Fred Smith

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I read Laura Leslie's blog at WUNC-FM almost every day. She has a great way with words and may very well be the most insightful reporter in North Carolina covering state government. Today she offers a unique perspective on the pity party held in the name of god yesterday in Raleigh.

Why now?

National and state polling shows dwindling concern about protecting traditional marriage. There's no imminent election to mobilize voters for. There's no challenge in the courts to the state's existing "defense of marriage" law. And there's no indication that either House Speaker Joe Hackney or Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight are rethinking their opposition to a constitutional amendment on it. So why bus in six thousand youth group members and evangelicals for no discernible cause and no plausible effect?

Cleaning Up Raleigh

The folks at Democracy NC have been busy. They just released a report showing that:

Lobbyists prowling the halls of the NC General Assembly received nearly $15 million from their clients in 2005, the year with the last “long session.” That amounts to $86,400 for each of the 170 legislators

According to Bob Hall, Executive Director and Research Director:

In North Carolina, interest groups actually spend more on lobbying than their PACs spend on campaign contributions to state legislators

Just last week Democracy NC announced a new campaign with a unique website called to promote "Clean, Voter Owned Elections" supporting public financing of campaigns to reduce the influence of special interest money.

WNCNN lands exclusive must-see interview with Liddy Dole

WNCNN's Johnny Joe Rockslide is back with an exclusive interview at the home of North Carolina's own senior senator, Elizabeth Dole.

For background on Johnny Joe's questions, you might want to check out this BlueNC post by Blue South, Where does Elizabeth Dole Live? He's done extensive research in to Dole's residency. Here's a relevant exerpt:

In fact, as of today, Elizabeth Dole’s mailing address on official Rowan County documents is still listed as the Watergate hotel. Why is that important? Because from everything I can see Elizabeth Dole still lives in the same place she has lived for 40 years. Washington DC.

Misanthropy on the Mall

[I have changed the title of this diary, but not the content. The original title reflected my feelings and thoughts immediately following this event. It has served its purpose. It was intended to provoke the discussion which subsequently took place. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Greg]

I’ve grown so cynical about the cynical attempts to “protect” marriage with a constitutional amendment that I’ve coined my own phrase for proponents: Maggots - a blend of marriage and bigotry produces big maggots. They were in abundance this morning on the Halifax Mall, a veritable quiverfull of bored teenagers, angry white men and women in long denim skirts with woolen tights. Yes there were nice people there - very, very, quiet, nice people.

Scooter Libby Guilty of more than Stupid Nickname

Libby was found guilty on four of the five charges against him.

Emptywheel - Marcy Wheeler, author of Anatomy of Deceit has the verdict from the courtroom.

What does this have to do with North Carolina? Well, I'm in North Carolina and it was this trial that brought me back into blogging in October of 2005. So, there you have it!

More as it unfolds throughout the day......

Apologies to all of the Scooters out there. I's an entirely appropriate nick for a grown man. I know my daughter will want to be known as Doodlebug when she's a grown woman. :)

More below the fold....

Open thread: Nate Luvs Hate

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This from one of Nathan Tabor's columnists at the Conservative voice: Jeremy Meister.

Is Ann Coulter good for Conservatism? Someone who doesn't act ashamed of their ideology? Someone who stands up for what they believe in even when faced with hostile peer pressure? Absolutely. We need more people like her.

Just the kind of guys Duncan Hunter wants as part of his dead-on-arrival presidential campaign.

Update: Edited to be a kinder, gentler rant.

Two women from Salisbury

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When the City of Salisbury comes to mind, lots of people think of our Senior Senator, who claims to be from that quaint little town, just as she claims to be from North Carolina. Milking our state for all it's worth, Elizabeth Dole has parlayed the illusion of residency for a career of personal gain and power. One of the ultimate insiders in the DC establishment, Dole seems to care little about her hometown, and even less about her home state.

But today readers all around the world are getting another view of Salisbury, through the eyes of a different woman, courtesy of the New York Times.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Vicki H. Readling vividly remembers the start of 2006.“Everybody was saying, ‘Happy new year,’ ” Ms. Readling recalled. “But I remember going straight to bed and lying down scared to death because I knew that at that very minute, after midnight, I was without insurance. I was kissing away a bad year of cancer. But I was getting ready to open up to a door of hell.” Ms. Readling, a 50-year-old real estate agent, is one of nearly 47 million people in America with no health insurance.


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