Gantt-Watt Comes to Charlotte: Saturday night

At 7:00 PM on Saturday, Former Mayor Harvey Gantt, Congressman Mel Watt, Mayor Anthony Foxx, and Executive Vice President Colmon Elridge of the Young Democrats of America will be the special guests at the Third Annual Gantt-Watt Reception at Aquavina Restaurant.

Early Bird tickets for Young Democrats are only $35; all proceeds benefit the Young Democrats of North Carolina. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online at ydnc.org.

On Not Doing 9/11, Or, Right Now, I’ve Got A Desk To Clear

I’m going to be really honest with you: after all the fights at the mall to get just the right present for everybody and the giant hassle of going to the Post Office so I can get the perfect stamps for my cards – and then worrying that I left someone off the list – I am just not in the mood to do a 9/11 story.

And it’s been getting worse every year. I mean, just like the “It’s Christmas Every Day Store”, I know there’s one of the “9/11 Every Day” stores open, in the all-too-human form of Rudy Giuliani, and I’ve learned to live with that, but it seems like they got started with the 9/11 earlier than ever this year – and by the time the TV memorials and analysis and retrospectives are all over, to paraphrase Lewis Black…I’m going to hate freedom.

In an effort to stave off this fate, we’ll be headed in a different direction today: I have three stories to pass along; each is important enough that you really should know about them, and yet they’re each very much bite-sized and easily digestible.

It’s all good stuff…so let’s get right to it.

Opportunity lost: Our wasted decade

When I swore to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, the words came automatically after four years at Annapolis. The year was 1972.

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

Reading those words this week, ten years after 9/11, it’s clear that the oath isn’t contingent on anything. There is no statute of limitations, and more important, there is no requirement for admiring the country associated with that Constitution. Which brings us to this inconvenient truth: America, despite whatever glories it may have, has been behaving badly for much of the past decade.

From the outrageous invasion of Iraq by George Bush ten years ago to the cowardly assault on freedom by Phil Berger two days ago, the political fabric of our country has devolved into an orgy of sleaze and secrecy. State or federal, take your pick. The whole corrupt mess stinks to high heaven.

On this day of mourning, I know that I will continue to support and defend our Constitution. But I am not proud of how our country has responded over the past ten years. We could have used our loss to create a more united nation and a more just world. Instead, we chose torture and killed hundreds of thousands of innocents. We still have bigots passing laws in Raleigh. And we're still in two endless wars half way around the world.

We can do better.

BREAKING: Cowardly Senate leadership tries to hide marriage amendment debate slated for Monday

Here's some jaw-dropping cowardice at work in the North Carolina Senate. At the 11th hour -- of course in the dead media zone of Friday afternoon -- Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (@SenatorBerger, Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, 919-733-5708) and staff are not only are trying to hide the fact that they will bring a marriage amendment bill up for debate on Monday, but they are trying to do it in a stealth fashion that is completely disgusting. Berger and his fellow elected Bigots to Kill NC Business don't want the public to know about or participate in the debate. Laura Leslie @ WRAL:

According to the public notices released today, the Senate Judiciary 1 committee will be meeting Monday on H61, “Speaker/Pro Tem Term Limits” - a proposal to limit the numbers of years House and Senate members can serve as leaders of their chambers.

But a new version of the bill leaked to WRAL Friday night shows the bill the committee will take up Monday has absolutely nothing to do with term limits. The new H61 is an amended version of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

You can try to look it up at the legislature’s website, but you won’t find it there.

YDNC Down East to help with Irene Recovery

Last week, the Young Democrats of North Carolina had a chance to volunteer with the Hurricane Irene recovery efforts. Though the loss of life was mitigated by a successful evacuation effort led by Governor Bev Perdue, the physical destruction couldn't be stopped. Hundreds of millions of dollars in crops were lost, and some homes were completely destroyed - either by flood damage or tornadoes spawned by the hurricane.

The Young Democrats of North Carolina spent September 3rd assisting Hurricane Irene relief efforts in Beaufort and Tyrrell Counties. In the morning, they demolished a church barn in Chocowinity that was totaled by the storm. In the afternoon, they went to Columbia, where the hurricane had spawned tornadoes & caused significant amounts of damage. YDNC assisted a family by picking up the remains of a house that was no longer there.

“I’m not talking to you about anything,” he said.

Thom Tillis has a tough decision to make: Allow his BFF Stephen LaRoque to keep stinking up the North Carolina House of Representatives, or send the Kinston crook packing. Given that Tillis is already proving to be just another power-hungry pol, I'm betting he gives LaRoque a pass. Mr. Speaker is starting to look an awful lot like old Jim Black.

Burr demands offset cuts for Irene assistance

Holding his own constituents hostage:

“I think we’ve got to offset everything; anything that’s not allocated has got to be offset these days. It shouldn’t delay it,” Burr told POLITICO. “There’s hundreds of billions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse that could be accessed like that.”

Aside from the fact that you're (once again) throwing people who depend on you under the bus, if it takes a fricking hurricane for you to focus on waste, fraud and abuse, then your own public "service" falls into that "waste" column. And we keep sending him back...

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