Show your support of DISCLOSE Act in US Senate

Letter to constituents from Sen. Kay Hagan.

On Monday [today], the Senate will vote to decide whether billionaires and massive corporations can keep dumping unlimited money into races across the country without ever disclosing their identities.

Click here to sign the petition in favor of the DISCLOSE Act before Monday's vote.

Berger drops the ball on health exchange

Leaving the federal government to create one for us:

The Senate didn’t act on the House bill, with leader Phil Berger deciding to wait to see how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule. Once the court upheld most of the act last month, Berger didn’t take it up in the final days of the legislative session. Now North Carolina is facing a deadline it cannot meet.

There's more to legislating than just stripping away funding for needed services and gutting regulations that protect citizens. You also have to build some things, instead of betting on a longshot horse and then burying your head in the sand when said horse goes lame.

Worth a few chuckles: on corporations as persons

Letter to the Editor of the N&O by Elaine Whisnant of Cary: Corporate M or F?

Since the Supreme Court has made the ruling that corporations are persons, and being that persons are either male or female, how can we know which of the sexes Duke Power and Progress Energy are?

Is the joining of these two corporations against the law as stipulated by the recent amendment to the N.C. constitution that marriage is between a male and female “person” only?

NC GOP rewrites definition of "conservationist"

Stacking the deck in favor of fracking:

Ray Covington, founder of N.C. Oil and Gas, an organization of Lee County landowners whose list of stated goals includes “we want this land drilled,” was appointed by GOP House Speaker Thom Tillis as one of the two conservation members on the board.

And the other "conservation" member owns a company that profits from the cleanup of damage caused by land developers. It's no accident that these two positions were slotted under Tillis' and Berger's contributions to the board. Here are a few snapshots of what this "conservationist" is working for:

A generous interpretation

The most generous interpretation of Larry Kissell's vote on the Affordable Care Act is his "I am a representative" defense. Having had his district gerrymandered to become even more white and Republican, he seems to be saying that his vote reflects the wishes of the majority of uninformed bigots he will have to represent if he's re-elected. The same applies to his unwillingness to say that Barack Obama is a better president than Mitt Romney would be.

The more ominous interpretation, that Kissell's moral compass points in the direction of more uninsured poor people and more corporate greed, is hard to stomach, but may nonetheless be true.

In either case, it's a sad state of affairs. Going along with selfishness and bigotry in service of racist constituents is unconscionable. Actually embracing that philosophy is nothing less than evil.

More on the subject at Progressive Pulse.

'No Bain, No Gain'

From the Conscience of a Liberal blog on NY Times site by Paul Krugman:

[Some] are apparently uncomfortable with the notion of going after Romney the man and wish that the White House would focus solely on Romney’s policy proposals.

This is remarkably naive. I agree that the awfulness of Romney’s policy proposals is the main argument against his candidacy. But the Bain focus isn’t a diversion from that issue, it’s complementary. Given the realities of politics — and of the news media, as I’ll explain in a minute — any critique of Romney’s policies has to make use of his biography

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Messaging #Fail

The flap this week over state Rep. Patsy Keever's response(s) to a reporter's question about endorsing the president's reelection raises questions. I don't know how widespread it is outside North Carolina, but Democratic congressional candidates in NC-07, 08 and 11 have explicitly refused to endorse a sitting president from their own party: "I'm going to Washington to represent the voters of my district," yadda, yadda. Whatever.

I get the whole impulse to appeal to the thin slice of "independents" upon whom the November elections supposedly will turn, but whom do they think they're fooling?

Second, even as candidates think they are telling voters "I am my own person," if it's not done with finesse, they risk voters actually hearing  "I'm only in this for Number One."

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