Lance's blog

Myrick Grandstanding? Or an Astounding Display of Incompetence?

Either Sue Myrick's doctor told her she'd better release some of that hot air, or she has zero understanding of her role in government. (I'm open to persuasion either way.) Myrick is calling for the federalization of some Charlotte police to do federal immigration duties.

The problem for Myrick is that in 1997, the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Scalia, declared that a federal power can not accomplish a federal mandate by commandeering state police officers. (521 U.S. 898) I'd love to hear why Sue believes this to be Constitutional.

"We've got sort of this survival-of-the-fittest mentality that's going on"

The Winston-Salem Journal: bad communication, misplaced priorities, lack of low-income housing, and tight budgets result in NC mental patients being dropped off at homeless shelters with nothing but a bottle of pills.

[Shelter] managers are not trained in counseling psychiatric patients, and there are no staff members to dispense residents' medications or remind them when to take their drugs, she said. Patients who are in crisis are simply picked up by the police.

GOP Sees Charles Taylor as a Liability

From The Hill:

Members of the House Republican Steering Committee have warned Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) that he is in danger of losing his chairmanship of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee if he does not raise or donate more money to Republicans.

According to the article, fundraising is only one of about 10 considerations the Steering Committee looks at. Gee, could one of them be the presence or absence of complete moral bankruptcy?

The Truth About Cats & Dogs

Today's News & Observer details efforts to get NC pet shelters to switch from gas chambers to lethal injections for killing animals:

[D]ozens of North Carolina shelters [] still use gas chambers to kill unwanted dogs and cats. The practice is falling out of favor nationally, and some animal activists are lobbying the state to stop it.

As I understand it, though, the main objection to the gas chamber is that it's the gas chamber. One activist says "it's a pet holocaust." Both methods are painless and effective, though injection is slightly quicker—20 seconds of consciousness after injections, 30-60 after the gas is turned on.

First Amendment Symposium

UNC's First Amendment Law Review (FALR) is having a symposium this month focused on religion in schools, and I thought it sounded like the kind of thing readers of this blog might be interested in. Michael Newdow (the recent Supreme Court "under God" plaintiff) will be there, as will experts in constitutional law. There will be discussion about intelligent design, too.

A friend on FALR sent me some information that I've attached to this post. You can register here. It may scare you off, but I plan to be there.

Brad Miller and State of the Union Blogging

Congressman Brad Miller (NC-13) will be posting a response to the President's State of the Union address here at BlueNC after the speech. Representative Miller is no stranger to blogs (see his dKos contributions here), and it will be an honor to have him stop by tonight.

Also, I've added a "State of the Union" category under Feds >> President for all your post-SOTU blogging needs. That is, if you're not too busy hiding under the covers or hobnobbing with Howard Dean in Durham.

EDIT: Talking points ahoy:

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