scharrison's blog

Another overreaching Castle Doctrine bill

The welcome mat might be the last thing you see:

The following definitions apply in this section:

Dwelling. – A building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.

Bolding mine. According to this bill, the porch is no longer outside the dwelling; once you've climbed the steps and are getting ready to knock, you've already crossed the legal threshold into someone's dwelling.

Republican lawmaker breaks the law

The free market don't need no stinkin' laws:

The state lawmaker who led a closed-door committee meeting last week for House Republicans to hear from lobbyists and special interests on video gambling is, himself, in the gambling business.

Rep. Mike C. Stone, a Sanford Republican, owns a small grocery where customers can play a variety of sweepstakes games on four desktop computer terminals.

While the relatively new law against video sweepstakes might be bouncing around in court, the video poker ban is not in question:

NC does have a Constitution, you know

Can somebody hand Skip a copy?

Article IX, Section 2: "The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools, which shall be maintained at least nine months in every year, and wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students."

And then there's Section 5: "The State Board of Education shall supervise and administer the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support ..."

That second part should stamp "denied" on the idea for having a separate board, outside of DPI, to administer charter schools. If the GOP wants to adhere to the Constitution, that is.

Pantano tries the religious extremist route to office

Homophobia and bible-thumping as fundraising tools:

Pantano, failed Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District seat last year, along with Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, sat on a panel titled “How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military.” Donnelly is an out-spoken critic of gays openly serving in the military, and Pantano has also opposed the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” calling it “an issue that’s Biblically wrong.”

I'm pretty sure executing a couple of unarmed prisoners might be mentioned in that book, as well.

The tortured logic of Rick Martinez

Whacked by the irony stick:

We support Catholic education, including the school at our parish, even though we do not have school-age children.

To be clear, I don't dislike public schools or their board members, administrators or teachers. But I don't trust their priorities. Time and again, they put their ideology and interests ahead of individual student needs.

Those words were not snipped and placed together out of context, that's the sequence in which they were written. I'm surprised the dead-tree version of the paper didn't spontaneously combust from the laughable logical conflict.

NC GOP continues its attack on embattled citizenry

Garnishing their plate of poisonous legislation:

State Rep. Timothy Moore (R-Kings Mountain) has introduced a bill that would allow credit card companies and collection agencies to take a portion of an individual’s paycheck to pay off debt judgments.

That's real nice. They want tort reform to (further) limit the relief citizens can obtain from above via NC courts, and now they also want to help corporate loan sharks take food off a family's table. And if there's not enough left to pay the mortgage, don't expect any help to avoid foreclosure and homelessness.

A voucher by any other name

If the voters don't like what you're trying to do, just call it something else:

The N.C. Association of Educators posted a video of House Majority Leader Paul Stam warning supporters not to refer to private school tax credits as vouchers. "The term voucher polls way below tax credit," he said. "So get it out of your vocabulary."

That's because the term "tax credits" is associated with a wide range of issues, not just the dismantling of the public school system.

Sunshine update: Open government conference in March

Via e-mail from NC's Open Government Coalition:

Join the North Carolina Open Government Coalition for "Sunshine Day in North Carolina: Securing a future for dialogue on open government" on Thursday, March 17 at the Historic Salisbury Foundation train depot. The conference will feature a keynote by University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross and sessions about FERPA, access to government records and the new state personnel law.

You can register for the conference here, and learn more about the Sunshine Center here.

McHenry wants states to file bankruptcy

And that bad advice is all the help states can expect from Patty:

McHenry criticized states for not preparing better for the end of the 2009 stimulus funding that the federal government poured into state budgets in the past two years.

"The era of the bailout is over," McHenry said.

More nonsense from the king of nonsense. This bankruptcy "solution" will erode states' abilities to prepare better, by making one of their tools (borrowing) harder to access and more expensive. But that second thing might be exactly what McHenry is trying to bring about:

EPA gears up for in-depth fracking study

ProPublica is on the case:

The agency wants to look at the potential impacts on drinking water of each stage involved in hydraulic fracturing, where drillers mix water with chemicals and sand and inject the fluid into wells to release oil or natural gas. In addition to examining the actual injection, the study would look at withdrawals, the mixing of the chemicals, and wastewater management and disposal.

Hat-tip to conservative conservationist Jeff Sykes for pointing me in this story's direction.

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