Another Execution; Another Appeal for Clemency

Mike Easley will be faced with another appeal for clemency this month. Granting clemency would change the death penalty faced by the prisoner to life in prison. Given his past record, he may not stay up late at night pondering this one.

The case involves 43-year-old Perrie Dyon Simpson. Simpson admitted to the 1984 murder of a 92-year-old retired preacher. The plea for clemency stems not from any circumstance of the crime, but from the childhood of Simpson. Simpson was an orphan that lived in over 20 foster homes as a child. His attorneys feel that this upbringing should mitigate his sentence.

More on Moore

It looks like (looks like, mind you) Richard Moore signed up for a free Google blog to tout his plan for a dollar increase in the minimum wage. (Thanks to sharont for the link!) I've got just a couple of thoughts about that.

First, it seems strange to me that a professional politician would use a free blog platform when he could pay consultants thousands to build the same thing from scratch. Don't get me wrong: if Moore isn't above getting down with Blogger I'll consider that a plus. Just seems kinda unusual.

Oil Sellers: "Repealing Gas Tax Will Not Decrease Cost of Fuel"

With all the noise about the dreaded 2.8 cent increase in the gas tax, one group is actually telling the voters the truth. As Republicans and some Democratic lawmakers are holding fake hearings on the tax to gain votes, the Petroleum Marketers, of all people, are stating that the tax does not affect prices. From WRAL:

Many drivers think they'll save big if the legislature acts. But the executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association doesn’t agree.

Mandatory voting?

Sometimes you know you know certain things . . . but they still don't hit home until you read them for the umpteenth time. In this case, I read a factoid in an N&O editorial.

Barely one Triangle resident in five cast votes in the Nov. 8 election.

Holy Diebold. One in five? No wonder the metaphor 'nation of sheep' comes so often to my mind!

The editorial went on to talk about programs designed to get young people involved in community affairs and electoral politics, which is a good idea, of course.

But still. One in five?

In Peru, voting is mandatory for everyone over 18 . . . up to the age of 65. I'm not advocating that by any means. In fact, the last thing we need is more people voting who have no idea what the hell they're doing.

Taylor, Jones Should Give Up the Dirty Money

The Hotline Blog today published a list of members of Congress who have given up dirty money from Abramoff and DeLay. Guess who ain't on it?

Charles Taylor, Walter Jones, and the NCGOP need to cough it up and do it quick (details at the NCDP website). As much as I hate giving these guys good advice, I'd hate letting them retain wages of sin even more.

Wake County Growth Task Force Begins Hearings

The N&O has an interesting story on the task force that is trying to bring Wake County smoothly into its next stage of growth here. The group is basically a collection of business and political leaders that will talk about the growth issues including what to spend money on and then issue a report.

Apparently the mass of random sprawl method that we have been using thus far will not work in the future. I am a little hesitant about the results given this area's attitude about land use, but talking about the issues that we face

Sue Myrick has Some Splainin to Do

[As they say: Developing... --Lance]

Well, well, well if sweet Sue hasn't just ruined her chance of making it to the Governor's mansion. It seems that Sue signed a letter for Jack Abramoff urging the Bush administration to reject a Louisiana Indian casino back in February 2002. During the following two years she accepted about $2000 in contributions from Indian tribes that were rivals of the Louisiana tribe.

This doesn't mean that Myrick was necessarily accepting a bribe, but I'm having trouble believing that Sue Myrick would sign this letter for the helluvit especially since Indian tribes in North Carolina have their own little gambling thing going. Have you ever heard of Harrahs in Cherokee, N.C.? Why would Sue have a problem with any other tribe having gambling facilities, especially one in a state so far away?

Black Backs the Bad Guys

Jim Black (D),leader of the NC House, apparently finds it near impossible to stay out of trouble. While Atty. General Roy Cooper (D) was trying to shut down "payday lenders", Black and another NC House Democrat were taking more than $10,000 each from the lenders.

In case you didn't know, a payday lender is the same as a check-cashing service is the same as a legal loanshark. You bring them proof that you've got a job, and they'll give you a 30-day loan to cover you until your next paycheck. The problem is the interest rate. If you annualize the interest you pay on the short-term loan, the rates are outrageous -- I've heard 200% to 400%. Paying this kind of interest while pre-spending your next paycheck is a quick way into bankruptcy for many. Meanwhile, many banks and credit unions quietly offer the same service at much more reasonable rates. "Payday" = predatory.

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