The Lottery Is Coming, The Lottery Is Coming

For some of our readers this headline sends terror throughout their body. For others, the headline is welcome news. Whichever side you are on, it looks like North Carolina will begin selling lottery tickets by the end of March. The News-Record story on this is here.

Watt what?

My friend Fred over at Orange Politics posted this comment about Mel Watt:

Hopefully, there will be something in the local media about this afternoon’s address by Rep. Mel Watt, chair of the CBC, entitled “The State of the Union.” The program was held at the NC Mutual Life insurance Co. auditorium and many local political figures were in attendance, including Rep. Price.

When asked the impeachment question, Rep. Watt indicated that he didn’t know if there has been any criminal behavior, but based on what he currently knows, he doesn’t see any impeachable offenses. It wasn’t clear if the CBC or Watt will support the Conyers Resolution or not, but according to THOMAS, Watt is not a cosponsor at this time.

The Meekins Chronicles: Racism is Right

Shorter Frederick Meekins: poor Muslims ought to shut up and eat pork.

This guy would be funny if he weren't so hateful. When a group described as part of the "extreme right" offers pork soup to the poor, there's a fairly good chance that the ingredients were chosen to exclude Muslims. (The "charity" calls it "identity soup;" the group's leader describes its mission as the defense of the "rights of the little whites.") That's pretty much the definition of racism. And I don't see anything wrong with police using an existing permitting structure to put an end to race baiting. (This is all in France, by the way.)

Racial Prejudice Test

Check out the Implicit Association Test at Understanding Prejudice (link via Jim Buie). The test purports to determine the taker's preference -- either for white people or black people -- and to say roughly how strong that preference is. If you take the test, come back and discuss it in the comments -- I'm curious to hear what the BlueNC community thinks of it.

EDIT: I posted before seeing the next post on Jim's blog, "Does Racial Prejudice Predict Voting?" One word: yikes!

Smart Dope is at it again . . .

For those of you with strong stomachs, follow me into the amusing mind of Johnny-be-Hood to find out what North Carolina's own Smart Dope Art Pope is spending his hard earned money on today.

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Let me set the story. Little Johnny is writing while on a visit to the left coast . . . opining about all things free and easy, extolling the virtues of being rich and having unrestrained opportunities to exploit whatever common good Smart Dope happens to have in his sites this week.

And you won't be surpised to discover he's dealing in lies.

PASADENA – I’m here in Los Angeles County, the exemplar of all that is said to be wasteful and disastrous about urban sprawl in the United States. The soaring mountains ringing the valley are hard to see clearly through the mid-afternoon haze. But do I feel like Dante exploring a sprawling level of Hell? Not in the slightest.

What We Are Fighting Against, Part II (Art Pope Edition)

Oh, it must be good to be the party of the rich. This N&O article on Art Pope says that his family will be spending close to $100,000 a week on Art's network of conservative "think" tanks and policy groups.

What is Pope up to? An Easley aide puts it mildly:

I really do think the John Locke Foundation and the Pope orbit has contributed a lot and has a big role in challenging liberal and Democratic dogma. On the other hand, there is also a petty partisan side. They are involved in advocacy research. They do sometimes turn into Republican cheerleaders and apologists, and that undermines their larger intellectual mission.

Can I rewrite that last sentence? Ok, thanks: They do sometimes turn into Republican cheerleaders and apologists, and that undermines gives the lie to their larger supposed intellectual mission.

What We Are Fighting Against

There is a fascinating article from the Asheville Citizen-Times today detailing how people, especially partisan political types, are not able to process information contrary to their opinions since their brains actually shut off when confronted with contrary facts. You should read the whole thing, but I have quoted some of the best material below.

Age of Reason must be over
I’ve always suspected most people shut their minds off when the topic of politics comes up.

The Nail in the Gas Tax Coffin

The Charlotte Observer has an excellent piece on the editorial page from a couple of weeks ago about the gas tax and the state highway budget funds and how they are used. It gives a lesson of fairly recent legislative history that serves to shine a light on the ignorance of many critics of the gas tax and how the money is used by the legislature.

Revenues for roads/highways goes into one of two funds in the state budget. The Highway Fund is used to pay for general maintenance and repairs of state-owned roads. It also pays for some smaller construction projects and transportation programs. Revenues that support this fund come from the state motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. No money from this fund is transferred to the General Funds in the state budget.

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