Execution Tonight

North Carolina has been executing prisoners so quickly this year that I cannot keep up with them. It looks like there will be one more tonight. Dent has a good roundup of the goings on here.

I think that I have said all I could against executions before, so I will not repeat it here. But every time I go to sleep on an execution night, something in my just shudders at the thought that our society cannot move past this method of punishment.

God: Okay to whip kids with plastic pipes

As a back-sliding Baptist, I am fully authorized (by god and my mama) to comment on all things insane from the evangelical right. What you are about to read from the Raleigh News and Observer fits the bill.

A few years ago, Lynn Paddock sought Christian advice on how to discipline her growing brood of adopted children.

::snip::

Paddock ordered Michael and Debi Pearl's books and started spanking her adopted children as suggested. After Sean, the youngest of Paddock's six adopted children, died last month, his older sister and brother told investigators about Paddock's spankings. Sean's 9-year-old brother was beaten so badly he limped, a prosecutor said. Bruises marred Sean's backside, too, doctors found.

Blottery

NC Policy Watch has an excellent summary of North Carolina's sad lottery saga. I've excerpted some of the best commentary, but please go read the whole thing.

If all goes according to plan, retailers in North Carolina will begin selling scratch off lottery tickets in two weeks. If that happens, it will be the first thing about this lottery that has worked the way it was promised.

Even lottery supporters have to admit that this game has been flawed from the beginning. It was passed by the General Assembly unethically, if not illegally. A pending lawsuit will settle that question.

National News Roundup 3/16

From The Washington Post: Republicans want to curb 527 donations but huge soft money corporate donations to their massive leadership PACS are OK. Once again proving it is all about the money. President Bush is redefining his Preemptive Strike campaign so he can include any country capable of actually pronouncing the word n-u-c-l-e-a-r properly as being a viable target. Howie Kurtz pulls his head out of his arse just long enough to convince us he really doesn't get it. Nooooo! Put it baaack, Howie. President Bush won't admit he doesn't understand how to sign people up for his new Medicare plan, so he shuffles the responsibility to their children.

Much more below the fold...

New website highlights Chris "The Chameleon" Mintz

RALEIGH, NC, March 15, 2006 – Democratic activists in Raleigh have set up a new web site highlighting information on the odyssey of Chris Mintz from former Chair of the Wake County Republican Men’s Club to the Democratic Party and to the NC House District 41 primary.

Chris pulls a Chameleon and jumps in a primary battle against long-time Democratic activist , ex Howard Dean Southern finance manager and AFL-CIO endorsed, Ty Harrell.

Mr. Mintz representations to the GOP shortly before changing parties, and his representations to his new colleagues in the Democratic Party shortly thereafter are troubling and cause for reasonable doubt regarding his true colors.

Be an Inaugurator!

Sometimes being a liberal means rising up in a beaten down world; sometimes it means having a beer. There are ups and downs. If you live near Chapel Hill, the very special opportunity presented to you tomorrow evening (Thursday, 3/16) is to midwife a brand stinking new chapter of Drinking Liberally.

WHAT: "An informal, inclusive progressive drinking club. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics.

Bars are democratic spaces - you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your local democratic space - build democracy one drink at a time."

Wednesday Afternoon Action Plan

Today we have two things we need to do. First we need to keep the debate over censure for the President going. If you've been following through on the plan we have called, emailed and mailed our Senators. Now it's time to send letters to the editors of your local newspaper.

LTEs are best if they are short - one or two sentences and quickly make your point. (This goes without saying if you've kept it to two sentences.) It could be something as simple as....

Many pundits and members of Congress say it is a bad time to censure the President for breaking the law.

I say it's never a good time for the President to break the law.

OPM

Master Puppet John Hood of the John Locke Fornication is in rare form today, writing about the favorite subject of wingers: Other People's Money.

Iterations of the OPM myth pervade state political debates. For example, there is a major move afoot in Raleigh right now to convince state lawmakers to put some costly bond issues on the November ballot. Water and sewer needs will cost North Carolina localities $7 billion in just the next half-decade, the argument goes, and “they” can’t afford it all. “State government” should pick up at least $1 billion of the cost in a new statewide bond.

National News Roundup

From The Washington Post: Finally! A Democratic Senator with a spine. Don't miss this online Tourney Tracker bracket generator. Three months ago it was "Cut and Run" and now it's doable. (Pssst! It's election time.)
From Newsweek: Hypocrisy from the Bush administration...no, really. Is abortion the new third rail for the GOP? There's fallout from the Dubai ports deal.
From The New York Times: The trial lawyer who screwed up the Moussaoui case had almost no criminal trial experience....and she's working on one of the single most important criminal cases of our time. Wow. Senate Republicans reject Pay-go budget strategy, yet again. Utility companies bilking us LEGALLY.

More news below the fold...

David Price: On the Record

No one would accuse me of being a moderate in any regard. Not in work, not in play, not in love, not in politics. But I must admit to a certain curiosity about people who bring a more considered approach to their words and actions. One such person is David Price of North Carolina’s 4th Congressional district. I recently had the chance to interview him – to find out what he thinks about the state of affairs in Washington.

What's it like being in the minority party with George Bush in the White House? In all my nine terms in Congress, I've never seen as bitter and punitive a partisan atmosphere. Democrats in Congress have virtually no say in the major legislation that comes before the House. Bills are rammed through to appease the right-wing zealots of the Republican Party, giving the minority no opportunity to amend them or to vote on alternate legislation that would appeal to members on both sides of the aisle. Even more troubling is the utter lack of oversight. Instead of functioning as a co-equal branch of government, Congress is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to hold the Administration accountable - at a time when accountability couldn't be more critical.

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