Weekend wound up

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Tom Shaheen, director of the North Carolina Exploitation Lottery, proves again today that he's just another guy slopping at the public trough:

And it turns out that the staff at the lottery commission will receive a five percent raise next fiscal year, well above the likely increase for most state employees. Lottery Director Tom Shaheen says that state workers who want more money should apply at the lottery commission. He is the quite the team player.

Discussing California, marriage equality and its impact on NC on WUNC's The State of Things

Here is the audio of the show:

Today I was a guest on NPR's The State of Things (WUNC), hosted by Frank Stasio, to discuss the impact of the California Supreme Court ruling and its impact on the NC amendment effort. Also on the "Same-Sex Marriage and NC" segment were Wake Forest University Professor of political science John Dinan, and Steven Petrow, the past president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

I think there was consensus that the ruling -- and the upcoming ballot initiative, is being watched closely by other states, some for guidance on how to extend marriage equality, and others, like North Carolina, which already has a state DOMA and an onerous amendment has been introduced for the fourth time into the state Senate by good old boy Sen. James Forrester.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.

The significance of the California ruling is that, unlike Massachusetts, the Golden State does not have a no residency requirement for obtaining a civil marriage license -- and that means North Carolinian same-sex couples would be able to marry -- and contest the constitutionality of the state DOMA here. Steven Petrow mentioned that fact that the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has asked the California Supreme Court for a stay issuing same-sex marriage licenses until after the election -- and the outcome of the November ballot initiative.

More below the fold.

Dark side poll shows Dole in dumps

Poor Liddy. Even the dark forces of the Civitas Institute can't come up with numbers that make her campaign look good. Dome has the story.

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is starting off much more competitive than many people had thought.

Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole has a 45-43 percent lead over her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Kay Hagan, according to a new poll by released by the conservative Civitas Institute, Rob Christensen reports.

Bob Barr To Swing NC For Barack Obama?

The Libertarian Party maneuvered the labyrinthine laws intended to exclude third parties from the NC ballot, having qualified for the November ballot by collecting over 70,000 signatures statewide. This is no small task, and we ought to congratulate those party-builders who are giving their all to create something new.

The good news is that there are a lot of registered Republicans and Reagan Democrats who can't stand John McCain and who have a huge libertarian streak in them. We have more than our fair share here in the mountain west. And the better news is that the Libertarian Party has a brand name candidate running for President, former Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia.

If Barr can pull Ron Paul sized numbers (7.2%) here in November, it could tip North Carolina into Obama's column.

Open thread

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Looks like a military kind of week, what with the Preznit wasting everybody's time at Fort Bragg and John McBush (with help from Dick Burr) trying to scam veterans yet again.

Note to Burr: Stop your damn whining. When Republicans were in the majority, your abuse of the minority party's rights was legendary. Now you're all upset because no one wants to debate your plan? Tough tomatoes, Dick. You're up against Jim Webb and the topic is veteran's issues. You lose.

NC-05: Republicans on the Run

North Carolina’s fifth district, spanning the northwest corner of the state, is currently represented by second term congresswoman Virginia Foxx, who, in addition to being in lockstep with President Bush on nearly every issue, has voted against SCHIP, Hurricane Katrina Relief, and extending the Voting Rights Act. Challenging her is Roy Carter, a longtime high school teacher and football coach whose dedication to public service spans 40 years. This district, until recently a Republican stronghold, is energized for change. Foxx’s approval rating within the district has been dropping steadily for months, and currently is among the lowest of active representatives.

Serve With The General - Vote Now

Today, the WesPAC and Democrats Work communities launched a contest to determine which Congressional District General Wes Clark is going to visit this summer.


This won’t be an ordinary visit. General Clark will travel to one Congressional District where a Democratic challenger is fighting to change the direction of our country to work side-by-side with area Democrats to make a positive impact through community service. We want you to tell us where we should put our values into action.


You can cast your vote here: www.DemocratsWork.org.

Gen. Petraeus: Do Not Deploy 82nd Airborne Brigade Again

Veterans for America applauds General David H. Petraeus for stating today in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will probably recommend this fall that the U.S. military reduce its troop presence in Iraq by an additional Army Brigade Combat Team

Veterans for America is deeply concerned about the stress placed on our Army's frontline units, and we urge General Petraeus not to again deploy the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, which is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Reality Check: Bush to visit 82nd barracks today

I recently wrote about the funding that was finally approved to fix the substandard housing at Fort Bragg just in time for Military Families First weekend.

It's sadly indicative of not only the current administration, but the prior near decade of complete Republican control over all government agencies, what it takes for any "progress" to finally happen for the average working American. It's tragically no different for our hard working military, in spite of all the "support our troops" rhetoric from those that do anything but...

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Today's Fayetteville Observer.

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