Memorial Day

Memorial Day offers many events and activities for families this year. Barbecues and parades are standard fare. For those who are looking for more, there are a wide array of trips and cruises available to help the family get away. But let’s remember that Memorial Day is a day filled with a sense of gravity for all those that lived serving their country, while many died. Let’s honor their sacrifice and bravery, first observed and celebrated on May 30, 1868.

McCrory headed to RGA "Corporate Policy Summit"

Another paid-for vacation for the Governor to forget to disclose:

Gov. Pat McCrory will be spending the next three days in Texas at the Republican Governor's Association spring meeting.

If you're wondering why that news brief is so brief don't wonder any longer. The RGA's activities are even more secretive that ALEC's, and their "Corporate Policy Summit" is the tightest-held secret of them all. And yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: Corporate lobbyists wining and dining Governors, promising them scads of money for their campaigns, and telling them all the government actions they need to do to acquire that money. And when you're ethically challenged like McCrory, it's like waking up on Christmas morning.

Daily dose: "Hall of Shame" edition


'Hall of Shame' adding more legislators (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County’s Republican state legislators are being added to the “Hall of Shame” established by leaders of the Moral Monday movement. The North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement are joining the Pitt County NAACP and other local partners at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, 1100 Ward St., at 7 p.m. today to hold an organizing meeting and to induct state Reps. Brian Brown and Susan Martin and state Sen. Louis Pate into the “Hall of Shame.”

Jane's Political Salon: Fracking

Let's start with the North Carolina Constitution:

Sec. 5. Conservation of natural resources.

It shall be the policy of this State to conserve and protect its lands and waters for the benefit of all its citizenry, and to this end it shall be a proper function of the State of North Carolina and its political subdivisions to acquire and preserve park, recreational, and scenic areas, to control and limit the pollution of our air and water, to control excessive noise, and in every other appropriate way to preserve as a part of the common heritage of this State its forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, historical sites, openlands, and places of beauty.

A bit of regulation for Bitcoin in NC?

NCGA is the first state legislature seeking to regulate Bitcoin.

HB 289, is a 16 page bill that would regulate Bitcoin processors as 'money transmitters.' It passed the House and is under consideration by the Senate.

Rumor has it the bill's sponsor, Rep Steve Ross (Alamance, R), is acting on behalf of the NC Banking Commission. Rep Ross is a Vice President & Investment Officer at Wells Fargo Advisors.

Thoughts on my first NC Democratic Party district convention

Those of you who know me know I am a mercurial mix of fight and frustration when it comes to party politics. I've been registered as a Democrat for 44 of the 46 years I've been a voter, with two "unaffiliated" years for good measure. I left the party because I found it insular and inbred. I rejoined recently because I saw no other option to save North Carolina from the onslaught of GOP bigotry and greed.

Survived a civil war, denied the right to vote

A heart-wrenching story of callous injustice:

According to Jerome and Diana, their voting experience went downhill from there. A poll worker told them to wait while precinct officials "called downtown" to address Diana's citizenship status. They waited more than two hours, to no avail. In the meantime, Jerome — unfamiliar with the voting process — asked the same poll worker for help understanding his ballot; according to Jerome, she became impatient and dismissive, saying, "We can't help you."

While cautious about saying so, Jerome wondered if his family's race and immigrant background were factors in how they were treated by the poll worker, a white woman. "It was a very bad experience," Jerome remembered. "It made me think she didn't like us, because of who we are."

Hat-tip to Facing South for exposing this predictable result of the rabid anti-immigrant movement in our state (and country). Both the state and local election boards owe these two brave US citizens an apology, and a few hugs wouldn't be out of order.

Daily dose: Hands across the sand version

Hundreds join hands on the sand in peaceful protest (WWAY-TV) -- Hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered at the Kure Beach fishing pier this afternoon to help spread awareness about the topic of off-shore drilling for oil. Those in attendance said they believe that the approval of off-shore drilling on the NC coast would be bad for the environment. Instead they are pushing for NC leaders to look into wind power further, and other sources of clean renewable energy.

Profiles in idiocy: Asians want to integrate, blacks don't

Making it to the Final Four of stupid bigoted online comments of 2015:

Hough identified himself as a Duke University professor in the comments and went on to praise Asians. “Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” said the comment. “Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.”

Considering it costs about $63,530 (per year) to attend this renowned school, you would think they could find somebody smarter than your crazy Tea Party uncle to lecture in their poli-sci department. And before any of you Duke fans come to his assistance with the, "What he believes and what he says in class are two different things" argument, if he's willing to sign off on that comment in the New York Fricking Times, I doubt he has the judgment to keep it out of the classroom.

Daily dose: In defense of renewables edition


With renewables freeze in Senate's hands, industry ramps up opposition (Triangle Business Journal) -- The N.C. Senate will take up in the next few weeks legislation that would freeze the state's renewable-energy requirements at the current 6 percent level and limit the size of contracts that could be issued. But opponents of the measure are already lobbying to convince senate lawmakers that adopting the legislation would cost the state jobs and capital investment. “There’s a very good chance we would have to reduce the number of people we hire if this bill is passed,” says Nicholas Wiebelhaus , vice president of operations at Shelby-based Schletter Inc., which manufactures mounting brackets for solar panels.


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