Easley's arrogance

It's tempting to wish sucky politicians would just fade away into the sunset, but our collective interest in the rule of law demands otherwise, especially when stories about the arrogance of privilege like this one come out.

While he was governor, Mike Easley turned a small group of influential North Carolina businessmen into his own private air service, an arrangement Easley kept secret. Starting in 2003, Easley took at least 25 flights on private jets, some in apparent violation of campaign laws and ethics rules, documents and interviews show. Some flights were free. The value of others exceeded campaign contribution limits.

Here's a list of Easley's enablers from the article.

School Violence Statistics

I've been talking to a lot of people on the local level about the School Violence Prevention Act, and urging people to write, e-mail, phone, or otherwise contact their representatives and urge them to support this important piece of legislation.

Well, recently I was asked to gather some statistics on school bullying for a local Democrat newsletter. The information was quite abundant on the web, and it really drove home the point that has bothered me. Opponents of the bill seem to be objecting to the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, because they fear it will lead to other rights being granted to LGBT people. (Yes, I know the idea of me being granted the same rights as my brother and sister is absolutely terrifying but bear with me.)

High Court Rules

[This post was authored by a friend of DeathWatch.]

HIGH COURT RULES THAT EXECUTIONS MAY ONLY BE CARRIED OUT BY UNETHICAL, UNREGULATED DOCTORS

The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled last week that the Medical Board cannot discipline doctors who take part in executions because state law requires their participation. Where does this leave us?

The Future of Journalism

A few things that James said last Saturday while presenting a BlueNC Bulldog Award to the (in absentia) Capitol Press Corps have stuck in my mind for the past week, and I think they bear repeating and deeper exploration. In acknowledging the value and effort behind professional, credentialed investigative reporting in the exposure of the nuts and bolts of governmental operations, James also exposed far and above the most important and ominous aspect of the collapsing newspaper business: the loss of career journalists.

Friday open thread - Share your photos

It's a big weekend in the Muse household. The youngest is in her first musical performance. She's danced on stage many times, but this time she's dancing, acting and singing. We'll be juggling her performances with older sister's dress rehearsals for her dance performances later in the month. May is always the most hectic month of the year for us, so throw in some computer troubles, Mother's Day, two birthdays, EOG and EOC testing, end of year dances, parties and trips as well as the 9th District Dem Convention and the stress levels are up a bit.

To deal with it I dig in the dirt. Here are a few pictures of recent projects I've undertaken with mother nature. Please share your photos in the comment section.

Mystery bulb purchased at the Master Gardener sale last year. I've seen purple, white and yellow. Never peach.

Dying for daddy

The smoking battle in the Senate generated some nominations for Quote of the Week. First, a good one from Mark Binker, reacting to pro-smoking lunacy from a market extremist who's dumber than a stump.

Says Binker:

Right. Because if you smoke and get a disease and it kills you, you're not a strain in the entitlement system. (Coming next week, a bill to require all those with chronic diseases to take up bear wrestling, sky diving and live porcupine swallowing.)

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