On Winning The Mexican Drug War, Or, "Fighting For Peace Is Like..."

The AIG Bonus Scandal having been disposed of for the moment, Congress is all a-flitter, all of a sudden, about the new “Greatest Threat To The American Way Of Life In All Of World History Of The Week”...and this week the threat is The Mexican Drug War.

I Do Some Work With BlueNC

How stupid does the automobile industry think we are? A disengenuous little post appeared here yesterday at BlueNC from "Auto Alliance" entitled "Keep Your Eyes On The Road" with a link to an industry video. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.

Auto Alliance is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. They "embraced 40% higher federal fuel standards in the 2007 energy bill" because they were opposed to higher CAFE standards to push fuel efficiency above 35 mpg and, before 2020. They have also fought against carbon controls and are actively lobbying for a national emissions standard because they want to weaken more stringent state laws like California's.

I won't link to the post because I don't want to give it Google juice. It's not quite astroturf because they have identified themselves, albeit with limited disclosure. It does amount to spam because the same post has appeared on over 20 progressive blogs I have been able to verify:

Thank Goodness for Rep. Tricia Cotham

A statewide policy on bullying isn't a bad idea. Ensuring the policy is applied in a fair manner in every school district throughout the state won't be easy, but having a policy in writing that offers guidance to school officials will help schools and parents know when enough is enough.

Rep. Tricia Cotham is one of 50 cosponsors of the bill. She has personal experience with schoolyard bullies, having been a teacher and assistant principal in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Thank goodness for her level-headed, thoughtful discussion of this bill. She can speak and act from experience.

The NC Budget and Tax Center Revenue Proposal

Very glad to see this plan put on the table. Please take time to read it ... and contact your representatives to encourage its adoption.

The plan recommends three actions to modernize the state’s tax system:

•Broaden the base of the sales tax to capture a greater share of economic activity
•Broaden the base of the personal income tax and make it more progressive
•Close corporate tax loopholes and eliminate ineffective business incentives

Lobbying black legislators during the Day of Action was an eye-opening experience

Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

It was a wonderful sunny and crisp day in Raleigh on Tuesday, and there was a great turnout for the Equality NC Day of Action. It drew 250 people from across the state -- that more than doubled the attendance at prior lobby days. We had people come from as far away as Duck (that's on the Outer Banks) and to the mountain town of Hendersonville to meet with the legislators to discuss pro-LGBT legislation in the queue and to urge them to oppose the marriage amendment. (ENC):

"We are thrilled to see so many North Carolinians, both LGBT and allies, who took time off of work to travel to Raleigh and make do the hard work of building support for fair and equal treatment of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity," said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director. "We know that face-to-face conversations are the single most effective tool we have to get more legislators to support our issues."

It was my first time participating in the Day of Action, and it was also the first opportunity for longtime activist Mandy Carter.

We got together with other black LGBTs and allies in attendance to meet with members of the legislative black caucus. Things got very interesting during those meetings. More on that below the fold.

NC Legislators Want to Raid Tobacco Settlement Fund

Two North Carolina legislators, one Democrat and one Republican, one NC senator and one NC House rep have proposed legislation that would allow a raid on funds managed by the Golden Leaf Foundation to help the state meet its financial obligations.

Stam, R-Wake, and N.C. Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, have filed separate bills redirecting future tobacco settlement money to the state’s general fund.

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