Today marks the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, which occurred at 5:32 p.m., 80 years ago, when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.
President Roosevelt marked the occasion by calling for moderation, asking people to make sure that “this return of individual freedom not be accompanied by the repugnant conditions that obtained prior to the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment and those that have existed since its adoption.”
Moderation is indeed a good concept to keep in mind as we all enter the season of excess — that is, if moderation still exists in North Carolina.
Some Duke University professors and alums wonder just that in this ode to former governor and Duke president Terry Sanford.
It’s hard to argue with their point that the days of compassion and consensus are gone if we glimpse back at the recent legislative session — as they did — and assess the damage.
In addition to dismantling the public education system by slashing the school budget, cutting funding for teacher assistants by 20 percent, eliminating bonuses for future teachers with master’s degrees and diverting public money to private schools through a new unregulated voucher program, and aside from rendering voting more difficult for large swaths of the voting age population, the General Assembly also
. . . cut unemployment insurance; rejected a federally funded Medicare expansion; repealed the Racial Justice Act, which gives relief to death-row inmates who can prove that race influenced their prosecutions; passed abortion restrictions that will limit insurance coverage for some women and tighten licensure requirements for clinics; and expanded the venues where permit holders can carry concealed weapons, including playgrounds and funeral processions. It [also] lowered the corporate income-tax rate and let expire the earned-income credit for low-paid workers.
Accomplishing all that in a few short months was a breathtaking feat, GOP lawmakers say — one that’s made them the envy of conservative colleagues across the country.
Breathtaking perhaps, depending on your vantage point, but all that scrambling to one side of the deck doesn’t necessarily right the ship. Often it sinks it.
Speaking of sinking ships, this week brought news of the plight of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the lobbying architect of conservative legislation now on the verge of a funding crisis, as corporate backers continue to drop their memberships and seek to distance themselves from the group’s agenda.
Even Walmart, the bane of the working man (and woman), is jumping ship.
Which brings me to Bruce, the working man’s hero, whose original manuscript for “Born to Run” was auctioned off today at Sotheby’s for $197,000.
Here’s Bruce (without whom no Lunch Links is complete), live from the Concert for Sandy Relief, with some Throwback Thursday lyrics apropos of the Sanford era:
“Well I will provide for you, and I’ll stand by your side. You’ll need a good companion for this part of the ride.”