Truth: I stole that from Tina Fey, my college classmate and friend. Further truth: I did not know her at all, which has only occasionally stopped me from telling people we were friends. She’s so funny! Can’t I wish we were friends and convince myself that it’s true? That sort of thing works at the General Assembly everyday. For instance, the House will take up a bill today that will allow people with concealed carry permits to bring their guns onto campuses across the state as long as they store the guns in their vehicles. If our reps pass it, it will be over the university system head’s objections as well as those of the heads of public safety at the state’s two largest campuses. Experts?! What do they know? Some members of the House want to do it, so it must be a good idea! I know we went over this last week, but I thought I’d offer some fun anecdotal evidence about college hijinks and our gun culture. Read More

How can it possibly be that on the same day the NC House votes overwhelmingly to institute roadblocks to voting a House committee approves a bill to expand gun rights? I mean it, how can that be? The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is the only amendment that includes the words “well regulated” and yet it is the only one House Republicans treat as inviolate. This is an outrage. If this bill passes the full House and the Senate, every single person who votes for it will have deliberately endangered every single person on every single public campus in this state. Read More

Dear NC Senate,

I am writing to thank you for your courageous vote to punish the poor. I think believers from all major world religions would agree that people who can’t get what’s theirs should have millstones tied around their necks until they can. Just like Jesus said. Your vote forcing needy people to pay up front for their own drug testing before they can receive benefits that might allow them to feed their children is both bold and righteous. I know that our state program, Work First, primarily aids children, and I am so glad that you were not swayed by logic or compassion when you decided to add to the delays and bureaucracy that keeps those kids off welfare. And food. Read More

What are the scariest words in the English language? For me, they’re, “Here’s a new one from the Stones.” For some wags, they are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Chortle, chortle. For Sen. Tom Apodaca, the most frightening phrase is “I’m Jim Goodmon. I work at Capitol Broadcasting. I’m a member of the Dix Visionaries.” Let us be fair to the apprehensive Apodaca, can any of us really imagine hearing that in a brightly lit, crowded room in the middle of a sunny day? I mean! If that’s not some scary stuff, I don’t know what is. Read More

This is about sexual assault. It’s in the news – unlike Dan Forest – and I want people to pay attention. Sexual assault in the military, to the tune of as many as 19,000 cases a year, is an important topic in North Carolina because of the large military presence in our state. Sexual assault on campus is a huge issue at our state’s flagship university right now. While overall rates of sexual assault are down in our country, sexual assault is still too common, even in North Carolina.

“Data collected by the North Carolina Council for Women (N.C.Department of Administration 2012) indicate that in the 2010–2011 State Fiscal Year, the … 92 sexual assault programs funded by the Council served 13,881 clients.”

In other words, we have a problem. Read More