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Paul Stam 2It’s funny how time usually seems to catch up to hate and bigotry (and the people who purvey them).  As society progresses and humans become more enlightened, language and viewpoints and images that once were widely held and expressed become less and less acceptable. Sometimes, the change happens rather suddenly — so suddenly that the proponents of the noxious views miss the memo and go right on spouting off until they suddenly become laughingstocks and pariahs for saying the same things they’ve been saying for years.

The current sports world controversy surrounding the use of the name “Redskins” by the Washington, DC NFL team is an example of how public mores can reach a tipping point and then change rapidly.

America witnessed countless such incidents in the late 20th Century around the issue of race and gender — usually in the form of clueless public figures saying embarrassingly stupid things about members of racial minorities or women. The pathetic thing about so many of these incidents. of course, was the befuddlement that gripped the clueless bigots. Frequently, they simply couldn’t fathom how their once-funny “jokes” or “common wisdom” observations had, all of a sudden, become offensive and unacceptable.

Let’s hope with all our hearts that we’re witnessing another such event take place right before our eyes in North Carolina with the latest noxious utterances from North Carolina’s longstanding champion of hatred and intolerance toward the LGBT community, State Rep. Paul Stam. Read More

[UPDATED] Lest you have any doubts or fall for the bill of goods being peddled by the sponsors of the anti-choice legislation under consideration in the North Carolina General Assembly, listen to the words of House Majority Leader Paul Stam as he responded to a question from WRAL TV’s David Crabtree on this past weekend’s edition of “On the Record” – the relevant section (which appears below) took place about seven and half minutes into the program.

Here is the transcript:

Crabtree: Well if we cut to the chase, is this purely an attempt to limit abortions as severely as you can in North Carolina? And all the other things are just added to it “on the tree”?

Stam: Well it’s partly that but not certainly not mostly that.

Stam then goes on to provide a detailed description of the bill and the myriad ways it limits access to and the availability of abortion services.

In other words, one of the bill’s chief supporters — a powerful man who has long made no bones about the fact that oulawing abortion is one of his top priorities in public life — publicly admits that the at least one purpose of the controversial legislation is to “limit abortions as severely as you can in North Carolina.”

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Paul Stam 2There was time not that long ago in the North Carolina General Assembly in which anti-choice conservatives were at least willing to be minimally consistent with the their claims of being “pro-life.”

Take State Rep. Paul Stam, for instance.

Stam has been in the General Assembly for a long time. Prior to his current series of half a dozen terms, the Wake County Republican also served during the 1989-90 legislative session. It was during that initial term that Stam first made his name as a crusader for right-wing social causes and, specifically, a passionate opposition to abortion.

Now, flash forward to 2013 and see that things aren’t much different. Stam is still leading the anti-choice charge (and the anti-gay rights charge and the pro-death penalty charge).  Along with many of his conservative colleagues, Stam is doing everything he can to make abortion more inaccessible, prevent LGBT equality and revive the death penalty.

Here’s one important difference, however, Read More

Another day, another giant backward step for the future of North Carolina. This morning we got the conformation of what we’ve been expecting to see for months now – North Carolina will be the latest state to consider school vouchers.

In an “exclusive interview” with the John Locke Foundation, Paul Stam laid out his $90 million plan to bleed our public schools of money while enriching corporations, all at the expense of our children.  And his reasoning for this program? Why, to save money, of course.

It now costs state and local governments $6,745 to educate a typical child in public school, and $8,414 when including federal allocations, according to Stam. The average opportunity scholarship is expected to be $3,990, according to a fiscal analysis memorandum by the legislative Fiscal Research Division.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is already near the bottom (two from the bottom, actually) of what we spend on a per-pupil basis. Stam’s proposal would further reduce our spending by more than $17 million for the 2013-2014 school year, and more than $25 million in the next school year, according to the fiscal analysis.  Read More

Two things to contemplate on this lovely, globally warm afternoon:

1) Sue Sturgis at Facing South has a fine new post about the questionable industry folk who shepherded North Carolina lawmakers on a fracking “fact” finding mission last fall. As you can imagine, the main company in question is a real paragon of public-spirited corporate virtue.

2) Here’s how the dialogue should have gone between Rep. Becky Carney and House Speaker Tillis  in the aftermath of her accidental and deciding vote in favor of the fracking bill (and how it would have gone had Tillis ever tried to live up to his pledges about transparency of honest government):

Rep. Carney: “Mr. Speaker, I need to raise a point of order: I accidentally voted ‘aye’ when I meant to vote ‘no.’”

Speaker TilisRead More