Archives

Uncategorized

In case you missed it, this afternoon’s “Thankful Tuesday” event (at which supporters of the current state leadership will register their support for the impending regressive tax shift) will, according to the folks at Americans for Prosperity,  be co-sponsored by a group that calls itself the Moccasin Creek Minutemen.

As my colleague Chris Fitzsimon reported earlier this year, these are the same fun folks who, George Wallace-like, championed “nullification” of federal law at an event outside the General Assembly in January.  

The group’s website also serves as handy portal into the loony tunes underbelly of the modern far right, with easy-to-follow links leading visitors to the websites like The Blaze and NC Freedom — a site that, in turn, promotes a group that calls itself the North Carolina American RepublicThis group rejects the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and, indeed, the very legality of our state government.

Yikes! Should be a fun afternoon.  

 

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

House Bill 786, the “RECLAIM NC” Act, will be up for a vote soon on the NC House floor.  In spite of the restricted driving permit that could be offered to some immigrants, it is on balance a bill that will be harmful to the immigrant community in North Carolina, and will increase racial profiling even among US citizens. In the midst of so much going on at the General Assembly, this sweeping immigration legislation has not received the attention and scrutiny it deserves.

In community forums about the bill’s provisions around the state — Hendersonville, Raeford, Charlotte, Durham, Greenville, and Wilson so far — advocates have seen that there are a variety of opinions on the bill, but that once immigrant families understood the many negative provisions in the bill and the difficulty of obtaining a “restricted driving permit” under HB 786, they did not support the bill.

Beyond being costly, increasing incarceration of immigrants, and eroding civil liberties for all North Carolinians, there are six specific reasons I believe that legislators should vote AGAINST HB 786: Read More

Uncategorized

Student protest 2It’s beginning to look more and more like this will be a spring and summer of protest and direct action against the ongoing corporate takeover of state government. This week featured multiple demonstrations and 20 arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Raleigh.

Now, organizers are calling for another mass demonstration next Tuesday May 7 at 3:00 pm at the General Assembly. Stay tuned for more details.

Meanwhile, click here for information on how you can contribute to the legal defense fund for the students arrested yesterday. You can read more about the students’ positions and decisions by clicking here.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

As Chris Fitzsimon noted with some biting and on-the-money humor last week, conservative state political leaders appear to have reached the point in the 2013 legislative session at which they have “jumped the shark.” For those who may not have caught the cultural reference, the phrase derives from a late-20th Century TV sitcom called “Happy Days”; the show was widely seen to have reached its nadir during an episode in which one of the main characters jumped over a shark while water skiing.

For conservatives, it’s hard to point out just one shark-jumping moment in their script, but as Chris notes, the bill to excuse the state from the First Amendment’s establishment clause seems like a strong contender.

Rob Christensen of Raleigh’s News & Observer wrote a rather curious column over the weekend in which he alleged that GOP leaders had basically gotten all the shark-jumping ideas under control, but judging by the agenda for the coming week Read More