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It wasn’t that long ago — about five years to be precise — that critics of then-Senator Barack Obama were complaining mightily about the presidential candidate’s numerous “present” votes while serving in the Illinois General Assembly. It turns out that Illinois and some other states (but not North Carolina) allow legislators the “present” option when voting on proposed bills.

The gist of the criticism, of course, was that a “present” vote is the wimp’s way out — a way to get credit for being there to collect your legislative paycheck without doing your duty and taking a position. 

This week, it will be interesting to see if any of Obama’s critics in North Carolina step up to direct the same criticism at Gov. Pat McCrory. As reported on Friday, the governor has decided to, in effect, vote “present” on one of the year’s dumbest bills — the proposal to keep Islamic Sharia Law from being given any effect in North Carolina. According to a statement, the Governor thinks the proposal is “unnecessary” but will simply punt and not sign or veto the measure. Under state law, the bill now becomes law.

But, of course, the question that arises is: If you think it’s unnecessary, why don’t you do your duty and take a stand? At least Obama’s “present” votes had the same practical effect as a “no” vote under Illinois law. McCrory’s wimp out lets a potentially unconstitutional absurdity become state law in North Carolina because, in effect, the Guv didn’t want to be bothered — a silly result that was also, unfotunately, allowed to happen on occasion by his predecessors. What a way to run a railroad!

 

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The good people at Imagine 2050, a group committed to making America’s increasingly diverse and multi-racial society work for everyone have posted a report on the cookie-cutter legislation passed last week by the House that seeks to respond to the imaginary threat of “Sharia law.”  

The post also reports that the troubled characters behind the movement to pass such bills into law around the country by the American Laws for American Courts initiative (ALAC):

“Some news outlets and blogs have even mentioned the bill’s roots in the ALAC model. Equally, or perhaps more, important is this bill’s link to the original ALAC author, David Yerushalmi, an anti-Muslim activist and lawyer with a record of extremist rhetoric and questionable ties. Read More