The Locker Room

April 28, 2009

Interesting piece on voting rights case

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 7:16 PM

You might enjoy this Weekly Standard article on the current constitutional law involving the Voting Rights Act.

If the piece sparks your interest in the process North Carolina uses to draw legislative and congressional districts, remember that the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law will deal with that thorny topic May 7 in a midday forum.

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Not a big surprise

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 7:09 PM

You might be shocked — shocked! — to learn that many of the people offering public comment to N.C. House budget writers this evening are representing interests that rely heavily on particular programs. 

Even if no lobbyists, paid advocates, or interest-group volunteers took part in the process, the value of the comments is bound to be limited. As House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, said earlier today:

The problem is we've got 9 million people, and 20 or 30 people will get a chance to speak tonight. That's not representative of anything. It's just the people who happen to be able to get to the mic.

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Sen. Specter switches to Dems

Posted by David N. Bass at 1:48 PM

The AP reports:

Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that also will push Democrats within one seat of a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement was expected later in the day or Wednesday.

President Barack Obama called Specter almost immediately after he was informed of the decision to say the Democratic Party was "thrilled to have you," according to a White House official. Spurned Republicans said his defection was motivated by ambition, not principle.

This is probably an acknowledgment on Specter's part that he was heading for a drubbing in 2010 in the Republican primary.

As Phil Klein of the American Spectator points out, in 2004 Specter beat conservative Pat Toomey by just 17,000 votes "in a bitterly fought primary in which [Toomey] was outspent 4 to 1."

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Moving Toward the European Model? (This ain't about an automobile)

Posted by Michael Moore at 12:20 AM

JLF regular Headliner speaker, Michael Barone, makes some points today in this article regarding President Obama's policies shifting America to the European Model...

(Obama) He wants government to take over much of the one-seventh of the economy that is devoted to health care, but how much and by what means are still unclear. One result, common in Europe, is likely: rationing of care. Obama also wants to reshape the energy sector by imposing a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions. This will raise energy costs, particularly on the 60 percent of Americans whose electricity is produced by coal, and will provide opportunities for corporations to make profits by gaming the system. But it's not clear that it will encourage development of the one plentiful non-carbon-emitting energy source that France, for one, relies on -- nuclear power.

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Clinton adopts Bush postion on CO2 reduction treaty

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 12:16 AM

According to the AP: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that any agreement to combat global warming should require developing countries like India and China to reduce emissions, a position that prevented former President George W. Bush from signing an international pact.

She went on to say: There is no sense in negotiating an agreement if it will have no practical impact in reducing emissions to safer levels.

Huh--reduce emissions to safer levels? Since when were emissions of CO2 a safety issue? Most of us exist inside buildings and rooms with 10 or 20 times the concentrations of CO2 that will ever be experienced in the atmosphere without any concern for our safety. 

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GOP legislative leaders want Perdue to freeze budget

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:52 AM

Before Gov. Bev Perdue's announcement about new steps taken to cover an extra $1 billion hole in the state budget, Republcan leaders urged her to freeze the 2009-10 budget at current budget levels.

Click play below to view the 13:12 news briefing.

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Enough is enough! I have had it with these monkey-fightin' statists on this Monday-to-Friday plane!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:50 AM

From Dome we learn that Rep. Sue Myrick supports Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)'s no-cell-phone provision as part of the House Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization. As The Politico reports:

"This is like smoking. Once we knew it was a health risk and a nuisance on airplanes, it still took us a long time to undo it,” DeFazio said. “The words 'cell phone' and 'courtesy' no longer go together. If people aren't self-policing on [other] transportation, they'll be no more self-policing on airplanes." ...

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) said she was recently stuck on a flight sitting next to a man who ignored four requests from the flight attendant to wrap up his conversation.

"Common courtesy has gone down the drain, and people don't have the respect for others like they used to," said Myrick. "They think they're the only ones on the whole plane."

So for those of you wondering what the anti-tobacco nazis would go after next, here is yet another monkey-fightin' possibility. The Tyranny of the Proper marches on.

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Sir Michael Caine threatens to leave Britain

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:19 AM

It's for a completely opposite reason than those cited by far-left American entertainers, such as Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, and Tim Robbins. They want more state socialism; Caine has had enough:

"Tax got to 82 per cent [in the 1970s] and I thought this was kind of unfair," he said. "Also, I see... that the government has taken it up to 50 per cent and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America.

"I will not pay the Government more than I get. No way, ever. So they've reached their limit with me. That's the lot."

Sir Michael, 76, who is worth an estimated £45 million and who currently lives in between homes in Surrey and Chelsea, said that he believed many other figures from the entertainment industry would also follow suit and that Britain would lose many of its most talented stars.

"That's what will happen to a lot of people," he said. "You know how much they [the government] made out of that high taxation all those years ago?

"Nothing and they sent a mass of incredible brains to America. Yes they did. The most stupid act you've ever seen in your life.

"We've got three and a half million layabouts laying about on benefits and I'm 76 getting up at six o'clock in the morning to go to work to keep them.

"Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not to keep sticking it on."

Caine is not the only British talent complaining; among others, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber has also spoken out.

I wonder if it will be our duty as Americans to tell these prospective émigrés not to get too comfortably in Obamaland.

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No charter high school for Asheville

Posted by Michael Moore at 08:47 AM

Not yet anyway. Well the state does have a 100-charter school cap, sorry Asheville. 

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What's the next step for N.C. redistricting?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:58 AM

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that North Carolina must redraw at least some of its state House districts, what can we expect from the next redistricting process?

It's a question the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law is exploring next week in a "Constitutional Conversations" program. Learn more about the May 7 event on the NCICL home page. You still have a chance to sign up to participate.

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:45 AM

Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Sam Hieb's report on the impact of a government shakeup on certain jobs within Guilford County government, especially jobs for lawyers.

John Hood's Daily Journal takes a closer look at the N.C. Senate's proposed tax plan.

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