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NC House Committees are now available online

Speaker Hackney announced committees today in the NC House.

They are now available online at the ncleg.net web site here.

A couple of interesting things to me:

Second term (and very capable and promising) member Rep. Angela Bryant got a chairmanship.

Rep. Grier Martin is no longer chair of Homeland Security/Veterans Affairs. He moved to an Appropriations sub-chair specializing on transportation.

I'm still looking over the lists.

Anything of interest to anyone else?

NC Senate Committees are now available online

The NC state Senate committees are now up on the General Assembly's website here

Some interesting changes are Martin Nesbitt from Buncombe now heading up Judiciary I. Bob Atwater from the Chatham now heads Agriculture. Other changes are there as well.

For me, a secondary note of interest showing how Basnight's circle hasn't changed much is that the new Vice Chair of Rules is David Weinstein. Walter Dalton was Vice Chair last session. Of course, Rand stills runs the place.

Basnight also usually gives some Republicans some co-chairs, and this year is no different.

Which ones caught your eye?

New NC Chamber leaders oppose women's pay equity

On Tuesday, February 3, the NC Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as NCCBI - NC Citizens for Business and Industry), will hosts its government affairs conference in Raleigh. State legislative and government leaders will attend and speak.

What is offensive is that this organization under the new leadership of a Mr. Lew Ebert (previously of Kansas and Pennsylvania) opposed the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

See their email alert here

While most small businesses may not be members of the statewide NC Chamber, many local chambers of commerce throughout the state affiliate with this organization. People at the local level should urge their local chambers of commerce to express their disbelief that the formerly well-respected NC Chamber has sunk to the new low of opposing equal pay for women in the workplace.

Today’s Edition of the Circus of Situational Ethics

John Hood says we shouldn’t fix broken things, because we could buy new things instead of fixing broken things which still stimulates the economy, but just in a different way. Got all that?

Of course, hasn’t Hood always encouraged restrained government spending in the name of opportunity cost budgeting? Well, no.

However, if his column doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t matter. You’re just supposed to think he’s smart because he cites Keynes and Bastiat.

Blather available here

Erik Sorenson fears a class war that the rich won’t win. Even though he does frown on a $37,000 toilet, he’s frightened that $100,000 in salary just isn’t enough. I wonder what the janitors at MSNBC made when he led the company.

Comfort poor little rich boy here

Kay Hagan follow-up ... and follow through

A topic of some debate last year on BlueNC was Kay Hagan's true standing on LGBT rights.  Some saw her race against Jim Neal (among three other candidates) in the Democratic primary as a slight or outright hostility to LGBT rights.

To further lay any of that to rest, US Senator Hagan will be a keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Carolinas gala this year.  (www.hrccarolinas.org)  HRC is the nation's largest LGBT advocacy group in Washington.  Their annual Carolinas gala is second in size only to their annual national gala in DC.

NC blogger Matt Comer reported on this earlier in the year, as did Pam Spaulding.

I'll link to Matt's summary of the posts. http://insidesource.q-notes.com/2009/01/11/hagan-hrc/

Cash is just a means to an end, or is it?

The state of North Carolina has a "rainy day fund" of approx $800 million for a budget of approx $21 billion.

Think about that figure as you consider Suze Orman's incessant advice to have an 8 month liquid emergency fund for an unforeseen financial storm.

For reference, one month is 8.3% of an annual budget.

In your personal life, do you have such a liquid emergency fund (not a retirement fund, home equity, or other less liquid assests)? 

Do you think the organizations you are involved with have 67% (that's eight months times 8.3%) of their annual budget tucked away in a savings account?

Does your church?  Your local charity? Your party?  Are you financially responsible for any of these groups?  Does your board of deacons/directors/trustees talk about it?

In Alamance County, Tony Foriest again confounds old ideas about voting patterns

In the 2008 elections, Alamance County went for McCain, Hagan, McCrory and Pittenger.

However, Alamance voters also chose Democrat Tony Foriest for a second term in the NC state Senate.

Why is this notable?  Foriest is an African-American Democrat who won a non-minority legislative district.

This isn't the first time this has happened in recent NC legislative elections, but it is notable that the NC GOP targeted Senator Foriest and this district, but Foriest still outpolled Obama, Perdue and Dalton in growing Alamance County.

It should be noted that both Alamance and Caswell counties comprise the 24th Senate district.

2008 NC Election Results Refute Old Ideas About Politics and LGBT Equality

There was a time not so long ago (say, last year) that some Democratic party consultants and “leaders” still clung to the belief that gay issues were too toxic for the Democratic party to touch in The Old North State.

While this myth has been crumbling for years, the 2008 elections finally swept away any remaining shred of this falsehood.

Dr. Mike "Wonderland" Walden of NC State and Locke Foundation

And he gets paid to teach economics to children?

I couldn't let this go by without posting.

http://www.wral.com/business/story/4280363

Locke Foundation hack-on-the-side Dr. Mike Walden "assesses" that BB&T is cutting jobs because of a "lack of lending opportunities."

Any business folk out there want to tell Dr. Walden and BB&T where to find a "lending opportunity" to use the bajillions they've taken from the government?

Why do the gays still want a "hate crimes" law?

Because you can still kill a fag, AND taunt his corpse in a recorded voice mail, but just serve 8 months.

I'll post the link to the full story from Pam Spaulding, although this story is posted on several sites including www.q-notes.com. I won't post the background here. Follow the story and links at Pam's place.

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8930

Just across the state line, this killer was plea bargained down to an outrageous deal only some months ago, but is coming up for a possible parole hearing soon.

Why is this important? Because it shows the continuing need for "hate crimes" laws.

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