"What's on Tap" is a weekly round-up of stories and links that may be interesting to Drinking Liberally patrons.
Join us every Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. onward at Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, 222 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Happy hour specials end at 6 p.m. You can find more information about us on Facebook or our home site, and follow us on Twitter - @RaleighDL.
This week: instant runoff voting; Glenwood Avenue repairs; state troopers confiscate a lesbian's driver license; and Iceland's Best Party shows us how it should be done. Come inside for more.
- We’re all struggling in this economy; but most of us are doing far better than the poorest among us. Local charities are feeling the pinch, and some are closing. Have you given lately?
- Are you a progressive who wants to see greater citizen involvement in elections? Are you a conservative who wants governments to stop wasting millions of dollars on private party runoff elections attended by 5% of the population? Then you are in favor of instant runoff voting. Voters in Cary and Hendersonville love it. Won’t you love it, too? Then tell your state legislator; their names and contact information are here.
- Watch the North Carolina Senate candidates debate here. No, really – WATCH IT. Don’t just pull the lever. Know what you are fighting for!
- What’s happening This Week in Congress, courtesy of Congress Matters and Daily Kos.
Local & State
- The very painful Glenwood Avenue concrete fix is here. Plan on two months of one-lane traffic each way from Five Points to Wade Avenue. Ramps connecting Glenwood and westbound Wade Avenue will be closed.
View Glenwood Avenue concrete fix in a larger map
- The Wake County Schools junta (aka the five-member anti-diversity majority that runs the county school system) has chosen the most expensive non-North Carolina bidder for its superintendent search.
- A climate of homophobia at Duke University – against a Republican, no less – has the administration sitting on its hands.
- The SEIU and SEANC, through a front group, committed $1 million to get the “North Carolina First” party on the state ballot. They only succeeded in the 8th congressional district, in an attempt to challenge Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) from the left. Just one problem – they forgot to check that their candidate, Wendell Fant, actually wanted to run. Fant declined, and even offered praise for Kissell in doing so. Because the labor groups petitioned to get Fant’s name on the ballot when their party organization failed, they cannot replace him with another candidate. Nice going.
- Do you want to know who is funding your candidates? Follow the Money with the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Here is their report on state Sen. Josh Stein (D-Raleigh).
- Republicans cannot gain any traction in their attempts to derail Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. The hearings begin today, just hours after the death of Senate dean Robert Byrd (D-WV).
- Big surprise: the US health care system is grossly overpriced and underwhelming.
- New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection finds little environmental impact for offshore wind farming.
- A pretty groovy photo of the rainbow flag flying on the Space Needle for Seattle Pride.
- Tennessee lesbian marries in DC. Tennessee lesbian returns to Knoxville and applies for a new license at the DMV. Tennessee lesbian gets all the way to her car in the parking lot with the new license before being chased down and yelled at by an employee that “we don’t recognize same sex marriage”. Tennessee lesbian surrenders new license under threat of highway patrolmen. Tennessee lesbian must now pay $200 for a court-ordered name change that opposite-sex couples get for free.
- This week in goofy governors:
- Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) lies about the federal government’s assistance in cleaning up the BP oil disaster; Adm. Thad Allen and CBS News call him a spade.
- Gov. Rick “Good Hair” Perry (R-TX) must be worried about re-election. Republicans in Texas were behind a half-million dollar effort to qualify the Green Party for the ballot in an attempt to weaken statewide Democrats. A state judge has blocked the Greens from the ballot. Don’t expect the same from the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court.
- Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) believes that the majority of illegal immigrants into Arizona are drug smugglers.
- Iceland shows us how to do it:
“No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” Gnarr said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”
Seriously – this man is now the mayor of Reykjavik.
- More unrest in south Asia – this time in Bangladesh, where government misrule has brought on a general strike and the possibility of civil violence.
- A rare success story for democracy in Africa: Guineans head to the polls to elect their first civilian government in over half a century of independence. International observers are optimistic for a peaceful transition from military government.
- Horrifying, yet effective, protection against rape for African women – the Rape-aXe.
- The Times of London online is moving towards a pay-for-use model by requiring free registrations. This cut traffic to their site in half. And while a third of visitors simply went to another Times publication, many went to Google, or to competitors The Guardian and The Telegraph. Of course, what will pajama-clad bloggers like me do without free news to link to?
If you have a story you think would be good for What’s on Tap, please add it as a comment or email it to frankthomas at gmail.com.