Bill me

This excellent entry triggered an email from a friend about the state of the legislature:

It’s the witching hour and strange things can happen. People will be using the perceived need to get out of town as an excuse to get some bad things done and also to leave some good things undone.

I'll say. If you've been around North Carolina for as many years as I have, you're well familiar with the 'get out of town' drumbeat. Government-haters want to cut taxes, wash their hands, and wrap things up. Progressives see much that needs doing and struggle to get a hearing. And the big middle is where compromise emerges. (My daddy would call it half-assed.)

Let's build on Targator's initiative and have a big conversation between now and the next session about how North Carolina gets governed.

What are the top ten bills we would write if we could?

A friend of mine recently said that he finally figured out how you change the world: You write a bill. Of course, you also have to find someone to introduce it and then push like hell to get it through. That's how businesses do it. That's how the theocrats do it.

That's how it's done.


campaign finance reform

as they said on the west wing, if we get campaign finance reform done, everything else comes easier. Make people the power behind politics and even the left and right will agree that we need a better healthcare system, less expensive drugs, higher fuel efficiency, etc.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Mebane sidewalks

Forget for a moment about the wisdom of this bill authorizing nefarious sidewalk activity in Mebane and focus instead on this question: Why is the state legislature spending its time on stuff like this?

I know why. Because we live in a state where local governments are like 3rd graders who have to ask Principal Raleigh if they want to go to the damn bathroom. Go look at the 21 pages of bills our legislature is dealing with. I'm guessing a quarter of them would disappear entirely if local governments had authority to manage their own affairs without asking permission for every little thing.

Yes, yes, yes.

There is no reason that our legislature spends so much time on local governing. Democrats believe in the power of the people and Republicans can't get enough of "local controL" when it comes to Federal Government. Both sides should be shamed into giving local control back to local government. Then, maybe, the part-time legislature could work part time. Look at the vote tallies on some of these issues:

1007 46 (Y) 0 (N) 3 1 0 46 PASSED
__52 46 ... 0
_456 48 ... 0

obviously, these bills are all going to pass. It is a gigantic waste of time and returning power to local government should be a priority of our progressive legislators.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Index Minumum Wage

Now that we appear to have won this year's minimum wage debate, we should put it on auto-pilot. Index the minimum wage to inflation and let it rise every year. It works for Social Security, and it works for Congress.