I'm sure a few of you have seen Rob Christensen's 2010 Predictions, which makes for some pretty depressing reading, this part especially:
The North Carolina Senate has been in Democratic hands for 110 years. The Democrats hold a 30-20 lead, and the GOP needs to pick up six seats. With a number of veteran Democrats retiring, this is possible...Edge Republicans.
You better believe Conservative forces are gearing up to make a concerted effort to retake the NC Senate, and we need to do some gearing up ourselves. Replacing Burr is (without a doubt) extremely important, but before you squeeze the last four bits out of your piggy bank for Washington's sake, we need to talk about Raleigh some. In case you're wondering what's at stake, let's take a look.
We can expect this little jewel (or some variation) to find its way to the Governor's desk:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO PROVIDE Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution is amended by adding the following new section:
"Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
SECTION 2. The amendment set out in Section 1 of this act shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the State at an election on November 3, 2009, which election shall be conducted under the laws then governing elections in the State. Ballots, voting systems, or both may be used in accordance with Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. The question to be used in the voting systems and ballots shall be:
"[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST
Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
You're probably thinking, "Yeah, Steve, but there's no way in hell Bev would actually sign it, and there won't be enough votes to override her veto, so..."
Pay attention. This bill would require a referendum, which means two things: First, it throws the responsibility for the action into the laps of the voters, giving the politicians an "It's not my fault" out. Second, if Bev does veto the bill, Republicans can tell everybody that Bev doesn't trust their judgment enough to let them decide.
It's not merely a legislative exercise or the last throes of a dying anachronistic morality, it is a direct and substantial threat to our LGBT friends. Which means, it's a direct threat to us, because if we allow the hopes and dreams of our friends to be snuffed out, we are useless.
Okay. Deep breath. Continuing:
Here's an example of Republican empathy and understanding from Senator David Rouzer:
AN ACT requiring applicants for public assistance to undergo drug testing and demonstrate that the applicant is employed, furthering the applicant's education, or performing community service before the applicant is eligible for public assistance.
Of course, we cannot forget the dangerous little brown people, and anybody who might help them, according to Senator Austin Allran:
"§ 64‑6. Unlawful transfer or concealment of an alien.
(a) It is unlawful for a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to transport, move, or attempt to transport that person within this State or to solicit or conspire to transport or move that person within the State with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoid apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of unlawful transfer of an alien, which offense shall be punishable as a Class G felony.
(b) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection or to solicit or conspire to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection that person in any place, including a building or means of transportation, with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoid apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of unlawful concealment of an alien, which offense shall be punishable as a Class G felony.
Look out, public transit bus drivers. Or even school bus drivers, for that matter...
And not only do we need to Drill Here, Drill Now! (within 3.5 miles of the coast), Senator James Forrester is apparently concerned that we're just not polluting our environment enough, so we need us one of them there refineries:
SECTION 1. The Environmental Review Commission may study the desirability of encouraging the offshore drilling exploration for oil or natural gas in coastal waters within the State's jurisdiction of 3.5 miles. The Environmental Review Commission may study whether to urge the United States Congress to pass legislation to either authorize the offshore drilling exploration for oil or natural gas in territorial waters within federal jurisdiction or delegate this authority to the individual states. Further, the Environmental Review Commission may study whether to urge the United States Congress and the United States Department of the Interior to support expanding the role of offshore drilling in our State's coastal waters and to support developing an oil refinery in eastern North Carolina in order to stimulate jobs' creation and restore the State's economy.
And God knows, we can't let anything get in the way of killing people in the name of justice, according to the guy who could soon be the top dog in the NC Senate, Phil Berger:
(a) Any assistance rendered with an execution under this Article by any licensed health care professional, including, but not limited to, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists shall not be cause for any disciplinary or corrective measures by any board, commission, or other authority created by the State or governed by State law which oversees or regulates the practice of health care professionals, including, but not limited to, the North Carolina Medical Board, the North Carolina Board of Nursing, and the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.
Oh, I forgot this part:
(b) The infliction of the punishment of death by administration of the required lethal substances under this Article shall not be construed to be the practice of medicine.
Okay, so: The pre-inspection of the lethal injection apparatus is practicing medicine, the attachment of the device to the lucky individual, as well as the operating of said device, is not practicing medicine, and the subsequent post-mortem and death certificate authorization is (back to) practicing medicine again. Gotcha. Mengele would be impressed by your logic there, Philip.
We need to take this seriously, folks. Pinpoint vulnerable Districts/seats, probe for GOTV opportunities, take a look at viable candidates and give them whatever help we can, etc. There are some savvy politickers here at BlueNC, and any light-shedding they (you) can provide would be much appreciated.