Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature, along with Gov. Pat McCrory, announced agreement on a tax reform plan.
The plan reduces corporate income tax from 6.9 percent to 6 percent and the state personal income tax from 7.75 to 5.8 percent by 2014. The child tax credit will stay, and will increase to $125 for people earning less than $40,000. The gas tax will be capped, the estate tax will be eliminated and the sales tax refund for non-profits will be preserved.
Meanwhile, NC Democrats are celebrating the attention they've been able to draw for their so-called "Moral Monday" protests. CNN had a report. Progressives swooned.
From the CNN story:
McCrory brushed off criticisms from Democrats that he is only pushing a conservative agenda.
"I have stepped on toes in my first six months in office of the right and the left and the media," McCrory added. "Maybe that means I'm doing something right."
Democrats in the state, who lack any power to pass, sign, or reject laws for the first time anybody in the party can remember, feel that it's only their toes that McCrory is stepping on. And they accuse the governor and the Republicans of trying to "turn back the clock."
So, turning the clock back to when Democrats were in charge (the past 140 years or so) is bad? Got it.
Progressives are also celebrating the latest survey from the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling that shows disapproval of the GOP Legislature and Governor.
NC Media: "That Blueprint NC plan is working! Just don't talk about it."
The Zimmerman Trial
Today we'll be a Zimmerman-Martin Free Zone. But here are some links to background stories I found last night. If a civil case is brought against George Zimmerman, I'd expect much of Trayvon Martin's life to be part of the trial.
This piece by Jack Cashill outlines some of the information that never made it into the mainstream media accounts. Like the purchase of a "blunt" cigar at that convenience store. Also, the Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea are actually ingredients of a street intoxicant called "drank," when you mix it with Robitussin or a codeine product.
"This guy looks like he's up to no good," Zimmerman tells the police. "Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." Trayvon was on drugs or had been recently. His autopsy showed the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in both his blood and his urine.
It is possible too that Trayvon was up to no good. "He's just staring, looking at all the houses," says Zimmerman. Trayvon had a history. On October 21, 2011, he received his second suspension that school year. A security guard at his school saw Trayvon writing "WTF" on a hallway locker. In looking through his bag for the marker, the guard found 12 pieces of jewelry, a watch, and a "burglary tool."
And here's a piece about Zimmerman's racial identity. He has black ancestry.
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather - the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room. I'm black, OK?" the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. "There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood," she said. "That's why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin."
In other news
A snake slithered up a toilet and bit a guy... on a very sensitive part of his body.
And a different breed of snakes inside the Treasury Department admit to targeting political candidates. The Department of Justice refuses to investigate.