Out of NC Update

Just saw a couple updates about the US Senate races in Alaska and Minnesota and thought I would post them here. The news is good. Alaska is in our column as of right now, although the lead could see-saw back and forth. Minnesota is so close that it puts to rest the "one vote doesn't matter" myth forever.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Just as Sen. Ted Stevens appeared set to return to Congress, felony conviction and all, his re-election bid has faltered. If he loses, it also closes a possible door into the Senate anytime soon for Gov. Sarah Palin.

More after the break.

The Coleman-Franken recount state machinery is gearing up. Both sides are lining up lawyers for each of the 100+ recount sites (87 counties + multiple sites in larger cities.)
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Precincts and counties has been "certifying" their votes since Nov. 4: adding in absentee ballots, checking & correcting for math errors. During each day both candidates' numbers have moved up and down but the net has drifted toward Al Franken, from a Coleman lead of 775 to this morning's 206.

More after the break.

Thanks, Howard and Jerry

Howard Dean will step down as head of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the year. I followed his election to the post in 2005, when a field of party insiders were rebuffed by party delegates ready to do something besides lose to the Republicans.

Dean marshalled the 50 state strategy:

Rather than focusing just on swing states, Dean proposed what has come to be known as the 50-State Strategy. The goal, the DNC says, is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single voting precinct in the country.

While it sounds obvious in today's political climate, the idea of putting resources into states like North Carolina was considered foolish and wasteful. Dean didn't heed the naysayers, and less than four years later, Democrats have wrested the White House and Congress from the hands of those promising a "permanent Republican majority".

Voting for President Separate

It looks like the voters here in Mecklenburg figured out that you had to vote for president separate. I don't think there is a way to see if the people who voted straight ticket also voted for president, but 98.9% of all voters voted for a presidential candidate, 98.1% voted in the governor's race and 97.7% voted in the senate race.

The machines here remind us at the end if we have missed any races and gives us a chance to go back before we cast our ballot so I am sure that this helped.

How did other counties do?

Electricities: Incompetence run amok

One of the BlueNC watchdogs that keep an eye on Electricities alerted us earlier this week that the incompetent organization was screwing up again, this time striking a questionable deal with a legislator-turned-lobbyist. Today, Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch, digs a little deeper.

Moore v. Cooper?

Just in case you had any delusions that the world, the country and the state had stepped through the looking glass into happy land, rumblings of discord are already rolling through the hallowed halls in Raleigh. In this instance, the N&O claims there's a turf-battle brewing between Richard Moore and Roy Cooper over who gets to hire lawyers to sue on behalf of the State of North Carolina.

We are a center right nation, you just didn't realize it.

We are still a center-right country and if you have any doubts about that just listen to the news. Listen to Morning Joe on MSNBC and Joe Scarborough and company will repeat it ad naseum throughout the morning. Watch CNN and every announcer will make mention of fact. Watch Hardball and you'll be sure to hear Chris Matthews talking about it. Pick up a newspaper and read the columns, it will be in there somewhere.

Center-right. What does that mean? I guess we'll have to figure it out based on what the country thinks.

Thank you for your service to our country - A Veteran's Day open thread

Dear Veterans,

Thank you for your service to our country.
Thank you for securing and ensuring our safety and the many freedoms we enjoy.
Thank you for helping those in other countries devastated by natural disasters.
Thank you for assisting in our own communities when natural disasters hit home.
Thank you for protecting our global neighbors when aggressors put them in harms way.

The greatest strength of America's military is found in the number of men and women willing to voluntarily put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the people of this country and those in need around the world. We are truly blessed.

Thank you.

N.C. FREE: The end of an error?

Many of you know WAY more about the rise and fall of NC FREE than I do - and I'd love to get your thoughts on its recent demise. The Winston Salem Journal laments its passing:

During most of the past 25 years, N.C. FREE provided business leaders with a lot of information they needed to keep the progressive balance. Unfortunately, it lost its direction a few years back. Some influential members wanted it to veer to the right, to become another of Raleigh's highly partisan advocacy groups. That killed the organization because other influential members said no and left.

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