No Room In The Inn: A Christmas Call for Equal Access to Higher Education

As he did last year, Rev. Dr. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP gave his Christmas Message on the steps of the North Carolina Community College System. Rev. Barber reflected on Luke 2:7, in which Joseph and Mary are told there is no room in the inn. He called on the leaders of our state to have the courage to "open up these doors and let our children come in."

Don't you think that innkeeper might look back and wish that he had let Jesus into his his inn? Do we want to make the same mistake?

Mr. Mike's parting shots

This is one for the record books, courtesy of Mark Binker, who did an exit interview with Governor Easley.

I tried to keep my side of the window clean, he said, throwing dirt at the other side of the window.

This conversation with the outgoing governor is not to be missed. No love lost for the print media, especially O-No!

Ru-roh

If you need any more evidence that our elected leaders are fiddling while North Carolina burns, consider this story from the Dome.

The plan, which covers teachers and state employees across North Carolina, needs an immediate $300 million cash infusion. Directors of the plan have started operating under emergency measures, delaying $45 million in payments to key vendors until after the legislature convenes in January. But that patch will keep the plan in the black only until March or April.

Big shoes

Rob Christensen has a good story on Richard Moore this morning. You should read it. Mr. Moore says he's giving up politics for now, which is too bad. Our national and state government could well benefit from someone as knowledgeable as he is when it comes to financial matters.

Happy Holidays and a reminder about how important our time on Earth truly is

As I prepare to go to Congress and celebrate the holidays with my family I want each of you to know how much I appreciate each of you for the interest you have shown not only in winning back North Carolina's Eighth District, but for the active interest you take in our Democracy each and every day of the year. I hope you all realize the importance of your actions and the huge contribution you make as you spend your precious time campaigning and keeping the important issues of the day on the forefront.

Open thread: Christmas eve

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

Are they lying?

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Lately I've been wondering how groups of people on different sides of issues can come to such dramatically different conclusions about the direction of public policy. In many cases, those differences appear to be grounded in honest disagreements. That's how I see the abortion issue, for example, where personal beliefs dominate the political landscape like so many hair-trigger land mines.

In other areas, the differences seem more rooted in deep philosophical divisions where honesty gets caught in the cross fire. That's what's happening in the continuing debate about global climate change, where free-market fundamentalists looking for free-market solutions are cooking the scientific books in pursuit of an ideological agenda. We need look no farther than the Journal of the John Locke Puppetshow to see the phenomenon in action. Today's edition features an ad for another seedy little free-market tank called the Heartland Institute.

The Great Banking Scam, brought to you by our Democratic Congress

The more I learn about how the banking industry is screwing taxpayers by siphoning off TARP funds, the madder I get. For example, we discovered today that more than $1.6 billion of those funds have gone to executive compensation at major financial institutions. It is truly mind-boggling that this crappy legislation was rammed through Congress by a Democratic majority earlier this year.

Offshore drilling charade: you can play too!

Under the Dome (thank you) reports today that the deadline is being extended for public comment on Virginia's plans to exploit the continental shelf for oil, part of the Big Energy Get Richer scheme that will have the added benefit of accelerating global climate change.

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