Floor speech on the 2006 Budget by Joe Hackney

In his position as Majority Leader, Hackney often delivered the summary for Democrats in floor debates. Here’s his speech at the end of the debate on the budget last year. Call it the straining-at-gnats speech and it has a funny moment with Paul Stam.

Heath Shuler Against the Bush Plan for Iraq

Shuler's come out against the Bush plan:

From his blog:

"This afternoon I met with White House officials hoping to hear from them a clear plan and new strategy for victory in Iraq. Tonight, the American people tuned in to President Bush’s address hoping to hear the same – that we would have a new strategy which would stabilize Iraq and bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible. Instead, we heard a call for escalation and continuation – an escalation of the number of our troops fighting in Iraq and a continuation of the same failed policies and reckless optimism.”

“We have watched as the President has sent more and more troops to Iraq, with the same results. The President has asked us to send more of our brave young men and women into harm’s away, against the advice of his generals and the Iraq Study Group. Americans across our nation -- Republican and Democrat -- agree that is unacceptable.”

Hackney is speaker nominee

Joe Hackney, a Chapel Hill attorney who grew up near Silk Hope in Chatham County, was nominated for Speaker by House Democrats in a meeting at the legislature.
"We stand here united and ready to go to work," Hackney said after being elected on the fourth ballot.
Hugh Holliman of Lexington was named to Hackney's old post of Majority Leader and William Wainwright of Havelock, co-chair of the House Finance Committee was named Speaker Pro Tem.

In his position as Majority Leader Hackney often delivered the summary for Democrats in floor debates. Here's his speech at the end of the debate on the budget last year.

Joe Hackney

Congratulations Joe Hackney

According to News & Observer Joe Hackney is Democrats' choice for Speaker of the House. Follow the action and comments in the Hackney speaker link above with updates by Kirk Ross.

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They're already there

What we'll learn tonight about the surge is that the troops are already there. Kuwait, mostly, but on the way in already. The decision was probably made a hell of a long time ago and, in true Bush fashion, we learn after-the-fact.
Reports are already out there, no surprise to people in Fayetteville and other base towns. They've watched neighbors and family members shipping out for a couple of weeks. Other troops already there will have their tours extended. Still others will deploy early.

Enjoy the speech.
War is not the answer (see after the break).

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See Jane Whine

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There's a new Puppet lurking in the halls of the Art Pope Puppetshow. Her name is Jane Shaw, and her credentials place her among the upper crust of free-market fundamentalists. With a career spent extolling the virtues of private enterprise (though never actually running a business), it's surprising that she landed in the Pope Center for Higher Education instead of the John Locke Foundation itself. She's infinitely more suited than Stagemanager Hood to be running the whole shooting match for the Puppetmaster. But that's another story.

This week Ms. Shaw slips into her whiniest self over the latest dust-up between the mean old faculty at NC State and Art Pope. As you may recall, a number of NC State professors recently complained about a planned deal between the Puppetmaster and the school. Mr. Pope wanted to buy himself his own private curriculum and the faculty, understandably, has said "no thanks." Now Jane Shaw is accusing the faculty of having a political agenda! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Open Season: George Bush



So. The Preznit will be on the boob tube tonight telling more lies to the world. Why he's even bothering is beyond me. George Bush doesn't care what Congress has to say about his insane war in Iraq. He doesn't care what Walter Jones has to say. Or Howard Coble. Or any Democratic representative. Or the American people. The troop surge has already begun.

What an ass.

Introducing Public Policy Polling

Many of us remember Public Policy Polling as the group that provided some encouraging polls for both Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler. Today, PPP has released some early polls on the primary races for governor and president here in NC. We're so happy they've decided to share - at least I am.

The best news is that this isn't a one-time thing. According to their press release there's more in store for those of us who love real polls.

As we begin a new year, a new legislative session and a new campaign season, PPP is rededicating itself to tracking issue trends, campaign match-ups and approval ratings. you can expect more poll data and more expert analysis on all aspects of North Carolina politics and government.

What is Public Policy Polling? To find out more about Public Policy Polling and owner, Dean Debnam, just read this great piece from Bob Geary in The Independent Weekly.

The polls are below the fold...

Sectarian Prayer Alert in Thomasville

Rev. Donnie Lunsford, pastor of New Grace Baptist Church, and Thomasville City Councilman, Dwight Cornelison, want more Christian prayer at public meetings, and they’re all fired up, writes The Dispatch. More after the break.

Coble, Jones Against Escalation

The Charlotte Observer has a great piece today by Jim Morrill and David Perlmutt with feedback on "the surge" from most of North Carolina's elected officials in Washington. Surprisingly, Republicans Howard Coble and Walter Jones are consistent in their opposition to the war and have come out against the President's, as yet, unannounced plan.

Opposing the President on Iraq isn't new for Walter Jones or Howard Coble, though Jones has received more attention for his reversal. Mother Jones magazine ran a piece in Feb. '06 by Robert Dreyfuss outlining the events that brought about Jones' "conversion" from a pro-war to an anti-war Republican.

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