In Defense of "Electability"

I've been lurking for awhile and have noticed a recurring idea, implicit or explicit, in many posts - "electability." I've seen it most prominently in connection with the Lieutenant Governor's primary, but it's also a big issue (of course) on the national scene. Hence Obama's constant references to his better chances to win the general election. Some people seem to deride the idea at all times, or at least pay it mere lip-service while advocating candidates who have no real chance in the general election, and I think that's foolish.

Duplicitous Dole

If you've ever wondered how our very senior senator has managed to fool most of the people most of the time (no, I'm not talking about her many face lifts), you'll want to check out Rob Schofield's excellent analysis of Dole's voting strategies.

For the most part, she votes in lockstep with the Bush Administration and Republican leadership – whether it’s on the war, tax cuts for the wealthy, or even limiting expansion of the SCHIP children’s health insurance program. However, Dole has also been careful to cast occasional votes that seem to shave at least a little bit of the far right edge off of her image and forestall opposition attack ads when she seeks reelection.

Obama in Chapel Hill Today?

From Hotline:

February 10, 2008
Wooing Edwards

NBC/NJ's Athena Jones has confirmed that Hillary Clinton met with John Edwards Thursday at his home in Chapel Hill to make her pitch for his endorsement. The encounter was first reported earlier today by The Page. NBC News subsequently confirmed that Barack Obama will make the same pilgrimage tomorrow to visit with JRE. The Obama campaign, however, is not commenting on the report, according to NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan.

Since Edwards dropped out of the contest nearly two weeks ago, Clinton and Obama have given public props to him at every possible turn, on the stump and in their first one-on-one debate in CA. As former Edwards supporters have realigned, however, more seem to be finding their way to Obama.

Top-10 poultry plant hides injuries to workers

Cross-posted at DKos and my blog

Today's Charlotte Observer includes the first of a potentially devastating six-part series on poultry-plant safety.

The first part focuses on House of Raeford, one of the ten largest poultry producers in the country. It's based in Hoke County, half an hour south of Fayetteville and operates plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. It supplies deli turkey and chicken products to companies such as Blimpie, Golden Corral and Food Lion. It also counts several school systems among its customers--including my hometown system, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. It claims to have one of the best safety records in the industry--but the Observer amply demonstrates that this record is a mirage.

Condolence payments

Via email from Blackwater Watch

The father of a 9-year-old Iraqi boy who says his son was killed by Blackwater security guards tells the company has offered to build a monument and make an unspecified cash payment to compensate him for the death of his son, Ali. The father says his son was one of 17 civilians killed when Blackwater security guards, escorting a diplomatic convoy, opened fire at Baghdad's Nisour square Sept. 16.
A Blackwater spokesperson declined comment on any negotiations involving the Sept. 16 incident but pointed to a U.S. government document indicating U.S. personnel would help with the distribution of "condolence payments." The document states "such payments will be based on Iraqi cultural norms and will not be viewed as an admission of guilt."

Energy week

This week, the Emerging Issues forum is taking a long, intense look at energy and the future of North Carolina with respect to climate change, greater energy efficiency and self-sufficiency and so on. While there is a lot of emphasis on green and alternatives, there's also going to be a heavy focus on the corporate sector including a panel with both Bill Johnson of Progress Energy and Jim Rodgers of Duke Energy and another panel on "converting Green to Green" with Jeff Immelt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Corporation.


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