Thanks, from the Navy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. My Dad said if I wanted to I could tell you something here. I just got home last week from a cruise to and from the Persian Gulf and my Dad has shown me the stuff he wrote about our cruise here. I got to read what you wrote back and you guys are really nice.

Eventually

Kill now

I've been reading a lot of right wing blogs lately, including a fair amount free-market stuff like Cato. I have to admit, those guys are good at weaving Libertarian threads into magical nirvana carpets.

There's only one problem. Their magic carpets don't fly right now. They only fly eventually.

That's how it is with free markets. Everything is eventually.

One place where this awkward adverb comes painfully into play (no pun intended) is in the area of health care. The full-market extremists argue that all we need to do is cut regulation, cut taxes, get government out of health care and all will eventually be right with the world. They might be right, who knows? But my question is this: what happens between now and eventually? Do millions of poor people suffer because they don't have the access rich people have?

NC-Sen: Dole Slammed on Immigration

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Earlier this week, the Charlotte Observer slammed Elizabeth Dole on immigration:

Sen. Dole worked hard to help kill a decent immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate in July. It wasn't perfect, but it provided a practical, intelligent way to secure the border -- and pay for it. It also took the sensible step of providing illegal immigrants a conditional path to legal status. Too bad lawmakers such as Sen. Dole were more interested in shouting "amnesty" and opposing any step toward legal status than they were in helping the folks back home.

Mountains of Would-Be Governors

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At the Public Policy Polling blog, you'll find lots of interesting commentary about North Carolina electoral politics. Today's post looks at how most of the gubernatorial candidates are viewed by folks living in the mountains.

In the Democratic race for Governor, Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue had a big lead in the region over Treasurer Richard Moore in September but has seen the margin decline every month since to the point that Moore led Perdue 35-30 in the December poll. So far Perdue has led all of the polls on a statewide level. Neither of the candidates has shown much interest or spent much time traveling to western North Carolina so far during the campaign so the region is probably up for grabs to the candidate who works harder to court the support of mountain voters in 2008.

One candidate who has been traveling regularly to the region is senator Fred Smith, one of the Republican candidates for Governor, who has attended numerous BBQs on his behalf in small towns over the last few months. After finishing third behind opponents Bill Graham and Bob Orr in our September poll, Smith has taken the lead by increasingly greater margins in our last three polls. Traveling to places like Brevard, Robbinsville, and Marion has clearly helped his standing with WNC Republicans.

Fred "The Asphalt King" Smith (who is not a politician, by the way) knows a few things about retail vote-gittin'. For example, he knows how easy it is to buy support from old people with platters of BBQ and hush puppies. I wonder if Smith told his audiences that he grew up in an orphanage and went on to suck up more than $40 million in taxpayer dollars bidding on highway construction projects.

Our Navy son and his shipmates are home!

On Wednesday, we went onto the naval base in Norfolk, VA to meet and greet our son who has been sailing on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in the Persian Gulf for the last 7 months. They were part of a strike group that I suppose was Deadeye Dick and GWB's whet dream of bombing Iran when and if they could find any excuse to do so.

50 State Blog Roundup 12/21/07

In all the mad rush surrounding this time of year bloggers at the 50 State community blogs are busy staying on top of local news. It's a bit shorter than last week, but should give you some good reading over the weekend.

A personal thank you to Karl for putting together a comprehensive roundup for us last week and for helping me pull together submissions for this week.

Here's your 50 State Blog Roundup for the week of December 21, 2007:

Where in the World is Elizabeth Dole?

If you got a glimpse of Elizabeth Dole this year, count yourself among the lucky few.

When it came to protecting North Carolina communities against an unwanted outlying landing field, providing health insurance for children, and taking a stand against Big Oil, Dole was missing in action.

The one place she could be found was among the thickets of Bush Republicans who sided with special interests and blocked Congress from moving forward on our top priorities.

Maybe in 2008 Dole will stop obstructing and actually deliver. Or maybe she’ll keep finding excuses for her obstruction.

Here’s a holiday list of what North Carolina families were looking for this year, and what they’ll keep demanding in the New Year.

Click here to read more.

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