Mecklenburg County Sheriff Selection Process an Embarrassment

Most of you probably haven't been paying attention to what is going on in Mecklenburg County with the selection of the next sheriff. The very popular Sheriff Pendergraph has moved to Washington to take a job with the Department of Homeland Security. Members of the Democratic Executive Committee gather tonight to choose his successor. Holy mother of pearl, what a nightmare! You will find background here.

Why I'm in Iowa

Crossposted from Daily Kos.

I've been in Iowa for a week, doing whatever it takes to win Iowa and the Democratic Nomination for Senator Joe Biden. As everybody here at BlueNC knows, I believe in Joe.

I'm beyond talking about Chuck Grassley and Tom Carper's Bankruptcy Bill, or the Clarence Thomas hearings that were cut short by Anita Hill's team. I'm beyond pedantic enucleations of back-door bureaucratic negotiations. I'm way beyond Hillary bashing. I'm not even asking for money. Instead, I'm going to tell you a story that in some ways goes back to a young college student in his small town's only diner, and in other ways goes back to a young man growing up in Delaware. Hopefully, you will indulge me as I go back in to my past, our past, and Joe Biden's past with some of my recollections and a few quotes that help tell the story. To those enamored with brevity, I apologize for the commodious topics covered in this diary. I think it's a rewarding read, but it's not for the faint of heart. Perhaps it will tell you more about a great Democratic Senator and a little about ourselves. And so it begins ...

North Carolina's Republican Representatives Losing Power and Authority in the Senate, House

Cross-posted from the Brock Log.

North Carolina's Junior Senator, Richard Burr (R) lost his bid for the Republican Senate Conference Chairmanship to Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee.

Frontpaged by A. Thanks, Thomas.

Immigration: North Carolina's Challenge

Statue of Liberty

 "Give me your tired, your poor,
  Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
  The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This is what greeted my 10 year-old great-grandfather when he and his family sailed into New York Harbor in 1893. They stepped onto Ellis Island without documents. They were quarantined, processed, and then sent on their way to build our country. After a few years, they filed naturalization papers and became citizens. My ancestors were looking for a sanctuary country and they found it in the United States of America.

God told me not to vote for Huckabee

With all the hubbub going on around immigration these days, and in light of the swarm of right-wing locusts that have invaded North Carolina, I have spent much of the day praying. Seriously.

And in the midst of all my kneeling and genuflecting, I asked God whether or not I should vote for Mr. Huckabee, the rising Christian superstar who fancies himself to be The Chosen One. I took my cue from this excerpt from Huckabee's speech at Liberty University last week:

Much of the news conference focused on Huckabee’s reference to God as a major driving force behind his increasing popularity. When asked if God was solely responsible for his surge in the polls, Huckabee clarified: “I’m saying that when people pray, things happen. I’m not saying that God wants me to be elected. The last time I checked, he hadn’t registered in any of the states to vote. If he does register, be sure to let me know, because I will ask for his vote.”

After all that praying, I am sorry to report that Mr. Huckabee has apparently been talking to the wrong god. The god I talked to today said he would not vote for Huckabee no matter how many times he asks.

I guess that settles that.

Sand fleas, Home ticks, and Astroturf

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I wrote about the Sand Fleas at Figure 8 Island back in July, after homeowners there started leaning on the legislature to allow hardened structures on beaches - the first step toward building sea walls in front of luxury beachfront properties. In case you're not aware, hardened structures on one part of a beach cause accelerated erosion on other parts of the beach. In other words, they're destructive and stupid. The NC Conservation Network was asking people like us to contact our representatives to stop Senate Bill 599.

Well now Adam Searing at NC Policy Watch reports that the Sand Fleas have taken a page from the Home Ticks book and have created an Astroturf organization to give the illusion that there's a ground-swell of grassroots activism behind the scenes.

Dome Infestation

It's hard to know whether Ryan Beckwith is enjoying his new-found popularity, but for those who are interested, Under the Dome is now officially infested with denizens of the rabid right. In response to Martin Lancaster's call to allow enrollment of illegal immigrants in community colleges (he's the President of the Community College system), the bottom has fallen out of the xenophobic barrel. And in case you think I'm throwing that word around lightly, take time to read the comments for yourself. The Old North State is one sad and ugly place.

In the past, I've had the practice of checking out the Dome regularly. No more. The wingnuts can have the place all to themselves.

Where is Liddy on SCHIP?

Elizabeth Dole was against expanding the State Children Health Insurance Program before she was for it.

Dole endangered the health of 123,000 North Carolina children when she voted six times this year against fully funding the program.

Last week, she was among 28 senators who sent a letter asking Senate leadership to expand SCHIP.

“Elizabeth Dole is playing election year politics with the health of our children,” said NCDP Chair Jerry Meek.


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