Just ignore the man behind the curtain

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Stagemanager Hood must have had an easy time writing today's column over at the JLF Puppetshow. He's calling for all sorts of legislative and electoral reforms. The problem is, he's been scooped by Speaker Joe Hackney who has already declared that the issues Hood's writing about will become the House Rules.

So instead of actually adding value to the discussion, Hood trolls in the dirty waters still swirling around Jim Black, who has been fully discredited and will likely end up in jail for his transgressions. But that doesn't stop the Stagemanger from stomping his feet and pounding his fists as though he has something meaningful to say.

To regain the public trust, and to set right at least some of what has gone so horribly wrong, state policymakers must be forthright, resolute, and bold. They should recognize that corruption has tainted past legislative action, and that in the future their work will be judged not simply by the intended ends but by whether the means used to enact the legislation were just.

Sandhills Open Thread

Yesterday’s Pilot reports Moore, Chatham, and Orange Counties are joining together to request new local taxing options as alternative sources of revenue to existing sales and property taxes. It is hoped that three counties working together and which happen to be represented at least partially by the Speaker will be more effective in bringing fairness and consistency to taxing authority for all 100 NC counties.

An important element of these resolutions is that the counties are asking to have these options so they can put them up for referendum. This is an important distinction, because if the legislature is to deny these options, they are saying they know better than the voters do about how the people would choose to be taxed. Of course, would also be saying, in not so many words, they desperately need the money that flows from the homebuilder and real estate lobbies. If we're talking about referendums, there should be no need for the Legislature to act to “protect” people from their county governments.

Disgraced Former Congressman Wags His Tongue

Charles Taylor is feeling chatty and sounding like a man running for Congress:

“We are in trying times right now,” Taylor told the crowd of about 100 people at Opportunity House. “Look at the last two months and it’s been nothing but a show from Democrats about ‘How can we win the presidency two years from now,’ not on what we can do for people today.”

Nifong needs a Waaaaambulance

Oh Puh-leeze! Mike Nifong's attorneys expect us to believe that while Nifong broke the rules, he didn't mean to break the rules.

Right. How many defendants did that work for in the cases Nifong prosecuted? Right, just what I thought.

The Charlotte Observer has the story and it carries probably the funniest quote from an attorney I think I've ever heard or read:

A lot of people have been rushing to judgment on both the underlying case and this case," attorney Dudley Witt said. "And after you allow someone to have a full hearing, I think you will find that he didn't do anything wrong."

OK, Dudley. Answer me this - who was the very first person to rush to judgment in the underlying case? Come on Dudley. You can do it bud. I'll give you a hint. He spoke to the media OFTEN. OK, we'll let you think on that one.

NC Graduation Rates Released - Open Thread

We have a couple more posts that may come in later in the afternoon for BlueNC Women on Wednesday. lcloud has been working on a post, but was surprised with an opportunity I'm sure she'll share at the appropriate time and may choose to hold her post. Trust me, you'll understand when you hear about it. Also, NCDem Amy has captured that nasty virus that's going around and is doing her best to finalize her post.

I hadn't planned to put anything on the front page, but thought everyone would be interested in the data out on North Carolina's high school graduation rates. From the News & Observer:

The results showed noticeable gaps in the graduation rate among racial, ethnic and economic groups. While 73.6 percent of white students graduated, the rate dropped to 60 percent for blacks, 55.3 percent for low-income students and 51.8 percent for Hispanics.

There was also a gap among the sexes, with 72.4 percent of female students graduating, compared with 63.9 percent of males.

Head on over to the N&O to see how your county performed.

Actions speak louder

Outnumbered by Republicans, North Carolina's Watauga County Democratic Party swept the ticket in 2006. Watauga was the only 5th-district county where Roger Sharpe defeated incumbent Representative Virginia Foxx. The irony: Representative Foxx calls Watauga home.

County Chair Diane Tilson attributes her party's success to many things. But she is most proud, not of their victories at the polls, but of their efforts to improve their community. Click on the one-minute video below to hear her explain how she wants her party's actions to speak louder than words:

On the Death of my Pre-Dawn Light

This is the sweet face who usually gets me out of bed every morning. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But, once out of bed, stronger medicine is required. My habit for the last several years has been to drink many warm cups of coffee while doing morning chores; dishes, reading, lunches, writing, taking to school, commenting, getting ready for work, etc. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that when one so set in her ways as I is denied a morning habit, the world -- in that home, anyway -- goes still on its axis. It is Tragedy. There is no other way to describe it. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was a rip in my personal space/time continuum, that moment of realization; today, Leslie H, you will not, can not, have that wonderful creation from Nature’s God, caffeine.

It's Your Government. Get Involved!

Moore County in many ways exemplifies America. To the north is Robbins, a struggling ex-mill town, where both a Senator and an astronaut rose above their environs and into the public light. To the south is Pinehurst, "Golf Capital of the World". Here there are two Americas.

When it comes to politics though, both northern and southern Moore County votes predominately Republican. Years ago, the north leaned more democratic, but more along the lines of Dixiecratic, eventually morphing to Republican. Time and again, the poor farmer or out-of-work mill worker will continue to vote Republican because their father did. The Republican Party message of oppression and less government still speaks to them.

West End Precinct is in the middle, both geographically and politically and of the 1683 registered voters, 635 are registered Dems, 689 Reps and 359 Una. Our problem here and county wide is representation; Republicans hold almost all elected offices. Changing this is our mission.

Please follow below the fold...

Women and science fiction

As long as I can remember, I've had books to read. Usually they'd be books my grandma had picked up on sale or at the used book shop, but I'd read just about anything I could get my hands on. This is how I discovered science fiction.

BlueNC Women on Wednesdays (WoW) Open Thread

I had so many story ideas running through my head to introduce today's writers. I've had a sneak preview at four of the articles and they speak for themselves. There is nothing I need to add. I will have a post for tonight. You can use this open thread while you wait for our first post at 10:00am.

Thought you might enjoy these:

Do you think this woman was heckled or jeered? Of course, why do you think there was a crowd of men around her? Do you think they were the welcoming committee?

In this petty little place deep in my heart I'm hoping their dinners were cold when they got home to them.

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