Edwards homecoming rally

(Promoted by SD)

I volunteered at the rally. When I got there, I was given sign duty (markers + posterboard + bubble letters), and my husband was drafted into filling balloons. I escaped briefly to run down to meet y'all and get my name tag and some photos taken and say hi to folks before running back up to be split out into teams. (I helped with the ADA seating.)

It was great. When John came onstage, around 530, the energy was great. Like someone else said in the open thread, he hit all the points, and people cheered and applauded. His speech was very similar to the one from Iowa the other night, but to speechify at 5 sites in 4 days, getting one speech down is easier than 5!

I like his message. I like the idea of a level playing field. I like getting people up and doing things now, as opposed to waiting. Getting people out into the community. Most people look at the huge mess we're in and say "eh, what can I do?" and they answer that they can't do anything, but they don't know where to start. And by starting at home, Taking Action Now, we can get people who don't think they can make a difference to see that they can effect change, albeit a small one, at home. Like so many others, though, I need to know where to start, where to take the experiences and skills that I have and put them to good use.


Edwards Event in NC! and Open Thread

Anyone looking for a Live Blog of the Edwards Chapel Hill event needs to hop over to NCDem's Liveblogging from the Edwards Event in NC! where most of the BlueNC crew is.

Then come on back for the post-game analysis.

Patty the Pit Bully

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It looks like the Party of Greed is making good on its promise to serve up Congressman Patrick McHenry to be the official mouthpiece of the fright wing in Congress. Today, reporter Jim Morrill of the McClatchy Steno Pool seeks out Little Patty for some choice quotes on the likely tenure of Heath Shuler in Congress:

"He is in an extreme minority within the Democratic caucus, and he'll be facing enormous pressure to vote the party line," says Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Cherryville Republican from the neighboring 10th District. "If he votes the Pelosi liberal line, he'll be a one-term wonder."

Don't you feel better already?

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The Tubes are abuzz this morning about the Trillion Dollar Hanging of Saddam Hussein. That's right ... the trillion dollar hanging. That's about what Bush's War has cost so far in terms of cold hard cash, not to mention the irreparable damage to the reputation our nation.

History will be the ultimate judge of America's actions in this sordid affair, but I don't need to wait. It's clear to me that the child-king in the White House started his war for one simple reason, which can be found in the pages of the New York Times today.

“There’s no doubt his hatred is mainly directed at us,” the current president said, speaking to a Republican fund-raising crowd in Houston on Sept. 26, 2002. “This is the man who tried to kill my dad.”

Happy New Year! (political cartoon)

Crossposted from Town Called Dobson

click to enlarge

Edwards 08: Crowd Size and the Press

In the last three days, Senator Edwards has had town hall meetings in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Today, he will hold a town hall meeting in South Carolina, then a homecoming rally in North Carolina. I was at the event in Iowa and will be at the event in Chapel Hill, where I live, today. So, from my own personal experience I have idea of how big the crowds have been and will be, but I also was sitting with the press and have some idea of how they "estimate" crowd size in the press pool. So, when I see this in the press, I take it with a grain of salt.

Nearly a quarter of the crowd of more than 800 were left standing outside in 30-degree temperatures after the elementary school cafeteria where Edwards was to speak quickly filled up.

It Wasn't a Dream

There's an article well worth your time at The Phoenix by David S. Bernstein called "It Wasn't a Dream: Four signs that the Democratic gains in 2006 could mark the start of a new, blue era in American politics."

While it's written for a Boston audience, and it comes from a liberal perspective, the piece is cogent, well argued and not easily dismissed. Plus, if you're a liberal, your heart will beat faster and it will be very hard to keep a smile off your face.

Bernstein's argument is divided into four parts:

1) Congressional-numbers game

2) Statehouse control

3) There aren't enough married middle-aged white men

4) This is the modern world

The piece is spread out over three pages and the point here is to recommend the article, not to summarize it. However, here is one snippet that will give you a feel for where Bernstein is coming from...

If anything, the Democrats’ slim 51-49 edge in the Senate figures to expand significantly in 2008, when the Democrats will have to defend just 12 of the seats they now hold, while 21 Republican seats will be in play. Some neutral observers are already predicting a four-seat gain for the Democrats in ’08 — and at least one Democratic pundit comes in at nine.

This explains everything

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Because protecting individual rights through trying and incarcerating criminals is the first and highest function of government, prison capacity must receive a high priority in any sensible appropriations process. .

I've been away for a few days, and upon return I rushed over to see what the John Locke Puppets have had to say for themselves while I was gone. I was not disappointed. Because right there at the top of the screen on the Carolina Journal homepage was the statement quoted above, one of the core beliefs of the Prophet of the Free-Market Fundamentalists, John Locke himself.

I would have thought that having sane laws in the first place would be a higher function of government than trying and incarcerating criminals. If America surrendered its idiotic War on Drugs, we'd have enough prison capacity to last all the lifetimes of all the criminals we'd ever need to incarcerate.

New Year's Assertions, Insights and Wild Guesses

Governor Easley will be the last Democratic Governor elected in North Carolina without the phone number of the State Democratic Party Chair on speed dial. The role of the party, the party rank and file, and the grass roots has mushroomed in importance.

North Carolina has become the northern most state of the old confederacy - Virginia, as of November 7th 2006, has officially succeeded.

Georgia is now a redder state than South Carolina and nearly as red as Mississippi

The North Carolina Democratic Party would be better off if Richard Moore woke up tomorrow wanting to become a United States Senator.

The quicker Democrats pass a comprehensive immigration bill that features stiff fines and strong enforcement for hiring new illegal aliens, but which also provides a short path to citizenship for illegal aliens already here, the sooner a new Democratic majority in Congress becomes impregnable.

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