John Edwards Unfiltered: Webisode Videos and Chapel Hill Edwards Rally!

-edited by RP (BlueNC doesn't like the embed code I guess, Lance?)


I've come to the personal conclusion that I actually want the country to see who I am, who I really am. But I don't know what the result of that will be. But for me personally, I'd rather be successful or unsuccessful based on who I really am, not based on some plastic Ken doll that you put up in front of audiences."

Open thread: Move over, New Jersey

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A small N&O story this week heralds North Carolina's arrival as the 10th most populous state in the union, bumping New Jersey from the top ten.

That may not surprise North Carolina suburbanites who sometimes feel as if they live close to the last stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. A humming state economy, cheaper homes and lower local taxes lure thousands of Jerseyites each year. They're part of a broader influx. Last year, North Carolina grew by 184,000 people, roughly the size of Winston-Salem.
Population growth will help our bureaucrats get a bit more federal money for Medicare and other subsidies, but all those extra people require more schools and bring more cars to our traffic jams.

Gambling on Iraq

Among my friends is a source in the Romanian defense ministry. This person tells me that even before the Iraq Study Group had delivered its report, administration envoys were asking the Romanian government to increase their troop commitment in Iraq as a complement to America's decision to do the same.

Despite all the posturing about reaching out for advice, and nothing being off the table, it's long been decided that George W. Bush is going to double down in Iraq. The only question that remains is whether the increase in our number of troops will be 20,000, 30,000 or more. All that argues for the lower end of that range is the reticence of The Joint Chiefs and General Abizaid who seem certain that if the Iraqi government is to become effective, and legitimate, it has to succeed without the promise of an ever larger American crutch.

The sacrifice of more lives for a failed policy is counterintuitive, but we shouldn't be surprised. This new initiative is a spasm born of aggravation and a fatal lack of understanding. George W. Bush cultivates a reputation as the ultimate cowboy, a risk taker who enjoys gambling on long odds. He avoids gray areas, goes with his gut, and never looks back. In the first instance he relies on a sense of entitlement that comes from a lifetime of failure and evaded responsibility. In the last instance he's emboldened by a belief in God so narcissistic that he's convinced the Almighty is obliged to save him from himself.

NY Times Blows DeLay Blog Story

The NY Times today published an article by Philip Shenon called The Hammer Strikes a Comeback Blow about Tom DeLay's new blog but completely omitted the fact that when the blog started up a 11 days ago it was quickly bombarded with unflattering unmoderated comments and just as quickly taken down to be restarted in a moderated format with the offending comments removed. Tom DeLay blew it and the NY Times blew it by not reporting on his false start in this fluff piece about DeLay that displays very little knowledge about blogging.

Not to worry. Enterprising blogger James J. Risser saved the original for posterity (or posteriority) at

Robin Hayes says we will win in Iraq by "spreading the message of Jesus Christ" there.

Robin Hayes has the solution to the Iraq war: have our soldiers convert all Muslims to Christianity.

Having won the election by only a hair’s width and almost getting himself kicked out of Congress seems to have had some profound psychological effects on poor Mr. Hayes. A speech that flip-floppin’ Robin gave last week at the Concord Rotary Club seems to prove he has finally gone off the deep end.

Our local weekly newspaper the “Concord Standard and Mount Pleasant Times” reported on Mr. Hayes speech in his hometown:

First there’s the usual talk of how we’re “winning” over there: “The war in Iraq has got to be won; it’s being won” (A couple of months ago Hayes said that the rise in violence in Iraq was an indication that we’re winning.)

Then comes the real kicker: “Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior.”

Oral Arguments FCC v FU

Washington Wire brings this to my attention about this morning's challenge to FCC indecency rules, broadcast live on C-SPAN cable and radio. C-SPAN’s Potty-Mouth Broadcast. Many profanities were used during the hearing. At issue is the fact that the FCC fines radio stations for such profanities that are regularly used on cable TV with impunity. Even the Judge brought up the issue of whether the FCC would fine radio stations for broadcasting the hearing.


How often does noted Supreme Court specialist Carter Phillips get to drop the f-bomb (and worse) in open court? C-SPAN talked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York into allowing cameras in the court so the hearing could be broadcast live.

Rebuilding (d)emocracy - Part 1

In the November 20 edition of The Nation, Katrina Vanden Heuvel gives a list of ten things we should consider to strengthen our democracy here at home. With voters being dropped from the rolls with no notice, machines counting votes that can never be verified and voters staying home in record numbers it is obvious we have a problem in this country.

Many of her ideas have already been discussed here in the pages of BlueNC. I think these are discussions we should continue, especially with the elections over and problems we might have encountered fresh on our minds.

The piece by Katrina is subscription only, but I don't think she will mind if I list all ten of her suggestions to help guide our discussions. Also, for those subscribers, here is a link. I'm not sure I agree with everything she says, but the piece and the subsequent letters to the editor printed in this past week's edition give a great starting place for those of us who follow elections.

Please follow below the fold...

How Stupid Is Brian Nick?

Yesterday I reported that gubernatorial wannabe Bill Graham has chosen an up-and-coming loser to be the brains behind his campaign to take over the governor's mansion. Today the News and Observer follows up with more brilliance from the boy wonder.

Nick will also be senior strategist for N.C. Conservatives United, which is Graham's political committee. But that committee is likely to morph into Graham's gubernatorial campaign if, as expected, he announces for governor.

The move by Nick could generate more gossip that Dole does not plan to seek a second term in 2008. But Nick says that is nonsense. "She is fully committed to running," Nick said. "Honestly, the fact that rumors come from the Democratic Party should tell you what they are worth. That is wishful thinking." (emphasis added)

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