The shame of it

The slow motion meltdown of public responsibility around mental health in North Carolina reminds me of America's response to genocide in Africa. Well-intentioned hand-wringing about the oh-so-sad misfortunes of others, flurries of words, a smattering of dollars thrown like band-aids at the problems.

Better than nothing, but not by much.

And oh my the finger-pointing. Hooker. Easley. The senators. The representatives. It's always somebody else's fault. So sorry. There's nothing I can do.

I call bullshit.

There's are a hundred things you could do if you wanted to. Any of you. It's not a matter of "can" - it's a matter of "don't want to."

David Price at the Orange County Democratic Convention

Howdy folks.
I am back from the Orange County Democratic Convention, unfortunately, I had to leave early. I arrived early, though! I was tabling for the John Edwards for President Campaign, handing out bumper stickers and signing up volunteers. I had some good 'cue from the Barbecue Joint in Chapel Hill, then we went in for the meeting. I only stayed for the beginning, so I can't give you all the dirty details, hopefully someone else will fill in the resolutions and such. But, I had to make a point about David Price. There are many liberals in Chapel Hill who are so far left that they often disparage David Price and his actions in Congress. To those people I saw Phooey!!! I wish I had a recording of his speech, there were many strong progressives points he made, about mental health parity, about the VA health care system, about poverty. But, the most poignant moment was when he was discussing "gun control" and the VT shootings. I was unaware that Lisa Price, his wife, was the head of an anti-gun violence organization. I don't know the reasons behind this, if there was some personal reason that she started into this line of work, but you could tell that he was emotionally invested. At one point, the Congressman was choked up to the point that his voice was cracking and his eyes were misting.

He also mentioned a recent interview with E.J. Dionne which I would like to paste after the break.

In praise of Lance

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We've had a lot of newcomers around lately, which is always exciting. But it also means that many people may not know about the person who operates more or less behind the curtain. His name is Lance, and he is worthy of sainthood.

Lance has a real full-time job, having just graduated from law school, that keeps him hopping on all fronts. Plus he and wonderful wife have a new baby. How he finds time to monitor BlueNC and respond in our many moments of crisis is beyond me. But he does that on a regular basis, and he does a lot more. He's always tweaking the site for performance improvements and new features - and most of what he does we rarely even know about - it's that seamless.

So as you're out on the Tubes today, I hope you'll take a moment to thank Lance for all he does.

You know it's bad when . . .

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When one of the state's major newspapers is making fun of our Very Senior Senator in one of their weekend editorials.

The Dole of Plaza-Toro

It's been obvious for three years that it would be reckless and destructive to sprawl a Navy landing field across Washington and Beaufort counties, near a migratory bird refuge. Local people, environmentalists and politicians such as state Sen. Marc Basnight and U.S. Sen. John Edwards announced their opposition years ago.
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Finally, two weeks ago, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr announced he was against it. Now his senior colleague, Elizabeth Dole, has said she is, too. North Carolinians thank her for her support. Yet her performance in this battle brings to mind the lines W.S. Gilbert used to describe his Duke of Plaza-Toro:

In enterprise of martial kind, When there was any fighting,
He led his regiment from behind - He found it less exciting.

It's pretty sad when one of the most senior elected officials in our fast-growing state has become a laughingstock. Even sadder still is the fact that Liddy Dole has done virtually nothing to earn our respect and admiration after five years in the US Senate.

Each of North Carolina's major papers has a unique personality. I give the Wilmington Star top marks for feisty.

Happy weekend.


Action needed now in opposition to SB 901 and its House companion bill

You may recall a discussion on this topic and Sen. Rand several weeks ago. Now there is a House companion bill to SB 901.

It is urgent that you act now.

I issue a challenge to all BlueNC readers to support the resolution below ... and share it with everyone they know ... and email their State legislators their opposition to the legislation.

Please also keep me and Commissioner Jim Long updated on the responses you receive. His email address is jlong@ncdoi.net and my work email is wgoodwin@ncdoi.net.

Thank you!

Wayne Goodwin
Assistant Commissioner of Insurance
and 2004 Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Labor

* * * *
A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM LONG
AND IN OPPOSITION TO SENATE BILL 901 AND HOUSE BILL 1430

Half empty

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There are new polling numbers out on Where's Liddy from Elon College tonight.

Dole has said her party faces "the worst political environment in memory," but she still has the support of 52 percent of voters, according to a poll released by Elon University. Another 18 percent of respondents remained unsure when polled this week. Poll director Hunter Bacot said that while the numbers leave Dole "sitting pretty," he was surprised the state's senior senator didn't have support around the 60 percent level.

Sitting pretty? That's a good one. We haven't even gotten started yet and she's within the margin of error of being disapproved of by half of North Carolina voters.

Oops, forgot BNC Veterans Day

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Well, I did not forget it, I was just too busy yesterday and did not get to the computer until today.

First off, it seems we forgot the Coast Guard, of which I am proud to be a veteran. I was also in the Navy, but that was before the Coast Guard. I wanted to join the CG, but it was nearly impossible in 1972, so I joined the Navy.

And, because I was young, dumb and wanted to prove something to my dad, I became a Hospital Corpsman just like he had been. At the time, with a draft lottery number of 2 or 3 (IIRC) it seemed like a good way to sit out the ending war in Southeast Asia.

Of course, the recruiter neglected to mention the intimate connection between Hospital Corpsmen and the Fleet Marine Force and it never occurred to my 17-year-old mind to research anything.

I am sure you all are seeing where this is going.

Newest Legislator saying Hello to BlueNC

Hello BlueNC!
I am Tricia Cotham, the newest and youngest member in the NC General Assembly. I am so honored to serve District 100 and to represent our great state in the NC General Assembly. In addition, I am proud to be the youngest member ever to serve. I am enjoying my new role very much and learning a lot from many of you and other great Democrats. The last several weeks have been amazing and humbling. I have enjoyed listening to some great and historical debate on the House Floor. I am truly fortunate to serve with so many outstanding Democratic Legislators from across our state. They are inspiring and great role models and mentors for me.

Please Vote Yourselves "Grassroots All-Stars" Right Now

I really need your help today.

As you know, North Carolina's 'can do' campaign has been honored as one of the picks in Democracy For America's 2007 All-Star Grassroots challengers. What you may not know is we've learned we held the early lead thanks to netroots support and our outreach efforts, but have quickly dropped behind, most likely due to the large population in the states we're up against.

I know that can't sit well with North Carolina Democrats any more than it does with me. YOU are the grassroots All-Stars of 2006, and will be of 2008. Let's prove it to the world.

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