I don't know if the N&O thinks the legislative session is nearing and end or not, but today they burned some trees on the kind of wrap-up story usually reserved for post-mortems. But it's a good piece about our most excellent Speaker of the House.

Senate leader Marc Basnight is a fan of his counterpart in the House, Speaker Joe Hackney. But Basnight doesn't relish negotiating a $20 billion budget with him. Basnight, and, for that matter, Gov. Mike Easley, have ideas about how to get the budget impasse resolved. Hackney, in his first term as speaker, listens carefully. He's polite, plain-spoken and open to their ideas. But then he respectfully declines to cut a deal.


The Washington Post wrote Tuesday about Beverly Sills, the legendary soprano who passed away Monday:

She was the telegenic "diva next door," a friendly redhead from Brooklyn whose friends called her Bubbles; she was an aggressive Manhattan snob who never let it be forgotten that she did hold grudges. She was the warmest and most brilliant American coloratura soprano of her time; she was a high-culture power broker and adept political infighter. Those who knew her slightly liked her enormously; those who knew her better were sometimes a little afraid of her.

Sound familiar? Mark Binker thinks there’s a story about aggressive power brokers holding grudges but the screenplay is not ready for HBO. Laura Leslie is working on another version of the Soprano script

The Lt. Governor's race.

Two things have come up in the last 24 hours about the Lt. Governor's race, so I thought I would post them together here. First, COH reports for the three major candidates from the N&O blog (haven't seen any official stats yet. guess we'll have to wait until July 27th).


Then, there is the new PPP poll, reported here on BlueNC, but without the Lt. Governor's data included.

Dellinger............... 9%
Smathers.............. 9%
Besse................... 6%
Undecided........... 65%

Prime farmland for sale?

This week's column may tick off a few peeps who think Republicans are never right 'bout nuthin'. Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is raising red flags about the wholesale transfer of an Ag Division to UNC.

Here's the column:

Prime farmland for sale?

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler is a bit perplexed these days.

Action Opportunity: Push back against Big Telcos

I (and hopefully thousands of others) received this email just now from Rob Thompson at NC PIRG. If you're looking to make a difference on this beautiful Thursday in July, here's an easy one:

Time Warner's and AT&T's attempt to limit Internet access is in big trouble. In addition to your emails to legislators, corporations like Google and Intel and cities like Raleigh, Greensboro, and Chapel Hill have added their voice to the opposition. If we can convince Governor Easley to oppose the bill, H1587, I think we'll finish it off for good.

Please ask Governor Easley to oppose any legislation that limits access to the Internet, including H1587. Then forward this email to your friends and family and ask them to do the same.

Contact Governor Easley here.

What Michael Moore Can Teach Us

Cross posted from The Progressive Pulse

I’m sure most of you have either seen Michael Moore’s latest release, SiCKO, or you have read the numerous reviews. It is an excellent piece of work on many different levels. Mostly, it is an indictment of the private for-profit health insurance industry. As such, he is advocating for government sponsored universal health coverage and contrasts the American healthcare system with those of Canada, England, France, and Cuba.


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