Archive 5-8-08: Killing The American Spirit (political cartoon)

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Can you tell I am one of those lunatic Al Gore freaks?

Thought so.

Weekend open thread: Fear of yoga

We expected a big fall-off in BlueNC readership after the election, but are relieved to report that hasn't materialized. We're still seeing nearly 1100 unique visitors each day - with each visitor coming by three times on average. So far in December, we've had 4947 visitors total, and roughly 91,000 page-loads.

As a reminder, open threads like this one are free-for-all forums where anyone can say anything they want. It's a great place to pop in with notes and news about whatever is on your mind. For example, I found this article about Yoga magazine publishing in the Columbia Journalism Review. There's a closing paragraph worthy of our own Greg Flynn.

Happy weekend!


And in this corner

I finally got my hands on the Petition for Judicial Review by Richard Morgan, who is challenging the decision in favor of Art Pope's electioneering organization by the North Carolina State Board of Elections earlier this year. As you may recall, Pope's money was poured into the contest between Morgan and Hairdresser Puppet Joe Boylan, tilting the playing field and handing Boylan a surprise victory.

For new readers to BlueNC, this has been covered exhaustively, and with good reason. What's at stake is the integrity of our elections. Specifically, the state board found that a rich guy with unlimited corporate cash can spend as much as he wants to influence the outcome of elections. To be clear, no one (in this case) is questioning Pope's ability to spend his personal money. That's not the issue. Rather, the money used to influence this election came directly from Pope's business - which means it's corporate money.

If Pope wins this appeal, businesses in North Carolina will be free to pour millions into elections, effectively swamping the voices of We the People who are limited by campaign contribution laws in the amounts we can give.

The petition for review is 11 pages long. I've excerpted part of the section called "Bases for Appeal," which you can see if you click on the image. It's a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, which you may find interesting, but there's an even more startling basis for appeal, which I wrote about on the day of the hearing.

Mike McIntyre, The Blue Dogs and "Old Ken"

In the wake of the recent election, The Wilmington Star-News has given a lot of coverage to Mike McIntyre, and nearly all of it emphasizes his status as a "Blue Dog" Democrat. Typical of the paper's treatment is a depiction of Rep. McIntyre as very influential in a group of Democrats so conservative as to be virtually identical to Republicans.

One recent article leads off an interview with the Congressman by describing a sign that appears on the office door of every member of the "Blue Dog" coalition. That sign is a changing tabulation of the growing national debt. The article makes clear that the foremost objective of these conservative Democrats is addressing the national debt. That comes before everything else.

Another gubernatorial candidate for the Party of Greed

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The wires are buzzing today with news about the potential entry of yet another candidate into the Republican race for North Carolina governor. This time, it's former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr.

Orr, 60, has been calling Republicans and plans to spend the next two or three months moving around the state to see whether his candidacy is viable. "I have been encouraged by the limited response so far," Orr said. "If the response is as encouraging as the initial foray has indicated, then I would probably jump in the race."

North Carolina, Mitt Romney and Illegal Immigration

Recently Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that allows Massachusetts State Police to arrest immigrants who are in the state illegally. Whenever in the course of their routine law enforcement duties they stop someone whose immigration status they consider questionable, they are obliged to call the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office and then detain that person if federal officials request it.

While it is said that the intended target of this new policy is people arrested for violent crime, the same procedures could also be employed with a motorist who is stopped for running a stop sign. Obviously civil libertarians are in an uproar because they are concerned that this new law will lead to racial profiling and give people in minority communities one less reason to trust the police.

Go ahead, underestimate John Edwards

originally posted at DailyKos.

Why not, everyone else always has. Just like them, you'll be wrong. Yesterday, kos posted a list of all the Rasmussen polls about current candidates running for 2008 - all but those involving John Edwards. Yesterday, MissLaura skipped Edwards on her Presidential roundup, saying "I went back and forth about the Edwards poll thing, and decided not to since it had already been mentioned".
Over at MyDD, the Breaking Blue and Jerome's stories are apparently a subsidiary of the Obama campaign. Jerome has Edwards listed as a "second-tier" candidate.
Hillary Clinton meets with Republican operatives and their advice, not to worry about "what’s-his-name, Obama". No mention of Edwards.
Go ahead, underestimate him....


DC Pundit All Wet

Chris Godzilla at the Washington Post writes with a level of confidence that occasionally exceeds his level of knowledge. Today's report on the US Senate in 2008 includes this strange paragraph:

North Carolina:
Following her disastrous performance as the chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2006 cycle, rumors of a retirement by Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) continue to circulate in the D.C. Dole will be 72 years old on election day 2008 and had hip replacement surgery earlier this week. It's also not immediately clear that Dole would have a path back into leadership even if she won re-election to a second term. If Dole retired, Democrats would likely turn to Gov. Mike Easley (D) who will be term limited out of office in 2008. Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D) has also toyed with the idea of running for the Senate in recent years and might find an open seat irresistible.

Democrats would likely turn to Easley? Hmmmm. That's news to me, given the fact that Governor Easley has said: “I would find the legislative process frustrating. I just don’t think the Senate would be the highest and best use of my skills.”

Dear Mr. Godzilla: What's with the "Bobby" thing? Seems kind of familiar, don't you think? And by the way, it's okay to ask around before you put your reputation on the line with uninformed pundo-babble.

Mel Watt Advocates Minority Hiring... On Capitol Hill

According to a report by Brian DeBose in The Washington Times, Congressman Mel Watt, the outgoing chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is making a plea for minority hiring on capitol hill.

In a letter to Nancy Pelosi, Watt said that the Democratic Party must increase the number of minorities working for committees and subcommittees. He said the lack of diversity hiring has been a major problem for years, "All you have to do is look at the composition of committees, subcommittees and leadership staffs," a problem he said that extends to the staffs of individual legislators.

Speaker elect Pelosi has promised to make minority hiring a priority for incoming committee chairs.

Bush, The Protector (political cartoon)

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