Open Thread - Go Lady Tar Heels Edition

Here are just a few of my old Tar Heel buttons. The Dook button is from the 60s and the others are from the 70s and early 80s.

Georgetown is good and we seem to be having a hard time stopping them. Don't forget the women's game tonight at 9:30.


Steve Ford Nails Navy

Steve Ford, editorial page editor at the News and Observer, comes through loud and clear today on the Outlying Landing Field controversy. He's the first person I've read who gets right down to the real nitty-gritty behind this fiasco. His column discusses the relative merits of different proposed sites, including one in Craven County. But in passing, he hits on the Big Unspoken Truth about the Navy and the Navy pilots that are driving the OLF train off the cliff.

Not to slide too far down the conspiratorial slope, but is there also a worry that picking Craven County for the OLF would create pressure to move the whole Super Hornet operation to Cherry Point? Do Norfolk-area Navy folks not want to get stuck down in Marine Corps country?

Scotland No Mega-Dump Rally

Scotland County Of Tomorrow is sponsoring a Rally against mega-landfills on Monday, April 2nd, at 6:00 p.m., at 1404 West Boulevard, in Laurinburg, before a Commissioner's Meeting,
across the street at 7:00 p.m.
The SCOT website includes a map.

The first landfill bill is expected next week, so this is a good time for a state wide Rally. If you are unable to attend, letters to the commissioners, to the editor, or to SCOT to be read at the Rally, would be appreciated. Contact information is on the website:

Recent Scotland landfill activities below the fold:

Tune in, turn on, strategize

If you were the Democratic Party, eager to win back the White House, where would you aim your expenditures of time and money? Does it make sense to write off an entire region of the country – OUR region?

That’s the topic of a debate that will air Sunday at 7 p.m. on Winston-Salem’s NPR affiliate, WFDD 88.5 FM. Tune in or jump online and get the live streaming audio of the 90-minute debate at

Crux of the three main arguments:

Tom Schaller, right, author of the book Whistling Past Dixie, argues that in the past several cycles, expenditures in the South have not paid off – notably Kerry in VA and TN and Gore in WV and TN. Focusing entirely on other regions, especially the West, is a winning strategy.

Elizabeth Edwards - the Steel Orchid

(Cross-posted at The Stinging Nettle.)

Having lost two family members to cancer, I know exactly what Elizabeth Edwards' diagnosis means, in the long term. I also know that people with cancer do not want to become "people with cancer." They are people. They also have cancer. End of discussion.

Still, I could not breathe as John and Elizabeth Edwards approached the press in Chapel Hill. I knew that if the campaign was cancelled, the news was as bad as could be imagined. I knew neither of them would quit if there was any hope at all.

So, I teared up when John announced that the cancer had metastasized. And when they stated that they would go on fighting in this campaign, I cheered, not only because I want him to be President, but because of what it told me about HER attitude. She is going to fight. And the news must not have been ALL bad.

It is not my place, or anyone else's, to weigh in with criticism of what she's doing, what I would do, or how a person should react. I just won't do it. I will wish her the best, thank her for her example, and then go out and work like hell to get them both to the White House. To judge them for their actions is, well, unseemly.

Senate Bill 295 - Protecting Fetuses, Killing Adults

The death penalty news coming out of the General Assembly this session is not all good. Senator Brock (R-Davie and Rowan) has proposed a bill which would make it a capital offense to kill a pregnant woman - whether or not she or anyone else is aware of the pregnancy.

At a time when so many are calling for the narrowing of the capital statute, Senator Brock (and his co-sponsors Allran (R-Catawba and Iredell), Apodaca (R-Buncombe, Henderson, and Polk), Berger (R-Guilford and Rockingham), Blake (R-Harnett and Moore), Brown (R-Jones and Onslow), East (R-Alleghany, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin), Goodall (R-Mecklenburg and Union), Hunt (R-Wake), Jacumin (R-Burke and Caldwell), Pittenger (R-Mecklenburg, Preston (R-Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico), and Smith (R-Johnston and Wayne)) are trying to expand the statute in a way that is both unnecessary and unfair.

When is a tax increase not a tax increase?

When it's a royal decree by The Asphalt King? Some things are just too funny - like this exchange between Bill Graham and Fred Smith noted in the Charlotte Observer.

Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham's campaign has fired the first shot in the race for the Republican nomination for governor in 2008, but it was a bit off target. Graham staffer Andy Lancaster sent out a copy of a no-new-taxes pledge drafted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity last year and signed by, among others, Sen. Fred Smith, of Johnston County near Raleigh.

Two over Ten, Will you Do It?

Folks, how much time can you spare to make a real difference? Can you spare two hours over ten weeks? Can you? As you may know, Health Care for All NC is a non-partisan, non-profit group that wants to give the citizens of North Carolina an Up or Down Vote on whether Health Care is a right or a privilege.


Constitutional amendment providing that health care is a fundamental right.

Health Care for All NC supports no particular plan for implementing universal health care, that will be a decision made by the best and brightest that our state government pulls together for that purpose. Public-private hybrid, Massachusetts forced care, single-payer. All of these are options.

Health Care for All NC has members throughout the state. Physicians who are members of Physicians for a National Health Program, small business owners who have faced the decision to stay open or to give health care to their employees, retirees who want everyone to have the quality of care they do through Medicare, and church groups who believe that thousands dying from a lack of insurance is a moral outrage. In Two over Ten, all of these people come together, asking you to participate over the next ten weeks in educating your legislators.

If you can spare two hours over ten weeks, then please follow me to the rest of the article.

Mr Smith Goes To Raleigh

This is about the only left turn Fred Smith will take for the next year and a half. In front of a crowd of about 60 people on the steps of Raleigh's Borden Building, Fred Smith declared his candidacy for Governor of North Carolina for 2008. The crowd was predominantly white males but included about 15 white females, about a dozen newsmen, three African-American males and a few right-wing bloggers including Lorie Byrd and Dean Stephens.

The setting was part of the former Methodist Orphanage that Smith claims as his background by virtue of his mother being a house matron for 24 boys. Speaking from the white columned porch of the two story brick building with slate roof and dormer windows Smith gave a predictable speech that garnered some polite applause from the generally demure crowd.

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