Jack Betts Misses The Point

After years of writing some of the best coverage in the state on the Navy's Outlying Landing Field, Jack Betts at the Charlotte Observer takes a wrong turn this morning in his Sunday column.

RALEIGH -- If the Navy really wants an outlying landing field, it ought to call North Carolina's hand -- right now. For a long time the state and many of its environmental groups have been saying they don't want the OLF near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, but they'd support an alternative site.

Convince Brad Miller to Challenge Liddy NC-Sen

This is going out everywhere

Wow. It has been a crazy few days in North Carolina.

It started Wednesday with a tiny little story saying that Rep. Brad Miller was thinking about running against Elizabeth Dole. That was followed up by matching articles in the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer on Thursday.

Later Thursday Public Policy Polling conducted a poll, which showed Brad behind Dole, but only 33 to 44. While that poll is an amazing result, it shows a lot of room for improvement. For starters, 26% of Democrats are currently undecided.

Friday saw this poll get a plethora of responses, and even got us into a tie for 10th most likely seat to flip over at the WaPo's The Fix.

Open Thread: Thank the Gods It's Friday

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhat a week. Mental health crisis, five million lost emails, troops' tours extended, Vonnegut died, Don freakin' Imus, suicide bomber in the Green Zone, and so on.

On the flip side, there's gay marriage in Connecticut, Rahm Emmanuel telling Dems to stand strong against Bush, Bill Richardson's calling for immediate pullout from Iraq, Guiliani couldn't accurately guess the price of bread and milk, approval for Congress has shot up to 40% since the Dems took charge, Dole looks really vulnerable, Kissell's already generating a lot of excitement, and Richard "finger in the wind" Burr finally came out against the OLF.

Action Update: Mental Health Foes' Bunker Mentality

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAn assistant to Secretary of Health and Human Services Carmen Hooker Odom came to the DHHS lobby to greet us yesterday. She reported that (1) Secretary Odom was out of the office in very important meetings; (2) that Secretary Odom was carefully answering every email she'd been sent; (3) that it was impossible to give us an idea of when the Secretary would be available or to give us any part of the Secretary's schedule; (4) that Secretary Odom hadn't yet started to respond to the emails because she was waiting on more information from the Division of Medical Assistance.

She's a lying tool of a furious, arrogant, isolated Secretary.

Secretary Odom isn't responding to anyone's emails. She's not interested in gathering correct data, as evidenced by her willingness to throw the entire mental health system into crisis without even doing a proper cost analysis before retroactively slashing rates for mental health services. She's not meeting with providers or recipients of mental health services. She's cowering in her bunker, hoping the whole mess will blow over.

Oh, what a weekend in Chapel Hill.

There are so many things going on, it will be hard to choose. If the weather holds then you should march downtown or to Polk Place for a march. Myself, I'll be volunteering at the John Edwards office on Saturday and on Daddy duty the rest of the weekend, as my wife has a term paper due. This is also a good weekend to hit the Carrboro farmer's market, so I'll put a link in there for that. Time to plant the tomatoes yet?

Fannie Flono: Journalistic Voice of Reason

I have spilled a bit of ink criticizing professional journalists for performing their jobs poorly. My degree in journalism, that has sat around gathering dust for a number of years, apparently gives me the right to offer this criticism - at least in my mind.

Today, though, I am calling out a journalist in order to heap praise. Fannie Flono, as associate editor at The Charlotte Observer, has written a column that has me cheering. She handles the explosive Imus and Duke cases with grace and speaks with a voice of reason. She also manages to smack down professional journalists and bloggers without really saying anything unkind. Ouch!

More on the flip....


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