Tomorrow's precinct meetings across Buncombe County come as the Democratic Party stands at a crossroads. To the right lies the status quo, with it's collective centuries of wisdom and inertia. To the left lies an activist reactor of Progressive energy with its stable and unstable elements. Behind us is a history of Party complacency, of power concentrated in the hands of a few who made decisions behind closed doors. Ahead lies the possibility for a union of the old and the new as progressives team with the Old Guard to create an unstoppable Democratic Party juggernaut.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 9:51am
I don't see Anglico lurking about, so will get us started with an open thread. At the science blogging conference in January we were introduced to the Astronomy picture of the day. This pic is courtesy of NASA, which means it is free of copyright strings. It's a fun web site. Go check it out.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 7:56am
A few days ago I heard a disturbing report on the news as I was preparing dinner. In a nutshell, I recall the reporter saying that Charlotte was ranked third in a listing of cities with the most contaminated water in the nation. I didn't get to hear the entire piece, but went looking for it to bring it here and to find out what in the world was going on. I couldn't find it anywhere.
Now I know why.
The listing was in Men's Health magazine. The listing has now been thoroughly debunked in today's Charlotte Observer.
Charlotte has the third-dirtiest drinking water in the country, Men's Health magazine says.
"Pure hogwash," retorts Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities spokesman Vic Simpson. "Men's Health needs to stick to sit-ups and health shakes."
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 1:08am
I bet everyone reading this has heard at least one Republican whine about high taxes. I know I have. If it isn't high taxes, it's the level of services we get for the taxes we pay.
Tonight, I found some great ammunition for us to use the next time we are faced with a whining wingnut. It's all right here in this AP piece by Hope Yen found in the Charlotte Observer.
WASHINGTON - About $10 billion has been squandered by the U.S. government on Iraq reconstruction aid because of contractor overcharges and unsupported expenses, and federal investigators warned Thursday that significantly more taxpayer money is at risk.
Submitted by Robert P. on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 4:34pm
I know that freshmen Representatives are more at risk than others, but does anyone from out WNC way think this is warranted? And, by that I mean, is there a chance in heck that Heath Shuler will lose in 2008? I don't see it happening, but give us your WNC prospective.
The Frontline Program is a partnership between the DCCC and Members which lays the ground work for the 2008 cycle by supporting and expanding their fundraising and outreach operations. This competitive program requires members to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts, and increase on-line networking.
Last cycle, the Frontline Program’s early success helped make half of the most competitive Democratic seats safe by the fall of 2006, allowing the DCCC to expand its offensive opportunities. Democrats have an outstanding record of defending tough seats with battle tested incumbents and have successfully protected 95 percent of their incumbents since 2002. In 2006, Democrats did not lose a single seat.
Representative Heath Shuler (NC-11)
Submitted by gregflynn on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 3:27pm
In a somber proceeding that lasted a little under an hour Jim Black enter a plea of guilty at 1.30pm to a charge of accepting some $25,000 in cash payments and other in-kind payments from North Carolina chiropractors between 2000 and 2005 while acting as an agent of the State. During this period Black caused legislation to be written and influenced the progress of legislation dealing with the chiropractic profession. A basis of the Federal charge was that these matters involved more than $10,000 in annual expenditures by the Federal government to the State of North Carolina and in particular, Medicaid payments.
The cash payments received by Black included amounts that were deposited personally by Black and not reported to the State Board of Elections. The cash was exchanged in gatherings at private dining clubs and restaurants in Charlotte and Concord. Four separate occasions were noted for amounts of $8,000, $10,000, $4,000, and $3,000 with the latter two exchanged in bathrooms including one accepted with the advisory that "This is just between me and you".
Submitted by jwrandolph on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 1:50pm
Hey, miss yall. I've got a new job up here in DC fighting for our Appalachian mountains and working to stop mountaintop removal, and I am lovin it. Saw this report (.pdf)yesterday from Public Policy Polling, and was amazed at how well the work yall are doing is paying off!
Dems lead NC in the 08 presidential elections!
The Democrats have a surprising lead in a Presidential generic ballot. As of today, 43% of North Carolina likely voters want the next President to be a Democrat, while 41% want the President to be a Republican. North Carolina has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1976. The intensity of feeling is slightly higher on the Democratic side as well. Sixty-four percent of those who said they want the next president to be a Democrat said that having a Democratic president is “extremely important” to them. Fifty-six percent who want a Republican president have similar extreme feelings.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 12:47pm
This was originally published in August of 2006. I have changed a few words to make it more appropriate for today's situation.
On April 21, 2005, under the cover of darkness the Bush administration completed a secret mission. It wasn't a flight by Bush, Rice or Rumsfeld into dangerous territory. It was the unloading of PFC Steven Sirko's body from the cargo hold of a commercial aircraft. Luggage, animals and other cargo were all prioritized over the remains of a young man who had given his life for his country in a war that never should have been waged. Under the cover of darkness, Steven Sirko's body was returned to his mother.
On Saturday August 12, 2006, the Freedom Group in Charlotte held a candlelight peace vigil to shed light on the human cost of the U.S. War in Iraq. Summer Lipford, Steven Sirko's mother was there to speak of her personal battle to get answers from the government about what actually happened to her son.
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