I'm all ears

This may be hard to believe, but I know more than a few Republicans personally. A couple of them are even good and honest people, despite their misguided political philosophies. Today one of those people (who had heard about BlueNC) said it seems like the whole political scene has become personal to me. He couldn't understand why I ridicule and attack Republican lawmakers and candidates so relentlessly, why I am so hostile.

I told him I would think about his concerns and respond. Here is what I have to say.

Dear Republican friend:

I'm afraid it is personal to me. Because over the past eight years, starting with the right wing feeding frenzy on President Clinton, Republicans have quite nearly destroyed my country. They have intentionally and maliciously divided this nation in pursuit of power. They have behaved without integrity. They have burdened our grandchildren with unending debt. They have allowed a corrupt administration to destroy America's standing in the world. And they have treated the minority party in Congress with scorn and disdain.

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Goodbye Charles Taylor, former Congressman

Western North Carolina celebrates today. The 109th "do-nothing" Congress is over and with it the Congressional career of Charles H. Taylor. Our 16-year nightmare of Taylor's scandals and failures has come to a close. We won't have Charles Taylor to kick around anymore, and it's only just and fitting that Scrutiny Hooligans pay our last respects to the man who inspired more political action than we'd ever undertaken before.

Goodbye Charles Taylor, and in the words of the immortal Lyle C. Rashorta, "without you none of this would have been possible... or necessary."

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Art Pope - Robin Hood in Reverse


Art Pope is controversial. I'd heard his name used in a context similar to Darth Vader while knowing only two things about him; that he is (A) very rich, and (B) spends his money on right wing causes throughout North Carolina.

Beyond that, I'll admit, I knew very little.

While only now have I done some research on the fellow, I'm sure most of those who traffic "BlueNC" are way ahead of me on this. However, for those as uninformed as I am there's an interesting article titled "The Knight of The Right" by Rob Christiansen which appeared in the N&O last January.

It's a good place to start if you want to do a quick study on the man and learn what motivates him. Although that question, even if you asked Pope himself, would be fairly easy to answer. What he wants can be boiled down very quickly to two things... lower taxes and less government.

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Crack in the Veneer

Days after the election, Mecklenburg Representative, Drew Saunders announced that he had an interest in running for speaker of the house if Jim Black could not win re-election to the position. There's a lot of loyalty to Black among Mecklenburg Democrats. He has helped Mecklenburg County in many ways. He's family and you don't abandon a family member because he's made a mistake....or ten.

Saunders announced today that he will run against Jim Black for the speaker's job. This is a pretty clear signal to me that Black doesn't have the votes. Saunders is a good guy and is well respected in this area. I haven't always agreed with him, but I'm glad he's stepping forward to run. Maybe it will send a signal that others should toss their hats in the ring so we can get this party started.

'He might be seen as Art Pope's tool'

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Paul O'Connor, a columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal, has written an interesting piece about a slim-to-none scenario that could unfold in the 2008 gubernatorial race. He apparently agrees with me that the candidates in the general will be Beverly Perdue and Fred "the Asphalt King" Smith. In the column, O'Connor lays out the makings of a "perfect storm" (some of which seem likely to happen) which leads to this conclusion:

The scandals involving Democratic House Speaker Jim Black get worse. Either Black gets indicted or others do. People go to jail. Hillary Clinton leads the 2008 national ticket, and there is no strong Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore have an ugly primary in the race for governor.

Is there a Bush Study Group? (political cartoon)


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Hayes' Hard Work...

Repugs don't agree with the new 5-day work week. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) got called out on Fox News of all networks, by John Gibson and the following exchange took place:

Gibson: Don't you think that maybe part of the reason the Republicans were fired is the public heard about this?

Kingston: I think its because we didn't perform. When we were up here we were naming bridges and post offices. We were not having quality time again…—We drifted, we got off our agenda. We came up here and some weeks we just twiddled our thumbs and that's what killed us…

Poor Robin might actually have to start working for the people he represents. Bummer.

For the Early Crowd

Heath Shuler (D-NC11) is appearing on the Bill Press show on 880 AM at 8:30 Friday morning. Asheville area listeners can listen on the air. The rest of you can listen online.

Open thread: Conversely





What's with all the chit-chat about the Sneaker of da House?

Enough already. Let's talk about something else for a change.



Hope you don't mind me jumping in, but we haven't pegged the Frappr map in awhile - Robert P.

Don't mind at all. Hope everyone will stick their pins in map.

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NCDP to Flipper: No free passes

An awesome email from Schorr Johnson of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

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Robin Hayes Might Have Bought Himself Two More Years in Office, But He Didn’t Buy Silence

Raleigh—

  • 121,523 = Votes cast in the 8th Congressional District
  • $2,000,000 = Approximate amount spent by Robin Hayes in the 2006 campaign
  • $450,000 = Approximate amount spent by Larry Kissell in the race
  • 327 = Robin Hayes’ margin of victory

  • $32.83 = Approximate amount Hayes spent per vote
  • $7.43 = Approximate amount Kissell spent per vote
  • 697 = Days until the 2008 election
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