Will Marshall Adame take Blackwater down?

When it comes to covering northeast North Carolina, the Virginia Pilot usually does a better job than any of our own state's papers. That was true of reporting on the Navy's misguided OLF, and it's true of coverage of Blackwater.

It started as a simple question during an online chat (at BlueNC) with Marshall Adame, a Democrat and retired Marine running for Congress in North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District. "We take great pride in being a military-friendly state," wrote a supporter. "Should that pride extend to being a mercenary-friendly state, too?"

Adame, a diplomat who spent three years in Iraq, responded that the U.S. military should have no place for private armies. "They are guns for hire," he wrote, "no more, no less."


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I was lucky enough tonight to hear George Lakoff talk about politics and language. One thing I came away with is a deep desire for political conversations where everything is right out there for anyone to see. That's what happened tonight and that's what happens here.

Lakoff covered a huge amount of ground, and I hope to be able to find it out on the Tubes and share it. But in the meantime, I have this question: Is transparency a fundamental value that progressives and conservatives share?

Please kindly note that this is an example of transparency.

Marshall Adame thanks the BlueNC family

I want to thank the BlueNC family of bloggers for their support and encouragement.

The Reception/Fundraiser in Raleigh was a great time and I got to see a lot of my friends. It was a mixed blessing of successes, some greater than others, but I am glad we did it and look forward to the now several others being planned on my behalf within the NC-03.

NC Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, Jim Neal, Mayor Don Davis, Beth Wood, Ronnie Ansley, Ed Ridpath, Kristin Ruth, and Roy Lucas all said some pretty nice things which I very much appreicate and thank them for.

Special thanks to......

PopeCo in the news

Map now updated with Myers Park Pat!

I admit to spending less and less time worrying about the "reports" and political activities spewing steadily from the Art Pope Puppetshow. Funded to the tune of $3 to $4 million annually by the knight of the right, the increasingly irrelevant John Locke Foundation and Civitas appear to have attracted all the converts they're going to get.

But as our handy-dandy (and updated!) map of the Show suggests, the Puppetmaster has infiltrated major media outlets and at least one major university, so they are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Which is why I was so pleased to see this post by Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch yesterday. It's a doozy.

Live-Blog with Pat Smathers, candidate for Lt. Gov. - Welcome Pat Smathers

On Monday, March 3, Pat Smathers will join us at 7:00 p.m. for a live-blog session. Pat has impressed a lot of people along his journey. Don't miss this chance to see what it is about Pat Smathers that has supporters lining up with him.

From his bio:

When devastating hurricane floods struck his hometown in 2004, Mayor Pat Smathers had two options: Rebuild or build better.

Smathers, a problem solving Democrat, chose the latter, partnering with fellow community leaders and state government to strengthen the mountain town his family has called home for eight generations.

Mental Health for My Birthday

My 48th birthday was on Monday, Feb. 25th. I work for a non-profit agency that gets most of its funding from the state, so budgets are tight. One year, we weren't able to give cost of living increases, so the board voted to give our birthdays as a personal holiday. What do you choose to do with a personal holiday? Get a manicure, a massage? Maybe some people would. Not me. I chose to haul my butt out of bed early, get stuck in construction, and fight traffic to get to a Forum on Mental Health so that I could listen to most of the candidates for Governor and Lt.Governor talk about the crisis in North Carolina's Mental Health System. As some of you might have realized by now, I am a political geek, but what you might not know is that I've had two family members struggle with mental illness and fall through cracks - one in NJ, and one in NC. So this was a very important day for me.

Jim Neal lands key blogosphere endorsement - Blue America PAC

I type away solo at my kitchen table most of the time, but on occasion I get a chance to meet or work with the high-traffic, "A-list" progressive political bloggers inside the Beltway.

Many of them, let's say, have certain ideas about the South and NC. They were skeptical about Jim Neal's chances to win the Dem primary, let alone the Senate seat held by Liddy Dole. But after a ton of work by his dedicated campaign team, a zillion posts about Jim's candidacy at my pad, here and other places, along with poll numbers showing how weak Dole is, things slowly started to turn with the A-listers. And it seemed to happen in a big way after the recent FISA stumble by Kay Hagan.

The good folks at Crooks & Liars (John Amato), Firedoglake (Jane Hamsher), Hullabaloo (Digby), and Down with Tyranny (Howie Klein, who has been the one blogger outside of NC really giving Jim exposure), have put their considerably more influential blogtopia weight behind Jim's run.

Some fresh thinking about small businesses

There's always a lot of talk in Raleigh about how small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yada, yada, yada, but the truth is, small businesses get screwed just like regular people get screwed by policies that favor investors instead of work and big corporations instead of entrepreneurs. So I was both surprised and mostly pleased to see candidate Perdue's new ideas to put small businesses first.


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