I won't be there

I had been looking forward to the big event tonight: my friend Tim is hosting a fundraiser for Speaker Joe Hackney here in Chapel Hill.

When I signed on to be a sponsor a couple of weeks ago, it looked like cause for celebration. The General Assembly mostly did a decent job this summer, and Speaker Hackney showed the kind of leadership we should have had all along in the House.

And then the Great Goodyear Giveaway came onto center stage.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the North Carolina Legislature today will consummate a deal made with the devil to give a couple hundred million dollars to a few big manufacturers for no good reason. Easley vetoed the original bill, and Speaker Hackney pulled out the stops to produce a "compromise" - which is an even bigger giveaway than the one originally planned.

Nobody's asking for my opinion, but I'm giving it anyway: This legislation sucks.

I've already written my check for the fundraiser, and I won't be asking for it back. A deal's a deal. But in my own small way, I'll be protesting. By writing this post. And by taking a pass on the big party tonight. Because amidst all the back-slapping and bullshitting that goes on at events like this, simply being there offers an implied endorsement. And I definitely do not approve.

Major McHenry '04 funds from fraudulent donor

Delay-related funding almost $200,000, nearly 20% of McHenry's campaign total

Also, two major in-district fundraisers reportedly under investigation for Medicaid fraud [scroll to bottom for this one]

And while CharO covered the FEC lawsuit settlement by Citizen's Club for Growth, they failed to mention the nearly $200,000 of McHenry's 04 $923,795 came from the Delay-related funding.

Open thread: New trends in health care

More and more employers are turning to healthcare surcharges to push workers into losing weight. Next thing you know, they'll be doing DNA tests to predict all sorts of diseases - and charging high-risk individuals even more for coverage.

If your daddy blew his brains out ten years ago because he was depressed, you're gonna pay an arm and a leg for modern health insurance. Even if you pretend like you're happy. They'll know all about you, and they won't want you to get your Zoloft prescription without paying your fair share into the kitty. Mark my words.

Auditor Wanted

Editorial, Charlotte Observer

Les Merritt appears to be having a hard time understanding that voters in 2004 elected him to be N.C. State Auditor -- not State Auditor and Private Financial Adviser, and not State Auditor and Four Oaks Bank Board Member.

Mr. Merritt, a Republican, did step out of his investment adviser business after a flap over his divided loyalties, but when political watchdog Joe Sinsheimer questioned his decision to be a director of Four Oaks Bank in Zebulon, Auditor Merritt said he would accept no money from the bank and intended to remain on the board.

Front-paged by Anglico

Who the heck is 'we'?

Visitors to Bill Graham's website can be forgiven for thinking they've landed in the inner sanctum of some Communist underground movement. Wild Bill has the word WE plastered all over everything in big bold letters, backed up with enough over-produced gospel music to make you think he's running to fill Elvis' shoes instead of Mike Easley's.

Who the heck does Bill Graham think he's kidding?

In case you missed it, Graham has contributed $2.3 million to fund his own private PAC to bolster his gubernatorial campaign, a PAC that produces a never-ending stream of anti-tax and pro-war ranting. And guess how many other contributors have joined his holy crusade? Exactly five.

So for all Graham's talk about "we" . . . the truth is sadly predictable. Bill got the first letter of the word turned upside down by accident. This is all about "me" and anyone with half a brain knows it. The weird thing though, is that North Carolina Republican primary voters seem to be leaning in Graham's direction at this early stage. I guess that shows who has half a brain . . . and who doesn't.

Jacksonville Daily News wants to know if we should leave Iraq...

Hey folks.

The Jacksonville Daily News wants to know how you feel about withdrawing from Iraq.

Gen. David Petraeus is expected to recommend to Congress that current U.S. troop levels in Iraq be maintained until spring, as the surge has met with some success. Do you agree?

The survey is on their homepage...Please go vote!

Friends of Liddy

In a new book about national GOP infighting, our own Liddy Dole gets smacked down by fellow Republican Steve Laffey over her miserable performance as top dog in the NRSC last year:

LAFFEY’S PUBLISHER . . . had promised five months ago that the blunt, former two-term mayor would “name names” in his book, and Laffey delivers plenty of names. He blasts national GOP leaders, including Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, head of the NRSC, for trying to persuade Laffey to run for lieutenant governor and leave the Senate to Chafee. Laffey also criticizes President Bush for allowing the national party to “slime” Laffey with attack ads.

Bush and Dole, Dole and Bush. Two peas in a pathetic pod. There's no end to the damage they've caused, even within their own morally bankrupt party. Come on, Grier. You can take her.

An Open Letter to Patrick McHenry, Republican Representative from NC's 10th Congressional District

I ask that you all join me in this quest to educate the young (yet unusually gray) Mr. McHenry. Please photograph your bicycle and send it with a letter pledging to ride versus driving your auto. You all know I'm intending to bicycle to work. It's a serious commitment, I think, and not one I would impugn upon you, but I would ask that you try to use a bicycle, or walk, if possible . I'm providing the text of my letter, and you may use as you wish, but please, send something.

Dear Mr. McHenry,

I Know Marshall Adame

I Know Marshall Adame

I met Marshall Adame several years ago while working in Iraq / Kuwait. At that time he was the he was the CPA Basra International Airport Manager in Southern Iraq. I was working for a Defense Contracting firm that supplied Arabic Linguist to Coalition Forces. While at the time our encounter was brief, I found him to be very engaging and personable, with a real regard for the people of Iraq. He seemed to know every Iraqi in the Airport terminal and they all know him. As with me at the time, he showed an interest in our soldiers and marines who would often plow through his area, usually without notification. This was one of those occasions. I also found him to be a deeply caring man when it came to our cause in Iraq. He called it a rescue effort.


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