I got back into Raleigh Sunday just in time to catch Jerry Meek giving a talk at the Quail Ridge Bookstore on Wade Avenue. The speech by Meek, which focused on the book "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff, attracted many locals, a few candidates for the General Assembly, and a sitting General Assembly member, Grier Martin. The speech focused on ways to frame the debate and successfully convert moderates and conservatives to the position of the Democratic Party. But to me the event highlighted Jerry Meek more than the book.
The event shows both that Meek, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science and Law School from Duke, is a serious thinker of politics able to articulate his thoughts coherently and a person willing and even excited to go out amongst us common Democrats. Meek gave his talk and then received questions from the audience members, most of whom Jerry addressed by name. The speech included many astute tips on how to frame the debate with Republicans; my favorite was his tip that when addressing hunters concerned with gun control you should reply that Democrats are not going to take guns from hunters but 20 more years of Republican environmental policy will render the gun useless.
I came back from a week long tour of Florida yesterday thinking that the cities in Florida were so much better than those in our great state. Sure our cities are nice, but there were many more pieces of public art, more exciting and vibrant downtowns, and more people actually out at night in downtown in Florida's cities. Also, Florida has at least 9 major-league professional teams while North Carolina has 3.
Apparently, Raleigh's actions in the Plensa plaza affair, where Raleigh is about to turn down a plaza designed by an internationally known artist and paid for with private funds, convinced the N&O that it was time to attack Raleigh for creating a boring city. The Q section of Sunday's N&O contained four articles on how boring the city is and how the boringness is created by reactionary "No-it-alls". The articles:
Submitted by Gordon Smith on Mon, 08/14/2006 - 8:01am
Tomorrow you have two chances to get active in the call for a real investigation of Charles Taylor's principles. In Asheville, CREW will be presenting a comprehensive argument for a House Ethics investigation on Tuesday morning within shouting distance of Taylor's office. And Tuesday night Operation Democracy will be at Asheville's Grove Arcade to dog Charles Taylor's fraudulent claims of fiscal conservatism at a meeting of the Citizens Against Government Waste..
Slogging through some Republican swamps this morning, I came across the defunct blog, Carolina Pundit, the musings of a self-professed member of a dying breed, a conservative Christian Republican. If you have time, it's worth a brief tour, if only to get some early takes on the NC GOP meltdown, the emergence of the Puppetmaster, and the story behind the story behind the slimeball that is Michael Decker. Here's what the Pundit had to say.
The Times They Are A-Changin’ in the NCGOP
As a follow up to my first commentary, I want to say thank you to all who commented and participated in the discussion. A few took issue with what I had to write and there were some apologists or “spin doctors” who wanted to get in on the act. This development is a great place for Republicans, particularly Conservatives, to begin the formulation of a possible New Republican Majority in North Carolina.
Lasting political change of any sort, whether good or bad — from emancipation to woman’s suffrage to Social Security to the inevitable end of Social Security — starts on the radical fringe before it rules the center. A healthy intellectual discussion should not be restrained by toeing a middle line.
From a book review by Brian Doherty, a free market apologist whose his many personal biases thoroughly contaminate the review (along with far too many ads for the Cato Institute). But it's worth a look if you're interested in understanding how political change happens, and equally important, how it doesn't.
For those interested in the inside scoop on the GOP's plans for November, one of the newest Puppets lays it out for all to see. The gameplan comes to us via Willie Ray Starling, hand-picked by Republicans for a Legislative Majority, Inc., in the 10th district (Kinston). This is from his website.
Here are the four points the Republicans will hammer home starting after Labor Day:
In Western North Carolina's mountainous 11th District, Republican Rep. Charles Taylor faces a strong challenge from Democrat Heath Shuler, a former quarterback at the local Swain County high school and later with the Washington Redskins.
Taylor has broken from the administration on two issues: trade and immigration.
Two days ago, I had the amazing privilege of watching loggerhead turtle hatchlings scramble from a nest on Emerald Isle into the breaking waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Ninety turtles made the trip in all, but I only saw the last four. They were helped out of their nest and scootched along, sort of, by the Turtle Rescue people.
Three of the four came out of their nest and charged ahead like hell on wheels, heading straight for the ocean without even the hint of distraction. But then there was the fourth one, the one that spent half its time heading the wrong way and wandering around like a lost soul. The first three made it to the ocean (not the safety of the ocean, just the ocean) in less than five minutes. The fourth took twenty minutes. It was exhausting.
Submitted by gregflynn on Fri, 08/11/2006 - 11:07pm
Friday, Meredith Norris, Jim Black's former political director, pled no-contest to charges of unregistered lobbying. Jim Black had a legal setback Monday when a judge ruled that certain contributions funneled through the Optometry PAC were illegal and must be forfeited. This follows Michael Decker's August 1st guilty plea to conspiracy to extort, mail fraud and money laundering and a clandestine meeting at a Salisbury IHOP, widely considered to be with Black.
Last Sunday NBC17's At Issue local political panel had Nelson Dollar, Joe Sinsheimer and Bill Faison discussing the Black & Decker events. Dollar had little to add to the discussion.
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