O-No! slicing to the bone

Laura Leslie expresses my own sentiments about the next phase of dismantling two once-great daily papers. The news is grim for staffers at both the Raleigh News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer. The Charlotte paper appears to be getting hit hardest:

Publisher Ann Caulkins said the Carolinas' largest newspaper aims to eliminate more than 9 percent of its workforce, roughly 75 positions, with a nearly companywide buyout offer. The reductions are to be completed Oct. 3. “The economy is really, really tough,” Caulkins told the newsroom this morning.

Ed Ridpath Door-to-Door Campaign Milestone: 10,000 Voters

Ed Ridpath, Democratic Candidate for the North Carolina House, reached a milestone this Labor Day weekend. Over 10,000 voters contacted so far in his 2008 door-to-door campaign. Committed to one-on-one voter contact, Ridpath, assisted by campaign volunteers, has been door knocking weekly since last October.

Ridpath stated: “Door-to-door campaigning is a little old-fashioned, but it is the best way to get to know my neighbors and the best way for them to get to know me. Over the last year, I have spent most weekends and many evenings listening to voters, right at their own doorstep. This level of direct voter contact is hard work, but very rewarding. The big benefit is that I will represent all of us in Southern Wake County much better when I get to Raleigh.”

I post, you guess

Most of North Carolina's Puppet pundits have mastered the art of red herring. They righteously serve up fringe arguments that can be easily rebutted, and then proceed to do just that. But there is one among the marionettes who deserves special scorn for his unique blend of misdirection and petulance. See if you can guess who wrote this.

It's too bad more women aren't praising Palin's record of achievement. She has succeeded in the male-dominated arenas of athletics and politics, as well as in areas where femininity rules -- beauty pageants and motherhood. I doubt the pregnancy of their 17-year-old unmarried daughter was part of the Palin family plan, but having Bristol come to her parents with news of the baby, and her decision to marry the father, are testimony to the effectiveness of Sarah and Todd's parenting.

The value of work

Tis Labor Day, dear readers. Twenty-four blessed hours to think about the nature of people and work. About human dignity. About exploitation. About the balance of economic and political power.

The value of working capital today trumps the value of human capital. It is more flexible, more scalable. It is why the distance between the top and the bottom of the wealth spectrum feels excessive. Obama's tax plan should help on this front. It's a good start.

But the fact is, working capital has more influence than working people, who are decidedly outgunned by business interests, especially here in North Carolina. Art Pope's right-wing think tanks, for example, spend upwards of $5 million each year to influence public opinion and policy makers. We have our work cut out.

Happy Labor Day.


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