north carolina politics

NC General Assembly earns a failing grade on the environment

RALEIGH, NC - Nearly two-thirds of the Senate—32 members in total—earned a failing grade this year on standing up for the environment, according to Environment North Carolina’s 2013 legislative scorecard released today.

NC's increasing urban-rural divide

Voting against their best interests:

Carter won more than two-thirds of the 428 Appalachian counties in 1976, and Clinton won close to half (see chart below). In this election, the region was unkind to Obama; he won only 7% of Appalachian counties in his successful reelection bid last week.

It's probably not surprising to many reading this, but as a region, Appalachia has the highest rate of food stamp enrollment, at a whopping 21.9%. And that's in spite of a widespread refusal by eligible people to take part. And this is what the GOP is trying to do:

Audio Story- Real Jobs NC buying influence in 2012 elections

Here is a recording we did for the Institute on Southern Studies' report on Real Jobs NC election influence. Recently filed reports with the IRS indicate the group is looking in repeat their 2010 election influence.

Listen via SoundCloud:

An American Experiment in Democracy: an essay on the Democratic National Convention

This article is from Creative Loafing of Charlotte. It is my essay on a week spent covering the Democratic National Convention.

Warren's speech catered to, and maybe reassured, progressives. "No, Romney, corporations are not people ... people are people," Warren said. "They dance, they live, they love, and they die, and that matters." It was simple, empathic rhetoric, and I liked her.

Then came the Big Dog, who delivered the greatest speech from a former president since Teddy Roosevelt took on his successor and declared, "We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord."

Half of Clinton's speech was ad-libbed. I hung on every word. My tongue was in my throat. There was new momentum in the air.


President Obama, Jobs, and Organized Labor...What it could mean for 2012.

There is nothing working families want and need more than re-electing President Obama. Members of organized labor are re-doubling our efforts to see that candidates who will work hard and look out for working families prevail this November.

The President has worked to help strengthen our economy, but times are still tough here in North Carolina. We need help now more than ever. But, the Obama Administration is considering an action that could have a very negative impact on our state’s economy, on organized labor, and on our chances for victory in November here in NC.

The AFL-CIO is working against an ill-timed effort by the Food and Drug Administration that would remove menthol cigarettes from the market. If adopted by the agency, thousands of well-paid and organized workers across NC would be out of a job. And all because of a bad decision, made at the wrong time, and not supported by science.

New OFA Ad Running in North Carolina

Obama for America today released a new television advertisement called “Jobs” that asks Americans to join the President in calling on Congress to pass his commonsense bipartisan plan to create jobs now as we continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and rebuild an economy that's meant to last. Its running here in North Carolina.

Primary School'd

After years of being a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, why go to all the trouble of sending in extensive paperwork (OK, a signed-and-dated postcard with the words: “Change my party affiliation, damnit.”) to my local Board of Elections? All to vote in a silly state Primary? Big deal, who cares? I CARE! I care because, for the first time in God knows how long, a North Carolina Presidential Primary is going to count for something in the US political process. At least, that’s what I was thinking at the time...

Read the rest at Political

NC Legislators' Immigration Race to the Bottom

The White House’s and Congress’ continued inaction on responsible immigration reform has led to disaster and crisis, for state governments, local officials, and families alike. But the most serious side effect of this egregious abdication of responsibility is the “open season” many politicians seem to have declared against hard-working immigrant families. In North Carolina, for example, a sheriff’s racist remarks in 2008, used to describe the Latino community during a news interview, resulted not in condemnation but instead praise and adoration. The elected official’s popularity spiked and a Facebook group seeking his re-election was created. Is this really the America we thought we knew?

Needed: A Modern-Day Prophet (Joshua Glasser and Michael D. Jones)

What makes a story timeless? Recent research suggests that every enduring story has a few common components. There needs to be a setting: agreed-upon facts or rules that provide context and set the scene. There must be a plot with a beginning, middle, and end, and a moral point that the audience finds compelling. Most of all, there have to be recognizable characters: a villain to cause trouble, a set of victims who suffer at the hands of the villain, and a hero (perhaps flawed in his or her own right) to step in and save the day.

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