The Tancredo Protest Revisited

In the wake of all the drama at the Tom Tancredo hate fest, there has been much hand-wringing about freedom of speech and much criticism of protesting students. After talking with people on all sides of the issue, including many who attended the event, I find it hard not to fault the UNC administration and campus police, who failed in every way imaginable to carry out their responsibilities.

Obama Cutting Budget Line by Line

One of Barack Obama's campaign promises was to go line by line through the budget to see where money can be saved. He's following through on that promise. The president has found a few areas that can be trimmed back already. He will make the proposals at his first cabinet meeting this morning. He is challenging members of the cabinet to collectively cut the budget by $100 million and they must report back in 90 days with their suggestions.

Facing south

The good guys here in North Carolina get some Wapo love today:

TVA Under Growing Pressure to Clean Up its Act: Sue Sturgis of the fantastic Facing South blog writes that "Last week, a federal judge denied the federal utility's appeal for more time to install pollution controls on coal-fired power plants that are dirtying North Carolina's air."

More on the Institute for Southern Studies here.

Burr's Money, Part One: Big Pharma Finds A Hero

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to many reading this, but not only is the pharmaceutical industry hugely profitable, they're also near the top of the list of biggest spenders in lobbying/campaign contributions. And they're not stupid. These expenditures, just like the hundreds of millions they spend on research and development, are investments to ensure a healthy future profit margin. And thanks to their investment in Richard Burr, they're not only raking it in at the pharmacy counter, they're getting billions of taxpayer dollars along the way.

Catawba County Democrats have decisons to make

This coming Saturday the Democratic Party of Catawba County will hold its convention and elect new officers. Elizabeth Glynn is expected to become the new chairman, Eli has become a very active Democrat but she has her work cut out. Unlike other counties in the state Catawba county has not been able to turn recent party activism into electoral victories, with the exception of the NC House 88th district which includes parts of Catawba County and all of Alexander County, and is controlled by former Alexander County Democratic Sheriff Ray Warren the 2006 and 2008 elections have proven to be Republican sweeps. While some in the party are getting discouraged others are looking for new ways for the Democrats to become competitive.

Sifting through the dregs

Rob Schofield has written a solid round up story about teh baggin' parties that went down this week. Definitely worth the read.

In short, there's plenty to get mad about there in the world - maybe even enough to have a "tea party" over. Unfortunately, this week's efforts from the far right were so far off the mark that they bore a closer resemblance to Wonderland than colonial Boston.

Every election cycle, conservative intellectuals complain about uninformed citizens on the left voting straight-ticket Democrat. I hope they'll take a minute to hold up the looking glass.

Ignorance is bipartisan.

Updated to be nice.

Republican proposes method for Burr to attack Roy Cooper

If it weren't so sad it would be funny. I don't know who this Guarino person is, but when a friend sent me a link to this I had to point out just how easy it could be to win in November 2010 if this guy has anything to do with Burr's strategy. His proposal? Attack Roy Cooper on the Eve Carson Murder.

First, we need to recall the murder of Eve Carson, the UNC student leader, by a probation violator. The News and Observer in Raleigh subsequently did a series that exposed the utter failure of the North Carolina probation system.

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Richard Moore $1 Million Out Of Pocket

Last week Richard Moore quietly closed out the campaign account for his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign. He had loaned the campaign $1,250,000 in personal funds of which $288,232 had been repaid. The final report to the State Board of Elections dated 4/7/09 listed $3,055 cash on hand before expenses and $961,768 in forgiven loans. Moore is often mentioned as a potential contender for Richard Burr's Senate seat but reportedly has no plans to run.

Doug Berger's Misguided Castle Doctrine

I am by no means an opponent of the 2nd Amendment, and have studied the Founding Fathers' reasoning behind its inclusion in our Constitution and concluded they had all citizenry in mind when they referenced the Militia, and not a tight select group as some of my fellow Liberals have concluded. With that clearly stated, I also believe the possession and use of firearms should be sensibly regulated, and the enforcement of our laws should be reserved for those we have given the responsibility to do such. Any effort to erode these common sense ideals should be scrutinized closely and potential consequences explored, or we may find ourselves one day living under the aura of vigilante justice again.

A bill was introduced last month by (believe it or not) Democratic Senator Doug Berger, titled the Castle Doctrine:

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