Monday, March 31, 2014 - 9:13am

The Corps of Engineers has started the 30 day comment period on the NCDENR boondoggle. This might be our only chance to stop this travesty.

http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Locations/DistrictLakesandDams/BEverettJor...

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James @
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 8:57am

If the senior senator from North Carolina is known for anything, he is known for doing nothing. A hapless slacker by any standard, Senator Burr is at best an empty suit, except when he is doing outright damage. Today, the New York Times editorial board takes Burr to task for, well, doing nothing.

The job of federal judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been vacant for more than eight years, one of the longest vacancies of 83 on the federal bench around the country. Last June, President Obama nominated Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor, for the position, but she hasn’t even received a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee because Richard Burr, the state’s Republican senator, is blocking her.

The strange part is that Mr. Burr himself recommended her for the seat in 2009. But now he’s changed his mind and won’t say why, exploiting an archaic Senate tradition to make sure Mr. Obama can’t fill that vacancy.

Burr's obstruction, of course, has been enabled by arcane rules in the US Senate, a place the illusion of collegiality trumps democracy at every turn.

Richard Burr
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Monday, March 31, 2014 - 6:55am

The News and Observer reports on a surprise for the May primaries. State Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson - one of only two Democrats on the state's highest court - thought she was only going to have one challenger for her seat.

One of only two Democrats on the seven-member court, Hudson assumed she would be facing a general challenge in the fall from Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson, a Republican. But near the end of the filing period, a second opponent emerged, Jeanette Doran.

“She came out of nowhere,” Hudson said.

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James @
Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 7:27pm

As many of you know, my wife Jane Brown hosts a political salon every month, and has been doing so for more than 20 years. Tonight our guest is Graig Meyer, who is running for the North Carolina House.

Got questions? Send them along. In the meantime, I'll be doing some light live-blogging.

Graig Meyer
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Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 4:17pm

Today, the Charlotte Observer completely erased Patsy Kinsey's work to keep the airport under Charlotte's control. In the article published this morning about the fate of the airport they jump from Anthony Foxx directly to Patrick Cannon as if Kinsey's time in office never happened.

Anthony Foxx was mayor when the airport fight began but stepped down in July to become U.S. transportation secretary. Cannon became mayor pro tem in December 2011 and was later elected mayor in November 2013.

Kinsey was widely credited for helping the city maintain control of the airport that Charlotte citizens paid to build. The writers could have easily covered this in one or two sentences. The following are links to and quotes from articles referencing Kinsey's work on the airport issue, as well as some of her public comments. Do you think her accomplishments are worthy of being ignored?

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James @
Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 11:47am

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 10:45am

Unfortunately, voters can't always read between the lines:

Those who became disenchanted with Cannon worked behind the scenes last year to keep him from becoming mayor. Former Democratic Mayor Harvey Gantt took the unusual step of endorsing James “Smuggie” Mitchell in the primary.

But even some African-American politicians, who could have helped as allies and mentors, stayed clear of Cannon. Anthony Foxx, the former mayor, now U.S. transportation secretary, felt Cannon couldn’t be trusted, according to people close to Foxx. City Council member David Howard said that “out of a sense of caution” he kept his distance. “I always tried to put community first,” Howard said, “and I’m not sure I always felt that’s what he was doing.”

So neither Gantt nor Foxx endorsed Cannon, which should have raised some eyebrows in Charlotte's African-American community. And it very well may have. But as we've seen countless times in the past in North Carolina politics (both parties), ethical problems are only "real" problems when they blow up in your face.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 9:45am

Via Wautauga Watch, we learn that Boone's High Country Press has published resolutions passed by the Wautauga and Ashe County Republican parties last weekend at their annual conventions.

They're a little window into what devoted, rank and file Republicans are thinking in North Carolina. And the concerns they express are disturbing in what they say about how extreme - and paranoid - the right-wing has become in the state.

The Jefferson Post has a round-up of speakers at the Ashe GOP convention.

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Posmo @
Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 8:58am

and more stupid came out.

[Private school profiteer and taker Bob] Luddy asked if the state needs “a new delivery system” to reach underserved students. “I don’t believe in being called the transportation governor, the education governor, the jobs governor or the health-care governor – you name it, I’ve heard this in our history. I’m the governor. I don’t believe in setting your legacy before you accomplish anything.”

WTF?!? We can't even parse that. We doubt that anyone can. And by the way, Pat, you're not the governor; you're the Deputy Assistant Guvnor. And your legacy is pretty much already established.

Every time you think he can't continue the non-stop stream of stupidity, Pat proves you wrong:

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Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 11:48am

But she was offered a sandwich as a consolation prize:

Of course, when a U.S. senator comes to town, you want to hear from him. And since Burr’s office had sent out his schedule in a “media advisory,” we at the Post figured that wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong.

When a Post reporter arrived just before the luncheon was about to start, she was met by Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks, the local EDC. “Who invited you?” Van Geons asked the reporter. Her editor, she replied.

Van Geons informed the reporter this was a private event and she couldn’t come in, a decision he apparently confirmed with Burr’s people. She was, however, welcome to take some photos beforehand and have a sandwich before leaving. No thanks, the reporter said.

I'm sure Burr's office will try to spin this as simply a "misunderstanding" by a young staffer, just as I'm sure everybody will forget when the Teflon Senator comes up for re-election. But this kind of exclusivity and dodging public scrutiny is sickening.

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