Larry Kissell's blog

Good News on "The Most Depressing Day of the Year"

This Time/CNN story got me thinking.

There's a lot to feel down about this month: the subprime mortgage crisis, stormy, unpredictable weather, rising gas prices, presidential primary free-for-alls. So, it would be easy to believe the theory set forth by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher from Cardiff University, that the third Monday of the month (Jan. 21, this year) — a day he calls Blue Monday — will be our most depressing day of the year. Arnall bases his yearly prediction on a formula he developed, which factors in the weather, consumer debt from holiday spending and failed New Year's resolutions and arrives at that conclusion that we'll hit rock bottom on Monday the 21st.

From a Democratic perspective, if this is rock bottom, imagine the view from the cheap seats in the Grand Old Party. I wholeheartedly disagree with the good Doctor's theory of today being the most depressing day of the year, and in fact draw hope from it.

"Never Succumb to the Temptation of Bitterness"

As I've shared before, it's those words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that helped keep me from the bitterness of such a narrow loss for Congress in 2006. With our entirely grassroots campaign coming up less than 330 votes short of defeating an entrenched multi-millionaire Republican with virtually no help from the national party, bitterness was a temptation.

Dr. King's words, however, helped remind me and those closest to me that bitterness and regret were wasteful when there was so much to be thankful for and so much work left to do. We moved on and I hope we have honored his memory, and more importantly his spirit, with our people powered movement made up of working folks here in North Carolina.

Don't write off the South

Cross post from KOS. North Carolina will be an exciting place for politics in 2008!

As you might have read over the holidays, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen has revealed his bold plan targeting at least 40 seats in the 2008 Congressional elections. We Democrats are finally in a position to go on the offensive, given retiring and vulnerable Republicans, as well as the fund raising success of the national party.

What you may not have realized however, is that Florida aside, I'm proud to say North Carolina's 8th appears to be the southern firewall!

330 Days

330 is a number that has haunted me.

That is the number (less than 2 votes per precinct in my district) that I lost by in 2006. As many of you know, our grassroots campaign last year surprised a lot of people because we were written off by Washington. I've been running hard ever since working to find the votes we'll need to put us over the finish line this November. I'm committed to finishing the job we started together. The changes we need to make are too important not to give it my all every day between now and November 4. As a matter of fact, today marks 330 days to the election, so I just wanted to share with you some of the issues keeping me going and open up the inner circle once again.

To our Troops this 11th Hour

This 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, I'd like to take a moment to thank our brave troops for their sacrifice, and remind everyone why we celebrate the solemn occasion of Veterans Day. Celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918 falls on this day, proving to all, including this Administration, that wars do end.

But Veterans Day is intended to celebrate more than that. We must honor all our veterans for their service, including those who served and returned to us safely, for having done their duty. And we must not forget them.

It aint all Sweet Tea and BBQ [Kick Off Press]

...although the sweet tea and BBQ is delicious.

One year from tonight, I know we will have our victory at last. As you know, it was just one short year ago tonight we came within 330 votes of victory because of you and your willingness to support a teacher and former mill worker who had no background in politics other than voting. You sustained me when no one else had belief in my campaign.

24 Hours - The Clock is Ticking

Robin Hayes must decide tomorrow if he wants to show his loyalty to President Bush or to North Carolina's 8th District.

The badly needed override of President Bush's veto against State Children's Health Insurance expansion goes to vote tomorrow. And as North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has said...

"We need this bill to serve North Carolina children currently eligible for the program," the governor says. "It is not for North Carolina adults, nor for children in families earning $80,000, nor illegal immigrants, nor for those with insurance right now. Those who make these claims are not telling the truth."

Costa Ricans have more rights than you. CAFTA vote today!

I worked in textiles 27 years. Now I don't. I teach school, praying my own kids and students can have some semblance of the life I and my parents enjoyed right here in some of the most beautiful country God ever created.

My opponent, multi-millionaire and mill owner Robin Hayes, still maintains his decisive flip-flop on CAFTA will make one of the poorest Districts in the nation and some of THE most unemployed counties in North Carolina, somehow better.

As the FREE people of Costa Rica go to the polls today to reject or ratify Hayes' singular shining contribution to American working families... Let's visit.

Citizen Soldiers Should Not Be Second Class Litigants

Yesterday's Navy Times tells the story of two reservists that appear to have lost their jobs as a result of military service to this country.

One of the men, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Eric Grenesko, was laid off from a job as a service manager for a Pittsburgh company while he was away on military training. The second man, Richard Erickson of Fort Myers, Fla., was fired from the U.S. Postal Service for what his termination letter says was excessive use of military leave.

Don't think they're alone.

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