James @
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 2:39pm

A number of polls show Speaker Tillis falling behind Senator Hagan. To turn things around, Tillis needs to climb a treacherous mountain. He needs to paint the Senator as a radical socialist who does nothing but support Obama's agenda. He needs to convince people that she's lazy, disengaged, and out-of-step with North Carolina values. That's not going to happen. None of that stuff is even remotely true, and people know it. The more Tillis beats the drum, the sillier he seems. He tried this approach in the first debate and came away looking like a schmuck.

This is exactly what happened in the State Supreme Court primary when Republican liars went after Robin Hudson with attack ads that didn't pass the smell test:

James @
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 8:18am

Independent groups aim to help Democratic legislative candidates (AP) — Groups in the shadow of traditional campaigns are poised to once again attempt to influence North Carolina General Assembly races through ads and mailers bought with millions of dollars largely from companies and politically-minded organizations.

New poll shows Hagan widening to 9 point lead (WRAL-TV) -- Raleigh polling firm American Insights is rolling out a new poll Monday that shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has a 9 percentage point lead among likely voters over Republican challenger Thom Tillis. This poll is the latest in a string showing Hagan gaining ground in the campaign. Of likely voters surveyed, 43 percent said they would back Hagan, 34 percent said they backed Tillis, the current state House speaker, and 5 percent backed Libertarian Sean Haugh. "The race has unmistakably shifted towards Sen. Hagan in recent days," said Pearce Godwin, insights director for American Insights. "This poll is a continuation and affirmation of the recent trend in her direction. But there is still a lot of time left on the clock, and I would not be surprised if this volatile race shifts back to a jump ball between now and November."

Daily dose
James @
Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 8:00pm

Gerry Cohen is in our salon tonight to talk about local politics. If you have questions, drop them below.

Gerry, Jane and I go way back. Jane and Gerry met in 1977 when he was running for mayor of Chapel Hill. I eventually joined the town council and knew about Gerry's legendary service. We met eight years ago at a blogger conference. This is the first time we've had the chance to reconnect.

James @
Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 9:08am

James @
Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 2:43pm

Yesterday I saw a MasterCard ad in the New York Times about a new app for the iPhone. The headline was: "Totally priceless."

This is a great example of adverb abuse. But even more damning, it undermines years of other "priceless" advertising. All those other things MasterCard said were "priceless" before? Well, they're not so priceless now. Not compared to this new thing, whatever it is, which also happens to be "totally priceless."

The word priceless is like the words unique and pregnant. It's either true or it's not.

Unfortunately, we have slipped into a world where words can mean whatever anybody wants them to mean, with impunity. The same is true with numbers, where 7% equals 5% equals the biggest teacher pay scam in history. Say something often enough and it becomes real.

James @
Friday, September 12, 2014 - 4:10pm

When you're dishing this kind of bullshit, it pays to avoid using "brilliant" twice in the same sentence. Especially when the person being described has been an unmitigated disaster.

See more at: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2014/09/12/the-follies-211/#sthash.vDbDJoRl...

James @
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 6:36pm

In the upside-down world of today's Republican lunacy, forcing commuters to pay more at the toll booth is a free-market proposition that's hard to resist. The theory goes like this:

  • If you use the roads, you pay for the roads.
  • And you have to use the roads because communist transit planning is a no-no.
  • Which means you're screwed unless you have a lot of money or don't work.

That's the thinking behind the Thom Tillis toll-road fetish, with strong backing from Skip Stam and Bill Brawley, all of which has the appearance of a libertarian wet dream. Except for one thing. The "get government off our back crowd" at The Daily Haymaker is none too pleased. They like their roads just the way they are, supported by big government and taxes. I know, it sounds kinda weird. But it's also true. Read all about it.

James @
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 8:17am

It goes without saying that the attacks on 9-11 were horrific. In my view, however, they were neither more nor less horrific than countless tragedies our species have inflicted on itself over the span of our existence.

If there is unique horror associated with 9-11, it is the ongoing War on Terror we chose to pursue after the attacks. In support of that War, each of us has sacrificed untold freedoms and personal liberties, without gaining a shred more in national safety and security. We have justified endless conflicts throughout the world, destroyed entire countries for nothing, and tortured thousands of our fellow human beings. To pay for it all, we have bankrupted our nation, both fiscally and morally. The drums of war continue even today.

I had intended for this to be a long and detailed commentary. Turns out, it's not all that complicated.

James @
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 7:35am

When you have $25 billion in revenues, every little bit counts.

“Over the years, it’s clear that Duke has crafted a lucrative profit center by penalizing its customers, often those who can least afford it."

It's worth noting that Ms. Joy White, the person featured in this article, is "a self-described conservative, who does not bang a drum against Corporate America. Capitalism is just fine with her. And she wants to pay her bill. But a $524 penalty deposit is out of line, she said Tuesday."

Ms. White may want to reconsider her political leanings. Either that or STFU about the penalty being "out of line." In Corporate America, Duke Energy gets to say who pays how much for what, and Ms. White's opinion are as irrelevant as she is.

James @
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 5:44pm

He that is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.

Thomas Paine

ISIS Obama war