Betsy Muse's blog

Operation Free in Charlotte

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to a group of veterans discuss the importance of working toward energy indepence. They were traveling throughout North Carolina, as well as other states, to tell about their experiences and share their view of energy independence as a national security issue.

The following video is Rafael Noboa, an Iraq War veteran.

This is the best Republicans could offer?

Reprinted with permission from the author. Dave Ribar is a Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he teaches several graduate classes and conducts research on issues and programs related to poverty. He has previously taught at The George Washington University and at Penn State University. The original can be found at Applied Rationality.

Last Friday, Rep. Boehner, the Republican minority leader, promised "over the coming days, you're going to hear an awful lot about the specifics of what we would do to lower the cost of health insurance in America and really do this in a step-by-step gradual process."

Kissell will not break promise to protect Medicare, will vote against healthcare bill

I'm not surprised Larry would keep his promise. I might not always agree with his fiscal conservatism, but I agree that we don't improve healthcare in this country by taking away almost $400 billion in benefits from senior citizens. What are octogenarians to do? Go get jobs for the benies?

Kissell's statement:

"From the day I announced my candidacy for this office, I promised to protect Medicare," Kissell said. "I gave my word I wouldn't cut it and I intend to keep that promise to the citizens of the Eighth District and the senior citizens of this nation. While I believe comprehensive health care and insurance reform is necessary, I cannot vote for H.R. 3962 in its current form, which cuts $399 billion from Medicare."

My goodness! He almost sounds like a liberal in that quote. I mean, literally a very well-known liberal.

Screwy! Screwy! Screwy! Ahem... Congratulations Gordon!

I can barely express how excited I am to congratulate Asheville and BlueNC blogger, Gordon Smith, who won a seat on the Asheville City Council. Gordon, who blogged as Screwy Hoolie and has been blogging longer than BlueNC has been in existence, beat Republican Carl Mumpower handily. Mumpower ran for congress against Heath Shuler in 2008.

Congratulations Gordon. I'm happy for you and so, so proud of you. I can't wait to follow your career.

Congratulations Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill

Congratulations Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill's next mayor. In the early days of BlueNC Mark posted about death penalty cases and kept us current on actions we could take to help end state sponsored killings in North Carolina. He is smart, kind and progressive. He will make a great mayor of Chapel Hill.

Congratulations also go out to Jake Gellar-Goad, Mark's Volunteer Coordinator. He did an excellent job and in a race this close and with so little money spent those highly organized volunteers more than likely made the difference. Good work, Jake. Glad you're on our side.

Charlotte has First Democratic Mayor in 22 years & Dems pick up a seat on Council

Anthony Foxx is Charlotte's next mayor. He is the first Democrat to serve as mayor in 22 years. Turnout was around 21% and it looks like Democrats were turning out during early voting. To go along with their new mayor, Charlotte Democrats will now hold an 8-3 advantage on the City Council.

Put that in your teacup and sip it.

PPP: Chapel Hill mayoral race too close to call

GOTV efforts are especially critical tomorrow for Chapel Hill's mayoral candidates. Mark Kleinschmidt trails Matt Czaikowski by one point. Tom Jensen does note that the polling does not include cell phone only users which means a lot of students aren't being polled. For full results go to PPP's blog.

There's still time to knock on doors and make phone calls and volunteer to greet voters at the polls for Mark. I'm sure Jake will be here momentarily to provide us with all the particulars.

Good Signs for Anthony Foxx & Democrats in Charlotte

Last week candidates for local office filed campaign finance reports and the news was good for Charlotte mayoral candidate, Anthony Foxx. He leads his Republican opponent in money raised and cash on hand. In the latest filing period, Foxx reports raising almost $250,000 and Lassiter reports raising $137,000. As of mid October, Foxx had $267,000 on hand with Lassiter having $184,000. It wasn't long ago the Lassiter campaign was touting its superior fundraising numbers.

Does your Garden Offer Tricks or Treats?

I've shared some of my veggie pictures with you and now it's time to share some of my flowers and other treats from my garden. I don't have that many. Our land was pretty wild and weedy when we bought it and I'm struggling with just how much I want to tame it. I'm hoping to find just the right balance between my structured gardens and the wonderful flowering weeds that border our woods.

We learned very quickly that we would not have a lawn. Killing all of the weeds on almost four acres would take too much time, energy, money and harsh chemicals. The few beds I have, I dug manually so that the top 4-5" layer of invasive weeds were completely removed. Within months, though, the weeds were back. It is a constant struggle to keep those beds free of weeds. I dig the weeds by hand that sprout in each bed and use a very small amount of weed killer around each bed. That method is helping, but I hope to get to a point where I don't have to use the chemicals.

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