Betsy Muse's blog

New features at BlueNC

By now you've probably noticed two new graphics in the inner sidebar. They will be part of a rotating graphic display once we have all of the pages and graphics set up. For now, you can click on the Burr Files graphic and you will be taken to posts that have "Richard Burr" as a tag. If you click on the Live Blog Archive graphic you will be taken to a page that displays our live blog archives. I'm still cleaning up the posts that are included in this archive that have been pulled from the database due to a bad tag and we have some older live blogs that were never tagged as such, but it is a good start.

I've been thinking about possibly two rotating graphic blocks. One with graphics that lead to BlueNC features like our important archives, FAQ, Take Action page, etc and one with graphics that lead to our posts on specific candidates and issues, like Richard Burr, Virginia Foxx and the Wakers. Any thoughts on this?

That didn't take long

According to Public Policy Polling the mood has shifted dramatically in North Carolina. In their latest poll, respondents favor Republicans across the board in generic match-ups. They are favored when polling for both federal and state offices.

There are two key reasons for the early Republican lean: independents are leaning toward them and they're more unified than the Democrats are. For Congress independents prefer Republicans 37-21 and for the legislature it's 34-23. 90% of Republicans but only 76% of Democrats plan to support their party in Congressional races and for the legislature those figures are 89% and 77%.

New recycling law creating confusion

The new recycling law that bans all plastic bottles in landfills is creating some confusion. In the past week I've had several people ask me about the law and a friend called to tell me her grandparents are scared about being arrested, so they plan to drive each month to Greensboro to carry their plastics to the recycling center. They are in their 80s and don't enjoy the best of health.

If I had heard this once I might have shrugged it off, but in the last two weeks I've had three different friends tell me that elderly relatives are worried about breaking the law. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them that the law isn't being enforced and nobody is checking their garbage. Some folks aren't used to laws passed just for the hell of it, just to look good or just to pretend you are doing something.

Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

He hasn't completed the first year of his four-year term in office and Barack Hussein Obama has become the fourth U.S. President to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore is the only Vice President to have earned that honor. The last president to win was also the last president to win North Carolina in the general election in 1976, Jimmy Carter. Carter, however, did not earn the Nobel honor until 2002, long after he left office. Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906, Woodrow Wilson won in 1919, Jimmy Carter won in 2002 and Al Gore won in 2007.

Maybe some of those folks who spent time throwing confetti when Chicago wasn't chosen to host the Olympics are rethinking that whole gloating thing.

Congratulations, Mr. President.

Kissell gets some fundraising help from VPOTUS

Last night Larry Kissell got a little help raising money for his 2010 bid from Vice President Joe Biden. The fundraiser was held in the historic Cleveland Park home of Susie and William Taylor.

There were around 60 people in attendance including Charlotte Democrat Mel Watt, NC-12. Rep. Watt has been a supporter of Rep. Kissell since 2006 when Kissell narrowly lost to Robin Hayes. That year he hosted an event featuring Rep. Artur Davis in Charlotte. At the time both men were lobbying the DCCC to take notice of Kissell's upstart grassroots campaign.

When Larry introduced Vice President Biden, he said:

“There’s something magical about someone from a textiles background, and who was teaching high school civics a year ago, to be standing up here with the vice president. That’s a miracle. That’s what makes this country great.”

Dell to close doors before living up to promise of jobs

With the promise of 1700 jobs the North Carolina General Assembly and Forsyth County promised up to $280 million in tax and cash incentives to lure Dell Computers to Forsyth County. Dell never lived up to that promise. In March of this year it was reported that planned layoffs would affect only a small number of the 1400 employees at the plant. Today it is reported that the Dell plant will close completely and it is unknown how much money the state and county will lose.

I'm sure it is nothing compared to what the 905 full-time employees stand to lose.

Winston-Salem Mayor Alan Joines said today the county won't lose much financially.

Joines said that the plant's closing will not have an adverse effect on the city's finances because Dell did not meet the goals spelled out in the incentives package.

John Lassiter Hide and Seek

John Lassiter is still avoiding cameras which causes a problem for residents of Charlotte who don't have the time, transportation or desire to grab a map of Charlotte and head out to a candidate forum. We heard last week that Lassiter had cancelled his appearance at the televised WTVI/League of Women Voter's candidate debate.

The Charlotte Observer editorial board thought it was a sign of John flexing his muscle, but to many of the rest of us it simply looked like he was scared for the people of Charlotte to see there actually are differences between him and Anthony Foxx. Personally, I think he may be a little too scared that folks will see he is actually too much like Pat McCrory and there is some major McCrory fatigue going around Charlotte.

UNC may have first wind turbines in U.S. waters with funding from Duke Energy

Wind turbine research is moving right along in North Carolina and we have UNC and Duke Energy to thank for it.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

In a pilot project designed to harness the power of the ocean breezes along North Carolina’s coast, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke Energy announced they have signed a contract to place up to three demonstration wind turbines in the Pamlico Sound.

The pilot project builds on a nine-month study completed in June 2009 by UNC for the N.C. General Assembly which found “North Carolina is well positioned to develop utility-scale wind energy production.”

Events & Calendar are functional (Updated)

Our events calendar and input forms are functional again. Please check out the calendar at the bottom of the page or click here.

Any registered user can put an event on the BlueNC calender. Simply hover over or click on the "create content" tab in the top menu bar under the site name and select the "event" option. If you are unsure of whether your event is appropriate, please let me know, but basically if it is an educational, political event or an opportunity for us to help others it is probably appropriate for our calender. Candidate/campaign events welcome. Let me know if you have any questions.

I will add some events that I have been invited to on Facebook. Please make sure you do the same.

Women in the Judiciary: The Politics of Gender in Law

I'm still working on getting the events calender fixed. I want to make sure folks see this event put on by the Women's Caucus of the North Carolina Young Dems. Please go to the Facebook event page to find out more.

Please join the Women's Caucus of the Young Democrats of North Carolina as we celebrate women in the judiciary. The event will begin with a happy (half) hour in celebration of the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The second part of the program will focus on female judicial candidates and judges in North Carolina telling their personal stories. NC Court of Appeals Candidate Leto Copeley will be headlining the event. NC Court of Appeals Judge Linda Stephens will be speaking, in addition to a number of other judges and candidates for various statewide and local offices.

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