tempate test

I whipped up a quick-and-dirty Blogger template for this morning.

It's nothing fancy - a bit monochromatic, really - but I'm thinking that the less this looks like a generic Blogger template, the better. If someone can do me a huge favor and make sure this page loads in their browsers okay, I'd appreciate it.

A little bit more tweaking, and then Blogger tags get added tomorrow, probably before Asheville Drinking Liberally's first birthday party! (Woo Hoo!)

Now all we need is some content...


Syntax, I hope you won't mind my jumping on your bandwagon with three specific points. First, thank you for doing this. Second, I love the transparency of the Internets for something like this. Anyone who wants can see the netroots in action. This is people-powered politics at its finest. And third, I encourage everyone reading to please contribute content. You can post it below or send it by email to any of us.

This is serious business. The integrity and trustworthiness of North Carolina's government is on the line. If there was ever a time for us to raise our voices as citizens, this is it.


Boom. Boom. Boom.

The site loads perfectly me for me in Firefox.

And here's your first entry. The Raleigh N&O today FINALLY weighs in on this whole stinky mess. I'd post the link and excerpt the final four paragraphs:

Last month, a Republican challenger who ripped Black's proximity to the various scandals came within a whisker of defeating him. Some of Black's loyalists in the Democratic caucus now are saying that unless he's indicted, they'd like to keep him in as speaker. Meanwhile, Black is angling to retain the leadership job that makes him one of the state's most powerful people. He would show more respect for the General Assembly and the public if he instead stepped aside -- which he should.

Certainly it would be helpful if the prosecutors who have been digging into Black's affairs made it clear sooner rather than later whether there's reason to accuse him of any criminal conduct. The responsibility for making a wise choice for the speaker's post rests, however, with members of the House -- in particular, the Democrats who are in the majority. Several other candidates are in the mix.

As popular as Black may be in the caucus, choosing him would risk further damage to the public's perception of legislative ethics. Don't Black's supporters care about the possibility that his legal troubles could come to a head, in which case he obviously would have to give up the speaker's chair?

Jim Black has had his turn at the top -- eight years' worth. It's not worth the damage to the legislature's credibility to let him try to save face with another stint as the House's leader.

Sorry. It's above my pay-grade.

Wish I could help, but I tend to break things when I have too much free rein. Lance is the only group guy that I'm aware of.

I was surprised

to see this on the front page. The transparency will detract from the surprise, but I guess we'll see how it goes.

When the site is content-ready to go (I'm not at all worried about the look - what you've got is great, syntax), we'll roll it out with all the fancy press releases, cross-postings, and whatnot.

Further, I'd like to start a donations page for those who are willing to publicly declare support for anyone but Black. We could have their ActBlue pages up as soon as they declare. We'll start raising money for their reelections before the frost is off the pumpkin.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Sorry to catch you off guard.

Here's my take:

I believe staging with regard to 'surprise' can sometimes matter enormously. But not often. The outside world simply doesn't pay that close of attention and issues of timing are generally pretty elastic.

Which got me to thinking: why not let everyone join in the sausage-making? Would the value of transparency offset the value of surprise? I honestly don't know the answer, but my gut says this is a bigger story than the launch of a website. That bigger story is the emergence of people-powered politics as a force in setting and shaping the agenda.

So let's do everything you've talked about and then some.

When the site is content-ready to go (I'm not at all worried about the look - what you've got is great, syntax), we'll roll it out with all the fancy press releases, cross-postings, and whatnot

I agree, the site looks great.

Once we get it up, let's keep pushing past the initial announcement. Keep up a continuing drumbeat. Hell, let's send out a press release every other day if we have to.

Then let's set a crunch-time day - maybe a Black Monday - in which we execute another full-fledged blogswarm all over NC and the nation - calling for integrity and ethics in Raleigh. Hell, let's collect contributions to run an ad in the News and Observer the day the Representatives come back to town.

Will any of this work? Your guess is better than mine. I just know that we haven't yet made the dent we need to make.


Anglico, Yes

You're right re: power of surprise. Welcome to my learning curve.

We could roll it out Sunday with press releases Monday. I can add content, including putting a number of pieces in the can for subsequent days.

(When is the Speaker vote? What date?)

Then we can submit press releases on Monday or Tuesday A.M.? These are best times to get it out there. We could all take publications in our areas.

syntax, a link to "Donate to Democrats committed to integrity" or somesuchthing that leads to an ActBlue site for the Democrats who vote for someone other than Black?

The "Black Monday" blogswarm/media push could go off a week before the election to push the fence-sitters in the right direction.

Regardless of when folks are ready to press release the site, I'll go ahead and work on content. I'm thinking the tone is 3 parts serious 1 part snark and that the theme is along the lines of:

"Advocating for ethical government in our state and in our party with the knowledge that our elected representatives will make the right choice if given the peoples' support. And if you make the wrong choice, we're a pain in your ass forever."

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Love it.

The real vote won't happen until at least January 24th when the Legislature reconvenes at noon. It's a first order of business.

But the arm twisting is already well underway, of course, with everybody trading horses and scratching backs and greasing palms etc., etc. I don't think we can wait until then to raise holy hell.

Maybe we could hit hard every week between now and then . . . with some new angle or twist or whatever. First the launch next week. Then maybe a quiz people can take to gauge their Ethical Intensity. Score less than five and you too could be Speaker of the House!

Then maybe the Act Blue angle.

Then Whack-A-Black, the pop up game where you can smack ethically-challenged representatives upside the head with a gavel.


gets folks to your site, good content keeps them there. YouTube movies, WNCNN, all of that is good to reel people in, then you need to keep them.

Brings this to mind: "Judging from his recent comments, I'd say that Rick Santorum has one of the finest minds of the 13th century."

That quote took me to the anti-santorum website.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Blackout - help

""The question is, 'How much more corruption in the North Carolina House of Representatives will we tolerate?,' and the answer is 'None... more Black.'"

Am I being dense here, or is 'None... more Black" nonsensical?

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Didn't make sense to me.

I figured it was work in progress. I think the right answer is

It's another one of those pesky pop culture references...

There was a scene from This is Spinal Tap where the band finally sees the first pressing copies of their delayed album, "Smell the Glove". The original cover, as described earlier in the movie, was extremely lurid, and the record company replaced it with an all-black cover. Nigel (the guitarist, played by Christopher Guest) said "The question is, 'How much more black can it be?,' and the answer is "None... more black."

Honestly, that was just a placeholder until someone came up with a better slogan/tagline. That can be changed easily in the "Blog description" field under the "Settings" tab on the Blogger interface.

"making things with sound, text and pixels..."

Ah so.

I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.

The problem with me

is that I can't get the damned blog to republish with the new tentative tagline. I tried, but that damned spinning wheel won't stop spinning. I've saved the new tentative tagline in the Settings. If anyone else wants to try publishing it, go right ahead.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

It worked for me!

I've often found that if Blogger "hangs" like that after you re-publish, if you close the window and go to the site it'll have updated.

We've only got one entry, so it shouldn't take that long. (Imagine how long it would take to republish Atrios after tweaking the template?)

That's part of what I love so much about things like WordPress, Drupal, etc. You make a change and it's universal; you don't have to republish anything. Now if only things like WordPress and Drupal were easier to change...

"making things with sound, text and pixels..."

I wonder if Blogger wouldn't be the way to go...

for our website in a box. The beta version is so easy to use now, that candidates would have to be functional idiots not to be able to import text and pictures.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I like.


Went to "Ask" since most already "Googled" Jim Black

Interestingly, BlueNC articles are 4th and 5th. Also a note from Ask about the website ** that if you are the owner if this website to contact them at 1-480-505-8855. Wonder if you have this article on Black?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.


The site was retired October 31st. After that date no content was added and the domain name registration lapsed shortly afterwards. I believe the name is currently up for grabs.