Judicial Merry-Go-Round Following Lake's Departure Continues

Following Chief Justice Lake's retirement this month, Easley was given the choice to appoint a new Chief Justice. He choose Associate Justice Sarah Parker. This meant that Easley had the opportunity to appoint a justice to take Parker's old seat. He nominated Patricia Timmons-Goodson from the NC Court of Appeals. This left a vacancy on the Court of Appeals, so Easley nominated Linda Stephens for that position.

Confused yet? The skinny is this: Democrats get one more seat on the NC Supreme Court and now hold the Chief Justice Seat. Any more questions, read this article

Spot the Republican

Can you tell Republicans by looking at 'em? Let's put that to the test. Just for fun, I put together a quiz that shows photos of twelve members of the North Carolina Senate and asks you to identify them as Republican or Democrat. If you can get eight of the twelve right, then I figure you've earned bragging rights. But there's a catch: I limited my sample pool to white males, so you can't guess based on gender or race; you have to identify that undefinable something.... If you're up to it, take the quiz. Get eight or more correct and you get to leave your name in the Hall of Fame!

Can you say 'wishy-washy?'

For those of you living outside the Triangle, I sure hope you have a better newspaper than N&O . . . especially if you expect editorial boards to have clear opinions that are well-articulated. Because here in Raleighwood, Steve Ford and the N&O have given new meaning to the term 'wishy-washy.'

In today's useless editorial, the N&O can't quite bring itself to have an opinion about Bush's gross abuse of power in wiretapping American citizens.

Stirring criticism is the fact that the eavesdropping has taken place without warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, set up to handle such cases in secret. Since 2002, the NSA reportedly has monitored the international phone calls, faxes and e-mails of around 500 U.S. citizens or residents without seeking the warrants. That's curious, both because requests for warrants can be made for 72 hours after the monitoring has occurred and because the court rarely denies a request.

Sad Sue's Sorry Site

I haven't paid much attention to the shenanigans of Ms. Myrick and her allegiance to Dear Leader, but a number of pundits have put her gubernatorial ambitions on the table, so she is now squarely in my sights. And after a brief stroll through her creepy website all I can say is what the f*ck is going on in Charlotte? Is this really the best you can do?


The Return of the Black Jesse Helms

That's what Vernon Robinson calls himself, by the way. Who is Vernon Robinson? Well right now he's best described as the Republican who wants to challenge Democrat Mel Watt for the 12th congressional district seat in November. Ask Watt what he thinks about the challenge, and he'll say "[g]iven how Vernon has run campaigns, I'll just sit back and enjoy the fight." And how has Robinson run campaigns? Here's a tidbit from August of 2004 (when he was running for the US House in the 5th district):

Your lottery stinks

The N&O has a way of getting all activated when things happen in secret . . . like this latest creepy decision move by Powersleaze . . . the NC Lottery Commission.

Lottery officials have decided to keep secret the bids received last week for two multimillion-dollar contracts, until those contracts have been awarded. That is an outrageous and unacceptable repudiation of Sanders' promises.

Making the bids public, officials say, would mean the companies would find out about each others' bids and thus the state's bargaining power would be reduced. But that's a thin excuse (so is the assurance that information will be released once deals are done), and lottery officials should know better. Likewise, they should be embarrassed to be hiding behind legal technicalities, given what's gone on in terms of setting up the lottery.

Hood winked again

Da Carolina Journal is all over lobbying reform this week . . . opining about the differences between persuasion and influence-peddling . . . insisting that corporations have the same rights as citizens here in free-speech land.

Note to Hood: Corporations have NO rights except for those that we the people give them. You might want to check out your Cato Constitution just to be sure.

Out of frustration, I'm open to lobbying reform, as Johnnie seems to be. But I'm not very optimistic that the foxes are the best ones to write new rules for how to guard the hen house. Especially when one of the fox cheerleaders writes crap like this:

Andromeda strained

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I had a scary dream last night. The world was being taken over by Corrupt Republicans -- just like the Andromeda strain, a destructive indiscriminate virus, multiplying recklessly throughout the land.

First they destroy their host . . . the civilized world in which we live . . . on their happy way to destroying themselves in pursuit of the end times. It is an attempted smackdown of the grandest proportions.

The only antiviral vaccine I see is 'truth,' which is getting harder and harder to find. Hey GlaxoSmithKline . . . how about pouring some of those profits into R&D for a drug that will stop compulsive lying. And be sure to enter George Bush in your first round of human trials. On second thought, put him in with the rats. (Sorry, rats.)

Parker Promoted to Chief Justice

I couldn't let this pass without notice: Gov. Easley elevated NC Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker to the Chief Justice position vacated by I. Beverly Lake. If I'm not mistaken (and I often am), Parker is the last Democrat on the court. Don't fall into the common mistake of confusing her with Sarah Jessica Parker; despite any apparent similarities, they are in fact different people.

Another Call for Black to Step Aside

The Fayetteville Online has added to calls for House Soeaker Jim Black to step aside with this editorial today. From the article:

Let’s see, now. Jim Black isn’t named Tom DeLay, isn’t from Texas, isn’t the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and hasn’t been indicted for his cozy relations with people having a vested interest in his work. Is there any other important respect in which their political situations differ?

Black, speaker of the North Carolina House, had as his political adviser Meredith Norris, a lobbyist for a would-be lottery contractor. Because Black didn’t pay Norris, she was not technically his employee even though she had something like free run of his office, gave direction to his staff and used his equipment. But because the relationship got him into hot water, he made a production of firing someone he said he hadn’t hired.

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