Ha ha ha

Here's a hard-hitting (NOT) interview involving a couple of Pope puppets about the important issue of advertising and public policy. Like most Pope-aganda, this piece is designed to further the odd notion that corporate speech rises to the same level of first amendment protection as individual speech. In what can only be described as fawning, interviewer Donna Martinez grills John Hood about his outdated book on advertising as part of the “heroic” culture of private enterprise. Check out these choice comments from Ms. Martinez:

Martinez: I think alcohol advertising is really fascinating.
Martinez: Wow, what a claim.
Martinez: Now this is a really interesting subject, your new book about advertising.
Martinez: In your book — it is a really fascinating book.

Black's Legal Bills Hit $200,000...and We Might Pay

Excuse my last post, I just found some interesting (or infuriating) political news through Dent's morning post. Apparently Jim Black has increased his request for public funds to $200 million (from the Charlotte Observer):

House Speaker Jim Black has asked for up to $200,000 in taxpayer money to pay legal bills from complying with a federal grand jury's subpoenas to his office.
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Black already was authorized by the governor's office to spend up to $30,000 in taxpayer funds to deal with the subpoenas. His legal counsel, Dianna Jessup, asked to raise the cap on the fees to $200,000 in an e-mail this week to Attorney General Roy Cooper's office. Cooper will forward the request and a recommendation on how to respond to Gov. Mike Easley.

Sensational Friday: Serial Killer in North Carolina?

I found nothing interesting politically, so to whet the appetites of of our readers:

Law enforcement officers in North Carolina and South Carolina will investigate the possibility that three women who were killed in the past nine years were victims of a serial killer.

Article here

Water woes

The Winston-Salem Journal online has this sobering story about the water needs in rural North Carolina.

The General Assembly should approve a $1 billion bond referendum this year to help the state's poorest regions upgrade their aging water and sewer systems, a state policy center said Thursday.

The money will help the state catch up on an estimated $6.85 billion in projected statewide repairs and improvements needed over the next five years, officials of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center said. Voters would have to approve the bonds in a statewide election that could come as early as November.

Trickle down bullsh*t

This just in from AP:

The average income of American families, after adjusting for inflation, declined by 2.3 percent in 2004 compared to 2001 while their net worth rose but at a slower pace.

Sad details on the flip . . .

State of the Senate - Uncontested Runs

I started this as a comment to Lance, but it ended up being larger than a comment deserves. This is a list of NC Senate seats that are uncontested (so far) in North Carolina. For now, we stand ahead 18-16 in the uncontested seats. The seats are posted below by party. Are there any we can immediately remove from the list? Seats where the "last second" strategy is in play? I see from a search of unopposed Republican seats that one is Basnight's seat - assuming he will run that makes it 18-15. Having that kind of lead is good, but it would be nice to END with something like 15-5.

Pigs Have Wings II

I've promised to keep an open mind about the possibility that there could actually be common ground between progressive and conservative world views, so I was pleased today to see the Carolina Journal lamenting the sorry state of our electoral maps -- and their resulting tilt in favor of partisan pandering. Read Hood's column. Except for a few gratuitous swipes at the left, which he seems unable to resist no matter what, Hood's points are well taken. Just goes to show, even wingnuts can have a good day.

Filing Strategery

We've still got the better part of a week to go, but does it strike anyone else as odd that our only US House incumbent who hasn't yet filed is one of the two most likely to be enjoying retirement in 2007? Charles Taylor hasn't filed yet.

Neither has NC Supremes candidate Rachel Hunter (a BlueNC advertiser), but in her case it looks to be a considered decision. She says:

I have not filed yet because I prefer to wait until the last minute to do it, simply as a matter of strategy. I am sure that others may prefer a different strategy and that is fine. But I prefer to wait. So I plan to file by closing time on February 28th and not before.

Who else are we missing?

Breaking: Bob Dole gets it up for ports

As if the irony in Bushland isn't deep enough already, the UAE company trying to take control of US ports (Dubai Ports World) has signed on old Bob Dole to be their crony-in-chief in Washington. His job is to make this stinking deal smell sweet enough to keep Congress from over-riding Bush's promised veto. I'm guessing his sniffer has as many problems as his stiffer. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Wonder what Liddy thinks of this turn of events. Does she think it's okay to turn over the management of US ports -- like, say, Wilmington, to the money-laundering capital of the world?

Asheville Reverend Takes a Moral Stand for Equality

You may have read this week about Joe Hoffman, the Asheville pastor who took a stand for equality under the law when he decided to refrain from legalizing heterosexual marriages while the law discriminates against gays and lesbians. Joe's spouse, Noel Nickle, was kind enough to send a copy of Sunday's sermon on this topic along with a list of other resources on marriage equality. (You can email Noel to learn more about their work in Asheville for marriage equality.)

I had planed to excerpt the sermon, but after reading it I have decided to print the whole thing. I realize that I'm asking for a few more minutes of attention than blog posts usually get, but I feel sure that it will be time well spent. Joe makes his case clearly and eloquently, and his example will serve us well as we strugle to rescue the rhetoric of morality from the dominion of the right.

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