National News Roundup

From The Washington Post: Finally! A Democratic Senator with a spine. Don't miss this online Tourney Tracker bracket generator. Three months ago it was "Cut and Run" and now it's doable. (Pssst! It's election time.)
From Newsweek: Hypocrisy from the Bush administration...no, really. Is abortion the new third rail for the GOP? There's fallout from the Dubai ports deal.
From The New York Times: The trial lawyer who screwed up the Moussaoui case had almost no criminal trial experience....and she's working on one of the single most important criminal cases of our time. Wow. Senate Republicans reject Pay-go budget strategy, yet again. Utility companies bilking us LEGALLY.

More news below the fold...

David Price: On the Record

No one would accuse me of being a moderate in any regard. Not in work, not in play, not in love, not in politics. But I must admit to a certain curiosity about people who bring a more considered approach to their words and actions. One such person is David Price of North Carolina’s 4th Congressional district. I recently had the chance to interview him – to find out what he thinks about the state of affairs in Washington.

What's it like being in the minority party with George Bush in the White House? In all my nine terms in Congress, I've never seen as bitter and punitive a partisan atmosphere. Democrats in Congress have virtually no say in the major legislation that comes before the House. Bills are rammed through to appease the right-wing zealots of the Republican Party, giving the minority no opportunity to amend them or to vote on alternate legislation that would appeal to members on both sides of the aisle. Even more troubling is the utter lack of oversight. Instead of functioning as a co-equal branch of government, Congress is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to hold the Administration accountable - at a time when accountability couldn't be more critical.

Bible or Constitution?

North Carolina is home to more than its fair share of people who want to see their Christian god running our government -- people like Chuck Taylor, who's happy to thump a Bible if it'll cover his sorry tracks of graft and greed. So I especially enjoyed this exchange reported on DailyKos, between a law professor and a Maryland state senator.

Lack of Interest in North Carolina Legislature

The Daily News (Jacksonville, NC) has an interesting article detailing the lack of interest in running for the North Carolina Legislature. Their reasons for half of the races for the legislature only having one candidate are: time commitment, small pay, gerrymandered districts, and the expense of modern campaigns.

Regardless of the reasons, it is a shame that 50% of the races are unopposed (we have a list of races with only one candidate here). If we are going to get any traction for progressive reforms in the legislature we need new blood and heated campaigns to get the ideas off the ground. As we move through this campaign cycle, I am starting a challenge to get our readers interested in advancing progressive causes to find out who is running in your district, and if there is no Democrat, consider running yourself.

Tuesday Morning Action Plan

I found it inspiring to be a part of an action plan yesterday to help build support for a censure resolution against President Bush. We need to send a message to the rest of the world that our country is one of laws and we do not believe that any man is above the law.

Lighting a fire under complacent, cowering Democrats in Washington is not going to be easy and won't take just one day of phoning and emailing.

Here is today's simple action plan. We should write letters to every single Democrat and the lone Independent in the Senate encouraging them to stand with Senator Feingold.

More below the fold...

Raleigh Drinking Liberally 6-9p Tues 3/14

Next week we're going to Durham as well- stay tuned for details! This week still at the Saucer.

News roundup:
1- Buy tuna fish & dried milk to help get prepared for bird flu (soo don't get this one).
2- Who needs bird flu when we've got mad cow?
3- Or having to raise the debt ceiling? Again?

Robin Hayes' Felons & Friends

When I was growing up my parents warned me about hanging out with the wrong crowd. I thought then that a person's character would be judged by their actions, but have learned through life experiences that it is many times judged by the company that a person keeps. Much can be learned about our Representatives in Washington just by looking at the company they keep, as well as who is giving them money and when.

I recently spent some time going through six years of Robin Hayes' FEC reports to see just who among his fellow members of congress are giving him money. I was amazed to find out some of the details about Robin's friends. There were enough felons, indictees, adulterers, liars and cheaters to fill a good-sized corner of hell.

The rest is below the fold...

Thanks NC Senator John Snow

I would just like to use this space to honor a NC Senator,a friend and fellow vet. Sen. John Snow from the 50th District Representing the Counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania in the exact same effenecent manner he did while serving on the bench as a District Court Judge.

He recently came to the aid of our 2 local Veterans Post's when we needed flags for both. He & I along with another Veteran spent well over a hour & a half on the issues of the Veterans of the 50th District. On how he could best represent us in Raleigh. He communicates with us often to keep updated on Veterans issues.He sits on the following Committies, Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Member Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety Vice-Chairman Appropriations/Base Budget Member Education/Higher Education Member Judiciary II Member Mental Health & Youth Services Member Opportunities and Needs for Economic Growth in North Carolina (One NC) Member Select Committee on Homeland Security, Emergency Management & Military Affairs Member Transportation Member.

Guess who hates Wighead Dole?

Why none other than Jean Schmidt, the loose wingnut from Ohio who said John Murtha was a coward. Never thought I'd live to see the day that I agree with a lunatic like Schmidt. But yet, I must say, I do hate Elizabeth Dole. She is the worst kind of Senator . . . one who is apparently incapable of thinking for herself.

From The Hill.

As a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1984, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) expressed her contempt for a future colleague and allegedly likened young Republican activists to Hitler, according to an interview published by the local paper at the time. While shadowing Schmidt at the convention, The Cincinnati Enquirer reporter initially described Schmidt as a “woman who will speak her mind whenever she pleases.”

WS Journal on Mental Health

The Winston-Salem Journal has a hard-hitting editorial today on North Carolina's miserable support in mental health care.

The D+ rating that North Carolina's mental health-care system got on an evaluation by the National Alliance on Mental Illness should give state officials all the more reason for rapid reform. As the alliance said, the state has a long way to go to provide quality services for its neediest residents.

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