Orange Politics

Blue NC received a nice plug from my next-favorite blog, Orange Politics. If you haven't checked it out, get on over there. It's the best inside scoop on North Carolina's most progressive county you'll find.

Hats off to N&O . . . NOT

I've been a harsh critic of the News and Observer's editoral pages for years. Under Steve Ford's leadership, the pages have taken on a wishy-washy character that is unbecoming of a major regional paper.

So I was surprised this morning to see that Mr. Ford actually took a stand on something important to our nation. He endorsed Samuel ScAlito to join the US Supreme Court. (It's ironic that the New York Times, a source of much of the N&O's news content, chose today to call for a filibuster against the nominee.)

So hats off to Mr. Ford. It takes a lot of backbone to speak the courage of your convictions.

Shuler's Vow to Clean Up Congress

Heath Shuler is using Charles Taylor's refusal to return Abramoff funds as a reason that he should replace Taylor as the 11th district Congressman, and getting good local press in the process. Here is a glowing piece, which apparently is on the front page, from the Smoky Mountain Sentinel. From the piece:

Shuler also called into question Rep. Charles Taylor’s refusal to return contributions made to his campaign from felon Jack Abramoff. All but a handful of members of Congress have returned or donated Abramoff’s contributions. “If Mr. Taylor is not willing to return dirty contributions like the ones he took from Jack Abramoff, how can we expect him to be fully committed to changing the way Congress conducts its business?” Shuler asked. “Charles Taylor has a track record of supporting unethical lobbying practices, and lacks the motivation to clean up a system that has been so generous to him. It’s like hiring a fox to guard the henhouse.”

N&O + Martinez = Mouthpiece for the John Locke Foundation

I don't expect much from the N&O any more . . . but I do expect them not to be whores for the John Locke Foundation.

Take a look at Ricky Martinez' latest column below, and compare it to the press materials recently issued by Johnny Be Hood of the Pope-a-Dope Center for Whatever. Truly disgusting.

First the press release.

RALEIGH – Smaller class sizes do not translate into better public-school performance. That’s the key finding in a new analysis from the John Locke Foundation.

The idea behind the state’s $23 million class-size reduction program was that smaller classes would help students by giving them more access to individualized instruction. But after four years, there is no statistical evidence that the program works.

It's Time for the Truth

(front-paged by Anglico . . .)

In preparation for Jane Hamsher's live chat with the Washington Post I am cross posting here and at MyDD a post from my blog Americans Deserve the Truth.  It is time for the truth to be more easily found in the traditional media outlets especially about the political scandals currently flourishing in Washington.  I'm tired of the media trying to artificially balance the news they deliver.  You can't turn a Republican scandal into a bipartisan affair just by pretending it is so.  My diary follows........

New Motto for the Old North State?

First in Impeachment

There's a fascinating discussion unfolding here that suggests the possibility of moving forward with presidential impeachment with one STATE taking the initiative. That's right. One STATE.

Here's a snippet from this provocative DailyKos diary:

A high crime is one which seeks the overthrow of the country, which gives aid or comfort to its enemies, or which injures the country to the profit of an individual or group.

On December 10, 1903 William B. Lamar, US Congressional Representative for the 3rd district of Florida, rose on the floor of the house and delivered before Congress articles of impeachment, prepared and resolved by both houses of the legislature of Florida, alleging high crimes and misdemeanors by a Federal Judge, Charles Swayne.

Virginia Foxx on Six Week Vacation

Real Values blogged today about Virginia Foxx choosing not to serve her constituents for six weeks and the phone calls that are letting her constituents know about it here.

Foxx is being criticized by way of automated telephone calls. The calls say Foxx has been on vacation for six weeks

Foxx's response:

[S]he says that's not true. She says she works as hard away from Washington as when she's on Capitol Hill.

That's great, seriously. Foxx doesn't dispute that she's been on vacation for six weeks, she just claims it was a working holiday.

Easley Unveils Free E-File Program

Despite some criticism of Easley on this blog, everyone once in a while he reminds us that is good to have a Democrat that cares about people as governor. This time it is the anouncement of a program to allow individuals with incomes up to $50,000 to file their state income tax return free online. From WXII:

Gov. Mike Easley announced that, for the first time, many North Carolina taxpayers will be able to file their state tax returns electronically at no cost.

He cited Free E-File, a partnership between the Department of Revenue and two online tax filing companies. People previously had to purchase their own software and pay a related online filing fee.

Progress Energy Power Plant

Progress Energy has created a big stir by proposing a new power reactor at the site of its current reactor in western Wake County, Shearon Harris. Progress is debating between putting a nuclear or coal fired reactor. But there has already been opposition to the plan, including NC Warn who released this statement. The Durham Herald-Sun has a decent article on the proposal here. From the article:

More Action on NC's Death Row

A death row inmate was granted a new trial this week because the police failed to release records concerning the case as required by law. The scary part about this one was that the records were not released until after the date that the inmate was originally scheduled to be executed. From the Charlotte Observer:

A judge says a man who has spent 11 years on North Carolina's death row deserves a new trial because police failed to turn over files that could have helped his defense, the News & Record reported Tuesday.

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