One More for the 8th

Mark Ortiz is running for congress in the 8th district, making a total of four Democrats looking to claim Hayes's seat (if we count Lloyd Scher, who we haven't heard from in a while). I'm sure we'll all be learning more about Mark in the coming days and weeks, but it sounds from his announcing press release that his central issue is the war. He's against it.

I've copied the full text of the press release below, but first let me offer this fortune-cookie message: only one of these guys is going to be the official Democratic nominee. I think so far we can assume that each is running because he loves his district and his country, and to get a chance to go to congress, they have to argue and pick at each other. That's a good thing to the extent that it generates informed debate about the issues and enhances the winning candidate's understanding of the people of the 8th; it's a bad thing to the extent it gets ugly and balkanizes the base.

Damning Faint Praise

Julia Hejazi is the Guilford County prosecutor who was fired with a quickness because she planned to run for DA. The News & Record article on Jan. 4 quoted former prosecutor John Nieman saying that Hejazi's boss did what he had to do, that "it would be untenable for him to perform his duties" otherwise. Now Nieman has sent a letter to the editor ("Hejazi had a choice") in which he continues to pump up the current DA while offering Hejazi backhanded compliments.


As a J-school grad, I have a special interest and growing disdain for the so-called mainstream media. Under self-imposed pressures for higher profits, most media outlets have become parodies of real news organizations . . . especially local television news.

According to an N&O story today, nearly 20% of Triangle residents actually watch local tv news each week, and 42% of everyone watching television at ll pm are spending their time with the local news shows.

This is really sad.

I confess to watching local television news only once or twice a month, mostly to remind myself how pathetic and trivial local news has become. I can only hope people aren't really watching this trash for the real news, but rather to find out whether they'll need an umbrella the next morning.

Delays in Implementation of NC's Lobbying Law

North Carolina's lobbying law, which was not scheduled to go into effect until January 2007 anyway, will not be properly enforced. The Secretary of State's office is charged with the enforcement of the law, and now they are claiming that they will not have the money to enforce it until at least July of 2007. From the Charlotte Observer:

Lobbyists attending a class on North Carolina's new lobbying law learned not only about the law, but also that the agency expected to enforce it doesn't have enough money to do so.

John the Hood must be smokin' crack

I stop by the Carolina Urinal regularly to see what our local wingnuts are up to . . . and as usual, they're out of their frigging minds. This little paragraph was especially amusing:

So, if you haven’t attended a John Locke Foundation event lately, or at all, now is the time to seize the opportunity. Whatever your tastes and location, it’s likely you’ll find something to your liking – just check the online event calendar regularly for upcoming dates.

Whatever your tastes you'll find something to your liking? My tastes are for intellectual honesty, integrity, personal freedom, reverence for the common good.

Lying liars and the lies they lie about

If you haven't read Al Franken's book about the tsunami of lies coming from the so called mainstream media, don't bother. It's certainly on point, but it's woefully outdated. Because in the brief period since its publication, the miasma of lies spread by wingers, media monopolies, the Republican congressional leadership and little King George has completely eclipsed anything examined and reported in Al's book.

Morning Reading

There are two interesting stories being blogged about today. First, Dent here and Pam here have information and background on the Greensboro police chief that has been keeping a blacklist of, well, black officers. People on this list were apparently investigated by a secret group of police at the command of the chief. Second, Dent follows a meeting in Carrboro to call for the impeachment of Bush here.


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