Monday Morning Open Thread

My children have missed playing in the snow the past couple of years. Yesterday we had our doors and windows open and enjoyed the beautiful spring-like weather. I miss having at least a few weeks of winter. Here's a pic from my archives. My girls have the Carolina hats on. The rest are friends from the neighborhood. Great kids, every single one.

....and yes, those are boogie boards you see. We are all beach people - not ski people. They were also known to sled in laundry baskets.

What's on your mind this morning? Any good links to pass on? Any happy news?


Voices we should never forget ...

or let fade from public remembrance:

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage -
to move in the opposite direction."
~Albert Einstein


No Words Needed


GREENVILLE, N.C., January 14, 2007 - Hundreds of church members gathered today near a North Carolina church that burned Saturday night.

Another Baptist church caught fire about a mile away. A break-in was discovered at a third.

Authorities won't say if the fires were arson, but witnesses report seeing someone fleeing after one of the blazes began. Damage is estimated at more than a million dollars.


Is Sue Myrick Retiring?

A friend nudged me in the direction of this Charlotte Observer rumor mill piece printed yesterday that tossed the idea in the air that Pat McCrory might run for Sue Myrick's seat if she retires. Funny, we were having that discussion here way back at the end of November.

State Sen. Robert Pittenger, according to the Observer, has already made it known that he would run for Myrick's seat if she vacates it. With all this rumor mongering by the Observer it does lead me to believe something is up with Sue. Maybe she isn't well enough to continue serving, or maybe she does plan to run for Dole's seat.

I've also heard through the grapevine that McCrory might consider a run for Lt. Governor, but I'm not sure I see that. McCrory's not a bad guy for a Republican, but my fear is that he would get to Washington and step in line with all the other wingers. I know Pittenger would.

Watch out below!

Screwy Hoolie's entry yesterday about Barney Frank's smackdown of Congressman Patrick McHenry provides a good glimpse into how far the Party of Greed has fallen. But the news today suggests they're nowhere near rock bottom. It appears that things are going from bad to worse in the Republican party, with moderates bucking their leadership at every turn.

Eighty-two Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic front to vote to increase the minimum wage, while 54 Republicans voted against their leadership's counteroffer. Eighteen Republicans defied their leadership by opposing the parliamentary move against stem cells.

The homeland security bill -- designed to implement most of the remaining recommendations of the commission that examined the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- even garnered the vote of Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee last year, thwarted one of its central provisions, the screening of all shipping containers heading to U.S. ports.

Open thread: For Blue South

I've gone and depressed Blue South with all my ranting, for which I am sincerely sorry. Let's cheer him up by finding cute and funny stuff all over the Tubes for him to enjoy. Speaking of cute . . .


Edwards at Riverside

John Edwards' folks sent out a notice yesterday about his speech this afternoon at Riverside Church in Harlem, which is where MLK delivered his "Silence is Betrayal" sermon in opposition to the Vietnam War.
Edwards will use the opportunity to underscore his opposition to the escalation of the Iraq War.
Edwards is calling on Congress not to fund the escalation.
The speech will be available live on the Web. Information at this link.

Following is a YouTube clip of Edwards explaining what he's going to say and why. I've passed on excerpts from Edwards' prepared remarks as well.

Chapel Hill Herald column on this week's poll

Here is my weekly column for the Chapel Hill Herald, which ran today and this week was about the PPP poll that came out on Wednesday.

Permanent Archive here

It’s hard to believe, but we’re now less than 16 months out from the next key election in North Carolina, the 2008 primary that will decide nominees for governor, Senate, and our share of the delegates in the presidential race. It’s never too early to start breaking down the political landscape.

Raleigh’s Public Policy Polling, which seemed to have the most accurate numbers of any firm in the state for the 2006 election cycle, released a comprehensive poll of the presidential and gubernatorial races this week.

On the Democratic side for governor, Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue has a 12-point lead over Treasurer Richard Moore. This is basically in line with what most polling has shown over the last year.

Three weeks. Three executions.

North Carolina will find itself in the national spotlight later this month with three - count 'em - three instances of state-sponsored killing on three successive Fridays. The story is all over the internets.

The first scheduled execution this year is on Jan. 26 for Marcus Reymond Robinson, 33, who was convicted in the June 1991 murder and robbery of Erik Tornblom. His attorneys plan to appeal to Gov. Mike Easley for clemency Wednesday. Easley spokeswoman Renee Hoffman acknowledged that the governor has received a request from Robinson's attorneys about a moratorium on the death penalty but declined additional comment.

Definition of Progressive

In this editorial praising the selection of Hackney as the Democrat's nominee for House speaker, there was an interesting description:

Hackney also has built an admirably progressive record - for example, defending the environment and going after drunken driving.

Now who could argue against Progressives when all they want to do is save the environment and stop drunk drivers?

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