Shuler a Frontline Candidate?

I know that freshmen Representatives are more at risk than others, but does anyone from out WNC way think this is warranted? And, by that I mean, is there a chance in heck that Heath Shuler will lose in 2008? I don't see it happening, but give us your WNC prospective.

Heath ShulerThe Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced the Members of DCCC Frontline program for the 2008 cycle...

The Frontline Program is a partnership between the DCCC and Members which lays the ground work for the 2008 cycle by supporting and expanding their fundraising and outreach operations. This competitive program requires members to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts, and increase on-line networking.

Last cycle, the Frontline Program’s early success helped make half of the most competitive Democratic seats safe by the fall of 2006, allowing the DCCC to expand its offensive opportunities. Democrats have an outstanding record of defending tough seats with battle tested incumbents and have successfully protected 95 percent of their incumbents since 2002. In 2006, Democrats did not lose a single seat.
Representative Heath Shuler (NC-11)

Black Plea Accepted by Court

In a somber proceeding that lasted a little under an hour Jim Black enter a plea of guilty at 1.30pm to a charge of accepting some $25,000 in cash payments and other in-kind payments from North Carolina chiropractors between 2000 and 2005 while acting as an agent of the State. During this period Black caused legislation to be written and influenced the progress of legislation dealing with the chiropractic profession. A basis of the Federal charge was that these matters involved more than $10,000 in annual expenditures by the Federal government to the State of North Carolina and in particular, Medicaid payments.

The cash payments received by Black included amounts that were deposited personally by Black and not reported to the State Board of Elections. The cash was exchanged in gatherings at private dining clubs and restaurants in Charlotte and Concord. Four separate occasions were noted for amounts of $8,000, $10,000, $4,000, and $3,000 with the latter two exchanged in bathrooms including one accepted with the advisory that "This is just between me and you".


Welcome to Blue North Carolina! (Dems already lead in generic 08 presidential race)

Hey, miss yall. I've got a new job up here in DC fighting for our Appalachian mountains and working to stop mountaintop removal, and I am lovin it. Saw this report (.pdf)yesterday from Public Policy Polling, and was amazed at how well the work yall are doing is paying off!

Dems lead NC in the 08 presidential elections!

The Democrats have a surprising lead in a Presidential generic ballot. As of today, 43% of North Carolina likely voters want the next President to be a Democrat, while 41% want the President to be a Republican. North Carolina has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1976. The intensity of feeling is slightly higher on the Democratic side as well. Sixty-four percent of those who said they want the next president to be a Democrat said that having a Democratic president is “extremely important” to them. Fifty-six percent who want a Republican president have similar extreme feelings.

Honor our Heroes, Bring them Home

This was originally published in August of 2006. I have changed a few words to make it more appropriate for today's situation.

On April 21, 2005, under the cover of darkness the Bush administration completed a secret mission. It wasn't a flight by Bush, Rice or Rumsfeld into dangerous territory. It was the unloading of PFC Steven Sirko's body from the cargo hold of a commercial aircraft. Luggage, animals and other cargo were all prioritized over the remains of a young man who had given his life for his country in a war that never should have been waged. Under the cover of darkness, Steven Sirko's body was returned to his mother.

On Saturday August 12, 2006, the Freedom Group in Charlotte held a candlelight peace vigil to shed light on the human cost of the U.S. War in Iraq. Summer Lipford, Steven Sirko's mother was there to speak of her personal battle to get answers from the government about what actually happened to her son.


Why is our Healthcare so Expensive?

I first saw this story over at Ezra Klein's place, but it is also reported in the  Washington Post.  The "non-partisan" McKinsey Group sought to determine how much we overpay for healthcare by constructing an "Estimated Spending According to Wealth" index, that takes into account not only how much a country spends on health care, but also its per capita earnings.  The results?

In this new report MGI finds that the United States spends approximately $480 billion ($1,600 per capita) more on health care than other OECD countries and that additional spending is not explained by a higher disease burden; the research shows that the U.S. population is not significantly sicker than the other countries studied.

The reason why we pay $1,600 more per capita, even when you figure in that we make much more per capita than many countries, is because of....the free market.

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Rep. Moore submits Voter Identification Bill

Rep. Tim Moore has submitted the Voter Identification House Bill for your approval. The bill takes "§ 163‑166.12. Requirements for certain voters who register by mail and turns it on its head. A law that was meant to make sure that everyone who voted had to show proof of ID at some time or another has now been turned into a fiasco aimed at making sure every person has to show multiple forms of ID every time they vote. And, who does this effect?

When HAVA was being debated in Congress, the most controversial issue was the identification requirement. Some regarded it as a sensible antifraud measure, while others saw it as an avenue to disenfranchisement, particularly of minorities, the poor, young people, and the disabled. Nonetheless, all states now have some form of ID requirement, and some states took the opportunity of HAVA to require all voters to show ID.

Minorities and young people. That is who. Don't think that this law will stop there either, look what other states have done once the Conservatives have their way.

Raleigh To Lead the Way With Low-Energy LED City Lights?

Very interesting [via Engadget, where you'll find a photo and a link to the original news item] —

While it's no secret that LEDs light up the night in a more efficient (albeit expensive) manner, few locales have given the idea of lighting up the town en masse with LEDs any serious consideration. In a feat that would surely oust Brussles' Dexia Tower in terms of magnitude, city officials in Raleigh, North Carolina are hoping to make the Capital City the "world's first LED city."

Open thread from the coast...

One of my pet peeves is gratuitous profanity, name calling, and such. I think there are better ways....and as a point of discussion or entertainment I present some quotes that are more devastating that the "F--k off, you A--wipe" of which I have been a recipent.

Your thoughts...or a favorite insult? OPEN THREAD!

NC Republicans All Over The Map on Iraq

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"I am persuaded by all available evidence that an escalation of U.S. troop levels is not the way forward in Iraq," - Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.

"Some Americans and, perhaps some in this body, oppose the Iraqi operation because they dislike President Bush. I, however, do not march to that drum. I am personally very high on President Bush, but on the matter of troop escalation, I am not in agreement." - Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C.

"Madam Speaker, where's your plan for victory in Iraq?" — Rep. Patrick McHenry R-N.C.

July 19, 2006:

“It’s like after Katrina, when the secretary of homeland security was saying all those people weren’t really stranded when we were all watching it on TV,” said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.). “I still hear about that. We can’t look like we won’t face reality.”

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