Open thread: What planet has this man been living on?

Robin Hayes was interviewed by the Fayetteville Observer a couple of weeks ago. Congressman Hayes had this to say:

Obviously, with the crucial situation like the war against terrorist and the war in Iraq, that oversight must be constant. It must be accurate. It must be helpful and supportive of the troops in the field.

But that is an absolute crock to say that oversight hasn’t been there. Every single day, I, as an individual, am exercising oversight. They may not like the result. Now the worm has turned and they are in charge. What is their plan? To say no oversight, that is just patently absurd.

They may not like the result? No shit.


Follow Up On The Bloggers Conference

This past Saturday, I was attending the North Carolina Progressive Bloggers Conference, which was hosted, appropriately enough, by State Chair Jerry Meek, of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Depending on whom one asks, the highest-profile attendee was either Matt Stoller, who has some nice things to say in a diary over at MyDD, or Representative Brad Miller, who has excellent taste in both basketball teams and snark!.

Of course, any venue that has me around for (too) long is just asking for trouble. More on that later. :)


All hands on deck

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I had a good conversation today with a DC staffer about how and when Congressional action might be taken regarding the Navy's proposed outlying landing field on Site C. Here's the scoop.

1. There will be no formal action until the defense appropriations bill comes up for consideration in April and May. I specifically asked if a prohibition against using current funds for Site C could be included as an amendment on some other bill, and the answer was "probably not."

2. The Navy will be issuing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in late February, with public hearings soon thereafter. Everyone expects they are again reverse engineering the process in favor of Site C, which means they're still a bunch of liars.

Art Pope Tax Delinquent

People who live in multi-million dollar homes shouldn’t throw stones. Art Pope lives in what may be the largest and most expensive home in Raleigh’s Country Club Hills yet his 2006 property taxes are listed as “Delinquent” even as his puppets point fingers at the home of John Edwards. There is one law for the rich and another law for the richer.

The boys at the Pope funded John Locke Foundation were no doubt high-fiving each other Friday when internet traffic shut down Carolina Journal servers in the wake of the “National Enquirer” style hit job on John Edwards living quarters in Orange County. They seem oblivious to the fact that their own paymaster, Art Pope, is a millionaire living in a large multi-million dollar house in Raleigh’s exclusive Country Club Hills just 147 feet from a property owned by Edwards until about two weeks ago.

They also seem oblivious to the fact that the account for Art Pope’s house is listed in Wake County tax records as “Delinquent” in the amount of $25,345.92 of which $496.98 is an interest penalty applied 1/8/07.

SSN audit on UNC Hospitals

Via Ex:

New audit report just out this morning is another in a series of "stategic audits." This is an ongoing review of various state agencies' employment practices. It's mainly to check whether they are hiring people with phony Social Security information and how they're correcting problems that come up.
Of the thousands of employees who had their records checked, auditors found four using a deceased person's info and 13 with incorrect data.
Like a recent case at N.C. Central University, the audit may not have caught a lot of people, but it will lead to tighter verification procedures at the hosptial. From the report (pdf):

Sunny Downtown Najaf

Crossposted from Town Called Dobson

click to enlarge

Easley at Chimney Rock

Update: NC reaches deal on Chimney Rock Park:

RALEIGH, N.C. - The state will spend $24 million to buy privately owned Chimney Rock Park, a landmark in western North Carolina that has served as the setting for several major motion pictures, a state parks official said Monday.

This morning, the Governor is going to be at the Sky Lounge at Chimney Rock Park. That's on lovely Lake Lure.
The word is it's an "environmental announcement."

Wondering aloud here whether that means the state has come to terms with the Morse family over the sale of Chimney Rock Park. The state and environmental groups have preserved a good chunk of Hickory Nut Gorge and last year set aside funds that could be used for the purchase. But the family's asking price was steep.

Too early to panic?

I may have promised I'd never write another lottery post, but the recent news about the shortfall in gambling revenues cannot go unnoticed. North Carolina is facing a potential $200 million problem around funding education because not enough good people in our state have been seduced by the siren song of easy money.

Even as players lined up across North Carolina last week to drop their dollars on chances at a big Powerball jackpot, officials acknowledged the new state lottery has a $200 million problem. Overall sales for the games' first fiscal year are expected to miss the goal by at least that much, adding significant financial pressure to education programs that the lottery was created in 2005 to support.

Rick Martinez: Clueless by choice

There are few things more annoying than the smarmy self-righteousness of pro-life men, especially when one of those men has been given a platform to spin his depraved view of reality on the pages of the News and Observer. Which brings us to the sad case of Mr. Rick Martinez.

I'll spare you most of his holier-than-though pontificating about the state of feminism in America - and zero in on one core issue: Mr. Martinez believes abortion should be illegal, pure and simple.

. . . the right to privacy, on which abortion on demand is based, is being transformed into the right not to be inconvenienced by an unwanted child. As each year goes by, the traditional arguments in favor of abortion rights crumble. This leaves advocates in the unenviable position of being more anti-child than pro-woman.

Put up or shut up.

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Over the next year, you're going to see lots of politicians trying to polish their green credentials. It's already happening in the race for governor, with Moore and Perdue both jockeying to be the candidate of clean air and water, renewable energy and more. And Republican Fredly Smith likes to chatter about his environmental commitments, even as he makes millions building highways and converting heartland into upscale golf communities.

Which raises this question: Are you FOR or AGAINST the US Navy's plans for an Outlying Landing Field on Site C near the National Wildlife Refuge?

I'm not a single issue voter by any stretch, but I do expect to know where candidates and elected officials stand. So far, the "reporters" in the mainstream media haven't been willing to ask these kinds of hard questions. Guess it's up to us.

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