James's blog

Fat Kids? Let 'em drink Coke.

In predictable obeisance to all things commercial, the John Locke Foundation objects today to restraints on advertising directed to children for products that are ruining their health. In this case, JLF is spending Art Dope's money to whine about Europe's swift and powerful reaction to their own emerging obesity epidemic.

While some critics of soda machines and cola ads mouth a broadly anti-capitalist critique, the usual justification for banning them is childhood obesity. In Europe, soft-drink companies themselves decided that the prospect of regulators blaming them for kiddie flab was so dire that they needed to announce last week a “voluntary” ban on advertising to children under 12. They also said they would eliminate soda machines in primary schools while increasing the availability of non-carbonated drinks in secondary schools.

Watt what?

My friend Fred over at Orange Politics posted this comment about Mel Watt:

Hopefully, there will be something in the local media about this afternoon’s address by Rep. Mel Watt, chair of the CBC, entitled “The State of the Union.” The program was held at the NC Mutual Life insurance Co. auditorium and many local political figures were in attendance, including Rep. Price.

When asked the impeachment question, Rep. Watt indicated that he didn’t know if there has been any criminal behavior, but based on what he currently knows, he doesn’t see any impeachable offenses. It wasn’t clear if the CBC or Watt will support the Conyers Resolution or not, but according to THOMAS, Watt is not a cosponsor at this time.

Smart Dope is at it again . . .

For those of you with strong stomachs, follow me into the amusing mind of Johnny-be-Hood to find out what North Carolina's own Smart Dope Art Pope is spending his hard earned money on today.

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Let me set the story. Little Johnny is writing while on a visit to the left coast . . . opining about all things free and easy, extolling the virtues of being rich and having unrestrained opportunities to exploit whatever common good Smart Dope happens to have in his sites this week.

And you won't be surpised to discover he's dealing in lies.

PASADENA – I’m here in Los Angeles County, the exemplar of all that is said to be wasteful and disastrous about urban sprawl in the United States. The soaring mountains ringing the valley are hard to see clearly through the mid-afternoon haze. But do I feel like Dante exploring a sprawling level of Hell? Not in the slightest.

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.

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.

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.

The "good roads state"

When I think about all the things I expect from North Carolina, "the good roads state" doesn't jump to the top of my list of priorities. But along with forever bragging about our accidental claim to First in Flight, we sure seem to have a hang up about spending on highway construction.

There was probably a time when visionary thinkers could make the case that a network of world-class roads would be key to a sustainable future . . . like 90 years ago or so, when we pioneered the practice of making untold public investments into a miraculous network of highways . . . ready and waiting for Peak Oil.

Can you say 'wishy-washy?'

For those of you living outside the Triangle, I sure hope you have a better newspaper than N&O . . . especially if you expect editorial boards to have clear opinions that are well-articulated. Because here in Raleighwood, Steve Ford and the N&O have given new meaning to the term 'wishy-washy.'

In today's useless editorial, the N&O can't quite bring itself to have an opinion about Bush's gross abuse of power in wiretapping American citizens.

Stirring criticism is the fact that the eavesdropping has taken place without warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, set up to handle such cases in secret. Since 2002, the NSA reportedly has monitored the international phone calls, faxes and e-mails of around 500 U.S. citizens or residents without seeking the warrants. That's curious, both because requests for warrants can be made for 72 hours after the monitoring has occurred and because the court rarely denies a request.

Sad Sue's Sorry Site

I haven't paid much attention to the shenanigans of Ms. Myrick and her allegiance to Dear Leader, but a number of pundits have put her gubernatorial ambitions on the table, so she is now squarely in my sights. And after a brief stroll through her creepy website all I can say is what the f*ck is going on in Charlotte? Is this really the best you can do?


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