Rocky Mount News in the News

Article here.

The Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram gained national exposure late Thursday night when Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report," cited his recent appearance in the daily, in a drawing by a local schoolgirl named Amy.

Colbert held up what he called the "cover" of the newspaper--he later admitted it was actually page B5--which featured a winning drawing that the girl did, showing Colbert. It showed him carrying what he called a "bucket of truth."

To reward her, he promised to send her a "Colbert Report" t-shirt, in an extra-large adult size, perhaps so she would have something to look forward to in growing up.

Pope Center Survey of North Carolina

Despite the fact that you have to take anything coming out of the ultra-conservative John Pope center with a grain of salt or as utter nonsense, there are some interesting numbers from their January survey (and some completely useless numbers that resulted from slanted questioning).

First, even this ultra-conservative group finds support for an increase in the minimum wage:

18. Do you support or oppose increasing the minimum wage in NC by $1.00 that would bring it to $6.15 per hour?

Support 86%

Oppose 11%

Formal Investigation of Jim Black Begins

As House Speaker Jim Black's scandals have mounted, he could always say one thing to divert attention: "I am not the subject of any investigation, just some staffers, friends, donors..." Well Mr. Black, no longer can you say that. Many news organizations are reporting that Black will be the subject of a formal investigation by the State Board of elections. From WFMY:

The State Board of Elections will formally probe the fundraising activities of House Speaker Jim Black, whose office is already at the center of a separate, federal grand jury inquiry.

More Than Valentines or New Years,

More than Valentines Day or New Year's Eve, January 31st is a time when no liberal should be alone. Even if you're stronger than most, the Bush State of the Union Address can have strange effects on people. Heck, it only takes sixteen words to scare a nation stupid!

Anyway, the Democratic Party is helping people organize and find SOTU watch parties. Check it out! There are already a number of events in NC, and it should be a great way to meet people who actually want to talk about the content of the speech.

Mid-Day Links

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.

Shuler's Vow to Clean Up Congress

Heath Shuler is using Charles Taylor's refusal to return Abramoff funds as a reason that he should replace Taylor as the 11th district Congressman, and getting good local press in the process. Here is a glowing piece, which apparently is on the front page, from the Smoky Mountain Sentinel. From the piece:

Shuler also called into question Rep. Charles Taylor’s refusal to return contributions made to his campaign from felon Jack Abramoff. All but a handful of members of Congress have returned or donated Abramoff’s contributions. “If Mr. Taylor is not willing to return dirty contributions like the ones he took from Jack Abramoff, how can we expect him to be fully committed to changing the way Congress conducts its business?” Shuler asked. “Charles Taylor has a track record of supporting unethical lobbying practices, and lacks the motivation to clean up a system that has been so generous to him. It’s like hiring a fox to guard the henhouse.”

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.

It's Time for the Truth

(front-paged by Anglico . . .)

In preparation for Jane Hamsher's live chat with the Washington Post I am cross posting here and at MyDD a post from my blog Americans Deserve the Truth.  It is time for the truth to be more easily found in the traditional media outlets especially about the political scandals currently flourishing in Washington.  I'm tired of the media trying to artificially balance the news they deliver.  You can't turn a Republican scandal into a bipartisan affair just by pretending it is so.  My diary follows........

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