Jim Black Hits the Fan

What will we see in statewide politics this year? Looks like a healthy dose of Jim Black bashing. It started here:

ASHEVILLE — Republicans on Monday showed support for party candidates and pledged to root out corruption in state politics.

Nearly 100 people attended the Lincoln-Reagan Day reception and dinner at Asheville’s Crest Center, the biggest annual fundraising event for the Buncombe County Republican Party.

Past dinners have raised $7,000 to $10,000. George Keller, chairman of the Buncome County Republican Party, said he could not say how much the event raised Monday.

More Bush Smoke and Mirrors

If you can stand more deception from the Bush administration (or even if you cannot but like reading about it) there is a great article here:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Energy Department said it has come up with $5 million to immediately restore jobs cut at a renewable energy laboratory President George W. Bush will visit on Tuesday, avoiding a potentially embarrassing moment as the president promotes his energy plan.

Drilling for Oil Off the North Carolina Coast

We have been discussing the assault on our national forests on this site for the last week, but there is another attack on the environment of North Carolina being launched in the Federal Legislature. The N&O chronicles the attempts to open the Atlantic Coast to oil drilling for the first time since the 80's:

"I would say that on the East Coast, North Carolina is the most vulnerable state in this equation," said Richard Charter, co-chairman of the National Outer Continental Shelf Coalition, a collection of conservationists, fishing groups and local governments.

David Sedaris on Middle-Class Art Collecting in Raleigh, NC

Very amusing. Link below the quote.

As for the others, the Edna Hibels and Stephen Whites, they were the sort whose work was advertised in ARTnews rather than Artforum, their paintings and lithographs “proudly shown” alongside wind chimes at places with names like the Screeching Gull, or Desert Sunsets, galleries almost always located in a vacation spot. I tried pointing this out to my parents, but they wouldn’t hear it. Maybe today my art-history teacher drew a blank on Bradlington, but after his liver gave out she’d sure as hell know who he was. “That’s the way it works sometimes,” my father said. “The artist is only appreciated after he’s dead. Look at van Gogh!”

North Carolina Shoulders Larger Burden of The War

This is a old article but i felt it was worthy! Dan
SPECIAL INSTITUTE REPORT: North Carolina Shoulders Larger Share of War BurdenChris KrommInstitute for Southern StudiesJuly 28, 2005(The following was released the day President Bush gave a speech before 700 soldiers at Fort Bragg in North Carolina)DURHAM, N.C. – As President George W. Bush prepares to issue an address in Fort Bragg, N.C. tonight to shore up flagging public support for the Iraq war, a new analysis by the Institute for Southern Studies finds that North Carolina is shouldering a disproportionate burden of the war’s costs in fallen troops.“North Carolina takes pride in being the country’s ‘most military-friendly state,’” said Chris Kromm, director of the non-profit, non-partisan Institute. “Unfortunately, our analysis shows that soldiers deploying from North Carolina – as well as their families and military communities – have paid dearly for the association.” Among the findings drawn from news reports and Department of Defense data:* Of the over 1,930 U.S. troops that have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 230 have been based in North Carolina – over 12% of the nation's war fatalities, or nearly one out of eight U.S. soldiers killed overseas.* Over 100 Army soldiers and 120 Marines from North Carolina bases have died in the two conflicts. Thirty-five of the troops that have died in Iraq were born in North Carolina.* Over 2,200 of the Army’s 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg, are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The division has seen over 40 soldiers killed and 450 injured in the two wars.* North Carolina has sent one of the largest detachments of National Guard troops to Iraq: deployment peaked at 6,000 in January 2005, the largest mobilization for the state since World War II. With the recent return of the National Guard’s 30th Heavy Separate Brigade, the deployment now stands at 2,700.* The North Carolina presence in Iraq will remain significant for the foreseeable future: The Pentagon recently announced that 7,500 to 8,000 members of Fort Bragg’s 18th Airborne Corps will be deployed early next year to take over day-to-day operations in Iraq. They will replace the 3rd Corps from Fort Hood, Texas in directing the Multinational Corps-Iraq. In addition, part of the 82nd Airborne’s 2nd Brigade is slated to deploy to Afghanistan in May.North Carolina’s close military ties reflect a pattern seen throughout the Southern U.S. A 2002 study by the Institute for Southern Studies found that 42% of U.S. troops were born in 13 Southern states, and 56% were housed at military bases in the region.This has led North Carolina and the South to be disproportionately dependent on a military presence. A Military Impact Study conducted by East Carolina University in 2004 found that over 333,300 jobs are tied directly to the military, and four percent of the population is here because of the military presence in the state. The military has an $18 billion economic impact on the state – over 6% of the state’s gross product.The military’s driving role in North Carolina politics and economics is unlikely to change anytime soon. The Pentagon’s proposed base closure and re-alignment plan announced this May, while including changes at several N.C. bases, would have little net effect on the state’s military stature. The plan calls for an expansion of 4,325 personnel at Fort Bragg, which is balanced by a recommendation to cut 4,145 positions at Pope Air Force Base.“When the Pentagon announced in May that it planned to close some 180 installations, the story nationwide was one of gloom and doom,” says Kromm. “But the South’s role as a military stronghold will continue -- and in many states, it will grow."An Institute analysis of the base realignment plan in May 2005 found that 13 Southern states stand to gain over 15,000 base personnel under the proposal, and five of the 10 states whose military presence will grow the most under the plan are located in the South. http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2005/06/north-carolina-suffering-more-from-war.asp

North Carolina Still Does Not Like Bush

I missed this poll concluded on 2/13 from SurveyUSA while I was out sick. However, I felt that everyone in North Carolina needed a little heart warming following the cold weekend.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President?

The result: 43% do and 53 % do not. This can only be good news coming into the Congressional elections. Watuaga Watch hopes it is enough to sink Virginia Foxx.

Buyers Lining Up for National Forest Sale-a-Thon

The Asheville Citizen-Times is doing a great job of covering the proposed sale of National Forest land in North Carolina. More on that below the fold. This photo, taken in the Pisgah National Forest, is used here with the permission of Flickr user Kuranes (blog):

Here's the latest Citizen-Times story on the park sale. In sidebars, they provide a photo from one of the tracts up for grabs, a graphic showing the location of the tracts in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, a list of tracts by county (including size), and a list of proposed proceeds by county. They asked Charles Taylor for a comment, but his office said they'd need to look at the specific proposal first. That's kind of like sitting in front of an oncoming train and saying you're going to wait for a possible damage assessment before moving. It's going to be bad, Chuck.


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