Parker Promoted to Chief Justice

I couldn't let this pass without notice: Gov. Easley elevated NC Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker to the Chief Justice position vacated by I. Beverly Lake. If I'm not mistaken (and I often am), Parker is the last Democrat on the court. Don't fall into the common mistake of confusing her with Sarah Jessica Parker; despite any apparent similarities, they are in fact different people.

Another Call for Black to Step Aside

The Fayetteville Online has added to calls for House Soeaker Jim Black to step aside with this editorial today. From the article:

Let’s see, now. Jim Black isn’t named Tom DeLay, isn’t from Texas, isn’t the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and hasn’t been indicted for his cozy relations with people having a vested interest in his work. Is there any other important respect in which their political situations differ?

Black, speaker of the North Carolina House, had as his political adviser Meredith Norris, a lobbyist for a would-be lottery contractor. Because Black didn’t pay Norris, she was not technically his employee even though she had something like free run of his office, gave direction to his staff and used his equipment. But because the relationship got him into hot water, he made a production of firing someone he said he hadn’t hired.

Try These On For Size

Reading this article in the Columbus Dispatch (link via Pam's House Blend) made me think about how Democrats need to come up with better ways to communicate their alternate vision of America. Here are some nuggets from Paul Hackett:

  • Your Right To Liberty: "I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-gayrights, I’m pro-gun-rights. Call me nuts, but I think they’re all based on the same principle and that is we don’t need government dictating to us how we live our private lives."
  • Homophobia = Fearmongering: "If what [Republicans] believe is that we’re going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that’s un-American. They’ve got to accept that. It’s absolutely un-American."
  • Our Message is Positive, and Theirs is Negative: "Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed." [I'm not sure what Pam's source on this one is.]

What do you think: are these rhetorical diamonds in the rough? Sure, the left has to get the mileage it can out of Republican scandals, but how do we package the things that make us great?

Nine months . . . and counting

Nine months is not a very long time. Three quarters of a year. The length of an average human pregnancy. The amount of time between now and the general elections this fall.

In case you've been hiding in Bush's bubble, the future of our democracy hinges on these elections. If we do not elect a majority of Democrats in at least one house of Congress, we will have no power to stem the riptide of Republican corruption that is eroding our common ground. Without a majority in one house of Congress, we will not have subpoena power. And without subpoena power, the rightwing juggernaut will continue unabated.

Voting to Impeach

Over at, guest author Al McSurely reminds us of that other duty of the House of Representatives: impeachment. Al's point (and I think it is a good one) is that an important criterion in selecting a representative should be their willingness to perform that duty when called.

The challenge for those of us who take seriously our sworn vow to protect it is to select a members of the House in November 2006 who are strong, respect the Constitution, and who believe in the rule of law. When I size up our Congressional candidates, I rely on the same approach I use in picking juries. I look for people who will stand up for what they believe in. When you sue the government, like I do, you want jurors who are not afraid to challenge powerful people. You want someone who believes in the old saying: He may be President, but he puts his pants on one leg at a time. We need House members who believe that every person has to abide by the Constitution and the laws. And, given Bush/Cheney’s repeated use of vicious attacks when they are caught with unclean hands, we need people who are not afraid of a fight. : Selecting the grand jury in 2006

McHenry: GOP Pawn

And the press swoons over our favorite Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) again, sort of. The Winston-Salem Journal has this piece that basically says that McHenry is running again and he is a GOP pawn. We already knew that McHenry was pro-torture, now from the article:

Freshman members of Congress usually remain in the shadows as they learn their way around Capitol Hill.

Al Gore Spoke Up for America Today

On a day when many of us are reflecting on the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Al Gore delivered a speech that was awe-inspiring. He has called the American people to defend the Constitution and our civil liberties against the tyranny of a president who refuses to obey the rule of law.

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.


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