Thursday morning yadda

James is on a bit of a break since he's pretty much carried the place the last few weeks. I can't match the gorgeous pictures he finds to hide behind the "Blue @ Night" banners so I'll just stick to my typical dry roundups. The following are links and snippets of recent news stories I found interesting:

Long time BlueNCers will remember our series on Ted Sampley. I received an email from a friend of BlueNC that Ted died yesterday. The N&O confirmed it today. Our posts can be found here.

Fed up with those trying to justify torture, The Termite penned this hilarious bit of satire at DKos. The comments are priceless.

Former Panther Mike Minter may challenge Larry Kissell in 2010

Former Safety for the Carolina Panthers, Mike Minter, is considering a challenge to Larry Kissell in 2010. The Greenville Daily Reflector is reporting that Minter, a registered Republican, recently spent a couple of days in Washington discussing the possibility of his candidacy.

One suggestion for Mike. He might want to work real hard on coming up with an answer to why he has only bothered to vote once since he registered to vote back in 2004. I would suggest that he not try the busy football player routine since as a busy congressman he'd need to find lots of time to vote.

This is getting interesting.

Thank you for not smoking

The North Carolina General Assembly has voted to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars. I know there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth from smokers and some of my dear friends won't be happy with me, but I can't help but gloat.

I have a very strong reaction to cigarette smoke. My eyes tear and swell, I start wheezing (I'm asthmatic) and I will be congested for days after a brief exposure. I am so sick and tired of smokers telling we non-smokers that we can just choose to work somewhere/shop somewhere/drink somewhere or eat somewhere that doesn't allow smoking. Not long ago it was next to impossible to find a restaurant in North Carolina that didn't allow smoking, so my family stayed home.

Today, I get to say, "right backatcha." If you want to work somewhere/shop somewhere/drink somewhere or eat somewhere that allows smoking, now it is your turn to stay home.

Foreclosures, Republicans and the blame game

Republicans blame the mortgage crisis on everything except corporate greed. Listening to debates in the House and Senate, reading conservative publications or simply reading the emails I get from Republicans I see and hear it blamed on the welfare mentality, greedy homeowners who took advantage of hyper-inflated home values and people who should have never owned a home in the first place. I’ve even read it blamed on bleeding heart liberal Democrats who forced the banks to make loans to people who couldn’t afford them.

RJA Update and Video

The Racial Justice Act passed the House Judiciary Committee this morning by a vote of 6 to 5. No word yet on progress in the Senate. In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, a video in support of the RJA featuring NC death row exoneree Edward Chapman.

A simple Thank You

It's estimated that teachers spend an average of $493 out of pocket on school supplies for their own classrooms, with some spending $1,000 or more of their personal finances just to get by. As education budgets face major shortfalls in the recession, out of pocket expenses are expected to increase significantly, merely adding insult to injury.

America's teachers are professionals that have dedicated their talents to the very future of this great nation - our children - and they deserve our support and appreciation for all they do.

Will Apple bite back?

The NC Senate, Inc., has scrambled in recent days to create incentives designed to lure Apple Computers to North Carolina. Dome has the story.

Under the bill, only a company's North Carolina sales would be used to calculate its corporate income tax. North Carolina now includes a company's property and payroll when calculating the tax.

But as Elaine Mejia points out at Progressive Pulse, the bill runs the risk of being short-sighted and counterproductive.

Roy Cooper Visits the White House

Hey, Roy! Did you think we wouldn't notice? Did you think we would be able to ignore President Barack Obama's shout out? I think somebody was in Washington on business. I know you're a big Tar Heel fan and White House visits don't happen every day, but you're a busy man. There was something going on in Washington you're not telling us.

Come on, Roy. Out with it.

From the White House transcript of the Tar Heel's visit with the President:

THE PRESIDENT: Hello. (Applause.) Well, thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. We're not in the Dean Dome here, you don't need to stay standing the whole time. (Laughter.)

Newspapers at the trough

Dear Members of the NC General Assembly.

I read at the Dome today that newspaper publishers (and editors!) have lobbied hard against a bill that would cut into their lucrative revenue streams from local government legal notices. Not only that, those crusty journalists appear to have been persuasive. Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, a Democrat, bought their happy horseshit, saying the bill would put newspapers out of business. That's terrible!

"I think we're going to shut down some of the local papers if we continue down this slope," she said.

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