The Return of the Black Jesse Helms

That's what Vernon Robinson calls himself, by the way. Who is Vernon Robinson? Well right now he's best described as the Republican who wants to challenge Democrat Mel Watt for the 12th congressional district seat in November. Ask Watt what he thinks about the challenge, and he'll say "[g]iven how Vernon has run campaigns, I'll just sit back and enjoy the fight." And how has Robinson run campaigns? Here's a tidbit from August of 2004 (when he was running for the US House in the 5th district):

Your lottery stinks

The N&O has a way of getting all activated when things happen in secret . . . like this latest creepy decision move by Powersleaze . . . the NC Lottery Commission.

Lottery officials have decided to keep secret the bids received last week for two multimillion-dollar contracts, until those contracts have been awarded. That is an outrageous and unacceptable repudiation of Sanders' promises.

Making the bids public, officials say, would mean the companies would find out about each others' bids and thus the state's bargaining power would be reduced. But that's a thin excuse (so is the assurance that information will be released once deals are done), and lottery officials should know better. Likewise, they should be embarrassed to be hiding behind legal technicalities, given what's gone on in terms of setting up the lottery.

Hood winked again

Da Carolina Journal is all over lobbying reform this week . . . opining about the differences between persuasion and influence-peddling . . . insisting that corporations have the same rights as citizens here in free-speech land.

Note to Hood: Corporations have NO rights except for those that we the people give them. You might want to check out your Cato Constitution just to be sure.

Out of frustration, I'm open to lobbying reform, as Johnnie seems to be. But I'm not very optimistic that the foxes are the best ones to write new rules for how to guard the hen house. Especially when one of the fox cheerleaders writes crap like this:

Andromeda strained

I had a scary dream last night. The world was being taken over by Corrupt Republicans -- just like the Andromeda strain, a destructive indiscriminate virus, multiplying recklessly throughout the land.

First they destroy their host . . . the civilized world in which we live . . . on their happy way to destroying themselves in pursuit of the end times. It is an attempted smackdown of the grandest proportions.

The only antiviral vaccine I see is 'truth,' which is getting harder and harder to find. Hey GlaxoSmithKline . . . how about pouring some of those profits into R&D for a drug that will stop compulsive lying. And be sure to enter George Bush in your first round of human trials. On second thought, put him in with the rats. (Sorry, rats.)

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?


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