Betsy Muse's blog

It takes more than a hashtag to build a movement

What started as a poorly organized protest lacking a cohesive message beyond tying up traffic in the financial district of New York City, continues as a poorly organized protest lacking a cohesive message. After begging for media coverage the New York Times obliged, however I doubt the article provided the type of coverage organizers of Occupy Wall Street were seeking. The protest might have ended without garnering much media attention. It might have ended without accomplishing anything more than giving radical activists and young people somewhere to be for a few weeks. It might have, if it hadn't been for the despicable actions of an NYPD officer.

Reagan Debate audience thirsty for blood

In his GOP Debate Analysis segment on MSNBC, Chris Matthews summed up an important difference between Republicans and Democrats when speaking with Congressman Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina:

This was like the Roman Coliseum here when they brought up the issue of the death penalty. I tell you Rachel and everybody else back there if you want to know the difference between the Republican and the Democratic Party, the Democrats do not see it as a...a call to festivity when you start talking about killing people. It was incredible. It was instantaneous, congressman, the enthusiasm for this crowd for killing people.

It was a stunning moment during the debate and one that made my apolitical 15-yr-old look up from her homework and stare at the screen.

What was the one moment you remember most from the debate?

New Hanover Co. School Board Member to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a New Hanover County School Board member has been selected to receive the prestigious John F Kennedy Profile in Courage award for standing up to a redistricting plan she felt would resegregate public middle schools. Elizabeth Redenbaugh and the other recipient will be presented with the award at the Kennedy Library in Boston, MA on May 23.

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late president, praised...Redenbaugh, a New Hanover County, N.C., school board member, for challenging residents in her community to preserve quality public education.

Congratulations Elizabeth Redenbaugh. Thank you for standing up for public education.

Redistricting woes

The Fix blog in the WaPo had an interesting post earlier this month on what redistricting might look like in North Carolina. Basically, we will have a fight on our hands. I'm not whining. We brought it on ourselves. Heck, even with Democrats drawing the districts, it was a fight for us to send more Democrats than Republicans to Washington. That fact alone should give you some idea of just how screwed we are.

The Tarheel State stands out as the one state where Republicans will be expecting to gain multiple seats in the election following redistricting, and they could gain three or four if things pan out close to perfectly.

Heath Shuler loses race for Minority Leader

Nancy Pelosi has won election to the top post in Democratic leadership in the House. She will serve as Minority Leader, defeating Blue Dog, Heath Shuler by a healthy margin. The final vote was 150-43.

From The Hill

Pelosi supporters were wondering why the two-term Shuler — who voted against many of the Democrats' top legislative priorities, including healthcare reform — was qualified for the position.

"The accomplishments of the last two years have been achieved without Heath's vote," Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) told reporters. "And now he wants to be leader?"

Democrats will have to continue winning in districts where voters elect more moderate or conservative candidates to regain a majority in the House. It was accomplished with Nancy Pelosi at the helm once and it can happen again.

Decimated Blue Dogs want to push Pelosi out

Heath Shuler offers his ring for kissing planting himself squarely in opposition to Nancy Pelosi in a run for Minority Leader in the House. My friend, Larry Kissell, also opposes Pelosi despite the fact it was her leadership that played at least a small role in ushering him into office in 2008. Blue Dogs lost well over half of their members yet for some reason - possibly arrogance - they think they can lead the party forward. I have one thing to say to that.


PS...I'm delighted that both Heath Shuler and Larry Kissell will be returning to Washington. They mirror their districts and must be doing a good job or they would not have won reelection in this climate.

BlueNC Upgrade

BlueNC is long overdue for core Drupal and module upgrades. Today is as good a day as any to get started on that. Hopefully our outages will be brief and spaced apart as I upgrade each module and try them out one by one to make sure everything we use at BlueNC remains functional after the upgrades are complete.

Thank you for your patience. (...and no, this can't be done at night. I'm old and prone to mistakes when I do it while the rest of you sleep.) :)

Will NC Republican candidates terrify Democrats into voting?

Gallop's poll out yesterday continues to tout their generic ballot where Republicans lead Democrats by 15 points. With some of the candidates Republicans are fielding, I'd leave names off too...especially in North Carolina where it appears the knuckle-draggers, mouth-foamers and head-spinners all lined up to run.

Our current crew of Republican congressional candidates is so far right of the average North Carolina voter it prompted Salon to include two of them in their list of the "10 most terrifying would-be congressmen." That's right, Renee Ellmers and Ilario Pantano from NC were selected as two of the ten most terrifying candidates running for congress.

Senator Hagan supports Lieberman bill to repeal DADT

Earlier this week I reported that Senator Hagan fell short of directly endorsing Senator Lieberman's bill that would repeal the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy directed at gays and lesbians serving our country. I'm happy to report that the Senator's office has called to clarify that she does support Senator Lieberman's bill.

Now, lets get busy and push that door open even more. What can we do in the next few days to expedite the passage of this bill?


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