TarGator's blog

What Me Worry? Media Ignoring Iraq War

As we saw when the Iraq war began and the media started ignoring Afghanistan, the media only has enough attention to focus on one war at a time. Apparently that trend is continuing. Think Progress has a post on how the media has dramatically decreased coverage on Iraq following the Israeli conflict:

In the first six months of the year, the media devoted 39 minutes/week to Iraq coverage. Since July 12, they have devoted just 13 minutes/week. Additionally, in the last seven weeks, the media spent 510 minutes covering the Israel-Hezbollah conflict and just 94 minutes on Iraq.

Geary on Etheridge

For those of you who have not caught of glimpse of the Independent reporter Bob Geary's blog Citizen yet, he has had a gem up today about Rep. Etheridge's (D-2) desire to avoid any question relating to the war in Iraq:

The reason Etheridge wanted to get out of there, and did get out a couple of minutes later, was that all the questions were about Iraq, and the torture-rendition flights out of Johnston County, and he didn’t want to talk about either subject. “You can’t do everything,” he said to a woman who pressed him on his refusal to co-sponsor a particular House bill. “I haven’t looked at that one.”

Jerry Meek: Man of the People, Man of Ideas

I got back into Raleigh Sunday just in time to catch Jerry Meek giving a talk at the Quail Ridge Bookstore on Wade Avenue. The speech by Meek, which focused on the book "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff, attracted many locals, a few candidates for the General Assembly, and a sitting General Assembly member, Grier Martin. The speech focused on ways to frame the debate and successfully convert moderates and conservatives to the position of the Democratic Party. But to me the event highlighted Jerry Meek more than the book.

The event shows both that Meek, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science and Law School from Duke, is a serious thinker of politics able to articulate his thoughts coherently and a person willing and even excited to go out amongst us common Democrats. Meek gave his talk and then received questions from the audience members, most of whom Jerry addressed by name. The speech included many astute tips on how to frame the debate with Republicans; my favorite was his tip that when addressing hunters concerned with gun control you should reply that Democrats are not going to take guns from hunters but 20 more years of Republican environmental policy will render the gun useless.

The N&O's Raleigh Smackdown

I came back from a week long tour of Florida yesterday thinking that the cities in Florida were so much better than those in our great state. Sure our cities are nice, but there were many more pieces of public art, more exciting and vibrant downtowns, and more people actually out at night in downtown in Florida's cities. Also, Florida has at least 9 major-league professional teams while North Carolina has 3.

Apparently, Raleigh's actions in the Plensa plaza affair, where Raleigh is about to turn down a plaza designed by an internationally known artist and paid for with private funds, convinced the N&O that it was time to attack Raleigh for creating a boring city. The Q section of Sunday's N&O contained four articles on how boring the city is and how the boringness is created by reactionary "No-it-alls". The articles:

Hitting the Road

Hey guys. I am going to hitting the road for about a week and am not sure how much I will be able to check in or post. A friend and I are going to swing through Florida, bumming places to stay along the way. I do not know how much I will be able to post along the way, but I am sure to have some good stories of Republican incompetence when I get back; after all, this is the land of Jeb! and Katherine Harris.

NC Democrats Take Fight to "Do Nothing" Congress

This afternoon brought a nice contrast to the lack-of-agenda NC Republican's campaign to take the NC General Assembly (i.e. Jim Black is a bad guy). The North Carolina Democratic Party's blog posted an entry on the federal GOP controlled "Do Nothing" Congress. So, Democrats running against widespread incompetence; Republicans running against lack of integrity of one man. Now I think that is a good argument against Black, but it is not a good reason to dump our Democrat

Unable to Articulate a Reason to Be Elected, Republicans Rely on Black's Issues

Control of the North Carolina General Assembly is up for grabs this year (as it is every two years), and what do the Republicans have to talk about? Nothing but Black. The Republicans this cycle have apparently choosen to forgo any attack of the policies of this General Assembly and focus on the possible indiscretions of Jim Black.

Now, I have posted here and stated elsewhere my disdain of Jim Black's actions and his inability to yield for the good of the party, but the fact that all the Republicans seem to be talking about is the actions of the one of the Democrat's members is clear proof that the party is doing a good job of representing the people and deserves to remain in power.

Decker Controvery, A Bi-Partisan Affair

With Republicans set to unleash an ad campaign designed to take back the house on the basis of Jim Black's alleged involvement in the Decker party switching affair. I think it is time to sit back and consider one tiny fact that the Republicans conveniently ignore; this was a bi-partisan affair.

If what Decker says is true, a Democrat gave a Republican (Decker) a bribe, and the Republican accepted it. We have been critical about our parties handling of Jim Black, but their handling of Mike Decker has not been any better.

Does Anyone Know What is Up With this Pension vote?

From the WS Journal:

Pension-law changes: Voting 93 for and five against, the Senate sent President Bush a Republican-drafted bill Thursday to shore up defined-benefit pension plans by requiring about 30,000 companies to fund their pension liabilities fully over seven years, with certain airlines granted more time. The bill also requires companies to pay higher premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that insures pensions but which reports a $22.8 billion deficit against obligations.

The bill contains incentives to make defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, a more attractive alternative to traditional defined-benefit plans, and gives employers legal protections to spur conversions of defined-benefit plans to less traditional "hybrid" plans.

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