kmr's blog

Monday afternoon Ex

Via Ex:

This week's column looks at annexation fights and an astroturf battle royale over the transfer tax fixin' to crank up.

Angry Suburban Ethos

As I write these words I can see the line just beyond the back fence where gently — for now — laps that rising tide known as the municipal limits of the town of Chapel Hill.

My neighbors and I know that one day we’ll be engulfed by that tide, absorbed into the town, offered its services and taxed accordingly. Some of us will go willingly or without struggle—others will put up a fight.

Such is the fate now of thousands of North Carolina homeowners each year as the urban boundaries in this urbanizing state swell. And while the number of us living unincorporated-style shrinks, so grows the ranks of angry suburbanites.

This just in

Just got this rather stunning email from Bob Hall and Democracy North Carolina.

MOST CITIZENS NOT VOTING IN NORTH CAROLINA
Young Adults More Likely to Be Binge Drinkers Than Voters

A new "Civic Participation Index for North Carolina" shows that only two out
of five adults [40.8 percent] bother to vote in the typical state election.

The Index says that young North Carolinians age 18 to 25 are half as likely
to vote as their grandparents -- and more likely to engage in binge drinking
than participate in elections.

And it says more men own guns than cast ballots.

For the Release and Index, go to:
http://www.democracy-nc.org/improving/CPI.pdf

Morning Ex

Via Ex:
Eighty degrees today (maybe). Spring is all in like a lion in the sun or something.

Meanwhile,

• According to Media Matters, the Sanford Herald (which has a terrible Web site) is among the eight papers to drop Coulter of late;
• Rep. Wright resigns his leadership posts;
• S.C. GOP blasts Edwards early and often;
Warthogs are getting a new ballpark;
• Walter Dalton announces he's running for Lt. Governor;
Oh, and the White House wanted to fire all the prosecutors, but the AG decided on just a handful. What a guy.
Also, dang it—a lawsuit and right at the wrong time.

Morning Ex

Gosh golly starting a newspaper is time-consuming. And right in the middle of it felled for a day-point-five by a nasty bug. Have graduated to Progresso "hearty" style and am on the mend. Here's the drill:

State
• More coming out on the electricity tax break for Google. From this morning's Insider:

Electricity tax breaks granted by the General Assembly -- based on its own estimates and if computed over the same 30-year time period as property tax breaks granted by Lenoir and Caldwell County -- would reach $90 million.

• New poll from Public Policy Polling shows Perdue lead slipping a bit and Obama over Clinton.
• Oh good, they're turning away coffee mugs on Jones Street. Next step: repealing the lottery and fully funding education reforms with a progressive tax policy

New House rules

File under Documents of the 2007-2008 Session.

Following is an explanation by Gerry Cohen, bill drafting director of the General Assembly about the new rules proposed today.

The press release from Speaker Hackney's office follows that.

EXPLANATION OF HOUSE PERMANENT RULES
House Resolution 423

The House Permanent Rules filed today make a number of changes from the temporary rules, outlined below:

Rule 1 – By leave of the house (majority vote), session may continue beyond the evening adjournment deadlines.

Rule 14 – The motion to recess is moved higher in priority, to fall between the motion to adjourn and the motion to table.

Rule 16 – Conforming change to Rule 14, and also changed to allow a motion to reconsider and lay upon the table (clincher motion) to be made as one motion, reversing change made in 1999.

House rules update

Press conference this morning on the new House rules.
From the Speaker's office:

HOUSE SPEAKER JOE HACKNEY TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON WED., FEB. 28 AT 10:30 AM

RALEIGH – N.C. House Speaker Joe Hackney will hold a press conference today, Wednesday, February 28, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the House rules package for the 2007-08 session. The press conference will be held in the Legislative Building press conference room at 16 W. Jones Street in Raleigh.

Media unable to attend the press conference may listen to the live audio via the General Assembly’s website at www.ncleg.net. Once on the site, select “Audio” in the navigation bar, and then select “Press Conference Room.”

Worst presidents list anyone?

Via Ex, feel free to jump into this round of Worst.President.Ever.

Feels a little odd to be taking my cues from USA Today (via Atrios at least), but for his Presidents Day editorial/blog post Big Al says he was wrong to criticize Hillary Clinton for calling Bush among the worst and he now puts the prez atop the worst-ever list:

I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top.

The responses to the edit/post are interesting, too--especially the one about this just being Bush's third quarter and needing to play out the rest of the two years before the place-in-history thing can be assessed. OK, I'll run with that. How about early in the fourth quarter, he's down 60-6 and he keeps giving the ball to Crazy Legs Cheney?
Al also mentions Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon as his top worst prior to the new Bush worsening of the office.
Any thoughts on your top five rotten execs?

science and politcs reux

Via Ex:

A weird moment this morning when I was reading this post from Josh Marshall about another warped science=politics moment. This one involving a state Rep from Georgia, a theory that evolution is a Jewish conspiracy and one of my old high school teachers (the one who taught the Americanism vs. Communism course, not the creationist biology teacher).

I went back to the Dent archives and dug up this post I wrote in Feb. 2006 about Evolution Sunday and high school weirdness.

Original Post from the now departed Dent blog:

This Sunday, in honor of Charles Darwin’s 187th birthday, the message from pulpits across the country will be that God and science can co-exist. Pope says so, too.

Black Thursday

A lot will be said and written today about Jim Black and our turn-of-the-century corruption scandal.

I'll start throwing links into this post as things turn up.

From the Char-O reaction story:

"It's a sad day for Mecklenburg. He has been a major contributor, but if he's guilty of a crime he's got to pay for it. I don't think his motivation was avarice or self-aggrandizement. In his view he was doing what's good for Mecklenburg. But what he did was wrong and he's got to pay for it." PAT COTHAM, Chair of Charlotte's Uptown Democratic Forum

Jerry Meek in the N&O

"It's unfortunate that this is the ending that comes to a man who has spent so much of his career serving the people of North Carolina," N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek said Tuesday night.

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