Gordon Smith's blog

Water in WNC - The Energy Connection

Why do we need to switch to renewable sources of energy in the mountains of western North Carolina? Aside from the obvious, there's also the fact that energy production requires that we deplete our water supply to feed unsustainable production mechanisms. Watch this excellent data visualization from the wizards at Elumenati studios here in Asheville to learn about how our water resources are divvied up:

Our Rebound Relationship with Heath Shuler

{cross-posted from ScruHoo and DWT!}

For sixteen long years, the citizens of North Carolina's mountainous 11th District were represented in Congress by Charles H. Taylor. No matter the clouds of corruption allegations swirling around him, conservative voters returned Taylor to the House cycle after cycle. He had his Russian bank ties, his Jack Abramoff ties, his Savings and Loan scandal, and a remarkable antipathy towards the press and his progressive constituents. It was like an ill-considered, abusive relationship, and NC-11 voters couldn't tear themselves away.

Then along came Heath Shuler. Big, handsome, and aw-shucks honest, he had pretty words about labor unions, education, and the environment. He looked like our dragon-slayer. We knew about his social conservatism and Tennessee Republican registration, but we looked past those differences, ready for him to free us from the muck pond of Charles Taylor's reign.

Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Diddly

The Mountain Xpress features this story:

Two major N.C. incentives programs sent large portions of funding for increased corporate expansion and job creation to areas of the state that basically needed it the least, according to a study by the Durham office of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for federal and state economic policies.

Thanks, Howard and Jerry

Howard Dean will step down as head of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the year. I followed his election to the post in 2005, when a field of party insiders were rebuffed by party delegates ready to do something besides lose to the Republicans.

Dean marshalled the 50 state strategy:

Rather than focusing just on swing states, Dean proposed what has come to be known as the 50-State Strategy. The goal, the DNC says, is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single voting precinct in the country.

While it sounds obvious in today's political climate, the idea of putting resources into states like North Carolina was considered foolish and wasteful. Dean didn't heed the naysayers, and less than four years later, Democrats have wrested the White House and Congress from the hands of those promising a "permanent Republican majority".

Sarah Palin in Asheville for World Zombie Day

Governor Sarah Palin was prayed over by an Alaskan preacher to protect her from witches, but he ought to have thought of zombies as well. She's coming to Asheville, North Carolina tomorrow afternoon, and her visit coincides with our city's Annual Zombie Walk.

World Zombie Day:

"World Zombie Day™ is the day that all ghouls from Kentucky to Kokomo, from Atlanta to Afghanistan, from Washington to Wales, and from Pittsburgh to Puerto Rico can celebrate together in a near orgy of blood covered bliss!!
[...]
World Zombie Day™ will be a day when all fans of zombie culture can join together. There will be an international charity event done throughout the cities involved to help alleviate world hunger, and this will be a first.
[...]
The participating living dead are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to each zombie walk starting point. A mass effort will be taken on worldwide to prove that charity, goodwill, and zombie love can flourish in every nation regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or religion, and that no matter where or how we die…

WE WILL COME BACK!!!"

{Click here to see Ashvegas' photos from Asheville's 2007 Zombie Walk}

Ashtoberfest's Third Annual Zombie Walk begins in Asheville's Montford Park with music and then shambles through downtown on their way to a party at the Coxe Ave. Asheville Brewing Company. When Dan Burrello heard that Sarah Palin was coming to town, he wisely got out in front of it:

Virginia Foxx Jumps On the McCarthyite Train

It's all the rage among the Bush loyalists and Rovian political adherents to call their political adversaires anti-american. Michelle Bachman famously did so and earned herself enormous scorn manifesting in a million dollars going to her opponent, El Tinklenberg. Robin Hayes then smeared an entire political philosophy by saying that "liberals hate real Americans".

Now we hear that Virginia Foxx (NC-05) has hopped on the McCarthy Train.

Buncombe County Voter Guide

I hope all of you BlueNCers will take the time to create voter guides for your counties. While most folks know how they'll vote for President, Senate, House, and Governor, the down-ticket races can remain a mystery. School Boards, Judges, Commissioners, and other positions have enormous bearing on people's lives.

Here's the Scrutiny Hooligans Voter Guide for Buncombe County

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