After James's rant I was well reminded of why we must do better in 2006 and 2008, but I also needed something to break the tension. I found the comic relief I needed in a reactionary conservative essay on the topic of elementary school classroom supplies that, in fewer than 1,000 words, invokes Al Gore, Terri Schiavo, the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London, bolshevism, and brainwashing. The author manages to slip some advocacy of violence against teachers in there as well.
Remember that naked power grab by NC's Republican US House members I warned you about? You know, the one where they circumvent the democratic process because they don't like the decisions we North Carolinians came up with on our own?
Five of North Carolina's seven Republican members of Congress want to cut off federal highway money to their state unless it makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses.
Four NC Representatives—Myrick (NC-9), Jones (NC-3), Foxx (NC-5), and McHenry (NC-10), Republicans all—are having a press conference tomorrow to announce new legislation that they should be ashamed of. Myrick's new bill would withhold federal transportation funds from North Carolina if the state doesn't strengthen it's diver's license requirements.
Just to be clear, that's four of North Carolina's representatives to the US House bullying North Carolina in an effort to shape state policy. I'd really love to hear them explain that to a 10th grade Civics class.
Real Values is right to wonder: "Just for clarification purposes, aren't Republicans supposed to believe in federalism? Isn't it supposed to be conservative to trust states and localities to make decisions?" The people who elected Myrick, Jones, Foxx, and McHenry sent them to Washington to stand up for North Carolina values in the national and international spheres. That same electorate chose state senators and representatives, the Council of State, and our Governor to craft and enforce state policy. Now Myrick & Co. want to try their hands at running North Carolina?
You can expect Robin Hayes to be crowing tomorrow about a trade agreement with China that his office helped write. The deal limits the increase each year that China's textile exports to the US can increase. The good Representative's been involved in the negotiations because his district—North Carolina's 8th—has been hard hit by textile competition from China.
Here's what Hayes won't tell you: The trade agreement gives much more to China than it saves for North Carolina.
China entered the WTO under an understanding that if there were to be a supply spike, other WTO members could cap the growth of imports from China at 7.5% per year. Well, right now there's a supply spike. But the new trade agreement is an even worse deal for North Carolina workers than the already-agreed-on 7.5% cap.
Back in March of this year, the US House of Representatives voted to spend another 80 billion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House had a separate vote on whether to add an amendment stipulating that none of that money could be spent on torture, and the amendment passed: 240 to 2.
One of the two pro-torture Representatives was North Carolina's own Robin Hayes.
Hayes the Representative has a website, but you won't find the word "torture" there even once. So is his brazen stand in favor of US-funded torture his only record on the subject? Is torture a North Carolina value for Hayes?
The speaker here is Mike Scanlon, who is business partners with with Jack Abramoff. These guys are deeply embedded in the Republican regime.
"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."
Bruce B. Lawrence, professor of Islamic studies at Duke University, wrote an introduction to a soon-to-be-published "first-ever English translation of the major declarations of Osama bin Laden." Now Lawrence has written an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education sharing what he's learned about bin Laden the clues his writings give us to winning the war on terror.
Bin Laden's project couples faith and fighting with relentless insistence on the need to act, and his messages continue to have an appeal. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands revere him for his bold stand against the world's sole remaining superpower and its allies, Muslim and non-Muslim. Ironically, during the 80s the CIA helped him to become a local hero in the Afghan war against the Soviets, but during the 90s and into the new century it was media technology that made him into an international celebrity. Bin Laden could not have achieved global prominence without audiocassettes, the Internet, and satellite television, especially Al-Jazeera. His legacy is more secure than his life: No matter when or how he dies, he will not easily be dislodged from his perch as the most famous/infamous Arab of the 21st century.
I know we were praising Gov. Mike in this space just yesterday for his efforts to raise teacher pay, but it's seriously groan inducing to hear him selling the shoddy state of labor in NC.
Site Selection magazine named North Carolina the state with the Top Business Climate for 2005, reclaiming the top spot from Texas, which unseated North Carolina's three-year claim to first place from 2001 through 2003.
"We can do everything they can do about 25 percent cheaper in terms of labor capital expenditures and land acquisition," North Carolina Governor Michael Easley told Site Selection.
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