Oliver Queen's blog

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

From the AP Wire -

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More young people in North Carolina engaged in binge drinking than voted during recent presidential elections, according to a report released Monday by a campaign reform group.

Lovely! Aside from reports of a few impressionable Tar Heels walking into a certain campaign office south of their university, my generation isn't getting involved in politics. This doesn't bode well for North Carolina.

About 29 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 voted in a major election in 2000 and 2004. That compares to the 37 percent of people aged 18 to 25 identified as "binge drinkers" in a 2004 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report. The report classified binge drinkers as individuals who had at least five drinks on one occasion in the past 30 days.

Open Thread for Ideas

Please, help out my idea thread at Kos. -Sam

Some (or all) of you may remember Larry's post earlier today. Of particular interest:

So tell me. If you're for the little guy, how do you raise money in one of the poorest districts in the nation? If your opponent and his millions will stop at nothing to distort your positions as well as his own, how do you get the right press attention? We're ready to bottle lightning all over again... and welcome your input, atta'boys and advice at info@larrykissell.com.

I want to hear your ideas in the comments, but first a few of my thoughts. I've run for County Commissioner, and I've managed a congressional campaign. I had the distinct pleasure of doing field work for Larry Kissell, and I'll admit that I never came up with an idea as good as their $1.22 gas event. But you don't have to; more often than not, the winner in an essentially even race is the one who works the hardest, raises the most, and has the best message.

So, Should I Move to NC-08? Or: What Would You Do for Larry?

Well, everyone heard Larry's call this morning, and while it seems unlikely that the election in NC-08 will be as close as it was last time, I am nonetheless considering moving to Charlotte after college (to teach or do politics - it's definitely a seperate decision). Is it worth it for me to move to NC-08 as opposed to somewhere else in Charlotte? ;) Maybe I'm not going to go that extreme for Larry, but it's definitely exciting to see this much energy this early on. And I'd like very much to contribute to that energy again.

Now, I've been thinking about what we could do this early on (aside from moving), and I've been thinking of different kinds of fundraisers - one idea is to raise enough money ($5000) to make Larry the first candidate sponsor of YearlyKos, an investment that I think would create dividends in Democratic donors. I would love to see a bunch of people from the BlueNC gang (and any other NC blogas) come together to have a netroots party to support two things (YearlyKos and Larry) that the vast majority of us believe in. Who would be up for such a gathering?

Before Someone Thinks this is an April Fools' Joke...

Please help on dKos. -Sam

I'm a big Biden supporter. Sure, that's not a particularly popular position with the netroots - it's much easier for me when I talk about how I gave Ned Lamont $50, how I ran for County Commissioner on liberal values, or how I gave Larry Kissell a few months of my life.

But I like Joe Biden, in spite of his flaws. I interned for him a few years ago, and he was always honest when he talked to me - which was quite often. In addition to having personal courage - I'm sure all of you know the tragic story about his first wife and his daughter - he's a man who fights smart fights, like when he came close to making the Iraq War and eventual occupation much less of a disaster. He's never been in the DLC (double-check your source if you're thinking about debating that), and that means a lot to me. And there was one moment while I was working for him that completely sealed the deal. But then there was the Obama thing ...

My Friend, Bill Jackson, on Iraq

My friend Bill Jackson has been pretty much everything a man can be in politics - professor, blogger, congressional staffer, White House staffer, candidate, and most recently, the treasurer of my County Commission Campaign. He's almost always been right on Iraq, from when we opposed the war together, to the wrong turns it would take.

At this point, he thinks there's a case for impeachment, something I've opposed for quite a while, as tempting as it sounds. It would get us out of Iraq (assuming we get rid of Cheney too). But is there a way to cause a clear rationale for impeachment, and to get us out of Iraq? From Bill's latest:

Assuming late April arrives with continuing deadlock between Congress and the White House over withdrawal deadlines, I would favor a firm stand by the House against passing ANY supplemental defense appropriations bill. This might prompt Bush to commit an unconstitutional act in spending money not authorized by Congress, or the ruse of shifting funds among Pentagon accounts--on Thursday morning Congress was notified that in order to meet the force-protection needs of the Marine Corps and the Army, the Defense Department is borrowing or reprogramming funds from other Marine and Army procurement programs-- and thereby contribute substantially to a constitutional crisis that he might very well lose. I said "might."

Bishopville (SC) Nights: The Ballad of Joe Biden; or, Health Care in America

I went to a Biden event in Bishopville, SC last night to see the man speak after a month of being frustrated by the "clean and articulate" comment. After seeing Obama wow the crowds in Columbia a few weeks ago, I felt it was time to give my former boss a second chance.

I'll try and post a video of his speech (it's short at 15 minutes), because he brought up a few interesting points during the discussion. I've heard his views on Iraq too many times to remember, and I've always thought he'd be the best person to deal with that situation. But he surprised me when he announced last night that he's going to hold an international conference with world leaders in Europe to try and get our (former?) allies to come together to deal with a solution to Iraq and the global problem of Islamist terrorism.

We're the featured blog on johnedwards.com right now, so you better behave ;-)

I think the recent controversy over John Edwards's campaign bloggers is an important reminder that everything you do on the Internet is up there for everyone to see, sometimes forever. It's an obvious fact, but sometimes in the heat of the moment all of us go too far because of the anonymity granted by the Internet. I don't want to be too preachy, but it's something to watch out for - especially if you ever have designs of running for public office.

And yes, BlueNC is on the front page of blog.johnedwards.com. You deserve it!

Do the Right Thing

Crossposted at johnedwards.com - Sam

Over the next few months, insidious rumors will engulf many Democratic candidates for president. Fox News has repeated (and hardly retracted) false slurs about Barack Obama, accusing him of attending a madrassa that breeds Islamist radicals. Bill Clinton had Gennifer Flowers. Al Gore was misquoted, again and again, even though he never made a statement as absurd as "[He] invented the Internet." Now, John Edwards is being targeted.

Rob Christensen of the Raleigh News & Observer wrote a story for the N&O, the Charlotte Observer, and other publications that claims that Senator Edwards is fielding numerous questions about his home in Chapel Hill, NC. Christensen claims that people are asking if John can fight for poverty when he lives in a very nice residence (answer: of course he can!). Of course, this is an old reporting trick: it's Christensen who's actually asking the question. It's clear that he's starting a conversation instead of reporting on it:

North Carolina: Home of Trashy Rape Scenes and Trashier Republicans?

Hounddog is not a good movie, in spite of it's beautiful North Carolina backdrop (it was filmed in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties). No studio at the Sundance film festival wanted to buy it. Walkouts were common during screenings in Park City, Utah. It's been recieving bad reviews. Most of the dislike for this movie is focused on a non-nude scene in which 12-year-old Dakota Fanning plays a nine-year-old character who is raped.

This film certainly has questionable merit. But according to prosecutors, it didn't break the law, and it's simply a bad film, not an exploitation flick. I'm no fan of Dakota Fanning's work, but I don't think I agree with the latest conservative crusade to review scrips for studios that want tax incentives to film in North Carolina.


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