NC Gets Screwed, Not Drilled

Just a couple of quickies: the first lottery indictment has been handed down, and it's unlikely to be the last.

Also, the US House restored the ban on natural gas exploration off the Outer Banks. The amendment came from a Florida Republican, and NC's delegation voted for it 7 to 6. That's every Democrat and coastal Republican Walter Jones voting to restore the ban, and every single (stinking, filthy, rotten, etc.) non-coastal Republican voting to louse up the OBX. Perpwalk: Foxx, Coble, Hayes, Myrick, McHenry, and Charlie "I'd hit a baby for a buck" Taylor.

Russian Bank Owner, Congressman Charles Taylor, Votes Against Democratic Reforms in Russia

{cross posted from Scrutiny Hooligans}
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCharles Taylor is, first and foremost, a businessman. A banker, to be more precise, who survived a fraud scandal at his Blue Ridge Savings Bank due to a change in ethics rules in 1997. A banker who purchased 80% control of a Russian bank in September 2003. A banker who, when presented with an opportunity for more democratic reforms in Russia voted against it.

Howard Coble: Man of Action!

Eric Muller on a recent Howard Coble radio appearance:

Notice first the categorical statement that on the issue of "wiretapping," Coble -- the man in the House responsible for oversight of this very area -- is just "not troubled by any of that."

Period. End of story.

You'd think maybe he'd say something about needing to learn something about the program before making a judgment.

Nope. He's just "not troubled" by reports of government data mining from millions of records of domestic phone calls by American citizens. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Is That Legal?: Howard Coble's Antiterrorism Dreamscape. Go read the whole thing. And don't forget, Howard is not unopposed this year. Make your next stop Rory Blake's page.

Taylor’s Indian betrayal: follow the money

In the 2003-‘04 election cycle, NC Congressman Charles Taylor (R-11) received three times as much in donations from energy-related political action committees (PACs) as he had in the three previous election cycles, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In 2003-04, Taylor received $51,531 from energy PACs. From 1997-2002, Taylor averaged $14,995 in oil, gas, mining, and power company PAC donations. In the 2005-06 cycle he has so far received $22,750.

And surprise, surprise! In a remarkable coincidence with absolutely no relationship to all that lovin’ from the energy industries, in 2003 Taylor just “happened” to write two particularly controversial pieces of legislation for their benefit.

There's more below the fold

Asheville Drinking Liberally: Fitzmas Is Coming Again...Or Is It?

Last weekend, while some of us were still trying to thaw out after the Tourists game last Thursday (which was a better turnout than many of us had expected), Truthout.org reported that Deputy White House Chief of Staff "Hot" Karl Rove, a favorite dartboard target among the left leaning set (as well as a growing handful of right-wing luminaries), has been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case. According to the report, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent the better part of a day meeting with Rove's attorneys, one of whom was instructed to tell Rove that he had 24 hours to "get his affairs in order,' at Patton Boggs last Friday, where the indictment was reportedly served.

Drinking Liberally Tonight!

I've long been jealous of Screwy's Asheville Drinking Liberally posts. He always comes up with the best reasons to sit down for a beer—because Bush's numbers are down, or to escape the moronitude that is the Republican congress, etc. I've given up any hope that I can compete in style, skill, or straight up moxie, so I offer this: if this is your first Chapel Hill Drinking Liberally meeting, I want to buy you a beer. Seriously. Also, Rory Blake, candidate for the 6th Congressional District seat now occupied by Howard Coble is going to try to stop by, and Sally Green of the Chapel Hill Town Council is going to come if she can get away from a forum in time. So come! Tyler's Taproom, in the Speakeasy (in the back) at 7pm in Carrboro.

One Board to Rule Them All

I was going to make a crack in the title of this post about foxes and hen-houses, but Judge Farmer beat me to it. Farmer is a long time superior court judge and former state legislator who was appointed by Governor Easley to head his ethics boar. He has some ideas about ethics reforms in the state, and Easley thinks they're good ones.

One of them is that there should be a single ethics board to oversee all branches of NC government (except judges, covered by another board). NC legislators: "But why, when we're doing such a great job of policing ourselves?"

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