Friday, July 28, 2006

Dear John,

I just knew you wouldn't let me down. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you had left Larry Kissell off the list. I was certain it was an oversight but my good friend Anglico called your staffer and was assured it was not.

I'm sure you can imagine how that made me feel, right? That may be one of the shortest breakups in history. I'm glad we're back together.

Now, you go on out there and fight poverty big guy and I'll just sit myself down and draw more hearts on your pictures.

The Southern Dem

Larry Kissell, NC-08: This is the Mill Robin Hayes Closed

This is the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the mill Robin Hayes closed.
This is the man who worked all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the bill the man couldn't pay
when he lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the child who goes hungry at night
who clings to the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the family that can't shop at the stores
to feed the child who goes hungry at night
who clings to the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed

These are the shops that closed their doors
When the family stopped shopping at all the stores
to feed the child who goes hungry at night
who clings to the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the town that almost shut down
When the shops closed their doors
As the family stopped shopping at all the stores
to feed the child who goes hungry at night
who clings to the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the man in a foreign land
who works for less than the American man
who lives in the town that almost shut down
when the shops closed their doors
As the family stopped shopping at all the stores
to feed the child who goes hungry at night
who clings to the woman who married the man
who lived in the home that the bank took away
after the bill wasn't paid
when the man lost the job he'd had all his life
weaving cloth in the mill Robin Hayes closed.

This is the man who lost his job, his insurance, his retirement, his home, his savings and his self esteem when Robin Hayes' actions helped send the mills and their jobs to other countries.

This is the man who worked in a mill town. A man who has seen a way of life disappearing because of NAFTA, CAFTA and Republican fiscal incompetence.

This is a man who has lost so much because Robin Hayes lied to the people of the 8th District when he promised he would vote against CAFTA, but voted for it, failing miserably to protect jobs in the district.

This is the mill Robin Hayes closed.

One year ago today, Robin Hayes broke his word to the folks living and working in the 8th Congressional District. He had promised to vote against CAFTA - a free trade agreement that would have made an already precarious unemployment situation even worse for the district. Initially, Hayes voted no, but caved to pressure from the Republican Party leadership.

This piece is dedicated to the men and women who lost their jobs and have struggled to train for new positions. This is dedicated to the families that continue to struggle and to the man who wants to help lead this district and these families toward a better future. Please help Larry Kissell bring honest and effective leadership to North Carolina's 8th Congressional District. This link is to the Netroots fundraising page, or you can snail mail a contribution using the address you'll find at Larry's site.

Our challenge for today is to see 365 contributions for $7.28 (or that end in $7.28) to commemorate the 365 days of Robin Hayes' broken promise to the workers in his district - the backbone of this state.

Thank you.

Special thanks to Lance McCord for the shot of the city street. It is actually from Greensboro, but all other location shots are from Kannapolis, NC. Kannapolis was the home of Pillowtex, which put 4000 people out of work when it closed. Robin Hayes family used to own the mill. The two smokestacks showing are what remain of the original mill. They are the Fieldcrest and Cannon smokestacks. Robin Hayes is a Cannon. His family's fortune is intact.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dear John,

You just about had me completely reeled in. Just the other day, right here on BlueNC I told Anglico that I was ready to declare my intentions to support you. I pledged my undying love in a political sort of way. Then you did something that snapped the line and I'm once again wondering which candidate will gain my support in '08.

By now you know that I'm very loyal, so I'm sure you're wondering what you could have possibly done to lose me. It's very simple. It was something you said in your last letter to me.

Dear B,

The tide is turning in Democrats' favor. We have a strong chance of winning back the House in the 2006 elections. I've been working hard, traveling the country, and have already raised more than $6.65 million for Democrats. I've attended fundraisers for strong congressional candidates in more than a dozen states this election cycle and I'm committed to helping as many candidates as possible before November. Now, I'm looking to the One America online community to tell me which competitive races should be my primary focus.

Today, I'm launching One America Votes. This fall, I will headline fundraisers for two Democrats running for the House who have been selected by our online community. You - the voters - can choose candidates in any of the districts targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC has targeted critical races where extra help can make a real difference in November. We need to hear from you by Friday, August 4th.

Cast your vote now.

If we want to build One America, we need to change our country's leadership. George Bush and the Republicans have done everything in their power to increase the gap between rich and poor. It's time to replace them with Democrats who will build One America - One America that is committed to ending poverty, lifting more families into the middle class, and giving everyone who works hard something to show for it.

I am committed to helping as many House candidates as possible before November and am looking for your input as to which races should be my primary focus. Please take a moment to vote and choose two candidates who will work hard to build One America that works for everyone. The deadline for voting is August 4th.

Let's decide together. Vote today.

I'm interested in getting feedback from your family and friends as well. Please forward this message and ask them to participate in One America Votes with you.

Thanks for taking a moment to help. Your input is important to me.

Your Friend,

You can imagine my excitement when my new-found political love announces he's going to help out other deserving candidates. I knew there would be two great men here in NC that I would have a chance to vote for on your list. So, with great anticipation I followed your link.

That's when it happened. I fell out of politicolove with you. Instantly. You see, there was a name missing from that list. A very important name. Larry Kissell. There are 47 boxes to check and 45 names. Two of the boxes represent candidates that haven't won primaries yet so can't be named. How can you do that and leave off the name of a fellow North Carolinian who won his 3-way primary with 54% of the vote?

I understand the DCCC has picked their little list of favorites, but I was counting on you to stand on your own two have a backbone. I don't count on the DCCC to have any sense, but I was counting on you.

There must be forces at work here that I can't understand besides following the DCCC lead. (I'm thinking head-up-the-arse syndrome.) Maybe you don't like good strong progressives. Maybe you're jealous because you think I love Larry more than I love you. (I do.) I don't know. I can't figure it out.

So, John. This is it. We're through. I know you have plenty of supporters, but this could have been special you and me. Suck it up, buddy. We can still be friends.

Warmest regards,


Wednesday, July 26, 2006


This is an open invitation for everyone to join the Kissell campaign for a wonderful barbecue cook-off fundraiser on Saturday August 5, 2006 at 6:00p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students. Chilren 16 and under eat free. It will be held at the W. Kerr Scott building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. You can order your tickets through the Kissell for Congress site.

This is also an invitation for those of you in the Charlotte/Concord area to join Working for Change and yours truly on a road trip. We are renting a 15-seat van and will leave south Charlotte around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. We will also have a pick-up spot near Concord. We will return that evening. Cost for the van trip is $25 which is less than the cost of gas if you were to drive alone. If you are interested let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Robin Hayes, NC-08: Will the Lies Ever End?

The big lie. The little white lie. The white wash, exaggeration, embellishment, fabrication, untrue declaration, canard, cock-and-bull story, falsehood, falsity, fib, fiction, inveracity, misrepresentation, misstatement, prevarication, story, untruth, fish story, tall tale and whopper.

Most people do it or can claim to have done it at least once in their lives. There's one man, however who has done a particularly good job of making a liar out of himself. He's so good, in fact, it appears that it will be his legacy. Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of Robin Hayes' big lie - the one literally heard across the country.
"I am flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA. "
Rep. Robin Hayes, NC-08, July 25, 2005
You can find this statement referred to in print and online in a multitude of sources like Public Citizen, Wikipedia, The Charlotte Observer, The Hill, Business Week, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Then there are references to the Robin Hayes' lie in the blogs. Lots of references. You can find the quote at TPM Cafe, WataugaWatch, KnowledgeDrivenRevolution and Real Values.

In other words, folks in every corner of the United States know that Robin Hayes told a big fat whopper. He cruised around his district and the country talking big, saying things like, "It's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent," and "Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants, I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA."

Robin Hayes' core constituency believed his big talk and now more mills have closed and jobs continue to hemorrhage from the district.
Since 1993, more than 674 textile and apparel mills have closed in North Carolina. Between 1997 and 2002, about 100,000 textile jobs and 70,000 apparel jobs were lost. (Fayetteville Observer, 7/24/06)
If it had been the first time, I guess it wouldn't be so bad, but Hayes followed the same empty promise routine when he delivered the President Fast-track trade legislation or The Trade Act of 2002.

The situation was reminiscent of the vote over the Trade Act of 2002, which shifted some trade agreement authority from Congress to the President. Though Hayes had said "We're a definite 'no' until we get some help on textiles," he was lobbied hard by the White House and congressional leadership to vote for the measure. In the end, Hayes voted "yes" and broke down in tears on the floor of the House. (Wikipedia)

This seemed to start the ball rolling on Robin Hayes' habit of lying to his constituents. Was it the first time? Who knows. It certainly wasn't the last.

Usher in the CAFTA vote. Initially Hayes voted against the bill, but when Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, cornered Hayes in the cloak room and twisted his arm, Hayes relented and went back out on the floor and changed his vote. Hayes cast the deciding vote for CAFTA and once again, betrayed his constituents.

Hayes first voted no. He later switched after House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., came to him in the House cloak room to see what it would take to get him to vote yes.

"He said, `You tell me what you need and we're going to do it,' " Hayes told the Observer. (Charlotte Observer, 7/28/05)

Hayes and his apologists claim that he traded his vote for valuable concessions made by the arm-twister himself, Dennis Hastert. The problem is that Hastert doesn't remember making these concessions.

The "final vote was 217-215." His office said Hayes cast the 216th "yes" vote. Hastert "had a different view" on "what he had done to get Hayes to change his vote." The "speaker attributed Hayes' switch to grassroots pressure, not to any deal." Hastert: "I did have a discussion with Robin Hayes. But Robin Hayes ultimately talked to his textile people. They encouraged him to vote for the
bill ultimately" (Funk/Morrill, Charlotte Observer, 7/29/05 via Hotline).

With his habit of lying now on record, Hayes doesn't even have the credibility to challenge Hastert's version of the truth. So, instead of calling Hastert a liar, he decides he likes the story about talking to his "textile people" better and that's the story he's currently running with.

This new version of Robin Hayes' truth has been documented in The Fayetteville Observer and was picked up by National Journal's Hotline. Neither source fleshed out the story or made reference to the fact that it was not the original version of the story as told by Hayes.

Now, instead of receiving concessions from Hastert, the story is that Hayes received phone calls from textiles firms that support CAFTA, encouraging him to vote for it.

Hayes "initially opposed" CAFTA but "ended up voting for the agreement after receiving calls from several textile organizations and companies that endorsed the deal." (Fayetteville Observer 7/24/06, Hotline 7/24/06)

Phone calls....after midnight...while Hayes is on the House floor conducting the people's business. Just how did they get his cell phone number and why wasn't that number handed out to the thousands of people who wanted their jobs protected. I'm sure a few would have stayed up to lobby the congressman if they thought he was going to go back on his word.

Please, is anyone else besides Hotline buying this one? I'm having a hard time buying it. What I see is a pathetic attempt by Robin Hayes to switch versions of his story. When one doesn't work he simply pulls out a new version. Neither of them true, or at least not the full truth. Once again, it isn't the first time.

As early as August of last year national pundits were saying 2006 would be the time for Democrats to challenge Hayes.

If supporting "free trade" is "serious electoral baggage anywhere in this country," the Carolinas ought to be the place.


"Thats why I have to wonder" about Dem threats directed against Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC 08) after his vote for CAFTA. "I'm not sure why I should assume it will now have a different ending."Every cycle and it's possible trade could become a decisive issue. Hayes can't afford to ignore Dem attacks about his vote if the party fields a credible challenger (Rothenberg, Roll Call 8/8/05 via Hotline).

Enter Larry Kissell, a teacher who spent 27 years working in the textiles industry only to see his job go to Mexico after free trade agreements started to work their damage. Larry spent his childhood in Biscoe, NC and has chosen to raise his own children there. As a long-time resident and a deacon at his church, Larry offers the 8th Congressional District the chance to elect someone who mirrors their district - someone with strong moral values. Someone who isn't a millionaire. Someone who works hard for a living.

Early polls showed Kissell running in a statistical dead heat with the incumbent, Hayes. This must have been a shock for Hayes, who has rarely received less than 54% of the vote.

The race was on and Kissell has challenged Hayes at every step and misstep.

On July 4, President Bush visited Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville, NC. Fort Bragg borders North Carolina's 8th CD and even though Hayes hasn't missed a chance to campaign with Bush over the years, this time he wasn't anywhere to be seen. His camp, of course, says he was there. However, there are no pictures or any reported accounts of Hayes and Bush together. Not here, here, here, here or here. Five of North Carolina's major newspapers searched and not one news story printed about Bush's visit to Fort Bragg includes mention of Hayes and there has not been one picture printed of the two together from the event.

When the Kissell camp called Hayes on his no-show the reply was swift and Hayes and his people were shocked. Shocked!
“This baseless attack is not only outrageous, it’s bizarre." (The Hill, 7/11/06)
Despite their shock and outrage, the Hayes camp has never fully explained why there are no pictures and no accounts of Bush and Hayes together. We only have Hayes' word for it and that doesn't seem to be worth much these days. This makes it a bit surprising that the Raleigh News and Observer took the Hayes response without further investigation. Then, when BlueNC blogger, Working for Change, called them on it the Observer stubbornly dug in.....and buried itself.

The first part of the following quote is written by J. Andrew Curliss of The Raleigh News & Observer. The second part is quoted directly from Carolyn Hern, Hayes' spokeswoman. Curliss is saying Hayes met with Bush at Fort Bragg and then stuck around for the celebration, but that's not at all what Hern is saying. Look carefully at the words Hern uses and how she uses them.

Hayes met with Bush at Fort Bragg on Tuesday and then stuck around for an Independence Day celebration.


She (Carolyn Hern) said Hayes ate with the troops at a luncheon the president also attended. Hayes and Bush talked briefly, Hern said. (Raleigh News & Observer, 7/6/06)

The National Journal picked up on the "Hayes Foe Stubs Toe" storyline that Curliss is forcing here, but they also seem to pick up on the carefully chosen words of Ms. Hern.

According to Hayes spokesperson Carolyn Hern, Hayes "ate with the troops" at the
luncheon, and later "talked briefly" with Bush (Raleigh News & Observer, 7/6/06).
Translated, that means Hayes ate with the soldiers, but not with Bush. It also means Hayes spoke with Bush, not that he met with Bush. So, why all the cryptic parsing of words? (And, why in God's name aren't professional reporters tested for reading comprehension before they are hired?) What time did Hayes arrive at Fort Bragg? Did he leave the parade he was in at 9:30 and drive the almost 2.5 (According to MapQuest) hours to Fort Bragg or did he take his private plane? Did Fort Bragg send a helicopter for him? Was the security check-in expedited at Fort Bragg because Hayes is a VIP? Did he dine with Bush? Did he meet with him face-to-face? Why can't Robin Hayes answer these simple questions with simple answers?

I'll tell you why. It's easier to lie or to have someone lie for you. Oh, they'll claim that technically it isn't a lie. They'll say that their words were misinterpreted. What they won't tell you is why they didn't set the story straight at any point in time. Nope. It's easier to just lie.

At some point, Robin Hayes is going to tell one too many. That's what happens with liars. They eventually get caught. The media, his staff and his apologists might not call him on his lies, but fortunately for the folks who live in the 8th District, Larry Kissell is going to call Hayes on his lies. Every. Single. Time.

And to that I have only one thing to say - Go Larry, Go!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I will be taking a break for a few more days. If you are interested in NC politics, please head on over to BlueNC.

Kissell Moving Up in House Race Rankings

National Journal released expanded House rankings for the races this November. NC-08, featuring school teacher, Larry Kissell had a previous ranking of 47 when it debuted last month on the chart and this month has edged up two spaces to 45.

I'm not sure if this link is outside of the subscription only area, but
Check out what they have to say about Robin Hayes!
Hayes is probably not as safe as some Republicans would like to assume.
NC-11 has slipped a few places from 14 to 20 and the comment isn't quite as promising.
Rumors abound that Shuler isn’t spending enough time on the trail.
That's not good. Somebody tell Heath to ramp it up and get out there and shake some babies and kiss some hands. We need him in Washington.

Update: Scrutiny Hooligans says that's just nuts and don't listen to those beltway rumor mongers. They're getting their news from Charles Taylor.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Robin Hayes, Stand up for the 8th District

Robin Hayes will have another opportunity to stand up for the people who live in the 8th Congressional District when a free trade agreement with Oman is considered by the House of Representatives next week. Will Hayes stand against his party in order to protect the remaining textile firms and thousands of workers who live in his district or will he cut and run from his responsibility to the working people who are the backbone of this community?

Today marks the one year anniversary of Robin Hayes' rhetoric surrounding his well-known lie. There are two statements recorded in various publications that Hayes was quoted saying on July 14, 2005.

From the AP Congressman Hayes says:
"Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA."
From The Raleigh News & Observer Hayes prooves he clearly understands the harm free trade agreements do to his district by referring to NAFTA:
"What does CAFTA sound like? NAFTA.... It's not in the best interests of a core constituency I represent."
Robin Hayes hasn't done much more than name a few post offices after people in his district. He's consistently voted against the workers in the 8th CD and he's been strangely silent on the upcoming discussion and vote about the trade agreement with Oman.

Larry Kissell has this to say about the vote last year,
Today marks the one year anniversary of Robin Hayes' pledge to vote against CAFTA. A pledge he quickly flip-flopped on after the President asked him to change his vote. Robin Hayes folded under pressure from the President and we're paying the price back here in North Carolina. Hayes claims the President gave him concessions to help our local manufacturing and textile businesses, but the only concessions I'm seeing in the 8th district are the ones families make as they work to hold on to their homes and businesses in this tough economic time .
Will Republican leadership try to barter more empty consessions for Robin Hayes' vote? They've yet to follow through substantively on previous consessions or promises, so don't hold your breath if anything new is announced.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I'm heading into a stretch where I will be going on vacation and getting this house listed, so I won't have quite as much time to monitor this blog. I have several posts ready to go, so there will be some fresh content, but not quite as much as usual. I will continue to write at BlueNC as well.

I have also decided to discontinue anonymous commenting. I enjoy the back and forth even when I don't agree with someone. However, I don't have time to keep up with every anonymous commenter who decides to post an unintelligible screed. I don't usually play spelling or grammar police, but good heavens some of it is getting awful and it makes determining the validity of the argument difficult.

End of Quarter Fundraising Successful for Kissell Campaign

The last week of the second quarter was a frenzy of fundraising events for the Kissell for Congress campaign. There were events at home and online. An event June 28 raised about $25,000 with several thousand more raised at an event in Robin Hayes' home base of Concord on the final night of the quarter.

On the June 30, the home belonging to Leanne Powell and her husband was packed with Kissell supporters. Some had met Larry during other campaign events and were there to continue their support of him. Others were meeting Larry for the first time. All are excited at the prospect of finally having someont they can count on to stand strong for them in Washington. Someone working....for a change.

Great news came for the Kissell for Congress campaign on Thursday when, after months of working toward it, the Netroots group endorsed Larry Kissell for Congress. This translates into tens of thousands of dollars - possibly topping a hundred thousand by November. On the first night alone over 250 people from all over the country contributed to Larry's campaign.

Online fundraising has been made easier for Democrats with the start of a site called ActBlue. Contributors can make donations with debit or credit cards on a secure site. Each donation can be directed to a candidate for statewide or national office and 100% of the donation goes to the candidate. The site is funded with donations from contributors. The site also keeps track of the necessary information each campaign would need for proper disclosure on its contributors that give $200 or more. You can give to any NC Democrat running for U.S. House by going to my ActBlue page.

It will be difficult, if not impossible, for Larry to amass the millions that Robin Hayes has for this campaign. Fortunately, it isn't necessary for Larry to do that in order to win. Hayes always spends well over $1 million to retain his seat and he doesn't get more than 54 - 55% of the vote. From what I'm hearing, his millions will not be enough this time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pillowtex: Adding Insult to Injury

According to an AP report in The Charlotte Observer, the settlement with Pillowtex employees will be adding insult to injury. It is quite a bit smaller than originally anticipated. Workers had anticipated a pre-tax amount of about $2000 and since most workers were in lower tax brackets (not too many millionaires working the line) they probably anticipated checks with only a few hundred withheld from that amount. Instead, they will be receiving a little more than $1200.

Some of the nearly 4000 who lost their jobs when Pillowtex closed are still unemployed and some are underemployed, working jobs that pay less and have fewer benefits. I'm sure many were counting on every penny of that settlement to help make ends meet or to pay off debt incurred after the mill closed.

While there were many reasons that Pillowtex failed and closed its doors in 2003, free trade agreements have caused a huge problem for the industry as a whole.

Robin Hayes' broken promise and his vote for CAFTA in 2005 can't be blamed, but I imagine that many of these workers will make a connection between Hayes' broken promises and what they've had to endure. I'm sure many can't imagine that after what happened to Pillowtex, Hayes would vote to make matters worse in an area that once thrived because of the textiles industry.

So, why did Pillowtex workers receive smaller checks? Well, it's the damndest thing. It seems that under this Republican congress and this Republican White House their taxes were higher than anticipated.
Pillowtex had to withhold more taxes than anticipated because of federal law, said Mark Indelicato, who worked on the settlement for a New York law firm representing Pillowtex creditors.
Imagine that! Now we can call them the "Tax, Borrow and Spend Republicans." That has a nice ring, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

DeLay Stays on Ballot

I wondered when the decision would be handed down. There is still time for appeals, but for now it looks like DeLay's name will stay on the ballot in Texas. I would say this guarantees one pickup for the Dems, but you never know.

The Washington Post has the story.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This is the Mill Robin Hayes Closed

This temporary posting has been removed for editing and photo replacement purposes. This post will return at a later date.

Ahhhh, so I've removed my bit of poetry until my stock photos can be replaced with as many 8th District photos as possible. Don't worry, though. It will return soon. I had posted it so that I could see the formatting and others could get a look to help me with obtaining pictures from the 8th District.

It didn't take long for a couple of fans to find this piece and immediately jump in. So, this post will now be used to air their debate until the poetry returns.

First the ever brave Anonymous chimed in. In my bit of poetry I had made the comment that CAFTA and NAFTA had sent jobs over seas.
This is the man who lost his job, his insurance, his retirement, his home, his savings and his self esteem when Robin Hayes sent the mills and their jobs over seas.
Well, Mr. Anonymous just couldn't wait to point out that Robin Hayes didn't send jobs over seas, he sent them to Canada and Mexico and there are no seas between the US and either of these countries.

Of course, there aren't, but over seas did sound a bit more poetic than over the wall or across the gulf or up continent. Always wanting to please my readers, I decided to change over seas to "to other countries". Well, that didn't make Mr. Anonymous happy because now he claims I was changing the facts.
This is the man who lost his job, his insurance, his retirement, his home, his savings and his self esteem when Robin Hayes sent the mills and their jobs to other countries.
Oh, but Mr. Anonymous, I'm not changing the facts. The facts have stayed the same. Robin Hayes signed legislation that he promised he wouldn't and factories/mills and their jobs have gone to other countries. That is a fact. It is a truth and I didn't change that one bit. You seem to believe that the only places they went were Canada and Mexico, which we know isn't true, but I tried to appease you by changing a couple of words.

Also, since you appear to be geographically challenged, I will tell you that Mexico and Canada are foreign countries, even if we share a continent, so saying that's where the jobs went isn't any better than saying they went over seas. Good try, though.

Mr. Anonymous, the facts have stayed the same. You simply made my point for me. The jobs are in other countries. They have gone over seas, up and down the continent, over walls and across gulfs and they continue to travel down an isthmus. I don't know if I'll leave the phrase "to other countries" in or change it back. I'm going to read over it a few times to see how it sounds.

Next, I'll address commenter Justin's remarks. But for now, I have other work to do. I will update later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Met Red America Last Night

Update: "Red America" in the headline refers to Republican, not red as in the term "redneck".

When my Republican husband proposed that the family go to Lowe's Motor Speedway to watch some racin' and fireworks last night I checked my list of things to do before I die and sure enough it wasn't on there. After a little bit of eye-rolling from the girls, who also had not added the event to their lists, I did my best to portray the "good wife" and build enthusiasm for this event.

We all dressed and ate an early dinner. The dog was walked and my younger daughter was doing her best to show some enthusiasm for our new adventure. The 12-yr-old daughter was bemoaning the fact that she might actually be seen and this was obviously not a desirable thing. I was making sure I grabbed my Kissell stickers. I was going to be in the heart of Hayes country, so wanted to display my loyalties.

Understanding that this is a casual event in a very casual setting the girls both wore shorts and tee shirts. I, on the other hand, do not do shorts. Sporting black polished cotton capris, a sleeveless white top, black flats and sterling jewelry I headed to the track certain that I would look out of place and not caring one bit.

Apparently, the tube-top mammas didn't get their invitations to this event. I've only been to one NASCAR race and it was enough to last the rest of my life. The cars on the track had no appeal, but the people-watching was some of the best I'd ever done. There's more flesh on display at a race track than in a strip club. Last night, many of the women were dressed in capris and matching tops, so I wasn't as out of place as I had imagined.

Still, I couldn't figure why I was drawing the looks. I'm not overly attractive, nor do I cut a sleek svelte figure as I cut through a crowd. While it was only a few stares and a couple of finger points, I still couldn't figure out why I was attracting any attention at all.

Then, I figured it out. I looked down to put my sunglasses in my cute silk bag strapped across my shoulder and there on my chest drawing a sharp contrast against my stark white cotton top was a bright yellow Larry Kissell sticker. I had forgotten I was wearing it. I sat up straight, plastered a smile on my face that clearly said, "I'm enjoying this race, really I am." I was determined to fit in, if for no other reason than to do Larry proud in Hayes' home turf.

My polite applause for the Bandolero and Legend racers turned to rowdier clapping and I actually watched the cars and not the people watching the cars. I'm sure by the end of the evening I was blending right in.

The lights went out at the speedway after the stock car or crashing cars spent their time going around the track. It was hard to tell who was winning as there was no front and no back, just a big oval of beat up cars with names like Miss De Meanor, No Insurance, Area 51 and White Boy bumping and grinding their way through their left turns. I'm sure with some racin' experience under my belt I could tell where the front of the line is. I'm not sure how much racin' experience it would take for me to actually care where the front of the line is, though.

The fireworks were very nice. The ear plugs we wore during the racing were a bonus. The canned music was appropriately patriotic and the children around us were filling the air with Ooooos and Aahhhhhs. Over the sound of music and fireworks, the commentator reminded us of the, "American boys and girls fighting over in Iraq", and polite applause followed.

When he tried to arouse the crowd over the fact that we were all, "patriotic red-blooded Americans",(full southern country accent) there was barely movement in the crowd around me. Maybe it was my imagination. Maybe it was the fact that I knew this was the cry of the wingnuts on the right that turns my stomach. No clapping, no polite applause, no fitting in. I didn't want to.

That last shout out reminded me how this Republican majority and this President make me feel about being an American. I'm embarrassed at times. The face of dishonesty, aggression and ignorance that this president and this congress have shown the rest of the world makes me feel ashamed and I know that all of the good we as Americans do for others can't erase the harm that has been unleashed on the world by George W. Bush.

I hear that much of the NASCAR, small town crowd is conservative, so I assumed it was true of this crowd. In reality I don't know how many of the people in the crowd were Republicans and how many were Democrats. All I know is that one comment over the loud speaker put a damper on any patriotic spirit that the fireworks display had summoned and I didn't want to have anything in common with anyone who might cheer that on.

Today, a day when I normally celebrate my pride in America, I feel shame. There is no glory in anything George Bush has done in the name of God or in the name of my country. His reign of hate has turned my American pride into American shame. I want my country back.

We've talked about subpoena power and taking back the House, but I've decided that this is not enough. I'm not going to think small anymore. I want to take back America. Do you want to help?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Net Neutrality: We're Screwed

The Ted Stevens quote is everywhere. In case you haven't read it yet I will post it for you. While you read it keep in mind that this guy is in charge of crafting the bill that will control the internet, among other things.

There’s one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn’t going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially….

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can’t afford getting delayed by other people….

I can picture some of you sitting in your chairs dumbfounded by this. Can you imagine someone in charge of anything with such a loose grasp of the facts surrounding that topic? How many others in Washington have no idea what they're talking about? (This is a rhetorical question, but feel free to elaborate in the comments!)

I first saw this on the front page of
DailyKos and then found a post by Christy Hardin Smith at FireDogLake.

This issue has come up here and we've urged action a couple of different times. If you haven't called/faxed or written your senator or congressperson,
NOW is the time to act.