Friday, September 22, 2006

Vernon Robinson (NC-13): Waste of Oxygen

*****WARNING - FOUL LANGUAGE***** Please do not read if you are easily offended.

There are some people who don't deserve the oxygen they breathe. In my opinion, Vernon Robinson is one of them.

I despise vile, loathesome people who will lie about anything and pretend to be Christians while bearing false witness over and over again. There are people on this earth who will make any accusation against an innocent man in order to get elected. I detest people like that. I also loathe the knuckle-dragging, dim-wits who believe the lies.

So, now that I have that out of my system, why do I resent Vernon Robinson the air he breathes? We'll take his latest email step by step and you'll understand.
As many of you have heard by now, this past weekend our campaign was yet again the victim of apparent sabotage when the large moving van we were using to move seven thousand yard signs burst into flames and was consumed by fire as the result of the fuel line's mysterious rupture.

The episode has been like something out of a horror movie for all of us.

Campaign Director Jeff Mixon and Intern Ted Busiek were able to leap from the cab to escape a fiery death, but only because a freak wrong turn had caused them to pull off the road to check directions.

When they pulled off, fellow motorists began screaming at them to leap from the vehicle, as unbeknownst to them it was on fire underneath, where the witnesses saw fuel streaming from the partially-severed fuel line.

Less than a minute after they leapt from the cab, it was consumed in a full-fledged conflagration. Can you imagine?!

The fire department responded quickly, but the vehicle is a total loss.
Wow! This sounds awful, Vernon. I am sincerely glad Jeff and Ted are OK and that they took that FREAK wrong turn so they could stop and consult a map while unbeknownst to them a fire is raging under the truck. I guess it's a lucky break that it takes both of them working together to read a map, or they might be toast. Literally.

I'm doing my best to imagine a full-fledged conflagration, Vern. That's an awfully big word. You sure you want to use that in an email you're sending to Republicans? That's up to you, Vern, but I'm thinking you should knock it down a syllable or two.

OK, back to your story, Vern, because it's a good one.
It is too early to know how much if any of the cargo may be salvageable. We think we will be able to use the wire supports from the signs, but we know from the firemen that the load itself was on fire, and at least some of the signs were consumed.

Frankly, that is a minimal consideration. Signs can be replaced. I have thanked God many times in these last hours that His hand was on Jeff and Ted to make them take that wrong turn that took them off the road in time to escape before the whole thing went up.
Salvageable? I thought you said it was a "full-fledged conflagration", Vern? I mean, a fire that big surely would have burned up cardboard signs. And the firemen, Vern, what did they use to put the fire out? Pixie dust? Do you know what water and/or foam will do to cardboard? If the fire didn't destroy them, the water surely did. If the signs were printed on vinyl sheeting those are melted, Vern. Those little wire frames survived? Remember the conflagration, Vern. Those little metal wires would surely not have survived a full-fledged conflagration.

Let's find out more........
Unfortunately, this kind of thing is nothing new to us. We get a steady diet of threatening calls and nasty emails here, and it gets predictably worse when we put out a new television ad or radio spot. That's when the fun really starts.

I'd like to think that people would not stoop to this level. However, most of you know I have had my tires slashed, my wife's van was thoroughly vandalized, and they have even threatened my children to the point where my wife has asked that their pictures not be included in any more political advertising that we send out.

I have honored my wife's wishes in this regard, but if these miscreants and thugs think they are going to wear us down with this kind of behavior, then they have another thing coming.

We know these people monitor our emails to our supporters (because they signed up pretending to be supporters), so we know they will get this email as well, and I have a message for them: We will not be deterred from standing up for what we know is right no matter how much vandalism you try to inflict on us. And one day you are going to slip up, and we are going to catch you and bring you to justice, so you better watch your step. It's not funny any longer.
Damn, Vernon. What could you possibly have done to deserve all of this? You are quite the victim there, Vern. How could you possibly have made so many enemies? These nameless criminals, Vern. Do you have any idea who "they" are? You certainly are leaving it vague enough hoping people will take that leap for you and blame this on Democrats you're running against. You must have some clue who you are blaming this on.

I think it's the Republicans, Vern. Now, back to your story.
I am especially reminded today of those heroic men and women aboard the September 11 airline flight that crashed in the Pennsylvania field - the flight where the Americans fought back and wouldn't let the plane be flown into the Capitol building. I hope I can keep that same fighting spirit about me, and not surrender to these thugs, and not let them distract our campaign from its business.

And what is that business? Replacing the most liberal white congressman in the south with a conservative Reagan Republican (who happens to be black) who will force the Congress to confront our issues.
Vern, do you really want to compare yourself with the American heroes on United Flight 93? You should be ashamed, trying to promote yourself to hero status on the backs of 40 people who fought off terrorists. They gave their lives and fought off an attack on the heart of our government. Their memories deserve better than to be used by an opportunist and a liar.I'm not saying you're an opportunist and a liar, Vern, I'm just saying......
Snip::::What do we say to the supporter who loaned us his van, and now has no vehicle with which to conduct his son's appliance repair business? It was an older vehicle, but still very serviceable, and it was all they had. I consider that we have a moral obligation to replace his loss.
Ahhhh, so it was an older vehicle. But, you're sure the fuel line was suspiciously cut? Wow! An older truck used in a commercial business picking up and delivering appliances.....hmmmm, surely they had insurance on the truck. They wouldn't want to haul a customer's valuable household appliance without insurance to cover replacing it in the event of an accident, right Vern?

It's hard to imagine that the crackerjack reporting staff of some of the top papers in the state haven't reported a fire that destroyed the campaign signs of a congressional candidate. I've checked them all and couldn't find anything.

Then there's always the police report, Vern. Messing with the fuel line on a vehicle, Gosh, that's just got to be a felony. I imagine the firefighters would see to it that any suspicious activity was reported to the police. I assume the police report will be obtained by some enterprising reporter soon. Then we can get the details of your conflagration.
But I pray I will always be willing to stand up for traditional American values and conservative principles until I can no longer stand at all.
Hmmmm, Vern, lying through your fucking teeth might be a conservative principle, but it isn't a traditional American value.
Our normal campaign activities will go on (including fundraising), but it would certainly be nice if we were able to raise enough money in response to this email to pay the volunteer for his burned truck, and to get the lost signs replaced. It would be one less headache for me to have to worry about.
Normal campaign activities? Only you would consider crapping out lies a normal campaign acitivity. Wait! I take that back. Karl Rove would probably consider that normal too.
There will be no hard sell here. You bought those signs for me the first time, so I'm almost ashamed to ask you to buy them twice. But if I don't, you know what that means - there may not be any more! I suppose we could conduct a campaign without thousands of yard signs, but they're just one of those things the experts say you can't do without.::::Snip
Yeah, no hard sell, but please please please please gimme more money. I neeeeeed to buy some more yard signs because for some unknown reason I was too much of a fucking moron to make sure 7000 campaign signs were covered by some type of insurance.

The worst part of this is that the email lists Vernon Robinson uses have many fixed-income recipients. People who don't have a pot to piss in are going to send Vernon Robinson money because they think he's being picked on by the big bad libruls here in North Carolina. This is not only pathetic, it should be illegal.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What the Funk?

I don't know what these McClatchy boys think they are doing, but they sure do seem to be hell-bent on butchering the English language. Maybe they think the word "gimmick" has gotten a bum rap all these years by being associated in the thesaurus with words like deceit, cheat, counterfeit, dodge, fake and trick. Maybe, they're trying to elevate the tertiary definition of the word "gimmick" by associating it with something positive like Larry Kissell's gas promotion. Maybe they just don't know a good thing when they see one.

So, what is it now? Why do I have my knickers in a twist today? It seems that a certain reporter I had held in somewhat high esteem has fallen the way of the lowly hack. Once again, one of the McClatchy boys - this time Rob Christensen - has used the word gimmick to describe Larry Kissell's $1.22 gas event. Ya'll have to remember how it set me off when Tim Funk tried the same little bit of deceit.

Christensen starts off describing the recent gospel sing featuring Bill Hefner and his quartet. Hefner held the 8th District seat before he retired and Hayes won in 1998. Then Christensen slides through the muck a bit calling 8th District voters Bubbas. He paints what some might call an affectionate picture of the district, but just comes off as plain old condescending. In his words:
It is also one of the few praise-Jesus, please-pass-the-biscuits, bless-your-heart Bubba, congressional districts left in the rapidly suburbanizing South.
Bless-your-heart Bubbas? Right now I wouldn't mind seeing some of those bless-your-heart Bubbas kicking some condescending, elitist Raleigh ass. But, that's just the Bubbette in me talking.

I know I have to keep in mind that these boys have to keep the advertisers and stockholders happy. Circulation is down and the money earned from selling print copies of newspapers doesn't begin to pay for actually printing them. While they have to attract readers to attract advertisers, I'm smart enough to know that the truth doesn't always sell. So, I read corporate, for-profit news sources with an eye out for their trickery. In other words, I fact-check everything they write.

Christensen does a decent job for a few paragraphs. However, he proves his ignorance of the blogging world by attributing Larry's support in the world of blogs only to national blogs. Maybe it's an intentional snub because I took another McClatchy boy to task when he dodged objectivity last week with this same cheap dig at Larry Kissell's successful promotion.
Taking up Kissell's cause are national blogs such as Daily Kos (, which helped defeat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut last month. Some bloggers have urged liberal Democrats around the country to help Kissell. So far, they have funneled $47,466 into his campaign, according to ActBlue, an online clearinghouse for Democratic candidates.
Fact check: #1. Local and state blogs have been louder and worked harder drumming up support for Larry. Christensen would have known this if he bothered to read the N&O's sister paper, The Charlotte Observer. The Observer carried a great piece about Larry's web appeal - "A" section, front page, above the fold. It's a bit hard to miss, but maybe Christensen just sticks to the funny pages and obits.

Fact check: #2. Bloggers have encouraged anyone and everyone to support Larry Kissell. We don't always tailor our message to liberal Democrats. (I suspect this was meant to color Larry as a liberal. This is another bit of deceit thrown in by Mr. Christensen.)

Fact check: #3. Bloggers have not raised $47, 466 dollars for Larry Kissell's campaign. We haven't raised half of that amount. Larry had set up his ActBlue account long before his cause was taken up by bloggers, so more than half of that total was raised by Larry and his staff. A really quick bit of actual research could have revealed this. Christensen could have obtained the fact by calling any blogger familiar with ActBlue, the Kissell campaign or Jim Morrill of The Charlotte Observer.

I know it seems like I'm asking for a lot. Getting the story straight can be difficult and it takes time and a certain level of reading comprehension, phone dialing skills and a dictionary. It also takes a desire to tell the truth. I haven't decided which of these elements are missing in Tim Funk and Rob Christensen, but I'll certainly let you know when I figure it out.

There's been reference to the fact that both men write columns on top of their various reporting duties. Don't take that bait. Christensen's article is in the B section under City/State and Christensen is listed as a staff writer, not a columnist. Tim Funk's piece last week was included in his "column", but he doesn't write it like a column. He writes it like a collection of news shorts. When a reporter delivers his opinion in a deceitful way - by masking it under the veil of news reporting - and calling himself a columnist, he's cheating his readers. A columnist might have a little more freedom to insert his opinion into what he writes, but he should still be able to support his opinion with fact.

I've saved Christensen's most egregious, blatant lie for last.
Without a lot of money, Kissell has relied on gimmicks.
So, Christensen is calling Larry Kissell a cheat? Come on Rob, give me a list of these so-called "gimmicks" and tell me how anyone was cheated. What's deceitful about selling gas for $1.22 a gallon to highlight how horribly the Republicans have governed and how much worse off most of us are since Robin Hayes took office?

Deceit, cheat, trick - that's what the word means, Rob. I realize you must have lost your dictionary, but it's usually a good idea to avoid using a word when you don't know the real meaning.

Rob Christensen, I'm not only ashamed of you, I'm appalled that you would accuse Larry Kissell of cheating people. Larry has done absolutely nothing wrong. He doesn't use gimmicks. He doesn't use tricks. He does things that will get the attention of the voters, but there is nothing deceitful about a gospel sing. Bill Hefner is well-known in the 8th District and was a very beloved congressman. The fact that Hefner was the former congressman for the 8th District was part of the promotion, so I'm sure anyone attending the gospel sing had a good idea that they would get a dose of politics along with the beautiful gospel music.

There's also certainly nothing deceitful about selling gas to over 500 people for $1.22 a gallon. You didn't have to be a Democrat to get in the line. You didn't have to pledge to vote for Larry. Hell, you didn't even have to pledge to vote at all. Many of those people who took advantage of the lowered gas price were out of work and waited hours in the heat to put $7 or $8 worth of gas in their tanks because that was all they could afford. Larry didn't cheat these people, Rob. Larry helped them.

You owe Larry Kissell an apology.
WNCNN - Episode 1

Fun Fun Fun....

It's long, but it's funny. A friend helped put this together to give the news as it really happens in Western North Carolina.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Morning Funnies

This morning we are digging into the YouTube vaults to find some gems. Please consider this an open thread. What have you found on You Tube lately?

Then....there's always the jewel where Stewart gets Ken Mehlman to say members of his own party are cynical and greedy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Have you had enough of Virginia Foxx? Vote Sharpe!

Here is a great remix of the Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Put a Lid on it." Tom and Ken of the SNZ joined with Rickie Lee Jones tape a great remix and now that is being made into video spots specifically targeted to certain races.

This is a great tune. It's catchy and fun. I'll be linking to the audio and these new video spots often. Enjoy!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Disney Profiteers Betray our Trust

There is probably very little that hasn't been said yet about "The Path to 9/11", ABC/Disney and Scholastic. I haven't read everything that is out there. I don't plan to. I have my own thoughts to share and hope you will bear with me.

Most reactions lean toward outrage. Outrage that parts of the 9/11 tragedy are being fictionalized. Outrage that President Clinton is being shown in a less than favorable light. Outrage that real people are depicted as doing and saying things they never did or said. Outrage that the director, writer, producer are all Republicans/evangelical Christians/right-wing propagandists. Outrage that there is an inaccurate portrayal of history being sold as a docudrama, instead of simply a work of fiction.

That's a lot of outrage.

For me, it isn't that this horrific event in our nation's history is being dramatized. Movies were already being made about Pearl Harbor a year after the attack. I don't know how they were sold to the public, but there were quite a few made in 1942. I doubt very seriously that every conversation portrayed actually took place. I doubt that every step and misstep that are depicted in these movies are accurate. Were Americans outraged when these movies came out? Was it political finger pointing, or just Hollywood as usual?

I guess, I just don't have a problem with a fictionalized version of events, as long as it is sold as fiction. I don't have a problem with Bill Clinton having to bear some of the blame for lack of intelligence or faulty intelligence. He's an adult. He is a man with many faults just like the rest of us. He can take care of himself. Madeline Albright is a pretty tough woman and I'm fairly certain she can take care of herself as well. If they are depicted in a dishonest way, it won't be the first or last time a public figure has to deal with this.

It doesn't bother me that Republicans wrote, produced and directed this docudrama. Is there a rule that says only Democrats can make movies? I don't care that the director has links to an Evangelical Christian group. Are they not allowed to direct movies? Is that a job reserved for people of only certain religions or ethnic backgrounds? Do we know the ethnicity and religious affiliation of every person who writes, directs or produces other documentaries, docudramas and fictional movies? Are we entitled to know that?

All that being said, there is a reason to feel outrage. Actually, there are two reasons. Scholastic and Disney.

As a mother of middle school daughters, I've watched my children grow up on Disney videos, stuffed animals and books. I've ordered thousands of dollars in Scholastic books and materials for school and personal use. These two names are respected in the world of moms and dads and kids. We trust them. Lending their names to any portion of a faulty portrayal of our nation's history tells me that they don't value our children the way many parents probably thought. They only value our pocketbooks.

I grew up loving Disney. I grew up reading Scholastic Books. I still want to trust them.

That trust is gone. The Disney brand has suffered what I feel is a serious blow. The message has been sent to parents that they don't care what our children learn as long as their tax rate stays low and they get favorable treatment in Washington. It isn't that I didn't know that Disney is a for-profit business. Trust me. I've contributed my fair share to their bottom line. I knew they wanted my money, but I also truly believed that they cared about the children they target with their brand. Apparently, that isn't true. Today I feel a sense of deep disappointment that I can no longer trust the Disney brand.

I realize that ABC has its own management hierarchy and probably operates fairly independently of Disney. I doubt Mickey has a speaking role and Tinkerbell won't fly around Cinderella's castle and wave her wand to start the show. Most children won't know that the ABC production has anything to do with Disney. I could be wrong. The problem is that I know. I know that Disney owns ABC. I know that with all of the controversy surrounding the fictionalized 9/11 tragedy being sold as a "docu"drama, Disney executives must be aware and they have chosen so far to do nothing. Nothing at all. It is this lack of desire to either show the movie as a work of fiction or to pull it completely that tells me they don't care about our children. They, however, aren't the only company letting our kids down.

Do you remember bringing home the fliers from Scholastic? We didn't have a lot of money when I was little, but I could always count on my mother to buy me books. I knew that at least a few times a year I would get to order a couple of books. When my children started school I was introduced to the book fairs and they also brought home book orders. We almost always ordered. About five years ago I learned there was a Scholastic outlet about ten minutes from my home. Two or three times each year they have a huge sale. One year I spent over $1000 buying books for teachers, our school and my children. Our personal library is pretty amazing. I thought it was money well-spent. I have always had more than a small amount of trust in Scholastic. I thought they had my children's best interests at heart. Apparently, I was wrong.

When Scholastic chose to produce and promote study guides for high school students without regard to the factual discrepancies in the show - discrepancies that should have been obvious to anyone paying attention over the last five years - they chose to betray the trust of students, teachers, school systems and parents. Scholastic has a strong reputation based on 85 years of involvement in educating and entertaining children through books and other educational materials. Why they would choose to put this at risk just to saddle up next to the right-wing propaganda machine is beyond me. It makes no sense whatsoever.

I have written my letters. I have talked with my children. I won't ban them from ever seeing a movie that has a Disney label. I won't ban them from reading books from Scholastic. But when I can, I will stay away from Disney and Scholastic products. That second trip to Disney? Maybe we'll visit the Grand Canyon instead.

The anger generated over this has poisoned quite a few sites that I visit daily. It's even filtered to BlueNC and made it a little difficult to hang around for extended periods. There's simply been too much anger generated over this. It makes you wonder what the right wing is sliding under our radar as so many are distracted with this docudrama. I don't blame anyone for their anger or outrage. We each have to react and act in the way that we feel is appropriate.

Some will feel the need to protect Bill Clinton or Madeline Albright. Some will feel the need to expose the secret workings of Evangelical Christians and their plans to take over the movie industry. I just want my children to have access to the truth. I don't want Disney and Scholastic - names my children trust - to be responsible for spreading a false history of our nation. When they're old enough, I'll let them read my copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. For now, I will keep them away from "The Path to 9/11" and I'll hope that other parents will do the same.

Robin Hayes Stumbles

Robin Hayes Stumbles

If you need any proof that Robin Hayes is out of touch with what is going on in his district all you have to do is pay attention to his photo ops.

Robin Hayes is caught giving a canned speech lauding airport security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport after two security breeches in the two weeks previous to the visit.

He not only doesn't know or seem to care about what is going on with the folks living in the small towns of his district, he is completely oblivious to big news that is coming out of the largest city in his district.

He is completely and utterly out of touch. It's a bit long and it isn't's just so pathetic it leaves you just shaking your head.

Give Larry Kissell 10 and He'll Give you Congress (NC-08)

Larry Kissell has been drawing crowds of volunteers. We are literally coming out of the woodwork, but it will take many, many more of us on the phones, hitting the neighborhoods, putting out signs, attending events and fundraisers, stuffing envelopes and just about every other activity it takes to run a campaign. Those of us living in and around North Carolina's 8th CD will take care of much of that work, but we need your help backing us up on the phones. Give Larry 10 and he'll give you Congress.

It's really quite simple. Follow this link and sign up. You will receive a list of names with phone numbers that you can call. They are attached to a script. Print it out and make your calls. In a matter of minutes you will be able to reach ten people in the district to help spread the word about Larry's candidacy.

He has been walking the neighborhoods. He's been out in the scorching sun and the pouring rain. He has had a wonderful reception. People are welcoming the news that there is a man who wants to take their voice to Washington. He not only listens, he understands. He is their neighbor, teacher, church deacon. He is the Everyman of the 8th District.

If you missed his new ads that are debuting today on television, please make sure you watch them. It is easy to get a sense of how genuine Larry is from watching these ads. They aren't rehearsed or stilted and are perfect for a huge majority of the district. These folks are hurting. They are already angry and disillusioned over Robin Hayes' betrayal. They need to feel they have an alternative they can feel good about and these ads give them that alternative.

Ad#1 - Kissell Solutions
Ad#2 - Takin' Our Country Back

Here is a second link. Sign up to phone today. Spread the word about a wonderful candidate. No matter where you live you can help spread the word about Larry Kissell.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Masters of the Obvious

I haven't spent too much time writing about local politics since falling head over heels with my new favorite Democrat, Larry Kissell. However, Carrie Levine from The Charlotte Observer interviewed the at-large candidates for the Board of County Commissioners in Mecklenburg County and gave them each some attention in the paper.

I must admit that I was floored with the two quotes that were near the top. Parks Helms and Jim Puckett win the "Masters of the Obvious" award this month.

From Parks Helms(D) we get:
"We have a dramatically different approach," said current commissioners Chairman Parks Helms, one of three Democratic incumbents seeking re-election, referring to the Republicans.
Ya think?

From Jim Puckett(R) we get:
Said Republican Jim Puckett, a district representative making his first at-large bid: "We either will continue down the path of the status quo, or we will change." Puckett said this is the most conservative slate Republicans have fielded for the board.
And, obviously not the brightest.

I feel sorry for Carrie. Imagine having to sit through hours of interviews sorting through statements like this trying to find the tiniest morsel that doesn't make the candidates sound like blithering idiots. Now, if you really want to scare yourselves silly, imagine that these are the morsels that don't make them sound like blithering idiots.

Now, I've known Parks Helms since I was a very little girl and I've heard him say a lot of smart things in my life, so I'm going to give him a pass and pledge to vote for him anyway. Plus, the D by his name is a big bonus. The above comment is actually one of the more astute comments I've ever heard from Puckett. Combine that with the R by his name and, well, let's just say I'm going to pass on Puckett this time around.

Disclaimer: I do vote for Republicans in local elections. That may have to end.

Bill O'Reilly The Idiot

Bill O'Reilly The Idiot

I love Keith Olbermann and loathe Bill O'Reilly. Don't watch this if you want to have any respect left for Bill O'Reilly. If you are looking for that last reason to laugh O'Reilly off as a mental midget, this is your video. It's long, but worth it.

Robin Hayes, NC-08, Eviscerated by Editorial Board

If the opinion of the editorial board of the
Richmond County Daily Journal
(free subscription) is any indication of how folks living in the 8th Congressional District feel about Robin Hayes, that man is toast.

They start the piece by saying Robin Hayes wins an award. Genius! Brilliant! That draws in all of the Robin Hayes "I'm a nice guy" Kool-Aid crowd.
Congratulations to U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC8). His hard work in Washington is finally being noticed.

The congressman has been lauded by Washingtonian magazine in its “Best & Worst of Congress” issue released last week.

Find out what the editorial board has in store for Hayes on the flip side...

Then comes the little surprise they have lying in wait....the reason for the award.
Hayes was feted for his infamous flip-flop on the Central American Free Trade Agreement. His waffling earned him second place on the magazine’s “Spineless” list.
Then, as if anyone needs reminding.....and we know there are some who may be in need of deep intervention....they remind us why Hayes qualifies for the award.
You might recall Hayes was a “solid no” on CAFTA until the 11th hour and 59th minute July 27, 2005. That’s when Speaker Dennis Hastert allegedly gave him a blank check for the 8th District in exchange for reversal on the issue.
The rest is such a work of art that those of us in the snarkitudious world of blogging are put to shame and I will simply let it speak for itself. I have gone way beyond fair-use here, but I can think of no other way to honor the snarkifiable greatness of the editorial board than to allow them to speak for themselves.
If that blank check exists, Hayes hasn’t bothered to cash it. Or at least if he has, Richmond County and its textile workers haven’t seen a penny from those 30 silver pieces.

The truth is, the 8th District and its textile workers will never get enough payback from Hayes and Hassert(sic) to merit being sold across the border yet again.

The not-so-dynamic duo had one thing and one thing only on their minds when they betrayed these workers: making fat-cat industrialists even fatter by paving the way for them to make their goods using dirt-cheap labor elsewhere instead of American workers.

Hayes is waivering dangerously close to being spineless on another issue important to Richmond County residents — the proposed VA clinic.

All along it was supposed to be in Hamlet, but mysteriously the location jumped to being in one of three counties when Hayes visited Richmond in August. Hayes’ waffling was duly noted.

We’re happy to see Hayes recognized — and fittingly, at that — for his spineless turn-around on CAFTA. If he keeps waffling on issues like the proposed VA clinic’s location, he may be up for another spineless honor.
Ouch. Double Ouch!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

GOP & Dem DC Staffers Call Robin Hayes Spineless

Ouch. This has got to hurt. If it isn't bad enough that little old me called Hayes spineless in The Impotence of One piece I wrote, the fact that a vote of DC congressional staffers selected Robin Hayes as the second most spineless congressman for the past year...well, that's gotta hurt. It shows up in Washingtonian's September issue in the best and worst in Congress issue.

Tim Funk reports on it in The Charlotte Observer. I'll have more on this later, but thought everyone would enjoy seeing this.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Robin Hayes, NC-08, Fails to see Successes in Iraq

I'm going to fess up. I've been one of those Democrats who has failed to see the successes in Iraq because of an overwhelming need to prove that George W. Bush is a failure. I've changed my mind and it's something Larry Kissell said that opened my eyes a bit.

From the beginning, Larry has said,
“We staged our way into Iraq in one year, there is no reason we can’t stage our way out in one year.”
That certainly makes sense. However, some Republicans like to pull out their cute phrases like "cut and run" instead of actually giving careful consideration to the implications of stagnation in Iraq.

In today's Fayetteville Observer, Larry Kissell is quoted as saying that we have achieved a level of success in Iraq
Kissell said America had three missions when it went to war: searching for weapons of mass destruction, capturing Saddam Hussein and bringing democracy to Iraq. All three have been accomplished.
When you put it that way, it cuts the legs off of the Republican argument that bringing the troops home will harm their morale and self esteem. I've never understood why Republicans would wage war or continue waging war as an exercise to build self esteem among the troops. Here, Larry Kissell solves that problem. The three main objectives have been achieved. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have accomplished what they were sent to do. It's time to bring them home.

Don't get me wrong. The violence in Iraq and the civil war that appears to be escalating are a public relations nightmare for George Bush and his remaining supporters like Robin Hayes, who would prefer to leave only after there are outward signs of success. They still have no plan, just a wait-and-see approach. They have a strategy for stagnation in Iraq and prefer to bog our troops down in escalating violence instead of bringing them home.

Larry Kissell has a better idea.
“We need our troops home as soon as possible to be able to stand ready for the next phase of our global war on terrorism,” he said.

Robin Hayes' strategy for our troops in Iraq includes another tired phrase, "stay the course". This translates to more of the same and I think our troops deserve better than that. Don't you?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

BlueNC Candidate Interviews and Profiles

At we are profiling as many Democrats as possible before the November election. Some are willing to fill out questionnaires or sit through interviews. Today I'd like to post links to all of the profiles and interviews we have completed to date.

Those of you who are new to BlueNC are invited to participate. If you know a Democrat running for the NC House, NC Senate or US House and would like to complete a profile or interview please let us know in the comments. If there is a Democrat running for local office in your area and you would like to write a profile, please feel free. This is a huge job, but we want to reach as many Democrats as possible and give them an extra opportunity to get their names out there in a way that won't cost them a dime.

The following are interviews and profiles that are completed.

U.S. House Interviews - Stay Tuned for upcoming interviews with Bill Glass, NC-09 and Mel Watt, NC-12

David Price Interview, NC - 04
All David Price posts

Roger Sharpe Interview, NC-05
All Roger Sharpe posts

Larry Kissell Interview, NC-08
All Larry Kissell posts

All Heath Shuler posts

All Brad Miller posts

N.C. Senate Interviews & Profiles

Robert Lee Holloman, NC Senate District 4

Sherry Altman, NC Senate District 12

Lyndon Helton, NC Senate District 42
also see Thanks Jerry for another look at Lyndon Helton

John Snow, District 50

N.C. House Interveiws & Profiles - Stay tuned for upcoming interview with Melanie Wade Goodwin

Howard J. Hunter, NC House District 5

Van Braxton, NC House District 10
Look for future interview
Gerald Galloway, NC House District 52
also see the profile of Gerald Galloway

Larry Kissell, NC-08: DCCC Action Plan

This is a cross post from BlueNC.

Everyone who has been here for a while knows how hard we, as netroots activists fought to get our fellow bloggers and activists to add Larry Kissell to the Netroots Endorsed Candidates list. We wrote, recommended, commented, jumped, danced, cheered, jeered and pretty much made fools of ourselves and it was all for a calm, quiet, honest, humble man who still can't believe how passionately a group of strangers feels about his candidacy.

Donate to Larry here!

When nominations were opened the first time, I wrote a piece lauding Larry as the perfect Netroots candidate. I posted it on the threads made available and asked folks to go comment on those threads. That time we didn't get the nod. It was OK. There was time. Larry's campaign was just starting to bubble and simmer. It was getting exciting, but hadn't reached a full rolling boil.

The second time nominations were announced we all pounced. The thread for nominations was dominated by Larry Kissell fans and some of them were from other states. They had been reading our blogs and watching the polls. NC-08 was winnable and folks from all over the country wanted to help support Larry. When the four new names were added to the list the people's choice, Larry Kissell, was not one of the four. Markos, Chris, Matt and David had made top-down decisions and had ignored the popular choice.

All Holy Hell broke loose. I won't repeat some of the names I called the four men in the privacy of my own home, but trust me, my tirade would have made a sailor blush. Then it happened. People power. We weren't alone. We weren't the only people angry over the decision and Larry wasn't the only candidate ignored by the royal court of the netroots. People power. The four men listened to us and went back to the list and took another look. What they seemed to realize was that top down decisions would no longer work in any organization that promoted people-powered politics.

Donate to Larry here!

Not long after the uproar, four new candidates were added from those listed in the nominations thread. Larry Kissell was endorsed by the Netroots on June 29. Once again, we found ourselves writing, commenting, dancing, singing, jumping up and down, waving our arms wildly in the air to bring attention to our candidate so that the endorsement turns to dollars. To date, that endorsement has brought in over $15,000 in campaign contributions. Way to go team. Way to go Netroots. Way to go Larry!

And, the individual members of the blogs, the writers, readers and commenters have taken notice. This month Larry's contribution numbers started to climb. Just this week there was a huge jump. I looked around DKos and MyDD and didn't see any recent stories that would account for it. The story about Artur Davis and the DCCC had scrolled off the front page days before. Maybe all of the stories by me, Working for Change, Kismet, RANT, Anglico, Lance McCord, Christopher Walker, Momoaizo, Southernphilosopher, Targator, Robert P., DownwithTyranny, Congressman Brad Miller and Larry Kissell himself have had a cumulative effect. Maybe everyone is tired of seeing me frothing at the mouth trying to get them to donate to Larry, or vote for him for one contest or another and figured giving some money would get me to STFU.

Donate to Larry here and I will take shutting the f*** up under advisement!

Maybe, though, just maybe they took a good hard look at Larry Kissell and they could finally see a man who personifies people power. This is a man who walks from door to door and talks to the voters. This is a man who will get elected because the people choose him, not because the big oil and drug companies choose to buy him. His campaign is people power in action and Larry is happy to receive every single donation sent his way.

It won't hurt to give a little bit more!

Today, we can celebrate the new attention from the media, with more stories on the way. We can celebrate the tremendous growth of Larry's Netroots campaign contributions and we can celebrate the rising poll numbers that show Larry within striking distance in August. These poll numbers are better than any candidate has ever enjoyed against Robin Hayes and Hayes has no coattails to ride back to Washington. Hayes has never run a campaign at the top of the ticket.

One thing we can't celebrate yet is DCCC support. Yes, Congressman Artur Davis, DCCC Vice-Chair said he would push to have the Kissell campaign made a top priority. Yes, we believe Artur Davis will follow through with his promise. We don't have that same faith in Rahm Emanuel. Rahm likes power and not the people kind. He likes top-down because that means he's in control.

So, today, it's time to jump, shout, kick, scream, dance and sing our way into Rahm Emanuels heart and the hearts of the rest of the DCCC team. Let's make sure they know what a wonderful candidate Larry Kissell really is. Let's tell them about Larry in droves. Let's work together to show them what people-powered politics is all about.

You can give to Larry at ActBlue! Thank you!

Email the DCCC today and let them know Larry Kissell is working hard and deserves their attention.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Robin Hayes: The Impotence of One

This originally ran on May 16 of this year. There will be a follow-up to this story later this week, so I am running this again for a refresher. Remember, this was purely a political move.

Robin Hayes is learning a tough lesson in Washington. It stinks to belong to the party in power and yet, have none of your own. It must be lonely walking the halls of Congress knowing that you've been used and abused like an inflatable party doll. But that's not stopping Robin Hayes. Not at all.

As reported in
The Charlotte Observer, on May 9th, Robin Hayes held a press conference at a gas station outside of his district in Charlotte, NC and filled his SUV with E85 while at the same time announcing he would introduce a bill to offer tax incentives for businesses that develop facilities to sell E85. Good for Robin.

Wasn't he lucky to find one of only seven facilities in the entire state that sells E85? He's even luckier to have a car that will run on the gas and ethanol blend. Most of us aren't that lucky. Even if we lived in a city with stations that sell E85, we probably wouldn't be able to run our cars on it. The good news is, he took a step for the environment.

The bad news is, he sold it as a step to help reduce the pinch that most consumers are feeling at the pump. He did admit that an added bonus will be reduced reliance on foreign oil and a healthier environment, but this is a new venture for Representative Hayes. He's never shown any interest in alternative fuels or the environment before, so we'll cut him some slack on believing that the consumer is going to save any money in the short term.

That's where playing nice ends, though. Robin Hayes has been in Congress for almost eight years and this is the first time he has introduced anything that has to do with energy independence, consumer savings or environmental protection. I decided to check on his stunt to make sure he actually introduced the bill. I'm sorry I doubted you Robin, because we find that baby
here (PDF). It's so nice and clean. It's also likely to stay that way since it is probably the last time it will ever see action.

You see, Robin has a problem. It isn't something that's nice to talk about in polite company. Most people speak of it in hushed voices, however most folks living in the district have caught on by now. Robin Hayes is impotent. He's powerless to get anything accomplished in Washington. He's been reduced to stunts like the one at the gas station to make people think he's doing something. The truth of the matter is about the only thing he's been able to accomplish in Washington is to get some post offices renamed and to get two buildings named after Orville and Wilbur Wright. No, I'm not kidding.

Robin Hayes names buildings. Hayes has introduced a total of 42 bills or resolutions in the House and only four have gone on to become public law. Of the four bills he's introduced or sponsored in the past 8 years that have been signed into law, three of them have been to rename buildings after people. If you don't believe me you can look them up yourself at the Library of Congress. It's free and easy, just go

I know, I know, I should cut him some slack since he's a millionaire who's never really had to work to support his family. He inherited a family fortune and he doesn't understand what it takes to put food on the table when you're missing that silver spoon.

So, Robin Hayes whiles away the hours up in Washington coming up with names for buildings. Maybe I should consider it a stroke of good fortune for the district. Can you imagine the shape we would be in if the Republican leadership actually let Robin Hayes do anything important? They do have a job for him though and we know what it is.

He's a puppet, a lap dog, a rubber stamp for the Republican agenda in Congress. He has voted against the best interests of the people living in his district and he's done so more than a couple of times, all because the Republican leadership told him to. That rod in his back that holds him up straight? It doesn't belong to Robin Hayes. It's on loan from the party. Hayes is spineless and doesn't have the strength to stand up and do what is right for the people living in his district. That's why he voted for CAFTA, after promising he would vote against it.

Free trade agreements have devastated the 8th Congressional District and the damage continues with manufacturing plants closing and an entire way of life coming to an end. Robin Hayes knew all of this because another free trade agreement, NAFTA had started that ball rolling. Even with that knowledge, Hayes voted against the workers in the 8th District. He voted against the people who voted for him.

A week before the vote, Hayes stated that he was "flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," arguing that CAFTA is an extension of NAFTA that was "not in the best interest of a core constituency I represent. Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants, I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA." Hayes initially cast a "no" vote but then was persuaded by Republican House leaders to change his vote to a "yes" after the House Republican leadership kept the voting open 45 minutes past the time limit.

Unbelievably, this is the second time Hayes has switched his vote on a major piece of trade legislation. As constituents of North Carolina's 8th District know, in 2001, Hayes switched from initially casting a "no" vote to "yes," making him the deciding vote that gave President Bush Fast Track trade authority, a measure he had previously (and vehemently) opposed, which was the authority under which the CAFTA NAFTA expansion was negotiated.

"Even in cynical Washington political circles, no one can understand how Hayes would elect to irreversibly destroy his voters' trust in him by again betraying the clear will of his constituents, and the obvious threat CAFTA poses to them...." said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. "No one can imagine that he is so weak as to have been brow beaten into betraying his constituents again......"

Other than a few pockets of wealthy folks living in Concord and Charlotte, this district is made up of working class people. These are the people who are the real backbone of this country and that makes it all the more surprising they would chose someone spineless like Robin Hayes to stand up for them in Washington.

The voters in the 8th District are smart people, though and they are tiring of the empty promises they get from Robin Hayes. The man who said he was "flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA", turned his back on his people and voted for the trade bill. What did they get in return? They got some shiny new names on their post offices.

That isn't going to put food on their tables or E85 in their gas tanks.

Many voters in the 8th District have turned to their only clear choice, Larry Kissell. He's now a school teacher, but spent 27 years working in the textile industry. Larry would probably admit that he's one of the lucky ones. He was able to start a new career doing something he loves as he watched his job go to Mexico. Others in the district weren't as lucky.

It isn't surprising that Kissell has strong words for the most recent stunt pulled by Robin Hayes.

"Apparently Robin Hayes' hypocrisy knows no bounds. He is guilty of protecting the big oil companies. I'm not sure if that's a result of all the campaign money he's taken from them, or the massive amounts of stock he owns in oil companies. It's going to take more than a press conference to convince us that he truly supports alternative energy when we all know he's in the pocket of the oil companies," said Kissell.
Kissell pointed out the fact Hayes has voted against measures in the past that would have promoted an increase in efficiency standards and the research and development of alternative energy sources. These bills or amendments were sponsored by Democrats, so those of us savvy to Robin Hayes and his party puppet status know why he voted against these measures. The Republican leadership told him he had to. You see, they were more interested in sucking out the remaining fossil fuels from the earth and giving tax breaks to the already wealthy oil and gas industry giants.

If you haven't read about
Larry Kissell before, please visit his web site and learn more about him. After you do, you'll agree there really is a clear choice. Voters in the 8th Congressional District will choose between Larry Kissell, a man who works hard, is honest and will stand up for the people in his district; and Robin Hayes, a Republican party puppet.

Robin Hayes by the numbers:

106th Congress (1999 - 2000) - Hayes introduced 10 bills or resolutions on the House floor. Only one was ever passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President. H.R. 4465 became law giving the name of J.L. Dawkins to a post office in Fayetteville, NC.

107th Congress (2001 - 2002) - Hayes introduced 8 bills or resolutions on the House floor. Only one was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. H.R. 5590 became public law and civilian orders of protection are now enforced on military installations.

108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - Hayes introduced 12 bills or resolutions on the House floor and two were passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. H.R. 3118 became public law and designated naming of the Orville Wright Federal Building and the Wilbur Wright Federal Building in Washington, D.C. H.R. 4176 named a post office in Raeford, NC the Bobby Marshall Gentry Post Office Building.

109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - Hayes has introduced 12 bills or resolutions so far and none have been passed by the House, the Senate or signed into law by the President.

A note from SD - Don't just take my word for it. I've listed a summary of the bills he has sponsored below and I've linked to the Library of Congress where you can do your own research into his effectiveness in Washington. I'm not trying to hide any of the facts. I'll be happy to show anyone who doubts this information exactly where I'm getting it. I'll even admit Robin has tagged his name to bills as a co-sponsor that other Representatives have researched and sponsored, but I wanted to stay focused on those that were developed and researched by Hayes and his staff.