Jan
27

Friday Open Thread

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Categories : Open Thread

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  1. Diogenes says:

    Who Owns the Landscape?

    The answer to that question, in the state of North Carolina 2012 at least, is the outdoor advertising industry, their lobbyists and the state legislators they’ve bought and paid for.

    Newly approved rules written and guided through the regulatory & legislative process by those lobbyists give billboard companies unrestrained license to cut down trees at will in order to extend and improve the view of their signs.

    The industry used to have to replace trees removed for billboards but following the lobbying efforts last year the N. C. General Assembly has allowed an expanded clear-cutting zone around billboards and adopted new rules that stop the state Department of Transportation from requiring that trees be replanted.

    Despite objections from some environmentalists, the Sierra Club, and at least one local legislator’s effort to amend the thuggish sweetheart deal, our state known for its scenic beauty and who’s economy is enhanced by attracting tourists, is now legally allowed to morph into the Mountain to Sea strip mall.

    More: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/01/25/1804435/roadside-trees-will-be-lost-to.html

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  2. Tom Sullivan says:

    From Howie at Down With Tyranny:

    Suppose there’s a swing district you– “you” being a Democratic Party committee or strategist or booster– want to win, and you have your choice of two comparably strong candidates: one who is a “centrist,” a polite way of saying a “conservative,” and one who is a progressive. Which candidate do you run if you want to maximize your odds of winning?

    If you want to win, you’re usually better off running the progressive.

    The conventional wisdom in the Democratic Party is that if you want to win an election in a swing district, you should run a so-called centrist. The now-defunct DLC was founded on this idea, the DCCC reinforces it regularly, and political consultants all over the country repeat it as gospel. The problem is that the evidence shows they’re wrong.

    In tough years in swing districts, candidates who appeal to their party’s base do better than so-called “centrists” or “moderates.”

    In 2010, in swing districts all over the country Republicans ran Tea Party candidates who appealed to their base against “centrist” Blue Dog and New Democratic incumbents. The centrists lost because Democratic voters weren’t excited about them and didn’t show up; the Tea Party candidates won because Republican voters were motivated to show up and vote for them. The Blue Dogs lost roughly 60% of their races in 2010. By contrast, the Congressional Progressive Caucus held 79 of their 82 seats– even in swing districts like Peter DeFazio’s in Oregon. Who shows up to vote matters, and voters from both parties are more likely to show up and vote for people who they believe will fight for their values.

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  3. Davyne Dial says:

    Yay for progress!!

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  4. Diogenes says:

    Sierra Nevada, glad to have them here. Wondering though, what did we give away to get them to come?

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  5. Davyne Dial says:

    @ Dio…I think it will even out in the long run.

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  6. Andrew Dahm says:

    $3.75 million went to Sierra Nevada, from NC, Henderson County and Town of Mills River, I believe.

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  7. Tim Peck says:

    “Wondering though, what did we give away to get them to come?”

    The taxpaying citizens of Henderson County were forced to give them corporate welfare.
    …………………..

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  8. Diogenes says:

    Re: Sierra Nevada. Will they pay for Asheville water? At what rate? And, can they influence the impending seizure and privatization of the Asheville water system?

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  9. Andrew Dahm says:

    Someone ought to get Kim Jordan of New Belgium, Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, and Tim Moffitt of whoever he really works for together in a room.

    I’m working on a very boring discussion of opportunity costs, deferred property tax revenue and other financial hits the city’s taken for those damn reservoirs. There’s no amount of money that’d be sufficient to compensate the City of Asheville for the water system. Unless you’re talking like 25% of the state budget. In cash.

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  10. TJ says:

    @Tom,

    Yesterday, I sat in a room full of Tea Party folks, and watched Cecil brave his way through the lion’s den. It was a scary thing to behold. I NEVER speak at a mic and in front of a large group. After holding my tongue through the responses of set questions, I couldn’t stay silent anymore. I should have known better.

    I listened their buzz words: “keep America “sovereign,” and they said things like immigration must be stopped(illegal), that they should stay and fix their own country, instead of coming here…unless they are willing to fight and defend our country, then, they can move to the front of the line-so, they can die for us…and, there is no joblessness issue, all people need to do is get up and get one, there is no “justice for all,” because we ALL have the same start and rights, and I was mistaking my use of “social justice,” and on and on, ad nauseum.
    If I could have responded further without the grumbling man next to me rising up, and one of the nice candidates asking me if I have a question(after we had been told we CAN make a statement and I was stating my objections to their “patriotic” responses), I would have said more and asked why our founders didn’t stay in England and fix it? Or, if they
    are “pro-life, why do they condone executions of people when there are questions
    unanswered or when so many are freed through DNA. I told them I came from a patriotic
    military family, but, that I was saddened by the prejudice I heard there, all in the guise of
    patriotism.

    It broke my heart that in a room full of people, that not one could hear their own words and so blinded by patriotism are they, that they don’t see their own comments as unpatriotic and un-American.

    I wish I had hope for them.

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  11. trifecta says:

    Isn’t that welfare thing what Ayn Rand took when she got old and sick and decided to use medicare and social security since she squandered all her money on antique vibrator collecting?

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  12. Tom Buckner says:

    If the Tea Party were serious about American sovereignty, shouldn’t they be more frightened of the World Bank and the WTO than the UN? Because that’s where the real One World Government is happening.

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  13. I think that is the first time in history a reference to the sexual fetishes of Ayn Rand came just in front of a link to a Presidential State of the Onion address. Is this a great blog or what?

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  14. Dixiegirlz says:

    I bet she only used those vibrators on unwilling worshipers.

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  15. Dixiegirlz says:

    There are two short videos of Cecil Bothwell at yesterdays TeaParty candidare forum…wow Cecil…you go guy!!! Into the belly of the beast.

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  16. Dixiegirlz says:

    Clips of Cecil @ T-party forum

    http://youtu.be/pI5Qbnb7aTs Part 1

    http://youtu.be/82iyii_dCjo Part 2

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  17. TJ says:

    @Tom B:

    These are the same ones who can rationalize that it’s okay to import human beings for the purpose of slavery, but, it’s not okay they come seeking a better life.

    Astounding and baffling to me is their limited vision and definition of what is right or wrong.

    I would not be surprised to find out they have completely different brainwave patterns. :-(

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