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09
It’s hard to fault President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize – after all, he was the first to admit he was as surprised as anyone and, beyond that, he’s giving the money to charity. In the end what else could he do but smile and say, Thank you, politely.
 
There’s also no point in questioning the logic of five Norwegians giving $1.4 million of pacifist dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel’s money to President Obama. They said the President was creating a nuclear free world and creating an International ‘dialogue’ – and that was good enough for them.
 
Their first point’s shaky because not a single nuclear weapon’s been dismantled. But their second point is rock solid – there’s no doubt the President can dialogue with the best of them.
 
The Norwegians also had one more thing to say: That the President was standing up for ‘world values’ and working through the United Nations – which tickled the Norwegians pink.
 
I guess that’s one way to look at it. The other is the United Nations has turned into a safe-haven for the biggest thugs on earth. In the last month its members have cheered Muammar Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hugo Chavez – three of the biggest scoundrels walking around on two legs. So, right now, ‘world values’ looks shaky too.
 
All that aside, congratulations to President Obama. And let’s hope next year about this time he brings home another Nobel Prize – for economics. Because his ‘Stimulus Plan’ worked.



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07
Inside the Beltline may be the place to live.
But it wasn’t the place to be in Tuesday’s elections.
 
One new school board member summed it up after Charles Meeker, Jim Goodmon and other prominent people spoke out for the diversity policy:
 
"Do you know who cares about those people? People inside the Beltline."
 
This political divide has been brewing for some time. It’s muted in City Council elections because Raleigh is heavily Democratic.
 
But that changes outside the Beltline.
 
Witness John Odom’s victory over Roger Koopman.
 
And watch for a repeat in next year’s county commissioners’ races.

 

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07
Here’s one reason Bev Perdue has collapsed in the polls: Today’s headline in the News and Observer reads – Perdue Too Busy on Trip to Back Health Reform.
 
The Governor told the press she was too busy on a trip to New York to join other Democratic Governors in signing a letter to support health care reform. This dodge is so superficial it’s flimsy as gauze. How long would it have taken Perdue to read the letter – five minutes? All Perdue had to say was, Well, I don’t agree but she couldn’t bring herself to take a stand and straddled the fence.
 
And, of course, everyone – Republicans, Democrats, Independents – can see through this paper-thin dodge.
 
The Governor’s answer was superficial and so silly – it ended up in a banner headline in the newspaper.
 

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06
Sometimes I hate to be right. Like on the Wake County school board races.
 
But you could see it coming.
 
Even supporters say the present board has been arrogant and high-handed.
 
Exhibit A: One diversity supporter explained the election by saying, “It’s the result of people not knowing what the issues are."
 
Wrong.
 
People who vote know the issues that matter to them.
 
And elections are about emotion.
 
Just like in last year’s presidential election, the team with more emotion won Tuesd

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05
Tom Campbell at NC Spin has an interesting alternative to my Perdue Comeback Plan.
 
I suggested she gamble on tax reform. Tom suggests ethics reform.
 
He’s right. She should. But I doubt that gets her far enough. 
  • Cynical voters will never believe the stable has been cleaned up.
  • For good reason.
  • Pass a tax reform bill, and you’ve done something. How do you measure when you’ve done ethics reform?
 So how about a two-part plan, Governor? Tax reform and ethics reform.
 
Run for reelection as a “Reformer With Results.”

 

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05
News flash: There are sane Republicans!
 
Tommy Thompson, Bill Frist and Michael Bloomberg (sort of a Republican) all say they like the health-care bill emerging in the Senate.
 
Of course, none of them can vote there.
 
If they did, the GOP Jacobins would take their heads off.
 
Why is Can Obama Pass a Bill the only story line?
 
The other side of the story: Republican lawmakers so terrorized by Fox and Rush they just say no to everything.
 
But there is justice. They’re walking a path to political perdition.

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05
An alert reader spotted this “Income Opportunities Available” banner on the WakeUp America TV ads about “corrupt Democrats.”
 

 
The reader followed the link to: http://www.wakeupamerica.com/income-opportunities.
 
There he read:
 
If you are interested in becoming a Team Leader, and building a team of commission fundraisers to help air Wake Up America TV commercials in your area as part of our organization, send an email to: Income@WakeUpAmerica.com ….
 
We’ve developed a unique fundraising and support model that provides Team Leaders with all the tools necessary to build your team.
 
Just a few of the benefits include:
 
•         a recurring commission stream
 
•         the ability to earn from the efforts of others as well as yourself
 
•         almost unlimited income potential
 
Tell us in one paragraph why you would like to join our team to help Wake Up America.
 
The reader says: “This reads like a pyramid scheme. I think politics shouldn’t be like this. I agree with some of what their message is, but not how they are doing this. It kinda smells.” 
 
Ditto that!


 

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04
In 1993, Tom Fetzer’s election as mayor of Raleigh proved to be a portent of a national Republican tide the next year. Tomorrow’s Wake school board races could be the same for 2010.

I haven’t seen any polling. But I have a bad feeling that the bad guys – the anti-diversity crowd – will win. They seem to have the energy.  And, in a low-turnout race, the angry turn out.
 
In 1993, like this year, Democrats had just won the presidential election. They were still celebrating, and they were complacent.
 
Just like this year, Republicans were angry and motivated. Fetzer (with Carter’s help) found a perfect issue in the downtown civic center. Fetzer ran a modern TV campaign while Democrats ran the familiar old handshake campaign.
 
It was a sign of worse to come in 1994. And tomorrow may be the canary in the coal mine for 2010.
 
It will be ironic if the county that carried North Carolina for Barack Obama last year signals his setback next year.

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02
I got worried when I saw the “corrupt Democrats” ad sponsored by the North Carolina conservative group Wake Up America.  But I felt better once the ad ended.
 
The ad’s beginning goes right at a real Democratic vulnerability in North Carolina: the combination of corruption and higher taxes.
 
"Are state Democrats the most politically corrupt in America?" the ad asks.
 
Ouch.
 
Then, as always, they go too far. The ad ends by accusing Democrats of promoting “radical socialism.”
 
I’m sorry, guys, but the only people who get exercised about creeping socialism are already watching Fox News.
 
It’s too big a stretch. Especially when Democratic leaders in Raleigh are getting pounded by teachers, health-care groups and others for not spending enough money on the state’s problems.
 
As always, my worries about Democrats are assuaged by my certainty that the right will overreach.

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01
First time candidate for City Council Champ Claris has spoken the tabooed words ‘Don’t build it downtown.’
 
 
Since Charles Meeker was elected Mayor (which seems like it was not long after General Sherman marched through Raleigh) Meeker’s been trying to turn downtown into the southern equivalent of the ‘Great White Way.’ It’s a mystery why Charlie Meeker loves downtown so much but if anyone wants to build something in Raleigh the Mayor is almost certain to urge them to put it downtown.
 
And it’s made him popular – Charles Meeker’s such a shoo-in for reelection it seems we ought to save the money, call off the election and announce the inaugural.
 
So Champ Claris saying ‘Don’t build it downtown’ – talking about the new basketball arena – took some old-fashioned courage.
 
The Mayor – who’s all for the new arena – says it only makes sense to go on and buy the land now, to be ready for the future when it’s time to start building; but does anyone really doubt once the City has its hands on the land that Charles Meeker will be able to resist the temptation to go on and start pouring the pilings?
 
Electing Champ Claris may also turn out to be doing the Mayor a favor – having someone on the Council who doesn’t agree with him may keep Charles Meeker from getting bored the next two years.
 
Champ Claris has bucked the political establishment, which doesn’t happen often in politics, and it would be good to have a maverick on the City Council.

 

The Raleigh City Election 10/2/2009

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