So you're going to have a baby!

Dearest North Carolina.

I hate to break it to you like this in a blog, but I have important news. We're pregnant. That's right, friends. We. Are. Pregnant.

On November 7th, exactly nine months from tomorrow, we will deliver a new Senate and a new House of Representatives into this chaotic world. On that day, as we make that one final and exhausting push toward parenthood, Boards of Elections all across our state will start counting ballots to determine who gets to control the next United States Congress.

So here's some advice. Let's stop drinking and smoking and clean up our acts. Let's get focused and stay focused . . . unless we want to give birth to another Republican monstrosity.

Dear Congressman Watt:

I know you're taking a wait and see attitude on this issue, but you might want to reconsider whether you think Dear Leader broke the law with his illegal wiretapping scheme. Especially now that this unlikely fellow seems to disagree with you. I know he's only the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and all, but he might just have a point.

Sen. Arlen Specter, whose committee has scheduled hearings Monday on the National Security Agency program, said he believes the administration violated a 1978 law specifically calling for a secretive court to consider and approve such monitoring. Specter, R-Pa., said he might consider subpoenas for administration documents that would detail its legal justification for the program.

Major Newspaper Contact Info

Let's see if this will work now....

The News & Observer (Raleigh and surrounding areas)
215 South McDowell Street
P.O. Box 191Raleigh, NC 27602
(919) 829-4500

Link for newsroom feedback: https://miva.nando.com/contact_us/newsroom_feedback.html
Link for phone numbers for N & O staff: http://www.newsobserver.com/450/story/177389.html

Letters to the Editor:

"We've got sort of this survival-of-the-fittest mentality that's going on"

The Winston-Salem Journal: bad communication, misplaced priorities, lack of low-income housing, and tight budgets result in NC mental patients being dropped off at homeless shelters with nothing but a bottle of pills.

[Shelter] managers are not trained in counseling psychiatric patients, and there are no staff members to dispense residents' medications or remind them when to take their drugs, she said. Patients who are in crisis are simply picked up by the police.

Testing my resolve

Just when I'm working on being Mr. Nice Guy, Steve Ford at the N&O comes along with a column today and ruins everything. His effusive and lame defense of our Imperial Presidency is astonishing . . . and downright sad.

How disgusted am I? Let me count the ways.

1. Creepy. I won't debase our pages by recounting most of his sorry prose. Suffice it to say: waste of paper and ink. You'll have to follow the link if you want the whole story.

2. Uninformed. "President Bush's anti-terrorism electronic surveillance program -- the one that's being roasted as warrantless, domestic wiretapping -- is supposed to be targeted against people suspected of having some link to al-Qaeda. But given the size and acuity of the NSA's electronic ears, wouldn't a conversation with someone overseas in which bin Laden's name cropped up be likely to get the eavesdroppers' attention?"

GOP Sees Charles Taylor as a Liability

From The Hill:

Members of the House Republican Steering Committee have warned Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) that he is in danger of losing his chairmanship of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee if he does not raise or donate more money to Republicans.

According to the article, fundraising is only one of about 10 considerations the Steering Committee looks at. Gee, could one of them be the presence or absence of complete moral bankruptcy?

The Truth About Cats & Dogs

Today's News & Observer details efforts to get NC pet shelters to switch from gas chambers to lethal injections for killing animals:

[D]ozens of North Carolina shelters [] still use gas chambers to kill unwanted dogs and cats. The practice is falling out of favor nationally, and some animal activists are lobbying the state to stop it.

As I understand it, though, the main objection to the gas chamber is that it's the gas chamber. One activist says "it's a pet holocaust." Both methods are painless and effective, though injection is slightly quicker—20 seconds of consciousness after injections, 30-60 after the gas is turned on.

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