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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So Mike McIntyre, one of North Carolina's most notorious blue dogs, votes with the Republicans Sunday night and casts a 'no' vote against H.R.3590, perhaps thinking the vote would make him popular, or less unpopular with Republicans in his neck of the woods, but today one of his Republican challengers, Will Breazeale, says that McIntyre's vote was "part of political gamesmanship in Washington, not an expression of his genuine disagreements with the bill."

That's the way one of the 40 dozen John Locke machine sites characterize Breazeale's complaint. Here are Breazeale's actual words (or some of them):
Casting a vote just to boost your re-election chances, while being unable to influence other members of your party to join you, shows a total lack of leadership.

Blue dogs just don't get any respect, in or out of their party.

Fellow blue dog Heath Shuler in the NC-11 gets some of that same Republican medicine.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Talk to the Hand 

Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) sez he isn't influenced by who's giving him money.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that on March 4 Congressman Shuler was the beneficiary of a breakfast fundraiser at the offices of Patton Boggs, a super powerful Washington law firm that shills for the health care industry. "Patton Boggs represents ... Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, insurers, physician and care providers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies." They invited all their powerful lobbyist buddies to come on down for a bagel and cream cheese with Congressman Shuler. Don't you know they all whipped out those check books.

"We don't vote based on who's made contributions, never have," said Shuler's chief of staff, Hayden Rogers.

No, hanging out with those well groomed, expensively heeled "suits" would never sway the likes of Congressman Shuler. We're supposed to believe that (having not only fallen off the turnip truck yesterday but also having landed on our heads).

Footnote: There was some oo-ing and ah-ing last week among North Carolina organizers for OFA that Shuler had budged slightly, going from definitely against President Obama's (Senate) plan for health-insurance "reform" to "undecided." If we could discover within us any enthusiasm whatsoever for that Senate bill, we might be mildly inclined to cluck over that tiny morsel. It's not how Shuler ultimately votes that bothers us so much as his bland denial of the wholesale theft of democracy going on under his buttered toast.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Babe in the Woods 

Congressman Heath Shuler's Democratic primary opponent, Aixa Woods, is hobbled by more than a first name nobody wants to take a stab at pronouncing out loud and in public: he's a total political neophyte who confesses, "I don't know much about the Democratic Party. I'm sure I will find out. I don't know what resistance I will get from the powers that be."

Allow me to enlighten you: Familiar with the term "nuclear winter"?

Perhaps it's a good thing that Aixa "does not plan to raise any money," yet "he expects to win the race and believes his message will resonate with Western North Carolina voters."

There was a time -- say, 1802 -- when such charming American innocence might have swayed your average voter. But I'm afraid it ain't 1802 any longer. Or even 1952.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Elections Filing Update 

Filing to run on the ballots of 2010 ended today at noon. Billy Kennedy does not have a Democratic primary, but Virginia Foxx has one on the Republican side.

Someone else filed to run in the Republican primary against Little Patty McHenry in the NC-10 ... David Michael Boldon. Two will be vying on the Democratic side to oppose the eventual winner of the Republican contest (who will be McHenry, we've said all along). We'll be trying to find out about these Democrats: Jeff Gregory and Anne Fischer.

Heath Shuler in the NC-11 has a Democratic primary opponent -- Aixa Wilson. Whole bunch of panic-stricken extras running in the 11th Dist. in the Republican primary.

Previously noted: Larry Kissell has a primary in the NC-8.

What's going on among Republicans in the NC-6? Poor old thousand-year-old Howard Coble has five primary opponents, which, as in the 10th, means he wins.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Foxx: So Much for Those Free-Market Principles 

Turns out that Virginia Foxx is a gutless wonder. Yesterday she voted twice to obstruct a provision that would remove the anti-trust exemption for the insurance industry, and when those efforts to derail the legislation failed, she voted for the actual bill. In other words, in this election year she turns out to be a typical politician, watching her backside and apparently not wanting to be on record as favoring the anti-trust exemption for insurance (the ONLY industry in America that benefits from that exemption, and look where that's gotten us), though perfectly willing to do what she can to prevent the reform from coming up for a vote.

The first procedural vote yesterday was to even consider the bill (H.R. 4626) "to restore the application of the Federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers." Every single Republican in the House (and eight blue dog Democrats including the inestimable Heath Shuler) voted to obstruct consideration of this important reform.

Then the Republicans tried to kill the bill by a motion to recommit, which also failed (Foxx voting with all the Republicans save three).

Having failed to derail the reform, on final passage Foxx and most other Republicans voted for the bill, 406-19.

So what was that all about? That was about the obstructionism the Republicans have been practicing for the last year PLUS their pressing need now in this election year to keep their obstructionism and their toadying for the corporations more or less below the radar of what most voters even notice.

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Shuler the Mule 

There's playing politics and then there's sticking one's finger in your best friend's eye.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Shuler Leaves Bad Taste in Polk County 

This account, via BlueNC.

Liar and jerk are two nouns that spring to mind.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blue for Money 

It should come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever that the so-called Blue Dog Democrats are currently raking in money from the health care industry by the bushel.

But, please, let's call Heath Shuler (NC-11) and Mike McIntyre (NC-7) and the rest of that illustrious crew what they in fact have become ... obstructionists to reform. Their new motto: "First we count the money, and then we cast our votes."

McClatchy Newspapers is reporting, "On average, Blue Dog Democrats net $62,650 more from the health sector than other Democrats, while hospitals and nursing homes also favor them, giving, respectively, $5,680 and $5,550 more, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...."

However, for all their current whoring for the health-care industry, even the Blue Dogs can't hold a candle to the Republicans: "House Republicans, however, tend to collect more than Democrats-- including Blue Dogs -- from insurers, health professionals and the broader health sector, the Center for Responsive Politics found."

Just ask Madam Foxx, who knows a thing or two about whoredom.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crunch Time 

Roger Simon this a.m. revisits the campaign of 2008 to remind us of what candidate Hillary Clinton said about candidate Barack Obama: "Clinton warned voters that Obama would let them down. She warned them that when the going got tough, he would fold up."


Simon wields that memory because as of this past weekend, the prez appeared to be giving up on the public option for health insurance. The public option would create competition for the insurance companies, not socialism (which is what the over 65 crowd already has with its Medicare coverage, but don't try to tell them that. They've got theirs, which apparently was delivered by Jahweh to Moses on Mt. Horeb, and they don't give a living flip if you get yours).

Simon leaves the door ajar a crack for a transformed Obama to come charging back into the fray: "We don't know for sure that Obama is about to give up on the public option. I think, in the end, he will not. I think he may be tougher than some think and stronger than the polls show. But I admit there are troubling signs."

Perhaps the House Progressive Caucus can help the prez find those misplaced testicles. Some 60 members of the House say no way are Sen. Max Baucus and the likes of Rep. Heath Shuler the dictators of Democratic policy.

Progressive Dems, stick to your guns.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Maybe It's a Dick Thing 

NC-11 Congressman Heath Shuler expressed his loving concern for big insurance corporations (word is, they've exchanged rings) in a telephone town hall yesterday. Bottomline: Don't look to this Democrat to vote with the Democrats.

Anne at Scrutiny Hooligans has the best summary of Shuler's blah-blah:
He focused his answers to various questions on:

1) private insurance -- with a few tweaks -- is fantastic because change is uncertain and Medicare has fraud,

2) the Blue Dogs are our saviours, rah,

3) Medicare has waste and fraud (unlike the Dept of Defense's $2 TRILLION dollars unaccounted for, Heath?),

4) We need incentives for Americans to stop eating Twinkies and to get up off the couch,

5) If Americans would just take better care of themselves and stop having accidents and getting cancer, health care would be a lot less costly (on the CEO's bottom line),

6) the Blue Dogs are great, rah,

7) Electronic records will save the day,

8) Private insurance really is great and loves you -- you just have to look closer, and believe their promises that they won't shove you off the plank when you get cancer,

9) Yes, I and the Blue Dogs took $$ from the health care industry, but that doesn't influence us, and, the Blue Dogs are saving America, rah.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Money That Endangers Democracy 

Hat-tip to James at BlueNC for publicizing the DemocracyNC study of "Healthcare and Insurance Campaign Contributions to North Carolina Members of Congress." Fifth Dist. Congresswoman Madam Doctor Virginia Foxx is among four NC reps who've taken in over $180,000 from the health industry, and we know the garbage that falls out of her mouth.

But Sen. Dick Burr is the grand champion money-raker from these particular special interests. He's banked $1,674,101, "or almost three times the $630,949 raised by number two, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-Charlotte)."

All the North Carolina Republicans in Congress oppose health-care reform (with the possible exception of Walter Jones), and they will of course deny that these outrageous mounds of health-industry cash have anything to do with their attitudes. We believe 'em, right?

We expect Republican elected officials to side always with the rich and powerful. More disturbing are the $$ some of our Democrats are swallowing, particularly Sen. Kay Hagan and 11th Dist. Congressman Heath Shuler. Both tend to the "blue" end of the spectrum and have at various times expressed longing to protect the interests of big insurance monopolies.

As for Rep. Jones of the NC-3, he's a special (admirable) case (though we doubt very seriously that he'll ever vote for a final health-reform bill):
Of the twelve NC members of Congress in office during 2004-2008, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-Farmville) got the least amount from the pharmaceutical industry -- a total of only $7,000 over three campaigns. Jones is also the only Republican from North Carolina who voted for requiring Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices, for encouraging the use of generics, and for allowing the import of FDA-approved prescription drugs.

Rep. Jones says the perceived relationship between votes and campaign money damages "public trust" in Congress. In fact, he is the main Republican sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act (HR-1826), which would provide a public campaign option in Congressional elections, similar to the program now in place for appellate court judges in North Carolina. At a hearing on the legislation in July, Rep. Jones used the drug industry's political clout as the example of why reform is needed.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heath Shuler, Big Man on Campus 

What a diva!

Congressman Heath Shuler of the NC-11 joined the Blue Dog Democrats as soon as he got to Congress, and since then you'd think he both invented sliced (white) bread and also guarded its purity.

The Blue Dogs have been sticking their fat fingers in the president's eye over health insurance reform, siding with the Republicans in the rote repetition of talking points whose sole substance appears to be fear of change, terror mainly expended on behalf of the big insurance corporations (like Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC) which might actually (gasp!) have to compete in the marketplace instead of being handed a virtual monopoly.

The Blue Dogs, with Shuler very much hunting in that pack, have set themselves up as too too big for their britches, becoming in effect the dictators in the U.S. House of what will be allowed in any so-called "reform," which in their case looks an awful lot like what the Republican mugwumps advocate (i.e., "very little" or "next to nothing" or "the bare minimum to placate the ignorant public").

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved to some Blue Dog demands (at which point the Progressive Dems in the House began manning their own barricades, since they've said all along that they would not support a reform that does not include competition for the big insurance corps).

And what's Shuler saying? He's set himself up as even more pompous than the Blue Dogs that Pelosi was trying to placate yesterday. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Shuler "expressed reservations about the deal on health care reform legislation reached Wednesday among some Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee."

And then he showed his hand: "I am hopeful that the ongoing negotiations will be productive, and I'm glad that the Blue Dogs have been able to slow the process down. I will continue to work with Blue Dogs and my other colleagues in both parties to ensure that health care reform will benefit us all. It is more important that we get it right than right away."

That last line is a sound-bite that might have been written by John Boehner, along with the sentiment, "I'm glad I could slow the game down." So that it resembles a death-march, eh, Congressman?

We might respect Mr. Shuler's position if we thought he knew the first thing about what he's talking about, rather than merely posturing for the applause of the Republicans he seems to be serving far more assiduously than the Democrats who elected him.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A "Mafia" That's Holier Than Thou 

The secret fundamentalist cabal, known as "The Family," which runs the secretive C Street townhouse where famous Republican serial adulterers have recently bunked, is discussed by the leading authority on the group, Jeff Sharlet, who wrote the book "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." Sharlet sums up the secret group and the Washington men who have affiliated with it this way:
...Family men are more than hypocritical. They're followers of a political religion that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members the better to "advance the Kingdom." They say they're working for Jesus, but their Christ is a power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway savior not many churchgoers would recognize. Sexual peccadilloes aside, the Family acts today like the most powerful lobby in America that isn't registered as a lobby -- and is thus immune from the scrutiny attending the other powerful organizations like Big Pharma and Big Insurance that exert pressure on public policy.

The Family likes to call itself a "Christian Mafia," but it began 74 years ago as an anti-New Deal coalition of businessmen convinced that organized labor was under the sway of Satan. The Great Depression, they believed, was a punishment from God for what they viewed as FDR's socialism. The Family's goal was the "consecration" of America to God, first through the repeal of New Deal reforms, then through the aggressive expansion of American power during the Cold War. They called this a "Worldwide Spiritual Offensive," but in Washington, it amounted to the nation's first fundamentalist lobby. Early participants included Southern Sens. Strom Thurmond, Herman Talmadge and Absalom Willis Robertson -- Pat Robertson's father. Membership lists stored in the Family's archive at the Billy Graham Center at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois show active participation at any given time over the years by dozens of congressmen.

Heath Shuler has already been linked to the C Street cabal.

And now ... Mike McIntyre, that other N.C. blue dog, who votes with the Republicans even more than Heath.

Whose interests are they serving, and why do they hide the strings by which they dangle?

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Heath Shuler a C-Streeter? 

Maybe so.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Give Shuler Credit 

...for this, at least.

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Blue Dogs & Sick Puppies 

Thanks to Gordon at Scrutiny Hooligans for directing us to this Nate Silver piece of statistical gold: that the Blue Dog Democrats in the U.S. House usually represent districts in which a publicly subsidized health-insurance plan is desperately needed.

Like Heath Shuler's 11th District in N.C., where over 23% of his constituents are uninsured. Gordon computes that to about 150,000 people hanging out there without a health-care safety net, other than the emergency room at the local hospital.

Gordon goes a lot easier than we would on Shuler's recent grandstanding against the public option, hoping that gentle persuasion might work. Maybe so. Saddled as we are with the hopelessly callous Madam Foxx in the 5th, we could only long for the problems that a Blue Dog might give us.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Shuler: A Thousand Times No 

According to the Hendersonville Times-News, Heath Shuler will stay in the U.S. House:
"I am not running for Senate. I am not running for Senate. I am not running for Senate. I have said that a thousand times, and I don't know why they keep coming up [with the idea]. Of course they keep coming up and running polls."

The "they" who keep the rumor alive that Shuler has Senate ambitions includes Shuler's own chief of staff, who appears to be largely responsible for resurrecting the notion. Maybe he'll stop now.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

The Pitfalls of Ambition 

We don't have a dog in that fight, but we had to wonder why 11th Dist. Congressman Heath Shuler waded so confidently into the rebellion in Sri Lanka. What little we know about that mess doesn't make us want to embrace the Sri Lankan government more, nor the rebel Tamil Tigers for that matter, but there was Heath congratulating the Sri Lankan government for defeating "terrorists," as though that would be the final word on the matter. And doing it on the Sri Lankans' dime, which looks so much like becoming a propaganda tool for hire.

Just on the face of it.

Now, according to the Citizen-Times, others a good deal more knowledgeable are saying Shuler was had.

The question remains: why did he dive into this murky pool in the first place? Scrutiny Hooligans in Asheville think he was trying to manufacture some "foreign relations credentials" so that he can seem weighty when he reverses himself and decides to run against Dick Burr for the U.S. Senate.

The only "weight" we see in this is the ham-fisted decision to rah-rah for a government with a lot of blood on its hands.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cal Cunningham 

We've been hearing his name come up RE a potential Democratic candidate to challenge Dick Burr's reelection.

Every time we see the name, we ask, "Cal who?"

Today, Cunningham gets a nod from former state Democratic Party Chair Jerry Meek, in Roll Call. "He's got an excellent profile in terms of his biography," Meek said. "He's perceived as being a little bit more liberal than, say, Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler."

O-kaaay. You have our attention.

Thumbnail biography: Cunningham's a lawyer and former state senator who served in the Iraq War and is currently part of the Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps.

Longer take: "From 2007 to 2008, he was on active duty in Iraq, where he worked as a military prosecutor as part of a team that prosecuted U.S. Department of Defense contractors on such charges as assault and illegal gun shipments. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his work in Iraq and in 2009 received the Gen. Douglas MacArthur award for leadership. While still in law school, he campaigned for the state senate, winning an open seat in November of 2000. He served on all three Senate committees on education and as vice chairman of the Senate judiciary committee. After redistricting in 2002, Cunningham declined to run for re-election after he found himself in a mostly Republican district. In 2004, he joined the Winston-Salem office of 'white-shoe law firm' Kilpatrick Stockton, handling commercial litigation."

"White-shoe law firm"? ... Wikipedia sez it's "a phrase used to describe the leading professional services firms in America, particularly firms that have been in existence for more than a century and represent Fortune 500 companies."

Cal Cunningham ... a potential rising star in North Carolina, with a striking personal resume. We're all ears: "I'm having conversations with friends and fellow Democrats," Cunningham said on Wednesday. "We're taking a very close and very serious look at this race."

All of this above set off by "Under the Dome."

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Acid Reflux 

Rep. Heath Shuler's chief of staff is spreading the word that the congressman's phone has been positively ringing off the hook with all sorts of very important people asking Mr. Shuler to reconsider his decision NOT to run against Richard Burr in next year's Senate contest.

This is reminiscent of the bygone days of a local political boss who used to be famous for volunteering that "Many people have told me..." and what always came next was what the political boss himself wanted to happen, and everyone knew the "many people" were a figment of his imagination.

We think Congressman Shuler made the right decision the first time. Many people have told us that.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cutting Shuler Some Slack 

...and pretty soon that blue dog is sleeping on the neighbor's porch.

Long profile piece about how people feel about Shuler in the NC-11 in today's Smoky Mountain News. Mainly, people feel just swell about the fourth most likely Democrat in Congress to vote with the Republicans, especially Republicans.

Some Democrats are not so thrilled. Jane Allison, a Swain County Democrat, said that while it was maybe "cute" two years ago for Shuler to vote with the Republicans, since "the Democrats weren't going to get anything passed anyway," it's not so cute now with the whole country struggling to get out of the Bush depression.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Rained on His Parade 

According to "Under the Dome," Heath Shuler announced last night that he would not be a candidate in 2010 in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dick Burr.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Disappointment Over Larry Kissell 

The U.S. House voted yesterday 239-191 to pass H.R.1106, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, written "To prevent mortgage foreclosures and enhance mortgage credit availability."

Some 24 Democrats voted against the bill. Based on his developing track record, we fully expected that one of those 24 Democrats would have been Heath Shuler, The Blue Meanie. But, no. Shuler voted for it. So did Republican Walter Jones.

Voting against it were all the rest of the N.C. Republican delegation and ... Democrat Larry Kissell, newly elected last fall.

We've been searching for much of the day for any on-the-record explanation from Kissell of why he voted against the bill. Haven't seen anything. We have seen, however, angry reactions from some of the folks over at BlueNC. Kissell often posted at BlueNC while he was running against Robin Hayes, and at least one poster is calling for him to come on back and 'splain his vote.

He needs to do that.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Dick Burr Targeted by DSCC 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, led by New Jersey's Robert Menendez, is targeting NC's Dick Burr for defeat in 2010. No surprise that, with the powerful mojo of Kay Hagan's "impossible" defeat of super-celeb Liddy Dole last November still percolating.

There's going to be heavy pressure on Attorney General Roy Cooper to step up. Heath Shuler's prospects seem far less bright ever since he joined House Republicans in opposing the Obama stimulus bill.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Mummy Party 

We were on the road to Raleigh (and beyond) when the House voted on the stimulus package and didn't get any state papers into our hands until this a.m. We were not at all surprised that NOT ONE SINGLE Republican voted with the president nor that 11 Blue Dogs jumped off the porch and went hunting with a strange pack of flea-eaten hound dogs.

Eventually, we figger, President Obama's gonna learn who he's dealing with.

Le'ssee here ... the American people rejected Republican economic policies in both 2006 and 2008, wrapped up that whole philosophy in surgical bandages and buried the whole shebang in a deep crypt, yet the Republican remnant in the U.S. House (along with those bright Blue Dogs) are stubborn in demanding that the president and the rest of us just lie back and accept more Bushian economics ... more tax cuts for the rich, more enabling of corporate robber barons, more deregulation, and unless we accept a continuation of what they've been doing since 2001, and accelerate it, they're not going to cooperate. Big freakin' surprise!

This a.m., Madam Virginia Foxx is quoted in the Raleigh N&O. Foxx is busily rewriting history and twisting logic out of all recognizable shape. She says that "President George Bush's signature tax cuts in 2001 had spawned years of growth, but the nation's problems started when Democrats regained majorities in Congress in the 2006 elections." With this abysmal representative, it's always the Democrats' fault, and the year is ALWAYS 1929.

We guessed (before we could confirm it) that Heath Shuler (NC 11) was one of those 11 Blue Dog Democrats, and he was. Even Mike McIntyre (NC 7), one of the most dependably Republican of "Democratic" representatives, voted with President Obama. Shuler, evidently, likes hanging with the Foxx.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Big Dog Clinton Raising Money for Shuler 

Ex-Prez Bill Clinton is in Raleigh today at North Carolina State University (actually, Reynolds Coliseum), speaking about "issues facing the country." The university has announced that there are no more "general public tickets" available, but if you know somebody, you might get in.

One VIP who'll most definitely get is in NC-11 Congressman Heath Shuler, though he could just wait until this p.m. when Clinton will be hosting a luncheon fundraiser for the congressman.

Shuler supported Clinton's wife for president in last year's state primary, and as a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Shuler pledged himself to Hillary because she won his 11th Dist. in that primary ... not that he ever got to cast his vote for her.

Sure 'nuff looks like Shuler is off and running for Senate in 2010 against Dick Burr, backed by some powerful fundraising mojo.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heath Shuler Worried About Xmas Tree Industry 

NC-11 Congressman Heath Shuler is holding a press conference today at the Asheville Farmer's Market to focus a little light on the threat of global warming to NC's Christmas tree industry.

Nearly 20 percent of all live Christmas Trees in the U.S. are grown in North Carolina. The industry brings over $100 million annually into the economy of our western counties. A North Carolina Fraser fir has been selected more than 10 times as the White House Christmas tree, including this year.

Fraser firs constitute 95 percent of those trees in cultivation. Frasers require higher elevations and cooler temperatures. Hence the concern of agricultural and scientific experts who seem to have gotten Heath Shuler's attention.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, some studies have shown that continued global warming will adversely affect the optimum climate conditions in North Carolina for Fraser firs: "A rise in average global temperatures would force the Fraser Fir's natural climate northward and out of North Carolina. Rising temperatures also increase pest control problems and disease longevity."

Meanwhile, our NC-5 Congresswoman, whose district contains a major concentration of Fraser farms, is little heard on the issue, but knows in her heart that if anything bad happens to the tree industry, it'll be the Democrats' fault.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heath Shuler for U.S. Senate? 

We've barely gotten one election past us, and there're people already talking about Richard Burr's U.S. Senate seat in 2010, and truth to tell (hang on to your gag reflex!) we're just a year and a month away from the candidate filing period for the 2010 general election.

Yesterday the Hendersonville Times-News runs a long article essentially beating the drum for Shuler to take on Burr. Shuler, after easily winning his first reelection race against a weak if not unstable opponent, seems more than willing for people to puff up his ego even further than he's puffed it up himself. "Heath the Giant Killer."

Now this morning, Public Policy Polling is up with a post seconding the Shuler nomination, saying that the only state-wide Democrat who could rival him as a winning Senate candidate would be Attorney General Roy Cooper. PPP takes it a step further by helpfully mentioning a couple of local state legislators who could handily win Shuler's House seat, if he vacates it to run for Senate. This we doubt, though PPP's statistics are impressive about how both of Shuler's potential replacements in the NC-11 did in their own reelections.

But leaving a now strong Democratic seat open in the overwhelmingly Republican NC-11 looks mighty iffy to us, though (okay, we'll admit it) we thought a candidate named Hagan had exactly no chance in 2008.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Tea Party Shall Go On 

A lengthy article in the Henderson Times-News, prompted by the county's turning blue (for Congressman Heath Shuler) for "the first time in decades," allows for some lively chat about what 11th Dist. Republicans need to do to come back. Answer: Don't change. Become more like what we were. Generally makes the Republican Party seem like a teabag left to steep past the time the water turned cold.
" is time for us to rediscover our roots; not to change, not to come up with new slogans, but simply to rediscover our roots. The idea that one loss by a very small popular vote margin signifies the death of our party is wrong." --Robert Danos, Henderson County Republican Party Chairman

...the party needs to look at ways to modernize its campaign strategy and bring good candidates to the voters. --Brent Woodcox, North Carolina Republican Party spokesman

"The Republicans do not need to broaden their tent. The Republicans need to return to the very simple principles that Ronald Reagan ran on, that our local and state officials still run on." --Danos

"There are discussions of [whether] the party should move more left or should the party move more right. I don't think that is productive .... We need to apply conservative principles to everyday problems for North Carolina." --Woodcox

"Do they believe in more populism, like Sarah Palin and Joe Six-pack, or are they going to be more intellectual and argue for smaller government?" --Gibbs Knotts, political science professor at Western Carolina University

...the challenge is to define what the party stands for and not what it opposes. --Knotts

"After the defeat in Western North Carolina, it is going to be difficult to be hard on ourselves" ... because the Republican Party in Western North Carolina is doing well. --Steven Duncan, chairman of the 11th Congressional District North Carolina Republicans

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Republican Big Tent Gets Caught in Gale 

The internecine strife among Republicans in the NC-11 has broken out into the public square.

First, Carl Mumpower, the Republican congressional candidate running against incumbent Democrat Heath Shuler, famously suspended his campaign until at least half the counties in his district pledged to salute his version of "values."

To which the Henderson County Republican Party has now replied, "Kiss our fat, hairy posteriors."

One of the more entertaining side-shows in North Carolina.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Agree to Republican Values, Or This Kitten Gets It! 

No, seriously, Carl Mumpower (which is a GREAT name, particularly in this instance), the Republican candidate running against incumbent Democrat Heath Shuler in the NC-11, has suspended his campaign until Republican leaders in the counties in his district pledge to support Republican values.

Okay, okay, he says he'll resume his campaign if HALF the counties pledge to support Republican values.

The Asheville Citizen-Times has the only slightly less loopy details here.

Mumpower ("Just Say Shuuuush to Power!") is particularly pissed that fellow Republican Liddy Dole recently voted to override President Bush's veto of the Farm Bill. In June, Mumpower said he would support impeachment of President Bush over "the illegal immigration problem."

And you thought the silly season was long over!

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Crack Whore 

Looking for a fix, Republican candidate for NC guv Pat McCrory now says he's in favor of punching holes in the sea floor off the North Carolina coast. Gonna git that awl. Which'll make it possible to keep running all these SUVs up and down the road. Sez he'll issue an "executive order" once he's guv. Since he'll be god and all.

NC-11 Congressman Heath Shuler labels this oily pandering as a "lack of maturity" in his fellow House Republicans.
Shuler said oil and gas companies already hold leases on nearly 68 million acres of federal land that could produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. That would nearly double total U.S. oil production and would increase natural gas production by 75 percent, he said.

Instead of insisting that Big Oil drill the leases they already hold, Republican politicians posture for the cameras and tout the "easy fix" of drilling off our coasts and in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Like Madam Foxx. And pathetic Liddy Dole.

And now Pat McCrory.

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