New In the Blog 2-26-18

We are all still reeling from the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida.  Mixed in with our grief and anger is our stunned admiration of the reaction by the surviving students.  Those of us who protested in the 60’s and still try to raise our voices...

NRA’S LAP DOGS: Tillis, Burr and Money

By Penny Smith In the wake of yet another school shooting, the National Rifle Association has trotted out its public defenders. They blame almost everything except a pervasive, pernicious gun culture for such violence. Guns are fine. Any kind of gun. Everyone should...

Another Life Lesson: IN PRAISE OF ADOLESCENTS

By Penny Smith Among the things that happen as we age is a slow compromise with the world. We make William Blake’s transition from “Songs of Innocence” to “Songs of Experience.” We lose our naiveté and become sophisticates, even cynics. Our world is smaller; it’s no...

What I’m Reading, 2-26-18

By Penny Smith A History of Fake News. A Lapham’s Quarterly Special Issue. (Available at most book stores; I got mine at a Barnes and Noble)  I admire Lewis Lapham’s essays. Lapham, long-time editor of Harper’s Magazine, would usually pen one for that magazine. He...

This Week In the Blog 2-19-18

Last week our blogger-in-chief, Penny Smith, dug into the dark money behind Representative Mike Clampitt’s campaign.  Once down the rabbit hole it can be difficult to avoid following the paths into all sorts of shadowy influences on our elections and our...

ALEC’S ULTIMATE GOAL * Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

For those of you unfamiliar with ALEC, it is the American Legislative Exchange Council. Although it bills itself as a nonpartisan entity on its web site, don’t be fooled. Not only is ALEC conservative, but it is dangerously so. Its members include state legislators...

What I’m Reading 2-19-18

By Penny Smith Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. New York: Soiegel & Grau, 2016.  One of my favorite Presidential books was written way before the man won an eight-year gig at the White House. Dreams of My Father is a coming of age...

JCDP 2018 Draft Resolutions

One function of any political party is to present a platform.  The platform defines the party’s standards and priorities for governing.  This is not written by the leaders of the party and imposed on its followers.  The ideas and principles are developed as...

This Week in the Blog 2-12-18

Never one to shy away from a challenging subject, this week Penny Smith takes on shady campaign financing, the demise of the prison system in our country and an in-depth review of the book, Hillbilly Elegy, which captures so much of our local persona. The first...

Mike Clampitt’s Sugar Daddies

By Penny Smith Did you, like me, get a couple of glossy mailers about all the good things that Mike Clampitt did for us in the 2017 legislative session? They were funded by something called the Carolina Leadership Coalition. Its mission, according to their web site is...

Third World Justice System

By Penny Smith Last week the British Court of Appeals refused to extradite accused British hacker Laurie Love. Why? It determined that America’s prison system was too oppressive; our jails were unable to address the unique needs Love presented. Now this is someone who...

What I’m Reading, February 12, 2018

By Penny Smith J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Harper, 2016.  Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy came on the market at the best of all possible times. With the rise of Donald Trump, Trumplandia populism, and the normalization of bullying,...

Meet the Candidates

The Jackson County Democratic Men are hosting a supper and informal gathering with the three men running to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress from the North Carolina 11th district. DATE:  Thursday, February 8, 2018 TIME:  6:00pm – 8:00pm PLACE:  Old...

This Week in the Blog 2-5-18

Somebody lit a fire under our blogger this week!  First up, an expose on our very own Congressman, Mark Meadows.  It makes me want to impeach him immediately.  Oh, but wait.  That’s not how it works.  We have to VOTE HIM OUT!  Don’t forget to check out the...

Mark Meadows and the OCE

By Penny Smith Rachael Bade, “Ethics report: Meadows’ staff complained of harassment,” Politico (updated 8/17/2016); “Ethics Office: Meadows Likely in Violation of House Rules,” Roll Call (posted August 17, 2016); “OCE Referral regarding Rep. Mark Meadows,” Office of...

Run, Forest, Run

By Penny Smith Our current Lt. Governor, Dan Forest, a Republican, is already gearing up to run for Governor. Yes, we are one of several states where you can have a member of both parties serving in the top two Executive Branch positions – and we do.  They will likely...

What I’m Reading, February 5, 2018

By Penny Smith Kevin Kruse, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. New York: Basic Books, 2015. Education and factory work have always been connected in the American story. In the first textile mills in New England, women often...