This week’s column

The man who would be speaker, tobacco ruling and other stories.

Here’s the link for the Indy and YES!.

Here’s the text:

The man who would be speaker

By Kirk Ross

The biggest election of the ’06 cycle actually happens in ’07. But if history serves as a guide, the election of speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives will be all but sewed up (or at least assumed to be) by the time the dust settles on the November elections.

Anybody who says they know who the next speaker will be before that date is pulling your leg. Until we know the Ds and Rs and who won and lost the 20 or so House races deemed competitive, picking a winner will be a mere guessing game.

We do know the names that are being bandied about, though. Read more

Morning Post

Nat/Intl
– Ernesto visits Florida. Radar.
Fascionistas
Katrina Poll Parsing
Get the skinny on DC BMIs
More tales of abuse of office from GOP hack, former CPB chair and the guy that’s now in charge of VOA and Radio Free Europe (now that was a song, kids).

State
Hep in Asheville
Hunt stumps for bonds in Wake
– Ag Mart continues to suck
– Jim continues to lay into Art
– Hurricane watch at the Merc

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Morning Post

All those computer models I obsess about over at The Mercury are coming to pretty close agreement that Ernesto is heading our way. Looks like somewhere on the NC/SC coast is going to get smacked with a Cat 1 hurricane. Inland, the path goes over the Piedmont. Get ready for rain and high wind. Water up folks.
Meanwhile,
– Liddy’s rasslin’ with other lady Senators
– Jay Price on cuts in funding for the signature injury of the Iraq war.
Richard Morgan to make his case to elections board
TVA says air is improving. Others too busy coughing.
Consumer confidence at a nine month low
And, if you’re looking for an unvarnished look at Katrina One Year Later, check out Facing South–they’ve been on the story all year and have a lot of details of what’s really happening.

Had enough?

The delightful Howie Klein wrote in recently to let us know about some backyard political music making from Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher of, er, Maxwell Mosher. The Pittsboro duo wrote a swinging number and Rickie Lee Jones added her voice and there you go. Nice.

If you’ve had enough here in N.C. and you want to support a local version of this ad pay a visit to Act Blue and, as Woody says, “Go where you go and do what you do.”

Atrios has a version on his site so you can let your imagination run wild.

Morning Post

Ernesto is crossing Cuba this morning right around Gitmo. Several forecast models project that the tropical storm will veer through Florida and then head out into the Atlantic where it will gather strength before making landfall in South Carolina. Got all that? Keeping up with it at the Cape Fear Mercury.
Meanwhile,
– Really good surfing right now. (might get a little rough next weekend, though.)
– It’s grape harvest time.
Water tests all over the state for lead
Working a booth for Schuler
Oh, yeah–the working folks are getting screwed. (I know, I used to be one.)

Sunday Morning Post

Please take note that we have our first Hurricane of the 2006 season. Ernesto may become a major storm and at least some models have it crossing Florida and heading our way.
Post on Ernesto at the Cape Fear Mercury with links to weather sites and maps

Meanwhile,
– Good roundup on Media Matters, a shadowy group whose real purpose has eluded savvy intellects around the globe. Don’t tell Pat Robertson, but there’s a hidden link on their site called “About Us.”
– Fox journalists freed in Gaza.
Times on Katrina
– Bruce explores the Triangle and Charlotte rail stories
– Harris says back to theocracy! Evidently, she says, God decides elections. Jeez, I thought she did. Either way, the big gal upstairs sure is messing with her poll numbers.