North Carolina Meet Up

Commenter Summer had a meet up in North Carolina on very short notice and this is her account:

These two mysterious and exotic people are Summer (NOT a serial killer) and Tom (recent NC transplant), who populated the inaugural NC BJ “meet up.” Being readers of JC’s blog since the early aughts and having five dogs and one cat between our two households, we had a great time regaling each other with pet stories and Balloon Juice memories since the dark days of the Bush administration. We talked some state and national politics, activism, bike commuting, and Durham awesomeness. We raised our glasses to Tunch, in celebration of his life and in gratitude for his influence.
With the Moral Monday momentum, we thought having a bigger North Carolina meet up in three weeks (8/5), again following a Moral Monday, would be great. Sorry we didn’t catch everyone this time. Please email summerjsmith97 at gmail if you’d like to be there or influence scheduling toward another date.


Speaking of North Carolina, conservatives in North Carolina are adding further restrictions to voting. These new rules are directed at college students.

I think it would be a good idea right about now for voting enthusiasts to become poll workers. I resigned as a poll worker after Operation Chaos, which was an order from Rush Limbaugh for Republicans to vote for Clinton in the 2008 Ohio Democratic primary in order to “stop” Obama. Some Republicans in my precinct actually followed this order. They were bragging about it so it wasn’t real hard to figure out. That made me mad because Operation Chaos is contrary to Ohio law and it offends my ideas about fair play but I also just found the whole thing so stupid and dispiriting that I quit. It worked out okay because I do election protection now. We don’t have another Democratic lawyer here to do it so it’s better I stick with that. In a way, Rush Limbaugh is the reason we have a local lawyer doing voter protection in this county. We should all thank him for helping us with strategic placement of volunteers.

Anyway, poll work is a long day (as many of you who are or have been poll workers know) and the pay is lousy but if anyone is willing it would be great to jump in now.

17 replies
  1. 1
    Yatsuno says:

    There was a Seattle meet-up between Just CaseyL and Linnaeus once. It’s not the numbers it’s the camaraderie.

    I’d like to see movements in a lot more states to going to the vote-by-mail system. Two states have been doing this for years with huge success and amazing participation rates. An much less opportunity for electoral shenanigans. This of course means Republicans hate it.

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    @Yatsuno: The Republicans don’t want this for various reasons, including the obvious ones like it makes voting easy and more “undesirables” will be able to vote. Another downside for them is that it gives the Post Office a reason to exist. They want to privatize it and let FedEx do it.

  3. 3
    jurassicpork says:

    R.I.P. Helen Thomas, as per the irrepressible Mike Flannigan.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I thought JSF said Summer didn’t exist.

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    A few threads down, we were just talking about how the mind can play tricks on us …

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Ah, NC, my home state for almost 9 years, until I left right before 2009.

    Work hard, my NC friends.
    I was an activist down there, mostly in Fayetteville, NC, where I was an anti-war/torture/rendition protest organizer.
    I can’t tell you the “love” you get doing stuff like that in a military town – Fort Bragg, is in that city.

    I also worked closely with the Obama team, in that area.
    As a matter of fact, very early in 2007, before he’d even declared, I was invited to the front of the room to speak about him at a meeting of the Eastern NC Democrats.
    The folks there looked at me like I was a 3-eyed Yankee, and told me how crazy it was to even think about a black man with that crazy name, being nominated – let alone elected.

    But, boy, was it satisfying, when he won NC from Hillary, and then nomination.
    And then the Presidency.
    And he won Cumberland Country, which hadn’t gone Democratic in I don’t remember how long – just leave it at, a long, long, time!

    That was probably the best time of my life – as far as impact.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: JSF is in my mind playing tricks on me? Eek!

  8. 8
    Yatsuno says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well we are all DougJ anyway…

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    I love Summer’s cat bag in that photo. Are those balloons green?

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yatsuno: I am he as you are he as you are me / And we are all DougJ / See how they run like pigs from a gun / See how they fly, I’m crying

  11. 11
    Yatsuno says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That was meta, dude. Pure meta.

  12. 12
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Well, hell. Sorry I missed it. Where were you guys?

  13. 13
    NickT says:


    We are all DougJ and so’s my wife.

  14. 14
    David Koch says:

    Summer is hawt!

    So she’s the one responsible for the heat wave

  15. 15
    NickT says:

    @David Koch:

    Tom (recent NC transplant) is a fine figure of a man, IMHO.

  16. 16
    celticdragonchick says:

    I will try to make the next NC meet :)

  17. 17
    Frivolous says:


    Yes. I agree. A fine figure of a man.

    Summer is nice looking, too. :)

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