The downward spiral of the career of House Speaker Jim Black, if it
wasn’t already at the bottom, just hit the gutter with a splash. As The Charlotte Observer‘s Mark Johnson and David Ingram reported this morning, Mr. Mumbles had some grumbles about one member of the Raleigh media corps:

Black announced his decision after having dinner with about 25 House
Democrats at a Raleigh restaurant. After the dinner he told reporters
for the
Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh that he would
issue a statement only to The Associated Press. He addressed one
reporter as a “sorry sack of (expletive)” and otherwise refused to
answer questions.

Now that Black won’t pursue another term as Speaker, it has loosened
up all those Democrat wet leaves that were clogging the downspout and
causing the stagnant water to stink up the Legislature:

Lawmakers in both parties described Black’s withdrawal as a positive
step in light of the state and federal investigations surrounding his

“Thank goodness,” said Rep. Bill Faison, an Orange County Democrat
running for speaker. “The probability of indictment (against Black) is
extraordinarily high.”

Quite a change for Black’s once-incidental defender.