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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bush is kicking away his base

The conservative movement that elected Ronald Reagan twice, George H.W. Bush once, and George W. Bush II twice, is essentially a movement of grass-rooters who don't like to take orders from the top and who revolt when they believe they are betrayed or bossed by those they elected. That's why the grass roots abandoned the first George Bush when he reneged on his "no new taxes, read my lips" promise.

The tough political tactics used by union bosses and Democratic machine bosses simply don't sit well with conservative Republicans.

Phyllis Schlafly


By The Prowler
The American Spectator

It appears that the Democrat Party is closer to imploding than the Republican. How else to explain the ongoing attempts by Democrat Party Chairman Howard Dean to destroy Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

The State Of Our Cynicism

By George Will
Jewish World Review

In their "pre-buttal" to the State of the Union, they promised, among much else, that, according to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, if they come to power, "every American will have affordable access to broadband within five years."

Which tells you something about the state of the Union.

Remembering the Gipper

"Our government has no power except that granted it by the people... It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government."

Ronald Reagan

Alito Confirmed as Nation's 110th Supreme Court Justice

The Senate voted 58-42 on Tuesday to confirm Samuel Alito to the nation's highest court, putting to bed the most partisan Supreme Court nomination battle in recent memory.

Only four Democrats joined 54 Republicans in support of Alito. Of the court's present justices, only Clarence Thomas received a slimmer margin of victory, 52-48, but even then received the votes of 11 Democrats who broke party ranks.

It will be amusing to watch the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments on the left, especially when it all comes to naught. Don't worry though, we here on the BP will be sure to remind you of all the hyperbole and hate on a regular basis.

Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th Century have produced no deleterious effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge.

Jimmy Carter: At Least Hamas Isn't Corrupt

When asked by the media for his thoughts on the Hamas triumph in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, former President Jimmy Carter replied that while they have a terrorist past, at least they're not corrupt. One of the complaints by many in the Middle East was the corruption within the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat's Fatah Party.

Arafat himself squirreled away millions of dollars from aid packages that were intended to help the Palestinian people. However, Carter's comment appears to dismiss the years of death and destruction perpetrated by Hamas on the Jewish State.

And now the fundamental-Islamic group Hamas triumphed over the ruling Fatah party on Thursday in Palestinian parliamentary polls, and it's considered by some as a political disaster that will likely extinguish any hope for peace with Israel.

Jim Kouri

Speaking of Smilin' Jimmy...

Bill Clinton Urges Dialogue with Hamas

Ex-president Bill Clinton is urging the U.S. to establish a dialogue with Hamas in the wake of its upset victory in last week's Palestinian parliamentary elections, saying it would be wrong to cut off contact with the terror group just because they may have killed people "in a way that we hate."

"You've got to find a way to at least open doors," Clinton told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday. "And I don't see how we can do it without more contact."

Here's a lovely suggestion from George Bush's new brother. Maybe Clinton is getting jealous that Carter will overtake him in the worldwide political buffoon contest.

I'm not sure why Slick thinks we need to open any doors with Hamas. It's almost like he thinks he's divine and he can cure this rabid dog by telling it that he feels its pain. Fools like Clinton and Carter delude themselves into believing they have reformed the beast and decide to show it off in our neighborhood. The irony is that these idiots never get mauled, it's the innocent bystanders who get chewed up.

Republicans and blacks

A promising new black political figure is emerging in Ohio -- Ken Blackwell, a solid, pro-life conservative who has fought for lower taxes. He is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Ohio and polls indicate that he has substantial support.

Unfortunately, Ohio's Republicans are a lot like Ohio's Democrats -- both are for higher taxes. On this and other issues, Blackwell is described in the current issue of City Journal as "often at war with his own party as well as the Democrats."

The Republican Party has not had much success attracting black votes in recent decades and conservative blacks have not had an easy time in the Republican Party.

Blacks have voted so overwhelmingly for Democrats for so long that Republicans have few incentives to try to gain black votes -- and little success when they do.

Thomas Sowell

I had forgotten the incident with JC Watts and Newt Gingrich. I won't forget it again.

Coretta Scott King Dies at 78

Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died. She was 78.

Flags at the King Center were lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning.

Errin Haines

Requiescat in pacem

Bill Clinton: Member of Bush Family

President Bush said Sunday that ex-President Bill Clinton has worked so closely with his father on tsunami and Hurricane Katrina relief that he's like a member of the Bush family.

Referring to Clinton as "my new brother," Bush told CBS's "Face the Nation" that it was "fun" to watch his two predecessors interact when they all attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Monday, January 30, 2006

No Filibuster, No Re-Election for Blue State Senators

I'll keep this short and bitter. Every g** *****d blue state senator who failed to sign on to the Alito filibuster MUST be fought in the primaries and replaced. The Democratic party has failed the rank and file members.

It is time to take back the Democratic party from the right wing, loser hacks who have been fumblingly, failingly controlling it and the candidates put forward. I can't believe how many people tell me that they believe the DLC and right wing democrats are really Republican operators.

Rob Kall

Caution!!! Strong language. This nutcase can't seem to express himself without using vulgar language. I would say that this is just a sign of a weak mind, but I think that would just be stating the obvious.

Former Democratic Chief Counsel: Ted Kennedy Disgraced Himself

In my view (as a Democrat and former chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee), Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., has disgraced himself and our party by misusing his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to achieve self-serving partisan ends.

Kennedy was the architect of an unprecedented tactic: using filibusters to polarize the Senate along party lines thus denying the confirmation of qualified conservative judges. In Bush's first term the Senate Democrats used that tactic successfully against at least 10 nominees for judgeships on circuit courts.

Fortunately, Kennedy has failed in his partisan attempt to deny Judge Alito a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jerry Zeifman

Read the whole thing. The juice is in the last paragraph.

Make Our Day

By Jed Babbin
The American Spectator

Since the 2004 election, the Dems have had nothing constructive to say on any topic. On taxes, they want to raise them. On Social Security, they want no change. On federal spending, they're as bad as -- dare we say it? -- Republicans. On Iraq, they want to cut and run. Worse still, they want to take away the legal and innovative tools the president and the Big Dog have devised to win the war. Guantanamo Bay? Close it. NSA warrantless eavesdropping on al-Qaeda? Stop it. Secret jails in Europe and Asia to hold terrorist suspects? Close them. Tough interrogation of terrorists that stops short of torture? Don't need to do it. Renew the PATRIOT Act? Only if it's watered down to the point that intelligence can't be gathered or shared. The Dems want to make it impossible to "connect the dots."

The list -- contrived mostly by the NYT's and WaPo's experts -- grows longer every week. It is only a matter of time before the Dems decide that the Hamas-led Palestinian government is a legitimate peace partner for Israel to engage. (If you doubt that, read the UK Guardian, which has already published op-eds to that effect.) And the longer that list, the fewer votes the Dems will get in November.

RE: Are conservatives mean-spirited & hateful???

Well, well, well. A couple of general comments before I attack the meat of this. And that's really what you want to get to, isn't it dear reader? The part where Steve attacks? Stay with me, you won't be disappointed. Well, maybe you will, but I'm really doing my best.

A. The tone on the BP is actually quite mild. Compared to places like The Smirking Chimp, Democratic Underground, Free Republic, and Liberty Post, the tone here is downright "kum bah yah." Those sites are representative of the meatier sides of the political discourse on the left and on the right, respectively. And yes, "Chippigoo," it is discourse, no matter how it might upset your delicate sensibilities.

B. For years, conservatives, or more accurately, constitutional libertarians adopted the William F. Buckley stance in the ideological discourse. That is, we remained aloof, ignored the personal jibes and jabs and pursued a scholarly, disinterested tact in debating our leftist adversaries. What we reaped was exactly that: disinterest. The left kept on winning the argument and rolling over us. During the 1990s, people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and even Sean Hannity came along and changed the tone of the response from the right. They met derision with derision and insult with insult. They parodied and lampooned the insanity of the left, just as leftists had parodied and lampooned the right for thirty years before. All of a sudden, the tactic wasn't so cute or cool for the left any more. All of a sudden, the right was "mean spirited" and "shrill." In typical fashion, the left neglected to acknowledge that they had employed the same tactics to their benefit for years. "Chippigoo" said "In general, your blog is a playground where conservative bloggers get to poke fun and make demeaning comments to your politically liberal co-bloggers." In keeping with the proud leftist tradition of double standard, he/she neglected to note that the liberal bloggers have engaged in their fair share of the same. But in the leftist's world, the right isn't allowed to fight back since that would make the contest unfair.

C. Anyone who thinks that major issues facing our society will be solved here on the BP is kidding themselves. I won't speak for Andy, but the draw of the BP (almost 10,000 visitors worth) is more than likely the entertainment value of the discourse. "Chippigoo" admitted that he/she read the blog to see what "hateful" thing I'm going to say next. I have had a number of people tell me they read it to see what dumb thing the liberals are going to say next (we've been falling down on that end of the deal lately). If Andy and I refrained from engaging the opposition directly, this place would be pretty boring.

But with all of this, as Andy has pointed out, even when I take a shot, I do so with content involved. Tucker's responses were nothing more than diatribe directed at me and me alone. There was not even allusion to the subject other than his utterly specious claim that I was raising straw men. The truth is, I don't think Tucker even knows what a straw-man is (obviously since my rebuttal couldn't even remotely be characterized as raising one). He then went on to trash me on being a "true" conservative (whatever that is), and being politically dishonest, etc., etc., etc. Yes, I may have poked at Tucker, but it was a prod to get content from him. He responded as I knew he would. The truth is, Tucker has been spoiling for a fight since his first post and when he got it, he didn't like it. His interest is simply in spewing venom and vitriol. And just for historical accuracy, "the voters" of Stokes County didn't do anything to me. I won the first primary, but in North Carolina (the last state in the Union to still have this anachronism), I didn't win by enough. So there was a runoff in which several hundred voters participated. I think I lost the runoff by the same margin that I won the primary. The only charge that can be laid on the voters of Stokes County was that most of the Republicans abstained. Also for the record, my life is so much better since I left the tar pits of county government.

Those of you who have been waiting, here it comes...

So don't come whining to me (or to Andy) when you take a verbal swing at me and I knock your scrawny ass down. That's the last refuge of the coward. If you engage in the discourse, you had better be serious about it and come back with content and context. As the old saying goes, if you can't run with the big dogs, you better stay on the porch. If I tell you something you wrote was stupid, I'll tell you exactly why. If you want to tell me what I wrote was stupid, you better be able to tell me why and it better make sense and be backed by logic and facts. Otherwise you're going to get back at least as good as you give out. I come to the table in context. If you want disinterested and impersonal debate, engage me on that level. I'll stand toe-to-toe with you. But if you come at me with personal jibes, non-sequitur, and just plain whining, be prepared for the verbal smack-down.

The Future Is Now

By The Prowler
The American Spectator

This coming week promises to be critical for both Republicans and conservatives in moving forward into the second half of George W. Bush's administration.

If conservatives are to shape an agenda and drive true change in the GOP, who Republicans select to lead their caucus in the House of Representatives and how the Senate vote on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito goes down will speak volumes. The coming week may well determine not only the outcome of mid-term elections this fall, but national party's future prospects moving into 2008 and beyond.

Are conservatives mean-spirited & hateful???

Someone by the name of "Chippigoo" opines:

To be fair, whenever I read a majority of Mr. Brenneis' posts back to Mr. Miller, they seem very hateful, judgmental, and generally spiteful. That's a tone that comes through the word choice and writing style. It has nothing to do with the actual commentary or subject matter. Blame Mr. Brenneis for the diatribe Mr. Miller posted. After all, it was seemingly his intention to get a rise out of Tucker, and to personally attack him.

In general, your blog is a playground where conservative bloggers get to poke fun and make demeaning comments to your politically liberal co-bloggers. This is definitely not a place to get a lesson on political discourse. It must make both of you conservatives very proud to know that other people you live around, work with, and commune with read this and see exactly what kind of hateful, mean-spirited people you are. You two should be ashamed of yourselves.

I'm sure you won't post this, but let this be a message to whoever reads this first. People actually read what you type. People also gather their OWN opinions as to what kind of people post on this blog. As far as my opinion is concerned, it's stated above. These are MY opinions and observations. I know of others who have read this blog who see the same things I do. After all, I mainly read this blog to see what kind of hateful, nasty thing Mr. Brenneis will say next! Ha!

I don't blame Steve for Tucker's diatribe; I'm not even blaming Tucker for his own diatribe, I just wanted Tucker to at least offer some rebuttals (if he had any) to Steve's post.

I can't speak for the others, but I'm not hateful & mean-spirited; I'm actually a sweet, lovable fuzzball. :-)

I did chuckle when you wrote, "I'm sure you won't post this..." I actually broke one of my own rules by posting your comment because I always said I wouldn't post stuff from anonymous sources. If you feel so strongly about what you wrote, you should use your real name. You say that people who read the BP feel the same as you, and yet, you won't even put down your own name. Feel free to comment on any post, but at least use your real name, not some nickname like "Chippigoo." :-)

Load of crap???

Tucker Miller responds to yours truly:

Andy, that is a load of crap.... And you should know that.

How many personal attacks does Steve make without any commentary from you?

What kind of satisfaction do you get from kissing his ass? Stokes voters wised up and voted him out, he can't get you a job anymore!!

It isn't a "load of crap"; it's my observation looking at it from the sidelines. I'll admit, Steve gets his shots in, but he always discusses the subject matter that was in the post. Your response to Steve below didn't have anything to do with Alito and the "unitary executive" theory; it was a personal attack. I was hoping that besides the personal attack, you could have offered some rebuttals to what Steve wrote about the subject.

RE: His Deranged Values

For whatever reason, Carter seems to be determined to capture the honor of being the left's biggest clown. He has already far surpassed Bill Moyers and Gore Vidal and is closing in on Michael Moore and Bill Clinton at a breakneck pace.

From the article:

In "The Real Jimmy Carter", his superbly scathing catalogue of the ex-president's accumulated folly, Steven Hayward notes that in Carter's hometown of Plains, Georgia, it was said of the prominent native son that after an hour you love him, after a week you hate him, and after ten years you start to understand him. More than a quarter century has passed since Carter was unceremoniously evicted from office. Some of us just want to forget him.

Hello 17th Amendment -- Goodbye Republic

Having the same constituency, with no substantive difference between the House and the Senate, both bodies began focusing on the short-range politics of confiscation and redistribution, and of preferential treatment of selected individuals and groups.

Jim Moore

This is one of the best articles on this subject I've seen recently. This is one of the most important topics on the Constitution that I can think of. In my opinion, we cannot survive as a nation unless we recover the structure and ideals that the founders laid out for us.

His Deranged Values

By Jacob Laksin
The American Spectator

Two surprises greeted the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas last week. First it triumphed over corruption-mired Fatah in the Palestinian elections. Next it unexpectedly secured the endorsement of a former American president.

The president in question is, of course, Jimmy Carter. Not a few outrages have issued from the 39th president since he appointed himself, on no compelling grounds, the world's premiere ethicist. Now, however, Carter may have outdone even himself.

The Republican Soul

Tom DeLay's predecessor talks about how to reclaim it.

By John Fund

The prescription drug bill may have temporarily taken Medicare "off the table" for the 2004 election, but Republicans will be bedeviled for decades by its rising costs and complexity. At current growth rates, Medicare, its cousin Medicaid and Social Security will consume a fifth of the nation's gross national product by 2020. That number represents the current size of the entire federal government.

Nor have Republicans learned much from that mistake. President Bush and the GOP Congress continue to preside over the largest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society. Economic growth fueled by the Bush tax cuts created a 22% surge in federal revenue over the past two years. But even that flow is barely keeping pace with spending, which went up by 8% in 2005 and is set to increase by 9% in 2006. When the good times slow down, no one expects it will be easy to slam the brakes on spending.

RE: Alito and the "unitary executive"

Tucker Miller responds to Steve:

You can choose to ignore what i write and go on and on chasing some straw-man "democrat", "leftist", "evil" if you want, but it really makes you seem ridiculous. I particularly enjoy how you try to lump me in with journalists and political hacks that i do not support and would never vote for! If you actually knew even the slightest about me you would be amused by it as well.

You enjoy claiming that you are politically independent, but that is a BIG joke. The contorted rationalizations you make, allowing you to remain on the side of your favorite (or least favorite) Republicans, make you seem as flexible as a former gymnist turned nght walker --- with the Republican party serving as pimp.

A "true" conservative is concerned with matters such as states' rights, fiscal responsibility, and narrow interpretations of the constitution. Except for the one in the middle you seem to think exactly opposite at least half of the time.

Steve, you are not a true "conservative" -- that's just a nice, neat little word you like to peddle to folks to get them to listen to your most radical & often "looney-tunes" ideas.
I'll give you "non-athiest objectivist" (an oxy-moron btw), but i'll let you sell that "conservative" line to straight-ticket-voting Republicans looking for a good time.

And what does this diatribe have to do with what Steve wrote about Alito and the "unitary executive"??? Can you refute what he said about the subject??? You usually opine about a post, Steve refutes your assumptions, and you respond with a personal attack without refuting what Steve posted. Let's stay on topic here...

Biden Silent on Reid Stepping Down

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) failed today to address rumors that Nevada Senator Harry Reid will step down next month as Senate Minority Leader. Reid has been stung by revelations that his political action committee (PAC) accepted more than $60,000 in contributions from Indian tribes linked to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Appearing on CNN's Late Edition, Biden avoided discussing either the Reid situation or any upcoming changes in Senate Democratic leadership.

Nick Danger

I suppose I'll be accused of being a closet Republican here, but the important point of the story is this:

"Reid is going around the country talking about a 'Republican scandal' — about Republicans accepting one- and two-thousand dollar contributions from Jack Abramoff, when his own PAC took in $60,000," said one Republican strategist. "If this is what the Democrats call a 'Culture of Corruption,' it ought to be an interesting discussion."

Dr. Sowell addressed this issue in two articles posted on the BP. He addressed solutions but not punishment. The Republicans who are caught up in this are, in some ways, worse than the Democrats. For years, they have stood witness to the corruption of the pit of vipers known as the Democrat Party. They should know better. However, with loud-mouths like Reid pointing fingers and calling names, the hypocrisy gap is being narrowed every day.

U.N. pushing to end nation-states

The U.N. has a plan to make every Miss America Pageant contestant happy by bringing about "world peace."

All it will take, says the draft of a visionary proposal by the U.N. Development Program, is to getting rid of all the pesky nations of the world.

In fact, the plan endorsed by prominent world figures including Nobel laureates, bankers, politicians and economists to end nation-states as we know them is also designed to end health pandemics, poverty and "global warming." So far, the U.N. hasn't mentioned whether the proposal will do anything for obesity.

And the beast rolls on...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Many faces of Hillary - none a winner

By Jonah Goldberg

Hillary Clinton's success over the last decade and a half has been in pretending to be her own woman while really playing one part or another for the benefit of the media, her husband or various feminist constituencies desperate for a role model to confirm all of their comfortable stereotypes.

That's why there's something oddly satisfying in the possibility that Clinton being herself is politically disastrous. And, if she's really just playing one more role according to some classically Clintonian political triangulation, there's something equally satisfying to the prospect that even her fans aren't falling for it anymore.

Hillary Clinton has replaced John Edwards as the most over-rated & most over-hyped politician in America.

At least Hamas is open about its evil intentions

So what happens now? Either Hamas forms a government and decides that operating highway departments and sewer systems is what it really wants to do with itself. Or, like Arafat, it figures that it has no interest in government except as a useful front for terrorist operations. If it's the former, all well and good: Many first-rate terror organizations have managed to convert themselves to third-rate national-liberation governments. But, if it's the latter, that too is useful: Hamas is the honest expression of the will of the Palestinian electorate, and the cold hard truth of that is something Europeans and Americans will find hard to avoid.

Mark Steyn

An Act of Political Hygiene

Remember the conventional wisdom of 2004? Back then, you'll recall, it was the many members of George Bush's "unilateral" coalition who were supposed to be in trouble, not least the three doughty warriors of the Anglosphere -- the president, Tony Blair and John Howard -- who would all be paying a terrible electoral price for lying their way into war in Iraq. The Democrats' position was that Mr. Bush's rinky-dink nickel-&-dime allies didn't count: The president has "alienated almost everyone," said Jimmy Carter, "and now we have just a handful of little tiny countries supposedly helping us in Iraq." (That would be Britain, Australia, Poland, Japan . . .) Instead of those nobodies, John Kerry pledged that, under his leadership, "America will rejoin the community of nations" -- by which he meant Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, the Belgian guy . . .

Two years on, Messrs. Bush, Blair, Howard and Koizumi are all re-elected, while Mr. Chirac is the lamest of lame ducks, and his ingrate citizenry have tossed out his big legacy, the European Constitution; Mr. Schröder's government was defeated and he's now shilling for Russia's state-owned Gazprom ("It's all about Gaz!"); and the latest member of the coalition of the unwilling to hit the skids is Canada's Liberal Party, which fell from office on Monday. John Kerry may have wanted to "rejoin the community of nations." Instead, "the community of nations" has joined John Kerry, windsurfing off Nantucket in electric-yellow buttock-hugging Lycra, or whatever he's doing these days.

Mark Steyn

20 Years Ago

Shuttle loss a rude awakening for NASA



Twenty years ago, space shuttle Challenger blew apart into jets of fire and plumes of smoke, a terrifying sight witnessed by the families of the seven astronauts and onlookers who came to watch the historic launch of the first teacher in space.

I was in 6th grade when Challenger blew up... It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since it happened.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hard Line State: Big Labor's War on Wal-Mart Claims Casualties Among Poor Marylanders

by Steve H. Hanke and Stephen Walters
Cato Institute

In Big Labor's war against Wal-Mart, "collateral damage"--in the form of lost jobs and income for the poor--is starting to add up. Of course, since the unions and their legislative allies claim that their motive is to liberate people from exploitation by Wal-Mart, these unintended effects are often ignored.

Dumb(_!_) Quote of the Day...

"[Sam Alito] does not share the values of equality and justice that make this country strong,"

Sen. Ted Kennedy

Sheehan to Feinstein: Filibuster Alito, Or I'll Run Against You

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has threatened to run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) seat unless Feinstein filibusters Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Sheehan, who was in Caracas, Venezuela Friday attending the World Social Forum, heard that several Democrats planned to filibuster Alito but that Feinstein, who is up for re-election in November, announced that she will vote against Alito but would not filibuster the nomination.

"I'm appalled that Diane Feinstein wouldn't recognize how dangerous Alito's nomination is to upholding the values of our constitution and restricting the usurpation of presidential powers, for which I've already paid the ultimate price," Sheehan said in a statement.

Melanie Hunter

Yoo hoo! Cindy! Your fifteen minutes were up quite a while ago. That didn't stop you from reminding everyone that you are a Grieving Mother (version 1.0, registered trademark, patent pending).

What a pathetic excuse for a human.

Republicans need to relearn lessons of the Reagan Revolution

It is hard to believe, but it has been 25 remarkable and often hopeful years since Ronald Reagan won one of the most important elections of the 20th century. Now, as Republicans go through their autumn of discontent and confusion, they would do well to look back a quarter century and study the leader who created the modern conservative movement and the modern Republican Party.

In a world in which the Soviet Union has been defeated, Germany has been reunited, pride in being an American is high (61 percent extraordinarily proud, 22 percent very proud according to Gallup in January 2005), and in which we have had an almost unbroken two decades of growing economic opportunity, productivity and prosperity, it is hard to remember just how bad things were shortly before former Gov. Reagan became President.

Newt Gingrich

An older article but worth the read.

Alito and the "unitary executive"

In reference to Andy's post about Kerry threatening a filibuster, our buddy Tucker posted a rant. I'm not going to belabor the main board with his screeds, but you can read them here if you're so inclined.

I challenged him to produce some evidence, other than DNC talking points, of any tendency by Alito to "extend and/or increase the powers of the executive branch." The fact that Tucker is almost verbatim repeating the verbiage used by Kennedy, Biden, and Schumer on this issue is probably proof enough that he doesn't understand the topic. He replied with a typically juvenile rant, but he did provide some links on the topic. Predictably, the links are to sites (like New Republic) that are nothing more than the online outlets of the DNC's talking points.

All things being equal, I would probably have ignored this, but it does illustrate a fundamental difference between those who believe in preserving the republic in keeping with the original intent of the founders and those who would transform us into something closer to a participatory democracy which will inevitably lead to a Soviet-style socialist state. The former group is usually mislabeled as "conservative" whereas the latter group are accurately called "Democrats."

Here are Tucker's links:

Consortium News

The New Republic

Common Dreams

University of Michigan Law School

In fairness, the last link is simply the text of a speech Alito gave to the Federalist Society. Keep in mind that Democrats and the left view the Federalist Society as an extremist organization.

Here are some rebuttal links:

Confirm Them

Committee for Justice (Certainly no right-wing source)

I'm not going to go into a long analysis of each side of this. I'm just going to summarize my views on the subject, backed, as always, with logic and facts.

What is this horrific principle of the "unitary executive?" First and foremost, it is the utterly radical concept that the chief executive officer (that being the President) is solely in charge of the executive branch of the government. Imagine that. Further, supporters (I'll refrain from using the religious semantics adopted by the left) of the unitary executive offer that the Constitution is less specific on the powers of the executive than it is on those of the legislative, therefore, they reason, the framers intended that the executive branch have broader latitude, within the confines of the executive than the enumerated powers of the Congress. Recently, supporters of the unitary executive believe that the independent counsel law, enacted after Watergate, usurps the constitutionally granted powers of the executive. Apparently the Congress agreed in 1999 when it allowed the law to expire. These supporters also believe that recent decisions by the courts as well as certain legislation passed by Congress have tipped the balance of power in favor of the legislative branch.

In typically hyperbolic fashion, the Democrats have spun adherents of this principle as being in favor of expanding the power of the executive. Their functionaries, people like Tucker and Linda Brinson, have dutifully regurgitated this line with little or no understanding of what they are saying. The truth of the matter is that supporters of the principle seek to restore a balance intended by the framers which has been usurped over the last half century by an out-of-control judiciary and an irresponsible Congress.

But on to the meat of what Tucker, Linda, and the rest of the Democrats and leftists are really balled up about. It is the continual assertion of the unitary executive by the current dimwit occupying the White House. I strongly suspect that Bush understands the principle about as well as Tucker does, but even if he has a full understanding of it, it is simply the fact that this particular President, who they so viscerally hate, asserts it. The Congress has become so used to overstepping its authority without consequence, an executive who pushes back raises their ire. Of course, a reasonable argument could be made that were it a Democrat asserting the same separation of powers, Kennedy, Schumer, Kerry, et al would be curiously silent. Even more telling would be the fact that the supporters of the unitary executive would also be silent.

One final note, support of the unitary executive is in keeping with Alito's alignment with constitutional originalists. Of course, there is utterly no indication that Alito's (or Scalia's or Thomas's) support of the unitary executive would form an overarching consideration for all of their judicial decisions. There is even less to suggest that any supporter of the unitary executive would support the Bush Administration in their claims of such. Indeed, the second rebuttal link I posted goes into that topic in some detail. In short, any "true conservative," whatever that means, would most certainly be in support of the unitary executive.

Tucker asked how we would feel if Al Gore had, should he become President, the powers allowed by supporters of the unitary executive. First and foremost it is a moot question since the chance of Al Gore becoming President is roughly the same as that of the sun going super nova in the next fifteen minutes. But the answer, hypothetical or not, would be that we would support such powers granted by the constitution to the duly elected chief executive. It is the Democrats and the left who seek to twist the structure of government to favor their own when in power. Those of us who are constitutional conservatives, as much as we might dislike whoever might currently inhabit the White House, support the powers vested in that person unreservedly.

Google: Enemy of freedom

What can you say about a search engine that refuses to give the U.S. government the time of day, but is only too happy to cave in to the demands of the tyrannical, repressive dictators in Beijing?

About all you can say is "Google."

In case you haven't followed it, last week Google refused to hand over data on search patterns to the U.S. Justice Department in an investigation into child pornography.

Google cited the privacy of its users, but the U.S. government is not looking for details about personal usage – only for search patterns that would show the effectiveness of anti-porn filters. The government is trying to prove that minors could stumble on to child-porn websites by accident by entering quite innocent search terms. Its lawyers say that for its case to be tested, it needs a sample of actual searches.

Yahoo!, Microsoft's MSN and America Online all agreed to cooperate, insisting they would not hand over data that identified individual users. But Google, whose name has become synonymous with searches, refuses.

That was last week – and that was a seemingly reasonable request by the U.S. government. This week, however, concerns about big-government intrusion went out the window at Google.

When the brutes in Beijing asked Google to censor its search results in China in exchange for more access to the world's fastest-growing Internet market, the search giant caved in without protest.

Joseph Farah

RE: Trial Demands Proof of Jesus

You left out the subtitle:

Miracle on Via Sacra? Atheist's publicity stunt succeeds

This is almost as funny as the guy who sued the Vatican over the "birthright" of the Merovingians. One of the funnier moments was when he publicly claimed to be a descendant of King Pepin "The Short."

Don't be Google

Google gives life to the Eric Hoffer observation, "People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them."

Google painted itself as heroic in refusing to help the U.S. Department of Justice's efforts to reinstate a 1998 federal Child Online Protection Act, then revealed that it was going to help the Chinese government suppress free speech. That sort of goes against the company's informal corporate motto, "Don't be evil."

Debra Saunders

"Some Google is better than no Google" is the official corporate line out of Google World Headquarters. An awful lot of people aren't buying it. There is a difference between being a functioning capitalist concern and simply being a whore. Apparently Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are unaware of the difference.

Trial Demands Proof of Jesus

From Christianity Today:

Luigi Cascioli wrote a book called The Fable of Christ (apparently self-published) which says Jesus didn't exist. Enrico Righi, a priest near Rome, wrote an article in the diocesan newspaper criticizing the claim. So Cascioli did something almost American: He sued.
Or, more accurately, Cascioli filed criminal charges against Righi, saying that he's breaking two Italian laws. The first, "abuse of popular belief/credulity," is an anti-fraud law. The second is "substitution of identity"— Cascioli charges that "the church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," an anti-Roman Jew in the first century.
"I started this lawsuit [in 2002] because I wanted to deal the final blow against the church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters.

Re: Two versions of Google

Ah, yes — what's that old saying about three sides to every story? And those who want to really know the truth about things will ultimately find the truth, no matter where they may reside or what search engine they use.
Google is playing along here for two reasons: a. business is business, and b. the Chinese are better with a mostly-functioning Google than without any Google at all.

Why I don’t take feminists seriously, part III

Hello again. This is the third installment in my series on the decline of feminism and you’re still hanging in there. You’re still reading every word, I guess. I’m asking because you didn’t speak to me again in the parking lot yesterday morning. When I passed, you took a sudden interest in the cracks in the sidewalk.

It reminded me of our conversation in 2004. You said my columns were too caustic, too inflammatory. But now it’s 2006 and you’re still reading them, even though they make you angry. That brings me to my next point about feminism.

Mike Adams

The Bible: a review

The other day my publisher here at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette appeared at my desk carrying a textbook designed for Bible courses in the public schools. Walter Hussman knew I'd be interested, since one of my many obsessions is the role of religion in American life.

Wait a minute. Is that legal - to teach the Bible in a public school? Didn't the Supreme Court nix that kind of thing? No, it didn't, although that's a common misconception. The court ruled against imposing prayer on students in the public schools, not studying religion. To quote its decision:

"Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment." - Abington v. Schempp, 1963.

Paul Greenberg

Reid admits Democrats can't block Alito

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted on Friday he and fellow Democrats lack the votes to block President George W. Bush's nomination of conservative appeals judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Everyone knows there is not enough votes to support a filibuster," Reid said, referring to the procedural roadblock that some Democrats said should be used to put off a vote on Alito.

Maybe Harry should give John F'ing Kerry a ring to let him know.

Two Versions of Google

Credit to Little Green Footballs

tiananmen - Google Image Search.

tiananmen - Google Image Search in China.

Google needs to heed the old adage: If you sleep with dogs, you will have fleas.

Gore accuses big oil of bankrolling Tories

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their "ultra-conservative leader" to protect its stake in Alberta's lucrative oilsands.

Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord -- an international agreement to combat climate change.

Renata D'Aliesio and Katherine Monk

Conspiracy theories abound. What's next, Al? UFOs? Black helicopters?

Kerry Urges Alito Filibuster, but His Reception Is Cool

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts could not attend the Senate debate on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. on Thursday. He was in Davos, Switzerland, hobnobbing with international business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum.

But late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Kerry began calling fellow Democratic senators in a quixotic, last-minute effort for a filibuster to stop the nomination.

Democrats cringed and Republicans jeered at the awkwardness of his gesture, which almost no one in the Senate expects to succeed.

David D. Kirkpatrick

An unofficial tally of votes posted on Free Republic shows about 70 yes votes for cloture on any filibuster of Alito. At Democratic Underground, there was dancing in the cyber-streets until Democrat after Democrat came forward to announce they would not support Senator F'ing Kerry in his windmill tilting. The mood there suddenly took a very glum turn. One FReeper has dubbed Kerry a "gutless turd" for calling for the filibuster from a ski resort in Switzerland. Kerry's only vocal supporter on this is Teddy "Splash" Kennedy. Could there be any more eloquent example of just how far "Turd" Kerry and "Splash" Kennedy are from reality in the rest of America?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kerry, Other Democrats Threaten Alito Filibuster

Fox News

Massachusetts Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, along with a small number of other Senate Democrats, have threatened a filibuster to block the vote for Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, FOX News has learned.

The GOP should dare these liberal Democrats to filibuster Alito... :-)

Senators in Need of a Spine

From the New York Times:

A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

Even more reason to like Alito. :-)

The Roberts-Alito Court

Thank you, Ted Kennedy and Ralph Neas.


With at least 52 Senators already on record in support, it's clear that--short of some smear ex machina--liberal Democrats can't stop Samuel Alito from being confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court. So it's a good moment to consider what this says about our politics and what it means for the Court as it enters a new era.

Nation's ninth-largest bank to cease eminent domain loans

Regional bank BB&T Corp. will make no loans to developers who plan to build commercial projects on land taken from private citizens by the government through the power of eminent domain, the company said Wednesday.

"The idea that a citizen's property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it's just plain wrong," John Allison, chairman and chief executive of the Winston-Salem-based bank, said in a statement.

It's good to see a bank take a principled position like this, but I suspect that there is also some sound business thinking here as well. Banks have more to lose from eminent domain abuses than anyone other than the property owner.

Overcrowding in Stokes schools is urgent matter, superintendent says

School officials in Stokes County say that years of inadequate county financing for renovations has forced the school district to spend state money that could have been saved for the construction of a new school.

"It's really important that local budgets keep pace with needs," said Larry Cartner, the superintendent of Stokes County Schools.

Sherry Youngquist

Not true at all. The problem is years of control of the Board of Commissioners by a real estate agent whose agenda was to sell houses and develop land, regardless of the impact to services offered by the county. That irresponsibility is a burden Stokes County taxpayers will be shouldering for years, maybe decades to come.

Osama doesn’t matter any more

Bin Laden supposedly staged 9/11 because he was having a hard time getting America’s attention. Through the 1990s, he blew up embassies and barracks, and Bill Clinton could barely zip his pants up long enough to lob a token cruise missile at an empty tent. In 2000, al-Qa’eda attacked the USS Cole in harbour and killed 17 sailors. The Defense Secretary, Bill Cohen, advised Mr Clinton that the attack ‘was not sufficiently provocative’ to warrant a response. So a year later Osama tried again — and this time he got his response.

He was convinced that, if you drew America into war, it would lose. Al-Qa’eda has no fear of superpowers. It believes it brought down the Soviet Union, which was weak but vicious. So America, being weak and decadent, should have been a piece of cake. Osama’s entire strategy was based on the notion that Americans are soft and pampered and just can’t hack a real war with real enemies. And, given the amount of CNN and BBC he watches, why wouldn’t he think that?

Mark Steyn

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday Funnies

David Letterman: "Top Questions On The Al Jazeera Anchor Application": Would we need to provide you with a company camel?; If things don't work out, would you rather be shot or hanged?; Where do you see your beard in five years?; Are you willing to work with our cranky commentator, Ahmed Rooney?; Do you promise not to tell anyone we've been hiding Osama in the supply closet?; Can we put a hidden camera in your turban?; How many different languages can you say, "Death to America"?

Jay Leno: The government is still analyzing Osama bin Laden's latest tape. On his most recent release he called Bush a liar and said that he was just after oil. It's the usual stuff we have heard before. Like at the Golden Globes. ... On the tape, bin Laden has three demands: That we pull our troops out of Iraq, that we pull the troops out of Afghanistan, and he wants to see actual stars on "Dancing With the Stars." ... New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is being criticized for saying that God wants New Orleans to be a chocolate city and that the hurricanes were because God was mad at us. The good news, he was nominated for the Pat Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award. ... Here's your government at work. This week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for thousands of Christmas lights that they say may pose a risk of electric shock. They're recalling Christmas lights. Good timing. What is it, January now? You think this is maybe where the ex-head of FEMA wound up? ... The "National Inquirer" has reported that Ted Kennedy has a 21-year-old secret love child. Is that really the most accurate term, "love child"? Isn't "drunken fling child" a bit more like it? ... Senator Kennedy wasn't available for comment on the love child—he was overseeing a hearing on ethics. ... NBC has cancelled the "West Wing." That's when you know things are bad—when even fictional Democrats aren't doing well. Can't even get elected on TV anymore.

On Alito, Republicans Win, Democrats Talk

In the Senate, it’s all over but the scheduling.

By Byron York
National Journal Online

On Capitol Hill this morning, Senate Republicans are dealing with a dilemma — the kind of dilemma that troubles only those who have already gotten what they wanted.

It's Not Just Pork

By Paul Chesser
The American Spectator

The fallout from the Jack Abramoff scandal, and the resultant competition for new Republican leadership in the House, has produced a growing refrain calling for an end to federal budget "earmarks." But pork proliferation is only part of the story behind the corruption problems created by oversized government.

As Patrick Chisholm wrote this week in the Christian Science Monitor, the complicity of alleged conservatives (i.e. Republicans) in the practice of expanding government represents a "triumph of the redistributionist left."

Abortion Stops a Bleeding Heart

The Democrats are trying to "reframe" their message to make people think they believe abortion is wrong. I think this is going to be a hard sell if they plan to continue ferociously defending abortion-on-demand right up until the moment the baby's head is through the birth canal.

But both The New York Times and The Washington Post have recently run op-eds by liberals calling for Democrats to abandon their single-minded devotion to Roe v. Wade.

Ann Coulter

Political corruption: Part II

The over-riding quest for re-election is at the heart of the corruption of public officials who betray the public trust in order to get the money needed to pay for their political campaigns. It is hard to see how that corruption can be ended, except by ending re-elections with a limit of one term and a ban on running for another office for several years.

That way, the one term can be spent taking care of the duties of the office instead of taking care of promoting a political career in that office or other offices.

Thomas Sowell

Why I don't take feminists seriously, part II

After I published yesterday’s column (Why I don’t take feminists seriously), a feminist who works in my building really gave me the cold shoulder. In fact, she didn’t say a word to me all day. It was meant to be a form of punishment. But, actually, it was a reward. And it provides a good introduction to my next point about feminists.

5. Most feminists do not have a sense of humor.

Mike Adams

Why I don’t take feminists seriously (Part 1)

Dear Daisy:

First of all, let me tell you how thrilled I am to receive hate mail from a feminist named “Daisy.” I can’t think of many names – with the possible exceptions of Coco, Mercedes, and Jasmine – that could make you sound less like a feminist and more like a stripper in a club that offers two-dollar table dances. Nonetheless, I will try to answer most of your questions, sent via e-mail.

Mike Adams.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ky. Gov. Denies Pamela Anderson's Request

Fox News

With a bust in the balance, Kentucky's governor is siding with Colonel Sanders over Pamela Anderson.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher wrote the "Stacked" actress to say a bust of the KFC founder will stay in the Kentucky Capitol, despite Anderson's claim that Sanders is a symbol of cruelty to chickens.

Where Did the Democrats' Big '06 Go?

By John McIntyre
Real Clear Politics

Somewhere between President Bush’s Veterans Day’s speech last year when he personally fired back at Democrats who had been continually suggesting that he had lied the country into war and the December 16th New York Times revelation of the NSA wiretapping program, the outlook for the 2006 elections began to shift.

Stokes News 'Letters to the editor' from Jan. 19, 2006

Alliance gives first report on health care

It lists services used most in Stokes County and those in decline

By Sherry Youngquist


Representatives from two of the region's biggest health-care providers - Forsyth Medical Center and N.C. Baptist Hospital - came together last night as the Stokes Health Services Alliance to identify what they see as some of Stokes County's most heavily used medical services.

The alliance's report, which came during a regular meeting of the Stokes County Board of Commissioners, also gave an account of those health-care services in declining use, such as the Danbury hospital that continues to lose about $1.5 million a year.

Though no recommendations were made to county officials last night about the hospital, some commissioners said they continue to keep their eye on Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

Fancy and Reality in Political Races

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

Democrats have been targeting three North Carolina congressional districts for takeover in 2006, but the most likely scenario is, once again, only a single competitive race.

Remembering the Gipper

"When you insist upon legal protection for all human life, you're simply being true to our most basic principles and convictions as Americans. We'll continue to work together with Members of the Congress to overturn the tragedy of Roe versus Wade. By your presence today, you reaffirm the self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence. Each year remarkable advances in prenatal medicine bring even more dramatic confirmation of what common sense has told us all along: that the child in the womb is simply what each of us once was, a very young, very small, dependent, and very vulnerable live member of the human family... Our nation's affirmation of the sacredness of all human life must begin with respect for our most basic civil right: the right to life."

Ronald Reagan

A Howardesque leader

A SAD day for Michael Moore. In the event of a terrible tragedy, the corpulent anti-corporate crusader is wont, like the Queen and Kofi Annan, to issue a formal statement to the world. And his "Michael Moore Statement On Canadian Election" made distressing reading: "Oh, Canada - you're not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That's a joke, right?"

Well, no. In a very Canadian kind of revolution, we rose up yesterday and threw the bums out but gave them a soft, fluffy landing, nevertheless installing in office a minority government that somehow managed to get itself elected despite having the word "Conservative" in its name.

Mark Steyn

And no, there is no such thing as too much Steyn.

The Celtic canary in the UK's coal mine

For example, consider the following headline from the Scotsman the other week: "Teaching jobs in doubt as pensioners set to outnumber pupils by 2009."

This was a story by Peter MacMahon, the paper's "Scottish Government Editor", and it begins thus: "Scotland's demographic time bomb will explode in three years, when the number of pensioners north of the Border overtakes the number of children in school, the Executive has been warned."

Seems straightforward enough: the country's demographic death spiral is accelerating faster than expected. And, as far as the Scotsman is concerned, the alarming thing about this development is that it could put cushy state teaching jobs "in doubt".

Mark Steyn

Political corruption

Present members of Congress win votes by promising such goodies. That leaves it up to future members of Congress to figure out how to welsh on those promises, which could not be met without jacking up tax rates to unprecedented levels.

Even that probably wouldn't provide enough money, since confiscatory tax rates confiscate the incentives needed to keep the economy going. An alternative political ploy would be to pay people the amount of money that was promised but in dollars so inflated that they won't buy anything close to what dollars bought when they were paid into the Social Security system.

Thomas Sowell

Monday, January 23, 2006

Supreme Court takes a pass on BlackBerry case

Today, the US Supreme Court declined to hear BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's appeal of lower court findings that it infringed on patents owned by patent holding company NTP. As a result, the fate of RIM's US fortunes are once again in the hands of US District Court Judge James Spencer. In November 2005, Judge Spencer declined to enforce a March 2005 US$450 million settlement between RIM and NTP was invalid, raising the spectre of the enforcement of an injunction against the sale of BlackBerrys in the US and the operation of RIM's network.

Eric Bangeman

If you own a Blackberry, now might be a good time to start looking at alternatives.

Booming, Again: Bobcats Arena defied critics, has helped central Charlotte

Strother & I went to the Rolling Stones concert at Bobcats Arena back in October '05; matter of fact, it was the grand opening for the new arena. I'll admit, it is a very nice arena, and Strother & I didn't have any problems with parking, etc.

The Crying Day

Get out the hankies and stay under the covers; psychologist says today's the worst


Having a bad day? Well, no wonder. According to one scientist, today is the gloomiest day of 2006.


WHEN the Russians start complaining about the weather, you know you're in trouble.

For several days now, nighttime temperatures in Moscow have plummeted below minus 30oC and, by the time you read this, the Russian capital will be gripped by its lowest-ever figure, minus 41¡C.

Will Stewart

For the conversion challenged, -40 Celsius is approximately -40 Fahrenheit and -50 C is approximately -58 F. These temperatures are also known by their scientific names: too freakin' cold.

RE: Basketball Revisionism

Agenda, agenda, agenda. I guess Hollyweird is going to have to go through a doldrum that wipes out the major players, similar to those of the 1930s, 1950s, and 1980s.

It would be so nice to be able to pick from some good movies that feature major stars and directors that were produced solely for the purpose of entertainment. These days, we pretty much stick with the action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, and comic book adaptation genres. If you go see something that isn't pure escapist fare, you risk being bludgeoned with leftist agenda. One notable exception was The March of the Penguins. It was great to see a nature movie without even a single moment of environmentalist BS. I highly recommend it.

NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 Seasons

AP Television Writer


The new president on "The West Wing" will be a real short-timer: NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May.

Believe it or not, I've never seen "The West Wing".

Basketball Revisionism

By George Will
Real Clear Politics

A Division I college basketball program is not the sort of enterprise easily confused with a seminary or a seminar on ethics. But according to what is currently America's most popular movie, 40 years ago one such program became a nation-shaking, history-shaping moral force. The movie, although not too noble to palter with facts, is no more parsimonious with the truth than movies often are when turning history into entertainment.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Man charged with killing twin daughters

MATTHEWS, N.C. -- Two twin girls were stabbed to death Friday at their home on Creek Pointe Drive, police said.

The father of the 5-year-olds, David Lauren Crespi, has been charged with murdering them.

Shawn Flynn

I posted this to remind people that evil is real and it walks among us. I know several people who knew this couple personally.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Still Morning in America

Reaganomics, 25 years later.


Twenty-five years ago today, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States promising less intrusive government, lower tax rates and victory over communism. On that same day, the American hostages in Iran were freed after 444 days of captivity. If the story of history is one long and arduous march toward freedom, this was a momentous day well worth commemorating.

All the more so because over this 25-year period prosperity has been the rule, not the exception, for America--in stark contrast to the stagflationary 1970s. Perhaps the greatest tribute to the success of Reaganomics is that, over the course of the past 276 months, the U.S. economy has been in recession for only 15. That is to say, 94% of the time the U.S. economy has been creating jobs (43 million in all) and wealth ($30 trillion). More wealth has been created in the U.S. in the last quarter-century than in the previous 200 years. The policy lessons of this supply-side prosperity need to be constantly relearned, lest we return to the errors that produced the 1970s.

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Reagan Revolution!!!

Today is the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan being sworn-in as the 40th president of the United States. I have a link above to the video of Reagan taking the oath and giving his inauguration address. The inauguration address is a classic... :-)

Not a Bad Time to Take Stock

Thoughts on the decline of the liberal media monopoly and the future of the GOP.

By Peggy Noonan

I don't think Democrats understand that the Alito hearings were, for them, not a defeat but an actual disaster. The snarly tone the senators took with a man most Americans could look at and think, "He's like me," and the charges they made--You oppose women and minorities, you only like corporations and not the little guy--went nowhere. Once those charges would have taken flight, would have launched, found their target and knocked down any incoming Republican. Not any more. It's over.

Hillary's "Plantation" and 2008

By John McIntyre
Real Clear Politics

Senator Clinton’s Martin Luther King Day speech was perhaps the first gaffe in the 2008 presidential race. While it would be silly to characterize this mistake as a huge issue that is going to derail her candidacy, it does provide an opportunity to take a look at Hillary’s candidacy and her chances for the Democratic nomination and the Presidency.

Teddy's Last Gasp On Alito

From the Drudge Report:

THE DRUDGE REPORT has learned Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) office is behind a last ditch effort to stop Judge Samuel A. Alito's confirmation before next week's vote using a 2004 recusal request.

Reagan: 25 Years Later

From Townhall.com:

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's inauguration as president, a day on which he famously said, "We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look." We do now.

State should spurn anti-Wal-Mart bill

From the Rocky Mountain News:

If Colorado follows Maryland's lead, look for Wal-Mart to slow local expansion plans, and maybe raise prices. Low-income consumers who save hundreds of dollars a year at Wal-Mart would hardly call that fair. Nor would the entry-level workers who'll find fewer opportunities for meaningful employment as the hiring windows at Wal-Mart close.

And yet the union PR machines continue to bellow that organized labor is looking out for the little guy. Go figure.

Robbing Wal-Mart

By George Will

Maryland's grasping for Wal-Mart's revenues opens a new chapter in the degeneracy of state governments that are eager to spend more money than they have the nerve to collect straightforwardly in taxes.

Below the Minimum Wage

by Alan Reynolds
Cato Institute

"Is How Much You Pay a Worker a Moral Issue?" asks the magazine cover. Well, moralizing can easily substitute for economics among elitists who don't really care how many more people they shove into the ranks of those paid less than some local or national minimum.

Those displaced from job opportunities by a higher minimum wage have to abandon the job search or they have to compete in larger numbers for scarce jobs that pay less than the minimum wage. Such intensified rivalry must push the lowest wages even lower. As moral issues go, this "living wage" crusade is purely malevolent.

Tab claims 21-year-old is Teddy's boy

From the New York Daily News:

Ted Kennedy is breaking out his scandal squad, now that The National Enquirer is claiming he has a secret love child.

According to the tab, the Massachusetts senator took a paternity test that proved he'd fathered a son - now 21 - by a Cape Cod woman half his age.

Kennedy's office yesterday denounced the story, calling it "irresponsible fiction."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

RE: RE: South American election news

I've always found South American politics to be interesting, even if not very meaningful. For as long as I have paid attention to it (going back to the early 1970s), it has always been a pendulum, sometimes swinging from far left to far right in less than a year.

From what I've read — history of SA politics — I agree that it may be mostly unaffecting of things here in the US, but several things make me wonder what may happen in the SA political climate over the next decade: an aging Castro and Chavez' relationship, Venezuela's oil riches and its influence/effect on neighboring countries, a seemingly anti-US sentiment throughout South and Central America, and changes in trade and immigration. All this makes me think that a big SA political surprise of some sort might happen in the next 10 years.

The US has ever been the bogeyman for South American socialists (and more than a few fascists). I think it safe to say that Bolivia's defenses and their relative strength is pretty far down on the US military's list of concerns.

I agree, but a continent of nations that grow to resent their neighbor is a slightly scary thought to me. Small numbers add up to big ones — Bolivia plus Venezuela plus whoever is next to think that the US govt. is out to get them... You know what I mean.

'Chocolate City' Sprinkled With Nuts

So Hillary Clinton thinks the House of Representatives is being "run like a plantation." And, she added, "you know what I'm talking about."

First of all: Think about what a weird coincidence it is that Hillary would have made these remarks in a black church in Harlem on Martin Luther King Day. What are the odds? Did she even know it was a holiday? Bravely spoken, Senator. I haven't been this surprised since finding out Hollywood likes a movie about gay cowboys.

Ann Coulter

RE: South American election news

I've always found South American politics to be interesting, even if not very meaningful. For as long as I have paid attention to it (going back to the early 1970s), it has always been a pendulum, sometimes swinging from far left to far right in less than a year. In the early 1980s, the Chilean government's number one activity seemed to be killing off its own people. In Bolivia, the back-and-forth always seemed to be between those who wanted to eradicate the Indians and those who wanted to free them (from what was never very clear). South American politicians are amazingly transparent and almost always paranoid, vis-a-vis Mr Morales:

At the time, Evo Morales - who will take office on Sunday - had called it a US plot to weaken Bolivian defences.

The US has ever been the bogeyman for South American socialists (and more than a few fascists). I think it safe to say that Bolivia's defenses and their relative strength is pretty far down on the US military's list of concerns.

South American election news

I'm not sure how interested the other BPers are in Central and South American politics, but the recent elections in Bolivia and Chile are certainly getting my attention. Things really seem to be changing for our neighbors to the south... Here are just three interesting stories from BBC News involving Bolivia and Chile...

Bolivia President Sacks Army Head
Bolivia's outgoing President Eduardo Rodriguez has sacked the army chief and ordered a probe into the destruction in the US of some 30 missiles in October. Mr Rodriguez said he had been told the ageing Chinese missiles posed a safety risk and had authorised American help with their decommissioning. But, he said, the army should not have sent them out of the country. At the time, Evo Morales - who will take office on Sunday - had called it a US plot to weaken Bolivian defences.

Bolivia to scrap Indian ministry
Bolivia's President-elect, Evo Morales, says he will scrap his country's indigenous affairs ministry.
Mr Morales, an Aymara Indian who on Sunday will become his country's first indigenous president, said the ministry amounted to a form of discrimination. He said the ministry for women would be abolished for the same reason, adding that his cabinet would include Indian leaders and women. In Bolivia, indigenous people represent more than 60% of the population.

The woman taking Chile's top job
Chile's first woman president, Michelle Bachelet, is breaking many political traditions.
Not only is she a woman, but she calls herself a socialist and she is a single parent with a 12-year-old daughter and two other grown children. Giving a victory speech to cheering supporters in Santiago, Ms Bachelet said: "Who would have thought, just five years ago, that Chile would have a woman president?" Outgoing President Ricardo Lagos has hailed her election as an "historic triumph". Chilean society is often portrayed as ultra-conservative, dominated by men and the Roman Catholic Church. Only 4% of senators are women and divorce was only introduced last year. But Ms Bachelet believes this is only part of the picture and Chile is changing - as reflected by her election victory.

RE: Alito a Bad Choice

As usual, the Journal is too cowardly to put a by-line on these kinds of articles.

A few interesting points:

...the Journal cannot endorse that decision.

All of Western Civilization trembles at the thought. This is high comedy. Linda's gotten just a bit too big for her britches, methinks.

On matters of professional and personal qualifications, Alito is eminently qualified to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the court.

But, on matters of judicial and legal philosophy, he is not.

Some will argue that these matters are not germane to the confirmation process, that a candidate for the high court should be judged on his personal and professional qualifications alone.

That is not so.

Says who, Linda? Show me where there is any law, guideline, or even tradition that says otherwise. It is on personal and professional qualifications alone that a SCOTUS nominee should ever be considered. Beyond that, judicial philosophy is a matter for the President to decide in picking his nominees. The Senate is not even allowed, under the Constitution, to consider judicial philosophy in its role of "advice and consent."

In Alito, the court will not be getting the kind of moderately conservative justice it had in O'Connor.

Well thank goodness for that. Characterizing O'Conner as "moderately conservative" is a real hoot. And someone please tell me where the left's insistence on replacement in-kind gained any footing in reality? If there is a tradition on the courts over the last 50 years, it has been to replace sound, judicial originalists with ever more outlandish pseudo-legislators.

If Alito holds true to his previous decisions, he can be expected to prefer the arguments of a strong government over those for individual rights.

That is utter horse manure, Linda. Alito has a long history of preferring individual rights over government power. Maybe you should actually read his record instead of taking the Chucky Schumer/Ted Kennedy/Joe Biden Cliff Notes version as gospel.

He will not be sympathetic to concerns about environmental protection.

You mean he won't bend over to every enviro-whack-job with a mission to save the world from itself. This is a good thing, Linda.

He will side with those who would erode the separation of church and state...

Meaning he won't automatically side with every atheist nutcase who is pissed off about his town's manger scene. Another good thing, Linda.

...and he will vote to narrow individual privacy rights, especially those related to the right to have an abortion.

I'm still waiting for the downside, Linda. Just to make sure the record is clear, there is no "right to privacy" guaranteed by the Constitution and even if there were, it would not apply to abortion. So the characterization of "narrowed privacy rights" is a fairy tale from top to bottom.

Possibly most threatening is his belief in the prominence of the executive branch of government.

Of course Linda only thinks this is a bad thing when there is not a liberal Democrat in the White House. Were it Hillary sitting in the Oval Office, Linda would be pushing for the courts to give the Beast cart blanche. Furthermore, Alito has no record of "preferring the executive branch." Early in his career, he made an ill turn of phrase (if only Linda was guilty of just one), and the degenerates on the Judiciary Committee jumped on it with both feet. Alito's judicial record most certainly does not reflect any such belief.

This can't be said enough: The left's goal on the SCOTUS is to push their agenda by judicial fiat. They want an oligarchy to implement their ideas which would never get past the American electorate. The left, and its spokesmen, like Linda Brinson, are in favor of tyranny so long as it meets their ends. And even though they might be unwitting and ignorant rubes (like Linda), they are no less evil for supporting that goal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Alito a Bad Choice

Winston-Salem Journal

Although the U.S. Senate is on the brink of confirming Judge Samuel Alito as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Journal cannot endorse that decision...

Alito will not be in the center, and he is not a mainstream conservative. He will join Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in a far-right bloc...

This is not to say that Alito is not a fine man and a brilliant lawyer. But he would take this country in directions that will not serve the American people well.
This gives me even more reason to like Alito. :-)

Fork replaces donkey as Democratic party symbol

By Ann Coulter

With all their hysteria about Valerie Plame, I had nearly forgotten what the Democratic Party stands for. It's good to be reminded that the sole item on the Democrats' agenda is abortion.

According to Dianne Feinstein, Roe v. Wade is critically important because "women all over America have come to depend on it." At its most majestic, this precious right that women "have come to depend on" is the right to have sex with men they don't want to have children with.

There's a stirring principle! Leave aside the part of this precious constitutional right that involves (1) not allowing Americans to vote on the matter, and (2) suctioning brains out of half-born babies. The right to have sex with men you don't want to have children with is not exactly "Give me liberty, or give me death."

Wednesday Funnies

David Letterman: "Top Reasons Saddam Hussein's Chief Judge Resigned": Wants to spend more time with his goat; Unflattering courtroom sketches make him look chunky; Got a part in the hit reality show "Mustaching With The Stars"; Just named partner at the law firm Muhammad, Muhammad, Muhammad, and Weintraub; Lost faith in everything after finding out Oprah's book club is rigged; Courtroom reeks of beard dye and curry; Finally got clearance to open Iraq's first Jack in the Box franchise; I don't know, the daily death threats?

Jay Leno: Senator Ted Kennedy announced that he and his dog Splash are writing a children's book. Is Splash the best name for Ted Kennedy's dog? Isn't that a bit like Jack Abramoff naming his dog Bribe? ... Have you watched any of these confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito? Senators are given thirty minutes to question the guy: thirty minutes exactly. Senator Joe Biden's question took 23 1/2 minutes. And Alito is smart. He's brilliant. Do you know what he said? "I'm sorry, could you repeat the question?" ... Ted Kennedy got pretty contentious, after he pointed out that Alito once belonged to a club that didn't allow women, it was discovered that Senator Kennedy also once belonged to a club that wouldn't allow women. Of course, with Kennedy those were club rules in place purely for the safety of women. ... Ted Kennedy questioned Judge Alito's integrity when Alito was at Princeton. As you may know, Kennedy was kicked out of Harvard for cheating. So when it comes to questionable integrity in college he knows what he is talking about. ... As you know, Governor Schwarzenegger was caught riding around on his motorcycle without a motorcycle license. I just hope this doesn't encourage other people in California to drive without a proper license. You'd hate to see something like that catch on here.

Suit seeks to stop Kellogg from targeting kids

A consumer group wants to keep Tony the Tiger from promoting sugary cereals on the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon show, or anywhere else kids are watching.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest on Wednesday announced legal action to try to stop the Kellogg Co., maker of cereals like Frosted Flakes, and Nickelodeon cable network Viacom Inc., from marketing junk food to children.

The food nazis never sleep. I found this curious:

The planned lawsuit in Massachusetts is the latest attempt to use the courts to try to battle the growing obesity crisis in the United States.

Obesity crisis? I can't decide whether this hyperbole is just to garner attention to the article, or whether it is leftist cover language for forcing more nanny-state intervention in people's lives.

Myth: Schools don't have enough money

The NEA says public schools need more money. That's the refrain heard in politicians' speeches, ballot initiatives and maybe even in your child's own classroom. At a union demonstration, teachers carried signs that said schools will only improve "when the schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

Not enough money for education? It's a myth.

John Stossel

Democrat Nelson Says He'll Back Alito

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska on Tuesday became the first Democrat to announce he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Nelson, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, said in a statement that he had made up his mind to support Alito "because of his impeccable judicial credentials, the American Bar Association's strong recommendation and his pledge that he would not bring a political agenda to the court."

Kicking Bad Habits

Understand what causes such behavior, experts say


Want to quit late-night snacking? Stop smoking? Control your temper? Exercise more? Stop procrastinating? Get places on time? There are legions of experts who can help you - from therapists to hypnotists, from life coaches to motivational gurus - each with their own spin on how to jettison bad habits and create healthful new ones.

However, while the particulars may vary from expert to expert - whether it takes a trance or inner-strength or visualization or writing your goals on paper or watching inspirational movies - a few central tenets do not.

First, don't just focus on the behavior you want to change. Instead, start by changing your thinking. Figure out why you developed the dubious habit to begin with.

Myrick acts and talks like a candidate for governor

By Scott Mooneyham

Capitol Press Association

You don't need to know Morse code to read the signals coming from the Sue Myrick camp these day. G-O-V-E-R-N-O-R.

RE: Banana Boat Hate Tour Comes to Duke

Wasn't Belfonte named the AARP's Person of the Year, and isn't he supposed to be some kind of goodwill ambassador??? I know one thing, Belfonte is a Marxist.

Remembering the Gipper

"The framers of our Constitution believed that the judicial branch should be removed from politics and that its only goal should be the fair and impartial administration of justice. But in the last few months, the confirmation of a judicial nominee has become a spectacle of misrepresentation and single-issue politics. To allow this unprecedented practice to become the rule would jeopardize the integrity and independence of the American system of justice."

Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

RE: Breaking News: Supreme Court upholds euthanasia

Welcome back, we missed you!

This is just more inconsistency and stupidity from the left side of the court. Anyone shocked or surprised by it hasn't been paying attention. Hopefully, we'll get one more pick after Alito and if Bush doesn't completely screw it up (not a sure bet at all), the court may even approach a semblance of balance again.

Senate Condemnation Hearings

The real purpose of all this grandstanding was to play to the gallery of the most rabid element of Democratic Party activists, people like the Hollywood leftists who contribute big bucks and who hate everything the administration stands for, as well as most of what most Americans stand for.

Despite the phony issues and overheated rhetoric by some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the only real objection to Judge Alito is that he could become the deciding "swing vote" on a closely divided Supreme Court by replacing Sandra Day O'Connor -- and that Judge Alito is not likely to be as sympathetic to liberal positions as Justice O'Connor has become over the years.

Thomas Sowell

Breaking News: Supreme Court upholds euthanasia

Hi all — just thought I'd return to the boards with something sure to get BP members' blood pumping.

From BBC News:

The US Supreme Court has upheld a law allowing doctors in the state of Oregon to help terminally ill patients die. It rejected an effort by the Bush administration to strike down the law, the only one of its kind in the US. Justices voted 6-3 to uphold Oregon's 1997 Death with Dignity act, under which doctors are thought to have helped about 200 people to die.
New Chief Justice John Roberts was in the minority in the Court's first major case on ethics since he joined it.

Beijing's New Enforcer: Microsoft

Microsoft has silenced a well-known blogger in China for committing journalism. At the Chinese government's request, the company closed the blog of Zhao Jing on Dec. 30 after he criticized the government's firing of editors at a progressive newspaper. Microsoft, which also acknowledges that its MSN Internet portal in China censors searches and blogs, is far from alone. Recently Yahoo admitted that it had helped China sentence a dissident to 10 years in prison by identifying him as the sender of a banned e-mail message.

Microsoft's Big Brother tendencies writ large.

Let's give Iran some of its own medicine

So let me see. On the one hand, we have a regime that is pressing full steam ahead with its nuclear programme and whose president has threatened to wipe another sovereign state off the map. And, on the other side of the negotiations, we have Her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Jack Straw has been at pains to emphasise that no military action against Iran is being contemplated by him or anybody else, but in a sign that he's losing patience with the mullahs Mr Straw's officials have indicated that they're prepared to consider the possibility of possibly considering the preparation of a possible motion on sanctions for the UN Security Council to consider the possibility of considering.

Mark Steyn

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Lies of Nancy Pelosi

Flies at a picnic have no greater agenda than to disrupt our sunny day and try to spoil the potato salad. Fortunately, the annoying pests can be sent on their way with a little repellant. Congressional liberals, similarly devoid of a stated economic agenda, are exhibiting the same behavior as picnic flies. Our repellant against these nuisances is to persistently tell the facts.

Herman Cain

Banana Boat Hate Tour Comes to Duke

When someone has a history of making insidious remarks—such as opining that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 were a result of “America’s hand of villainy,” calling President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world,” and comparing Colin Powell to a house “slave” and the Bush administration to the “Third Reich”—normal people tend to distance themselves from the bearer of such animosity.

Not Duke University. Ranked fifth nationally for its undergraduate program by U.S. News & World Report, the school is all smiles after having Calypso’s king of hate pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jason Mattera

Harry Belfonte gives Pat Robertson some stiff competition for "Public Lunatic of the Decade." And, of course, the mainstream press is giving him a pass.

Hoops of Fire

I find it, as grave somber Senate Democrats like to say, "troubling". Indeed, I find it not just "troubling" but sad that a party once so good at "the politics of personal destruction" has got so bad at it. The last time they had a Supreme Court nominee to hang upside down in the Democrat bondage dungeon was the John Roberts hearings. And at least, when hatchet man Chuck Schumer professed himself "troubled" by the "fullness" of John Roberts' "heart," the crack oppo-research guys had uncovered an "inappropriate" use of the word "amigo" by Roberts back in the early Eighties.

Mark Steyn

Democrats Powerless Against Alito

By John Tabin
The American Spectator

For all their badgering over mutual funds and alumni organizations, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee scarcely laid a glove on Samuel Alito this week. Yesterday Ryan Lizza at the New Republic laid out (subscription required) the thin gruel that Democrats have to work with if they hope to mount a filibuster. (They almost certainly won't do so -- but more on that in a minute.) Lizza notes that Alito easily explained every decision of his that Democrats' questioned, and writes that "Alito and his defenders on the Committee....defanged the major ethics issue -- the accusation that, as a judge, Alito should have recused himself from a case involving Vanguard, a company in which he had investments -- by simply pointing to the numerous legal ethicists who have declared the charge bunk."

Potential Deal on Gas-Tax Spat

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

Perhaps there are reasonable arguments in favor of the current gas-tax structure. But if the political establishment wants to retain the rate, it should promise to protect the funds and to cut other taxes.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Stare Decisis Scam

The once obscure law Latin phrase “stare decisis” used to be the exclusive property of pompous judges and still more pompous first year law students. Roughly translated it means “to stand pat.” Suddenly that phrase is sweeping the nation. Thanks to the perverted politics that Roe v. Wade begat, all sides of the burning debate over our constitutional future are looking for political advantage in the simple idea that courts should not lightly overrule their own precedents.

To the left, stare decisis means the Supreme Court’s mandate that every state must tolerate unlimited abortion on demand through nine months of pregnancy should be proof against rollback. Leftists of both parties understand stare decisis to mean that even Judges with enough decency and wit to know that the doctrine of Roe v. Wade is a moral and constitutional abomination must perpetuate that doctrine.

J. Peter Mulhern

Biden His Time

If everyone in America--the butcher down the block, the college professor, the car mechanic, the mother of two working at home, the CNN analyst--knows that the U.S. senators questioning Sam Alito are posing, are using their airtime to promote themselves and play to their base, then will anyone in America be impressed by what the senators say, or how they pose? Isn't that like saying, "I know it's all spin, but he spun me like a top!"?

If everyone in America--again, everyone--knows Judge Alito's job is to reveal as little as possible about his true thoughts and convictions while coming across in the hearings as a well balanced, intelligent and experienced person, will anyone come away with a solid conviction, as opposed to a hunch, that Judge Alito will be an honest and reliable interpreter of the Constitution?

Peggy Noonan

One of Peggy's best-ever articles.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Alito: A Last-Gasp Democratic Gambit Fails

What’s in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton papers? Nothing.

By Byron York
National Review Online

In the end, Kennedy's gambit resembled the entire Democratic strategy on Alito: fighting words, promises of a major showdown, and halfhearted, bungled execution. The Kennedy demand was perhaps the last gasp of the Democratic opposition on the committee, which was already expected to vote unanimously against Alito. If Specter had refused to allow an inspection of the documents, then Democrats could have claimed that Republicans were hiding the ugly truth about Alito. But since Specter took the rather simple step of calling Rusher, and Rusher readily agreed to allow an examination of his papers, the whole thing fell apart within hours. Like the Republican staffer said, it's over.

Stokes becomes 8th member of PART

County moved quickly to OK joining regional transportation authority

By Jim Sparks

Stokes County has joined the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.

PART's board unanimously approved adding Stokes County as a member yesterday. The Stokes County Board of Commissioners approved joining Monday night.

Stokes County became the eighth member of the regional group that was created by the General Assembly in 1997 to find solutions for highway congestion and other traffic problems in the Piedmont Triad.

The county board's decision came after a presentation by PART officials about why adding Stokes would be good for both the group and the county.

The move was slightly surprising because PART had just started asking the county to become a member, said Brent McKinney, PART's executive director.

McKinney said he wasn't expecting such a quick decision by the Stokes board.

However, lobbying efforts by PART board members Gloria Whisenhunt and Paul Johnson had already helped encourage Stokes commissioners to join. Whisenhunt, the chairwoman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, and Johnson, the chairman of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, both have contacts on the Stokes board.

Lying and Dying

Watching a once-great party fall.

By Michael Novak
National Review Online

It is painful to watch the ruin of a great party. A great party has come to this.

And most of it happened because of commitment to a policy that cannot be maintained without lies and malicious euphemisms. That is, the killing of innocents in what is supposed to be the most welcoming, safest place on earth — a mother's womb. (Isn't the posture of wishing one were safe the fetal position?)

This radical lie — that what is destroyed in abortion is not a human individual, endowed with human rights — has poisoned a great party, induced a great rationalization in the place of constitutional reasoning in the Supreme Court, and divided a nation unnecessarily over an issue that ought at the very least to have been left to the consent of the people in diverse jurisdictions.

No lie so basic to one's own identity goes unpunished.

Israel: Woe unto Pat Robertson for criticizing Sharon

Nation cuts ties with Christian broadcaster

Pat Robertson's mouth has cost him his piece of the Holy Land.

Israel on Wednesday said it would go ahead with plans to build an evangelical Christian heritage center in northern Israel -- but without Robertson, after the Christian Coalition founder said Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land."

Americans Find Being Fat Not Unattractive

Associated Press

Thin is still in, but apparently fat is nowhere near as out as it used to be.

A survey finds America's attitudes toward overweight people are shifting from rejection toward acceptance. Over a 20-year period, the percentage of Americans who said they find overweight people less attractive steadily dropped from 55 percent to 24 percent, the market research firm NPD Group found.

Why I'm skipping the Oscars this year

Every year since I was old enough to stay up late, I've watched the Academy Awards. This year, however, I have absolutely zero desire to watch the Oscars. In recent years, lack of quality from Hollywood has turned the Academy Awards into a special-interest-group get-together. If you're crazy, gay, have a disability or are a member of a minority race, you'll likely be nominated for an Oscar. If your film tackles a "deep social issue" (normally an issue dear to the hearts of Hollywood's liberal glitterati), you'll have an excellent shot at grabbing a gold statuette.

Benjamin Shapiro

I've got your ten years beat by a long way, Ben. The last time I watched the Oscars, Bob Hope was the host.