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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, February 28, 2006

RE: RE: Swinging for the fences on abortion

Cal has missed the point...

I personally think that Cal Thomas' points are notable throughout. I see Thomas as a very realistic pessimist, just speaking plainly. That's not an insult, either.

...and illustrated why he continues to be a statist at heart.

Really? How is that? That's not the first thing he struck me as, that's for sure. Isn't that sort of a stretch? I don't see him as an advocate of the "concentration of economic controls and planning," as illustrated below. Maybe elsewhere? This definition does make a statist seem more socialistic than one would deduce by considering your description of Cal Thomas as one. Maybe in your political realm?

From Wikipedia.com:
Statism is a term that is used in a variety of disciplines (economics, sociology, education policy etc) to describe a system that involves a significant interventionist role for the state in economic or social affairs. In social sciences it can also refer to the mere existence of states, particularly in relation to discussions of nationalism, modernity and globalization. Anarchists also often use the word in this sense. In economics, the term "statism" refers to any economy where the state plans or coordinates the economy, or the advocacy of such a system. Merriam-Webster defines statism as: "concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government."

RE: Swinging for the fences on abortion

And while the right-to-life movement takes Cal's baby steps, the slaughter of the innocents continues unabated.

In any case, Cal has missed the point and illustrated why he continues to be a statist at heart. This is about whether or not each sovereign state has the right to enact laws reflecting the morality of those who are closest to it, clearly the intention of the founders. This is exactly the kind of debate that needs to be taking place right at this moment in time.

This looks like Cheney... :-)

EAGLESWOOD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - To students at Eagleswood Elementary School, she used to be Mr. McBeth. Now, after undergoing a sex change, 71-year-old Lily McBeth is ready to return to teaching as Miss McBeth.

Despite criticism from parents, the school board on Monday stood by its decision to allow McBeth to resume working as a substitute teacher.

Bush Republicans for McCain

By the Washington Prowler
The American Spectator


Two indicators of just where Republicans money folk are placing their bets right now: Sen. John McCain spent time last week in Florida, Miami specifically, meeting with mostly Hispanic business groups. This round of meetings follows in the wake of a lunch McCain had eight weeks ago with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

4 Democrats try hands against Virginia Foxx

By Scott Sexton

Got $1,652 burning a hole in your pocket? Mark Glen, Syndi Holmes, Roger Kirkman and Roger Sharpe apparently do. That's the amount each forked over when they signed up to run for Congress as Democrats in the 5th District.

You can look at the decision to challenge Rep. Virginia Foxx two ways.

You could say that each of them decided to stand for democracy and bravely wrote checks so that voters in the 5th District would have a choice.

Or you could say that they're all nuts and the $1,652 might have been better spent on lottery tickets or at the roulette wheel. With those options, they at least stand a chance to win something.

Autistic Teen's Hoop Dreams Come True

I know, this is probably something that one would see on Oprah, but still, it's a good feel-good story. :-)

Unschooled Hillary

By Dan Lips
National Review Online

The Clintons have a history of opposing school-choice initiatives, but Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent attack on school vouchers ratcheted up already overheated rhetoric and at least temporarily halted her makeover as a moderate.

Swinging for the fences on abortion

By Cal Thomas

Is now the time for pro-lifers to go for it all, to swing for the fences and try to overturn Roe v. Wade? Or, is a gradual approach the better way to restore legal protection for the unborn?

Why I wrote the book

The last time a Republican president-Richard Nixon-sold out his party’s core beliefs, it led to huge losses for his party in 1974 and 1976. I think Republicans are deluding themselves if they believe that gerrymandering of the House of Representatives and millions of lobbyist dollars will protect them from big losses this November. It’s worth remembering that Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 not because more Republicans voted, but because fewer Democrats did. They, like many Republicans today, were dispirited by a president of their party who took their loyalty for granted.

I think Republicans are also wrong to assume that Democrats will always behave as stupidly as they have lately. One of these days, they are going to get their act together and stop nominating lousy candidates who run awful campaigns. Once Republicans lose the votes of those who are only voting against the Democrats, not for them, they will be in serious political trouble.

Bruce Bartlett

Amen, Bruce, amen.

A Colony Again

The [Washington] Post goes on, thump, thump, thump. “Literacy experts and educators say they are stunned by the results of [the] recent adult-literacy assessment, which shows that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade, with no obvious explanation.”

No obvious explanation? Oh no, not at all obvious—no more obvious than, say, advanced leprosy on a nekkid prom queen. How about: They can’t read because our schools are in the hands of low-IQ social engineeresses with the academic inclinations of cocker spaniels? If this darkness is the result produced by “literacy experts and educators,” what might we expect from them as ain’t? I taught my three-year-old daughter to read phonetically in about a month of a few minutes a day. It’s easy to teach kids to read (phonetically). It takes genius to waste twelve years of their lives, sixteen in the case of college graduates, and keep them from learning to read.

One more from Fred Reed.

I couldn't have said it better my own self, Fred.

Consultations With Padre Kino

I have decided to become a drunk and live under a bench, maybe in a radiation suit. It only makes sense. The times are dire. Dark shapes twist in the international fog. The US, in the hands of puzzled children of low moral character, flaps about like a damp rag in a high wind. Anything could happen.

I figure to enjoy it since I can’t stop it. It would all seem more amusing and less dark, I thought, if I weren’t immoderately sober. To this end I walked to the Oxxo, which is a Mexican Seven-Eleven, and bought a bottle of Padre Kino red.

Maybe I should have bought two bottles.

Fred Reed

Maybe a little over the top, but only a little.

Election '06 Filings

Deadline today for candidates to file for run in May primary


Filing continues for the May 2 primary election. The filing period will end today.

Stokes County

Greg Pratt, 48, a Republican, has filed to run for sheriff. Pratt lives in King. He could not be reached for more information.

U.S. Congress

Syndi Holmes, 52, a Democrat, has filed to run for the 5th Congressional District. According to her Web site, Holmes works full time as a registered nurse and lives in Mocksville. The district includes 12 counties in Northwest North Carolina.

Roger Sharpe, a Democrat, has filed to run for the 5th Congressional District. Sharpe, a former state senator, lives in the Sandy Ridge community of Harmony, according to a news release issued yesterday.

Mark Glen, 48, a Democrat, has filed to run for the 5th Congressional District. Glen lives in Winston-Salem and is an architect. This is his first time running for public office.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Dennis Weaver, R.I.P.

Fox News

Dennis Weaver, the slow-witted deputy Chester Goode in the TV classic western "Gunsmoke" and the New Mexico deputy solving New York crime in "McCloud," has died. The actor was 81...

Weaver appeared in dozens of TV movies, the most notable being the 1971 "Duel." It was a bravura performance for both fledgling director Steven Spielberg and Weaver, who played a driver menaced by a large truck that followed him down a mountain road. The film was released in theaters in 1983, after Spielberg had become director of huge moneymakers.

"Duel" is one of my all-time favorite TV movies...

From Cash to Yachts, Convicted Congressman Set Bribery Rates

Court Documents Show Randall 'Duke' Cunningham Set Bribery Rates

ABC News

Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided.

Darkhorses to the Rescue

By the Washington Prowler
The American Spectator

Jeb Bush may not know he's been dubbed. Bill Frist, meanwhile, doesn't know how long he can keep pulling this White House to safety. Also: Closing in on Senate leakers.

Dear Hillary: Don't Run

From the Tampa Tribune:

Dear Hillary:

We'd like to welcome you to Tampa for your fundraiser today, and thank you for your long service to our country and your party.

We expect that after your re-election this fall as junior senator from New York, you will dedicate yourself to seeking a higher office. But you're a pragmatist, Hillary, so we urge you to be satisfied with the Senate.

If you run for president, chances are good that you'll secure your party's nomination. But realistically, how do you think you can win the White House? You are the most polarizing figure in the Democratic Party, and your negatives among likely voters are prohibitively high. Many people simply don't trust you. You may share your husband's name, but what people liked about him is not transferable to you.

Remembering the Gipper

"A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, simply to swell its ranks."

Ronald Reagan

RE: Osama, Saddam and the Ports

Finding myself on the same side of this as Paul Krugman is just as uncomfortable for me as being on Ann Coulter's side is for Strother. I expect that Coulter and Krugman are very uncomfortable. There is one important difference, though. Krugman has a documented history of twisting the truth and outright lying. While Ann won't hesitate to throw a rhetorical bomb, even some that are completely inappropriate, she never lies.

However, Krugman seems to have most of it right. One notable exception:

...which is part of the authoritarian United Arab Emirates, one of only three countries that recognized the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan.

At the time, the Taliban was the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan and the UAE recognized them because we asked them to. There is no way to know how anxious they would have been to do it on their own. But, as I have said all along, this isn't about Dubai. It doesn't matter which country it is, we have no business handing over management of our ports to a foreign government.

Osama, Saddam and the Ports

By Paul Krugman of the New York Times:

The storm of protest over the planned takeover of some U.S. port operations by Dubai Ports World doesn't make sense viewed in isolation. The Bush administration clearly made no serious effort to ensure that the deal didn't endanger national security. But that's nothing new - the administration has spent the past four and a half years refusing to do anything serious about protecting the nation's ports.
So why did this latest case of sloppiness and indifference finally catch the public's attention? Because this time the administration has become a victim of its own campaign of fearmongering and insinuation.
Let's go back to the beginning. At 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld gave military commanders their marching orders. "Judge whether good enough hit S. H. [Saddam Hussein] @ same time - not only UBL [Osama bin Laden]," read an aide's handwritten notes about his instructions. The notes were recently released after a Freedom of Information Act request. "Hard to get a good case," the notes acknowledge. Nonetheless, they say: "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Christian Democrat

One of the candidates for County Commissioner in Stokes County, Robert Nickell, has put signs up already. They look to be homemade and they are huge. I may have miscounted, but I don't think the Democrats have a primary yet (one more day to file). I can't think of a single thing that more consistently irritates the electorate than having to look at the same political signs, day in and day out as they fall into decrepitude.

Mr. Nickell has advertised himself as a "Christian Democrat." I wasn't aware that we had a Christian Democrat party in the US. The European Christian Democrats tend to be centrist or slightly right-of-center. Keep in mind that centrist in European terms puts them well over to the left on the American scale. I believe the defining feature of the Christian Democrats in Europe was the desire to control the church through government. I'm not sure that they still believe that. I know that the Ulster Christian Democrats want all ecclesiastical appointments made within the church to be approved by the legislature. In Africa, the Christian Democrats tend to be socially conservative authoritarians. For a parallel, imagine what it would be like if Pat Robertson was declared an unequivocal and supreme monarch.

Mr. Nickell is also using a catchy little phrase about putting "cents" back in government. Well, not really that catchy since I've seen it every day for two weeks and I can't remember it. I'm not sure what he intended, but he could have achieved the same effect if he had just written, "Elect me and I'll raise your taxes" on his sign. Given the slate of candidates in Stokes County, this election cycle may turn out to be very amusing...

...in a twisted and demented sort of way.

Constitution: Dead or alive?

He's ba-a-a-ck. Not that he ever really goes away. After all, he has life tenure. This time the Hon. Antonin Scalia was calling those of us who think of the Constitution of the United States as a living document "idiots."

No, this wasn't Ann Coulter doing her stand-up routine, but rather an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Welcome to civil discourse, 21st century-style.

A decent respect for those who hold to a different philosophy of law, or of anything else, now seems to have gone the way of powdered wigs, dress swords and chivalry in general.

Paul Greenburg

How nice. Mr. Greenburg has given me yet another opportunity to expound on some of the many reasons that the left continues to be...what's the word?...Oh yes, idiotic.

First, Paul, spare me the wounded victim routine. The left is solely responsible for the current state of civil discourse. You guys started it way back when Richard Nixon was President. Now that you find yourselves to be the butt of a more coarse form of discourse, delivered by your intellectual superiors, don't come whining about it to us. Or in the immortal words of that unknown redneck, if you can't run with the big dogs, you better stay on the porch.

Isn't it the genius of the Constitution that its principles are broad enough to meet the demands of changing times? Isn't that the great virtue of any basic law -- that it is broad enough to grow in response to different conditions? Isn't that why a country's constitution is sometimes called its organic law?

In a word, Paul, no, no, and no.

This illustrates one of the major shortcomings of the liberal brain: an inability to distinguish between the abstract and the concrete. My theory is that the liberal brain is unable to comprehend the abstract and it results in confusion when the dichotomy of abstraction versus reality is presented, but I digress...

While the principles of the Constitution are indeed ageless, they are also independent of the written word. These are principles like freedom and God-given rights. But these are simply foundational principles. The Constitution does not establish these principles, it merely seeks to protect them from tyranny. The Constitution is not "basic law" in the way the Greenburg (mis)understands the term. It is a structural document and an enumeration of powers. It isn't even an enumeration of rights, as many of those on the left who only dimly understand the Constitution believe. Its "Bill of Rights" actually establishes concrete limitations on the power of government to encroach on rights given to the people by their creator. And finally, it isn't an interpretational kudzu patch, as Greenburg's "organic" term would imply. Its organic nature is founded in the procedures built into it for change, that is, the structural process of amendment. This is the abstraction the left fails to comprehend. Failing this comprehension, they substitute oligarchical interpretation.

Surely the distinguished justice cannot believe the Constitution of the United States means the same thing when applied to a legal question in 2006 as it did in 1787, or 1861, or 1954 or... well, pick your year.

Actually, Paul, he does. And if you had even the vaguest notion of the principles of the Constitution, you would be embarrassed by the stupidity of that question. Well, maybe not. In my experience, leftists are rarely embarrassed by their stupidity. Greenburg seeks to equate the Constitution with legal code. Indeed, a law stating that women suffering from "mercurial vapours" were to be isolated would probably merit a healthy revisit. However, the words, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people," unequivocally mean the same thing today that they did 230 years ago.

Those who refer to the Borkians/Scalians as originalists do the original Founders an injustice; that generation framed a Constitution meant to anticipate change, not stifle it.

Which would be once again, Paul, why the founders placed into the Constitution explicit procedures for changing it. It is completely idiotic to assume that the founders would have gone to the trouble of implementing a system for changing the Constitution if their intent was simply to allow interpretational fiat by the judiciary. Indeed, if that had been their intent, they would have simply said so.

Actually, Justice Scalia is being generous in simply attributing abject stupidity to the left. The use of judicial fiat to change the meaning and application of the Constitution springs from a far more sinister well. The forces of totalitarian socialism know full well that they could never implement their will via the electorate, so they choose to manipulate the fundamental weakness of a representative democracy and use the oligarchy of jurists that form the Supreme Court to impose their agenda.

My letter of resignation

So, Jon, you can see why I’ve decided to call it quits. These hypocritical university leftists are just too easy for me to handle. Since none present a remotely interesting challenge to me intellectually, I must simply move on to greater challenges.

Mike Adams

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The enemies of freedom

American legislators, using the criminal law for moral exhibitionism, enact "hate crime'' laws. Hate crimes are, in effect, thought crimes. Hate crime laws mandate enhanced punishments for crimes committed as a result of, or at least when accompanied by, particular states of mind of which the government particularly disapproves. Governments that feel free to stigmatize, indeed criminalize, certain political thoughts and attitudes will move on to regulating what expresses such thoughts and attitudes -- speech.

For several decades in America, the aim of much of the jurisprudential thought about the First Amendment's free speech provision has been to justify contracting its protections. Freedom of speech is increasingly "balanced'' against "competing values.'' As a result, it is whittled down, often by seemingly innocuous increments, to a minor constitutional afterthought.

George Will

It didn't work

One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that "the bombing has completely demolished" what was being attempted -- to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

William F. Buckley

This is the beginning of the end for Bush (and, hopefully, the neo-cons). Two things will be interesting to note: the vindictiveness of the backlash against Buckley from the Pubbie Kool-aid drinkers, and the spin of the neo-con machine to downplay these unequivocal remarks by the godfather of American conservatism.


After re-reading this, it seems more like an opening salvo in the neo-con repudiation of Bush as their front man. His blatant socialism, schizophrenic positions on border security, and open love for the aristocratic peerage have become increasingly untenable for the neo-con apologists. His inept fumbling of the Katrina, Harriet Miers, and now the P&O buyout issues have to be embarrasing to the NRO cheering squad. Buckley is citing a failure in execution, not a failure of policy. Don't be surprised to see the neo-con punditry to move toward a stance of blaming Bush, directly or indirectly for an agenda misfire. 2006 to 2008 will see a lame duck administration of possibly Wilsonian proportions.

RE: Bordergate & Portgate

I was jokin' with ya...

Yes, I knew that. Don't worry about it.

...one could make a better case that Bush wants to pull more of the hispanic vote and that illegals do the jobs that others don't want.

Wishful thinking. And it's just as much about Pubbie Kool-aid as my comments were about black helicopters. I think Bush is a simpleton, but I don't think he's a complete idiot (well...). If he actually believes that more welfare-state Hispanics will vote for him (and his) because he made Swiss cheese out of the border, then he truly is the babbling moron the left makes him out to be. And the second half of that response is cover language for more of Bush looking out for his buddies. After Bush leaves office, I can make a pretty solid prediction: someone or several someones with very close ties to the Bush family will get caught red-handed trafficking in illegals for the benefit of their payroll.

...but I don't believe he's doing what he's doing because Fox wants him to do it.

I can't imagine why not. Every time Fox utters something on the subject Bush either repeats it or gives it a healthy amen. The fact that Pubbies weren't in open revolt when Bush embraced the man whose recorded public position was that it was perfectly acceptable for illegals to shoot and kill border patrol in order to exercise their "right" to invade our country speaks volumes about the degenerate nature of partisan politics. But I digress...

First, Dubai Ports aren't buying any ports; they are just taking over the management of the terminals at these 6 ports.

I'm hard pressed to see the difference. Even David Limbaugh points out the fallacies of that subterfuge.

Second, the US are still in charge of security.

Meaningless. See David Limbaugh's article again. Also, I already addressed this. US security is completely dependent on port management to even have a sliver of a chance at meeting their requirements.

Three, only two companies made a bid to purchase this British company (the other company was from Singapore); Dubai Ports had the better bid.

This is what the neo-con talking heads keep missing. It is only partly about Dubai. It would have been no better or worse if Singapore had bought the ports. Only a few of the punditry have mentioned it, but this has all the same problems as the PRC buying a major US oil company. And this goes to the heart of the matter. Bush only sees his pals, the Dubai Emirs in this. He doesn't see the hundreds of people employed by the Emirs. It's the same as his border policies. He only sees Vicente Fox and the government of Mexico, he doesn't see the members of Hamas, disguised as Mexicans, crossing the borders. He doesn't consider the militant Muslims (or worse yet, potential future militant Muslims) who will be seeing manifests of cargo coming and going and who will be in charge of setting those same manifests.

I didn't realize the vast majority of US ports are being run by foreign companies, with the west coast ports being run by the Chinese.

US ports policy is border policy, my friend. While it is true that Bush didn't create that situation, he has done nothing to correct it either. The glaring hypocrisy of a policy that suspends habeas corpus in the name of security, but simply winks at the most obvious gaping holes in border security is breathtaking to say the least.

...but saying that this port deal was approved because Bush is long time buddies with the Dubai Emirs is quite the stretch.

Then the alternative is that Bush is exactly the smirking moron that the left says he is. Is that what you would prefer to believe?

Modern Dubai

From Wikipedia:

Dubai is distinct from other members of the UAE in that revenues from oil account for only 6% of its gross domestic product. A majority of the emirate's revenues are from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now, increasingly, from tourism.

Oil reserves in Dubai are less than one-twentieth that of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and oil income is now only a small proportion of the city's income. Dubai and its twin across the Dubai creek, Deira (independent at that time), became important ports of call for Western manufacturers. Most of the new city's banking and financial centers were headquartered in this area. Dubai maintained its importance as a trade route through the 1970s and 1980s. The city of Dubai has a free trade in gold and till the 90s was the hub of a "brisk smuggling trade" of gold ingots to India, where gold import was restricted (read the novel Dubai by Robin Moore).

Today, Dubai is an important tourist destination and port (Jebel Ali, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbour in the world), but also increasingly developing as a hub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the new Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Transport links are bolstered by its rapidly-expanding Emirates Airline, founded by the government in 1985 and still state-owned; based at Dubai International Airport, it carries over 12m passengers a year.

The government has set up industry-specific free zones throughout the city. Dubai Internet City, now combined with Dubai Media City as part of TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority) is one such enclave whose members include IT firms such as EMC Corporation, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM, and media organisations such as MBC, CNN, Reuters, ARY and AP. Dubai Knowledge Village (KV) is an education and training hub is also set up to complement the Free Zone’s other two clusters, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, by providing the facilities to train the clusters' future knowledge workers.

Ports of Gall

The new protectionists use national security as their cover.

Opinion Journal

To take seriously the political criticisms of the DP World deal, you must also take seriously the notion that President Bush has suddenly gone soft on security. So the same Administration that's criticized for being overly obsessed with terrorism suddenly can't be trusted to vet a routine deal involving terminal management at a handful of U.S. ports. We can understand why some Democrats would want to make this case; the shame is that so many conservatives and Republicans have taken their political bait.

The good news is that we elect Presidents to represent the national interest on these issues, even if it means taking political heat for doing so. That's what Mr. Bush has been doing this week, and in the process he's caused some of the original yahoos to educate themselves before they demagogue again. We've also learned something about the political character of certain would-be Presidents, such as the junior Senator from New York and Majority Leader Bill Frist, who also joined the early critics. Using "national security" as an excuse for protectionism is not the best way to win anyone's "hearts and minds."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Election '06 Filings

Stokes County

Carole T. Elliott, a Republican, filed yesterday to run for Stokes County sheriff. Elliott, 64, lives in Westfield. She could not be reached for more information.

Bordergate & Portgate

Steve opines:

That's actually a pretty cheap shot, Andy.
I was jokin' with ya... I thought the smiley face :-) at the end of the sentence would have tipped you off that I was just pulling your leg.

Vicente Fox, ex-president of Pemex, still very deeply connected with the company, and longtime acquaintance of the Bush clan has pursued a policy of encouraging incursion by illegals. George Bush, short of holding hands with him as they strolled around the park, has adopted a policy that accommodates Fox in his every desire.
Have the black helicopters been circling Brown Mtn??? :-) With regard to the borders, one could make a better case that Bush wants to pull more of the hispanic vote and that illegals do the jobs that others don't want. Now, I totally disagree with Bush over the borders, but I don't believe he's doing what he's doing because Fox wants him to do it.

Now, the Dubai Emirs, Bush oil acquaintances from way back, want to buy some ports in the US. Guess what happened? This is not exactly rocket science.
Now, this ranks up there with the theory that both Bushes went to war in Iraq because of their ties to "Big Oil." First, Dubai Ports aren't buying any ports; they are just taking over the management of the terminals at these 6 ports. Second, the US are still in charge of security. Three, only two companies made a bid to purchase this British company (the other company was from Singapore); Dubai Ports had the better bid. Dubai Ports runs ports all over the world; matter of fact, they are world leaders in port management.

Now, I don't have any problems having a good debate over who should control US ports (I didn't realize the vast majority of US ports are being run by foreign companies, with the west coast ports being run by the Chinese.), but saying that this port deal was approved because Bush is long time buddies with the Dubai Emirs is quite the stretch.

Barney Fife, R.I.P.

Fox News

Don Knotts, who kept generations of TV audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" and would-be swinger landlord Ralph Furley on "Three's Company," has died. He was 81.

Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, said Sherwin Bash, his friend and manager.

RE: RE: Borders policy and "Portgate"

This sounds like something from Moveon.org. Are you reading that site or something???

Have you considered the possibility that Moveon.org has been reading the BP?

That's actually a pretty cheap shot, Andy. Consider that if it is so obvious that the simpletons at Moveon figured it out, it must be very obvious indeed. Vicente Fox, ex-president of Pemex, still very deeply connected with the company, and longtime acquaintance of the Bush clan has pursued a policy of encouraging incursion by illegals. George Bush, short of holding hands with him as they strolled around the park, has adopted a policy that accommodates Fox in his every desire. Now, the Dubai Emirs, Bush oil acquaintances from way back, want to buy some ports in the US. Guess what happened? This is not exactly rocket science.

RE: RE: Borders policy and "Portgate

Didn't I tell you, Andy? This new Brenneis/Bullins alliance requires Steve to visit Moveon.org's website daily.

In all seriousness, though, Andy — when two representatives from across the political aisle agree on something as Steve and I do, it means something. There's no sense behind this ports deal. None whatsoever. Bush is 100% wrong here, and nearly everyone knows it. This is where I predict his point of no return to US public approval officially begins.

RE: Borders policy and "Portgate"

Steve opines:

It becomes increasingly more difficult to ignore the fact that these border policies seem to favor Bush's oil buddies on an all-too-frequent basis.

How does Bush's border policies seem to favor his oil buddies??? This sounds like something from Moveon.org. Are you reading that site or something??? :-)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Borders policy and "Portgate"

It is not just fringe groups who take umbrage at the president calling Minutemen border patrol groups "vigilantes." A large segment of conservatives remain mystified about the president's border policy and consider it the Achilles' Heel in his GWOT policy.

David Limbaugh

It is important not to understate the point David Limbaugh is making here. Bush's immigration (non-)policy threatens to bring his entire position on his war on terror down in a tumbled heap. It becomes increasingly more difficult to ignore the fact that these border policies seem to favor Bush's oil buddies on an all-too-frequent basis.

"All about his buddies' business"???

Steve opines:

And this gives me the segue to take issue on only one point in Strother's response to the Ann Coulter post: Bush is not "all about business." Bush is "all about his buddies' business." The difference is tremendous.

What do you mean by that???

Dr. Krauthammer

Give the good doctor a break... Charles makes sense.

RE: Harbour exit

Charles is waffling. He was on Fox the other night saying that under no circumstances should this deal go through. The neo-con punditry hasn't done much lately to put lie to the criticism that they are nothing more than a cheering section for the Bush Administration. At least Strother's new favorite right-wing pundit, Ann Coulter is staying consistent.

BP Book Review

By John Derbyshire
National Review Online

Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis, by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster, 224 pp., $25)

It is the little things that stick in the mind, those transient items that show up on an inside-page paragraph of one’s newspaper for a day or two, then vanish, forgotten by everyone else but oneself. Here is one of those oddities from the Carter years. In mid-September 1980 a Russian soldier sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Astoundingly — this, please remember, was nine months into the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, a geostrategic event of the first magnitude — there was no one at the embassy who could understand Russian. After a few days, during which the air in the embassy must have been well-nigh crystalline with embarrassment, a deal was struck — no doubt “assurances” were given — and the unfortunate squaddie was returned to the tender care of the Soviet military authorities. I often wonder what became of him. Better not to know, perhaps.

This little incident has always stood for me as a symbol of the cluelessness and impotence of the Carter administration, by common agreement one of the low points in 20th-century American statecraft.

Illinois Governor Confused by 'Daily Show'

Fox News

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wasn't in on the joke. Blagojevich says he didn't realize"The Daily Show" was a comedy spoof of the news when he sat down for an interview that ended up poking fun at the sometimes-puzzled Democratic governor.

The Brenneis/Bullins Alliance...

Does this mean that Strother is now considered a neo-con??? :-)

Harbour exit

By Charles Krauthammer

It's a fairly close call. I can sympathize with the president's stubbornness in sticking to the deal. He is responsible for our foreign relations, and believes, not unreasonably, that it would harm our broader national interest to reject and humiliate a moderate Middle Eastern ally by pulling the contract just because a company is run by Arabs.

This contract should have been stopped at an earlier stage, but at this point doing so would cause too much damage to our relations with moderate Arab states. There are no very good options. The best exit strategy is this: (1) Allow the contract to go through; (2) give it heightened scrutiny by assigning a team of U.S. government agents to work inside the company at least for the first few years to make sure security is tight and information closely held; (3) have the team report every six months to both the executive and a select congressional committee.

Not nearly as clean as the Harriet Miers exit. But as I said, there are no very good options. There have not been very many since Britannia stopped ruling the waves, and it all fell to us.

Election '06 Filings

Roger Kirkman, a Democrat, has filed to run for the 5th Congressional District. Kirkman, a native of Winston-Salem, is a public-information officer at Winston-Salem State University, according to his Web site. He ran for the 5th District in 2004. The district includes 12 counties in Northwest North Carolina.

Four-year college not only path to well-paid work

While partly in jest, I've been saying this for a while to family and friends: too many people are going to college these days anyway. For too many people, it has become just a place to hang out after high school for a few more years until you're forced to leave your parents (and their financial support). Sure, many are learning much in college but from what I've observed lately, learning how to make a good living is often not a part of that learning process. This article is just further evidence to support to my only-half-joking theory.

From CNN.com:
Though it was once conventional wisdom that you needed to have a four-year college degree to be successful, many employment experts believe that maxim has become myth. While a college education increases a worker's chances of earning more money, it's certainly not the only reliable path to well-paid and rewarding work. Even though good jobs increasingly require some post-high school training, many still don't require a four-year degree. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, eight of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2014 do not require a bachelor's degree. And these jobs, which include health technology, plumbing, firefighter and automotive repair, are less vulnerable to outsourcing. After all, if your car breaks down in Indiana, you're not going to fly someone in from another country to help you.

RE: Wanna Buy A Port?

Nice try, Harold, but American corporate behavior has about as much in common with capitalism as Strother and Ann Coulter do with each other.

Harold exposes himself as a national socialist and a fascist in the following stanzas:

In the decades following World War II, you could speak, without undue smirking, about corporate responsibility. A sense of national solidarity, high rates of unionization, and a labor force that did not extend much beyond our borders anchored American business in America.

By the logic of the market, there's no reason why our East Coast ports shouldn't be operated by a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.

That one is patently false, but I'll get to that in a minute.

After all, when American business goes to China to have a machine built or a shirt stitched or some research undertaken, it is in no small reason because the labor is dirt-cheap. This is partly the result of the nation's history of poverty and partly the result of repressive state policy that views all efforts at worker organization -- as it views all efforts at establishing autonomous centers of power -- as criminal.

And Harold finds fault with the Bush Administration rightly, but neglects to follow up with the reasoning:

Indeed, at the heart of the Bush administration's theory of democratic transformation, we find two non sequiturs: that integration into the global marketplace leads to democratic pluralism, and that elections lead to democratic pluralism.

And the reasoning Harold neglects to establish is that it is doubtful that a democratic plurality is necessarily even something that is desirable. Neither Meyerson nor Bush have the vaguest clue what it means to operate in a constitutional republic. Both are stopped dead in their tracks at the thought of considering anything beyond the simplistic equation of democracy equals good.

Meyerson's drive-by logic on the capitalistic merits of selling the ports is faulty as well. Any true capitalist endeavor is just as concerned with its long-term survival as it is with its profit margin. This, above all else is one of the prime pieces of evidence to support the assertion that Americanism and capitalism are not the same thing. American busness has been experiencing a decline in its ability to take the long view for quite some time. There is no indication that the trend will reverse any time soon.

And this gives me the segue to take issue on only one point in Strother's response to the Ann Coulter post: Bush is not "all about business." Bush is "all about his buddies' business." The difference is tremendous.

Wanna Buy A Port?

By Harold Meyerson of the American Prospect:

We're selling our harbors to an Arab government. Our biggest Internet companies are complicit in the Chinese government's censorship of information and suppression of dissidents. Welcome to American capitalism in the age of globalization.
Here the market rules. National security and freedom of speech are all well and good, but they are distinctly secondary concerns when they bump up against our highest national purpose, which is maximizing shareholder value.

Coulter - 1

For me, being on the same side as Coulter isn't exactly a comfortable spot. But hey, everyone has to be right every once in a while... right? So congrats, Ann; you've come a long way, baby. Of course, in order to write a column about it, the issue had to become provocative and more about 'us against them.' Regardless, she's right on the gist of it.
To me, this ports deal just further proves a point about the president as regularly made by those (of us) in the 'anti-Bush' crowd: it's just all about business to him.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

So, 3 Muslims walk into a port ...

President Bush has painted himself into a corner on this issue, and he needs a face-saving compromise to get out of it. Here's my proposal: Let Harriet Miers run the ports.

Ann Coulter

Add Ann to the Strother and Steve column. Strother and Andy may both changes sides now.

Politics makes strange bedfellows...

Who would have thought that Steve, Strother, the New York Times, Linda Brinson of the W-S Journal, etc. would be on one side, and me, Bush, Jimmy Carter, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, etc. would be on the other... I love this country!!! :-)

A Pathetic Electoral Excuse

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

With Bush’s approval ratings stuck in the low 40s and other factors in place, 2006 should be a year of Democratic resurgence. But most pundits don’t yet expect this to happen because of the rules of the game.

Anti-Arab sentiment...

Strother opines:

Since he began his war on terror, he's done nothing but encourage more anti-Arab sentiment here in the US.

How has Bush done that???

Should Wal-Mart reduce wages?

We haven't had a Wal Mart update in a while...

By Alan Reynolds

Requiring big employers to devote a larger share of paychecks to the fixed cost of health insurance must give them an incentive to substitute full-time workers for part-time workers. That is bad news for those seeking part-time work. Mandating that a higher share of payroll be devoted to health insurance also gives employers an incentive to shun future job applicants with labor market disadvantages -- such as teenagers, elderly seniors, those with little schooling, those in poor health and those with an imperfect command of the English language. That is bad news for those at the bottom of the ladder of opportunity.

The "Wal-Mart bills" are calculated cruelty disguised as kindness. They should be renamed as what they are -- wage- and job-reduction bills.

RE: Another Academic Casualty

The Harvard faculty is so far-left, Summers was considered a right-winger among the staff.


This is scary. Four posts and Strother and I are still essentially in agreement.

We must be getting soft in our old age.

RE: RE: UAE deal is test of U.S.-Arab relations, experts say

As I'm sure we all have, I've read a variety of quotes from President Bush that sound as if he's actually surprised that nearly everyone across the US political spectrum is up in arms about this issue. That's amazing to me. Since he began his war on terror, he's done nothing but encourage more anti-Arab sentiment here in the US. Whether it's all completely rational or not is another story unto itself. Early verbal misfires in his war — in which he referred to the war as a 'crusade,' etc. — still resonate here as well as around the world. And now he wants the American public to be okay with this Dubai arrangement? Unbelievable. Bush and Co. cannot propagate such widespread fear then have it disappear when it suddenly doesn't work for them.

RE: UAE deal is test of U.S.-Arab relations, experts say

"We don't like the tone of this," Abdulla said. "Many of us see a hint of racism there, disguised as security concern."

Save us from every person who feels put upon and cries racism. First, I cannot understand why it is acceptable for the rank and file of Arab populations to lump all Americans together as "the great satan," yet it is unfair for rank and file Americans to lump all Arabs together as terrorists.

I can accept the "Arab-phobia" appellation. I think such a phobia is unfortunate, but not completely unwarranted. Arabs have been terrorizing the Western world now for over thirty years. It would be completely disingenuous to assume that Americans would be astute enough to know the difference between Arabs who want to kill us and Arabs who do not. This is especially true in light of the fact that this isn't even all that clear to many Arabs.

For me, this ports issue is more about a President who is completely out of touch and the laissez-faire manner in which he regards the security of our borders, be it our land borders or our sea borders. It doesn't matter to me whether it is a company from Dubai or a company from Kuala Lampur, we have no business turning over management of any part of our strategic infrastructure to a foreign entity.

UAE deal is test of U.S.-Arab relations, experts say

From the AP in today's Winston-Salem Journal:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: To many in this booming financial center, the American backlash over Dubai running U.S. ports boils down to something simple - and ugly: "This is Arab-phobia," says one Arab security analyst. "I can see no other reason behind it."

Another Academic Casualty

The resignation of Lawrence Summers as president of Harvard University tells us a lot about what is wrong with academia today.

When he took office in 2001, Summers seemed like an ideal president of Harvard. He had had a distinguished career in and out of the academic world, including having been a professor at Harvard, so there was no obvious reason why he would not fit in.

Thomas Sowell

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ports of Politics

How to sound like a hawk without being one.


Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is the latest Republican to broadcast his "independence" from President Bush on homeland security, yesterday joining Senator Lindsey Graham, Representative Peter King and numerous state politicians in calling on the Administration to stop a deal that would allow a United Arab Emirates company to manage six major U.S. ports.

The Democrats are also piling on, and we'll speak to that in a moment, but this behavior of Republicans strikes us as peculiar coming from people who claim to support the war on terror. Mr. Graham told Fox News that the Administration's decision allowing the state-owned Dubai Ports World to run commercial operations at U.S. ports was "tone deaf politically." The voluble Senator said this is no time "to outsource major port security to a foreign-based company" and that "most Americans are scratching their heads wondering, 'Why this company, from this region, now?' "

Some of us are scratching our heads all right, but we're wondering why Mr. Graham and others believe Dubai Ports World has been insufficiently vetted for the task at hand. So far, none of the critics have provided any evidence that the Administration hasn't done its due diligence. The deal has been blessed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a multiagency panel that includes representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense and Homeland Security.

Wednesday Funnies

David Letterman: "Top Surprises In The Dick Cheney Interview": Admitted he's the guy who popped a cap in Suge Knight; Sentenced himself to a week at Gitmo; Revealed list of the next ten old guys he plans to shoot; Pinned Brit Hume to the wall with a ninja throwing star; Spent most of the time talking about who's going to win "American Idol"; His clumsy attempt to pin the entire thing on Michael Brown; Claims it was all part of the plan to make Bush look smarter.

Jay Leno: I did something dumb this weekend—I walked into a Muslim bakery and asked for a Danish. ... There's a new comic book coming out where Batman goes after Osama bin Laden. And you thought radical Muslims hated cartoons before. Holy Shi'ite Batman! ... Did you know this is Black History Month? You'd never know it watching the winter games. Not a lot of brothers curling. ... At the Olympics they had the premiere of a new event called "boardercross." Boardercross? I'd never heard of boardercross. But I figure if there was ever an event where Mexico is going to win the gold this would be it. ... NBC now has 418 hours of Olympic viewing. I think this is day 112 of Olympics. You know what NBC normally calls 418 hours of programming? "Law and Order." ... Hillary Clinton blasted the Vice President for failing to disclose all the facts [about his hunting accident]. She wants Dick Cheney to give exact details. You know like, "How do you shoot someone and make it look like an accident?" ... Hillary said that she finds the administration's refusal to level with the American people "troubling." She also finds it somewhat nostalgic. ... She now has her own wax likeness at Madame Tussaud's. It has a "do not touch" sign on it. Just like the real Hillary.

Supreme Court heads to abortion showdown

Bush administration wanted review of ruling by lower court on 'partial-birth' procedure



The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether a 2003 federal ban on the procedure known as "partial-birth abortion" is constitutional, setting the stage for its most important ruling on abortion rights in almost 15 years.

The pro-abortion crowd is having panic attacks over this latest news...

Unions fight to protect the nightmare

By John Stossel

"The teachers united will never be defeated!" chanted thousands of public-school teachers at a union rally. They may be right -- unfortunately. Teachers unions in this country are very influential because they can assemble a crowd. Randi Weingarten, head of New York's teachers union, put out the word, and thousands of teachers filled Madison Square Garden to demand a new contract and more money. That clout brings timid politicians into line...

"We are not a unionized monopoly," she retorted. "And ultimately those folks who want to say this all the time, they don't really care about kids."

Really, Ms. Weingarten? You fight to protect a system that rewards mediocrity, and then you claim your critics don't care about kids?

Give Me a Break.

Any thoughts dear BP contributors & readers???

RE: RE: Any port in the terrorist storm

These deep-water ports are a strategic asset. By their own admission, security forces are only able to control a small fraction of what happens in the ports. They are completely dependent on the management company to do their job. The issue isn't the UAE or Dubai. The issue is whether a company owned by the government of any foreign country should be in control of a strategic asset in the US. This is the same myopic stupidity the Bush Administration exhibits with regard to the borders. He either sees no evil or potential for evil in the governments of countries he considers to be our "friends," or he is so dedicated to the idea of a world socialist order, that giving up a strategic asset in furtherance of that goal seems a small matter.

Capitalism is not a suicide pact. I have no problem with the government forcing the ownership of these ports to be held by an American company. If the British company really needs to get out of the port business and the government specifies that it be owned by an American company or at least by one that is not wholly owned by a foreign government, then the price will reach a level that is attractive for such a company to buy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

RE: Any port in the terrorist storm

Steve opines:

I see no difference between this and the Clinton State Department's okay of the sale of missile plans to the Chinese. We labeled Clinton a traitor for that, and rightly so. Doesn't Bush deserve the same treatment?

I see a big difference: Clinton sold the Chinese plans for missiles that the Chinese didn't have. Remember, the Chinese couldn't even get a rocket off the ground at the time. This UAE port company is buying this British port company, which has been running those 6 ports. They are going to use the same people that currently work there, and the US is still in charge of security.

Strother opines:

I completely agree. The rights to American ports should only belong to American companies: there's no real way to agree on which other countries just so happen to be 'cool' with us. I'm sure that a strong, experienced, and foreign firm could do a great job, but this is an instance where business must kowtow to self-security.

Out of the American companies that run ports, which ones has the billions in cash to buy out this British company??? I would prefer that an American company run these ports, but I can't force an American company to buy this British company. Likewise, I can't force this British company to sell only to an American company.

Hunting Invitation...

Bush's Bad Recipe for Savings

by Stephen Slivinski
Cato Institute

Conservative voters are looking for reassurances that Republicans are still the party of small government. They won't find much solace in the president's new budget. With each passing year, George W. Bush's budgets get less and less ambitious...

Republicans need bold plans to downsize the federal government, not some wishy-washy tinkering around the edges. Otherwise, it's not likely that fiscal conservatives can muster much enthusiasm for continued GOP control of Congress.

Remembering the Gipper

"In free societies, government exists for the sake of the people, not the other way around. Government is not directed by the whims of any dictator or the mandate of any clique but by the good sense of the people through a democratic vote. In free societies, people do not live in fear. They never worry that criticizing the government will lead to a late knock on the door, an arrest by some goon squad. When people are free, their rights to speak and to pray are protected by law. And the goons are not running the jails; they're in the jails."

Ronald Reagan

Election '06 Filings

Stokes County

William F. "Wic" Southern, a Democrat, has filed to run for Stokes County clerk of court. Southern, 55, lives in Walnut Cove. Southern was the Stokes County sheriff from 1978 to 1982. He also was the Stokes County clerk of court from 1990 to 1994.

Re: Any port in the terrorist storm

I completely agree. The rights to American ports should only belong to American companies: there's no real way to agree on which other countries just so happen to be 'cool' with us. I'm sure that a strong, experienced, and foreign firm could do a great job, but this is an instance where business must kowtow to self-security.

Any port in the terrorist storm

On Sunday, the Australian government issued the following alert to its citizens: "We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against Western interests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Commercial and public areas frequented by foreigners are possible terrorist targets."

The United States has approved a business deal that would turn over the operation of six major American ports to a company that is owned by the UAE, the very country Australians are to be wary of visiting. The obvious question is: If it is dangerous for an Australian to travel to the UAE because of terrorism, isn't it even more dangerous for a company owned by UAE to own the rights to American ports where terror might be directly, or indirectly, imported?

Cal Thomas

Cal steps off the Bush reservation once again. I'm glad someone of his stature is raising the issue. I see no difference between this and the Clinton State Department's okay of the sale of missile plans to the Chinese. We labeled Clinton a traitor for that, and rightly so. Doesn't Bush deserve the same treatment?

Postponing reality

Let's face it: Reality can be stressful and can sometimes get very rough. Everyone has an incentive to postpone it. Most of us, however, learn the hard way that postponing reality only makes it far worse than facing it early on.

The problem gets more complicated in politics, where one set of people has the power to postpone facing reality and a different set of people have to pay the price later on.

Our educational system is a classic example. Nothing is easier than to lower the standards today, avoiding all sorts of problems that arise with students and their parents when higher standards are imposed.

Today's "educators" can simply pass the students along to the next grade and eventually send them out into the world with nice-looking diplomas and little else to enable them to cope with the complexities and challenges of work and of life. These students then pay big time for the rest of their lives.

Thomas Sowell

Democrats try to quash troops' terror-war ads

Democrats have launched a campaign against television ads featuring U.S. servicemen and families of slain troops who support the war in Iraq, calling the spots false and "un-American."

The first of two ads, which are being tested in Minnesota, was rejected by St. Paul station KSTP because it criticizes the mainstream media. It includes Staff Sgt. Marcellus Wilks of Iowa, Capt. Mark Weber of Iowa and Lt. Col. Bob Stephenson of Minnesota.

At least the Democrats are consistent: speech is only free as long as it toes the accepted DNC line. I just don't seem to recall any language in the First Amendment that says anything about only protecting speech that the Minnesota Democrats say is true. In truth, the ads may be misleading and I certainly don't agree with everything they offer, but that's the beauty of free speech. And even if they offer something that is a complete lie, the hypocrisy of both the press and the Democrats (well, maybe that's actually only one entity) is breathtaking. They have, in the past, offered a strident defense of their First Amendment protected right to lie.

On a side note, I found the name of the Minnesota Democrat Party amusing: Democratic-Farm-Labor Party. It has that nifty politburo ring to it, don't you think?

Buchanan of Arabia

"Dhimmitude, or dementia" – take your pick – is how commentator Lawrence Auster lamented Patrick J. Buchanan's recent lapses. Mr. Buchanan has come out against the Danes for their finger-in-the-dyke bravery in the face of Islamic bullies – and for foreign aid for Hamas for their election victory in the Palestinian Authority.

Before Hamas came to power, Buchanan had been a principled opponent of foreign aid, rightly calling it a racket and a shakedown. But Hamas, a deeply and indelibly anti-Semitic terrorist outfit, changed that. In a positively bacchanalian column, Buchanan exalts Hamas for its "sacrifice" and dedication, and mocks Israel for being "close to hysterical" over the outcome, adding that it was its behavior in the first place that elected Hamas.

To round up this orgy of immorality, Mr. Buchanan urges Americans to open the spigots and let the aid flow, provided Hamas keeps "armed resistance" against Israeli civilians to a minimum. (I foresee a follow-up column, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for embracing Hamas.)

Ilana Mercer

The truth about Buchanan is that he is a central power advocate with a hypernationalist bent. Politically that makes him a national socialist. He usually manages to keep his more objectionable positions under wraps with certain populist stances, such as opposition to "free trade" agreements and foreign aid. He has always had a nasty anti-semitic streak, and given his political inclinations, one wonders how he resists putting on his Stürmbahnführer uniform before going out into public. Kudos to WorldNet Daily for posting this article. WND tends to be a friendly, if not admiring forum for Buchanan's public utterances. The point-counterpoint does much to enhance the dialog.

Monday, February 20, 2006

RE: The Very Rev.???

Charlie Tee opines:

Hi folks, I went to a Catholic military school in Virginia, and the Dean of my school was known as the "Very Reverend E.J.Figaro," and I asked him once what that term meant and Father Figaro explained that it meant "a man who was totally chaste, never breaking his vows toward Christ, and one who led a completely and honestly celebate life."
In Father Figaro,I found that to be very true, plus he was a man of character.Some of the other priests in my school weren't but, "Fr.Fig" always was fair and just.That meant alot to me as I am Muslim, he never tried converting me but was very accepting of my faith.
It's really too bad that so many priests went off the wagon.
I'm enjoying your blog,keep it up.
If you all hace a chance, please come visit mine at www.diffrentstrokes.blogspot.com
My blog is a journal chronolizing my attempt with my band to break into the music business.The journal is from my standpoint.Although, I talk about alot of personal things as well.
Anyway, please keep in touch.Take care.
ps. my high school was called St.Emma Military Academy, in Powhatan Virginia, and it was the only all Black military school in the world...
lovingly,Charlie Tee :-)

The Church of the Latter-Day Leftists

Founded in 1950, the New York City-based NCC has, for more than half a century, remained faithful to the legacy of its forerunner, the Communist front-group known as the Federal Council of Churches. At one time an unabashed apostle of the Communist cause, the NCC has today recast itself as a leading representative of the so-called religious Left. Adhering to what it has described as "liberation theology"--that is, Marxist ideology disguised as Christianity--the NCC lays claim to a membership of 36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox Christian denominations, and some 50 million members in over 140,000 congregations.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NCC has soft-pedaled its radical message, dressing up its demands for global collectivization and its rejection of democratic capitalism in the garb of religious teachings. Yet the organization's history suggests that it was--and remains--a devout backer of a gallery of socialist governments. In the 1950s and 1960s, under cover of charity, the NCC provided financial succor to the Communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Poland, funneling money to both through its relief agency, the Church World Service. In the 1970s, working with its Geneva-based parent organization, the World Council of Churches, the NCC supplied financial support for Soviet-sponsored incursions into Africa, aiding the terrorist rampages of Communist guerillas in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola.

Jacob Laskin

Oh yeah, these guys are just trying to promote their "understanding of the Christian faith."

And to Andy's point:

According to the 2004 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, a chronicle of church membership published by the NCC and edited by the NCC Deputy General Secretary for Research and Planning, Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, the United Methodist Church has recently experienced small declines in membership. Other NCC member churches have not faired as well. Partially as a consequence of growing dissatisfaction with the radical agenda espoused by the NCC's leadership, many of these churches have suffered a precipitous decline in their membership.

The Very Rev.???

I see the article quotes someone by the name of "The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky." What makes someone "The Very Rev."??? I've never seen that term before.

With regard to the whole article, didn't we have a good discussion a few months ago about the declining membership in these denominations??? After reading the article, I can see why people are leaving.

Predictably Strother

And I knew you would try to diminish the fact that these are the very same people who released a statement last week decrying the appointment of Samuel Alito to the SCOTUS and pleading with the political forces of this country to keep abortions "safe and legal" and to protect homosexuals' "right" to get married. And you say I'm predictable.

Those facts are not unrelated as you would like our readers to believe. These groups have an organized agenda: to promote an extreme leftist agenda while hiding under the hemline of organized "Christianity." The content of their propaganda cannot be rationally separated from their acknowledged agenda. Indeed, their propaganda on the war, the environment, and socialism can be rejected outright because they are the selfsame people who support abortion and homosexuality, extreme physical sins that cannot be justified under any legitimate teaching of Christianity. They seek to gain credibility by hiding behind the church, so it follows that their credibility is nullified as soon as their apostasy is exposed.

As well, predictably, you managed to miss the most important facet of the story which, surprisingly enough, the AP did report:

The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, the moderator for the U.S. group of WCC members, said that the letter was backed by the leaders of the churches but was not cleared by lower-level bodies. He predicted friction within congregations about the tone of the message.

Kishkovsky is soft-peddling. I predict friction in the lower organizations over the content of the message. And you can take that one to the bank.

RE: RE: Council of churches condemns U.S.

I knew you’d be unable to respond to this post without mentioning homosexuality, abortion, or some other unrelated subject — you’re being way too predictable, Steve!
So it couldn’t be that this large group of churches were led to make this statement based on their understanding of the Christian faith? Of course not! What’s wrong with me?

RE: Council of churches condemns U.S.

What the AP (and the Winston Salem Urinal) neglected to mention, of course, is that the WCC and NCC leadership are made up of the same apostate splinter groups who support the homosexual agenda and abortion on demand. That these people should choose to hide their degenerate social agenda behind the facade of an organized "church" should surprise no one. They are given away by the language of their "apology."

The message also accused U.S. officials of ignoring warnings about climate change and treating the world's "finite resources as if they are private possessions." It went on to criticize U.S. domestic policies for refusing to confront racism and poverty.

"Hurricane Katrina revealed to the world those left behind in our own nation by the rupture of our social contract," the statement said.

The churches said they had "grown heavy with guilt" for not doing enough to speak out against the Iraq war and other issues. The statement asked forgiveness for a world that's "grown weary from the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown."

This is organized propaganda from Marxist wolves who hide in Christian sheep's clothing. These organizations are the refuge of the hate and blame America first extremists who seek to inculcate their insipid belief systems on the unsuspecting from behind the auspices of organized Christianity.

Chavez could seek further terms

Condi's good buddy ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

From BBC News:
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he may seek to lift a constitutional limit on successive presidential terms. During his weekly TV show on Sunday, he announced he was thinking of calling a referendum to allow him to run for another term in the 2012 elections. Mr Chavez, who faces re-election this year, said he did not fear competition. Mr Chavez was first elected in 1998 and then again in 2000 after the approval of a constitution under which he is barred from running in 2012.
He insisted he would allow the Venezuelan people to vote on the issue. "If there is no opposition candidate, I would consider signing a decree to hold a referendum asking 'Do you agree Chavez should be allowed to seek a new term?' and let's let the people decide."
"It is just an idea that I am working on," he added.

Council of churches condemns U.S.

From yesterday's Winston-Salem Journal:
A coalition of American churches sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq yesterday, accusing Washington of "raining down terror," and apologizing to other nations for "the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown."
The statement, issued at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly 10 years, also warned that the United States is pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a "culture of consumption" and its refusal to back international accords to battle global warming.

Primary challenge looming for GOP

Party divisions may cause problem when Election Day arrives



A week has passed since candidate filing opened in North Carolina, but there are already at least eight GOP incumbents in the N.C. House facing a challenge from within their party.

It would appear that the same feud between moderate and conservative Republicans that some believe helped the Democrats regain control of the House two years ago isn't about to wane. Before the filing deadline arrives Feb. 28, a few more GOP members could have a primary race.

RE: Reagan vs. Bush: Federal Spending and Budget Deficits

Well, that's a shame. I actually thought there was more to McIntyre than simple GOP cheerleading.

Obviously, there is a dichotomy here that cannot be explained by simple polemics. On the one hand, critics of the Bush Administration's domestic spending policies fault them with the biggest expansion of government since Johnson's "Great Society," and on the other hand, neo-con apologists point out that Bush's spending isn't much out of line with Reagan's. Someone has to be wrong.

The answer is mostly in the axiom of "lies, damned lies, and statistics," but there is a little more to it than that. McIntyre is guilty of the same semantic spin that he has decried of the liberal press in the past.

First, it should be noted that a comparison of spending under Reagan and under Bush is largely an apples-to-oranges argument. Reagan faced a Democrat-controlled Congress for most of his presidency and during the two years he had a marginally Republican-controlled Senate, the leadership was of the neo-Marxist variety under the hand of Bob "Tax Collector for the Welfare State" Dole. Reagan had to fight tooth and nail for every penny of tax and spending cuts, sometimes with his own party. The increase in Federal spending under Bush, a fact McIntyre doesn't deny, has been a result of Bush's policies of "compassionate conservatism," cover language for socialism. The GOP-controlled Congress has been little more than a rubber stamp for Bush's policies and has taken advantage of the massive program increases to do a little entitlement skimming of their own. See also Ted Stevens. So, while Reagan battled the entitlement juggernaut, having to fight even members of his own political party to accomplish what he did, Bush has re-implemented the entitlement juggernaut, sometimes fighting members of his own political party to spend more on socialism.

Second, comparing the change in the economic fortunes of the country under Reagan and those under Bush, simply by throwing carefully crafted statistics at us is completely dishonest. A better statistic of the size and economic intrusiveness of government would be the burden of taxes on individuals business. Before Reagan, largely as a legacy of the Nixon and Carter Administrations, the overall burden of taxes on individuals was approaching 30% and on business was approaching 50%. The Reagan tax cuts actually diminished this burden to under 25% on individuals and under 40% on business. Reagan's tax cuts materially reduced how much the government looted its citizens' pockets and allowed them to keep and spend more of their income. The result was the largest peacetime expansion of the economy in our history and the Bush-Clinton-Bush triumvirate still reaps the political benefits today. The Bush "tax cuts" were mere window dressing, evidenced by the fact that the tax burden on individuals has continued unabated in its climb toward 50% since he became President. Couple this with the fact that real wages continue to decline (mostly due to the ever-increasing presence of women in the workforce, but that's another issue) and prices continue to climb. The Bush Administration did not abandon the economic fairy tale adopted by the Clinton Administration to prove that inflation does not exist.

Finally, simple statistics do not address the ideological and political impacts of the socialist makeover of the GOP under Bush. Reagan sought to dismantle government apparati that simply grew themselves and were ever more intrusive into the economic aspects of American life. During the Reagan Administration we repeatedly heard the essential question, "Is this a proper function of government?" During the Bush Administration the question is no longer asked by the GOP leadership and those in the GOP rank-and-file who ask the question are relegated to "extremist" and "hardcore unappeasable" status. The so-called right-wing extremism of the Reagan years acted as a counterbalance to the American slide toward Marxism and pulled us back to the relatively center-left economic and political climate of the pre-Nixon years. The triangulation of the Bush political machine has marched the GOP to a left-of-center position, thereby forcing the opposition party, the Democrats, to the extreme left and leaving us with no counterbalance to prevent a fall into a planned economy.

All the neo-con spinning aside, the Bush Presidency will be seen by history, in my opinion, as an unmitigated disaster, both for the American experiment as well as the viability of the Republican Party as an opposition force to the Marxist Democrats. The methods of the Clinton and Bush political teams have reduced American politics to a juvenile shoving match, with contests to see who can subvert the dialogue best in order to further the partisan con game. McIntyre has done nothing with this essay other than to show that he can toss off an occasional shove with the best of his neo-con allies.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Reagan vs. Bush: Federal Spending and Budget Deficits

I found this article interesting...

By John McIntyre
Real Clear Politics

After several years of solid economic growth - with the FED having recouped 14 quarter-point bullets in their holster and with a Republican Congress and Republican President (unlike President Reagan who had to contend with a Democratic House) - it is not unreasonable for conservatives to demand some fiscal restraint. We have seen some attempts to slow the growth in entitlements in the recent budget. Now we’ll see whether Bush and the Congress can follow through and deliver on some of these savings.

The point isn't to say the size of government can't be reduced or Bush can't do a better job on the spending, only that a little historical perspective is in order before people go about trashing Bush's reputation as a conservative using comparisons with Reagan's spending record.

RE: Did Al Gore commit treason???

I read a transcript of Gore's remarks elsewhere, so I can safely comment on them I guess. I'm not sure I follow Kristen's logic since neither Cal Thomas nor Townhall.com were responsible for what Gore said.

Gore's invective was no more or less treasonous than that of Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, or any of a half dozen brainless celebrities. It was most certainly aimed at a very narrow audience and I share Cal Thomas' bewilderment at what the possible point of making them might be. But I think treason could only be charged in pursuit of some partisan or jingoistic end. However, characterizing them as moronically simple-minded, wildly inappropriate, and incredibly arrogant probably goes without saying: that's Algore in a nutshell.

What I found interesting in the Thomas article was the implication of treason and its relationship to giving aid and comfort to our enemies in such close written proximity to the mention that the remarks were made in Saudi Arabia. Cal Thomas is one of the more dependable apologists for the Bush Dynasty Administration. I can't help but think they would take a dim view of him referring, however obliquely, to their brethren in the Saudi peerage as "the enemy."

Cheering tidbits lighten otherwise grim week

The third jolly event of the week was those other excitable fellows -- the Big Media White House reporters -- jumping up and down shouting "Death to Dick Cheney!" NBC's David Gregory, the George Clooney of the press corps, was yelling truth to power about why the Elmer-Fudd-in-gun-rampage story was released to "a local Corpus Christi newspaper, not the White House press corps at large.'' I know how he feels. I remember, like, four or five years ago -- early September, maybe second week -- there was this building collapse in New York and I had to learn about it from the TV because this notoriously secretive paranoid administration couldn't even e-mail me a timely press release. For an NBC guy discovering that some hicksville nowhere-burg one-stop-light feed-price sheet got tipped off before he did is like a dowager duchess turning up at the royal banquet to discover the scullery maid's been seated next to the queen.

Mark Steyn

The left and their willing toadies in the old media tend to be their own worst enemies when it comes to the Bush Administration. Their shrill, monomaniacal, hyperbolic screeching never fails to generate a sympathetic backlash. I also find it somewhat interesting as well as amusing that the period of time between the point that the old media commits its blatant hypocrisy and when it is exposed seems to be on an exponentially declining curve.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

RE: BP Poll Question: Did Al Gore commit treason???

Kristen opines:

It may be useful to post a transcript of what Al Gore said, if you can find it, considering there's probably at least a few people who read this blog who haven't seen anything about his jaunt in Saudi Arabia.

I, for one, haven't had much time to search for a transcript, but I have been unsuccessful in finding one over the past few minutes. Until then, I can have no opinion.

If you're going to do a true "poll" (or as true as possible given the circumstances), you should probably make it as non-political as you can, considering you posed the question while posting an article from a website that touts itself as a "Comprehensive site for conservative policy, news, information, and politics".

In order to be as unbiased as possible, one would need to have something posted that is neither conservative nor liberal. And, as I stated above, a transcript of his speech would be the best thing to post.

Just a suggestion! :)

BP Poll Question: Did Al Gore commit treason???

From Cal Thomas:

The more Al Gore opens his mouth, the more grateful Americans should be that he didn't win the presidency in 2000. Normally his rants sound like sour grapes and can be ignored, or relegated to the Jimmy Carter school of bitterness, but not lately...

Gore is not Michael Moore, or Jesse Jackson. He is a military veteran, a former member of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, a vice president and nearly president of the United States. His words carry weight, and they will be quoted in ways and in places that will bring harm to his country, which is bigger than any president or administration. Perhaps he needs to take an anger management class or sit on Dr. Phil's couch, where he could channel all of that negative energy into something positive.

In the meantime he should stop this purposeless and unwarranted criticism. What does he hope to accomplish by running down this administration? Bigger speaking fees? He got that. More notoriety? He got that, too, but it is tainted fame. Political office? About the only place he could get elected would be in Saudi Arabia, but they don't hold free elections, and if they did, he wouldn't get the women's vote because women can't vote or drive cars to any polls that might rise from the desert sand. What does the United States need to "understand" about such repression?

For Gore to make his anti-American remarks in Saudi Arabia is at least as bad as what Nazi sympathizers said in this country and abroad leading up to and during World War II.

One definition of "treason" is: Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies. (dictionary.com)

Feel free to respond dear BP contributors & readers...

Firestorm and Media Brimstoning

By Paul Chesser
The American Spectator

The mainstream media's petulance peaked this week after they disapproved of Vice President Dick Cheney's notification method about his hunting accident in Texas. Once again the White House press corps reminded us that it's not about the story, or the victim, but about them.

Not a Taxing Problem

By Joseph Coletti
Carolina Journal

Common sense tells us that tax revenues rise and fall with the economy, so we should adapt our spending choices to our resources. The General Assembly has not done this. Every time legislators choose to raise taxes instead of cutting spending in the state budget, they put the burden on taxpayers across the state to cut spending in their family budgets at the very time that family incomes are most threatened. That is why successful tax reform will depend upon spending reform.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Pro-Choice: How about two distinct visions?

The wonderful thing about writing op-ed pieces is that I get ample feedback, often from people unencumbered by the niceties of interpersonal diplomacy.

Last week, I did what you might expect a conservative columnist to do. I told young orphans there is no Santa Claus. No, no, just kidding. (Besides, I'd have gotten a better reaction closer to the holidays.)

No, I merely cataloged the troubles of the Democratic party. The infuriated response from hordes of liberal readers was, "How could you criticize the Democrats when the Republicans are in so much more trouble?" Fortunately they provided their own answers, most of which involved words such as "hack" and "shill," and phrases ill-suited to a family newspaper — or even to bars frequented by ex-cons. Angry readers recounted the long parade of GOP problems: warrantless wiretaps, the Abramoff scandal, Tom DeLay's indictment, Katrina, the revelation that President Bush is Rosemary's Baby, etc.

And that was before Vice President Dick Cheney started shooting people.

Jonah Goldberg

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dutch Treat

By Ryan H. Sager
TCS Daily

Republicans may recall, as Pence quoted Reagan saying in a 1975 address to CPAC: "A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, simply to swell its ranks."

Republicans have had quite enough of political expediency from 1999 to now. The question is whether conservatives can any longer agree on their fundamental beliefs. They've got roughly two years to figure it out.

HBO's Gumbel: Lack of Blacks Makes Olympics 'Look Like a GOP Convention'

"So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."

Bryant Gumbel

Over the Top

By Brandon Crocker
The American Spectator

The big problem with the Democratic Party these days is that it has no vision for the future because the Democratic leadership isn't focused on governing. Whereas George W. Bush is focused on defeating anti-democratic forces in Iraq and winning the War on Terror, the Democratic leadership is focused on tearing down George W. Bush and Republicans. And all too often, as the outbursts of Dick Durbin and Al Gore sadly show, leading Democrats do not seem to think that there is any distinction between attacking George W. Bush and a United States with George W. Bush as its president. And no one, they cry, should dare question their patriotism when they do the latter. Well, maybe it is about time that we should.

Dumping Dick Cheney?

From the Real Clear Politics blog:

I don’t know what's going on in George Bush’s mind, but I suspect the idea that he may be thinking about replacing Dick Cheney - as the lead to Peggy Noonan’s article today suggests - is not very likely. This is a President who prizes loyalty and a man who steadfastly stuck by Don Rumsfeld when other Presidents would have bent to pressure and called for a replacement.

Lottery Fund Switch Causes Concern

Supplanting of current funding with lottery money worries lawmakers

By Mitch Kokai
Carolina Journal

News that more than $200 million from the new state lottery could replace existing education spending is “not just disconcerting, it’s shocking.” That’s according to a lawmaker who voted last spring to support the lottery.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Union bosses get in the way of common sense

By John Stossel

Bosses, have I got an idea for you: Don't pay your best employees more, don't ease out your least productive workers, and for crying out loud, never fire anyone, not even for the most blatant misconduct on the job.

It works for the public schools, doesn't it?

Actually, it doesn't, but since they're government monopolies, they don't care. They never go out of business. They just keep doing what they're doing, year after year, churning out class after class of students handicapped by a poor education.

Turning a funeral pulpit into a political soapbox

By Star Parker

It's sad that today blacks still have to hear from a minister who worked with Dr. King and from a former president of the United States that they suffer because America is racist and because the government doesn't spend enough money. But, as was once said, we shall overcome.

Shaving Like a Man

By Mark Gauvreau Judge
The American Spectator

I believe in free markets and good businesses getting rich. Yet I also believe in quality that lasts, and that Americans are the best in the world at making things if they put their minds to it. I hope that Gillette and Schick and whoever else wants to bring back American safety razors, and that they make millions of dollars and hire thousands of workers because of the popularity of said product. After all, there are certain things in this world that were done perfectly and cannot and should not be improved. Jesus lived a perfect life. The book is the ultimate form of conveying information. No one will sing "My Way" better than Sinatra. Michael Jordan was the best basketball player ever, period.

And the safety razor won't be improved upon. No matter how many blades they keep adding.

Hillary's Policies Are a Problem, Not Her Persona

By Amity Shlaes

What a wonderful thing it would be if Republicans would skip their criticism of the Clinton persona. Instead, they could concentrate their spotlight on her economics. That's where change is needed. And that's where consequences need to be spelled out.

Al Gore: International Man of Mystery

By Tom Bevan
Real Clear Politics

And so the saga of Al Gore continues. Gore seems to have tired of giving his regularly scheduled harangue of the Bush administration to domestic audiences, because this week he took his podium-pounding show on the road. On Sunday at a major international economic forum in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Gore decried the treatment of Arabs in the United States after September 11, telling the crowd that many had been “indiscriminately rounded up” and “held in conditions that were just unforgivable." Gore criticized America’s current visa policy as “thoughtless” and “a mistake” and then apologized for the “terrible abuses” Arabs have suffered in America since 9/11...

Gore is against eavesdropping on potential terrorist communications and he’s against tighter screens for visitors originating from Islamic countries. So exactly what would America’s national security policy look like under a Gore administration? For the sake of the country, that’s one mystery best left unsolved.

Wednesday Funnies

David Letterman: "Top Ten Dick Cheney Excuses": Heart palpitation caused trigger finger to spasm; Wanted to get the Iraq mess off the front page; Not enough Jim Beam; Trying to stop the spread of bird flu; I love to shoot people; I thought the guy was trying to go "gay cowboy" on me; Excuse? I hit him, didn't I?; Until Democrats approve Medicare reform, we have to make some tough choices for the elderly.

Jay Leno: Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, 78-year-old lawyer [Harry Whittington]. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent. ... When the ambulance got there, out of force of habit they put Cheney on the stretcher. No, the other guy! ... Former FEMA director Michael Brown is testifying before a Senate panel today. He was supposed to testify last week, but he just got there. ... Hillary Clinton blasted President Bush for not catching Osama bin Laden. Is she in a position to criticize? She couldn't even catch Bill Clinton, and they were in the same room. ... And everyone is talking about the three carat diamond ring Hillary is wearing that Bill gave her. Well he didn't actually give it to her. She found it near the nightstand. "It's a gift. I was wrapping it...it's for you." ... They added a new [Olympic] event this year called the Danish freestyle—five cartoonists skate as fast as they can away from an angry mob. ... I feel bad for Marmaduke. He's a cartoon and a Great Dane! He's in double-danger. ... "American Idol" actually did better in the ratings than the Grammy's. So people would rather see regular people do a bad job of singing than famous people do a good job of lip syncing.

Willie Nelson Releases Gay Cowboy Song

Fox News

Country music outlaw Willie Nelson sang "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" more than 25 years ago. He released a very different sort of cowboy anthem this Valentine's Day.

"Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist. But it was written long before this year's Oscar-nominated"Brokeback Mountain" made gay cowboys a hot topic.

Election Filings

Forsyth County

Vernon Robinson, a Republican, has filed to run for the 12th Congressional District. Robinson, 50, lives in Winston-Salem and is the president of the N.C. Education Reform Foundation.

This is his first run for the 12th District, which is held by Democrat Mel Watt. The district goes through 10 cities, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Kernersville, Lexington and Charlotte, as well as six counties in between, along Interstate 85.

Robinson, a former two-term member of the Winston-Salem City Council, lost his 2004 bid for the 5th Congressional District in a Republican runoff against Virginia Foxx, who won in the general election.

Stokes County

Robert Nickell, a Democrat, filed yesterday to run for one of three seats up for re-election on the Stokes County Board of Com-missioners. Nickell, 44, lives in Westfield. He is a historical renovator, Spanish interpreter and school-bus driver. He also teaches gymnastics and owns American Gymnastics in King and Sandy Ridge. In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board of commissioners, losing in the Democratic primary.


Three judicial seats are up for re-election in the Judicial District 17-B, which covers Surry and Stokes counties. They are the judgeships held by Otis M. "Bud" Oliver, Spencer G. Key Jr. and Charles "Chuck" Neaves Jr.

Terms are four years. The races are nonpartisan.

Oliver has announced that he will not run for re-election.

Angela B. Puckett of Westfield has filed to run for Oliver's seat. She works as an assistant district attorney in Surry and Stokes counties.

Key has filed to run for a second full term. Key, 39, was appointed to the office in 2000 and won election to his first full term in 2002. Key lives in Dobson. He graduated from Wake Forest University and UNC Chapel Hill School of Law. He is a former assistant district attorney.

Neaves has filed to run for a fourth term. Neaves, 49, was first elected to the office in 1994. He lives in Elkin. He graduated from WFU and from WFU School of Law. He is a former assistant district attorney.

Tom Langan has filed to run against Neaves. Langan is an assistant district attorney in Surry and Stokes counties. Langan, 33, lives in King. He graduated from Duke University and WFU School of Law.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Meet the Press

From the Editors of National Review Online:

Never has an accidental shooting occasioned so much glee. Whatever mistakes Vice President Dick Cheney might have made while hunting on the Armstrong Ranch in Texas this weekend, or in deciding how to make the mishap public, have been eclipsed by the disgusting wallowing in the accident of all his critics and the unsurpassable self-regard of national reporters outraged by a delay of at least 14 hours in getting alerted to the story. They worked themselves into a first-class tizzy at Monday's White House press briefing, proving that no matter what the story is, reporters think it’s all about them. It is understandable that Cheney would not consider notifying the media his first priority following an accident during a quail-hunting trip with friends, and the meaning that is being read into the incident — about Cheney's character, the administration's competence, Bush's foreign policy, and much else — is absurd.