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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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nevada Couple Wins $15 Million Lottery After Cashing in $10,000 Winning Ticket

Fox News

One Nevada couple has shown that lightning can strike twice, and they've got $15 million in lottery winnings to prove it.

Barry and Barbara Salzman pressed their luck, and it paid off. After winning one lottery jackpot, the couple invested in an additional ticket, and ended up walking home with a cool $15 million, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Molly Ivins, R.I.P.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and referred to President Bush as "Shrub," died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 62.

Franken tells DFLers he's running for Senate

By Rob Hotakainen
Star Tribune

WASHINGTON -
Comedian and radio talk show host Al Franken has begun calling Democratic members of Congress and prominent DFLers to tell them he will definitely challenge Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008, the Star Tribune has learned.

David Broder Slams Hillary on General Petraeus...

By David Broder
Washington Post


This month (Hillary) Clinton began her presidential campaign, as she did her first race for the Senate in New York, by saying that she wanted to do a lot of listening. She sure wasn't listening to Gen. Petraeus. She wasn't even asking.

Rush Limbaugh ponders... :-)

"Did Breck Girl Clear Cut to Make Room for Air Force One?"

Biden Talks Trash

Mocks 2008 Dem rivals Obama, Edwards, Clinton

Fox News

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden officially launched his presidential campaign and has come out of the gate swinging — not at President Bush and the Republicans, but at fellow Democrats seeking their party's nomination.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Surprises In George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address”: Wore a “Hillary in 2008” T-shirt; Vowed to end America’s dependence on foreign films; When he said “Times are tough. That’s why when I need a little pick-me-up I reach for a Snickers!”; Concluded policy proposal with a rousing “Deal or No Deal?”; For viewers who have HDTV, he was 17 percent Bushier; Showed up late explaining he was watching “American Idol.”

Jay Leno: The Constitution does not specify how long the State of the Union address must be. You know who gave the longest State of the Union address ever? Bill Clinton. You know who gave the shortest? George Washington. It was just a couple of minutes. Well sure, when a politician cannot tell a lie, it limits how much they can say. Clinton could go on for hours. ... The political experts are asking what role Bill Clinton will play in Hillary’s campaign. I’m guessing the cheating husband? ... I guess you heard by now Sen. John Kerry announced he will not run for president, in 2008. He said the time is just not right. You know why it’s not right? It’s an election year. ... John Edwards, who is also running for president, is being criticized because the new house he just moved into is one of the biggest houses in North Carolina. It’s 28,000 square feet on 102 acres. See, Edwards became famous for talking about the two Americas. Now both of them can fit into his backyard. ... Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is now in Iraq. She made a surprise visit. Well, you thought Bush wanted to bomb the place before! ... She didn’t say how long she was staying in Iraq, and President Bush said he was against setting any timetables for Pelosi to return. He said to bring her back prematurely would send the wrong message.

Obama: 'The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact'...

By Bill Sammon
The Examiner

WASHINGTON -
Although he frequently makes a point of finding something charitable to say about his opponents’ arguments, Sen. Barack Obama almost always ends up voting liberal.

“The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact,” the Illinois Democrat wrote in “The Audacity of Hope,” a memoir published last year. “Much of what I absorbed from the sixties was filtered through my mother, who to the end of her life would proudly proclaim herself an unreconstructed liberal.”

Venezuela's Congress Grants Chavez Special Powers to Remake Country

A congress wholly loyal to President Hugo Chavez approved a law Wednesday granting the Venezuelan leader authority to enact sweeping measures by presidential decree.

Meeting at a downtown plaza in a session that resembled a political rally, lawmakers unanimously approved all four articles of the law by a show of hands.

"Long live the sovereign people! Long live President Hugo Chavez! Long live socialism!" said National Assembly President Cilia Flores as she proclaimed the law approved. "Fatherland, socialism or death! We will prevail!"

It's good to be king.

I liked this:


Hundreds of Chavez supporters wearing red...gathered in the plaza, waving signs reading "Socialism is democracy"


The whole exercise is a good demonstration of the properties of democracy and socialism. The former inevitably leads to the latter, but the road back is closed.

As well, there was this:


"If you have all the power, why do you need more power?" said Luis Gonzalez, a high school teacher who paused to watch in the plaza, calling it a "media show" intended to give legitimacy to a repugnant move. "We're headed toward a dictatorship, disguised as a democracy."


...and then just two paragraphs later:


"Dictatorship is what there used to be," Rodriguez said. "We want to impose the dictatorship of a true democracy."


So, there is your truth, Luis. Democracy is dictatorship.

Venezuela is a wealthy nation. Chavez will not last like Castro has. Someone with money and connections will take him out, eventually.

Stokes ready for next step in job search

County commissioners need to narrow field of applicants for county-manager post

By Lisa R. Boone
Winston-Salem Journal


Stokes County officials are hoping to have a full-time county manager by March, officials said yesterday.

"It is very important to all of the county commissioners to get a county manager in place as soon as possible," Leon Inman, the chairman of the board of commissioners, said. "We hope that we have a good pool to chose from.

"Ideally, we would like to have someone on board by March."

The county manager is the highest administrative position and is responsible for daily county operations and reports to the commissioners.

The deadline for applications to be submitted to county offices for the position is today. About 20 applications have been received.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

RE: Can John Edwards Relate to the Poor...

Andy reminds us: And let's not forget the beach home he has in some gated community on the coast...

Oh, don't worry. I'm sure we won't forget.

Can John Edwards Relate to the Poor When he Lives in a $6 Million House?

Fox News

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who is running on an anti-poverty platform, is facing questions about his $6 million estate near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Raleigh News and Observer says Edwards has been asked whether there is a contradiction between his home — which has a basketball and racquetball courts, along with a pool — and his pledge to reduce poverty. Edwards has said that he's been lucky — making millions as a trial lawyer. He has said he feels the responsibility to help people help themselves. In his first presidential campaign, he was attacked for living in a Georgetown mansion while he was talking about two Americas — one rich and one poor.

And let's not forget the beach home he has in some gated community on the coast...

Gentlemen's Agreement

Fox News

A gentlemen's agreement among House members to quietly approve an annual cost-of-living increase has disintegrated among partisan squabbling over last year's congressional campaigns. In the past the raise has been approved in an obscure procedural move — instead of a direct up-or-down vote — and neither side made it a campaign issue. But Democrats last summer said they would opt out of the raise until a new minimum wage was approved — and ran attack ads against Republicans for taking pay increases while fighting higher wages for low-paid workers. Now the Democrats are in power and are trying to again link the increase to the wage bill — but Republicans are refusing to go along.

So there will be no raise this year — and House members will have to get by on their salary of $165,200.

Mainstream Media Reports

Fox News

Mainstream news outlets covering the Scooter Libby trial continue to say that President Bush's contention that Iraq had tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Africa was contradicted by the findings of Joe Wilson following his CIA mission to Niger, in Africa, to investigate the matter.

The Washington Post today said, "Wilson's mission there was to explore reports, ultimately proved false, that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear material in Niger." But Wilson's report to the CIA actually confirmed that the former prime minister of Niger had met with Iraqis to discuss what was called 'commercial relations' — which Wilson interpreted as meaning sales of yellowcake uranium. Wilson told the CIA he had found no evidence of a successful deal — not that there had been no attempt to broker a deal.

Wilson later wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times which differed from his CIA report.

Serious Opposition

Fox News

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is facing serious opposition in his campaign to reform the 61-year-old institution — which many consider bloated and corrupt. Minutes of a January board meeting obtained by FOX News reveal Wolfowitz's critics say he lacks an effective strategy and clear vision for the bank — and reject plans to make almost any reform. Not all of the criticism is professional — one director has attacked Wolfowitz on subjects ranging from his role in planning the Iraq war to his choice of female companionship.

Part of the problem is that the bank's directors are also in many cases representatives of the borrowing countries. One former director said many experts are shocked by this — summing it up as a case of "the inmates running the asylum."

Now this appeals to the common man... :-)


In this combo picture, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, with holes on his socks, is seen as he leaves from the Ottoman era Selimiye mosque in Edirne, western Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007. Wolfowitz was in Turkey for a-two-day official visit. (AP Photo/Nadir Alp/Anatolia)

Edwards win is plausible, with help of fat-cat cash

Truth be told, a plausible Edwards scenario exists out there.
In a nutshell, it goes something like this: Edwards wins the Iowa caucuses in January 2008. That's not a stretch, as he finished a strong second in Iowa in 2004 and has spent a considerable amount of time in the state ever since. Next up, New Hampshire. He loses to, say, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Then the fun shifts to South Carolina - where Edwards was born.
Edwards wins South Carolina, and the primary focus shifts to Nevada - one of the states mentioned as moving up in the rotation, which is still not set yet. Nevada has a strong union presence, primarily in the form of gaming workers. Edwards has earned a reputation as being a friend of labor, and his newest, best buddy/campaign manager is former U.S. Rep. David Bonior, a Democrat from Michigan with strong ties to organized labor.
If the primaries break that way - a mighty big "if" considering the amount of time between now and then - Edwards is rolling with wins in three of the first four early primaries. That adds up to one heck of a momentum boost.


— Scott Sexton, Winston-Salem Journal

Not sure about all this. However, if Edwards' only Dem competition is Hillary (who has enough personal baggage to keep her from ever taking flight... admit it, Steve) and Obama (C’mon, will Americans vote for a man whose middle name is Hussein? I have my doubts...) this scenario could be a possibility.

But as I’ve said before, my money is on Donald Trump. Just wait 'til he rolls out his presidential campaign on the season finale of The Apprentice. Hell, he might even let Rudy G. be VP; don't they do the Zig Ziglar/motivational speech circuit together?

'I REALLY RESENT'

By John Podhoretz
NY Post

Sen. Hillary Clinton said over the weekend that "I really resent" the fact American troops may be tied up in Iraq in January 2009 - when she hopes to be president of the United States.

"I am going to level with you," she said. "The president has said this is going to be left to his successor. I think it is the height of irresponsibility, and I really resent it."

That's actually an interesting, even thought-provoking, formulation. It's rare to hear questions about difficult policies discussed in terms of personal resentments, but perhaps this is one of the areas where Hillary Clinton will blaze a new presidential trail.

GOP Right Sees Lemons in White House Race

By Jonathan Martin
Politico.com

Contemplating the current field of Republican presidential candidates, Rush Limbaugh sounded like a man with malaise.

"To be honest with you, there's nobody out there that revs me up," he confessed to his audience of several million conservative sympathizers on his radio show last week, "so why should I pretend there is?"

What for much of the past year has been an undercurrent of grumbling on the right about the top tier of Republican contenders -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani -- is lately on the rise in both frequency and volume. Limbaugh's sour note is the most striking of examples.

From consultants to bloggers to talk show hosts, there is a climate of suspicion -- at times bordering on contempt -- among conservative activists about their 2008 choices.

RE: A home makes you a hypocrite?

Strother opines: "John Edwards' self-made wealth is only a 'negative' because nervous Republicans in search of an angle on him really need it to be."

For a guy who couldn't carry his own state in '04, Edwards isn't really striking any fears among the GOP.

"What exactly does he say in his 'Two Americas" speech that, upon seeing a picture and description of his exquisite home, reveals him to be a hypocrite? Seriously, I'm curious."

For a guy who's been on an anti-poverty crusade for the past two years and then turn around and build a $6 million home reeks of hypocrisy. I rank that right up there with someone who goes around preaching about global warming and then drives a SUV.

"Do you find George W. Bush's orchestrated "common man" persona hypocritical considering that he — unlike Edwards, who earned his own fortune — was born into the wealth and prestige of an American royal family?"

When did Bush go around saying, "Vote for me because I'm a common man."??? He's got a Texan accent and likes to wear a cowboy hat & boots, but that's the norm if you're from Texas, regardless of income.

"Yes, Edwards' success story is rather uncommon, and the man is proud of where he came from. Who wouldn't be? And on the subject of work and self-sufficiency, one could say that a "Rags To Riches" president inspires the common man to be more productive than Prince Dubya's rise to the throne ever would."

Edwards didn't exactly come from a poor home... You make it sound like he was homeless when he was growing up. Ha! :-)

"To Edwards' benefit, his life story allows him to more effectively empathize with his audience; Dubya, on the other hand, has had to completely fake all that stuff. between those two, who would the biggest hypocrite in the "aw, shucks" contest?"

Yeah, since people have such high opinion of lawyers, Edwards can effectively woo his audience... Ha! :-)

Rolling Stones top US music rich


BBC News

British band the Rolling Stones have topped the US music rich list for the second year running.

Mick Jagger and his bandmates raked in $150.6m (£76.2m) last year, with much of that being made during their A Bigger Bang tour.

More Silky Pony


As a result, he's a hard man for America to hate; I understand that you're scared.


I ain't skeered. The Beast in Pants Suits will have Edwards as a light snack before she moves on to the Obama main course. America has already rejected Edwards once. I don't know about hating him, but they certainly didn't find him very compelling. Even North Carolina had enough of him after one term in the Senate.


...but reread it with an honest and critical eye, Steve. There's no other point to it.


Once again, context is everything. The Carolina Journal does this kind of article on a lot of different public figures. They've done them on Richard Morgan, a Republican, as well as on Jim Black, a Democrat. Remember that the Journal is associated with the John Locke Society. Edwards is a big-government socialist whose populism is based on class envy. The article is merely pointing out that Edwards is a charter member of the class against whom he likes to incite hatred, hence, he is a hypocrite.


Wealthy lawyers can't represent the common man? I think that many would tell you that's their job.


This isn't about providing legal representation to the proletariat, or anyone else for that matter. This is about Edwards self-appointment, through the use of class warfare agit-prop and by his campaign strategies, as a spokesman and champion for the under-classes. He seeks to portray himself as "one of us" when he has little in common with "us."

RE: The Silky Pony has no clothes

Look, guys: John Edwards is a compelling populist, self-made, rich, handsome, and has a Southern accent. As a result, he's a hard man for America to hate; I understand that you're scared. But "the silky pony lives in a big house?" You've gotta do better than that.

In reference to my "I realize that this Carrington guy aims to stir resentment and jealously in the voting public..." Steve replies, "I doubt that very much. That's just not The Carolina Journal's style."

It may not be their style — I don't hang out there very much — but reread it with an honest and critical eye, Steve. There's no other point to it.

His aim, as Andy pointed out, is most likely to highlight Edwards' hypocrisy in pretending to be a champion of the proletariat.

Wealthy lawyers can't represent the common man? I think that many would tell you that's their job.

The Silky Pony has no clothes


I realize that this Carrington guy aims to stir resentment and jealously in the voting public...


I doubt that very much. That's just not The Carolina Journal's style. His aim, as Andy pointed out, is most likely to highlight Edwards' hypocrisy in pretending to be a champion of the proletariat. That would be more in line with their style. If you are a regular reader of the Journal, you also know that their criticism knows no partisan lines. If NC Democrats get fried more often, it is solely because they are more openly socialist and more often violate Lockean principles of limited government.


...it’s nothing but rich guys (and gals) at the top of every political heap.


Yes, isn't democracy so much better than other systems? Oh, wait, never mind.


At least Edwards is a self-made man, unlike our current president.


Now that's a stretch. Edwards made himself by blackmailing insurance companies, thereby contributing to the outrageous premiums you and I pay for health insurance. Extortion can be a lucrative pursuit, but I don't know that I want my elected leaders to have such aspirations. I'm certainly no fan of our current Simpleton-in-Chief, but I hardly think Edwards' thuggery compares favorably to Bush's silver spoon.

A home makes you a hypocrite?

John Edwards' self-made wealth is only a 'negative' because nervous Republicans in search of an angle on him really need it to be.

Andy: The reason I posted it was to point out the hypocrisy of John Edwards...

What exactly does he say in his 'Two Americas" speech that, upon seeing a picture and description of his exquisite home, reveals him to be a hypocrite? Seriously, I'm curious. Do you find George W. Bush's orchestrated "common man" persona hypocritical considering that he — unlike Edwards, who earned his own fortune — was born into to the wealth and prestige of an American royal family? Which is worse? Fact is, every presidential candidate is wealthy, yet must appeal to "the common man." While both Edwards and Dubya are rich, Edwards came from a common place and, arguably, has experienced life in his "two Americas."

Yes, Edwards' success story is rather uncommon, and the man is proud of where he came from. Who wouldn't be? And on the subject of work and self-sufficiency, one could say that a "Rags To Riches" president inspires the common man to be more productive than Prince Dubya's rise to the throne ever would. To Edwards' benefit, his life story allows him to more effectively empathize with his audience; Dubya, on the other hand, has had to completely fake all that stuff. between those two, who would the biggest hypocrite in the "aw, shucks" contest?

New troops

For the Public: State, private donor will pay $24 million for Chimney Rock

(AP) North Carolina's newest state park, still at least a year away from opening, grew by 1,000 acres yesterday when the state announced plans to buy privately owned Chimney Rock Park for $24 million.

The property - much of which is untouched by humans - will be used to augment Hickory Nut Gorge State Park, expected to open in 2008 in one of North Carolina's most biologically diverse areas, Gov. Mike Easley said during a news conference at Lake Lure.

Remembering the Gipper...


“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted to it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”

Ronald Reagan

Monday, January 29, 2007

Arrests Down, Injuries Up

Fox News

Last week we told you that police in Tijuana, Mexico who had their guns taken away in a corruption probe had been issued slingshots and ball bearings. But after a 50 percent decrease in arrests this month and the injuring of five officers who were unarmed — the police department has given back the guns.

The city's public safety secretary said the decision to take the guns away had made life more dangerous for both the officers and the city's residents.

"Good News"

Fox News

NBC's reporter in Baghdad concedes that the media isn't getting the "good news" stories from Iraq on the air. Jane Arraf recently told anchor Brian Williams that life in Iraq "isn't entirely what it seems" from the constant focus on bombings and other violence. Arraf said,"I'll tell you what I think is a piece of good news that's out there every day that's really hard for us to get at. There are children walking to school... and it's that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there."

Arraf says doing that story might actually put the children in danger.

Reporter Admonished

Fox News

A New York Times reporter has been admonished by his superiors after voicing the hope that the U.S. can accomplish its goals in Iraq. Here's what Times chief military correspondent Michael Gordon said on The Charlie Rose show earlier this month — "As a purely personal view, I think it's worth it — one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it's done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something."

Public editor Byron Calame writes that Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman said Gordon "stepped over the line" and "went too far." Timeswatch.com points out that last summer Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Rose show, and criticized Bush administration practice of sending bombs to the Middle East — saying the policy "erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation." MacFarquhar received no reprimand for his comments.

N.C. lottery sales are missing the mark

By J. Andrew Curliss
Charlotte.com

Even as players lined up across North Carolina last week to drop their dollars on chances at a big Powerball jackpot, officials acknowledged the new state lottery has a $200 million problem.

Overall sales for the games' first fiscal year are expected to miss the goal by at least that much, adding significant financial pressure to education programs that the lottery was created in 2005 to support.

With half the fiscal year over, officials have blamed lower-than-expected sales on months of small Powerball prizes, high gas prices, a tight economy -- even the chemical fire in suburban Apex last year.

"Zero-based" budgeting experiment under way at General Assembly

By GARY D. ROBERTSON

(AP) RALEIGH, N.C. —
When a successful business hits a rough patch, executives often ask their employees to look for ways to cut costs. Sometimes, workers are even asked to justify the existence of their departments.

That's rare within North Carolina state government, and critics complain a program often gets a free ride once it receives budget funding for two consecutive years.

But after prodding for years, mainly by Republicans, the Democrats who control both the state House and Senate are prepared to try what's called "zero-based budgeting" — or forcing a state agency to justify all of the funding for one of its program every budget year.

Historian spent 20 months on 23 pages

Speaker Joe Hackney released the work commissioned by his predecessor, Jim Black

By Dan Kane and David Ingram
The News & Observer


After being paid roughly $80,000 for 20 months of work, state House Historian Ann Lassiter produced one completed report -- a 23-page history of the speaker's office that is filled with grammatical errors and makes factual blunders.

The man who commissioned it, former House Speaker Jim Black, declined to release it because he thought it was so poorly done. His successor, House Speaker Joe Hackney, decided Friday that it should be made public. Hackney also released four draft documents Lassiter produced that range from two to 19 pages. They were supposed to be part of a more comprehensive history of the House.

This is our tax money at work in Raleigh... :-)

RE: RE: Edwards Home County's Largest

Strother opines: "Further, I thought that class conflict was the weapon of socialists and Marxists. I guess everybody’s gotta use it these days. To paraphrase Jon Stewart, I guess it’s time for “the fake news” over at Carolina Journal."

The reason I posted it was to point out the hypocrisy of John Edwards, who is making his second run for president by using the typical weapon of liberals: class warfare. Listening to his "Two Americas" speeches, one would think he lives in a "van down by the river" (Thanks to Chris Farley for that line.) Personally, he can live in any size home he wants because it's his money, but enough of this class warfare junk he spouts.

Workfirst Plan

From the former commish, JT:

Andy, the Workfirst plan has always been an ire of the socialists in Stokes County. They are not confident that they can make a plan and stick by it. They want the same ole' "I take what he has" plan. The electing plan has tougher requirements for receiving benefits. It requires that you actually get a job! You can't just run from business to business asking for a business card to prove that you asked about a job. Below is that statement that they chose to argue this past year:

Stokes County has strengthened the sanction for non-cooperation. If a recipient fails, for any reason, to name the absent parent of the child, the application will be denied until he/she names the absent parent. If a recipient fails to cooperate with Child Support enforcement without “good cause”, TANF benefits will be suspended until compliance is reached..

Stokes County employment rate was down to 4% last fall. I believe that in Stokes or any county that you have that many people that will never get a job.

JT

Dick Cheney vs. Nancy Pelosi: The Blink-Count



Not sure what this actually means... other than neither Cheney nor Pelosi are normal human beings.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

RE: Stokes to consider changing status for welfare money


Hey Steve: If I'm not mistaken, you were a commissioner when Stokes Co. decided to be an "electing" county.


I was. It was the only policy battle of any importance I ever won. I was aided by a very, very reluctant Carol Bailey, who almost bailed out on me several times. That was in 1997, fresh on the heels of the 1994 Republican revolution and the socialists on the board still had to watch their step. We voted it in 4 to 1 with Eugene Lyons dissenting. In the ten years since then, it has saved Stokes County taxpayers millions of dollars. I would expect they will drop electing status since the socialists will believe they have a mandate. At this point, there is probably so much pressure from the state, I would be somewhat surprised if they stuck it out.

The program was based on the unheard-of principle that if you teach people a skill and put a time limit on how long they can feed at the public trough, they will stand up on their own two feet and live like free individuals instead of welfare slaves. As an added bonus, they get back their pride and self-worth. The leftists and power whores absolutely hated it. Reba Elliott swore there would be people starving to death on the streets of King. Gene Lyons tried to float some bizarre notion that welfare reform would cause more abortions. Don't ask, I never understood the reasoning behind that one.

Now that the GOP has flamed out on national and local levels, I expect it will be back to sucking in more slaves for the welfare plantation. And since the Bush Administration has provided us with ever more Mexican grist for the socialist mill, the Bolsheviks in Raleigh should find themselves in an ecstasy of Marxian euphoria.

By any other name, it could be $10 million sweeter

Study says that changing name of Joel Coliseum could bring in millions for the city

By Bertrand M. Gutierrez
Winston-Salem Journal

What's in a name?

For Joel Coliseum, the 15,000-seat arena where Wake Forest's Demon Deacons play basketball, there could be a yearly payment of $400,000 to $700,000 in it - more than $10 million in a 15-year contract.

The city of Winston-Salem could make that much money by selling the naming rights to a corporate sponsor, according to a study of the issue paid for by the city.

But the idea of changing the name to BB&T Coliseum, for example, does not appeal to city officials. Members of the Winston-Salem City Council said yesterday that they are willing to forfeit a possible naming-rights contract because there is more to a name than money.

Stokes to consider changing status for welfare money

By Lisa R. Boone
Winston-Salem Journal


Stokes County is one of 10 counties in North Carolina that will have to pay part of the cost of its Work First Program if it is still an "electing" county when a budget cut becomes effective July 1.

An electing county is one that does not operate under the state's standard Work First Program, which is North Carolina's welfare program. As an electing county, Stokes would not be covered by state money if it uses more than what is allotted to it.

Jan Spencer, the director of the Stokes County Department of Social Services, told Stokes County commissioners Monday night at their regular meeting that the county's Work First budget, which is set by the state, has been reduced from $505,524 to $349,446.

Hey Steve: If I'm not mistaken, you were a commissioner when Stokes Co. decided to be an "electing" county.

RE: Edwards Home County's Largest

Nothing is surprising about this story. Of course his home is the most valuable in NC’s Orange County! Edwards is a very successful lawyer and a candidate in the upcoming '08 Presidential election. Edwards’s political peers with the same political aspirations are wealthy, too. Matter of fact, our current president — Dubya — has a big, pricey pad of his own; Prairie Chapel Ranch is a 1583 acre estate. But so what?

I realize that this Carrington guy aims to stir resentment and jealously in the voting public, but — when you play that game — you basically illustrate that it’s nothing but rich guys (and gals) at the top of every political heap. At least Edwards is a self-made man, unlike our current president.

Further, I thought that class conflict was the weapon of socialists and Marxists. I guess everybody’s gotta use it these days. To paraphrase Jon Stewart, I guess it’s time for “the fake news” over at Carolina Journal.

Edwards Home County's Largest


By Don Carrington
Carolina Journal

RALEIGH -
Presidential candidate John Edwards and his family recently moved into what county tax officials say is the most valuable home in Orange County. The house, which includes a recreational building attached to the main living quarters, also is probably the largest in the county.

The Edwards residential property will likely have the highest tax value in the county,- Orange County Tax Assessor John Smith told Carolina Journal. He estimated that the tax value will exceed $6 million when the facility is completed.

The rambling structure sits in the middle of a 102-acre estate on Old Greensboro Road west of Chapel Hill. The heavily wooded site and winding driveway ensure that the home is not visible from the road. "No Trespassing" signs discourage passersby from venturing past the gate.

Don Knight, Orange County building plans examiner, told CJ that, including the recreational building, the Edwardses' home would be one of the largest in Orange County.

Knight approved the building plans that showed the Edwards home totaling 28,200 square feet of connected space. The main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet.

The main house is all on one level except for a 600-square-foot bedroom and bath area above the guest garage.

The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated "John's Lounge."

Edwards was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2004 and a former N.C. senator.

Thursday afternoon, the Edwards for President press office was unable to provide information on any additional buildings planned for the estate.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Black won't run when House term ends

Investigations did not figure into decision, former speaker says

Winston-Salem Journal

RALEIGH

(AP)
Rep. Jim Black, the former House speaker who nearly lost his Mecklenburg County seat in November, says he won't run for re-election in 2008.

Black has been dogged by legal and ethical questions over the past year that prompted him not to run for a record fifth term as speaker.

He said Wednesday that he won't return to the General Assembly after next year regardless of the outcome of federal and state investigations into his campaign finances.

Clinton Supporters

Fox News

Some of Hollywood's heavy-hitters who have traditionally supported the Clintons are lining up behind the person who could be their choice for president in 2008 — Barack Obama. ABC's Web site reports movie moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg are throwing a $2,300/person fundraiser for Obama next month.

Couples who commit to raising $46,000 for the evening will also be invited to a private dinner with Obama at Geffen's Malibu home. The list of show business celebrities supporting Obama already includes past Clinton supporters George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Oliver Stone.

Losing Support?

Fox News

There is another sign that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is losing support in high places. The age.com reports Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has snubbed a request by Ahmadinejad to discuss the country's nuclear program. A newspaper owned by Ali Khamenei has already called for the president to stay out of the international debate on the issue — which has resulted in U.N. sanctions.

The ayatollah's refusal to meet with Ahmadinejad is said to be a first — and an indication of growing unrest within the Iranian leadership over the president's hardline policies.

Iran Controls Hezbollah

Fox News

The former secretary-general of Hezbollah says Iran is now controlling the terror group. Sheikh Subhi al-Tufeli tells a Kuwaiti newspaper, "Hezbollah is a tool, and it is an integral part of the Iranian intelligence apparatus.

Iran has succeeded in changing Hezbollah from a resistance force into a tool to be used in whatever "direction they want." Al-Tufeili adds "Iran is the main nerve in the activity today in Lebanon. All Hezbollah activity is financed by Iranian funds."

Al Qaeda Cannibalizing?

Fox News

A native Iraqi and Middle East expert says the Iraqi insurgency independent of Al Qaeda is being slowly and surely defeated. Nibras Kazimi has worked with the Iraqi National Congress and the country's de-Baathification Commission. He writes in the New York Sun that U.S. and Iraqi military pressure has left insurgents feeling "demoralized, disillusioned and hunted."

He says Al Qaeda is cannibalizing smaller groups and continues to grow. But he says, "Al Qaeda is getting a serious beating as the Americans improve in intelligence gathering and partner with more reliable Iraqi forces." He calls the recent trend a "major accomplishment."

But Kazimi cautions that Al Qaeda terror will continue for many years because the group "will remain oblivious to all evidence of the insurgency's eventual defeat." And he has advice for presumptive new multi-national forces commander David Petraeus — saying the general should "allow what works to keep working and to improve on it" — rather than test unproved theories of counterinsurgency.

Bush Challenges Congress on Iraq: 'I'm The Decision-Maker'

Fox News

(AP) WASHINGTON —
President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday "I'm the decision-maker" about sending more troops to the war. He challenged skeptical lawmakers not to prematurely condemn his plan.

Brain Damage Seems to Ease Smoking Cravings, Study Says

Fox News

(AP) WASHINGTON —
Damage to a silver dollar-sized spot deep in the brain seems to wipe out the urge to smoke, a surprising discovery that may shed important new light on addiction.

The research was inspired by a stroke survivor who claimed he simply forgot his two-pack-a-day addiction — no cravings, no nicotine patches, not even a conscious desire to quit.

Republican: Scripts need reviewing

Movie prompts lawmaker's film incentive idea

By Mark Schreiner
Star News

Raleigh - Citing the controversy surrounding the Dakota Fanning film Hounddog, the leader of the state Senate Republicans says he wants the government to review scripts before cameras start rolling in North Carolina.

That system, said state Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, would apply only to films seeking the state's lucrative filmmaker incentive, which refunds as much as 15 percent of what productions spend in North Carolina from the state treasury.

Carter apologizes for 'stupid' book passage

By Eric Pfeiffer
The Washington Times


Jimmy Carter has apologized for what he called a "stupid" passage in his book that critics say is a de facto endorsement of Palestinian violence against Israelis.

The former president had spent most of the past two months defending his new book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," after 15 board members at his Atlanta-based Carter Center resigned in protest of the book's content.

Scared Smithfield workers stay home

By Jennifer Plotnick
The Fayetteville Observer

TAR HEEL —
The 21 Smithfield Packing Co. employees arrested by immigration officials while they worked Wednesday are in the process of being deported.

The 20 men and one woman arrested were moved Thursday from the Mecklenburg County Jail to Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., nearly 700 miles from Tar Heel.

Meanwhile, church officials within the region’s Hispanic community and spokespeople with the United Food & Commercial Workers union said the workers’ families didn’t know where they were and other immigrant workers were terrified of more arrests.

Production at the plant was substantially diminished Thursday as workers stayed away.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cheney Calls Reporter's Question About Gay Daughter's Pregnancy 'Out of Line'

Fox News

WASHINGTON —
Vice President Dick Cheney told a reporter Wednesday that he was “out of line” after repeated questions about his gay daughter, Mary, who is pregnant.

Jimmy Carter: Too many Jews on Holocaust council

Former president also rejected Christian historian because name sounded 'too Jewish'

By Aaron Klein
2007 WorldNetDaily.com

TEL AVIV –
Former President Jimmy Carter once complained there were "too many Jews" on the government's Holocaust Memorial Council, Monroe Freedman, the council's former executive director, told WND in an exclusive interview.

Talking Ourselves Into Defeat

By Daniel Henninger
The Wall Street Journal

The United States is talking itself into defeat in Iraq. Its political culture is now in a downward spiral of pessimism. In the halls of Congress, across endless newspaper columns, amid the punditocracy and on Sunday morning talk shows--all emit a Stygian gloom about America.

Senators-in-Chief

Congress has no Constitutional power to micromanage a war.

The Wall Street Journal


To understand why the Founders put war powers in the hands of the Presidency, look no further than the current spectacle in Congress on Iraq. What we are witnessing is a Federalist Papers illustration of criticism and micromanagement without responsibility.

Our Worst Ex-President

By Joshua Muravchik
Commentary Magazine


More than a quarter-century after completing his term of office, James Earl Carter is still to be found in the thick of debates about national policies on a range of issues: nuclear arms, Iraq, North Korea, and, especially, the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. A steady stream of books and articles continues to issue forth from his pen, and he travels the world on self-selected diplomatic missions. No other former President has chosen to play a similar role. But then, Carter’s whole political career has been out of the ordinary. In order to understand the man today, it is necessary to see him in the light of his past.

In 1976, when Carter tossed his hat into the ring for the presidential nomination, the Democratic party was still deeply riven by the long, bitter debate over the war in Vietnam. Carter’s response was to soar above these divisions, downplaying both ideology and issues. Instead, he put himself forward as a man of piety and character who would restore a high tone to government in the aftermath of Watergate and related scandals. Before the rise of politically-oriented televangelists, Jimmy Carter made his personal experience as a “born again” Christian into a key tenet of his platform. “I can give you a government that’s honest and that’s filled with love, competence, and compassion,” he pledged.

When the scramble for the Democratic nomination began, Carter was widely seen as a long shot. But by the time the primary season was half over, he had left the other, better-known Democratic contenders in the dust. That he was able to compete with them at all—that is, to raise money and enlist volunteers—owed to the national exposure he had received for his inaugural address as governor of Georgia in 1971. At that time, with much of the South still clinging to Jim Crow and resisting the nation’s new civil-rights laws, Carter had boldly declared that “the time for segregation is over.”

Yet the path that led him to that dramatic moment was a tortuous one, known to few outside of Georgia, and it shed light on the man who five years later would be promising voters across the country: “I will never lie to you.”

911 callers report lights in sky

Emergency dispatchers around Charlotte handle wacky 911 calls each night. But Wednesday, agencies got the same type of unusual call:

A hovering light was in the sky.

Others described it as a plane that might be in trouble. A blueish glow. A fire in the sky. A light moving too slow to be a plane.

The calls came into Iredell, Lincoln, Mooresville and Huntersville emergency dispatchers around 8 p.m. -- with even a dispatcher's dad calling in a sighting and one Lincoln County officer reportedly seeing it.

Even stranger, the National Weather Service's Greer, S.C., office got similar calls around the same time in their area. But folks in between, in York, Gaston and Cleveland counties, had no 911 reports.

Take note, the Federal Aviation Administration had no reports of plane crashes. Huntersville police also dispatched an officer to look for the mysterious object: No immediate reports of little green men with ray guns.

The Charlotte Observer

I am woman, hear me bore

It's nice to have a president who is not so sleazy that not a single Supreme Court justice shows up for his State of the Union address (Bill Clinton, January 1999, when eight justices stayed away to protest Clinton's disregard for the law and David Souter skipped the speech to watch "Sex and the City").

Speaking of which, the horny hick's wife finally ended the breathless anticipation by announcing that she is running for president. I studied tapes of Hillary feigning surprise at hearing about Monica to help me look surprised upon learning that she's running.

Ann Coulter

Congress Support

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Elected nonsense


I happen to think that Mrs. Rutledge is as (if not more) qualified to sit on the Board as anyone that's currently on it.


That's not saying much, Matthew. The bar isn't exactly high where that bunch is concerned. I also don't really know how someone could (or could not be) "qualified" to sit on the Board of Education. The position is pure fluff. The Superintendent runs the show and the mental midgets who occupy the chairs in the chambers simply do the bobble-head and try not to do or say anything too utterly stupid while people are watching.

Make no mistake about Yvonne and her bleating about keeping politics out of the schools. She is a nasty and vicious partisan. She isn't any more or less intelligent than the other three-sigma types in the "we wuv da skoolz" club. More than one teacher has been skewered by Yvonne, and most of them don't even know it was her. Unlike Sonya Cox, who is not smart enough to be sneaky, Yvonne will slip up behind you, cut out your kidneys, and be gone before you know she was even there.

In any case, the whole process for selecting departed board members is a huge joke. Many are the times that a ringer has been used to place an unelectable substitute on various boards. In the case of School Boards, there is nothing going on that is so pressing that it can't wait for a special election. In the case of the Stokes County School Board, I imagine they could run short-seated for two or three years before anyone even noticed.

RE: New Stokes Co. BOE Member

Matthew Tilley opines:

I happen to think that Mrs. Rutledge is as (if not more) qualified to sit on the Board as anyone that's currently on it. However, her nomination does seem something of a mockery of the electoral process, does it not?

Isn't this the same lady who lost her seat on the board in 2004 by finishing fourth in a race where only the top three won seats?

It seems as though we should consider either doing away with voting for this seat or else only seat people who haven't been rejected by voters. Otherwise, the idea of voting for BOE members seems a bit like a sham.

You're right about this particular selection... It was like in 2002 when Barry Lawson resigned his commissioner seat. The Stokes GOP Executive Committee chose Leon Inman as his replacement even though Inman just lost in the Stokes GOP Primary for commissioner. It didn't make any sense to me.

Virginia Foxx on TV...

From a source:

Andy, watch this video of Virginia Foxx. The Secret Service needs to jerk her down.

This is funny... The video isn't long.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Ten Little-Known Facts About Barack Obama”: As a child, was taunted with “Obama’s so fat jokes”; After finishing Harvard law, served as Doug Llewelyn’s understudy on “The People’s Court”; Follows Bush’s weekly radio address DJ-ing the “Barack and Roll Power Hour”; Real last name: Obamawitz; At Senate hearings, throws on his iPod whenever John Kerry has the floor; Makes immigration speeches as hilarious, uninformed foreigner “Borat Obama”; Presides over congressional committee to lower Al Gore’s body fat; Only running for President to tick off Hillary.

Jay Leno: Spanish newspapers are reporting that Fidel Castro is in very grave condition, very ill health. In fact, his priest told him yesterday that he will soon be in a better place. And Castro said, ‘I’m going to Miami?’ ... It was Castro’s wish to be buried at sea, but, unfortunately, all the rafts are currently in use in Cuba. ... Senator Hillary Clinton is on her way back from a fact-finding tour of Iraq. She said although there are many problems in Iraq, she said there are good things about the Iraqi people—like the fact they hang adulterers. ... In her first press conference after her trip overseas, Hillary Clinton said she thinks we need to send more men to Afghanistan. The men she wants to send? John Edwards and Barack Obama. ... It’s official, Hillary Clinton is running for president of the United States. She said, “I’m in it to win.” That’s what she announced, she’s in it to win. That may seem obvious, but Democrats running for president have lost so many times they have to keep reminding themselves why they are in the race. “Oh yeah, to win.” ... Hillary says that she has gotten hundreds of calls telling her to go on the road and campaign for the next two years. That’s just from her husband Bill. ... New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is running for president. Which is good because every day we have thousands of new Mexicans who enter the country. ... Kansas Senator Sam Brownback says he is running. He said he’s going to follow the yellow brick road to the White House. Just watch out for the Wicked Witch of New York! ... John Kerry says that he loves cookies so much that he thinks he is the illegitimate son of Cookie Monster. Really? Looks more like the illegitimate son of Herman Munster.

Democrats' silence on jihad is deadly

By Jeff Jacoby
Boston Globe

THE SURGE is underway, and more rapidly than many of us were expecting. The influx of new troops into Iraq? No, of candidates into the 2008 presidential contest.

Stokes fills open seat with former member

The Stokes County school board has picked a past board member to fill its open seat.

Yvonne Rutledge of Germanton, who served on the board from 1992 to 2004, was appointed to the position Monday night after she and five other candidates were interviewed during the board's regular meeting.

Rutledge said she feels that she can help the board by contributing what she learned from her previous experience.

"The board has two new members, and there is a lot to learn when you are on a board like that - there's a tre-mendous amount," she said.

Rutledge will serve the remaining two years of the four-year term of Ernest Lankford, who quit after being elected to the Stokes County Board of Commissioners in November.


Lisa Boone

These clowns have dropped all pretense of being a representative body. It is just a little exclusive club for government school groupies.

Senator Kerry to Skip 2008 Presidential Race

Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will announce Wednesday that he won't make a run for the White House in 2008, FOX News has learned from a source close to the senator.

The Massachusetts senator will make his announcement on the Senate floor Wednesday and is taping a video message to e-mail supporters to thank them for their support.

Kerry decided "he could accomplish more for the country in the Senate than as a presidential candidate," the source said. The four-term senator is up for re-election in 2008 and will run for office again, according to a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fox News


I'm sure the country is depressed over this news. :)

State Bar Amends Complaint, Alleges Nifong Withheld DNA Evidence

Raleigh — New ethics charges have been filed by the State Bar accusing Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of withholding DNA evidence and misleading the court in the Duke lacrosse case.

The amended complaint cites findings from April 2006 that DNA tests found on the alleged accuser excluded all of the Duke lacrosse players as potential contributors.

The complaint also states Nifong was told of the test results by Brian Meehan, the director of the DNA company where the tests were performed. The amended complaint also states that Nifong and Meehan agreed the "potentially exculpatory DNA evidence and test results" would not be provided to defense attorneys.

In subsequent court hearings, Nifong told defense attorneys that he had released all of the evidence that would potentially benefit the defense.

Rare primitive shark captured on film


There has been some weird sea life things happening off the coast of Japan. I wonder what they are testing or putting in the water.

State Of The Union Address Drinking Game: 2007


I didn't play and feel for anyone who did. They're probably late for work today.

Barockin' Obama :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Remembering the Gipper...


“[A]bortion is not a harmless medical procedure but the taking of the life of a living human being. This tragic and terrible toll continues... Our national commitment to the dignity of all human life must begin with the respect for our most basic civil right: the right to life... America will never be whole as long as the right to life, granted by our Creator, is denied to the unborn. Together we can overturn Roe v. Wade, and end this national tragedy... Each woman who chooses life for her child affirms our reverence for human life and ennobles our society. Each child is a unique, unrepeatable gift, and every child who escapes the violence of abortion is an immeasurable victory for life... Together, with God’s help, we will finish the task and heal our wounded nation.”

Ronald Reagan

New Stokes Co. BOE Member

From a source:

Last evening, the Board of Education appointed Yvonne Rutledge to fill the vacant seat on the Board. Mrs. Rutledge has previously served on the Board and will serve the remaining two years of the term. Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Rutledge on her appointment to the Stokes County Board of Education.

RE: Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed


This is a rather racist group don't you think???


It is an utterly racist group, just like its counterpart in numerous state legislatures around the country. North Carolina's own legislative black caucus is a particularly noxious example of these black "Klans."

Although I haven't looked to be sure, I imagine part of their charter involves some language about battling racism. One has to wonder if it ever occurs to these simpletons that using racism to combat racism is like using rape, murder, and mayhem to combat violence. Probably not. These people sport self-sustaining egos the size of bull elephants. The fact that their efforts are dim witted is not likely to occur to them.

The other aspect of this is exclusivity, of course. It is so very ironic that these people exert exactly the same kind of exclusivity that their forebears fought against.

Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed

By Josephine Hearn
Politico.com

Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional Black Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a white lawmaker was not welcome.

"I think they're real happy I'm not going to join," said Cohen, who succeeded Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., in a majority-black Memphis district. "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in. You need to be invited."

Cohen said he became convinced that joining the caucus would be "a social faux pas" after seeing news reports that former Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the caucus, had circulated a memo telling members it was "critical" that the group remain "exclusively African- American."

This is a rather racist group don't you think???

Monday, January 22, 2007

District Court judge denies misconduct

Judge Mark Badgett acknowledges problem with demeanor in court

By James Romoser
Winston-Salem Journal
Saturday, January 20, 2007

RALEIGH


A District Court judge in Stokes and Surry counties who is accused of judicial misconduct denied the charges in a court hearing yesterday, but he acknowledged instances in which he should have acted differently.

Judge Mark Badgett is accused of intimidating people in his courtroom and showing favoritism toward an attorney with whom he had a business relationship. In a hearing before the N.C. Judicial Standards Commission, Badgett testified for the first time.

He denied that he gave any preferential treatment to Clark Dummit, an attorney who rented office space in King from Badgett.

N.C. panel resumes its misconduct hearing

Judge faces charges from actions in court in Stokes and Surry

By James Romoser
Winston-Salem Journal
Friday, January 19, 2007

RALEIGH


Testimony resumed yesterday in a hearing about a judge in Stokes and Surry counties who is accused of judicial misconduct.

The N.C. Judicial Standards Commission is investigating various complaints against Judge Mark Badgett of District Court. The accusations include charges that he mistreated people in the courtroom and that he failed to disclose a business relationship with Clark Dummit, a lawyer in Winston-Salem who sometimes represented clients in cases over which Badgett presided.

Last year, prosecutors in Stokes and Surry counties complained to the judicial commission that Badgett appeared to give preferential treatment to Dummit in certain cases.

The special counsel in the case against Badgett called several witnesses yesterday who agreed with the charges.

RE: Ban Spanking?

As Vox Day pointed out, the legislator who introduced this has never had children, but she did have a cat. This, of course, qualifies her to intrude into the domain of parental rights and responsibilities.

None of this will change until there is a penalty for this kind of stupidity. I tend to think that a few public trials and hangings of petty legislators would probably do the trick, but on the flip side, that would just provide more fodder for lawyers. On balance it probably isn't worth it. Too bad we don't have a time machine so we could send Miss Lieber forward to personally experience the contempt in which history will hold her. That would surely be a sobering experience. For now, the best we can hope for is a sound slap-down by her colleagues and an electorate who will unceremoniously bounce her out of the legislature on her bony, arrogant, cat-lady behind.

Bush's 'callous disregard'

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher makes the Dixie Chicks sound like bosom buddies of President George W. Bush.

Politics being politics, it's easy to dismiss the antipathy liberals have for Mr. Bush. But Bush has lost the support -- and even the respect -- of Mr. Rohrabacher. The California Republican is serving his ninth term and has a lifetime score of 95 from the American Conservative Union. He also has had it with a commander in chief who prefers surrender to being the defender of America's defenseless border with Mexico.

Rohrabacher said the minute two unjustly convicted men who had been Border Patrol agents turned themselves in to start their sentences last week was when he decided he'd no longer hold back any honest comment anymore.

"The nastiness in his personality had been in check until now," he says about President Bush. "Exposing it to the public is pretty disgusting. He has a callous disregard for those who place their lives on the line for us."


Dimitri Vassilaros

When evaluating the whole title of "worst President," I think one must categorize the criteria. For sheer ineptitude, you can't beat Jimmy Carter or Woodrow Wilson. But under the category of soul-less, evil power whore, Bush has the competition beat by miles. And yes, that even includes Bill Clinton.

Braveheart's dream

For all that American pseudo-sophisticates enjoy pretending that they are more European than American, usually on the basis of the biennial 10-day vacations to London, Paris or Florence, they neither know much about Europe nor do they pay any attention to what is actually happening there. This is particularly true of the American media elite.

For example, it is currently en vogue to insist that European anti-Americanism is at an all-time high, thanks to the manifest evils of the Bush administration. While it pains me to defend this fraudulent and disgusting White House, this is one charge that cannot be reasonably laid to its door. Bush is personally unpopular, true, and the futility of the Iraqi occupation is widely recognized, but the vast majority of Europeans are not particularly interested in the details of whatever madness the Americans have gotten themselves into now.

And it's not as if President Bush is particularly popular here in the United States, either.


Vox Day

This article kind of meanders over wide ground, but a couple of points are worth noting: that the American media elite are, as usual, out of touch with reality, and that Europe is in a titanic political struggle right now between complete totalitarianism and classic liberalism (a.k.a libertarianism). The noteworthy part of the latter is that the struggle is going on almost completely unnoticed by Americans as we continue to march toward the destruction of the republic under the banner of fear raised by the Bush Administration and their new allies, the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Good Ol' Days... :-)

Google expanding into N.C.

It will create up to 210 jobs when it opens 'server farm' in Lenoir

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Search-engine giant Google Inc. will expand its high-tech infrastructure into Lenoir, creating up to 210 jobs and investing as much as $600 million, state and company officials said yesterday.

The "server farm" in Caldwell County will start with one center that could expand over the next four years, officials said. The jobs will help revive a strained economy suffering the effects of the loss of thousands of jobs in the furniture and textile industries in recent years.

Ban Spanking?

Fox News

California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber is introducing legislation that would outlaw spanking children three and under, according to The San Jose Mercury News. The law would prohibit, "any striking of a child...smacking, hitting or punching," and would be punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000.

Some critics note that it would be practically impossible to enforce the ban, and wonder whether three-year-olds would be expected to report they'd been spanked.

If enacted, California would become the first state to explicitly ban parents from swatting their children's behinds.

Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem

By Deborah Lipstadt
Washington Post

It is hard to criticize an icon. Jimmy Carter's humanitarian work has saved countless lives. Yet his life has also been shaped by the Bible, where the Hebrew prophets taught us to speak truth to power. So I write.

Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," while exceptionally sensitive to Palestinian suffering, ignores a legacy of mistreatment, expulsion and murder committed against Jews. It trivializes the murder of Israelis. Now, facing a storm of criticism, he has relied on anti-Semitic stereotypes in defense.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Announces White House Bid

Fox News

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has made it official, announcing "I'm in" for the 2008 presidential race on her Web site.

The former first lady acknowledged her plans to take the first step of forming a presidential exploratory committee.

"I'm not just starting a campaign, though. I'm beginning a conversation with you, with America," Clinton says in her web message. She announced that she will be holding live, on-line video conferences with Americans starting Monday.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Woman Denied Unemployment Benefits After Detailing Efforts to Avoid Work

Fox News

DES MOINES, Iowa —
No work, no pay.

Unemployment benefits are being denied to an Iowa hotel worker who was fired for using her employer's computer to keep a journal of her efforts to avoid work.

A supervisor found the journal late last year and fired Emmalee Bauer for misuse of company time.

The journal was entered into evidence at a recent state hearing dealing with Bauer's request for unemployment benefits. Bauer testified the journal was intended to help her deal with anxiety and frustration.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman denied Bauer's request. The judge says the journal demonstrated Bauer's refusal to work, as well as her "amusement at getting away with it."

Grade school in Stokes gets SMART

Francisco Elementary to dedicate interactive whiteboards today

By Lisa R. Boone
Winston-Salem Journal

An elementary school in Stokes County is providing its students with an interactive tool in hopes that it will help them become life-long learners and critical thinkers.

Francisco Elementary School has installed SMART Boards, whiteboards with touch-sensitive displays that connect to computers and digital projectors, in each of its classrooms.

Lloyd and Rachel Collins, former educators in Stokes County - a principal and teacher - left money to the school, which was used to buy most of the boards.

The school will have a dedication ceremony for the boards at 1:30 p.m. today.

This is where I went to elementary school...

Former VP Mondale Criticizes Cheney

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Former vice president Walter Mondale on Friday criticized Vice President Dick Cheney's role in the White House, and said former president Jimmy Carter never would have tolerated Cheney's actions.

"I think that Cheney has stepped way over the line," Mondale said.

AMS CERTIFIED WEATHERMAN STRIKES BACK AT WEATHER CHANNEL CALL FOR DECERTIFICATION

By James Spann

Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?

I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them.

Sober comparison

300 jobs to be axed

Mount Airy losing last Cross Creek apparel factory

By Richard Craver
Winston-Salem Journal

Mount Airy was dealt another major manufacturing blow yesterday when Russell Corp. announced that it is closing its last Cross Creek Apparel plant there and cutting 300 jobs.

The plant will be closed by Aug. 31, Russell said in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, filing with the mayor’s office. Cross Creek Apparel Inc. is a division of Russell, which has dual headquarters in Atlanta and Alexander City, Ala.

Russell said it is closing the plant because of “continuing pressure of imported textile and apparel products from China and the Far East.”

Didn't File Returns

Fox News

The IRS says active and retired federal government employees owe almost $3 billion in back taxes.

A report from a Washington radio station says more than 450,000 federal workers did not file income tax returns for 2005. 71 of those worked in the Executive Office of the President, which includes the White House.

The federal agency with the highest number of delinquent taxpayers is the postal service. The group with the best compliance rate is the Treasury Department — which includes the IRS.

Skeptics Decertified?

Fox News

A climate expert on the Weather Channel says TV weather forecasters who express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming should lose their official certification.

Heidi Cullen hosts a weekly show on the station. She writes on the Weather Channel Web site that, "If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS — American Meteorological Society — shouldn't give them a seal of approval. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise."

But in fact — hurricanes DO rotate clockwise — in the southern hemisphere, where they are called cyclones.

Dems Hope for Failure?

Fox News

The latest FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll indicates almost half of those surveyed believe Democrats want the president's plan for Iraq to fail.

48 percent said they believe Democrats are hoping for failure and a U.S. troop withdrawal in defeat. 32 percent said they believe Democrats want the president's plan to work.

The president's favorable rating was 38 percent in the latest poll — down five percent from October. But that was higher than the number for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who came in at 33 percent.

U.S. State Department Reveals North Korea’s Misuse of U.N. Development Program Funds and Operations

By George Russell
Fox News

NEW YORK —
Has North Korean leader Kim Jong Il subverted the United Nations Development Program, the $4 billion agency that is the U.N.’s main development arm, and possibly stolen tens of millions of dollars of hard currency in the process?

According to a top official of the U.S. State Department — using findings made by the U.N.’s own auditors — the answer appears to be a disturbing yes, so far as UNDP programs in North Korea itself are concerned.

And just as disturbingly, the U.N. aid agency bureaucracy has kept the scamming a secret since at least 1999 — while the North Korean dictator and his regime were ramping up their illegal nuclear weapons program and making highly publicized tests of intermediate range ballistic missiles.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Democratic Field


It's Hillary versus everybody else.

Wall Street Journal

Illinois Senator Barack Obama's announcement this week that he's likely to enter the Presidential race adds a dash of glamour and excitement to the Democratic field. But all of his media attention doesn't change the basic truth of the 2008 primary contest: The race is between Hillary Rodham Clinton and everybody else.

Black: House historian's work a failure

By David Ingram
Charlotte Observer

RALEIGH -
Almost two years in the making, the work produced by a taxpayer-funded historian for the N.C. House of Representatives is unacceptable, Speaker Jim Black said Wednesday.

As a result, Black said, the historian's work should not be made public. It's not clear that it ever will be.

The existence of the historian post and how Black created it led to criticism last month. The historian, Ann Lassiter, retired in 2005 as head of the House page program after she let teenage pages stay overnight with her son, who had served prison time for selling marijuana.

Black then appointed Lassiter to the historian position. She had no previous experience as a historian. The position had not existed before, and she had no competition for it.

She made up to $50,627 a year before her appointment ended last month.

Dem Committee Chairman was FOR the escalation ... until Bush proposed it...

By John McCaslin
Washington Times


On Dec. 5, Newsweek magazine touted an interview with then-incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes as an "exclusive." And for good reason.

"In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq," the story began, Mr. Reyes "said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a 'stepped up effort to dismantle the militias.' "

"We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq," the Texas Democrat said to the surprise of many, "I would say 20,000 to 30,000."

Then came President Bush's expected announcement last week, virtually matching Mr. Reyes' recommendation and argument word-for-word -- albeit the president proposed only 21,500 troops.

Wouldn't you know, hours after Mr. Bush announced his proposal, Mr. Reyes told the El Paso Times that such a troop buildup was unthinkable.

Counterproductive Symbolism

National Review Online

At a time of crisis, count on U.S. senators to step up with symbolic measures that hold absolutely zero risk to themselves. That is what Senators Biden, Levin, and Hagel have done by offering their non-binding resolution disapproving of the Bush surge in Iraq. The only effect the resolution can possibly have is to weaken the commander in chief and dampen the morale of U.S. troops. These senators in effect want to say to the thousands of troops who will be part of the surge, “The U.S. Senate has no confidence that you can possibly accomplish your mission. Carry on!”

The GOP's Black Hole

By Bob Novak
TownHall.com

WASHINGTON --
The sense of impending political doom that clutches Republican hearts, one week after President George W. Bush presented to the nation his new strategy on Iraq, is stoked by the alarming intelligence brought back from Baghdad by Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and passed around Capitol Hill.

Cheney Invites Libby on Hunting Trip :-)

Nothing to Do With Perjury Trial, Veep Insists

The Borowitz Report

Vice President Dick Cheney raised eyebrows in Washington today by announcing that he was inviting his former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, to join him on a hunting trip in Texas.

Coming as it did during the first week of Mr. Libby’s trial for perjury relating to the CIA leak case, the vice president’s invitation to hunt for quail seemed certain to arouse suspicions.

But in a press conference at the White House today, Mr. Cheney insisted that the hunting trip had been in the works “for months” and had nothing to do with Mr. Libby’s trial.

“I just thought that this would give Scooter a chance to get a little fresh air,” Mr. Cheney said. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more relaxing than hunting – especially when you bag something.”

Aides to Mr. Libby were less than enthusiastic about Mr. Cheney’s invitation, however, with one of his lawyers saying that his client “should under no circumstances go anywhere near Cheney, a gun, and the woods.”

“He should stay here and stand trial,” Mr. Libby’s lawyer said. “Worst case scenario, he’ll have to do some prison time, but at least he’ll be alive.”

For his part, Mr. Cheney said that Mr. Libby’s lawyers were being “worry warts,” adding that his former aide had his “full support.”

“I’m behind Scooter,” Mr. Cheney said, loading his rifle. “Right behind him.”

Elsewhere, President Bush said that the American people should not be concerned that he has given himself the right to read their mail, because “everybody knows how much I hate to read.”

The stripper has no clothes

Stuart Taylor Jr., the liberal but brilliant legal reporter for the National Journal, described The New York Times' coverage of the Duke lacrosse rape case as "(w)orse, perhaps, than the other recent Times embarrassments." For a newspaper that carries Maureen Dowd's column, that's saying something.

As the Times' most loyal reader, this came as welcome news. I had briefly suspected the Times was engaging in fair reporting of the alleged rape case at Duke University. Taylor's article documenting the Times' massive misrepresentations restored order and coherence to my world.

Ann Coulter

Return of the Fairness Doctrine?

Fox News

Some congressional Democrats are pushing to reinstate the old Fairness Doctrine, a regulation dropped by the FCC in 1987 that compelled over-the-air broadcasters to offer competing points of view on political issues.

Many critics feel the new push to not only restore the doctrine, but to write it into law, is aimed at muzzling conservative talk radio. Those critics feel talk radio offers a balance to the liberal bias in the mainstream media and especially print media, where the doctrine does not apply.

A spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters tells Cybercast News Service that the Fairness Doctrine is actually unfair because it inhibits broadcasters' free speech rights.

2 Border Patrol Agents Turn Themselves in for Shooting Mexican Drug Runner

By Liza Porteus
Fox News

Two Texas Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in the backside while on duty turned themselves in to U.S. Marshals Wednesday.

There's still no word on whether President Bush will grant them a pardon.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

TALK IS CHEAP

By Ralph Peters
NY Post

WASHINGTON'S elite may disdain religious believers, but its own bizarre dogma is far more irrational than faith in God: The D.C. establishment worships the imaginary power of negotiations to make peace in the Middle East.

Getting the Sign

Council gives OK to stadium; county on deck

By Bertrand M. Gutierrez
Winston-Salem Journal


In the end, the idea of a new ballpark in Winston-Salem was a hit.

The Winston-Salem City Council voted 8-0 last night to approve spending $29 million over 25 years to help pay for a downtown ballpark, spur urban redevelopment and remove urban blight. The vote marked approval of the city's largest incentive package to date and came after residents expressed opposing views for nearly an hour.

In contrast, the city council and Mayor Allen Joines were unanimous in their support.

Easley's Lot Gains $648K in Year

Lot bought for $549,880 has just been valued at $1,198,245

By Don Carrington
Carolina Journal Online

RALEIGH —
Waterfront property in Carteret County owned by Gov. Mike Easley has gained $648,365 in value since he bought the lot in an exclusive subdivision only a year ago, according to Carteret County tax records.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: Top Surprises in President Bush’s “60 Minutes” Interview: Interview was conducted in the Camp David hot tub; Announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election; While walking through the woods, constantly ducking Cheney buckshot; Vowed in the future he’ll make much better mistakes; All the Heineken empties; Paused for a CIA briefing about likely Golden Globe winners; Bush’s tearful admission he bet entire United States budget on the Chargers.

Jay Leno: It was so cold out [in L.A. today] that even celebrities stopped talking about global warming. ... [Meanwhile], 2006 has been officially named the hottest year on record. When he heard this Al Gore said, “Yes! Oh wait... that’s terrible I mean.” ... Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd is running for president. He says that he was been having conversations with the mirror over running. The mirror first said, “Who are you again?” The bad news is today the mirror said that it favors Barack Obama. ... John Kerry is hiring staff and preparing another run for the White House. He is telling people he will not make the same mistakes again. This time, all new mistakes. ... Apple unveiled their first combination iPod and cell phone. They say their goal is to create the most annoying person ever to sit behind you in a movie theater. ... Have you heard about this thing? It’s an iPod, cell phone, and also a camera. It allows you to surf the Internet too. How about a cell phone you can actually talk to people on—and hear them? Why don’t we try that first? ... Would you watch movies on a cell phone? How blind would you be then? As if people don’t have enough car accidents. “I can’t take this call, I’m watching a movie.” ... Taser international has begun selling a new stylish cell phone size stun gun for regular use by ordinary people. It’s $350, and sends 50,000 volts for 30 seconds and can be used 50 times before re-charging. Look, if you live in a neighborhood where you have to stun attackers 50 times before you get home, you might want to move to a better neighborhood.

Jimmy Carter Interceded on Behalf of Nazi SS Guard

By Ezra HaLevi
Israel National News


A former U.S. Justice Department official disclosed to Arutz-7 that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s advocacy extended beyond the Palestinians, when he interceded on behalf of a Nazi SS man.

Vulture Politics

By Tony Blankley
Real Clear Politics


David Ignatius, the highly esteemed Washington Post journalist, wrote a revealing column last week based on an extensive interview with Democratic Congressional leader Rahm Emanuel. In fairness to both Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Ignatius, I am going to quote the noteworthy last two paragraphs in full and unedited...

RE: National Drivers Test

I scored a 90, but I disagree with the answer to the first question. Pulling off the pavement is not always a good idea.

Senate Resolution to Criticize Iraq Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats working with a well-known Republican war critic are developing a resolution declaring that President Bush's troop build up in Iraq "is not in the national interest," said people familiar with the document.

What is the plan for victory from Senate Democrats? I hear them complaining about everything, but I haven't heard one plan offered from them about how to achieve victory in Iraq.

National Drivers Test

I scored a 70. Maybe I shouldn't be on the road. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The "X" Factor

Fox News

Saudi Arabia may soon ban the letter "x". The New York Sun reports the country's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — which is composed of senior Islamic clergy — says the letter "x" may too closely resemble the kingdom's most hated religious symbol — the cross.

A critical article on some Arabian Web sites suggested the clerics also ban the "plus" symbol from mathematics.

The commission recently stopped a proposal to create jobs for women by allowing them to replace male sales clerks in women's clothing stores. One member called the idea a step "towards immorality and hellfire." And in 1974 the group issued a fatwa declaring that the world was flat and immobile.

Greater Freedom and Prosperity

Fox News

The latest version of the Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal concludes that world economies are moving toward greater freedom and prosperity — and the incomes of poor people around the world are rising because of that.

The study of 157 countries takes account such factors as freedom from government, tax rates and property rights. Hong Kong is ranked number one for the 13th straight year, with Singapore, Australia and the U.S. rounding out the top four.

The report says economically free countries enjoy significantly greater prosperity than those heavy regulated by government. And it says that while the world is growing richer — the gap between the haves and the have-nots is narrowing.

Book Criticism

Fox News

Jimmy Carter talked with al-Jazeera TV about criticism for his new book Monday— saying — "most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations which think that I believe there is racial segregation inside Israel." Many people have criticized Mr. Carter for the use of the word "apartheid" in the title with its obvious implications.

But a group of 14 Jewish advisers to the Carter Center resigned last week because they said the book — among other things —condones violence against Israel. Longtime Carter adviser Ken Stein resigned earlier — calling the book historically inaccurate and slanted.

And former Ambassador Dennis Ross criticized Carter for using some of his maps without permission, and misrepresenting Clinton administration Mideast policy.

Democratic Response

Fox News

The Democrats have selected freshman Senator Jim Webb of Virginia to deliver their response to the president's State of the Union speech next Tuesday.

In November — Webb refused to shake the president's hand or have his picture taken during a White House reception for incoming members of Congress. When Mr. Bush asked how Webb's son — a marine in Iraq — was doing — Webb said, "I'd like to get them out of Iraq."

"That's not what I asked you," Mr. Bush answered. "How's your boy?"

Said Webb —"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

The Hill newspaper reported that Webb said he was so angered by the exchange he was tempted to slug the president.

Another Vietnam?

We can still lose this war, but it will have to be lost politically.

By Thomas Sowell
National Review Online


Nothing is easier than to second-guess decisions made in wartime. Anyone who has bothered to read the history of wars knows that very few wars have been without disastrous surprises, often on both sides.

It is not that the people in charge are stupid. Too many things are unpredictable in war, despite politicians who demand timetables, as if running a war is like running a train.

Remembering the Gipper...


“With freedom goes responsibility. Sir Winston Churchill once said you can have 10,000 regulations and still not have respect for the law. We might start with the Ten Commandments. If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws.”

Ronald Reagan

Appeals court vacates sentence of 'millennium bomber' Ressam

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday vacated the sentence of "millennium bomber" Ahmed Ressam, who was arrested near the U.S.-Canadian border and convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport at the turn of the millennium.

I get the feeling that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would have vacated the sentence for Saddam Hussein if they were given the chance.

RE: Obama Takes 1st Step in Presidential Bid


As with John Edwards, I don't understand the big deal about this guy.


I think the big deal is probably about the same as with Edwards, except the bonus fact that he's a "person of color." I'm sure the old leftists who operate the media are positively moist with the anticipation of touting someone who is openly socialist and black. They are also loving the whole "giant killer" aspect of Obama's run. The hardcore left doesn't really like Hillary all that much, so playing her off against Obama is sure to result in plenty of drama that will sell TV commercial airtime on the news.

All things considered, Obama is really no big deal. Just another left-wing power whore.

Saddam: The Unseen Video :)


Saddam The Unseen Video - video powered by Metacafe

Obama Takes 1st Step in Presidential Bid

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he is taking the initial step in a presidential bid that could make him the nation's first black to occupy the White House.

As with John Edwards, I don't understand the big deal about this guy.

Dig It: A domestic diva, a poodle and a culinary treat

By Lisa R. Boone
Winston-Salem Journal

Martha Stewart - that diva of domestication, that doyenne of decorating - tiptoed into Stokes County yesterday, tempted by truffles.

And she found what she was sniffing for: black diamonds - of the culinary world, that is. Truffles, fungi in the mushroom family that are found 2 to 3 inches underground near the roots of trees, are one of the most expensive foods in the world. They cost $30 an ounce at Whole Foods on Miller Street, said Landon Linville of the produce department, but gourmet-food Web sites list them for up to $155 an ounce.

Castro Reportedly in 'Grave' Condition

MADRID, Spain (AP) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has had at least three failed operations and complications from an intestinal infection and faces "a very grave prognosis," a Spanish newspaper reported Tuesday.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Head of Saddam's Half Brother Severed in Botched Hanging

(AP) BAGHDAD, Iraq — Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were both hanged before dawn Monday, officials said, two weeks and two days after the former Iraqi dictator was executed in a chaotic scene that has drawn worldwide criticism.

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the executions, saying those attending the hangings included a prosecutor, a judge and a physician.

He also said Ibrahim's head was severed from his body during his hanging.

"In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution," al-Dabbagh told reporters.

Windsurfing Challenge

Fox News

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry wants Americans to know that windsurfing isn't easy. In the upcoming issue of Details magazine, Senator Kerry is quoted as saying, "I challenge anyone who makes fun of windsurfing to come out and do it with me and see how long they last."

Senator Kerry was ridiculed by Republicans in the 2004 presidential election for windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket. The images of the senator twisting his surfboard back and forth proved irresistible to Bush media strategists, who quickly turned it into a powerful campaign advertisement.

Bush Library Opposition

Fox News

Some professors at Southern Methodist University aren't pleased that their school is the front-runner to house President Bush's presidential library. The fear is that the library would celebrate a presidency that some of the faculty believe unnecessarily took the country into the war in Iraq.

While the library has its detractors, many students would welcome it. SMU political science major, Luis Arango says that school has "a very conservative vibe and most students like Bush. The only people who don't, seem to be the faculty," Bush family connections to the university include SMU graduates first lady Laura Bush, Bush advisor Karen Hughes and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. Even Vice President Cheney served on the school's board. The project will be financed with a private fund drive and is expected to raise at least $200 million.

"Tuesday-Thursday Club"

Fox News

For many years, Congress had been known as the "Tuesday through Thursday club", but Democratic leadership promised to change all that and work like most Americans, five days a week.

But just one day after Majority Leader Harry Reid told his Senate colleagues that they would have to work longer hours, they were off the next day. And last Monday, in the interest of bipartisanship, Congress took another day off, so members could attend a college football championship game.

Congress is closed today for the Martin Luther King holiday. And there are more congressional breaks to come—later this month, Republican and Democrat retreats will shut down the House for two days each, making two three day work weeks in a row.