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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, February 28, 2007

McCain launches White House bid

(BBC) The US Senator, John McCain, has announced that he will officially enter the race to be the Republican candidate for the presidency in 2008.

Mr McCain confirmed the news in a TV interview, to be shown on Thursday.

He formed an exploratory committee last November and since then has been making public appearances throughout the US.

But in recent weeks the former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, has widened his lead as the favourite candidate among Republicans.

...A Vietnam veteran, Mr McCain served five years as a prisoner of war, after being shot down as a Navy pilot in 1967.

De-Authorizing Iraq

By Bob Novak
Real Clear Politics

Democratic senators this week will face trouble trying to cleanse themselves of the stain left by voting for President Bush's Iraq war resolution. Republican senators who have turned against U.S. military intervention in Iraq are not interested in bailing out Democrats by approving their proposal to repeal the 2002 authorization passed overwhelmingly by Congress.

Supreme Court Gives Gore’s Oscar to Bush :-)

Stunning Reversal for Former Veep

The Borowitz Report

Just days after former Vice President Al Gore received an Academy Award for his global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” the United States Supreme Court handed Mr. Gore a stunning reversal, stripping him of his Oscar and awarding it to President George W. Bush instead.

For Mr. Gore, who basked in the adulation of his Hollywood audience Sunday night, the high court’s decision to give his Oscar to President Bush was a cruel twist of fate, to say the least.

But in a 5-4 decision handed down Tuesday morning, the justices made it clear that they had taken the unprecedented step of stripping Mr. Gore of his Oscar because President Bush deserved it more.

“It is true that Al Gore has done a lot of talking about global warming,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority. “But President Bush has actually helped create global warming.”

In another setback for the former vice president, a group of scientists meeting in Oslo, Norway today said that Mr. Gore was growing at an unsustainable rate.

“The polar ice caps may be shrinking, but Al Gore is clearly expanding,” said Dr. Hiroshi Kyosuke of the University of Tokyo.

The scientists concluded that if Mr. Gore continues to expand at his current rate, he could cause the earth to spin off its axis by 2010, sending it hurtling into the sun.

“Here’s an inconvenient truth,” Dr. Kyosuke added. “Al’s got to stay away from those carbs.”

Elsewhere, after foreigners received a record number of Academy Award nominations, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs proposed building a 12-foot high fence around the Kodak Theater.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Surprises in Barack Obama’s 60 Minutes Interview”: Interview took place in a car as Obama stalked a hunky astronaut; Kept calling Steve Kroft “Doctor”; Criticized Bush for not doing anything to prevent “Norbit”; Announced plans for a lavish Broadway musical “Obama Mia!”; Vowed to reduce Al Gore’s pants size by 2012; Andy Rooney wandered in to complain that there aren’t enough candidates named Chet; Confessed to switching to Geico after seeing those charming caveman commercials; He’s voting for Hillary.

Jay Leno: The state of Virginia’s General Assembly has passed a resolution apologizing for slavery. Not a moment too soon. It’s good to nip these things in the bud before any hard feelings develop. ... Speaking of that, according to a new report by genealogists, Al Sharpton’s ancestors were slaves once owned by Strom Thurmond’s relatives. And now Al Sharpton wants a DNA test to see if they are related. And somehow you know this is going to end up that Strom is the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. You know that’s going to happen. ... Did you all watch the Oscars [Sunday] night? I tried to TiVo the show, but my TiVo only holds 30 hours of programs. ... It was so long that parts of Peter O’Toole were starting to fall off. ... Bank of America will be giving out credit cards to illegals. See, this way they won’t need cash. You can buy forged papers and phony drivers licenses on credit. ... Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack announced he has dropped out of the race. The reason cited? He’s Tom Vilsack. Now the hard part—telling his supporter. ... Hillary Clinton is being pressed on why she hasn’t apologized for voting in favor of the war in Iraq. In reply to this, Hillary actually told voters who are upset about this, “You have other choices.” Something, of course, Bill already knows. ... It looks like Hollywood is starting to turn on Hillary Clinton. Hollywood mogul David Geffen—he’s given huge amounts to the Clintons—[said] that Hillary Clinton is too scripted, that Bill Clinton is reckless, and both of the Clintons lie so easily it’s troubling. Bad scripts, reckless behavior, and lying—thank God that kind of thing can never happen here in Hollywood! ... Hillary Clinton’s campaign wants Barack Obama to publicly renounce Geffen’s statement attacking the Clintons. Geffen said, ‘I know everyone in politics has to lie, but the Clintons do it with such ease, it’s troubling.’ I think that’s an unfair statement. Just because you’re really good at something doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Going it alone because we have to

Unless allies spend more on defense, the U.S. will continue to act unilaterally out of necessity.

By Max Boot
L.A. Times

Tony Blair's decision to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq is understandable. The prime minister had to make a difficult decision about where to allocate Britain's scarce resources, and he decided, reasonably enough, that the top priority was to send reinforcements to Afghanistan, where 5,500 British troops are struggling to hold back a Taliban onslaught.

The tragedy is that he had to rob Peter to pay Paul because Britain can't maintain 7,000 troops in Iraq and 7,000 in Afghanistan. Those are hardly huge numbers for a country of 60 million with the fifth-largest national economy in the world. Yet even as Britain has continued to play a leading role in world affairs, it has allowed its defenses to molder.

The Fear Industrial Complex

By John Stossel
Real Clear Politics

We can scare ourselves stupid.

Consider vaccines. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says the mercury in them has "poisoned an entire generation! It's causing IQ loss, mental retardation, speech delay, language delay, ADD, hyperactivity!"

The news media love this kind of story. They repeatedly invite Barbara Loe Fisher, who heads the Vaccine "Information" Center, to tell parents about vaccine risks. She warns of "seizures, brain inflammation, collapse shock, and of course the most serious effect is death."

Causing autism is the biggest accusation. "Before kids received so many vaccines," says Fisher, "you didn't see autistic children. ... We can't build the special-education classrooms fast enough now to accommodate all these sick and disabled children."

Do vaccines cause autism?

Almost certainly not. Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told me, "It's perfectly reasonable to be skeptical about anything you put into your body, including vaccines. And vaccines do have side effects. But vaccines don't cause autism."

Suspect is arrested

(Winston-Salem Journal) - A 22-year-old Winston-Salem man was charged with first-degree murder late last night in the shooting death of Winston-Salem police Sgt. Howard Plouff.

Police officers arrested Keith Antoine Carter of 201 Plaza Hollow Drive, Apt. 54-B at the police station and took him to the Forsyth County Jail shortly before midnight. Plaza Hollow Drive is off High Point Road near Interstate 40 in southeastern Winston-Salem.

Police said that Carter told them that he was a student at Winston-Salem State University, but investigators hadn't verified that. Carter was being booked into the jail, with no bond allowed.

Easley requests lottery shift

RALEIGH (AP) - Gov. Mike Easley's spending plan for next year would shift profits from the N.C. Lottery toward a pre-kindergarten program at the expense of school construction and scholarships.

Stokes woman charged in fire at Dollar General

PILOT MOUNTAIN (Winston-Salem Journal) - Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation arrested a Stokes County woman Monday night in connection with a fire at the Dollar General store in Pilot Mountain this month.

Tresa Dawn Jones of King has been charged with the burning of an uninhabited building. She was being held yesterday in the Surry County Jail, with bond set at $10,000.

The fire started about 1:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and gutted the inside of the store. Five fire departments responded.

The SBI was assisted by the Pilot Mountain Police Department and the Surry County Sheriff's Office.

Stokes approves money to move helipad

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - Stokes County commissioners approved money Monday night to move the county's medical helicopter helipad.

Commissioners told county officials to amend the budget to make money available to move the helipad.

Moving the helipad will cost the county about $6,000, which should cover the costs of a 30-by-30 landing pad, the development of a road to the landing pad, landscaping, site preparations and lighting, county officials said during a regular meeting of the board.

Once the state reauthorizes a $300,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation that was awarded in 2003 for a joint building project with Stokes County and the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc., the county will move forward with plans to build a new helipad.

The building project with Stokes County and the development district will house a maintenance garage for the county and a transportation office for the development district and will be built where the helipad is now, if all goes as planned.

Bill to force school mergers raises questions

MOUNT AIRY (Winston-Salem Journal) - An idea in Raleigh to finance only one school system in each county has officials in Surry County talking, disagreeing and fretting about what the future may hold for the three school systems here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All the Ex-President's Money

By Cal Thomas

Former President Bill Clinton is one of a kind, but we knew that already.

No president before him has managed to cash in from his time in office with such shameless abandon.

God Save the Queen?

Mrs. Clinton's biggest problem may be voters' unease with dynastic politics.

By John Fund

Hollywood mogul David Geffen, a supporter of Barack Obama, knew he was setting the Democratic nomination contest ablaze when, in an interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, he characterized his once-close friends Bill and Hillary Clinton as liars. For good measure he added that the former president was "reckless" and can't be expected to change his behavior while the New York senator has been overprogrammed by advisers "who are covering every base."

Mrs. Clinton's surrogates went into full attack mode to discredit Mr. Geffen, who during the 1990s helped raise some $18 million for various Clinton causes. They demanded--and didn't get--an apology from Mr. Obama, who pointed out that Mr. Geffen holds no formal position with his campaign.

Team Clinton's overreaction came from its conviction that any discussion of the scandals that swirled around Bill Clinton's eight years in office are completely off-limits during Hillary's own run for the White House. When a Newsweek reporter broached the subject of future Clinton scandals last December in an interview with a Hillary adviser, the reaction was quick and cutting. "If that's what you want to talk about, I'm hanging up right now."

Cost of few extra bucks can be high price to pay

By Paul O'Connor
Winston-Salem Journal

My mother, always the pragmatist, looked at the bottom line when she tried to teach me right from wrong.

"Paul," she said, exhibiting the family's trademark sarcasm, "if you're going to steal something, make it worth it all the time you're going to spend in jail."

Her advice is apropos to the current scandals in the state House, and to the other guilty pleas and verdicts legislators have drawn during the 28 years I've covered the General Assembly. Of the legislators who have broken the law, you have to ask, was it worth it?

Predicted DOT shortfall leaves Easley cold

The News & Observer

Gov. Mike Easley is leery of "absurd" warnings that North Carolina will fall $64 billion short of meeting its highway, transit and other transportation needs over the next 25 years.

The warnings come from Easley's own Department of Transportation.

Reporters asked Easley last week why he proposed in his 2007-09 budget to shrink the Highway Trust Fund, taking $173 million a year out of the road-building fund to help keep the state's General Fund in balance.

The Question of Teacher Pay

By John Hood
Carolina Journal Online

The most-recent study, by JLF education analyst Terry Stoops, found that North Carolina’s teacher compensation was $1,000 higher than the national median and $2,700 above the national average.

Hollywood's Big Ho-Hum

Having recently written about the politicization of various awards, I decided to sit in on Sunday night's Academy Awards just to verify that my criticism was justified. All I can say to those who wrote to me vociferously denying the politicization of awards such as the OscarsTM is that one would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to recoil from the orgy of liberal self-congratulation on display.

As predicted, former Vice-President Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth won the award for Best Documentary. All political messages aside, the documentary itself (which I forced myself to sit through for the purposes of an article) had no filmmaking merit whatsoever and this award was an insult to all those documentarians that actually try to produce quality work. But the OscarTM was indeed all about politics, as Gore's not-so-hilarious jokes about running for president in 2008 indicated. It was patronage awarding at its best.

Cinnamon Stillwell

Hollyweird's annual liberal hugfest seems to be more and more of an inside joke every year. Talent is no longer a necessity to win the acclaim of one's peers in the film industry. A simple willingness to mouth the party line and an attempt at couching the approved agit-prop in proper terms of cool are all that is necessary. In fact, I would almost say mediocrity is a prerequisite and talent a hindrance.

Plouff's death hits home with former officer and his wife

When he heard about the death of Sgt. Howard Plouff, Darrell Goins experienced conflicting emotions. A former officer who left the job last year after 11 years with the Winston-Salem Police Department, Goins knew that he'd made the best decision for his family.

At the same time, he felt a twinge of guilt along with his grief, almost as if he'd abandoned his friends when they needed him most. "I told (my wife) that it almost made me want to go back to catch the person who did it. I do feel like I let them down because I wasn't there to help out."

Goins has a new career now. He's in his first year as a teacher at Petree Elementary. He decided to go back to college after the birth of his first child, a boy named Carson, who will turn 7 in June. The birth of his daughter, Morgan, in 2003 cemented his decision to leave. And the death of Plouff, a man he had come to admire, painfully reinforced it.

"There are aspects to the job that I miss," he said. "But when this happened Friday, it was confirmation I made the right decision. I'm not saying (Plouff) made a bad decision. It's a job you love. It's rewarding. But the decision (whether to leave) is for each person and their family to make. Everybody is different."

— Scott Sexton, Winston-Salem Journal

Gore Responds to Charges His House Uses Too Much Electricity

(Fox News) - Al Gore has responded to charges that his house consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, with the new Oscar winner saying he has taken many steps to reduce the carbon footprint.

Scholars Criticize New Jesus Documentary

Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by the Oscar-winning director James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets.

"The Lost Tomb of Christ," which the Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries _ small caskets used to store bones _ discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family, according to a press release issued by the Discovery Channel.

One of the caskets even bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.

Most Christians believe Jesus' body spent three days at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City. The burial site identified in Cameron's documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church.

In 1996, when the BBC aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.

Marshall Thompson

All this reality will have little effect on Cameron's efforts. It may be interesting to see how many weasel words are used in this "documentary" in an effort to retain credibility as non-fiction. Then again, credibility doesn't seem to be one of Cameron's vital concerns.

Land of the Fake Free

Americans make a big deal of the fact that ours is the freest country on earth and an example to the world. Historian Richard Brookhiser writes, "America is about liberty or it is about nothing." It wasn't a coincidence that the second Gulf war named "Operation Iraqi Freedom" -- or that then-Sen. Zell Miller blew his stack before the 2004 Republican convention insisting that the troops there were not "occupiers" but "liberators."

Brookhiser et al have half a point. Americans enjoy a remarkable degree of freedom, and we won't let you forget it. This can take on almost Orwellian overtones at times, as when antismoking activists insist that their enterprise is all about expanding the "freedom from smoke" and liberating bartenders and waitresses from the tyranny of tobacco.

But the "America = freedom" mantra is not just wrong, it's also dangerous to our actual freedoms. According to various surveys, Americans still view government suspiciously but rarely do anything about it. There is no organized political constituency to toss the bums out for legislating and regulating the sort of outrages that I describe above. We're much more likely to gripe amongst ourselves, then shrug and make with the consolation: At least this is the freest country on earth.

Jeremy Lott

Twenty or thirty years ago, nanny state laws and intrusive government were the result of politicians trying to appear useful. Today, people actively seek public office for the specific purpose of micro-managing other people's lives. The old saying, "there oughta be a law" has taken on some very ominous meaning. With the GOP's abrogation of its position as opposition to bloated government and bureaucracy, more of these busybodies will be emboldened to step into the gap and flex their authoritarian muscles.

The Life and Times of Milton Friedman

“Friedman,” Ulmer wrote, “is best known as a tireless, peppery advocate of liberalism in the 19th century European sense, perhaps the nation’s outstanding intellectual exponent of laissez-faire.…He opposes government activity of practically all kinds.…He would abolish virtually all regulations on industry, working conditions, and the professions. He would turn over to private industry the nation’s schools, highways, federal parks, the post office and all other publicly operated services like water supply, local buses and subways. He would scrap Social Security, the entire welfare system and the progressive income tax schedule. Few, if any, measures to protect the environment or the consumer would win his approval. He would terminate all government efforts to stabilize the economy through fiscal and monetary policies, public works or other means. He would leave presidential candidates, and I suppose all other candidates for public office, with nothing to talk about.”

Brian Doherty

Sounds good. When do we get started?

This is a good read. It should irritate all of our 20th century liberal friends.

In Bid to Ban Racial Slur, Blacks Are on Both Sides

Days after Michael Richards’s racist tirade at a Los Angeles comedy club, Leroy G. Comrie Jr., a New York City councilman, seethed as he listened to some black teenagers on a Queens street spewing out the same word Mr. Richards had been using.

“They were saying ‘nigga’ or ‘niggas’ every other word,” said Mr. Comrie, who is black. “I could tell they didn’t get it. They don’t realize how their self-image is debilitated when they use this awful word in public.”

So Mr. Comrie sponsored a resolution for a moratorium on the use of the n-word in New York City, prompting a spate of similar proposals in half a dozen local governments across four states in recent weeks. The New York City Council is scheduled to discuss Mr. Comrie’s proposal tomorrow and vote on it on Wednesday; the City Council in Paterson, N.J., and the Westchester County Legislature both unanimously approved such bans recently.

Anahad O'Conner

New York continues the march toward its status as a police state. Eventually, New Yorkers will have to stay in their apartments and houses, standing very still and quiet with their eyes closed in order to avoid committing some petty tyrant's pet peeve.

One day, Mr. Comrie might find himself being frog-marched off to the firing squad or standing on a platform with a rope around his neck. He will be utterly bewildered as to how he arrived there. It may never happen, but if it does, it will be the result of one of two cases. Either his usefulness to his totalitarian masters will have ended or the mob, fed up with his petty tyranny, will take their just reward out on his hide.

Cheney OK After Afghan Blast; 14 Killed

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) - A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, killing at least 14 people and wounding a dozen more. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.

Cheney's spokeswoman said he was fine, and the vice president later met with President Hamid Karzai in the capital, Kabul, before leaving the country.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average

Tennessee Center for Policy Research

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

Remembering the Gipper...

“We have to recognize that in this country ‘ideology’ is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded. I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free from slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.”

Ronald Reagan

No Way To End A War

By Charles Krauthammer
Real Clear Politics

The United States has fought many wars since 1941, but never again declared one. Abroad, no one declares war anymore either, perhaps because it has the anachronistic feel of an aristocratic challenge. Whatever the reason, today Congress doesn't declare war; it "authorizes'' the "use of force.''...

...Slowly bleeding our forces by defunding what our commanders think they need to win (the House approach) or rewording the authorization of the use of force so that lawyers decide what operations are to be launched (the Senate approach) is no way to fight a war. It is no way to end a war. It is a way to complicate the war and make it inherently unwinnable -- and to shirk the political responsibility for doing so.

RE: Jesus tomb found, says film-maker

This is the inevitable result of exposing the double-digit IQ crowd in Hollywood to half-baked crap like The DaVinci Code. I suppose we can expect visits from the resurrected Cathars and Arians any day now.

This one is laughably full of holes, but a couple of points that struck me:

Yeshua bar-Yusef (Jesus' Hebrew name) was one of the most common Jewish names that existed around 1 B.C. Yudah was only slightly less common. Finding the tomb of a Yudah bar-Yeshua and insisting it is that of the son of Jesus is roughly akin to randomly pointing at someone named John Smith and insisting he is your long-lost cousin.

James Cameron, noted idiot, tells us statistical evidence and DNA back up the claim. I find it ironic that agnostics and Jesus skeptics have been telling us for years that there is no physical or scientific evidence to prove Jesus ever existed, yet now when they dig up some goober with a theory that shreds fundamental Christian belief, suddenly the evidence was there all along. I would be hugely interested to see this "statistical" evidence. Just a note for accuracy: it can't be demonstrated statistically one way or the other that James Cameron exists. And whose DNA are we testing? Did we find some remains of Jesus' long lost ancestors? I know, we must have dug up the Merovingians.

I don't know which is more insulting, the fact that these fools incessantly strive to attack Christian beliefs or that they think we are all stupid enough to believe any of their nonsense.


(San Francisco Chronicle) - Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- coming off a week of caustic comments from Hollywood mogul David Geffen and a campaign squabble with rival Sen. Barack Obama -- was exactly where she wanted to be Friday: in front of an adoring crowd in the Democratic stronghold of San Francisco, raising boatloads of campaign cash.

And the New York senator used the occasion to defend a man who is potentially a source of controversy: her husband, former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

In response to a question from the audience, she called her husband "the most popular person in the world right now'' and said that when she reaches the White House, "I will continue the tradition of using former presidents" as diplomats around the world.

Jesus tomb found, says film-maker

(BBC): Jesus had a son named Judah and was buried alongside Mary Magdalene, according to a new documentary by Hollywood film director James Cameron. It examines a tomb found near Jerusalem in 1980 which the film-makers say belonged to Jesus and his family. The Oscar-winning director of "Titanic" says statistical analysis and DNA back the claim.

Feb. 5: National Presidential Primary Day?

(Fox News) - Candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties could wrap up the presidential nomination on Feb. 5, 2008 — more than half a year before the national conventions and nine months prior to the general election.

Gore jokes over White House bid

(BBC): Former US Vice-President Al Gore picked up an Oscar for his climate change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony. Earlier on, while on stage with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, he teased the audience by pretending he was about to announce a second White House bid.
Mr Gore, who lost to George Bush in the 2000 US elections, said: "Even though I honestly had not planned on doing this, I guess, with a billion people watching it's as good a time as any. So, my fellow Americans, I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now, to formally announce my intention..."
However, he never got to finish his sentence, as the music used to make winners wrap up their speeches cut in and drowned him out. He left the stage with DiCaprio laughing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Edwards' Missing MoJo

By Tom Bevan
The Real Clear Politics Blog

When John Edwards announced his intention to run for president last year, he was immediately considered a top tier candidate in the Democratic field: He had already demonstrated considerable political skill and an ability to raise money in his strong 2004 showing. He also was seen as benefiting from an even more front-loaded primary schedule in 2008 that should work in his favor.

But for someone as smooth as Mr. Edwards, the first few months of his campaign have been anything but. While his two main rivals have been sucking up media oxygen with dueling announcements and maiden tours to early primary states, Mr. Edwards has managed to make only a few headlines -- none of them good.

Stokes offers teachers incentives to learn

Effort is aimed at those who educate children in child-care settings, officials say

By Lisa R. Boone
Winston-Salem Journal

An early-childhood-education program is offering financial rewards to teachers who improve their credentials.

The program is financed by Smart Start and is called "Enhancing Quality Through Professional Development." It was started last year by the Stokes Partnership for Children to promote higher education for teachers who work with young children, many of them toddlers.

"Our goal is to increase teacher education," said Cindy Tuttle, the executive director of Stokes Partnership for Children. "With any kind of child-care program, the secret to quality is education."

The program gives a one-time payment of between $50 and $1,000 to teachers who meet such goals as earning college degrees.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Officer dies from shooting

(Winston-Salem Journal) - A Winston-Salem police officer died tonight at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, about 21 hours after being shot outside a bar on Jonestown Road.

Sgt. Howard J. Plouff, 41, a 17-year veteran of the department, went to the Red Rooster with other officers after a 2 a.m. call for help from sheriff's deputies. Four deputies were at the bar on off-duty security assignment when several fights broke out, police said.

Plouff died at 10:42 p.m., said Police Chief Pat Norris, who was at the hospital with him. "There were quite a few officers and his family as well," she said.

You Go, Geffen!

Hillary Clinton's very bad week.

By Bill Kristol
Weekly Standard

We know from the philosophers that a true statement is true without regard to the reliability or sagacity of the person who utters it. We have it on good authority that the truth shall set us free. David Geffen spoke truth to Maureen Dowd last week. And he may have triggered a series of events that will set the Democratic party free from its Clinton captivity.

Big Labor’s Desperate Power Grab

Unions are turning to the U.S. Congress to rig the game in their favor.

By Phil Kerpen
National Review Online

Private-sector labor unions, slipping to an all-time low of 7.4 percent of the labor force last year, are fighting a desperate battle for survival. They face a nearly insurmountable problem: Workers increasingly believe, for good reason, that unions either provide little in return for their dues or work against their interests.

After losing innumerable certification elections and seeing its steady decline in numbers, Big Labor is turning to the U.S. Congress to secure crucial changes that will rig the game in its favor and allow it to force workers into unions. The battle will move to the House floor next week, where Big Labor’s wish-list bill likely will pass. The measure will face stronger resistance in the Senate and President Bush has promised to veto it if necessary. The stakes are high.

Bill Clinton's AMT Bomb

Why millions in the middle class may see their tax bill explode.


As tax season nears, Democrats in Congress are discovering they have an urgent political bomb to defuse--the alternative minimum tax. The AMT already hits four million Americans, and without new legislation this year it will explode in the pocketbooks of 23 million taxpayers come April 15, 2008.

What's amazing is that many Democrats and reporters are trying to blame this looming tax increase on the 2001-2003 tax cuts. See if you can follow their argument: Taxpayers are obliged to pay the higher of their tax bill under either the regular IRS code or the AMT. And because the tax cuts reduced the regular income tax of the average family by $2,000 a year, more middle-class families are being bounced to the AMT system. Ergo, it's all President Bush's fault.

This logic requires overlooking that a taxpayer's bill under the AMT is still lower than it would have been without the tax cuts. But never mind: The political game here is to use the AMT as an excuse to justify repealing the Bush tax cuts.

The Inconvenient Truth

By Suzanne Fields
Real Clear Politics

There's nothing like a celebrity sing-a-long to get the global warming juices boiling. Al Gore, the vice president who became a midway barker, has the greatest show on earth, maybe even the universe. He's offering a day of "Live Earth" concerts during the summer that will include musical artists and "thought leaders" such as Cameron Diaz, Snoop Dog and Enrique Iglesias. Hea-veee, as the kids used to say.

Vilsack drops out of presidential race

(Des Moines Register) - Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack withdrew from the 2008 presidential campaign today, saying it was clear he would not be able to raise enough money to compete.

Salisbury lawyer moves toward a possible run for governor

RALEIGH (Winston-Salem Journal) - A Salisbury lawyer who led a fight to lower the state's gas tax has taken another step toward a run for governor in 2008.

Bill Graham, a Republican, said in an e-mail to supporters yesterday that he has formed a committee to explore a possible run. Forming the committee allows him to raise money in the coming months. Graham said he plans to make an official decision this spring.

He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to run television ads last year supporting a reduction in the state's gas tax.

One other Republican, former Supreme Court justice Bob Orr, has also created a campaign committee for a run for governor.

Democrats Richard Moore and Beverly Perdue are already raising money for their expected bids for governor.

State law bars Gov. Mike Easley from running for a third consecutive term.

Officials: Senate Democrats Seek to Narrow Mission of U.S. Troops in Iraq to Training, Fighting Al Qaeda

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Senate Democrats are drafting legislation to scale back the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq in an effort that would reduce the broad war-making powers Congress granted to President Bush in 2002, officials said Thursday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


By Ann Coulter
Yahoo News

Rumored ex-Marine John Murtha, Democrat congressman from Pennsylvania, has become the darling of the cut-and-run crowd for trying to place absurd restrictions on our troops, amounting to withdrawal from Iraq. Were Arab sheiks whispering into his ear?

Jet Blue :-)

Obama's Worn-Out Economic Ideas

By Thomas Sowell
Real Clear Politics

Senator Barack Obama recently said, "let's allow our unions and their organizers to lift up this country's middle class again."

Ironically, he said it at a time when Detroit automakers have been laying off unionized workers by the tens of thousands, while Toyota has been hiring tens of thousands of non-union American automobile workers.

No One Dare Criticize Hillary Clinton

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Real Clear Politics

There’s a new mortal sin in American politics: criticizing Hillary Clinton.

Nobody’s allowed to do it.

Certainly none of her opponents. If they dare to, Hillary sends in one of her boys, who practically accuses them of being un-American.

Mike Decker tells truth, hopes for a little mercy

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal

Contrary to what you might think, Mike Decker took no great pride or particular joy in seeing disgraced former Speaker of the House Jim Black fall so spectacularly - even though Decker's statements to state and federal investigators set the stage for that plummet.

Rather than appearing Tuesday in Wake Superior Court to testify, Decker, a former state representative, sat quietly in his Walkertown home as prosecutors used his words to drive a final nail in Black's coffin of shame.

The details, as we all know now, spell out a sordid account of how a politician - possibly the most powerful in the state at one time - paid a bribe to maintain his chokehold on the N.C. House of Representatives.

Thousands in cash and campaign checks changed hands to help seal a deal conceived in a restroom at an IHOP off Interstate 85 in December 2002. Decker asked Black for $50,000; in exchange he would change his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and cast the vote in 2003 that kept Black planted in the speaker's chair.

A Lack of Courage In Their Convictions

By George Will
Washington Post

Indiscriminate criticism of President George W. Bush is an infectious disease. Some conservatives seem to have caught it, but congressional Democrats might be crippled by it.

Jimmy Carter Defends Controversial Book at Emory University

ATLANTA (Fox News.com) — Former President Jimmy Carter made a stop on Thursday at the Atlanta university to respond to criticism of his book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

More than 600 Emory University students and staff attended his lecture about the book titled, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid."

Critics allege the book contains inaccuracies and distorts history to shape the reader's opinion to one side of the issue. Carter has defended the book, saying he didn't mean to offend anyone.

Mag: Lieberman Switch to GOP 'a Remote Possibility'...

NEW YORK (Editor & Publisher) - The next issue of Time magazine, due on Friday, features several takes on the Iraq war and domestic politics.

"Independent" Sen. Joe Liebeman receives a mini-profile titled "What Joe Wants," a key question since he is "the Senate's one-man tipping point." Republicans, the magazine says, are "courting him" and Lieberman "has been indulging in some fairly immodest political footsie."

Lieberman calls jumping to the Republican side, and tilting the Senate, "a remote possibility," which means there's at least a chance of that. Time seems to push Lieberman in this direction, as the article concludes: "Lieberman's GOP flirtation has its risks--and a time limit....The longer he waits to capitalize on his moment, the greater the danger that he'll be tagged as one of those politicians for whom having power is more important than using it."

State to consider adding I-85 tolls

(Winston-Salem Journal) - State turnpike officials will study whether to use tolls on Interstate 85 to pay for the replacement of the bridge over the Yadkin River.

The N.C. Turnpike Authority Board approved the study by unanimous vote at a meeting yesterday afternoon in Raleigh, said David Joyner, the authority's executive director.

Easley announces his $20.1 billion spending plan

RALEIGH (Winston-Salem Journal) - Gov. Mike Easley wants to keep two "temporary" taxes the Legislature started phasing out last year, eliminate income taxes for poor people and expand access to higher education.

His $20.1 billion spending plan released Thursday for the year starting July 1 would also raise teacher pay an average of 5 percent as Easley works to keep his pledge to get salaries above the national average next year, before he leaves office.

As highlighted in his address to state lawmakers earlier this week, Easley's budget would eliminate income taxes for 545,000 individuals and families and reduce them for an additional 629,000.

The $90 million package of tax cuts also includes tax deductions for college tuition and would allow small business to write off more expenses.

McCain applauds Calif., slams Bush

TERMINAL ISLAND (Long Beach Press) - Presidential hopeful John McCain joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the port Wednesday to trumpet California's efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming.

The two Republican leaders took an aerial tour of the nation's busiest port complex by helicopter, flying over the Gerald Desmond Bridge, Long Beach (710) Freeway and several container terminals before stopping by the Maersk Sealand property on Terminal Island.

There, the veteran Republican senator from Arizona said addressing climate change is one of the world's most pressing issues.

"It's now widely acknowledged to be a great threat to our planet, our children and our grandchildren," McCain said. "Time is not on our side, we must act."

He also used the opportunity to blast the Bush administration as unresponsive to global warming.

"This administration's record on global warming is terrible," McCain said. "I've held hearings for years and got no cooperation from the administration on this issue."

He later said he was encouraged by the president's recent acknowledgment of the issue, but said more needed to be done.

"The debate on climate change should be over," McCain said. "California's actions ... send a message to Washington that they expect us to act at the federal level."

Illinois' Chief Illiniwek performs last dance

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (ESPN.com) -- The student who had just performed Chief Illiniwek's last dance stood in a tunnel just off the basketball court, still in costume and grimacing to fight back tears.

After 20 years of pressure from activists who found the University of Illinois mascot offensive, the school did away with Illiniwek and his antics. Dan Maloney, a graduate student who portrays the controversial American Indian mascot, performed for the final time in front of students and fans at a men's basketball game Wednesday night.

Pelosi Calls Bush to Complain of Cheney's Comments on Democrats' Iraq Strategy

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday phoned President Bush to air her complaints over Vice President Dick Cheney's comments that the Congressional Democrats' plan for Iraq would "validate the Al Qaeda strategy."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mayhem Main Event at NBA All-Star Weekend

LAS VEGAS (AOL Sports) -- NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was an unmitigated failure, and any thoughts of taking the extravaganza to New Orleans in 2008 are total lunacy.

Cheney at Odds With McCain Over Rumsfeld

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday challenged GOP presidential hopeful John McCain's assertion that Donald H. Rumsfeld was one of the country's worst defense secretaries.

Daschle to Endorse Obama

The Politico -- Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle has committed his support to Barack Obama, two Democrats with knowledge of Daschle's decision said.

Obama Camp Takes Lincoln Bedroom Shot

The Hotline

"We aren’t going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters. It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when he was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom. It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because ’he's black.’"

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Ways George W. Bush is Celebrating President’s Day”: Same as every year—watching Maury then going outside to hunt squirrels; Spent morning hiding eggs on White House lawn; Videotaped himself playing “Stairway to Heaven” on guitar, put it on YouTube; Nothing—Air Force One is stuck on the runway behind a JetBlue plane; Planning his 2008 re-election campaign.

“Top JetBlue Excuses”: 10-hour delay? Hey, that’s actually pretty good for us; It could have been worse... No, wait, it couldn’t; We don’t have an excuse right now, but sit here for ten hours while we come up with one; You gotta admit, after six hours it became a little funny; There was a monster on the wing!!!; Pilots too drunk to fly.

Jay Leno: [Monday was] Presidents’ Day—or for those of you in California, el Presidente Day! ... Al Gore will be speaking at this year’s Democratic Convention—or as we call it, the Oscars. ... When Al Gore presented the “Best Album” award to the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Grammys, Al Gore said because of global warming, the Chili Peppers are now 20 percent hotter than they were 20 years ago. ... In the latest count, there are now 25 politicians running for president—and 15 of them also claim to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. ... Al-Qa’ida released another video tape from their number-two man. This one had a shocking revelation: “The great Satan will soon taste unspeakable suffering from our hands. Oh, and by the way, I am the father of Anna Nicole’s baby.” ... The number one movie at the box office is “Norbit,” where Eddie Murphy plays a huge fat woman. Or as Bill Clinton calls it, “Dreamgirls.” ... The FAA is very close to raising the retirement age of pilots. That means pretty soon both astronauts and pilots will be wearing diapers. ... Congress is now trying to pass a bill that would require health insurers to cover more costs for the mentally ill. Once again, Congress looking out for themselves. So typical!

No Drug Price Controls

By John Stossel
Real Clear Politics

The Democrats who now control Congress want to change President Bush's Medicare drug benefit to require government officials to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Under the current program, competing insurance companies cut the deals and offer coverage to the retired and disabled.

Yet another lesson in the well-established principle: Government intervention begets more government intervention.

Maureen Dowd Column Incites Hillary Attack On Obama -- and Geffen

Editor & Publisher

Maureen Dowd's column in The New York Times today, in which she quoted former Bill Clinton supporter David Geffen offering a few caustic comments, has incited a strong Hillary Clinton campaign attack on Geffen -- and the candidate he now favors, Sen. Barack Obama.

"Everybody in politics lies, but they [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it’s troubling,” Geffen said.


MIAMI (New York Post) - Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed yesterday to change the United States so it's no longer an "arrogant power" that alienates the world.

"When I'm president, I'm going to send a message to the world that America is back - we're not the arrogant power that we've been acting like for the last six years," Sen. Clinton said during her first campaign stop in the Sunshine State.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

MLB's synthetic caps designed to wick away sweat

BUFFALO, N.Y. (ESPN.com) -- One question facing baseball this season: Will cooler heads prevail?

On Opening Day, the sport will doff the traditional wool cap in favor of a new polyester blend model designed to wick away sweat before it can stream down a player's face.

Remembering the Gipper...

“Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream—to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you’re the only one in a sea of doubters.”

Ronald Reagan

LASTING LEGACY: Man's family continues contributing to scholarship of Woodrow Wilson

By Lisa O'Donnell
Winston-Salem Journal

Mary Margaret Link had heard that the man who would become her father-in-law had spent most of his time editing the papers of Woodrow Wilson.

But she didn't realize the extent of his devotion to Wilson or his intellect until she met him for the first time at his home near the campus of Princeton University in the early 1970s.

"I walked into the living room and there was this portrait of Wilson in a rather prominent place, and I thought, 'Wow. This is how smart people live,'" she said.

Arthur Link was one of the most prominent historians of his time, known throughout the world as the pre-eminent scholar on Wilson. Link dined with presidents and won awards for his contributions to American history. He died in 1998 at the age of 77 in Bermuda Village.

His son, Stanley Link, is an infectious-disease specialist in private practice at Piedmont Medical Specialists and lives in Winston-Salem with Mary Margaret. Their son, Arthur Link III, is making his own contribution to Wilson scholarship.

I used to work with his grandson, Arthur Link III, here in Winston-Salem...He was a good guy. I didn't realize his grandfather was such a noted historian.

Stokes School Transportation Director Arrested

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WXII.com) -- A school transportation leader in a Piedmont county faces embezzlement charges.

Authorities said Stokes County Schools Transportation Director Phillip Benton was arrested Monday and charged with embezzlement of state property.

The charge was filed in connection with tires that were reported missing from school buses, authorities said.

The case is still under investigation by the Stokes County Sheriff's Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Former Speaker Black pleads guilty in state court

RALEIGH, N.C. (Winston-Salem Journal) - Former House Speaker Jim Black agreed today to be sentenced for offering a bribe and obstructing justice, crimes that prosecutors tied in part to a party-switching scheme in 2003 that helped the four-term state House leader stay in power.

Al Gore at the Academy Awards :-)

Ron Paul, the Real Republican?

When you read about a vote in Congress that goes something like 412-1, odds are pretty good that the sole "nay" came from Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. He so consistently votes against widely popular bills, in fact, that the Washington Post recently gave him the moniker "Congressman 'No.'"

Paul isn't a reflexive contrarian--he doesn't oppose just to oppose. Rather, he has a core set of principles that guide him. They happen to be the same principles envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution: limited government, federalism, free trade and commerce -- with a premium on peace.

When most members of Congress see a bill for the first time, they immediately judge the bill on its merits, or if you're more cynical, they determine what the political interests that support them will think of it, or how it might benefit their constituents.

For Paul, the vast majority of bills don't get that far. He first asks, "Does the Constitution authorize Congress to pass this law?" Most of the time, the answer to that question is "no." And so Paul votes accordingly.

Radley Balko

That last paragraph pretty much says it all. If the majority of those in Congress followed that simple rule, we would live in a place that would be tempting to call paradise.

One question not asked in this is whether Paul's presence in the primary will have any effect in ending the preeminence of the Bush family and the neocons in the GOP. Paul is more diametrically opposed to everything the Bush clan stands for than any other candidate in the race. I too doubt he will capture the nomination since values, ideas, and principles always take a back seat to noisy, shiny crap in our society these days.

Stokes won't give in to pressure to change mascots, officials say

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - The Stokes County Board of Education says it won't crumble un-der state pressure when it comes to supporting schools with American Indian mascots.

The school board decided last night that it doesn't want school officials to think that they need to change their imagery or mascots.

A statewide suggestion from the State Board of Education and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to school systems with American Indian imagery recommending that schools change the imagery hasn't been well received in the county for some time.

With the annual Native American Imagery Report expected to state officials soon, the school board decided that it was the right time to discuss the issue.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sen. John McCain Calls Rumsfeld One of the Worst Defense Secretaries in U.S. History

BLUFFTON, S.C. (Fox News) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history.

The Next Senator From New York, Bill Clinton?

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — If Hillary Clinton is elected president, the next senator from New York could be her husband, Bill Clinton.

Supporters are touting that scenario in the event the seat currently held by Mrs. Clinton opens up as she moves to higher office. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, would be tasked with appointing someone to fill the open Senate seat for the remaining two years of Clinton's term.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

U.S. senator: It's time to ban Wikipedia in schools, libraries

Here's the newest from Sen. Ted Stevens, the man who described the Internet as a series of tubes: It's time for the federal government to ban access to Wikipedia, MySpace, and social networking sites from schools and libraries.

Early in January, Stevens introduced Senate bill 49, which among other things, would require that any school or library that gets federal Internet subsidies would have to block access to interactive Web sites, including social networking sites, and possibly blogs as well. It appears that the definition of those sites is so vague that it could include sites such as Wikipedia, according to commentators. It would certainly ban MySpace.

The bill is, in part, a rehash of a similar bill introduced last year, the Deleting Online Predators Act, also called DOPA. That bill passed the house, but got bogged down in the Senate.

Many people are calling this year's bill "Son of DOPA" because of its similarity to last year's bill.

Preston Gralla

I have a better idea. Let's ban Ted Stevens and the schools.

Yet another fascist Republican doing the party proud. The GOP really would be better off changing their name to the Nationalist Party, truth in advertising and all that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Reaganite Libertarianism Missing in Today's GOP, Author Says

By Kevin Mooney
CNS News

Libertarians who favor limited government and restraint of federal power were a vital component of President Ronald Reagan's political coalition, but they struggle to find a home in today's Republican Party, according to the author of a new book on the nation's 40th president.

Black: A powerful crook gets privileges

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal

If a crook pleads guilty to a felony in state court, odds are good that he (or she) will shuffle off to a county jail in an orange jumpsuit, leg irons and an ill-fitting pair of rubber sandals.

If you're a powerful former speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives pleading guilty to a felony in federal court - like, say, Jim Black - you sneak out the back of the Terry Sanford Federal Building and Courthouse under a $10,000 unsecured bond and hop into a federal marshal's waiting SUV. You're free as a bird until your formal sentencing May 14, immediately eligible to start collecting your $41,330.25 annual pension from the state.

Oh, and you can look forward to a relaxing vacation in the Caribbean.

Liberal vs Conservative :-)

A conservative and a liberal were walking down the street when they came upon a homeless person.

The conservative gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person.

The liberal was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into the conservative's pocket and gave him fifty dollars.

It took me years to figure out the real differences between liberals and conservatives and this little story says it all.

Author Unknown

Proposal would make the regulation of cigarettes like that of food, drugs

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) - Smoking opponents introduced legislation yesterday to put tobacco products under the control of the Food and Drug Administration.

Black admits to felony

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Jim Black, the former speaker of the N.C. House, admitted in federal court yesterday that he took about $29,000 in secret payments from chiropractors in exchange for supporting legislation that benefited them.

Libertarians in America

Scores of books have been written on the role of communists and socialists in the U.S., dour chronicles of welcome failure. But very few writers have devoted much attention to the role of libertarians, a more appealing and optimistic group of thinkers, political activists and ordinary citizens who believe that respect for the individual and the spontaneous order of market forces are the key to progress and social well-being.

The neglect is strange, given how much libertarians and their limited-government logic have shaped the culture and economy of the U.S. The ideas of John Locke and David Hume animated the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Libertarian principles kept what we think of as "big government" in check for much of the 19th century and well into the 20th, despite tariffs and war. The federal income tax officially arrived, in permanent form, as late as 1913. Coolidge and his Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, took a famously minimalist approach to governing. Of course, we now live in a post-FDR age, with government programs everywhere. Still, the libertarian impulse is part of our political culture. "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism," Ronald Reagan declared.

Today, pollsters find only 2% of people refer to themselves as libertarians, but some 15% of voters hold broadly libertarian views and can be a swing factor. In the photo-finish presidential race of 2000, some 72% of libertarian-minded voters supported George W. Bush. Last November, many of them abandoned the GOP, disillusioned by its profligate ways, and helped hand control of Congress to Democrats.

With "Radicals for Capitalism," Brian Doherty finally gives libertarianism its due. He tracks the movement's progress over the past century by focusing on five of its key leaders--Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman. The emphasis is on their ideas, but Mr. Doherty also takes into account their personal struggles--not least their feuds with other thinkers and their relation to an intellectual establishment that for most of their lives thought they were either crazy or irrelevant or both.

John H. Fund

The only way our republic will survive is for the electorate to swing the government back in the direction of libertarianism. Given the degenerate nature of democracy and its inevitable outcomes, I don't know if this is even possible, but I do remain hopeful. Neither faction of the current political party is inclined to move that way, so I believe that only the rise of an independent, libertarian-based party can accomplish the turnaround. I would prefer to think that voters could accomplish this independent of party affiliation, but the herd instinct appears to be too strong in American voters. Any political party, no matter what its ideological roots, will eventually become an albatross around the neck of freedom.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stokes student arrested for having weapons on bus

(Winston-Salem Journal) - A 15-year-old Stokes County student faces several weapons charges after he took a semiautomatic 25-caliber gun and other weapons onto a school bus this morning.

The student attends Meadowbrook School, an alternative school near King that has about 60 students.

RE: RE: Here comes Newt

Steve opines: "First, because he is the poster child for compromised principles and moral ambiguity."

I didn't realize Dick Morris had principles to compromise.

"Second, Dick Morris is reliably wrong as often as he is right."

Morris could write a book about all of his predictions that have missed the mark.

"And since when is someone who doesn't like Mormons a racist?"

Good question... Morris must have been smokin' rope when he made that comment.

JLF: NC Adjusted Teacher Pay Tops

Merit pay instead of across-the-board raises recommended by JLF

John Locke Foundation

North Carolina teachers, on average, earn $2,700 more each year than their peers across the country once their pay is adjusted for cost of living and other factors, according to a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

Lessons From The Downfall

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

The Jim Black affair demonstrates the temptation to conclude that the ends justify the means. Many politicians truly believe their policy goals are so important that they must “play the game.”

Duncan Hunter's Long-Shot Conservative Bid

By George Will
Real Clear Politics

One-third of new businesses fail within two years; 50 percent to 70 percent of new products that make it to market fail. (Duncan) Hunter, a burly, rumpled political product seeking a market niche, probably will fail. But as Goldwater said when he entered politics in Phoenix in 1949, "It ain't for life and it may be fun.''

Al Gore to Sound Off On Climate Change With Concert Event

(Washington Post) - Al Gore's next gig: concert promoter.

Using popular music to bring attention to his pet issue of global climate change, the former vice president is planning a single-day series of concerts modeled after Live 8.

GOP Lawmakers Peeved at New Bank of America Credit Card Program

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Lawmakers are lashing out at Bank of America Corp. over its new program to offer credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers, saying it creates a dangerous loophole for terrorists and illegal immigrants.

Black arrives at courthouse to plead guilty to corruption charge

RALEIGH (AP) - Jim Black, dogged by a federal investigation for the final two years of his powerful political career, is expected to plead guilty Thursday to a corruption charge that could land the former House Speaker in prison.

His attorney, Ken Bell, has confirmed that Black will plead guilty to one count of accepting illegal gratuities - a felony charge similar to bribery but less serious. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Black arrived at the federal building in Raleigh about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, escorted by two men. Bell soon followed him into the building.

Black, 71, resigned from his House seat in the state Legislature on Wednesday. State law bans felons from holding office until they have fulfilled all the terms of their sentence.

A guilty plea may bring to the end a years-long federal grand jury investigation that has highlighted Black's connections to the state's video poker industry, his campaign finances and involvement in the creation of the state lottery. The investigation corralled several Black associates.

RE: Here comes Newt

If I was Newt, I would be worried. There are two reasons why I wouldn't want Dick Morris singing my praises. First, because he is the poster child for compromised principles and moral ambiguity. Second, Dick Morris is reliably wrong as often as he is right.

And since when is someone who doesn't like Mormons a racist?

Ever "Present"

(Fox News) - The Wall Street Journal's Web site reports Obama had a history for voting "present" instead of "yes" or "no" as an Illinois state legislator — and lists some major issues on which Obama declined to take a side. Among them, votes on bills to prohibit partial birth abortions, lower the penalty for carrying concealed weapons,require prosecution for the firing of a gun at or near a school, protect a child that survived a failed abortion, protect the identity of sex-abuse victims, and prohibit strip clubs and similar establishments from being close to schools, churches, and daycares.

But in his book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama writes that as a legislator in the minority party, "You must vote 'yes' or 'no' on whatever bill comes up, with the knowledge that it's unlikely to be a compromise that either you or your supporters consider fair and or just."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Ways To Make The Grammy Awards More Exciting”: One Grammy is full of angry yellow jackets; Give a Grammy to the artist whose CD is easiest to open, am I right people?; Michael Richards hands out Rap and Hip Hop awards; Announce Academy Award winners; Performance by Dennis Kucinich; Put another “m” in “Grammy”; Satellite hookup to any winners who are currently incarcerated.

Jay Leno: NASA made it official today: They are no longer going to recruit their astronauts from eHarmony.com. ... Al Gore thanked the music industry for helping to protect the environment. Really? I think Snoop Dogg alone has put enough smoke into the earth’s atmosphere to block out half the sunlight. ... As you know, Al Gore has been nominated for two Academy Awards. But he has a bit of a problem, as far as transportation goes. He doesn’t want to ride there in a big car, and if you’ve seen al lately, he not longer fits in a small car. So unless Hummer comes out with a hybrid in two weeks, he is screwed. ... In an interview with USA Today, Senator Barack Obama says the shortness of his political resume is his “greatest strength.” Politics is the only business where people brag about how little experience they have. Can you imagine guys saying to you, “Look, I’ve never been to medical school, I’ve never even watched E.R., but if you just let me try and do this brain operation I’ll do the best job I can.” ... So many places ban smoking in public. If Barack Obama wants to smoke, he has to go someplace where no one is around. Like a Joe Biden rally. Some place like that. ... Funny story I saw on the news last night. Seems a couple of people walking down the street in Washington, DC, passed actor Will Smith and they thought he was Barack Obama! They stopped him and said they’re voting for him in 2008. Actually, [the] same thing happened to Elton John. People thought he was Hillary... Famous designer Donatella Versace has recommended that Hillary Clinton stop wearing those pant suits and start wearing dresses and skirts. Versace said Hillary should treat femininity as an opportunity. You know, the way Bill does.


Schwarzenegger's Folly

By John Stossel
Real Clear Politics

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants all Californians to have medical insurance. So he's going to force them to have it.

Schwarzenegger abandoned his opposition to mandated employer-based health insurance and embraced the idea as his own. "Everyone in California must have insurance. If you can't afford it, the state will help you buy it, but you must be insured," Schwarzenegger said last month.

Of course, his "solution" won't solve the problem. By making medical care look cheap to people, expanded insurance will push prices up even faster. Everyone will end up paying more. But politicians benefit because the costs will be hidden.

It's hard to believe that Reagan was once a two-term governor of California.

Would Edwards win N.C.?

By Rob Christensen
The News & Observer

I was speaking to the Rotary Club here last week when a gentleman asked an interesting question: If John Edwards gets the Democratic nomination for president, would he carry North Carolina?

Here comes Newt

By Dick Morris
The Hill

To echo the famous Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige: “Don’t look back, Newt Gingrich might be gaining on you.” Newt, consigned by many observers to Elizabeth Dole or Dan Quayle status in this GOP nominating process, appears to be moving up into contention, overtaking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and battling to be the conservative alternative to either former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Arizona Sen. John McCain

Stokes officials to discuss building project

Danbury (Winston-Salem Journal) - The Stokes County commissioners and officials with the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc. will meet Feb. 19 to discuss plans for a joint building project that would house a maintenance garage for the county and a transportation office for YVEDDI.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Black to resign, plead guilty

RALEIGH (News 14 Carolina) -- Former State House Speaker Jim Black will resign from office and plead guilty to a federal corruption charge.

Stick a Fork in John Edwards . . . He’s Done.

Thumb-pointing, Aqua Net addicted, Presidential-(used-to-be)-hopeful John Edwards, together with his strategists, decided that if they’re going to be “in it to win it” then they must employ the blogging help of a couple of anti-Christ, F-bomb droppin’ honeys to convince America that he’s mainstream and thus, our man.

The bloggers Juan hired to sway us common cattle into his fray are about as conventional as Jay Alexander and Crispin Glover. You can’t be more psychotically Left than these dual dames of derision. Don’t believe me? Then do this: stop what you’re doing and look all the way over to the left. I’m talkin’ way, way over yonder, and you’ll see Amanda Whoever and Melissa McSomebody typing like Lancelot Link, donned in Che Guevara T-shirts and cussing their butts off as they blame Bush, Christianity and Capitalism for Lincoln’s murder, JFK’s assassination, the plight of the manatee and all their hair problems.

Doug Giles

I wouldn't say that it is 100% sure that Edwards is done. He does have some resiliency in his tactic of laying low following a major blunder. On the other hand, Edwards has committed blunder after blunder lately, so laying low at this point probably won't help him much. I guess that's what happens when one believes one's own press clippings

Amanda Marcotte managed to blame everyone else but herself for her "resignation." The inside scoop is that Edwards fired both of them on the spot when the hoopla started, but the campaign quietly re-hired them when the leftward netroots went berserk. The "resignations" (both girls have now resigned) were face-saving moves for the Edwards organization.

It's too bad, actually. Edwards' almost weekly floundering was getting to be positively entertaining. The horde of human waste that is running for President in 2008 is enough to make Polyanna herself despair. Edwards was providing desperately needed comic relief. Oh well, Hillary's Cabana Boy, B. Hussein Obama has some latent comedy potential, if for no other reason than that he takes himself so seriously. Maybe Edwards' self-immolation won't be a complete loss.


From the Drudge Report:

The Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building has been postponed due to inclement weather. The hearing is entitled “Climate Change: Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Contributing to a Warming of the Planet?”

The hearing will be rescheduled to a date and time to be announced later.


Wednesday: Freezing rain in the morning...then a chance of snow in the afternoon. Ice accumulation of less than one quarter of an inch. Highs in the mid 30s. Northwest winds around 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 18. Northwest winds around 20 mph.

Happy Belated 2nd Birthday to the BP...

On February 9, 2005, the BP was born... I want to personally thank Steve Brenneis for being a contributor since the beginning. I also want to thank current and past contributors Strother B., Tanya L., and Behethland Clark for their work on the board. :-)

A Republican Party for the Future

By David Boaz
The Cato Institute

Jeb Bush got it right. He told conservatives at the National Review summit this past weekend that Republicans lost the 2006 elections because they abandoned their principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections on a limited-government platform. Bush has twice squeaked through with his big-government conservatism.

The Republican Congress came to power in 1994 promising "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money." But for the past six years, with Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress, they have instead delivered the biggest spending increases and the biggest expansion of entitlements since Lyndon Johnson, the federalization of education, the McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech, and the Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory burden.

When you combine that with a misguided war and a series of scandals that reminded voters why no party should stay in power too long, is it any wonder that conservatives were dispirited in the 2006 election?

Edwards stumbles with health plan

By Jay Ambrose
Scripps News

Presidential candidate John Edwards has come up with a plan to require all Americans to get health coverage whether they want it or not, companies to provide it or pay for it whether they want to or not and insurers to sell it to you, no matter what.

Oh yes, this man who did about as much as one money-grubbing trial lawyer can do to damage health care in North Carolina, plans to slap people earning $200,000 or more a year with higher taxes to handle the annual cost _ likely underestimated _ of $120 billion.

Are you surprised that the left couldn't be happier? Sorry. That overstates it some. While pleased, many on the left would be happier with a socialized, government-pays-all system of the kind that makes you wait in line for health care in Canada. Edwards had sense enough to keep private insurance companies alive in his plan, but there are serious problems here.

Clinton Reminds New Hampshire, I’m With Bill

By Patrick Healy
The New York Times

As she made her first outing to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate last weekend, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton left her husband at home, yet she tried to tap his old political magic at nearly every turn.

Mrs. Clinton, Democrat of New York, mentioned Mr. Clinton at least eight times on Saturday — at one point talking about “Bill’s heart surgery” to illuminate her own travails with health care bureaucracy — and a few times on Sunday, most memorably when she said of Republicans, “Bill and I have beaten them before, and we will again.”

RE: RE: The Limits Of Sunniness

From Matthew J. Franck, a blogger on National Review Online:

I was bemused by George Will’s rave for John Patrick Diggins’ new book on Reagan. I haven’t read it—or any other book by Diggins. But I expressed my own view of Reagan’s debt to the founders, and his effort to revive their principles, here at NRO. Could be I had Reagan all wrong. Somehow I guess I missed his closet transcendentalism.

Now I might buy some trouble around these parts, but I have to say that Will’s reflexive approval of anyone who agrees with him that “Edmund Burke [was] the founder of modern conservatism” is by now a kind of phone-it-in act. It shouldn’t be too surprising that Ronald Reagan had little evident attachment to Edmund Burke and liked to quote Thomas Paine. First, because no one in America seems to have thought of Burke as the “founder of conservatism” until about the mid-twentieth century (that’s why it’s called “modern conservatism”), by which time Reagan was a fully-formed adult working out his own ideas. And second, because Paine was unequivocally on the side of the American Revolution, was indeed a hero of it, while Burke was at best a lukewarm sympathizer in the enemy’s ranks. (Their subsequent alignments on opposite sides of the French Revolution would be another matter.) And Ronald Reagan was most assuredly a child of the American Revolution, from whose genuinely revolutionary principles sprang his authentically American conservatism.

Up, Up and Away

Fox News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did hitch a non-stop ride on a military jet to fly home to San Francisco Thursday — following a week full of controversy over reports of her request for a bigger jet than the one used by her predecessor.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Pelosi flew aboard a 12-seat C37A — the same type of plane used regularly by former Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Some Teenagers Are Losing Their Jobs as a Result of the Minimum Wage Increase

Fox News

The minimum wage increase that took effect in Arizona last month has brought with it some unintended consequences — many teenagers are losing their jobs. The Arizona Republic reports some employers say payroll budgets have risen so much since the minimum wage went from $5.15 per hour to $6.75 — they have had to cut jobs and hours.

The owner of one Phoenix pizza restaurant says his payroll has shot up 13 percent and he's had to lay off three teenagers and cut hours for others. Another shop owner said expenses rose by $2,000 a month.

A Federal Reserve study showed that for every ten percent increase in the minimum wage — there is a corresponding two to three percent decrease in employment.

Obama backtracks over statement about military

The Winston-Salem Journal

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said yesterday that he had misspoken when he suggested that the lives of more than 3,000 American military personnel killed in Iraq had been "wasted."

As he arrived in New Hampshire on the third day of his Democratic presidential campaign, Obama said he would "absolutely apologize" to military families if they were offended by a remark that he made Sunday in Iowa during criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

"What I would say - and meant to say - is that their service hasn't been honored," Obama told reporters in Nashua, N.H., "because our civilian strategy has not honored their courage and bravery and we have put them in a situation in which it is hard for them to succeed."

Stokes County's Work First to work under state guidelines

The Winston-Salem Journal

DANBURY - The Stokes County Board of Commissioners voted yesterday to change the designation of the county's Work First Program to operate under the state's standard program.

Work First is what North Carolina calls its welfare program.

The board's decision to operate under the state's Work First Program guidelines forfeits the county's right to set its own eligibility requirements.

After Stokes' welfare program budget was cut by more than 20 percent, the board decided to change the county's designation to standard because state money will cover any overspending.

The county usually spent more than what had been allocated for the next fiscal year, said Jan Spencer, the county's director of social services.

The county's Work First plan will be further discussed at a public hearing during the commissioners' regular meeting Feb. 26.

Final approval of the county's Work First program will be on the commissioners' agenda next month.

Monday, February 12, 2007

RE: Republican calls for email and IM monitoring

Steve fumes: "Just makes you proud to be a Republican, doesn't it, Andy? It is official now: I loathe the Republicans just as much as I do the Democrats, maybe more. The Democrats are just Marxian socialists, the Republicans have decided to become full-blown fascists."

It doesn't make me proud, but I'm not going to throw the party off the cliff by this action by Rep. Lamar Smith (I think that was his name.) I would suggest that one could send an e-mail to his office voicing one's displeasure, or send an e-mail or place a phone call to one's local representative's office (in our case, Rep. Virginia Foxx's office) to voice disapproval of this proposal. Getting mad on here isn't going to help matters... Talk to your representatives... Take part in the process.

Republican calls for email and IM monitoring

A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require ISPs to record all users' surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.

The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a republican congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.

"A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet," said Congressman Smith.

Iain Thomson

Just makes you proud to be a Republican, doesn't it, Andy? It is official now: I loathe the Republicans just as much as I do the Democrats, maybe more. The Democrats are just Marxian socialists, the Republicans have decided to become full-blown fascists.

President of Czech Republic Calls Man-Made Global Warming a 'Myth' - Questions Gore's Sanity

The Drudge Report

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis.

Here's another reason why I like the Czech Republic... :-)

Live with Climate Change

by Patrick J. Michaels
Cato Institute

It's hardly news that human beings have had a hand in the planetary warming that began more than 30 years ago. For nearly a century, scientists have known that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide would eventually result in warming that was most pronounced in winter, especially on winter's coldest days, and a cooling of the stratosphere. All of these have been observed.

However, actually "doing something" about warming is a daunting endeavor. The journal Geophysical Research Letters estimated in 1997 that if every nation on Earth lived up to the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol on global warming, it would prevent no more than 0.126 degrees F of warming every 50 years. Global temperature varies by more than that from year to year, so that's not even enough to measure. Climatically, Kyoto would do nothing.

Remembering the Gipper...

“General Douglas MacArthur, a leader I deeply respected, is said to have written that no man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation and vigorous in its defense. Well, it’s all up to us now. We are the heirs of MacArthur, Pershing, Jefferson, and Washington—and of those Americans who put their lives on the line from Bunker Hill to Belleau Wood, from Normandy to Khe Sanh. We will be vigilant in the preservation of freedom and vigorous in its defense because we will not let down those who came before us or those who will follow.”

Ronald Reagan

U.S. Sends Surge of Homicidal Astronauts to Iraq :-)

Armed With Pepper Spray, Mallets, Tubing

The Borowitz Report

In its latest bid to shore up the security situation in Iraq’s war-torn capital city, the United States today sent a surge of 20,000 love-spurned astronauts to Baghdad.

With President Bush’s plan to send additional troops to Iraq coming under fire by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the decision to send thousands of homicidal space men and women to Baghdad seemed to be the best way to break the logjam, said Gen. David Petraeus.

“If those insurgents think they are winning the fight with us, wait until they see these homicidal astronauts coming over the horizon,” said Gen. Petraeus, who took over responsibility for U.S. forces in Iraq on Saturday. “Hell hath no fury like an astronaut scorned.”

Gen. Petraeus said that the bloodthirsty astronauts would arrive in Baghdad armed with pepper spray, mallets, and rubber tubing, “and they’re not afraid to use them.”

Just hours after the announcement, Iraqi insurgents were reportedly panicking at the thought that 20,000 homicidal astronauts were on their way to Baghdad.

The insurgents were said to be pondering a number of measures to combat the surge, including stocking up on mallets and rubber tubing of their own.

According to one report on the Arabic language Al-Jazeera network, the insurgents were also considering obtaining a restraining order against the astronauts.

For his part, Gen. Petraeus was confident that the homicidal astronauts would outlast the insurgents: “We’ll be wearing diapers, and they won’t.”

Elsewhere, according to a new survey released today, one out of every four American men now claims to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby.

Free speech follies

For there is a tremendous amount of dark humor to be found in the post-Christian era, where it is ironically far easier to argue for the moral and scientific imperative of rape than it is to make the case that rape should still be considered a crime, much less a moral offense. As Daniel C. Dennett writes in "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," the full extent of precisely how dangerous the idea of natural selection is has not been understood, much less accepted, by the vast majority of those familiar with Darwin's theory of evolution.

Vox Day

Another meander from Vox Day. I know, I know, the title says it is about free speech, but call me conventional, I like to see at least a thesis paragraph that ties the two (very thought-provoking) sections together.

First up is the inevitably humorless way in which PC liberals of the female and metrosexual persuasion approach satire. Feminists like to flirt with nihilism, but only as long as societal entropy doesn't engulf their pet concerns. Put another way, it's all very funny until someone makes a joke about rape.

Second is the hypocrisy of Google (once again) in censoring (yes, it is censorship) material that is (potentially) offensive to Muslims while giving the material (potentially) offensive to Christians a pass. No one should be surprised at this. Google's management has a history of kowtowing to leftward political correctness. And I beg to differ with Vox's assertion that "this is not censorship." There is no etymological or conceptual requirement for government involvement in the act of censoring. Google is a provider of information. Any act by any entity to prevent access to information in the interests of a particular agenda is censorship. But don't start dialing your Congressman's office just yet. Google is (for now) still a private corporation and not (yet) a propaganda arm of the government.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

RE: The Limits Of Sunniness

This is a must-read for all conservatives out there...


I don't agree, however, that "compassionate conservatism" is the inevitable result of Reagan's positivist politics. I think Diggins is straining at a gnat when he equates Reagan's Emersonian Unitarianism (and utilitarianism) to a reluctant acceptance of government. He misses Reagan's nearly ubiquitous message of self-sufficiency.

It is true that Reagan, like every other Republican President, beginning with Lincoln, got elected and immediately started doing very un-Republican things. However, the plea to pragmatism that inevitably accompanies that is a far easier pill to swallow from Reagan, given the totality of his record.

Since I must always wonder at the motives of pundits, I can't help but wonder at Will's motive here. Those who remember (and participated in) the political dialog of the 1980s can remember that Will was not particularly a fan of Reagan. He was known to make some snarky comments from time to time about the "Imperial Presidency" and so forth. On balance, I don't find Will's writing to be all that "conservative." It is missing most of the component of libertarianism that makes up what we defined as conservatism in the Twentieth Century. I expect Reagan's tendencies to embrace libertarianism are what Will probably found objectionable. It is ironic that Will would embrace a theory that the antithesis of libertarianism is the ultimate result of Reaganism.

The Limits Of Sunniness

By George Will
Real Clear Politics

In this winter of their discontents, nostalgia for Ronald Reagan has become for many conservatives a substitute for thinking. This mental paralysis -- gratitude decaying into idolatry -- is sterile: Neither the man nor his moment will recur. Conservatives should face the fact that Reaganism cannot define conservatism.

This is a must-read for all conservatives out there...

Group battles against proposed landfill

Fight the Forsyth Stokes Dump wants Stokes officials to reject project

By Blair Goldstein
Winston-Salem Journal

Twice a month for almost two years, Wayne Morton has met with his neighbors to organize against a dump.

His house is about a mile from a proposed 433-acre demolition landfill that would straddle the Stokes-Forsyth county line.

Though the spotlight on the landfill has faded since Forsyth County approved it last year, Morton and about 20 other neighbors continue to meet regularly to brainstorm over ways to keep the landfill out of their backyards. Morton said that a dump would make for more truck traffic and would lower property values in his neighborhood.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

GOP blocks Senate debate on troop buildup

Republicans blocked a full-fledged Senate debate over Iraq on Monday, but Democrats vowed they still would find a way to force President Bush to change course in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. troops.

"We must heed the results of the November elections and the wishes of the American people," said Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid, D-Nev., spoke moments before the vote that sidetracked a nonbinding measure expressing disagreement with Bush's plan to deploy an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.

There are a number of interesting aspects to this article. Only those who actually engage their brains when reading this will likely appreciate the various nuances.

First is the spin that AP puts on the story, characterizing the Republicans as obstructionist and pinning them with motives of blocking debate. In fact, it was the Democrats who chose to block the debate when they refused to consider the competing measure offered by the GOP. The Democrats are willing to debate as long as the terms of the argument guarantee only a favorable outcome for them.

Second is the illustration of the effectiveness of the GOP as an opposition party. It is painfully obvious that the GOP cannot operate as the ruling party, but when placed in a situation of opposition, they have been effective at forestalling the more egregious follies of the Democrats. Yes, the Democrats' resolution is complete folly. It is about as unconstitutional as it comes. This kind of outcome is reminiscent of better days when the Republicans effectively used the rules of the Congress to balance the runaway stupidity of the populist Democrats.

Third is the example of what is wrong with the current culture of democracy and the direction in which the left, both of Republican and Democrat stripe, is taking us. The Democrats are bleating about heeding the will of the voters, but the Senate's constitutional purpose was never to be a direct representative of the people or their will. The evil and degenerate seventeenth amendment has destroyed the careful balance of powers created by the founders in which the Senate was meant to be a carefully deliberative body and to represent the rights and wishes of the individual states. More than likely, if the seventeenth amendment was not in effect, the Senate would never take up the pointless chest-thumping of a "non-binding" resolution on the Iraq war.

In which Andy demonstrates that he is stubbornly determined to continue missing the point

I've decided I'm going to run you to ground on this one, Andy. You're going to give up before I do or you're going to answer the topic.

In this particular case, you did defend her. I didn't mean for that to be an attack on you... I originally said it in passing.

Side issue. If you understood the main point, you wouldn't even have offered it.

I hope our dear readers are getting a chuckle out of this... I had a rebuttal to Hillary's plan to take the oil profits and put them in a strategic reserve. You disagreed with my rebuttal. I've been sticking to the point and I've been following you into the weeds.

No, you cherry-picked part of my argument and you have been pounding on it ever since in an effort to avoid answering the main topic. Hillary's plan is a silly side road that I let you drag me off on. Stick to the main point.

Here's where I believe we can reach common ground on this issue: If Hillary proposes bringing back that tax, I believe she will have that tax in the 90-100% range. With that, we can both say we are right. :-)

Side issue.

Maybe this is why outside the Beltway, Republicans are soured by our choice of candidates next year. There's nobody there to get excited about. I do like Newt Gingrich... Duncan Hunter is another possibility.

Almost there!

You actually addressed the main point, although it was a glancing blow. It almost sounds like you agree with it, which makes me wonder why this thread has gone on for so long. But you still didn't score a direct hit. You are addressing the effect of the situation I was addressing. The Republican mainstream and its attendant punditry are stuck on stupid (to borrow a phrase). They are still using the same old tactics to fight a candidate who has a machine that will chew them up and spit them out. The end result will be that Hillary will walk into the Oval Office with ease because conservatives and libertarians will vote with their butts. In the dust-up that follows, the GOP True Believers will blame the libertarians and the conservatives instead of examining themselves. That behavior is what will doom the GOP to irrelevance, if not outright extinction.

In which Steve provides Andy with one hell of a headache, all in one post :-)

Steve opines: "That is one of the most illogical things I've ever seen written. Let's see if I have this correct. Because I offered the caveat that I was not defending Hillary, it means, automagically, that I am defending her. Right. Sure thing."

In this particular case, you did defend her. I didn't mean for that to be an attack on you... I originally said it in passing.

"But even that is not as ridiculous as the fact that you are still off in the weeds, cherry-picking my posts and ignoring the central issue. Could it be because you have no rebuttal and choose to quibble over side issues? Stick to the point, Andy, and whether or not I was defending Hillary isn't it."

I hope our dear readers are getting a chuckle out of this... I had a rebuttal to Hillary's plan to take the oil profits and put them in a strategic reserve. You disagreed with my rebuttal. I've been sticking to the point and I've been following you into the weeds.

"I have no idea why you would ask me that since I never implied that he did. There was a windfall profits tax on oil in place for years. I can't honestly tell you when it expired. Hillary used the term "windfall profits" in her speech. I assumed she meant that tax. I would assume from her words that her intent would be to bring that tax back. It was very popular among Democrats since it played to their class warfare tactics very nicely. In any case, it is still a cherry-picked side issue."

Here's where I believe we can reach common ground on this issue: If Hillary proposes bringing back that tax, I believe she will have that tax in the 90-100% range. With that, we can both say we are right. :-)

"I'm sorry. Maybe you should just search the BP since we discussed it here."

I still can't find it.

"Re-pub-lican. It's a term of endearment for party-line GOP droids."

Is that some Free Republic lingo??? Just call them Kool-Aid drinkers... Everybody knows what that term means.

"It is part of the evidence that the Republicans are clueless as to how to go about defeating her since they are still offering nothing but Bush clones as the "mainstream" (a.k.a. "electable") GOP candidates. They spend all their time screeching about socialists and pointing fingers when their emperor is just as naked. I'm not sure how many times I have to repeat that, but I will keep plugging along until you get it."

Maybe this is why outside the Beltway, Republicans are soured by our choice of candidates next year. There's nobody there to get excited about. I do like Newt Gingrich... Duncan Hunter is another possibility.