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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.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Heartbroken Bush Runs After Departing Rove's Car :-)

The Onion

WASHINGTON, DC —
A confused President Bush broke free from the restraint of Secret Service agents and ran in pursuit of departing deputy chief of staff Karl Rove's car for several blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue before being outdistanced by the vehicle.

Sen. John Warner Will Not Seek Re-election in '08

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Fox News) — Sen. John Warner, R-Va., announced Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2008, concluding a long military and political career that has hoisted him to one of the pre-eminent voices on U.S. foreign policy.

Well-placed GOP sources: Craig likely to quit soon

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several well-placed GOP sources in Washington and Idaho have told CNN that embattled Republican Sen. Larry Craig is likely to resign soon, possibly as early as Friday.

Stokes officials hope to create mental-health coordinator job

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Stokes County officials are working to create a local go-between position for providers of mental-health services and residents who have developmental disabilities, substance-abuse problems and mental illness.

Mental-health advocates in the county urged commissioners in July to consider a mental-health coordinator position as a solution to what they called a failing mental-health system in North Carolina.

As a result, County Manager Bryan Steen is planning the position with the county’s social-services department.

They are meeting with area hospitals and emergency responders, and working with the state to determine a salary and classification for the job, Steen said.

Senior Revolt

(Fox News) - The senior citizens of Putnam County, New York are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. Government leaders have taken away something the seniors had taken for granted. Now the seniors are rebelling — signing petitions and making protest signs — and turning out 20 strong for a meeting of the county legislature's health committee.

They're not happy with the County Office of Aging — and here's why. It has removed the free day-old donuts and other baked goods from its senior centers, citing concerns the county could be sued if someone became ill from eating food that was not fresh.

Charles in Charge

(Fox News) - A few weeks ago we told you how Democratic House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel had pushed through a $2 million earmark for a building at New York's City College to be named after — himself.

Now Rangel's attorney has asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to use more than $64,000 in campaign funds to commission a portrait of Rangel — to hang in the Ways and Means Committee grand hearing room. The letter says the price tag is consistent with other top portrait artists and includes what it calls "a three-quarter body length size, important details, and a custom frame."

At the Movies

(Fox News) - Another case of environmentalists fighting among themselves. It concerns the new global warming movie — "The 11th Hour" — produced and co-written by actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio.

The film contends that cutting fewer trees and using less wood would be beneficial to the environment. But Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore writes on Canada.com the opposite is true — that using more wood, and growing more trees — is a better plan. Moore says trees absorb carbon dioxide — convert it to wood — and that wood retains the CO2 when it is cut down. He says trees release the carbon dioxide only when they rot or burn.

Moore says increased use of wood could lead to less use of concrete, steel, and plastic — which produce large amounts of CO2 during manufacturing.

How Many Scientists Say That Mankind Is Affecting Global Warming?

(Fox News) - Earlier this year the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was "90 percent likely" that man was having an impact on global temperatures. And dailytech.com reports an analysis of scientific papers in 2004 concluded that a majority of researchers supported what it called the "consensus view" that humans were effecting climate change.

But now a study of all research papers between 2004 and 2007 indicates only seven percent give an explicit endorsement of that so-called consensus. Forty-five percent give an implicit endorsement. But 48 percent of the papers are classified as neutral — neither accepting nor rejecting the hypothesis. And only one of the 528 papers reviewed makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some Transport Issues To Study

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

RALEIGH –
It seems there will be no special legislative session on transportation. Gov. Mike Easley, House Speaker Joe Hackney, and Senate leader Marc Basnight met Tuesday and reportedly discussed the alternative of convening a special study commission to examine North Carolina’s transportation system.

Mark me down as strongly in favor of the study option. I lack a financial stake in any Raleigh-area restaurants but retain a significant personal stake in free-flowing traffic around the capitol. Plus, I fear that legislators have a political stake in free-flowing tax money. So I saw nothing but bad news when the prospect of a special session arose. Its main purpose would have been to rush through a new package of tax increases and bonded debts.

Two Edwardses: Once a great hope, now unliked in party

By Bob Novak
Chicago Sun-Times


The dynamic performance by John Edwards at last Sunday's Democratic presidential debate, assailing his competitors for the nomination, got high marks from political reporters, Republican politicians and left-wing activists. But not from the Democratic establishment. Once their great hope for the future, Edwards now is massively unpopular among party regulars who neither like nor trust him.

In politics, common sense isn't common at all

By Barry Smith
Burlington Times

RALEIGH —
Our efforts at producing a non-partisan judiciary don’t seem to be bearing any fruit, at least regarding the most partisan of political issues: redistricting.

Orr Having Trouble Getting Message Out

By Scott Mooneyham
The Pilot

Raleigh

Bob Orr says he's saving $12,000 a month.

The Republican gubernatorial hopeful and former North Carolina Supreme Court justice has yet to hire a campaign manager, something his better-heeled primary opponents -- state Sen. Fred Smith and Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham -- did long ago.

I might support Bob Orr in the GOP primary next year... I haven't made up my mind as of yet.

NBC Launches ‘To Catch a Senator’ :-)

Chris Hansen to Stake Out Airport Bathrooms

The Borowitz Report


“Dateline,” the NBC newsmagazine which has scored big ratings for its “To Catch a Predator” investigations, announced today that it would introduce a new investigative series this fall, entitled “To Catch a Senator.”

At a press conference in New York, NBC News president Steve Capus said that “To Catch a Senator” would focus the “Dateline” investigation team’s energies on “the number one menace in America today: pervy Republican senators.”

While he indicated that plans for the program are still being developed, Mr. Capus said that “To Catch a Senator” would use an airport bathroom as the nerve center for its sting operation.

Specifically, he said that the program would deploy “Predator” host Chris Hansen as a decoy to lure depraved senators into lewd contact.

“Chris will be waiting in one of the bathroom stalls, and when the senator taps on the wall, Chris will kind of pop out of the stall and start grilling him,” Mr. Capus said. “We’ll nail that bastard faster than he can say ‘I’m not gay.’”

But even as NBC trumpeted its latest “Dateline” spin-off, industry insiders wondered whether there would be an adequate supply of sex-crazed senators to keep the program going for more than a few episodes.

For his part, Mr. Capus brushed off such concerns, telling reporters, “As long as there are Republican senators out there who oppose gay marriage, there will always be plenty of pervs.”

Elsewhere, President Bush praised Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf for agreeing to stand for election, saying, “If free and fair elections work in Pakistan, we may eventually try them here.”

Hillary Clinton Campaign Donates Fugitive Contributor's Money to Charity

(Fox News) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign announced late Wednesday that it will give all money donated by a leading contributor to charity after it was revealed that the donor, Norman Hsu, was a fugitive from the law.

Payments Stopped

(Fox News) - Twenty-two year old former Army soldier Lisa Kohlhagen has a bad knee from a training accident but other than that she's healthy. Yet when Kohlhagen contacted the Veteran's Administration to find out why her disability checks had stopped coming, they had an alarming explanation. She tells an Atlanta TV station, "They said, 'You're dead,' and I said, 'No, I'm not dead.' And they kept trying to tell me I was dead but I'm not."

Kohlhagen says that after a few days the V.A. finally realized she was in fact alive. But her $115-a-month disability checks still have not resumed.

Money Crunch

(Fox News) - The liberal political action committee America Coming Together has been fined $775,000 for donating unregulated cash to Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The group's major donors include billionaire George Soros. Its leaders agreed to the fine without admitting any wrongdoing.

America Coming Together raised $137 million for voter registration efforts in 17 states. But the Federal Election Commission says most of that money came from donations that violated federal limits or broke other rules. The organization has been dormant since shortly after the 2004 elections and is in the process of shutting down.

Opposing Clean Energy?

(Fox News) - The environmental group Greenpeace has launched a 30-second television ad criticizing Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy and Congressman Eilliam Delahunt — both Democrats — for their opposition to a proposed wind power farm on Nantucket Sound.

The ad says the two lawmakers are putting the selfish interests of wealthy homeowners on the sound ahead of the environment and the 80 percent of Massachusetts residents it says support the project.

Kennedy's family compound in Hyannisport is 6 miles from the proposed site. A Kennedy spokeswoman says the senator opposes the 25-square-mile wind farm for economic and environmental reasons. Delahunt's spokesman calls the ad divisive, saying environmentalists who support the project are trying to impose their will on the community.

John Edwards Is Keeping His SUV

(Fox News) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he wants people to give up their sport utility vehicles. Edwards told a labor group Tuesday that Americans should drive more fuel-efficient vehicles and called the U.S. "the worst polluter on the planet."

Edwards' campaign concedes he does own a hybrid Ford Escape SUV, along with a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica midsize SUV, but says he uses that less often now.

Edwards was also asked about the apparent contradiction of asking Americans to sacrifice while he lives in a 28,000 square foot mansion in North Carolina. He replied that he came from nothing and worked hard all his life — saying, "I have no apologies whatsoever for what I've done with my life."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You Can Do It, Governor

By John Hood
Carolina Journal


Veto the bill, Gov. Easley. Fayetteville, the tire industry, and the North Carolina economy will survive.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Reasons Alberto Gonzales Resigned”: Felt he wasn’t incompetent enough for the Bush administration; Secretly ordered himself to fire himself; Was offered the John Travolta role in the touring production of “Hairspray”; Trying his hand at failing miserably in the private sector; Didn’t want to be around for transition to the Kucinich administration; Got a sweet new job at Kinko’s.

Jay Leno: Pretty busy day in Washington today. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove went to U-Haul together to help each other move. ... Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, a married, conservative Republican, was arrested by a plainclothes police officer for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. Today the senator’s office said it was all a big misunderstanding. The undercover police officer said the senator tried to reach under the stall to touch him, but the senator said, no, he wasn’t trying to touch him, he was only trying to pick up a piece of paper off the floor. Who picks up paper off the floor in the men’s room? I don’t even like when my shoe laces touch the floor in the men’s room. ... You know who I feel sorry for in this whole thing? The undercover cop. How’d you like to have that job? Sit in an airport bathroom all day, your pants around your ankles with a coffee and a donut waiting for guys to hit on you. ... At a political forum here in Hollywood last week, Hillary Clinton said that she does not support gay marriage. In fact, she said she’s not too crazy about straight marriage anymore, either. ... Fred Thompson said he’s still testing the waters in his bid for the presidency. He’s been testing the waters for what, like six months now? In fact, those aren’t wrinkles on his face—he’s starting to prune up from being in the water for so long.

Richard Jewell found dead in home

Olympic security guard suspected but cleared in bombing

(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) -
Richard Jewell, the Centennial Olympic Park security guard once suspected — but later cleared — in the bombing of the park during the 1996 Summer Games, was found dead Wednesday in his home in Meriwether County. He was 44.

County coroner Johnny Worley said Jewell's wife discovered him dead in their Woodbury home at about 10:30 a.m., and he was pronounced dead by Worley about 45 minutes later.

Easley, legislative leaders discuss possible transportation committee

House Republican leaders call for bond package on ballot

RALEIGH (AP) -
Gov. Mike Easley met with House and Senate leaders yesterday to discuss how to handle the state’s long-term transportation needs, first by likely creating a commission to get a handle on the size of a budget shortfall.

Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney talked with Easley at the Executive Mansion for more than an hour without concluding how the panel may look, according to people who work for the three Democratic leaders.

Easley has been skeptical about the $65 billion figure that state transportation officials have estimated as the difference between the transportation expenses over the next 20 years and the money budgeted to pay for them.

Decker Discusses His Fall

RALEIGH (Carolina Journal) — Rep. Michael Decker knew he was doing wrong, but he did it anyway because “it got easy to lie,” he said in an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal.

Decker, who must report to federal prison in September to serve a four-year term, pleaded guilty in August 2006 in federal court to crimes associated with efforts to elect Jim Black to another term as speaker of the House in 2003. Decker’s plea involved conspiracy to commit extortion, honest services mail fraud, and money laundering.

Father of 78 aims for 100 children

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) -- A one-legged Emirati father of 78 is lining up his next two wives in a bid to reach his target of 100 children by 2015, Emirates Today reported on Monday.

Daad Mohammed Murad Abdul Rahman, 60, has already had 15 brides although he has to divorce them as he goes along to remain within the legal limit of four wives at a time.

Report: Hillary Clinton Big Money Donor Wanted for Grand Theft

(Fox News) - A Democratic fundraiser who has raised $1 million for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says he has done nothing wrong and has asked no favors in return, but Norman Hsu didn't mention that he's a wanted man.

A California prosecutor says Hsu pleaded no contest to grand theft, was sentenced to three years in prison and then disappeared, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

John Edwards: Americans Should 'Sacrifice' SUVs for Environment

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Fox News) — Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group that he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles.

"I think Americans are actually willing to sacrifice," Edwards said Tuesday during a forum held by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. "One of the things they should be asked to do is drive more fuel efficient vehicles."

The former North Carolina senator was asked specifically if he would tell them to give up their SUVs, he said, "Yes."

On the Fence

(Fox News) - A Torrance, California man is looking at six months in jail — for fixing his fence. The Daily Breeze newspaper reports Francisco Linares originally asked the city to repair the fence behind his house.

He was told it was on his property and was his responsibility. But after he made the repairs, the city said the fence was on city land — and he had to either tear it down or obtain the proper permits.

Linares says he could not navigate the red tape and missed his deadline. So the judge threw the book at him, imposing the mandatory sentence with no chance of house arrest or probation. He is due to report to jail September 10.

Comic Relief

(Fox News) - The Washington Post and several other newspapers chose not to run Sunday's installment of the comic strip "Opus" in order to avoid offending Muslims.

The comic featured a female character who wants to become an Islamic radical because it's a "hot new fad on the planet." It ends with a bit of sexual innuendo. The Post — which is the syndicator for the strip — warned subscribers ahead of time.

But a week earlier, no warning was given about a strip that poked fun at the late Reverend Jerry Falwell — and no papers refused to run it.

The founder and editor of the Web site "The American Muslim" says she thought Sunday's comic was funny — called the whole thing a "non-incident" — and says now Muslims will be blamed for having the installment pulled.

Advocacy Ads

(Fox News) - The cable networks MSNBC and CNBC are refusing to air advertisements calling for continued support of the Iraq war. The ads feature Iraqi war veterans and their families. Powerline reports the networks say they have a policy against running sponsored ads dealing with controversial public issues.

But the president of the group that produced the ads says the networks have aired similar items in the past dealing with issues such as the Darfur genocide and health care for the uninsured. No response yet from those networks.

The ads are being aired by CNN and FOX News.

Anti-War Constituents Give Rep. Brian Baird an Earful

(Fox News) - Democratic Congressman Brian Baird got an earful Monday from constituents in his politically-mixed district during a town hall meeting in Vancouver, Washington. Baird voted against the Iraq war resolution and has supported timelines for troop withdrawal.

But he reversed himself after a recent trip to the war zone — and says he thinks most Americans agree with his new position. One activist called his switch a betrayal — and said "there is only one way to end an illegal and immoral war, and that's to end it."

Baird is taking the heat in stride — saying — "Somebody said to me, 'Oh man, you're going to get killed tonight. I said, 'No, they get killed in Iraq. I'm going to get criticized.'"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Big Source of Clinton's Cash Is an Unlikely Address

Family's Donations Closely Track Those Of Top Fund-Raiser

By BRODY MULLINS
Wall Street Journal

DALY CITY, Calif. --
One of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton is a tiny, lime-green bungalow that lies under the flight path from San Francisco International Airport.

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

It appears the Clintons are up to their fundraising shenanigans again...

Gonzales to Spend More Time Eavesdropping on His Family :-)

‘Domestic Surveillance Begins at Home,’ Former A.G. Says

The Borowitz Report


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned today, effective immediately, telling reporters that he wanted to spend more time eavesdropping on his family.

Mr. Gonzales, a champion of domestic surveillance and warrantless wiretaps while in office, said he was “totally stoked” about turning his prying eyes on his own family.

“Domestic surveillance begins at home,” Mr. Gonzales said at a White House press conference. “That means nobody in my family is above suspicion, not even the little ones,” an apparent reference to Mr. Gonzales’ children.

Standing by Mr. Gonzales’ side, President George W. Bush praised his former Attorney General, singling out his “courage” for ramping up his domestic spying program on his own family.

“If every head of every household was as willing to eavesdrop on his own family as my man Alberto is, we wouldn’t need a Homeland Security Department,” Mr. Bush chuckled.

Mr. Gonzales was noncommittal when a reporter asked him a question about the role that waterboarding and other forms of torture might play in his interrogation of family members.

“Nothing is off the table,” he said.

Asked about his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Gonzales was candid about his stormy time in office: “Frankly, I can’t believe it took this long for them to shitcan me.”

'Ditzy Chick' did beauty pageants to improve communication

Miss South Carolina Teen USA claims she lost train of thought in TV meltdown

By Joe Kovacs
WorldNetDaily.com


The 18-year-old beauty contestant who mesmerized the nation with her verbal "brilliance" at the Miss Teen USA pageant over the weekend originally entered the realm of beauty pageants to improve her personal communication skills, WND can reveal.

Stokes approves water-rate increase

Small businesses and residents to be affected

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) -
Stokes County commissioners unanimously approved last night an increase in the water rate for Danbury residents and small businesses.

Residents and small businesses will pay $20 each month for up to 3,000 gallons of water and an additional $5.75 for every 1,000 gallons after that. The rate increase is effective Sept. 1.

Last year, they paid $13.50 for up to 3,000 gallons.

After the town spent about $20,000 of its savings because costs ran over budget, town officials requested an increase for residents and small businesses.

State-mandated spending, employee certifications, chemicals, repairs, salaries and service contracts put the town over its budget, Mayor Jane Priddy-Charleville said.

Prosecutors want shorter sentence for Decker

RALEIGH (AP) - Federal prosecutors want a judge to cut in half the four-year sentence of former state Rep. Michael Decker, saying he provided vital information to expose the public corruption that led to prison time for former House Speaker Jim Black.

Decker, a Forsyth County Republican, pleaded guilty in August 2006 to soliciting and accepting $50,000 in cash and campaign contributions to switch political parties in early 2003, a move that helped Black remain co-speaker.

In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court, prosecutors asked that Decker's time be reduced two years because of his cooperation in the investigation. They said Decker was prepared to testify for the government in Black's federal and state sentencing hearings in July that netted Black a five-year prison sentence and a $1 million fine.

Communist deniers

Over the course of the last week, I have been engaging in a debate of the theory of evolution by natural selection with a biology teacher and evolutionary enthusiast named Scott Hatfield. It has been an interesting and civil debate and you can read two of my primary posts here and here, while two of Mr. Hatfield's more recent ones are here and here.

But one disturbing tangent that has come out of these debates is the shocking tendency of some evolutionists to attempt to disavow the significant historical impact that Darwin's dangerous idea had on some of history's most dangerous men. While the National Socialist enthusiasm for evolution-inspired eugenics is too well known to be credibly disputed, the direct link between Darwin and communism is less well understood. Devious evolutionists have been quick to exploit this general ignorance in an attempt to distance Darwin and his theory of evolution from the crimes of the communist killers of the previous century.

In doing so, they are following the dishonest lead of some of the more shameless atheists, such as Sam Harris, whose lies on behalf of his atheism stand in more blatant contrast to the historical record than those of any Holocaust denier. Like Lady MacBeth, these atheists and evolutionists frantically attempt to scrub and scrub away at the historical record, desperate to wash the blood of tens of millions off the hands of their stained ideologies. But it will not work, not so long as man remains literate.


Vox Day

On a tangential note, I happened to catch part of that pinhead, Bill Maher's show the other night. He was belaboring Mike Huckabee on whether or not he "believes in" evolution. I'm sure Vox would have a field day with that one. I thought Huckabee, who I wouldn't vote for on a bet, gave a good answer, though. Maher didn't get it, of course, and his guest, Tim Robbins, yet another smug double-digit IQ type, was repeatedly shown with an apparently knowing smirk on his face several times. Robbins was probably thinking, "Gosh! I hope they don't ask me any questions."

I'm not sure who told Robbins or Maher that they were even remotely relevant, but whoever it was needs to be tried, found guilty, and summarily executed.

Teen trades hacked iPhone for new car

SAN FRANCISCO (Yahoo News) - The teenage hacker who managed to unlock the iPhone so that it can be used with cellular networks other than AT&T will be trading his reworked gadget for a new car.

George Hotz, of Glen Rock, N.J., said he had reached the deal with CertiCell, a Louisville, Ky.-based mobile phone repair company.

Hotz posted on his blog that he traded his modified iPhone for "a sweet Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones."

End Justifies the Means?

(Fox News) - An environmental group in Honolulu wants to hold a summit and concert next year and is asking the city to uproot and relocate 15 large trees so people can get a better view of the stage.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports this has upset members of another environmental group, which has launched a fight against the plan. That group says moving the trees would likely kill them and result in a huge hot, shade-less area in the park.

A city spokesman points out that Honolulu is called "Tree City USA" and that any suggestion the city would cut down the trees is "absurd and irresponsible."

Liberals 9, Conservatives 8

(Fox News) - Last week we told you about a poll by the Associated Press and Ipsos Research Company that indicated liberals read slightly more books than conservatives each year. Association of American Publishers President Pat Schroeder — a former liberal congresswoman — said that what she called "The Karl Roves of the world" had built a generation of conservatives who wanted only simple slogans such as "no new taxes."

Columnist Debra Saunders of creators.com says Ipsos told her the one book difference between liberals and conservatives is within the poll's margin of error and not statistically significant. The company also said that since the poll did not ask respondents if they read newspapers or magazines, it does not say anything about their general level of information.

Help or Hindrance?

(Fox News) - A UCLA law professor, whose previous research indicated that Affirmative Action has resulted in fewer African-Americans becoming lawyers, is encountering significant resistance in doing follow-up research.

The Wall Street Journal's Web site says the California state bar has caved in to outside pressure and denied Professor Richard Sander's request for data. This is in spite of Sander's support from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Three years ago Sander found that Affirmative Action admission policies have resulted in less-qualified blacks being accepted at top law schools and that had resulted in higher rates of failure for them both in school and when taking the bar exam.

Strange Bedfellows

(Fox News) - Some lawyers in the Justice Department are upset with the department's decision to co-sponsor next weekend's convention of the Islamic Society of North America. That group is listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the government's case against the Holy Land Foundation — which is accused of giving financial support to Hamas.

The Washington Times reports the convention features a session on what's called "The Threat and Reality of U.S. Sponsored Torture." The Department will not say how much it is spending to be a sponsor and have an information booth at the event.

One lawyer says, "This is just staggering. It's outrageous. Lawyers from the civil rights division traveling to Chicago on the federal dime. This will cost thousands of dollars."

The Justice Department says the agency's participation is an outreach to educate Muslims about their civil rights.

GOP Sen. Larry Craig Quits Romney Campaign After Revelation of Arrest in Sex Sting

MINNEAPOLIS (Fox News) — Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, quit Mitt Romney's presidential campaign Monday night after a Capitol Hill newspaper revealed that the Republican pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from a June arrest during a sex sting at a Minneapolis airport men's restroom.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Would-be governors vying for endorsements

By Paul O'Connor
Winston-Salem Journal

RALEIGH —
Inside the Raleigh Beltline, there are people who have been thinking about the 2008 governor’s race since some time in 1997.

It’s not that 1997 was the year they decided they wanted to run for governor. They decided that when they were in high school.

In 1997, they charted the likely candidates for 2000 and 2004, calculated whether they had a chance of winning in that field, and decided that they didn’t. But they found other races they could win, and did.

Since at least 1997, therefore, these candidates have been running for governor, which means staking out positions, making friends and shaking hands. In the next few weeks, we’ll begin to see the first fruits of their long labor. Endorsement season is about to begin.

The leadership of the N.C. Association of Educators was scheduled to meet this weekend to interview candidates for governor. Of the five candidates who are recognizable, four announced plans to attend.

Remembering the Gipper...



“How ironic that even as America returns to its spiritual roots, our courts lag behind. They talk of our constitutional guarantee of religious liberty as if it meant freedom from religion, freedom from—actually a prohibition on—all values rooted in religion. Well, yes, the Constitution does say that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.’ But then it adds: ‘or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ The First Amendment protects the rights of Americans to freely exercise their religious beliefs in an atmosphere of toleration and accommodation...[C]ertain court decisions have, in my view, wrongly interpreted the First Amendment so as to restrict, rather than protect, individual rights of conscience. What greater legacy could we leave our children than a new birth of religious freedom in this one nation under God?”


Ronald Reagan

New roads, old worries

The Greensboro News & Record

Any plan to address the state’s highway needs must reexamine priorities, include providing more money for maintenance.

Pender districts voided

(News & Observer) - The N.C. Supreme Court ordered lawmakers Friday to revise a nearly four-year-old election map for state House districts after ruling that Pender County was improperly carved up among two House districts.

In a 4-2 decision, the court said that lawmakers violated a provision in the state constitution intended to keep counties from being broken up among multiple legislative districts. The provision is meant to ensure that counties have more of a voice in the state legislature.

Decker Job Process Questionable

State law apparently violated in creation of job for Michael Decker

RALEIGH (Carolina Journal) —
Gov. Mike Easley, Cultural Resources Secretary Libba Evans, or their designees apparently violated state law in 2005 when they honored former House Speaker Jim Black’s request to provide a job for former Rep. Michael Decker.

Officials say Gonzales has resigned

(Yahoo News) - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, ending a monthslong standoff with critics over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, officials said Monday.

The likely temporary replacement for Gonzales is Solicitor General Paul Clement, who would take over until a permanent replacement is found, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Justice Department planned a news conference for 10:30 a.m. EDT,in Washington. President Bush was expected to discuss Gonzales' departure — first reported on The New York Times' Web site — at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, before leaving on a trip to western states.

Gonzales served more than two years as the nation's first Hispanic attorney general. Lawmakers had voiced doubts about his truthfulness in combative and often evasive testimony to Congress.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

'TERROR' ATTACK ON HILL

By CHARLES HURT
New York Post

WASHINGTON -
Rival Democratic candidates and liberal bloggers tore into Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday for saying a terrorist attack in the United States before next year's presidential elections would help Republicans and that she's the best prepared to handle it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The next president of the United States??? :-)

(Patriot Post) - In May, Utah’s Ogden School District named James A. Madison Elementary School in honor of our fourth president and the author of the U.S. Constitution. Wonderful, right? Well, not exactly. As a history teacher at the school pointed out recently, James Madison did not have a middle name. To quote the great political historian Homer Simpson, “D’oh!” School-board member John Gullo, whose American Dream Foundation has donated a painting of James Madison to the school, said, “I’m blindsided. I hate being embarrassed.” As luck would have it, the superintendent of the district, Noel Zabriskie, was able to notify the company making the school’s sign in time to have the error corrected. Never fear, our childrens is learning! Alas, they is learning from adults who need a remedial course in history.

Independent Investigation?

(Fox News) - An award-winning forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police has been fired for running a DNA test on her husband's underwear in order to find out if he had been having an affair. The test said he was — he said he wasn't — and the whole story came out in divorce proceedings.

But Ann Chamberlain's bosses were not amused and they have dismissed her.

Chamberlain said she ran the test on her own time and used chemicals that were set to be thrown away. But her ex-husband's lawyer calls Chamberlain "a dangerous woman" and wants her criminally prosecuted.

Gas Stations

(Fox News) - Researchers in Norway are raising alarms about the newest threat to the environment: moose belches and flatulence.

There are about 140,000 moose in Norway and scientists say every one of them gives off an amount of methane gas equal to more than 4,600 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. That is more than twice the amount of CO2 emitted on a round-trip airplane flight from Oslo to Santiago, Chile. And, because methane is stronger than carbon dioxide, it is considered even more harmful to the environment.

Good Reviews

(Fox News) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is getting a slap on the back from the government of Cuba. The Communist country's foreign minister is welcoming Obama's recent comments that he favors easing restrictions on travel and financial exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba.

Felipe Perez Roque says Obama's statements "appear to express the sentiment of the majority of the United States."

Roque called Bush administration policy toward Cuba barbaric and an effort to "force our people to surrender through hunger and illness."

Anti-War Left Ready to Protest DNC

(Fox News) - An illustration of the intense pressure Democrats are under from the anti-war liberal left can be found in news about plans already underway for major protests at the party's presidential nominating convention in Denver next summer.

The group is called Re-create 68 — a reference to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago that saw the party torn apart by anti-war protests.

Re-create 68's Web site says, "We intend to recreate that revolutionary feeling and pick up where our predecessors left off." It says it is "for all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party." And it urges supporters to come to Denver and "resist a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Debates that say something

The former speaker has a plan to get past the talking points.

By Newt Gingrich
Los Angeles Times


A challenge arrived at the office of every presidential candidate about two weeks ago. It was a letter, signed by journalist Marvin Kalb and me, challenging each one, Republican and Democrat, to sign on for "Nine Nineties in Nine." That is, if nominated, they would pledge to take part in nine 90-minute debates in the nine weeks leading up to election day.

How is this different? We are asking the candidates to throw out the rule book that has stifled political debate. Each party's nominee would be expected to present and defend solutions in a one-on-one dialogue with his or her opponent. The moderator would only keep time and introduce topics.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has informally agreed to "Nine Nineties in Nine," but so far, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is the only candidate to officially accept the challenge.

Spend Too Much, Teach Too Little

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

Despite America’s overall devotion to free enterprise and individual choice, we have one of the most privileged government education monopolies in the developed world.

Algore sings "Ball of Fire"... :-)

I wonder what Johnny Cash would think about this??? :-)

Foxx Wins Health Research Earmark

5th District representative gets $3 million for Wake Forest medical team

RALEIGH (Carolina Journal Online) —
The U.S. House has approved $3 million in funding for the Wake Forest University Health Sciences alternatives to transplantation program, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th, announced.

The funding was included in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

The Rolling Stones avoid smoking fine

Band avoid new law despite two members light up on stage

(NME News) -
The Rolling Stones avoided a smoking fine last night (August 21) when they played London's O2 Arena - even though two of them lit up during the gig.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Good Things About Marrying Into The Bush Family”: Great deals on Fallujah honeymoon; You’ll inherit President Bush’s extensive collection of Chuck Norris memorabilia; Might see Cheney shoot an old guy; Learning from Grandma Barbara how to spit chaw; Every Wednesday is Taco Night; If half the family hates you, you still have better approval rating than George Bush; W. can lend you the “Mission Accomplished” banner to put up in the bedroom.

John Stossel: “The fall of the Soviet Union deprived us of the biggest example of how socialism works. We need laboratories of failure to demonstrate what socialism is like. All we have now is Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, the U.S. Post Office, and state motor-vehicle departments.”

Stokes to ask school employees for opinions on superintendent

Survey - to be used in search - to ask what they want in leader

(Winston-Salem Journal) -
The Stokes County Board of Education wants to hear from school employees in recruiting the school system’s next superintendent.

School-board officials said yesterday that they plan to post a survey for employees on the school system’s Web site after a work session Sept. 10.

Rooms Available

(Fox News) - We hear about jail overcrowding in many places. But in Norway it's the other way around: Too many empty beds in prison. That's because 20 percent of convicted criminals simply fail to show up to serve their sentences.

The news service Aftenposten reports almost 1,800 convicts were no-shows last year. One of the problems: It is not illegal in Norway to skip your prison time. Norway's parliament has passed a new law making it a criminal offense to blow off a sentence, but so far it has not been implemented.

Rewrite Ordered

(Fox News) - The BBC's plans for a storyline about Islamic suicide bombers in one of its popular dramatic shows have been overruled by the corporation's leaders, over fears of offending Muslims. British media report the episodes of the long-running medical series "Casualty" will substitute animal rights activists as the villains.

The Guardian newspaper reports the BBC's Editorial and Ethical Standards Department said the original storyline would have perpetuated stereotypes of young Muslims in Britain.

Man-Made Global Warming Links Challenged

(Fox News) - Many media outlets — such as the recent Newsweek magazine cover story — portray man-made global warming as fact and those who deny it as conspirators. But skeptics are increasingly certain that the scare is vastly overblown.

A new study by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz contends that the Earth's climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the United Nations' recent climate study claims. Schwarz's work will be published in The Journal of Geophysical Eesearch.

The study is just one of several peer-reviewed scientific studies challenging global warming alarmism:

The Belgian Weather Institute concludes that carbon dioxide does not have a decisive role in global warming.

A study by two Chinese scientists says CO2's role in warming is "vastly exaggerated."

And new research by University of Washington mathematicians shows a correlation between high solar activity and periods of warming.

Meanwhile, what is billed as the first comprehensive analysis of global biofuel impact has concluded that their use may release between two and nine times more carbon gases than fossil fuels.

The study published in the journal Science says the clearing of forest land to grow biofuel crops will produce immediate carbon gas releases and also destroy habitats, wildlife and jobs. It says that while biofuels look good from a Western perspective, they will be harmful on a global scale. The study contends it will take about 40 percent of American and European agricultural land to grow enough biofuel crops to replace only 10 percent of fossil fuel use.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In a Yugo... :-)

From the Rush Limbaugh archives... :-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Facts unimportant if you want to smear Limbaugh

Even pollsters using misleading questions tying Limbaugh to slurs

By Jon Ham
Carolina Journal

RALEIGH —
Where the media are concerned, it’s long been understood that you don’t need to let the facts deter you from taking a swipe at radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. What he says doesn’t matter to the media. It’s what they think he said that’s important.

Lunar Camper: NASA researchers testing a habitat to put on the moon

HAMPTON, Va. (Winston-Salem Journal) - If the Michelin Man had a storage unit, it might look like something that has landed at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

Engineers are testing an inflatable, expandable planetary-surface habitat. The early model is a 20-foot-high, 12-foot-wide capsule on legs. It is covered in white nylon webbing. Later models could be used someday as living quarters, storage units and air locks for astronauts stationed on the moon.

A lesson never learned

In 1920, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises offered a proof of the impossibility of socialist calculation. This proof was based upon the idea that without information produced by market operations, central planners would not be able to establish prices at an equilibrium point that would adequately balance supply and demand. Friedrich von Hayek made a modified version of this argument in 1935, arguing that although socialist calculation was not theoretically impossible, it was impossible in practical terms.

Socialists rejected this argument by claiming it had been invalidated in advance by the Barone-Pareto equivalence thesis and subsequently by Oskar Lange in 1938. However, these arguments depended upon a static general equilibrium, not the dynamic equilibrium that is a more realistic approximation of the operation of a real-world economy. Needless to say, the performance of the socialist economies of the last seven decades, particularly their central planners' persistent inabilities to correctly anticipate the price-demand intersections, has offered copious evidence to support the Austrian position even though academics had declared the debate an intellectual victory for socialism.


Vox Day

Reagan Adviser Michael Deaver Dies

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Michael K. Deaver, a close adviser to Ronald Reagan who directed the president's picturesque and symbolic public appearances, died Saturday. He was 69.

Deaver, who had pancreatic cancer, died at his home in Bethesda, Md., according to a statement from the Deaver family that was issued by Edelman, the public relations firm he served as vice chairman.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Moving Tip #48



Yep.

Not Starting With a Bang

(Fox News) - Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is refusing to fire a starter's pistol to begin a charity road race Saturday, saying it sends the wrong message in a city that set a modern record for murders last year.

To start the race Mallory intends to blow a whistle instead.

TV Critic

(Fox News) - A judge in Butler County, Kentucky is telling jurors they cannot watch any of the "CSI" or "Law and Order" shows while involved in a case. Common Pleas judge Patricia Oney says the programs can create unrealistic expectations for jurors about what can and cannot be done with evidence.

Judges and lawyers have been dealing with what's called "CSI Blowback" for nearly a decade. One assistant prosecutor tells a Kentucky newspaper that "CSI" is to forensics what "Star Trek" is to space travel.

Funny Money

(Fox News) - A parts supplier in South Carolina has pleaded guilty to ripping off the Pentagon for more than $20 million in fraudulent shipping costs. Included: Charging almost $1 million for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas army base; $455,000 to send three machine screws to Iraq, and $293,000 to ship an 89-cent washer to Cape Canaveral.

The owners of the company took advantage of an automated purchasing system that automatically paid bills marked "priority". Pentagon officials say they have since changed the system.

Pulling Punches

(Fox News) - The Census Bureau wants federal immigration agents to suspend enforcement raids on illegal aliens during the 2010 census count. The bureau's No. 2 official says raids during the population survey will make an already distrustful group even less likely to cooperate with government census takers.

A spokeswoman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement wouldn't comment on the request, saying if they did back off a bit they wouldn't announce it.

But Michigan Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller calls the census request "nuts" saying, "I don't know what country the Census Bureau is living in. The American people have grown sick and tired of their immigration laws not being enforced. They are not going to tolerate enforcement being suspended for any amount of time."

John Edwards Burned By His Own Words

(Fox News) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has been a big critic of subprime lenders. But the Wall Street Journal has identified 34 New Orleans homes whose owners have faced foreclosure suits from companies affiliated with Fortress Investment Group, a company that Edwards once worked for and which still manages about $16 million of his money.

The paper reports Edwards now says he will personally provide financial assistance to the New Orleans residents affected and is also promising to cleanse his portfolio of any investments that profit from their losses.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Barack Obama's Gaffe-orama

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Barack Obama says U.S. forces in Afghanistan are "just air raiding villages and killing civilians." If a GOP presidential candidate put his foot in his mouth so often, the media would have destroyed him by now.

The winner of $600,000 lottery ticket still unknown

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal

LEXINGTON -
Customers buy all sorts of things when they pull through the Trade Drive-Thru gas station on the south side of town. Sodas, cigarettes, candy bars, all the typical impulse purchases you would expect to be sold at a convenience store.

As luck would have it, the Trade Drive-Thru - formally known as Wilco Hess No. 1805 - also sells tickets for the N.C. Lottery.

That’s not terribly surprising, as more than 5,800 retail outlets in the state do so. Under state law, proprietors get to keep 7 percent of the gross for every ticket they sell, so hustling lottery tickets can add a tidy little sum to the bottom line.

The bottom line, though, is not what set the patrons who zipped through yesterday morning to talking. No, they were more interested in what happened to the yet-to-be-claimed $600,000 winning Powerball ticket for the Feb. 28 drawing that was sold right here at the Trade Drive-Thru.

Somebody forked over $1 for that ticket, then handed over an extra buck for a Powerplay chance that could multiply any potential winnings up to five times. Yet nobody has come forward to claim the prize.

And the clock is ticking. The winner has until 5 p.m. on Aug. 27 to do so.

“It’s not me,” clerk Shanon Saunders said during a short respite from a near-constant line of cars parading past her window. “If it was, I’d have turned it in and be in another country right now.”

Bush's Daughter, Jenna, Engaged

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - Is a White House wedding in the works?

Jenna Bush, one of President Bush's twin daughters, is engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend, Henry Hager, the White House announced Thursday.

Need More People

(Fox News) - Russian President Vladimir Putin says his nation's most acute problem is its rapidly shrinking population.

And so the Russian region of Ulyanovsk is doing its part to try to fix it. It has declared September 12 the "Day of Conception" — and is giving couples time off from work to procreate. The idea is for a flurry of births nine months later — on Russia's national day — June 12.

Couples that hit the exact date not only have a new baby — but are eligible for great prizes — like money, cars and refrigerators.

The region has had similar contests for a couple of years — and local birth rates, as you might expect, are on the rise.

What's In a Name?

(Fox News) - A Dutch Catholic bishop says Christians should refer to God as "Allah" in order to have better relations with Muslims.

Bishop Martinus Muskens told a Dutch TV show — "God doesn't really care how we address Him."

He says Christians in predominantly Muslim Indonesia already call God "Allah." And he predicts that within a century or two — Dutch Christians will be doing the same thing.

Muskens says God is above what he calls "discussion and bickering" over his name. He says the name issue is something humans invented .. in order to argue about it.

Bad News Good News

(Fox News) - Now here's a government program that works. We've told you about the massive passport backlog this year because of new travel rules. But there has been a real upside — a huge increase in deadbeat dads forced to make good on delinquent child support.

The State Department refuses to issue passports to non-custodial parents who are more than $2,500 behind on child support. So those who owed money and wanted a passport have suddenly ponied up $22.5 million in back payments already this year — with state offices that collect the money sometimes getting tens of thousands — even hundreds of thousands — from one spouse.

A Washington state worker says — "It's been amazing to see how people who owe back child support ..seem to be able to come up with good chunks of money when it involves needing their passport."

Spin Cycle

(Fox News) - Republicans and Democrats are cranking up the spin machines in anticipation of General David Petraeus's report on the Iraq war next month. The Hill reports lawmakers are trying to anticipate what Petraeus will say — how the other side will spin it — and then how they should spin it back.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently told journalists — "I'm very concerned that they — Republicans — will kick the can further down the road or talk about a few anecdotal successes that they'll try to pass off as the situation in Iraq."

A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner says — "Liberal Democrats are going to approach this with closed minds and open mouths."

House Majority Whip James Clyburn told The Washington Post last month that a positive report from Petraeus would be — "a real big problem for us."

Remembering the King...



January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Drew Carey on taking the hosting job at “The Price is Right”: “You’re giving away prizes all day and making everybody happy... You couldn’t do better. And it’s not even your money. You’re giving away money and getting credit for it. I feel like a congressman. I’m like the junior Ted Stevens.”

Conan O’Brien: “The results of President’s Bush’s annual physical were released [last week]. It revealed that last year President Bush got a rash from a tick bite. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, ‘A rash from a tick bite? I’ll have to remember that one’.”

Jay Leno: It was so hot today I was sweating like a Chinese toy salesman. ... It was so hot in North Carolina even John Edwards had a bad hair day. ... This week, the government announced a new operation to crack down on the hiring of illegals here in Los Angeles. It’s called Operation You’re Going To Have To Cut Your Own Lawn and Raise Your Own Kids. ... Another Democratic debate last [week]. I don’t want to say it did bad in the ratings, but it had so few viewers it was declared an NBC prime-time show. ... Did you see that horrible rainstorm in New York City? The flooding was so bad Hillary Clinton had to switch from a pantsuit to a wetsuit. ... Next week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will work a shift as a nurse at a Las Vegas hospital. And you thought your doctor’s hands were cold. ... Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney say they will not participate in the Republican debate next month in Florida. John McCain said he will be there—if he can get a ride. ... Elizabeth Edwards is speaking out again. She says the problem with her husband’s fundraising campaign is she can’t make him black, and she can’t make him a woman. That’s the same problem with Michael Jackson’s people.

Goodbye Is Good News

Winston-Salem Journal

Karl Rove, the White House political director and a deputy chief of staff, will resign at the end of the month.

Good riddance.



Rove, who has been President Bush’s closest political adviser since the president’s Texas governorship, has made it his mission to create a Republican national majority.
In defense of Karl Rove, it was his job to create a Republican national majority.



Two current controversies are typical Rove messes: The leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name to the press and the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. National intelligence and criminal prosecution should be run by professionals in those fields, not by political operatives. Yet Rove was involved in both situations.
This might be news to the Journal's editorial board, but Karl Rove didn't leak Valerie Plame's name to the press. In other news, U.S. attorneys work at the pleasure of the president... The president can fire an U.S. Attorney if he doesn't like their hair color. When Bill Clinton became president in '93, he fired every U.S. Attorney and put his own people in those jobs. Bush should have fired more than eight, and he should have done it in '01 instead of last year.

Competition breeds traffic, Tabor says

His used-car dealership on Peters Creek one of many

By Fran Daniel
Winston-Salem Journal


Nathan Tabor can look out the front door of his used-car dealership at 390 Peters Creek Parkway near Budget Self Storage and see four dealerships within 150 feet of his business.

There are at least 20 automobile dealerships on Peters Creek and more than half are used-car lots.

Country Auto Sales Inc., Tabor’s company, is one of the new kids on the block.

The dealership turned a year old last week and is doing well, Tabor said.
For some reason, I don't picture Nathan Tabor selling used cars.

Nifong: The Dog Ate My Law License

In a pathetic end to the Mike Nifong saga, the disgraced North Carolina prosecutor who handled the Duke rape investigation has turned in his law license, noting that he never framed or displayed the document because it had been damaged "by a puppy in her chewing stage." Additionally, in an August 7 letter to the North Carolina State Bar, Nifong noted that the law license also contained a misspelling of his middle name (which is Byron). A copy of Nifong's "the dog ate my law license" letter can be found below. Nifong was stripped of his license as a result of his unethical stewardship of the Duke probe, which resulted in felony charges being dropped against three students who had been charged with the sexual assault of a stripper who had performed at a March 2006 off-campus party attended by members of the school's lacrosse team.

Pathetic is an understatement.

Law and Order

(Fox News) - The acting chief of the Bangkok police department's Crime Suppression Division is trying to get his own officers to stop showing up late for work, parking in the wrong place, or committing other minor offenses. So offenders will now have to wear pink armbands depicting the face of Hello Kitty — a Japanese symbol of cuteness. The New York Times reports the first attempt — using tartan-colored armbands — failed — because officers actually liked them and took them as souvenirs.

But the threat of making masculine cops wear the pink Hello Kittys seems to be working. As of last week no offenses had been committed that would force officers to wear the dreaded armbands.

Fuel vs. Food

(Fox News) - We've told you how the use of food crops for biofuels has driven up the prices for tortillas in Mexico, breakfast cereal in the U.S. and beer in Germany.

Now Spiegel Online reports the price of Germany's beloved gummy bears may soar next year because of the biofuel boom. That's because the price of key ingredient glucose rose by 30 percent in 2006.

Some German business people have had enough. They have formed an alliance that is seeking an end of government subsidies for biofuel crops. They say that in two to four years there will be food shortages — if crops continue to be diverted to biofuel production.

Cleared for Takeoff

(Fox News) - The effort by some activists to stop the Blue Angels from performing at San Francisco's Annual Fleet Week apparently has failed — at least for this year. The proposed resolution banning the team from flying was tabled by a committee Monday.

Activists had cited last year's fatal accident at a Blue Angels show. But many San Franciscans suspected an anti-military agenda. The Angels have been the centerpiece of Fleet Week since 1981.

Easy Money?

(Fox News) - The World Bank wants to allow Third World countries to use their own rules — instead of the bank's — to award contracts for bank-funded projects.

But The Washington Times reports critics say that will lead to increased corruption. The World Bank has already sanctioned more than 100 organizations for fraud and corruption in bank-financed projects just over the past two fiscal years, and that was with the bank still calling the shots. Business leaders also complain they have not been sufficiently consulted about the proposal.

But bank officials say it will improve the efficiency of government spending, give countries a sense of ownership of development projects, and be more environmentally-friendly. The bank hopes to set up pilot programs to see how the new procurement system works.

Midwestern City Penalizes People for Healthy Behavior?

(Fox News) - Government has often taxed behaviors it considers harmful — such as alcohol and tobacco consumption. But now a Chicago city alderman wants to tax — bottled water. A Chicago TV station reports Alderman George Cardenas wants to put a 25 cents/bottle tax on water — in order to help close the city's $217 million budget gap. He says bottled water usage has contributed to a $40 million shortfall in the city's water and sewer funds.

Critics say taxing something healthy makes no sense. And the mayor's office says raising taxes remains a last resort.

King gets complaints of discolored, smelly water

KING (Winston-Salem Journal) - State officials are testing the city of King’s water system after complaints of discolored and smelly tap water.

After getting several calls this week from customers complaining about their water, city officials called in officials with the N.C. Division of Water Quality to run tests, City Manager John Cater said.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tardy Edwards keeps supporters waiting in heat

Des Moines Register

John Edwards’ weeklong Iowa bus tour stumbled out of the starting gate Monday as dozens of voters waited outside in the heat for more than an hour for the presidential candidate to appear at his Des Moines headquarters.
I doubt Edwards' own family would wait outside in the heat for more than an hour to hear him. I would assume he gave his standard "two Americas" stump speech.

Carr treated just the same as anyone else before court

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal


No matter how much prison time Judge John Smith gave to Tolly Carr, it wasn’t going to be enough.

Carr, the former WXII television anchor, got off light with a felony death-by-motor-vehicle charge in connection with killing Casey Bokhoven, some would say. Twenty-five to 39 months is not nearly enough.

Carr put away enough booze over a drinking binge that his blood-alcohol content was over 1 1/2 times the legal limit four hours after the wreck. Despite being warned not to drive, Carr got in his truck, careered past “road closed” signs on First Street and plowed into Bokhoven. Then he acted like a jerk, witnesses said, more concerned with the trouble that he knew he was in than with a dead man pinned under his truck.

The anti-Carr crowd would say his conduct was reckless, stupid, criminal. String him up. Make an example out of him.

But others would say that two years or more in prison is too much.

More would be gained, they say, by having Carr speak to young people about the dangers of drunken driving than putting him in prison. Use his celebrity for a larger public service. He turned himself in, refused bond and served four months in the Forsyth County Jail. It’s not like he picked up a gun and shot somebody; he didn’t intend to kill Bokhoven, say those who support him.

“I know him and I like him,” District Attorney Tom Keith said of Carr yesterday before the sentence was handed down. “It’s unfortunate for him. But that’s my job, and he doesn’t get a break for being Tolly Carr, nor does he get hammered for being Tolly Carr.”

Numbers Game

(Fox News) - There is a battle in Chicago over just how many homeless people are on the streets. Democratic Mayor Richard Daley says homelessness is down 12 percent the last two years — and Daley's government comes to a figure of just under 6,000 homeless on the streets.

But the Chicago Sun Times reports a 15 week foot patrol of the downtown area revealed a new number for how many people are sleeping outside each night — 24. That's right — just 24!

The housing commissioner says — "the public perception is it should have been a higher number, but we couldn't find it."

Homeless advocates are livid. The executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says the count is "ludicrous" — and says the city is trying to "sanitize" its image to bolster its chances of winning a bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Oops

(Fox News) - Reuters news agency is admitting it was fooled when it released video from the movie Titanic — in its coverage of the recent Russian expedition to the Arctic sea.

It turns out a Russian state television channel incorporated this footage from the beginning of the movie — into its video coverage of the Arctic sea expedition. Reuters passed along the video to its clients — including FOX News — who unwittingly used it in their reports.

The whole thing might have gone unnoticed — except for a 13-year-old boy in Finland who made the connection — and called the local newspaper.

Sick Call

(Fox News) - French news reporters are making much of the fact that the wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy skipped a lunch Saturday with her husband — and President and Mrs. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine. Cecilia Sarkozy reportedly called Laura Bush to apologize and said she was suffering from a sore throat.

However — the French media reported she was seen shopping with friends both Friday and Sunday — near the luxury lakeside residence where the Sarkozy's are vacationing.

Mrs. Sarkozy has a history of interesting behavior — from skipping out at the G8 Summit after the first day — to getting involved in the negotiations for the release of Bulgarian medics in Libya — to failing to vote during her husband's runoff election victory in May.

There have been rumors of marital problems and there was a brief separation in 2005. The French president says Mrs. Sarkozy will announce just what her plans are as first lady — next month.

A Big-City Mayor Who Seems to Believe There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

(Fox News) - New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin may be taking the idea of seeing a silver lining around a dark cloud —to the extreme. Nagin said last week that news of the city's escalating deadly violence is bad — but it does ensure that New Orleans will stay in the news.

"It's not good for us," Nagin said. "But it also keeps the 'New Orleans' brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working every day to make the city better."

Anti-violence activist Baty Landis called the remarks "stunningly insensitive," adding, "New Orleans is not a brand, it's a city. We're not products. We're people with lives, some of which are being taken by other people."

Clinton's first lady records locked up

Archivists say the former first lady's documents at her husband's presidential library won't be released until after the '08 vote.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK (L.A. Times) -
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cites her experience as a compelling reason voters should make her president, but nearly 2 million pages of documents covering her White House years are locked up in a building here, obscuring a large swath of her record as first lady.

Clinton's calendars, appointment logs and memos are stored at her husband's presidential library, in the custody of federal archivists who do not expect them to be released until after the 2008 presidential election.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Federal appeals court sides with NASCAR in Burton car dispute

ATLANTA (ESPN) - A ruling by a federal appeals court cleared the way for NASCAR to prevent AT&T Inc. from featuring its logo on Jeff Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday in its order that San Antonio-based AT&T lacks standing to challenge NASCAR's decision.

The court, therefore, threw out a lower court's ruling that prevented NASCAR from stopping AT&T's plans. The appeals court remanded the case to the U.S. District Court in Atlanta for dismissal.

Judge sentences Carr to 25 to 39 months

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Former TV-news anchor Tolly Carr has been sentenced to 25 to 39 months in prison for a drunken-driving wreck that killed pedestrian Casey Bokhoven in March.

Judge John Smith also sentenced Carr to 16 to 20 months for felony injury by vehicle. That sentence was suspended. He was also fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Carr, who has been in the Forsyth County Jail for nearly four months, will get credit for time served.

Carr pleaded guilty to felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle and driving while impaired during today's hearing in Forsyth Superior Court.

Remembering the Gipper...



“We should always remember that our strength still lies in our faith in the good sense of the American people. And that the climate in Washington is still opposed to those enduring values, those ‘permanent things’ that we’ve always believed in... Washington is a place of fads and one-week stories. It’s also a company town, and the company’s name is government, big government... In the discussion of federal spending, the time has come to put to rest the sob sister attempts to portray our desire to get government spending under control as a hard-hearted attack on the poor people of America.”


Ronald Reagan

Join forces against the North American Union

Republicans often complain about the bias of the liberal media. Democrats complain about the right-wing airwaves. What neither of them understand is that there is no such thing as "liberal" and "conservative" anymore. The mainstream media is simply a massive PR organ for the single party that rules the country; this is true of both the "liberal" institutions such as the New York Times and the "conservative" ones such as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

This assertion may contradict your understanding of how politics is supposed to work in this country, but if you simply take the time to look around you and consider the evidence that is right in front of your eyes, it is impossible to reach any other conclusion. How else does one explain the fact that the first thing Republicans do when elected is to abandon their republicanism, while the first thing Democrats do upon taking power is to immediately embrace the policies of their predecessors? Why would the Washington Post, a nominally "liberal" newspaper, refuse to even mention Ron Paul's name when reporting the results of the Iowa straw poll, mysteriously leaping from the sixth place finisher to the fourth?


Vox Day

I noticed that Michael Medved quit spending so much time denying the NAU. He had gotten so strident, he was starting to sound like the shill he actually was.

Clinton a Drag? Dems Fear Her Negatives

WASHINGTON (AP) - Looking past the presidential nomination fight, Democratic leaders quietly fret that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of their 2008 ticket could hurt candidates at the bottom.

They say the former first lady may be too polarizing for much of the country. She could jeopardize the party's standing with independent voters and give Republicans who otherwise might stay home on Election Day a reason to vote, they worry.

In more than 40 interviews, Democratic candidates, consultants and party chairs from every region pointed to internal polls that give Clinton strikingly high unfavorable ratings in places with key congressional and state races.

Karl Rove to Resign At the End of August

(Wall Street Journal) - Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political adviser, is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective Aug. 31, and returning to Texas, marking a turning point for the Bush presidency.

Pork Report

(Fox News) - The Club for Growth advocacy group has released its report on how members of Congress voted for 50 amendments designed to reduce or cut excessive spending — also called "pork" — from appropriations bills.

The highlights — 16 members voted for all 50 anti-pork measures. All 16 are Republicans. 105 members had a perfect score the other direction — voting against all of the anti-pork amendments. All of those 105 were Democrats.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey did not even vote for his own amendment to strike all earmarks in all appropriations bills.

The Democrat who was the strongest supporter of the anti-pork movement was Tennessee's Jim Cooper — who voted for all but one of the measures.

Only one of the 50 anti-pork amendments passed — that one from Arizona Republican Jeff Flake.

Global Warming Taxes

(Fox News) - Michigan Democratic Congressman John Dingell — who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee — plans to introduce legislation to fight global warming that includes a 50-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline — and the elimination of mortgage tax deductions on houses larger than 3,000 square feet.

Dingell admits the ideas are not popular. "I know I'm going to catch hell for them," he says. "If we are serious about global warming, we need to reduce consumption by making it more expensive."

Cybercast News reports critics are calling the ideas "ill-informed, misguided, and economically detrimental."

Fact Check

(Fox News) - The man behind the Web site climateaudit.org has forced NASA to admit it was wrong when it said that 1998 was the hottest year on record. Steve McIntyre had to reverse engineer NASA's figures — because the agency refused to give him the formula it used to make the claim.

And McIntyre found out NASA had made a serious mistake. NASA eventually agreed, and now says 1934 was the hottest year — followed by 1998 — and 1921. In fact — five of the hottest 10 years on record occurred before World War II.

Rudy Giuliani Hears From Upset 9/11 First Responders

(Fox News) - Republican presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking some criticism over statements made Thursday about the aftermath of 9/11.

He told reporters — "I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to."

A New York City fire captain whose son — also a firefighter — was killed in the attacks said — "That's insulting and disgraceful. He's a liar. I was down there on my hands and knees looking for my son. [Giuliani is] living in a dreamland."

A Queens paramedic who was a first responder added — "I personally find that very, very insulting. Standing there doing a photo-op and telling the men, 'You're doing a good job,' I don't consider that to be working."

Today — Giuliani said he misspoke — was trying to empathize with first responders — and was not trying to compete with them.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Revised Temp Data Reduces Global Warming Fever

1998 was not the hottest US year ever. Nor was 2006 the runner up.

Sure, had you checked NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) website just days ago, you would have thought so, but not today. You see, thanks to the efforts of Steve McIntyre over at http://www.climateaudit.org/, the Surface Air Temperature Anomaly charts for those and many other years have been revised - predominately down.

Why?

It's a wild and technical story of compromised weather stations and hack computer algorithms (including, get this - a latent Y2K bug) and those wishing to read the fascinating details should follow ALL of the links I've provided. But, simply stated, McIntyre not only proved the error of the calculations used to interpret the data from the 1000 plus US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) weather stations feeding GISS, but also the cascading effect of that error on past data.


Marc Sheppard

A number of people predicted years ago that the anthropogenic global warming scam would collapse under its own weight. I wonder what Algore will do when his little charade is no longer so lucrative.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Analysis: Edwards Uses Anger in Campaign

By NEDRA PICKLER

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is taking a page from Bill Clinton's playbook and building on it. He feels your pain - and your anger.
I think John Edwards has gone off the deep end... seriously. He's coming across as paranoid and irrational.

NASA finds gouge on Endeavour's belly

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA discovered a worrisome gouge on Endeavour's belly soon after the shuttle docked with the international space station Friday, possibly caused by ice that broke off the fuel tank a minute after liftoff.

Clinton Sharply Defends Her Stance on Health Care

(Washington Post) - After years of being criticized for the failed universal health-care plan she crafted during her husband's first term in office, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) apparently has had enough.

During a forum at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Las Vegas, Clinton was asked why as a candidate for president she is "still insisting" on bringing "socialized medicine" to the United States, when people are "pulling away" from similar systems in Canada and Great Britain. Worse, the questioner said, such systems hurt rather than help poor people.

"That was a string of misrepresentations about me and about the systems in other countries," Clinton started. "Number one, I have never advocated socialized medicine, and I hope all the journalists here heard that loudly and clearly because that has been a right-wing attack on me for 15 years."

Clinton's plan, which died in Congress in 1994, would have required employers to provide health-care coverage to employees through health-maintenance organizations. Insurance firms opposed the proposal, as did political conservatives who thought it removed health care -- a huge portion of the nation's economy -- from the competitive marketplace.

"Do you think Medicare is socialized medicine?" Clinton asked her inquisitor, who did not identify himself.

"To a degree," he responded.

"Well, then you are in a small minority in America," Clinton said to applause, before explaining that Medicare allows patients to choose their doctors even though the federal government foots the bill with money deducted from workers' paychecks.

Clinton then asserted that "on balance," countries with uniform national systems of health care, including Japan, Australia and Canada, offer better health care than the United States. The answer left her questioner shaking his head in disagreement.

"I can give you the statistics, and you can shake your head," Clinton said sharply. "You come and introduce yourself to the staff. And we'll try to give you some information if you're interested in being educated instead of being rhetorical."

Democratic Contenders Address Gay Rights in TV Forum

LOS ANGELES (Fox News) — Democratic presidential contenders Thursday sought to underscore their differences with Republicans on gay and lesbian rights, but leading candidates also faced sharp questions on their reluctance to embrace marriage for same-sex couples.

Missing in Action

(Fox News) - Officials in Denmark are looking for 15 homeless people who came to Copenhagen for The Homeless World Cup soccer tournament — and then decided they wanted to make their home — someplace new.

The 15 left their individual country delegations and disappeared, overstaying their visas and going underground. The players are from several African nations and Afghanistan.

The tournament featured 500 homeless people from 48 countries and ended Saturday. One of the event organizers said they've never had mass defections before.

Feeling the Burn

(Fox News) - Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is trying to flex some muscle in his effort to get the House gym redesigned and renovated. The Hill reports Abercrombie — who is a 69-year-old power-lifter — has run afoul of House leadership by refusing their orders to stop talking about the issue.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is said to be reluctant to spend money on the gym — and have to answer for it in the media and to constituents.

But the facility reportedly is old and cramped — and particularly unfriendly to women members — who have to cross through the men's locker room in order to use the cardiovascular equipment.

By contrast — House staffers have their own modern workout center, featuring equipment with individual flat-screen TV's hooked up to cable, a mirrored aerobics room and comfortable locker facilities.

Phone Tag

(Fox News) - Government officials in Santa Ana, California have refused to declare the city a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. So local immigration rights groups have launched a plan to create a hotline to report impending raids by federal agents.

The Orange County Register reports the program is modeled after a similar plan in Los Angeles. There were 175 arrests during five days of raids last month in Orange County. One advocate likens the raids to terrorism — saying "I call it terror because that is what a small child feels when armed men break into their homes and take away their parents."

Attack Strategy

(Fox News) - Anti-war groups are said to be split over the question of whether to attack Democrats over their failure to secure legislation mandating a troop withdrawal from Iraq.

The Hill reports some activists feel moveon.org has abandoned its credentials as an issue-based advocacy group in favor of becoming a cheerleader for the Democrats.

One such group — voices for creative non-violence — is holding protests outside the local offices of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

And one activist with the group Code Pink says she has dropped her membership in MoveOn — calling it "very conservative." she says that when MoveOn supported the Iraq supplemental funding bill — "They betrayed us."

Possible Shuttle Foam Strike Worries NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Fox News) — NASA engineers will pay close attention as the space shuttle Endeavour maneuvers toward the international space station on Friday as they try to determine whether foam insulation that broke off the fuel tank damaged the ship.

On Thursday, schoolteacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan and other members of Endeavour's crew conducted a fastidious inspection of the shuttle's most vulnerable areas, in a search for possible damage.

Nine pieces of foam insulation broke off Endeavour's fuel tank during liftoff Wednesday evening, and three pieces appeared to strike the shuttle, said John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team.

None is believed to have been big enough to cause critical damage, he said.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Getting Beyond Roe

Why returning abortion to the states is a good idea

By Radley Balko
Reason Magazine


In 1985 a prominent liberal legal figure argued that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion, was a “heavy-handed judicial intervention” that “was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” The writer was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—and also now a strong supporter of Roe.

Ginsburg isn’t the only backer of abortion rights to have taken issue with the 1973 decision. In 1995, for example, the University of Chicago’s Cass Sunstein, a superstar among liberal law professors, wrote in the Harvard Law Review that the high court “should have allowed the democratic processes of the states to adapt and to generate sensible solutions that might not occur to a set of judges.” Roe, he argued, centralized an issue centered around privacy, reproduction, and medical ethics, all matters that traditionally have been the province of the states. Moving those moral debates to Washington forced a one-size-fits-all policy on the entire country, raising the stakes, and therefore the contentiousness, of an already divisive issue.

Talk About A Game of Chance

By John Hood
Carolina Journal


It was the height of hypocrisy for the NC General Assembly to enact a state-run gambling operation, the lottery, and then ban privately run gambling competitors.

Kemp Phillips


I see that Kemp Phillips will be released from prison next January 15th. What a guy...

A Word on “Surrender”

In his treatise, Common Sense, Paine established many of the non-interventionist policies that would become the keystones of the American body politic for many years. His arguments are as germane today as they were when he wrote them and are the foundations of conservatism, yet there is only one Republican in all of Congress that still holds to them. This proves that neo-conservatives are not conservative at all–unless the only principles of conservatism are that the government should tell individuals who they can love, what they can consume, and who they can trade with. If you don’t accept their premise, then there’s only one candidate who is worthy of filling the shoes once worn by Washington and Jefferson.

Edmund Snyder

Democrats should make no mistake: Neither The Beast in Pants Suits nor The Magic Negro will get us out of Iraq a day sooner than any of the neo-cons. In fact, given the past history of Democrats in the Oval Office, we can only expect to see an escalation in the Middle East that will last until it is someone else's turn to clean up the mess.

Neither should Republicans become smug. None of the so-called front-runners, announced or otherwise can beat The Beast and her Negro. There is insufficient difference between them and their Democrat brethren to bring the base out to vote. As well, Bush has instilled a very healthy distrust in the base for anyone who the rightward press insists is the new Ronald Reagan, but who appears to be anything but.

Barack Obama's History in Fundraising at Odds With Rhetoric on Lobbyist, PAC Cash

(Fox News) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been hard on his rivals for taking campaign money from lobbyists and special interest-laden political action committees, but the Illinois freshman's own finance reports aren't free of that form of donation.

Obama's U.S. Senate campaign committee so far has raised $128,000 from lobbyists and $1.3 million from PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama's federal PAC, Hopefund, took in $115,000 from 56 PACs during the 2005-2006 election cycle. During that period, Hopefund raised $4.4 million from PACs in all. Obama then distributed that money to other influential action groups to build support for his presidential run, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

Clinton Discussed Use of Nukes Last Year

NEW YORK (AP) - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who chastised rival Barack Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in the war on terror, did just that when asked about Iran a year ago.

"I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table," she said in April 2006.

Yesterday's STS-118 Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The White House Online Museum

This is a pretty neat site. You can click on each room and look at pictures and read the history of each room. I liked reading and seeing what the rooms looked like in the private residence. I always wondered what it looked like and how it was laid out.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O’Brien: “Latest on the campaign: It was reported that things are going so badly for Senator John McCain that he has to carry his own luggage. Meanwhile, things are going so badly for Dennis Kucinich’s campaign, he has to carry Barack Obama’s luggage.”

David Letterman: “Top Signs President Bush Needs A Vacation”: Staffers found him having a conversation with a coat rack; Asked CIA director to have Jason Bourne join hunt for Osama; Hasn’t stopped sobbing since he was passed over for “The Price is Right”; Has only seen the new Harry Potter movie four times; So overworked he’s pronouncing words correctly; He’s been drinking like an astronaut.

Jay Leno: Today Chinese officials recalled one million tons of lead because it may contain toys. ... Hillary Clinton was chastised by The Washington Post for showing too much cleavage in front of the Senate. See, that seems sexist to me. They’ve never gone after Senator Ted Kennedy for doing the exact same thing. ... Isn’t this ridiculous? Shouldn’t we be focusing on I-raq, not her rack? ... It’s amazing isn’t it? The United States is 231 years old, but apparently the media is only 13. ... Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said today that he would not use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. I didn’t realize his battle with Hillary had escalated to this level. I just thought there was a little friction. ... Madame Tussauds’ new wax museum in Washington, DC, is going to feature a “scandal room,” featuring wax likenesses of elected officials involved in sex, alcohol or ethics scandals. Why would you go there, when you can just walk five blocks to the Capitol building and see the real thing? ... If you haven’t seen “The Bourne Ultimatum,” it’s about a guy who works for the government but can’t remember his past. The original title was “The Alberto Gonzales Story.” ... Happy Birthday to our governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is 60 years old. You can tell he’s getting up there. Remember when he used to say things like, “I’ll be back”? Now he says, “Ow, my back.”

McCain Late To Debate Due To Greyhound Delays

DES MOINES, IA (The Onion) — Citing a series of unanticipated disruptions to the Greyhound bus service, a red-faced and breathless Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) arrived 50 minutes after the start of the Republican presidential debates Sunday.

According to the beleaguered candidate, a series of departure delays, missed transfers, and a flat tire outside Oxford, OH forced him to arrive at the outskirts of Iowa's capital five minutes before the debate was about to begin.

"To the esteemed people of Des Moines, the ABC viewers at home, and moderator George Stephanopoulos, I'm sorry I'm late," McCain said as he assumed his position behind his assigned podium and fastened his lavalier microphone to his lapel. "I would've called, but I was out of minutes on my prepaid cell phone."

As the broadcast ended, McCain sprinted backstage to relieve himself and fill his suit pockets with complimentary bottled water and the contents of a cheese platter.

Danbury may be home to two developments

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - Two developers are eyeing Danbury, with its population of 108, to cash in on tourists drawn here by the Dan River and Hanging Rock State Park.

One developer plans luxury log homes on 43 acres. Another proposes shops.

The proposed development could mean thousands in additional tax revenue and require the first voluntary annexation in the town’s history.

Not a Secret Keeper

(Fox News) - A headmistress at a primary school in Somerset, England celebrated the last day of school with her students — by reading to them the last page of the new Harry Potter book.

Children were shocked and parents outraged. One student said he put his hands over his ears and squeezed his eyes closed so he would not hear the ending. The headmistress reportedly gave no warning at all to the 400 kids in the assembly.

A school district spokesman says the principal was trying to reflect the theme of saying goodbye. But a spokeswoman for the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations tells The Sun newspaper the incident was "unforgivable," saying it was one of the cruelest things the headmistress could have done to the children.

Impeachment Reaction

(Fox News) - The resort town of Telluride, Colorado is experiencing a backlash after the city council's approval of an ordinance to impeachPresident Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The Denver Post reports the city and its newspapers have received a furious flurry of critical e-mails. Some people have even canceled their vacation plans — including one group of 175 skiers. One person threatened to sell his telluride vacation home.

The impeachment ordinance was to have a second reading today — and if it passes again — it will become the town's official position.

Gauntlet Thrown

(Fox News) - Another global warming skeptic is challenging Al Gore to a debate. This time it's best-selling author Dennis Avery, whose book "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years" attempts to refute Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." So far Gore has refused to debate any of the numerous challengers.

Climate Cash

(Fox News) - The Web site junkscience.com is offering $100,000 to the first person who can prove that humans are responsible for harmful climate change. The Ultimate Global Warming Challenge says — "If you think it's a no-brainer that humans are causing catastrophic global warming, here's your opportunity to earn an easy $100,000."

The Web site lists the specifications for the challenge and the contest rules. It's open until December 1, with the results announced next February.

Straight Firefighters Forced to March in a Gay Parade Say They Were Humiliated

(Fox News) - San Diego firefighters who say they were forced to participate in the city's Gay Pride parade are preparing to sue the city. The four firemen said they did not want to attend — but were ordered to do so by a superior.

The men say they were subjected to "vile sexual taunts" from gay people — and Cybercast News reports they were told by religious protesters that they were going to hell for taking part in the parade.

A religious legal group called The Thomas Moore Law Center has filed paperwork to begin a lawsuit against the city for sexual harassment. The city fire chief — who is a lesbian — says she has apologized to the men and is taking their allegations seriously.

RE: Looking for Shrimp in the Constitution

I'm sure the hit-pieces will start rolling in now. The comment on the story by iiiyraeg says it better than I can.

Ron Paul’s reasoning, which took me a while to figure out, is this: the money claimed by earmarks WILL be spent; it’s not a question of how much earmarking there will be, but who will get it. The only way to kill the earmarks is to kill the entire bill, which Ron Paul consistently votes to do, year after year. Since he cannot win the overall budget battle, he does his best to ensure that a fair share of the earmarked money at least returns to the taxpayers he represents, and not exclusively to someone else’s constituents. Once in a while his earmarks stick and his constituents get a bit of the federal loot returned to them in public projects (not as good as tax refunds, but better than nothing).

Yeah, it’s too clever by half (he gets it both ways–he votes against all spending, but still manages to bring home some bacon), but it is consistent with his philosophy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Northern Exposure

The GOP's Alaska delegation could become the new poster boys for corruption.

By John Fund
Opinion Journal


Republicans faced a time for choosing last week, when Senate Democrats brought to the floor an ethics "reform" bill that may make it easier for Congress to dole out pork-barrel spending. In the words of GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, the bill "not only failed to drain the swamp, but gave the alligators new rights."

Rather than block the legislation and insist on better reforms, image-sensitive Republicans largely backed the bill.

Have they learned anything? They lost control of Congress last year in no small measure because the GOP had become identified with the culture of pork-barrel spending, frittering away the American people's former confidence in them on fiscal issues.

If 34 Senate Republicans had united and voted against the bill, Democrats would have been forced to draw up more meaningful reforms. They might even have forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to accept the very "sunshine" provisions the Senate unanimously adopted in January--so at least the public would know who is doling out pork. But when it came down to it, only 17 voted for prolonging debate on the bill.

The bill the rest voted for had been gutted: Disclosing an earmark is now voluntary (not mandatory), protecting an earmark requires only 41 votes (instead of 67), and the power to determine whether a spending provision inserted by a senator is officially considered an earmark will now be up to . . . Mr. Reid.

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds Democrats lead Republicans by 16 points on controlling government spending and by nine points on taxes. The Republicans have their work cut out for them if they want to win back public confidence; but their behavior on the ethics bill shows they still don't get it.