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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.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

6 Die From Brain-Eating Amoeba in Lakes

PHOENIX (AP) - It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

Clinton: $5,000 for Every U.S. Baby


WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Lt. Kerry's Purple Hearts Club Band :-)

Edwards criticizes Limbaugh's comments

CLAREMONT, N.H. (Yahoo News) - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards criticized Rush Limbaugh on Friday for referring to some members of the military as "phony soldiers."

For his part, Limbaugh said he was referring only to one soldier recently convicted of lying about his service.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jimmy Carter steps into the Hollywood spotlight

TORONTO (AFP) - Former US president Jimmy Carter joined the ranks of movie stars like Brad Pitt and George Clooney at the world premiere of "Man from Plains," the biopic about his life, which premiered Monday at the Toronto film festival.

Didn’t the Rich Help Make America Great, Too?

Note to Hillary: Wealth and hard work are not mutually exclusive.

By John Tamny
National Review Online


In a recent campaign speech, Sen. Hillary Clinton said, “It is not rich people who made America great, it is hardworking Americans.” If you are rich, or know someone who is rich, this statement might strike you as extremely odd.

When used in the same sentence, the terms “rich” and “hardworking” make for redundant prose. The rich are frequently driven by a relentless work ethic that causes them to toil extremely long hours in their chosen professions. Successful entrepreneurs, in fact, are rarely successful retirees, given the certain high they get from working hard. And unless they’re among the small percentage of Americans who inherited their wealth, they have become successful — and rich — only because they have solved previously unmet market needs.

Ahmadinejad Invites U.N. Inspectors to Search for Homosexuals :-)

Permits Use of Advanced Gaydar

The Borowitz Report

Just days after asserting that there are no homosexuals in Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today invited United Nations inspectors into his country to search for homosexuals.

“We have nothing to hide,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “You can search the entire country – even the airport bathrooms.”

While some senior U.S. diplomats expressed skepticism about the Iranian president’s offer to allow U.N. inspectors to search his country for homosexuals, Mr. Ahmadinejad attempted to silence the skeptics by permitting the use of “advanced gaydar technology” as part of the proposed inspections.

“In Iran we have the most advanced gaydar in the world and we are prepared to share it with you,” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech, it was unclear as to who would lead the U.N.’s inspection efforts, but most diplomats assumed that the task would fall to Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

At a press conference at the United Nations, Mr. ElBaradei acknowledged that he had no previous experience searching for homosexuals, but said that if chosen to lead the inspection effort he would make sure that the inspections were “rigorous and thorough.”

“The possibility that Iran may possess homosexuals is a serious matter to the world community,” Mr. ElBaradei said. “There has been evidence for some time that Iran may be attempting to build a Broadway musical.”

Elsewhere, President Bush made his first official comment on the situation in Myanmar, telling reporters, “I will support whichever side is easier to pronounce.”

Mood Change

The French flip fries Bush critics?

By Charles Krauthammer
National Review Online


Ahmadinejad at Columbia provided the entertainment, but Sarkozy at the U.N. provided the substance. On the largest possible stage — the U.N. General Assembly — President Nicolas Sarkozy put Iran on notice. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, had said that France could live with an Iranian nuclear bomb. Sarkozy said that France cannot. He declared Iran’s nuclear ambitions “an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world.”

Edwards Takes Public Cash to Identify with Poor :-)

(ScrappleFace) — In a reversal of a previous decision, Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards announced Thursday that his campaign would accept public funding “as a matter of principle to demonstrate that I identify with the poor and downtrodden who live in the second America.”

The decision, which Mr. Edwards noted is “consistent with my previous statements to the contrary,” could ultimately bring $105 million to his campaign if he should secure the Democrat nomination.

“I’ve raised enough money, and personally have enough money, to run this campaign without taxpayer dollars,” said Mr. Edwards, “but if I did that, I’d be nothing but another fat cat with a rich crony network living in the first America — unable to relate to the ordinary working poor, the non-working poor, the undocumented poor and all the other little people who populate the other America.”

The former senator from North Carolina explained that the common bond shared by those in the “second America” is their dependence upon redistributed taxpayer dollars.

By receiving federal matching funds, he said he’ll be able to “relate better to my brothers and sisters whose hope rests confidently in the goodness and power of our benevolent federal government.”

Limbaugh: ‘Phony Soldiers’ Story is a Phony Story

(Breitbart.TV) - Recent reports about Rush Limbaugh calling military members who oppose the war "phony soldiers," led to an extended analysis on Limbaugh's radio program today. Limbaugh calls it -- "Anatomy of a smear."

John Edwards: 'Pretty Soon' All Young African-American Men Will Be Dead or in Prison...

Edwards: 'Pretty Soon We’re Not Going to Have a Young African-American Male Population in America.'

(National Review Online) -
Asked about what he could do about "inner-city kids partaking in violence" at the MTV/MySpace Forum yesterday, Democratic candidate John Edwards offered an apocalyptic prediction for young black males:

“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Hyperbole much? Despite popular misperception and those who find it a convenient talking point to illustrate inescapable racism, there are more young African-American men in college than in prison. In 2005, according to the Census Bureau, there were 864,000 black men in college. According to Justice Department statistics, there were 802,000 in federal and state prisons and jails; between the ages of 18 and 24, however, black men in college outnumber those incarcerated by 4 to 1.

Bush, Clinton, Bush ... Clinton?

WASHINGTON (Yahoo News) - Forty percent of Americans have never lived when there wasn't a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. Anyone got a problem with that?

With Hillary Rodham Clinton hoping to tack another four or eight "Clinton" years on to the Bush-Clinton-Bush presidential pattern that already has held sway for two decades, talk of Bush-Clinton fatigue is increasingly cropping up in the national political debate.

Rep. Pelosi criticizes border fence

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a plan to build fencing along parts of the Mexico border a "terrible idea" that overlooks local communities.

Pelosi made the comments during her trip to the Rio Grande Valley for the annual Hispanic Engineering, Science & Technology Week conference at the University of Texas-Pan American.

"I have been against the fence, I thought it's a bad idea even when it was just a matter of discussion," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "These are communities where you have a border going through them, they are not communities where you have a fence splitting them."

Worse Than Gasoline?

(Fox News) - There is more information that raises serious questions as to whether biofuels are the answer to global warming and reliance on oil. Cybercast News cites a study from a team led by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen that concludes most biofuels cause more damage than ordinary gasoline, because the crops they come from require high levels of nitrogen in fertilizer and the resulting nitrous oxide emissions are far more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Also, noted primate scientist Jane Goodall says the race to grow crops for biofuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to emissions blamed for global warming.

Policy Switch

(Fox News) - A change of policy at Georgetown University Law School will permit the nation's oldest Catholic university to give grants to students who work for organizations that promote abortion.

LifeSiteNews.com says the policy change resulted from criticism the law school received for refusing to fund a student who wanted to intern at Planned Parenthood. The school's student newspaper reports Georgetown will no longer consider the mission of organizations in determining such grants.

The head of the school's pro-life group says the policy change means Georgetown will now be funding abortion advocacy and called it a dishonest and legalistic compromise.

False Pretenses?

(Fox News) - On MSNBC Monday reporter David Shuster brought on Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee supposedly to discuss the MoveOn.org ad attacking General David Petraeus.

Shuster caught the congresswoman off guard when he asked her to name the last American soldier from her district killed in Iraq. When she couldn't, Shuster took her to task at length, identifying the fallen soldier by name and demanding to know why she cared more about an ad than the lost serviceman.

But it later emerged that the soldier Shuster named did not come from Blackburn's district, but from a neighboring one. When a blogger sent Shuster an e-mail pointing this out, he got a reply saying name didn't matter because the story was about Blackburn's hypocrisy and besides, "she didn't know the name, period."

Finally, after complaints to MSNBC from Blackburn's office, Shuster read a terse and narrow apology on Wednesday night.

Ticking Bomb Scenario

(Fox News) - At one point in Wednesday night's Democratic debate, Senator Clinton was asked if she would authorize torture in questioning a top Al Qaeda official with knowledge of an imminent bomb attack on the U.S. Mrs. Clinton told moderator Tim Russert that torture "cannot be American policy, period."

Russert then revealed that the scenario he had cited came from none other than Bill Clinton, who had told Russert there should be authority for torture under such extreme circumstances.

And it turns out that Senator Clinton used to agree with that and said so more than once during the past year, at one point telling The New York Daily News there should be a, "very, very narrow exception within very limited circumstances."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Socialized Medicine's Front Door

By Bob Novak
Washington Post


The Alice in Wonderland quality of legislating in Congress was typified this week. The Democratic Congress quickly passed a national health insurance bill, drafted in secret and protected from amendment, that constitutes the most important legislation of this session. While designed for a presidential veto, it is national health insurance -- through the front, not the back, door. Democrats view it as a no-lose situation: Either landmark health care will be enacted over President George W. Bush's veto, or, if overridden, they'll have a lovely 2008 campaign issue.

Who Said It, Part Two... Ahmadinejad or a Democrat?


By Rush Limbaugh
RushLimbaugh.com


A continuation of our side-by-side audio analysis.

Newt, Don’t Run

National Review

Today, Newt Gingrich is set to kick off his latest ambitious project. His “Solutions Day” is aimed at coming up with a “broad set of nonpartisan solutions” that will move the government “from the world that fails to the world that works.” This Saturday, over a dozen workshops will be held nationwide to tackle a range of issues, from tax reform and reducing bureaucracy to conservation and space policy. This effort perfectly fits Newt’s reputation for bold thinking and innovative policy ideas. He is less well-suited, however, for the presidential run he continues to flirt with.

The Soros Threat To Democracy

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

George Soros is known for funding groups such as MoveOn.org that seek to manipulate public opinion. So why is the billionaire's backing of what he believes in problematic? In a word: transparency.

‘Darth’ Cheney to Hillary: ‘I Am Your Father’ :-)

(ScrappleFace) — Vice President Dick Cheney, responding to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s reference to him as “Darth Vader,” this morning addressed the Democrat presidential hopeful saying: “Hillary, I am your father.”

“Before I turned to what you call ‘the dark side’,” Mr. Cheney explained, “I was once like you, Sen. Clinton. I had hopes and dreams that good could triumph over evil through the force of government regulation. But then my eyes were opened to the true source of power — freedom — and my lust for that power has driven me since that day.”

Mr. Cheney said he would try to persuade Sen. Clinton to cross over to his side, but that “ultimately, the only way for freedom to prevail is for its opponents to be defeated.”

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said the senator “would never turn, but would continue to use the force of government to protect people from the evils of capitalism, the dangers of liberty, and the devastating consequences of a rigid interpretation of the Constitution.”

Roads' funding left to states

U.S. can no longer pay for interstates, group told

WASHINGTON (Media General News Service) -
The message to the civic and business leaders pushing to build Interstates 73 and 74 was clear yesterday: Don’t look to the federal government to pay most of the cost.

The Highway Trust Fund is depleted, and the days of the federal government underwriting 80 percent or 90 percent of the cost of interstate construction are over, federal transportation officials and legislators told the National I-73/74 Corridor Association.

Instead, the six states that want the new interstates from the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts to the Canadian border in Michigan should look for innovative financing plans, including tolls and private-public partnerships.

The Word Is Out

(Fox News) - Consumer demand for hybrid vehicles is down because shoppers are becoming aware that many models actually are no more efficient than those relying solely on gasoline-powered engines. ABC's Web site reports the average mileage of hybrid vehicles available in the U.S. is 33 miles-per-gallon, but much of that comes from very small cars.

Chevrolet's new Silverado hybrid truck gets only 16 miles-per-gallon and the new Lexis hybrid sedan gets twenty-one. As a result, a new survey by J.D. Power finds only 50 percent of new vehicle shoppers are considering a hybrid, down from 57 percent a year ago.

Bad Career Move?

(Fox News) - Remember Lynne Stewart, the disbarred lawyer who was convicted of conspiring with and supporting terrorists along with lying to and defrauding the U.S. government? She was sentenced to 28 months in prison and is out on bail pending appeal. Now she has been invited to speak at the Hofstra Law School's upcoming conference on ethics, entitled "Lawyering at the Edge."

Stewart's is one of several names on the school's Web site, under the description "prominent experts in the field of ethics, as well as preeminent criminal defense and civil rights practitioners."

Ferry Tale

(Fox News) - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's campaign is distancing itself from supporters who harassed fellow candidate Rudy Giuliani Friday night on the Mackinac Island Ferry in Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press reports dozens of Paul enthusiasts taunted Giuliani by saying "9/11 was an inside job." A witness says the group threatened to throw Giuliani overboard and he took refuge in the ferry's pilothouse.

A Paul spokesman says the candidate does not think 9/11 was an inside job and a Giuliani spokesman says his man was not intimidated and welcomes verbal jousting.

Times Still Defends Controversial MoveOn Ad

(Fox News) - The New York Times is rejecting criticism from its public editor regarding the now-famous MoveOn.org ad impugning General David Petraeus.

Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis takes issue with times public editor Clark Hoyt who wrote Sunday that the ad, "appears to fly in the face of an internal advertising acceptability manual that says, 'We do not accept opinion advertisements that are attacks of a personal nature.'"

Mathis responds: "The public editor serves as the reader's representative — his opinions and conclusions are his own. The Times believes the ad was within our acceptability guidelines." She does not explain why the ad is not an attack of a personal nature, but she does not deny the rate charged MoveOn was a mistake. She says it was not the result of bias because, "The salesperson did not see the content of the ad at the time the rate was quoted."

MoveOn says it has paid The Times an additional $77,508 — the difference between the regular rate and the discounted rate MoveOn was charged.

Plan Uses Taxes to Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won't like _ a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Bin Laden may have just escaped U.S. forces

August mission in Tora Bora almost snared 'high value target'

(MSNBC.com) -
A little more than a month ago, with the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaching and fears of a new al Qaeda attack rising, some U.S. intelligence and military analysts thought they had found one of the world’s two most wanted men just where they last saw them six years ago.

For three days and nights — between Aug. 14 and 16 — U.S. and Afghanistan forces pounded the mountain caves in Tora Bora, the same caves where Osama Bin Laden had hidden out and then fled in late 2001 after U.S. forces drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan cities. Ultimately, however, U.S. forces failed to find Bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, even though their attacks left dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban dead.

Hillary flip-flops, contradicts Bill - & herself - in N.H. debate

HANOVER, N.H. (NY Daily News) - Sen. Hillary Clinton scored with a Democratic audience last night by contradicting her husband's belief that a terrorist could be tortured to foil an imminent plot - but what observers didn't know is she was contradicting herself, too.

"It cannot be American policy, period," Clinton (D-N.Y.) told debate moderator Tim Russert, who asked if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn't know where it was.

When Russert revealed ex-President Bill Clinton advocated such a policy on a recent NBC "Meet the Press" appearance, Hillary Clinton won huge applause from the Dartmouth College audience with a deadpan comeback:

"Well, I'll talk to him later."

She may have to give herself that talk, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who Said It... Ahmadinejad or a Democrat?

Courtesy of Rush Limbaugh...

PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO SIGN THE LARGEST INCREASE IN STUDENT AID SINCE THE G.I. BILL

Congress sent the College Cost Reduction and Access Act to the president yesterday for his signature, providing the largest increase in student aid since the G.I. Bill. The bill reduces $20 billion in subsidies to banks and other student loan providers and redirects the funds to students. The Bush administration, despite earlier threats to veto the legislation, is expected to sign it this week.

If President Bush signs the measure, changes will begin to take effect on Monday, Oct. 1, providing welcome news for families struggling with tuition and fees that are rising far faster than inflation while real wages remain stagnant. New government data shows that the cost of college is soaring out of the reach of more and more American families, according to a report recently released by the Campaign for America’s Future.


Oh darn! Jorge seems to have lost his veto pen again. Drat the luck!

...providing welcome news for families struggling with tuition...

Maybe these folks could show us where a college education is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Perhaps they could highlight for us the part of the Constitution that authorizes Congress to steal money from me to hand out to these people.

Heavy irony department: One would think that those authoring a site dedicated to education would be a little more careful with their grammar. Did you spot it? If you attended public schools, probably not.

Must...refrain...from...gratuitous...Stokes...County...Schools...reference.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O’Brien: “The president of Iran gave a speech in New York City... and thousands of New Yorkers are really upset about it. The New Yorkers said, ‘If we want to hear a short-tempered Iranian man yell at us, we’ll take a cab’.”

David Letterman: “Top Ten Contest” for the “Top Ten Television Shows in Iraq”: “Extremist Makeover”; “Sects And The City”; “So, You Want To Be A Martyr”; “Sponge Bob Square Burka”; “Wives Swap”; “Sunni & Cher”; “Kurd Your Enthusiasm”; “Are You Smarter Than a Goat Herder?”; “How I Met Your Mullah”; “Desperate Cavewives.”

Jay Leno: The president of Iran, Mahmud Ahma-nut job, came to New York to address the United Nations. Why isn’t his name on the no-fly list? You don’t want to get stuck behind him in the security line. How long would that take? Actually, you know he’d go through the line in two minutes, but they’d strip search the 85-year-old grandmother standing behind him. ... Did you know he was issued a visa to come here? Isn’t that amazing? You need a visa to get into the United States now! When did they start with that? ... You know the interesting part? After he landed, he actually drove his own cab in from the airport. ... According to a new report out of Cuba, Fidel Castro is near death, but is clinging to life and he is determined to outlive the Bush presidency. Wow, just like Dan Rather. ... At a John Kerry speech at the University of Florida, a student was asking the senator so many annoying questions that police tasered him. Of course, people in Washington were stunned by this. What? John Kerry’s still giving speeches? ... While the cops had him down, did you hear what he yelled to the police? He was yelling, ‘Don’t tase me bro.’ You know something, any time a white guy says the word ‘bro,’ he deserves to get tasered. ... Another person was tasered today during a John Kerry speech. Not for being disruptive—I guess while listening to Kerry, the guy slipped into a coma.

Bias Against the Corps?

(Fox News) - The San Francisco Film Commission denied the U.S. Marines permission to film a recruitment ad on city streets during the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A local TV station reports the head of the commission told the production company it could shoot on the streets only if no Marines were in the picture.

Yet when challenged on the matter Monday — she said that rush hour traffic concerns were behind her actions. The commander of the Police Traffic Bureau says the commission leader's politics have blinded her to her duty.

He points out the commission often grants permission for shoots during rush hour — and that it has previously allowed traffic to be backed up for street demonstrations and anti-war protests.

Working Together?

(Fox News) - President Bush is quietly advising Hillary Clinton to moderate her anti-war rhetoric — to give herself maneuvering room if she wins the election next year. The Washington Examiner reports that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten says Mr. Bush has been privately urging Mrs. Clinton and other Democratic candidates to avoid locking themselves in with hard positions on the war.

A senior White House official says the Democrats have actually welcomed the conversation — and understand the negative consequences of working too quickly to reverse Mr. Bush's Iraq policy.

Redibility Issues

(Fox News) - The whistleblower who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was being built by kidnapped workers — now turns out to have a criminal record.

Rory Mayberry told the panel that he was on a plane to Baghdad in 2006 when 51 Filipinos broke out in panic when they heard they were going to work in Baghdad instead of Dubai. That led to Committee Chairman Henry Waxman accusing the company building the embassy of illegal labor trafficking.

But The Wall Street Journal reports Mayberry has a string of convictions going back to the mid-1980's — including burglary, forgery and welfare fraud. And it says he was fired by the company building the embassy after only five days — because he could not prove he had proper qualifications.

Waxman says he was unaware of Mayberry's past — but that his legal troubles were years ago. And Waxman says he has other sources for his allegations against the builders.

GQ Kills Critical Hillary Article

(Fox News) - GQ magazine agreed to kill a critical piece about fighting within the Hillary Clinton campaign team — in exchange for access to Bill Clinton for another story. FOX's Carl Cameron has confirmed the publication struck a deal to spike the story — in order to secure Bill Clinton's cooperation in a cover piece planned for December.

The Politico newspaper says GQ confirmed that the Clinton article had been killed, but would not say why. The Clinton team isn't talking either.

Politico writes that a spokesman for Bill Clinton delivered the ultimatum to GQ editors. It says they succumbed to the threat — despite plenty of internal protests. The episode is said to be an illustration of the power of the Clinton celebrity factor — and the fact that the Clintons have the rare ability within the political word to actually affect magazine sales.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy gets a tad upset... :-)


Stokes might catch a ride on PART

69% of its residents commute to their jobs outside of the county

PINNACLE (Winston-Salem Journal) -
The drive to work might soon be a little easier for the hundreds of Stokes County residents who commute daily to downtown Winston-Salem.

The Stokes County Board of Commissioners discussed a proposal last night to join the counties that receive transit services from the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.

Sixty-nine percent of Stokes County’s working residents leave the county to work, the highest percentage in the state, according to PART records.

The commissioners are considering a 5 percent tax on car rentals to cover the cost of upkeep of commuter buses and a park-and-ride lot. PART would collect the fees in exchange for transportation services in Stokes.

If commissioners approve the deal, regional transportation officials plan to build a park-and-ride lot in King.

Freedom of the Press?

(Fox News) - An independent student-run newspaper at Colorado State University could be in serious financial trouble because of a four-word editorial in last Friday's edition.

The item in the Rocky Mountain Collegian read — "Taser this — blank Bush" — with the F-word spelled out in the paper.

The editor-in-chief says it was a comment on freedom of speech — recalling the Tasering of a student in Florida earlier in the week.

But the paper has lost at least $30,000 in advertising.

The school is prohibited from censoring the paper. But, the school's Board of Student Communications could suspend or fire the editor Tuesday night if it rules he violated the board's policy — which prohibits profane and vulgar words in opinion pieces.

School vs. Jail

(Fox News) - During last Thursday's civil rights march in Jena, Louisiana — Jesse Jackson said there is something wrong with a country where there are more black youths in jail than in college. It's a popular claim among activists.

But government figures indicate that it is not true. Census Bureau statistics show there were 864,000 black men in college in 2005. The Justice department puts the number of black men in federal and state prisons and jails at around 837,000 as of June, 2006. And — for those in the 18 — 24 age bracket — black men in college outnumber those behind bars by four to one.

Small World

(Fox News) - Columbia University extended its invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in spite of the fact that Iran was detaining a prominent graduate of the school.

Kian Tajbakhsh was one of four Iranian-Americans charged with endangering Iranian national security. He was held in prison for four months. But he was released on bail late Wednesday — just a few days before Ahmadinejad spoke at the school.

The Iranian leader's appearance has prompted many New York officials to promise retribution for Columbia. The New York Sun reports the state assembly speaker is vowing to consider reducing capital aid and other financial assistance to the school. And a New York City council member is urging donors to withhold money from Columbia.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bush quietly advising Hillary Clinton, top Democrats

Washington, D.C. (Washington Examiner) - President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president. In an interview for the new book “The Evangelical President,” White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has “been urging candidates: ‘Don’t get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically.’ ”

Clinton campaign kills negative story

(The Politico) - Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.

So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.

Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.

Remembering the Gipper...



“Our problems are both acute and chronic, yet all we hear from those in positions of leadership are the same tired proposals for more government tinkering, more meddling and more control—all of which led us to this state in the first place... We must have the clarity of vision to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable, and then the courage to bring our government back under control and make it acceptable to the people.”


Ronald Reagan


New president of the tinfoil hat club... :-)

Must See TV?

(Fox News) - A truck driver in Kent, England is suing the British government over its insistence that secondary school students be shown Al Gore's global warming movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."

The Daily Telegraph reports Stewart Dimmock — who is also serves as a school governor — says he is determined to prevent his children from being subjected to political spin in the classroom. And he says British law forbids, "the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school." It also requires students be "offered a balanced presentation of opposing views."

The government has responded by saying it has asked teachers to offer balance to parts of the Gore movie where there is room for political debate and alternative views to claims not backed by undisputed scientific consensus.

Critics' Choice

(Fox News) - The Department of Health and Human Service's employee newsletter recently suggested that workers looking for new cars consider 12 models rated tops in fuel efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The list included Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas — but no American models.

The Detroit Free Press reports that when Michigan's congressional delegation found out, they got mad — not at Detroit, for failing to make fuel efficient vehicles, but at HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, for steering employees toward certain brands of cars.

An agency spokesman says the newsletter was just trying to relay information and pointed out that some American models were recommended in a section about larger vehicles such as pickups, vans and SUVs.

The Rainmaker

(Fox News) - Best-selling author John Grisham is sounding off about the president, his administration and the war. Grisham is hosting an event for Hillary Clinton Sunday near his Virginia home.

He tells the Des Moines register, "The war is an immoral abomination that we'll pay for for decades to come. We're paying for it now at the rate of 100 kids a month while Bush plays politics with it."

And, of the president and his administration, "I've always thought that they were bad people with evil intent... I can't stand those people and their incompetence is astounding."

Crocodile Tears

(Fox News) - Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley says Republican indignation over the MoveOn.org ad calling General David Petraeus "General Betray Us" is — in his words — "mock outrage."

Kinsley writes in Time Magazine that the ad can be interpreted as questioning the general's honesty — not his patriotism. But Kinsley says that the negative reaction to the ad has been phony and writes, "The war's backers are obviously delighted to have this ad from which they can make an issue."

He adds, "When so many people are clamoring for a chance to swoon that they each have to take a number and when the landscape is so littered with folks lying prostrate and pretending to be dead that it starts to look like the end of a Civil War battle re-enactment, this isn't spontaneous mass outrage. This is choreography."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Law of the Sea Treaty doesn't hold water

With all the critical problems facing America today, it's hard to see why President Bush is wasting whatever is left of his political capital to partner with Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., to try to get the Senate to ratify the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is scheduled to hold a hearing loaded with pro-treaty witnesses and then try to sneak through ratification while the public is focused on other globalism and giveaway mischief.

The Law of the Sea Treaty is the globalists' dream bill. It would put the United States in a de facto world government that rules all the world's oceans under the pretense that they belong to "the common heritage of mankind." That's global-speak for allowing the United Nations and its affiliated organizations to carry out a massive, unprecedented redistribution of wealth from the United States to other countries.


Good ol' Jorge Bush isn't happy with simply abusing his political allies, he just keeps on kicking them when they're down. This guy is beginning to make Bill Clinton look like a class act.

Here's a prediction for you: The GOP monkey who decides to shift his campaign focus and run against Bush will be the one who wins the nomination. In fact, if he runs against Bush in the primary and then ties Hillary to Bush with superglue, he might just win the election next year.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cleaning House

(Fox News) - The owners of a Washington dry cleaning shop who were sued for $54 million by a D.C. judge who claimed they lost his pants have decided to close the store where the dispute began.

An attorney for Jin and Soo Chung says the store lost customers and revenue during the two years of litigation, which resulted in a dismissal of the lawsuit — a decision that is under appeal.

The South Korean immigrants have now shut down two of their three businesses. They still operate their original dry cleaning store across from the D.C. Convention Center.

Court TV

(Fox News) - Several former colleagues of Dan Rather say they are baffled by a $70-million lawsuit the former anchor filed against CBS Wednesday. Rather claims that he was made a "scapegoat" for the discredited story about President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard.

The Washington Post reports the executive producer of "60 Minutes 2," who was forced to resign after the story disputes Rather's contention that he played a largely supervisory role in the piece. Josh Howard says, "He did every interview. He worked the sources over the phone. He was there in the room with the so-called document experts. He argued over every line in the script. It's laughable."

And former "CBS Evening News" executive producer Rome Hartman says of the lawsuit, "It's got to be about this lasting sense of hurt and pride. I was flabbergasted. I just don't get it."

Congressional Democrats Tear Into One of Their Own

(Fox News) - Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran is getting slammed by fellow House Democrats over comments that pro-Israel forces in the U.S., "pushed the Iraq war from the beginning."

The Politico newspaper reports Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman called Moran's remarks "deeply offensive."

A group of 16 Jewish Democrats wrote what is described as a withering letter to Moran, saying in part, "The idea that the war in Iraq began because of the influence of Jewish Americans is factually incorrect and unfortunately fits the anti-Semitic stereotypes some have used historically against Jews."

But Moran is not backing down. A spokesman conceded that the congressman's comments may have been "unnecessarily harsh," but said the criticism was directed at a lobbying organization, not a community of people.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In the Shadow of the Moon

I saw the trailer last night while watching TV... This is a must-see if you're a space junkie. :-)

Senate Votes to Condemn MoveOn for Ad Attacking General Petraeus

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure condemning MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad it ran last week attacking Gen. David Petraeus. The move came as President Bush accused Democrats of cowering to the liberal political action group.

The measure passed in a 72-25 vote, with none of the Democratic presidential candidates supporting it. Sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, never one to shy away from forcing Democrats to go on record on politically sticky issues, the amendment to the defense authorization bill did win the backing of 23 Democrats.

Pranksters paint Ex-Duke star, Cavs GM's office Carolina blue

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (ESPN.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have moved into a swanky new $25 million practice facility and the team brought along its sense of humor, for the most part.

Pranksters painted the office of general manager Danny Ferry, who played for Duke before putting on the Cavaliers uniform, the colors of rival North Carolina.

Paying dearly to hear Gore's climate story

(theage.com.au) - Al Gore has a story he wants to tell the world. But it will cost you a thousand dollars to hear it.

In a passionate attack on the climate policies of Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush, the former US vice-president, addressing a very expensive lunch in Sydney yesterday, called Australia and the US "the Bonnie and Clyde" outlaws of the global environment for their failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Carter: Iran No Threat to Israel Now

ATLANTA (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that it was almost inconceivable that Iran would "commit suicide" by launching missiles at Israel.

Speaking at Emory University, Carter, who brokered the 1979 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt, said Israel's superior military power and distance from Iran likely are enough to discourage an actual attack.

Mass Transit

(Fox News) - The city of Seattle plans to bring its new streetcar system online in December. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the city has spent more than $50 million on the effort and has obviously put a lot of time and thought into the plan.

Except maybe regarding the name.

They now want to call it the South Lake Union Streetcar. But during its inception and construction, the city dubbed it the South Lake Union Trolley. And if you take the first letters of that title, you get the acronym S-L-U-T.

As you can probably guess, that name has stuck, no matter what city officials try to do about it. At one Seattle coffee house, T-shirts with the slogan "Ride the SLUT" are moving off the shelves faster than merchants can get them restocked.

Politically Correct?

(Fox News) - A few weeks ago we told you about some episodes in the comic strip "Opus" that were being dropped by The Washington Post and some of its affiliates because of a reference to Islam that editors felt might be offensive.

A female character says she is becoming a radical Islamist because it's the "hot new fad" on the planet. About 25 of 200 papers in the syndicate didn't run the comic.

Now Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell says the papers that refused to run the material were wrong and that Washington Post editors overreacted.

She says that of the papers that did run the comic, only two received complaints — one each. And many Muslim leaders — including the head of the rights group CAIR and the chair of Islamic Studies at American University — say they were not offended by the comic.

Safe Havens

(Fox News) - A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill that aims to counter the growing number of so-called "sanctuary cities" around the country — cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Minneapolis that prohibit local police from enforcing immigration laws or cooperating with federal immigration investigations.

The Washington Times reports the bill, written by Florida's Virginia Brown-Waite, specifically states that local law enforcement does have existing authority to investigate immigration matters and make arrests. It also would require federal agents to take illegals into custody or reimburse local governments if they detain them.

Similar legislation has failed in the past and this bill faces an uphill fight in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Did The New York Times Break the Law?

(Fox News) - Republican Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia is asking Democrat Henry Waxman, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to convene a hearing over the MoveOn.org ad in The New York Times calling General David Petraeus, "General Betray Us."

Davis says The Times may have unlawfully subsidized the political message of MoveOn by giving it a discounted rate. As we told you last week, MoveOn says it paid$ 65,000 dollars for an ad which The Times tells FOX normally sells for more than $181,000.

Waxman says he believes Republicans are trying to manufacture a controversy, but will consider ordering a hearing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Daily Ask SAM Column

This was in today's Winston-Salem Journal:


Q. After living out of the country for quite awhile, I have now retired and moved back into the Winston-Salem area. I have found plenty of great barbecue and Cheerwine, but I cannot find my old snack favorite that I believed was called B&G fried pies. I remember having them in plenty of choices, and there was a bakery where you could purchase them also, perhaps at the factory? Can you help me locate a retail outlet? - C.C.

A. B&G fried pies are still made in Winston-Salem, but in a different place and by a different company.

King Foods Inc. makes the snack-size pies, in five flavors: apple, peach, cherry, lemon and chocolate. The manufacturing building is at 2400 Old Lexington Road. There isn’t a retail store or sales hours, but “we sell to anyone that comes in the door,” said Helen Baker, who owns the company with her husband.

“We start working in the morning and work until we’re finished manufacturing for the day so we leave at different times,’’ she said. “But we are thrilled when customers come by and want a pie as fresh as they can get them.”

The original B&G Pie Co. began in the 1940s. Longtime residents may remember the company’s headquarters on South Marshall Street. King Foods bought B&G in 1989.

Baker said that such local restaurants as Kermit’s Hot Dog House, Little Richard’s Bar-B-Que and P.B.’s Takeout sell the pies. You can’t really say you’ve been to Winston-Salem unless you’ve been to at least one of those joints.

We’ve also seen the pies at Lowes Foods, near the frozen-food section. Not that you would want to eat one heated with vanilla ice cream or anything.

Thanks
To the people who helped when my wife and I were stranded on the highway when our car broke down while traveling north on U.S. 52 close to King. We want to thank Butch and others at Stokes Tire and Automotive, who received our car after it was towed. Someone from the shop gave us a ride to the Winston-Salem airport to pick up a rental car. Butch later had to retrieve my wife’s camera from the car used to take us to the airport, and he mailed it to her. All of this help was provided at no charge. Thanks also to the anonymous woman who stopped to check on us and brought us bottles of water, as well as the gentleman who stopped and called the police for us so that they could help us get a tow truck, which showed up very quickly. This car problem was very stressful, but the care and service received helped us get through it. We will be forever grateful and won’t forget your small, thoughtful town. - Alan and Sue Boyd, Athens, Ohio

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O’Brien: “Bill Clinton is promoting his new book. In an interview, Former President Bill Clinton says although most people don’t know it, Hillary has the best laugh. Bill added, ‘I get to hear it every time she pushes me down the stairs’.”

David Letterman: “Top Surprises in General Petraeus’s Report to Congress”: Opens with a forward from Jerry Stiller; Kurds and Sunnis are contemplating joining forces under the new name, “Kurnis”; Addressed some congressman as “Mommy”; An entire section devoted to his famous ham salad recipe; Most of his solutions were based on old episodes of “MacGyver”; Said more needs to be done about senators with wide restroom stances.

Jay Leno: General Petraeus [testified] before Congress and a number of senators accused General Petraeus of lying. You’ve gotta understand why they’re upset. If you are going to deceive the American people, you do it the right way: You run for Congress. ... Vice President Dick Cheney is very upset about the way Gen. Petraeus has been treated by the Democrats. Cheney said it’s horrible the way people mock and treat a soldier. I’ll be sure to pass that on to John Kerry when I see him. ... A New Orleans prostitute has come forward and said she has had sex with married Louisiana Senator David Vitter two or three times a week over a four-month period. This is actually good news for the Republicans. Finally a sex scandal involving a woman. ... Senator Vitter is denying this woman’s allegations. Who are you gonna believe, a U.S. senator or a hooker? I’ve gotta go with the hooker. ... Prison officials in New Jersey, this week, had to use tear gas to break up a prison riot. You know what they call tear gas in New Jersey? Air freshener.

Fred Thompson Fears Presidential Run Will Typecast Him As Politician :-)

The Onion

WASHINGTON, DC—
Veteran character actor and Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson expressed worries to reporters Tuesday that a successful White House bid could spell "total career death."

"It would be nice to get away from the FBI agent and district attorney roles—that's why I eventually decided to try out for the Oval Office part—but would being forced to play presidents for the rest your life be that much better?" said Thompson, whose résumé includes Law & Order, Die Hard 2, U.S. senator from 1994 to 2003, and Baby's Day Out. "Sure, you don't want to turn down work, and it'd be a solid four-to-eight-year gig, but after that I'd always be known as 'that politician guy.' Look what happened to Reagan—he never worked again."

Recent polls have placed Thompson among the GOP frontrunners, with many voters citing the value of his experience as U.S. president in the 2005 docudrama Last Best Chance.

Bill to give D.C. its first congressman dies in Senate

It offered new seat for Utah, to entice GOP, but failed by 3 votes

WASHINGTON (AP) -
A bill that would have given District of Columbia residents their first member of Congress died in the Senate yesterday, dashing hopes of full voting rights in the nation’s capital after a 206-year wait.

Senators voted 57-42, three votes short of the 60 needed to move the bill forward. The bill would have created two new House seats: One for the city of about 600,000 people and one for Utah, which narrowly missed out on a fourth seat after the last census.

The procedural vote, against moving on with the debate, effectively killed the best chance in years to win the district a full-fledged House member. The city has been denied voting rights in Congress since 1801, making it the only major capital city in the world where residents don’t have a vote in the nation’s representative body of government.

Advocates had hoped to resolve what they call a “national disgrace” and the most important civil-rights issue of the era. They said they will try again, probably with a new version of the bill next year.

Obama wants to shift taxes to corporations, investors

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama proposed yesterday that the tax code be overhauled to give poor and middle-class taxpayers up to $85 billion in relief each year by shifting that burden to corporations and wealthy investors.

Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, described his plan as a step to curb Washington’s preferential treatment of the rich and powerful and reward the hard work of average Americans.

“Instead of having all of us pay our fair share, we’ve got over $1 trillion worth of loopholes in the corporate tax code,” he said. “This isn’t the invisible hand of the market at work. It’s the successful work of special interests.”

Under Siege

(Fox News) - If someone hijacks a private plane or an airliner over Germany with the intent to crash it and kill civilians — Germany's highest court has ruled the military cannot shoot it down.

But now Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung says if there was no other way to stop the attack — he would give the order to shoot down the plane anyway. A German news service reports Jung is taking heavy criticism for the stance.

Says one former parliament official — "This was the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that a minister openly declares he would disregard the ruling of the Constitutional Court and order that a crime be committed, if he deems it right."

Historic Failures

(Fox News) - A study of 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 U.S. colleges and universities has found that students at the most expensive schools — with the highest paid presidents — and largest government subsidies — do the worst on a test of basic American history.

The study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute says the average score for freshmen was 50.4 percent correct — seniors got 54.2. Both of those would be "F"s in a classroom.

And the schools with the worst results were supposedly elite universities — including Yale, Princeton, Duke, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania. The study says students from smaller regional schools such as Eastern Connecticut State — Concordia University in Nebraska and Marian College in Wisconsin — scored the highest.

Dirty Tricks?

(Fox News) - The liberal group Iraq Veterans Against the War has launched a campaign to hamper military recruiting.

The group's Web site features this page encouraging members to help end the war by monopolizing the time of as many recruiters as possible. It says — "By flooding recruiters and recruitment centers with phone calls, appointments, questions and smiling faces, recruiters will waste their time and resources on you."

The posting encourages members not to sign any papers, and to share pictures and stories of their dilatory tactics on the Web site.

Judge Rules on 'Global Warming' Lawsuit Against Automakers

(Fox News) - A federal judge in San Francisco has thrown out a lawsuit by the state of California against the six largest automakers. The suit claimed the companies were liable for contributing to global warming. The judge said it would be inappropriate for the court to wade into what he called the "global warming thicket."

He said the implications of climate change on interstate commerce and foreign policy should be left to the political branches of government. The lawsuit was the first that sought to hold manufacturers liable for alleged global warming damages caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

JESSE JACKSON: OBAMA 'ACTING LIKE HE'S WHITE'

Presidential candidate’s response to Jena, La., case called too weak

(The State) -
The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Tuesday on Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination for president to give S.C. voters “something to vote for” when they go to the polls in January.

On a statewide tour to register new voters, Jackson said South Carolina will determine “who has momentum” in the primary when it votes Jan. 29.

Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles’ arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La. Jackson, who also lives in Illinois, endorsed Obama in March, according to The Associated Press.

Sources Claim Barry Manilow Lying About 'View' Boycott

NEW YORK, New York (Access Hollywood) – The man who writes the songs won’t be singing any of them on “The View” – or at least as long as Elisabeth Hasselbeck is there.

Barry Manilow says he has backed out of his scheduled appearance on the morning talk show after the show refused to pull Hasselbeck from the interview, Access Hollywood has learned...

...However, sources close to “The View” claim Manilow is lying.

Sources told Access the show is the one who cancelled the booking because they would not allow the “Copacabana” singer to dictate who would interview him.

In addition, the appearance has been scheduled since July (which is after Rosie left the show) and that Manilow has appeared twice on the show in the past with Hasselbeck on the panel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O.J. Simpson to face kidnapping, armed robbery charges

Former American football star O.J. Simpson has been charged with eight offences, including kidnapping and armed robbery, court documents showed Tuesday.

Simpson, an iconic sports star who was dramatically acquitted of brutally murdering his ex-wife and her friend 12 years ago, is to appear in court in Las Vegas on Wednesday for an arraignment hearing.

The charges against Simpson and three other men were detailed in a criminal complaint filed by Nevada prosecutors in Clark County on Tuesday, following the fallen icon's arrest on Sunday in connection with an alleged armed robbery.

Simpson and the men have been charged with seven felony offences: conspiracy to commit kidnapping; conspiracy to commit robbery; first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon; burglary with a deadly weapon; robbery with a deadly weapon; assault with a deadly weapon and coercion with a deadly weapon.

The four men have also been charged with the misdemeanor offence of conspiracy to commit a crime.

If convicted on the most serious charges Simpson would face several years, possibly decades, in prison.

The charges stem from an incident at the Palace Station casino on Thursday, when a gang of gun-toting men that included Simpson is reported to have stormed into a hotel room and snatched sporting memorabilia from two dealers.


Well, well, well. I guess this is racism at work as well.

Republicans Can Win on Health Care

A market-based system can give us freedom, innovation and health security.

By Karl Rove
OpinionJournal.com


All around America, families are grappling with health-care concerns. They wonder if they'll have insurance at a price they can afford. They worry about how much out-of-pocket health costs take from the family budget. They question if they'll be able to pick their own doctor. Some feel trapped in jobs they don't like out of fear of losing their health insurance.

As the latest government-heavy plan announced by Hillary Clinton yesterday once again shows, the answers politicians offer on health care highlight the deep differences between liberals and conservatives. This is a debate Republicans cannot avoid. But it is one we can win--if we offer a bold plan. Conservatives must put forward reforms aimed at putting the patient in charge. Increasing competition will ensure greater access, lower costs and more innovation.

Liberals see the concerns of families as a failure of private insurance, and want the U.S. to move toward a government-run, single-payer model. This is a recipe for making problems worse. Socialized medicine inevitably leads to poor quality, inefficiency, rising taxes and rationing. The waiting lines and poor care that cause people from other countries to come here for treatment are not the answer.

HillaryCare 2.0

Without the “radical overhaul” of 1993.

By Rich Lowry
National Review Online


When it comes to health care, Hillary Clinton is never going to let her name be associated with the words “radical overhaul” ever again. Or, if she can help it, with massive bureaucracy or new taxes. That’s what happened in 1993 with her health-care plan as First Lady, and, as she never tires of saying, she has “the scars to prove it.”

HillaryCare 2.0 is an entirely different enterprise, or so she would have us believe. It’s the “American Health Choices Plan.” It “builds on the current system to give businesses and their employers greater choice of health plans,” while imposing “no overall increase in health spending or taxes.” It’s the all-things-to-all-people, sweetness-and-light, all-benefits-and-no-costs health-care plan of 2007.

FREDeralism!

By Chris Edwards
Cato Institute


There has been a void in the Republican presidential race. The GOP candidates have spoken about immigration, taxes, social issues, and the war in Iraq. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain have also spoken frequently about Ronald Reagan in order to position themselves as the political heirs to the great president.

The candidates, however, have overlooked a central idea that animated Reagan's view of government. That was federalism, the constitutional principle that the federal government's responsibilities are "few and defined" as James Madison put it.

Deal or Dud: Wrinkle Releaser

Fox 8 News

Few people enjoy ironing clothes. A new product called the Wrinkle Releaser claims it can smooth out everything from t-shirts to sheets. Consumer Reporter Melissa Painter puts in through the Deal or Dud test.

This product was invented with us single guys in mind... Ha! :-)

Minnesota Toe Licker Nabbed

After mugging, creep told victim, "Now I'm going to suck your feet."

(The Smoking Gun) -
Meet Carlton Davis. The Minnesota man, 26, is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing a cell phone and purse from a woman he mugged on a St. Paul street early Saturday morning. According to police, after the woman turned over her belongings, Davis announced, "Now I'm going to suck your feet." Which he did, after the 24-year-old victim removed her shoes. Davis, who fled when passersby approached, was apprehended by cops a few blocks from the crime scene. He was booked into the Ramsey County lockup, where the below mug shot was snapped.

HEALTH INSURANCE PROOF REQUIRED FOR WORK

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance was the only way to achieve universal health care but she rejected the notion of punitive measures to force individuals into the health care system...

... She said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview — like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.

Georgia GOP Official Quits Job After Calling for 'Whiter' Downtown Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Fox News) — A Republican Party official has resigned from the Augusta housing authority board after fallout from an e-mail in which he appeared to endorse "making the downtown whiter."

Senate Set for Key Vote on D.C. House Representation

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — It's the furthest a District of Columbia voting rights bill has made it since 1978, but whether it will make it any further is far from assured.

The Senate is poised on Tuesday to cast votes on a bill that would add two seats to the House: one in the Democrat-heavy District, and one in Republican-heavy Utah. The bill already has passed the House. If signed into law, it would give the District its first-ever full voting member of Congress.

MoveOn Gravy Train Makes and Breaks Political Fortunes

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Here's a pop quiz on money in politics: Who gives more money to federal candidates, the National Rifle Association or MoveOn.org?

Answer: MoveOn.

And it isn't even close.

Grab Bag

(Fox News) - A mother sitting in a west London coffee shop with her 10-month-old son was the victim of a purse-snatcher who grabbed her bag and ran out of the store. So 34-year-old Sam McAlister asked the employees to watch her son and took off after the thief. The Evening Standard reports McAlister found the female robber in a nearby store and wrestled the purse away from her.

But when McAlister went to the police station to file a complaint, a female desk officer told her that no crime had been committed because she had gotten the bag back. McAlister says she was dumbfounded and demanded to speak to a superior officer. She later received a call from a supervisor and a crime report was written up.

A police spokesman says of the desk officer, "words of advice will be given to the staff member involved."

Unlikely Allies

(Fox News) - The American Civil Liberties Union has come out in defense of Sen. Larry Craig. The ACLU has filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief urging the Minnesota District Court to allow the Idaho Republican to withdraw his disorderly conduct guilty plea, after he was arrested for soliciting sex in an airport restroom. The ACLU says the sting operation used to catch Craig was likely unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, that restroom has become the Twin Cities' hot new must-see attraction. An information specialist at the airport told a reporter that just 15 minutes into her shift Friday, she'd already been asked for directions four times by folks anxious to go inside and take pictures. A local newspaper published a detailed map of the airport Sunday, highlighting the location of the men's room.

Not Kosher

(Fox News) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be destroyed and has questioned whether the Holocaust took place. But now one of the hottest TV shows in Iran takes a sympathetic view of the Holocaust and makes a hero out of an Iranian diplomat who helps Jews escape from World War II Nazi-controlled Paris.

"Zero Degree Turn" is a fictionalized adaptation of a true story. It airs on state-run television, meaning it has been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.

The show also skirts another taboo in Iran, by allowing female actors to break the state-mandated Islamic dress code.

Funding Pulled

(Fox News) - The Student Government Association at the University of Arizona last week rescinded its promise of more than $4,000 in funding for an annual Christian-themed concert, after changing its bylaws to prohibit donations to events with religious or political themes.

The Arizona Daily Star reports members of the student senate say they changed the rules in order to comply with state law. But one of the group's leaders could not specify which law was being cited and the university's legal counsel says there is no such law. And a First Amendment lawyer says what the students did actually breaks a law — the First Amendment.

And, while the students cut money for the Christian concert, they approved funding for an ad in the student newspaper sponsored by a gay rights group that lists names and job titles of students, faculty and staff who are homosexuals.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Subsidies raise questions for this, future columns

By Paul O'Connor
Winston-Salem Journal

RALEIGH -
There’s an old rule in the column-writing business to which I’ve spent a career adhering: Report it once, sell it many times.

That is, find some information and repackage it for as many different paying customers as possible. If you’re working exclusively for one guy - as I am now - get at least two columns out of each bit.

In that spirit, it’s time to answer the questions I posed last week about the political ramifications of the General Assembly’s special sessions on Gov. Mike Easley’s veto of a bill giving $40 million in subsidies to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Remembering the Gipper...



“[A]ll Americans should reflect upon the precious heritage of liberty under law passed on to us by our Founding Fathers. This heritage finds its most comprehensive expression in our Constitution. The framing of the Constitution was an arduous task accomplished in the spirit of cooperation and with dedication to the ideals of republican self-government and unalienable God-given human rights that gave transcendent meaning and inspiration to the American Revolution... The wisdom and foresight of the architects of the Constitution are manifest in the fact that it remains a powerful governing tool to the present day. Indeed, a great British statesman has called it ‘the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.’ For 200 years, people from other lands have come to the United States to participate in the great adventure in self-government begun in Philadelphia in 1787... [A]ll citizens should reread and study this great document and rededicate themselves to the ideals it enshrines.”


Ronald Reagan

Barry to Elisabeth: Your "View" is Dangerous

(TMZ.com) - TMZ has learned that legendary singer Barry Manilow has pulled out of his scheduled appearance on "The View" tomorrow -- because he strongly disagrees with host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's conservative view! Paging Rosie O'Donnell!

Repeating History

(Fox News) - An eighth-grade history teacher in Chico, California thought it would be a good idea to send home with his students a letter featuring a modern-day take on the Declaration of Independence.

A Chico newspaper reports the letter was addressed to President Bush and basically declared the parents' intentions to renounce their citizenship — as the American colonists had done with Britain. But the teacher did not send any explanation with the letter and several parents took it seriously. Some were outraged. But a few signed the letter and returned it to the teacher.

The head of the school system says the teacher now realizes he should have made his point a little differently and has sent home a second letter with students explaining the situation.

Shelton brothers endow scholarship program

It will help Surry, Stokes students who want to go to community college

(Winston-Salem Journal) -
Charlie and Ed Shelton, brothers and business partners who have deep ties to Surry and Stokes counties, are reaching back to help high-school students in the counties who want to go to college.

A program established by the Sheltons, the owners of The Village at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, will award about 50 students up to $1,000 in scholarships to Surry Community College and Forsyth Technical Community College.

The program will focus on the work ethic and character of students with financial need, Ed Shelton said Thursday.

Hillary's Orwellian Health Care: Mandating Coverage = Choice

"War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength" -- Slogan of the ruling party in George Orwell's "1984"

With the health care proposal she is about to introduce, Hillary Clinton adds another spooky non sequitur to the list: Compulsory Coverage is Choice. Will the MSM take notice?

Clinton cagily calls her proposal "American Health Choices Plan." But according to this AP article, it requires everyone to carry health insurance [emphasis added]:

The centerpiece of Clinton's plan is the so-called "individual mandate," requiring everyone to have health insurance — just as most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance. Rival John Edwards has also offered a plan that includes an individual mandate, while the proposal outlined by Barack Obama does not.

"It puts the consumer in the driver's seat by offering more choices and lowering costs," Neera Tanden, Clinton's top policy adviser, told The Associated Press. "If you like the plan you have, you keep it. If you're one of tens of millions of Americans without coverage or don't like the coverage you have, you will have a choice of plans to pick from and you'll get tax credits to help pay for it."

Note how the AP already begins to provide cover for Clinton's plan, noting that most states require auto insurance. True, but that is the result of an affirmative decision people make to drive. What's the equivalent here? Breathing?


Mark Finkelstein

Just a little preview of the Brave New World we'll enjoy under The Beast in Pants Suits.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism

One of the most influential business books ever written is a 1,200-page novel published 50 years ago, on Oct. 12, 1957. It is still drawing readers; it ranks 388th on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. (“Winning,” by John F. Welch Jr., at a breezy 384 pages, is No. 1,431.)

The 1957 novel was harshly reviewed and widely read.

The book is “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand’s glorification of the right of individuals to live entirely for their own interest.

For years, Rand’s message was attacked by intellectuals whom her circle labeled “do-gooders,” who argued that individuals should also work in the service of others. Her book was dismissed as an homage to greed. Gore Vidal described its philosophy as “nearly perfect in its immorality.”


Harriet Rubin

We've had some lively discussions around Rand and her works here on the BP before. From a literary point of view, Atlas Shrugged doesn't have much to recommend it. It is too long, the characters are wooden, there are too many long-winded monologues. However, it absolutely changed my life when I read it for the first time over thirty years ago. While many cannot completely buy into Rand's morality of selfishness, no one but the most hard core left-wing extremists can deny that Rand's case against collectivism is devastating.

We owe Rand a debt of gratitude for being one of very few voices in opposition to the movement toward the left in the 1950s and 1960s. She expressed the most fundamental ideas that allowed other thinkers to argue for the morality of capitalism and the utter immorality of communism, socialism, and other totalitarian, collectivist systems.

If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, you cannot consider yourself well enough vested in political and economic thought to even engage in the discussion.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

FBI Wants Dress Code For Bank Customers

The FBI wants people to remove hats and sunglasses when they enter a bank, agents said.

Agent Larry Carr in Seattle said the agency is asking state lawmakers for a banking dress code to prevent robbers from covering their faces from surveillance cameras.

Missouri adopted a dress code. and bank robberies dropped significantly.


Police state? What police state?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Clinton Cackles, Lies about Iraq Vote

By Rush Limbaugh
RushLimbaugh.com


Another flat-out Clinton lie. And how about that cackle?

The Hillary-Hsu-Woodstock Connection


By Rush Limbaugh
RushLimbaugh.com


Dots connect from Hsu to a $1M Hillary earmark.

Tough Love

By Michael Reagan
TownHall.com


We buried my mother, Jane Wyman, today and as I stood at her grave the words of Abraham Lincoln came back to me: "All I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother." Everybody talks about my dad Ronald Reagan, and what he did for America, and many people think that because he set such a great example for his fellow citizens in so many ways, he was also responsible for making me who I am today. While that may be true in some ways, if anybody really wants to know who and what I am, you have to go back to my mother. All that's decent and praiseworthy that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to her.

We are winning the war

I think it instructive to present examples occasionally of people who have utterly departed from reality and choose to share their fantasies with us on the Internet. Poor Bob is just such a fellow. I really think he needs to seek professional help.


We are winning the war.

In fact, it is a rout. We have been victorious every day we have fought.


Ok, Bob, I'm sure you're going to fill us in on that. Buckle your seat belts, folks. It promises to be a wild ride.


It's unfortunate that we don't see that. Tragic that we cannot recognize our good fortune and success. Astounding that we misperceive this war and its purpose and progress.


Yep, here it comes. One of the more interesting facets of the current war is the ever-changing purpose of it. Let's see what new and entertaining purpose Bob has found for us.


We are engaged in a war of national self-defense and, as it stands now, we have been completely successful.


Great, Bob. Re-define the purpose and declare victory. One wonders at the target audience of this. Since Bob is a long time supporter of all the different purposes we have been given for the war, it is curious that he has come full circle to the self defense argument. Of course, we were given a fairly weak self-defense argument as the original purpose for this war. Weak, because there was no credible threat to the sovereign United States itself and additionally because the Administration chose to (and continues to) ignore the more immediate and credible threat to us from North Korea.

Of course, we know that Bob is immediately going to tell us that we have been successful because no one has attacked us since 9/11. He will conveniently ignore the fact that no one attacked us before 9/11 either, but let's see where he's going with this.


The war began, to our understanding, on September 11, 2001. Our enemy had commenced hostilities before then, but prior to that point we were not aware of or engaged in the war.


As surmised, Bob is headed most surely down the path of arguing that the lack of attacks on us since 9/11 means we're completely safe and winning the war, all 12 million illegals currently within our borders notwithstanding.


Militant Islam, a loosely coalesced religious movement bent on world domination and the destruction of free societies and Judeo-Christian cultures, committed a horrific act of war against the American people in the American homeland.


What Bob says is absolutely true, but like all generalizations, it is also absolutely incorrect. Bob is attempting to anthropomorphize this fluid entity he calls "Militant Islam." That's because he knows that fighting an idea or a tactic is a worthless strategic goal. In order to stir his readers up, he needs a more or less human bogeyman for us to hate. The elements of truth are that Militant Islam, such as it can be generalized, is interested in the goals he states. However, it was an organization headed by a crazy Saudi with more money than sanity that attacked us on 9/11. While that organization claims to speak for the cause of Militant Islam, it obviously is not all of Militant Islam. In short, Bob has resorted to cheap propaganda trickery to further his point. One suspects this won't be the last instances of this in the article.

As well, this all begs the question of what the war in Iraq has to do with any of this.


At that point, the intent of our enemy and the focus of our defense became perfectly clear. The objective of the enemy was to kill Americans in America. The objective of our defense was to prevent that from happening, to defend the American homeland at all costs.


No kidding, Bob? I don't know about you, Bob, but that objective has been pretty clear since the 1970s when radical Muslims started hijacking planes and slaughtering innocents.

But once again, what does any of this have to do with the war in Iraq?


Be clear about that. The “war on terror” -- which is really a fight with the hydra-headed expansionist Islam – is first, last and always a war to defend the American homeland. The enemy made its intentions clear by killing Americans in America. The only purpose of the war is to protect the United States.


No it isn't, Bob. You can't fight a war on a tactic or some amorphous entity. This is precisely the reason why this "war" is such a miserable failure. It's exactly the same mistake as making war on poverty or drugs. You make war on nations and armies, Bob. You don't make war on isolated guerrilla crazies with access to money and guns. You don't make war on a belief system. You absolutely don't make war on a tactic. Terrorism is a tactic. You counter a tactic. You create strategies to meet tactics. You author counter-tactics, but you absolutely do not declare war on a tactic. It is a fool's errand, especially in the case of terrorism. Terrorism is actually a collection of extremely mutable tactics. Armies and tanks and ships and all the conventional strategies that make up a "war on" something are utterly worthless against terrorism.

But maybe you'll explain to us, Bob, which part of this grand war addresses the fact that our borders are porous as sponges while our soldiers fight and die in the sand half way around the war. Isn't that kind of like running around the most crime-ridden parts of the city, brandishing a gun while you have left the doors and windows of your house unlocked?


Our military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have combined with domestic law-enforcement actions to make it impossible for our enemy to operate tactically in our homeland. Instead, we have induced the enemy into meeting us on the battleground of the Middle East. Whereas the enemy wanted to fight unarmed civilians in America, we have duped him into fighting our armed military in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Oh horse manure, Bob. First, maybe you could illuminate for us how invading and occupying Iraq or Afghanistan has made anything impossible. Second, regardless of the fact that we have given up a substantial number of liberties to make the growing police state Bob calls "domestic law-enforcement action" possible, individual incidents of Muslim crazies operating "tactically" here in the US don't seem to have been curtailed in the least. And that's the whole point, isn't it, Bob? You war is the wrong tactic. It can't possibly address activities like the nutjobs in Chapel Hill or Seattle.

And the whole "we have duped him into fighting" thing is hilarious, Bob. But if you want to take credit for a side effect, be my guest.


If our enemy had the capability to strike us again on our territory, he would have. But he doesn't have it because we have taken it away from him. We have thus far maintained the initiative and the upper hand.


Right, Bob, or could it be that we removed the only entity with the capability to hit us in the first action in Afghanistan? Could it be that, as I said at the outset, the enemy was a crazy Saudi rich kid and his shadowy Saudi backers, and we have taken him and whatever organization he had out?

We're still missing any connection between this epic struggle and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Bob. Initially, we were told that we needed to go into Iraq to take out Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. We weren't actually sure they were there, and no one seemed to be able to indicate how his possession of such constituted any real threat to us. Then, when it became apparent that the WMD excuse was vapor, we were assured that Saddam was a really bad guy and we were on high moral ground in removing him. We were assured that the Iraqis would adore us and hold parades in our honor once we took the evil old fart out. After we captured Saddam and we seemed no closer to leaving, we were told that this was an action to spread truth, democracy, and the American way into Iraq. So now that it has become finally apparent to everyone that the Iraqis aren't as thrilled with these attributes as we are, I guess we're back to the whole self defense mantra. Trouble is, Bob hasn't done anything but some cheerleading, so we don't really have any better idea why fighting in Iraq has any bearing on our self defense or exactly what the credible threat to us might be.

Life Saver?

(Fox News) - Fidel Castro says he saved President Ronald Reagan's life by tipping off U.S. officials to an assassination attempt in 1984. Castro made the claim in an essay published Wednesday by a Cuban state newspaper.

Castro says Cuban officials told an American security chief about an extreme right-wing group that planned to kill Mr. Reagan during a visit to North Carolina. Castro says the FBI arrested several people in North Carolina a few days later and that the American security chief expressed his thanks to the Cuban tipster.

So far there has been no confirmation by any American official. The FBI tells a British newspaper that it will take some time to check the veracity of the claim.

Flag Ban

(Fox News) - Students at Hobbton High School in Sampson County, North Carolina were prohibited from wearing any likeness of the U.S. flag Tuesday on the anniversary of 9/11, because of a school policy banning the wearing of any flag.

The school's principal said the policy was a reaction to gang members who wore foreign flags as gang symbols. Parents and locals were outraged and the ban made national news.

But Wednesday, the school district superintendent had had enough of the e-mails and phone calls and media reports. He struck down the ban and said that from now on no individual principal could make any changes in the county dress code which does not ban the wearing of flags.

Where's the Beef?

(Fox News) - Scientists in Britain say eating less meat could help slow global warming. The medical journal The Lancet features experts saying that by eating fewer steaks and burgers, there would be less need for livestock, which would decrease the amount of methane flatulence.

Scientists say methane is far more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide and many maintain the meat industry is more dangerous that all forms of transportation. Experts say in the story that cutting meat consumption by 10 percent would result in a cut in greenhouse gases.

The New York Times Gives MoveOn.org a Deep Discount

(Fox News) - So how deep was the discount MoveOn.org got for its famous ad suggesting General Petraeus is a traitor?

The Times tells FOX News that the published rate for a similar ad is a little under $182,000. MoveOn confirms to the New York Post that it paid only $65,000 — a discount of almost $117,000. A Times spokeswoman denies the rate charged indicated a political bias.

Republican Senate Whip Trent Lott told FOX News, "I assume the New York Times gave them the friends and family discount."

Meanwhile, the ad alleges that the Pentagon's claims of reduced violence are false because car bomb deaths are not counted. But The Times own reporting contradicts that. In an article Saturday explaining the Pentagon formula, reporter Michael Gordon writes, "but victims of all car bomb attacks and Shiite and Sunni infighting are included in the overall civilian casualty count."

Clinton Readies U.S. Health Insurance Plan as Pitfalls Loom

(Bloomberg) -- Hillary Clinton, offering a new prescription for providing all Americans with health-care insurance, is seeking to avoid a repeat of her first, failed bid to revamp the system.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner Announces Bid for Senate Seat

RICHMOND, Va. (Fox News) — In an e-mailed video to supporters and an interview, former Gov. Mark Warner committed himself Thursday to a 14-month U.S. Senate race, pledging to put domestic woes on an equal footing with the Iraq war.

Code of Silence

(Fox News) - School officials in Queens, New York are under fire after a policy that prohibited 911 calls for any reason led to tragic results for a student.

The New York Daily News reports a 14-year-old girl who suffered a stroke went an hour-and-a-half without medical attention because of the policy at Jamaica High School. Her parents say the girl now has trouble walking, cannot use her right hand and cannot read properly.

The girl's lawyer says schools don't want 911 calls made because they reflect poorly on safety records. But the school's "no-call" policy runs directly against the school district policy that specifically instructs officials to call 911 in emergencies. That directive came after an 11-year-old boy died during an asthma attack at a Brooklyn public school, while nurses allegedly were prohibited from calling 911.

Costly Verdict

(Fox News) - Two former Detroit police officers have been awarded $6.5 million dollars in a whistleblower lawsuit that produced allegations of corruption and infidelity by Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his staff.

One of the officers was fired after looking into criminal allegations against members of the mayor's security unit. The other was transferred out of the unit after being identified as a whistleblower. He also described escorting the married mayor to trysts with several women.

The jury found that Mayor Kilpatrick and the city had violated the state's Whistleblower Protection Act.

Jobs Service

(Fox News) - A Pennsylvania charity supported by Democratic Congressman John Murtha that purports to help find jobs for disabled people, reportedly has had very little success and mainly does business with people and companies tied to Murtha.

Roll Call newspaper reports, the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals with Disabilities bills itself as representing 60 million people, but has actually helped only 237 get permanent jobs. The paper says Murtha has helped fund it through congressional earmarks and that the organization works primarily with other companies Murtha has financed.

Now former Georgia Democratic Senator Max Cleland has withdrawn from the group's board of directors after just one month. Cleland is himself disabled and has been a strong advocate for people with disabilities.

Are Biofuels Really Good for the Environment?

(Fox News) - Yet another international organization is warning that the rush to biofuels may do the environment more harm that good. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, of which the U.S. is a member, has a new report that says biofuels may, "offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal."

The biofuel industry is enjoying large subsidies: about $7 billion-a-year from the U.S. government. But this latest report says "the current push to expand the use of biofuels is creating unsustainable tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits."

Stokes health board suspends director

Don Moore was fired in 2005 but reinstated after vote questioned

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) -
The Stokes County Board of Health has suspended the county health director with pay for alleged violations of personal conduct, according to a letter detailing his suspension.

Don Moore, the county health director since 2005, said yesterday that the board of health did not give a specific reason for his suspension during a closed session Tuesday night, citing a pending investigation.

“I’m very disappointed about this,” he said. “I think I’ve done a good job.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tire Giveaway May Yield Surprises

By John Hood
Carolina Journal


Winning costly victories famously caused Pyrrhus to lose a bloody and consequential war. Perhaps it will do the same for the architects of this week's legislative disaster.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: “Top Signs Your Neighbor is Hiding Osama bin Laden”: He’s turned backyard jungle gym into Taliban training camp; You call over there and someone answers, “Death to America... I mean, Yello”; There’s a large “No Infidels” sign on the front porch; In latest video, behind Osama is you mowing the lawn; Neighborhood suddenly reeks of figs and sheep; Got invited to summer block party—this years theme: “Sun, Fun and Jihad”; Mailbox now reads, “Rutherford/bin Laden”; Car in the driveway has a hilarious “Martyrdom or Bust” bumper sticker.

Jay Leno: In his latest video, Osama bin Laden urges all Americans to reject democracy and convert to Islam. Well, I can see that happening! Is this guy living in a cave? ... No, bin Laden said he wants Americans to convert to Islam because there are no taxes in his world. Which is true. There’s also no music, no ice, no books... And from the looks of bin Laden, no toothpaste or deodorant either. ... Newsweek has a big cover story on Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. You learn a lot about him. For example, he used to work at NBC, so apparently he knows how to deal with disasters. ... In Idaho, restroom enthusiast Senator Larry Craig, he said he will resign. He said he enjoyed being in Washington and he’ll miss his colleagues on both sides of the stall. First he’s going to resign, now he’s not going. Why can’t the guy just be straight with us? Even John Kerry’s going, “make up your mind.” ... And here’s a joke that pretty much writes itself. Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey—remember he resigned from office because he had a gay affair—now he’s enrolled in a seminary school to become a priest. (You may fill in your own joke.) A former married governor who was having anonymous gay sex at truck stops now wants to become a member of the clergy. Well what could go wrong there?

Burr named panel leader

He'll be top GOP senator for the VA

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) -
Senate Republicans named Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs yesterday.

Burr takes over for Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who announced earlier this month plans to resign from the Senate after his guilty plea in an airport sex sting.

Burr never served in the military, but he represents a state with an estimated 770,000 veterans and more than 100,000 active-duty military personnel.

He said that the appointment gives him the chance to work more closely on issues that affect North Carolina. He noted that North Carolina has one of fastest-growing populations of military retirees in the country.

Easley approves incentive package

(Charlotte Observer) - The General Assembly pushed North Carolina's business incentives to a new level Tuesday, agreeing to give up to $60 million to select companies that remain in the state, even if they cut jobs.

Lawmakers ended up passing a corporate incentives bill distinctly similar to one that Easley vetoed last month, which is what brought them all to Raleigh this week. The key differences in the legislation approved Tuesday are that Easley approved of the new version, with protections for jobs and workers added. And it gives out $60 million -- $20 million more than the one he vetoed.

Dangerous Behavior

(Fox News) - A middle school art teacher in suburban Chicago says he plans to ask the local state's attorney to file child endangerment charges against his school, because it promotes milk and other animal products as part of a healthy diet.

The Chicago Tribune reports Dave Warwak was removed from his classroom for encouraging students not to eat meat and refusing to stop discussing animal cruelty issues with the children. Now Warwak says he won't return to his job while there are posters in the cafeteria promoting milk.

He says, "I can't really see working there as long as those milk posters are up and they keep feeding poison to the kids."