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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.

Monday, December 31, 2007

New recycling law to hit alcohol sales

NORTH CAROLINA: A new law will affect every North Carolina business that sells alcohol; and it could show up on consumers’ bills. Starting Jan. 1, businesses with alcohol permits have to start sorting and recycling their glass, plastics and cans. State legislators passed the law three years ago, and supporters said businesses would save money by throwing away less trash.
Some bar owners disagree and say there will be extra costs to recycle that they will have to pass on to customers.
“Prices will go up. I'm sure everybody across the board will have to implement some small price increases to make up for the all containers we have to rent and the guys trucking it out of here,” said William Acquario, the owner of Tavern on the Tracks.
Acquario has been in business for about five years. He said his business has plenty of recyclable materials, and they’ll follow the law, but he says it doesn’t make much sense to recycle. “It’s just another bit of legislation that gets passed on down to the consumer unfortunately,” he said.
The law covers recycling of glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Through previous legislation, aluminum cans were banned from disposal in North Carolina. By October 2009, plastic bottles will also be banned from disposal. For most ABC permit holders, glass bottles will be the majority of the materials generated for recycling.
Some bars may even get rid of as many bottles as they can for a product that pays to recycle- cans. “It’s not economically feasible to recycle bottles and plastics. Cans you get money for because it is a valuable commodity,” said Wilson.
If a business doesn't follow the recycling program, owners could be fined or lose their alcohol permits.

If I'm paying restaurant/bar prices for a non-tap beer, I don't want it from a can. I want it from glass. I think most beer consumers would agree.
Anyway, this is silly. Who's going to monitor all this recycling action in order to fine those who don't obey the law?
Yes, I recycle. As a result, it's less stinky trash for me and my family to have sitting around, and we can feel as good as we want about throwing less trash into a landfill.
But I don't run a restaurant or bar. I don't literally run around while I pour drinks for guests and/or serve a half-dozen people at a time. I also have a recycling truck that drives by my front door each week to pick up any recycling I may have, and it's a manageable amount of glass, paper, plastic, and cans. Finally, I don't pay a staff by the hour, and I don't look forward to paying an employee (or employees) to deal with recycling in addition to all the other things a bar or restaurant owner has to pay a staff to do.
If bars or restaurants would do well by recycling, they could easily advertise it — 'We Recycle!' or 'We're Green!' — and attract all those drinkers who would choose one establishment over another because they recycle. Choosing to do so may turn out to be an incredible marketing idea, who knows, but let it be a choice for both businesses and consumers.
On an unrelated note, I was recently talking to a relative who used to live in South Carolina and occasionally bartended. He was describing how SC bar owners are lamenting the absence of the mini-bottle at bars, as the state finally did away with the old law that required one drink/one bottle. As soon as the bartenders switched to regular bottles, guess what? They started to under-pour or over-pour, either way screwing up the alcohol/mixer ratio of the drinks everyone was used to. Then customers, used to an exact amount of gin in their tonic, for instance, started getting pissed and asked for a new drink. In the end, more alcohol was poured, as the bartenders then often over-poured. Because a scientific and fair alcohol measuring system was no longer used, in the end, it screwed both owners and customers; only the employees benefited, as they suddenly could get better tips for over-pouring somebody else's alcohol. Anyway, I just thought that was interesting.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Candidates show claws as Iowa caucuses loom

(CNN): Published polls show close races in both parties in Iowa.
A Mason-Dixon survey of likely participants, released Sunday, showed Huckabee and Romney were locked in a statistical dead heat on the Republican side. An American Research Group poll released Saturday gave Romney an edge over Huckabee for the first time in over a month, while the last CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted December 14-18, put Huckabee over Romney by an eight-percentage-point margin. The remaining GOP candidates -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and commentator and former State Department official Alan Keyes -- trail behind Romney and Huckabee in Iowa polls.
But Thompson, a former U.S. senator and actor in the television drama "Law And Order," told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that he had "a decent chance" of pulling a second-place showing out of the caucuses.
"While all this hullabaloo is going on around me and everybody's attacking each other and everybody's talking about process and who's got the most political ambition to drive them, I'm just going to stay steady up the middle with the same conservative, common-sense message that I've had and what I've always been in my political life from day one," he said.

My 2 cents: It won’t surprise me when the Republican race's 'rabbits' — Huckabee and Romney — get themselves so far off course that Thompson — arguably the 'turtle' in the race — sneaks up from behind. Meanwhile, Giuliani's race is over while McCain's never started. Finally, Paul will manage to ruin most everyone's day. OK, read on ...

Among Democrats, Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois had virtually identical levels of support in Sunday's Mason-Dixon poll. Saturday's ARG survey gave Clinton a narrow lead over Obama and Edwards, while the CNN poll found a four-point spread among the top contenders, led by Clinton.

Again, IMO, Hillary is unelectable. Obama is slightly more electable, but highly unlikely. Edwards wins the primary by default. Meanwhile, Biden pleads, "Hello?!?! What the f&ck, people?!?!?"

Edwards, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2004, told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Democrats would face "an epic fight" in pushing for reforms such as universal health care if they reclaim the White House, and argued that he, as a longtime plaintiff's lawyer, was best suited to wage those battles. He said Obama "has this philosophical view that you can sit at a table with drug companies, oil companies and insurance companies and negotiate with them, and somehow they'll just voluntarily give their power away -- and I think that's a complete fantasy. It will never happen."
Meanwhile, he said, Clinton "defends the system in Washington" that Edwards blasts as "rigged" by corporate interests.
"I don't think you can take these people's money, the lobbyists, the PACs, et cetera, and sit at a table and make a deal with them," he said. "I think if that worked, it would have worked a long time ago."
Edwards also used the term "fantasy" to describe Clinton's statement that if she became president, her husband -- former President Bill Clinton -- would have no official role in her administration. Edwards said he would put the former president to work if he were elected, "providing help around the world and with leaders around the world."

I saw the show this morning. Edwards is working his audience ... and it's working. It also doesn't hurt that it's an ideal time to be a white male Democratic populist.

On the flip side and speaking of the populist approach, Huckabee can't compete with Edwards' populist appeal while running as a Republican. Further, his 'pastor-in-chief' approach is running out of steam (which is no surprise since it's nothing but smoke and mirrors anyway). And I truly doubt that Republican primary voters can find it in their hearts to choose a non-Christian for their candidate, no matter how little religion matters in the presidency. (And there goes Romney.)

So — my prediction for the primaries? Watch for surprising numbers from both Thompson and Paul, with Thompson pulling out ahead in the end (which makes good sense, since the majority of Americans don't really want change anyway). Huckabee will stay alive, and so will Romney, but each with be a disappointment. Then a Democrat will beat any of the three ... but it won't be Hillary or Obama, as neither will ever even have the chance; Democratic primary voters are 'in it to win it,' and that's it.

Then it's likely that, in the end, we'll all watch the election go down like a final episode of an American Idol season, thinking, 'What?'

But of course, I'm only guessing.

Exactly Why Is The Dollar Sucking?

I'm no economist, but I can see this: the Euro and the Pound is pummeling the Dollar, the residential real estate market in the worst shape that I can remember (since I've been a homeowner), and even Canada's Loonie is edging out our One. I regularly drive by houses for sale that have been reduced by $100K+ ... and, to date, still have a Prudential sign in the yard. (For more depressing entertainment, just visit http://www.xe.com while keeping in mind that America is the world's 'superpower.')

Precious metals suddenly look like 'reasonable' investments (see the Forbes story below). In the past, 'buy gold' advice seemed to come from either old folks who hid money in their mattresses, fringy conservative websites, or guys with three dozen firearms and more than one fire-proof vault in their basements.

LONDON (Thomson Financial): Gold was steady in early trade near the one-month high it hit yesterday, supported by renewed weakness in the US dollar and as geopolitical tensions sparked safe haven buying.
The precious metal hit its highest level since late November yesterday in the wake of the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The move fuelled buying of the precious metal, as fears abounded political unrest and violence in the region could spread. Gold is often seen by investors as a 'safe' asset which can be relied on to hold its value in times of economic or political instability.

So naturally, I (a fairly average American who tries to invest and spend at least fairly responsibly) am starting to get a bit worried. I wonder if everyone is? Am I just paranoid? Something tells me no.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

RE: Be Reasonable

I decided to take this one out of the comments section. I have some things to say and there are enough people reading this blog that I want them seen.

What a disappointing column, but Noonan is, after all, a woman and a conservative.

She identifies the rubicon, but the best she can manage to address it is, "be reasonable." Spoken like a true country-clubber, Peggy. You do the sheeple of the GOP proud. One of the biggest problems we have in this country is the tendency of people with rational minds and the will to use them to face a turning point in history and immediately fall prey to the knee-jerk reaction. Demure. Pretend it's summer in the Hamptons year round. Be reasonable. This is one of the reasons I prefer Ann Coulter's shrieking, bug-eyed rhetorical bomb-throwing. At least she's not being reasonable.

In the next half generation, we will face unreasonable times. Count on it. Even Peggy sees it through her rose-colored glasses. There is a distinct chance that the hollowed-out shell that our currency has become will fall in on itself of its own weight. There is a certainty that a substantial number of the 20 million (and climbing) illegals pouring over our borders are people who do not wish us well. It is highly likely that we will be faced with the choice of falling back to a self-sufficient constitutional republic, or becoming an authoritarian global empire. The very last thing we need is a leader at the helm whose overwhelming instinct in the face of all this is to "be reasonable." Such a leader puts me in mind of Jack Nicholson's President in Mars Attacks! after the Martians blew up Congress:

I want to remind you that we still have two functioning branches of government, and two out of three ain't bad.

Conservatives are ever reasonable, to their lasting detriment.

In a fit of utterly blatant hypocrisy, Peggy would have us trust Romney, despite his obvious difficulties with telling the truth, assuring us he won't flip-flop on the positions he has taken and will stick to his guns because, "He has no choice." That's some pretty thin gruel, Peggy. A mere four paragraphs later she warns us to discard Hillary because she is a triangulating populist and untrustworthy. Admit it, Peggy, that whole charade is your hormones speaking for you. Mitt is cute, in that squeaky-clean sort of way that older conservative women seem to love, and Hillary just isn't your type, not that many of us would find a lying Marxist lesbian to be our types either.

She fawns over McCain in like fashion. I guess he's the country-clubber version of a bad boy. She calls him "personally heroic." Pardon me, Peggy, but what a pant-load that is. You really need to get away for a while. One of McCain's signature traits is the tendency to change sides on whatever whim suits him. This isn't new behavior, either. Just ask his fellow former tenants of the Hanoi Hilton or his first wife. From a personal ethics and morality point of view, McCain is probably the only Republican running who is more of a slug than Giuliani. The man is still a stark raving lunatic, even though he and his handlers seem to have gotten his meds right for the moment.

Try this: Re-read the article with the thought in mind that Peggy could have written this about who she would like to date instead of who should be President. I think you'll have the gist of the article down pat. Sometimes I don't know which is worse, the screeching, man-hating, left-wing feminists, or the preachy, menopausal, right-of-center harridans. Either way, let's hear it for the apolitical housewife. May all these women of power aspire to your greatness.

Be Reasonable

As Iowa sizes up the candidates, so do I.

By Peggy Noonan

By next week politically active Iowans will have met and tallied their votes. Their decision this year will have a huge impact on the 2008 election, and a decisive impact on various candidacies. Some will be done in. Some will be made. Some will land just right or wrong and wake up the next day to read raves or obits. A week after that, New Hampshire. The endless campaign is in fact nearing its climax.

But all eyes are on Iowa. Iowans bear a heck of a lot of responsibility this year, the first time since 1952 when there is no incumbent president or vice president in the race. All of it is wide open.

Iowa can make Obama real. It can make Hillary yesterday. It can make Huckabee a phenom and not a flash, McCain the future and not the past. Moments like this happen in history. They're the reason we get up in the morning. "What happened?" "Who won?"

Friday, December 28, 2007

Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul?

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA: According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.
“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”
Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”

— From ronpaul2008.com

Liberals Sing ‘Huckelujah’

By Ann Coulter
Human Events

All I want for Christmas is for Christians to listen to what Mike Huckabee says, rather than what the media say about him. The mainstream media keep flogging Huckabee for being a Christian, apparently unaware that this "God" fellow is testing through the roof in focus groups.

Huckabee is a "compassionate conservative" only in the sense that calling him a conservative is being compassionate.

Pakistan: Bhutto Died of Skull Fracture

Benazir Bhutto died from a skull fracture suffered when her head slammed against her car during a suicide attack—not from bullet wounds, the government said Friday.

Pakistan's interior minister blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for Thursday's assassination and said another key opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, is also under threat of militant attack.

The government released a transcript Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant.

"It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her," Mehsud said, according to the transcript.

Skull fractured by sunroof handle. Uh huh. Sure. You bet.

"President" - New Hillary Clinton Ad

"Ready" - New Mitt Romney Ad

"Office" - New Joe Biden Ad

"Born For" - New John Edwards Ad

"Native Son" - New John Edwards Ad

"Endorsed" - New John McCain Ad

"Future" - New Mitt Romney Ad

Clinton's "don't ask" policy

(Los Angeles Times) - As she races through Iowa in the days before next week's caucuses, Hillary Clinton is taking few chances. She tells crowds that it’s their turn to “pick a president,’’ but over the last two days she has not invited them to ask her any questions.

Before the brief Christmas break, the New York senator had been setting aside time after campaign speeches to hear from the audience. Now when she’s done speaking, her theme songs blare from loudspeakers, preventing any kind of public Q&A.

She was no more inviting when a television reporter approached her after a rally on Thursday and asked if she was “moved’’ by Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Clinton turned away without answering.

Her daughter, Chelsea, had the same reaction when a reporter approached her with a question.

Hillary Clinton’s no-question policy didn’t sit well with some of the Iowans who came to see her speak.

“I was a little bit underwhelmed,’’ said Doug Rohde, 46, as he left her a rally in a fire station in Denison. “The message was very generic -- and no questions.’’

Clinton campaign officials said that she may take questions in the coming days. But her focus is on seeing as many voters as possible before the caucuses next Thursday -- and spotlighting the messages she wants to deliver.

Spokespeople for her two main rivals in the Hawkeye State -– John Edwards and Barack Obama -– said the candidates would continue fielding questions as they troll for support.

"Substance" - New Fred Thompson Ad

"Stakes" - New Hillary Clinton Ad

''Defender of Freedom" - New Ron Paul Ad

House members spent $20.3 million on mailings to constituents

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. House members spent $20.3 million in tax money last year to send mail to constituents.

And North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx was among the most frequent mailers. Foxx sent more than 785,000 pieces of mail at a cost of nearly $165,000. That placed the Republican sixth among U.S. House members for most pieces of mass mail sent.

An Associated Press review of public records shows House members sent nearly 116 million pieces of mail. Those mailings often include glossy productions filled with flattering photos and lists of the latest roads and bridges the lawmaker has brought home to the district.

South Carolina Representative Henry Brown had the most pieces of mass mailings and was among the highest spenders.

The four-term Republican sent more than 1.25 million pieces of mass mail at a cost of more than $170,000.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Seconds from death: The final image of Benazir Bhutto moments before fatal suicide attack

(Daily Mail) - The assassination of Benazir Bhutto plunged Pakistan into violent turmoil last night and the western world into a state of trepidation.

The immediate fear was of civil war in the volatile, nuclear-armed nation where Islamic extremism flourishes.

The country's charismatic and controversial former prime minister was shot in the neck and chest by an assassin who then blew himself up by her car in the midst of thousands of her followers in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.

The End of the Primary’s Holiday From History

By John Podhoretz
Commentary Magazine

The past three months have seen an odd turn in the presidential primary process in both parties — a turn away from the key issues confronting the United States and toward emotional and social vapor. The success of the surge in Iraq, coupled with the bizarre “we’re safe” reading of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, drained some of the passion from the anti-war fervor in the Democratic primary electorate and from the hawkish fervor of the Republican primary electorate. In their place came the Christian identity-politics rise of Mike Huckabee on the Republican side and the “we need a nice new politics” rise of Barack Obama on the Democratic side. Republicans squabbled about sanctuary cities and sanctuary mansions. Democrats squabbled about how many uninsured there would be left if their various health-care plans were imposed on the country.

The horrifying assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan this morning comes only one week before the Iowa caucuses and 12 days before New Hampshire. It is a sobering and frightening reminder of the challenges and threats and dangers posed to the United States by radical Islam, the nature of the struggle being waged against the effort to extend democratic freedoms in the Muslim world, and the awful possibility of a nuclear Pakistan overrun by Islamofascists. This is what the next president will be compelled by circumstance to spend a plurality of his or her time on. This is what really matters, not the cross Mike Huckabee lit up behind his head in his Christmas ad.

American politics would dearly love to take a holiday from history, just as it did in the 1990s. But our enemies are not going to allow us to do so. The murder of Bhutto moves foreign policy, the war on terror, and the threat of Islamofascism back into the center of the 2008 campaign. How candidates respond to it, and issues like it that will come up in the next 10 months, will determine whether they are fit for the presidency.

Locals wonder if theater for Dolly's little brother was folly

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (Rocky Mount Telegram) — The future was looking bleak in this crossroads town just below the Virginia line. One by one, the textile mills closed. Thousands of jobs vanished.

Then a man rode into town, a flowing mane of graying hair spilling from beneath his black 10-gallon hat. Like a Galahad with a guitar, he promised prosperity in exchange for faith.

This knight in shining armor was, at best, lesser nobility; Randy Parton is the brother of a queen of country music, Dolly Parton. Still, the town fathers mortgaged the future to build him a gleaming music palace in a fallow field overlooking the highway.

His name was spelled out over the Doric-columned facade, his monogram — "RP" — emblazoned on the walls and eggplant-hued cupola.

Music filled the valley and, for a time, the people were hopeful.

Then the accusations began flying: Parton was spending the people's money on drink and trips to Las Vegas, and enriching his children at the town's expense. When the mayor went to the palace one night, he says he found the "savior" drunk.

The knight was banished. Legal action was threatened. The townspeople called for the heads of the mayor and his council.

Not the fairy-tale ending the struggling city of Roanoke Rapids expected when it borrowed $21.5 million to build the Randy Parton Theatre.

Over Easley: The election could likely be a referendum on governor's term

RALEIGH (AP) - For the first time since 1992, the year that he won his first term as state attorney general, a presidential election year will pass in 2008 without Gov. Mike Easley running for statewide office.

But the race to replace the outgoing incumbent, who is barred by law from running for a third consecutive term, figures to focus plenty on his record in the Executive Mansion.

Continuing drought leaves officials scrambling to cope

Farm businesses will suffer the most, agriculture secretary says

The record-setting drought that has forced the governor to plead for conservation, home-owners to shelve their lawn sprinklers and farmers to drain their ponds for irrigation is only forecast to get worse in the new year.

If the predictions come true, convenience won’t be the only casualty.

North Carolina’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry is preparing for what may be a devastating year for both crops and livestock, while local governments are looking at emergency plans - and expensive solutions - for water systems on the brink of crisis.

N.C. population passes 9 million mark, U.S. says

(Winston-Salem Journal) - North Carolina added almost 200,000 people between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, and crossed the 9 million population mark for the first time, new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

Only five states grew at a faster pace than North Carolina during the year, the census bureau said.

North Carolina’s population grew 2.2 percent from 2006 to 2007 and reached 9,061,032, according to census- bureau estimates. North Carolina retained its 10th-place ranking among the states, behind Georgia and ahead of New Jersey.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Assassinated at Rally in Pakistan

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Fox News) — Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a homicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally.

Bhutto was shot in the neck and chest as she was entering her vehicle, and then the bomber blew himself up, FOX News has confirmed.

The former prime minister died in Rawalpindi General Hospital, where she had been rushed to surgery. She was 54.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Heil Canada!

Americans don't think very often about Canada, and for good reason. In global terms, it is irrelevant, a nation so insignificant that it exported its national sport from cities like Winnipeg and Quebec to hockey hotbeds such as Phoenix, Ariz. While we're appreciative of the maple syrup and the occasional celebrity it contributes – speaking of which, Canadians can take Pamela Anderson back if they like, as we appear to be done with her – Canada's latest contribution to Western culture is even less desirable than the little coven of Canadian neocons that have invaded the conservative American commentariat.

Vox Day

You have to read all of this one. The setup is pure Vox Day. Ok, Vox, we get the point, you're not a Mark Steyn fan, but...

I tend to be somewhat more forgiving of Steyn on his war cheerleading. I can't tell from the article if Vox is aware of it, but Steyn's views on the war spring from the same fount as his views on the Muslim migration, rightly or wrongly. In my view, those who support the war as a means to thwart the migration are wrong. Those who cheerlead for it are so wrong I sometimes suspect they are simple. However, I understand the progression of thought that brought them to their view.

As to the meat of the article, should anyone doubt that the US is headed in the direction of hate speech laws, I am aware of two bills introduced in the Congress last year that amount to hate speech laws. Should some of you simpering PC advocates find the cockles of your heart warmed by this prospect, be aware that you and your ilk are usually among the first to fall the the predations of thought-crime laws. Or as the old saying goes, it's the useful idiots who are always most shocked as they are being frog-marched off to the firing squads.

Steyn should move to the US and seek asylum. Now wouldn't that be ironic in so very many ways?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Apples For The Army

(Forbes.com) - Given Apple's marketing toward the young and the trendy, you wouldn't expect the U.S. Army to be much of a customer. Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington is hoping hackers won't expect it either.

Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, says the military is quietly working to integrate Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to hack. That's because fewer attacks have been designed to infiltrate Mac computers, and adding more Macs to the military's computer mix makes it tougher to destabilize a group of military computers with a single attack, Wallington says.

Charity Begins At Home

(Fox News) - Thousands of Oregon taxpayers who were supposed to receive tax rebate checks from the state — are very upset that the refunds were automatically donated to the state school fund.

Media reports say it appears there was a glitch affecting electronically filed tax returns. But the maker of the popular TurboTax software says its forms automatically select "no" in the box asking whether refunds should be donated. State law requires that surplus revenue be returned to taxpayers — and refunds this year totaled more than a billion dollars.

Wednesday, revenue officials said they have not yet decided whether they will return the mistakenly donated money — but hope to reach a decision by Christmas.

Comfort Zone

(Fox News) - While more than 10,000 delegates were at this month's United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia — they stayed cool — thanks to air conditioning that used what is considered one of the most dangerous pollutants on earth.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the resort's air conditioning system used highly damaging refrigerant gases called hydro chlorofluorocarbons — which are blamed for devouring the ozone in the upper atmosphere. Investigators counted 700 cylinders of the gas — and the system was said to be visibly leaking.

The report says the gases were as lethal to the atmosphere as 48,000 tons of carbon dioxide — which is about the same as the aircraft emissions of all the planes used to fly the delegates to Indonesia.

Reading Is Fundamental

(Fox News) - Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu sponsored an unusual $2 million earmark to provide an experimental reading program to District of Columbia schools — just days after receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions from the company that runs the program and its employees.

The Washington Post reports Landrieu's support of the Voyager Expanded Learning program back in 2001 essentially forced D.C. schools to run a pilot program over the objections of teachers and administrators — since Congress controls the D.C. school budget.

Landrieu tells the Post she has long championed new approaches to education — and Voyager's founder says there was no link between the legislation and the fundraiser. The Voyager program has gotten mixed reviews from D.C. teachers and the Department of Education.

Iranian Cleric Says Muslim Women Who Don't adhere to Dress Code Should Be Killed

(Fox News) - A top Muslim cleric in Iran says Iranian women who do not wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf should be put to death.

The Adnkronos Press Agency says Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hassani says — "Women who do not respect the hijab and their husbands deserve to die. I do not understand how these women who do not respect the hijab, 28 years after the birth of the Islamic Republic, are still alive. These women and their husbands and their fathers must die."

Hassani represents Iran's supreme leader in eastern Azerbaijan. His comments came after two Kurdish feminists in Iran were accused of belonging to an armed rebel group, and of subversive activities threatening the security of the state. It is believed the arrests could spark a fresh crackdown on Iranian women who do not adhere to the strict Islamic dress code.

One of the Last World War I Veterans Dies at 109

NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio (Fox News) — The last World War I veteran in Ohio, and one of only three known remaining U.S. veterans of the conflict, has died.

Clinton says wife a 'world-class genius'

(Yahoo News) - Former President Clinton says his wife is a "world-class genius" when it comes to improving the lives of others.

Clinton stuck mostly to familiar themes in two hour-long appearances Thursday, describing at length what he views as the nation's biggest challenges. Nearly 15 minutes into his first speech, he added almost as an afterthought that "everything I'm saying here is my wife's position, not just mine."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Banned!

At Detroit's auto show next month, General Motors will unveil the next generation Corvette ZR1; this baby's supercharged -- it's high-performance. The warning flags are already out, though -- not on the racetrack, but for those of you who purchase muscle cars like these.

"High-performance vehicles such as this may actually be legislated out of existence," warns GM's chief engineer, Tadge Juechter. He says the new energy bill's fuel efficiency standards might make muscle cars "an endangered species."

Also: in response to wacko liberals like Algore and Barbara Boxer, the federal government has banned the incandescent light bulb. As the ban rolls out, the first to go will be the 100-watt bulb, in 2012. The 75-watt bulb will follow suit the next year; the 40- and 60-watt bulbs the year after.

The bulbs the government's forcing on you -- those curly, 'energy-efficient' things filled with mercury -- are expected to reduce energy bills. Now, those of you who prefer incandescent lighting, of course, have no choice. The decision has been made for you, by liberals in Washington who don't care about your preferences -- or your freedoms.

So let me predict something. The stockpiling will begin on incandescent bulbs. In years to come, there will be a burgeoning black market. Somebody's going to manufacture those little bulbs -- smuggle them if they have to -- to consumers who want them. Same thing goes for muscle cars... despite the egghead, wacko, pandering liberals in Washington. We will get what we want, however we have to get it.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Energy Law Pulls Plug on Edison's Light Bulb
AP: GM -- Emission Law May Hamper Muscle Cars

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Letter To The Editor: "Engineer recommends demolishing historic Nancy Reynolds"

Below is a letter that I wrote to The Stokes News regarding the Nancy Reynolds School story published last Thursday. It appeared in the newspaper today in its entirety. I wanted to re-post it here to convey my own thoughts on the subject of Nancy Reynolds School and its current structural state:

To The Editor:

After reading the lead story in The Stokes News’ December 13th edition, “Engineer recommends demolishing historic Nancy Reynolds,” two thoughts came to my mind: getting a second opinion is always worth the effort, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The qualifications of Mr. Moorefield are not necessarily questionable. However, the opinion of one Stokes County structural engineer is not enough information for the school board to make any final decision regarding the future of Nancy Reynolds Elementary School, the educational landmark built as a memorial for Nancy Jane Cox Reynolds, mother of the iconic tobacco industry magnate, Mr. R.J. Reynolds.

Board of Education, please listen closely: get a second (or third) opinion, consider the school’s significant value to its community and the county, and then do the right thing, if at all possible: preserve the 1923 original structure and its 1931 wings. If any member of the school board has doubts that such a preservation is doable and the right thing to do, they should have a five minute conversation with any of those responsible for the successful preservation of Old Town Elementary in Winston-Salem, if for nothing else but a bit of worthwhile inspiration.

Secondly, the Board of Education should provide answers to the Nancy Reynolds community, its parents and children, and to all Stokes County taxpayers in regards to this question: if Moorefield’s observations are correct, why was the school allowed to get to this point of disrepair? It seems to me, and I’m sure to many others concerned about the school, that those in charge of county-dispatched building maintenance for its public schools bypassed Nancy Reynolds far more than its fair share of times. Then and now, the responsibility of school building maintenance falls squarely into the laps of school board members; since this maintenance was obviously not done, now is the time to make it right. Please do it right.

Strother Bullins

Engineer recommends demolishing historic Nancy Reynolds

By Wendy Byerly Wood for The Stokes News, December 13, 2007:

While two of the three main buildings on Nancy Reynolds Elementary School's campus are structurally sound, the original building on the property needs to be at least partially demolished.
That was the recommendation made Monday night to the Stokes County Board of Education by Jerry Moorefield, who completed a structural feasibility study of the property's buildings for the school system, as it prepares for what needs it may include in a possible referendum for school construction.
The buildings evaluated by Moorefield, a Stokes County structural engineer, were the gym, the cafeteria/shop building and the 1923 original structure and its 1931 wings, which are used as the main school building on the campus.
"Building three (the gym) and two (cafeteria) are more modern construction made of block and steel," Moorefield said. In his report to the school board, he noted that two buildings would only need a few modifications to come up to code requirements.
A chart that summarizes the stress ratio on various points of the original building and its wings shows that the building failed 13 of its 18 stress tests and the wings were marginal in two of their eight tests.
The two main places of concern were the classroom south of the auditorium and its corridor wall and the media center north of the auditorium and the corridor wall. "They are too overloaded," Moorefield told the school board. "I would consider them immediate concerns."
He explained that a 1.0 is an acceptable stress ration and anything above a 1.5 is a concern. The floor joist under the classroom sound of the auditorium had a ration of 3.01 and the floor joist under the media center of the auditorium was 4.29.
"There is a point where you say how much is too much, and we've reached that," Moorefield said. "In the 1931 building, the floor is sagging and bowing because it was probably put in green and dried after it was put in.
"We need some temporary repair to the supports of the auditorium for the short-term," he said.
The long-term solution was not as simple. In his study conclusion, Moorefield said of the educational building, "This portion of the building had numerous over stresses found in our evaluation. It appears that the service life of this particular portion of the building has been realized ... In regard to the wings, they appear to be constructed with a more methodical approach to load path and load transfer and we have found only marginal items in regard to the north and south wings that were constructed in 1931. However, we did observe that the floors are not level within these wings and due to the age of the structure and the condition of the floors, it would be difficult to renovate these two wings without a significant structural upgrade."
Moorefield offered three options to the school board to deal with the poor condition of the educational building:
*To tear down the existing building and build a new educational building, which he said "would be the most economical approach."
*To demolish the existing building and replace it with a replica of the original 1923 building. "This would be close economically to that of standard new construction," he said.
*To gut the original building and wings, but keep the outer walls and rebuild the new construction inside the original walls. "The 1931 wings may require slightly less modification, but this will depend upon final classroom size requirements. This method would likely cost a 25 to 35 percent premium over that of new construction square footage cost," Moorefield said.
The structural weakness of the building was not Moorefield's only concern. He also mentioned the small sizes of the classrooms, fire risks with an old wooden structure and several other items.
He also pointed out some type of excavated area that was discovered under the media center area when the evaluation was taking place. In pictures included in the study, Moorefield noted that a support pier had fallen and been replaced with rocks and another pier is on the edge of falling.
Also found during the evaluation were exposed electrical wires above the auditorium and in one of the wings. "With this school, you have to be very conscious with things like that," he said.
Interim Superintendent Nelson Jessup said the work to provide extra support of the auditorium needs to take place long before any bond referendum occurs, which the county commissioners are proposing for the November 2008 election.
Moorefield said someone in the past did make sure that the computer areas had temporary treated timbers and supports placed under them for added security.
"It is a structure that has probably exceeded its expected life," he said.
The engineer said that he will work with David Burge, director of operations for the school system, to see if the work is something the schools' maintenance employees can handle and to secure estimates on the work.
In addition to the soundness of the buildings, Moorefield said he did take a look at the retaining wall around the building, which has been an item of concern to residents of the Nancy Reynolds community.
"They've done a lot of work on the face that has caused water to sit in it, and it is leaning. The condition of it is very poor, and, when whatever is done to the school is done, it needs to be addressed. I think it's in the right of way and, if something is done, it needs to move back, which encroaches extremely on the yard area," he said. "The handrail doesn't meet current code. There are just a lot of issues there with the wall."

Back from the Dead Again: McCain Rising

By Richard Baehr
American Thinker

Political journalists all too often get caught up in the day-to-day momentum of a race and have short memories, making them poor judges of character. A few months back, John McCain's run for the GOP Presidential nomination was considered to be all but over, with perhaps a chance for a decent finish in New Hampshire (a state where he won the GOP primary contest in 2000), but no money to sustain a run through the big state primaries. In a particularly savage assessment of McCain on this website, a partisan for Fred Thompson, said this of McCain:

"John McCain's candidacy may not be dead, but then again, neither is Ariel Sharon. McCain has been at war with the Republican Party for a decade. The idea that he could win the GOP's presidential nomination was never more than a fantasy. His presence in the race will soon become an embarrassment, if it isn't one already."

Mocking two war heroes from two nations in a single sentence is a real feat. But predicting an inauguration of President Fred Thompson on January 20 2009, as this author did, now looks ridiculous. Thompson has marshaled all his meager resources for a last ditch effort to gain some traction in Iowa. But a new poll yesterday shows McCain doubling his support in Iowa to 14%, now standing third in that state, and a strong second in New Hampshire at 27%, within 4 points of Mitt Romney .

Ron Paul on War

By John Stossel
Human Events

Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate saying we should get our troops out of Iraq … now. Here's more of my edited interview with the congressman.

Liberty! Liberty!

Why I’m for Ron Paul.

By John Derbyshire
National Review Online

You can waste a lot of time in my line of work, noodling around on Internet search engines to not much effect. If the matter is sufficiently pressing (translation: remunerative), when the Internet has comprehensively failed you, you can head to your library. If that fails, you can head to the nearest university library; and if that fails, to some mega-resource like the New York Public Library. If the matter isn’t that pressing, you give up and think of something else to write about.

I got into one of these whirlpools a few months ago, at the time of the Scooter Libby conviction. The thing I couldn’t get past was Libby’s being the vice president’s chief of staff. Why (I wondered) does the vice president need a chief of staff? Or even a staff? Where is that in the Constitution? Yes, this is going to be a Ron Paul piece. Patience, please — I’ll get there.

Huckabee's Baptists

By Bob Novak

When Mike Huckabee went to Houston Tuesday to raise funds for his fast-rising, money-starved presidential candidacy, a luncheon for the ordained Baptist minister was arranged by evangelical Christians. On hand was Judge Paul Pressler, a hero to Southern Baptist Convention reformers. But he was a non-paying guest who supports Fred Thompson for president.

Huckabee greeted Pressler warmly. That contrasted with Huckabee's anger two months ago when they encountered each other in California. The ex-governor of Arkansas took issue then with comments by Pressler, a former Texas appeals court judge, that Huckabee had been a slacker in the war against secularists within the Baptist church.

Warmth in Texas and hostility in California reflects the dual personality of the pastor-politician who has broken out of the presidential second tier. Huckabee can come over as either a Reagan or a Nixon. More than personality explains why not all his Baptist brethren have signed on the dotted line for Huckabee. He did not join the "Conservative Resurgence" that successfully rebelled against liberals in the Southern Baptist Convention a generation ago.

The Clinton Albatross

Bill’s not exactly a fireman. He may instead throw gasoline on the fire.

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Hillary may yet end up the Democratic nominee. But only if she alone convinces America — and Wild Bill — that she’s running for her first, not his third, term.

Tancredo drops out, endorses Romney

(The Des Moines Register) - U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo announced today he's ending his long-shot bid for the White House.

The Colorado Republican made his exit from the race official at a press conference this afternoon in downtown Des Moines. He'll throw his support behind GOP candidate Mitt Romney, he said.

Tancredo's name was most associated with his fight against illegal immigration, one of the presidential election's most controversial issues. But his hard-line approach to curbing the unlawful migration of millions across the United States' southern border wasn't enough to vault him from the back of the GOP field.

He registered 6 percent support among likely Republican caucusgoers in the most recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll.

Man Claims Skin Treatment Turned Face Permanent Blue

(Fox News) - Paul Karason puts a whole new spin on "feeling blue.” For more than a decade, the 57-year-old has been living with a blue face.

Clinton Launches Obama Attack Web Sites

Clinton Campaign Registered Names of Two Web Sites to Attack Ill. Senator

DES MOINES, Iowa (ABC News) —
ABC News has learned that the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has registered the names of two Web sites with the express goal of attacking her chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

It's the first time this election cycle a presidential campaign has launched a Web site with the express purpose of of launching serious criticisms on a rival.

Archbishop says nativity 'a legend'

(U.K. Telegraph) - The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend'.


(Drudge Report) - Just weeks away from a possible surprise victory in the primaries, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz has been waging a ferocious behind the scenes battle with the NEW YORK TIMES, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, and has hired DC power lawyer Bob Bennett to mount a bold defense against charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist!

McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee, newsroom insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

The paper's Jim Rutenberg has been leading the investigation and is described as beyond frustrated with McCain's aggressive and angry efforts to stop any and all publication.


The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation.

The woman in question has retained counsel and strongly denies receiving any special treatment from McCain.

Rutenberg, along with reporter David Kirkpatrick, has been developing the story for the last 6 weeks.

Rutenberg had hoped to break the story before the Christmas holiday, sources reveal, but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about jounalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.

McCain campaign officials Rick Davis, Charlie Black and Mark Salter are also said to have met with the NEW YORK TIMES in an effort to halt publication.


T.O. Playfully Tweaks Romo Over Jessica

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Terrell Owens has a message for Jessica Simpson: Stay away. The 27- year-old singer-actress has become Public Enemy No. 1 among Dallas Cowboys fans because of a link being made between her appearance at Sunday's game and the poor performance of her new boyfriend, quarterback Tony Romo.

On Track: Walnut Cove applies for grants to help with downtown revitalization

(Winston-Salem Journal) - With a new year around the corner and a new mayor, Walnut Cove officials are continuing with plans for downtown revitalization and development.

Town officials are applying for grants to develop a land-use plan for the town and for projects recommended by the N.C. Small Town Main Street Program, a program that helps small towns develop downtown areas, said Homer Dearmin, the town’s interim manager.

The town is applying for a $40,000 planning grant from the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center Inc. for the land-use plan, Dearmin said. A land-use plan could help the town get other grants, he said.

Questioning the Bill: Roanoke Rapids says it doesn't want to pay to be rid of Parton

ROANOKE RAPIDS (AP) - City leaders in Roanoke Rapids don’t want to spend any money to part ways with performer Randy Parton after they indefinitely banned him from his namesake theater, according to documents released by the city.

City Councilman Carl Ferebee recently sent an e-mail to a Raleigh attorney hired by the city, saying that the council could pay up to $625,000 but would prefer “not to pay a dime.” Other e-mails question expenses and promotion tactics, and reflect increasing apprehension among city officials about the project.

The e-mails were among 100 messages released Tuesday as part of a public-records request. They reflect possible strategies the city could use to negotiate with Parton, whom city officials asked to leave the theater before a show Dec. 6. They said he had been drinking. Parton denied the allegation.

The attorney hired to represent the city, Johnny Loper, declined to comment when contacted by the Raleigh News & Observer. Nick Ellis, the Rocky Mount lawyer representing Parton, told the newspaper that if the city wanted to make a proposal, “their counsel needs to contact me.”

Bands sue Rolling Stone, Reynolds Tobacco

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two bands featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s “Indie Rock Universe,” an illustrated insert sandwiched between music-themed Camel cigarette ads, are suing the publication and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The band Xiu Xiu, which is based in Oakland, Calif., and the band F----- Up, from Toronto, filed the lawsuit Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging unauthorized use of the bands’ names for commercial advantage and unfair business practices.

The ads in Rolling Stone promoted Camel’s “The Farm: Free Range Music” campaign to support independent record labels.

Foxx says she is swearing off earmarks

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) - U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx played a key role in earmarking money for high-tech gear for Winston-Salem police, transplant research at Wake Forest University, and other local projects in the large spending bill that Congress passed yesterday.

Don’t expect a repeat next year. Foxx, R-5th, said she is done using earmarks to steer federal money to local projects.

The $555 billion spending bill, which will finance most of the federal government in 2008, contained thousands of earmarks - local financing requests from members of Congress that are often derided as wasteful pork.

Parton Project Attracts Political Firepower

A former governor and two aspiring ones now connected to the issue

ROANOKE RAPIDS (Carolina Journal) —
The Sanford Holshouser law firm, founded by two former governors, is emerging as a key player in developments surrounding the Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids. Adding to the political firepower attracted by the troubled project, the two leading Democratic candidates for governor have made the theater’s problems a campaign issue.

Shedding tears on the campaign trail

(Yahoo News) - Having a Muskie moment isn't necessarily a bad thing anymore. Tears, once kryptonite to serious presidential candidates, today are more often seen as a useful part of the political tool kit.

Rudy Giuliani Hospitalized for Flu-Like Symptoms While Campaigning in St. Louis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Fox News) — Republican Rudy Giuliani went to a hospital Wednesday night for flu-like symptoms, his campaign said.

The former New York City mayor felt the symptoms while campaining for the Republican presidential nomination in Missouri, and they soon became worse, campaign spokeswoman Katie Levinson said. The mayor decided to go to a hospital and spend the night in the city, she said.

UPDATE: Giuliani OK after checkup at hospital

Doom and Gloom

(Fox News) - 2007 will go down as the year when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for dire warnings about the effects of global warming.

But geophysicist David Deming of the University of Oklahoma writes in The Washington Times that 2007 is also the year that Buenos Aires, Argentina saw snow for the first time since 1918. It is the year that saw 200 people in Peru perish from the cold. It is the year that killing freezes destroyed almost $1.5 billion of produce in California, 95 percent of South Carolina's peach crop, and 90 percent of North Carolina's apple harvest.

2007 was the third-quietest hurricane season since 1966. Last month Meacham, Oregon broke its record low temperature set in 1952 by 12 degrees, and the plains states are still trying to recover from a destructive autumn ice storm that has left at least 36 people dead.

Not Returning

(Fox News) - TIME — which has been engaged in a effort to hire what managing editor Richard Stengel calls "star writers" — is not renewing the contracts of conservative columnists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer — both of whom are also FOX News contributors.

The New York Observer reports Stengel was unavailable for comment about the reasoning for the decision because he was working on the "Person of the Year" issue.

TIME is said to be negotiating to replace one of the high-profile contributor spots with National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru.

Putin Up a Fight

(Fox News) - The naming of Russian President Vladimir Putin as TIME magazine's "Person of the Year" is drawing some fire from the right.

Dean Barnett of the Weekly Standard — for one — says the selection — "clarifies some of the deep-seated bias and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the mainstream media."

Putin got the nod over Al Gore, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, Chinese leader Hu Jintao and General David Petraeus.

TIME insists it did not intend to glorify Putin. Deputy managing editor Adi Ignatius saying "It's not an honor ... we're not saying that he's a good person, we're not saying he's a bad person. He is the person who has most affected the news in 2007 and going forward."

Confidential Files

(Fox News) - The National Archives is withholding from the public around 2,600 pages of records stored at the Bill Clinton Presidential Library — under orders from Mr. Clinton himself. The New York Sun reports that an archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper says the documents were deemed to contain what is termed "confidential advice" — and are therefore closed.

This comes despite this statement from Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey last month — "Bill Clinton has not blocked the release of a single document."

Ms. Cooper says the 2,600 pages are part of a total of 24,000 pages of Clinton records closed — for reasons such as national security and privacy concerns.

Some of the Christmas Gifts Congress Is About to Hand Out

(Fox News) - It is estimated there are 11,331 earmarks in the appropriations bills working their way through Congress. That is said to be a 426 percent increase over last year.

Here are some of the more interesting ways your federal tax money may be spent —
$2 million for the Charles Rangel Center for Public Service at New York City College,
$1 million for a river walk in Massachusetts, $700,000 for a bike trail in Minnesota.

Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska wants $975,000 for berry research. And Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander has requested $1.6 million for bulletproof vests and body armor for the police department of Bastrop, Louisiana — which has a population under 13,000. Police say they don't need anywhere near that much for vests — but are happy to spend it on other equipment.

Tougher Emissions Regulations Could Bring End to Muscle Cars, Says GM

DETROIT (Fox News) — When General Motors Corp. pulls the cover off a new supercharged version of the Corvette at the Detroit auto show next month, it will unveil a performance car designed to rival or better even the fastest, most expensive exotic cars from Europe.

But the Corvette's chief engineer says the 2009 Corvette ZR1 may be the last in a long tradition of Detroit performance cars, endangered by stronger federal fuel economy regulations and limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

A holiday message from Hillary Clinton.

Tom Tancredo to Drop Out of Presidential Race

(Fox News) - Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo plans to drop out of the race during an announcement Thursday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa, GOP sources close to the campaign have told FOX News.

Tancredo, who has aggressively pushed his anti-illegal immigration message throughout the GOP primary race, has not been able to break through in the polls against his better known competitors. He and California Rep. Duncan Hunter typically poll in the single digits behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul in national surveys.

Tancredo would not personally confirm whether he will pull out of the race.

Woman abandons home to escape public schools

A Utah woman who was ordered by a juvenile court judge to enroll her children in public school or lose custody of them has abandoned her home, furniture and other possessions to escape the order.

Denise Mafi, a nine-year veteran of homeschooling, has confirmed to WND she and her children packed up their essentials – clothes and homeschool materials – and fled Utah over the weekend, spending more than 50 hours on a bus trip to another undisclosed part of the country.

There she has obtained an empty home, and is spending the Christmas break trying to find beds for her children and herself, and after the New Year, will involve the children in a local homeschooling process.

Bob Unruh

Public education advocates are becoming more openly brazen with their assertions of first rights to your children. Utah makes criminals of parents who try to educate their children in the way they choose:

She was told she was being accused of four counts of failing to abide by the state's compulsory education law, with a penalty of up to six months in jail on each count, because the district alleged she had not submitted a required affidavit for the long-completed 2006-2007 school year.

Make no mistake, most states, including North Carolina have similar laws.

The judge in the case is an oligarch who seems to have no trouble with imposing his will on the serfs who appear before him:

She [Mafi] has reported, and her recollection of events has been confirmed by attorneys, that Johansen told her homeschooling fails 100 percent of the time and he would not allow it.

How long will you suffer this, parents? How long before you say enough is enough and take back your children's futures?

Remembering the Gipper...

Ronald Reagan: First Inaugural Address (3 of 3)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Tour

In 1999 Mrs. Bill Clinton, running for the Senate, promised to do three things for New York residents: fix health care, improve education, and provide economic development to upstate New York. She embarked on a "listening tour" to learn firsthand how to deliver on those promises.

Now, I have here, folks, in my nicotine-stained fingers, a news item from Reuters: Since 2000 -- the year that Mrs. Bill Clinton became Senator Clinton -- upstate New York has lost one out of every five manufacturing jobs. And the declines are likely to continue in that sector as far as the eye can see.

The problems in the economy of upstate New York are so bad that jobseekers are getting out; in Buffalo, over 34,000 households have departed -- just, vamoose! -- since Mrs. Clinton took over. In Rochester, jobs in the manufacturing sector fell by more than 30 percent. True, jobs in New York's service sector have grown slightly, but Democrats always say that only means the good, high-paying manufacturing jobs are being lost to "hamburger-flipper" jobs.

In another news story today, AP reports that New York farmers are experiencing hardships. Mrs. Clinton's state lost 600 farms in 2005-2006 alone.

Now, remember, she promised to fix education in Arkansas. Instead, her programs drove that state's performance to record lows. Now, in New York, her promise to fix the upstate economy have residents fleeing en masse.

I got a "tour" for you, folks. Travel the road of Mrs. Clinton's so-called "experience", and you'll find a long and winding road of failures. She cannot do anything right!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Upstate NY Lost 1 in 5 Manufacturing Jobs -- Fed Study
AP: NY Farms Said Facing Economic Hardship
USA Today: Hillary Clinton's Gamble Pays Off

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Huckabee Hustle

By Selwyn Duke
American Thinker

When evangelicals embraced Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign, they didn't know he would repudiate the Southern Baptist Convention a generation later. Today the very same constituency has glommed onto Mike Huckabee, and I can't help but lament how history truly does repeat itself.

My Interview with Ron Paul

By John Stossel
Human Events

Over the last few months, I've received hundreds of e-mails from people asking me to interview Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, so I did.

It's refreshing to interview a politician who doesn't mince words. It's even more refreshing to interview one who understands the benefits of limited government.

Here, then, is the first in a series of columns on my talk with Ron Paul. Some of Paul's answers are shortened.

International Scandal: Don Cheadle Planned Darfur Genocide To Create Film Role :-)

(The Onion) - UN officials confirmed that Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle funded the genocide in Darfur for the purpose of starring in a film about the tragedy.

Hillary Sorry for Backer's Hussein-Obama Reference :-)

By Scott Ott

Former presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today apologized to rival Barack Obama for any offense he may have taken from the way former Sen. Bob Kerry endorsed her candidacy this week.

Mr. Kerrey, who ran for president in 1992, in his endorsement remarks mentioned that Sen. Obama’s middle name is Hussein and that he has Muslim ancestors, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Sen. Clinton, in a written statement said: “While I’m grateful for Bob’s endorsement, which generated headlines across the country and even some stories that briefly mentioned me, his choice of words may have left some people with the impression that Sen. Obama is related to Saddam Hussein — a fanatical dictator who gassed his own people, cut off ears and tongues of dissidents and littered Iraq with mass graves. Any implied comparison was purely accidental, I’m sure.”

Parton with the money

Roanoke Rapids wanted entertainment, and sure got it


When its textile mills shut down and traditional jobs disappeared, the city of Roanoke Rapids up in Halifax County wanted to find a way to increase economic development opportunities and bring more jobs to the area.

So it gambled on a risky venture that must have sounded good at the time: Create a new entertainment district that would bring top-level talent -- and thousands of music lovers and well-heeled tourists -- to the beleaguered area. The plan for Carolina Crossroads was to rival, or at least emulate, the successful entertainment magnets of Branson, Missouri, and Myrtle Beach.

Merry Christmas, Vote for Me

(Fox News) - Not to be outdone by Mike Huckabee, several presidential candidates are launching Christmas ads in an effort to appeal to voters, appear more likable and/or possibly demonstrate their religious convictions.

Coroner's Office: Rep. Kucinich's Brother Dead

CLEVELAND (Fox News) — The youngest brother of Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich was found dead at his home Wednesday morning, the Cuyahoga County Coroner's office said.

There were no signs of foul play, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for the office.

Perry Kucinich, 52, was found face down by another brother, Larry, at about 9 a.m., Caesar said.

Dennis Kucinich is a U.S. Representative from the 10th District in northeast Ohio.

Winston-Salem is answer in Wheel of Fortune puzzle

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Recognizing the name of Winston-Salem helped a California homemaker win $17,050 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune.

In the episode that aired on WFMY-TV last night, contestant Kari Mason from Clovis, Calif., was presented with the category “On the Map.” Starting with N, R and O, she eventually got the puzzle spelled out all the way to “Winston-Sale_ - North Carolina” before answering the puzzle.

The prizes she earned in that round included a gift certificate and a trip to Panama. She went on to win $27,850 on the game show, which is seen by an estimated 47 million viewers nationwide every week, and came in first place.

The Right Fit: Sock-maker in Mount Airy is flourishing in industry and area where most have fled

MOUNT AIRY (Winston-Salem Journal) - The knitting machines at Nester Hosiery run three shifts a day, turning out thousands of high-end socks that sell in outdoor-gear stores for as much as $17 a pair.

In a town filled with idle sock factories, Nester is bucking a national trend. Where other sock companies have moved out of Mount Airy, lured by cheap labor off-shore, Nester is expanding.

This year alone, the company hired 30 workers - many of them laid off by other sock plants that shut down this year.

Analyst's report: Another purchase likely for Reynolds

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Speculation that Reynolds American Inc. could make another major purchase of a non-cigarette tobacco company surfaced this week, but Reynolds declined to comment on the possibility.

Bonnie Herzog, an analyst with Citi Investment Research, wrote in a note to investors that there is a 75 percent chance that Reynolds will buy Swisher International Inc.

Mike Huckabee Defends ‘Merry Christmas’ Ad, Says Cross Imagery is Incidental

(Fox News) - In a new television ad debuting Tuesday in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee does the unthinkable - he wishes early voters “Merry Christmas.”

Wearing a red sweater and standing before a glowing Christmas tree as “Silent Night” plays in the background, the former Arkansas governor asks viewers if they’re “about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing, mostly about politics.”

Behind Huckabee appears to be a white cross, which may be intersecting shelf lines or a window pane and slowly moves to the right on the screen until it’s behind his head.

But the ordained Baptist minister, who has been riding a wave of evangelical support with his open religious appeals, said Tuesday that it’s just a bookshelf and defended the ad.

Fire burns on White House grounds

(Yahoo News) - Thick black smoke billowed from a fire Wednesday on the White House compound in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The blaze appeared to be located in Vice President Dick Cheney's suite of ceremonial offices on the second floor of the building. Cheney and President Bush were across the street in the West Wing of the White House when the blaze broke out. It appeared to be under control within an hour.

Secret Service spokesman Darrin Blackford said the Old Executive Office building was evacuated as a precaution. "Everyone has been evacuated safely," White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said. District of Columbia firefighters poured water on the blaze and moved furniture onto a balcony.

The Executive Office Building, a commanding structure with a granite, slate and cast iron exterior at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street, houses the Office of Management and Budget and staff of the National Security Council and other agencies.

Originally built for the State, War and Navy Departments between 1871 and 1888, the building was renamed in honor of President Dwight Eisenhower during the Clinton administration.


(National Enquirer) - The woman linked to Presidential candidate John Edwards in a cheating scandal is more than six months pregnant and telling a close confidante that Edwards is the father of her unborn child, The NATIONAL ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

The NATIONAL ENQUIRER's political bombshell comes just weeks after Edwards emphatically denied having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who formerly worked on his campaign.

But The ENQUIRER has now confirmed not only that Rielle is pregnant, but she is also living in Chapel Hill, N.C. in a gated community, just a few streets away from Andrew Young, who has been a key official in Edwards' campaign.

Season's Greetings from the Ron Paul Family

Controversial Earmark From Two Years Ago Rears Its Head Again in Congress

(Fox News) - Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn is calling for an investigation into a controversial last-minute changing of an earmark requested by Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young — who was then chairman of the House transportation committee. Coburn says he will object to the passage of any so-called "technical corrections" to the 2005 transportation bill — where Young's earmark was included.

Young's request for $10 million to widen Interstate 75 in southern Florida was approved. But after that he changed the language to authorize work on an interchange on I-75 instead — despite the fact the project was opposed by local officials. But it was backed by a real estate developer who had thrown a $40,000 fundraiser for Young that year. Now Coburn is asking Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for a committee of House members and senators to investigate.

What's in a Name?

(Fox News) - A court in Genoa, Italy has ruled that a local couple cannot name their baby boy Friday — because people might make fun of him — and has ordered his name changed to Gregory.

The boy's parents named him Friday when he was born 15 months ago because they liked the sound of it. He was registered with the Genoa city hall and baptized.

But several months ago a tribunal ruled that Friday violated a law against ridiculous or shameful names. It said Friday would be the butt of jokes and hindered from developing what it called "serene interpersonal relationships."

The parents appealed — but lost their case earlier this month. They say they will still call him Friday — but when he's older he will have to sign his name Gregory.

God-Free Zone?

(Fox News) - A longtime volunteer at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Fayetteville, North Carolina is calling it quits because he says the hospital is suppressing freedom of religion for Christians.

Vietnam veteran Laud Pitt says in media reports that the hospital has removed the Bible and the cross from its chapel — and put drapes over its stained glass windows. He says he also has been told he can no longer read scripture to patients or pray with them — and that he must be escorted by a chaplain when he hands out Christmas cards.

Hospital officials say are simply complying with a rule dating back to the 1950's — requiring the chapel to be religiously neutral when not in use. They say religious items are available on request.

Money Talks

(Fox News) - College administrators, faculty and other educators are putting their money behind Democrats over Republicans by a three-to-one margin in the presidential race.

Figures from the Center for Responsive Politics say Barack Obama is the clear favorite so far — collecting $2.1 million — about one-third of all the money donated this year. Hillary Clinton is second with $1.6 million.

Mitt Romney is the top Republican, placing fourth with $564,000 and Rudy Giuliani has taken in $462,000.

Remembering the Gipper...

Ronald Reagan: First Inaugural Address (2 of 3)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: The Vision Thing

All right, folks: Hold onto your wallets. The Government Accountability Office, the GAO, estimates that entitlement programs are running a long-term "shortfall" of... $45 trillion. That's the difference between what the government expects to take in and what it has promised to shell out over the next 75 years in Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement benefits.

Stating the obvious, the GAO head guy, David Walker, says: "Our government has made a whole lot of promises in the long term that it cannot possibly keep." Senator Judd Gregg, the Budget Committee's ranking Republican, warns that the longer we wait to fix this, the harder it'll be. And, as usual, there's talk of creating "bipartisan commissions" to punt the issue.

Now, these problems have one root, folks: liberal Democrats. Sorry to say it, but it's true! You can trace the massive expansion of entitlements to FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society programs. You can argue about the motives: whether these entitlements were born from good intentions, or whether they were designed to create dependency among large swaths of Americans, ensuring Democrats' eternal power. But you can't argue with the results. Unreformed, they will bankrupt the nation.

And you cannot argue with one more thing. Even now, Democrats are proposing more massive entitlements -- health care, education, and to cripple the private-sector economy over the global warming hoax. And that's why I continue to tell you it's not Iraq, but the vision of the country's future, that's the central issue of next year's presidential election. Make book on it.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: $45 Trillion Gap Seen in US Benefits

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Photo puts Romney at Planned Parenthood event

Boston Herald

A photograph of GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney at a 1994 Planned Parenthood fund-raiser has surfaced, once again raising questions about the former Bay State’s governor’s abortion flip-flopping.

Ron Paul: 'When fascism comes it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross'...

Ron Paul on Fox & Friends; 12-18-07

Does Gore Know What He's Talking About?

By Ed Koch
Real Clear Politics

I may be old fashioned, but I think it's wrong to publicly attack and criticize your own country overseas. It is doubly wrong to do so in the presence of those who hate the United States.

Al Gore, a former Senator from Tennessee, a former Vice President of the United States and the 2000 Democratic candidate for president, apparently believes that since, as he said, he is "not an official of the United States," he is free to attack his native country anywhere.

This month in Bali, Indonesia, the United Nations held a conference on global warming for the purpose of extending the Kyoto Protocols, which will formally end in 2012. The United States -- concerned about Kyoto's effect on economic growth -- has refused to ratify the Protocols. On July 25, 1997, the U.S. Senate rejected then Vice President Gore's advice and voted 95-0 to reject the Kyoto Protocols.

Last week Al Gore appeared at the Bali conference and said, "I am not an official of the United States and I am not bound by the diplomatic niceties. So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth. My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that."

Oh, really? And just how do we all know that? Is it true that the U.S. is "principally responsible for obstructing progress" in Bali? The New York Times, which applauds the former Vice President, reported on December 14 that "[t]he emerging economic powers, most notably China and India, also refuse to accept limits on their emissions, despite projections that they will soon become the dominant sources of the gases." The same Times article stated while the U.S. opposes an agreement that would include numerical targets, so do "a few other countries, including Russia."

Edwards takes up residence on Page 1

You've been seeing a lot of John Edwards on the front page of The News & Observer lately. Get used to it; there's more to come, right through your holidays.

Last week, the paper ran front-page stories about Edwards on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, and more were planned for the weekend (after this column's deadline). The reason is apparent. After five years of determined stalking of the Oval Office, the former senator will very likely see his political future decided in the next three to four weeks -- in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3 and the New Hampshire primary Jan. 8.

So The N&O has geared up for a sprint to the finish line with the hometown hopeful in a spate of stories that will be almost as exhausting for the reporters as the candidate. Reporter Rob Christensen trailed Edwards across Iowa all last week, and Washington correspondent Barbara Barrett earlier spent two days with him in New Hampshire.

Ted Vaden

Looks like NandO plans to give up even the charade of objectivity. Maybe they should just change the name of the paper to "The John Edwards Newsletter" or "Ted Vaden's Homoerotic John Edwards Fanboy Rag." Maybe Vaden should run a story on how he likes to give the Silky Pony foot massages and back rubs on those long, quiet evenings at home.

Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H. W. Bush said Tuesday afternoon the former president supports his son's foreign policy and has "never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton."

Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.


Will Smith on work ethic and the historical perspective.

Well said, Will.

Mitt Romney Fights Model Image, Flip-Flopper Charges

(Fox News) - The problem with getting stuck with the “blow-dried candidate” label is that no matter where one stands in the polls or what successes he may have on the campaign trail, everyone is still talking about the hair.

As recently as this weekend a teenage girl at a restaurant in Iowa asked Mitt Romney if she could touch his hair.

Fourteen-year-old Meg Fink told The Associated Press she saw Romney at the debate on Iowa Public Television and thought to herself, “He has nice hair.”

'Are we ready to see Hillary age?'

(news.com.au) - Rudy Giuliani is no oil painting, nor is John McCain. Fred Thompson may have cracked it in Hollywood, but he's hardly leading man material.

Barack Obama has those ears to contend with, while every time Joe Biden opens his mouth it's like watching an old episode of Mr Ed. Even pretty boy John Edwards is starting to show signs of wear.

But according to the US's leading radio shock jock, Rush Limbaugh, it all matters little for the male presidential candidates, because when men age they look "more authoritative, accomplished and distinguished".

What does matter, says Limbaugh, is that Hillary Clinton, who turned 60 in October, is starting to wrinkle.

So on Monday, on a radio show with an audience of 14.5 million, Limbaugh asked this question about the former first lady's presidential prospects: "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?"

Remembering the Gipper...

Ronald Reagan: First Inaugural Address (1 of 3)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Bah Humbug!

Tsk, tsk. My friends, once again, you people are not doing your part. According to the Drive-By Media, your Christmas shopping has been lukewarm. You've put retailers in a bind, "despite generous discounts and expanded store hours." They're desperately hoping you'll show up to shop this week or else the entire season will be a huge bust.

Some of you people allowed the winter weather systems that spread ice, sleet, freezing rain, and snow last week to keep you indoors. Out West, a whole lot of people are still without power from storms. But that's no excuse!

Everybody's disappointed: brick-and-mortar managers, catalog folks -- even online operations. They all complain that you people are doing research this year -- hunting for bargains -- waiting till the last second to see if they'll blink and drop their prices even further.

I mean, how unfair can you be? What gives you the right to sit at home -- warm or cold -- and do research? How dare you hold out until the last minute, leaving America's retailers in doubt, waiting anxiously to see if you'll spend your money, forcing them to reach into their bag of tricks and come up with ways to compete for a chance to earn your business?

You know, you shoppers... you're so concerned with saving a buck; you're absolutely heartless, according to the Drive-Bys. Next thing you know, you're going to be scrutinizing liberals who want to raise your taxes -- and they can't have that kind of scrutiny!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Retailers Look to Last-Minute Shopping
Washington Times: Last-Minute Shoppers Leave Retail Anxious

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ron Paul For The Republican Nomination

By Andrew Sullivan
The Atlantic

...But the deeper reason to support Ron Paul is a simple one. The great forgotten principles of the current Republican party are freedom and toleration. Paul's federalism, his deep suspicion of Washington power, his resistance to government spending, debt and inflation, his ability to grasp that not all human problems are soluble, least of all by government: these are principles that made me a conservative in the first place. No one in the current field articulates them as clearly and understands them as deeply as Paul. He is a man of faith who nonetheless sees a clear line between religion and politics. More than all this, he has somehow ignited a new movement of those who love freedom and want to rescue it from the do-gooding bromides of the left to the Christianist meddling of the right. The Paulites' enthusiasm for liberty, their unapologetic defense of core conservative principles, their awareness that in the new millennium, these principles of small government, self-reliance, cultural pluralism, and a humble foreign policy are more necessary than ever - no lover of liberty can stand by and not join them.

He's the real thing in a world of fakes and frauds. And in a primary campaign where the very future of conservatism is at stake, that cannot be ignored. In fact, it demands support.

Go Ron Paul!

Remembering the Gipper...

“The Nativity story of nearly twenty centuries ago is known by all faiths as a hymn to the brotherhood of man. For Christians, it is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies and the reaffirmation of God’s great love for all of us. Through a generous Heavenly Father’s gift of His Son, hope and compassion entered a world weary with fear and despair and changed it for all time. On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls of the caring. And it is reflected in the brilliant colors, joyful sounds, and beauty of the winter season. Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and strive to keep it throughout the year.”

Ronald Reagan

A Republican Retreat

By Bob Novak
Real Clear Politics

Nearly the entire federal government would be funded by an omnibus appropriations bill to be unveiled today after covert negotiations. In subsequent parliamentary maneuvering likely to extend all through this week, Democrats will pare the spending level to the maximum demanded by President George W. Bush in order to avoid a veto. Republicans will declare victory. In fact, they are in retreat.

Baker-Artist Finds Success: Artist's Way Creations Bakery Cafe carves a niche in downtown Danbury

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - Artist’s Way Creations Bakery Cafe, one of a handful of restaurants in downtown Danbury, opened in 2002 as a small, family-owned cafe with plans to offer healthy food that looks as good as it tastes.

Since, the restaurant has grown, said Bonnie Rodell, the owner of Artist’s Way.

Rodell hopes to soon expand the cafe into a building next door so she can offer private art galleries and space for private dining.

Parton's pay more than sold in tickets

ROANOKE RAPIDS (AP) - Randy Parton took $350,000 as an artist fee while performing at the theater bearing his name, although the theater sold only $325,706 in tickets, according to financial records.

Parton’s attorney, Nick Ellis of Rocky Mount, said Saturday, “everybody hoped that ticket sales alone would be sufficient to cover” Parton’s fee. Ticket sales fell short, but Ellis said that Parton “got paid what the city agreed to pay him.”

The records were released by Roanoke Rapids officials.

Ron Paul Raises More Than $5 Million in 24-Hour 'Money Bomb'

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Fox News) — Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul's supporters raised over $5 million Sunday to boost the 10-term Texas congressman's campaign for the White House.

Joe Lieberman Crosses Aisle, Endorses John McCain for President

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat who ran as an independent last election after losing his primary re-election, endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday.

Lieberman, who ran for vice president in 2000 alongside Al Gore, said McCain possessed the greatest ability to break gridlock in Washington.

Barack Obama Goes to Church, Talks About His Faith Amid Internet Muslim Rumors

MASON CITY, Iowa (Fox News) — Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday confronted one of the persistent falsehoods circulating about him on the Internet.

He went to church.

His attendance here at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, with the news media in tow, was as much an observation of faith as it was a rejoinder to baseless e-mailed rumors that he is a Muslim and poses a threat to the security of the United States.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Like That!

In a sane political environment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be condemned for her hateful comments last Thursday. She claimed that Republicans "like war" -- which is, she said, why Republicans want the Iraq war to continue. When asked to clarify her remarks -- as if they weren't already crystal clear -- Pelosi sensed the loathsomeness of her statement and backed off a little bit. She said she meant that Republicans support the war. (In sharp contrast to Democrats, who "like" the idea of American defeat.)

The same day, Democrats passed a measure outlawing waterboarding. Now, we recently learned that by using this technique for 35 seconds on one senior Al-Qaeda terrorist, over a dozen terror attacks were disrupted.

The Democrats have sent a message to us, to the world, and to the terrorists. Their message is this: The lives of thousands of American citizens are less important than 35 seconds of physical discomfort for one Al-Qaeda terrorist. Americans have been burned alive, they have been obliterated, they have jumped to their deaths from skyscrapers after hijacked planes exploded into their workplaces. Americans have been beheaded. American troops in the process of defeating these terrorists have had their limbs blown off, have been killed by unspeakably horrific methods and their bodies desecrated. But those American lives are not as important to Democrats as the comfort of those who commit these despicable acts.

We don't like war, Ms. Pelosi. We love America; we love our freedom, and our way of life. We defend it. We like victory over terrorists... and over you and your fellow Democrats (who must also like killing babies. How does that sound?)

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Pelosi -- Republicans `Like' Iraq War
Reuters: House Votes to Outlaw CIA Waterboarding

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul raises millions in today's Boston Tea Party event

By Michael Levenson

On Nov. 5, supporters of Ron Paul raked in more than $4.2 million in donations in 24 hours, mostly of them collected over the Internet.

Today, they're at it again. Hoping to detonate what they call a "money bomb," the supporters started fundraising at midnight Saturday and have already raised $2 million as of about 10:30 a.m. today, more than at this point on Nov. 5, according to figures they posted online. They hope to collect a total of $10 million by midnight Sunday.

I saw on the news the other day the Ron Paul campaign are advertising on a blimp up-and-down the east coast.