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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stokes: 'No' to school-land purchase

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Stokes County commissioners did not authorize the purchase of land for a new elementary school or set aside money for school-capital projects at a meeting Monday night.

That means that the next step in determining the fate of Nancy Reynolds Elementary School and a new elementary school for the King area will be a joint meeting between the Stokes County commissioners and school-board members.

The need for a new elementary school to relieve overcrowding at King and Mount Olive elementary schools is clear. When it comes to the best path to take with Nancy Reynolds Elementary School, which opened in 1923, consensus may never be reached.

Would appointing Hillary violate the Constitution?

(MSNBC) - If President-elect Barack Obama nominates Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state, many legal scholars believe it would be the former law professor's first violation of the Constitution as president.

Why? Because the Constitution forbids the appointment of members of Congress to administration jobs if the salary of the job they'd take was raised while they were in Congress. (Article I, Section 6: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office ... the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time." Emoluments meaning salaries and benefits.)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: State and Church

My friends, officials from the government in California have announced plans to investigate the Mormon Church over their role in the passage of Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between mankind and womankind.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission said a single complaint by a gay rights group was enough to drive the investigation. The executive director, Roman Porter, said the decision to investigate the Mormons doesn't mean any wrongdoing has been pre-determined. (So I guess this means that Roman won't nail the Mormons to the cross just yet -- until the investigation is complete.) The lone complaint giving the state an excuse to investigate the church claims the Mormons didn't report the value of work they did to support the measure.

Now, remember, folks: Liberal bloggers called black people the "n-word" for supporting it in large numbers. Roseanne Barr called blacks "ignorant" and said their clergy was corrupted. (Was she thinking Chicago?)

So as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving -- inspired by Pilgrims who came to the New World in search of religious freedom -- California is holding an inquisition of a religious group who dared voice political opinions. Quite fitting.

If they're found guilty, maybe the Mormons should be required to admit they're heretics. Maybe they should be forced to denounce their religion, or face burning at the stake. What to do with the blacks? That's another matter. The Mormons? They're in for it. Happy Thanksgiving, folks. We'll see you on the next update.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: California to investigate Mormon aid to Prop 8

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lose-Lose on Abortion

Obama's threat to Catholic hospitals and their very serious counterthreat.

(By Melinda Henneberger, Slate) - When I saw the Catholic bishops had declared war on President-elect Obama at their semiannual meeting in Baltimore two weeks ago, my first reaction was pique: Gosh, guys, it isn't even parade day yet, and here you are, all dressed up and ready to rain on it.

Were they in spasm because Obama had won Catholics by nine points? (Nine! A landslide compared with the five by which my co-religionists had favored Bush in '04.) Peeved because even some of the most ardent pro-lifers had broken ranks? (In Colorado, where Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput called Obama "the most committed 'abortion rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973,'' it was Catholic voters who turned the state from red to blue.) Obama and Biden won 63-36 in Pennsylvania's heavily Catholic Lackawanna County, home to Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino, who seemed beside himself over the pro-choice position taken by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, a Catholic: "I cannot have the vice president coming to Scranton and saying he learned his values there, when those values are utterly against those of the Catholic Church," Martino said in Baltimore.

In Alaska, The Drill Is Gone

(INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY) - Remember those 68 million acres House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the oil companies had to use or lose? According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, they can't drill there either.

"Jolting" the Economy

(By Dr. Thomas Sowell, TownHall.com) - Barack Obama says that we have to "jolt" the economy. That certainly makes sense, if you take the media's account of the economy seriously-- but should the media be taken seriously?

Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of one percent. In fact, it may not have declined even that much-- or at all-- when the statistics are revised later, as they very often are.

We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25 percent.

What we are talking about is a golden political opportunity for politicians to use the current financial crisis to fundamentally change an economy that has been successful for more than two centuries, so that politicians can henceforth micro-manage all sorts of businesses and play Robin Hood, taking from those who are not likely to vote for them and transferring part of their earnings to those who will vote for them.

For that, the politicians need lots of hype, and that is being generously supplied by the media.

Despite Bells and Whistles, 'Office of President-Elect' Holds No Authority

The props that decorate the stage for the Office of the President-elect serve as just that, since Barack Obama will hold no actual authority in the Executive Branch until Jan. 20.

(Fox News) - President-elect Barack Obama is looking very presidential these days. When he makes an announcement, he is ringed by American flags and stands behind a lectern that has a very presidential-looking placard announcing "The Office of the President-Elect."

But the props are merely that. Under the Constitution, there is no such thing as the Office of the President-elect. Technically, Obama will not even become the president-elect until the Electoral College convenes after the second Wednesday in December and elects him based on the results of the Nov. 4 general election, as stated in the Constitution.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: How About It?

Well, the Democrats have begun rolling out their cure-all for the American economy: a massive government spending program that will supposedly "create or preserve" two and a half million new jobs. The spending will focus on "rebuilding infrastructure" -- in other words, glorified earmarks for Democrats to hand out to buy votes for future elections.

Last week, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and New York Senator "Chuck-U" Schumer floated the idea of up to $700 billion in new spending. And over the weekend, Bill Clinton's old economic team -- now Camp Obama's economic team -- was sent out to embrace the idea.

Now, for the whole time that we've been in Iraq, folks, the left has complained about the cost of defending our nation. But even though this "stimulus" package would cost more in two years than the entire seven-and-a-half-year war effort in Iraq, there are no complaints -- not even a raised eyebrow -- from the entire liberal establishment. Instead, they gleefully tout this plan as the second coming of the New Deal.

Folks, if we're going to spend $700 billion to "create or preserve" just 2.5 million jobs, why stop there? Why not spend trillions -- it shouldn't matter how much -- and have the government employ everybody? I mean, anything worth doing is worth doing right, right? If the government wants to buy votes, then "leave no voter behind." That is change liberals can believe in! How about it guys? Go for it all!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Washington Post: Democrats' Stimulus Plan May Reach $700 Billion

Monday, November 24, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

"My fellow Americans: Over 350 years ago, a small band of Pilgrims, after gathering in their first harvest at Plymouth Colony, invited their friends and neighbors, who were Indians, to join them in a feast of thanksgiving. Together they sat around their bountiful table and bowed their heads in gratitude to the Lord for all that He had bestowed upon them. This week, so many years later, we, too, will gather with family and friends and, after saying grace, carve up a turkey, pass around the cranberries and dressing, and later share slices of pumpkin pie. We Americans have so much for which to be thankful. ... We will give thanks for these and one thing more: our freedom. Yes, in America, freedom seems like the air around us: It's there; it's sweet, though we rarely give it a thought. Yet as the air fills our lungs, freedom fills our souls. It gives breath to our laughter and joy. It gives voice to our songs. It gives us strength as we race for our dreams. ... Yes, as we gather together this Thanksgiving to ask the Lord's blessings, as we of whatever faith we are give praises to His name, let us thank Him for our peace, prosperity, and freedom. Happy Thanksgiving!"
Ronald Reagan

The Coercion Of Tolerance At eHarmony

(By MICHELLE MALKIN, IBD Editorials) - Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating Web site worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable "right" to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh?

New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks — heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide.

"Men seeking men" has now been enshrined with "I have a dream" as a civil-rights rallying cry of the 21st century. Bully for you, Mr. McKinley. You bully.

Alan Colmes to Depart Top Rated Hannity & Colmes

(Breitbart.com) - FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Alan Colmes will relinquish his role as co-host of Hannity & Colmes at the end of the year.

In announcing his decision, Colmes said, “I approached Bill Shine (FNC’s Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network. Although it’s bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, I’m proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.”

Bailed-Out Citigroup Paid Bill Clinton $700,000--For Words, Just Words

(CNSNews.com) - The struggling financial giant Citigroup, which recently received $25 billion in federal bailout dollars, paid former President Bill Clinton a total of $700,000 for four speeches he delivered on the company’s behalf between 2004 and 2007, according to U.S. Senate financial disclosure statements filed by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.)

Sen. Clinton’s latest financial disclosure form, filed on June 28, 2008, reported the former president’s honoraria for 2007. Senate financial disclosures forms for 2008 will not be filed until next year.

Citigroup’s stock has plummeted nearly 40 percent this week.

Automakers Forced to Pay 85- to 95-Percent of Wages to Union Members Who Are Not Working

(CNSNews.com) – The Big Three automakers are forced to pay 85- to 95-percent of union wages and benefits to members of the United Auto Workers union who aren’t working – even if their plants have been closed.

Industry analysts say union labor agreements that obligate the Big Three to pay millions of dollars to workers who are no longer working are a major reason why the automakers are in trouble – a problem that no short-term bailout can fix.

Beverly Perdue’s Interesting Interview

(By John Hood, Carolina Outdoor Journal) - On the Left, the operating assumption is state government is too small, so the problem is that North Carolinians are keeping too much of their own money.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Warfare!

Well, the big question: Will Hillary Clinton take over the State Department? Apparently, official word will not come from Camp Messiah until after Thanksgiving, but the high profile appointments already on the table -- Rahm Emanuel, Tom Daschle, and Janet Napolitano -- reveal a pattern: they're fiercely partisan and polarizing figures.

Governor Janet Napolitano was Anita Hill's attorney during the attempted high-tech lynching of Justice Thomas. She reportedly coached key witness Susan Hoerchner to change her testimony. As Governor of Arizona, Napolitano thwarted efforts to get tough on illegal immigration -- so now Obama puts her in charge of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration enforcement.

Tom Daschle? One of the most partisan senate majority leaders in modern history. After he was finally defeated, most of his staff moved over to work for the incoming freshman senator from Illinois: Barack Obama. And Rahm "Sharp Elbows" Emanuel was a partisan enforcer for Bill Clinton and Speaker of the House Pelosi. His elbows are sharp -- and so is the political hatchet that he wields.

Now, don't misunderstand. I'm not bellyaching. This is pure political analysis. Elections have consequences, and the incoming president gets to pick whoever he wants to enact his agenda and to squash his opponents like big juicy bugs on a tile floor. So, let's squash all this talk about Obama's "post-partisanship" and the second coming of Camelot. This is political warfare, and I, my friends, am on the field and ready for the fight!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Obama Looks at Border Governor for Homeland Spot
NRO: The Real Janet Napolitano

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Card Check ad CBS doesn’t want you to see

Obamas Pick Sidwell Friends School for Daughters

ABC News

ABC News can report that the Obamas have selected Sidwell Friends for their daughters Sasha and Malia to attend.

Sidwell is where Chelsea Clinton attended school during the Clinton administration.

"A number of great schools were considered," said Obama Transition Team aide Katie McCormick Lelyveld. "In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now."

An Obama aide added, "Mrs. Obama is the product of public education on the South Side of Chicago and she believes strongly in the importance of good public schools for all kids. The Obama Administration intends to work closely with the school systems in the years to come to ensure quality public education is available to all kids.The Obamas' daughters are very young and moving to the White House is a big change for them. The primary concern was finding a school that felt comfortable and was in their overall best interest. The Obama daughters bring with them a number of security and privacy concerns that come with being part of the new first family -- and the school they've selected is positioned to appropriately accommodate that."

Three of Vice President-elect Joe Biden's grandkids - Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy - also attend Sidwell Friends. At the Democratic National Convention in August, Biden's grandkids had a sleepover with the Obama daughters in their Denver hotel room.

Palin Conducts TV Interview While Turkey is Slaughtered

Alaska governor officially pardons a turkey for Thanksgiving, then conducts TV interview at farm while another is seen being butchered in the background

Fox News

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin officially pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving at a farm in Wasilla, Alaska on Thursday, then conducted a television interview as another bird was clearly seen being slaughtered in the background.

This is why I love Sarah Palin: She doesn't give a flip what the politically correct crowd has to say in the lower 48. The guys over at MSNBC are having fits over this interview... Ha! For some reason, they don't grasp how turkeys end up on the dinner table.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scientists Could Find Cure For 'Wolf Boy'

(Fox News) - It's not easy being a preteen "wolf boy" — but scientists at Columbia University are confident they've finally found the silver bullet that can cure one.

Pruthviraj Patil, 11, suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as hypertrichosis — or "werewolf syndrome" — which causes a thick coat of hair to grow over every inch of his body except his palms and feet.

But Why Not the Clintonites?

(By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online) - There is much talk about Podesta, Emanuel, Holder, Hillary and all the other Clintonites that now seem to have done pretty well despite their brand name losing the primaries. But I don't think their presence is explained by 'keep your enemies close' logic

Instead, why the surprise that we get 1993-2000 instead of hope and change? Obama's victory was unique in a lot of ways, but none more than in his lack of a prior political career from which to draw inside advisors. There is apparently no Hamilton Jordan, Jody Powell, or Bert Lance in Chicago.

Nor is there a Reagan California kitchen cabinet, or the Arkansas Webb Hubbell /Vince Foster pack that followed the Clintons to Washington or Bush, Rove et al. from Texas.

That is, given Obama's absence of executive experience and brief tenure in the Senate, Obama never was in a position to assemble an insider team other than the Chicagoan Axlerod. So what was Obama to do when he needed savvy advisors and a brain trust he could count on from the old days to form the nucleus of his advisors and cabinet?

He could hardly draw on personal friends like Ayers, Khalidi, Pfleger, Rezko, and Wright. Other than Friends of Bill, the last Democrats to be insiders were the Carterites now in their 80s. So if a Democrat were to be elected President without much experience, and without friends or advisors he could draw upon who were qualified for office and worldly about Washington's macabre politics, who but the Clintonites were there?

This seems to be an unprecedented development entirely neglected by the media, this sudden reliance on a primary rival's team—ipso facto an illustration of Obama's thinner political resumé. It is striking really how there is simply not a dozen or so Chicago vets who worked for Obama in the past as was the case with most other Presidents. But then who knows, given the careers of a Bert Lance or Webb Hubbell or Scott McClellan perhaps the already vetted old Clinton hands will work for Obama? But then on the other hand...

Dems see new signs Gates will stay

(Politico) - Democratic officials said they see new signs that President-elect Barack Obama will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay in his post.

If Gates stays, no reconfirmation hearing would be needed, officials said.

Keeping Gates at the helm would help give Obama political cover for a gradual reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq and would enhance his relationship with Gen. David Petraeus, the former U.S. commander in Iraq and now the head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Legacy

Well, when executives from the Big Three automakers went before Congress this week, their pleas for $25 billion in bailout money were met with disdain. In a moment of supreme irony, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, who chairs the banking committee, scolded the auto execs, telling them there was no way they couldn't see the crisis coming. The auto industry, he said, is "seeking treatments for wounds" that are "self-inflicted."

Now, keep in mind: Not only is Chris Dodd one of the Democrats responsible for the entire financial meltdown, he personally benefited from sweetheart deals on his own mortgages.

Folks, watching US senators scold the auto industry over what they "should have seen coming" is laughable! True, automakers are stuck with unsustainable legacy costs: paying massive benefit packages for former union employees who no longer produce, as well as "job banks" that pay union workers almost full salaries for not working -- not to mention government mandates that worsen their cost burden.

But look at the "business model" of the US government -- Social Security, Medicare, all the Big Government entitlement programs are unsustainable! They pay for people who don't produce, and we've all known what's coming down the road. But under the rubric of "hope and change," we've been promised a bigger dose of the same: brand new programs using the same failed model, with more powerful unions to boot!

The biggest threat to our economy is not our automakers -- but the legacy of liberalism. Learn it, love it (well, don't love it), live it!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Big Three Carmakers Beg for $25 billion, Blame Economy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O'Brien: "Barack Obama said that since he won the election he has slept in his own bed every night. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, 'Man, this guy has a lot to learn'."

Jay Leno: According to CNN, Barack Obama's popularity going into office is higher than Clinton's, Reagan's, or either of the President Bushes when they entered office. On Fox News, he's somewhere between Attila the Hun and lead poisoning.

The latest rumor is that Barack Obama has offered the job of secretary of state to Hillary Clinton. That's kind of sad considering how close Hillary came to being the first female president. Imagine after that -- her next job offer? Secretary.

Hillary Clinton might make a very good secretary of state -- she can cackle in seven different languages.

Actually this works out great for the Clintons. While Hillary is concentrating on foreign affairs, Bill can get back to concentrating on domestic affairs.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called for emergency assistance for the auto industry. She said it was an absolute emergency. But since it was Nancy Pelosi, no one could tell from her facial expression that it was an emergency.

Auto Bailout Ignores Excessive Labor Costs

(By James Sherk, The Heritage Foundation) - Without government intervention, one or more of the Big Three automobile manufacturers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--faces restructuring in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would not be the end of the Big Three but a new beginning. Coming out of bankruptcy, the automakers would start fresh, free of the contractual obligations that have kept them uncompetitive. The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit automakers want to avoid bankruptcy and are seeking a taxpayer bailout. Such a bailout, however, is not an acceptable alternative to bankruptcy because it would delay the restructuring the Big Three need to become competitive again.

UAW workers earn $75 an hour in wages and benefits--almost triple the earnings of the average private sector worker. Detroit autoworkers have substantially more health, retirement, and paid time off benefits than most Americans. These benefits, and a JOBS bank that pays UAW workers nearly full wages to not work, have been a major force driving the Detroit automakers' current fiscal woes. Consequently, Congress should not force all Americans to pay for high wages and benefits for UAW workers.

The Detroit Bailout: Unsafe at Any Cost

(By James L. Gattuso and Nicolas Loris, The Heritage Foundation) - Should Washington bail out Detroit? That is the question facing Congress as it reconvenes this week for a special post-election session. Nearly everyone agrees that, with losses piling up, Detroit automakers need to change the way they operate and change soon. The real issue is how best to do that.

The Detroit-based automakers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--argue that they need more money from U.S. taxpayers. That approach, however, is more likely to extend the status quo rather than lead to reform. A far better approach is to restructure the old-fashioned way, through a formal bankruptcy process if necessary. Bankruptcy--and the prospect of it--would provide both the incentive and means for making the hard and painful choices that Detroit needs to make. Lawmakers should turn down pleas for subsidies that would detour that process.

Place for Nancy

School board examining suitable adjacent sites for rebuilding school

WALNUT COVE (Winston-Salem Journal) - If the Stokes County school board decides to rebuild Nancy Reynolds Elementary School, it will probably have to buy more land.

Many of the 200 people attending the Nov. 10 community meeting about the fate of the school said they hoped that the board would rebuild on the same site rather than on a new site. So, board members asked Thomas W. Hughes of SFL+A Architects to gather more information about the feasibility of doing that.

Rebuilding would require a new septic system and a deeper foundation than the school now has. The school opened in 1923 and has serious structural problems.

The Automaker Bailout: Questions Congress Must Ask the Automakers

(By Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage Foundation) - This week, Congress will hold hearings on the big losses being racked up by the Big Three automakers. The automakers, particularly General Motors, want federal dollars to keep out of bankruptcy and, in order to secure it, have been working overtime to scare lawmakers that the consequences of denying them a bailout would be severe. As part of that effort, Big Three representatives have stated repeatedly that they have no other options and that bankruptcy, in particular, is off the table. Some have implied that, if there is a bankruptcy, it will be a Chapter 7 liquidation that results in the implosion of much of the industry.

It may be, however, that in trying to twist Congress’s arm, the automakers have turned their backs on their fiduciary duties under corporate law. Congress should ask automaker executives who testify point-blank about their legal duties, the state of their preparations for bankruptcy, and what they plan to do if they are ultimately forced to file for bankruptcy. These topics, more than any other line of inquiry, will inform Congress and the public about a bailout’s prospects to turn the Big Three around, whether the automakers can be trusted with the investment of taxpayer dollars, and whether bankruptcy—instead of a bailout—would be a better option.

Automakers Need Bankruptcy, Not Bailout

(By Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage Foundation) - The U.S. auto industry is in dire need of a shakeup. All of the Big Three are beset by plummeting sales and market share, high labor costs, aging fleets, and a surfeit of innovative automobiles in the pipeline. With General Motors, and perhaps Ford after it, fac­ing looming liquidity crises, staying the course is no longer an option.

But rather than face facts, the auto industry is seek­ing yet another government lifeline: a $25 billion bailout on top of the billions in subsidized loans already approved by lawmakers. While a bailout promises continued stagnation and decline, reorgani­zation is the only chance that automakers have to rebound and survive in the global marketplace.

Rather than throw even more money at the prob­lem to little effect, Congress and the Administration should let the automakers take advantage of the same legal process to reorganize that thousands of other businesses use each year. The bankruptcy process is designed to address exactly the kind of challenge that the automakers now face: realizing the full value of assets and organizations that have been mismanaged and kept from reaching their potential. Conversely, outside of the bankruptcy process, the automakers will lack the legal ability, as well as the proper incen­tives, to confront their problems, restructure their operations, and return their assets and employees to productive service.

Video: Bailout money doesn’t belong to us

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Why are you worried about bailouts, anyway? Don’t you know it’s not your money, but that it belongs to Congress? If I asked which party produced the Congressman who gave that assessment, you might be surprised...

Rep. Joe Knollenberg is a 'Republican' — from Michigan, naturally enough for the auto bailout — who believes that tax money doesn’t come from taxpayers. “It’s not your money,” he tells Neil Cavuto. It belongs to Congress, and they’ll do whatever they want with it. And what they want to do is take it from taxpayers to “prop up” failing businesses instead of forcing them to become competitive.


By Don Feder

Back in the 1980s, during the euphoria of the Reagan-era, Neo-cons like Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol predicted a seismic shift in Jewish voting patterns.

Once American Jews discovered that voting Republican was crucial for the survival of the Jewish state, they’d naturally align themselves with the party that actually believes in national security, we were assured.

It never happened.

After this year’s election – in which Barack Hussein Obama got 77% of the Jewish vote – we can confidently say it never will. Once again, in 2008, most American Jews voted their religion – liberalism.

Obamaism :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Cold Kooks!

Trust me on this, folks; don't doubt me. Today there are some hurt feelings among the far left-wing kook-fringe base. First, after all the public threats, Senate Majority Leader Dingy Harry walked out to the cameras and said nothing was going to be done to Joe Lieberman for leaving the reservation and backing John McCraz -- McCain. He's still Chairman of Homeland Security... and that's it! No punishment, no nothing.

The decision came the same day more "bad news" for kooks hit the Drive-By Media. Two advisors to Obama told the press that there is little -- if any -- chance that the Justice Department will bring criminal charges against Bush officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of the terrorists at Club Gitmo.

Adding more insult to all this injury, another favorite of the kook-left base, Senator Pat "Leaky" Leahy, was asked during an interview on Vermont public radio if Bush officials would be brought up on war crimes charges. He said: "In the United States... no." (Hee, hee -- maybe somewhere else?)

Now, Michael Ratner, who is a kook and a professor at Columbia Law School and president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, is mad. He wants the Bushies to pay for protecting us from terrorism. He said: "I don't see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable."

Mr. Ranter, calm down. You kooks are out in the cold again, but, hey: You can always hope -- for change! Ha, ha, ha!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Obama Advisers -- No Charges Likely vs Interrogators

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SHOCKER: Obama Supporters Are Completely Clueless -- Media Completely Failed (Video)

(Gateway Pundit) - How Obama Got Elected interviewed twelve Obama voters right after they voted on Election Day.

The results were predictable:

On November 4th, 2008, millions of Americans were shocked that a man of Barack Obama's limited experience, extreme liberal positions and radical political alliances could be elected President of the United States. For many of these Americans, the explanation was rather simple... the news media, completely enamored with Obama, simply refused to do their job.

Here is the shocking video:

All of this was conducted for a forthcoming documentary on how the news media impacted the 2008 election. Please get on our mailing list and return to this website in the coming months for more information on the film, "Media Malpractice... How Obama Got Elected"

There's more. After the election Zogby found:

Zogby Poll

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet.....

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.

Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we "gave" one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)

In related news... Rupert Murdoch says media has lost trust of loyalty of its readers.

Howard Kurtz notices that the media was completely in the tank for the radical Obama this year.

UPDATE: The LA Times is just now noticing Obama's thin resume.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Art!

New York City officials have been asked to explain why they ordered the Cooper Union art school -- a prominent liberal fixture -- to remove a huge banner of Josef Stalin from their building.

According to Cooper Union, the banner promoted an exhibit called "Stalin by Picasso" and was intended to "provoke discussion about the relationship between art and politics." Well, it worked. New York's Ukrainian community was so upset that they complained in droves to city officials.

For those of you who attended public schools, let me explain: Though he's hugely admired in liberal circles, Josef Stalin murdered some 20 million people -- including millions of Ukrainians he literally starved to death -- during his reign as a Soviet communist dictator.

After the complaints poured in, city officials discovered that the art skrool didn't have the necessary permit to hang the oversized banner, which violated construction and zoning regulations. So they ordered it removed. That offended the delicate sensibilities of the New York Civil Liberties Union. The outraged lawyers are now demanding to know why the city is actually enforcing the law and picking on poor ol' "Uncle Joe" Stalin.

May I suggest a solution? Why don't you liberal educators and lawyers just hang life-size portraits of Stalin -- and all the other murderous thug commie-pinko dictators you adore -- in your offices? Nobody can stop you from doing that! This is America!

(For now.)

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Group Asks Why Stalin Banner Was Removed

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

"There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever-mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: 'If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants'."

Ronald Reagan

Huckabee Finally Settles His Campaign Scores

(By Michael Scherer, Time) - Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is not the sort of politician who likes to bite his tongue. But that's just what he has found himself doing over eight months since he ended his surprising and colorful presidential campaign.

What does he think is wrong with the Republican Party? What does he think of his former primary rivals? What is the best direction for the conservative movement? To each question, he answered only in broad strokes, refusing to get too specific or pointed. He was writing a book, he would say. It will come out after the election. He will "name names." Just wait and see.

On Tuesday, that book will arrive on store shelves, and in terms of payback, it will not disappoint. At once a memoir of his campaign, a treatise on the ills of the Republican Party and a blueprint for his own political future, 'Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America' is filled with sharp words for his fellow Republicans who frustrated his bid for the party's nomination. ...

... In a chapter titled "Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism," Huckabee identifies what he calls the "real threat" to the Republican Party: "libertarianism masked as conservatism." He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul's Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people's problems. "I don't take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it," writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as a governor and cut other deals with his state's Democratic legislature. "Faux-Cons aren't interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument." Among his targets is the Club For Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee's longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

Obama Wrote Federal Staffers About His Goals

Workers at Seven Agencies Got Detailed Letters Before Election

(Washington Post) - In wooing federal employee votes on the eve of the election, Barack Obama wrote a series of letters to workers that offer detailed descriptions of how he intends to add muscle to specific government programs, give new power to bureaucrats and roll back some Bush administration policies.

The letters, sent to employees at seven agencies, describe Obama's intention to scale back on contracts to private firms doing government work, to remove censorship from scientific research, and to champion tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment. He made it clear that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would have an enhanced role in restoring public confidence in the housing market, shaken because of the ongoing mortgage crisis.

Using more specifics than he did on the campaign trail, Obama said he would add staff to erase the backlog of Social Security disability claims. He said he would help Transportation Security Administration officers obtain the same bargaining rights and workplace protections as other federal workers. He even expressed a desire to protect the Environmental Protection Agency's library system, which the Bush administration tried to eliminate.

McCrory failed to move Mecklenburg’s conservatives

(By Jeff A. Taylor, Carolina Journal Online) - There’s a brewing confusion that a huge Obama-inspired Democratic turnout sank Pat McCrory and local GOP candidates in Mecklenburg County Nov. 4. This is advanced despite the fact that county turnout underperformed the rest of the state, 65 percent to 69 percent.

“I knew all along the problem is numbers. We are outnumbered by Democrats and it shows there," defeated Republican county commissioner Dan Ramirez told The Charlotte Observer. Similarly, McCrory campaign aide Richard Hudson tried to cite “a Chicago-style turnout machine” as the reason for McCrory’s Election Day dud in the Queen City.

Sorry, but the numbers do not support this electoral fatalism on the part of a wounded, confused Republican Party. To understand why Democrat Bev Perdue carried a county every election prognosticator assumed would go for Charlotte’s mayor you need to drill down to the precinct level. There you find Perdue’s 385-vote victory margin, along with some uncomfortable answers for GOP strategists.

For Obama, It's Roosevelt Or Clinton

(By John Hood, Carolina Journal Online) - A net stimulus exists only to the extent that Washington knows better how to spend our money than we do.

Grand Ole Palin Pool Party

(TMZ) - Does this look like the current leader of Alaska, and former McCain running mate or just another candid shot of a celeb with nice legs kickn' it by the pool?

It's no coincidence -- Sarah Palin oozes the celeb vibe and appears more than comfortable with it.

The pic was taken at the Republican Governor's Conference in Miami. Sarah apparently cut out of the seminar on post traumatic election stress syndrome.

Friday, November 14, 2008

WSJ: Obama Won't Radically Overhaul Bush Intelligence Policy

President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say, an approach that is almost certain to create tension within the Democratic Party.

Civil-liberties groups were among those outraged that the White House sanctioned the use of harsh intelligence techniques -- which some consider torture -- by the Central Intelligence Agency, and expanded domestic spy powers. These groups are demanding quick action to reverse these policies.

Mr. Obama is being advised largely by a group of intelligence professionals, including some who have supported Republicans, and centrist former officials in the Clinton administration. They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.

First up to begin the weeping and wailing are the civil libertarians who voted for Obama believing he actually did mean to change anything (other than who's butt was parked in the Oval Office).

Next up, all the poor, simple peace-niks who were just sure that his wondefulness would end the war and daisies would spring up everywhere.

No national politician in the last five decades has gone wrong in over-estimating the gullibility and just plain dirt stupidity of the American electorate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stokes County school board asks about costs

Building options to be compared on Nancy Reynolds Elementary

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - The Stokes County school board will not vote Monday night on the fate of Nancy Reynolds Elementary School.

At a community meeting earlier in the week, board members said that it might be possible to vote on what to do about the school at the board's Monday meeting, but, after a work session yesterday, Steve Shelton, the chairman of the board, said, "There will be no decision."

Instead, board members asked school architects to do more research into what rebuilding on the site would involve. They also asked for a detailed cost comparison between rebuilding and building a new school on a different site.

They may hear a report about necessary site work Monday, Shelton said, but they don't expect the detailed cost comparison to be available earlier than the board's December work session.

The Democratic attack on the youth vote

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Rahm Emanuel’s remarks about the civilian defense corps shows a blindness to a potential political cliff that fellow community organizers are about to lead Democrats over like lemmings. The danger here isn’t that the Obama administration is about to launch a 21st century Land Service program, but that a civilan draft will damage the volunteer military. And a relaunch of any kind of draft may hit the Hope-and-Changers right where they live: in the youth vote.

Let’s deal with the draft itself. What Emanuel proposes is what the nation had for over 30 years, a draft supported by both Republican and Democratic presidents. Like Emanuel’s proposal, draftees had to live in barracks and wear uniforms — but they had to do it for two years. Eventually, the draft got so unpopular that it had to go. When the voting age was lowered to 18, the writing was on the wall.

Unlike the draft, however, this time everyone will apparently serve — which will make it even less popular than the draft. Those who would volunteer to serve their country now would join the military anyway, but three months in a “civilian defense force” might blunt that desire, especially if it’s as pointless as Barack Obama’s description of it. The cost of it will be enormous, and it will end up competing for work that could be done by private-sector efforts that would actually employ younger workers rather than have them work as slaves to the government. If the term is only three months, then most of that time would go into training, leaving little time for productivity.

And how will the nation’s youth react to forced labor camps, which is exactly what Emanuel proposes? Community organizers might think of this as heaven, but the rest of the young adults between 18-25 will resent the hell out of it. After turning out the youth vote in 2008, they may find that 18-25-year-olds will discover their inner libertarians and vote out the Democrats who sold them into indentured servitude against their will.

The draft at least served real security interests of the US over its 30+ years of existence, and it wound up so unpopular that Democrats and Republicans use it to make voters nervous about the plans of the other. I doubt it would take 30 weeks for its return to reach the same depths of resentment among its targets.

Safe Seats and Carolina Blues

By C. Edmund Wright
American Thinker

The voting shift in this nation is largely about two dynamics: safe seats and the Carolina blues. To get a really good close-up glimpse of what demographic problems the Republican Party is facing in the national electorate, one has to look no further than the North Carolina Senate race lost by Elizabeth Dole.

The loss by Dole was not simply a result of the headwinds (self-inflicted as they were) that all GOP candidates faced in 2008, though that was a factor. The Dole loss was more than that. Dole lost a senate seat held by Republicans since 1972. Dole lost the "Jesse Helms" seat. Truth be told, she never filled it adequately, but at least she did win it in 2002 against Clintonite Erskine Bowles.

Consider: Counting the 30 plus 6 years that Helms and then Dole occupied that seat, and the multiple terms served by conservative Democrat B. Everett Jordan before that, this is a seat soon to be occupied by a liberal for the first time in modern American political history. The other N.C. seat has gone back and forth between the parties for the past four decades, but this is a loss of the Helms seat. This is seismic.

2008 Presidential Election (County by County Results)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O'Brien: "Of course, lots of sour news about the economy. The federal government has announced that due to the bad economy, it is going to have to lay off 40,000 postal workers. Yeah, 40,000 disgruntled postal workers. What could possibly go wrong?"

Jay Leno: President Bush and Barack Obama had their big meeting [Monday] at the White House. And they found that with all their differences, they have one thing in common: Neither trusts the Clintons.

There's a new rumor that Hillary Clinton may end up being secretary of state. Which means she would have to spend the next four years traveling all around the world. To which Bill said, "Yes!"

In the Senate, 90-year-old Robert Byrd will step down as Appropriations Committee chair. He'll be replaced by Hawaiian Sen. Daniel Inouye, who is 84. Finally, we're getting some young blood in there.

As you know, President-elect Obama promised his daughters a puppy if they moved to the White House. He's already getting advice on what the best breed of dog to get. For example, Bill Clinton told him that the Oval Office is a great place for a husky female.

Only a few days past the election, and both parties are already gearing up for 2012. Unbelievable. How's Barack Obama going to come up with a campaign slogan for 2012? "Don't Change -- Everything's Fine!"

Broken brand?

Putin says term-extension bill not meant for him

MOSCOW (AP) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that a bill that would extend the Russian president's term to six years was not tailored for him and would be a boost for democracy in the country.

The measure could pave the way for a new 12-year presidency for Putin if he decides to seek Russia's highest office again. Lawmakers are moving to fast-track the constitutional change that President Dmitry Medvedev submitted to parliament Tuesday.

Putin said the change "has no personal dimension" and cast it as aiding democracy—which critics say was rolled back dramatically during his two four-year presidential terms.

Luntz's straight talk

(Politico) - Frank Luntz, kicking off an RGA panel session looking back at '08, promised candor -- and then delivered.

"I understand how Dr. Kevorkian feels at an AARP convention," Luntz proclaimed at the top of his presentation to a darkened and quiet ballroom of Republicans, drawing scattered laughs. The past two cycles, he said, have been the worst for the GOP since the Depression elections of 1930 and 1932.

And it gets worse from there.

Noting that Obama has an email list of 10 million voters, Luntz said that coalition "makes him and his supporters the most powerful special interest group in all of America."

"He's got 10 million names and our candidate doesn’t know how to use this," Luntz continues, holding up his BlackBerry in the air. "There is a problem there."

He wasn't done.

Alluding to John McCain's well-chronicled struggles with prepared speeches, Luntz voiced more exasperation with the man who was until last week the GOP's standard-bearer.

"Stevie Wonder reads a teleprompter better than John McCain," Luntz cracked drawing laughs.

Will a Governor Be the GOP’s Next Star?

Miami (By James P. Pinkerton, Fox News) – Here at the Republican Governors Association annual meeting, there is no great sense of defeat, but rather a sense of positive anticipation—and for good reason.

Despite the general GOP wipeout of 2008, no incumbent Republican governor was defeated for re-election this year; in fact, two Republican incumbents, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Jim Douglas of Vermont, hung on, even as their states went for Obama. Indeed, the case of Vermont’s Douglas is particularly striking: he won a fourth term with nearly 55 percent of the vote, while Obama was winning the Green Mountain State by more than 2:1.

So while the Grand Old Party’s presidential candidate, and its Congressional wing, were both soundly repudiated at the polls earlier this month, Republican governors did well. Republicans still have 21 governors—including a certifiably hot political property for the future, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who speaks here this afternoon.

Rino Season Is Now Open

(By Ted Nugent, Human Events) - Like any entity that abandons basic quality control, political parties rot from within. It happened to the Democrats long ago, and now has become the case with the Republican Party, which has strayed from its conservative underpinnings.

There are really only four things I have a strong aversion to: unloaded guns, dull knives, banjos, and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs).

The Nugent family simply doesn't allow any of those things in our lives.

Get ready for mandated health insurance

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Even before Barack Obama takes the reins in January, his party plans to start issuing health-insurance mandates to the American people — and pay for it with expanded entitlements. Max Baucus (D-MT) will introduce legislation that goes beyond Obama’s pledge to mandate coverage for all children, instead mandating that all adults also get insured. And if they can’t afford it? Well, Medicare is solvent, isn’t it?

Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.

Aides to Mr. Obama said they welcomed the Congressional efforts, had encouraged Congress to take the lead and still considered health care a top priority, despite the urgent need to address huge problems afflicting the economy. …

Mr. Baucus would create a nationwide marketplace, a “health insurance exchange,” where people could compare and buy insurance policies. The options would include private insurance policies and a new public plan similar to Medicare. Insurers could no longer deny coverage to people who had been sick. Congress would also limit insurers’ ability to charge higher premiums because of a person’s age or prior illness.

People would have a duty to obtain coverage when affordable options were available to all through employers or through the insurance exchange. This obligation “would be enforced, possibly through the tax system,” the plan says.

Catholic bishops: Fight FOCA

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Catholic bishops issued a call for fierce opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) from their annual national conference. They offered olive branches to the incoming Barack Obama administration on a wide range of policies, but drew the line at rolling back every abortion restriction over the last 35 years. Saying that they could never cooperate with evil, the bishops called into question whether the Catholic Church would continue to provide health care if FOCA passes:

Meeting on the second day of their annual conference, the nation’s Catholic bishops urged an aggressive campaign to oppose the pro-abortion bill expected to be the centerpiece of the Barack Obama administration. They also mentioned concerns about Catholic hospitals being forced to do abortions. …

The statement included talking points saying that the Catholic bishops were willing to work with Obama on common issues like the economy, immigration and health care, but ready to strenuously oppose any efforts to expand abortions further.

“The church is also resolute in opposing evil,” and the bishops are “completely united and resolute in our teaching and defense of the unborn child from the moment of conception.”

The bishops also expressed concern about FOCA because it could overturn protections for Catholic hospitals that don’t want to do abortions.

Some of the bishops, during the discussion, went as far as saying the Catholic Church should be willing to close some health facilities rather them allow them to be subject to a mandate to do abortions from the Obama administration.

[Nancy Reynolds] School is deemed unfixable

Stokes school board says rebuilding it a bad option

WESTFIELD (By Kim Underwood, Winston-Salem Journal) - It would be impossible to renovate Nancy Reynolds Elementary School, members of the Stokes County Board of Education told community members during a meeting Monday night.

The historic school, which the Reynolds tobacco family built and gave to the community in 1923, has serious structural problems. At one point, three possibilities were being discussed -- renovate the existing building, demolish the building and build another elsewhere on the site, or start fresh on another site and turn the old building over to a community group.

Over the years, the school has become the hub of the community, and those who came to the school board's first community meeting in September were almost unanimous in expressing their desire to have the school renovated. With that in mind, board members asked architects to delve more deeply into what a renovation would require.

The news they brought back to the community was not heartening.

Sarah Palin saved GOP from landslide defeat

(By Dick Morris, The Hill) - As Richard Nixon wrote, “history is written by liberals,” but the story of the 2008 campaign is too important to cede to them the analysis of what happened. A close analysis of the returns indicates several key realities:

a) Sarah Palin made a vast difference in McCain’s favor. Compared to 2004, McCain lost 11 points among white men, according to the Fox News exit poll, but only four points among white women. Obama’s underperformance among white women, evident throughout the fall, may be chalked up, in large part, to the influence of Sarah Palin. She provided a rallying point for women who saw their political agenda in terms larger than abortion. She addressed the question of what it is like to be a working mother in today’s economy and society and resonated with tens of millions of white women who have not responded to the more traditional, and liberal, advocates for their gender.

Charlotte teachers disciplined for Facebook posts

CHARLOTTE (AP) - Several teachers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district face discipline for posting images and material on the social networking site Facebook that school leaders find objectionable, including one teacher who wrote, "I hate my students!"

District spokeswoman Nora Carr told the Charlotte Observer that officials are recommending that one teacher be fired for writing that she teaches "in the most ghetto school in Charlotte" and describing her students as "chitlins." That teacher has been suspended with pay pending a final determination about her dismissal. Teachers can appeal firings.

Other pages discovered by WCNC-TV of Charlotte included photos of female teachers in sexually suggestive poses and a black male teacher who used the N-word. A special-education teacher wrote, "I hate my students!"

"I would understand a parent being appalled and very upset by the comments," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh told WCNC. "We are too."

Carr said four teachers face unspecified discipline that is less than suspension or dismissal. Teachers can be punished at any time for "behaving in any unethical or lascivious conduct," according to the district's code of conduct, and the district is working on a memo to remind its 19,000 employees that Web information should be appropriate.

"When you're in a professional position, especially one where you're interacting with children and parents, you need to be above reproach," Carr said. "I think they just didn't think these things through. That's kind of mind-boggling."

Carr said "several" employees are disciplined each year for material they post on the Internet. The district has an investigator who specializes in such issues, and the district checks networking sites before hiring, Carr said.

N.C. numbers fall short of predictions

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Turnout for [last] Tuesday's general election was high but not exceptionally high, even with all of the enthusiasm about the presidential race and the fact that North Carolina was a battleground state.

The state had a 69 percent turnout rate. In Forsyth County, the turnout rate was 75 percent.

"I was frankly surprised that under 70 percent of registered voters turned out," said Kerry Haynie, an associate professor of political science at Duke University. "I thought it would have been above 70."

Starting gun: Our new governor needs to move fast to inspire change we need.

(The Fayetteville Observer) - Jan. 10 is a big day for Bev Perdue. It’s the day she takes the oath of office and becomes North Carolina’s new governor — and the state’s first female chief executive.

Jan. 12 is bigger. It’s the new governor’s first work day, the day she needs to begin showing us she’ll be what she promised — the “new sheriff in town.”

That’s a tall order. The new sheriff has been hanging out with the usual suspects for more than a decade. Now she’ll have to hand them some new rules.

In Politics, Back To 1993

(By John Hood, Carolina Journal Online) - A useful way to think about the two Democratic wave elections of 2006 and 2008 is that they’ve taken America back to the 'status quo ante' of 1993.

Edwards speaks about Obama, Clinton but not affair

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - John Edwards didn't have to dodge tough questions from an Indiana University audience Tuesday, when the former presidential candidate returned to the stage three months after admitting to an extramarital affair.

The Democrat's speech covered politics, poverty and his hopes for America and the world and he later discussed President-elect Obama and other topics from the audience. But the question-and-answer period featured only written queries that had been submitted before his speech.

The affair he acknowledged with filmmaker Rielle Hunter wasn't mentioned. After his public statements in August, Edwards said he did not plan to speak about the affair again.

In response to other questions from the audience, he praised Hillary Rodham Clinton's leadership and said his favorite superhero was Superman.

Edwards also said the intense and exhausting primary season helped Obama.

"That long, drawn-out, tough process played a role in making him a better candidate," Edwards said. "He was well-prepared for this general election campaign."

Edwards said wanted to continue working for poor people struggling to survive in America and abroad, whether he remains in politics or not.

"That's what I want to spend my life doing," he said.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stealing Minnesota?

(By Erick Erickson, RedState) - Minnesota has become this year's Florida, but it is only at the Senate level. Let me lay out the facts for you.

When all the votes were counted on election day, Norm Coleman had won by about 800 votes.

After canvassing all the votes, the number dropped pretty significantly to a 200 vote lead. The canvass will be certified by the 18th and, under Minnesota law, a recount will begin on the 19th.

Here's why we should be worried.

Between election day and yesterday, most of the votes in the canvass went for Franken. While we can expect some vote shifting, as a former elections lawyer myself who has been involved in several recounts, it is very, very unusual for virtually all of the votes to shift to the other side. In fact, I'd say it is statistically improbable for there to be a 600 votes shift to the other side.

Video: [Gov. Tim] Pawlenty on the recount

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviewed Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty about the recount situation here in Minnesota. Kelly has the same skepticism about the developments here as do the rest of us — and as it turns out, so does Pawlenty:

Obama likely to escape campaign audit

(Politico) - The Federal Election Commission is unlikely to conduct a potentially embarrassing audit of how Barack Obama raised and spent his presidential campaign’s record-shattering windfall, despite allegations of questionable donations and accounting that had the McCain campaign crying foul.

Adding insult to injury for Republicans: The FEC is obligated to complete a rigorous audit of McCain’s campaign coffers, which will take months, if not years, and cost McCain millions of dollars to defend.

Obama is expected to escape that level of scrutiny mostly because he declined an $84 million public grant for his campaign that automatically triggers an audit and because the sheer volume of cash he raised and spent minimizes the significance of his errors. Another factor: The FEC, which would have to vote to launch an audit, is prone to deadlocking on issues that inordinately impact one party or the other – like approving a messy and high-profile probe of a sitting president.

Perdue sets date for swearing-in

RALEIGH (AP) - Beverly Perdue will be sworn in as North Carolina's next governor on Jan. 10.

Perdue announced the date and the leaders for her transition team Monday. The Democratic lieutenant governor will move up to governor after defeating Republican Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory during last week's election.

Perdue's team will be led by campaign manager Zach Ambrose, former gubernatorial Cabinet secretary Norris Tolson, and Perdue's chief of staff as lieutenant governor, Don Hobart.

Ambrose held Hobart's job until he switched over to the campaign last year. Tolson is president of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and was revenue secretary for outgoing Gov. Mike Easley. He also served as transportation and commerce secretary under former Gov. Jim Hunt.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Joke

I have stumbled upon a rare artifact: a liberal journalist with a sense of humor. Fittingly, the discovery was unearthed at the media's Jurassic Park: CBS News. The "joke" was written by Jon Freidman; it's a "news" story with this headline: "How Obama Can Win Over The Media." If not a joke, it's a delusion so severe that it defies medical analysis.

The premise of the article is that the Messiah-elect, Lord Barack Obama the Most Merciful, has been a "guarded, private man on the campaign trail." Lord Obama "chooses his words very carefully." And he appeared to "agonize when he had to speak off the cuff" during his debates with John... what's-his-party.

Now elected, Obama needs to "loosen up a bit when he deals with the media," advises Friedman. Perhaps he oughta crack a few jokes, Jon? Maybe pick on elderly widows like Nancy Reagan at his press conferences?

According to Freidman, "Everyone in the media will be watching Obama, waiting for him to trip up and look bad. It's nothing personal against him. But... the media love nothing more than to build you up, and then knock you down," he warns.

Jon, you're full of bull-bleep! You craven Drive-By types made the Messiah an idol and you'll spend the next four years worshipping at his feet. So you Drive-Bys just stay on your knees -- in the Monica position -- while the New Media does the work you used to do.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
CBS News: How Obama Can Win Over The Media

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

"It's been my responsibility, my duty and very much my honor to serve as Commander in Chief of this nation's Armed Forces these past eight years. That is the most sacred, most important ask of the Presidency. Since our nation's founding, the primary obligation of the national government has been the common defense of these United States. But as I have sought to perform this sacred task as best I could, I have done so with the knowledge that my role in this day-to-day-to-day effort, from sunrise to sunrise, every moment of every hour of every day of every year, is a glancing one compared to yours. ... But it's not just your fellow Americans who owe you a debt. No, I believe many more do, for I believe that military service in the Armed Forces of the United States is a profound form of service to all humankind. You stand engaged in an effort to keep America safe at home, to protect our allies and interests abroad, to keep the seas and the skies free of threat. Just as America stands as an example to the world of the inestimable benefits of freedom and democracy, so too an America with the capacity to project her power for the purpose of protecting and expanding freedom and democracy abroad benefits the suffering people of the world."
Ronald Reagan

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Practicality

A recent article in Congressional Quarterly examines the best way for Republicans to "repackage" their agenda. Thankfully, many elected Republicans are embracing a theme that "the problem is not conservative principles" -- but rather how poorly Republicans practiced conservative principles once they got to Washington.

Others view "the problem" differently. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson believes it is time for Republicans to reconsider their "ideological rigidity." Thompson says we have to be "more practical" while rebuilding the party. As evidence, he points to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, S-CHIP. The fact that Republicans didn't accommodate Democrats will haunt us, claims Thompson, because now -- with Democrats in power -- S-CHIP will be expanded more than it would have been under Republicans.

There's no doubt that Democrats will expand the size and scope of government; that's what liberals do. Our role is to oppose them tooth and nail because the country benefits when we thwart liberals -- not when we emulate them or try to present watered-down liberalism as an alternative.

Governor Thompson -- with all due respect -- when Republicans had power, they tried the "practical" approach. The "new tone"? They practically grew the size of government as if they were Democrats... which is why they're now on the outside, looking in.

"Ideological rigidity" is not the problem; conservative ideology is the solution! We refuse, sir, to repeat past mistakes. We are going to correct them!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
CQ: Losses Prompt GOP Review of How Best to Repackage Its Agenda

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama website: Hey, let’s make community service compulsory for students

(Hot Air) - Intriguing. Will that be in lieu of or in addition to the three months of compulsory civil defense training Rahm Emanuel wants 18-to-25-year-olds to do?

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Change you can give your personal information for

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - I decided to take a look at the website for the incoming Barack Obama administration, The Office of the President-Elect — and it looks an awful lot like a campaign site. It announces that “change has come to America”, even though Obama is still more than two months from taking the oath of office. It’s replete with campaign slogans on Iraq, the economy, and other issues. None of this is terribly new, and it all looks like it got transplanted from BarackObama.com.

However, this site has a .gov top-level domain (change.gov). That is reserved for “qualified government organizations and programs”. The incoming administration technically has no status as a government organization or program until January 20, 2009. The “Office of the President-Elect” doesn’t exist within the government. Furthermore, the use seen at the site is clearly promotional for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and should have been kept at their own campaign domain rather than set up as an official US government site.

And why are they using a .gov site to compile mailing lists?

Obama's Chief of Staff Pick a Freddie Mac Alum - Will Media Notice?

Rep. Rahm Emanuel held paid position on troubled GSE's board from 2000-2002, when Freddie Mac was accused of accounting and campaign finance irregularities.

(Business & Media Institute) - He’s President-elect Barack Obama’s new chief of staff, according to various Nov. 6 media reports, but Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., also has some baggage pertaining to the financial crisis. Will anyone in the media take note?

Emanuel, who was a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s, was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac upon his departure from the Clinton administration.

“Clinton’s going-away gift to Emanuel was a seat on the quasi-governmental Freddie Mac board, which paid him $231,655 in director’s fees in 2001 and $31,060 in 2000,” Lynn Sweet wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 3, 2002.

Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal

New Obama Chief of Staff, Others on Board, Missed "Red Flags" of Alleged Fraud Scheme

(ABC News) - President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com.

According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.

Emanuel was not named in the SEC complaint (click here to read) but the entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) (click here to read) of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention."

Obama apologizes to Nancy Reagan for 'careless' joke

(Politico) - President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan this afternoon to apologize for a joke about her having held "séances" in the White House, an Obama aide said.

“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off handed remark he made during today’s press conference," said transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation."

Obama was asked at his press conference today if he'd spoken to all the "living" presidents.

"I have spoken to all of them who are living," he responded. "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances."

He was apparently confusing stories about Reagan's consulting with an astrologer with those about other First Ladies -- from Mary Todd Lincoln to Hillary Clinton -- who tried to make contact with figures from the past.

Obama jokes about 'Nancy Reagan seances'

Attempt to recover from slip about talking to 'living' ex-presidents

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Blame

While the Democrats bask in a prolonged Drive-By Media orgasm over the election results, Republicans -- as expected -- are in the opening stages of blame assessment and a circular firing squad.

Already, news stories are cropping up featuring Republican moderates from the McCain camp trashing Sarah Palin's selection -- some laced with disgraceful personal attacks. President Bush, obviously, is in the crosshairs, too, as is the Congressional leadership team.

Let me address these things boldly, as I always do. You Republicans trying to destroy and vilify Governor Palin are the problem, not the solution. You are not the future of the party! The energy, excitement, and articulation of values that the Republican base connected with in this campaign came from Governor Palin -- not you.

Look at what happened. Democrat pickups in both the House and Senate came where the Democrat candidates ran on issues like fiscal responsibility, including tax cuts, support for free markets and trade, and protection of the Second Amendment -- all traditional Republican issues. At the same time, look at that happened to so-called moderate Republicans. They got wiped out or are in races still too close to call. For those Republicans who thought pandering would lead to victory, ask Senator McCain how he did with the Hispanic vote.

After a loss, recriminations and finger-pointing are inevitable. But this time we conservatives are going to fix the blame squarely where it belongs -- and it ain't us. Be sure of it.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
CNSNews.com: Some Incoming House Democrats Campaigned on Conservative Issues