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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, December 31, 2008

NASA report details last moments of Columbia crew

The seven shuttle astronauts who died were in an 'unsurvivable' situation. But the space agency cites several equipment flaws in the 2003 disaster.

(LA Times) - Poor design of their pressure suits led the seven astronauts aboard the Columbia space shuttle to black out almost immediately as the craft started breaking apart during reentry in 2003, and they were probably killed by the violent contortions, a NASA panel said Tuesday.

Other design flaws with seat belts, helmets and parachutes also could have caused their deaths if they had survived the depressurization and intense buffeting, the panel said in its final report on the incident.

Rocking the Boat

(Fox News) - The military blockade imposed by the Israeli Defense Force was not enough to deter former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney from trying to deliver aid to Gaza. McKinney was among 16 activists aboard a supply boat that collided with an Israeli naval ship off the Gaza coast.

As a result, the supply ship was forced to dock at a Lebanese port. The former Green Party presidential candidate said in a TV interview with CNN: "Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side... our mission was thwarted by the aggressiveness of the Israeli army."

But an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions.

Media Backlash

(Fox News) - Some Palestinian media are blaming Hamas and not Israel for the escalating violence in Gaza.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports Bassem Abu-Sumayyah, the director of the Palestinian TV and Radio Authority, said, "Hamas blocked its ears... they should have had a little bit of political and security sense."

Hafez Al-Bargouthi, editor of the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, says, "Why hasn't Hamas prevented the aggression and the massacre? How many times have we written... that these missiles [are] ineffective and contrary to the supreme national interest?"

And, Muwaffaq Matar, columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote, "Will we learn the lesson, or are our leaders going to run away from bearing responsibility, as they usually do?"

Who Is Worried About Reelection Chances in 2010?

Warning Signal

(Fox News) - Congressional Democrats are warning the party could suffer heavy losses in the 2010 election.

The Politico newspaper reports Democratic House campaign chief Chris Van Hollen says in a year-end Web video: "We are looking at potentially... 70 threatened Democrats who will need our support." The nonpartisan Cook Political Report places 48 Democrats in prospectively competitive races in 2010.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is worried about his own reelection fight in 2010. Reid has already started interviewing campaign managers and has stepped up his fundraising efforts.

Chips Are Down

(Fox News) - Some Republicans are coming to the defense of GOP national committee chairman candidate Chip Saltsman, after he sent out a Christmas greeting to RNC members that included a CD with a song called "Barack the Magic Negro."

It was part of an album by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin and was first played on "The Rush Limbaugh Show" in May of 2007.

But Shanklin was drawing on a column from David Ehrenstein, a black gay columnist writing in The Los Angeles Times. He wrote the term "magic negro" was coined by sociologists to refer to a non-threatening African-American who "simply appears one day" to assuage white "guilt" over the role of slavery and racial segregation.

A number of Republicans are now coming to Saltsman's rescue. The chairman of the Maine Republican Party, Mark Ellis, told the Politico newspaper, "I had to ask, 'Boy, what's the big deal here?'"

Alabama Republican Committeeman Paul Reynolds says, "This is just people looking for something to make an issue of."

Ken Blackwell, who is seeking to become the first African-American GOP chairman, is also defending Saltsman. And, speaking on condition of anonymity, one RNC member says current Chairman Mike Duncan was wrong for condemning Saltsman's actions: "He screwed up big time by pandering to the national press on this."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: RNC draft rips Bush's bailouts

(The Washington Times) - Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration.

Those pushing the resolution, which will come before the Republican National Committee at its January meeting, say elected leaders need to be reminded of core principles. They said the RNC must take the dramatic step of wading into policy debates, which traditionally have been left to lawmakers.

"We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Republican National Committee Vice Chairman James Bopp Jr. wrote the resolution and asked the rest of the 168 voting members to sign it.

Minister Preaches Sex from the Pulpit

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) – Usually you don't hear people mention sex and church in the same sentence. But some Piedmont pastors are now preaching about it. Roxanna Haynes reports why one Burlington church is taking on the topic.

How Walmart Affects Nearby Businesses

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) – Walmart attracts customers year round and especially during the holidays. Businesses located near the big box superstore also benefit from increased traffic, but the extra exposure comes at a price. Bob Buckley reports.

Buckley Report: 70s Rewind

(Fox WGHP) - Figuring a way out of our current economic mess is difficult, because federal officials have said the country is experiencing events we haven't seen before. Or have we? Bob Buckley reports while what we're seeing may not be an exact replica, it sure looks familiar.

Center of Attention

(Fox News) - Big Three auto executives had to give up their private aircraft to get the government to provide a $17 billion federal loan. But executives at the UAW — the autoworkers union — have not given up one of their expensive perks: a $33 million lakeside retreat.

The Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Michigan includes a $6.4 million designer golf course.

The retreat is one of the union's biggest fixed assets and has lost a whopping $23 million over the past five years — forcing heavy loans to keep the center afloat. Some critics are crying foul. Justin Wilson of the Center for Union Facts -- a union watchdog group -- says, "The union has bigger issues at hand than managing a golf course... investments are supposed to make money, not bleed money."

Tactical Change

(Fox News) - The CIA has found a new tool in the War on Terror after it encountered a problem in rewarding those who help in the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan. The CIA had been giving cash and weapons to those who helped, but that was causing problems.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to The Washington Post, one agent said, "If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money" — which sometimes got them killed.

So the CIA did something — well, less obvious: It gave tribal elders Viagra. The Post quotes one agent who says, "Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people — whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra."

Officials say Viagra is not given to younger leaders, but aging village patriarchs are easily sold on a pill that can "put them back in an authoritative position."

Interview Skills

(Fox News) - Caroline Kennedy is trying to make the delicate transition from an intensely private life to public service. She is actively lobbying to replace Senator Hillary Clinton, who is slated to become secretary of state. So Kennedy gave a series of interviews Saturday, but at times appeared uncomfortable and even agitated.

The New York Daily News reports she "rarely made eye contact. Her speech was often punctuated with extra 'you knows' and 'ums.'" And The New York Times' transcript reveals she said "you know" a total of 138 times... and at one point 12 times in less than a minute.

She also got testy when The Times' reporters questioned her about the moment she decided she wanted to be a senator. She turned to them and said, "Have you guys ever thought about writing for, like, a woman's magazine or something?"

When asked what she had against women's magazines she responded: "Nothing at all, but I thought you were the crack political team here."

Which Prominent Republican Is Rethinking His Christmas Gift?

Facing the Music

(Fox News) - One of the candidates vying for the Republican National Committee chairmanship is in hot water after sending a Christmas greeting to committee members along with a CD that included a song called, "Barack the Magic Negro."

The Hill newspaper reports the album, called We Hate the USA, is the brainchild of Paul Shanklin of "The Rush Limbaugh Show" and was first played on the show in 2007. It pokes fun at liberals with songs like "John Edwards Poverty Tour"; "Wright Place, Wrong Pastor"; "Love Client Number 9" — a reference to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer — and "The Star Spanglish Banner."

RNC Chairman Mike Duncan condemned [Chip] Saltsman's actions saying, "I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction."

And one of Saltsman's rivals, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Micheal Steele — who is African-American — says the "attempt at humor was clearly misplaced."

Barry Lincoln :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Are What You Eat

(Fox News) - If Christmas dinner didn't fill you up, you may want to eat some Christmas cards for dessert. That is because a British company has created an eco-friendly greeting card that you can actually eat.

The card's creator tells The Daily Mail newspaper, "Our card is printed on paper made from potato starch, the ink we use is edible and we have even signed the cards in edible ink with a special pen."

The company — Oxygen Creative — has sent the cards to a couple hundred of its customers. Said the card's creator: "Anyone who doesn't want to keep the card can simply eat it... it made sense for us to find a new way to create a Christmas card and reduce the paper we use."

Away in a Manger

(Fox News) - There was no room at the inn in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Cybercast News reports that for the first time in years, hotels in the city where Christ was born were fully booked for the holiday. It is a sign that the local economy is making a comeback after years of fighting between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

More than a million tourists have visited the city this year and local authorities predict another 200,000 will make the trek over the last two weeks of the year. That is the most ever for the Palestinian-controlled town.

One government official says, "It shows that this city is not only an attractive city for pilgrims but... a secure city."

Busy Signal

(Fox News) - If you are going to the inauguration next month and plan to send photos and videos from your cell phone or to call friends as President-elect Obama takes the oath of office, the nation's wireless providers want you to reconsider.

The Cellular Telephone Industries Association says the mobile phone network will be so stressed that people should avoid sending photos and videos from the scene. It suggests text-messaging as a means of communication instead of phone calls. A spokesman says: "If four million people show up on the Mall, absolutely expect delays. It's the mother of all demand."

Meanwhile, the major cell phone corporations are bracing for Inauguration week. Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are beefing up equipment at existing cell phone towers, adding additional telephone lines and employing satellite trucks to patrol the nation's capital.

Grassroots Effort to Shape Obama Administration Policy

Going to Pot?

(Fox News) - In an effort to keep a finger on the pulse of the American public, the Obama transition team asked those logging onto its Web site to provide a list of the top policy questions facing the nation. Change.gov reports that participation "outpaced our expectations."

So you may ask, what is the No. 1 issue facing America on the Web site? The legalization of marijuana. The Hill newspaper reports more than a dozen of the top 50 questions pertained to the drug.

The No. 1 question asked was: "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it and create millions of new jobs."

Another said: "13 states have compassionate use programs for medical marijuana, yet the federal government continues to prosecute sick and dying people."

And another asked: "Will there be any chance of decriminalizing marijuana?"

There is no word yet on how the president-elect plans to tackle the issue.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Busted on the Job (Part 3)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Busted on the Job (Part 2)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Busted on the Job (Part 1)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas... :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Picture This

(Fox News) - A man ordered by a civil court not to associate with fellow gang members has been charged with violating his probation. Uriel Oliva was not involved in a shooting or a robbery, but was nabbed after having his photo taken with Santa Claus and two other gang members at a Los Angeles shopping mall.

In the photo, one of the men is sitting on Santa's lap and all three are flashing gang signs. A probation officer found a key chain with the photo in Oliva's pocket. He was arrested and could face up to 18-months in jail if convicted.

Fact Check

(Fox News) - The Chairman of the International Geological Congress' Science Committee David Gee is questioning global warming theories.

He asks, "for how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming?"

The chairman's remarks appeared in an editorial today by the Examiner Newspaper Group which says the scientific consensus that former vice president and global warming activist Al Gore relies on is "being unraveled by mother nature."

The editorial adds, "Ice is expanding this year — not shrinking — and there were 115 record-low temperatures reported in the United States in October... it appears that 2008, the National Climatic Data Center now says, will go down as the coldest year in a decade."

Pontification Problems

(Fox News) - If you think Evangelical Minister Rick Warren is in hot water with the gay community — what about Pope Benedict? Warren is catching heat after President-elect Obama announced he would deliver the inauguration invocation. Gay rights activists are crying foul because of Warren's opposition to gay marriage.

But the London Times reports the pontiff is under similar attack after giving a speech Monday in which he said, "it's not simply outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as a man and a woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected." Adding that non-heterosexual relationships are "destruction of God's work."

Gay Rights Activist blogger Pam Spaulding says the Pope "opens his trap again, and the homophobia stinks like trash piled up during a New York City garbage strike." And the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement says the Pope's remarks are "unacceptable in any shape or form."

A Merry Christmas for One Iraqi Shoemaker

All the Rage

(Fox News) - One of the men claiming to be the maker of those shoes hurled at President Bush earlier this month has had to hire 100 extra workers to cope with the surge in demand for his footwear. The French Press Agency reports Turkish shoemaker Serkan Turk says since the incident "we have received orders totaling 370,000 pairs."

His company normally sells just 15,000 pairs each year. But after Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at the president during a December 14th press conference, orders flooded in from Iraq and across the Middle East.

The company is even fielding orders from around the world — including 19,000 requests from the United States. And the design — formally known as "Model 271" — has been renamed "Bush Shoes."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RE: Still on IE?

This got buried in the stream a while ago, but I thought I would at least defend myself.

Anonymous coward commented:

Steve, why bash Microsoft for a piece of software they spend millions on to only give away and install for your convenience. You need to stick to politics and don't pose as someone who knows something about technology. Your Microsoft bashing. You know nothing about software development post is simply the pop culture of or vulnerabilities. But you do know better than believing everything you read from the drive-by's though???

Well Anonymous, I'm going to tell you something you already knew, or at least should know. You are a dumbass.

First, I'm not posing as someone who knows something about technology. If you weren't such a dipstick and knew how to use your browser, you would be able to read my profile. I have been in the computer and technology business for 35 years, you moron. I've worked with this technology for over 20 of those years, long before you or Microsoft knew the Internet and the world wide web even existed.

Second, you Mickeysoft fanboys (or is it employees?) all sound alike. You make Billy's Boys sound so altruistic. M$ doesn't do anything for our convenience. Everything they do is motivated by their chomp-and-gobble mentality. And don't give me any of that crap about Microsoft being a champion of capitalism. Microsoft is nothing but a champion of greed and unethical business practices. If Microsoft spent millions on IE, it was money wasted. IE has been crap since it was invented. It is crap, always has been crap, and since Microsoft doesn't show any signs of improving their business model, it will continue to be crap. IE is the browser built for dummies, making it perfect for you, Anonymous. I'll bet you love Vista too, hmmmm?

Another Great Depression?

(By Thomas Sowell, TownHall.com) - With both Barack Obama's supporters and the media looking forward to the new administration's policies being similar to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies during the 1930s depression, it may be useful to look at just what those policies were and-- more important-- what their consequences were.

The prevailing view in many quarters is that the stock market crash of 1929 was a failure of the free market that led to massive unemployment in the 1930s-- and that it was intervention of Roosevelt's New Deal policies that rescued the economy.

It is such a good story that it seems a pity to spoil it with facts. Yet there is something to be said for not repeating the catastrophes of the past.

Franken Holds Lead Over Coleman, But It's Not Over

Democrat Al Franken appears to be leading Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by 48 votes in the Minnesota Senate race recount, but several outstanding issues could affect the final tally.

MINNEAPOLIS (Fox News) - With the state Canvassing Board ready to award the last pile of votes in Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount, Democrat Al Franken clung to a narrow lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. The final count, however, showed no sign of being settled soon.

On Tuesday, the board was scheduled to award votes from a remaining group of about 5,000 challenges that had been withdrawn by both campaigns. Based on a draft report released late Monday by the secretary of state's office, Franken will have earned 48 more votes than Coleman once those votes are allotted.

Several outstanding issues could still affect the final vote count. The two campaigns and the secretary of state's office are negotiating how to handle an estimated 1,600 improperly rejected absentee ballots. In addition, the state Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday over a Coleman claim that about 130 ballots were counted twice.

The Op-Ed the New York Times Wouldn’t Run

(By Bob Owens, Pajamas Media) - On December 5, the New York Times afforded former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers a chance to publish an op-ed, in which he defends himself from various charges made during the 2008 presidential campaign. That Ayers was given such an opportunity by the Times seems extraordinary; Barack Obama’s other mentors, former pastor Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger, were subjected to as much public scrutiny as Ayers for their extremist politics and multi-decade associations with the president-elect, and yet it seems only Ayers was presented editorial space in the Times to defend himself. Perhaps even more extraordinary, however, is that the Times allowed Ayers to publish obvious lies about his terrorist past and rejected a rebuttal by the former FBI informant who lived through the history Ayers tried to rewrite.

'Overwhelming' expectations worry Biden

(Politico) - Vice President-elect Joe Biden is worried about the “exceedingly high expectations” the world community has for Barack Obama’s presidency.

He believes he and Obama must follow through with action to show how they’re different than George W. Bush, Biden told CNN’s Larry King Monday.

“I have been contacted by so many world leaders. Their expectation for Barack’s presidency is overwhelming,” Biden said. “They are so hungry to have an American leader who they think has a policy that reflects our stated values as well as one they can talk to.”

Bishop Babble

(Fox News) - The archbishop of Canterbury has compared the British government's response to the economic downturn to Nazi Germany.

Dr. Rowan Williams is not immune to controversy. In the past he has said Islamic Sharia law should be incorporated into the British legal system, has suggested reparations for the slave trade, and under his stewardship the Church of England almost split in two over the ordination of gay clergy.

Now he writes in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the Nazi's pursued a principle that "a lot of people that you might have thought mattered as human beings actually didn't."

He says similarly, the British administration fails to take account of "particular human costs." Adding, "Without these anxieties about the specific costs, we've lost the essential moral compass."

Big Fix?

(Fox News) - A renowned environmental consultant says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been cooking the books on global warming. Former University of Winnipeg Climatology Professor Dr. Tim Ball writes in the Canada Free Press, "The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models."

He says the IPCC has a habit of releasing computer model summaries before climate studies are even completed. He says by doing this, "The summary gets maximum media attention and becomes the public understanding of what the scientists said... they create an appearance of certainty about a human cause of [global] warming."

Adding, "The computer models themselves are completely inadequate to represent global climate... but don't believe me. The IPCC technical report released in 2007, says so."

No Regrets

(Fox News) - Despite writing a letter of apology to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush during that news conference earlier this month says he is not actually sorry. Muntadhar al-Zeidi's brother Uday al-Zeidi says, "He told me that he has no regret because of what he did and that he would do it again."

He says his brother was forced to write the letter and that he has been beaten and burned with cigarettes while in custody. Meanwhile, on his Web site, Maliki says al-Zeidi was coerced by a known terrorist: "He revealed that a person provoked him to commit this act and that person is known to us for slitting throats."

His trial on charges of assaulting a foreign leader begins December 31st.

Obama Takes Heat for Inaugural Speaker

Frank Assessment

(Fox News) - Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts is upset with President-elect Obama's selection of the prominent Evangelical Minister Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation. The first openly-gay member of Congress said on Sunday's "Late Edition" on CNN: "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair... I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect."

Last week Mr. Obama defended his decision after some in the gay community expressed outrage. He said Americans need to come together and that he was invited to speak at Warren's church despite a difference of opinion on the issue of gay marriage. Warren meanwhile applauded the president-elect saying, "I commend... his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: UAW Bailout

Well, that didn't take long, folks. Hours after President Bush announced that U.S. automakers would get a federal bailout, the bellyaching began. In exchange for the $18 billion, automakers' labor costs have to be made "competitive" with those of foreign car companies with plants here in America like Nissan, Toyota and Honda. The "jobs bank" program which allows union workers to earn almost full pay for not working must be reformed, and at least half of the payments auto companies make to retiree health plans have to be made in stock instead of cash.

United Autoworkers Union president, Ron Gettlefinger (a great name for a union thug!) ungrateful that President Bush saved his union members' jobsm, badmouthed him for adding "unfair working conditions" that single out workers.

Then Congresman Barney Frank, one of the Democrats directly responsible for the housing and financial crisis, opened his yap. He accused President Bush of leading an "assault" on working men and women, taking away money "legally owed to them," and allowing foreign auto companies to dictate wages for American workers.

Barney, we have proof of what happens when unions dictate wages. Hence, the bailout!

Now, America's incoming Messiah, Lord Barack Obama the Most Merciful, had a pronouncement as well. Workers should not be "taking all the hits," he declared. Excuse me, Mr. Messiah? Workers aren't taking the hits. They're keeping their jobs. It's the American taxpayer – as always – who's taking the risks and taking the hits for a bunch of left-wing ingrates!

And they're not even saying, "Thanks."

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Wall Street Journal: Auto Bailout Caps Flawed Relationship

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meeting encourages Nancy Reynolds' supporters

County and school officials seem open to restoring building

DANBURY (By Kim Underwood, Winston-Salem Journal) - Those hoping that Nancy Reynolds Elementary School will be restored rather than replaced with a modern elementary school came away heartened from a joint meeting of the Stokes County school board and commissioners [Friday].

"I think this is going to be a win-win for the community, the board of education, and the commissioners," said Jan Cox, a member of the Nancy Reynolds Historical Committee.

Nancy Reynolds opened in 1923. In making it their No. 1 capital project, members of the Stokes County Board of Education have been talking about restoring it, building a modern-style school on the same site or building a new school elsewhere.

Unlike Bush's Privately Funded Portrait, Senators' Portraits Cost Taxpayers Up to $70,000 Each

(CNSNews.com) - Portraits of Senate leaders are almost always paid for with taxpayer money, at a cost of up to $70,000 each. By contrast, portraits of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush – unveiled on Friday – were paid for with private donations.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Bush’s portrait cost $160,000 and Laura Bush’s, $40,000. The private donations for the Bushes’ portraits were made to a Smithsonian fund designated for the paintings, Bethany Bentley, a spokeswoman for the National Portrait Gallery, told CNSNews.com.

In the Senate, portraits traditionally are commissioned for the majority and minority leaders, and former members who have been out of the Senate for 25 years who are chosen by a special commission of the Senate Rules Committee, said Donald Ritchie, the Senate historian.

$27-Million UAW-Owned Country Club Includes Golf Course, Condos, Swimming Pools

(CNSNews.com) – The United Autoworkers Union, which had a total net worth of $1.2 billion in 2007, owns a $27 million resort and conference center that features a $6 million upscale golf course, according to financial statements on file with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The retreat, called the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, is located on Black Lake in Onaway, Mich. The union-owned retreat includes the Black Lake Golf Club, valued at $6 million according to the financial statement.

The resort features conference centers, classrooms, resort amenities and the golf club, which is open to union members, retirees and their guests, as well as the public, on a space-available basis.

Teflon Don :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Win Some...

My friends, the appointment of California Congresswoman Hilda Solis to head the Labor Department has eased growing tension in the Democrat Party Hispanic base.

Just a few weeks ago, The Messiah, Lord Barack Obama The Most Merciful, was threatened by California Democrat Joe Baca. Baca warned Lord Obama that his legislative agenda of hope, change, and illusion could hit "roadblocks" unless more high-profile positions were filled with Hispanics. Now with Bill Richardson at Commerce, Ken Salazar at the Interior, and Solis at Labor -- all's well. Baca called the Solis appointment "a great day for the Hispanic Community." He says he's glad Lord Obama listened to reason.

Union liberals are happy, too. While in Congress, Solis' votes matched the AFL-CIO position 97 percent of the time. Assorted labor groups have given her a 100 percent rating; she's a strong supporter of the proposed "card check" legislation, which will strip employees of the right to vote with secret ballots when unions want to take over American businesses. You business owners: Buckle up -- it's going to be a rocky road.

Speaking of unions, in Garden City, Long Island -- that's New York -- 22 police officers will no longer get "holiday pay" for working on Katrina Remembrance Day, Gerald Ford Day, Teddy Roosevelt's birthday, or even Parent's Day. Some stupid arbitrator ruled that the union leadership was wrong when they demanded -- and got -- extra pay for working on those "holidays."

So... you win some, lose some -- as we're all about to find out!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
LA Times: Obama to name pro-union Rep. Hilda Solis to Labor post
AP: Tiny NY police dept.'s holiday schedule nixed

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nancy Reynolds community brings architect to school board

Restoration seems possible, he concludes

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - After hearing findings from SFLA, the architectural firm hired by the Stokes County School Board, the Nancy Reynolds Historical Committee decided to take matters into their own hands. They brought in their own architect, Stephen Onxley, whose presentation had a decidedly different tone from previous ones by SFLA.

His verdict? Restoration of Nancy Reynolds Elementary School is a very real possibility.

Agency Director Resigns After Spying on 'Joe the Plumber' on State Computers

Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley quit after accusations arose that she improperly used state computers to access personal information on "Joe the Plumber."

CINCINNATI (Fox News) - An Ohio agency director resigned Wednesday in the wake of a finding that she improperly used state computers to access personal information on the man who became known as "Joe the Plumber" during the presidential campaign.

Two other officials who were suspended from their positions for their role in the computer search will not be returning to their jobs, an agency spokeswoman said.

Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley said in a statement accompanying her resignation that she won't allow her reputation to be disparaged and that she is concerned for her family's safety.

Obama's Rev. Warren Inaugural Pick Sparks Gay Fury

The president-elect's selection of Rev. Rick Warren draws fierce responses from gay and liberal groups.

WASHINGTON (Fox News) - President-elect Barack Obama made no apologies Thursday for asking evangelical pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, a move that infuriated gays angry at Warren's support for California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage.

Obama said he and Warren don't agree on everything, but he's collected a group of people to appear at his inauguration who share a variety of viewpoints.

Repeating a line from his campaign, Obama said, "We have to disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans."

Border Fence is Progressing But It’s ‘Not the One Congress Had in Mind’

(CNSNews.com) - The $2.7 billion border “fence” authorized by Congress to be built along stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border is just over two-thirds finished--and should be mostly complete by the end of the year. But not everyone is happy with it.

Time to End the TARP Bailout Program

(By Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D.; The Heritage Foundation) - Last week the Bush Administration tried to find ways to use the funds available in the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to bail out the Detroit automobile companies. That decision is just the latest of weekly, and sometimes daily, Administration reinterpretations of the TARP program's purposes. And no doubt the incoming Administration will continue this creativity and TARP will increasingly become a White House fund for politically sensitive companies.

With $15 billion of TARP funds still immediately available, and another $350 billion available if congressional action does not block access to the money, it is time to end this program by canceling further Treasury authority to allocate funds. To the extent that new financial crises materialize, recent experience suggests that the Federal Reserve Board is best able to handle them and would do so while resisting political pressure. If additional steps are needed in the future, the White House should request new congressional programs or authority with far greater clarity and restrictions on the uses of money. It is time to end the continued use and abuse of TARP funds.


(Fox News) - In 2006 first lady Laura Bush attended the Kennedy Center Honors here in Washington wearing the same red Oscar de la Renta gown worn by three other women. So the Washington Times reports that if you plan on attending any of the balls during inauguration week — and do not want to be caught in the same awkward situation — you should register your dress.

The Web site dressregistry.com allows women to list their gown and the event they plan on attending. The site's founder, Andrew Jones, says women can "review the types of gowns others will be wearing. The only thing they can't do is see who is wearing what. That would be cheating.

Road Rage

(Fox News) - A group of environmentalists that endorsed Mr. Obama for president is now attacking his proposal for new infrastructure projects. The Washington Times reports "Friends of the Earth" has launched a massive effort to keep the construction of new roads out of the president-elect's proposed economic stimulus package. The group also launched a Web site called roadtonowhere.org.

"More roads mean more pollution and more dependence on oil, hurting our economy, security and climate," says Colin Peppard, a member of the environmental group.

The president-elect and congressional Democrats have made building roads, bridges and schools a major part of a proposed stimulus that could cost up to $1 trillion.

Numbers Game

(Fox News) - President-elect Obama says his pick for education secretary — Chicago Schools Chief Arne Duncan — presided over a 30% increase in the number of elementary students who meet acceptable levels on standardized tests. But a Cybercast News analysis of education department statistics indicates only 17% of Chicago eighth graders tested at or above grade level in reading in 2007. In contrast, 29% of eighth graders across the country scored at or above grade-level reading that year.

The report says Chicago's schools consistently performed below the national average in reading, writing and math during Duncan's tenure.

States That Are Spending More in 2009

State of Affairs

(Fox News) - Twenty-two of the 36 states facing budget deficits this fiscal year are increasing spending. Yes, increasing. Many states are collecting significantly less revenue than they counted on when budgets were drafted six months ago.

Spending cuts or tax increases will be necessitated because a number of states are required by law to balance their budgets. Cybercast News reports a survey from the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers released this week says the biggest offender is Nevada which at mid-year was $115 million in debt but plans to increase spending by just over 11%. New York will spend about 5.5% more despite being $1.8 billion in the red. Rounding out the top five are Ohio, North Carolina and Connecticut.

Happy 65th Birthday to Keith Richards! :-)

Black leaders see Senate seat being hijacked

By Laura Washington
Chicago Sun-Times

Bye bye, black Senate seat! The political blackbirds are singing a swan song for the hopes of keeping a U.S. Senate seat in African-American hands. The Rod Blagojevich implosion may have dealt that cause a fatal blow.

Last week's stunning pay-to-play charges led to calls around the nation for a special election to choose President-elect Barack Obama's successor.

That possibility has provoked outrage among black community leaders and politicians. Not so fast, they are saying.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Surprised?

A financial research and consulting firm out of Boston -- Celent -- has investigated claims by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke... the claims justifying the massive federal bailouts of the financial industry. The title of their report, "Flawed Assumptions about the Credit Crisis," gives you a little hint of what they found.

The report found "contradictions" between what Paulson and Bernanke told us was happening in the financial markets and what conditions really were. In mid-September, Paulson claimed the financial system had "seized up" -- that credit markets "froze." That was the basis of the $700 billion bailout. But, the report says, "the freezing of the credit markets that Secretary Paulson cites is not visible" in the data.

Secretary Paulson also said that blue-chip industries could no longer write "commercial paper"; another fact that is contradicted by the data.

I'm not going to go through the entire report here -- I don't have time -- but I want to make two points. First, this spending spree of trillions of dollars represents the biggest, most expensive, most intrusive action by the federal government in our lifetimes. Yet, it is a private group -- not the Drive-Bys -- who bothered to investigate the claims, and in this case found "contradictions."

I told you at the time that we were likely being snookered, that this could be the most elaborate, most expensive election-year October Surprise in history. And now, it appears the data supports that brilliant conclusion that you heard only here.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AIM: Fraudulent "Credit Crisis" Paves Way for Economic Disaster

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Jay Leno: As you know, [over the weekend] in Iraq, President Bush was attacked by a "shoe-icide" bomber.

You got to admit, whatever you think of the guy, he's got good reflexes. Even Bill Clinton was impressed. You know, Clinton's an expert at ducking shoes, ashtrays, lamps. Everything.

The journalist who threw the shoe was immediately arrested, and then offered his own show on MSNBC.

Now, here's my question, and no offense here, but where was the Secret Service? I mean, shouldn't they at least have jumped in front of the second shoe? I mean, you know what I'm saying? Come on. Seriously. Aren't these guys supposed to take a bullet for the president?

Well, here's my favorite part. Cable news just over-thinks this. On CNN, they brought in an expert on Iraqi culture and he said, "Let me clarify what happened here." He said, "In the Arab world, throwing your shoes at someone's head is considered an insult." Oh, really? As opposed to here in America, where it's a huge compliment.

Cake request for 3-year-old Hitler namesake denied

EASTON, Pa. (Yahoo News) – A supermarket is defending itself for refusing to a write out 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell's name on his birthday cake.

Deborah Campbell, 25, of nearby Hunterdon County, N.J., said she phoned in her order last week to the Greenwich ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the store denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years, including a request for a swastika.

Nepotism Nation: Dems embrace dynasty politics

(Politico) - Barack Obama's path to the presidency included beating what had been one of the nation's most powerful families. But, in an unusual twist, his election last month is helping accelerate the trend toward dynasty politics.

His secretary of state will be Hillary Clinton, the wife of the former president. The Senate seat she’ll vacate is being pursued by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of a president and the niece of two senators. Joe Biden’s Senate seat may go to his son Beau. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, Obama’s pick for interior secretary, could end up being replaced by his brother, Rep. John Salazar.

And Obama’s own seat could go to the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. – less likely now in light of developments in the Rod Blagojevich scandal – or to the daughter of Illinois’ current House speaker.

The U.S. Senate could end up looking like an American version of the House of Lords – and Republicans have begun to take notice.

Democrat Says Fairness Doctrine Should Extend to Cable, Satellite TV

(CNSNews.com) - House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) says he’s troubled by a California Democrat’s plan to push for the return – and expansion – of the Fairness Doctrine.

In a newspaper interview on Monday, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said she would work on bringing back the federal regulation that requires equal time for the expression of different political views on the public airwaves.

Boehner and other critics say Democrats want to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine to force an end to conservative talk radio. (While syndicated conservative talk-radio shows have been successful, liberal alternatives have flopped. The Fairness Doctrine would require radio stations to balance the conservative money-makers with liberal duds, something the stations undoubtedly would refuse to do. They would be forced to cancel successful shows touting conservative viewpoints.)

Republican Party Leader Urged to Stop the 'Negative Politics'

(CNSNews.com) - A high-profile Republican is criticizing his own party for running a Web video that tries to link President-elect Barack Obama to the scandal surrounding disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The FBI says Blagojevich talked about selling Obama's Senate seat.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Tuesday called the video a "destructive distraction" and urged Republican National Committe Chairman Mike Duncan to remove it.

Of 36 States Facing Deficits This Year, 22 Are Increasing Spending

(CNSNews.com) – Thirty-six of the 50 states – or 72 percent – are now facing budget deficits in fiscal 2009, according to a mid-year report released Monday by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers.

At the same time, 22 of these states facing deficits have adopted budgets that call for increased spending in fiscal year 2009. (See chart.)

Over the past 30 years, according to the report, states have increased spending by an average of 6 percent each year. That trend slowed a bit in 2008, when spending increased by only 5 percent. Budgets enacted for 2009 actually decreased total state spending nationwide by 0.1 percent.

Only 17% of 8th Graders Can Read at Grade Level in Chicago Schools Overseen by Obama Education Secretary-Designee

(CNSNews.com) – In 2007, only 17 percent of eighth graders tested at or above grade level in reading in Chicago Public Schools – the school system administered by Arne Duncan since 2001.

President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday tapped Duncan to become secretary of education in the upcoming administration.

Duncan, hailed by Obama as a reformer, said he would like to take the lessons he learned in Chicago with him when he moves to Washington. “I'm also eager to apply some of the lessons we have learned here in Chicago to help school districts all across our country," Duncan said after Obama formally named him to the job in Chicago.

Obama’s Choice for Education Secretary Approved Homosexual High School for Chicago

(CNSNews.com) - Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, who President-elect Barack Obama announced yesterday as his choice to be Secretary of Education, supported and approved plans for a special public high school for homosexuals.

Social Justice High School, Pride Campus was one of a number of projected public schools that Duncan approved for Chicago. The school was planned to open its doors to all students while offering support for homosexual and lesbian students and including notable gay and lesbian figures in its curriculum.

Still on IE?

Time to move.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - For those still on Microsoft Internet Explorer, perhaps now would be a good time to consider other options. Hackers have found a hole in IE’s security that stretches through versions 5 through 8 beta, and experts have a fix — find another browser:

Users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are being urged by experts to switch to a rival until a serious security flaw has been fixed.

The flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer could allow criminals to take control of people’s computers and steal their passwords, internet experts say. …

Microsoft says it has detected attacks against IE 7.0 but said the “underlying vulnerability” was present in all versions of the browser.

Other browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, are not vulnerable to the flaw Microsoft has identified.

Kennedy starts upstate tour as she eyes Senate

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Yahoo News) – Caroline Kennedy is meeting with upstate New York politicians and power brokers as she begins her campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy is favored to take the seat should Clinton be confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state.

The outreach that Kennedy started Wednesday in cities including Syracuse is similar to Clinton's "listening tour" in 1999 and 2000 when she first ran for the Senate.

Like Clinton, Kennedy faces criticism because she's never been elected to public office. Some also worry she would favor New York City interests over the rest of the state.

Greek Tragedy

(Fox News) - Greek authorities are asking their counterparts in Israel and Germany for emergency supplies of tear gas after 11 days of rioting. The violence began after a teenager was fatally shot by a police officer earlier this month and is being fueled by public anger at government scandals and a slowing economy.

The London Times reports Greek riot police have used so much tear gas during the clashes that they are running out; and in some cases are being forced to use old canisters of gas.

One demonstrator says, "We found a tear gas canister dated from 1981. The old chemicals make us sick. People have fainted and have trouble breathing."

Staying Put

(Fox News) - A Wisconsin lawmaker says he will not step down after being arrested on charges of drunken driving and marijuana possession. A truck driver spotted Jeffrey Wood's swerving vehicle on an interstate highway early Friday and called police.

Wood's car eventually went airborne and smashed into a caution sign and a snow bank. Authorities found marijuana in wood's vehicle and his blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. Wood is a former Republican who was re-elected this year as an Independent. He explained in an interview with WAYY Radio station that the drugs ended up in his car because "somebody offered me some and I took it, and for whatever stupid reason got in my car and decided to drive home."

Good News

(Fox News) - There have been predictions that the current economic crisis signals the coming end of American global dominance economically. However one Harvard University economist says the crisis may in fact give the United States new financial authority. Ricardo Hausmann writes in the Financial Times, "The U.S. has become the only remaining super-borrower, able to issue thousands of billions of dollars in debt at record low rates while the dollar strengthens."

"The Dow Jones is down by almost 40 percent so far this year but this makes it pretty much the best performing stock market in the world."

"Unfriendly states such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela are suffering from a dual collapse in the price of their oil exports and the value of their sovereign bonds" while many other nations have "essentially lost access to external finance."

Nancy Pelosi Lays Down the Law to Obama

House Rules

(Fox News) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not holding back when it comes to making her wishes known to the incoming administration. The Politico newspaper reports Democratic insiders say Pelosi has "'set parameters' for what she wants from Barack Obama and his White House staff — no surprises, and no backdoor efforts to go around her."

Pelosi is in talks with incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Sources say she wants to know when the administration has contact with rank-and-file Democrats — and why.

One insider says Pelosi is "not going to allow Obama to triangulate her." Another added, "There is going to be tension…she wants to know what they are up to."

Bush says sacrificed free-market principles to save economy

US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from "collapse."

"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system," Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision "to make sure the economy doesn't collapse."

Bush's comments reflect an extraordinary departure from his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market, as his administration has orchestrated unprecedented government intervention in the face of a dire financial crisis.

"I am sorry we're having to do it," Bush said.

But Bush said government action was necessary to ease the effects of the crisis, offering perhaps his most dire assessment yet of the country's economy.

"I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is not a, you know, a huge economic crisis. Look, we're in a crisis now. I mean, this is -- we're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse."

And this moron was elected President -- Twice! This goes beyond a mere Bushism, people. He knew exactly what he was saying, and he meant it. Orwellian double-speak is alive and well. I could hardly be more surprised if this turd came out and said that all people are free, but some are more free than others.

For those of you who thought it couldn't get worse -- Surprise! -- It's Obama! His nascent government is in chaos and he hasn't even taken office yet. The next four years promise to be Detroit and DC on a macro scale. Congratulations to all of you friggin' retards who voted for him. I'd sit here laughing my butt off if it wasn't so damn scary.

Change is on the way... :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Governor Paterson proposes 'Obesity Tax,' a tax on non-diet sodas

ALBANY (NYDailyNews.com) - A can of Coke could soon cost New Yorkers more than just calories.

Gov. Paterson, as part of a $121 billion budget to be unveiled Tuesday, will propose an "obesity tax" of about 15% on nondiet drinks.

This means a Diet Coke might sell for a $1 - even as the same size bottle of its calorie-rich alter ego would go for $1.15.

Bush: Jeb would be 'awesome' senator

(Politico) - President Bush is touting his younger brother Jeb’s qualifications to replace retiring Republican Mel Martinez as the next senator from Florida.

“He would be an awesome U.S. senator,” Bush said in a wide-ranging interview with RealClearPolitics.

“I think the party would benefit a lot by having Jeb Bush in the U.S. Senate,” the president added. “I think Florida would benefit a lot. I think the country would benefit a lot. And I think the Republican Party would benefit a lot. He is a proven leader who, when given responsibilities, succeeded.”

Earlier this month Jeb, a former two-term governor of Florida, told Politico that he is “considering” a run for Martinez’s seat. The Florida senator announced his retirement on Dec. 2.

State wraps up '08 election with Electoral College vote

Win by Obama is first by Democratic candidate since '76

RALEIGH (By James Romoser, Winston-Salem Journal) - There were no polling booths, no electronic ballots, no campaign signs outside. And everyone knew the outcome in advance.

But yesterday, over the course of a 90-minute ceremony, North Carolina formally cast its votes for president.

After nominating speeches and other pageantry, the state's 15 members of the Electoral College each wrote in, by hand, the name "Barack Obama" on cream-colored paper ballots.

"The electoral votes have been taken for president of the United States," the group's teller declared. "And Sen. Barack Obama has received 15 votes for president of the United States."

Elementary school may be without insurance

Board discusses plan for Nancy Reynolds

DANBURY (By Kim Underwood, Winston-Salem Journal) - The Nancy Reynolds Elementary School saga took an unexpected twist last night when a representative of the company that carries the school system's insurance said that, because of concerns about the school's safety, the company would stop insuring the school after the end of the school year.

Utica National Insurance Group, which is based in Richmond, carries the Stokes County school system's liability insurance. From time to time, it inspects properties that it insures, and, after a recent inspection, company officials found structural problems with the school's foundation and roof.

"When I read this report I was deeply concerned," Matthew J. Lupino, the company's underwriting manager for this region, said at the regular meeting of the Stokes County Board of Education. Unless fundamental repairs are made, Lupino said, the company would not cover Nancy Reynolds after the current policy ends June 30.

Trees to Fall: Like the elms before them, ash trees on WFU's main quad dying from disease

(By Mary Giunca, Winston-Salem Journal) - They sheltered students during orientation picnics.

They warmed the autumn campus with their purplish-brown leaves.

And they lent their stately limbs to the flying of toilet paper banners after great team victories.

But yesterday, 10 mighty Autumn Purple ash trees on Wake Forest University's quad fell to chain saws.

The chopped-down trees represent the beginning of a three-year plan to replace the roughly 30 ash trees on the quad, now called Hearn Plaza, with three varieties of maples.

The first round of maples will be planted Jan. 5.

Top Democrat to Obama: Keep Bush's Intel Chiefs

(ABC News) - First Gates, Now Hayden?

The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says President-elect Barack Obama should keep President Bush's intelligence chiefs for at least six months to ensure a smooth transition.

It's a move that would likely cause a revolt on the left.

Secret Service Shows Unusual Restraint in 'Bizarre' Shoe Incident

(ABC News) - U.S. Secret Service officials in Washington say they are satisfied their agents responded with "the appropriate level of reaction" when an Iraqi journalist hurled two shoes directly at President Bush during a Baghdad news conference.

From March 16, 2005: The Social Security Ponzi scheme

(By Noel Sheppard, American Thinker) - In the past several months as the debate over Social Security reform has taken center stage in the theater of the absurd that is modern American politics, the idea has been floated that the entire pay—as—you—go structure of this system closely resembles a Ponzi scheme, albeit one that is about to collapse.

In reality, few people likely have any idea what a Ponzi scheme is, nor how closely America's largest retirement system follows its outlines. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission:

'Ponzi schemes are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s. Ponzi thought he could take advantage of differences between U.S. and foreign currencies used to buy and sell international mail coupons. Ponzi told investors that he could provide a 40% return in just 90 days compared with 5% for bank savings accounts. Ponzi was deluged with funds from investors, taking in $1 million during one three—hour period—and this was 1921! Though a few early investors were paid off to make the scheme look legitimate, an investigation found that Ponzi had only purchased about $30 worth of the international mail coupons. Decades later, the Ponzi scheme continues to work on the "rob—Peter—to—pay—Paul" principle, as money from new investors is used to pay off earlier investors until the whole scheme collapses.'

Sound eerily familiar? Much as in the original Ponzi scheme, Social Security also paid huge returns to its first investors who, whether intentionally or not, led Americans to believe the plan worked marvelously, thereby engendering the support of an exceedingly grateful nation.

No bleepin' way! Blagojevich won't budge in Illinois bid to nudge out scandal gov

Will he stay or will he go?

(NYDailyNews.com) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan held out hope Sunday that scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich may resign Monday, but the potty-mouthed pol has signaled there's no bleepin' way.

"We [had] heard that there [was] a possibility that [yesterday] he [would] make an announcement where he [would] step aside," Madigan told NBC's "Meet the Press."

A resignation would save the state the headache of a leader who is facing federal corruption charges, including offering the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Still, Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said the governor had no plans to quit.

Colin Powell Bashes Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin

(NewsBusters.org) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell [was] featured on CNN's "GPS" program Sunday, and during the interview with Fareed Zakaria, Powell bashes Rush Limbaugh, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.

Powell also had negative things to say about the Republican Party in general.

Too PC?

(Fox News) - The Conservative Young America's Foundation has released its list of Politically Correct Abuses of 2008.

Topping the list is California’s Yuba College, which banned a student from handing out gospel literature or face possible expulsion. The school also limits free speech to just two hours each week in designated free-speech areas.

The list includes Minnesota’s University of Saint Thomas which banned a pro-life speaker but hosted a transgendered activist who believes God is a black lesbian.

Then there is Deerfield High School in Illinois which required literature students to read the book "Angels in America: a Gay Fantasia on National Themes."

Also included is a Claremont, California Elementary School that barred students from dressing like pilgrims and Indians during Thanksgiving to avoid racial stereotypes, Florida's Gulf Coast University which tried to do away with Christmas activities in favor of an ugly-sweater competition and Columbia University for its handling of a student election on the question of returning the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps to campus.

Case Closed?

(Fox News) - The Associated Press has decided that any discussion of global warming — and its facts — is over. The AP's Seth Borenstein writes, "The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton’s second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out."

But he does go on to mention the inconvenient fact that recent data indicates the earth is actually cooling. The guy then says that this cooling is actually proof of global warming.

"2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line...while skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming."

That, you see, is because everything has gotten so much warmer overall.

Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg — who does not dispute global warming but questions the value of many proposed remedies — is taking President-elect Obama to task. Lomborg writes in The Australian newspaper that Mr. Obama is getting some of his facts wrong.

Last month the president-elect said, "Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We've seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger." That's a sentiment he reiterated late today.

But Lomborg says, "Actually we've seen a sea-level fall during the past two years...in that period, many coastlines have increased."

Lomborg says studies also show an increase in global soil moisture and not drought. "Famine has declined rapidly in the past century."

He then ads, "A policy of reducing CO2 emissions would have had zero consequence on Katrina’s devastating effect."

Praise for Man Who Threw Shoes at Bush?

Sole Attacker

(Fox News) - The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush Sunday is being hailed as a hero in parts of the Arab world. And now colleagues in the Mideast media are also coming to his defense. The editor of a Jordanian newspaper says, "Throwing the shoes at Bush was the best goodbye kiss ever."

A Lebanese-American professor at Stanislaus University in California writes, "The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots-puppets that Bush meets with during his travels."

And the attacker's employer released a statement saying, "Any measures against (him) will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime."

Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC, up for auction

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Asheville CITIZEN-TIMES.com) – The auction of the $400 million Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach is under way, but even if a buyer is identified this week, it is doubtful the park will be able to reopen next year, the state's tourism chief said.

The 55-acre park, which opened in April, is being sold as part of the bankruptcy case of its owner, RPH Myrtle Beach Holdings LLC.

Chad Prosser, director of South Carolina's Parks Recreation and Tourism Department, said Monday he thinks the $35 million minimum bid for the park may be a stumbling block for potential buyers.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Comparisons

My friends, AP-Obama reports that our incoming president is "relatively young and inexperienced." (Heh-heh-heh; now they tell us!) They warn of a growing list of "monumental challenges" The Messiah will face. Here's a quote: "With woes foreign and domestic on more fronts than even [FDR] encountered when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression, Obama will be sworn in as the country's 44th President."

After telling us that the striking thing about The Messiah is that he's not scared, AP then says: "Most historians liken the situation facing Obama to that which confronted Roosevelt -- but the comparison does not seem to do justice to the colossal challenges Obama is facing."

Actually, the comparison doesn't seem to do justice to the truth.

The Depression -- which was prolonged by Roosevelt's policies -- was global; and the world hasn't since witnessed economic distress on such a massive scale. Likewise, World War II was global; almost every continent on earth was engaged in some way. For years we did not know whether the Allied powers would survive, or be dominated by true madmen. Tens of millions of people died in the war and the aftermath.

Now, the ignorance of Drive-By reporters isn't news, but to suggest that the problems we face today dwarf the Depression and World War II is absurd. Actually, it's beyond absurd; it's just rank stupidity.

The apt comparison is not Obama to FDR; the real comparison is these Drive-By reporters to Monica Lewinsky -- if you get my drift.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing

Monday, December 15, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

"The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn't pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known? Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. Begin with the food and fiber raised in the farm, to the ore drilled in a mine, to the oil and gas from out of the ground, whatever it may be -- through the processing, through the manufacturing, on out to the retailer's license. If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business."
Ronald Reagan

Architect to report to Stokes on school

He'll study feasibility of Nancy Reynolds work

(By Kim Underwood, Winston-Salem Journal) - An architect who worked on an award-winning restoration of a historic school in Albemarle is scheduled to look at Nancy Reynolds Elementary School today and talk to the Stokes County Board of Education tonight about the feasibility of restoring it.

On Friday, members of the school board and Stokes County Board of Commissioners will have a joint session to discuss the historic school, which opened in 1923.

School-board members are in the process of deciding the best course of action to take with Nancy Reynolds. Possibilities include restoring the school, rebuilding on the same site or building a new school elsewhere.

Sitting at a stop light

(By Steve Brenneis, Ars Mens Mentis) - If you spend any time at all trying to drive around Greensboro, NC, that's what you will find yourself doing for an extremely high percentage of the time.

Palin church badly damaged in suspected arson

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Investigators say arson caused a fire that badly damaged the former church of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin late Friday night and into early Saturday morning.

The blaze at the Wasilla Bible Church broke out as a group of women made crafts inside. It is not yet known if the church was targeted because of Palin's affiliation. Palin's spokesperson, Bill McAllister, issued a statement on her behalf after she visited the church on Saturday.

"(Palin) told an assistant pastor that she apologizes if the incident is in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received since she became a vice presidential candidate on Aug. 29. Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good."

Now This Explains A Lot

(By John Hood, Carolina Journal Online) - On a recent survey of civic literacy in America, elected officials scored lower than the general public did.

N.C. looks at taxing drivers by the mile

Idea for road-use tax is expected to hinge on odometer readings, then GPS tracking, to replace revenue lost to fuel efficiency.

(The Charlotte Observer) - With gas-tax revenues plummeting, the state of North Carolina is looking seriously at taxing motorists for how far they drive.

If the “road-use tax” is implemented, it would at first be simple – with the state checking your odometer annually and taxing you based on how many miles you have driven. But transportation experts say new GPS technology could allow the state to charge people different rates based on when and where they drive, in an attempt to manage congestion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

‘You Dog!’ Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes at President Bush

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Questionable associations of Obama

(AP) - In his life and career in Illinois, President-elect Barack Obama has crossed paths with some notable figures who have drawn scorn and scrutiny. Among them...

The Bailout That Won't

Would you buy a car from Congress?

(By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR., The Wall Street Journal) - Leave it to Bob Lutz, GM's voluble vice chairman, to puncture the unreality of the auto bailout he himself has been championing. In an email to Ward's Auto World, he notes an obvious flaw in Congress's rescue plan now taking shape: The fuel-efficient "green" cars GM, Ford and Chrysler profess to be thrilled to be developing at Congress's behest will be unsellable unless gas prices are much higher than today's.

"Very few people will want to change what has been their 'nationality-given' right to drive big and bigger if the price of gas is $1.50 or $2.00 or even $2.50," Mr. Lutz explained. "Those prices will put the CAFE-mandated manufacturers at war with their customers -- and no one will win in that battle."

Translation: To become "viable," as Congress chooses crazily to understand the term, the Big Three are setting out to squander billions on products that will have to be dumped on consumers at a loss.

Stokes County launches new public safety website

More “one stop shopping” for county residents

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - Things just got even easier for Stokes County residents. Just as county officials and staff have labored to make a visit to the government center a “one stop shopping” experience, now there’s a similar experience available without even leaving the comforts of home.

A new public safety information website is up and running to inform Stokes County citizens of a multitude of helpful things. Need to view a weather map to see where the snow is? How about an update on school closings in the area? Or maybe you’d simply like to know where the power outages are. These are just a few of the things that can be learned from the new Internet site.

This newest tool is the brainchild of Stokes County Manager Bryan Steen who has previously been lauded for his efforts to bring the county into the “George Jetson” age, as Steen laughingly calls it. Back in the summer, he was credited with masterminding the video probable cause system that has already simplified law enforcement all around the county.

Decision causes controversy

Ronald W. Reagan building to keep name

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - Whether or not to change the name of a county building has created a maelstrom of controversy in the past couple of weeks. The issue surfaced at a county commissioners’ pre-board planning session on Tuesday, December 2.

At that planning session, the Stokes County Board of Commissioners voted to make a change in how a building in the Government Center complex is referred to. As the news spread, the decision sparked a firestorm of controversy throughout the county.

According to Stokes County Manager Bryan Steen, the decision made was that the Ronald Wilson Reagan Building would no longer be referred to by that name in correspondence. Instead it would be called simply the Administration Building. Steen says he and his staff were merely doing “as the board of commissioners instructed us.” The name of Ronald Reagan would not be taken off the building, but for all intents and purposes it would become ineffective.

Worth a Shot

(Fox News) - Two senators are calling on the D.C. City Council to reverse its decision allowing bars and night clubs to continue serving alcohol up until 5 a.m. during inauguration week.

The Washington Times reports California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Utah Republican Robert Bennett sent a letter Tuesday to Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Mayor Adrian Fenty asking the council to change its decision because of security concerns. But one councilman says the senators should mind their own business.

"This is a local issue and is not a matter for the United States Senate," said Jim Graham (D) Ward 1 Council Member.

The council maintains that the longer hours will encourage celebrations that are safely indoors.

Without a Doubt

(Fox News) - Despite last year's United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaration that climate change was "unequivocal, is already happening, and is caused by human activity," not all experts are convinced.

More than 650 international scientists are disputing those claims in a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report. It adds about 250 scientists to the 400 who spoke out last year — and includes current and former U.N. climate panel members.

Atmospheric Scientist Joanne Simpson writes, "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical."

U.S. Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley Goldenberg says, "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic,” that is man-made ‘global warming."

And from Nobel Prize Winner in physics Ivan Giaever — "global warming has become a new religion."

Just the Facts

(Fox News) - All three network morning shows covered the allegations and arrest of Governor Blagojevich [yesterday]. But a look by our research department at the first 30 minutes of NBC, CBS, and ABC's programming show a decided omission.

Not one of the networks identified Blagojevich directly as a Democrat. Four minutes into "The Early Show" on CBS it was noted Blagojevich and President-elect Obama "Have both been leaders in Illinois Democratic politics for years." Over on "Good Morning America," six minutes into the broadcast it was said the Illinois governor had "roots in the Chicago Democratic machine."

And on "The Today Show," there was not a single reference to Blagojevich's party affiliation in the first half-hour of the program.

Buying the Vacant Illinois Senate Seat?

Up For Bid

(Fox News) - More than a dozen people outraged by the allegations against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have listed the state’s vacant Senate seat for sale on the auction Web site eBay.

Over 100 people have placed bids ranging from a penny to almost $100,000. One listing touts "No resume needed — just cash."

Another seller note reads, "All, if any, monies actually collected by this (sad) attempt to poke fun at a rather serious situation will be directly handed to a worthy charity."

And a follow-up note below that reads, "Aforementioned charity WILL NOT include bail and/or legal defense funds."