.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bully Pulpit

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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

“The spendthrifts who mangled America with the nightmare of double-digit inflation, record interest rates, unfair tax increases, too much regulation, credit controls, farm embargoes, gas lines, no-growth at home, weakness abroad, and phony excuses about ‘malaise’ are the last people who should be giving sermonettes about fairness and compassion... Believe me, you cannot create a desert, hand a person a cup of water, and call that compassion. You cannot pour billions of dollars into make-work jobs while destroying the economy that supports them and call that opportunity. And you cannot build up years of dependence on government and dare call that hope.”

Ronald Reagan

‘Vast Right-Wing’ Conspirator Reassesses Clinton, Comes Up Impressed

(Fox News) - The publisher of a Pittsburgh newspaper known for his aggressive opposition to Bill Clinton’s administration wrote Sunday that he was pleasantly surprised by his meeting last week with Hillary Clinton.

Richard Mellon Scaife, who had been dubbed by the former first lady as the head of the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” wrote that he’s not ready to endorse the Democratic candidate, but her knowledge and self-confidence have made him rethink his views of her.

Obama Says He Doesn't Want His Daughters Punished with a Baby

(CBN News) - A lot has been made (by both sides) in this Democratic primary race that "words matter". Well, The Brody File brings you this:

At a town hall meeting in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, Barack Obama told the crowd that he didn't want his daughters, "punished with a baby".

Sauratown wildfire is mostly contained

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Firefighters have largely contained a wildfire on Sauratown Mountain that has burned nearly 400 acres, a spokesman for the N.C. Division of Forest Resources said.

The fire, which has burned since Wednesday, is 95 percent contained, spokesman Michael Huffman said.

The fire had largely been controlled until changing winds Friday night spread the fire past containment lines.

Yesterday, firefighters improved lines around the fire and worked their way in, mopping up smoldering small fires and taking out anything that can fuel them.

It is likely to be a few more days until firefighters declare the fire controlled, Huffman said.

Huffman said that firefighters revised their estimate downward of how many acres burned, from about 400 to 383.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fire Spreads Over Top of Sauratown Mountain, 30 People Evacuated

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) - Forestry officials estimate over 200 acres have been destroyed by the fire on Sauratown Mountain, which began over 48 hours ago.

Winds increased overnight, spreading the fire over the top of the mountain. Officials expect the wind to increase again today as a cold front approaches.

The fire spread across the top of the mountain. About 15 homes have been threatened by the fire and 30 people have been evacuated.

Ex-park superintendent is arrested

He faces charges of embezzlement on job at Pilot Mountain

PILOT MOUNTAIN (Winston-Salem Journal) -
A former superintendent of Pilot Mountain State Park is facing embezzlement charges.

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation arrested Barry Andrew Whitaker, 49, of King at his home yesterday and charged him with 17 felony counts - 14 counts of embezzlement of state property and three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the SBI.

Little information was available yesterday on the charges against Whitaker.

Wildfire imperils homes

About 300 acres burns on Sauratown Mountain in Stokes as crews battle to contain the flames

KING (Winston-Salem Journal) -
Thirteen-year-old Michael Brooks and his dog Blue watched for hours yesterday as fire crews battled the wildfire on Sauratown Mountain in Stokes County.

The fire burned about 300 acres and threatened about 15 houses on the steep and rocky slope.

Brooks hiked up the mountain from his grandparents’ house on Doyle Cromer Road, hoping to help.

Raul Castro: Cubans can have cell phones

(Yahoo News) - President Raul Castro's government said Friday it is allowing cell phones for ordinary Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for those who worked for foreign firms or held key posts with the communist-run state.

It was the first official announcement of the lifting of a major restriction under the 76-year-old Castro, and marked the kind of small freedom many on the island have been hoping he would embrace since succeeding his older brother Fidel as president last month.

Some Cubans previously ineligible for cell phones had already gotten them by having foreigners sign contracts in their names, but mobile phones are not nearly as common in Cuba as elsewhere in Latin America or the world.

Clinton Risks Credibility Gap Over `Fudged' Claims, Stances

(Bloomberg) - Hillary Clinton, accused of exaggerating her experience and reversing policy positions, risks a widening credibility gap that may undermine her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The New York senator, who this week admitted to misrepresenting the danger she confronted in Bosnia, also has come under fire for allegedly distorting her role in opposing free trade and the war in Iraq, and overstating her involvement in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and health insurance to children.

Obama’s Former Pastor Getting $1.6M Home in Retirement

(Fox News) - This was supposed to be the week that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. returned to the pulpit to preach for the first time since his anti-American sermons generated nationwide outrage and drew condemnation from his longtime parishioner, Barack Obama.

But, citing security concerns, Wright canceled his speaking engagements in Florida and Texas. A spokeswoman at his former church in Chicago said his schedule is pending.

A two-week FOX News investigation, however, has uncovered where Wright will be spending a good deal of his time in retirement, and it is a far cry from the impoverished Chicago streets where the preacher led his ministry for 36 years.

FOX News has uncovered documents that indicate Wright is about to move to a 10,340-square-foot, four-bedroom home in suburban Chicago, currently under construction in a gated community.

Double Talk on the Wild Side :-)

Hilarious parody by Paul Shanklin... :-)

The '08 Dream Ticket :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Progress

You know, my friends, there are times when we must measure progress in small, incremental steps; for example, two communist states making progress -- albeit small -- granting their people incremental doses of freedom.

First: The rulers in the communist paradise of Cuba issued microwave ovens to 3,000 households as part of a pilot program. The appliances are really small -- I mean, they're barely big enough for a loaf of bread -- but the island's subjects love them. If the microwaves don't use too much electricity, one day all Cubans might be able to purchase them from state-run stores under the same long-term-credit program that allows consumers in Cuba to buy subsidized color TVs, pressure cookers, and refrigerators. Some Cuban subjects are openly dreaming of the day that they will be allowed to own a DVD player or a personal computer. Hey, don't smirk, folks -- this is progress.

Second item: Rulers in the paradise of California are considering relaxing -- just a little bit -- regulations to force car makers to manufacture 25,000 "zero emission cars" by 2014. The original regulation was adopted in the early '90s, requiring the car makers to make 10 percent of their fleets zero emission by 2003. Now, that didn't work. So far, the goal to require zero emission cars by 2014 isn't working, either; not one commercial vehicle has been produced. So, to the chagrin of the environmentalist wackos, regulators in California are considering relaxing the rules. Again.

But, don't knock it, my friends -- it's progress! One day Cuba could be free. California? It's another matter.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Are Microwaves Start of a Cuban Revolution?
AP: Calif. Grapples with Auto Emissions Rule

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conservatives More Liberal Givers

By George Will
Real Clear Politics

Residents of Austin, Texas, home of the state's government and flagship university, have very refined social consciences, if they do say so themselves, and they do say so, speaking via bumper stickers. Don R. Willett, a justice of the state Supreme Court, has commuted behind bumpers proclaiming "Better a Bleeding Heart Than None at All," "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty," "The Moral High Ground Is Built on Compassion," "Arms Are For Hugging," "Will Work (When the Jobs Come Back From India)," "Jesus Is a Liberal," "God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts," "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans," "Republicans Are People Too -- Mean, Selfish, Greedy People" and so on. But Willett thinks Austin subverts a stereotype: "The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses."

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

McCain's Payroll Prize

By Bob Novak
Real Clear Politics

A major strategist in John McCain's campaign was asked privately this week whether his candidate might propose cutting the payroll tax. "Yes," came the reply. "No problem. Not a big deal." He was wrong on both scores. Cutting the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, is not easy but offers a rich economic prize in this lean Republican year.

Republicans have been wary of touching the Social Security third rail of politics, ever since a re-elected President George W. Bush abandoned his reform under withering Democratic fire. Moreover, Republicans talk about offsetting payroll tax revenue loss by cutting future Social Security benefits, which contains seeds of electoral catastrophe.

Neither McCain nor his advisers seem to realize the value of the political prize that they can grasp. The regressive payroll tax oppresses most Americans, especially young men and women, and burdens small businesses that must match the tax that their employees pay. With dogma-bound Democrats unable to remedy this, the GOP has an opportunity to reach out beyond top-bracket taxpayers, big business and high finance.

Gore's Message To Climate Change Skeptics

(CBS) - Self-avowed "P.R. agent for the planet" Al Gore says those who still doubt that global warming is caused by man - among them, Vice President Dick Cheney - are acting like the fringe groups who think the 1969 moon landing never really happened, or who once believed the world is flat.

Pastor Controversy Is 'Myth-Busted' By Wall Street Journal Poll

Wall Street Journal: The racially charged debate over Barack Obama's relationship with his longtime pastor hasn't much changed his close contest against Hillary Clinton, or hurt him against Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Journal/NBC polls with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, called the latest poll a "myth-buster" that showed the pastor controversy is "not the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign."
But both Democrats, and especially New York's Sen. Clinton, are showing wounds from their prolonged and increasingly bitter nomination contest, which could weaken the ultimate nominee for the general-election showdown against Sen. McCain of Arizona. Even among women, who are the base of Sen. Clinton's support, she now is viewed negatively by more voters than positively for the first time in a Journal/NBC poll. —
Jackie Calmes

Former Pilot Mountain Official Charged with Embezzlement

KING, N.C. (WGHP) - A former Pilot Mountain State Park superintendent was charged with 14 counts of embezzling state property Wednesday.

Barry Andrew Whitaker, 49, was arrested at his King home and later released after he posted a $500,000 bond.

Whitaker was charged with 17 felonies in total: 14 counts of embezzling state property and three counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Whitaker was scheduled to appear in court this morning.

Officials: At Least 75 Acres Destroyed by Sauratown Mt. Fire

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) - Forestry officials estimate between 75 and 100 acres have been destroyed by a wildfire that continues to burn on Sauratown Mountain, more than 18 hours since someone first spotted smoke.

Area fire departments and two bulldozers are working to create two fire lines -- one on the east and one on the west side -- to control the fire. A helicopter that can drop 300 gallons of water at a time was brought in this morning to strengthen the fire lines.

King hires three from county, one volunteer

(The Stokes News) - The county fire marshal’s office will be down to one staff member in the next couple of weeks as the other county employees will be leaving to take positions with the King Fire Department.

The first person to resign was Fire Marshal Brad Cheek, who will be taking a post as assistant chief of the King Fire Department starting April 1. Cheek turned in his resignation on March 10 after accepting the job offer from Chief Randy Williams.

Cheek has been fire marshal for Stokes County since 1995 and was assistant fire marshal from 1992 until his promotion.

G.I. Hillary :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Operation Kneecap

Well, weeks before the Hawkeye Cauci -- long before the launch of Operation Chaos -- I issued a warning to Barack Obama in one of these updates. I said political courage was required of him, if he expected to be the first Democrat to go up against Clinton, Inc., without getting "kneecapped."

Well, this week, a Democrat party official spoke candidly with Jake Tapper of ABC News under strict conditions of anonymity. The official said "of course" Senator Clinton can win the nomination, despite the delegate math favoring Obama. The Democrat official said she'll have to "break his back." She'll have to destroy Obama, make him completely unacceptable -- it'll require exercising the "Tonya Harding Option."

Now, Tonya Harding, you recall, was an Olympic skater in 1994. She rose to infamy when competitor Nancy Kerrigan was kneecapped in an attempt to take her out of competition. Harding's husband was said to have devised the kneecapping.

The anonymous Democrat isn't the only one hinting at the Tonya Harding Option. This week Mrs. Clinton herself told the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board that delegates pledged to Obama aren't really his. "Pledged delegates in most states are not pledged," she asserted. "You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody... they're just like superdelegates."

Ho, ho, ho, boy... Operation Chaos is succeeding, folks: Hillary's in it to win it. Barack, you better watch your kneecaps -- and every other part of your anatomy. Don't forget she has a testicle lockbox.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
ABC: Democratic Party Official -- Clinton Pursuing 'The Tonya Harding Option'
AP: Clinton Tells Part of Delegate Story

Read the Original Warning Update…
Political Courage - 12.05.07

Obama Is the Most Pro-Abortion Candidate Ever

By Terence P. Jeffrey

Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever.

He is so pro-abortion that he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions because he did not want to concede -- as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor -- that these babies, fully outside their mothers' wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact "persons."

Hillary or Nobody?

The New York Times

While the cool cat’s away, the Hillary mice will play.

As Barack Obama was floating in the pool with his daughters the last few days in St. Thomas, some Clinton disciples were floating the idea of St. Hillary as his vice president.

She can’t win without him, said one Hillary adviser, and he can’t win without her.

They’re stuck with each other.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pick your favorite Stooge... :-)

Hillary's List of Lies

By Dick Morris
Real Clear Politics

The USA Today/Gallup survey clearly explains why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is losing. Asked whether the candidates were "honest and trustworthy," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won with 67 percent, with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) right behind him at 63. Hillary scored only 44 percent, the lowest rating for any candidate for any attribute in the poll.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth. Here's her scorecard...

Michelle and Barack: The Tax Returns

By Byron York
National Review Online

A lot of emailers have been taking a look at the Obamas' tax returns from 2000 to 2006, just released by the campaign. Several are pointing out the couple's charitable contributions prior to Barack Obama's big book-related payday — in 2002, the Obamas contributed $1,050 from an adjusted gross income of $259,394, and in 2001 they gave $1,470 from an adjusted gross income of $272,759. They contributed far more in Obama's big earning year, 2005, when they gave $77,315 on an adjusted gross income of $1,655,106.

Something else that strikes me about the returns is their relation to Michelle Obama's tales of her and her husband's struggle. When I saw Mrs. Obama at an appearance in Zanesville, Ohio last month, she was telling a group of low-income women — the median household income in the county in which Zanesville is located was $37,192 in 2004, well below the state and national medians — about how hard it can be to keep things together. Her talk often touched on money. "I know we're spending — I added it up for the first time — we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth," she told the women of her own household expenses. "And summer programs. That's the other huge cost. Barack is saying, 'Whyyyyyy are we spending that?' And I'm saying, 'Do you know what summer camp costs?'"

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Jay Leno: Hey, anybody see the new $5 bill that just came out? The Treasury has taken steps to discourage counterfeiters, such as making it worth less than a dollar. ... According to the latest polls, John McCain now in a double-digit lead over the Democrats. To give you an idea how far McCain is ahead in the polls, today, Hillary offered him the vice presidency. ... According to a new CNN poll, John McCain would win the presidential election if only beer drinkers voted. Now, a Democrat, either Hillary or Barack would win, if only wine drinkers voted. But here’s the interesting part, if we all got really drunk on tequila, Ralph Nader might actually have a shot. ... In more serious news, big controversy last week after State Department officials looked at passport files of all three major candidates. Turns out, they got a hold of John McCain’s Social Security number. You know what it is? Three. ... Osama bin Laden has released another anti-American speech. And out of force of habit, Barack Obama denounced the remarks and said he wasn’t even in the room at the time the statements were being made. ... Hillary Clinton was supposed to be our guest tonight, but she got pinned down by sniper fire. Who would have guessed Hillary would have more war stories than John McCain? ... Hillary’s campaign is claiming she misspoke when she said she landed under gunfire during her trip to Bosnia. Turns out it was gunfire on a trip to L.A. ... She now admits there weren’t any snipers. And today Bill Clinton said, “Hey, if I would have known there weren’t any snipers, I would not have sent her there in the first place.”

Hillary Clinton on the tarmac in Bosnia, 1996 — It sure doesn't look like she was under sniper fire (Patriot Post)

Why Hillary’s Last Stand Will Be North Carolina, Not Pennsylvania

(Daily Intel) - Since the moment late on the night of March 4 that it became clear that Hillary Clinton had beaten Barack Obama in both the Ohio and Texas primaries, all eyes in the political world have been trained on Pennsylvania. Here you had a contest, set for April 22, with nothing else preceding it on the electoral calendar for six solid weeks. And here you had a battleground state essential to Democratic prospects in the fall, a state suffering economically in which the votes of the white working class were crucial. Pennsylvania would therefore be the next great test for Obama — and, of course, the latest in an ever-lengthening series of must-win venues for Clinton.

But suddenly, strangely, the Keystone State isn’t looking like all it was cracked up to be. Instead it seems that North Carolina is emerging as the new Pennsylvania.

Pilot man charged in deaths

FANCY GAP, Va. (The Pilot) — A Pilot Mountain man was driving under the influence and now faces three counts of manslaughter after his pickup truck slammed head-on into a sport utility vehicle late Saturday morning, killing all three passengers in the vehicle, according to the Virginia State Police.

Gary Edward Hicinbothem, 46, was traveling in the southbound lane of Interstate 77 in Carroll County around 11:30 a.m. when he lost control of his 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, crossing the median and crashing into a 1996 Toyota Rav4, killing a mother, daughter and son-in-law who were driving from Greensboro to Virginia.

One of the victims, Coleen Huffman Dollyhigh, 73, is from Mount Airy. The other victims, according to state police, are Dollyhigh's daughter and son-in-law, Isa Eidson Dollyhigh and Jorge Alberto Guerra, both 45. The younger Dollyhigh is a Mount Airy native.

Resident speaks out against ABC

PILOT MOUNTAIN (The Pilot) — Town officials voted in February to let citizens decide whether to allow liquor-by-the-drink sales and an ABC store in Pilot Mountain, and several people already are making their voices heard on the subject.

Town resident Rick Santucci said he spoke with members of the board of commissioners about potential benefits of liquor sales before doing his own research into the drawbacks. Residents will vote for or against liquor sales in town in a referendum May 6.

Board will study panel for shelter

It did not discuss concerns about euthanasia by gas

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) -
Stokes County commissioners said last night that they will consider creating an advisory board to oversee the county’s animal shelter.

About 30 people, including members of a local animal-rights group called Stokes Citizens Against Gassing, attended the commissioners’ meeting. Four people spoke, urging the county to change shelter practices, including the use of carbon-monoxide euthanasia.

Probation Officer Never Met With Teen Charged in UNC Student President's Murder

RALEIGH, N.C. (Fox News) — Records show the probation officer ordered to monitor Laurence Alvin Lovette never met with the teen, now charged with killing two college students.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that records show officer Chalita Thomas went by Lovette's mother's home in Durham once in late February, but he wasn't there.

Lovette is charged with killing University of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson earlier this month and Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato in January.

Lovette had been placed on probation in January after he pleaded guilty to larceny and breaking and entering.

Correction Department spokesman Keith Acree says the handling of Lovette's case is under review.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Blood for Oil

In Egypt, a bread shortage led to riots; at least two people dead. In other lands -- from South America to Africa, next door to us in Mexico, in the Caribbean -- rising food costs are hitting the poorest of the poor.

Parents are making hard choices -- between educating their children or feeding them. Sadly, in some cases, they can't feed them. And the hunger is real -- not like the overblown campaign slogans that Democrats here use to expand federal entitlements. American consumers are complaining loudly because our food prices are up 4 percent. But worldwide, since 2006, the cost of food has increased by an estimated 23 percent. Grain prices are up 42 percent; oils are up 50 percent. Dairy products: 80 percent worldwide. Economists say that it might be a decade before food prices stabilize.

Now, listen, folks. Look at me. You've heard me say many times: Oil is the fuel that drives the engine of freedom. Oil fuels America's economy -- and the world's. Two factors are driving world food prices higher. One is the price of oil, which impacts food distribution, and liberals ensure high prices by thwarting exploration, drilling, and refinery-building. The second factor is the stupid move toward biofuels in response to the global warming hoax. On both fronts, pandering to environmentalist wackos has unleashed economic forces that are crippling the world food economy.

In poor nations, "blood for oil" is being spilled -- and more will be spilled -- all for the sake of wacko-based liberalism.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: From Rice in Peru to Miso in Japan, Food Prices are Rising
Reuters: China Diesel Rationed, Despite Government Pledges

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obamas Gave Less Than 1 Percent of 2000-2004 Income to Charity

(Bloomberg) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than one percent, according to tax returns for those years released today by his campaign.

The couple earned more than $2.6 million in 2005 and 2006 after the Illinois senator published a bestselling book in 2005. They donated $137,622 over those two years and made their church, Trinity United Church of Christ, one of the biggest beneficiaries of their philanthropy, donating $27,500. Obama is under scrutiny for his ties to the church because of comments made by its senior pastor.

The Obamas' charitable giving history was revealed as he became the first presidential candidate to release his tax returns for the decade and called on his rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, to do the same. Obama didn't release his 2007 return today.

``Releasing tax returns is a matter of routine and we believe that the Clinton campaign should meet that standard and meet that routine standard now,'' said Robert Gibbs, Obama's communication director.

Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director, said the campaign would release her tax information before April 15, the filing deadline for individuals. Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, hasn't released his tax returns.

Presidential candidates aren't required to release their tax returns, which by law are confidential. Most have chosen to do so since the early 1970s.

Clinton camp in lockdown mode over Bosnia flap

(The Hill) - The campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is seeking to play down news that the former first lady gave an incorrect account of landing in Bosnia in 1996 under sniper fire, and refused to answer additional questions about a flap that could hurt her chances of catching Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in the race for the Democratic nomination.

“We’ve said all we’re going to say on that,” said Deputy Communications Director Phil Singer on a Tuesday morning conference call with reporters.

Libertarian says he's sure of party's success this year

Two percent of vote will guarantee them a spot on the 2012 ballot

RALEIGH (Winston-Salem Journal) -
Mike Munger is running for governor as a Libertarian, and he says he’s confident in a victory.

It’s all a matter of defining victory in the right terms.

“I’m going to win,” Munger, a political scientist at Duke University, said last week. “All it takes to win is to get 2 percent.”

Skybus may review its business strategy

CEO's departure a sign, analyst says

(Winston-Salem Journal) -
The sudden departure of Skybus Airlines’ leader yesterday has analysts questioning the stability of its low-fare strategy as high oil prices overshadow the industry.

But local economic leaders expressed confidence that despite the resignation of Bill Diffenderffer as chief executive, Skybus will ride out the current problems and maintain a second operational base at Piedmont Triad International Airport, where it has 80 employees.

The airline, based in Columbus, Ohio, said that Diffenderffer told the board of directors he was “resigning to return to the book-writing career he left in 2005” to become chief executive.

Don’t discount Gore-led ticket

(Scripps Newspaper Group) - U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, whose district includes much of Martin and St. Lucie counties, is hoping he won’t have to attend the Democratic Party national convention in Denver in August.

If he does go, that will mean the Democrats still haven’t decided a nominee for the presidential election. And if neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama has clinched the nomination by August, Mahoney says we may see a brokered convention, meaning the nominee could emerge from a negotiated settlement.

“If it (the nomination process) goes into the convention, don’t be surprised if someone different is at the top of the ticket,” Mahoney said.

A compromise candidate could be someone such as former vice president Al Gore, Mahoney said last week during a meeting with this news organization’s editorial board.

Clinton Admits Rare Error When She ‘Misspoke’ About Bosnia Sniper Threat

(Fox News) - Saying she made a rare error, Hillary Clinton repeated Tuesday that she “misspoke” when she suggested she landed under sniper fire during a goodwill trip to Bosnia in March 1996.

Speaking to KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, the Democratic presidential candidate said it’s been a long campaign and this is the first time she has said the wrong thing.

Breast-surgery complications kill West Boca High cheerleader

(The Palm Beach Post) - Stephanie Kuleba had a charmed life: captain of the varsity cheerleading squad at West Boca High, a nearly perfect grade-point average, good looks and a ticket to the University of Florida, where she would start her journey toward becoming a medical doctor.

Her friends said she was "perfect," so when Kuleba died Saturday of complications from breast augmentation surgery, none of them could understand how the girl whose success in life "was a sure thing" could perish in such a strange and devastating fashion.

Two McCain Moments, Rarely Mentioned

The New York Times

Senator John McCain never fails to call himself a conservative Republican as he campaigns as his party’s presumptive presidential nominee. He often adds that he was a “foot soldier” in the Reagan revolution and that he believes in the bedrock conservative principles of small government, low taxes and the rights of the unborn.

What Mr. McCain almost never mentions are two extraordinary moments in his political past that are at odds with the candidate of the present: His discussions in 2001 with Democrats about leaving the Republican Party, and his conversations in 2004 with Senator John Kerry about becoming Mr. Kerry’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

There are wildly divergent versions of both episodes, depending on whether Democrats or Mr. McCain and his advisers are telling the story. The Democrats, including Mr. Kerry, say that not only did Mr. McCain express interest but that it was his camp that initially reached out to them. Mr. McCain and his aides counter that in both cases the Democrats were the suitors and Mr. McCain the unwilling bride.

Either way, the episodes shed light on a bitter period in Mr. McCain’s life after the 2000 presidential election, when he was, at least in policy terms, drifting away from his own party. They also offer a glimpse into his psychological makeup and the difficulties in putting a label on his political ideology over many years in the Senate.

Grandma Got Run Over by Obama :-)

Funny parody by Paul Shanklin...

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: The Truth!

The Democrat Party used their Easter weekend radio address to launch yet another attack on the president and our military.

New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez -- ignoring the undeniable progress in Iraq -- painted the country as awash in corruption and violence (he ought to know; he's from New Jersey). He described our brave, successful military as a depleted force with low morale. Instead of focusing on national security, Menendez argued we should "invest" in socialized medicine, spend more on education, and "help" people with their mortgages. Bush ought to tell us the truth, said Mr. Menendez.

Well, President Bush won't tell you the truth you need to hear, Senator; he wants to remain presidential. So let me lay it out for you.

Truth is: National defense is the constitutional obligation of the federal government -- not managing socialized health care. Or consumer mortgages. As for education, your party has single-handedly screwed it up in every city and state that you govern -- like you've screwed up everything else you touch. Why should anyone "invest" more resources for you to squander?

And here's some more truth. Al-Qaeda wants us defeated in Iraq, and so do you. Al-Qaeda lies about our success in Iraq and the war on terror; so do you, Senator Menendez. Al-Qaeda claims our military's morale is in the pits; so do you. Al-Qaeda rejects the idea that we are a just nation, properly at war; so do you, Senator Menendez.

Truth is, Senator, your party's behavior during this war is beneath contempt. And besides... you can't handle the truth -- even when it stares you in the face, like I'm doing now.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Democrats Demand 'Straight Talk' on Iraq

Monday, March 24, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

“The Founding Fathers believed that faith in God was the key to our being a good people and America’s becoming a great nation.”

Ronald Reagan

Four against Wright ouster have walked in his shoes

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal

Three days after members of the N.C. House of Representatives voted 109-5 to show a crook to the door, Triad Democrats must be a proud lot.

Why? Because of the five who didn’t think that former Rep. Thomas Wright deserved to be kicked out despite mishandling more than $300,000, three hail from around here.

Reps. Larry Womble, Earline Parmon (both Democrats from Winston-Salem) and Earl Jones (a Democrat from Greensboro) joined with two other Democrats in voting not to oust Wright. The other two were Rep. Mary McAllister, a Democrat from Fayetteville, and Wright himself.

Taking Wright out of the equation, the four legislators who voted to watch Wright’s back have something in common other than party affiliation - every one of them has been accused of slipshod financial dealings.

Is anybody surprised that four people who have lived under the same cloud of public suspicion as Wright voted to cut him some slack?

“Wright has been charged but he’s not been convicted of anything in court,” Womble said Friday. “I’m not one to pre-judge. I’ve always been taught to wait and see and let due process work itself out.”

Man Once Declared Brain Dead Now Feeling 'Pretty Good'

(Fox News) - Four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant, Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good."

Dunlap was pronounced dead Nov. 19 at United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls, Texas, after he was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. His family approved having his organs harvested.

As family members were paying their last respects, he moved his foot and hand. He reacted to a pocketknife scraped across his foot and to pressure applied under a fingernail. After 48 days in the hospital, he was allowed to return home, where he continues to work on his recovery.

Obama to Visit Greensboro Wednesday for Town Hall Meeting

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) - Democratic presidential primary candidate Barack Obama will visit Greensboro on Wednesday, March 25th, his second day of campaigning in North Carolina in as many weeks.

The town hall meeting will be held at the War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro and is free and open to the public.

Free tickets will be required and can be picked up at 6600 West Market Street (Guilford County Democrats HQ) and the Atrium at UNCG. There is a limit of two tickets per person.

More information:

Town Hall Meeting with Barack Obama
Wednesday at the War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro
Free and open to the public (but tickets are required)

Doors open at 11:00am
Town hall starts at 1:00pm
Only 2,000 tickets available, expected to go very fast
Limit 2 per person
Children under 12 don't need a ticket

For more information, visit http://nc.barackobama.com/greensboro.

Hillary's Balkan Adventures, Part II

Greeting ceremony, Tuzla military airport, Bosnia, March 25, 1996.

"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
--Hillary Clinton, speech at George Washington University, March 17, 2008.

(Washington Post) - Hillary Clinton has been regaling supporters on the campaign trail with hair-raising tales of a trip she made to Bosnia in March 1996. In her retelling, she was sent to places that her husband, President Clinton, could not go because they were "too dangerous." When her account was challenged by one of her traveling companions, the comedian Sinbad, she upped the ante and injected even more drama into the story. In a speech earlier this week, she talked about "landing under sniper fire" and running for safety with "our heads down."

There are numerous problems with Clinton's version of events.

Clinton Backer Points to Electoral College Votes as New Measure

(The New York Times) - Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, proposed another gauge Sunday by which superdelegates might judge whether to support Mrs. Clinton or Senator Barack Obama.

He suggested that they consider the electoral votes of the states that each of them has won.

“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Probation system fell short in Carson slaying

RALEIGH (The Raleigh News & Observer) - Probation officers often speak of hearing about a terrible crime and worrying whether someone under their supervision did it.

But in one of the Triangle's highest-profile killings in recent years -- the slaying of UNC-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson -- the reaction took a troubling turn.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First a Tense Talk With Clinton, Then Richardson Backs Obama

PORTLAND, Ore. (The New York Times) — “I talked to Senator Clinton last night,” Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said on Friday, describing the tense telephone call in which he informed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton that, despite two months of personal entreaties by her and her husband, he would be endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president.

“Let me tell you: we’ve had better conversations,” Mr. Richardson said.

The decision by Mr. Richardson, who ended his own presidential campaign on Jan. 10, to support Mr. Obama was a belt of bad news for Mrs. Clinton. It was a stinging rejection of her candidacy by a man who had served in two senior positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and who is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Hispanics. Mr. Richardson came back from vacation to announce his endorsement at a moment when Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of winning the Democratic nomination seem to be dimming.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama Picks North Carolina to Win NCAA Championship

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Fox News) — Could Barack Obama’s NCAA championship pick have something to do with an upcoming primary?

No, he was leaning toward North Carolina because of its 6-foot-9 star.

The Democratic presidential candidate and avid basketball player selected North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh and UCLA in his Final Four bracket, and is counting on North Carolina to beat UCLA in the championship game.

10 Years Ago: Stoneville to mark anniversary of day the sky descended on it

STONEVILLE (Winston-Salem Journal) - Ten years ago today, a tornado barreled through the quiet town of Stoneville in western Rockingham County.

It roared through the modest downtown area, ripping apart buildings, killing two people and injuring more than 25.

The town had more than $5 million of damage, and several historic buildings were destroyed.

Today, there’s a park where one of those buildings stood, and throughout the town are photographs of the devastation.

The town has been rebuilt, but the tornado’s effects linger. Residents who lived through it say that the experience is one that they will always remember.

N.C. House votes to expel Wright

RALEIGH (AP) - The state House has voted to remove Rep. Thomas Wright from office for ethical misconduct, the first such expulsion of a legislator from North Carolina's General Assembly in 128 years.

The House voted 109-5 today in favor of booting the Wilmington Democrat, who is accused of mishandling or hiding about $340,000 in loans and campaign and charitable contributions. At least 80 votes were needed to expel him.

Wright has denied wrongdoing and called the proceedings a rush to judgment by his peers. He faces a criminal trial on similar allegations later this month.

Wright was escorted from the chamber by the House sergeant at arms after the vote. His attorney later promised to file a legal challenge to the House's action.

Baker leaving pastorship, stepping up at Bible college

(The Stokes News) - After serving Calvary Baptist Church of King as pastor for 32 years, Pastor Roger Baker preached his last sermon as Senior Pastor Sunday morning, stepping down to step up as vice president and administrator of Calvary Baptist Bible College.

During Sunday’s evening service, the church celebrated Baker’s transition with a special program that included speakers from Baker’s past, a video presentation of Baker’s tenure during the church, as well as gift presentations from visitors N.C. House Rep. Bryan R. Holloway, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and the mayors of King and Tobaccoville.

Suspended judge to continue his campaign for re-election

(The Stokes News) - Suspended District Court Judge Mark Badgett admitted Tuesday that he has made mistakes, but says he’s learned from them and is ready to move on; which includes no plans to abandon his re-election campaign.

"It doesn’t change anything," Badgett said of the 60-day suspension handed down Friday by the N.C. Supreme Court. During his time away from the bench in Surry and Stokes counties, he added, "I plan to campaign each and every day."

Badgett, a Pinnacle resident now completing his first four-year term as a judge in District 17B, was suspended in the wake of an investigation launched in the fall of 2006 by the N.C. Judicial Standards Commission.

Board moves the line between South, West

(The Stokes News) - The lines between South Stokes and West Stokes high schools will be moving following action taken by the Stokes County Board of Education Monday night.

For several months, the board members have been tossing around the idea of moving the boundary line that separates the two schools’ districts to help ease overcrowding at West Stokes so it will not meet its capacity for many more years, and Monday the school board agreed to make N.C. 66 the boundary between the two schools.

The approval didn’t come in the first vote taken, though. School board member Sonya Cox explained prior to the first vote that she agreed with where the boundary line should be drawn and that she was only voting no because she felt the move should be made in the 2008-09 school year rather than the 2009-10 school year that was proposed by Superintendent Dr. Stewart Hobbs.

North Carolina Governor Offers $10G Reward for Information About More Suspects in Eve Carson Murder

DURHAM, N.C. (Fox News) — Chapel Hill authorities believe there could be other suspects who were accessories to the murder of University of North Carolina senior Eve Carson, and the governor of North Carolina issued a $10,000 reward in the hopes of getting more information.

Police released the announcement by Gov. Michael F. Easley this week, though the proclamation he issued is dated March 13.

"An intensive investigation ... has resulted in the arrest of two suspects, Demario James Atwater and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr.," Easley said in his statement. "However, it is believed that further information may exist that could possibly implicate others as accessories after the fact.

Controversy Continues

(Fox News) - And the controversy continues over whether Hillary Clinton, as she said again this week, had to duck sniper fire while arriving in Bosnia back in 1996.

The comedian Sinbad, who was with her, has ridiculed the idea, but the Clinton camp has said he was just being funny.

Now, though, the Media Research Center has scanned the coverage at the time by reporters who were on the trip, and found no mention of any shooting.

The CBS report even showed her arriving in Bosnia smiling and walking alongside daughter Chelsea. Sen. Clinton had claimed there was no greeting ceremony and, "we just ran with our heads down."

But the network pictures showed her being greeted by the acting president of Bosnia and a group of Bosnian children.

Barack Obama's Speech on Race Got an Uncritical Welcome From Some Surprising Folks

Rave Reviews

(Fox News) -
Barack Obama's speech on race yesterday played to rave reviews in much of the national media.

On NBC, the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart said the address was, "a very important gift the senator has given the country."

NBC's own Chris Matthews said it was, “worthy of Abraham Lincoln" and "the best speech ever given on race in this country."

ABC's George Stephanopoulos said Obama's refusal to renounce his highly controversial pastor was, quote, "in many ways an act of honor."

And on CNN, Campbell Brown called the speech "striking" and "daring," asserting that Obama had, "walked the listener through a remarkable exploration of race from both sides of the color divide, from both sides of himself."

Michigan Congressman Wants 50-Cent Tax Hike on Every Gallon of Gas

(Fox News) - A Michigan congressman wants to put a 50-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline to try to cut back on Americans' consumption.

Polls show that a majority of Americans support policies that would reduce greenhouse gases. But when it comes to paying for it, it's a different story.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants to help cut consumption with a gas tax but some don't agree with the idea, according to a new poll by the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Time To Graduate To Better Ideas

By John Hood
Carolina Journal Online

Our current education system is broken, on multiple levels. Solving the problem will not involve simply making kids spend more time in a broken system.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Open Secrets?

For years, folks, the Drive-Bys have been infuriated by the Bush Administration's insistence on keeping top-secret information... top-secret. Especially after 9/11. So at the National Press Club this week, Tom Curley, AP president and CEO, told his Drive-By Media buddies that they ought to take advantage of this election cycle and ask presidential candidates [about] government secrecy -- grill them about it.

He told his colleagues to ask candidates at every opportunity if they would "appoint an attorney general willing to follow the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law that protects the people's right to know what their government is doing." He warned that "secrecy is one of the handiest tools for government that wants to be accountable only to itself, regardless of the spirit of any law."

Mr. Curley, you're making this too easy for me. With respect, here, how about you? Your industry -- the only one protected by the Constitution -- you hide behind secrecy! The public isn't told what Drive-By journalists' agendas are, [or] what their personal connections are to the politicians they cover. Or are married to. Or are intimate with. The public isn't informed what gets left on the editing room floors; we know there's a plethora of stories you guys never touch -- legitimate news that stays within the confines of the "news media."

Mr. Curley, let me suggest to you: secrecy is one of the handiest tools for the Drive-By Media, which wants to be accountable only to itself -- regardless of the spirit of any law. Eh, buddy? Anything to say to that?

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: AP CEO Pushes for More Open Government

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ask the Stokes County GOP primary candidates...

First Question: Define the official relationship between the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education in terms of operation and funding.

Leon Inman: The Board of Education has an autonomous board. The Board of Commissioners appropriates the funding and the Board of Education does the line item spending. Obviously the two boards must work together to assure the best educational opportunities for the students of Stokes County.

Second Question: Considering that the housing market is beginning to go flat, what would you do to help keep property taxes low and what would you do to work toward a property tax cut?

Leon Inman: The real key is to promote more economic development in the county in order to take some of the tax burden off the residential ad valorem tax payer. My record shows that I have worked to hold the line on taxes and we have increased the county's fund balance from 3.5% in the past six years to almost 15% and we have not had a tax increase during that time. The real key is being conservative and trying to control spending.

Woman Goes for Leg Operation, Gets New Anus Instead

(Fox News) - A German retiree is taking a hospital to court after she went in for a leg operation and got a new anus instead, the Daily Telegraph is reporting.

The woman woke up to find she had been mixed up with another patient suffering from incontinence who was to have surgery on her sphincter.

The clinic in Hochfranken, Bavaria, has since suspended the surgical team.

Now the woman is planning to sue the hospital. She still needs the leg operation and is searching for another hospital to do it.

Carson's mantle 'has been passed to us,' students told

10,000 attend memorial for slain student leader at UNC Chapel Hill

A mourning UNC campus vowed yesterday to continue the legacy of its slain student leader, who was shot to death and left on a street earlier this month.

An estimated crowd of 10,000 - including some wearing Carolina-blue ribbons on clothing bearing symbols of Duke and N.C. State universities - attended the tearful memorial service for Eve Carson held at the Smith Center.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Audacity!

I'm going to bypass the crafty, racially tinged and wrongheaded attack leveled on "talk radio" by Barack Obama in his big race speech yesterday -- the speech that was necessitated by his own association with Reverend Wright, his mentor and former pastor.

Instead, folks, I want to comment on a few other items Senator Obama spoke about. He was right when he recounted the sorry state of American skrools, particularly in "urban neighborhoods." Not only are far too many dilapidated, but the very spirit of education -- the thirst and appreciation for acquiring knowledge, and the goal of meeting the highest expectations -- has been eviscerated. He was also 100 percent right when he talked about the need for Americans to take individual responsibility for their own destiny. And it was good to hear Barack Obama recall President Lincoln's charge to America: to create a more "perfect" union.

Now, all that said, here's what Mr. Obama didn't do -- because it is impossible. He didn't explain how to bridge the gap between America's promises and an America as defined by Democrats as a racially pocked soup line. That's because it's impossible to fix anything by continuing the very policies that gave us failing schools, gave us crime-ridden neighborhoods, and exploding health care costs in the first place.

The hopelessness and despair that Mr. Obama cites -- which exist in far too many hearts in our great country -- are born from the very policies that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton represent... which is the "audacity" of liberalism.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Drudge Report: Obama Speech in Full -- "A More Perfect Union"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vista upgrades available for download

(Yahoo News) - Microsoft Corp. posted a major package of updates and security fixes for its Windows Vista operating system for download starting Tuesday.

People whose PCs run the newest Microsoft operating system can visit Microsoft's Windows Update or Download Center Web sites and download the free Service Pack 1.

Many of the fixes have already been released as part of regular monthly updates in the year since the operating system went on sale to consumers. Microsoft has said SP1 improves Vista's reliability, security and performance. Some early testers of the service pack have noticed improvement in performance when copying files over a network and playing video games that weren't designed for Vista.

Controversial Collision

(Fox News) - Out on the Monterey Peninsula in California the other day, a bus transporting about 40 students to their elementary school went out of control after it hit a bump and the driver was thrown from her seat and hit her head.

Fifteen-year-old Amanda Rouse happened to be on the bus because she had left school feeling sick and needed a ride.

She jumped into the driver's seat and pulled on the emergency brake as the bus hit two parked cars. But she got the bus stopped and none of the kids was hurt.

Amanda's reward was Saturday detention for leaving school without informing the proper authorities.

Livid Librarian

(Fox News) - A former librarian at Ohio State University says he wants his old job back, and wants the university to change its sexual harassment policies.

Scott Savage says he got into hot water with colleagues while serving on a committee to recommend books for incoming freshman. He said the books under consideration were too liberal, so he suggested "The Marketing of Evil" by David Kupelian, which is subtitled "How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom."

Two professors filed a sexual harassment claim against him, charging that the book was homophobic. The complaint went nowhere, but the Columbus Dispatch reports that Savage says he continued to be harassed anyway. Ohio State had no comment.

Paying a Price

(Fox News) - Bill Clinton has paid a price for his politicking in support of his wife's campaign. The latest Wall Street Journal NBC poll reports that 45 percent of Americans now view Clinton negatively, with only 42 percent seeing him positively. That is the worst such rating the former president has seen in five years.

During that period Mr. Clinton built the image of a world statesman, a role that sent his positive ratings toward the 60 percent mark and led one magazine to call him "President of the World."

The Politico newspaper quotes historian Alan Lichtman as saying that getting back into the political fray has damaged what he called Clinton's historical glow.

Barack Obama's Church Changes the Way it Describes its Mission for African Americans

Turn of Events

(Fox News) -
Barack Obama's church is scrambling to undo the impression it is a ministry for blacks only with a radical message. The Web site of the Trinity United Church of Christ has been purged of a section which spoke of the church's endorsement of — "black ethics" that — "must be taught and exemplified....wherever blacks are gathered."

Among those black ethics are "commitment to the black community, commitment to the black family, disavowal of the pursuit of middleclassness and allegiance to all black leadership who espouse and embrace the black value system."

The Media Research Center notes that in place of these words now are video clips from church members, including one from a white church official who said she feels at home at Trinity.

A sub's sailors become a crew: Meet the new 'North Carolina'

Submarine is undergoing rugged sea trials

(Wilmington Star-News Online) -
A couple of hundred feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean Just a few miles off Cape Canaveral, Fla., hatches on the PCU North Carolina are secured, and Capt. Mark Davis gives the command to dive. The captain's command is verbally acknowledged, buttons are pushed, a joystick moves forward, and a computer screen shows small waves washing up against the lens of the photonics mast, a modern version of the periscope. Finally, the screen shows nothing but a blank wall of seawater.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Seed Planted!

Well, though the rise and fall (ahem) of Eliot Spitzer is no longer frontal-page news, the impact may be with us for a while, folks. An AP story hails the benefits of Sweden's approach to the prostitution bidness, hinting that we oughta take a closer look at it ourselves.

Nine years ago, the "enlightened" Swedes decided that prostitutes should not be subject to the force of law for selling their intimate goods -- because it wasn't their fault. As one official put it: "We don't have a problem with prostitutes... we have a problem with the men who buy sex."

So under the "Sex Purchase Law," prostitutes are off the hook; regarded, legally, as the "victims." But men who pay for sex face fines and jail terms of up to six months. Swedish legislator Marianne Eriksson recalls that when she introduced the concept to the Parliament, it was ridiculed. "It was the most absurd thing they ever heard," she says. "Many of them roared with laughter." Well that laugher has since died -- especially after some Swedish judges were caught in sex scandals, including a Supreme Court justice who was fined after he admitted to paying for sex with another man. (Idiot! You pay them to leave!)

Anyway, you probably think such a law could never pass here; it would turn the sex bidness on its head, as it were. You're wrong, folks. America's victim industry is alive and well. So the ground is laid, just waiting for the seed to be planted -- so to speak, of course. Heh, heh, heh!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Sweden's Sex Law -- Get the Customer

Monday, March 17, 2008

Called to account

One of two men accused of killing Eve Carson should have been in jail on a probation violation. Why wasn't he?

Raleigh News & Observer

Now the questions start piling up - beyond the unanswerable one about why promising young adults were brutally killed for what may have been the flimsiest of reasons, robbery. Two people are charged with killing Eve Carson, student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill, and one of them also in the slaying of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato. Both suspects have criminal records. Both were on probation at the time of Carson's death.

At least one of the suspects apparently was scarcely monitored by the probation office. The outrageous lapses leave the public understandably frustrated with the legal system, and fearful that other dangerous criminals roam the streets because of a slack system.

Paterson sworn in as NY governor

(Yahoo News) - David Paterson was officially sworn in as New York's governor on Monday, becoming the state's first black chief executive and vowing to move past the prostitution scandal that has rocked the state Capitol.

Paterson, who is legally blind, was interrupted at several times during his address with thunderous applause. Before he gave his inaugural address, lawmakers in attendance gave him a two-minute standing ovation and chanted his name: "David! David! David!"

"This transition today is an historic message to the world: That we live by the same values that we profess, and we are a government of laws, not individuals," Paterson said.

An Election About Identity, Not Policy

By Charles Krauthammer

Elections can be about policy, personality or identity. The race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is surely not about policy. The differences between the two are microscopic.

It did not start out that way. Last year, when Hillary was headed toward a coronation, she deliberately ran to the center. She took more moderate views on Iraq, for example, and voted to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

When she began taking heat for these positions from the other candidates and the Democratic Party's activist core, and as her early lead began to erode, she quickly tacked left and found herself inhabiting precisely the same ideological space as Obama.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: The Finger

Last week, your Democrat Congress decided you aren't paying your fair share of taxes, folks. So, Democrats voted to allow President Bush's tax cuts to expire. Over the next few years, you'll be required to turn over to Democrats an additional $683 billion of your income. If Democrats win in November, that number will balloon, when vast new entitlements, like socialized medicine, are introduced, and existing entitlements are vastly expanded.

Contrary to what Democrats say, that they want to sock it to the rich, the tax increases will affect those with incomes as low as $30,000 a year. That's not all. On top of voting for record-breaking tax increases, Democrats voted against limiting their earmarks. So, their own pork-barrel spending will continue unabated.

While raising your taxes, and giving themselves free reign to spend more of your money, House Democrats continue their quest to make it easier for terrorists to avoid detection. They will not let an intelligence bill pass without a provision permitting American telecommunication companies to be sued for allowing wiretaps on terrorists.

And this. A new study from the Center from Responsive Politics found the median net worth of US senators is about two million dollars; House members over $600 grand. Reuters headline: "Get Elected to Congress and Get Rich."

So, let me sum it up for you, folks. You're all screwed. I'm screwed with you. Democrats have given you the finger again. And it's not the flying finger of friendship, make no mistake.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Bloomberg: McCain 'Earmarks' Ban Blocked; Congress Backs Budget
AFP: US House Passes Spy Bill, Challenges White House
Reuters: Get Elected to Congress and Get Rich: Study

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Suspects in death of UNC student fell through system, records show

Both were arrested and released multiple times over the years

DURHAM (AP) - Whenever there has been a crack to fall through in North Carolina’s legal system, Laurence Lovette and Demario Atwater have found it.

The high-school dropouts were convicted of crimes but put back on the street by a system that failed to notice when they were arrested again.

Both are now behind bars, held without bail and charged with murder in the killings of two college students.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bond denied for teen charged in deaths of 2 college students

Defendant in killings of UNC, Duke students appears in court

DURHAM (AP) - A teenager charged with killing two college students appeared in court for the first time yesterday, and evidence emerged that one victim was shot execution-style.

The details of Abhijit Mahato’s death were included in an autopsy report released yesterday by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Mahato, 29, a computational mechanics doctoral student originally from Tatangar, India, was found dead Jan. 18 inside his apartment a few blocks south of Duke’s campus.

One of the two defendants in his killing, Laurence Lovette, 17, of Durham was ordered held with no bond allowed at his first court appearance yesterday on first-degree murder charges. A few hours later, he was in a different courtroom to face charges in the death of Eve Carson, 22, the student-body president at UNC Chapel Hill. Carson, a native of Athens, Ga., was found March 5 in the middle of a residential street in Chapel Hill about a mile from campus. She had been shot several times. Her autopsy results have not been released.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Congress favors raising taxes for millions of people

Democrats forge ahead with plan to allow tax cuts to expire

Both houses of Congress endorsed the idea of tax increases for millions of Americans yesterday as Democrats pressed ahead with budget plans that would allow some or all of President Bush’s reductions to expire after he leaves office.

All three major presidential candidates interrupted their campaigns to vote on the budget planning, which is nonbinding but highlights the difficult choices facing the next president and Congress. Binding votes on the expiring Bush tax cuts will be left to his successor and the Congress that is elected in November.

The candidates also wanted a chance to vote for a one-year ban on pork-barrel projects, though that late-night Senate effort seemed doomed to defeat. The practice of inserting “earmarked” spending into legislation is seen as a birthright by legislators in both parties - and a right under the power of the purse awarded to Congress by the Founding Fathers.

Parents Of Boys Who Drowned File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Suit Seeks Over $10,000 In Damages

The parents of two boys who drowned in the Dan River two years ago are suing the Stokes County Department of Social Services, claiming the department was negligent when it placed the boys under the care of their grandparents.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of Jeffrey and Jacob White says the boy's paternal grandparents "were in poor health and not in physical condition to properly supervise" when they were granted custody of the children due to complaints of domestic violence in the parents' home.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $10,000.

Carson killing suspects were on probation

Police arrest the second suspect in the slaying of the UNC-CH student body president

DURHAM (Raleigh News & Observer) -
Two days before Eve Carson was shot, a man now charged in her killing showed up at a Wake County court for a probation violation hearing that could have landed him in jail, officials said Thursday.

The hearing for Demario James Atwater never happened because of a paperwork mistake, said Robert Lee Guy, director of the state Division of Community Corrections.

Officials have begun two internal investigations, one in the state Department of Correction and another in the Wake County courts.

Suspended judge's campaign plans unclear

(The Stokes News) - The re-election plans were unclear Monday for a local District Court judge who has been suspended for 60 days for “gross misconduct” and “a persistent failure to perform his duties,” according to state officials. Mark H. Badgett, 50, of Pinnacle, who is now completing his first four-term term as a judge in District 17B, serving Surry and Stokes counties, was suspended from office as well as censured Friday by the N.C. Supreme Court. A censure is an official public reprimand of Badgett’s conduct that will be part of his permanent record. Veteran judge Otis M. “Bud” Oliver of Mount Airy, who earlier had retired as a full-time judge, is filling in during Badgett’s absence, Oliver said Monday.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Royal Welcome

This week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before the House subcommittee that oversees appropriations for the State Department. This is usually a dull deal that doesn't cause a blip on the radar screen.

But to get in and out of the hearing, she had to walk a gauntlet of antiwar fringe kooks, sporting blood-colored hands, shouting taunts of "war criminal," and so forth. Typical behavior from these wackos; and typical of what Republicans have to deal with in the Beltway.

Inside the hearing room, however, as Condi Rice was giving testimony, there were more fringe kooks; they had signs reading: "Condi Kills Kids." When Republicans members complained, committee chair Nita Lowey (Democrat-New York/friend of Eliot Spitzer) said: "We are here in the United States of America. And as long as they don't disrupt this proceeding, and as long as they're silent, they will be welcome."

Well, the protesters weren't silent; they disrupted the proceedings with outbursts, but they were welcomed anyway. The protesters, by the way, are part of the same group that was given preferential parking permits by the city council to conduct unruly protests at a military recruiting facility in Berkeley, California.

So. Here we are. United States of America. We're not allowed to use the middle name of a certain Democrat presidential candidate. Yet inside Congress -- conducting official business -- liberals can parade their hate, and receive a royal welcome from the Democrats in charge.

To quote Eliot Spitzer: "I wonder if that woman set me up?"

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Anti-War Protesters Chant "War Criminal" at Rice

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sheriff recommends charge in toilet case

(Yahoo News) - A man should be charged for allowing his girlfriend to sit on their toilet so long that her body became stuck to the seat, the sheriff said Thursday.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple was among authorities who discovered the woman last month living in the bathroom of a mobile home she shared with her boyfriend, Kory McFarren.

"The house was cluttered but not in shambles," he said. "The smell was overpowering — a terrible smell about the house, obviously coming from where she was at."

Planning a wedding takes real diplomacy, Bush says

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) - President Bush has started joking about the worst-kept secret in the White House: the wedding of his daughter Jenna on May 10.

“I had to face some very difficult spending decisions, and I’ve had to conduct sensitive diplomacy,” Bush said yesterday. “That’s called planning for a wedding.” His line got a laugh from his audience at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Jenna and her fiance, Henry Hager, have decided to marry at her parents’ ranch in Crawford, Texas, rather than at the White House. The White House has declined to release any details, such as the setting on the ranch, who has been invited and how many people will attend.

Ferraro quits Clinton post in flap over comments

WASHINGTON (Winston-Salem Journal) - Geraldine Ferraro stepped down yesterday from an honorary post in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign after saying that Barack Obama would not be succeeding in the race for the White House if he were not black.

Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale’s vice-presidential running mate in 1984, notified Clinton by letter that she would no longer serve on Clinton’s finance committee as “Honorary New York Leadership Council Chair.” She wrote that the Obama campaign “is attacking me to hurt you.”

Earlier yesterday, Obama dismissed her remarks as “ridiculous.”

Ferraro is the latest in a series of candidate surrogates whose comments have roiled both presidential campaigns. Last week, Obama adviser Samantha Power resigned after calling Clinton “a monster.”

France's last surviving veteran of World War I dies

PARIS (Winston-Salem Journal) — France’s last veteran of World War I died yesterday at 110 after outliving 8.4 million Frenchmen who fought in what they called “la Grande Guerre.”

Lazare Ponticelli, who was born in Italy but chose to fight for France and was a French citizen for most of the past 100 years, died at his home in the Paris suburb of Kremlin-Bicetre, the national veterans’ office said.

France planned a national funeral ceremony Monday honoring Ponticelli and all the poilus, an affectionate term meaning hairy or tough that the French use for their soldiers who fought in World War I.

Obama’s Spiritual Mentor May Put Church in Hot Water

CHICAGO (Fox News) - Barack Obama’s controversial pastor and the church he’s served for 36 years may be in hot water over statements he has made from the pulpit in support of the Illinois senator’s run for the White House.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. preaches that he follows the righteous path, but when it comes to the federal tax law, his Trinity United Church of Christ may have crossed the line.

Although Wright delivered what was billed as his final sermon last month on his path to retirement, prior to his departure he delivered commentary from the pulpit now being scrutinized in which he praised Obama.

Kansas Police: Woman Pried From Boyfriend's Toilet After Sitting on It for 2 Years

WICHITA, Kan. (Fox News) — Deputies say a woman in western Kansas became stuck on her boyfriend's toilet after sitting on it for two years.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.

"We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."

UNC suspect charged in Duke killing

(Yahoo News) - A suspect in the slaying of a popular University of North Carolina student was charged Thursday with the killing of a graduate student at Duke University, authorities said.

A warrant filed Thursday charges 17-year-old Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr. with first-degree murder in the death of Abhijit Mahato.

Mahato, 29, originally of Tatangar, India, was a doctoral student in computational mechanics. He was found shot to death inside his apartment a few blocks south of Duke's campus in January.

Report: Hooker Behind Spitzer's Fall Revealed

NEW YORK (Fox News) — "Kristen," the high-priced prostitute whom New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is believed to have hired, has been identified by the New York Times as Ashley Alexandra Dupre, a 22-year-old aspiring musician and native of New Jersey.

Dupre, who was born Ashley Youmans, now lives in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, the Times reports. She appeared in court Monday as a witness against the four people charged in the alleged prostitution ring known as the Emperors Club V.I.P.

"I just don't want to be thought of as a monster," Dupre told The New York Times in a telephone interview.

Authorities Arrest Second Suspect Wanted in Slaying of UNC Student Body President

(Raleigh News & Observer) - Durham police early today arrested Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr., the second suspect in the slaying of UNC-Chapel Hill student Eve Carson.

Lovett, 17, surrendered peacefully about 4:16 a.m. after negotiating with police from a home in the Hope Valley Farms subdivision of South Durham.

In a news release, the police department said an anonymous tipster had told the Durham Sheriff's Office about Lovett's location. Police tried for more than an hour and a half this morning to establish communication with Lovett, before reportedly tossing a telephone into the house at 1914 Cook Road.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Chaos

All right, folks. Today, a brief review of some Democrat battle zones in the Rush the Vote Operation Chaos:

•General Geraldine Ferraro is refusing to back down from her recent statement: "If Obama was a white man, he wouldn't be in this [winning] position." Now Obama and Ferraro are accusing each other of dividing the nation! Meanwhile, Commander-in-Waiting Hillary Clinton threw General Ferraro under the bus.

•In Texas, Democrat Party officials have -- temporarily -- given up trying to determine who actually won their caucus. Democrats created such a confusing process that they can't even figure it out themselves! (But they still want to run our health care.)

•In Florida, Clinton supporter Senator Bill Nelson has proposed a "mail-in" do-over primary. The idea is being fought by Alcee Hastings and members of Florida's House delegation, who are worried about "ballot security." They must know Clinton, Inc. all too well. Meanwhile, Justice Brother Al Sharpton is threatening to sue if Florida's delegation is seated at the Democrat Convention in Denver.

•On another chaotic Democrat battlefield, there's no resolution on the horizon regarding Michigan's unseated delegates.

•New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer -- Clinton Superdelegate No. 9 -- is gone. The incoming governor is a Clinton backer, but he doesn't have nearly the... juice... that Spitzer... had.

•And though Obama has an insurmountable lead in delegates, leads in the popular vote, he might be good enough by August to be Hillary's running mate -- says Clinton, Inc.

This is great, folks! What an Uncivil War! "Operation Chaos" is working magnificently. You are following orders to a T! Thank you!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Clinton Supporter Defends Obama Race Remarks
AP: Obama -- Ferraro Using 'Slice and Dice' Politics
AP: Texas Democrats Won't Announce Results of Democratic Caucuses Until March 29
AP: Obama Camp, Florida Congressional Delegation Raises Questions About Possible

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2 charged in UNC student leader slaying

Atwater was apprehended Wednesday morning in Durham.
Police are still searching for Lovett.
(Yahoo News) - Two suspects were charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the killing of the University of North Carolina's student body president, though one remains at large.

Demario James Atwater, 21, of Durham, was arrested and ordered held without bond. Police said they are still searching for the second suspect, 17-year-old Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian would not say which of the suspects shot and killed Eve Carson, 22, of Athens, Ga., who was found a week ago lying on a street about a mile from campus. The biology and political science major had been shot several times, including once in the right temple.

Think About It

(Fox News) - The State Department's official Web log is asking for its question of the week — "Should the U.S. engage Hamas in the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians?"

That would, of course, be a direct violation of longstanding U.S. policy against talking with terrorists. The question is drawing harsh criticism from many readers — with responses such as "Are you nuts?" and "What is the matter with you people?"

But the Washington Times reports State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the responses will not affect policy-making. He says the blog is just an effort to see what the public is thinking.

Unintended Consequences

(Fox News) - A Canadian scientist says a planned increase in corn ethanol production in the U.S. will spark an environmental disaster for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Geographer Simon Donner of the University of British Columbia says fertilizer runoff from the extra corn will expand the Gulf of Mexico's so-called "dead zone" — where there is so little oxygen that marine life cannot survive. The zone measures about 12,400 miles each summer.

Donner's research indicates that nitrogen pollution in the major rivers that run into the gulf would increase by as much as 34 percent if the U.S, were to meet its biofuel production goals set for the year 2022.

In Harm's Way?

(Fox News) - Mrs. Clinton's claim that she was sent on a dangerous foreign policy trip to Bosnia in 1996 is being debunked by someone who was there — comedian and actor Sinbad.

Clinton says she was told there might be sniper fire and that her plane had to make a tight corkscrew landing to avoid potential attacks.

But Sinbad tells The Washington Post he and singer Sheryl Crowe were with Hillary on that USO trip to entertain the troops — and recalls no such danger — "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place?'"

Senator Clinton has also said — "We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."

Sinbad — who is an Obama supporter — responds to that by asking — "What kind of president would say, 'Hey, man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife...oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'"

Member of the Clinton Campaign Team Says Barack Obama Is Where He Is Because of His Race

A Matter of Race

(Fox News) -
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro says Barack Obama is at the forefront of her party's presidential race — because he is black. Ferraro is a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign finance committee.

She says in the Daily Breeze newspaper of Torrance, California — "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Ferraro, who is a FOX News contributor, also blames the media for unfair treatment of Senator Clinton — "(the press) has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

Senator Clinton responded this afternoon — "I do not agree with that. It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we've both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this on the issues."

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns

(Yahoo News) - Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace Wednesday after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that shattered his corruption-fighting, straight-arrow image, saying: "I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people's work."

Spitzer made the announcement without having finalized a plea deal with federal prosecutors, though a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said he is believed to still be negotiating one. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

"I go forward with the belief as others have said that as human beings our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall," Spitzer said at a Manhattan news conference with his wife, Silda, at his side. He left without answering questions.

Police Have Possible Break in Slaying of UNC Student

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WGHP) - Police investigating the slaying of the University of North Carolina's student body president may have a new break in the case.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall told WRAL-TV on Wednesday that police are talking to a person of interest in the death of Eve Carson. He declined to comment further.

WTVD-TV broadcast a video Wednesday of a man arrested during a raid in Durham who the station said was later turned over to Chapel Hill police.

According to abc11.com, officials have not confirmed a connection between the man taken into custody and the Carson murder investigation, but the Chapel Hill Police department is leading the Carson murder investigation.

A press conference has been scheduled for this morning, although the exact time is unknown at this moment.

The 22-year-old Carson was found last week lying on a street about a mile from campus. The Georgia native had been shot several times, including once in the right temple.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Way Out

Well, the last time there was a scandal of this proportion, American skrool kids asked parents to explain the intricacies of oral relationships between the president and his intern. Years afterward there were news stories about the rising popularity of "oral relations" among teenagers.

Now little kids are no doubt asking: "Daddy, what's prostitution? And why do prostitutes have 'rings'?" Will news of Governor Spitzer's situation affect the call-girl sector, my friends? I guess we'll have to monitor what kids do with their allowance to find out.

Now the New York Times is saying that Spitzer's aides expect him to resign, but I don't think Spitzer's on that same page. A pathway to emerge with his power intact has already been laid -- so to speak. The governor already took the first step by refusing to immediately resign. If, as threatened, Republicans in New York's Legislature bring impeachment proceedings, it will enhance his standing.

Governor Spitzer, let me help you out here. To hang in there, reiterate that this is a private family matter; doesn't affect how you do your job. Pledge to work harder than ever! Blame the sex-starved prosecutors; accuse them of using Bush's illegal spying program to catch you. Charge them with abuse of power for leaking the identity of "Superdelegate Number 9." Next, send your surrogates out with these messages: "Everybody does it." "Sex with a prostitute isn't really sex -- it's just a transaction." And then send out your wife to claim that it's a vast right-wing conspiracy.

There is a way out here, Governor Spitzer. In the end -- at least among liberals -- you could end up a hero!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
New York Times: Aides Say They Expect Spitzer to Resign

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bad Choices

(Fox News) - Al Qaeda commander in northern Iraq Abu Turab Al-Jazairi is admitting that the terror group's position in Iraq is "very difficult" and acknowledging some serious tactical errors.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports Al-Jazairi recently told a Qatari newspaper that indiscriminately murdering civilians has harmed Al Qaeda's reputation: "Some were motivated by financial considerations, and got carried away with murdering and executing futile attacks, which killed a lot of unfortunate individuals."

Al-Jazairi says Al Qaeda needs to expel the elements that have harmed the organization's good name and emphasize quality over quantity in its membership.

Just Business

(Fox News) - Disney CEO Robert Iger is defending the decision to not release on DVD the controversial docu-drama "The Path to 9/11." Iger says it was based purely on business considerations and had nothing to do with politics. He did not elaborate further.

Disney owns ABC, which aired the miniseries that lays much of the blame for 9/11 on the Clinton administration.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Iger was challenged last week at a shareholders meeting about why the company has not marketed the show in an effort to recoup some of its $40 million investment. The questioner accused Iger — who has donated thousands to Hillary Clinton's campaigns over the years — of protecting the senator's presidential efforts — at the expense of shareholders.

And the questioner noted the company did release to video the Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," which blames the Bush administration for the attacks. That DVD made a profit of $46 million.

Just a Job

(Fox News) - The 8-year-old girl in the now-famous Clinton "3 a.m." campaign ad is at present a 17-year-old high school senior named Casey Knowles who supports Barack Obama. The ad was credited with helping Clinton win the Texas and Ohio primaries last week. But the footage of the girl was actually shot years ago for a railroad company advertisement and was purchased by the campaign from the film owner.

Knowles says she is actually a big Obama fan, was a Democratic precinct captain for the state's caucuses and would like to be a delegate to the National Convention.

Knowles says she would like to make what she calls a "counter ad" with Obama and that the Obama campaign has already been in touch.

Hillary Clinton's Role in Northern Ireland Peace Process Questioned

Mover and Shaker?

(Fox News) -
Former Northern Ireland First Minister William David Trimble — who shared a Nobel Prize for his peacemaking efforts in Northern Ireland — is contradicting Hillary Clinton's statements that she played an instrumental part in the peace process there, calling her claim "a wee bit silly."

Clinton said Wednesday, "I helped bring peace to Northern Ireland." She has used the example to try to bolster her foreign policy credentials as she tries to draw a contrast with Barack Obama.

But the Daily Telegraph reports Lord Trimble says of Clinton, "I don't know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill (Clinton) going around... being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player."