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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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stokes County Schools propose saving jobs with $1 million from fund balance

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - School officials have warned county government for a few years now that 2012-13 would be a cliff year, with the loss of federal stimulus funds and cuts in state funding leaving school systems scrambling for dollars.

This is evident in the proposed Stokes County Schools budget for 2012-13, which proposes to use around $1 million of the school system’s roughly $1.6 million undesignated fund balance to balance the budget instead of cutting staff.

“The primary goal in the development of the budget for 2012-13 was to save the jobs of our employees,” explained Superintendent Ronnie Mendenhall.

Walnut Cove town manager moving to Connecticut

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - Walnut Cove Town Manager Byron Ellis has announced that he will be moving to Connecticut, but he plans to stay until another town manager can be hired.

Ellis explained Thursday that his significant other, Sheridan, has been offered a “really good job” in Connecticut. “It’s an opportunity that we just can’t pass up,” said Ellis.

Reagan's 'blood' auction called off

(By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times) - An auction for a vial allegedly containing President Reagan's blood has been called off, according to officials at his presidential foundation who had fought to halt the sale.

Instead, the vial will be donated to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, officials said Thursday.

The consignor, who bought the vial at another auction back in February for $3,550, agreed to call off the auction and donate the vial instead. The donor wishes to remain anonymous, the Reagan Foundation said.

Obama Appeared At 1996 Event Hosted By Socialist Group

(By Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed) - It's a reminder that the President presented himself as much more progressive during his time in Chicago. In this little-seen advertisement that ran in the Hyde Park Herald in 1996, Obama was listed on a panel sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), University of Chicago Democrats, and University of Chicago DSA. He also supported gay marriage back then.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flashback 1993: Obama Talks About Changing Theme Of His Book

Occupiers Attempt Protest at Rush Limbaugh's 'Office'… But Get City Wrong

(Fox Nation) - A crowd of Occupy protesters in Chicago descended on Rush Limbaugh’s “office” Thursday to air their grievances about the conservative radio host.

The problem? Despite their references to ”Rush’s office building“ and ”Rush Limbaugh’s studio,” they weren’t in the right place — not by more than 1,000 miles.

It seems the protesters — banded together by this weekend’s NATO summit — confused Limbaugh’s real “office building” with one of the hundreds of stations that merely air his show. Limbaugh lives in Palm Beach, Fla.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Consumes Man's Penis

DORAL, Fla. (By WSVN-MIAMI) – A man suing after a major medical mistake left him disfigured gave testimony Thursday that revealed the intimate details of his misery.

Late Thursday afternoon, Enrique Milla testified at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse from his new home in Lima, Peru via Skype. He said he wanted a penile implant to improve his sex life in 2007. "About a year before I realized I had problems," Milla said through a translator. "I had problems having intimate relations with my wife. As time went by, that problem got worse."

Milla's attorney argues that an anesthesiologist overlooked his client's pre-existing medical conditions, which resulted in Milla having no more external male genitalia. According to the lawyer, Milla should have never been allowed to undergo elective penile implant surgery to treat erectile dysfunction back in August 2007.

Romney’s Media Handicap

(By Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online) - Perhaps Mitt Romney played it right when he was meek and contrite in response to the 'Washington Post'’s front-page allegations that he bullied a kid half a century ago in high school.

Romney no doubt feels embarrassed by the charges, even if most of us struggle to understand their relevance or gauge their veracity. But the time is coming for Romney to get angry, very angry, with what is increasingly, quaintly called “the mainstream media.”

The 'Post'’s decision to play up the story as if it were major news — front page, thousands of drably dull self-serious words piled high to elevate and justify the one buzzy nugget — is an embarrassment. It was clearly intended to link Romney to the new progressive cause — fighting anti-gay bullying — in the context of President Obama’s “sudden” support for gay marriage. It was naked advocacy gussied up as journalistic due diligence.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Obama North Carolina Convention Plans Going Awry for Democrats

(By John McCormick and Hans Nichols, Bloomberg) - President Barack Obama’s decision in February 2011 to hold the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina looked like a bold move to reclaim a state he’d won in 2008. Today, it’s more like an awkward fit.

The state’s Democratic Party is mired in a sexual harassment scandal. Voters just approved a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which conflicts with Obama’s view on the issue. Convention fundraising has been slow, and labor unions tapped to fill the financial gap are angry the convention will be in a city -- Charlotte -- with no unionized hotels and in a state where compulsory union membership or the payment of dues is prohibited as an employment condition.

Van Jones: Progressives 'Including Myself' 'Don't Stand On Principle'

(Breitbart.tv) - Van Jones: “When the oil spill had happened in the spring of 2010, there was another moment to say, ‘Hold on a second, let’s relook at energy policy in America. Should we be subsidizing companies who are risking our health immediately and in the long-term?’” We didn’t do it. You’ve never seen the environmental movement more quiet during an oil spill. I guarantee you, if John McCain had been President, with that oil spill, or George Bush had been President with that oil spill, I’d have been out there with a sign protesting. I didn’t, because of who the President was. Well, that’s a bad, uh, uh…that’s not good for the earth, it’s not good for the cause, it’s probably not good for the President. It’s certainly not the way we should conduct ourselves. And so, I’m very tough on progressive movements and leaders, including myself, who did not stand on principle, based upon who we looked across and saw as President."

Dr. Charles Krauthammer: 'I Personally Have Never Been Tempted To Compare Obama To God Almighty'

(Fox News) - Charles Krauthammer and the All-Star Panel discuss the economy and the Presidential race.

White House under fire for adding Obama policy plugs to past presidents' bios

(FoxNews.com) - The Obama White House is drawing ridicule for appending the official online biographies of nearly every president over the last century in order to link President Obama's accomplishments to the former commanders in chief.

The Obama team went into the pages of U.S. presidents dating back to Calvin Coolidge to add friendly looking "Did you know?" fact boxes to the end of their bios. Those additions were used to plug a host of Obama administration initiatives, ranging from the health care overhaul to the so-called "Buffett Rule" to his green-energy policies.

For instance, the following line was added to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan: "In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gov. Bev Perdue wants next NC budget nearly $1B higher

RALEIGH, NC (By Ryan Sullivan, WGHP) — Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s final budget proposal released Thursday hinges on restoring public education cuts with a state sales tax increase that Republicans in charge of the North Carolina Legislature have said repeatedly won’t happen.

Leaving office this January after deciding not to seek re-election, Perdue wants to spend nearly $1 billion more in the year starting July 1 compared to what’s now scheduled in the two-year spending plan approved by the Legislature over her historic veto in 2011.

She uses a three-quarter cent sales tax increase to generate an extra $760 million, a big chunk of which would eliminate mandated cuts for local school districts that are projected to reach $503 million under the budget law currently in place.

New book explains why Hillary Clinton won’t be replacing Joe Biden on the ticket this year

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Still think that Barack Obama might pull a convention surprise and put Hillary Clinton on the ticket and bounce the human gaffe machine Joe Biden out of his administration? Edward Klein has a reminder for all of us why Hillary wasn’t on the ticket in 2008. The title for Klein’s new book for Regnery on Barack Obama, 'The Amateur', comes from a conversation that took place last summer between Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in a passage excerpted by the New York Post today:

“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”

The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Obama’s re-election.

But according to the book, Bill Clinton unloaded on Obama and pressed Hillary to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president’s home office in Chappaqua last August that included longtime friends, Klein said.

“The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating . . . You know better than Obama does,” Bill said.

Bill Clinton insisted he had “no relationship” with Obama and had been consulted more frequently by his presidential successor, George W. Bush.

Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”

Obama: Sometimes I forget the magnitude of the recession

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - Via BuzzFeed, pity our poor media that it was The One who said this and not Romney. The difference is a full day’s worth of breathless coverage of a callous elitist who’s out of touch with America’s economic hardship. Maybe two, unless they get interrupted with a hot story about a teen Mitt beating someone up 50 years ago.

Hopefully he’ll recycle this line at tonight’s $15 million blowout fundraiser at Clooney’s house. I’ll bet that crowd forgets the magnitude of the recession sometimes too.

Democrats Having Second Thoughts About Charlotte

(By George E. Condon Jr., National Journal) - Democrats who already were queasy about the site of their national convention could be excused after Tuesday's election in North Carolina if they asked, "Tell me again just why we're going to Charlotte this year?" In fact, many Democrats privately are asking exactly that after the state's voters overwhelmingly approved a measure outlawing not just same-sex marriage -- which already was illegal in North Carolina -- but also any form of civil unions. Almost immediately after the vote, more than 20,000 people signed a "move the convention" petition being pushed by a New York group called Gay Marriage USA. And Twitter accounts lit up with hundreds of angry tweets demanding the party pull out of Charlotte.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama: Yeah, we’ve been fibbing about my position on same-sex marriage for a while now, or something

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Take a listen to this clip from ABC’s full interview with Barack Obama on same-sex marriage. When Robin Roberts pressed Obama about whether he was angry at Joe Biden for forcing the President’s hand on the issue, Obama says that Biden “got out a little over his skis” on the topic, but that he doesn’t have any hard feelings about it. That, however, isn’t the big takeaway here:

I had already made a decision that we were going probably take this position before the election and before the convention. He probably got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit.

Mull that one over for a little bit. For months, the White House has claimed that Obama’s thoughts on the issue were “evolving,” but that he didn’t have his mind made up. That lasted through Tuesday, including two days in which the White House tried to argue that Biden hadn’t actually endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage and that his position wasn’t different from the President’s.

Now we discover — from Obama himself — that he’d made up his mind to change his position some time ago. Rather than honestly express that flip-flop in a timely manner or at least acknowledge the change when asked directly, though, Obama and the White House essentially lied about it for a while — at least on Monday and Tuesday, and presumably for a while prior to Biden’s statement on Sunday. Apparently, Obama was satisfied until Sunday to have the White House keep right on misleading people through to the convention, too. Instead of taking a principled stand, Obama wanted time his pander for the most politically opportune time, even if that meant continuing to fib about his position.

Team Romney Launches 'Mothers Day' Attack on Team Obama

(Fox Nation) - Restore Our Future has released a new ad highlighting the associations between President Obama and supporters who have said misogynistic things about Republican women.

From the description...

Ann Romney raised 5 boys. She successfully battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. But what does White House insider Hilary Rosen say about Ann Romney? "Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life." And Bill Maher, who gave $1 million supporting Obama, attacks: "Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house." Happy Mother's Day from Barack Obama's Team!

Dr Charles Krauthammer: Gay Marriage 'Low on The List' Of Importance To Voters

Rev Al Sharpton: GOP Declared ‘War On Blacks’ Time To ‘Fire Back’

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Voters approve amendment defining marriage as between man and woman

(RALEIGH, N.C., WGHP) - North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such an amendment.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent against.

In the final days before the vote, members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton recorded phone messages urging voters to reject the amendment. Opponents also held marches, ran TV ads and gave speeches, including one by Jay Bakker, son of televangelists Jim Bakker and the late Tammy Faye Bakker.

Stokes County Incumbents prevail; amendment passes

(The Stokes News) - The May 8 primary was a time for incumbents to prevail in Stokes County, with current Stokes County Commissioners Leon Inman and Jimmy Walker receiving the top votes for commissioner in the county.

Inman received 32.71 percent of the votes, with 3,733 votes; Walker — 29.52 percent, 3,368 votes; Rebecca (Becky) Boles — 25.48 percent, 2,908; and Stephen James — 12.29 percent, 1,402. Inman and Walker will fill the two open county commissioner seats unless a certified write-in or unaffiliated petitioner is successful in November, which is rare historically.

Also drawing a lot of attention in the county and across the state was the proposed constitutional amendment to the state constitution, which passed. The amendment defines marriage between one man and one woman as the only domestic legal union in the state.

Stokes County showed overwhelming support for the amendment, with 77.75 percent, 8,584 people, voting for it, and 22.25 percent or 2.457 voting against.

Chad Williams sworn in as Walnut Cove police chief

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - In front of family, friends and colleagues, Chad Williams was sworn in as chief of police of Walnut Cove at a ceremony outside Town Hall.

Around 60 people gathered for the swearing in on Friday morning, which took place in the town hall parking lot to accommodate the crowd. Williams was sworn in by Mayor Lynn Lewis. Chad’s wife, Blaire, helped him pin his police chief badge.

“I was very excited,” said Chad Williams afterward. “It felt like I was a new officer.”

He continued, “I wasn’t really nervous. More or less excited. I hope to do a good job for the town.”

Stokes County Rep. Bryan Holloway takes heat for remarks about teachers

(By Travis Fain, Winston-Salem Journal) - During a joint legislative committee meeting on the North Carolina education system last month, state Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Stokes, suggested that teachers should not take time from the school day to blast state legislators with angry emails about the state's education budget.

The comment, passed around on the Internet, bothered a number of Stokes County teachers who couldn't help but notice: Holloway's legislative office had emailed them at work, and from his official state email account.

"We feel like we're being bombarded in the workplace with emails meant to express his political take on what's going on," said Dan Wolber, a former teacher who retired from Stokes County Schools as of Jan. 1.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Racing legend Junior Johnson says he's leaving Yadkin County

(Winston-Salem Journal) - NASCAR legend Junior Johnson is leaving Yadkin County for Charlotte's upscale Quail Hollow neighborhood.

"My wife Lisa and I have bought a home at Quail Hollow and look forward to living there," Johnson told The Charlotte Observer on Friday. "We are planning to move sometime around mid-June."

Johnson lives in a mansion visible from U.S. 421 in the community of Hamptonville, not far from Interstate 77. The assessed tax value of his home and property is nearly $1.3 million, according to Yadkin County tax records.

Johnson scotched rumors that his farm and home had been bought by nearby Raffaldini winery.

"It's still for sale," he said.