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.
(By Keith T. Barber, The Stokes News) - It’s 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning at the headquarters of the Dan River Company, and the place is buzzing with activity. A group of a dozen employees from a Greensboro financial firm — with a number of their children in tow — are filling out paperwork at a long, rectangular table inside the spacious welcome center.
Dave Hoskins, founder of the Dan River Company, is working with customers to ensure their paperwork is in order. Dale Swanson and Ben Kelble, two of Hoskins’ employees — along with several of their colleagues — load a custom trailer with canoes and kayaks to prepare for their first sojourn of the day carrying passengers to a remote access point some six miles upstream.
Kelble explains that two vans with trailers in tow will make runs every hour on the hour. Canoers and kayakers will be in the water as early as 10:30 a.m. and allowed to remain on the river until 5:30 p.m.
(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - For decades the Red Top Cafe was a center of activity in Sandy Ridge, and now after standing vacant for several years the country restaurant and putt-putt location is open again for business.
On Jan. 17, the cafe opened again under the direction of Pam Bullins, who leases the building and putt-putt course from the original owner, Donnie Amos.
Though a few changes have been made to the Red Top complex, the white buildings still display bright red roofs that stand out to people driving down Highway 704 in Sandy Ridge. There is now a welcome sign out front that welcomes people to town, “Home of the Red Top Cafe.” The putt-putt course behind the restaurant has been refurbished, and a small shelter with picnic tables has been added so people can gather outside to eat or chat.
The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, and specials are available every day. Amos said the menu now is similar to what it used to be. Bullins noted that the Wednesday chicken and dumplings special is a favorite.
(By Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart News) - As the Obama campaign and the media continue to press Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, and to suggest--without a shred of evidence--that he is a “felon,” it is worth noting how much critical information Barack Obama has withheld from view--both as a candidate in 2008, and during his term in office. Here is a Breitbart News top ten list of things that Obama has refused to release (a complete list would fill volumes)...
(BY JOHN MCCORMACK, The Weekly Standard) - At a press conference in the Capitol today, Senate Democrats continued to make their push to raise income taxes on individuals, as well as small businesses that file with the IRS as individuals, earning more than $250,000 per year. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn't explain why he didn't pass this bill in 2009 or 2010 when Democrats had huge majorities in the House and Senate and could have actually sent it to President Obama to sign into law.
(By Jason Howerton, The Blaze) - MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apparently knows no shame when gushing over President Obama. And while the president has been known to send a “thrill” up Matthews’ leg, the host of “Hardball” took it to another level on Tuesday, calling Obama “the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect American.”
“Based upon the rhetoric, you’d think the president was a radical lefty and not the center-left politician he actually is based on the record, but then do people care on the right about reality?” Matthews asked.
He posed that question to his two extremely liberal guests, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. Then Matthews went on this unbelievable rant, professing his love for the “perfect” Obama who has “never done anything wrong”:
(By Liz Klimas, The Blaze) - The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s rules state “strollers, scooters and wheelchairs are prohibited” on escalators leading up from the subway’s platform. Still, a woman on a motorized scooter attempted to ride up the escalator even when an elevator was a mere 50 feet away.
As you might expect, it didn’t end well. The Boston Herald reports the 56-year-old woman was flipped backward on the escalator. The video captured of the event makes her the latest poster child for what MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo says shows the “consequences of ignoring the rules pertaining to escalators”:
(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - When you watch the following video, you won’t be able to ignore the accurate premonitions that the man recording it has. To be fair, it’s not too hard to predict what will happen when you see someone driving upwards of 70 MPH the wrong way down the highway. And the worst thing that could happen, did.
“This is going to be bad,” the gentleman filming the high-speed hijinx in Collins, MS, on July 8 says. “This is going to be nasty,” he repeats later before telling what sounds like children to close their eyes and not look. Just moments later the inevitable happens:
SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (By Chad Tucker, WGHP) — The death of Andy Griffith has brought more interest and first time tourists to his hometown in Mount Airy.
“We had no idea he was born here,” said Ron Filippi of Michigan who learned of the Mayberry ties to the Surry County city after reading about the actor’s death.
Area hotels say they’ve had more summer month reservations booked since his death, and businesses specializing in Mayberry memorabilia say they’ve seen an increase in first time visitors.
“We’ve talked to people from all over the United States who travel I-77 and say they never knew that this was where Andy was born and raised until he passed away,” said Darrell Miles, owner of Mayberry on Main.
(By Joe Borlik, WGHP) - The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.
But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.
“Guilty as charged,” Cathy said when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Cathy is quoted as saying.
Strong feelings of support and disagreement have followed, making Chick-fil-A the top Google trend on Thursday morning as the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.
(By Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard) - President Obama's reelection campaign accuses Mitt Romney of distorting the president's words, by showing a side by side comparison of the Obama's words and Romney's quotation of those words:
"Mitt Romney is launching a false attack," the ad's text states. But the weird thing is: The Obama campaign is purposefully trying to make it sound like Romney is misquoting the president, when the official White House transcript backs up Romney's quotation.
In the ad, Romney says that Obama revealed his thoughts on business when he said this, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
And, in fact, according to official White House transcript that's precisely what Obama said on July 13, 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia.
(By Erika Johnsen, Hot Air) - Here’s Firewall‘s Bill Whittle with an excellent reminder of all of the fantastic reasons why you should vote for President Barack Obama in November. The terrible policies, the hypocrisies, the broken promises — 'so many' broken promises — there are just too many justifications to choose from for giving this stupendous leader a second term in office! Enjoy:
HAMPTONVILLE (By Monte Mitchell, Winston-Salem Journal) - When NASCAR pioneer Junior Johnson and his family downsized, they went from a $6 million landmark house on 150 acres near U.S. 421 in western Yadkin County to an exclusive Charlotte address in Quail Hollow.
The cattle are gone from the farm, and the rooms are mostly empty.
When the house didn't sell for $6 million, they reduced it to just less than $5 million.
(By Erica Ritz, The Blaze) - Despite earning the nickname “fundraiser-in-chief” by conservatives for what appear to be endless money-raising initiatives, it’s no secret that President Obama has taken in significantly less money than Mitt Romney two months in a row. Now, it seems, he’s even having a hard time raising money for third-party causes.
After the president turned down free tickets to this year’s Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the track reportedly chose to auction off the tickets (complete with the president’s name and White House address) for a children’s charity.
Some of the best seats in the house, the tickets retail at about $110 each, according to Sporting News. Unfortunately, the track not only failed to 'earn' money by selling the tickets– it seems they actually took a loss.
He should offer — and soon — his own Contract with America.
(By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online) - About half the country disapproves of the job the president is doing. Most Americans think he has not handled the economy well. Yet a majority also believe that the tough times are still George W. Bush’s legacy, and, further, that Mitt Romney would not necessarily do any better a job than has Obama. In brilliant fashion, Obama has convinced the American people that he took office on or about September 20, 2008, right in the midst of a national panic, which he alone calmed. You would never know that Inauguration Day was four months later, when most of the life-saving remedies were already in place and had been working for 16 weeks. This ploy is analogous to Obama’s both trashing and claiming credit for his inheritance of the Bush national-security protocols and near quiet in Iraq.
(By John Stossel, Townhall.com) - Last year, Congress agreed to $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, unless politicians find other things to cut. They didn't, of course. So now, with so-called sequestration looming in January, panic has set in. Even the new "fiscally responsible" Republicans vote against cutting Energy Department handouts to companies like Solyndra and subsidies to sugar producers. Many claim that any cut in military spending will weaken America and increase unemployment.
It's another demonstration of the politicians' addiction to spending -- and how we are complicit. "One more infrastructure bill" or "this jobs plan" will jumpstart the economy, and then we'll kick our spending addiction once and for all.
(By Tom Joyce, Mount Airy News) - I have watched reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show” for years, and one common thread among them is the strong sense of community exhibited in Mayberry — and especially by Sheriff Taylor.
But sadly, that spirit of togetherness, acceptance and understanding was lacking in Griffith’s own personal life when it came to the actor’s overall dealings with his hometown of Mount Airy.
Of course, Griffith did make two high-profile appearances here during the past decade: once when a section of U.S. 52 was designated as the Andy Griffith Parkway and the other when the so-called Andy and Opie statue was unveiled on Rockford Street. Those were the exceptions, however, rather than the rule.
By then, Griffith was well up in years and beginning to suffer health problems, which perhaps caused him to mellow out a bit and realize that making a long-overdue public appearance in his hometown was appropriate.
(AP) – A 6-foot-tall tombstone that weighed hundreds of pounds fell on and killed a 4-year-old boy who was posing for photos with family and friends at a historic cemetery in a Utah ski resort town, authorities said.
Carson Dean Cheney was holding onto the headstone Thursday when some metal connecting it to the pedestal broke, said Park City police Capt. Phil Kirk. Some of the children being photographed were not being responsive, so Carson tried to help the photographer – his father – by pretending to be a leprechaun and making them laugh, said Curtis Morley, a family friend. Morley said the boy went behind a tombstone and was playfully poking his head out from behind it when it fell on him.
“Carson passed away while trying to make others smile,” Morley said.
(By Jeff Poor, Daily Caller) - In an appearance on WWL radio in New Orleans earlier this week, James Carville surveyed the Romney campaign and said the presumptive GOP nominee still hasn’t overcome the issue of his Mormon religion.
According to Carville, who has a forthcoming book called “It’s the Middle Class, Stupid,” Romney’s reluctance to talk openly about that is keeping him from dominating the campaign against President Barack Obama.
“One of the problems that Romney has honestly is — the thing against him the most is his religion,” Carville said. “And he doesn’t understand the reasons. He doesn’t talk about that. He was a bishop in his church. And he doesn’t talk about the one public office that he held much and that was being the governor of Massachusetts. So, he talks about Bain, but that’s become sort of a big issue in the campaign. He’s got to, you know — if you look at the numbers, Romney should win this campaign.”
(Real Clear Politics) - After the economy added 310,000 jobs in May 2004 and the unemployment rate was 5.6%, then-candidate Barack Obama used the Democrat weekly radio address to attack the Bush administration for citing good economic numbers.
(By Jim Angle, FoxNews.com) - Part of the the effort to repeal and replace the President Obama's health care law, as Republicans see it, is to find a way to entice the uninsured to buy insurance rather than force them to do so.
The existing law that the Supreme Court recently upheld relies on the proverbial stick -- the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or face a fine.
Republicans argue for a carrot approach, to help more people voluntarily buy insurance, including by offering broader tax incentives.
This administration is unable to distinguish its policy from law.
(By Charles Krauthammer, National Review Online) - Though overshadowed by the shocking Supreme Court decision on health care, the Court’s Arizona immigration decision, issued three days earlier, remains far more significant than is appreciated. It was generally viewed as mixed or ambiguous, because the Justice Department succeeded in striking down three of the law’s provisions. However, regarding the law’s central and most controversial element — requiring officers to inquire into the immigration status of anyone picked up for some other violation — the ruling was definitive, indeed unanimous.
No liberal–conservative divide here. Not a single justice found merit in the administration’s claim that this “show me your papers” provision constituted an impermissible preemption of federal authority.
On what grounds unconstitutional? Presumably because state officials would be asking about the immigration status of all, rather than adhering to the federal enforcement priorities regarding which illegal aliens would not be subject to deportation.
(By Meenal Vamburkar, Mediaite) - Josephine “Ann” Harris, 70, met President Barack Obama this morning. Obama stopped at a restaurant in Akron, Ohio — and Harris, the restaurant’s owner, served him breakfast. Shortly after, Harris died, apparently of a heart attack.
Harris experienced fatigue and a tingling feeling after the meeting, and was taken to a medical center. Details, via Akron Beacon Journal:
Josephine “Ann” Harris, 70, of Copley Township, was taken by ambulance to Akron General Medical Center after complaining of fatigue and a tingling feeling. She was pronounced dead at 11:18 a.m., according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Harris, just a few hours before, had the honor of meeting — and hugging — Obama when he stopped at her family’s restaurant, Ann’s Place, on South Hawkins Avenue for breakfast. This was Obama’s first stop on the second day of a bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.
(By Josh Feldman, Mediaite) - On Fox News earlier today, John Roberts conducted a panel discussion on the economy and, more importantly, the fight President Obama and Mitt Romney are having over it. However, the panelists didn’t feel like Romney was doing enough to counter Obama, with Charles Krauthammer declaring that if Romney can’t properly articulate the right arguments against Obama, he doesn’t deserve to win the election.
“Romney’s inability to bring home the argument… is simply incomprehensible. If he can’t make the argument, he doesn’t deserve to win the election.”
(CBS News) - Former first lady Nancy Reagan turns 91 Friday.
Reagan appeared at the Reagan Presidential Library Thursday, hosting an exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives. It was her first public appearance since a fall in April left her with broken ribs.
Reagan joined Robert Iger, chairman of the Walt Disney Company, to open the exhibit. Perhaps it wasn't the kind of birthday greeting a 91-year-old might expect, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse serenading the former first lady with "Happy Birthday."
The Romney camp stays silent as Obama pours millions into Bain-bashing commercials. “Never let an attack go unanswered. It's a rule for a reason,” says Wilson.
(By McKay Coppins, BuzzFeed) - As the Obama campaign and its allies continue to spend millions of dollars casting Mitt Romney as an "outsourcing pioneer" — a message that could cut to the very core of his record as a businessman — some Republicans are beginning to grumble that their nominee is making the classic mistake of modern politics in letting the attacks go unanswered.
Last month, Obama began pushing the narrative that Romney had made his fortune by sending American jobs overseas, and the campaign is reportedly planning to spend $20 million in July to air commercials along the same lines. The SuperPAC that backs him, Priorities USA, has spent more than $10 million making a similar point. Already, some polls are suggesting that the message is moving the needle in key swing states.
The Romney campaign's response so far has been muted. The campaign has pushed back against Obama's attacks largely through press releases and dismissive comments, but they have yet to invest serious ad money to directly combat the hardening narrative.
(By John Podhoretz, New York Post) - It’s said that Mitt Romney likes to deliberate: to gather massive amounts of information, master it, consult with people he trusts — then make a decision and execute his plan with precision.
Admirable? Sure. A sign of a mature perspective? Undoubtedly. But it may be destructive to his presidential bid, with the election just four months away.
Case in point: It took nearly a week for Romney to hit on an appropriate response to the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare. Two hours after the ruling, he said he agreed with the dissent that found nearly every element of the bill unconstitutional.
(By Alexander Benedict, NBC Bay Area) - Olympic National Forest officials have closed a popular Washington trail due to hikers' reports of menacing mountain goats, according to reports.
Stephanie Neil, recreation manager for the Hood Canal Ranger District of Olympic National Forest, told the Peninsula Daily News that in the last two weeks rangers had received a number of reports of goats coming within 10 feet of hikers on Mount Ellinor.
“Nobody has been hurt by the goats. But a number of people have felt threatened,” Neil told Peninsula Daily News.
(By John Kartch, FoxNews.com) - While the individual mandate tax gets most of the attention, the ObamaCare law actually contains 20 new or higher taxes on the American people. These taxes are gradually phased in over the years 2010 (with its 10 percent “tanning tax”) to 2018 (when the tax on comprehensive health insurance plans kicks in.)
Six months from now, in January 2013, five major ObamaCare taxes will come into force...
(Fox News) - It had all the trappings of a re-election rally: thousands packing a convention center, Barack Obama T-shirts, videos celebrating the health care law, and a wall-size banner with encouraging messages to the incumbent president.
"You are our knight in shining armor -- Sarah C., Norman, Okla.," read one inscription.
But this Obama love fest in Washington was not a campaign event. The nearly 9,000 gathered were teachers in town for the National Education Association's weeklong annual convention.
For the Republican teachers in attendance, the digs at their political views were impossible to overlook.
(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - It's always been a challenge for Mitt Romney to explain the differences between Romneycare and Obamacare. The two programs share a lot of the same features -- mandate, penalties, subsidies, exchanges and others. Romney has consistently argued that those provisions are acceptable, even good, at the state level, but not acceptable, and in some cases not even constitutional, at the federal level.
The problem isn't just that Romney frequently finds himself making detailed explanations, which is never a good thing in politics. The problem is that it always sounds a little odd to voters for Romney to say that when he did it in Massachusetts, it was a great thing, but when Barack Obama did it nationwide, it was a terrible thing.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision, Romney's job has gotten even harder -- so hard that there will likely be growing pressure on him to admit that Romneycare, his signature achievement as Massachusetts governor, was a mistake.
(News & Record) - A heart attack killed Andy Griffith, according to his death certificate obtained Thursday by the News & Record.
Griffith suffered an “acute myocardial infarction,” or heart attack, about 24 hours before his death around 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to the certificate provided by the Dare County Register of Deeds Office.
Secondary factors contributing to his death were coronary artery disease, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, which is related to high cholesterol, the certificate said.
Griffith, 86, died at his home in Manteo, on Roanoke Island in Dare County.
(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - Yesterday, San Diego’s much-anticipated “Big Bay Boom” 4th of July fireworks display dazzled viewers with a truly impressive, spellbinding array of color and light… all in under 30 seconds.
The Big Bay Boom Firework Show in San Diego for 2012 was a “Big Bay Bust”. There was a technical problem and ALL of the fireworks went off within 30 seconds. The original Big Bay Boom was set to last about 15 minutes.
And it all went down about 5 minutes before the show was slated to start.
(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - A GOP strategist predicted yesterday that Romney would flip on Fehrnstrom’s “not a tax” argument by next week. Either the campaign decided this couldn’t wait or they figured they’d time the flip for the holiday when no one’s paying attention.
Good enough? He’s not saying that 'he' thinks the mandate is a tax; he reiterates that he agrees with Scalia that it’s a penalty. All he’s saying is that, as a matter of law, ObamaCare is now ObamaTax so The One will have to live with the political consequences. If he doesn’t like it, let him take it up with the left’s newest judicial hero, John Roberts. And if O turns around and says, “Well, that means the RomneyCare mandate was a tax too,” Mitt can always deflect by noting that only one of them has had a pronouncement from SCOTUS on the matter. Not the most convincing retort, but the goal here is to keep the ObamaTax talking point in play. I guess that’ll do it.
(By James Rosen, FoxNews.com) - When he first took the national stage, with his electrifying keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2004, Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, briefly summarized his unusual life story, with its biracial themes and trans-continental setting. "I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story," he said, adding: "In no other country on earth is my story even possible."
That story, of course, would become even more astonishing, and profoundly American, four years later, when its teller would be elected president of the United States. But the first time Obama related his life story -- and in the greatest detail -- was with the publication of his 1995 memoir, 'Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance'.
(By Jack Cashill, World Net Daily) - If Barack Obama has an immediate eligibility problem, it is more likely to derive from the Social Security Number he has been using for the last 25 years than from his birth certificate.
Ohio private investigator Susan Daniels has seen to that. On Monday, July 2, she filed suit in Geauga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court demanding that Jon Husted, Ohio secretary of state, remove Obama’s name from the ballot until Obama can prove the validity of his Social Security Number.
Daniels, who has vetted thousands of Social Security Numbers for numerous other clients, has done her homework. In her filing, she thoroughly documents her contention “that Barack Obama has repeatedly, consistently, and with intent misrepresented himself by using a fraudulently obtained Social Security Number.”
MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (By Charlie Glancy, WGHP) – For years, people pondered over whether or not Mount Airy was the inspiration for the small southern town depicted in the Andy Griffith Show. It wasn’t until 2002, when the show’s star, visited his hometown and revealed the true inspiration for Mayberry.
(By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News) - A North Carolina lawmaker says she feels "rotten" after accidentally voting to override the veto of a bill to legalize fracking—the controversial technique of extracting natural gas—in the state.
Rep. Becky Carney, a Democrat from Mecklenburg, said she accidentally voted late Monday to override the governor's veto after asking fellow Democrats to uphold it. The House voted 72-47 against the veto—with Carney's vote clinching the number of votes needed for the override.
"It is late," Carney told WRAL-TV. "Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night." The vote was called shortly before 11:30 p.m. ET.
MANTEO, N.C. (By Scott Gustin, WGHP) — Andy Griffith, the actor best known for his role on The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, died on Tuesday after an illness.
Griffith was 86-years-old.
He passed away early Tuesday morning at his home on Roanoke Island in Manteo with his wife Cindi at his side, the family confirmed in a statement.
“Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord,” Cindy Griffith said in a statement.
“He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”
CNN is reporting Griffith was buried on his farm during a private service with his family at 11:30 a.m.
(By Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart.com) - The Obama campaign has seized on remarks made by Romney adviser Eric "Etch-A-Sketch" Fehrnstrom this morning on MSNBC, to the effect that the individual mandate in Obamacare (and Romneycare) is not a tax. Fehrnstrom allowed Chuck Todd to push him off message--and re-ignited the fears that conservatives have long had about Romney's will and ability to fight. In response, conservatives--who had just coalesced around opposition to what many now call "Obamatax"--exhort: Mitt, start fighting, or give up and let someone else do it.