July 13, 2006
I always wondered
Posted by Jon Ham at 8:41 PM
I've heard about "Instalanches," the effect when Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, links to your post, but never knew how much it really affected a blog's traffic. Then, a couple of days ago I noticed that he linked to one of Charlotte blogger Sister Toldjah's archive posts. I made a note to check her SiteMeter traffic after the Instalanche's effects were complete. Here's what it showed:
A noticeable spike, I would say.
Re: 527 Bill
Posted by Daren Bakst at 6:23 PM
Apparently, the rules and procedures of the
General Assembly, as well as the Constitution, make the legislators'
eyes glaze over.
Rep. Ross's quote: "This bill does not restrict any speech whatsoever."
right if you don't count the fact that it reduces the amount of
mailings, faxes, and phone calls that can be made prior to a general
election or primary. Other than that, it doesn't restrict speech.
She's right if you don't count the fact that it, for all practical purposes, limits people to establishing one 527.
quote/ramble: "We have all recognized and seen the effects of those
persons or corporations with a lot of money and who are willing to
spend it, and who are in a position -- because of constitutional law --
we are very limited in any way to restrict it."
My first reaction is "Huh?" Assuming though that my translation is correct:
right too. That constitution is so darn limiting in how the
legislature can restrict freedom of speech. I give him credit
though, despite the Constitution, he is doing a great job restricting
It is a sad day for free speech. It is a sad
day for ethics--the treasurer training bill trick was disgusting.
Just another day at the General Assembly.
Posted by Paul Chesser at 5:15 PM
The U.N. Security Council has weighed in against Israel in the current outbreak of war. Thank God for U.S. veto power.
Tell me again why we have any respect for, or participation in, this abominable organization?
Re: Dan Rather
Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:54 PM
With all due respect, I maintain that it was not Santa Claus who placed the coal I found in my stocking that gray Christmas morn of '79, but the Neo-Cons. The way I figure it is, it has something to do with all the big issues at the time: Zionism, Big Oil, a fledgling Bush candidacy for president, and global cooling. I worked it all out on my Shoney's placemat a few days later, but then Shoney's went out of business. Coincidence? Ha.
Easley signs minimum wage law
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:05 PM
You'll find details here or here (with video).
527s bill heads to governor, pt. 2
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:00 PM
If the rules and procedures of the General Assembly make your eyes glaze over, skip this post (unless you're ready for an afternoon nap).
Today's N.C. House debate on H.B. 1847 points to one of the quirks of legislative procedure.
First, some background.
We all know from our school days (or at least from the Schoolhouse Rock song "I'm Just a Bill") that a piece of legislation needs support from both chambers of a bicameral legislature and the signature of the executive to become law.
In North Carolina, this usually means that a bill starts in the state House or Senate. If the initial chamber approves the bill -- as originally written or amended -- the bill then heads to the other chamber. The second chamber has four options. First, they can leave the bill in a committee -- essentially killing it. Second, the second chamber can vote against the bill and kill it. (Lawmakers rarely employ this technique, since it limits their options for negotiation and compromise.)
Third, the second chamber can approve the bill without changes and send it to the governor. Fourth, the second chamber can change (or amend) the bill and send it back to the original chamber.
If the second chamber picks option number four, the original chamber is left with two options. First, the original chamber can accept (or concur with) the second chamber's changes and send the bill to the governor. A vote to accept the changes without amendment is called a concurrence vote.
Second, the original chamber can reject the changes and set up a negotiating committee (called a conference committee) with the second chamber. (This is standard operating procedure during debates over the state budget.)
Now let's return to H.B. 1847 for an example of the process at work. This bill started life in the House as a bill called "Treasurer training." It targeted new rules for treasurers of legislative campaign committees.
The House approved the bill and sent it to the Senate. The Senate stripped the treasurer training language from the bill and stuck that language into another House bill. Meanwhile, senators substituted language into H.B. 1847 from another House bill (H.B. 1850) that had yet to clear a House committee.
Senators approved the new version of H.B. 1847 and returned it to the House.
Here's where the procedural quirk kicks in. House leaders supported the ideas contained in the new version of H.B. 1847. They pushed for a concurrence vote.
That means the full House was asked to approve without amendment a measure it had never seen before.
A couple of House members noted their concerns about the procedure, but the House approved the Senate bill 87-27.
527s bill heads to governor, pt. I
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:36 PM
Disputes about free speech characterized this afternoon's N.C. House debate on H.B. 1847.
The House voted 87-27 to support the bill, which will place new restrictions on so-called "527" political groups. The bill now heads to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.
Various "527" groups have played a growing role in N.C. politics in recent years. They've sponsored media campaigns linked to elections. The groups are named for the federal tax code that applies to them. The groups can accept unlimited contributions from corporations.
A 2004 state law limits the time frame in which a 527 group can fund campaign "electioneering." That law restricts 527 funding in the 30 days leading up to a primary and the 60 days that precede a general election.
That law also requires reporting of 527 spending on mailings that targeted 5,000 or more addresses, as well as spending on telephone campaigns.
If Easley signs the current bill into law, the reporting requirement will apply to mailings sent to 2,500 addresses and calls to 2,500 or more lines in a given House or Senate district.
The bill clarifies that corporations and unions cannot fund the election material. Media outlets are exempted.
Some Republicans raised objections. Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, alluded to the federal Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 as he blasted the bill. He encouraged his colleagues "not to squelch speech."
This type of bill is essentially government telling critics to shut up. We don't want to hear what you have to say. We especially don't want to hear what you have to say around election time.
Supporters disagreed with Stam's characterization. House Majority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange:
We have all recognized and seen the effects of those persons or corporations with a lot of money and who are willing to spend it, and who are in a position -- because of constitutional law -- we are very limited in any way to restrict it. And so those who run for office are vulnerable to wealthy persons who are willing to simply ... spend large sums of money. As I said, this bill is a response to that. It basically seeks to cut down on the anonymity.
Another bill sponsor, Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, rejected arguments that the bill limits free speech:
This bill does not restrict any speech whatsoever.
The state Board of Elections is scheduled next month to hear a complaint linked to the most recent 527 campaigns. House Speaker Pro Tem Richard Morgan, R-Moore, will air his complaint Aug. 29.
Re: Dan Rather
Posted by John Hood at 2:13 PM
A pretty elaborate post you have going there about Dan Rather and the fake documents on Bush. But I admit to being puzzled. What is the nature of the comparison? You really have to think these things through more carefully before you post them for all the world to see. There's no point thinking that you can go back later and clean up a blog post. Google-cache is forever. You can't take back inaccurate or misleading language once it is out there. I am really disappointed in you. Please exercise better judgment in the future.
Santa Claus is real, after all.
Dan Rather 'Absolutely' Stands by 'Truth' that Santa Claus Is Real
Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:33 AMPersuaded that Mad-Libbing is an appropriate way to deal with mad "libs" as well as to illustrate a point by analogy, I give you this most recent gem from Dan "Fake But Accurate" Rather.
FILL IN THE BLANKS
1. Name one fairy tale, myth, legend, etc. that you desperately would like to believe is true: Santa Claus is real
2. Who first told you about that fairy tale, myth, or legend? my parents
3. Who else? other relatives, kindly old neighbors, department stores, and special programs on network television
4. What part of the fairy tale, myth or legend would you call the fact that the fairy tale, myth or legend isn't true? the weakest spot
5. What would you say about people who tell you "It's a nice story, but it's simply not true"? trying to change the subject because you probably got coal in your stockings last year
Rather 'Absolutely' Stands by Story
Declaring he “absolutely” believes “the truth” of his discredited story based on what "2. my parents" told him, about 1. Santa Claus is real, on Wednesday's Larry King Live on CNN Dan Rather contended that “we had a lot, a lot of corroboration, 3. other relatives, kindly old neighbors, department stores, and special programs on network television, of what we broadcast about 1. Santa Claus is real. It wasn't just 2. my parents.”
Rather then attacked those who dared to expose his misdeeds: “It's a very old technique used, that when those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for 4. the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough. It's 5. trying to change the subject because they probably got coal in your stockings last year."
Regulating the Bears (BARS)?
Posted by Michael Moore at 11:06 AM
The Black Bears have roamed across North Carolina for many years. Has regulation grown to the point of regulating the areas in which Bears (BARS-pronounced by folks in WNC) can roam? I found this article in the Asheville paper interesting this morning, it's good to know we have groups to look out for the Bears and control them when necessary.
The way it used to be
Posted by Michael Moore at 10:07 AM
Back when the United States was fighting another ugly ideology, the entertainment industry use to support us.
Check out this old-school (banned) Walt Disney short that went inside Nazi Germany, down to the heart of the educational brainwashing that some today note is very similar to Al-Qaida's own playbook.
If you visit this second link, put on your liberal-biased glasses. Better yet, avoid reading the "summary" of the 268 page manual and just read the manual itself.
Peggy Noonan is a Blessing
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:49 AM
Today Ms. Noonan
notes the tremendous number of questions to which national politicians
are expected to provide legal answers and comments on winners and
The Increasing Complexity of
Everything is good for liberalism (government should be vital, large,
demand and bestow much) and not conservatism (government should be
smaller, less powerful, less demanding of the treasure and liberty of
the citizenry). When everything is a big complicated morass, regular
normal people, voters, constituents, become intellectually
disheartened. They can also lose sight of core principles.
She ends with three thoughts including this simple explanation of conservatism
It is good to keep in mind, at
such a time, that we must let as many questions devolve into the
private sphere as possible. Not all can but many can, and on so many
issues it's better to err on the side of individual freedom than the
authority of the state.
Global Warming Ad
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:50 AM
More and more global warming is becoming part of our popular culture. Here is an ad that features global warming. I am not sure if it works for our position or against it. You decide.
Prosecuting the media
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:49 AM
Plenty of folks are angry at The New York Times because of its continual publication of previously secret elements in the Bush administration's campaign against terrorism.
Some even call for prosecution of "The Gray Old Lady." This article makes the latest case for legal action.
As an occasional member of the Fourth Estate, I disagree. Yes, the newspaper harmed the fight against terror. Yes, Times editors are unrepentant Bush bashers with no sense of objectivity. Yes, your vocal complaints about the Times' agenda are warranted.
But the vital role of the media in our society is to check government excess. The government cannot decide what's excessive. The media decides.
The corollary of this argument is that consumers of the media decide when reporters and editors overstep their bounds. They vote with their pocketbooks. Rush Limbaugh and other commentators often tell us that conservative voices are now holding their own with the "mainstream" or "drive-by" media. That's good. We can read other publications, watch other channels, and read other blogs and websites to learn how the Times took the wrong approach.
Rather than taking the media to court, I agree wholeheartedly with this tangential point in the linked article:
Even more important, the leakers inside government of the various classified programs should be investigated and prosecuted. Those who violate their oaths to protect secrets are taking the law into their own hands and putting the rest of us at risk. Far from being admirable "whistle-blowers," the leakers are, for the most part, rather cowardly. Their insistence on the cloak of anonymity means that they are all too willing to jeopardize the security of their country but unwilling to jeopardize the progress of their careers.
These are the people whose duty requires them to protect the nation's secrets.
Financing My New House
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:20 AM
Last October I moved into a new house, but it is not up to my
standards so I need a new one. I plan to use Tax Increment
Financing, the latest thing in new home financing. Here's the N&O's description of how it will work.
Quote: "HOW TAX-INCREMENT FINANCING WORKS: The
farmland used for Sanera's new house would be designated as a special
district. A base tax value for that farmland would be established, and
tax revenue based on that value would go to the city and county.
Additional revenue -- fueled by a higher property value after Sanera
builds his new house -- would be put into a reserve to pay back the
money borrowed to build his house. Any extra money also would go to the
city and county.
Sanera's analysis shows extra money would be available to the city and
county after the first few years. By 2010, there would be about $20,000
surplus, according to documents Sanera provided to Raleigh officials."
Great Deal, Right? I am sure the city council will vote for my financing package at its next meeting. Stay tuned.
It was Bush's fault
Posted by Jon Ham at 07:57 AM
But, of course. Isn't everything?
Zinedine Zidane, who is of French and Algerian ancestry, head-butted an Italian player who insulted him. Although Zidane in an interview Wednesday would not say what words provoked him, a lip reader hired by the Times of London claims Marco Materazzi called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore.''
That's pure trickle-down politics. From the White House to the soccer pitch, "terrorist" has "cooties" and "your mother wears combat boots" flat beat as the top playground potty-mouth slur for the 21st century.
Who's surprised? The Bush administration has been scattering the word like ticker tape on a Manhattan parade.
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