The Locker Room

August 24, 2010

New CJO exclusive: Video from State Board of Elections hearing on Perdue's campaign flights

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 5:28 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Anthony Greco's report on today's contentious State Board of Elections hearing involving Gov. Perdue's campaign flights.

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New Carolina Journal Online exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:56 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report about a national group of pro-life college students asking Gov. Beverly Perdue to investigate a new UNC health insurance mandate that includes abortion coverage.

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AFP responds to the president's bizarre rant

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:43 PM

It's a shame that the president of the United States spouted off like some discombobulated blogger from the Angry Left, but since he did:

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Parents for Educational Freedom in N.C. reacts to the Race to the Top decision

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:31 PM

North Carolina's win in the Race to the Top federal education grant competition proves surprising to Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.

From a PEFNC news release:

"From the beginning, the Race to the Top program placed heavy emphasis on the role of charter schools and the importance of supporting high-quality charter school movements," said Darrell Allison, President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.  "Rewarding a state like North Carolina, where charter laws are restrictive not only because of the arbitrary cap but also because of inequities in funding and operation, is confusing to say the least."

Todd Ziebarth, Vice President for Policy with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, agrees that the decision is not in keeping with the original intent of Race to the Top. 
"Considering that other states took meaningful legislative action on charter schools to better compete for the federal initiative, we did not expect the U.S. Department of Education to select a state like North Carolina," said Ziebarth.

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Sowell addresses medical care 'facts and fables'

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:18 PM

In a new column posted at Human Events, Thomas Sowell punctures popular myths about government-run medical care:

In particular, we need to examine the claim that the government can "bring down the cost of medical care."

The most basic fact is that it is cheaper to remain sick than to get medical treatment. What is cheapest of all is to die instead of getting life-saving medications and treatment, which can be very expensive.

Despite these facts, most of us tend to take a somewhat more parochial view of the situation when it is we ourselves who are sick or who face a potentially fatal illness. But what if that decision is taken out of your hands under ObamaCare and is being made for you by a bureaucrat in Washington?

We won't know what that leads to until the time comes. As Nancy Pelosi said, we will find out what is in the bill after it has passed. But even now, after ObamaCare has been passed, not many people want to read its 2,400 pages. Even if you did, you would still not know what it would be like in practice, after more than 150 boards and commissions issue their specific regulations.

Sowell goes on to tout the ideas expressed in Sally Pipes' new book, The Truth About ObamaCare.

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Did adoption of common core standards seal the deal?

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 1:40 PM

All of the Race to the Top winners adopted the Common Core State Standards.

District of Columbia: Adopted July 22
Florida: Adopted July 27
Georgia: Adopted July 8
Hawaii: Adopted June 18
Maryland: Adopted June 22
Massachusetts: Adopted July 21
New York: Adopted July 19
North Carolina: Adopted June 3
Ohio: Adopted June 18
Rhode Island: Adopted July 1

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Race to the Top winners

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:36 AM

With the exception of Hawaii and Ohio, federal Race to the Top money will be staying east.

District of Columbia: $75 million. Score: 450.0
Florida: $700 million. Score: 452.4
Georgia: $400 million. Score: 446.4
Hawaii: $75 million. Score: 462.4
Maryland: $250 million. Score: 450.0
Massachusetts: $250 million. Score: 471.0
New York: $700 million. Score: 464.8
North Carolina: $400 million. Score: 441.6
Ohio: $400 million. Score: 440.8
Rhode Island: $75 million. Score: 451.2

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Kristol on Obama's religious beliefs

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:08 AM

William Kristol doesn't believe President Obama is a Muslim. But Kristol outlines in a new Weekly Standard column the reasons why mainstream media outlets ought to cut some slack to those Americans who believe Obama does practice Islam.

Kristol also points to an important part of the president's system of beliefs that's less confusing:

But Americans aren’t all mixed up in their judgment of President Obama’s policies. Obama said last week, at a Hollywood fundraiser, that he and congressional Democrats “have been able to deliver the most progressive legislative agenda—one that helps working families—not just in one generation, maybe two, maybe three.”


Today’s progressives are multiculturalists. They’re inclined to make grand claims about the positive merits of a multicultural, non-judgmental mosaic replacing our old, uniculturalist melting-pot view of America. But when political realities force them to retreat, as Obama has done in the mosque controversy, from a proud multiculturalism to a narrow defense of the right to the free exercise of religion and the right to build on private property, they’re in trouble. The free exercise of religion and respect for private property are not a promising agenda for progressives.

Progressivism is in retreat. Obama’s problem isn’t that people falsely think he’s a Muslim. It’s that the public is correctly concluding he’s a garden-variety multiculturalist progressive. So November’s election won’t just be a repudiation of one non-Muslim president. It will be a repudiation of a multiculturalist progressive worldview—and of the bitter elites who cling desperately to that worldview and are consumed by antipathy to most Americans, who don’t.

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If the rumors are true

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:05 AM

...that North Carolina has won a federal "Race to the Top" grant, then we can safely conclude that charter school reform is not much of a priority for the Obama administration.

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P.J. O'Rourke goes to Afghanistan

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:47 AM

Yes, that could be the title for a very funny movie.

Instead, P.J. O'Rourke writes about his Afghanistan journey in a cover story for The Weekly Standard:

If you spend 72 hours in a place you’ve never been, talking to people whose language you don’t speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don’t understand, and you come back as the world’s biggest know-it-all, you’re a reporter. Either that or you’re President Obama. I called my wife. She said, no, she certainly is not vacationing at government expense in some jet-set hot spot with scads of her BFFs. Looks like I’m not President Obama. But I am a reporter, fresh from Kabul. What do you want to know about Afghanistan, past, present, or future? Ask me anything.

As all good reporters do, I prepared for my assignment with extensive research. I went to an Afghan restaurant in Prague. Getting a foretaste—as it were—of my subject, I asked the restaurant’s owner (an actual Afghan), “So what’s up with Afghanistan?”

He said, “Americans must understand that Afghanistan is a country of honor. The honor of an Afghan is in his gun, his land, and his women. You take a man’s honor if you take his gun, his land or his women.”

And the same goes for where I live in New Hampshire. I inquired whether exceptions could be made, on the third point of honor, for ex-wives.

“Oh yes,” he said.

Afghanistan—so foreign and yet so familiar and, like home, with such wonderful lamb chops. I asked the restaurateur about other similarities between New Hampshire and Afghanistan. “I don’t know,” he said. “Most of my family lives in L.A.”

I wonder whether the memory of this recent trip will endure as long as O'Rourke's experience with livestock.


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Radley Balko on the NC crime lab scandal

Posted by George Leef at 09:49 AM

Writing for Reason Radley Balko gives an overview of our corrupt crime lab, as well as similar experiences in quite a few other states.

He gets at the core of the problem: "Forensic science in America is corrupted by a fundamental conflict of interest. In far too many states, crime labs fall under the auspices of law enforcement, usually reporting to the state attorney general. A forensic analyst's real aim should be the follow the science, even if results prove disappointing to bosses who are trying to secure convictions. But the pressure from prosecutors, even when it's not overt (which it often is), produces bias even in the work of the most fair-minded analysts."

I recommend the whole piece.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:35 AM

  • Rasmussen: 56 percent favor repeal of health care law.

  • Republican Ilario Pantano wants another debate with U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th, in October.

  • The GOP is lending a hand to Republican Wesley Meredith in state Senate District 19 against Democrat Margaret Dickson.

  • The Daily Tar Heel lists some of the top N.C. races to watch this year.

  • U.S. House ethics probe is getting some play in Rep. G.K. Butterfield's bid for re-election.

  • Candidate in state House District 20 "saves" his campaign by winning a wrestling match. Whew!

  • Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says health care won’t be a major issue in November elections.

  • GOP-aligned polling firm has Democrat Weiss leading Republican Franz in the 35th state House District.

  • Civitas poll: Republican candidate Jimmy Dixon is leading Democratic opponent Mott Blair by 4 percent in the House District 4.

  • Elaine Marshall parts company with Kay Hagan on tobacco tax.

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York says ObamaCare supporters will soon face 'judgment day'

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:09 AM

Byron York's latest Washington Examiner article explores the political reality facing those Democrats who voted for the recent federal health care reform legislation:

In passing the national health care bill, you accomplished something your party dreamed of for decades. It was your most important vote, and now is the time to take credit for it.

Except it's not.

Recently a number of top Democratic strategists conducted focus groups in Las Vegas, Charlotte, Philadelphia and St. Louis. They also conducted a national poll of 1,000 likely voters and an online poll of 2,000 more likely voters. They wanted to measure the public's feelings about Obamacare and help Democrats make an effective case for the bill they passed in March.

The researchers found what they call a "challenging environment," which is a nicer way of saying "disaster in the making." Voters simply aren't buying the Democratic case that health care reform will insure more than 30 million currently uninsured people and save money at the same time. And when they think about their own health care, people worry that reform will mean less, not more, availability of care, and at a higher cost.

Faced with that bad news, the pollsters came up with several recommendations for Democratic candidates. When talking about Obamacare, Democrats should "keep claims small and credible." They should promise to "improve" the law. They should avoid talking about policy and stick to "personal stories" of people who will benefit from Obamacare. And above all, the pollsters advise, "don't say the law will reduce costs and deficit."

It's a stunning about-face for a party that saw national health care as its signature accomplishment. "This is the first time we've seen from Democrats that they clearly understand they have a serious problem in terms of selling this legislation," says Republican pollster David Winston.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:39 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Karen Welsh's report on the impact of a new federal high-risk health insurance pool on North Carolina's existing state-run high-risk pool. 

John Hood's Daily Journal discusses the "war that made America," and he's not talking about the American Revolution.

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