The Locker Room

October 28, 2010

Data danger

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 6:51 PM

Recently, a public school advocacy group used data from the National Education Association's "Rankings & Estimates" publication to show that "North Carolina always has been a low-investment state when it comes to K-12 education and it remains a low-investment state today." (Race to the Bottom, p. 4)

Interestingly, NEA researchers warned that their data should not be used to draw broad conclusions:

Of course, no set of tables tells the entire story of a state’s education offerings. Consideration of factors such as a state’s tax system, provisions for other public services, and population characteristics also are needed. Therefore, it is unwise to draw conclusions based solely on individual statistics in this report. Readers are urged to supplement the ranked data with specific information about state and local service activities related to public education. (NEA, "Rankings & Estimates," December 2009, p. 2)

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New Carolina Journal Online exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 6:45 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Anthony Greco's report on N.C. Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer's concerns about potential problems with voting machines used in more than a third of North Carolina's counties.

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Ruth Institute founder says public policy needs to offer greater protection to traditional marriage, families

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 5:48 PM

Government has been so busy attacking the traditional institutions of family and marriage that policy changes are needed to help re-establish those vital pieces of our society.

That's the argument Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, made during a lunchtime presentation for the John Locke Foundation and Thomas International Center.

In the video clip below, Morse discusses the impact of a longstanding attack on traditional family structures.

Click play below to watch the full 57:37 presentation.

You'll find other John Locke Foundation video presentations here.

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Civitas: Ellmers leads Etheridge by 5 percent

Posted by David N. Bass at 3:57 PM

With five days until the General Election, a new Civitas poll shows Republican challenger Renee Ellmers leading Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge by 5 percent in the 2nd Congressional District:

According to the poll of 400 registered voters in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, Ellmers leads Etheridge 46 percent to 41 percent. Libertarian candidate Tom Rose garners 6 percent of the vote while 7 percent of voters are undecided.

Among voters who say they are definitely voting this year, Ellmers’ lead grows to 49 percent to 40 percent.

“Bob Etheridge is in the political fight of his life,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “The Republican tide sweeping across the nation appears to be catching Bob Etheridge in its wake.”

At a Civitas poll luncheon in Raleigh Wednesday, Democratic strategist Brad Crone predicted that the Etheridge-Ellmers match would prove more competitive than the Kissell-Johnson race in the 8th Congressional District, long considered North Carolina's closest U.S. House race.

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France accepts reality

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:38 AM

France's parliament voted to raise the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 (North Carolina has no minimum for public employees) and to increase the age at which workers get full pension benefits to 67 from 65. The move puts the French state-run pension system in line with the U.S. Social Security system and other European countries.

UPDATE: The editorial board at USA Today complains, "The French are addressing their problems. So are the British. American leaders are not."

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Two unshocking headlines

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:05 AM

Tuition, Pell Grants Rise in Tandem

Federal grants, including Pell and veteran's benefits, accounted for 44% of the $94 billion in total grant money awarded to students in the 2009-10 school year, compared with 34% the previous year, according to the data. Ten years ago, federal grants represented 29% of the total.

Hybrid, Battery Car Demand Overhyped

“Many consumers say they are concerned about the environment, but when they find out how much a green vehicle is going to cost, their altruistic inclination declines considerably,” [J.D. Power and Associate Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations John] Humphrey said.

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Voters to Obama: We're just not that into you

Posted by Rick Henderson at 09:57 AM

Among the many findings in the latest CBS News/New York Times poll is this nugget:

A majority of likely voters say their House vote is a referendum on President Obama, and more are voting against the president than for him. Thirty-two percent are casting a vote against Mr. Obama, while 22 percent are casting their vote to support him. Forty-two percent say their vote is about something else.

The president has been traveling the country to stump for candidates ahead of the midterms, but it may not be much help: a majority of likely voters (56 percent) say Mr. Obama's support for a candidate has no impact on their vote. And while 14 percent say Mr. Obama's support makes them more likely to back a candidate, 29 percent say it makes then less likely to do so.

That's gotta hurt someone who ran on the strength of his personality, how lousy the other guy's party was, and not much else.

Full poll results here.

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When will Obama start using a cigarette holder?

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:21 AM

Hillsdale history professor Burt Folsom compares Obama in 2010 to FDR in 1938 here.   After showing that their election campaigns and policies for the first two years were very similar, Burt notes:

The results of FDR’s 1938 midterm election and Obama’s 2010 campaign appear to be similar. Roosvelt lost 81 seats in the House and eight in the Senate. Obama seems headed for a loss of 60+ seats in the House and seven or eight in the Senate. 

The entire article is well worth reading.

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Charlie Crist, the good Republican

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:18 AM

Uh, yeah.

Christ also has a deity complex.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:50 AM

  • GOP narrows fundraising margin in 2010.

  • N.C. Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer praises the work of a Democratic Party staffer taxed with going to GOP events with a camera.

  • Civitas finds a 16-percentage point difference in favor of Republicans between now and 2008 on a generic legislative ballot.

  • has North Carolina's 11th Congressional District and the 7th as “toss ups."

  • Americans for Legal Immigration PAC rescinds its endorsement of U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th, from 2008 and instead endorses his Republican opponent, Ilario Pantano.

  • Political newcomer takes on GOP'er Howard Coble in the 6th Congressional District.

  • McIntyre, Pantano raise more than $1 million apiece.

  • Democratic incumbent Heath Shuler, Republican Jeff Miller get testy in two-hour radio debate.

Latest Richard Burr ad encourages voters to “put American back on the right track."

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Perdue's executive order on regulation good 'first step' toward reform

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:26 AM

Daren Bakst's thorough review of Gov. Beverly Perdue's executive order on rulemaking and regulation leads to generally positive reviews.

Learn more here and in the video clip below.

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In case you missed him ...

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:59 AM

Roy Cordato discussed the moral hazard of mortgage bailouts during an appearance on UNC Public Television's "North Carolina Now."

The first video clip below is the televised segment. The second is the full interview reporter/anchor Kelly McCullen conducted with Roy.

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How is this an argument?

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 07:15 AM

I find it strange that in political debate pointing out that someone's views are "outside the mainstream" is considered to be an argument. 

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Would we be better off with more private law enforcement services?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:14 AM

Fayetteville State University economist Edward Stringham says yes. He explained why during an hourlong presentation and question-and-answer session Wednesday night at Campbell's business school.

Stringham was a featured speaker for the Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series at Campbell.

Click play below to watch the full presentation.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:01 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Don Carrington's latest report on Gov. Bev Perdue's travel on private aircraft during her days as lieutenant governor. In addition to making no payments to private flight providers for campaign business, Perdue's office made no payments for flights tied to official state business.

John Hood's Daily Journal analyzes the link between election polling data and next week's likely results.

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