Bless you, Mitch; my sides ache from laughing every time I try to imagine the process that must have led to the creation of such an abomination as Super Colon: the germ of the idea, the desire to share it with others, the belief that others would actually take it seriously and not mock you into well-deserved oblivion, the eventuality of others taking it seriously, the corporate decision to contract to have the thing built, the thought of how that order must have been worded, the thought of how that written order must have been received, the process of building it, the concerns during inspection, the satisfaction at the finished product, and then, the desire to share it with the world.
On the obscene profits theme, Michelle Malkin gives some perspective in this column, "Planned Parenthood's Obscene Profits." One interesting section:
Here's an idea for all the hand-wringing GOP strategists in Washington wondering what it will take to win back disgusted economic and social conservatives: How about a Republican presidential candidate who will talk about the tax-subsidized abortion industry the way McCain talks about the oil industry?
In April, the annual report for Planned Parenthood Federation of America revealed that the abortion giant had a total income of $1.02 billion -- with reported profits of nearly $115 million. Taxpayers kick in more than $336 million worth of government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels. That's a third of Planned Parenthood's budget.
And what market-distorting results do we get for those government incentives? In 2006 alone: 289,750 abortions.
Jon S. hit on the point that today is the anniversary of D-Day.
64 years ago many young men of the Allied Forces landed on the beaches
of France to save our freedom. If you are a D-Day veteran we
thank you! Here is a video to honor the veterans.
Obama's apostles are hard to dismiss. Oprah simply calls him "The One," because "we need politicians who know how to be the truth." (Jesus says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth ...") Oprah goes on to say Obama will help us "evolve to a higher plane," which would put Obama in the role of our Intelligent Designer.
According to the New York Times, Obama's volunteers are taught to eschew discussions of the issues and instead "testify" about how they "came to Obama." ...
Michelle Obama is arguably Obamanity's greatest evangelist, even though she has a streak of Old Testament smiting and wrath to her. She insists her husband has redeemed the entire nation (hence her newfound pride in America). She proclaims her husband is the sort of leader who will fix our broken souls. But don't hope for grace on the cheap. "The change Barack is talking about is hard," she insists, "so don't get too excited, because Barack is going to demand that you, too, be different." ...
And then there's the Gospel according to Obama himself. In January, he told Dartmouth students that they will know to vote for him because "... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack."
When asked in an interview what sin is, Obama defined it as "Being out of alignment with my values." Apparently, the editor failed to capitalize the "M" in "My."
The news is abuzz with talk of CEO pay and windfall profits among oil companies. Those profits, and the notion of domestic oil drilling, prompted this outburst from California Rep. Maxine Waters. (It should have been cause for her immediate dismissal from the House, but fell by the wayside in favor of more important matters, such as The Pound.)
With all the talk of profit and salaries, my question is simple: What about pay for public officials?
Some North Carolina state legislators have challenged the rather high (and taxpayer-funded) salaries of officials of the N.C. lottery.
The lottery’s executive director, Tom Shaheen, gets a base salary of $246,000 per year. The lottery commission has approved pay increases for its employees that are double the amount proposed for other state employees. And, apparently, it doesn’t want the General Assembly having a say in how large those raises are.
In all fairness, it does take some generous perks to attract the kind of talent that can convince citizens to bet their dollars on the stupid tax. The big bad truth: We're paying these officials some hefty change so they can, in turn, bilk more money out of the population. A nice deal for them.
When I fill up at the pump, at least I get a product. If the odds were 146 million to one that the pump would dispense gas, I'd go elsewhere.
With his oversight of the Leandro case, Judge Howdy Manning has, according to the N&O, "blustered, cajoled and threatened, pushing state leaders to improve schools." In the heavy-handed spirit of Manning, District Court Judge Rob Lewis (Northampton County - District 6B) is going after Bertie County school officials for their failure to adequately educate the county's kids.
In late May, Lewis subpoenaed the entire Bertie County Board of Education, the superintendent of schools, and other school officials. According to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, he "verbally rebuked them for the high number of high schoolers coming through the court system." Moreover, Judge Lewis recently ordered "16 Bertie kids to parade around downtown Windsor with sign that says "DON'T I LOOK STUPID," according to the venerable Dean Stephens.
So, if you are a fan of judicial activism, send a thank you note to Judge Rob Lewis, who is taking the judiciary to the next level.
Are there any universities where students learn about laissez-faire capitalism, the harms of government intervention, and where no government money is accepted, there is no affirmative action, and no tenure?
Yes -- Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala, which is the subject of this story in today's LA Times.
The piece is quite fair, but does give a bit of ink to leftist gripes that the school indoctrinates the children of the wealthy in order to perpetuate the dominance of the ruling oligarchy. That's a very hollow attack, though -- the standard mistake of confusing free-market thinking with special pleading for business. The university's founder Manuel Ayau Cordon, makes it clear that he favors a policy of no governmental favors of any group. He argues that a pure laissez-faire policy would help the poor and would be detrimental to rich people if their wealth depends on government monopolies or other benefits.
Wouldn't it be good to have some schools like FMU here? Yes, but accreditation would be an enormous hurdle. American accrediting agencies would say that the way FMU operates just doesn't match up with their model of how a university should be run.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, Guilford College, Warren Wilson College, NC School of the Arts, Central Piedmont Community College, Winston-Salem State University, Western Carolina University, NC State, Appalachian State, UNC-Wilmington, Salem College, East Carolina University, UNC-Greensboro, Wake Forest University, Western Carolina University, Queens University, Duke University, Peace College, Bennett College, and Meredith College.
A campuswide e-mail alerted prospective student actors to the play under the subject line, "Greetings, Penis Lovers."
In the play, students dress up as phalluses and talk about their experiences being pricks. Prior to the performances, the crowd is led to chant "Penis! Penis!" over and over again, and told that this is actually revolutionary. Student columnists then write very earnest op-eds praising TPM for such revolutionary acts.
Meanwhile, proceeds from the performance and from ancillary sales of "Penis Pops," "Scrotum Cookies," "Blue Balls Bash" bags, "Dick Heads" T-shirts, and other merchandise, will go to benefit Amsler's D-Day business and will be said to promote men's interests worldwide.
As you know, this campaign has apparently everyone in the Old Media thinking in terms of the messiah (and verily, verily, I say unto thee: Gaggeth thou me with a ladle), remember when Jesus praised the widow who gave only two mites, because it was proportionally greater than that given with great show by the Pharisee?
Even then, you will note, the Pharisee made a show of giving his own money. Today’s modern Pharisee takes your money and my money and only then makes a show of giving it.
I love the state motto of North Carolina: Esse quam videri. To be rather than to seem. Schweizer's article and Brooks' book provide a good example of the difference between being and seeming.
Here is another piece, this one appearing in American Spectator, comparing the personal charity of liberals versus conservatives. Several examples given by Peter Schweizer:
Andrew Cuomo, current New York Attorney General, made no charitable contributions between 1996 and 1999. In 2004 and 2005, he grossed $1.5 million in income but gave only $2,000 to charity.
Al Gore, former vice president, gave $353 to charity in 1998.
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts gave zero to charity in 1995 but bought a half stake in a 17th century painting for $500,000.
Going back a few decades, FDR had an average income of $93,000 ($1.3 million in today's dollars) but gave away about three percent
In contrast to these examples, Schweizer gives some instances of conservative generosity:
President Ronald Reagan ... was often called heartless and callous by liberals. Unlike Roosevelt or JFK, Reagan was not a wealthy man when he became president. He had no family trust or investment portfolio to fall back on.
And yet, according to his tax returns, Reagan donated more than four times more to charity -- both in terms of actual money and on a percentage basis -- than Senator Ted Kennedy. And he gave more to charities with less income than FDR did. In 1985, for example, he gave away 6 percent of his income.
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have continued this Reagan record. During the early 1990s, George W. Bush regularly gave away more than 10 percent of his income. In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney gave away 77 percent of his income to charity. He was actually criticized by some liberal bloggers for this, who claimed he was getting too much of a tax deduction.
• Pat McCrory hires a campaign manager who previously worked for Virginia Foxx and Robin Hayes. Carolina Politics Online doesn't think much of the notion that Libertarian candidates Bob Barr and Mike Munger will play a spoiler role in 2008, benefiting Barack Obama and Beverly Perdue, respectively.
• Speaking in New Bern, Kay Hagan forecasts a "big wave" for Democrats that will help her defeat Elizabeth Dole, and quips that if Jesse Helms was Senator No, Dole is Senator Nowhere. Dole attracts attention for her decision to break with most Republicans and support the Warner-Lieberman bill on climate change.
As North Carolina lawmakers haggle over state budget details, they’re not contemplating the large-scale layoffs and program cuts under consideration in other states. Conservative revenue estimates deserve at least some of the credit, as Joe Coletti explains in the newest edition of Carolina Journal Radio.
Terry Stoops will explain the potential benefits of new state tax credits for educating special-needs students, while you’ll hear highlights from a recent legislative debate about high school dropout prevention.
Now that the primary season is over, analyst Fred Barnes of Fox News and The Weekly Standard will offer his latest election assessment. Plus Donna Martinez and I will conduct another “Locker Room Talk,” a discussion of some of the best recent entries from this blog.
The Washington Post is reporting that The Lieberman-Warner CO2 cap and trade bill may be withdrawn by Senate majority leader Harry Reid. According to the Post story:
If this week's Senate debate on a proposed cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for climate legislation, things are not looking too good for opening night.
The week has been marked by parliamentary maneuvers and bitter accusations over divergent estimates of the bill's future costs. On Wednesday, a group of GOP senators asked that the clerk of the Senate read the entire 491-page bill aloud, an extremely rare request. That took more than 10 hours.
Although parliamentary maneuvers could still extend the debate into next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) faced the prospect of failure in a bid to end debate on amendments to the climate bill this morning. In that event, he was expected to seek withdrawal of the entire measure, to the relief of some Democrats from coal-producing or heavy industrial states.
"We are going to have Democrats voting to end debate on what they call the most important issue facing the planet and Republicans voting to continue debate on it," said Don Stewart, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)...James M. Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement, "Now Democrats are on record as supporting legislation that would significantly increase prices at the pump and in our homes."
It should be pointed out that not only are many Democrats on record as supporting the bill so is NC Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of the legislation. In fact she is a co-sponor of the legislation.