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Archive for July, 2010

“We’ve got waste. We’ve got abuse. We’ve got fraud. The whole trifecta.”

That quote comes from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on the travesty at Arlington National Cemetery, where estimates say as many as 6,600 graves could be misidentified. The former #2 invoked the Fifth Amendment at a congressional hearing yesterday.

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The Pre-Election Spin Begins, Andy Griffith Style

Here’s how you know seniors aren’t buying the new health care law: the feds are doing “outreach” featuring liberal Democrat Andy Griffith.

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Man, all of a sudden there are a lot of racists out there

Obama’s supporters tell us that if we oppose our first black president on policy matters, then we’re racist. If that’s the case, there are an awful lot of racists all of a sudden, and they’re white, Jewish, Hispanic and independent:

Amid the din of “Yes, we can!” chants, it seemed that nothing could bring the history-making President down. But now, with his policies largely unpopular and his inability to goose economic growth increasingly apparent, Obama’s once powerful political coalition is imploding.

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“stepping on the accelerator and calling it change”

How did we get into the current fiscal mess? And are the current administration’s economic policies digging us out? JLF’s Roy Cordato cuts through the rhetoric in this column. I encourage you to read the entire piece, but here are two important excerpts. First:

The policies of the Bush administration did, indeed, get us into this economic disaster. And it is the intensification of these policies that has caused continued economic stagnation and increased unemployment. Obama’s monetary and fiscal policies have, in large part, been a continuation of bad policy choices made during the Bush years.

Then this:

Instead of taking deficits from Bush’s $460 billion to over $1 trillion, he would have used spending cuts to reduce deficits and end the public sector drain on capital markets. And lastly, real change would have meant appointing a Federal Reserve chair who values sound money and does not believe that the economy can be centrally planned through manipulation of money supply and interest rates. In other words, he would have reversed course truly instead of simply stepping on the accelerator and calling it change.

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Wanted: People to Help Fund Candidates They Oppose

If you’re concerned by the idea of your tax dollars helping to fund candidates you would never in a million years vote for, you’re right to feel that way. That’s exactly what occurs with taxpayer-financed election campaigns. JLF’s Daren Bakst delves into North Carolina’s involvement in this wrongheaded policy in today’s Carolina Journal interview.

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Durham Says NO to Sales Tax Hike Referendum

For now, Durham County commissioners have voted 3-2 not to put the quarter-cent sales tax hike before voters in November. Why? Lavonia Allison, the chairperson of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, says her group would actively oppose it.

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Fasten Your Seat Belts

The current administration continues to cling to its rhetoric that its economic policy of spending and borrowing is just what the doctor ordered. Really?

The U.S. economic recovery will remain slow deep into next year, held back by shoppers reluctant to spend and employers hesitant to hire, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.

The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists have turned gloomier in the past three months. They foresee weaker growth and higher unemployment than they did before. As a result, the economists think the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero until at least next spring.

Next up in the administration’s “recovery” plan: tax hikes on the very people who create jobs and account for a big chunk of consumer spending.

Fasten your seat belts.

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Mark Your Calendar: Aug. 7 Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop

You’re invited to join the John Locke Foundation for a timely Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop. All the details and registration information can be found here.

What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions Can Teach Us Today

Saturday, August 07, 2010
8:30 am- 1:30 pm

The John Locke Foundation, 200 W Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601

Price: This meeting is free and open to the public, a box lunch is provided.

Space is limited, registration is required.

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Some thoughts for Wake’s diversity proponents to ponder

To hear the opponents of Wake County’s new neighborhood schools policy tell it, moving away from forced busing for economic diversity will result in separate-but-equal resegregated schools. You’d think Plessy v. Ferguson had never been supplanted by Brown v. Board of Education if you went to any of the pro-diversity rallies.

What never seems to be mentioned, though, is how the new system will help the kids they claim to want to help. Nor are they interested in whether there is any empirical data that shows the forced busing system ever helped improve the test scores and achievement of any of the students in the low socioeconomic category.

However, linguist and professor John McWhorter, who is black, writes that the biggest problem plaguing black students is the notion that blacks with high academic performance are “acting white,” a notion that didn’t exist before integration (emphasis added):

No one needs to wonder why black kids don’t do well in terrible schools, of course. A bone I had to pick with Rich Ford was that he thought that Buck missed the point that alienation from society was the reason black kids are turning away from the books. But the reason the ”acting white” business is interesting is that it happens mainly among black kids in better schools — sadly, the integrated ones. … In all-black schools, nobody gets called ”acting white” for liking school. This is important.

McWhorter is ambivalent about resegregated schools, but notes that it seems inconsistent for people to swell with pride at an all-black graduation ceremony at Spelman or Morehouse, but cringe at the thought of an all-black high school.

As with most things these days, there are nuances, and it’s not all just black or white.

UPDATE: The John Locke Foundation’s Terry Stoops confirms that, even with its vaunted “diversity” program, Wake County Schools is serving low-income students poorly. They trail the state’s other large systems, Guilford County, Charlotte-Meck and Winston-Salem/Forsyth, which don’t employ forced busing.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

The police union in Bay City, Michigan may have gotten more than it bargained for after putting up provocative billboards to protest the layoff of five officers and spending on a new roof. The boards feature this:

“City Hall’s Roof Will Not Stop You From Getting: Beaten, Shot, Stabbed, Robbed. 5 Laid Off Bay City Cops Could Have!” one billboard reads.

The other one shows a masked gunman and reads, “POSSIBLE. The result of Bay City Commissioners laying off five police officers.”

A key public official isn’t amused and is calling the union’s bluff. (emphasis is mine)

Shannon said if the billboards are to be taken seriously and the police force believes it has lost its ability to protect and service, “it really forces me as commission president in Bay City, Mich., to put together a committee to explore contracting services out to the sheriff’s department” and other local law enforcement agencies.

“If they cannot do their job…we have to consider alternatives to provide public safety,” he said.

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