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Archive for December, 2011

Rasmussen: 47% Say GOP Will Win White House, 39% Say Obama Will Win

Rasmussen polling shows just 14% of likely voters surveyed are “undecided” on who will win the presidency in November. While just 39% say President Obama will be re-elected, I say the Obama campaign machine is formidable and if the Left continues to be successful at demonizing producers and entrepreneurs, and telling Americans they are victims of Big Bad Business and the Big Bad Rich, then he will win.

 

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Carrboro Already Has Its Hand Out For Orange Tax Hike Cash

Orange County’s quarter-cent sales tax hike goes into effect in April, but the line to grab the goodies has already started. Carrboro wants a quarter million.

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I Think I Spot a Trend: Olbermann “disgruntled” with Al Gore TV gig

There was a time when Keith Olbermann was clever in espousing his very liberal views. I stopped watching when his viciousness and anger became downright uncomfortable to watch and his commentary dominated by vitriol rather than thought. Now comes word he is – yet again – “disgruntled” with his gig at Al Gore’s Current TV.

In the television industry, Mr. Olbermann is well known for fights with his bosses; stories abound about his refusal to speak to managers and executives. At Current, this behavior has continued, according to four people with knowledge of the situation, one of whom described Mr. Olbermann as “disgruntled.”

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I thought historians were supposed to remember things

Amanda Foreman is a British historian educated at Sarah Lawrence, Columbia University and Oxford. She has won prizes for history and biography.

She was on C-SPAN recently, and commented on the movie “Iron Lady,” in which Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher (emphasis below is mine):

I think that the film actually has prompted a massive rethink of Lady Thatcher. That most people, I think, shared my opinion, that it was someone who had been in power 20 years ago that she was a big towering figure, but was like an out-of-control Sherman tank, and was bossy, and loud, and seemed to create more discontent than anything else. And this film has reminded us that she was also a great feminist pioneer who changed the face of the world in terms of what it was possible for women to achieve, and that she ended the Cold War. And those are two things, that I know I somehow managed to forget.

Foreman was born in 1968, which means she was 11 years old when Thatcher became PM and 21 when she left that post. That’s pretty much her formative years. Its an astonishing admission that she forgot all that made Thatcher possibly the greatest woman of the 20th century, and that it took a Hollywood movie for her, at the age of 43, after years of being, you know, a historian, to be reminded of it.

The erroneous image of Thatcher that Foreman outlines in the quote above is point-for-point the view of Thatcher that the Left has worked tirelessly to impose. They tried the same with Reagan.

This shows just how much the media/left negative image of conservatives can, with the aid of liberals in the media and the culture, be imposed on even intelligent people who are supposed to be analytical and objective about what’s happening in the world.

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Jan. 21 in Raleigh: Brit Hume to Speak at JLF Anniversary Dinner

Make plans now to attend the John Locke Foundation’s 22nd anniversary event, which will feature Brit Hume as the keynote speaker. Ticket information is here.

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It’s Not Censorship, It’s Just Being Sensitive

Over at sister blog The Locker Room, Carolina Journal Radio’s Mitch Kokai has posted a must-watch 7-minute video about a University of Wisconsin professor’s plight over a sign he posted on his office door. University officials went after him in a ridiculous trampling of his free speech rights, justified under the guise of creating a welcoming campus. It’s yet another example of the Left’s view that free speech is to be defended – as long as you agree with the Left. If you don’t, they’ll attempt to shut you down.

How do North Carolina campuses rate in terms of these misguided speech codes and policies? The Pope Center for Higher Education Policy monitors the campuses and reports on the results here. 

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“This is right out of 1930s Chicago, hardball union politics”

From Stockton, California comes the latest union tactics in a dispute over budget cuts that has the union suing the city and the city suing the union.

 

“Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California: Stop laying off cops!” read one at the city’s entrance. Other billboards posted by the Stockton Police Officers’ Assn. depicted splattered blood, gave a running tally of the city’s record number of homicides — and the city manager’s phone number.

Since then, the fight moved closer to home: The police union bought the house next to City Manager Bob Deis.

“In 30 years of labor negotiations I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jonathan Holtzman, a San Francisco lawyer representing Stockton. “Tires slashed; late-night phone calls — but buying the house next door to the boss?

Don’t shed too many tears for the city,  which, like so many others, made policy decisions destined to put the city and its taxpayers into a tailspin.

 

To his mind, the real estate more central to the dispute is the 10,000-seat sports arena, waterfront hotel, marina and other development the city helped finance in more prosperous times. Stockton has $87 million in outstanding redevelopment bonds that were sold in 2006.

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Ready to Rumble: Big Corn vs. Big Sugar

And here I thought sugar was, well, just sugar. Wrong. The sugar and corn industries are now locked in battle over what is, and isn’t sugar. Perhaps the best approach is to forget the argument over the label and realize that if someone is concerned about calories and obesity, try eating less and exercising more.

The fight began last year when Corn Refiners Association, a trade association, proposed changing the name of high-fructose corn syrup to merely “corn sugar.”

The group said the new name “more accurately describes this sweetener and helps clarify food products labeling for manufacturers and consumers alike.”

But the sugar industry argued this change would be a bitter pill for US consumers and would only add to the confusion about a sweetener that has drawn criticism by some health advocates.

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Will newspaper companies soon be for sale at The Dollar Store?

The New York Times Co. is selling 16 of its regional newspapers for $143 million. That might seem like a lot, but consider this: The Herald-Sun in Durham, where I was managing editor until Jan. 2005, sold to Paxton Media in Dec. 2004 for a price reported to have been in the neighborhood of $120 million.

At the time of its sale, The Herald-Sun had a circulation in the 50,000 range. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, just one of the 16 papers the NYT Co. is attempting to dump, has a circulation of 110,000. The average circulation of the 16 papers is 27,000, and the average selling price is $8.9 million per newspaper.

The Herald-Sun sale came out to $2.4 million per thousand of circulation. The Times Co. sale, if it goes through, is at a mere fraction of that, $333,000 per thousand.

And newspaper values probably haven’t reached the bottom yet.

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Another Walter Duranty Pulitzer

The New York Times has won another Walter Duranty Pulitzer Prize, it seems. Duranty, you may recall, was the NYT Moscow bureau chief during the early Stalin years who reported that Communism was working in Soviet Russia, and that all those rumors about intentional starvation and purges were just the fabrications of counter-revolutionaries. For this, he won a Pulitzer.

History has judged Duranty, and it ain’t pretty. The same can now be said for the 2010 Pulitzer won by NTY reporter David Barstow:

An April 20, 2008 New York Times story by David Barstow, “MESSAGE MACHINE: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” won a Pulitzer Prize for the explosive claim that the Pentagon had cultivated “military analysts” in a “trojan horse” campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.

On December 1 of this year, the Washington Times reported that an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, spurred by Barstow’s reporting, found no wrongdoing, and quoted a spokesman for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld saying the New York Times should return its Pulitzer. But the New York Times itself did not report the Pentagon’s vindication until Christmas Day, on page A20.

My question is, how is it that a story as routine as this one, which, even if it were accurate, is just an assertion that a few calls were made to enlist support after the worst attack ever on our country, is worthy of a Pulitzer?

That pretty much says all you need to know about print journalism today. If Ben Franklin were alive today he’d probably ask that his likeness be stricken from the Pulitzer medal.

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