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Archive for August, 2012

Rasmussen: 71% Of Likely Voters Say President Obama Is A Liberal

When one supports massive expansion of government spending and regulation, coupled with a rejection of religious freedom, people understand where those views fall on the ideological spectrum.

More voters than ever consider Mitt Romney a conservative, but President Obama is still viewed as further to the political left than Romney is to the right. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 71% of Likely U.S. Voters describe Obama as a liberal, up just slightly from earlier this year but the highest finding since December 2010

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Liberal Feminists Just Can’t Stand Women Who Think For Themselves

The Left’s claws are out. If you’re a woman who dares to have independent thought and to reject the tired notion that your gender equates to victimhood, you are trashed by feminists who claim to be defenders of the so-called sisterhood. It is sad to see what the feminist  movement has become — bitterness, vitriol, anger, slurs, and of course — abortion on demand. The latest insulting headline aimed at any woman who strays from liberal feminist big-government, big spending ideology is below, in which a columnist tries to once again use the nonsensical, insulting comment from candidate Akin as a sweeping indictment of any woman who isn’t a liberal Democrat.

Women Who Love Republicans Who Hate Them

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Carolina Journal: Your Source For Democratic Convention Coverage

Carolina Journal staff will be providing coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Here’s the plan to help keep you informed:

Managing Editor Rick Henderson, Executive Editor Don Carrington, and Associate Editors Barry Smith and Dan Way will report on events inside Time Warner Cable Arena and across the city.

Carrington will focus on photographing and filming events. Smith will report on activities outside the arena and keep up with the North Carolina delegation, and will be joined by Way on the final day of the convention to report on the scene surrounding President Obama’s acceptance speech in Bank of America Stadium. Henderson will offer regular reporting and commentary, primarily through social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, and the new Tout video application, and will be writing commentary for Carolina Journal Online and Meck Deck, JLF’s Charlotte regional blog.

Meck Deck will serve as the home site for convention reporting and commentary during the week.

Videos taken during the week will be posted on the John Locke Foundation’s YouTube page.

Meantime, the CJ staff and experts from the John Locke Foundation will liveblog the main convention speeches Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights at Meck Deck.

“We may not get another opportunity to cover a national political convention so close to home any time soon, so we were eager to deploy most of our staff to Charlotte,” Henderson said. “We’re excited, and hope to inform and entertain our audience.”

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GAO: Four Federal Agencies Swimming In Overlapping Programs

Bloat and inefficiency: it’s the name of the game in the federal government. A new GAO report concluded that four agencies have 52 overlapping programs to help small businesses. Remember this fact the next time you hear an apologist for the big-government status quo tell you the problem is revenue, not spending.



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UNC Journalism Student Looks Ahead To “crazy people” At DNC Convention

Here’s one journalism student’s thoughts on helping out with coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week:

Some are attending as spectators, a few are serving as delegates—and seven UNC journalism students will be covering it all on behalf of the Charlotte Observer.

“We’ll be available when things get crazy–(and) things will get crazy,” says one of the seven students, Melissa Abbey. “So we’ll be a resource for them when there’s a protest they don’t expect, or when there are different events, or crazy people–we’ll be there ready to go.”

I wonder if she expects to find them inside or outside the convention hall.

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Quantity Versus Quality

JLF’s Director of Education Studies, Terry Stoops, analyzes the issue of quality versus quantity in education as it relates to North Carolina’s high school graduation rate. While a higher graduation rate represents progress on the surface, a closer look reveals a nagging quality issue.

In 2011, the College Board asked recent high school graduates to evaluate their academic preparation for life after high school. In the report that followed, One Year Out, researchers reported that nearly seven out of 10 students said that graduating from high school was easy. Only about half of the respondents believed that their high school did a good job of preparing them for life after high school.

The College Board also reported that two- and four-year colleges required 24 percent of those surveyed to take one or more remedial courses. Individual state results are even more telling. In 2007, the N.C. Community College System required just over half of prior-year graduates to enroll in a remedial English, reading, or math course. By 2011, that percentage increased to a staggering 65 percent.

For many, rising graduation rates suggest that our public schools are improving. But quantity is not the same as quality. Graduation rates are worthless if public schools fail to provide high school graduates knowledge and skills that allow them to be successful in any postgraduate endeavor they choose.

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Is The Cost Of Auto Repair Poised To Surge?

Talk about a glaring generation change. Apparently young people today are more interested in Facebook than cars, and that means we’re facing a shortage of auto mechanics. And when the supply of mechanics contracts while the demand for the service holds steady or increases, the price of repair will rise.

The nation’s demand for auto mechanics is expected to have grown about 17% from 2010 to 2020, adding 124,800 jobs for a total of 848,200, the Bureau of Labor Statisticsreports. Auto technicians overall earned an average of $35,790, but 10% earned more than $59,590, in 2010, the most recent year for which the BLS has data.

We’ve already seen this trend with welders, electricians, plumbers, and other technical/craft areas. And despite it all, some educators continue to push most kids down the path of traditional four-year degrees. Let’s hope educator wake up soon and take a look at Bureau of Labor statistics that show many of tomorrow’s jobs require specialized skill,  not a four-year degree.

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Pity The Taxpayers Getting Soaked For This Government Debacle

The smell of backroom deals continues to swirl around the small town of Bell, California. It takes both hands to count the number of ex-city officials who face criminal charges over outrageous salaries, benefits, and special contracts and deals that had them raking in the dough. Now one of the fired bureaucrats, Eric Eggena — who isn’t facing charges — has filed a lawsuit for $837,000 in pay and benefits. Here’s an update on how the taxpayers of Bell have been soaked by out-of-control government:

In addition to his salary, the city paid the employee portion of Eggena’s Medicare and Social Security deductions, and he accumulated double sick and vacation time, according to his contracts.

“I think it’s simply outrageous,” said Anthony Taylor, an attorney for Bell.

Eggena was one of several officials in Bell who received outsized salaries and benefits, led by former Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, whose compensation reached $1.5 million a year, which included 107 vacation and 36 sick days a year.

Another official, former Police Chief Randy Adams, whose salary of $457,000 a year made him one of the highest paid law enforcement officials in the nation, also has sued the city for severance pay.

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Wells Fargo Economist: “This report is a little disturbing going into the fall”

More insight into the psyche of Americans comes from the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index — which dropped yet again.  It signals that, aside from occasional hopeful signs that a recovery is down the road, this economy is sputtering. People can’t find jobs, and the job creators are dispirited and simply treading water. Thus, you have this:

The consumer confidence index, based on a survey conducted Aug. 1 to Aug. 16 with about 500 randomly selected people nationwide, underscored anxiety about the future. Consumer confidence is widely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity.

In the latest reading, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 16.5% from 19%. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.4% from 17.6%, while those expecting fewer jobs rose to 23.4% from 20.6%.

What might this portend for the retail industry? Wells Fargo Securities senior economist Mark Vitner concluded this:

And the index’s drop threatens to put a damper on the two biggest shopping periods of the year for retailers — back-to-school and winter holiday.

“This report is a little disturbing going into the fall,” said Vitner. “Consumers are less optimistic about the future.”

Disturbing indeed.

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NC hopefuls went early

Here’s another live blog:

Barry Smith - 3:25 PM

The three GOP congressional candidates ended up speaking early at the RNC.

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