The Locker Room

August 7, 2006

Court rules against House Speaker

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 8:35 PM

A Superior Court Judge says Jim Black's campaign should forfeit $6,800 in contributions from optometrists.

You'll find some of the court's reasoning here and here

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Oil Pipes, BP and Money

Posted by Chad Adams at 6:30 PM

As we watch the story of the BP saga unfold, seems like we're not really hearing a great deal about some of the good news.

With all those profits we keep hearing about, we rarely hear about the amount of risk that they take in getting that oil out of the ground and getting it to the pump cheaper than bottled water. Replacing 75% of their pipes in Prudoe Bay will not be cheap, but is necessary to get the oil flowing.

Secondly, the safeguards worked, the pipe issue was discovered, pipes were shut down, the system worked. Of course, once again, it would have been better for those devout left leaning environmental organizations if much more of the environment had been damaged.

But ANWAR is still off limits. . . .

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Reforming Pensions Where It Matters

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:36 PM

Health care remains out of reach for most small businesses because it is a defined benefit, and HSAs are just the first step to improve this situation. Retirement savings already is a defined contribution for those of us at the Locke Foundation and younger employees at a number of firms. Amy Baldwin at the Charlotte Observer found some things to like in recently passed Congressional legislation to reform pensions, including to allow advisers to consult with employees who have a 401(k) plan and automatic enrollment.


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Bad Logic in Houston

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:58 PM

Otis White (Aug. 4 post) wonders why governments are selling their toll roads. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says raising taxes and tolls is unpalatable for politicians but the government gets a huge windfall when it sells.

Steve Radack, a county commissioner in Harris County, Texas, where Houston is located... told the Wall Street Journal recently, he’s handing out copies of the children’s book “The Giving Tree” to people interested in selling off the roads. The book is about a boy and a generous apple tree, which gives the boy its fruit to eat and anything else he wants, including its branches and trunk. In the end, of course, there’s nothing left but the stump. Radack uses the book to make a point: “If you can sell [a highway] for tremendous profit, then why is someone buying it? Because they know they can make even more.” And with a little courage, so could governments.

Mr. Radack apparently has never bought a stock or a second-hand ticket to an event. Each of those transactions involves selling something to someone who thinks they can make even more.

Selling the toll road also may not be popular, which gives credence to Gov. Daniels' hypothesis.

Daniels’ approval ratings, the Washington Post reported recently, plunged from about 50 percent before the [toll road] lease idea to 37 percent after. Next door in Illinois, the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor have taken note of Daniels’ missteps and are promising they won’t sell that state’s roads, even though some estimate the Illinois Tollway alone could fetch $15 billion. “I have no interest in turning it over to private investors,” Gov. Rod Blagojevich told reporters.


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Preview of the Fall Congressional Elections

Posted by Chad Adams at 1:50 PM

Just finished having a legislative luncheon with the local chamber. The event was supposed to be a Sheriff's race preview but had far more time alloted to Congressman Bob Etheridge (D).

Fascinating, Bob is always good at using the latest "talking points" memo from Pelosi or Harry Reid's office.

The campaign to take back the House for the left is this, "When Bill Clinton was in office, the GOP led House helped to reign in spending and we had a balanced budget, we need to have the House in better hands to work with this administration, to provide balance."

Hmm, the rest of the message? Simple, we need more Ethanol because there was a rusty pipe leak in Alaska which is going to make gas prices go up and we're too dependent on bad countries to get oil.

We need more subsidies to produce the Ethanol. And more windmills, biodiesel and alternative fuels would happen if the GOP would just get out of the way.

FEMA is corrupt, Iraq is a mess, the Bushies cut work training programs and the left saved them in the House.

The House has done a terrible job, accomplished nothing, it's time for a change. No real message, nice and simple.

And it will sell because it is so simple to understand!

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Lefty think tank chides media for "climate porn"

Posted by Jon Ham at 1:30 PM

This from the BBC:

The report from the Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says over-use of alarming images is a "counsel of despair".

It says they make people feel helpless and says the use of cataclysmic imagery is partly commercially motivated.

It's almost like they had this in mind, though they don't specifically mention it.

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Thanks to BP Your Carbon Footprint will be Shrinking

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:55 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if the self hating oil company, British Petroleum, gave a little more of its attention and resources to maintaining its pipelines and less to a massive advertising campaign trying to show us all how politically correct they are?

LONDON (AFP) - World crude prices spiked to nearly record high points in London after the BP oil major began closing production from a key oil field in Alaska because of a pipeline spill.


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Re: Troy's Greatest

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:53 AM


Get Confident, Stupid!

(Y'all know this has got to be distracting Kickler, right?)

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Re: Troy’s Greatest

Posted by John Hood at 10:51 AM

Jeff, I had forgotten the immortal “The President’s Neck is Missing.” Shame on me.

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Troy's Greatest Hits

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 10:50 AM

Wrong again, oh Great Khan of Cary.

Tell me these are not Troy's best titles.

The President's Neck is Missing
Preacher with a Shovel
Lead Paint: Delicious but Deadly
Smoke Yourself Thin


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A real "Hootenanny!"

Posted by Michael Moore at 10:50 AM

Some folks in North Carolina call big parties or celebrations a Hootenanny.  I'm just so delighted that the Washington Times used that term today in this article, calling for the Dixie Chicks to have shin digs at Starbucks, or to at least appeal more to the Starbucks crowd. 

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Welfare Kings a.k.a. American Farmers

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 10:45 AM

A good article on the federal farm subsidy problem. Given the passage of the NC dairy subsidy bill, the problem is not limited to the federal level.  See my recent op-ed here.  

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Of course Fidel is/was a capitalist!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:41 AM

He owned all the capital, didn't he?

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I'm not a capitalist, imperialist pig!

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:34 AM

Amid reports of Fidel Castro's decline (and possible demise), U.S. News editor Mortimer B. Zuckerman offers this week his fond recollections of long conversations with the dictator.

Though the column ignores Castro's evil, there is at least one humorous observation:

[H]e escorted me to a room next to his office filled with the new Chinese gadgets and began citing from memory Cuba's hour-by-hour consumption of energy, the energy efficiencies of the new generators, and the cost savings from reduced energy imports. Without pausing for breath, he then segued into a description of another new program, to reward Cubans who use less energy rather than assessing everyone the same consumption cost. I told Fidel he was becoming a capitalist, but he disagreed. He was no capitalist, he said; he was just approaching the subject rationally. But Fidel, I replied, that's what capitalists do.

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Why does the USFWS hate Woodpeckers?

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 10:20 AM

US Fish and Wildlife service once again proves that it is more concerned with bureaucratic power than protecting species. By using the Endangered Species act to "take" private property, FWS is causing landowners to "Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up."  In this case, landowners are cutting down their trees before the FWS finds a nest of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.  If FWS finds a nest, development is restricted on 75 acres around the nest.  Therefore, landowners are clear-cutting their land as quickly as possible.  As Bonner Stiller, a member of the GA from Brunswick County, stated: "You had to get in line to get somebody with a chair saw."  See front-page article in the N&O here. 

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The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel

Posted by John Hood at 09:56 AM

Those truly in the know will recognize "Here Comes the Coast Guard” as one of the signature films of legendary actor and infomercial maven Troy McClure. But it also springs into your head when you read this paper by James Jay Carafano and Laura Keith of the Heritage Foundation, who argued persuasively that America’s neglected branch of the armed services has serious planning and infrastructure needs. The authors put too much emphasis on the guard's natural-emergency role, I think, and not enough on its post-911 security responsibilities, but they still do a good job of identifying the shortcomings of the force.

BTW, the best titles for Troy McClure films are:

“Calling All Quakers”
“Give My Remains to Broadway”
“The Greatest Story Ever Hulaed”
“They Came to Burgle Carnegie Hall”

Plus that immortal self-help video:

“Dig Your Own Grave and Save”

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Exposing the follies in higher education

Posted by George Leef at 09:46 AM

This letter in the August 4 Atlanta Journal-Constitution by a professor performs a good public service in highlighting the follies that are now so common in higher education, particularly in the humanities.

Growing up, I remember often hearing a public service announcement on TV: "Parents, do you know where your children are?" These days, you could just call them on their cell phones. The question du jour is, "Parents, do you have any idea what your children are studying in college?"

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"Hello, is this NASA? Listen, I'm sick of your boring space launches!"

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:43 AM

MSNBC reports:

NASA joins search for elusive woodpecker
Laser-equipped aircraft maps ivory-bill’s habitat in Arkansas
Reportedly, Warner Bros. has already bought the rights to bring this story to the big screen. Samuel L. Jackson and Keanu Reeves have been approached to play the plucky astronauts scouring the American countryside for the elusive bird, portrayed by N.C.'s own Clay Aiken, making his bigscreen debut. Aiken also sings the movie's fetching title theme, "When the Treehouse's a-Knockin', Don't Come a-Flockin'."

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Pre-Washington Presidents

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:40 AM

Troy can correct me if I am wrong, but presidents before the Constitution were members of Congress elected to serve as president of the Congress not an independent executive as prescribed in the Constitution.

By the way, I am currently reading 1776 by David McCullough.  It is an absolutely fantastic book.  He is one historian who is not afraid to suggest that God had a hand in the establishment of the country.  When Washington retreated from Long Island at night, not all of the troops were across the East River by daybreak.  The remaining troops would have come under the guns of the British warships and subject to attack on the ground in daylight.  When the sun rose, the Long Island shore was shrouded in an unusually thick fog.  All of Washington's troops escaped unmolested.

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Kids: Don't watch RAW tonight, and that's the bottom line cause Wake Forest said so

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 09:36 AM

Wake Forest University has stepped into the world of the ridiculous research with the release of a study that says teens who watch pro wrestling as teens are more likely to behave more violently than other kids. The study focused only on kids in Forsyth County, according to The Associated Press. Of course, the researchers blamed the WWE for the violence in teens.

I watched pro wrestling as a teen, knew it was entertainment, and went along with my life. My family was always around in my life and I was very close to them. I guess the researchers failed to equate family involvement in their research. I would argue that children without strong family influences or adult mentors are more likely to act violently than by watching some television show.

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Pre-Washington presidents?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:15 AM

This U.S. News article highlights the discussion of America's forgotten "presidents" -- the leaders of the Continental Congress and the executives who operated under the Articles of Confederation.

As many as 10 "presidents" served before George Washington took the oath as the first president working within the structure of the U.S. Constitution. 

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A crime is a crime

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:14 AM

David Gelernter makes the case against the term "hate crime" in this piece from The Weekly Standard

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