Back to blogging :-)

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ST Command Central.

ST Command Central.

After taking an unintentionally long hiatus, yours truly is back to blogging. :)

Last year saw a lot of changes for me on many fronts, and “real life” got a whole lot busier. And in the summer when the race for the NC US Senate seat between then-Senator Hagan and now-Senator Thom Tillis began to heat up, I had to make some choices to make and decided that my offline responsibilities and the Senate race would be my top priorities – so I didn’t get to blog much, as social media became my main front for getting the message out about Kay Hagan, the bias of the North Carolina press, and how important it was that North Carolina do its part in changing control of the US Senate. Thankfully, we did! In fact, Roll Call did a nice piece talking about how NC conservatives/activists really stepped up their Twitter game in the final weeks before the election, which may have helped carry Thom Tillis to victory.

Since the election, offline life has continued to be busy both personally and professionally, which kept me away not only from my site but social media as well. In fact, this weekend has been the first real “me time” breather I’ve had since the week of Christmas, and my goal as it has been for quite some time was to change the theme and make it a more “back to basics” type format where the content was the main focus, not all the links and fancy bells and whistles – which I don’t have time to maintain anymore, anyway. So the new them is “live” – and I hope everyone likes it. Still have a bit of tweaking to do here and there, but for the most part, this is how everything will look.

It will be nice to (slowly) get back into the blogging and social media groove, even though now it will be infrequent and not as often as I once could do. But what’s important – and you learn this once you don’t have the time on your hands you’d like to! – is the quality of content and not so much the quantity, although if you can go doth quantity AND quality, that’s a definite bonus! Also, I plan to expand my topic range to incorporate things I didn’t talk about much here before – things like fashion, movies, home decorating, and other topics of general interest that go beyond politics and current events. I feel like I limited myself a bit before, and don’t want to do that anymore.

As always, the one and only Phineas, who has been my co-blogger here for many years and who has done an outstanding job, is welcome to blog here whenever he wants to. The door is always open!

Thanks for listening/reading. :)

Two weeks later, still basking in the #NCSEN afterglow

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Tillis wins - News and Record

Headline from the Greensboro (NC) News and Record, 11-5-14

Yeah, so this happened – and it wasn’t even supposed to.

I didn’t have much time to spend at the blog writing about my experiences the last few months of the US Senate campaign battle between (outgoing) Senator Kay Hagan (D) and (now-Senator-Elect) NC House Speaker Thom Tillis (R).  But suffice it to say – if you weren’t paying attention to social media prior to the election – that new media had a LOT to do with driving the narrative and focus of the local and national press in the final couple of months of the campaign, and I was proud to be a part of it alongside some fantastic, never-say-quit people here in NC and elsewhere.

One of these days when I get an extended amount of free time to organize everything (links, etc), I’ll try to write about it here just for the record.  It was truly one of the most stressful things I’ve ever been a part of and – in the end – extraordinarily rewarding.  As the headline above notes. ;)

(Video) Who are the real racists: liberals or conservatives?

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**Posted by Phineas

Liberal tolerance racist

If you’re a conservative, or just someone who thinks everyone should be treated equally, you’ve probably been called a racist at one point or another. And if, like most people, you’re a decent person, you’ve probably been taken aback and left wondering if maybe, subconsciously, you did hold beliefs and attitudes that were racist.

Stop wondering. You’re not. In fact, as Derryck Green of Project 21 explains in this Prager University video, it’s the American Left that harbors the racist attitudes, rooted in the assumption that Blacks just can’t compete, the infamous “soft bigotry of low expectations:”

So, relax. You’re not racist for believing we can all be held to the same standards. Far from it.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Respect: Canadian MPs fashioned spears to fight off jihadist gunman

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flag_canadian_maple_leaf
Apparently House of Commons Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers wasn’t the only badass on Parliament Hill that day. Conservative MPs taking shelter in a caucus room while a Muslim gunman stalked the halls of parliament were determined to fight for their lives:

After they heard gunfire outside their meeting room door Wednesday, members of Parliament snapped close to 15 flagpoles to make weapons.

Some positioned themselves on risers that flanked doors, ready to attack an assailant.

“There were 15 flags up at caucus and all but two were taken down,” one MP recalled.

“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in,” the source said.

“It was that or get mowed down,” the member of Parliament said of the threat posed by a gunman who was ultimately shot dead by Parliament Hill security.

The article also reports that Prime Minister Harper was “whisked” into a closet where he hid for about 15 minutes. But, before anyone thinks harshly of him, remember that he was the most important person in Canada, the head of its government, and his safety was his security detail’s responsibility. Just as President Bush’s safety was a top priority on 9/11, thus forcing a delay in his return to Washington, it would have been gravely irresponsible of him to place himself at risk by joining those manning the barricade, given his responsibilities to the nation.

That said, hats off to the MPs willing to lay their lives on the line. Let no one ever say Canadians are wimps.

via Instapundit

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Gwyneth Paltrow: useful idiot for Liberal Fascism

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**Posted by Phineas

"Ready for dictatorship."

“Ready for dictatorship.”

So, yesterday President Obama screwed up traffic here in Los Angeles so he could attend a(nother) fund-raiser at the California ATM, hobnobbing over $1,000 a plate meals with the Hollywood glitterati  at the home of actress and Obama fan-girl Gwyneth Paltrow. As Politico reports, her introduction of the President was cringe-worthy on several levels:

Gwyneth Paltrow wants President Barack Obama to know: she’s just like everyone else.

She makes $16 million per movie, sure, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not worried about Obama getting equal pay legislation through Congress.

At a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee held at her house in Brentwood Thursday evening, she called the issue “very important to me as a working mother.”

In front of a crowd that included fellow actors Julia Roberts (who took her picture in front of the presidential limo on her way out) and Bradley Whitford (that’s Josh Lyman from “The West Wing”), Paltrow told Obama she is “one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest.”

Reminding Obama that she hosted an expat fundraiser for him in London when she was living there, Paltrow described Obama as a president who would be studied for generations, and a role model for everyone of this generation.

“It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass,” she told the crowd.

Like I said yesterday on Twitter:

Because we all know “working moms” who struggle with making at least $16,000,000 per year, live in huge mansions in Brentwood and Bel Air, and have to get by with only a few dozen maids, nannies, groundskeepers, and cooks. Not to mention personal assistants.

Life must be hell for poor Gwyneth.

But that was nothing compared to the second highlighted statement, in which the “working mother” wishes Obama had absolute power. She yearns not for a constitutional chief executive, whose job is to enforce the laws Congress passes in an evenhanded manner. Nope, what she wants is a king, a caliph, an emperor, a dictator… a fuhrer.

Yeah, I went there. I’m not accusing Paltrow of consciously (1) being a fascist, liberal or otherwise; I don’t believe she’s bright enough or cares to really understand or care about such things. But she makes it clear that fascist leadership, in which all power is vested in a Leader who embodies the will of the nation and knows what’s best for it, is what she wants. Democracy is just too messy, and there are too many unenlightened people pushing their own wrongheaded agendas, in spite of what Gwyneth knows to be right. And so we need to get rid of it and just give Obama all the power he needs, because Gwyneth is sure Barack will only do good with it, progressive superhero that he is.

No, she’s not a liberal fascist. She’s just a useful idiot. A beautiful, smiling, and vapid useful idiot.

Trouble is, there are so many like her in our cultural elites.

RELATED: Other posts in Cult of Personality.

PS: Have a look at this photo of Paltrow staring worshipfully at the man who should have all the power he needs.

PPS: Oh, and here is how she finished her introduction of Him …er… him:‘Then turning over the microphone, she said, “you’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”  You may now barf.

PPPS: Speaking of liberal fascism, you need to read… well, “Liberal Fascism.” Trust me, it’s an eye-opener.

Footnote:
(1) There’s only one thing she’s conscious of.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#NCSen’s Hagan unknowingly blames Dems – & herself – for “worst state for teachers” report

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Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) faces a tough re-election battle this year.

As we near the final few weeks of one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the US – right here in North Carolina, social media messaging becomes more and more crucial for candidates as they continue their quest to win over undecided/unaffiliated voters in order to cross the finish line first in November. In the case of incumbent Senator Kay Hagan, the vast majority of the time that “messaging” boils down to falsehoods, half-truths, personal attacks on character, and grossly taking her opponent – GOP nominee and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis – grossly out of context.

Today, she managed to combine several of her typical tactics into standard anti-Tillis tweets – except this time she inadvertently slammed … herself and her fellow NC Democrats.

As of this writing, here are the two tweets:


And:


Here’s the “write-up” on her campaign website:

GREENSBORO – Speaker Thom Tillis’ dangerous education agenda slashed $500 million from public education in order to give tax cuts for the wealthy, so it unfortunately comes as no surprise that a new report ranks North Carolina as the worst state for teachers. Those education cuts have put the squeeze on teachers who are dealing with larger class sizes, fewer teaching assistants and outdated supplies that have left them dipping into their own pockets to stock their classrooms.

From the Greensboro News & Record:

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina ranks as the worst state for teachers, according to a new ranking by WalletHub.

The personal finance website analyzed data along 18 categories to come to its rankings.

The metrics it looked at included looks at states’ median starting salaries, unemployment rates and teacher job openings, among other factors.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

But what Hagan doesn’t tell you – perhaps intentionally, or perhaps it was out of sheer ignorance (my vote is for the latter) – are these pesky little details, as reported by Charlotte-based news outlet WCNC (bolded emphasis added by me):

The company looked at things like starting salary, per pupil spending and the 10-year change in teacher salaries from 2003-04 to 2013-14.

[…]

“The NC rank was affected mostly by the level of salaries that teachers have in NC and related indicators (starting salary, salaries increase over the last decade etc.),” Raz Daraban, communications manager for WalletHub said via email. “Other factors that had a negative impact were the low annual state and local expenditures for K-12 public schools per student and the best schools ranking.”

The analysis did not take into account the teacher raises that were approved this summer by state lawmakers.

What does all that mean? Well, a number of important things:

1) The ranking was “mostly affected” by salaries and their increase “over the last decade” – which, as NC education guru Terry Stoops notes means SEVEN of the TEN years of the report, the NC state legislature (known here as the General Assembly) was controlled by … Democrats, including then-state Senator Kay Hagan:

The “survey” is a series of rankings developed by Richie Bernardo, who is a financial writer at WalletHub.com and appears to be a nice young man. In fact, one wonders why the reporter did not ask Mr. Bernardo to comment on the ranking. After all, he did ask three liberals – State Superintendent June Atkinson, Progress NC’s Gerrick Brenner, and N.C. Association of Educators president Rodney Ellis – to use the survey as a platform to bash state legislators and Republicans. To respond to their charges, he interviewed one person – Tom Murry, a Republican representative from Wake County. To add insult to injury, the reporter repeatedly misspelled Rep. Murry’s last name.

I will not get into too much detail about the arbitrariness of the methodology or the sources used. (For an excellent overview of both, read this article from the Daily Haymaker.) The survey itself examined changes in per-pupil spending and teacher pay over ten years. Republicans have been in charge of the legislature for four years but most of the data sets used by Mr. [Richie] Bernard[o] lag by at least one year. As a result, it represents three years of legislative control by Republicans and seven years of control by Democrats. Given that fact, an honest liberal would have observed that Republicans and Democrats share the blame in stunting school funding growth.

But honesty, among other virtues, is usually in short supply during election season.

2) As pointed out above in the WCNC piece (and what should have been obvious, considering the years they reviewed), WalletHub’s analysis didn’t include the 7% increase in teacher pay raises that were passed by the GOP-led NC General Assembly over the summer. Keep in mind, too, that some of the statistics for the report were compiled with information provided by the National Education Association – hardly a non-partisan organization. So exactly how much weight should be given to its “findings” in the scheme of things?

FULL WEIGHT, according to the Hagan campaign – and their faithful supporters on social media, who have also been dutifully passing along links to articles about the report and doing just as Hagan did, blame Tillis reflexively rather than carefully read and analyze the articles and report linked. But since we’re supposed to take this report as the “gospel truth according to Kay and Co,”, we’ll run with the stats in it – just for the sake of argument. You know, argue on their terms.

Not surprising that Senator Hagan and her campaign team apparently didn’t read the fine print on what’s been published by mainstream outlets about this report, when you consider that the most disastrous legislation that passed in modern history – Obamacare – wasn’t read in full by most Democrats who voted for it, either.

Including Senator Hagan who, ironically, brags of helping craft the bill that eventually forced nearly 475,000 North Carolinians off of health insurance plans they liked – in spite of Hagan’s some 24 promises to the contrary.

As they say, some things never change …