By A.P. Dillon

Apparently, Senate Democrats have noticed that “nondescript, virtually unnoticed, hugely important Senate race” in North Carolina and have hit the panic button. Scratch that, they are pounding on the panic button to the tune of $9 million dollars and a negative ad campaign blitz that will have fact checkers drooling.  Will that money help? Time will tell, but it didn’t help Elizabeth Dole who outspent Hagan by $6 million in 2008 and lost by 8 points.

Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report sees Hagan’s campaign having to go with negative with ads and this large of a money dump points to a candidate in trouble.

The ad buy, the largest so far in North Carolina, would be paid out through the end of the campaign. It reflects both the outside interest in a race that will help decide control of the Senate and, some say, concern about Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

“It tells me a couple things,” said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Washington-based Cook Political Report. “One, that she really is in trouble. They’re not going to spend that kind of money defending an incumbent who’s in reasonably good shape.

“Two, they’re going to do the negative ads because I don’t think her approval ratings can take any more hits.”
– Charlotte Observer 8-13-14

That money also represents a huge blow to Hagan’s credibility and campaign theme of attacking ‘outside money’ flowing into North Carolina’s Senate race. Like Obama, she can’t run on her record — She’s not passed a single bill of her own in six years.  And just like Obama, since she can’t run on her record Hagan has to make the focus shift from her failures to twisting the successes of her opponent, Thom Tillis. Folks, Hagan is already doing it.

REMINDER:

#NCsen is going to get ugly in epic fashion.
If you add the hypocrisy on “dark” money to her past attacks coming back to haunt her, then factor in the anger is still palpable for half a million NC citizens who had their insurance canceled due to her vote for to Obamacare. This race is going to get ugly really fast.

Then again, Hagan’s campaign is familiar with ugly.

Remember Senate Majority PAC’s creepy tax ad? Their record with ads in North Carolina have been far from accurate, which earned them 3 Pinnocchios from Washington Posts’s Glenn Kessler. The Washington Post article mentions the figures came from the NC Budget and Tax Center, an outfit run by NC Justice Center. Keep in mind NC Justice Center spawned Blueprint NC. That same Senate Majority PAC ad was also proven false by FactCheck.org and local Raleigh media outlet WRAL.

P.S. -NC Citizens shouldn’t  bother trying to get Kay on camera. Like Obama, transparency is not her thing.

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

I am looking for a Cartoonist to contribute weekly to DaTechGuy Blog.

The terms would be the same as the members of Da Magnificent Seven and these are the rules.

1. No pro abortion, no pro-jihad, no anti-catholic

2. This is a conservative site I would want cartoons giving a conservative message

You may occasionally be asked to provide your weekly cartoon on a specific subject

You may reproduce the cartoons you create on your own site after 48 hours.

If you have an interested you may either email me a sample here or leave a sample of your work in comments. If there is sufficient interest and qualified candidates perhaps we’ll have a contest.

If you leave a sample I would suggest a work on any current topic extra points if you can work in a Doctor Who motif.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

In view of the genocide against Christians, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which traditionally keeps a low profile, issued the following (emphasis added):

This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices which bring shame on humanity:

-the massacre of people on the sole basis of their religious affiliation;

-the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;

-the choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;

-the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;

-the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);

-the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;

-the destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places;

-the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;

-the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;

-the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;

-indiscriminate violence aimed at terrorizing people to force them to surrender or flee.

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity.
. . .
The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them

While the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands is nothing new, the horrific actions demand a universal condemnation of ISIS. John Allen explains,

It’s the lived reality of the new caliphate proclaimed by the Islamic State, which means that the Vatican and other Christian leaders are no longer so worried about the aftermath of a conflict. They’re much more preoccupied by the here and now, and thus more inclined to back anyone who seems prepared to do something about it.

It is not, however, a general call to arms; Ed Morrissey comments,

This looks, Allen said, like the Vatican’s attempt to “cash in on 50 years of ecumenical outreach” in order to marginalize ISIS. The Council’s question is a challenge to their partners, demanding some investment in the risks of peace and tolerance. Pope Francis’ last two predecessors both took a lot of criticism for their efforts to reach out in dialogue with Muslim leaders. Now it’s time to see whether those leaders and their successors have the same fortitude, or whether these have just been empty gestures all along. If after decades of engagement these leaders cannot bring themselves to condemn the forced conversion, beheadings, ethnoreligious cleansing and flat-out genocides of ISIS, then it leaves very little value in continued engagement from the Vatican’s perspective.

Indeed.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — Steve Eggleston wrote earlier this week on this blog about the fast approaching death of newsprint and reported on several media spin-off deals.  It’s an interesting read.

The fall of the newspaper is sad to me.  With it comes the fall of the old-fashioned journalist.  The newspaper guy.  The shoe-leather-journalist is the guy with the steno pad in his hand, or a note pad in his shirt pocket along with a couple of pens.  He’s probably got a tape recorder in his other hand, or maybe an app downloaded on his phone that records.  True journalism is a dying art.

Some, like Stacy McCain, continue to plug away at it and are willing to jump in the car and go wherever the story takes them.  It’s a dying art.

With the fall of the newspaper we rely now on digital media for our news, for the most part.  The internet has replaced the thick newspaper that used to lie at your curb every morning.  Remember paper boys?  They rode bikes with canvas bags over their handlebars; the bags were loaded down with newspapers they had picked up at a drop-off point somewhere.  Eventually, as America spread out into suburbs, the paperboy on a bike was replace with a paperboy in a car.  I was nearly decapitated one morning as our delivery guy whizzed my Sunday edition over the roof of his car with lethal accuracy.

I loved settling down to a real newspaper every morning with a cup of coffee, the ink smearing my fingertips black.  I used to read three papers a day – I subscribed to our local paper, the USA Today, and The New York Times.  That’s back when they were all worth reading.  I’m dating myself.

A couple of weeks ago I bought my first local paper in probably three years.  It was smaller than I remember – much smaller.  It was thinner, too.  In fact, I did a double take through the paper to be sure it was all there.  Once I removed the grocery store circulars and the box store ads, there wasn’t much left to see.  Even worse, the whole thing cost three times more than it did three years ago.

From a practical perspective, it makes perfect sense why the physical newspaper is fast becoming a relic from the past.  In a world where news breaks on Twitter in 140-characters, where Drudge plays with our perception of the news, and where Facebook makes sharing stories instantaneous, how in the world could a lowly newspaper compete?

Be that as it may, I still miss the paper and ink.

CanadaBy John Ruberry

For over five years President Obama has been dithering in regards to building the Keystone XL pipeline, which if constructed, will bring petroleum from the oil sands in western Canada to America’s heartland.

Over in Iraq, Obama is utilizing token measures in an attempt to slow the terror group ISIS and to give some relief to the religious minorities being attacked by the Islamo-fascists.

For the time being, ISIS seems content in selling oil, earning $3 million per day. But the jiadists appear to crazed enough to destroy oil fields, which would–duh!–drive up the price of oil.

Which is why America needs to lessen its dependence on oil from the Middle East.

There is much at home Obama can do. Rather than bow to his environmentalist donors, the president can expedite the approval of drilling and fracking on federally-owned land and open up more of our continental shelf to oil exploration. Obama can also alter the tone of his administration, which is decidedly anti-fossil fuel.

We don’t know if the president took an economics course at Occidental or Columbia because he hasn’t released his college transcripts, but the macroeconomic equation is simple. More petroleum in the marketplace means cheaper oil.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

More drilling and fracking in American means more jobs. Building the Keystone XL pipeline also means more good-paying jobs.

The Obama recovery is dominated by low-paying, low-skilled, and part-time positions.

Obama has to ask himself if  he will be burdened by leftist ideology for the remaining two-and-a-half years of his presidency–or will he be a leader?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

The last 2 weeks have been momentous in the media world, as three major multimedia companies, including the nation’s largest newspaper publishing group, announced they were spinning off their print operations, and a fourth completed its previously-announced spin-off of the second-largest newspaper publishing group:

  • On July 30, Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps announced that, as part of its takeover of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications, set to close in 2015, it would be spinning off the combined companies’ print properties, along with the print properties’ associated electronic properties, into a liability-free company with $10 million in “seed money” and the Journal name.
  • On Monday, the Tribune Media Company completed the previously-announced spin-off of the second-largest newspaper group into Tribune Publishing. Notably, Tribune Media kept ownership of the electronic presence of the newspapers, and burdened the new print company with $350 million in debt and $120 million in office space lease costs through 2017.
  • On Tuesday, Gannett, publishers of USA Today, announced that it would be splitting off the largest newspaper group in 2015. Much like the Scripps/Journal deal, the newspaper side will retain the Gannett name and the newspaper-specific digital properties, with the broadcast company assuming all the current debt.

These moves are on the heels of last year’s successful spin-off of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire, headlined by The Wall Street Journal, from his larger multimedia empire. A New York Times article from last year announcing the Tribune spin-off explains why this is happening:

Despite the immediate interest from bidders, Tribune faces a tough market for newspapers, especially large regional dailies that have been hit hard by changes in advertiser and consumer behavior. In October, The Tampa Tribune sold for a scant $9.5 million; Philadelphia’s newspapers sold for $55 million in April 2012 after fetching $515 million in 2006.

Some investors are so concerned about print that they will not buy any companies with publishing stakes, according to Reed Phillips, a managing partner for DeSilva & Phillips, a media banking firm. “Shareholders aren’t rewarding companies for being diversified anymore,” he said. “Print media, there’s a real negative connotation.”

He said investors wanted to see companies that were exclusively focused on print and were trying to show how they would make a profitable transition to digital. “They’re going to have to be transformed,” said Mr. Phillips about these print companies. “Then investors may get re-excited.”

Given the economics of newsprint have only declined since then, there continues to be no upside for a vertically-integrated multimedia company to include newsprint. To put it bluntly, the population of those who like the feel of newsprint rather than staring at a screen is dying off quite quickly, and the fixed costs of delivering that newsprint are skyrocketing.

Another reason the multimedia companies are splitting off their newsprint operations is the FCC’s antiquated cross-ownership rules, which between 1975 and 2007, and again since 2011 following a court order, prohibit a single non-grandfathered company from owning both a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same market. That was a stated factor in Gannett’s divesture of its print properties, and was likely a factor in Scripps/Journal’s divesture of their print properties.

By A.P. Dillon

I’ve touched on the thematic connection between the Lego Movie and Common Core once before. Having just re-watched it with my oldest child, I wanted to revisit it.  We’ll get to the comparison in a bit. First, for those not familiar with the plot, it deals with a ‘Special’ figure who will fulfill a prophecy to stop the evil Lord Business (later referred to as President Business) from using the ‘Kragle” by employing the “piece of resistance’ and halting the end of the Lego world as they know it.

The movie is hilarious and fantastic at engaging both kids and adults. The subtle humor inserted here and there keeps parents chuckling and the fast-paced nature of the action keeps the kids engaged. Plus, kids love Legos. Check out the trailer for a taste.

Now for the comparison.

President Business wants everything to be the same and stay the same; nice and tidy. Everyone has their role, everyone will do things the same. It’s his way for everyone or the highway, so conform while being told over and over  it’s what you should want — or in other words “everything is awesome“.  His tool of choice to make that happen is the ‘Kragle’, which we find out in the movie is ‘Krackle’, a superglue that will lock all the Lego structures into place.

President Business’s character  represents the corporate machine driving Common Core. So obsessed with making everything perfect that he misses the big picture – perfection is our  individuality and the creativity that comes with it. Stifling the world with the ‘Kragle’ (Common Core) means missing out on who we are and what we can do.  We can stop that.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’s We Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

By Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —   Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is demanding answers.

Governor Jindal, angry at learning via a website that Louisiana is now housing over 1,000 Central American illegals, has fired off a letter to the Obama administration demanding answers.

He’d like to know, among other things, where the children are:

Jindal wants to know where the children are living, the timeline for determining their ultimate status and whether the federal government plans to kick in dollars for their education and health care. He also wants to know how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided where to place them.

These are legitimate questions.  Louisiana schools are starting over the next couple of weeks and presumably these kids will be enrolling in school, some possibly even participating in the “free lunch” program.

Also of specific concern to Governor Jindal is the Louisiana hurricane season which runs from June 1 through November.  Here, in Shreveport, Hirsch Coliseum was contacted about housing some of the illegals although it was not an “official” inquiry according to Chris Giordano of the Louisiana State Fair who owns the Hirsch.

What is stunning to me is that Barksdale Air Force Base was contacted about housing these kids.  Barksdale’s Global Strike Command has been proposed as a four-star command which raises the profile of the base significantly.  It would be most unlikely, given the sensitive nature of the mission and the strategic aircraft on base, that the base would be able to house these kids.

Though Jindal found out about the illegal Louisiana migration via a website, there does seem to be some dispute or confusion about how many there actually are.  The website lists 1,071 in Louisiana, but Senator David Vitter contends that there are over 3,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

As Congress flounders then goes on recess, Obama prepares to tackle illegal immigration through executive order.  Nothing good can come of this.

Love him or hate him, Rick Perry is right to stand up and attempt to defend the border.  Perry has called up his National Guard and vows that other resources are available to him as needed to control the flood of illegals coming into the country.  Candy Crowley asked Perry about the cost of deploying the National Guard to the border but in the overall scheme of things, it’s probably a cost well justified.  Governor Perry contends that crime has skyrocketed in his state.

Possibly Governor Perry and Governor Jindal need to get together and coordinate a plan to protect both states.

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Eureka Berlin Wall
Berlin wall segment, Eureka College

By John Ruberry

When President Obama give a public speech before a large crowd, his operatives pack the house with loyalists and sycophants. Such was the case in Kansas City with an Obama address last week that was in all effects a political rally, as are most of the president’s speeches.

But one woman who didn’t fit the Obama-lover profile somehow made it into the crowd at the KC event and she shouted, possibly in relation to his administration’s veiled hostility to the Jewish state, “Jesus is the Lord of Israel.”

Obama replied that he believed in God. Meanwhile, the Obama-bots that made up the rest of the audience chanted, “We love you, we love you!”

I don’t believe they where speaking of Jesus.

Hecklers at a  political speech are usually rude jerks, but once in a while they are spot-on right, as East Berlin factory worker Kurt Wismach was in 1961, days before East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall.

The nation’s dictator Walter Ulbricht was giving a speech at a cable factory where he criticized the flow of refugees from his country into free West Berlin as well as calls for free elections.

Berlin Wall replica  segment, Dixon, IL
Berlin Wall replica
segment, Dixon, IL

Sitting on a row of cable above the man the head of the Soviet secret police called “the greatest idiot” he ever encountered was Wismach, who belted out, “Even if I am the only one to say it: Free elections!”  Ulbricht, as all demagogues do, expanded the issue to a ludicrous level, mentioning that prior the rise of Hitler, Germany had free elections; while on the other hand, the personality cult leader failed to add that West Germany successfully rose out of rubble of World War II because it was a democratic and capitalist nation.

Undaunted, Wismach shouted back at Ulbricht, “Have you the slightest idea what the people really think?”

Of course Ulbricht didn’t.

Wismach was of course interrogated by communist officials and forced to recant his statements, but he and his family quickly escaped to West Berlin.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Does, as Wismach asked of Ulbricht, President Obama have the slightest idea what the people really think?

A majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare, they oppose what Obama calls “comprehensive immigration reform” but in effect is really amnesty for illegal immigrants, and they oppose Obama’s hostility to fossil fuels, which is best exemplified by his refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Does Obama know what Americans think?

Does he even care?

Kurt Wismach where are you?

 John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July jobs report, which says that on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy added 209,000 jobs with the unemployment rate ticking up 0.1 percentage point to 6.2%. That marks the 6th month in a row that there were at least 200,000 jobs added, the first time that has happened since 1997.

Regarding the unemployment tick-up, it is as much a factor of people looking for work again as it was people losing jobs. While 131,000 more people were working on a seasonally-adjusted basis in July than in June, and 209,000 people were added to the 16-and-older civilian noninstitutional population (not seasonally-adjusted), 191,000 more people were officially listed as unemployed.

The bad news – that 6-month surge appears to be as good as it gets. From American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis:

Overall, it was a bad report for the job metrics “dashboard” of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. As economist Robert Brusca points out, ” … we see that the unemployment rate has risen, the U-6 rate is up. The long-term unemployed share of total unemployment is up. Part-time workers are up, part-time workers looking for full-time work is a higher ratio. Marginally attached workers are greater in number. There are more discouraged workers.”

Then again, what can you really expect from an economy that has expanded by just 2.4% over the past four quarters, and a mere 2.2% over the five years of the expansion? Now there are signs wage growth could be ready to accelerate. And maybe the 4% GDP growth in the second-quarter means above-trend growth for the rest of the year. But as Barclays puts it, “Overall, we view this report as consistent with a return to more moderate job growth in Q3 14 after the Q2 14 surge.”

Indeed, this is the 63rd consecutive month, going back to May 2009, that the seasonally-unadjusted employment-population ratio (59.4% in July) has been below the same month in 1979. It also is, other than July 1982 and July 1983, the worst July between 1977 and 2010. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, at a seasonally-unadjusted 63.5%, is lower than every July since 1977.

On a related tangent, the first read of 2nd-quarter GDP, released on Wednesday, was that real (inflation-adjusted) GDP growth grew at an annualized 4.0% rate, with a comprehensive revision of GDP data going back to 1999 knocking up 1st-quarter GDP change from -2.9% to -2.1%. That growth is not supported by the monthly releases of data of various components of GDP, though those montly releases are not comprehensive.

That revision contains a hidden admission – the first 4 years/16 quarters of recovery from the Great Recession, covering the 3rd quarter of 2009 through the 2nd quarter of 2013, was not only worse than any post-World War II recovery, but also worse than the recovery from the 4-year-long recession that started the Great Depression. Tom Blumer’s analysis shows that the both the peak-to-peak real GDP change of 4.1% (from the 4th quarter of 2007) and the trough-to-peak real GDP change of 8.7% (from the 2nd quarter of 2009) are the worst performances on record.

The last year didn’t help the comparisons much. While the 2.4% growth since the 2nd quarter of 2013 allowed the 5-year peak-to-peak real GDP to grow by 6.6% since the Great Recession, which does beat the post Great Depression’s 4-year peak-to-peak estimated 4.3% real GDP growth, it is still signifcantly worse than the worst post-WWII peak-to-peak recovery, 10.9% in the 14 quarters after the 1953-1954 recession. Notably, the 16-quarter mark following the 1953-1954 recession had a GDP level that was 6.9% better than the pre-recession high-water mark, and that was the low-water mark of the 1957-1958 recession.

The 5-year post-Great Recession trough-to-peak real GDP growth of 11.4% is still short of the previous 2nd-weakest 4-year trough-to-peak trough-to-16th-quarter recovery, 12.8% GDP growth following the 2001 recession, and well off the 15.3% 5-year growth following the 2001 recession.

Revisions/extensions – While the trough-to-peak recovery following the 1953-54 recession was +13.8% at the 14-quarter mark, the 1957-58 recession knocked the trough-to-16th-quarter growth to +9.7%, lower than the 5-year trough-to-peak recovery from the Great Recession and higher than the 4-year trough-to-peak recovery from the Great Recession. However, the trough-to-20th-quarter growth following the 1953-54 recession was 17.8%.