Totally priceless

Yesterday I saw a MasterCard ad in the New York Times about a new app for the iPhone. The headline was: "Totally priceless."

This is a great example of adverb abuse. But even more damning, it undermines years of other "priceless" advertising. All those other things MasterCard said were "priceless" before? Well, they're not so priceless now. Not compared to this new thing, whatever it is, which also happens to be "totally priceless."

The word priceless is like the words unique and pregnant. It's either true or it's not.

Unfortunately, we have slipped into a world where words can mean whatever anybody wants them to mean, with impunity. The same is true with numbers, where 7% equals 5% equals the biggest teacher pay scam in history. Say something often enough and it becomes real.

In opposition to the "waive jury trial" Amendment on November's ballot

Surrendering rights might not be wise:

The American jury has long been a protection of the lives and liberties of her citizens. The jury system protects our individual freedom by prohibiting the government from taking us to prison unless it can prove to every single person on that jury that we have committed a crime. This jury of our peers must not only be unanimous in their judgment, but must agree "beyond a reasonable doubt," the highest legal burden in our judicial system. The fundamental protection of the jury system allows each us to go about our daily lives secure in the knowledge that, if faced with a criminal accusation, our liberty will ultimately be in the hands of our fellow citizens.

As I mentioned on Facebook recently (which is ironic), after observing the herd-like behavior and general lack of discernment exhibited by many of my "peers" on social networking sites, I don't have nearly as much faith in the jury process as I once held. That being said, bench trials might be more streamlined, less dramatic, and of course cheaper; but there's only one arse sitting on that bench. And you better hope the owner of that arse has got the smarts and integrity to see and understand the truth.

Daily dose: Hagan takes lead, GOP mob calls in New Jersey big-shot to fix things

Poll shows Hagan pulling ahead of Tillis (Greensboro News & Record) -- Sen. Kay Hagan pulling ahead of N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis in the tight N.C. Senate race.

Christie to Campaign with Tillis in Wilmington on Tuesday (TWCN-TV) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will attend a rally and a private event in Wilmington on Tuesday to support U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis.

McCrory on Wos: “She is a brilliant, brilliant individual and is doing an outstanding job.”

When you're dishing this kind of bullshit, it pays to avoid using "brilliant" twice in the same sentence. Especially when the person being described has been an unmitigated disaster.

See more at:

Rich man sez, "You too can be rich, just like me!"

Big shrimp on a small plate:

What you won’t hear any of the union organizers who flew into Durham last week talk about is the menu of opportunities the restaurant industry offers to more than 13 million people of varying ages and experience levels across the nation. As a restaurant owner and operator, I know how important the restaurant industry is to North Carolina and the benefits the industry brings to my employees and our community.

I started in the restaurant industry as a cook in one of my parents’ restaurants...

Gonna stop you right there, fella. You have no idea how the vast majority of your employees live, and if you actually had to survive on $3-4 dollars per hour, plus tips from blue-haired fixed-income hush puppy fans, you would probably be living in someone else's mobile home and waiting patiently for the beginning of next month for your food stamps to recharge. You know, I was just saying something good about the N&O the other day...

Daily dose: TGIFF edition

NC Senate candidates largely back more airstrikes (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis largely support the plan President Barack Obama outlined to expand military airstrikes and help forces fight the Islamic State militant group.

Big Swing In N C. Improves Democrats . (FiveThirtyEight) -- Republican chances of winning back the Senate fell below 60 percent Thursday, dropping about 4 percentage points to 58.2 percent, thanks to several good polls for Democrats in North Carolina and Colorado. Republicans are still favored to pick up six seats they don’t hold currently, and that would still lead to a GOP-controlled Senate. But Republicans are left with little room for error, and the race in Kansas becomes even more crucial. In North Carolina, a Rasmussen Reports poll found Democrat Kay Hagan ahead of Republican Thom Tillis 45 percent to 39 percent. Tillis had led in the previous Rasmussen survey by 5 percentage points. Another North Carolina poll released Thursday, bySurveyUSA, gave Hagan a 3-point lead (46 percent to 43 percent). The two polls together moved Hagan from a 45 percent underdog to a 61 percent percent favorite. With Hagan now leading, theFiveThirtyEight model does not project a single state in which President Obama won in either 2008 or 2012 to switch from Democratic to Republican control.

Coming Soon To An NC Interstate Near You?

Last night, FiveThirtyEight blog reported a marked shift in polling on the NC Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis.

In North Carolina, a Rasmussen Reports poll found Democrat Kay Hagan ahead of Republican Thom Tillis 45 percent to 39 percent. Tillis had led in the previous Rasmussen survey by 5 percentage points. Another North Carolina poll released Thursday, by SurveyUSA, gave Hagan a 3-point lead (46 percent to 43 percent).

Combined, the two polls move Hagan from a "45 percent underdog to a 61 percent percent favorite." But there's not much analysis on why.

Let's speculate, shall we?

Toll Road Thom

In the upside-down world of today's Republican lunacy, forcing commuters to pay more at the toll booth is a free-market proposition that's hard to resist. The theory goes like this:

  • If you use the roads, you pay for the roads.
  • And you have to use the roads because communist transit planning is a no-no.
  • Which means you're screwed unless you have a lot of money or don't work.

That's the thinking behind the Thom Tillis toll-road fetish, with strong backing from Skip Stam and Bill Brawley, all of which has the appearance of a libertarian wet dream. Except for one thing. The "get government off our back crowd" at The Daily Haymaker is none too pleased. They like their roads just the way they are, supported by big government and taxes. I know, it sounds kinda weird. But it's also true. Read all about it.


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