People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I'm Shocked

Is anyone surprised that a recent poll (reported here by Newsday) has found that a growing percentage of Americans think negatively of the Supreme Court?
Poll: Public Image of Supreme Court Falls
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON -- The public's image of the Supreme Court has eroded over the past few years, with just over half of those in a new poll saying they have a favorable view of the high court.

With major changes expected as aging justices leave the bench, 57 percent of people had a favorable view of the court in the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

For more than a decade, at least seven in 10 people had a favorable view of the high court. In January 2001, just after the court ruled that President Bush was the winner of the 2000 election, 68 percent had a favorable view.

Democrats grew more negative about the court after the 2000 decision on the election, and 51 percent of Democrats now have a positive view. But conservative Republicans have been growing more negative in their views of the court, the poll found. Favorable opinions of the court have dropped by 20 points among conservative Republicans and white evangelical Christians since January 2001. (link)
Count me among the negative. Antonin Scalia continues to criticize others on the court for making s*** up as they go, although he may have used less flowering prose. Scalia's criticism has been directed toward Justice Kennedy in particular, after Kennedy admitted to having sometimes referred to foreign court rulings to help him in his decision-making, which would put him at odds with his obligation to uphold the Constitution.

For outlandishness like that, the Supreme Court has earned our disrespect.

The End of the Schiavo Story

At least Terri Schiavo didn't suffer, as our government slowly tortured her to death. This according to the medical examiner who performed the autopsy.
Schiavo Autopsy Shows Severe Brain Damage
By David Brown and William Branigin, Washington Post Staff Writers

Terri Schiavo died of the effects of a profound and prolonged lack of oxygen to her brain on a day in 1990, but what caused that event isn't known and may never be, the physician who performed her autopsy said today.

A meticulous study of the organs, fluids, bones, cells and medical records of the Florida woman who became a cause celebre over the "right to die" also found that her brain was severely shriveled and weighed about half that of a normal adult's. The damage to it "was irrecoverable, and no amount of treatment or rehabilitation would have reversed" it, said pathologist Jon R. Thogmartin, who is the chief medical examiner for Florida's sixth judicial district.

The damage was especially severe in the region responsible for vision, making her functionally blind, he said at a news conference in Florida.

"She died of marked dehydration," he said. "She did not starve to death." (link)
I'm not sure why it was necessary to make that odd declarative statement, and I'm not sure I trust the word of any government official associated with the Schiavo tragedy, but if the pathologist's findings are accurate, Terri felt no pain. That should provide some comfort to her grieving parents.

It still doesn't absolve the government of the crime it committed in this case. A completely vulnerable - and innocent- human being was killed by government decree.

Winning Ugly

As expected, most of the turncoat Republican state Senators here in Virginia won their primary races yesterday. Only six of the seventeen were even challenged. Of those, five won handily. And choose to rub it in your face.

This comes from one of them, L. Preston Bryant Jr. (Lynchburg), as reported in the Washington Post:

The overriding issue in each and every one was the tax reform package of 2004. Most people saw the big picture.
Del. Robert D. "Bobby" Orrock Sr. (Spotsylvania) said:

This has been touted as a Democrat tax increase and that we sold out. [But] as a fiscally responsible individual, you've got to pay your bills and set a budget."(link)
There you go. You wanted a portion of your life savings to be confiscated by your government so that they could run up a massive surplus. Perhaps he's right.

But there are still plenty of us here in Virginia who don't agree. And will continue to work to drive these scoundrels out of office.

"The races are somewhat a test case of how viable this anti-tax movement can be," said Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and co-editor of "The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics." "If we judge them by the criterion of winning primaries, we ultimately may judge them failures after tonight. If the criterion is their ability to foster debate and send a signal to incumbents, they might be considered successful."
Yes. Debate. But who is going to be there to debate on the side of the taxpayers in Spotsylvania and Lynchburg and Loudoun and Manassas and Fairfax? It certainly won't be their Republican Senator. And it sure as heck won't be a Democrat.

To those of you who dutifully voted for these thieves, expect more of your hard-earned income to be confiscated in the future. They're on a roll now.

Another 'Republican' Who Boasts of Raising Taxes

David Holman has a piece in the American Spectator this morning entitled, Potts Shots. It's about H. Russell Potts, state Senator from the 27th district of Virginia who happens to be running for Governor as an independent.
H. Russell Potts, state senator from the 27th district of Virginia, is the Old Dominion's most prominent RINO [Republican In Name Only] these days. Though running as an independent ..., Potts still considers himself a Republican.

Potts was a vociferous supporter of last year's controversial tax hike that split Virginia Republicans. Potts is the tax-increasing Republican in this race -- he also wants to reinstate the hated car tax -- and he's proud of it. To Potts, pro-life and anti-tax conservatives represent the "extremist wing of the Republican Party."

He's such a straight-talking maverick that he told a class of college students earlier this month that if he wins, "Every single Virginian is going to have to pay. ... It's going to cost you." Inspiring, no? Touting a regional sales tax hike in 2002, Potts told the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce that since Virginia is the twelfth wealthiest state in the nation, "it is time we started acting like it." Potts continued, "I think we can afford 25 cents a day."(link)
Total detachment. Amazing. And he thinks he should be Governor.

On The Road To Insolvency

Want to know why many experts consider our Medicare program to be in far worse shape fiscally than is our Social Security program?
Medicare Officials Insisting on Wider Choices in Drug Benefits
ROBERT PEAR, the New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 14 - As companies devise insurance policies for the new Medicare drug program, federal officials are pressing them to offer a surprisingly generous array of prescription drug choices, according to industry executives.

As a result, experts say, the Medicare drug benefit, which begins in January, is shaping up to give beneficiaries access to a larger number and a wider variety of prescription drugs than are now available to many workers and retirees with private employer-sponsored health insurance.

Medicare will rely on private health plans to deliver drug benefits to the elderly and the disabled. Insurers worry that Medicare officials' insistence on a robust drug benefit will make it hard for them to control the costs of the program. But the officials say their policies will ensure that all 41 million beneficiaries have affordable access to the drugs they need [my emphasis]. (link)
That's the rub. As long as we insist that our elderly receive through Medicare (and our poor through Medicaid) the best and most expensive medicines the pharmaceutical industry can devise, we will continue to hurtle down the path toward bankruptcy. The pharmaceutical industry, as long as their prices aren't controlled, will certainly oblige. But there isn't enough money on earth to pay for this magnanimity.

We are reaching the tipping point.