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

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Make The Big Time

I received an email one day last week from a reporter with the Wytheville Enterprise asking me if I would consider sitting down with him for an interview for a feature article he wanted to write about this weblog. I pondered: "What prompts this? I must have really upset some local official over in Wythe County when I wrote "What Went Wrong With Wayward Wytheville?" a few days previous and this was probably going to be someone's revenge."

But then I thought: "What are they going to do to damage my reputation that I haven't done myself on this site on numerous occasions?"

And then there was the inexorable lure of fame and potential fortune.

So I went for it.

I sat down in a booth across from reporter Justin Harmon at the local Hardee's on a snowy Saturday afternoon and, over a period of ninety minutes and a medium diet coke, revealed my thoughts, aspirations, and innermost secrets - a result of his penchant for asking marvelously probing questions and relentlessly cutting through the bluster and hype. Journalists, I found out, have a colorful term for it: bullshit.

The finished product can be found here.

Had I been able to edit the piece before publication I probably would have included mention of my ruggedly handsome good looks and sartorial splendor, but I'm sure his editor deleted those passages. The bastard.

With perhaps that one exception, though, I think Master Harmon did a darn good job. In the course of the interview, I challenged him to (spell my name correctly and ...) include a mention of the most popular weblog post I've ever written. I warned him, of course, that this particular story involved my attempt to pee into a toilet the size of a pill bottle in a lavatory the size of a footlocker in a Canadian jetliner the size of a toy 737 - in turbulent air at 37,000 feet. I suggested that any reference to urine would never get by his editor. Since the reference has now appeared, I can only assume that Justin ran the story without having shown it to his editor.

Thus, a promising career comes to an end for Justin Harmon of the Wytheville Enterprise. If only he'd ignored me and left any mention of urination to lesser writers and their crude and less well-regarded publications - like this weblog. The New York Times had a place just waiting for him.

Such a shame.

What Billing Records?

Hillary has a short memory it appears.
Clinton decries ‘pattern’ of secrecy
By Glenn Thrush, Newsday Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton thinks White House delays in disclosing Dick Cheney's shotgun mishap are evidence of a vast West Wing conspiracy to stonewall journalists and voters.

Clinton told reporters Tuesday that the nearly 24-hour lag proved the White House has a "disturbing" tendency to "withhold information" no matter what the issue. (link)
This is rich. If her White House maid hadn't found the Rose Law Firm billing records that had been stashed in her bedroom, Hillary would still be hiding them from the special prosecutor who was investigating her and her crooked husband many years ago.

Such hypocrisy.

You Must Be Very Proud

Well, it turns out the homosexual priest who tore the Episcopal Church asunder when he was elevated to the position of bishop has, as it turns out, other ... flaws:
Episcopal bishop treated for alcoholism

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The Episcopal Church's first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson, has started treatment for alcoholism.

"I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment center, where on Feb. 1, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol," Bishop Robinson wrote in an e-mail to clergy on Monday that was released yesterday by the Diocese of New Hampshire. (link)
The few remaining Episcopal parishioners must be wondering what's next with this guy.

What Was Cheney Thinking?

As only the Wall Street Journal can tell it:

Cheney's Coverup

The press corps is outraged that the White House waited 20 hours or so to disclose that Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a hunting companion, and we can see why. Don't these Bush people understand that the coverup is worse than the crime?

In the name of media solidarity, and in the interest of restraining the Imperial Presidency, we have put together the following coverup timeline with crucial questions that deserve to be answered:

• 5:30 p.m., Saturday (all times Central Standard Time). Mr. Cheney sprays Harry Whittington with birdshot, and the Secret Service immediately informs local police. Who is Harry Whittington and whom does he lobby for? Does he know Scooter Libby?

• 6:30 p.m. White House Chief of Staff Andy Card informs President Bush that there's been a hunting accident involving the Vice President's party. Did Mr. Bush ask followup questions? Was he intellectually curious?

• 7 p.m. Karl Rove tells Mr. Bush that it is Mr. Cheney who did the shooting. Why was this detail withheld for a full 30 minutes from the President? Who else did Mr. Rove talk to about this in the interim? Was Valerie Plame ever mentioned?

• 5 a.m., Sunday. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan learns that Mr. Cheney is the shooter. He also fails to alert the media. Did he rush to write talking points or fall back to sleep?

• 11 a.m. Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where the shooting took place, blows the story sky-high by giving the news to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. According to Ms. Armstrong, Mr. Cheney told her to do what she thought made sense. Has Ms. Armstrong ever worked for Halliburton?

• 11:27 a.m., Monday. Mr. McClellan finally holds a press conference and gets grilled. One reporter actually asks (and we're not making this one up), "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

• 1:30 p.m. The Texas paper posts the story on its Web site, after calling the Veep's office for confirmation. Everyone involved confirms more or less everything, or so the official line goes. Their agreement is very suspicious.(link)

Read the whole thing. Great stuff.

A Perfect Example

I think David Ignatius is the kind of media giant the Wall Street Journal is making fun of (above). The Journal piece is a parody. I'm guessing Ignatius is serious:
An Arrogance of Power
David Ignatius, The Washington Post

There is a temptation that seeps into the souls of even the most righteous politicians and leads them to bend the rules, and eventually the truth, to suit the political needs of the moment. That arrogance of power is on display with the Bush administration.

The most vivid example is the long delay in informing the country that Vice President Cheney had accidentally shot a man last Saturday while hunting in Texas. For a White House that informs us about the smallest bumps and scrapes suffered by the president and vice president, the lag is inexplicable. But let us assume the obvious: It was an attempt to delay and perhaps suppress embarrassing news. We will never know whether the vice president's office would have announced the incident at all if the host of the hunting party, Katharine Armstrong, hadn't made her own decision Sunday morning to inform her local paper. (link)
" ... seeps into the souls of even the most righteous politicians ..." I have to tell you: It's reading crap like this that makes for a wonderful day.

How To Make The Situation Worse

If you want more jobs to flee Southwest Virginia, make it more costly for area manufacturers to ship their goods to market - and support the transportation bill the Virginia Senate Finance Committee just passed. It's guaranteed to kill more jobs:
Committee OKs transportation plan
The full Senate is likely to vote on the funding package by the end of the week.
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

RICHMOND -- A key state Senate committee endorsed a transportation funding package Tuesday that would generate about $1 billion annually in additional road and transit revenue through a new sales tax on gasoline, higher taxes on vehicle sales and real estate transactions, and increased vehicle registration fees, among other things. (link)
This plan, with its gas tax provision, allocates the funds necessary to get the roads up north repaired. It will also accelerate the decline of our economic well-being here in Southwest and will throw more area citizens out of work.

Guess which side of this issue our illustrious state Senator will be on. We should know by the end of the week.