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

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I Smell A Rat

Follow along carefully here.

First, Toyota is rumored to be looking at a site near Roanoke for the construction of a new assembly plant.

Then, Ford announces the closing of its facility over in Norfolk.

Then, Governor Kaine announces that ""The Norfolk Assembly plant has a skilled, motivated, proven workforce and my administration will do everything it can to help Norfolk and the Hampton Roads region market this resource to other economic development prospects." (link)

Then Governor Kaine follows through on his pledge.

And Toyota is now looking at Norfolk for its assembly plant:

Toyota scouts Norfolk area for new plant
By Battinto Batts Jr., The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK — Toyota representatives scouted sites in Hampton Roads last week for a new automotive assembly plant, local officials said Thursday. (link)

Of course the plant closing and Toyota's change of direction had nothing to do with one another:

Coincidentally, the tour took place prior to Ford’s April 13th announcement that it will close its Norfolk Assembly Plant in 2008.

Although that may be true, it is also true that Governor Kaine was in Detroit in mid-February begging Ford to not close the Norfolk Assembly Plant.

So now Roanoke is left holding the bag. It's an odd way for the Governor to pay back the only part of Southwest Virginia where a majority of the electorate actually voted for him.

Thinking Inside The Box

When politicians think of the government as being one big social service agency, this (as reported in The Roanoke Times) is what we get:
Galax relief center helps displaced workers

More than 20 public and private-sector organizations will provide assistance to displaced workers at a central relief center that opened Friday in Galax.

Officials from Gov. Tim Kaine's administration opened the state Coordinated Economic Relief Center on Friday, nearly one month after Kaine ordered Virginia's Economic Crisis Strike Force to the area to help workers affected by major job losses over the past six months.

Sara Lee Branded Apparel announced the phaseout of 332 textile jobs at its Galax facility last month. The city also has lost about 500 furniture industry jobs in recent months.

Agencies and organizations providing services at the site include the Virginia Employment Commission, the social services departments of Carroll and Grayson counties and Galax, FAMIS-Child Health Insurance, Grayson National Bank and Wytheville Community College. (link)
With all this coordinated effort, there won't be one job created. The rate of exodus of area manufacturers will continue unabated. And the problems that are causing our employers in Southwest Virginia to close their doors will go unresolved.

In fact, these organizations that have answered Tim Kaine's summons and have dutifully assembled in Galax have no interest in improving economic conditions. They are there to hand out checks - and to provide a semblance of "training." Tim Kaine calls it his Coordinated Economic Relief Center. We call it Welfare. It is nothing more.

832 citizens of Galax will line up to receive their checks and will then apply for employment at McDonald's. Or at the new Wal-Mart over in Stuart - if they can afford the gas. Or they'll move to Washington DC and try to compete with illegal Mexicans for those "jobs that Americans won't do."

Meanwhile the exodus will continue. Employers will continue to relocate to China. And politicians in Richmond will do nothing to prevent it. In truth, they don't even know how.

'For Whom The Bell Tolls'

More plant layoffs in Southwest Virginia are announced:
Rowe Furniture lays off 60 in Elliston

Rowe furniture cuts 60 jobs at its Elliston facility.

Twenty-six positions were eliminated this month, and 37 others were cut in March. A company spokesman blames the cuts on overseas competition but says no more layoffs are expected. (link)
Call in Kaine's Economic Crisis Strike Force. We've got more displaced workers. Get the checkbook out.

What If Her Name Had Been Cindy Sheehan?

There seems to be a double standard here in the USA. From an editorial in The Washington Post:
Overreacting to Protest
Wenyi Wang doesn't belong in jail.

WENYI WANG acted rudely when she yelled and waved a banner at visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao during his White House appearance Thursday. The Secret Service was right to hustle her off the grounds. President Bush was right to apologize. But does Ms. Wang deserve to go to prison for six months? That might be the response to embarrassing and rude speech in Beijing. It shouldn't be in Washington. But yesterday the U.S. government charged Ms. Wang under a law that could bring her that sentence. (
I'm sure someone will draw a distinction between Cindy Sheehan's goofy antics and Wenyi Wang's brief protest on the White House lawn. But how many times has Sheehan been arrested and released? And Wenyi is going to prison?

The world's gone mad.

Unfortunate But True

What happened to the once-proud and mighty Republican Party? An epitaph:

How the GOP Lost Its Way
By Craig Shirley, Writing in the Washington Post

... the GOP has lost its motivating ideals. The revolution of 1994 has been killed not by zeal but by a loss of faith in its own principles. The tragedy is not that we are faced with another fight for the soul of the Republican Party but that we have missed an opportunity to bring a new generation of Americans over to our point of view.

All agree that the Democrats are feckless and without a plan or agenda. But most Americans are now presented with a choice between two parties that are both addicted to power -- the Democrats to government power and Republicans to corporate and governmental power. Who speaks for Main Street Reaganism?

It was the populists under Reagan, and later under Newt Gingrich, who energized the party, gave voice to a maturing conservative ideology and swept Republicans into power. We would be imprudent and forgetful to disregard this. But it may be too late, because conservatives don't want to be part of the looming train wreck. They know that this is no longer Ronald Reagan's party [my emphasis]. (link)
I thought of John Warner when I read that. And McCain. Neither of whom I'll ever vote for.

And look no further for an example of this disintegration than the Virginia Senate where a group of reprehensible Republicans can be counted on to side routinely with the tax-'em-more and spend-it-as-fast-as-it-comes-in Democrats.

Such a pity to watch the demise of a once-great political party.

Why Isn't He In Chains?

You probably didn't hear that a Texas appeals court had upheld the dismissal of Republican Congressman Tom DeLay's criminal conspiracy charge. The news media seems to have no interest in the man when charges are thrown out. They swarm only when allegations are made, for some odd reason.

Well, there is another Congressman, a Democrat - you won't read much about this either, oddly - that is one step closer to the slammer - perhaps:
Under Fire, Top Democrat Is Leaving Ethics Panel
By Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times

After two weeks of intense pressure from Republicans and newspaper editorials in his state and around the country, the leading Democrat on the House ethics committee resigned from the panel yesterday over criticism of how he had handled earmarked appropriations and his own finances.

The congressman, Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia, has used his coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee to steer some $250 million over a decade to five nonprofit organizations that he set up. A conservative Washington-based group, the National Legal and Policy Center, has filed a complaint with federal prosecutors questioning those appropriations and the accuracy of Mr. Mollohan's personal financial disclosure forms as his wealth swelled significantly from 2000 to 2004. (link)
If the allegations prove to have substance, Mr. Mollohan will have bigger issues than the loss of his seat on the ethics committee with which to deal (personally, I think he should be forced to remain on the committee, as a monument to Democratic Party "ethics" legerdemain).

What again are the charges pending against Tom Delay?

Why Isn't She In Chains?

Isn't there a law against disclosing highly classified information? If there is, it no longer has teeth:
C.I.A. Fires Senior Officer Over Leaks
By David Johnston and Scott Shane, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, April 21 — The Central Intelligence Agency has dismissed a senior career officer for disclosing classified information to reporters, including material for Pulitzer Prize-winning articles in The Washington Post about the agency's secret overseas prisons for terror suspects, intelligence officials said Friday.

The C.I.A. would not identify the officer, but several government officials said it was Mary O. McCarthy, a veteran intelligence analyst who until 2001 was senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council, where she served under President Bill Clinton and into the Bush administration. (link)
You may remember the furor that erupted in Europe when the information she revealed regarding "secret prisons" was made public. C.I.A. Director Porter Goss said of it, "the damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission."

And Mary O. McCarthy only gets fired. Her traitorous actions should have landed her in chains.