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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Reason Number 83

Norm over at my second favorite blog, One Man's Trash, provides another reason (here) why John McCain is a danger to the Republic and will never get my vote. McCain's attitude toward the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is astonishing.

I quote from OMT, which quotes from a McCain interview with radio personality Don Imus:
"He [radio talk show host Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform....I know that money corrupts....I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."
I don't think I've ever read anything more outrageous from a leader of the Republican Party in my life. And, yes, I haven't forgotten Pat Buchanan.

Senate Comes Up With a New Plan: A Gas Tax

These people just aren't getting it. Virginia, like the rest of the nation, is in the throes of a crushing surge in gasoline prices and the state Senate comes up with what the members deem a breakthrough compromise on the budget currently under debate. They propose an increase in gas prices:

Four transportation bills sail through Senate
By Bob Lewis, The Associated Press


RICHMOND -- The state Senate comfortably passed four transportation bills yesterday that won grudging thanks from House Republicans for untangling the budget from their long-running dispute over road funding.

[A key] plan features a 6 cents-per-gallon fee that would be assessed on major fuel distribution terminals in Virginia ... (
link)
Oh. The tax won't be assessed on us. It's going to be paid by "fuel distribution terminals."

Do they think we're complete idiots?

Yes.
"Make no mistake about it, this is a fee that would be charged to big oil companies," said Sen. R. Edward Houck, Spotsylvania Democrat ...

"I have no problem, I have no reservation about hitting the big oil companies here in the commonwealth" ...
And "Big Oil" isn't going to raise prices at the pump to offset the increase in taxes ...

The question is this: Is Ed Houck a moron who actually believes this horse shit or is he a morally reprehensible politician who holds his constituents in such low regard?

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I go with the former.

I'm Doing My Part

You have to be prepared for all contingencies:
Va. prepares for hurricanes
By Peter Bacque, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer (
link)
I'm getting ready should a hurricane come up the coast. I'm going to sit on my rooftop for the next four days and whine.

It's Party Time!

There's a wine festival being held over in Henrico County this weekend. And if I'm reading this right, it's all the wine you can drink for 13 bucks:
Area toasts wine festival
By Juan Antonio Lizama, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer


For $13 to $18, people get a glass and can sample wine from 25 wineries from Virginia ... at [the] 15th annual James River Wine Festival at Innsbrook's Pavilion in Henrico County.

The two-day event, which continues today, typically draws about 4,000 people, said festival coordinator Tony Martin. (link)
I wonder if the $18 tankard is the 32 ounce vat I would need if I were to be given unlimited refills on great wine.

Anyway, y'all need to check it out. I can't make it. Paula says I have to mow the lawn ...

Senator Allen Can Pander With The Best of 'Em

Taking a page from the Bill Clinton playbook, Senator George Allen is calling for Congress to issue an apology for slavery. How utterly pathetic.

Here's the shameful news:

Allen to seek slavery apology by Congress
Va. senator will work with Ga. congressman to push for resolution
By Kathryn Orth, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer


FARMVILLE -- Sen. George Allen, under fire for wearing a Confederate flag pin as a teenager, said yesterday he will pursue a proposal for a congressional resolution apologizing for slavery.

"I think it is a powerful idea and I want it to be considered seriously," Allen, R-Va., said during a three-day symposium for several congressmen to examine Prince Edward County's role in Massive Resistance and its aftermath. (link)
Allen wants a meaningless apology for slavery to be "considered seriously." Fair enough.

I consider it seriously idiotic.

It's been done, George. By the best panderer ever.

If you want to be taken seriously, do something about the institution of slavery that still thrives today in sub-Saharan Africa, George. Don't waste our time and insult our intelligence by offering up a vacuous apology for acts committed by individuals nobody knows against nameless individuals who were persecuted 200 years ago.

I think you owe us an apology for thinking we're a bunch of dolts.

That's Your Solution?

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this header to a Roanoke Times editorial this morning:
Supply and demand guarantee high prices (link)
A concept so fundamental to economics and yet so unlike the Roanoke Times. Of course, I then read this:
Political pandering aside, President Bush and Congress are powerless to control gas prices unless they seriously diminish demand for oil.
In reality both President Bush and Congress are ever-more powerless when it comes to global demand anyway.

We are now at a point where no one in this country is going to be able to curb rising demands for oil - in China and India. And the Saudis, who were once able to knock down rising oil prices by flooding the market temporarily with a few extra million barrels (raising the supply to exceed the demand), are now at what many consider production capacity.

Anyway, I searched the editorial for a solution to the problem, finding only one:
For a long-overdue start, Congress could pass a meaningful increase in vehicle fuel efficiency requirements.
That ain't gonna move the global needle, friend. Ad if that's the best you can come up with, we're doomed.

Generally what we always get as a solution to the problem relating to a rising demand for an ever-shrinking supply is this:
Instead of the absolutely meaningless gesture with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, President Bush should call for a national campaign for energy independence, harnessing the American ingenuity and drive that sent a man to the moon in less than a decade.
A national campaign. A meaningless gesture if there ever was one.

No, the only solution to this problem is to be found in the age-old profit motive. When Exxon or Peabody Energy or General Electric finds the right scientist who is able to come up with an alternative fuel - or series of fuels - that are abundant, easy to use, safe, and cheaper than oil, consumers will flock to that fuel and to that company.

But if that fuel will ever exist is still a mystery. Solar, wind, biofuels, and ethanol all nibble at the edges but are not the answer. If there is one to be found (coal?), it won't be in the halls of Congress. Our salvation will be discovered in the laboratory - more than likely at one of those hated oil companies.

Until then, fixed supply and rising demand will indeed guarantee high prices.

Goode To Smoke Weed Again

I have to believe I'm not the first person who came up with that line but I couldn't resist using it anyway. Here's the related news:

Al Weed likely to be nominee Weed has delegates to challenge Goode
By Christina Rogers, The Roanoke Times

Nelson County vineyard owner Al Weed appears to have clinched the 5th Congressional District's Democratic nomination and may for a second time go up against up incumbent Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Rocky Mount. (link)

I think the headline should be more creative. How's this?
5th District Voters now have a choice: Goode Weed.
Sorry. I'll stick to my day job.

It Rises From The Dead

As I predicted, the Bridge To Nowhere in Alaska is going to be built at your expense after all. The Republican Party has seen to it. We should all be ashamed:
A 'Bridge to Nowhere' An overstuffed highway bill A teapot museum
Pork by Any Other Name . . .
By Michael Grunwald, The Washington Post


Last fall, after House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) earmarked $223 million to link the remote town of Ketchikan (population 8,900) to the more remote island of Gravina (population 50), the Bridge to Nowhere became a national symbol of congressional porkmania, lampooned by Leno, Letterman and Limbaugh.

Young, a 33-year House veteran, defiantly boasted that he had stuffed the bill "like a turkey." And Stevens, a 37-year senator, furiously threatened to resign if Congress shifted money away from Gravina and another bridge to nowhere near Anchorage -- a bridge named Don Young's Way, near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The Republican-controlled Congress still gave Alaska the $452 million it had requested for the two bridges, merely removing the earmark directing where the state should spend the money. (link)
This is shameful beyond words.

Before anyone in Southwest Virginia thinks this tendency toward wastefulness is exclusive to Republicans, you should know that your Congressman, a Democrat, is right there with them. He's just not as creative. Oh, and he has no clout. But look through this list of Rick Boucher self-praise announcements and you'll find plenty of taxpayer dollars being flushed down the toilet on one worthless project after another.

If there was ever a time when we needed a line-item veto and a President who will control this scandalous profligacy, it is now.