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

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quote of the Day

The Times Issues a Penultimatum

The New York Times editorialized in favor of extending the deadline for old people to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit without paying a penalty for tardiness. It's a wonderful peek into the liberal mind:
Little more than a month ago, this page argued that it was premature to consider extending the deadline then because it was serving as a useful prod to force fence sitters to make a decision. But that prod has expired, and some prospective enrollees may now view the penalty as a disincentive to join late this year. It would seem useful to establish another deadline to serve as another prod.
And you'd better comply with this deadline, or we're going to issue another one!

James Taranto, "Best of the Web Today," May 16, 2006 (link)

Breaking News

Duh:
Confidence In GOP Is At New Low in Poll
Democrats Favored To Address Issues
By Richard Morin and Dan Balz, Washington Post Staff Writers


Public confidence in GOP governance has plunged to the lowest levels of the Bush presidency, with Americans saying by wide margins that they now trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with Iraq, the economy, immigration and other issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that underscores the GOP's fragile grip on power six months before the midterm elections. (
link)
Well, they got that half right. Many of us don't see a spit's difference between the Republicans in Washington and the Democrats.

And it's not going to change.

UAW Votes to Give Their Jobs To The Japanese

These people are a complete mystery to me:
UAW vote OKs Delphi strike

DETROIT (AP) -- United Auto Workers members have voted to authorize a strike against auto parts supplier Delphi Corp., adding a new threat to already tense negotiations between the two sides and Delphi's former parent and largest customer General Motors Corp.


Delphi was in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week asking Judge Robert Drain for permission to cancel its labor contracts after it failed to reach a deal with its unions and GM.

Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October, has proposed cutting its U.S. hourly workers' wages from $27 an hour to $16.50 an hour, or as low as $12.50 an hour if GM doesn't agree to supplement those wages. (
link)

If y'all don't want those jobs up there, can we have them? The Japanese have their share.

It's Good To Be Skeptical

Was I the only person who found it odd that the bird-flu pandemic was turning up with one case in Bangladesh, two in China, another one in Scotland, and another in South Africa? Did that make any sense?

It all becomes more clear:
Bird-flu pandemic threat seen waning
By Joyce Howard Price, The Washington Times


Bird-flu cases have dropped sharply in Europe and have not caused the human calamity expected in Africa, health officials report.

Meanwhile, Vietnam, which has the world's largest death toll from avian influenza at 42, has been free of the disease in both people and poultry all this year. (
link)
Let's high-five. We saved the earth from another global catastrophe. Nobody's sure how we did it or if there ever really was a looming catastrophe but ...

On That Border Plan

I heard yesterday that the President's plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border will not involve 6,000 troops. The plan, in reality, calls for soldiers who are scheduled to go through their routine summer training exercises to be temporarily stationed along the border. There'll be a constant rotation in and out. The actual number of guardsmen there at any given time will be about 2,000 to 3,000.

Swell.

Local officials are just as underwhelmed:
Sheriffs on border skeptical of efficacy of plan for Guard
By Jerry Seper and Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times


The first of 6,000 National Guard troops President Bush wants to station on the southwest border will be deployed next month, assigned to fly helicopters to spot illegal aliens, lay sensors to detect their movement, and build roads and barriers to help the U.S. Border Patrol do its job.

But Mr. Bush's border mobilization plan is being questioned by besieged state and local law-enforcement authorities battling rapidly escalating violence by heavily armed alien and drug smugglers.

Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who helped create and served as the first president of the Texas Border Sheriffs' Coalition, challenged Mr. Bush's plan to use unarmed National Guard troops to monitor cameras, build roads and repair fences.

"It is my understanding the troops will be used only to enhance the personnel of the Border Patrol by being able to monitor a new 'technology fence,' " Sheriff Gonzalez said. "Who is going to respond to the burglar, thief, robber, rapist, murderer when the National Guard spots them in the act by satellite? (
link)
Who indeed.

Wisdom comes from the little people.

Is This So Hard To Understand?

The New York Times editorial staff seems to be confused. Again:
An American Embassy in Tripoli

The Bush administration's decision to make nice with Libya highlights the apparent schizophrenia of America's relations with other countries — like Iran.
I'll try to explain this to the wit-challenged:
  • George Bush convinced the Libyans to destroy their nuclear weaponry.
  • The Iranians are developing nuclear weapons
  • George Bush is going to convince the Iranians to destroy their nuclear capability.

This really isn't that difficult to comprehend, fellas.

We Need To Let Them Know Who's In Charge

A judge has decided (again) that we live in an autocracy:
Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Is Struck Down by Georgia Judge
By Shaila Dewan, The New York Times


ATLANTA, May 16 — A state amendment banning same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a judge who upheld the voters' right to limit marriage to heterosexual couples but cited procedural flaws in the wording of the amendment, which was approved by more than three-quarters of voters. (
link)
Where was it I read that "We the people ..." stuff?

We Can't Allow This

Get out the Windfall Profits Tax. Big Oil ... er, Big Computer is reaping exorbitant profits:
Hewlett Says Its Earnings Jumped 51%
By Damon Darlin*, The New York Times


SAN FRANCISCO, May 16 — Hewlett-Packard said Tuesday that strong sales of laptop computers and printer supplies along with cost-cutting helped push its quarterly profit up 51 percent. The company also said its market share in personal computers increased 1.4 percentage points. (
link)
How dare they ...

* I love the reporter's name. I'm going to call my next child Damon Darlin.

We Choose To Be Outraged Anyway

The facts supporting this scandal never made any difference anyway. So Verizon's press release means nothing:
Verizon Denies Turning Over Local Phone Data
By Ken Belson and Matt Richtel, The New York Times


Verizon, the country's second-largest phone company, said yesterday that it had not provided local phone records to the National Security Agency as part of efforts to compile a database of calling records to track terrorist activities.

The announcement, a day after BellSouth issued a similar statement, came in response to a report in USA Today last Thursday that the three biggest Bell companies had handed over their customer calling records to the security agency, including data on local calls, without warrants. (
link)

That leaves AT&T to make a similar announcment. Until then, it's worth noting that USA Today got 1/3 of the story right. That's actually better than normal.

And whether or not information was provided to Bush, we know he broke the law. We know ...

Terrorists Strike Again

Uh oh. Murtha and his ilk will want our troops out of Russia now:

Bombing Kills 7 in Southern Russia
By The Associated Press

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) -- A suspected suicide bomber killed seven people, including a high-level police official, in a restive southern region of Russia on Wednesday, authorities said.

Ingushetia's Deputy Interior Minister Dzhabrail Kostoyev, two of his bodyguards and four civilians were killed when a sedan packed with explosives blocked a road on the outskirts of the region's main city of Nazran and blew up, police said. (link)

My point? There are those who would have our troops placed where they can't be harmed - meaning out of Iraq. Where in the world, besides the USA since 9/11 (thank you, George), is anyone immune from terrorist attack?

Scratch Turkey Off The List

Looks like troop withdrawal is in order for Turkey as well:
Suspected Gunman Wounds 5 Judges in Turkey
By The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A gunman stormed into a meeting at Turkey's highest administrative court on Wednesday and opened fire, wounding five judges, the Ankara governor's office said.


The attacker, a lawyer who was detained, reportedly chanted ''God is Great!'' as he fired his weapon, private NTV television reported, citing witnesses. (
link)
We can run but we can't hide.