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

Friday, September 29, 2006

More On That Transportation Crisis

It would be a whole lot easier and far more effective for VDOT and our illustrious political elite here in the commonwealth to make the case that we need a whole lot more tax dollars for transportation if we weren't currently devoting transportation dollars to silly and wasteful projects like this:
Cedar Bluff gets grant for park/trail phase
Angie Arms, Richlands News-Press/Clinch Valley News

Cedar Bluff is one step closer to having a trail around a portion of the town by contributing their 20 percent of a matching grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The town's contribution comes in the form of a property purchase that will be utilized in later phases of the overall project.

The property purchased is located on Old Kentucky Turnpike on the opposite side of Indian Creek from the Turnpike.

Phase I of the trail project received $50,000 in VDOT grant money last year with an additional $233,000 allotted this year... (

So our highway funding is in such direful need of cash that we can blow a quarter of a million transportation dollars on a walking trail in Tazewell County.

When hell freezes over ...

I Have a Bone To Pick

I drove through this mess yesterday in North Carolina:
Hail piling up, trees falling down
TriCities.com Staff Reports

The sudden onset of severe stormy weather has led to some extremely hazardous conditions in the Tri-Cities area, especially for drivers.

One to one half inches of marble to golf ball-sized hail has reportedly fallen in ... (
Look, we all want to shield our $40,000 automobiles from hail damage when we suddenly start to get pelted as we're driving down the interstate. And many of us try our best to squeeze under the overpass until the conflagration ends.

But when there is no longer a shoulder to pull off to, you don't have the right to stop in the middle of the highway - under the overpass - and block traffic just to prevent a ding or two in your Mercedez (license number LJD ___).

It's a good thing I'm not often heavily armed when I'm out conducting business ...

We're Not Your Normal Folk

We here in Bland County celebrate those things in life the rest of you have a tendency to overlook or disparage:

Hazardous waste dump day coming up
Bland County Messenger

Y'all are invited to come celebrate with us. Bring your own spent fuel rods and high-level radioactive plutonium by-products.

It Ends As It Began

The state of Virginia needs to devote more money to transportation. Republican delegates know it. Senate Democrats know it. Governor Kaine knows it.

The House of Delegates is not going to vote for another tax increase to pay for transportation expenditures. Senators knows it. The Governor knows it.

So we are where we all knew we would be:
Limited session hits the end of the road
The Republican-run General Assembly cut short the session on transportation two days early. Finger pointing has begun.
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

RICHMOND -- Virginia lawmakers abandoned a last-ditch effort to craft a statewide transportation funding package Thursday, with the Senate and House of Delegates hopelessly divided over how to generate money for long-term road and transit needs.

The failure to find common ground leaves little new money in the budget for transportation. And it left legislators and Gov. Tim Kaine pointing fingers as a long and unproductive fight over the issue sputtered to a close. (
The article goes on to provide the usual whining from Governor Kaine and his supporters about impending doom and the end of the world as we know it. And about those sunsabitchas in the House.

What isn't mentioned is the fact that the state is awash in money right now (a surplus estimated to be as high as $2 billion) as a result of former Governor Mark Warner's massive tax increase of just a few years ago and that this same bunch of reprobates that bemoans the lack of funds to address transportation needs managed to increase spending on everything else by 20% in the last session of the legislature alone, money that, if they truly considered our transportation needs to be that dire, could have been devoted to meeting our transportation needs.

But no.

So the special session is ending in failure. Who'da guessed.

You Wanted Him. You Got Him.

The Republican Party campaigned heavily for Senator Lincoln Chafee's re-election in the recent Rhode Island primary. The party campaigned even harder against his Republican opponent, which surprised and disgusted more than a few party faithful.

So what did the gurus at GOP-Central get for their efforts? A senator who sides with the Democrats. Again. Somebody explain this:
Bolton's post left in limbo
By David R. Sands, The Washington Times

The deadlocked Senate Foreign Relations Committee will not take up the confirmation vote for combative U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton before Congress adjourns this weekend for the fall elections, committee officials confirmed yesterday.

Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, told the Associated Press yesterday that Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Republican, remains a holdout on the nomination. The liberal Mr. Chafee, who faces a tough re-election fight in November, has said he would not vote on Mr. Bolton until the administration addressed his concerns about general policy in the Middle East. (
Better a Democrat than this ...