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

Friday, December 29, 2006

Boucher's Big Plans

9th District Congressman-for-life Rick Boucher outlined his priorities for the upcoming session of Congress in a recent interview with The Coalfield Progress. (link requires paid subscription).

Jobs. Jobs, Jobs.

That sums up ... what he doesn't care about.

Now, what does he have planned for those of us who are going to have to pay for his fanciful notions?

Boucher charts 2007 action plan
By Bonnie Shortt, Staff Writer
In an interview Tuesday, Boucher said during 2007 he will work on promoting ...

● Coal technology. In the coming year, Boucher hopes to promote the use of technology for converting coal to liquid transportation fuels.
If he'd left it at that, I'd be singing his praises. But he had to throw in this bit of idiocy:

Coal-to-liquid fuels are feasible to use when petroleum costs $40 a barrel or more, Boucher said. He added he would like to set a price floor on petroleum to ensure more people would use coal-to-liquid fuels. Many countries we buy petroleum from are the most politically unstable, he said. As a result, we have our hands tied in regions where we shouldn't even be involved, he said.
A price floor. What that means is Boucher doesn't ever want that gallon of gasoline you pay for to get too cheap. What's with that? And, if he's willing to set prices on gasoline at the pump, is he willing to set prices on milk? Aspirin? Diapers? PlayStation3's? Water? Didn't Richard Nixon try this only to manage to completely screw up the economy?

● Diesel. Boucher also plans to promote greater use of diesel fuel ...
Don't ask me. I can only guess he drives an Audi diesel around his upscale neighborhood in Washington D.C. and wants easier access to his favorite fuel for himself and his tea-sipping pals.

● Higher education. Boucher hopes to make college more affordable. Many students are forced to not finish college because of the high prices, he said, and those who finish often face large amounts of debt. He would like to see Congress make more education grant funds available to reduce the amount of loans that students take, he said.
"He would like to see Congress make more education grant funds available ..." Let's hope he also intends to have his fabulously wealthy friends in Congress pay for them. Is this a typically boneheaded Democratic solution to a problem or what?

Boucher wants to confiscate a portion of your paycheck so as to make it easier for your kid to go to college. How 'bout we keep our money and we send our kids to college without your intereference, Rick? What the hell do we need you for?

● Health care. Boucher said he hopes to help authorize the government to negotiate with drug manufacturers to ensure lower drug prices for those who receive Medicare. Also, he noted, he would like to help close a gap in Medicare coverage that he called harmful to senior citizens. Currently, Medicare covers 75 percent of the first $2,260 spent on medication, Boucher said. After that, Medicare stops paying until the recipient pays a certain amount of out-of-pocket money, he said.
See my response to his last nanny initiative above. Pharmaceutical companies will be more than willing to charge less for medications going to seniors on Medicare (if Boucher's gun is pointed at their heads) and will then make up the shortfall by charging the living hell out of the rest of us.

● Press freedom. Boucher plans to introduce a bill geared toward reporters next month, he said. The bill would protect reporters from being jailed for contempt because they refuse to reveal off-the-record sources in federal court, he said. The only way for the public to know things is through what news reporters obtain from inside sources, Boucher said. No one will tip reporters to news if they face having their identities exposed in court, he said.
This is so unimportant, it's hardly worth a comment except for me to suggest that Boucher has to throw some kind of bone to the people who work so hard to get him reelected every two years. Consider this the media's bone.

● FEMA. Boucher hopes to help restore the Federal Emergency Management Agency to an independent agency, he said.Boucher said Bush degraded the agency, took its funding, buried it within the Department of Homeland Security and redirected its mission to helping fight the war on terror. FEMA needs to be restored to its previous status as a first-class responder to natural disasters, Boucher said.
Whatever.

● Water, sewer. Boucher added he hopes to continue obtaining money to help fund public water and sewer projects. The region has already benefited and he is determined to continue until all homes have clean water, he said.
This should have been his most important priority over the last two decades (along with the promotion of Southwest Virginia's economy) instead of wasting his time and our money (tens of millions) on those worthless hiking trails and bike paths that now criss cross the area. This is the kind of thing government was created to handle. Not taking our money and giving some of it back.

● Telecommunications. Boucher said he would like to see broadband use become more widespread. The United States is where the Internet was created, yet we are 16th in the world in the use of broadband, he said.
He'll never grasp the concept that a vibrant economy brings about such technological advancements. Not the other way around. In fact a booming economy will demand such infrastructure improvements. But we need to turn the economy around first, Rick. Broadband is going to do those 1,000 employees who are about to be laid off at Volvo in coming days a lot of good.

Then there is the obligatory ...

● Forests. Bush wants to put thousands of acres of national forest land into private ownership. Boucher said he will strongly oppose that proposal, he said.
Thank God. I was worried we were going to run out of forests around here.

Somebody shake me. This has to be an ongoing never-ending nightmare.

Rick Boucher's plan for the future: Jobs, jobs, jo ... er ... More forests, more redistribution of wealth, more hard times for Southwest Virginia.

Don't Let Your Eyes Deceive You


Isn't this a tranquil scene? Young lovers. Lakeshore. Beautiful day. A baby.

A baby?

Look again.

Edwards Goes a'Slummin'

Hey. Look at me. I'm touching black people!

Edwards: I Blundered. Vote For Me.

I don't know about you but when a candidate comes to me and says he wants my vote, followed closely with an admission that he made the error of the century, well, it just doesn't create in me a sense of confidence in his ability to be Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world:

Edwards Formally Joins 2008 Presidential Race
Ex-Senator Calls for Drawdown in Iraq
By Dan Balz, Washington Post Staff Writer


NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 28 -- Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina launched his second campaign for the White House from this flood-ravaged city Thursday with a call for the United States to reduce its troop presence in Iraq and a plea for citizen action to combat poverty, global warming and America's reliance on foreign oil.

Edwards was sharply critical of the administration for its conduct of the war in Iraq, and he again recanted his own vote authorizing President Bush to take the country to war, which he called a mistake. (link)


"I make mistakes. Vote for me."

Doesn't seem like the most resonating campaign slogan I've ever heard.

But then the Democratic Party, a mistake in itself, did see fit to nominate him in 2004 ...

But What About That Third Eyeball?

This is not going to sit well with those "scientists" out there who decry irradiated and gentically modified foods:
F.D.A. Tentatively Declares Food From Cloned Animals to Be Safe
By Andrew Pollack and Andrew Martin, The New York Times


After years of delay, the Food and Drug Administration tentatively concluded yesterday that milk and meat from some cloned farm animals are safe to eat. That finding could make the United States the first country to allow products from cloned livestock to be sold in grocery stores.

... the F.D.A.’s draft policy touched off an immediate storm of criticism from consumer groups, as well as some concerns from meat and dairy companies worried about consumer reaction. (link)
A storm of criticism. Go figure.

Of course, these are the same frightened children who think your microwave oven is going to give you cancer. And Proctor & Gamble has been taken over by Satan. And your electric toothbrush will cause tumors. And ...

A Question For The Anti-Goode Crowd

Bigot
Noun: bigot
1. A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own

A columnist of considerable renown asks the following question this morning of all the holier-than-thou pundit wannabes here in Virginia and elsewhere who have savaged Congressman Virgil Goode in recent days:

"For those of you who think Goode is a bigot, have you the same thoughts and feelings about the Muslim who prompted this uproar? If your answer is no, I ask you this: Who's the bigot now?"

My Roanoke Times column this week: Now Who's The Bigot?

Update 12/29/06, 5:30 am: I seem to have struck a raw nerve with my column about Keith X Ellison, our new Muslim member of Congress. The email has poured in from people who have high praise for Virgil Goode and from a number of people who are concerned about the ugly and ever-expanding danger Islam engenders - both here and abroad.

Several emailers have asked for sources of the information I used in the column. See it below.

● For an extensive biography of the man, click on
Wikipedia.

● What caught my eye back before the November election was Scott Johnson's article in
The Weekly Standard in which I read, among other things:

Ellison's record also includes a multitude of embarrassments of the traditional kind. He fell afoul of the IRS after failing to pay $25,000 in income taxes; he ignored fines that he had incurred for parking tickets and moving violations so numerous that his driver's license was suspended more times than he can remember; he was fined for willful violation of Minnesota's campaign finance reporting law. It amounts to a striking pattern of lawbreaking since he undertook the practice of law in 1990.

Ellison was born Catholic in Detroit. He states that he converted to Islam as an undergraduate at Wayne State University. As a third-year student at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1989-90, he wrote two columns for the Minnesota Daily under the name "Keith Hakim." In the first, Ellison refers to "Minister Louis Farrakhan," defends Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad, and speaks in the voice of a Nation of Islam advocate. In the second, "Hakim" demands reparations for slavery and throws in a demand for an optional separate homeland for American blacks. In February 1990, Ellison participated in sponsoring Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) to speak at the law school on the subject "Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?" Jewish law students met personally with Ellison and appealed to him not to sponsor the speech at the law school; he rejected their appeal, and, as anticipated, Ture gave a notoriously anti-Semitic speech.

Even in 1995, Ellison's work on behalf of the Nation of Islam extended well beyond his promotion of the Million Man March. That year, he dutifully spouted the Farrakhan line when Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, was indicted for conspiring to murder Farrakhan. Ellison organized a march on the U.S. attorney's office in Minneapolis demanding that Shabazz be released and alleging that the FBI itself had conspired to kill Farrakhan. In a November 6, 1995, column for the Minneapolis periodical Insight News, Ellison wrote under the name "Keith X Ellison." He condemned a Star Tribune editorial cartoon that was critical of Farrakhan as a role model for blacks because of his anti-Semitism. Ellison argued to the contrary.

Then, in February 1997, Ellison appeared as a local spokesman for the Nation of Islam with the last name "Muhammad." He spoke at a public hearing in connection with a controversy involving Joanne Jackson of the Minnesota Initiative Against Racism (MIAR). Jackson was alleged to have said, "Jews are among the most racist white people I know."
● In a September column for Front Page Magazine, Andrew Walden wrote:

In a clear sign of the deepening Unholy Alliance between the Democratic Party Left and Islamist extremists, Minnesota’s Democratic Party has nominated for U.S. Congress a “former” member of the Nation of Islam who has defended membership in the Bloods street gang, and called cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and leftist terrorist Sara Jane Olson “freedom fighters.”

The DFL is now handing its “greatest stronghold” over to a candidate with long ties to Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and who has already accrued at least an estimated $20,000-$35,000 in funding from the terrorist-connected Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), including the maximum personal donation from CAIR chief Nihad Awad.
● The Washington Post (!) revealed that Ellison only repudiated Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam during the recent campaign when his affiliation with the organization became known to a disturbed electorate in Minnesota.

● The
New York Times (!) disclosed some of the reaction to Ellison's victory in the Arab world:

The news garnered a rich variety of comments from Arab readers on the Web site of Al Arabiya, a satellite news channel based in Dubai. “God willing in the next election, half of Congress will be from the rational Muslims,” wrote one reader, while another said, “May God make this the beginning of victory for Muslims on the very ground of the despots.”
There you have it.

One commenter asked that I focus on the man and not the religion. Consider it done.

I just wish the people of Minnesota had done the same before electing this joker to represent them in Congress.

Secondarily, I ask you to read the first comment left by a reader. He disparages Congressman Goode and "redneck Christian idiots" but then states that he doesn't "give two figs" about Ellison's background. I refer you - and him - to the definition of the word BIGOT above.

Showing The NY Times How It's Done

A day after the editorialists at the New York Times called for the Ethiopian army to withdraw from Somalia and to leave the Islamists who had taken control there in power so as to bring about some kind of unity to that tormented country, a kind of unity has come about anyway.

The terrorists have been driven out and the western-backed government has been restored.

Somalia, U.N. regain Mogadishu
By Mohamed Olad Hassan, Associated Press

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Jubilant Somalis cheered as troops of the U.N.-backed interim government rolled into Mogadishu unopposed yesterday, putting an end to six months of domination of the capital by a radical Islamist movement.

Ethiopian soldiers stopped on the outskirts of town, after providing much of the military might in the offensive that shattered what had seemed an unbeatable Islamist militia. Islamist fighters fled south vowing to continue the battle.

"We are in Mogadishu," Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi declared after meeting with local clan leaders to discuss the peaceful transfer of the city. (link)


Had the invading forces taken the advice of the New York Times peace-at-any-price crowd, terror would still reign in the streets of Mogadishu. Instead, with the use of overwhelming lethal force, some semblance of humanity is returning, and the terrorists have been either killed or driven into headlong retreat.

A lesson well-learned after 9/11. To all except the neurotics at the New York Times.