Saturday, February 10, 2007
Regulation will mean higher rates
By Greg Edwards, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
The Virginia General Assembly is ending the state's decade-old experiment with electric deregulation. Here are some things you should know:
Q. Does this mean my rates will go up?
A. Yes, much higher than they should be or would be if the state returned to traditional regulation, according to consumer groups -- some representing the state's biggest businesses.
However, some form of re-regulation will ensure that Virginia consumers are not forced to buy electricity from unregulated local monopolies at potentially much higher market-driven rates in the years ahead. (link)
This isn't even a "Yes, but..." This is a "Hell yes, you have no idea, and..."
We want to do this why? So that "Virginia consumers are not forced to buy electricity from unregulated local monopolies at potentially much higher market-driven rates in the years ahead?"
How 'bout we worry about years ahead years ahead? And we worry about now now.
Have these people gone stark raving mad?
Wytheville Democratic contender leaves raceThough Smith came to the race with an impressive résumé, he also hails from Crockett-Stark's strongest precincts, in Wytheville, where she enjoys sweeping popularity. That coupled with the fact that the 6th District is growingly Republican anyway made Smith's chances remote at best.
Paul Dellinger, The Roanoke Times
A Wytheville businessman dropped his quest Friday for the Democratic Party nomination for the 6th District House of Delegates seat, one week after tossing his hat into the ring.
"It is with great regret and disappointment that I must discontinue my efforts to seek the Democratic nomination," William "Bill" Smith said in a statement issued Friday.
"Issues have suddenly surfaced that will not allow me to keep pace with a rigorous campaign schedule that this effort deserves," he said. "As difficult as this decision is personally, I am convinced that an announcement now is in everyone's best interest." (link)
So it's back to the drawing board for the local Democratic Party. Southwest Virginia waits with bated breath ...
Galax business owner to run for 5th District House seat
By Donna Alvis-Banks, The Roanoke Times
Del. Bill Carrico has a challenger for his 5th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Susie Dixon Garner, a Galax native and longtime city business owner, announced Friday that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat. Speaking at the Crossroads Institute, Galax's rural entrepreneurial and educational center, Garner told a group of about 50 people that the region is at "a critical point."
"We have experienced difficult economic times as our communities transition into the 21st century," Garner said. "We have seen plant closings make deep cuts in the already limited number of jobs that we have. Many of these jobs have gone to other areas and, indeed, other countries. Despite this distressing news, I see our current situation as an opportunity to shape our future."A tad bit of pablum but okay.
Calling economic development a "necessity" to her area's woes, the 56-year-old Garner identified needs such as infrastructure and transportation improvements, educational opportunities, broadband interconnectivity and tax incentives to jump-start development.Yes! Marry me! I want to have your children! I'm going to tattoo your likeness on my biceps! (ok, slap me)
Then this: "She also pointed to the need to preserve and enhance natural resources in the area, making it a tourist destination."
Ugh. Another damn Democrat. Throw her back.
It hovers. An airplane. In defiance of the laws of nature.
And now the Marine Corps may have come to that same determination:
Okay. They have different reasons for grounding the thing. Still, God never meant for something like that to actually do what it does.A veritable freak of nature.
Marine Corps Grounds V-22 Osprey Aircraft
By Renae Merle, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Marine Corps said yesterday it was temporarily grounding its fleet of V-22 Osprey tilt rotors after discovering a glitch in a computer chip that could cause the aircraft to lose control.
The order affects 54 of the helicopter-airplane hybrids -- 46 owned by the Marines and eight belonging to the Air Force -- and could last weeks, Marine Corps officials said.
While none of the aircraft has been sent into the combat despite more than 20 years in development, the Osprey has regained support in the military in recent years. The Marine Corps expects to declare its version combat-ready this summer, and ... (link)
Photo courtesy of the Defense Department.
In 2007, the Democrats are willing to take it one step further to lose another war - this one being fought in Iraq. They want to cut off funds to American troops who are struggling against a powerful foe, even as the battle rages.
This from a 2008 Democratic presidential contender:
Congress Must Act On IraqMen have been imprisoned for advocating less in time of war. And this slimeball is a prominent Democrat and a serious contender for the party's nomination to be president of the United States of America.
By Tom Vilsack, writing in the Washington Post
The war in Iraq and the president's mismanagement of our military resources have recklessly endangered our national security and depleted our military and National Guard units across America. By nearly every standard, the homeland security of our country has been weakened and compromised by the president's policies and a lack of congressional oversight.
Members of Congress have a constitutional and moral obligation to exercise their authority to stop funding President Bush's failed policy in Iraq. Not eventually, but immediately. (link)
These people know no shame.
E.U. Considers Broad New Penalties in Pollution DisastersEnvironmental crime.
By Molly Moore, Washington Post Foreign Service
Paris, Feb. 9 -- The executive arm of the European Union proposed legislation Friday that would make companies and individuals subject to criminal penalties for environmental disasters anywhere within the 27-nation bloc. If enacted, the proposal would create some of the most comprehensive environmental penalties in the world.
The measure would allow European courts to shut down companies found responsible for environmental disasters, imprison corporate executives for up to five years and levy fines of nearly $1 million.
E.U. Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said ... "We cannot allow safe havens of environmental crime inside the E.U." (link)
In the end, it really doesn't make any difference. Those companies have escaped Europe and relocated to China already anyway.
Warm and fuzzy thought though.
Nobel laureate accosted at peace conferenceHere's where the crack investigative work came in:
San Francisco - In a bizarre attack, a well-known author and Holocaust scholar was dragged out of a San Francisco hotel elevator by an apparent Holocaust denier who reportedly had been trailing him for weeks.
Police confirmed this week that the attack took place and that officers escorted Wiesel to the airport following the attack. According to police, the suspect accosted Wiesel in the hotel elevator at around 6:30 p.m., saying he wanted to interview him. Wiesel said he would do the interview in the lobby. That’s when the attacker pulled him out of the elevator, police reported. (link)
In a posting Tuesday on the anti-Zionist Web site ZioPedia, a writer using the name Eric Hunt takes credit for the attack: “After ensuring no women would be traumatized by what I had to do (I had been trailing Wiesel for weeks), I stopped the elevator at the sixth floor. I pulled Wiesel out of the elevator. I said I wanted to interview him.”Really? What gave him away?
Police haven’t officially idenitifed a suspect, but a source close to the investigation said Eric Hunt is the focus of their probe. (my emphasis)
Air PelosiAnd for those who wanted to know why it was okay for the previous Speaker of the House to be given use of a plane at taxpayer expense but it's not okay for our soon-to-be-coronated queen:
Speaker Opts For Waste And Arrogance
By Richard Miniter, The New York Post
February 10, 2007 -- Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped out of her Georgetown home and into a government-owned black Chevy Tahoe SUV. That gas-guzzler truck took her directly to the Rayburn House Office Building - where she was the lead witness at a Science and Technology Committee hearing on global warming.
This, the day after word broke of Pelosi's request for regular use of a U.S. Air Force C-32 - the same plane that flies the vice president and first lady.
She wants to travel in luxury. The Air Force jet is the same size and airframe as the Boeing 757-200, which carries about 300 passengers. The C-32 boasts 42 business-class seats - plus a wood-paneled state room, big-screen TV, full-size bed and crew of 16, including uniformed stewards who bring drinks and meals on request. Oh, and an open bar.
Cost to taxpayers? Some $15,000 an hour. (link)
Pelosi campaigned on the promise that she would clean up the GOP's waste and abuse of taxpayer's dollars. So why doesn't she use the little commuter jet that the Air Force lent to Dennis Hastert, the previous speaker?Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace. Of historic proportions.
She said it was "not big enough" to accommodate her staff, supporters and other members of the California delegation. Also, it would have to stop to refuel. (my emphasis)
'Does This Plane Make Me Look Fat?'Best Of the Web Today, February 9, 2007
"[Rep. John] Murtha said he is convinced the Pentagon has been leaking information about the possibility that [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi would use large military planes to make her look bad."--San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 8
A funny thing happened on the way to Armageddon though. The people of India, with their entrepreneurial spirit and, in recent decades, an open market system, overcame their problems. And they thrive:
A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies -- often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance of survival.
... those who claim that the government could never intrude into such a private matter as the number of children a couple produces may be due for an unpleasant surprise. There is no sacred legal "right" to have children. The argument that family size is God's affair and not the business of the government would undoubtedly be raised -- just as it was against outlawing polygamy. But the government tells you precisely how many husbands or wives you can have and claps you in jail if you exceed that number.
India Finds Its Economy on the Verge of OverheatingFrom rags to riches. And the Indians did it without slaughtering masses of poor people. Without killing children in the womb. Without rationing and the creation of a police state.
By Keith Bradsher, The New York Times
Mumbai, India, Feb. 8 — With breakneck growth, an outsourcing industry that leads the world and hundreds of millions of consumers demanding more class and comfort, India has an economy many countries would envy.
... the central bank’s surveys show that practically all of India’s manufacturers are operating at full capacity, as consumer demand has risen first and companies have been slower to respond. Many factory expansions and new factories will be ready in 18 months to two years, Mr. Reddy said, describing the time until then as a transitional period for the economy.
Awash with deposits derived from foreign investors, Indian banks have been lending aggressively, particularly to consumers. (link)
They did it through capitalism, free and unfettered.
A lesson many in this country could learn.
Giuliani Shifts Abortion Speech Gently to RightA quote: “On the federal judiciary I would want judges who are strict constructionists because I am. I have a very, very strong view that for this country to work, for our freedoms to be protected, judges have to interpret, not invent, the Constitution."
By Ray Rivera, The New York Times
As he prepares for a possible run for president — a road that goes deep into the heart of conservative America — Rudolph W. Giuliani takes with him a belief in abortion rights that many think could derail his bid to capture the Republican nomination.
But in recent weeks, as he has courted voters in South Carolina and talked to conservative media outlets, Mr. Giuliani has highlighted a different element of his thinking on the abortion debate. He has talked about how he would appoint “strict constructionist” judges to the Supreme Court — what abortion rights advocates say is code among conservatives for those who seek to overturn or limit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court ruling declaring a constitutional right to abortion.
The effect has been to distance himself from a position favoring abortion rights that he espoused when he ran for mayor of New York City, where most voters favor abortion rights. (link)
Nothing penetrates the core of conservatism more deeply than that.
We'll see how his position "evolves." But this is a good (read shrewd) beginning.