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

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Different Take

From a Roanoke Times editorial:

Talking point

"There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period."

-- Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rejecting the notion that congressional debate about the course of the war in Iraq hurts troop morale or emboldens enemies of the United States. (link)

There are two concepts here:

A. Dialogue in Washington strengthens our democracy.

B. Congressional debate about the course of the war in Iraq hurts troop morale and emboldens enemies of the United States.

Here's what you should understand: A does not "reject" B. Nor are A and B mutually exclusive.

In fact, A+B=C

C. Dialogue in Washington revolving around the best means to lose the war quickly will have no effect on our democracy at home, but will cripple our efforts overseas, hurt troop morale, embolden our enemies, and force us to ignore the whiners and nay-sayers, and win the war without them.

Huh, Learn Something Every Day

I had met this fella at the Martinsville Bloggers Conference last summer (in fact he and I had a delightful conversation over dinner about Virginia politics) but, until now, I thought, perhaps because he sat at our table next to Senator Roscoe Reynolds (who faded in and out of lucidity throughout the ordeal), that he was just a Democratic Party gunslinger.

I didn't know he was actually doing something of far greater importance. He's a blogger:
Joe Stanley: compassionate father or political trickster?
By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

Callaway -- It's not easy to figure out Joe Stanley.

Looking at his now-defunct Web log Perseverando and its plethora of computer-altered images, one might see an edgy satirist or political hit man.

In one image, former Sen. George Allen stands with a road map and a confused look, trying to find his way to Election Day. In another, President Bush dances ... (link)
I gained an immediate liking for Joe. And I've occasionally enjoyed Perseverando and its biting no-holds-barred approach to political commentary. But I didn't know Joe was Perseverando.

And, noticing that he is shutting down this weblog and moving to another, I guess he isn't.

Anyway ...

This Guy Makes My Hair Hurt

Now he opposes that which he demanded:

McCain Taps Cash He Sought To Limit
Onetime Reformer Calls on Big Donors
By John Solomon, Washington Post Staff Writer

In his early efforts to secure the support of the Republican establishment he has frequently bucked, McCain has embraced some of the same political-money figures, forces and tactics he pilloried during a 15-year crusade to reduce the influence of big donors, fundraisers and lobbyists in elections. That includes enlisting the support of Washington lobbyists as well as key players in the fundraising machine that helped President Bush defeat McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries.

... the contrast between McCain the presidential candidate and McCain the reformer can be jarring. McCain's campaign says that he is still studying whether to forgo the public financing and spending limits he has long supported, but that he will not be handicapped by restrictions his competitors will not face in 2008. (link)

Jarring is one way to phrase it. Infuriating is another. Projectile spittle-inducing another.

So John McCain is going to do exactly that which he demanded that politicians not be allowed to do.

For the love of Christ.

A Dead Certainty

I knew this wasn't a local story by the headline ...

... because we don't have any tourists (and not all that many police officers either) here in Southwest Virginia.

What Would Jesus Say?

Noun: lie
1. A statement that deviates from or perverts the truth

Verb: lie
1. Tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive

From a fawning article in the New York Times:
New Episcopal Leader Braces for Gay-Rights Test
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times

At a book party last week at the New York headquarters of the Episcopal Church, a line of more than 100 fans waited to have the church’s new presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, sign copies of her new book of sermons, “A Wing and a Prayer.”

Bishop Jefferts Schori, the first woman presiding ...

In an interview in her office last week, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the conflict was more about “biblical interpretation” than about homosexuality.

“We have had gay bishops and gay clergy for millennia,” she said. (link) (my emphasis)
Tsk. Tsk. It's come to this.

The new leader of the Episcopal Church resorts to making claims that she cannot support with facts, claims that are, in fact, totally unsupportable.

Has her church had gay bishops for millenia? She has no way of knowing that. But it sounds good. And it suits her politicial agenda. So she tossed it out there like it was one of her other deep-seated beliefs - her nebulous interpretation of Scripture.

This from a Man-of-the-Cloth. Er ...

A Good Line

This is creative:

Truck Spills 165, 000 Eggs on Va. Highway
By The Associated Press

Washington (AP) -- Drivers on their way to breakfast in northern Virginia on Saturday found it all over the road after nearly 165,000 eggs spilled out of an overturned tractor-trailer on the Capital Beltway.

''It looked like a large omelet,'' said Michael Karbonski, of the Virginia Department of Transportation. (link)
"Drivers on their way to breakfast ... found it all over the road."

I don't know if they teach such things at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism but this is kinda cute.

And Speaking Of The CUGSJ

Adjective: deft (defter, deftest) deft
1. Skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands

I doubt this New York Times headline writer went to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism:

He/she probably meant to use the word adept (having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude).

Of course, Lewis Libby's lawyer, one Theodore V. Wells Jr., being a black guy, maybe the journalism intern trainee that someone at the Times hired to write headlines had Mr. Wells' basketball skills in mind.

If that's not the case, then he/she blew it.

Had Somewhere Else You Needed To Be?

I watched some of this love fest yesterday on Fox:
Obama Formally Enters Presidential Race
By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

Springfield, Ill., Feb. 10 — Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, standing before the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln began his political career, announced his candidacy for the White House on Saturday by presenting himself as an agent of generational change who could transform a government hobbled by cynicism, petty corruption and “a smallness of our politics.”

“The time for that politics is over,” Mr. Obama said. “It is through. It’s time to turn the page.” (link)
My reaction to his speech? If I had to describe it in one word, I'd use torpid.

It was as if he was freezing his skinny butt off and wanted to go inside and smoke a joint, do a little of that cocaine he's rumored to be fond of, and get wide. Either that or frostbite was nipping at those gigantic ailerons (Rush Limbaugh recently referred to Obama as Barack O'Dumbo) of his and he was simply chilled.

His delivery was slow and lethargic. He made no effort to connect with his audience. He seemed apathetic. His speech was monotonous. His heart certainly wasn't in it. He came across like he didn't want to be there.

I can only surmise that he had just been informed by the Democratic National Committee that he was going to have to take the number-two slot on the 2008 ticket and had been assigned the job of carrying Hillary's luggage from here on out.

Whatever the case, the Man from Hope ... er, Kenya ... er, Kansas, wherever he's from, did not have an auspicious beginning to his campaign.

But This Can't Be!

All the lefty bloggers told us, right after the November elections, that everything in Washington was going to change for the better now that those evil and corrupt Republicans had been driven from power. And, naturally, I believed them.

Good thing I didn't bet the farm:
Congress Finds Ways to Avoid Lobbyist Limits
By David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

Washington, Feb. 10 — The 110th Congress opened with the passage of new rules intended to curb the influence of lobbyists by prohibiting them from treating lawmakers to meals, trips, stadium box seats or the discounted use of private jets.

But it did not take long for lawmakers to find ways to keep having lobbyist-financed fun.

In just the last two months, lawmakers invited lobbyists to help pay for a catalog of outings: lavish birthday parties ...

The lobbyists and their employers typically end up paying for the events, but within the new rules.

Instead of picking up the lawmaker’s tab, lobbyists pay a political fund-raising committee set up by the lawmaker. In turn, the committee pays the legislator’s way. (link)
To quote Captain Louis Renault: I am shocked, shocked ...!