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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Two Senators Vote To Raise Taxes

Both Senators Phil Puckett (D-Tazewell) and Roscoe Reynolds (D-Martinsville) voted yesterday to increase taxes here in economically depressed Southwest Virginia - again - this time to fix the roads up in fabulously affluent Northern Virginia.

That's looking out for your constituents, fellas:

Senators approve transportation bill
By Larry O'Dell, The Washington Times

RICHMOND -- The Senate voted 23-17 yesterday to pass a transportation plan offered as an alternative to a delicate compromise that had been worked out by a handful of Republican senators and delegates.

The plan faces fierce opposition in the House of Delegates, controlled by anti-tax Republicans who want to spend about $250 million annually from the state's general operating fund for transportation.

Instead of using general funds, the Senate plan would impose a one-time $150 registration fee on new- and used-car purchases and other vehicles registered in Virginia for the first time.

Sen. John H. Chichester, Stafford Republican, ... was one of six Republicans who joined all 17 Senate Democrats in voting for the bill. (link)
A stab in the heart.

That "all" would include both Southwest Virginia Democratic senators of course. A vote for another tax hike. To help out the wealthy folks in Fairfax get to their day jobs at the Pentagon a bit quicker.

Question of the day: When do we get local representation back?

'Jesus Spoke To Me'

Of course, the 200 thousands smackers did a little talking too:

Shocking 200G Hill Deal
Key Dixie Pol Backs Her - & Gets Paid
By Maggie Haberman, The New York Post

February 15, 2007 -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign reached a deal to pay a key South Carolina black leader's consulting firm more than $200,000 just days before he agreed to endorse her run for president, it was revealed yesterday.

The arrangement involves South Carolina state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a well-connected African-American leader and pastor whose support is coveted by national campaigns.

Jackson confirmed to The Post yesterday that his public-relations firm struck a deal with the Clinton campaign just days ago for a contract worth up to $10,000 a month through the 2008 elections. (link)


To think, in Appalachia, all you get in the way of a bribe for your vote is some pork rinds and a pack of smokes.

The Elephant In The Room

What could it be? What could it be?

Why an anti-Bosnian backlash, of course. It's been bubbling near the surface now for decades here in anti-Bosnian America, don't ya know?

That's the only spin the New York Times could come up with when it got to looking at the Muslim who gunned down four people in a mall in Utah:

Anti-Bosnian Backlash Feared in Utah
By Kirk Johnson, The New York Times

Salt Lake City, Feb. 14 — Most of the thousands of Bosnians living in the Salt Lake City area are refugees of war, and all of them are toughened by the experience of making new lives in a new country.

Now, state and local officials say that the rage and grief after the multiple killings here in a shopping mall Monday by an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant threaten a backlash, and they announced plans on Wednesday for outreach meetings and candlelight vigils to head off trouble and help the city heal.

“We’re concerned, and we’re trying to take proactive steps to keep this from becoming an issue,” said Patrick Thronson, a spokesman for Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Police investigators said they still did not know what made the killer, Sulejmen Talovic, drive to the Trolley Square mall just before 7 p.m. and open fire. (link)

It was with more than a small amount of contempt that I scanned the article in its entirety and didn't find any mention of the fact that Sulejman Talovic was a Muslim. A Bosnian Muslim.

I don't claim to be a murder investigator, but I might start there, seeing as how it is the Muslim world that is in flames around the globe today and it is Muslims - by the millions - who have declared jihad against the western world and have vowed to slaughter our children and grandchildren in the streets of every American city.

Or we can call in idiotic state and local officials who, while the bodies are still being prepared for burial, state their fear of a more important menace, the looming anti-Bosnian backlash in this country.

Sometimes I wonder if we deserve to win this war.

On A Totally Unrelated Matter ...

At the risk of being accused of being anti-Bosnian, I'll make mention of other news this morning that has nothing to do with the reason that Muslim killed all those innocent Americans in Utah. Terrorists (could they have been the hated Bosnians?) go on trial in Madrid for slaughtering westerners there three years ago:
Focus on Egyptian as Madrid Bomb Trial Opens
By Elisabetta Povoledo and Ian Fisher, The New York Times

Rome, Feb. 14 — He is charged with 191 counts of murder and 1,755 of attempted murder in the Madrid bombings on March 11, 2004, though he has been secretly recorded saying that he had not been with the men who carried them out.

But the man, Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed — expected to be the first of 29 defendants to take the stand when the bombing trial begins Thursday in Madrid — also said in the recordings that the attack was carried out according to his plan. He said he only wished that he himself had been graced with death that day.

“I am the thread behind the Madrid plot,” Mr. Ahmed, an Egyptian militant, told a prospective suicide bomber in a bugged house in Milan in May 2004. “I wanted to plan it so it would be something unforgettable ... (link)

This article makes mention of the fact that Mr. Ahmed was part of a Muslim terrorist group. I wonder how that got past the New York Times editor.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times

It'll Take More Than This

I think everyone is in agreement that the merger in 1998 of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation was a bad strategic move for both. That being accepted, it will take more than a divorce now to solve the entrenched problems that have grown out of it. But that appears to be plan A:

Detroit’s Slump Could Break Up Chrysler Group
By Micheline Maynard, The New York Times

Auburn Hills, Mich., Feb. 14 — Every decade provides a new lesson for the American automobile industry.

The lesson of this decade? Better to go it alone than bulk up through mergers and alliances.

DaimlerChrysler said as much on Wednesday, when it disclosed that it was considering all options for its struggling Chrysler Group, including a spinoff. It has hired JPMorgan as a strategic adviser, people with knowledge of the move said.

A breakup would end the historic acquisition nine years ago of Chrysler by DaimlerBenz of Germany, which was promoted as a merger of equals but has evolved into an unhappy marriage of opposites. (link)

There were those of us back then who thought this was an odd pairing. But that was then ...

A breakup now would do nothing to reduce Chrysler's cost of producing cars and trucks, a cost that is much higher than Toyota experiences. Exceedingly out-of-whack wages and benefits (retirement and health care in particular) are killing the former. And the problems aren't going to go away until all the retirees do.

So divestiture would be a good thing. But hardly a saving grace. It will take a whole lot more than that to get this once-proud giant back on its feet.