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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

On The Transportation Compromise

Having tried yesterday to traverse the city of Norfolk's streets and highways - with great difficulty because of the congestion - I've decided we should raise taxes to fund road construction here in the commonwealth after all.

Oh, never mind. I guess we just did:

Virginia transit funding approved
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

Richmond -- The General Assembly yesterday passed a landmark transportation bill that pumps millions of additional dollars into road and rail projects across Virginia and marks the largest infusion of new state money for transportation since 1986.

"We worked together in a bipartisan fashion to bring a positive change for the people of Virginia," said House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith, Salem Republican. (link)
In fact, my sentiments on this subject are best expressed by House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Martinsville), who said the deal was "the best we could do, given the political parameters." Diesel fuel taxes will rise, as will fees on car purchases. Not good. And jobs will be lost here in Southwest Virginia as a result.

But we dodged a major bullet:

● Bonds will be issued so that necessary funds can be acquired to bring about needed repairs, a healthy approach in a healthy state (when done prudently) to governance.

● The massive budget surplus will be utilized for the construction and repair of roads. If we can't get it back in the form of a refund, this will have to do.

● Moneys in the general fund (from insurance receipts) will be permanently allocated to transportation.

● Taxes will be levied on those who need their roads fixed (and those who screamed the loudest for new taxes) - in Northern Virginia and in Hampton Roads, especially ... ahem ... Norfolk.

● Southwest Virginia will see no appreciable tax increase - other than that cited above.

And most importantly:

● Those who pushed Warner II, a second massive tax increase that was intended by cynical statists here in Virginia to be passed for no other purpose than to expand the size and scope of government, were sent home reeling in defeat after having shed considerable quantities of blood, having been given an intense ass-kickin'. Hopefully, they've learned from this and won't try to pull the wool over the eyes of the voting electorate again.

Our expression of profound gratitude, once again, goes to those stalwart conservatives in the House of Delegates - including my very own representative in Richmond, Annie B - who held the line against overwhelming odds and seemingly insurmountable pressure, and defeated a powerful, well-organized, well-funded, well-connected, and committed foe. The Washington Post (along with a majority of Virginia's leading newspapers), Governor Kaine, the Democratic Party, an array of prestigious politicians in Washington, both senators here in Southwest Virginia, Phil Puckett and Roscoe Reynolds, and an influential ring of liberal Republicans here in the state (to their everlasting shame) were crushed, utterly, by Morgan Griffith and his band of fearless, tireless delegates - who refused to be cowed into submission - and who never failed to remember who it was they were sent to Richmond to represent.

Thanks, guys. Job well done.

A Once-Proud And Defiant People

Such a sad tale. What to make of this?

A comparison that isn't, in my mind, overdrawn:

1) American soldiers and sailors would never treat their terrorist captors like benevolent sugar daddies.

2) American soldiers and sailors would never act in front of the cameras - and Iranian AK-47's - like they just won another week's voting on American Idol.

3) But then, American soldiers and sailors wouldn't be given nice new suits by their captors ...

4) ... or be treated like uselful idiots by the Islamist propaganda machine ...

5) ... or allow themselves to be pawns in the ongoing terrorist game.

What a disgrace.

Photo courtesy of AP.

Will Money Be Enough?

I know. We all know. Money is the mother's milk of politics.

That being the case, this news, if you listen to the pundits, virtually assures Barack Obama the White House:
Obama Nipping At Hillary
By Ian Bishop, New York Post Correspondent

April 5, 2007 -- Washington - Barack Obama raised an eye-popping $25 million for his presidential bid in the past three months - a stinging counterpunch to Hillary Rodham Clinton's record $26 million haul.

Obama dented Clinton's front-runner status and her crafted image as the candidate of inevitability by raking in cash from 100,000 donors - twice the number of supporters who ponied up for Clinton. (link)

I wonder though. Isn't this guy going to have to stand for something some day? Something beyond the nebulous (and rather silly) (and totally incongruous) "audacity of hope"?

Thought For The Day

Fact: Orphanages fell out of favor long ago.

That being the case, with the news that Angelina Jolie is working on adopting her fifth child (this one from the African nation of Chad), and with the knowledge that she is hardly going to be the live-at-home mom ...

... are orphanages falling back into favor?

Just a thought.

I Smell A Feminist Plot

From this morning's New York Times:

From this morning's Reuters wire:

What's up with that?

The Pot Calling The Kettle ...

Does anyone see any hypocrisy in this story showing up in the New York Times?
College Officers Profited by Sale of Lender Stock
By Jonathon D. Glater, The New York Times

The directors of financial aid at Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California held shares in a student loan company that each of the universities recommends to student borrowers, and in at least two cases profited handsomely.

The personal stake of the three university officials in the company, now known as Student Loan Xpress, is the latest revelation in an expanding investigation by Attorney General ... (link)
Perhaps the publisher of the New York Times should read the New York Times. After all it was this same newspaper that advocated on its editorial page in favor of eminent domain and then used the government's power of eminent domain to force a family that had owned property in the city for over 100 years, against its will, to sell that property to the city, after the city condemned it as "blighted," the same city that then sold it to the Times for its new headquarters.

It's not a stretch to declare that the owners of the Times profited from their paper's advocacy, just as those college financial aid directors did.

Some people know no shame.