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Friday, May 25, 2007

What Are You Smoking?

They must simply be trying to sell some newspapers. That's the only thing I can figure. By creating some controversy. By coming across like nitwits.

How else to explain this grossly obtuse editorial in the Roanoke Times?

Time to raise the gas tax
State and federal coffers are falling short. To avoid certain shortfalls in transportation funding, the gas tax must be increased.

No lawmaker will win any popularity contests by proposing a gas tax increase at a time when a gallon of regular is averaging $3.22.

But an gas-tax hike [sic] at both the state and federal levels, however unpopular, needs to be seriously considered. Both are weak funding streams destined to become even less reliable if lawmakers don't muscle up the guts to raise them.
People are up in arms like never before about the rising price of gas and some politician is going to propose to raise it even further? That doesn't require guts. It requires a complete detachment from reality. Or a death wish.

To prove how these screwballs don't have the first clue as to what they're talking about, they disgorge this bit of idiocy foolishness vacuousness fallacy:

Now comes the fear that when rising gas prices finally exceed what the market can bear and people begin trading in the gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles, gas consumption will drop and severely deplete the tax that feeds the highway trust fund.
Translated: Gas consumption would go down and that would be a bad thing because gas tax revenue would go down.

Are you people that dense?

Besides, statistics support the opposite. Over the last twenty years, as automobiles on the nation's highways have been designed with ever-greater fuel efficiency, allowing consumers to get more miles out of each gallon of gas they use, making their cost-per-mile decline, they've each year driven more miles, not fewer, consuming, in the end, more gas, not less. Thus, consumption, on average, even for those driving smaller vehicles with better gas mileage, has risen every year.

Again: Fuel efficiency has gone up. And so has consumption.

So one of the following is going on here:

1) the editorialists at the Roanoke Times are as ignorant as they here appear
2) the only answer they have to any problem is the default position - raise taxes
3) the Times is hurting for cash and the publisher has decided to sacrifice what little credibility his or her editorial department had left in an attempt to stave off fiscal ruin

or, my choice:

4) All Of The Above.

The March Toward Oblivion Continues

As predicted here, the Kennedy-McCain "Grand Compromise" on the illegal immigration bill is focusing entirely on easing the plight of those who broke our laws and gained entry to our country illegally, and on making it easier for those millions who are preparing for the migration north to take advantage of our generous social services, to get a piece of this good thing.

Border enforcement? They'll get around to that, you bet. Someday. But not yesterday:
Senate keeps guest-worker program
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

The Senate yesterday approved a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, beating back an attempt to remove it from the "grand bargain" immigration bill.

"This is amnesty, pure and simple," said Sen. Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who tried to strip out the legalization provisions, saying it would repeat the mistake of the 1986 amnesty.

But his amendment failed 66-29. Twenty-five Republicans voted for a path to citizenship for illegals ... (link)
Let's get real, shall we? Because the 1986 law that was supposed to stop illegal immigration only opened the floodgates to illegal immigration, along with the fact that whatever bandaid this bill will put on the open wound known as the U.S. border is going to bring the same result, the "path to citizenship," without doubt, will continue to be across the deserts of New Mexico and Texas, into the cities across this country, and through an "illegal immigration" bill passing Congress every twenty years, giving them complete amnesty.

20,000,000? 30,000,000? All coming to a welfare department near you.

The Final Nail In The Coffin?

Has John McCain finally done himself in with the amnesty travesty that is now working its way through the Senate? We can only hope:

Alien Bill Has Little De-Fence
By Charles Hurt, The New York Post

May 25, 2007 -- To understand why the Senate immigration bill won't survive in its current form, look no further than what the presidential candidates in both parties have said about it.

Almost every one of them is opposed to it.

The only candidate on either side to wholeheartedly embrace the bill is Arizona Sen. John McCain, who helped craft the compromise. And it very well may prove to be his final undoing because the Republican base is most furious about it.

For years, McCain has earned the deep enmity of conservatives by co-authoring a bill that would grant some 12 million illegal aliens now in the country citizenship rights without making them first return to their home countries. Making matters worse, his co-author has been Sen. Ted Kennedy, viewed by conservatives as the biggest bogeyman of all. (link)
Furious is a good word to describe the conservative reaction to McCain's latest anti-American activity. But only the latest. McCain-Feingold is actually the most egregious affront to our way of life that he's foisted upon the electorate, it restricting in a profound way our 1st Amendment rights, but this ranks up there.

John McCain has done - and is continuing to do - great harm. He needs to be stopped. Now.

Today's Rumination

I'm watching a movie on CTN this morning about the life of Moses, and I'm wondering:

Why is it, whether a flick involves Biblical stories from the Middle East or tales of ancient Rome, that the characters in the movie speak with a highbrow British accent?

Shouldn't Moses have a Palestinian accent? Shouldn't Nero have an Italian accent? Why British?

Just wondering.

They Finally DID Something

The Democratically-controlled Congress, after having convened with great fanfare and much bluster about changing America for the better, and after having accomplished absolutely nothing for months, finally did something. Congress has mandated that minimum wage increase for all those part-time teenage employees out there, the impact from which will be felt by ... well, actually, since every significant employer of size here in the USA hasn't started its new hires out at minimum wage since Christ was a teenager, there'll be very little measurable impact.

But Congress - and the New York Times - celebrate just the same:
Congress Backs Rise in the Minimum Wage
By Stephen Labaton, The New York Times
Washington, May 24 — Congress handed a major victory to low-income workers on Thursday night by approving the first increase in the federal minimum wage rate in a decade.

By a vote of 348 to 73, the House approved the measure as part of a deal on Iraq spending. Less than two hours later, the wage increase was approved in the Senate, where it was combined with a bill providing more money for the Iraq war. That vote was 80 to 14.

The measure would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 in three stages over two years. (link)
I shouldn't make light of this. The argument in support of any kind of minimum wage was discredited long ago. The federally-required small-business pay threshold has been shown to have only a negative impact on business development and this increase is, therefore, going to make it more difficult for some struggling entities to survive.

But it puts a few more hip-hop CD's in the rack in the kid's car. So, what the heck.