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

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Comes a Reckoning

You attempt to raise our taxes for no good reason? You get elected by the people of Southwest Virginia as a Republican and vote like a Democrat? Having been sent to Richmond to represent Southwest Virginia, you operate like your constituency is in Northern Virginia?

Former Roanoke mayor wins GOP primary
By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

Former Roanoke Mayor Ralph Smith won a hotly contested race Tuesday for the 22nd Senate District Republican nomination, beating incumbent Brandon Bell by a narrow margin. Smith ... now faces Democrat Michael Breiner in the Nov. 6 general election.

Smith credited his win to a refusal to stray from his stated principles, staying "rock solid," to quote his campaign slogan. (link)
Imagine that. A principled politician.

I had to chuckle when I saw the Bell ads on TV and heard his spots on the radio prior to the election. He was feverishly trying to paint himself as a conservative. This after his having sided with the liberal Democrats here in the commonwealth when it came down to crunch-time on the now-infamous transportation tax increase proposal. His effort to reinvent himself proved to be a day late and a whole lotta dollars short.

It would have been so much easier to show us how conservative he actually was when he had the opportunity to vote his principles.

Anyway, Brandon Bell is gone. Congratulations to Ralph Smith.

Now, on to the general election.

A Message Being Sent

But will all those Republican senators here in the state of Virginia who too often do the bidding of the liberal Democratic Party when it comes to taxes and spending understand its implications? Obviously one up in Augusta County hasn't learned a thing:

GOP incumbents faced challenges within party
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

Richmond -- State Sen. Emmett Hanger of Augusta County survived a strong challenge from within his own party Tuesday, a day when two of his Republican colleagues fell in primary elections that highlighted fissures within the GOP.

Hanger defeated R. Scott Sayre of Rockbridge County to win the Republican nomination in the 24th Senate District ...

The veteran senator withstood fierce criticism from Sayre and some GOP activists over his support for a 2004 tax increase and for sponsoring legislation that would allow some illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition rates at public colleges.

Hanger said the campaign gave him opportunity to defend his record.

"I think, having survived the onslaught, it allows me to work on the broader picture," Hanger said. "Some of the interest groups who are behind this are not helping the party." (link)

What Hanger is too dense to grasp is this message being sent out by the party faithful:

Hanger was one of five GOP senators who faced primary contests that reflected an ongoing clash between moderate and conservative factions in the party, largely over tax policy. Losses Tuesday by Republican incumbents Brandon Bell of Roanoke County and Marty Williams of Newport News, and the already announced retirements of three GOP moderates, could help conservatives gain a stronger foothold in the 40-member chamber next year if Republicans keep control of the chamber.
Memo to Emmett Hanger: You can strive to stay in the Washington Post's good graces or you can come to Jesus.

You survived (with considerable Democrat cross-over help) this time. There'll definitely be a next time, old buddy. Hear those footsteps?

It's The Taxes, Stupid

The house-cleaning ... er, senate cleaning continues apace. And blood flows:
Races hold surprises
By Michael Hardy and Pamela Stallsmith, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writers

In a major upset yesterday, anti-tax activist Patricia B. Stall ousted state Sen. Martin E. Williams of Newport News, chairman of the high-profile transportation committee.

She won the Republican nomination for the 1st District Senate seat.

Stall won despite an enormous fundraising edge held by Williams, who won election in 1995 by defeating Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hunter B. Andrews of Hampton. Stall blasted Williams for his support of new taxes for roads and schools. (link)
In news just as momentous, a fiscal conservative on the Democrat side (yes, there is one) whipped former Governor Mark Warner's chosen nominee for a delegate seat over in Hampton Roads:
In one of the most expensive races, Del. Johnny S. Joannou, D- Portsmouth, survived a much better financed opponent, Henry D. Light, a retired Norfolk lawyer who put $150,000 of his own money into his bid.

Former Gov. Mark R. Warner headlined a parade of Democrats disenchanted and angry over Joannou's fervent anti-tax stands to finance roads, schools, cops and health services.
How disenchanted the man who raised our taxes more than any other governor in history must be now.

Here's the final analysis:

Except in a disappointing loss in Emmett Hanger's district, where Democrats crossed over in droves (which is an insane way to conduct a party primary) and voted for an increasingly liberal - and detached - sitting senator, conservatives across the state won BIG yesterday.

And this is only the beginning. On to November.

By the way, what's Bob McDonnell up to today?

More Locally ...

In the only other race of any great consequence here in Southwest Virginia, Delegate Danny Bowling (D-Tazewell) defeated challenger Mickey G. McGlothlin (D-Buchanan) rather handily in the Democratic Party primary over in District 3.

The results:

Danny C. "Dan" Bowling ... 3,350, 54.61%
Mickey G. McGlothlin ......... 2,784, 45.38%

Votes By County:


Bowling ........ 969, 31.19%
McGlothlin . 2,137, 68.80%


Bowling ...... 485, 82.62%
McGlothlin . 102, 17.37%


Bowling .. 1,896, 77.67%
McGlothlin . 545, 22.32% (source)

Congratulations to Danny.

Quote Of The Day

From a Washington Times editorial:
President Bush seems to have learned all the wrong lessons from the collapse last week of the Senate immigration bill. Instead of going back to the drawing board and coming up with an immigration bill that actually improves border security, the president went to Capitol Hill yesterday in an effort to revive the "compromise" pushed by Sens. Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.

Republicans are deluding themselves if they think that passing Mr. Kennedy's open-borders bill will somehow benefit them politically -- no matter what the focus groups and political spinmeisters tell them.
"Immigration Fantasy Land," June 13, 2007

I Should Have Known

My eyes brightened when I read this headline in this morning's Washington Post:

Democrats Push Coal-to-Liquids Energy Plan

What it should have read is:
Democrats Push Silly & Monumentally Wasteful Environmentalist Plan

The headline, you see, came with details:
A group of Senate Democrats from coal-rich states is drafting an amendment to proposed energy legislation that would provide as much as $10 billion in federal loans to pay for capturing and storing greenhouse gases produced by plants that would turn coal into liquid transportation fuels or chemicals. (link)
That, friends, isn't a "coal-to-liquid energy plan." That's nothing more than Senator James Webb's goofy and deceitful contrivance to appease environmentalists (which doesn't have a prayer of appeasing them) that calls for the piping of power plant emissions into the ground, costing billions of dollars, so as to not send carbon dioxide (those nasty emissions) into the atmosphere where, heaven forbid, it might make our crops and forests healthier.

Think I'm making it up? Read about it on the man's web site.

There's no way a sane person could call carbon sequestration an energy plan. One might, with a certain amount of legitimacy, call it an absurd plan. Certainly an environmentalist's plan. But not an energy plan.

But The Media Still Love Him

If only the mainstream press elected our presidents:

McCain '08 bid losing steam
By Ralph Z. Hallow, The Washington Times

Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is showing signs of unraveling, with a continuing slide in the polls, voters' irritation over his support of what they called amnesty for illegal aliens and his decision to pull out of the Iowa straw poll.

Party fundraisers say potential McCain donors are hanging back while Republican voters register rage over the Arizona senator's backing of the immigration reform bill, which was sidetracked in the Senate last week. (link)

The bad news for those who appreciate big government types being in charge in Washington:
Pollster Scott Rasmussen yesterday called Mr. McCain's plunge in support "startling." "The man once considered the dominant front-runner in the race is now supported by just 11 percent of likely Republican primary voters nationwide," Mr. Rasmussen said yesterday. "That's down from 17 percent in May and 14 percent a week ago. His support is just half of what it was in January."
And an epitaph from Gary Kirk, a Republican fundraiser:
"McCain increasingly is having trouble getting support from conservatives in his party. Even in his own state of Arizona, 60 percent of the people oppose the amnesty for illegal aliens that he favors. He has undercut his own party and the White House on tax cuts, campaign finance and other issues."
Being a maverick gets McCain an appearance on Saturday Night Live. It will never get him a presidential nomination.

He dug his own grave. Let's see Katie Couric dig him out of it.

A Great Time To Be Had By All

How many of you have Darfur on your list of vacation destinations this summer? The New York Times editorial page thinks it should be. But not so that you can become dinner for some Sudanese bandit, but because there are fuzzy little creatures there that haven't yet been slaughtered in the ongoing Darfur genocide that we should all want to go and see:
A Different Sudan

To many of us, Sudan means one thing — the ongoing disaster called Darfur. But scientists flying over Southern Sudan — the site of a separate civil war that finally ended in 2005 — have discovered vast numbers of migrating animals: herds of antelope and gazelle that may rival the scale of the great migration in Serengeti.

This discovery is important, first of all, because it records the unexpected well-being of such vast numbers of animals and of an ecosystem as a whole. But it is also important because it creates the possibility of ecotourism, and a source of employment and wealth to help balance the oil rush that is growing day by day there. (link)
Ecotourism. In a ravaged land beset by cutthroat marauders killing everyone in their path. Yeah. We'll be packing our bags. And strapping on the automatic weapons.

How many trees did the Times kill to print this idiocy?

Not Ready For Self-Rule

Some say the Israeli occupation was a bad thing. Compared to what?
Attacks Escalate as Palestinians Fight for Power
By Steven Erlanger and Isabel Kershner, The New York Times

Jerusalem, June 12 — Gunmen of rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah sharply escalated their fight for supremacy on Tuesday, with Hamas taking over much of the northern Gaza Strip in what is beginning to look increasingly like a civil war.

Five days of revenge attacks on individuals — including executions, kneecappings and even tossing handcuffed prisoners off tall apartment towers — on Tuesday turned into something larger and more organized: attacks on symbols of power and the deployment of military units. About 25 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded, Palestinian medics said. (link)
The Israelis could probably do the Arab civilian population a favor and seize Gaza. There'd be less cruelty and bloodshed, for sure.

Big Government Rudy

Rudy Giuliani has opened a window onto his political philosophy. He figures its up to him to solve all our problems. If only it were possible:
Giuliani Sets Forth a Dozen Priorities for His Presidency
By Marc Santora, The New York Times

Bedford, N.H., June 12 — Rudolph W. Giuliani on Tuesday outlined what he said would be the 12 major priorities of his presidency, among them fighting terrorism, cutting taxes, achieving energy independence and, in a new theme for him, overhauling the education system.

The clearest indication of what is wrong in the educational system, he said Tuesday, can be seen in the failure of primary and secondary education when compared with college education. Higher education, he said, is driven by the choices of students and parents, while public education is based on a “monopoly model.”

“This system is overwhelmed with bureaucrats,” he said, adding that in coming months he would more clearly define how parents can be given more choice. (link)
That's absolutely true. Our public education system is a disgrace. But there's nothing Rudy Giuliani can - or should - be doing about it as President.

If Rudy had been a good conservative (cutting taxes only gets him half way down that path), he would acknowledge a basic fact that there are certain roles in governance that are up to state and local authorities. Entirely. Public education is one of them.

It has never been left to the United States government to teach our kids. And the more involved the feds become, the worse the results. And then there's the cost. Hundreds of billions.

No. If Rudy were conservative, he'd call for the abolition of the education department because it was never meant to be, serves no role in the education process, is a complete waste of taxpayer money, and, if its goal was to achieve favorable results, with half our kids graduating high school illiterate, has been a miserable failure.

If he were conservative ...