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

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Edwards Brings Poverty Tour To Roanoke

In today's news:
Edwards stumps in Roanoke with Ralph Stanley
The Democratic presidential candidate spoke about inequality.
By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

In the 2000 movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" opportunistic Southern politician Pappy O'Daniel jumped onto the stage during a bluegrass performance of "Man of Constant Sorrow" to try to catch a populist wave to victory.

Wednesday night, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was in Roanoke, looking for a similar boost from Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys at the Jefferson Center's Shaftman Performance Hall. Flanked by Stanley and former Georgia Rep. Ben "Cooter" Jones, Edwards spoke to a crowd of about 600.

He stuck largely to a populist message and talked about looking up to the men and women who worked with his father in a North Carolina textile mill.

"They were what I believe America is supposed to be about," Edwards said. "They went to work every day. They ...
blah blah blah)
Reminiscent of Father Abraham entering Richmond in 1865, John Edwards, surrounded by adoring masses, swept into Roanoke's poor neighborhoods in Southwest and reached out to those suffering from neglect and despair, delivering a sizeable portion of his amassed wealth of $30,000,000, in order that they be fed and clothed.

Edwards came to Roanoke seeking campaign donations.

Quote Of The Day

From a Washington Times editorial:
Said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey: "The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there's slim hope for that." A leader of the 70-member Out of Iraq Caucus, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, said her group "has not looked beyond ending military involvement." All of this serves to illustrate how cavalierly Democrats treat the welfare of American troops and the likelihood of humanitarian catastrophe for the Iraqi people if they are removed.
"How Democrats Support The Troops," July 19, 2007

This Ain't Good

The tip of the iceberg:
Rising defaults shut down two hedge funds
By Patrice Hill, The Washington Times

Bear Stearns & Cos. yesterday said it would close two troubled subprime mortgage hedge funds that are worthless as a result of surging defaults as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke admitted that the subprime mess will further sink the housing market and depress economic growth this year.

The news sent stocks tumbling, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 140 points before recovering some in trading yesterday. (link)
It's easy to dismiss this as being something these guys brought on themselves and to say that they deserve to suffer because of their undisciplined lending practices. While true, and while it feels good to say it, this also does damage to the economy as a whole and, along with it, to you and me through higher lending rates.

Expect to read a lot more news items like this. It's going to get much worse.

Obama Resurrects Clinton's 'Peace Dividend'

Bill Clinton managed in a short eight years to destroy the preparedness and fighting effectiveness of our military, the consequences from which we still suffer. He took the money saved when he downsized the Army and Navy and transferred it to various social programs. He called it his "peace dividend." Whether or not it benefited those who were on the receiving end of that largesse is an open question, but Osama Bin Ladin certainly did well by it.

Now Democratic candidate Barack Obama has announced plans to do more of the same:
Obama's $6 billion poverty platform
By Brian DeBose, The Washington Times

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama yesterday introduced a broad agenda to combat urban poverty, which he said would cost "billions of dollars a year" but be funded by savings from ending the Iraq war.

The Illinois senator said he would spend about $6 billion annually, with his first task being to replicate in 20 cities such successful child and youth development programs as ... (link)
Hey, it worked for Bill Clinton. The fact that 9/11 occurred as a result should be considered but an aftereffect.

Never forget: The urban poor need our help. Four trillion dollars haven't put a dent in their plight. Maybe $4,006,000,000,000 will make the difference.

We'll worry about another 9/11 when the attack occurs. Bill taught us how to do that.

You go, Osama.

They Just Don't Get It

I shook my head in disbelief when I read Karen Tumulty's article in this week's "Time" magazine about John McCain's disintegrating presidential campaign and the reasons for it. In the article, she completely forgets that the Arizona senator isn't running in a general election; he's running for the Republican nomination, a huge difference. And, for that very reason, his candidacy was doomed from the start.

Bewilderingly, to Tumulty it just comes down to McCain's handlers changing his image and thus abandoning his independent base. Like there is such a thing.

John McCain, Maverick No More
By Karen Tumulty, Time

One of the enduring mysteries about the implosion of John McCain's campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination is why his highly paid handlers thought they could take a candidate to whom maverick has been so often applied that it's a cliché and package him using the most traditional, by-the-book formula for winning the Republican nomination. His campaign staffers even refer to their operation as McCain 2.0, as if this McCain were a new and improved product. But in fact, the original version would have seemed far more suited to a political climate in which dissatisfied voters believe the country has taken a turn in the wrong direction and are looking for someone who promises to upset the old, established order of things. What's more, in overhauling their candidate's image, his advisers took away the power of the McCain brand.
Yeah, it's the "highly paid handlers" who got to McCain and were able to do what eight years of North Vietnamese torture couldn't - they changed the man.

She goes on to talk about all those independent voters out there who are itching to vote for an "independent" candidate, and about the fact that John McCain (or his handlers) alienated them by going mainstream.

But what this gal fails to remember is that primaries are not about independent voters. They're about the party faithful. And the GOP faithful had washed their hands of this guy a long time ago.

I'll let columnist George Will (in this morning's New York Post, "
Bitter Justice For John McCain") explain it to her:

Often there is tension between "social-issue" conservatives and libertarian conservatives. McCain-Feingold, however, fused these factions in hot opposition. The former felt personally targeted, the latter felt philosophically affronted.

McCain, whose reservoir of righteousness is deep, thinks the parlous condition of his campaign is the price of his principled behavior in supporting an immigration reform that is intensely unpopular with the Republican base (read: the party's nominating electorate) and the war, which is intensely unpopular with almost everyone else.

Both positions are principled; both have taken a toll on his collapsing campaign. But years before the immigration controversy reached a boil, and before the war even began, McCain-Feingold had generated more, and more intense, opposition to McCain than he or his supporters in the media comprehend. (Being exempt from the McCain-Feingold leash, the media like the law's restraints on rival voices.)
[emphasis in the original]
Tumulty fails to take into account the fact that McCain has to get through us first.

And, as I've stated before, for reasons cited above by George Will, I'll vote for Hillary* before I'll vote for John McCain. He's that dangerous.

* Don't get too excited, on a scale from 1 to 10, Hillary's chance of getting my vote is pegged at about 0.05.

Giuliani Is Right On This Issue

While the Democratic candidates for president will all be lining up and declaring their subservience devotion sycophancy allegiance to the abortion industry, and will go so far as to declare there to be a "litmus test," when they get elected, on Supreme Court justice nominees that will involve the support or opposition of each nominee to the popular practice here in this country of slaughtering children in the womb, a Republican candidate gets it right.

Not by declaring his support for the opposite result in that same litmus test but by declaring litmus tests to be off limits. Here's to Rudy Giuliani:

Giuliani: Abortion Not a Test for Judges
By Libby Quaid, Associated Press Writer

Council Bluffs, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, a proponent of abortion rights, said Wednesday he would not use a judicial nominee's stand on the issue or the landmark Supreme Court decision as a litmus test.

On a campaign swing through conservative western Iowa, the former New York mayor pledged to appoint judges who would strictly interpret the Constitution on gun rights and other issues. Abortion never came up in his address to about 100 people at a junior high school, but it did during an exchange with reporters.

"Abortion is not a litmus test. Roe v. Wade is not a litmus test. No particular case is a litmus test. That's not the way to appoint Supreme Court justices or any judge," Giuliani said. (link)
Those on my side of the debate want our Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and send the issue of abortion back to the states' legislatures, where it belongs. More important, though, than having judges who get this one issue right is having judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. And act accordingly.

Rudy gets it right.

Requiem For The Dead

In three New York Times stanzas:

Democrats Plan to Keep Senate in Session All Night for Iraq Vote (July 17, 2007)

Democrats Lack Support to Force Vote on Pullout (July 18, 2007)

The walking dead.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

It Could Be Worse

This is interesting, coming from the New York Times:
Murdoch’s Arrival Worries Journal Employees
By Richard Pérez-Peña, The New York Times

On May 14, more than 100 reporters, editors and executives clustered in The Wall Street Journal’s main newsroom to mark the retirement of Peter R. Kann, the longtime leader of their corporate parent, Dow Jones & Company.

For employees at Dow Jones, the 11 weeks since they learned of the Murdoch offer have been a wrenching time, raising the prospect of fundamental changes at an organization that had already had its fill of big changes in the last couple of years — with Mr. Kann being replaced by ... (link)
What's interesting about this is that it appears in the New York Times, where employees have good reason to be worried. There they're not judged by the content of their work but by their skin color, gender, and sexual orientation. Where one can't compete, no matter how he tries, if he doesn't fit into a certain narrow pigeonhole where a rigid quota exists.

Those at the Wall Street Journal could do much worse than Rupert Murdoch.