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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You'd Think He'd Be Embarrassed

With Congressman Rick Boucher's 2005 transportation bill earmark for a horseback riding trail coming back into the news after the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed due to poor maintenance, a bill the Taxpayers for Common Sense at the time called "by far the most expensive, wasteful highway bill in the nation's history (see below)," you'd think he'd be ashamed of his grotesquely poor judgement that allowed for the diversion of funds from legitimate road repair and maintenance initiatives to such ill-considered projects as a horse trail, and that he would revisit his stance on the whole earmark outrage.

Well, think again.

The Club For Growth has released a study ranking members of Congress based on how they voted this year on amendments to 2008 appropriations bills, amendments that attempted to strip away outrageous pork projects.

And where did our elected representative rank out of 435 members of Congress?

Dead last.

Out of 50 votes taken to kill shameful pork projects, Rick Boucher voted no on all 50.

I should take a drive down to Scott County to see how that horseback riding trail, paid for out of funds set aside for transportation improvements, is coming.

Meanwhile, another body was pulled from the wreckage yesterday of that I-35W bridge that collapsed ...

Hopes Dashed. Taxes Won't Be Raised.

This must have come as a bitter disappointment to those who equate raising taxes with good governance:

Driver fees are upheld by Henrico judge
In reversing lower court, circuit judge says it's OK to exclude nonresidents

By Bill McKelway, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Henrico County judge yesterday turned back a challenge to Virginia's new driver fees, adding another take to the growing controversy.

Reversing the findings a lower-court judge issued less than two weeks ago, Circuit Judge L.A. Harris Jr. said yesterday that efforts to overthrow the hefty fees because they don't apply to out-of-state drivers fail because the legislature had a rational basis for passing the law.

Laws do not need to be fair or politically correct if they have a rational basis, Harris wrote ... (link)

For those of you politicians and pundits who are still pouting over the fact that your attempt to raise our taxes - again - was crushed by an aroused electorate, it's back to the drawing board.

Some advice: I'd go after the bridge collapse angle. It's more scary and has a better chance at success.

Is This What We Sent Them To Washington To Do?

Democrats Continue to Seek Testimony From Rove

Uh, Leave Something Out?

Copy Editor
Noun: copy editor
1. The copy editor's job is summarized in the Five Cs: to make the copy clear, correct, concise, comprehensible, and consistent.

I'll warn you right now. This is of no importance. Unless you're a copy editor and you're out of work. Then you might check with the Bristol Herald-Courier. There's obviously a burning need for one down there.

Here are the first few paragraphs of a story that appears in this morning's paper, a report having to do with the potential destruction of the building that currently houses the Smyth County Museum (!):
Smyth County Museum threatened by demolition
By Joe Tennis, Features Writer, Bristol Herald-Courier


Historians in this small town are afraid the Smyth County Museum will be leveled to make way for a parking lot needed for the county courthouse.

Currently, the county’s Board of Supervisors is under a state mandate to expand courtroom facilities and increase security at the courthouse.

That expansion, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Charlie Clark, will also require ... (link)
So what's wrong with this piece?

Reread the first five words in the first sentence. "Historians in this small town ..."

What small town?

If you didn't know the area, and didn't know what the county seat of Smyth County is, but had a copy of the Bristol Herald-Courier in your hand, you might assume that the reporter, when referring to "this small town," has Bristol in mind, since no other town is mentioned.

In fact, you have to scan down to the 253rd word to find out that the story is originating from ...

... Marion.

We have some affirmative action thing going on here? Can the Herald-Courier afford a proofreader?

More Money Down That Rathole? No Way.

Steve Chapman on that collapsed bridge, and on calls for more taxes to fix the 70,000 others that are soon to do the same thing:

In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse, House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar, Minnesota Democrat, was struck with a blinding insight on how to solve the problem of neglected infrastructure. Before you continue reading, let me suggest that you take a pair of vise grips and use them to get a tight hold on your wallet. Because what occurred to Mr. Oberstar is that the federal government needs more money to spend on aging bridges.

President Bush has not always been a voice for fiscal discipline, but in this case he wisely rejected the idea of entrusting additional resources to the same people who helped create the problem.

When the [2005 transportation bill] passed, ... the Taxpayers for Common Sense called it "by far the most expensive, wasteful highway bill in the nation's history."
The most expensive, most wasteful in history? Stick around. You ain't seen nothing yet.

"Transportation Ticket Shock," The Washington Times, August 14, 2007

Goodbye, "Compassionate Conservatism"

It was a goofy notion anyway.

And now that Karl Rove is gone, maybe his idea of what conservatives ought to be will finally depart as well. And good riddance.

David Frum on Karl Rove's grand scheme:
Instead of seeking solutions to national problems, “compassionate conservatism” started with slogans and went searching for problems to justify them.

This was a politics of party-building and coalition-assembly. It was a politics that aimed at winning elections. It was a politics that treated the problems of governance as secondary. But of course governance is what incumbents get judged on — and since 2004, the negative verdict on President Bush’s governance has created a lethal political environment for Republican candidates.

Inspiring rhetoric and solemn promises can do only so much for an incumbent administration. Can it win wars? Can it respond to natural disasters? Can it safeguard the nation’s borders? Can it fill positions of responsibility with worthy appointees? If it cannot do those things, not even the most sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation can save it.
"Building a Coalition, Forgetting To Rule," The New York Times, August 14, 2007

Karl Rove's Epitaph

From Joshua Green, writing in this morning's New York Times:

For decades, conservatives have inveighed against what they consider to be the hubris of liberals - the belief that regulations, laws and bureaucrats can contend with deep cultural forces.

Conservatives believe the Great Society programs that liberals pushed in the 1960s demonstrated that government engineering doesn’t work. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty failed, this critique goes, because liberals simply didn’t understand the limits of government’s power to transform culture.

... [T]here can be little dispute that Mr. Rove pursued his vision of a new political order with the activist zeal of a 1960s Great Society liberal.

As Mr. Rove sought a political realignment that would create a durable Republican majority, he seized on government as his chief mechanism. He tried to realign American politics principally through the pursuit of major initiatives that he believed would reorient a majority of Americans to the Republican Party: establishing education standards; rewriting immigration laws; partially privatizing Social Security and Medicare; and allowing religious organizations to receive government financing.

Mr. Rove’s entire vision for Republican realignment was premised on the notion that he could command government to produce the specific effects that he desired. But as a conservative could have predicted, his proposed policies unleashed a series of failures and unintended consequences.
"A 'Great Society' Conservative," August 14, 2007

Machiavelli? To Some, Perhaps.

John Podhoretz on the Democrats' view of Karl Rove:
Karl Rove, the key Bush aide who announced his resignation from the White House yesterday, is the latest in a long line of Evil Republican Geniuses.

These are nefarious magicians who, liberals believe, possess the astonishing power to cloud the minds of poor, simple voters who just don't understand they shouldn't vote for the GOP.
"'Evil Genius' Joins Annals Of Dark Lords," The New York Post, August 14, 2007

How Dare We Interfere In His Public Life!

This clip from a call-in show (TV40's "Talk Of The Town") is priceless. It shows state Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-Martinsville) interacting with a caller regarding a Texas firm that Roscoe may or may not have hired to dig up dirt on his opponent in the upcoming election, Jeff Evans.

I like the response at the end from the 20th District Senator who - I should remind him - is in our employ: "That's none of your business!"



Get the feeling he'd rather be back in the cozy confines of Richmond than down here interacting with the little people?

***

Update: This video is bouncing around the entire Virginia blogosphere. SWAC GIRL has a complete roundup of blog activity regarding Roscoe's meltdown.

Hat tip to Kilo.
To watch the video, double-click on the triangle.

There's a Simple Explanation

Time magazine is in free fall:
Time's Lead Over Newsweek Narrows
By Louis Hau, Forbes.com

Time magazine remains the nation's largest newsweekly, but its lead over archrival Newsweek has narrowed considerably, according to circulation figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Time's total paid and verified weekly circulation during the six months ended June 30 stood at 3.4 million, down 17.1% from 4.1 million during the same period last year following a reduction in January in the magazine's rate base. (link)
This is hardly surprising considering the fact that the magazine (disclaimer: I am, for a short while longer, a subscriber) has become anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-business, anti-Republican, and anti-American.

The publisher has decided to go after the MoveOn.org crowd. All five thousand of them.

I wish him well.