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

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Could I Make a Suggestion?

At the risk of angering the folks over in Martinsville who see this as a highway to prosperity, I sometimes wonder about the feasibility of this too:

Lawsuit filed by I-73 foes
By Rob Johnson, The Roanoke Times

If you aren't going to build the whole highway, don't do any of it.

That's one thrust of a lawsuit filed in Richmond's U.S. District Court on Tuesday by opponents of the planned construction of Interstate 73 to connect Roanoke and the North Carolina state line.

Although much of the lawsuit offers the common environmental complaints often lodged against road construction, there's an attempt at less passionate logic.

"It's just not needed," said Andrea Ferster, a Washington lawyer who represents the plaintiffs, a coalition led by Virginians for Appropriate Roads. (

If I were to be consulted, I'd much prefer that we put this at the top of our list of priorities:

... and this: Just a thought.

Click on images to enlarge.

Boucher Makes The Headlines

If only he were as concerned about the well-being of his constituents as he is about those who will be endorsing his candidacy for reelection on editorial pages around the region next year:
House Passes Bill to Protect Confidentiality of Reporters' Sources
By Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post Staff Writer

The House yesterday overwhelmingly passed first-ever federal protections for journalists pressured to reveal confidential sources, as lawmakers from both parties backed legislation that advocates for the news media have sought for a generation.

The bill, whose sponsors include conservative Republican Mike Pence (Ind.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), was the first reporter shield law to make it to a House vote in 30 years and more than 100 attempts.

President Bush threatened to veto the bill, saying the protections it would afford "could severely frustrate -- and in some cases completely eviscerate -- the federal government's ability to investigate acts of terrorism and other threats to national security." (link)
It's fair to assume the Supreme Court will have something to say about this as well.

But can anyone deny the fact that this is a good political ploy on our Congressman's part? Keep the boys in the press happy and favors will be returned come election season.

You go, Rick. At least, as long as you're wasting your time on silly shit like this, you're not carving more hiking paths through our pristine forestland.

You Gotta Give 'em Credit

The Washington Post acknowledges this morning that the tobacco tax increase proposed by the Democrats to pay for middle-class health care will hurt the poorest among us. See "The Tobacco Tax."

To their credit, the editorialists do not obfuscate. They say: Tax the living hell out of them anyway!
Mr. Bush argues that the legislation would "raise taxes on working people," and to a certain extent that is accurate. Smoking is more prevalent among those with lower incomes. However, as the President's Cancer Panel noted, while the new tax would fall more heavily on lower-income smokers, "tax increases also result in greater reductions in smoking among this population, with the dual effect of shifting the tax burden to higher-income smokers."
A gem that. Poor people will indeed be required to pay for middle-class health care coverage, "however ..."

Despite All The Hysteria

I'm proud of you guys for seeing past the hype:
SCHIP slip
Washington Times editorial

In the latest Gallup poll, more than half of respondents (52 percent) favor reserving most SCHIP benefits for families earning less than 200 percent of the poverty line, or $41,000. This is President Bush's position. Only 40 percent support Democratic proposals to extend benefits to families earning $62,000.

That would be the commonsensical view: SCHIP should benefit the truly needy, not middle-class families. It should benefit poor children, not middle-class adults. Gallup didn't poll respondents on whether families earning as much as $80,000 should partake — of which, indeed, under the Democratic proposal, at least some could. "Would you like a platinum-plated stroller with your SCHIP benefits?" it might well ask. (link)

There are too many Republicans in Washington who need to look at this poll and submit their apologies for having done the cowardly thing and sided with the Democrats - again.

Here's to the American people. You're not as stupid as some people think.

Like Old Times

Return with me to yesteryear, when we were sending Clinton cronies to prison, busloads at a time:
Hillary leads in donor refunds
By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has cut nearly $1.3 million in refund checks to hundreds of donors since July 1 — more than triple what the rest of the Democratic field returned to supporters combined, new campaign filings show.

Mrs. Clinton returned nearly 700 contributions to individual donors, including $804,850 to 249 donors linked to disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu. (link)
Where all that money originated is the question. Where is Charlie Trie these days, by the way, when the Clintons need him most?

Put That Coronation On Hold

Poll results are in. Americans know hot air when they see it:
Cool On Gore

October 17, 2007 -- Washington - Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize hasn't translated into a significant increase in support for a presidential bid, a Gallup Poll found yesterday.

Asked if they would like to see the former vice president run in 2008, people said no by a 13 percent margin, about the same as last March, when people opposed a run by 19 percent. (link)
But can the planet survive if Crazy Al is denied? Will the galaxy spin out of control? Might he have to give up the private jets? Will he find himself cut out of the "A List" cocktail parties?

Oh, woe ...

Nice Thought, But ...

This is how I reacted to the news that nooses were found hanging from a tree in Jena, LA:
Ignore the Noose and Sap Racism's Power
By John McWhorter, NPR

In light of the resurgence of nooses appearing in places like Jena, La., and Columbia University's Teacher's College, here's a modest proposal: The next time somebody plants a noose, let's just ignore it. Perhaps paying less attention to these acts will take away their racist power. (
Only problem is, there are people who have built their careers - quite lucrative too - around such incidents. Sharpton. Jackson. Farrakhan. Not to mention the newspaper columnists out there.

What would these modern-day slave traders do if we got past this silliness and moved beyond race?

Quote Of The Day

From George Will:
SCHIP is described as serving "poor children" or children of "the working poor." Everyone agrees that it is for "low-income" people. Under the bill that Democrats hope to pass over the president's veto on Thursday, states could extend eligibility to households earning $61,950. But median U.S. household income is $48,201. How can people above the median income be eligible for a program serving lower-income people?

Politics often operates on the Humpty Dumpty Rule ("When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less"). But the people now preening about their compassion should have some for the English language.

"The Unforgotten Man," The Washington Post, October 16, 2007

The Perfect Appellation

Mark Steyn has coined a new title for Al Gore:

Saint Al of the Ecopalypse

Seems about right.

* In addition, he refers to Al's sycophants as "ecochondriacs." Beautiful.

Next The Jews

I wonder if we will someday want to downplay the Holocaust so as to not ruffle feathers somewhere?
Sabotage in Wartime
By Thomas Sowell, writing in Real Clear Politics

With all the problems facing this country, both in Iraq and at home, why is Congress spending time trying to pass a resolution condemning the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago?

Make no mistake about it, that massacre of hundreds of thousands -- perhaps a million or more -- Armenians was one of the worst atrocities in all of history.

Historians need to make us aware of such things. But why are politicians suddenly trying to pass Congressional resolutions about these events, long after all those involved are dead and after the Ottoman Empire in which all these things happened no longer exists?

The short answer is irresponsible politics. (link)
A shorter answer can be found in the slogan Never Again!

As for the timing of the resolution, it is at least eighty years late in coming. We should be denouncing genocide today, tomorrow, every day. This atrocity has been swept under the rug and most people would like to forget it ever happened. Or worse, they want to not know what happened, inviting a similar atrocity to occur sometime in the future.

Let the Turks howl. Denounce the Armenian genocide. From the rooftops.