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

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gotta Go

Light blogging this morning. Got a meeting.

A Point To Consider

James Taranto on "defeat":
Some Guys Just Can't Win
Critics sometimes accuse the Bush administration of "moving the goal posts" on Iraq--that is, of changing the definition of victory so as to justify America's continued presence there. But on "Hardball" yesterday, host Chris Matthews redefined "defeat" in such a way as to make victory impossible:

"Lots of publicity lately, and maybe it's fair, maybe it's not, that things may have calmed down over there, less Americans killed in action in the last several of months but before. But my definition of a defeat is you can't leave. If we can't leave that country in the foreseeable future, we are losing. The purpose of the American Army is to get home and be ready to defend this country against possible threats to this country."

"As long as we're stuck over there, it seems we're losing."

Of course, the U.S. still has troops in Germany and Japan. By Matthews's definition, we're still losing World War II.
Best of the Web Today, November 28, 2007

Uh Oh

This is going to disappoint the obesity nazis:

Study Sees Signs of Obesity Rates Stalling
By Gina Kolata, The New York Times

Obesity rates in women have leveled off and stayed steady since 1999, long enough for researchers to say the plateau appears to be real. And, they say, there are hints that the rates may be leveling off for men, too.

Dr. Ogden added that the trend for women was “great news.” Obesity rates have held at about 35 percent since 1999, convincing her that the tide had changed. “I’m optimistic that it really is leveling off,” she said.

Men’s rates increased until 2003, when they hit 33 percent and stayed there through 2005-6. Dr. Ogden said she would like to see a few more years of data before declaring that men’s rates had stopped increasing. (link)

Does this mean they won't be trying to ban McDonald's after all? Probably not. Those who want to tell us how we're going to live our lives aren't deterred by such things as facts.

Lest We Forget The Smoke Nazis

In Maine, there is a law requiring a delivery driver to check the recipient's age when handing over a carton of smokes from his or her truck. Can you imagine?

Well, the idiocy has made its way to the Supreme Court:
Supreme Court Weighs Maine’s Tobacco Law
By Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times

Washington, Nov. 28 — The latest battleground in the federalism wars at the Supreme Court is an unlikely one: the state of Maine, which is trying to prevent under-age consumers from buying cigarettes over the Internet.

Maine maintains that it is doing nothing more than protecting public health and carrying out the desire of Congress to curb smoking among young people. Its 2003 law requires those who sell tobacco products directly to consumers to use only those delivery services that verify the age of the recipient.

The trucking industry, supported by the federal government, warns to the contrary that the Maine statute opens the door to the very patchwork of conflicting state regulations that Congress meant to pre-empt when it deregulated motor transportation. (link)
Nowhere in this discussion will you find the word ... parents.

The Existential Ex-President

I once wrote - in 1993 - that Bill Clinton was probably our first existential president; that anything he said at any given time was true - to him - and that you'd not be able to convince him otherwise. In his mind, he was always truthful, even in instances where he said one thing that completely contradicted something else he'd said a few days before.

Nothing's changed in all these years:
"Good Bill" vs "Bad Bill"
By Ron Fournier, Associated Press Writer

Des Moines, Iowa - As only he can do, Bill Clinton packed campaign venues across eastern Iowa and awed Democratic voters with a compelling case for his wife's candidacy. He was unscripted, in-depth and generous.

He also was long-winded, misleading and self-absorbed.

Late in his 50-minute address, Clinton told the crowd that wealthy people like he and his wife should pay more taxes in times of war. "Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers," he said.

In truth, Clinton did not oppose the Iraq war from the start — at least not publicly.

The former president also put his own spin on the history of free-trade agreements under his watch, blaming President Bush for ... (list)
Ah, the memories.

And this guy wants to be back in the White House.

Perception vs. Reality?

Elizabeth Strother, writing for the Roanoke Times, made yesterday the following point ("On a fruitless hunt for illegal aliens") with regard to illegal aliens and their eligibility to receive SCHIP funding:

It's fair to ask ... just where the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is coming from, whether it has an agenda. It does.

Its Web site states: "The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates."

Public officials across the political spectrum make the same claim, with varying degrees of seriousness. SCHIP is a crucial issue for the working poor. Let the debate on expanding it be informed by facts, not driven by perceptions.
Well, someone's playing with someone. Whether SCHIP providers per se are feeling the pinch or not, there is a serious problem - a growing problem - out there. And everyone knows it.

The latest in a long line of many such stories on the subject, this from today's Washington Times:

Immigrants, illegals use welfare more often
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

Both immigrants and illegal aliens are more likely to be poor and to use welfare programs than native-born Americans because they come to the country with lower levels of education, according to a new study looking at U.S. Census Bureau data.

The public burden is a major issue, and it was one of the disputes, along with border security and increased enforcement, that helped kill the Senate immigration bill earlier this year.

[Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies] whose group calls for a crackdown on illegal aliens and a slowdown in legal immigration, said his numbers show that the family-based system puts a strain on taxpayer-funded services. (link)
So are states screening out illegal aliens or is Mr. Camarota giving us the truth? Are SCHIP-funded programs somehow shielded unlike all other welfare programs?

And to argue that firewalls have been erected to prevent illegals from receiving care defies the reality that we've now been dealing with for years. See "Los Angeles Emergency Care Crisis Deepens."

Then there are the legal children of illegal aliens who are entitled to care. Tell me SCHIP doesn't apply to them?

There's a smell test to be applied here.