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

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Send Us A Postcard Instead

Let me do Senator Jim Webb a big favor. Rather than waste the taxpayers' hard-earned money by sending some surrogate down here to Southwest Virginia to express his heart-felt, deep-seated concern for the growing problems we face, perhaps he'd do well to simply provide us with his email address. Or send out stamped self-addressed envelopes.

At least that won't be quite so expensive. Or offensive.

A staff member? What's with that?

Indignation - or at least indifference - seems to have been the response to this feckless attempt at "communication." The turnout was less than ... immense:

Low Turnout at Senator Webb's Public Forum
by Ashley Roberts, WSLS10

Voicing their concerns. People living in Pulaski County got the chance to do that today. A representative for Virginia Senator Jim Webb held a public forum at the Pulaski County Library, but fewer than a dozen people attended the forum.

Patrick O' Neal was one of them and he wanted to know one thing. "What they may be able to do to help this town?"

The town of Pulaski is one of several places the representatives have visited in the past few months.

They talk to residents about problems and issues they're most concerned about, but representatives are concerned with the number of people who actually show up. (link)
No shit? Few people are showing up to talk to some lowly Senate staff member who doesn't really want to be out mingling with the great unwashed anyway? Who'da thunk it?

In fact, the total body count for this exciting event that took place in Pulaski, according to a reader of this weblog, was six.


Fellas. Let me save the taxpayers the gas money. Want to have the constituents express their concerns to your office? Have them fill in the blank. It will serve the purpose as well:

Of course, you folks here in Southwest Virginia know where your input is going to end up anyway:
A staff member. For the love of God.

Quote Of The Day

From Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams:

"If people are supporting Obama because of Oprah, they're doing so for the wrong reason. Celebrity worship is a poor substitute for true civic engagement."

"Voters need good sense, not Oprah," December 14, 2007

* Me? I believe in judging a candidate more on substance. And substance abuse.

This Ought To Be A Hoot

Smoke and Mirrors
Metaphor: smoke and mirrors

1. A deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description.
2. Any sort of presentation by which the audience is intended to be deceived, such as an attempt to fool a prospective client into thinking that one has capabilities necessary to deliver a product in question.

- - -

Hey everybody, Tim Kaine is about to roll out his proposed budget for 2009-10!
Kaine eyes $140 million in budget spending
By Seth McLaughlin , The Washington Times

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has announced more than $140 million in increased spending on school construction, health care for the working poor and preschool programs in his budget to be released Monday, despite a projected $641 million statewide budget shortfall.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, has said that a tax increase will not be included in the fiscal 2009-2010 biennial budget. (link)
Let me get this straight:

We have a massive shortfall in revenue.
We have a massive increase in spending.
Kaine is proposing an even more massive increase in spending.
And he ain't going to raise taxes.

Right. Only if he closes every public school in the state and redirects ...


Not a Bad Bit Of Skew

Generally the boys over at the Roanoke Times aren't that good with words. But a smile came to my face this morning when I read these lines in an editorial ("The race is on") extolling the virtues of some politician named Craig Deeds (wasn't he the loser in some statewide race a few years ago?):
When [Mark] Warner said he'd run next year for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the other Warner, all other Democrats sat down. They know when they're beat.

Same sort of thing happened with Republicans. Jim Gilmore wanted the job, so party bigwigs fixed it so he'll get the nomination.
Pretty good writing. The way to take that is: Warner's potential opponents bowed to his mighty (and - like Hillary's - inevitable) presence. Gilmore was foisted on his otherwise reluctant party by the (presumably cigar-smoking and overweight male ...) honchos.

Did the publisher fire everyone and get a new editorial staff?

Kerry Won! Kerry Won!

I can just hear the nutroots on the left shouting what they've been whimpering for the last three years - Bush lost Ohio!
Ohio Elections Official Calls Machines Flawed
By Bob Driehaus, The New York Times

Cincinnati — All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state’s top elections official has found.

“It was worse than I anticipated,” the official, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, said of the report. “I had hoped that perhaps one system would test superior to the others.”

At polling stations, teams working on the study were able to pick locks to access memory cards and use hand-held devices to plug false vote counts into machines. At boards of election, they were able to introduce malignant software into servers. (link)
I especially savor this bit of news:

Ms. Brunner proposed replacing all of the state’s voting machines, including the touch-screen ones used in more than 50 of Ohio’s 88 counties. She wants all counties to use optical scan machines that read and electronically record paper ballots that are filled in manually by voters. [my emphasis]
Bush won Ohio twice. Therefore the Democratically controlled state of Ohio is reverting to ... 18th century technology - paper ballots.

And if that doesn't get a Democrat into the White House ... chisel on stone will be proposed.

You guys crack me up.

The Perpetual Orgy

That U.N. climate meeting that has cost the world's taxpayers millions has come to an end with an historic agreement. The 10,000 attendees, overcoming their hangovers and sun-burned backsides, have agreed to have more meetings in the future!

Can't we just imprison them and be done with this?

Nations Set Timetable to Revive Climate Treaty
By Thomas Fuller and Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times

Nusa Dua, Indonesia — Delegates from nearly 190 countries wrapped up two weeks of intense and at times emotional talks here on Saturday with a two-year timetable for reviving an ailing, aging climate treaty.

We've listened very closely to many of our colleagues here during these two weeks, but especially to what has been said in this hall today," Paula Dobriansky, who led the American delegation, told the other assembled delegates. "
We will go forward and join consensus." (link)

"Go forward and join consensus." That's U.N.-speak for "Just point us in the direction of the next kegger to be held and we'll be there, dude."

Rumor has it that climate talks will next move to this location. All business of course.

- - -

I especially like the way the Washington Post phrases it: "The United States, under a barrage of criticism from developing countries, agreed today to accept a framework for future climate change talks ..." The talks brought about the chance for more talks.

A two-week meeting took place on the resort isle of Bali, attended by 10,000 overpaid bureaucrats, groupies, and hangers-on, costing untold millions.

How do I get an invitation to this gig? I can learn to be an environmentalist.

This Is Startling ...

... even though it should have come about months ago:
High gas costs boost inflation
Associated Press

Led by higher gasoline prices, consumer inflation shot up in November by the largest amount in more than two years.

In a troubling juxtaposition, the rise in inflation is coming at a time when economic growth is slowing sharply under the weight of a steep slump in housing and a severe credit crunch.

The Labor Department report yesterday showed that its closely watched Consumer Price Index rose by 0.8 percent last month, the biggest increase since September 2005, as energy prices jumped by 5.7 percent, reflecting a huge gain in gasoline. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was also up last month, rising by 0.3 percent as the cost of clothing, airline tickets and prescription drugs all took big jumps.

"We are in store for a period of very weak — if not recessionary — growth and uncomfortably high inflation," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "People are going to get hit with both a weaker job market and having to pay more to fill their gas tanks and buy groceries." (link)
In the Jimmy Carter era, we called this "stagflation," and blamed the then-President for having brought it about. And rightly so.

But because we like George W. Bush (and because the subprime loan debacle, the opposition to oil exploration, the blind leap into ethanol production, the opposition to nuclear power and the opposition to coal-fired power plants are not his fault), we'll blame Jimmy Carter for this too.

In all seriousness, this is not good.

The Party Of Hate

You guys in the Democratic Party need to chill a bit. Even us conservatives don't hate the woman:

Clinton effect in the West "a dirty little secret"?
By Stephen Keating, PoliticsWest editor, The Denver Post

John Millin, the state Democratic Party chairman of Wyoming, knows that he may upset Democratic Party leaders who'd like a unified front leading up to the 2008 presidential election.

But he’s stirring it up anyway, claiming that "most voters in Wyoming seem to hate Hillary Clinton" and that her nomination for president would "kill the chances" of many Democratic candidates in Wyoming.

He cites her "liberal, big government" reputation and writes that if she is the nominee, "We will also be the target of the locker room jokes that rightfully belong to Bill Clinton."

In a letter titled "Wyoming's Hillary Dilemma" that he sent to PoliticsWest, Millin writes, “It has become the dirty little secret in the Democratic Party. My fears for the Wyoming Democratic Party are shared by some party leaders throughout the Rocky Mountain West.” (link)

"Most voters in Wyoming seem to hate Hillary Clinton." Wow. That seems a bit extreme. Here in Virginia we only harbor a strong dislike for the old troll.

Am I Being Too Harsh?

Call me a little too critical but to my way of thinking, a beanbrain who can't fill out an application and get it in on time has no business commanding the mightiest military fighting force the world has ever known:
Dodd misses deadline to get on Va.'s primary ballot
By Tyler Whitley, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., was the most prominent presidential candidate who did not qualify by yesterday's deadline for Virginia's Feb. 12 presidential primary.

The Dodd campaign insisted it had delivered its petitions to the elections board, but the board had no record that it had done so. (link)
This fella, if his plans come to fruition, will have his finger on the nuclear button. Frightening thought that.

I See The Global Warming Scientists In This

It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was an Indian chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the heck the weather was going to be.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood so they would be prepared for it.

But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.

He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"

"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed, "the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.

One week later he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" he asked.

"Yes," the man at the National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter.

"The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.

Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again.

"Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely," the man replied. "It looks like it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the chief asked.

The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy."

Author unknown.

Now There's A Formidable Argument

Isn't MSNBC a cable channel or something? I don't know. But whatever it is, it has some really deep thinkers staffing it.

Take some chick named Mika Brzezinski for instance. This comes to us from your friendly neighborhood NRA:
An Inane Statement

This week’s outrage comes courtesy of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show co-host Mika Brzezinski, who apparently has a very hard time laying aside her anti-gun sentiments, even when confronted with the truth.

We all know that firearms are used as many as two and a half million times a year for self-defense. And, as we recently saw graphically demonstrated in the senseless shootings at the New Life Church in Colorado, a law-abiding, armed citizen can make a difference.

In the tragic New Life Church incident, Jeanne Assam, who, according to media reports, had a permit to carry a concealed firearm and was volunteering as a “security person” at her church, shot a heavily armed, homicidal madman as he began attacking innocent parishioners. New Life’s Senior Pastor Brady Boyd hailed Jeanne as “a real hero,” because the gunman she shot “had enough ammunition on him to cause a lot of damage.” There is no question that this brave citizen’s decisive action with her personal firearm saved many lives.

But, facts be damed. Brzezinski, who wasn’t in the church, but who appears daily as a co-host on the MSNBC morning program doesn’t agree.

When discussing the murderous rampage, Brzezinski responded to host Joe Scarborough’s assertion that “One person with a gun can make a big difference,” by blurting, “Oh gosh, no! No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no.” Scarborough then reiterated his assertion, “One person with a gun in the right place can make a big difference.” At this point, Brzezinski had clearly had enough of the truth and, putting an exclamation point on her unabashed anti-gun sentiments, said, “You know, that is the most inane statement I have ever heard.” (link)
Her argument against Scarborough's declaration that "one person with a gun can make a big difference" is ... no. Well, make that no, no. No, she actually goes beyond that with the more powerful argument - "Oh gosh, no! No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no.”

Tough to argue with that.