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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Whatever Floats Your Boat

The fact that Governor Kaine has appointed a staggering number of people - 32 - to his new climate change panel tells me that he isn't all that serious about the recommendations that might ever emerge from its deliberations. But the whole thing looks good, and it will play well for the folks at the Washington Post, and it fulfills a campaign pledge, so what the heck.

But I did find something in the announcement of the task force formation, as delivered in the Times-Dispatch this morning, to be mildly amusing:

Kaine appoints climate panel
Group of 32 to draft plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent
By Andrew Cain, Times-Dispatch Politics Editor

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday announced the formation of a 32-member, bipartisan panel on climate change. (
A "bipartison panel."

Now, you might think that a bipartison panel would include those "for" and those "against" - in this case global warming theory. But you'd be mistaken. This panel begins with the premise that global warming is fact, that humans can do something about it, and its only charge is to figure out how to achieve a 30% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. The debate, apparently, will be in the "how," not the "should." Or even "if." The "bi-" part of the partisanship remains unclear.

We need 32 scholars and/or gentlemen for that?

I'll give the reporter credit, though. Mr. Cain did provide a balanced view. Including a few quotes from none other than our own (rather controversial) Patrick J. Michaels, former state climatologist:

"I would be happier if the commission had at least one climate scientist on it because that scientist would inform the commission of the effect that the Virginia plan would have on temperature.

"If every nation of the world that has obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change adopted and met the Virginia target, the amount of warming that would be prevented would be approximately six-hundredths of a degree Celsius per half century.

"That's not a lot of bang for your buck."
32 high-powered movers and shakers from around the commonwealth are going to meet (with fanfare, bands playing, camera flashes flashing, breathless reporters breathlessly reporting) to hammer out a plan to reduce atmospheric temperatures by six-one hundredths of one degree (celsius).

Virginia saved. News at 11.

You go, Tim.

They Must Live Under a Rock

I get such a chuckle each morning reading the Roanoke Times editorial page. The kids who contribute to its publication come across like they were raised in a nunnery* and were just recently released unto the world.

In today's charmer of an editorial, we learn that the children there have found out about economics, and about how economic fortunes ebb and flow. Good times; bad times. Positive cash flow; negative ...

What they haven't seemed to have grasped yet though is the concept that state government revenue via taxation is affected in much the same way as one's checkbook. Governments experience downturns too. Occasionally even at the same time as the private sector.

No, more than that, the boys at the Times are unwilling to accept it as a principle of macroeconomics. The government's fortunes should never reflect those of the populace. Government wealth should be fixed; should be assured, guaranteed regardless of how well the economy is performing. Let them eat cake; the government must prevail.


More wheeling and dealing on roads

You're invited to read the whole thing. But I'll summarize for those who choose not to waste the time. A quote from the rant:

"Well, what do you know? Economic conditions do change, and transportation funding is vulnerable."

Shock. Transportation funding is vulnerable. As is education funding. As is Medicaid funding. As is forestry, senior services, agriculture, corrections, law enforcement ...

To paraphrase these guys:

Economic conditions do change, people do get pinched by the vagaries of a slowdown. But, by God, the government should never go wanting! Government income should be assured! Revenue streams must, at all costs, be set in stone. The peoples' hardship be damned! The government has the greater need! Government! Government! Government!

If only America worked that way. As the Soviets perfected it.

What a happy place this land of ours would be.

* Either definition works in this case.

Judge a Person By The Friends He Keeps

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has picked up an endorsement. From one of the most liberal governors in the USA.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Since he's running in the Republican primaries for president, don't expect Mike Huckabee to be advertising the strong endorsement he just got from Ted Strickland, Ohio's Democratic governor.

It seems Mr. Strickland, who typically racked up a 95% rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action during his 16 years in Congress, has discovered a kindred spirit in Mr. Huckabee. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer last Sunday that Mr. Huckabee is a "combination of conservative views in some ways, but very, almost liberal views in other ways." Mr. Strickland concluded: "Of all the Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee would be my personal choice."

While Mr. Strickland didn't specifically mention education as an area where he shares agreement with Mr. Huckabee's "almost liberal views," it's notable that the former Arkansas governor was endorsed for the GOP nomination this month by the New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association.
Ted Strickland. The NEA. With bedfellows like these ...

Do We Really want A Surrogate Presidency?

Much was made of the fact many years ago (a fact either real or imagined), in 1919 to be exact, when then-President Woodrow Wilson had been laid low with a debilitating stroke, that his wife, Edith*, took over the reins of government and led the executive branch decision-making process for her absentee husband until his term ended. Obvious concerns were raised at the time because nowhere in the Constitution will one find that kind of arrangement outlined.

We in this more modern era would laugh at such an arrangement - an unelected spouse running the government, commanding the armies, directing legislation through Congress, etc.

Well, don't laugh too hard. The more one reads of this guy's escapades on the campaign trail, the more one gets the impression that he doesn't intend to be a casual onlooker when his wife gets elected:

Hillary Clinton Embraces Her Husband's Legacy
By Anne E. Kornblut and Alec MacGillis, Washington Post Staff Writers

As part of the Clinton strategy, the former president is playing an increasingly prominent public role as an advocate for his wife. He appears to have overcome concerns within the campaign over how closely she should associate her candidacy with his time in office and over whether his appearances could draw attention away from her.

Both Clintons are making the case that theirs was a co-presidency -- an echo of Bill Clinton's controversial statement during the 1992 campaign that voters would get "two for the price of one" if they elected him. At times, the former president has seemed to cast the current race as a referendum on his administration. (link)

That "co-president" thing again. It was kind of cute in 1992 - in a feminist sort of way - for the potential commander in chief to say he was going to cede certain responsibilities of the executive branch of government to the little woman - like nationalizing our health care system.

But it lost its luster long ago. Today, it's a more sobering proposition. Because Bill Clinton has no intention of letting Hillary run things. His ego won't allow it.

And because our Constitution has no provisions allowing him to take control. Of anything.

An unelected, renegade co-president, answerable to no one. That should scare the socks off of you.

You'll want to think this through. Election day is fast approaching.

* Edith Bolling Galt Wilson is arguably the most famous person to have ever lived in Southwest Virginia, having been born and raised in Wytheville over in Wythe County.

On The Lighter Side

This Peyton Manning video is hilarious. If the Colts don't get Marvin Harrison back, Peyton might want to consider comedy.


Good stuff.

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

And These Guys Want To Run The War

From Matt Drudge:

'...the surge certainly hasn't hurt. It's helped. I recognize that' --- Sen. Harry Reid, 12/21/07'

'...this war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything' -- Sen. Harry Reid, 4/19/07

My guess is, a year or so after it ends, he'll be supporting the war again.