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

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You Might As Well Give It Up

Utter the word uranium and a huge chunk of the American populace goes freaky.

Case in point: The Virginia senate has authorized that a study be executed to determine whether or not uranium can be mined safely in the commonwealth of Virginia, and there are people who are steadfastly opposed. Opposed to a study of the issue.

This is rather mind-boggling:
House battle likely on bill to authorize uranium mining study
By Sue Lindsey, Associated Press Writer

Roanoke, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia House of Delegates committee will be asked next week to kill or rewrite legislation passed by the Senate that calls for a study of whether uranium can be mined safely in Virginia.

The bill before the House Rules Committee in Richmond would create a commission to authorize a scientific study on mining a Pittsylvania County deposit estimated to be worth $10 billion. Virginia has had a moratorium on mining uranium since 1983, when a company was considering extracting the ore.

Del. Clarke Hogan, R-Halifax, said Friday that he opposed the study as proposed, and he and fellow members of the Rules Committee have been considering ways to amend the legislation. (link)
Hogan's reason for being opposed? He is working to have the study reach the conclusions - at least in part - that he wants predetermined:
One of Hogan's concerns is that the study wouldn't adequately address the dangers to public health and safety. He also thinks it doesn't allow enough input from those in localities who would be affected by a mining operation.

"I feel real comfortable at this point that the concerns that I have are going to be addressed. The question is can we work out a compromise that we can live with. We'll either have a compromise or nothing."
Sheesh. All this over a study. I shudder to think what the reaction is going to be when the first shovel breaks ground.

I'm Not Sure I'd Make This Fact Known

It's like announcing to the world that you've hired the designer of the Titanic to build your new boat*:
Warner campaign hires ex-Clinton adviser to manage Senate race
By Bob Lewis, AP Political Writer

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- Democratic strategist Mike Henry, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign, will become manager of Mark R. Warner's U.S. Senate campaign.

Henry, 39, the mastermind behind Gov. Tim Kaine's election three years ago, was Clinton's deputy campaign manager until he stepped down on Feb. 12, the day she lost primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia to Barack Obama. (link)
One can only assume that this signals a change in strategy for Warner. Expect a lot of tears to flow.

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* Don't email me. I know he went down with the ship. Is there a metaphor there?

'Notes From The Sausage Factory'

That's actually the title of a delightful book written (or edited) by our own Barnie Day, former delegate from Patrick County. One presumes that it - the title - has to do with that old saying: "Laws are like sausages; it's better not to see either being made" (or something to that effect).

That quip came to mind when I read the (not completely startling) news that Mr. Day's chances of getting appointed to the State Corporation Commission have been quashed and his hopes - to say the least - have been dashed.

Watching this sausage being made is enough to turn one's stomach. and I think, after reading Barnie's emails (five?), he probably agrees.

The news:
Va. Democrat Threatens to Quit Party Over Appointment *
By Tim Craig, Washington Post Staff Writer

RICHMOND, Feb. 22 -- A former state delegate threatened to leave the Democratic Party this week because of a dispute over who should fill a vacancy on the powerful State Corporation Commission.

In an e-mail, former delegate Barnie K. Day of Patrick County called Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) "gutless" because Saslaw and other Senate Democrats might give up on appointing a Democrat to the three-member commission.

The Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate have been in a stalemate for weeks over who should join the commission, which has oversight of various industries, including utilities, insurance, state-chartered financial institutions, securities, retail franchising and railroads.

"You're gutless . . . " Day wrote in the e-mail, which was provided to The Washington Post by one of the recipients. "Trade me for a Gilmore-appointed judge? Pick up a black judge in Henrico? . . . I refuse to be a part of it. I withdraw and I resign from the Democratic Party of Virginia." (link)
It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that Saslaw, butt buddy to the folks at the Times, is the "recipient" who dutifully - and dishonorably - sent the private correspondence from Day on to his favorite newspaper for publication.

In any case, this doesn't look good for Barnie. Unless this is how sausage is made. In which case, I may want to be a part of the process after all. Kinda reminds me of my bar fightin' days.

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* The headline, to me, is off the mark. Unless the English language is escaping me, Barnie didn't threaten to quit the party. He QUIT the party: "I resign from the Democratic Party of Virginia" seems rather clear.

I Must Agree ...

... with a New York Times columnist? Uh oh:

A Bad Year to Be a Mallard
By Gail Collins

There is something about an election year that makes politicians start bragging about how many furry or feathered critters they’ve killed.

At [one] stop, when someone asked about gun control, [Hillary] Clinton told a story about how she went duck-hunting when she lived in Arkansas, and how the rest of her group, all male, made her shoot first in an effort to embarrass her.

Thence followed a happy ending for everybody except the duck. (link)
This of course brings back memories of then-candidate John Kerry's trip into the marshes to find a duck to slaughter back in 2004. Sure enough, true to script, a misfortunate duck was procured and speedily dispatched - while cameras were rolling.

How the execution of the poor little beast was intended to assist Kerry's effort to win the White House - or if it achieved its desired effect - remain unclear. To a degree.

The fact that these people hunt or don't hunt (Obama has never been afield) makes no difference to me. We won't be paying them for their marksmanship prowess in the form of bounty on each carcass they drag in. As the leader of the executive branch of government, we'll be paying one these bums to execute - not God's tiny creatures - but the will of the people.

So let that duck live a long and happy life. And stick to the issues.

I'll Give Him This Much ...

... McCain has always had a wry sense of humor. On Fidel Castro's fragile health:

"I hope he has the opportunity to meet Karl Marx very soon."

But Wasn't That The Plan?

Democrat Barack Obama stated the following in his debate with Hillary Clinton the other night about equipping our troops in Afghanistan:

"You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon — supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon," Obama said. "Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq, and as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief. (source)
Here's the video:

The military is checking this would-be commander-in-chief's wild claim out at this moment, (folks at ABC News think there's some serious exaggeration going on), but there's a larger point to be made:

If it's true, if our troops aren't properly equipped, isn't that the plan, Jack?

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

She's Not Closed The Door

The Democrats have Barack Obama (see above). And they can keep him (see above).

John McCain, although he may not yet have her (as a potential running mate), Condoleezza Rice doesn't seem to be burning that bridge just yet either:

Rice says has no plan to run for vice president

Washington (Reuters) - Having long played down the idea that she might someday run for president, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday said she had no plans to serve as a vice president either.

There has been speculation that Republican presidential front-runner Sen. John McCain of Arizona might tap Rice as his running mate.

"I have always said that the one thing that I have not seen myself doing is running for elected office," Rice said at a news conference. "I didn't even run for high school president. It's sort of not in my genes." (link)

Interesting choice of words. Does anyone plan on being a vice president? Seems to me it just falls on one's shoulders when the phone rings and the big guy calls looking for volunteers.

In any case, this is good news. Hopeful news.

Run, Condi. Run.

Why Do Some Prefer To Carry a Handgun?

From a Virginia concealed-carry permit holder:

"Because a cop is too heavy."