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

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Why Should Appalachians Pay For Fairfax X-Ways?

Now that the Supreme Court has nixed the compromise funding plan hammered out by Governor Kaine and the Republicans in the House of Delegates in 2007 - that regional taxing authority scheme that we've heard all the squawking about - politicians have to make a decision. And quick. It comes down to this (as proposed this morning in the Washington Times):

Republicans, who control the House of Delegates, said localities should raise the taxes themselves. Democrats, who control the Senate, say the General Assembly should shoulder the responsibility of imposing taxes to pay for the transportation package.
Democrat Governor Kaine, for his own reasons, thinks we should all shoulder the burden of paying billions for road improvements up in breathtakingly affluent northern Virginia:

"Transportation policy should not be about what money we beg from the federal government and what hard decisions we can put on the shoulders of local governments. The court ruling at its core basically says, 'General Assembly, if you want to do this you have to do this yourself.' "


Kaine would prefer that residents - probably through increased gasoline or sales taxes - in economically depressed areas of the commonwealth like Pocahontas and Tazewell and Gate City and Bluefield and Pennington Gap pay for that which the rich up in Fairfax and Manassas and Alexandria could easily handle on their own.

It is, after all, in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads where the "transportation crisis" exists. Not in Wise or Lee or Smyth or Buchanan. The only crisis we face here in Southwest Virginia deals with an ever-growing shortage of U-Haul trucks to take the indigent and their meager worldly possessions out of here to find work.

But Kaine knows who holds the keys to his political future. And it ain't you schlubs in Big Stone Gap.

So prepare yourself. You're about to be financing that parkway construction up in Fairfax County (to Franconia). Maybe Kaine will hang a sign above the superhighway when it's completed in your honor:

THE IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE OF APPALACHIA - DESPITE THEIR EVER-INCREASING HARDSHIPS - GRACIOUSLY CONSENTED TO THE FINANCING OF THIS PARKWAY SO THAT I COULD BE ELECTED UNITED STATES SENATOR AND SALVAGE SOMETHING IN THE WAY OF A LEGACY.
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THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA ARE PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL THAT THE FUNDING OF THIS MULTI-LANE ECO-FRIENDLY EXTRAVAGANZA DIDN'T REQUIRE THAT THEY CUT SHORT THEIR SUMMERS IN THE CARIBBEAN.
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THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF VIRGINIA WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITUDE AS WELL TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA FOR KEEPING A TREND ALIVE - WHEN A DEMOCRAT IS ELECTED GOVERNOR, TAXES GO UP.
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IN YOUR HONOR, WE HEREBY NAME THIS HIGHWAY "THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL TOO"
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The Honorable Tim Kaine, Governor

And While We Fork Over The Kids' College Fund ...

... to Governor Kaine and the many other Democrats here in the commonwealth who see us all in this together, perhaps they could take a moment out of their busy schedule that deals with finding the most effective means of raising tax revenue to deal with this:
Martinsville manufacturer files bankruptcy
After 40 years of making panelized kit homes, American Standard closed Jan. 25.
By Chris Winston, The Roanoke Times


A subprime mortgage crisis, a soft real estate market and a lender that didn't want to sink any more money into the business have forced a Martinsville manufacturer to file for bankruptcy.

American Standard Building Systems, a manufacturer of panelized kit homes founded in 1968, closed for business Jan. 25 after efforts to obtain lending failed.

The move put about 90 part-time and full-time employees out of work, according to lawyer Andrew Goldstein with the Roanoke firm of Magee, Foster, Goldstein & Sayers. (link)
Maybe Tim Kaine and the Democrats in Richmond will give these folks a break and raise income taxes instead of sales or gas taxes. There'll be no problem what with these good people now having no income.

Wishful Thinking?

You've probably heard or read about that mass killing in Memphis that happened over the weekend.

Here's how the New York Times reports the story this morning:


Nine Shot in a Memphis Home, and Six Are Dead
By Shaila Dewan and John Branston


Memphis — Six people were found dead Monday, and three more were critically injured in Memphis in what news reports said was the worst mass killing there in at least 15 years.

Two men and two women in their late 20s or early 30s and two girls under the age of 5 were found dead in a single-family home in Binghamton, a neighborhood east of downtown, said Melanie Young, a spokeswoman for the fire department. Three more children, a 7-year-old, a 4-year-old and an infant were taken to a hospital in “extremely critical” condition, Ms. Young said. All nine victims had gunshot wounds. (link)
Oddly, the New York Times seems to know more about the case than do local authorities. This from the local Memphis newspaper, the Commercial Appeal:


Cause of death still unknown
By Jody Callahan


In one of the worst mass killings in Memphis history, six people — including two children — were found dead inside a Binghamton home Monday night.

Three other children found in the home at 722 Lester were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in extremely critical condition, police said. They said all of the children involved were under the age of 12.

Later Monday night, one child was upgraded to stable condition with a second upgraded to critical. The third remained in extremely critical condition.

A Memphis Fire Department official said most of the victims had been shot. At least one of the children had been stabbed, police said.

“We just don’t know the motive or cause of death, but we do have four adults and two children (dead),” Memphis police Lt. Jerry Guin said. (link)
So how is it that New York Times reporters have information that neither the police nor fire department in Memphis have? Either the paper has really good investigative reporters or the Times is hoping like hell that all nine victims were shot, allowing for another in an endless string of editorial demands for more gun control (which we'll see regardless ...)

I guess time will tell which is the case.

- - -

Udate 2:55pm: As of 1:19pm eastern time the police still weren't divulging the information that the Times reports as being fact. Homicide Lt. Joe Scott with the Memphis police department, in a press conference "would not say whether the victims were shot, stabbed or killed in some another manner or whether they were discovered in one room or throughout the house." (source)

- - -

Update 03/05/08 10:41am: Though the information is sketchy, it appears that "some" of the victims weren't shot. From the Commercial Appeal this morning: "Inside the house, police found two men, two women and two boys dead. Three other children were at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center Tuesday night, including two in very critical condition and one in serious condition, said homicide Lt. Joe Scott.

Some victims were shot. Some stabbed. No one is sure when." (source)

'One Man's Terrorist Is ...'

... another leftist newspaper editorialist's "aging lefty with a foolish past."

He bombed the U.S. Capitol.

He bombed the Pentagon.

He schemed to bomb the White House.

And the Chicago Sun-Times comes to his defense as being nothing more than a once-misguided old hippie.

Suppose they'll ever write this dismissively of Timothy McVeigh's legacy?
Clearing up another empty shot at Obama
Commentary


And now, by our count, we have Phony Flap Number 6,537,203: Barack Obama Consorts With Known American Terrorist!

Conservative talk radio hosts are in a dither over the non-news that Obama is "friendly" with a fellow named William Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Thirty-five years ago, it seems, Ayers ran with the Weather Underground, a guerrilla band of deluded "revolutionaries" who protested the Vietnam War, racial injustice and "The Man" by setting off bombs.

Ayers was, indeed, a Weatherman. He bombed the U.S. Capitol, a bathroom in the Pentagon, and even cased out the White House. He went on the lam in the 1970s, lived under an assumed name with his radical wife, Bernardine Dohrn, and gave himself up in 1980. Since then, he has built a respectable career as an academic and an advocate for troubled children.

But Ayers, it is also true to say, has since followed in the footsteps of the great Chicago social worker Jane Addams, crusading for education and juvenile justice reform.

Is Barack Obama consorting with a radical? Hardly.

Ayers is nothing more than an aging lefty with a foolish past who is doing good. (link)
Yes, Ayers was a terrorist. But he does good deeds. So leave him alone.

Unbelievable.

I Can't Disagree

This may sound strange but when I turn to The Weather Channel, I'd like to be told what the weather is. And perhaps what it's going to be. Call me old-fashioned, but ...

I don't want hours-long "weather stories."

I don't care to get "home improvement tips" from Danny Lipford.

Doctor Anna Marie's advice on dealing with pollen is annoying.

Keep the feature stories about drought and Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia.

And I sure as hell don't want a lecture on global warming from that resident climate chick who scolds us for using the wrong kind of lightbulbs.

I want the weather.

Apparently I'm not alone in my frustration:

Weather Channel Founder Blasts Network;
Claims It Is 'Telling Us What to Think'
By Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute

The Weather Channel has lost its way, according to John Coleman, who founded the channel in 1982.

Coleman told an audience at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on March 3 in New York that he is highly critical of global warming alarmism.

“The Weather Channel had great promise, and that’s all gone now because they’ve made every mistake in the book on what they’ve done and how they’ve done it and it’s very sad,” Coleman said. “It’s now for sale and there’s a new owner of The Weather Channel will be announced – several billion dollars having changed hands in the near future. Let’s hope the new owners can recapture the vision and stop reporting the traffic, telling us what to think and start giving us useful weather information.” (
link)


Amen to that, brutha.