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

Monday, March 10, 2008

You Have A Choice

Have your elected representatives in Washington create conditions such that the United States of America does not have the highest corporate tax rates on the planet or ...

... bitch about America's corporations going off-shore to flee the highest corporate tax rates on the planet.

It's up to you:

American tax dollars

Charleston (WV) Gazette editorial

Kellogg Brown & Root, the largest private military contractor in Iraq, has already avoided at least $500 million in taxes to fund Medicare and Social Security.

A Halliburton Corp. subsidiary until last year, KBR raked in more than $16 billion in federal funds from the Iraq War between 2004 and 2006 alone - almost nine times as much as DynCorp International, its closest competitor for those military contracts.

Today, KBR employs more than 21,000 people in Iraq, including about 10,500 U.S. citizens, according to a March 6 article in The Boston Globe.

Two companies in the Cayman Islands, set up by KBR, employ those 21,000 workers.

Today, both Halliburton and KBR have moved their headquarters to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, which allows them to escape U.S. government oversight.

KBR is reaping billions of dollars in profits from hiring contract workers to help fight an increasingly questionable, doomed war.

Americans' tax dollars finance those huge profits. Their tax dollars will also finance Medicare benefits for KBR's Cayman Island employees after they retire. (link)

That last complaint could be made of Toyota as well. But that's different. We don't hate Toyota, right?

Don't like the idea of KBR escaping the U.S. tax code (and the likes of these left-wing anti-corporate types)? See above. Also, see what happens when we don't provide corporations with the ability to complete in the global arena:

Chart courtesy of the Wall Street Journal and the American Enterprise Institute.
Click on image to enlarge.

If He's Going To 'Triangulate' ...

... here's where McCain needs to start. Attacking Republicans in Congress for their earmark madness:
GOP Pork, Imperiled By McCain
By Robert Novak, writing in the Washington Post

The congressional Republican establishment, with its charade of pretending to crack down on budget earmarks while in fact preserving its addiction to pork, faces embarrassment this week when the Democratic-designed budget is brought to the Senate floor. The GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, is an uncompromising pork buster with no use for the evasions by Republican addicts on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Jim DeMint, a first-term reform Republican from South Carolina, is to propose a one-year, no-loopholes moratorium on earmarks as a budget amendment. McCain has announced his support for the amendment and intends to co-sponsor it. DeMint wants to coordinate McCain's visits to the Senate floor from the campaign trail so the candidate can be there to speak and vote for the moratorium. (link)
The American people may not understand the word earmark*, but they certainly can relate to the term government waste. McCain should sing it from the rooftops and add the word Republican to the refrain.

They deserve it.

- - -

Novak: "Lawyer-like, Republican leaders are demanding a definition of an earmark. They could get a good idea by looking at a sample of earmarks recently secured by task force members. Cochran: $475,000 for beaver management in Mississippi. Lugar: $240,000 to rehabilitate the Alhambra Theater in Evansville, Ind. Isakson: $300,000 for Old Fort Jackson in Savannah, Ga. Crapo: $250,000 for the Idaho sage grouse."

Get a Hold Of Yourself, Man

Andrew Sullivan on the thought that the Clintons might return to the White House:

"I woke up in a cold sweat early last Wednesday. There have been moments this past week when I have felt physically ill at the thought of that pair returning to power."

"The Clintons, a horror film that never ends," The Times of London, March 9, 2008

And She Wants To Manage The Country?

We all got used to the fact that she couldn't manage her own household as Bill was chasing bimbo after bimbo and she sat idly by, but now the media is voicing concern over the fact that she's completely mismanaged her campaign as well.

This from the New York Times:

Sniping by Her Aides Hurt Clinton’s Image as Manager
By Adam Nagourney, Patrick Healy and Kate Zernike

The divisions in her campaign over strategy and communications — and the dislike many of her advisers had for one another — poured out into public as Mrs. Clinton struggled in February to hold off Mr. Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But even as Mrs. Clinton revived her fortunes last week with victories in Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas, the questions lingered about how she managed her campaign, with the internal sniping and second-guessing undermining her well-cultivated image as a steady-at-the-wheel chief executive surrounded by a phalanx of loyal and efficient aides. (link)
Much has been make about the failings of her key managers in the race*, but the mess that is the Clinton campaign cannot be blamed on subordinates. Hillary's at the top. She's in charge. She's the gal who's telling us that she can run the country and lead the free world.

Her actions - past and present - tell us otherwise.

* Even in the heading to this piece, the implication is that her problems arise from her aides' bickering, not from anything Hillary's done, or hasn't done.

Worth Looking Into

From Investor's Business Daily:
Obama says he's tired of answering questions about his religion. At a rally in rural Ohio, he was asked again about rumors that he's a Muslim, which have only obscured from public view his real faith, which is no less troubling.

"Here are the simple facts," he half-pleaded with the crowd. "I am a Christian. I am a devout Christian. I have been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night. I try to go to church as much as I can."

While impressive, it's where he goes to church that should give American voters pause.
"Revisiting Obama's Church," March 7, 2008

Another Wild Claim From Hillary

Though she's on safer ground with this assertion (it involved pillow talk between her and Bill and cannot be substantiated or proven to be a lie - like this bit of hooey), Hillary is still taken to task for her - and Bill's - new-found claim that she argued in 1998 for her husband to take decisive action in Rwanda as three quarters of a million Tutsi were being systematically slaughtered by the majority Hutu in the streets and countryside while the leader of the free world did nothing (well, he was doing something; with cigars ...):

From Obsidian Wings:
Hillary Clinton And Rwanda

Bill Clinton claims that Hillary Clinton urged him to intervene militarily in Rwanda ...

When Hillary Clinton was asked whether this was true, she said "It is."

I have no idea whether or not this is true. But I do know a couple of related things. First, if Hillary Clinton did press for military intervention in Rwanda, her advocacy left no trace in the world.

... Clinton didn't mention that she advocated military intervention in Rwanda in her memoirs. Neither did Madeleine Albright. Neither, as far as I can tell, did anyone else. Military intervention was not considered as an option, "never even debated", which means that any advocacy she did engage in must have been pretty ineffective.

But it's worse than that. The Clinton administration did not simply fail to intervene militarily in Rwanda. It took a number of steps that made it easier for genocide to be committed. Not taking these steps would have been much, much easier than sending actual troops to Rwanda. They would have made a real difference. And yet the Clinton administration failed to take them.

I think it's a lot more likely that she either didn't advocate action on Rwanda at all, or did so only in passing. If so, this would have to be the definitive example of her attempt to claim responsibility for everything good that happened during her husband's presidency, while disavowing all responsibility for his mistakes.

... [I]f, in fact, Clinton missed the chance to urge her husband to help stop the Rwandan genocide, then she should not pretend that she was, in fact, right there on the side of the angels all along. That's just grotesque.
Grotesque. The word I've been searching for to describe the Clinton era.

Quote of the Day

From Nick Cohen:
German has the useful word Tantenverf├╝hrer: “a young man of excessively good manners you suspect of devious motives (literally, an aunt seducer).” Obama’s determination to “change something” has seduced Europe, although like everyone else Europeans aren’t sure what he wants to change. Instead of hard thought about the future, there’s a tingling glowing feeling that under the leadership of a black politician — and isn’t it wonderful he’s black? — everything beastly about Bush’s America will go, and the United States will turn into an eco-friendly, peace-loving nation, respectful of the views of foreign countries which won’t risk their troops in the war against the Taliban or say a harsh word about Vladimir Putin.
"Why Brits Don't Swoon Over Obama," Pajamas Media, March 9, 2008

Brady & Her Gang Aren't Gonna Like This

For those of you who are staying on top of the gun control debate, you should be familiar with the term "ballistic imaging." Originally thought to be someone's idea of a joke, it turned out to in fact be an attempt on the part of those who want guns banned to have a national database created in which would be stored the ballistic "fingerprint" of every firearm manufactured and sold in the USA, allowing for bullets used in crimes to be traced to the manufacturer and to the owner.

The real purpose was to drive the prices of firearms and ammunition into the stratosphere.

The National Academy of Sciences put together a committee to study the matter not long ago, and released its findings on March 5.

The gun ban crowd is not going to be happy with the results obtained.

From a NAS press release:


Washington — A national database containing images of ballistic markings from all new and imported guns sold in the U.S. should not be created at this time, says a new report from the National Research Council. Such a database has been proposed to help investigators link ballistics evidence -- cartridge cases or bullets found at crime scenes -- to a firearm and the location where it was originally sold. But given the
practical limitations of current technology for generating and comparing images of ballistic markings, searches of such an extensive database would likely produce too many candidate "matches" to be helpful, the report says.

The report notes that the fundamental assumption underlying forensic firearms identification – that every gun leaves microscopic marks on bullets and cartridge cases that are unique to that weapon and remain the same over repeated firings – has not yet been fully demonstrated scientifically. More research would be needed to prove that firearms identification rests on firmer scientific footing, said the committee that wrote the report. (link)

In other words, there are too darn many weapons out there in the marketplace leaving markings on bullets that are indistinguishable from one another.

In short: It's all addlepated pie-in-the-sky.

You guys have a Plan B?

I'm a Big Fan ...

... of Reno 911! God help me. Perhaps because much of the dialogue is ad-libbed and, thus, is wildly creative (and sometimes falls utterly flat). Officer Trudy (played by Kerri Kenney) in particular leaves me in stitches.

For those of you who have never seen the show, here's a typical segment (hopefully you're on hi-speed). Don't try to make a whole lot of sense of it. Just go with it. the scene: A man - accused of shooting another with a bow and arrow in a Dungeons & Dragons roll-play - runs from two sheriff's deputies and one of the officers pulls out his gun and shoots the fugitive in the back. How many times have you watched COPS and wanted the same scenario to play out?

Anyway, the video:

Great stuff.

Click twice on the triangle to activate.

Gotta Love Those Environmentalists ...

... who tell us how we must live our lives in austere restraint but wouldn't do the same on a dare. Today's example - friend of the earth Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Governor's high-flying commute draws flak
By Bryan Chan, Los Angeles Times

Sacramento -- -- Like many of the Californians he represents, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now spends more than three hours commuting because he lives so far from the office.But his ride is a private jet.

After flirting briefly with buying a Sacramento abode for his family, then living alone for a while in a 2,000-square-foot hotel penthouse across from the Capitol, the governor has decided to stay nearly every night at his Brentwood mansion.The commute costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, which aides say the governor pays for himself.

The governor's Gulfstream jet does nearly as much damage to the environment in one hour as a small car does in a year, according to figures compiled by the Helium Report, an online publication for buyers of luxury items.

Administration officials say Schwarzenegger is well aware of this and makes amends by purchasing pollution credits for the carbon dioxide his jet releases. The credits fund efforts worldwide to reduce greenhouse gases, such as projects that ... [blah blah blah] (link)
This is the same Governor Schwarzenegger who said:

"We have to show leadership in protecting our environment so that we have a future for our children and grandchildren."

Leadership. Right.