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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Bewildering Mindset

Am I the only person whose eyes popped out of his head when reading the first sentence of today's Washington Post editorial dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency and greenhouse gas emissions? (see "Ignoring the Supreme Court") The sentence:

"The Bush administration never had any intention of doing what the Supreme Court commanded it to do a year ago today: regulate greenhouse gas emissions."

Interesting choice of words. "Commanded." COMMANDED!

These people have obviously never heard of the concept - "separation of powers." Or that of "checks and balances." Or "limited powers."

* It should be noted first off that those running the EPA believe they are following Congress's mandate. The Court disagreed.

Perhaps in this day and age there are jurists who think they have the power to command the executive branch of government to do their bidding. Aiding them in cultivating this belief are the editorialists at certain newspapers around the land, it would seem.

But presidents have certain powers too, albeit diminished since the 70's.

A civics lesson: The Supreme Court, which has the power to render laws unconstitutional, can order the executive to adhere to its commands (until the cows come home). The executive, which is responsible for seeing to it that all laws are carried out, can tell the justices to pound salt. The Supreme Court cannot deem a law to be unconstitutional AND then demand that the executive follow "guidelines" (can't call them laws) set up by the courts (school desegregation rules and busing-to-achieve-racial balance pronouncements set up by courts across the country established a very troubling precedent). It doesn't work that way; now or ever. Congress establishes those guidelines.

Otherwise, if the Supreme Court starts issuing its own "guidelines," to which all other branches of government must adhere, we have what's called oligarchy - governance by an unelected few, answerable to no one.

The Supreme Court has ordered our duly elected president to follow its commands. The President, in essence, has told the Supreme court to bite the big one.

Welcome to the democratic republic of America. Long may she reign.

- - -

Here's how it's supposed to work. Governor Tim Kaine has suspended all executions of death row inmates in the state of Virginia until the Supreme Court rules in Baze v. Rees. He defers to the Court to decide whether Virginia law relating to lethal injection is constitutional. The court will render judgment. The Virginia legislature, if necessary, will adjust existing laws to conform. What the court won't do is command state legislatures around the country to execute prisoners in only a certain prescribed manner. That ain't the way it works.

Oh, feel free to question Kaine's real agenda.


Can You Spell D-O-O-M?

The dropout rate in Roanoke schools is horrendous, we learn today.

Let's hope the young adults involved will at least be able to read the McDonald's cash register keys going forward.

This is ominous:
Roanoke's dropout rate is region's most dismal
By David Harrison, The Roanoke Times

For the fourth year in a row, Roanoke schools have failed to keep hundreds of students until graduation. Newly released data from the Virginia Department of Education show that the graduation rate in Roanoke stood at 57 percent last year, up one percentage point from the 2005-06 school year but still considerably lower than surrounding districts.

The latest statistics came as a letdown to city school officials who have been working to stem the number of students who drop out. (link)
All the money that's poured into public education. Flushed down the toilet. Who to blame? The schools? The teachers? The education department?

If you will.

Me? I blame the morons who choose to be losers the rest of their lives.

Someone has to take those jobs that illegal immigrants refuse to do, I suppose.

For the love of God.

Learn It. Live It. Defend It.

"In Search Of The 2nd Amendment." A soon-to-be released documentary. The trailer makes the movie look to be very cool, which trailers are supposed to do:


Great stuff.

Click twice on the triangle to activate.

A Troubling Condescension

It would appear that the "black" attitude expressed by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright towards white people goes well beyond the pulpit. Even a novelist of some renown seems to be incubating ugly stereotypes about the America she is forced to endure - and is willing to openly spew them.

Here's Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, writing in The Guardian:
I made my first white women friends in college; they loved me and were loyal to our friendship, but I understood, as they did, that they were white women and that whiteness mattered.

I am a supporter of Barack Obama because I believe he is the right person to lead the United States at this time. He offers a rare opportunity for the country and the world to do better. It is a deep sadness to me that many of my feminist white women friends cannot see him, cannot hear the fresh choices toward movement he offers. That they can believe that millions of Americans choose Obama over Clinton only because he is a man, and black, feels tragic to me.

He is the change America has been trying desperately and for centuries to hide, ignore, kill. The change it must have if we are to convince the rest of the world that we care about people other than our (white) selves.

It is hard to relate what it feels like to see Mrs.Clinton (I wish she felt self-assured enough to use her own name) referred to as "a woman" while Barack Obama is always referred to as "a black man". One would think she is just any woman, but she is not. She carries all the history of white womanhood in the US in her person; it would be a miracle if we, and the world, did not react to this fact. How dishonest it is, to try to make her innocent of her racial inheritance. (link) (my emphasis)
This kind of overt racism is finally getting the exposure it deserves. Had a white person uttered - or written - this kind of foul and venomous invective about people of another race, or anything close to it, he or she would be called to account. Strom Thurmond comes to mind - and his race crime was far more nebulous. Don Imus, who was trying to be funny. Trent Lott.

The more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps the Barack Obama campaign is having a positive effect on America's conversations and attitudes about itself after all (I've been rather depressed of late because of the leap backward we're in the midst of, as a result of the blatant racial animosity that has surfaced within the Democratic Party and in newspaper headlines - all of it being fueled by black liberal Democrats).

We needed to get this out in the open. Expose it for all to see. Denounce it from the mountaintops.

There'll be no turning back. This is going to be a color-blind society despite the worst efforts of people like Alice Walker.

Democrats Demand Higher Gas Taxes ...

... and tell oil company execs that gas prices at the pump are too high.

Balls, man. It takes balls.

Take Him. Please.

Would a presidential nominee who comes to the contest with a résumé that would fit on a sheet of toilet paper choose for his running mate a man whose résumé ... would fit on half a sheet of toilet paper? Some think so.

James Joyner (quoting Alex Massie) at Outside the Beltway:
I’ve mentioned in passing several times, both here and on OTB Radio, that Jim Webb would be the Democrats’ smartest choice for Vice President, particularly if (as seems exceedingly likely) Barack Obama is their nominee. Alex Massie makes the case in detail. Some excerpts:

"The political considerations first: the Democrats have no other plausible candidate with anything like Webb’s military experience.

"Secondly, even allowing for the truth that Webb could probably not have won Virginia without George Allen’s self-immolation it remains the case that Virginia is trending Democratic and Webb’s presence on the ticket could conceivably help Obama win the Commonwealth’s 14 electoral college votes.

"But really Webb’s appeal as a running-mate is greater than that and greater too than the prospect of his being able to compensate, to some extent anyway, for John McCain’s appeal to working-class white men. It’s not hard to imagine Webb helping the ticket in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, to say nothing of the benefits his populism could potentially have in states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. He may, in fact, be just the sort of culturally conservative and genuine Democrat Obama needs to balance his ticket."
I'm trying to remember the last time a vice presidential candidate made any kind of measurable difference in a national election. I'm coming up with zilch.

But let's look at this, a point at a time:

1) That nominate-him-because-he's-a-war-hero thing worked really well for Bob Dole, didn't it? Not to mention President Kerry. Admiral Stockdale?

2) True. Webb could help Obama in Virginia. But only marginally. Vice presidential candidates just don't make the kind of difference that Obama would need in order to make up for the damage he'd do himself by campaigning as himself - an extremely liberal Democrat - in what is still a very conservative state. Barack Obama isn't going to win Virginia nohow. Webb or no Webb.

3) Populist appeal? Yeah. It set John Edwards's (Mr. Populism himself) campaign on fire, didn't it? Edwards couldn't even secure his own state of North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004. He couldn't even get his populist message to resonate within the populist wing of his own party in 2008. But Webb is going to make it happen? Wishful thinking?

With that out of the way, let's look at Webb's negatives, the two largest of which Joyner mentions:
The main downsides to Webb, are that he’s a bit of a loose cannon and might not be the ideal guy to have out in the hustings to deliver a scripted message and, as Dave Schuler has noted, that having two first-term Senators on the ticket might be problematic from an “experience” standpoint.
"A loose cannon." Many here in Virginia prefer to characterize Webb as a real nut. But whatever verbiage works ...

While we're talking about perceptions here in the commonwealth, I might also bring up Webb's campaign style. Or lack thereof. Many saw him as a stand-offish stuffed shirt, having little inclination to rub elbows with the great unwashed out here. His speeches were canned; his delivery was awkward and subdued; his interest level most times seemed to border on abject boredom. William Jennings Bryan he ain't.

Then there's the fact that he's one-dimensional. "I oppose the war" got him where he is (with some help from that whole macaca silliness). Beyond that, he stands for nothing. His populism is a recent position. Before that, and not very long ago, he was a Reagan devotee, a supply-side conservative. Next week he may be a collectivist. Who knows?

But the biggest problem with a James Webb candidacy - he's a rookie. A novice. As is Barack Obama. The Democrats would pair a man who was a low-level Illinois hack politician just a few years ago - with very little national experience - with a man who was, not many months ago, writing novels for a living? Visions of Ross Perot anyone?

Look. Barack Obama may indeed pick James Webb as his running mate. The Democrats have been known to do sillier things.

But I wouldn't get excited about the opportunities it affords. Above all else, Obama needs somone with experience. And lots of it. A Sam Nunn. A Chris Dodd. Bill Clinton.

Jim Webb brings to the ticket skills that few can claim - when it comes to proficiency with an M-16. However, I'm thinking it will take more than that to make Brack Obama a success. In Virginia and everywhere else.

I Had Forgotten How Utterly Depraved They Were

And how tragically dangerous.

To follow up on my mention yesterday of the fact that the Democrats should never be allowed - by law - to participate in foreign affairs decision-making, I happened to read a piece yesterday by
Christopher Hitchens on Hillary's Tuzla foolishness that took us back in time and focused on her days as First Lady and the damage that she and her husband unwittingly wittingly inflicted upon the people of Bosnia.

He references Sally Bedell Smith's biography of Bill and Hillary, For Love of Politics:
Taking the advice of Al Gore and National Security Advisor Tony Lake, Bill agreed to a proposal to bomb Serbian military positions while helping the Muslims acquire weapons to defend themselves—the fulfillment of a pledge he had made during the 1992 campaign. But instead of pushing European leaders, he directed Secretary of State Warren Christopher merely to consult with them. When they balked at the plan, Bill quickly retreated, creating a "perception of drift." The key factor in Bill's policy reversal was Hillary, who was said to have "deep misgivings" and viewed the situation as "a Vietnam that would compromise health-care reform." The United States took no further action in Bosnia, and the "ethnic cleansing" by the Serbs was to continue for four more years, resulting in the deaths of more than 250,000 people.
Coming back to the present, Hitchens ends his piece with this:
Sen. Clinton now has the obscene urge to claim the raped and slaughtered people of Bosnia as if their misery and death were somehow to be credited to her account! Words begin to fail one at this point. Is there no such thing as shame? Is there no decency at last? Let the memory of the truth, and the exposure of the lie, at least make us resolve that no Clinton ever sees the inside of the White House again.
Amen to that, brutha.