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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Newspaper Calls On Boucher To Retire

And Bob Goodlatte too, for that matter.

You need read no further than the first four words of the following text:

Pigs in the trough on Capitol Hill
Washington D.C. Examiner editorial

Pathetic. Craven. Irresponsible. Unprincipled. Those and similar adjectives apply to every member of Congress who voted for the bloated, anti-consumer piece of legislative corruption known as the Food and Energy Conservative Act of 2008 a k a as “the farm bill.” President Bush has promised to veto the bill. To put it plainly, everybody in Congress who votes to override the coming Bush veto should be retired come November because they will have voted for a measure that is nothing more -- or less -- than a $300 billion giveaway of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. This is especially true for conservative Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who brag about their fiscal rectitude.

We’ve already editorialized that the bill is a budge buster even without the grab bag of spending gimmicks. We’ve noted that it will continue to give subsidies to millionaires who actually live in Manhattan and who might not even use their “farmland” for food crops.

In short, this bill is so stuffed that it deserves to be named by an agricultural term -- bull, uh, manure. (link)

Here's the real irony. For those of you who support Boucher's effort to turn Southwest Virginia into one big hiking trail, he's negotiable:
There ... are inexcusable local-interest flimflams such as a $250 million tax credit for a private land sale in Montana and a provision to “sell” national forest land, necessitating a shifting of the Appalachian Trail, to benefit a Vermont ski resort. (my emphasis)
The Appalachian Trail. The Holy Grail of the Southwest Virginia tourism crowd. It seems to have gotten in the way of Congress's efforts to shower lavish gifts - your hard-earned income - on its closest friends. So the boys there are going to pick it up and move it. To Zimbabwe? We don't know yet.

Oh, and don't forget: Rick Boucher - as always - went along with the crowd.

Depression? What's a Depression?

It has been said that folks who survived the 1930's Great Depression here in Southwest Virginia didn't even know they had gone through one. Such were the times. Such was their day-to-day.

I'm reminded of that fable by an editorial that appears in the Roanoke Times this morning. To paraphrase:

We've hit rock-bottom but at least we're recession-proof:
Southwest Virginia's smooth economy

The Roanoke and New River valleys are not bursting at their economic seams.

Both metropolitan areas saw minimal growth during the five years of data. Roanoke's GDP grew 1.35 percent and the New River Valley's a tepid 1.41 percent.

So Southwest Virginia is not going to set any records for economic growth. Growth in places such as Northern Virginia, Tidewater and Richmond will top this part of the state for the foreseeable future.

This region has struggled to reinvent itself as old-style industries left town, replaced by new ones -- but seemingly never enough. The railroads declined; health care rose.

Yet there is some good in the numbers.

Though the region is not growing rapidly, its economy is largely recession proof. (link) (my emphasis)
It should be noted that the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley are actually the shining stars of Southwest Virginia. It goes downhill from there. Rapidly.

So the Roanoke Times finds a silver lining in the fact that we're so poor we don't have a pot to piss in (as my daddy used to say). Be happy; we can't lose what we don't have.

I feel better. Thanks, guys.

A Painful Truth

The Washington Times calls on the Kaine administration to give up on its notion that the state needs more money for road repairs. The editorialists there simply want smarter people being put in charge of existing funds. An excellent idea:

Tax and spend in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has reverted to type with a raft of tax increases and fees: a proposed increase in the statewide motor-vehicles sales tax to 4 percent, a lift of retail taxes in the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas by 1 percent, another $10 a car on the statewide automobile registration fee and, incredibly, amid a housing bust, a new levy on real estate sales. Per Mr. Kaine, only $1.1 billion in new annual taxes can solve Virginia's transportation woes. He is wrong. Yet again, Virginia's political leaders have missed the obvious solution.

Rather than raise taxes, the state should reapportion its laughable transportation funding allocation away from politically influential but underpopulated parts of the state. (link)


That "politically influential but underpopulated part of the state" referred to here would be us. But these guys make a valid point. All the growth - and accompanying transportation problems - are occurring in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Resources should be weighted accordingly.

And if that means that I-77 is not repaved semi-annually here in Bland County when it's not necessary - so be it.

- - -

At least this local columnist admits that she doesn't know what to do about the "transportation crisis." Shanna Flowers, Roanoke Times:

"People, what's it going to take for Virginians to finally get an adequately funded transportation system?"

Her attitude is actually refreshing. It beats the condescension that regularly oozes from her paper, treating us like we're neanderthals for refusing to pour more money down a rathole.

People, I haven't the first clue! Thanks, Shanna.

Ah, The Irony

Or is it just that Democratic politicians make lying through their teeth an art form?

James Taranto on one United States Senator's ... shifting ... views on military service:
Goldilocks Gets Drafted

In 2004 Sen. Tom Harkin attacked Vice President Cheney for not having served in Vietnam, as a Wall Street Journal editorial noted:

"The Iowa Senator lashed out at Dick Cheney, claiming the Vice President had no right to criticize [John] Kerry's policies for the war on terror because Mr. Cheney had a deferment back then: 'When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil.'

Four years later the Republicans are poised to nominate a genuine Vietnam War hero, while the Democratic nominee will be someone who evaded the draft by virtue of having been born either in 1961 or female. And the Des Moines Register reports Harkin is attacking John McCain for having served ..."
So what's with that Goldilocks reference?
As that Journal editorial noted, Harkin himself has falsely claimed to have served in combat in Vietnam. Which may explain his Goldilocks approach to military service:

John McCain is too hard.

Dick Cheney is too soft.

John Kerry is just right.
Take that, pond scum!

There Ain't Enough Money In The World

Your United States Senator is out to destroy your way of life just in time for him to retire into a life of breathtaking luxury:
Climate Control: A Costly Proposal
By Rebecca Hagelin, townhall.com

Think energy is expensive now? Wait until Congress plugs in the “Climate Security Act of 2007.”

That’s the leading piece of legislation on Capitol Hill designed to combat "climate change." Lawmakers have cooked up an expensive solution to a hyped-up rallying cry against a "problem" that scientists can't even agree exists in the first place. Of course, Congress is doing what Congress seems to do best -- pass laws in response to the latest craze. In this case, if the politicians are successful, you may find yourself nostalgic for the days of $3.60 gasoline.

So how would Lieberman-Warner [jf: that would be Virginia's own John Warner] affect our economy? Start with something we can all relate to: personal income. Under the bill, income in the U.S. would drop significantly, starting in 2012, from a decline of more than $30 billion that year to $121.9 billion in 2016. Or, to put it another way: All other things being equal, by 2016, the annual household income for a family of four would fall by $1,494 -- about what that family pays now for two months of food.

Gross domestic product would start to take a nosedive in 2012 as well. By 2030, GDP would be $436 billion less than it would be if the bill hadn’t become law. (link) (my emphasis)
I don't know whether to laugh or put a bullet in my brainpan. "Lawmakers have cooked up an expensive solution to a ... 'problem' that scientists can't even agree exists in the first place."

These people have gone mad. Stop them before they destroy the planet.

Why I Never Watch NBC News

And haven't for many years:

White House Says NBC Distorted Bush Response

Unfair. Unbalanced. NBC News.

A Word To The Wise

Or ... Victor Davis Hanson Provides a Wake-Up Call To Bob Goodlatte:
What mystifies is the paralysis of Republicans and their impotent protestations that “Bush did it”. The truth is that Congressional Republicans, responsible for turning principles into governance, deserve to lose—unless they craft clear positions that won’t be compromised and then offer them as alternative choices to the voters this fall.

In short, the Republicans’ problem? They forgot who they were and can’t explain what they might be. They need to go back to basics, adopt conservative principles to confront new challenges, and then find the most effective spokesmen they can to explain their positions—hourly.
And quit voting for bloated subsidies (and earmarks) intended to make the wealthy even wealthier. That's what Democrats do.


I Agree. To A Point.

When an alien being from Tatooine someday lands on this planet and finds out that our governments -state and federal - involve themselves in a purely religious rite - marriage - they will more than likely ask: Why?* ** What does government have to do with a religious ceremony?

Having gotten that out of the way, this Washington Post editorial regarding gay marriage is spot on:
Meddling in Gay Marriage

The California Supreme Court, which last week struck down that state's prohibition against same-sex marriage, correctly recognized that government bears the highest burden if it decides to treat differently the relationships between opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Yet the flawed court decision could trigger serious political backlash because the outcome was produced not by the state's voters but by a 4 to 3 majority of judges.

Not surprisingly, those who oppose same-sex marriage in California are working to put a measure on the November ballot to override the decision. Depending on how it is worded, such a measure, if passed, could return California to the status quo that existed before the decision or go further and pare back the protections of the state's domestic partnership law. (link)
The Post editorialists, in the course of criticizing the decision, (shrewdly, deviously) disparage those of us who consider homosexual behavior to be perverse behavior and believe as well that it should be denounced accordingly. Beyond that though, the point above is valid. A hornet's nest has been stirred. And four liberal judges will rue the day.

* Sorry. I don't know the Tatooese word for why.
** We have to be licensed like dogs to marry. What's up with that?

Such The Shock

Lifelong Democrat Warren Buffet is doing what?

Buffett says he prefers a Democrat for president

Stop the presses.

Obama Is In Good Company

You might wonder where he got the idea to sit down and chat with terrorists without preconditions?

France Admits Contacts With Hamas

Some are now comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter. Perhaps a link to John Kerry would be closer to the mark.

So We Should Hope For Global Warming?

Scientists are bouncing around like fleas in the sandbox. First there was a global warming crisis, then there wasn't. Now, if there is, it may not be a bad thing.

Study Says Global Warming Not Worsening Hurricanes
By the Associated Press

Washington (AP) -- Global warming isn't to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject.

Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects of global warming in the Atlantic. (link)
Fewer hurricanes. Fewer Katrinas. That's a good thing, right?

Now what are the whiners going to find to complain about?