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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Intend To Support Obama ...

... when he decides to run for pastor of my church.

What in God's name does the following have to do with being head of the executive branch of government, commander in chief, and leader of the free world?

On absent fathers and fatherhood
Roanoke Times editorial

Barack Obama hardly plowed new ground in his Father's Day speech. Bill Cosby has said the same many times. Absent fathers -- in particular, absent African-American fathers -- need to take responsibility for raising their children.

But the message Sunday was heavy with subtext coming from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee -- the first black American to lay claim to the national birth right: the truism that, in this country, in this land of opportunity, any child can aspire to be president.

Obama arrived at this rarefied height though he, too, was abandoned at age 2 by his father. Yes, even that handicap can be overcome. But, as he acknowledged, raising him and his sister to adulthood took more than ... [blah blah blah]. (link)

The biggest drawback to an Obama candidacy is that he is incontestably unqualified to be president. That criticism applies here. If we want a president who can lecture us on the role of fathers in society, shouldn't the Democratic Party have nominated Oprah?

More Of The Same

So Governor Kaine goes to ten - count 'em, ten - town hall meetings around the state to get feedback from the citizens of the commonwealth with regard to his tax increase proposal, and he ends up introducing the original legislation that he had proposed before he decided to go on tour and "listen to the people."

Just exactly how much listening did he do?

The not-unexpected news:
No major changes in state roads bill
By Bob Lewis, AP Political Writer

Hopewell, Va. (AP) -- Major provisions of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's nearly $1 billion annual highway funding plan will remain fundamentally unchanged from the draft he outlined six weeks ago, Kaine said Monday night.

Kaine's bill incorporating the new statewide tax and fee proposals is expected to be introduced late this week, just ahead of a special legislative session beginning Monday called exclusively for transportation funding.

Kaine told about 130 people at the ninth of 10 town hall-style forums where he tried to rouse public support for his plan that he would make unspecified minor alterations.

"What I'm doing right now is writing a bill. Ideas I've heard from these town hall meetings will help me write this bill better," * Kaine said. (link)
No, it won't. He intended to raise taxes dramatically. He intends to raise taxes dramatically. The road show was a show. Nothing more. And everyone knew it.

Be honest, Tim. For the first time in your life.

* Whether or not it helped him learn to put a sentence together better is still in question.

Food For Thought

If the city of Roanoke gives $200,000 to Maple Leaf Bakery to maintain the employment of 200 workers in the city, should it write a check to First Due Fire, EMS & Tech Gear * in the amount of $2,000 because it provides employment to 1?

Logical, no?

* Okay, First Due Gear isn't in the city limits. But you get the point.


A presidential candidate - if only for a brief moment - takes the real world into account:
McCain Seeks to End Offshore Drilling Ban
By Michael D. Shear and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writers

Sen. John McCain called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices and immediately drawing the ire of environmental groups that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has courted for months.

"We must embark on a national mission to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil," McCain told reporters yesterday. In a speech today, he plans to add that "we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. . . . It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions." (link)
Good for him. It makes no sense for a president to ask the Saudis to increase production for us while, at the same time, refuse to ask America to help itself.

So what does Obama think? Still stuck on stupid.

You Knew This Was Coming

"This" being both the excessive and irrational displays of grief and the blowback:

Jack Shafer on the aftermath of Tim Russert's passing:

What has possessed NBC News to televise a never-ending video wake? Almost nothing aired contained much in the way of news. After reporting his passing and a postmortem by his physician, nearly every minute of NBC and MSNBC coverage tried to convey the loss felt by his peers—David S. Broder, Andrea Mitchell, Al Hunt, Mike Barnicle, Al Roker, Brian Williams, Dennis Murphy, Barbara Walters, Bob Woodward, Gwen Ifill, Sally Quinn ("I feel almost like we did when somebody—when Jack Kennedy or even Katharine Graham died"), Chuck Todd, Wolf Blitzer, Kelly O'Donnell, Maria Shriver, and others. They loved him. They admired him. He was their mentor. He raised the bar for all journalists. He was thoughtful. He was kind. Of the highest integrity. Generous. Loyal. And so on. Just because it's true doesn't make it news.
"The Canonization of Saint Russert," Slate, June 16, 2008

- - -

Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel:

"On Monday's 'Today,' Matt Lauer interviewed Russert's son, Luke. The show basically gave over the first half-hour to the Russert story. Presidential candidates aren't questioned at such length on morning programs.

"And the children of America's fallen heroes don't receive such a platform, either."

Why We Should Fear The Supreme Court

John Yoo:
Last week's Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush has been painted as a stinging rebuke of the administration's antiterrorism policies. From the celebrations on most U.S. editorial pages, one might think that the court had stopped a dictator from trampling civil liberties. Boumediene did anything but. The 5-4 ruling is judicial imperialism of the highest order.

First out the window went precedent. Under the writ of habeas corpus, Americans (and aliens on our territory) can challenge the legality of their detentions before a federal judge. Until Boumediene, the Supreme Court had never allowed an alien who was captured fighting against the U.S. to use our courts to challenge his detention.

The Boumediene five also ignored the Constitution's structure, which grants all war decisions to the president and Congress.
"The Supreme Court Goes to War," The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2008

Isn't This What Congress Is For?

Perhaps we don't even need a Congress. We should just let the Supreme Court make our laws. The latest:
Court rules aliens who overstay can remain to appeal
Tom Ramstack, The Washington Times

The Supreme Court decided Monday to make it easier for foreigners to overstay their visas while they defend their right to stay in the United States.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said that foreigners can withdraw their voluntary agreements to leave and remain in the U.S. while they challenge the government's efforts to remove them.

Until the court's decision, foreigners could use administrative procedures to stay in the country, but they still had to leave when their visas expired or at a time listed in their voluntary agreements. (link)
It may no longer be necessary to mention, now that the Court is running things, but that rule requiring foreigners to leave when their visas expire was set up by the legislative branch of government and executed by the executive.

But no longer. Five really old people on the Court will now decide how the United States government is to operate.

You have reason to be very afraid.

I Think There's Someone You've Missed

The Charleston Gazette lashed out at the Washington Post yesterday because "the Post's editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, [had] attacked Senate Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., because his committee issued a new study citing Bush deceptions during the war stampede." See "Potpourri: June 16, 2008."

Two points these twits at the Gazette might take into account:

1) Rockefeller's report, despite what he is quoted as
saying about it, substantially supports the president and those who made their decisions to send our soldiers into combat that were based on intelligence estimates available to them at the time. There were no "deceptions."

Don't take my word for it. Read a careful and reasoned analysis of the report here. Or, better yet, read the report in its entirety for yourself here.

2) The editorialists at the Gazette overlook a key historical fact. Their favorite United States Senator, the same Jay Rockefeller cited above, was calling for the invasion of Iraq long before President Bush was. Was that Bush's fault as well? Here's a clip showing Rockefeller making the claim in 2002 - long before we invaded Iraq - that there was "unmistakeable evidence" regarding Iraq's nuclear efforts:

"There is unmistakeable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons."

And now Rockefeller blames Bush for saying that which Rockefeller himself was saying at the time. The Gazette either conveniently forgets that part or chooses to ignore who it was that was beating the war drum back then.

Despicable on both their parts.