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Friday, August 15, 2008

Good. We Need The Jobs.

It was a good day over in Wise:
Ceremony Formally Marks Construction Start at Wise County, Va., Power Plant
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald-Courier

At the ceremony, state and local officials reiterated the expected benefits of the facility, which were stated many times during the permitting process: promotion of economic development, provision of jobs and needed energy and relatively clean technology.

“This is the largest economic development project in the history of Southwest Virginia, said Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. “By the time this project is fully operational, this project alone will double the economic impact here in Wise County.”

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell said with energy costs rising, the plant will benefit the entire state. (link)

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said ... oh, wait. He wasn't able to attend. He was off making an ass of himself.

Anyway, this is a good day for Southwest Virginia. "1,000 construction jobs, 350 mining jobs and 75 permanent jobs to run the plant" ain't no small thing. And lest we forget, this new plant will play a critical role in easing the planet's worsening energy emergency.

Dominion Power. You guys rock.


Well, we can't blame this one on foreign competition:
Volvo to trim production
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times

Dublin -- Sweden-based Volvo Group dropped unwelcome economic news on the New River Valley on Thursday with plans to trim production at its heavy-duty truck plant in Dublin.

Executives with the global auto and truck maker said they are moving production of Mack trucks from Dublin to Pennsylvania in a streamlining measure aimed at making the company more profitable.

Volvo Trucks North America, which manufactures both brands, did not announce any job reductions in Dublin but said a cut in the 1,400-person production work force is a possibility when the change occurs during the last three months of the year. The plant's workers have been buffeted by multiple layoffs and expansions over the years. (link)
It's worth noting that Volvo endured a costly strike and near-complete shutdown of its Dublin facility for months in 2007. How much that experience played into the decision regarding this retrenchment remains unclear.

In any case, this hurts. Volvo is the premier manufacturer in all of Southwest Virginia. If they can't make it here ...

Ouch II

Following closely on the heels of the Volvo announcement, comes this additional bad news:
Intermet Founders
By Duncan Adams and Tim Thornton, Roanoke Times

Intermet Corp., which operates the New River Foundry in Radford, announced Thursday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure debt and operations.

On Aug. 8, Intermet laid off 56 workers at the Radford plant. Remaining employment there is about 160, according to Intermet spokesman Gordon Cole.

Intermet said the filing followed "60 days of unprecedented low automotive sales volumes" and high prices for commodities, including scrap metal. The company said its ferrous segment, which includes the New River Foundry, has been hit hard by declining markets for big trucks and sport utility vehicles.

The foundry layoffs last week reflected market conditions affecting many automotive industry suppliers and were unrelated to the bankruptcy filing, Cole said. (link)

Not good.

Is This a Punishable Offense?

Sooner or later, this guy's fat ass needs to be locked up. America would be better for it:
Murtha Intervenes for Company That Broke Export Law
By Christopher Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer

Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat known for delivering federal money to defense contractors in his district, is now going to bat for a constituent's company that was convicted last year of illegally exporting components of military equipment.

Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, wrote State Department officials in late June urging them to meet with the president of Electro-Glass Products, a 50-employee company that was convicted in April 2007 of illegally exporting components of night-vision goggles to a company in India. The Mammoth, Pa., firm has been sanctioned by the State Department, and Murtha argues that the action threatens to put the firm out of business.

Electro-Glass was convicted April 19, 2007, in Pittsburgh of a felony violation of the Arms Export Control Act for its 2004 export of 23,000 rings to B.E. Delft, a manufacturer of night-vision goggles in India. (link)
So the congressman who should have gone to prison years ago for having sought bribes in the Abscam scandal is coming to the aid of these lawbreakers.


I Wonder ...

I saw the cover of People magazine yesterday and groaned. The cover story:

The Edwards Affair: Elizabeth's 'Excruciating Anguish'

Being the cynical guy that I am, my reaction was a simple "give me a break."

Apparently I'm not alone in my overarching cynicism. Mickey Kaus on Elizabeth Edwards's tarnished halo:
[T]here is a Second Coverup and Elizabeth Edwards, rather than being its victim, is in on it up to her eyeballs! Why do I think this is a real possibility? First, Elizabeth was in on the first coverup, allowing her husband to go out and deny the initial Enquirer reports of his affair. (He admits to [ABC News's Bob] Woodruff that she knew these denials were false) Second, she might see her legacy as bound up with her husband's--and also want her children to have a father with a political future. Third, Elizabeth Edwards is famously smart, and a lawyer. Does still she really think the Enquirer is just making up the part about how Edwards' affair with Hunter restarted around the time Hunter got pregnant? Does she think her husband knew nothing about the payments?

She can't possibly be as dumb as People thinks its readers are. ...(emphasis in the original)

One has to consider that possibility but ...

A Point Worth Considering

Will it take a decade (as whiny liberals assert) to begin drilling offshore and in ANWR? Not if we let the Brazilians get there first:
Open ANWR Already!
By Jon Basil Utley, Reason

The media constantly repeat the claim that it would take a decade to get the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) into oil production and about as long for offshore continental oil to start flowing. Most accounts promote the views of extreme environmentalists to make the issue appear so hopeless that we must instead "change our way of life" rather than tap into proven oil reserves. In July, CNN repeatedly reported that offshore drilling would take "seven to 10 years" to get into production. Yet Brazil's Petrobras expects its new finds in extraordinarily deep waters to already be producing 100,000 barrels per day in just two years. What is wrong with American oil companies that they would take so long? (link)
I don't think it has anything to do with American oil companies. It has more to do with whiny liberals in powerful places.

Seems Right

If I (and much of the Western world) have been reevaluating America's relationship with Russia over the last several days, it certainly holds that America do the same. As John McCain makes clear:
McCain would re-examine ties with Moscow
Associated Press

Birmingham, Mich. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Wednesday that Russia's invasion of Georgia calls for a complete re-examination of U.S. relations with the Moscow government. McCain said he was pleased that the United States has canceled a planned joint military operation with Russia. But he added, "we will now need to review the full range of our relations" with that country. However, McCain said, "I don't think we're going to re-ignite the cold war here with Russia. I don't see this is a return to nuclear standoffs." (link)
And where is Obama on the subject? Interestingly, the next paragraph is revealing:
In Honolulu, Barack Obama chose Mark Warner, Virginia's Senate candidate and former governor, to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic convention, underscoring Democrats' all-out effort to win the Southern state for the first time since 1964.
He's on vacation of course, so it's not fair to make too much of this. But just in terms of metaphor effect, while McCain is concentrating on the USA's relationship with a dangerous world, The Chosen One concentrates on winning an election.


The Backlash Cometh

As the "global warming" house of cards crumbles, stories like this will become numerous:
Doherty: New Scientific Data Justifies Repealing Global Warming Response Act
By bguhl, PolitickerNJ.com

Responding to various new scientific reports questioning the concept of global warming, [New Jersey] Assemblyman Michael Doherty today called on Governor Corzine to hold off on proposing any new regulations associated with the state’s Global Warming Response Act and urged the Legislature to repeal that act when it returns to legislative business after Labor Day.

“There are many credible members of the scientific community who have questioned the theory of global warming, and now we have some scientists actually suggesting the earth’s temperatures may be entering a period of dramatic cooling,” said Doherty, R-Warren and Hunterdon. “With this growing level of scientific uncertainty, it makes no sense to enact a new set of economically damaging regulations prompted by the global warming hysteria of recent years.”

The Global Warming Response Act was signed last year by Corzine, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. (link)

While Virginia Governor Tim Kaine continues to push for a remedy to a problem that doesn't exist, people elsewhere are waking up to a new reality: They'd been suckered into believing something that is proving to be absolutely false.

What's This All About?

Kinda creepy:
Police: Pound Of Cyanide Found In Denver Hotel

The Denver coroner said Thursday a man found dead in a downtown hotel room with a pound of highly toxic sodium cyanide nearby died from cyanide poisoning.

However, the medical examiner's office could not say if 29-year-old Saleman Abdirahman Dirie, of Ottawa, Canada killed himself.

His body was found Monday inside Room 408 at The Burnsley Hotel, which is about four blocks from the state Capitol.

An online threat posted in July by a man with a similar name warned of death. The blog discussed the killing of Christians in Somalia by Islamists. The person who posted on the blog was a Muslim who appeared to condemn Christians. (link) (my emphasis)
Though some would like to think it otherwise, terrorism is still a very real threat. This may be a case in point.

Interesting Turn Of Events

I'm sure the Russians hadn't factored this into their calculations when they decided to invade Georgia:
U.S. and Poland set missile deal
By Thom Shanker and Nicholas Kulish

Washington - The United States and Poland reached a long-stalled deal on Thursday to place an American missile defense base on Polish territory, in the strongest reaction so far to Russia's military operation in Georgia.

Russia reacted angrily, saying that the move would worsen relations with the United States that have already been strained severely in the week since Russian troops entered separatist enclaves in Georgia, a close American ally.

But the deal reflected growing alarm in countries like Poland, once a conquered Soviet client state, about a newly rich and powerful Russia's intentions in its former cold war sphere of power. (link)
Russia is angry. Let them howl.