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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, August 27, 2008

I Wonder If We'll See Boucher Bragging About This

Will we soon see those campaign commercials on TV touting 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher's successes at bringing 60,000 new jobs to Southwest Virginia? As a helpful suggestion, he might want to put a couple of caveats to the claim. None of those new jobs went to poor folks in Southwest Virginia. And certainly none went to poor folks in our Appalachian counties.

Why do I say that? The stats are in. The latest bad news from the Census Bureau:
Poverty rate up slightly for Appalachia region
By P.J. Dickerscheid, Associated Press Writer

Appalachia includes all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Virginia had the biggest increase in the number of people living in poverty, from 709,000 in 2006 to 743,000 a year later. Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee also had slight increases in the number of people living in poverty. (link)
Last time he asked for our vote, Rick Boucher claimed that he had created 40,000 new jobs here. I asked then: Where?

I ask now: We have 34,000 residents of Southwest Virginia who have fallen into poverty in the last year. Why?

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To show that not all the misguided boobs are on this side of the state border, a director of a West Virginia think tank is quoted as having a solution to Appalachia's problems:

Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, said the numbers were generally good for his state.

To lift more West Virginians out of poverty, Boettner said state lawmakers need to follow the lead of 24 others states and enact a state earned income tax credit. Such a move would help 145,000 working poor adults "who are trying to make ends meet, but need a little incentive."

1) Poor people don't pay taxes. So what's a tax credit to them?

2) Oh wait, you don't have to have had an income or pay taxes in order to obtain that "credit." Thus the earned income tax credit becomes nothing more than government welfare by a different name.

3) Which means that notion about it providing "a little incentive" is idiocy. When it comes to welfare give-aways, been there done that.

4) Employers are the answer. Jobs. Meaningful jobs. The opportunity to succeed. That won't come from increased taxation that provides for more government handouts.

Sliced & Diced

As only the editorial team at the Wall Street Journal can do it:

Nancy Pelosi recently diluted her opposition to offshore drilling, but we're beginning to wonder if the House Speaker even knows why she opposed increasing domestic energy supplies in the first place.

Ms. Pelosi appeared Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," where Tom Brokaw gently pointed out that the various Democratic alternative energy ambitions are "not going to happen overnight." Replied Ms. Pelosi: "You can have a transition with natural gas. That, that is cheap, abundant and clean compared to fossil fuels." Later, she again said that "I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels," and that wind, solar, biofuels and "a focus on natural gas, these are the real alternatives."

Apparently Ms. Pelosi's new script is still being reworked, but it's a telling mistake. Not only is natural gas every bit as much a "fossil fuel" as oil or coal. More to the point, these concentrated organic compounds found beneath the earth's surface must be extracted by . . . drilling. And sometimes even drilling offshore, on the Outer Continental Shelf. But more drilling is what Ms. Pelosi had refused to allow just a few days ago.

"A Carbon Education," August 26, 2008

Eminent Domain Raises Its Ugly Head

Worries over people losing their homes to the heavy hand of government in Montgomery County are probably premature, but this story raises the specter of people being forced to abandon their property because of what the United States Supreme Court (temporarily) considers a legitimate "public use" need.
Montgomery County to sue over intermodal facility
By Kevin Litten, The Roanoke Times

Montgomery County supervisors announced today that the county will file suit to block the state-backed Norfolk Southern intermodal facility planned for Elliston, which officials have said is key to economic growth in the state.

In a statement released this afternoon, the county said the suit would "challenge the intermodal facility's constitutionality" and the state's plan to contribute about $40 million toward the site's $50.5 million price tag. Annette Perkins, chairwoman of the board of supervisors, also accused the state of turning its back on fierce local opposition and raised questions about whether the county would benefit from the Roanoke Region Intermodal Facility.

The $40 million in public funds set aside will be used in part to build a highway that will connect the site to Interstate 81. About 10 houses stand in the path of the proposed highway, and activists urged supervisors in April 2007 to adopt an ordinance that would block use of eminent domain if a corporation stands to benefit. (link)
The way the article reads, activists supporting the lawsuit have taken a shotgun approach to stopping the Intermodal initiative, citing a host of reasons it should be nixed. I don't give them even a remote chance of success. Still, it would be a good thing if the state government was able to purchase the property needed at fair market value and not force Southwest Virginians off their land at the point of a gun just to satisfy the wishes of a private concern.

Oops

"Osama bin Ladin." "Obama and Biden." We all make such mistakes as we deliver speeches at anti-war rallies, with cameras rolling.

This Is Discouraging

Republicans can be such a loyal bunch. To a fault:
Alaskans send Ted Stevens on to general election
By Steve Quinn, The Associated Press

Anchorage, Alaska -- Alaska Republicans gave U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, currently facing a federal indictment, a primary victory on Tuesday.

It sets up a November election race with possibly the toughest opponent Stevens has ever faced in his 40 years in public office, squaring off against popular Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

Stevens won his primary with 63 percent of the vote. (link)
I guess they feel comfortable being a permanent minority.

Forget The Obligatory Convention Speech

What does Hillary really think of Barack Obama?



Most of America, it is now becoming obvious, agrees with her.

Just Asking

Is this woman having twins?

Doesn't Victoria Secret make some kind of steel rigging that'll push those things up where they're supposed to be?

Today's Question

Brought to mind by this paragraph appearing in an Investor's Business Daily editorial:
Election '08: Barack Obama picks a loose-lipped running mate who voted for the Iraq War and questioned his readiness. Obama says he wants a veep who'll challenge him. Instead, he got one who'll need to tutor him.
At what point does it become a Biden/Obama ticket?