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

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who Would Have Guessed

Moving at a glacial pace (pun intended), Tim Kaine's Virginia Commission on Climate Change has, after nine months of rancorous debate, found there to be just cause for the commission to be named the Virginia Commission on Climate Change. At this rate, the earth will move into its forty-third recorded ice age by the time these boys get down to business.

The earth-shattering news:
Va. commission agrees on effects of global warming here
By Rex Springston, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia's Commission on Climate Change reached tentative agreement today on a list of findings about global warming's effects on the state.

The panel tentatively found, among other things, that human-caused global warming is widely accepted; that rising sea levels caused by warming could hurt the low-lying Hampton Roads area; and that global warming will affect Virginia's ecosystems, farms, forests and coastal military bases.

The findings, which will be adjusted based on panel members' suggestions today, will be made final at the group's next meeting, which is not yet scheduled.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine appointed the 43-member panel nine months ago to investigate ways that global warming threatens Virginia and ways to address those threats. (link)

My guess? These august experts got their info from Wikipedia. The two share a depth of comprehension of the issue.

Too bad the commission has waited to start its actual work just long enough for the science to start coming in that shows us that the planet is actually cooling. What's the panel's mission again?

But you can bet this panel will live on, for neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night ...

Transportation Crisis?

Another in a long series of stories about VDOT spending money on things that have nothing to do with getting cars, buses, trains, or planes from point A to point B. Perhaps this is the transportation crisis:
Museum plans move forward
Melinda Williams, Staff Writer, Southwest Times

After years of discussion and planning, it appears the Town of Pulaski is finally going to get a transportation museum and Dr. Milton Brockmeyer’s train set will get a new home.

Faced with the prospect of losing about $600,000 in state funding for the museum if action weren’t taken soon, the Pulaski Town Council unanimously voted last night to move forward with construction of a freestanding building to house the museum.

The town recently received a letter from Virginia Department of Transportation stating that about $600,000 in grant money set aside for the museum would be reassigned to another state project unless the town could show an intent to move forward with the project. (link)
Hey, who's going to pass up free money?

So the people of Pulaski are going to have themselves a train museum - whether they want it or not - at taxpayer expense. Taxpayer funds that could have gone to bridge repair. Or new road construction. Or lane widening. Or ...

I wonder how that cornfield up in Botetourt that VDOT bought is doing. Isn't it about harvest time?

Kingsport Is Booming

It appears that our near-neighbor to the south is doing quite well these days:
Exports Prop Up Local Economies
By Timothy Aeppel, The Wall Street Journal

Much of the world may be struggling with the economic downturn, but life has been getting better in Columbus, Ind., Kingsport, Tenn., and Waterloo, Iowa.

These out-of-the-way places have become trade hot spots as U.S. exports, fueled by the dollar's fall, continue to provide a rare spark in an otherwise gloomy economy.

While many economists expect a recent snapback in the value of the dollar and a spreading global slowdown to soften that growth, exports have become a key to greater local prosperity more than at any time in decades.

Kingsport, population 44,000, is home to Eastman Chemical Co., which is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade its sprawling chemical plant there on the strength of its global sales of plastics and fibers. (link)

It's good to see Eastman turning its once-flagging business fortunes around. There are a whole lot of Southwest Virginians who depend on it for their livelihood. As everyone in the Tri-Cities knows, as goes Eastman Chemical, so goes the Tri-Cities.

Keep it up, fellas. Whatever you're doing? Do a lot more of it.

Boucher Should Be Worried

Oh. Wait. He's running unopposed. There are no Republicans in Southwest Virginia apparently. Either that or there isn't a brave soul amongst 'em. Too bad. They might have had a chance this time 'round:
Democrats on Capitol Hill fear Obama fallout
By Andrew Ward, The Financial Times

Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama’s faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election.

Party leaders have been hoping to strengthen Democratic control of the House and Senate in November, but John McCain’s jump in the polls has stoked fears of a Republican resurgence.

A Democratic fundraiser for Congressional candidates said some planned to distance themselves from Mr Obama and not attack Mr McCain. (link)

Meanwhile, here in the Republican stronghold of Southwest Virginia ...

Quote of the Day

From Phil Kerpen, policy director for Americans for Prosperity:
We at Americans for Prosperity — some of whom actually visited the proposed [Bridge To Nowhere] site — celebrated. Taxpayers for Common Sense, the group that first discovered the earmark, declared “Ding dong, the bridge is dead,” and noted that “Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), our new favorite Governor, pulled the plug on this project and committed to finding a more ‘fiscally responsible’ approach.”

So the facts are plain. When it mattered, Gov. Palin stood up to Sen. Stevens and dealt the Bridge to Nowhere its death blow. This is something the U.S. Congress and senators Obama and Biden failed to do on multiple occasions.

And while it’s true that John McCain, unlike his running mate, has always opposed pork-barrel earmarks, Sarah Palin, unlike Obama and Biden, did the right thing when it counted most and stopped an egregious example of earmark abuse. And now, of course, Palin has joined McCain in calling for an end to earmarks.

Isn’t it better to come around to the right position than to keep on being wrong?
"Bridge Politics," National Review, September 11, 2008

With 207 Votes Tabulated ...

... John McCain holds a commanding 68% to 32% lead over Barack Obama in the ongoing Dickenson County presidential poll. You can find it here.

I wonder if it might have made a difference if Obama had come to Southwest Virginia with an actual recovery plan. Too much to ask, I guess.

From Those Who Brought You Macaca ...

... this is to be expected.

Washington Post is catching 16 kinds of hell this morning for this egregious distortion of a portion of Sarah Palin's speech delivered to the Alaska National Guard unit yesterday that was being deployed to Iraq. The front-page "news" item:
Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska
By Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post Staff Writer

Ft Wainwright, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans." (link)
Where in Palin's quote is there a reference to 9/11? Isn't it clear that she's referring to the al Qaeda forces - the al Qaeda that planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans - that are in Iraq today?

What's with these people that they go out of their way to distort the truth in order to get Republicans defeated at the box office?

Didn't the Washington Post's embarrassing episode with macaca teach the editors there nothing? Or did it teach them how to influence elections by distorting the truth?

In either case ...

Dems May Want a Do-Over

This from Charles Krauthammer seems right:
... Palin is not just a problem for Obama. She is also a symptom of what ails him. Before Palin, Obama was the ultimate celebrity candidate. For no presidential nominee in living memory had the gap between adulation and achievement been so great.

Which is why McCain's Paris Hilton ads struck such a nerve. Obama's meteoric rise was based not on issues — there was not a dime's worth of difference between him and Hillary on issues — but on narrative, on eloquence, on charisma.

The unease at the Denver convention, the feeling of buyer's remorse, was the Democrats' realization that the arc of Obama's celebrity had peaked and had now entered a period of its steepest decline. That Palin could so instantly steal the celebrity spotlight is a reflection of that decline.

It was inevitable. Obama had managed to stay aloft for four full years. But no one can levitate forever.

"Obama's Stock Was Topping Even Pre-Palin," Investor's Business Daily, September 11, 2008

Can Anti-Abortion Be Far Behind?

Democrats Reluctantly Embrace Offshore Drilling

What a Goof

I take no pleasure in bringing you Joe Biden's latest gaffe. Another in a long line of many, just as I predicted. Oh, heck. This one pleasures me greatly. Who am I kidding?

In this clip, Biden on Wednesday asked a wheelchair-bound man in the crowd to stand up and take a bow. Oh, do I feel his pain:

I'm trying to decide if I've ever done anything quite as embarrassing in my entire life.

By the way, look at Biden's eyes pop when he sees that the crippled gentleman he's asked to stand up is in a wheelchair.

Didn't He Predict His Wife Would Win Handily?

Bill Clinton predicts Obama will win 'handily'