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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, Please

I've seen some pretty weak attacks made on Sarah Palin's credibility and qualifications but this hair-splitting from the Bristol Herald Courier takes the cake:
Palin Doesn’t Know VP Duties

Stand-up comic Jeff Foxworthy has become famous to a new generation of youngsters for starring in the popular TV show: “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?”

The show challenges adults with questions they should have learned in fifth grade, often with hilarious results.

This week, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is showing she wouldn’t pass muster on the show, even the third-grade version. On Monday, the Republican vice-presidential candidate said the vice president is “in charge of” the U.S. Senate and “can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes.”

This is the second time she has flunked the question, claiming a broader role for the vice president than the U.S. Constitution provides. (link)
Though the vice president of the United States holds the gavel and directs the Senate's activities anytime he or she decides to exercise that responsibility (though they rarely do), the President of the Senate isn't actually "in charge of" the Senate? Please. You're hurting my brain.

After picking that nit, the Herald Courier goes on to make the case that the vice president is, in fact, in charge of the Senate:

The vice president can preside over floor debate in the Senate, but that role is usually filled by the Senate president pro tempore, and more often filled by first-term senators.
So what are two synonyms for the word preside?



Please. Surely there are better arguments you could make about Sarah Palin's views. Perhaps you could start with the fact that she's one of those evil conservatives. Ain't that bad enough?

If Only They'd Paid Attnetion In Grade School

This declaration coming from the goofs over at the Charleston Gazette should give you a chuckle this morning:
Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the leading causes of climate change, and coal-fired power plants are a major source of those emissions.
I offer this primer, not that they'll understand it:
The primary cause of the seasons is the 23.5 degree of the Earth's rotation axis with respect to the plane of the ecliptic ... This means that as the Earth goes around its orbit the Northern hemisphere is at various times oriented more toward and more away from the Sun, and likewise for the Southern hemisphere.

Thus, we experience Summer in the Northern Hemisphere when the Earth is on that part of its orbit where the N. Hemisphere is oriented more toward the Sun and therefore the Sun rises higher in the sky and is above the horizon longer, and the rays of the Sun strike the ground more directly. Likewise, in the N. Hemisphere Winter the hemisphere is oriented away from the Sun, the Sun only rises low in the sky, is above the horizon for a shorter period, and the rays of the Sun strike the ground more obliquely. (source)
That's the primary cause of climate change. Kids.

Just Wonderin'

Is the following headline, appearing in this morning's Charleston Gazette, possible?

Flat growth predicted for Yeager Airport

Flat growth? How do you have flat growth? Did they also operate at a negative profit?

Words Well Writ

They come from the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger:

The stoning of Sarah Palin has exposed enough cultural fissures in American politics to occupy strategists full-time until 2012. We now see there is a left-to-right elite centered in New York, Washington, Hollywood and Silicon Valley who hand down judgments of the nation's mortals from their perch atop the Bell Curve.

It seems only yesterday that the most critical skill in presidential politics was being able to connect to people in places like Bronko's bar or Saddleback Church. When Gov. Palin showed she excelled at that, the goal posts suddenly moved and the new game was being able to talk the talk in London, Paris, Tehran or Moscow. She looks about a half-step behind Sen. Obama on that learning curve.

Good stuff.

No Better Example

Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review, writes in the Washington Post (how did this get past the editors?) that the mainstream press is giving that Democrat crazy-uncle-in-the-attic a pass:

The prevailing media take on Senator Biden has been that he is a wise statesman with the charming if unfortunate habit of committing gaffes. I suspect that if Biden were not a liberal Democrat and had not spent decades in Washington, journalists would be considerably more negative: that they would portray him as something of a buffoon.

His latest gaffe was to say on Monday that some foreign power would "test" Obama early in his term and that people would not, at first, think that Obama had reacted well to that test. The McCain campaign pounced on it, but the press has played it down: The story rated five paragraphs on p. A4 of yesterday's Washington Post.

Somehow I think it would be a bigger story if Gov. Palin had said something similar--or had said, as Biden has, that "J-O-B-S" is "a three-letter word," and that FDR went on national television after the stock-market crash.

I don't think that the double standard in the coverage is purely a function of liberal-media or inside-Washington bias. But whatever the reasons for it, the double standard exists--and the press ought to be tougher on Senator Biden.

"Right Matters," October 22, 2008

A Frightening Thought

Tossed out just to give me indigestion this morning by Investor's Business Daily:
John McCain wants justices who'll interpret the Founders' intent. Barack Obama wants justices who'll feel your pain and render social justice. Imagine two or three more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs.
"Constitutional Crisis," October 23, 2008

- - -

* For those of you who think "social justice" is a perfectly legitimate criterion for selecting a Supreme Court justice, I have my own set of social justice priorities. Would you want me sitting on the bench? Think it through.

It Pains Me

As right as Senator Mitch McConnell is on nearly every issue, he's wrong on one that is pivotal, if the Republican Party is to ever regain its footing. That issue?

A Senate Leader’s Pork-Barrel Punch
By Carl Hulse, The New York Times

At a time when home-state projects sought by lawmakers are being condemned by Senator John McCain and others, Mr. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, boasts in a series of campaign advertisements about how he has showered federal money on towns, airports and universities in Kentucky, like the nearly $60 million he won for the face-lift for downtown Owensboro. (link)
I knew when I read the headline that this was going to be a hit piece on some Republican. In part because its the New York Times, a newspaper that is as partisan as they get. And because the New York Times has never been particularly concerned one way or another about earmarks and pork (they like the fact that Schumer rakes in the dough but fought diligently to depose the former pork king of the Empire State - Republican Al D'Amato).

But McConnell deserves this. And more. He's a Republican, for God's sake. One of the most prominent and powerful Republicans in the land. And the Republican Party may very well be imploding. In part because the members thereof act too much like their Democratic counterparts. And as I've always said, if we want to elect a Democrat, we'll vote for a Democrat.

A whole lotta Americans are trying to tell Mitch and his brethren the same thing. But it falls on deaf ears.

Maybe someday ...

Is Anyone Surprised By This?

I can't tell you the last time I watched an evening network news show. Sure, I caught a small portion of Katie Couric's debut on CBS (I remember the deer-in-the -headlights look she exhibited) and Dan Rather's half-mea culpa on the same news show much earlier when he half-admitted to having screwed up the George W. Bush National Guard story. But nothing beyond those two instances.

So, I find this to be perfectly understandable:

The Obama-McCain match-up is proving to be a lackluster election ticket for the Big 3 network news programs, according to Nielsen Media Research.

As the shouting from the trail and the frantic spinning from the anchor desks intensify, the audience is voting with their remotes.

All 3 evening news shows experienced audience drops year-to-year for the week of Oct. 13-19, 2008.

CBSNEWS w/ Couric shed a half a million viewers, falling from 6.4 million to 5.9 million; ABCNEWS dropped from 8.1 million to 7.6 million; NBCNEWS slumped from 8.2 million to 7.8 million. (link)
Some older folks will be surprised by this news. Not me. I'm more surprised that Couric and ... whoever's doing the news for the other two ... are still drawing any viewership at all. Their format - and more importantly, their blatant anti-conservative biases - have driven many of us away over the years. In my case, I was sent packing - in anger - back in the eighties.

And I've never looked back.

Right Again

Who was it a month ago that predicted that hedge funds would be the next sector to crash?

Hedge Funds’ Steep Fall Sends Investors Fleeing

I hate it when I'm right all the time. Especially under such circumstances.

Doomsday Scenario?

Over the years, as our government(s) offer up more and more entitlements, and more and more add-ons to existing entitlements (Obama's now talking about forcing insurance companies to guarantee coverage for preexisting conditions, which means a young, healthy, unmarried male would be stupid to pay for insurance until he comes down with a major illness or disease), and tax credits/deductions/wealth transfers to those less fortunate, I've been plagued by the question: What happens when a majority of voters earn income from tax increases on the remaining minority?

In other words:
Obama and the Tax Tipping Point
By Adam Lerrick, writing in the Wall Street Journal

What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.

Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought.

Sen. Obama is promising $500 and $1,000 gift-wrapped packets of money in the form of refundable tax credits. These will shift the tax demographics to the tipping point where half of all voters will receive a cash windfall from Washington and an overwhelming majority will gain from tax hikes and more government spending. (link)
And what's so wrong with that?
Calculating how far society's top earners can be pushed before they stop (or cut back on) producing is difficult. But the incentives are easy to see. Voters who benefit from government programs will push for higher tax rates on higher earners -- at least until those who power the economy and create jobs and wealth stop working, stop investing, or move out of the country.
And why wouldn't that majority push for ever greater tax "refunds"? Wouldn't you if the money were "free"? And as the majority, what's to stop them from achieving that goal in this our democratic republic?

Don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer in our form of government. But it is going to be interesting to see - in the near future - how this plays out.

Remember - 45% of Americans pay no income tax currently. And as of this moment, Barack Obama has 50% of the voters going for him, according to the polls. A correlation?