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

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I Thought That's What Courts were For

Guess not. We now rely on partisan political committees to mete out justice.

At least that's Roanoke Times columnist Christian Trejbal's understanding (in "Uncle Ted Says It's So"):

Maybe too much moose meat is bad for the brain. Alaska politicians sure seem unable to recognize when they've been busted.

First there was Gov. Sarah Palin who insisted that an inspector's report exonerated her from wrongdoing in Troopergate. In fact it concluded she had violated state ethics law.

Trejbal's source for this? The Washington Post. 'nuff said about that.

By the way, Christian, a key quote from the (real) newspaper you hope to someday be working for (hopefully before it folds):

The Branchflower report concludes that Palin "knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to ..."

If "knowingly permitted a situation" is now a violation of the law, we're all in big trouble.

But, whatever makes you feel better ...


Looks Like I'd Better Vote

At least once:
Mark Warner extends lead in U.S. Senate race
In a new poll, Warner leads Republican Jim Gilmore by 29 percentage points.
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times
But what's the margin of error?

Party!

Beer! Girls! Dope!

No school in America can do it like Radford University. Just give the party animals there a reason to git down!

Reason number 82,416:

Obama rally set for this afternoon at Radford University

Bring on the Swedish Bikini Team!

Who's Obama anyway?

Working a Bit Too Hard

What's up with this (from this morning's Roanoke Times):

McCain to stop just across state line from Southwest Virginia

Why couldn't the editor simply have written this?

McCain to stop just across state line from Southwest Virginia in Blountville, TN.

Is it bad to reference The Volunteer State? Did those at the paper fear the fact that its readers wouldn't know where Blountville is? Did they fret over the fact that nobody here in Southwest Virginia really cares that McCain was in faraway Tennessee and therefore wouldn't care about this article?

And another thing, according to my handy mapping software, Blountville isn't "just across the state line." It's 11.14 miles from the state line.

There You Have It

Investor's Business Daily offers up the definitive reason not to vote for The Kid:
Mature Presidents Outperform Young
editorial

Of all our presidents since World War II, the three who ranked highest among all American presidents in a 2005 survey of scholars by the Wall Street Journal were:

• Ronald Reagan: No. 6 of 43 presidents, inaugurated within weeks of his 70th birthday.

• Harry Truman: No. 7, inaugurated at age 60.

• Dwight Eisenhower: No. 8, inaugurated at 62.

The three youngest presidents since WWII were:

• John Kennedy: ranked No. 15, inaugurated at 43.

• Bill Clinton: No. 22, inaugurated at 46.

• Jimmy Carter: No. 34, inaugurated at 52. (link)

Don't tell me there's nothing to this. When I think about this young pup going up against Achmedinejad ...

... I fear for my country.

Sure It Is

Would Washington Post columnist (and Obama butt buddy) David Broder be saying this if his guy wasn't winning?

I thought 1960 was the best campaign I'd ever cover. But 2008 has that election beat.

Watch his attitude take an abrupt turn when Obama loses to those infernal hanging chads and Diebold voting machines ...

Of All The Baseless Charges ...

... this isn't one of them.

Arnold Scharzenegger beats up on NoodleMan:

Expect outrage from the Democrats. And from the press. But what happens when Obama goes into serious discussions with Vladimir Putin, and Russia's tsar turns our president over his knee and gives Barack a spanking?

We need to consider such things ...

The NY Times Loves Fox News

Well, when Fox News is slamming those that the Times hates anyway.

Hanging Chads! Hanging Chads Everywhere!

In a Place of Bitter Defeat, Gore Stumps

The Coming Storm

When I used the words "bend over" the other day in reference to the state of Virginia's sudden and dramatic reduction in its public retiree pension fund, I wasn't kidding. Our county and state employees who have retired won't see a reduction in their benefits, soooooo ....
Taxpayers To Fund Public Pension Shortfalls
KGET.com

While most people have watched their 401K values drop with the stock market over the past several weeks, taxpayers may have spend millions more propping up pensions paid to county and state retirees.

"No matter what happens to the economy, the county has to pay the pension fund to pay the employees who are retired and that will retire," said Mike Turnipseed of the Kern Taxpayers Association

That means many government retirees won't see their retirement payments drop.

Public employee unions have pushed hard for pension benefits for their members and many lawmakers agreed to guarantee those retirement benefits at specific levels.

So when the economy tanks, more taxpayer money is cut from the county's budget to pay the pension. (link)
In fairness, I should mention the fact that Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro has taken a look at the potential problem and declared Virginia's pension fund to be "producing sufficient dividends and interest on its investments -- nearly $2 billion annually -- to cover monthly checks." But then Schapiro believes anything and everything that the Democrats in Richmond tell him.

All I know is this: Counties here are screaming for more revenue. And the state is facing a massive budget shortfall as a result of the mortgage crisis, with accompanying layoffs of existing employees announced and expected. And the Democrats are - for all intents and purposes - in charge now (reason to worry in itself).

More importantly, there is precedent for Mr. Schapiro to dig a little deeper. This next piece is rather dated but makes the point:
The Great Pension Robbery
States and cities are plundering employee pension funds to ease their budget crises. Taxpayers may be stuck if the plans can't meet their future obligations.
By Alan Deutschman, Reporter, Fortune Magazine

While banks, S&Ls, insurance companies, and nearly everyone else in the financial services industry has a case of the shorts, America's public employee pension funds have an embarrassment of riches. And like a lot of wealthy folks, they are becoming the victims of holdup artists. With ever more states and cities facing nasty budget deficits, the politicians who run them are trying to grab some of the $878 billion set aside to pay for the retirement of teachers, firefighters, police, sanitation workers, and other public employees. The pilfering of the golden nest eggs is alarmingly widespread. In the past two years more than a third of the states have cut or delayed contributions to their pension funds, seized money outright from pension accounts, or begun to debate similar measures. This is no time to be confiscating pension assets. (link)
So, will the commonwealth rob from the pension fund kitty to meet its obligations? Or will it do what it's done in the past ...

... Blame Gilmore and raise our taxes.

* The third alternative - allowing the fund to build back up with a rebound in the stock market - isn't likely to be sufficient to meet demand, in my estimation.

** Oh, wait. There's a fourth alternative. Governor Kaine can go to the people who print the money, blame Gilmore, and demand a bailout.

Make Of This What You Will

I'll simply say this: It makes my head hurt:

Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on." (link)

Beats me.

Just go out and vote. We'll let Diebold sort it all out ...

We'll Miss Them

Washington Post Co. Earnings Plummet in Third Quarter

Obama Deserves Their Kind

I don't know whether to fear people like this or pity them. Or simply laugh at their stupidity.

"Author and feminist" Erica Jong on the close presidential race:

"The record shows that voting machines in America are rigged."

"My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can't cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduces her to a bundle of nerves."

"My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium."

"After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…"

"If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets."

"Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act."(sourse)

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Good News, Bad News

This is reason to be hopeful. But, at the same time, knowing that there are thirteen more households that will plummet into the darkness of despair makes for a somber moment as well:
US deaths plunge in October
By Robert H. Reid, Associated Press

Baghdad (AP) — U.S. deaths in Iraq fell in October to their lowest monthly level of the war, matching the record low of 13 U.S. fatalities suffered in July. Iraqi deaths fell to their lowest monthly levels of the year.

Eight of the 13 Americans died in combat, most of them in northern Iraq where al-Qaida and other Sunni insurgent groups remain active. The U.S. suffered 25 deaths in September and 23 in August. (link)
Sad news. Hopeful news.