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

Saturday, December 06, 2008

'Illegal Guns'?

Listen up. When you're a reporter for a major news outlet, you need to be able to discriminate FACT from the bullshit you're handed by special interest groups.

Case in point: Guns used in crimes are not necessarily "illegal guns." They are lawfully purchased guns used by felons to commit illegal acts. Know the difference. Or find other employment:
Report: South a big exporter of guns used in crime
By Seanna Adcox, Associated Press Writer

Columbia, S.C. (AP) -- Ten states are responsible for the bulk of illegal guns that are shipped across state lines for use in crimes, according to a report released Friday by a national coalition of mayors.

About 30 percent of guns traced by federal agents in 2006 and 2007 during crime investigations were bought in a state other than where the crime occurred, said the report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which largely blamed the transport of illegal guns on states with lax gun laws. [link] [my emphasis]

Earth to reporter: As a commenter pointed out the other day, it makes perfect sense that, since sales of handguns in places like New York are all but forbidden, purchasers - both those who have lawful intentions and those who don't - are going to buy them where they can be bought. Thus the statistic. But that doesn't necessarily make the guns illegal.

Why are so few handguns used in crimes in New York purchased in New York?

Get a brain, will you?

A War We'd Just As Soon Forget

It's estimated that 4 million joyous Obama supporters will be flooding into Washington D.C. next month to celebrate his inauguration our detachment from the realities of the world. Realities that others in faraway lands still have to face.

One of those faces, provided by the Washington Post this morning:

Go ahead. Party your brains out. You won ...

The China Effect

What inevitable impact does the exodus of hundreds of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs to China have on the American workplace? Nothing good:
Rising Underemployment Contributes to Pain of Jobs Slump
By Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post Staff Writer

The nation's unemployment report, released yesterday, was even worse than many economists had feared. But some say it was also incomplete.

In one of the worst recessions since at least the early 1980s, economists say, the ranks of the country's underemployed workers are growing. They include not only skilled laborers who are working in unskilled jobs, but also workers who are seeking full-time employment yet have had to settle for part-time alternatives.

Their misfortune, experts warn, is the economy's misfortune, too. [link]
It is the fad to blame America's employers for this. But most of those employers no longer exist. The jobs that these people once held are now in the far-away Orient, in factories owned and managed by locals, leaving in this country only lesser jobs at lesser pay as the one option to all those displaced.

Even worse, this trend will not let up. More and more jobs will migrate overseas. The auto industry is only the latest sector to crumble (furniture, textiles, electronics, TV's, optics, footwear, and, when they get it all ironed out, goodbye Boeing). And there is little we can do about it, short of jacking up tariffs substantially.

Stay tuned. It's getting uglier by the moment.

For The Record

There are two things that got Barack Obama elected last month (okay, three if we include George Bush's unpopularity) - money and press coverage.

We read just the other day that he outspent John McCain, by some estimates, 4 to 1 (!). If money is the mother's milk of American politics, Obama had a very well-endowed momma.

But that ain't the half of it:
Obama's positive press sets record
By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times

It's a record-setting press honeymoon.

President-elect Barack Obama has received the most positive campaign news coverage on the main network news shows in the 20-year history of such studies by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).

Mr. Obama received 68 percent positive evaluations from the four major networks, according to the study released Friday.

"Obama's positive press is the strongest showing CMPA has ever recorded for a presidential candidate since we began monitoring election news in 1988," said Robert Lichter, director of the nonpartisan research group affiliated with George Mason University.

By contrast, his Republican rival almost set the record for hostile press coverage. [link]
These facts - money and media bias - coupled with the color of Obama's skin (to the shame of the American people), meant that he never needed a reasonable, coherent message to beat McCain (and thank goodness; he never came up with one). All he had to do was sit back and let his people (bundlers, handlers, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC) win the election for him.

We shouldn't begrudge Barack Obama for his ability to raise a mountain of campaign cash. That's the way it works and we are better for it. But we can certainly fault the media for their duplicity. As we have before. As we will continue to until they return to the ethical high ground.

Quote of the Day

Investor's Business Daily on the looming auto bailout:
[T]he latest bright idea from Congress: a broad, federally mandated restructuring of the Big Three in exchange for financial help. Congress would in essence become the Big Three's ├╝ber-manager, telling them how to become profitable again.

Excuse us, but are we supposed to believe that the same Congress responsible for next year's estimated $1 trillion deficit can profitably run a market-sensitive company like a car manufacturer?

Or that the same Congress that sat on its hands as the financial meltdown unfolded and helped create the mess will know how to financially restructure America's highly complex auto business?

Or that the people who just last year imposed $85 billion in new "efficiency" standards on a teetering industry will be savvy enough to run them anywhere but further into the ground?

"Prepackaged Failure," December 5, 2008

Oh, My God

This is staggering:

U.S. Loses 533,000 Jobs in November; Joblessness at 6.7%

We can talk about how it was expected, but wow ...

Gotta Love Them Democrats

Let's see, the American people are - in overwhelming numbers - opposed to a bailout of America's already bankrupt automakers, the bailout plan makes absolutely no sense and hasn't a prayer of saving them, not to mention the fact that it is going to cost the taxpayer a frightening amount, and ...
Democrats Set to Offer Loans for Carmakers
By David M. Herszenhorn and Bill Vlasic, The New York Times

Washington — Faced with staggering new unemployment figures, Democratic Congressional leaders said on Friday that they were ready to provide a short-term rescue plan for American automakers, and that they expected to hold a vote on the legislation in a special session next week.

Seeking to end a weeks-long stalemate between the Bush administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, senior Congressional aides said that the money would most likely come from $25 billion in federally subsidized loans intended for developing fuel-efficient cars. [link]
The key words here are "short-term rescue." That $25 billion will stave off Chapter 11 for GM and Chrysler - if not Ford - for only a few months. Then they'll be comin' back to momma.

And Momma will be waiting with open arms.

Following In Slick Willy's Footsteps

But with a twist ...

Top Obama speechwriter under fire for Hillary cutout 'grope'...

Incoming Obama administration director of speechwriting Jon Favreau (L) and a friend pose with a cardboard cutout of incoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a party. (Obtained by The Washington Post)
Expect this guy to be a Democratic candidate for president in a few years. Clinton ... Edwards ... Favreau ...

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post via Matt Drudge.