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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The Roanoke Times comes out this morning in support of Governor Kaine's decision to raise taxes on Virginia retailers:
Time to do away with the 'dealer discount'

Back in 1966 when Virginia first instituted its sales tax, retailers complained that the accounting and collection of the tax would be a considerable burden. To compensate for the time and cost involved, the state let retailers keep a small portion of the tax, 2 to 4 percent of the collections depending on the amount of sales. In the 42 years since, of course, it has become far easier to collect the tax and handle the accounting. Computerized cash registers and accounting software make the expense involved minimal.

Gov. Kaine, looking under every sofa in the state capitol for spare change, took note of this so-called "dealer discount," and decided it was time to let the discount expire. That will net the state about $65 million a year.

Retailers, naturally, aren't happy. But there is no good reason left for the discount to remain in place ... [link]
There is no good reason left for the discount to remain in place? I can think of one:

Retailers report worst sales month since 1969

More Retailers Announce Bankruptcy, Store Closings Amid Economic Downturn

Financial Crisis Spreads to Retailers

Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies

Of course, when your brain can't think beyond the word Wal-Mart (you've heard of Bush Derangement Syndrome? The Times is afflicted with Wal-Mart Derangement Syndrome), you're more than willing to sign onto a potentially devastating initiative that will drive many of Virginia's retailers further into debt ... and beyond. Because it will hurt Wal-Mart in the process.

This to prop up a government that continues to spend beyond its means.

No good reason? Talk to the folks at Richmond-based Circuit City. Oops. Never mind. They've already been thrown out of work and are on the streets.

Then talk to your neighbor. Because one out of every ten people in this country is now employed in retail. Or was, before Kaine got a hold of him.

No good reason? Only if you think that we can all work for the state prison system when all other jobs disappear.

A Thought Worth Considering

Mark Steyn:
General Motors now has a market valuation about a third of Bed, Bath And Beyond, and no one says your Swash 700 Elongated Biscuit Toilet Seat Bidet is too big to fail. GM has a market capitalization of just over two billion dollars. For purposes of comparison, Toyota’s market cap is one hundred billion and change (the change being bigger than the whole of GM). General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a vast retirement home with a small loss-making auto subsidiary. The UAW is the AARP in an Edsel: It has three times as many retirees and widows as “workers” (I use the term loosely). GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.
Can You Still See the USA in Your Chevrolet?," National Review, December 22, 2008

I Don't Have a Shy Bladder ...

... or anything, but I can't see myself peeing into one of these things.

What Kind Of Game Is This?

The Washington Post recently had an article that cited a study of guns and crime that was prepared for "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" (which should give one pause about the study's objectivity in the first place). I mentioned at the time that it was indeed curious that the Post used the "study" to claim that guns purchased in states with lax firearms laws were being used extensively in states where laws are strict (and crime is rampant, ahem) but failed to provide any details about the study. Who did it? How was it conducted? What are its actual findings? Where can we access the supporting data?


Well, guess who's now using the same "study," with the same purpose in mind, and pulling the same stunt:
Price of Lax Gun Laws
New York Times editorial

For years, the gun lobby has defeated new gun control laws partly by arguing that stronger laws do not deter crime. A study prepared by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, should finally put that myth to rest.

The study analyzed trace data for guns used in connection with crimes during 2007. The data reveal a strong correlation between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states. [link]
In fact, the data reveal no such thing. Because the data itself isn't revealed. Nor is access to the study itself. Only the wildly anti-gun New York Times's twisted opinion is revealed. Again, we're left without details of any kind.


How Can They Be Any Lower?

I chuckle:

Democrats Try to Lower Expectations

Odd how this became a recent effort. Seems like prior to November, it was just the opposite.

Words Well Writ

James Taranto:

Bloomberg columnist Albert R. Hunt makes the case for why Basil Paterson's son should appoint John F. Kennedy's daughter to replace Bill Clinton's wife in the Senate:

"[Caroline Kennedy] has all the qualities--intellectual curiosity; a friendly, at times pointed, sense of humor, and a deferential manner (she hails her own cabs)--that are the stuff of a good legislator."

She hails her own cabs! This is what passes for a common touch these days? Lots of New Yorkers can't even afford cabs and ride the subway instead.

When I originally read the Hunt piece, I came away with this feeling that someone close to Kennedy - and to Hunt - had asked him to do this promotional column to boost her image. Because there can be no reasonable explanation for this completely unreasonable bit of syrup.

Instead of helping her prospects, Hunt only manages to make himself look silly. And he does nothing to enhance Caroline's perceived persona.

But, to the point, I like that, "why Basil Paterson's son should appoint John F. Kennedy's daughter to replace Bill Clinton's wife in the Senate." Instead of Mario Cuomo's son, by the way.

Good stuff.