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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We Are Winning The Fight

Don't be confused by the following. I know Obama's cap-and-trade energy bill passed the House the other day. But that's really no longer an environment bill. It's a tax. Nothing more. So I can say with confidence that we are now winning the global warming debate.

Roger L. Simon is noticing a sea change as well:
My liberal friends don’t want to talk about global warming anymore

All of a sudden… well, not quite all of a sudden, but recently… I have noticed my liberal friends (except for the most extreme and knee-jerk) are not very interested in discussing man-made global warming. The subject rarely comes up and, when it does, it is passed over quickly, given only a nod. It’s as if that was last year’s - or last decade’s - fad, at the very moment the House of Representatives has been browbeaten by LaPelosita into voting for a cap-and-trade bill no known person has read, let alone understood. [link]
The fact that a conscious decision was made to move the argument away from "global warming" to "climate change," whatever that may mean, spoke volumes. Was it the tactical error that brought doom to the warmists' position? Or was it just a signal that they were losing on the merits and became desperate?

I choose the latter.

I know - and they now have an uneasy feeling - that the planet is not warming because of anything we as human beings are doing. Instead it's something called Nature (as in "natural").

The study of climate will soon lose its hysterics and get back to its rightful scholarly place.

And soon, very soon, we'll be taking names and heaping ridicule on those who fell for all Al Gore's shrill nonsense.

Soon. Very soon.

I Like Jeff Jarvis

He's a stalwart champion of the 1st Amendment.

He takes no prisoners.

And he never backs down.

My kinda guy.

Oh, and the fact that he's right is important too.

Is She Up To The Task?

You read things like this about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and you begin to wonder if she is in fact a mediocrity who rose to prominence solely on the basis of her minority status.

Rather embarrassing, I'd imagine.

While We're On The Subject ...

Glenn Reynolds brings up a site that focuses on one of his "pet peeves." Then cites one of mine:

ADDRESSING ONE OF MY “PET PEEVES:” The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.

Is there one for inappropriate apostrophes, too — like those signs on RVs that say “The Smith’s”?

I honestly can't remember seeing that many instances where the first misusage occurs.

But the second is quite common. Why the apostrophe?

The Smith's ... what? If it is intended to show possession, it should do so.

I saw a handwritten sign in a convenience store not long ago that began:

Cigarette's must be paid for ...

The world teeters on the brink. It just ain't right.

* I know. I made up a word. Kinda fun.

Who Knew?

Huh. There are still colleges and universities around the country promoting "feminist studies."

I thought all that died when they chose to condone - yea, support - Bill Clinton when he was accused repeatedly of having involved himself in rape, sexual harassment, employee intimidation, lewd and lascivious behavior, assault, battery ...

It makes sense, I guess. Isn't the college campus where research into fossils occurs?

Feminist studies. School of Archaeology.

I understand.

The Largest Tax Increase In History and ...

... not one Democrat in Washington has read the thing.

This is almost comical:
Video: Energy Czar hasn’t read cap & tax, either
By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

Barack Obama’s energy czar appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss the cap-and-tax bill passed by the House last week on a razor-thin margin. Carol Browner got stumped by Fox’s Steve Doocy while questioning her ability to speak to the subject, which prompted her to declare Doocy “unfair” for blindsiding her. You be the judge — should Doocy have wondered whether Browner had bothered to read the bill she was promoting on national TV, or is that “unfair”?

The video:

“I’ve read vast portions of it.” Vast portions? That would put her ahead of the Congressional curve, where 219 people — including eight Republicans who made the difference — voted for it without reading it at all. We know that because the House never produced a complete, up-to-date, and integrated copy of the bill to its members before the vote took place. [link]
Here's the sad truth: I'd bet not one of those 219 people - including our congressman - has read the thing since they voted in favor of it either.

The blind leading the blind ...

Merkel For President

While Obama and his henchpersons begin to heap taxes upon the American people, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recognizes the need to lighten the burden and free up capital.

Merkel Pledges Tax Cuts Despite Rising Deficit

Depending on the type of tax cuts that pass, Germany could rebound with a vengeance.

Meanwhile Obama takes us into financial ruin ...

Is Anyone Surprised?

I think this is where our foreign policy was headed all along, now that our Apologizer-in-Chief has taken the reins:

OBAMA LASHES OUT AT HONDURAS; SIDES WITH CHAVEZ, CASTRO

For the love of God.

- - -

The Wall Street Journal has the same take:

Honduras Defends Its Democracy
Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton object.


Hillary, by the way, is a "Democrat."

Monday, June 29, 2009

This Must Be One Bad Guy

Were you aware of the fact that a husband (here in Virginia anyway) can be convicted of raping his wife? Seems so.

And if half of this story is true, this particular husband deserves that and more:
Coeburn man guilty of raping his wife
By Jodi Deal, Coalfield Progress

A Coeburn man has been found guilty of multiple charges of raping and abusing his own wife over a span of 25 years, and a Wise County jury has recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison plus 377 years.

According to special prosecutor Tim McAfee, sentencing is set for Aug. 25.

“When you first hear about this, that he’d been raping her for the entire marriage, you might be a little dubious. But when you hear the details of what happened, and the testimony from the wife and daughter, it becomes readily apparent that this was a lifetime of torture,” McAfee said.

The indictment also alleged that the man’s adult daughter acknowledged that he sexually abused her as well between 1983 and 1989, and she witnessed many acts of abuse against her mother.

All the charges stem from an investigation launched after a June 2008 domestic dispute turned violent, with the wife shooting the man three times — in the left shoulder, in the left arm and in the stomach — with a .38-caliber handgun.

In the indictment, McAfee alleged the husband physically and sexually abused the wife, including forced acts of vaginal, oral and anal intercourse, forced sodomy and assault and battery “on a regular and continued basis throughout the marriage.”

McAfee confirmed that the malicious wounding charges are a result of bleeding from the wife’s eyes and ears, injuries he says she sustained while being choked during the incident that alerted authorities to the ongoing abuse. [link requires paid subscription]
All I have to say is this:

Give him the chair.

Give her a medal.

And some more ammunition.

Are There Two Charleston Gazettes?

Today we read this on the Charleston (WV) Gazette editorial page:
Veterans Don't deserve miscare

[jf: I know. "Miscare" is not a word. But journalists aren't expected to be able to spell or communicate a lucid thought. Ahem.]

"At the very least, service members and veterans are owed adequate medical care -- not slipshod bungling." [link]
For those not familiar with the story, it's about government-run health care at its finest - the Veterans Administration hospital system.

On that subject, we have no argument.

But wait. This is the same Charleston Gazette that wrote just 12 days ago:
Medical mess: Universal care needed

Obama's universal care vision fits well with goals sought by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., state Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha, and other reformers.

As we've said many times, a single-payer, government-run system is the wisest approach. It eliminates profiteering by billion-dollar medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries, saving taxpayers a bundle. We hope West Virginia's members of Congress support this concept. [link]
Hmmm. A government-run system is a wise approach.

Earth to dimwits:

Rockefeller and Obama do support a government-run system. It's called the VA. The one you say "miscares" its patients and provides slipshod service to those it is assigned the duty to nurture.

You geniuses who write the editorial page of the Charleston Gazette are so enamored of a government-run system? I'd suggest you start reading the editorial page of the Charleston Gazette.

Consider The Source

Couple this from last Saturday ...

Obama praises House on climate bill, urges Senate to act

... with this from last year:

Barack Obama: "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

What's going on in Washington is more easily understood once you grasp that.

Irony Of Ironies

Just as Congress is poised to pass sweeping legislation to reduce CO2 emissions, we learn that CO2 may be a great source of fuel in a fuel starved world.

What?

What:
Algae Farm Aims to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel
By Matthew L. Wald, New York Times

The ethanol would be sold as fuel, the companies said, but Dow’s long-term interest is in using it as an ingredient for plastics, replacing natural gas. The process also produces oxygen, which could be used to burn coal in a power plant cleanly, said Paul Woods, chief executive of Algenol, which is based in Bonita Springs, Fla. The exhaust from such a plant would be mostly carbon dioxide, which could be reused to make more algae.

“We give them the oxygen, we get very pure carbon dioxide, and the output is very cheap ethanol,” said Mr. Woods, who said the target price was $1 a gallon. [link]
A dollar a gallon. Cool!

Now that's the way to bring to market new sources of energy and alleviate the world's energy crisis. Research. Innovate. Develop. Market an affordable, efficient product.

We don't need the heavy hand of government forcing us into caves and riding bicycles to reach our goal.

We will make this happen, if government will just not meddle.

Upon Deeper Reflection ...

... I feel the need to modify a position I took the other day. Based on what I know about her, I think I could easily support Jenny Sanford for governor.

However ...

... she needs to dump the loser.

We Are On The Wrong Track

You read of the widespread ravaging of the economy here in Southwest Virginia and across the country that is to be brought on by government heavy-handedness and one response some of you will have is: Thank God we have a safety net to protect those who are going to be thrown out of work in order to reduce the planet's atmospheric temperature by 0.2°.

But you need to understand, the same government that is throwing thousands of us out of work is jeopardizing that safety net as well. We no longer have the money to maintain it:
The Debt Tsunami
Washington Post editorial

Now comes the CBO with yet more news of the sort that neither Capitol Hill nor the White House is likely to welcome: its freshly released report on the federal government's long-term financial situation. To put it bluntly, the fiscal policy of the United States is unsustainable. Debt is growing faster than gross domestic product.

This huge mass of debt, which would stifle economic growth and reduce the American standard of living, can be avoided only through spending cuts, tax increases or some combination of the two. And the longer government waits to get its financial house in order, the more it will cost to do so, the CBO says.

Like his predecessors, Mr. Obama is aware of this issue. Like them, he has promised a plan to deal with it. And like them, he has not come up with anything credible yet. It's time for that to change. [link]
For causes and effects, read the whole article.

But understand this: The country is on the wrong path. An unsustainable path to collapse.

And we have all the wrong people in Washington to stop it.

My God.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How Will We Be Affected By Boucher's Bill?

If it's possible, Rick Boucher's global warming tax legislation that passed the House on Friday will have a greater adverse impact proportionally on Southwest Virginia than on any other part of the state. Arguably, even the nation. As you read these numbers, prepared by the Heritage Foundation, think of the coalfields. Think of Appalachia. Think of the widespread poverty and despair that already exist here.

The future - a direct result of this bill - is that much more grim (click on the image to enlarge it):

Here's the enraging news. Keep in mind, this is a Congressionally induced depression.

• Of the eleven congressional districts in Virginia as seen above, the Ninth, Boucher's, ranks number 2 in projected GSP (Gross State Product) loss in the year 2012, behind only the fabulously wealthy Washington D.C. suburbs. Again this ranking is in dollars lost, not in percent of loss. In terms of GSP percent of loss, northern Virginia, with its riches, will barely feel the pain.

But a $646 million reduction in economic output here will be staggering.

• When Boucher's cap-and-tax legislation really starts kicking in, when wealth transfer will begin to bite, the economic implosion will be gargantuan. Between 2012 and 2035 GSP loss in the area will reach over a billion and a quarter dollars ($1,287,200,000). This, again, ranks just behind affluent northern Virginia but far exceeds the losses to be incurred in every other part of the state.

• Personal income loss will be devastating as well. Again second in dollars, Southwest Virginians can expect to lose $592 million in personal income in the year 2012 alone. This to theoretically lower the planet's atmospheric temperature by 0.2° fahrenheit. This will come about mostly through layoffs and job terminations as the coalfields begin to shut down.

• And what can we expect in the way of employment impact from this bill? Southwest Virginia, particularly in its coal counties of Russell, Scott, Wise, Tazewell, Dickenson, and Lee is projected to lose 5,483 jobs.

5,483 jobs lost ...

... In 2012 alone.

... The highest number in the entire state.

... In the poorest part of the commonwealth.

... In the poorest region in the United States.

• Between 2012 and 2035 Boucher's district will continue to lead the state in job losses with an estimated 3,439 in that time period. This will hold true if all else remains the same. If the woeful economic conditions currently being experienced here get no worse. If Boucher and his insane cronies in Washington don't dream up any other crushing mandates - nationalized health care! - that will send the region into an accelerated slide.

Frightening, yes?

Remember this: Rick Boucher could have fought this. He knew what was in store for his constituents if he let it pass. Well folks, he not only let it pass, he became a supporter of the legislation, and worked hard to get it through the House. He voted on Friday in favor of the above.

Rick Boucher voted to reduce the economy of Southwest Virginia by nearly 2 billion dollars over the next two decades.

Rick Boucher voted in favor of 8,922 of his constituents being thrown out of work. Forever.

He accepts enthusiastically (he did fight for passage, don't forget) the estimated $900 million in personal income losses that are coming our way.

Boucher's excuse? It was "inevitable." So he gave in to his buddies there in La La Land without a fight.

But why should he care? He's there. There is far from here. Why would he give two squirts what happens down here in this backward, smelly, disease-infested, poverty-stricken, God-forsaken part of the land? Why should he care? He's in D.C. He's important. He's liked. He's got juice.

We're just a distant memory.

We're just a grudging nuissance that he has to tolerate at election time every other year.

If it weren't for that bit of annoyance, it's a certainty that he'd never set foot in this part of the country again.

You read here the other day a quote from Mr. Boucher about how his bill was going to produce millions of new jobs. Well, the facts are in. For all to see. And facts, unlike deceitful politicians, don't lie. Rick Boucher has signed on to a bill that is going to cripple Southwest Virginia like at no time in its history.

Maybe at the next tea party down in Abingdon he should be asked which ones of us he intends to make destitute with this legislation. Which 8,922 of us. Which of us he's willing to look in the eyes and spout that bullshit about millions of new jobs.

To think, had we anyone else representing us in Washington last week, chances would have been excellent that 8,922 Southwest Virginians would not have to soon be looking for a U-haul rental and a job up north.

Something to consider. Something to remember come judgment day.

The Truth About Our Health Care System

And about us.

While I was tempted to go after this stupid woman who argues that Kate and Jon (if you don't know who they are, you're probably better off) might have been able to save their marriage had they only had access to better health insurance (read: government insurance), I avoided it because, well, it's just absolutely stupid. What she fails to grasp in her orgasmic attraction to all Obama utterances is the fact that when nationalized health care is finally enacted, rationing of services will necessarily ensue. And the first item on the agenda of axed services will be the kind of exotic in vitro manipulation that she says Kate should have been able to enjoy. Which would have saved her marriage. This despite the fact that both she and her husband were cheating on each other like crazy.

It's that stupid.

So we move on.

Here's some sane reckoning on the subject of health care from a smart man, George Will:

Most Americans do want different health care: They want 2009 medicine at 1960 prices. Americans spent much less on health care in 1960 (5 percent of gross domestic product as opposed to 18 percent now). They also spent much less -- nothing, in fact -- on computers, cellphones, and cable and satellite television.

Your next car can cost less if you forgo GPS, satellite radio, antilock brakes, power steering, power windows and air conditioning. You can shop for such a car at your local Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Packard and DeSoto dealers.

The president says that his health plan is responsive "to all those families who now spend more on health care than housing or food." Well. The Hudson Institute's Betsy McCaughey, writing in the American Spectator, says that in 1960 the average American household spent 53 percent of its disposable income on food, housing, energy and health care. Today the portion of income consumed by those four has barely changed -- 55 percent. But the health-care component has increased while the other three combined have decreased. This is partly because as societies become richer, they spend more on health care -- and symphonies, universities, museums, etc.

It is also because health care is increasingly competent. When the first baby boomers, whose aging is driving health-care spending, were born in 1946, many American hospitals' principal expense was clean linen. This was long before MRIs, CAT scans and the rest of the diagnostic and therapeutic arsenal that modern medicine deploys. [link]

Bottom line(s):

• We pay more for health care today than we did 40 years ago, in large part, because we can. It's that important to us. It should be that important to us.

• We pay more for everything else as well, including that GPS in our new cars, light trucks, and matching SUV's because we can. They're that important to us.

• Hospital costs are much higher than they were 40 years ago because, in part, they perform so much more good than they did 40 years ago and the performance is so much more competent than in the days when we expected little more than "clean linens" from them.

• People complain about all the unnecessary tests they are put through when they seek treatment while every other system on the planet provides few tests at all. Which would you prefer?

"Running sores on your butt? Here, take an aspirin." (Or, in two-thirds of this planet's societies: "Tuberculosis? Go chew some wing-of-bat and suck the juice from a potato and you'll be cured at first full moon.")

Obama can only make our wondrous health care delivery system worse. He - and his unwieldy, insensate government bureaucracy - are incapable of improving upon it, and have no real inclination to do so.

This is reality. You'd do well to grasp it before it's too late.

The Other Argument

While there are those of us who look upon the American health care system and see the most effective ever devised by man, there are others who see it as being too full of "greed."

This letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times is typical of the position held by those who demand that the system be overhauled.

The writer thinks doctors should earn less.

The writer thinks pharmaceutical companies should earn less.

The writer believes hospitals should earn less.

The writer believes America's lawyers should earn less.

Why?

Because they are too greedy.

And why does this person think they should take a cut in pay?

He thinks he should pay less.

Time for a long look into the mirror ...

Oh, My

A trillion?!! Impossible!!

Well, yes.

Cost estimates for a fully implemented national health care program are now up to 4 trillion dollars.

And climbing ...

Here's Stephen T. Parente, University of Minnesota, in an address to the House Subcommittee on Health (in .pdf format):
CBO scored the Kennedy Bill last week at approximately a 30% reduction for 1 trillion over ten years. Using the ARCOLA model, we found nearly everyone could be covered if all elements of the Kennedy bill were enacted at a ten year cost of 4 trillion. That 4 trillion estimate over 10 years assumes a public option plan with Bronze, Silver and Gold levels in the proposed insurance exchange with a subsidy for premium support that is income-adjusted and calibrated for assistance at the Silver level. The Silver level is equivalent of PPO plan with medium levels of generosity, something with 15% coinsurance rate, manageable copays and average level of access to physicians and hospitals. We accounted for the public plan being reimbursed at 10% above Medicare reimbursement, which is also 10% below commercial insurance premiums. [link] [my emphasis]
Rather matter-of-fact, no?

"Eh, four trillion. But everyone's covered. Let's eat."

$4,000,000,000,000.

Give or take a few hundred billion ...

Quote of the Day

Stephen Green on the House passage of Cap and Tax:

"Never have so few stolen so much from so many to achieve so little."

Amen, brutha.

A Call To Action

It's time:
Nationwide Protest against Obama’s Cap and Trade
By Sher Zieve, Canada Free Press

We have now reached the time for Nationwide Protests against a government that no longer works for us but is now almost fully positioned to move against us. If we do not affect them now, there will never be a time in the future that we can do so. If we do not take National Days of Protest against this increasingly tyrannical government now, we will not be able to do so in the future. I would suggest we begin locally by contacting the people who planned and implemented that April Tea Parties. They have access to the National Tea Party coordinators. If we don’t act now, our country, our jobs, any freedoms and liberties left and our future may—make that will—be gone forever. [link]
And speaking of which ...

Elmwood Park, Downtown Roanoke
3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This is also a lawful assembly—bring a sign to express your dissension, but DON’T PUT IT ON A POLE!

3PM - 5PM

Enjoy the music of Mid Life Crisis. Check them out

Starting at 5PM we will have speakers taking the stage to discuss their views on the current economic/political crisis. These speakers will be limited to 5 minutes. Scheduled to speak right now: (more speakers are being confirmed)

Jim Ludington: Constitutional Historian

Morgan Griffith GOP Member of the Va House of Delegates

Scott Wolk: Local Chairman of the Constitution Party

Dr. James Lark, past National Chair of the Libertarian Party

Bill Cleaveland: GOP House of Delegate’s Candidate for the 17th District.

Jeff Bowles, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Virginia.

Stuart Bain: Libertarian Party Candidate running for 6th District House of Representatives Seat

Jackie Bledsoe, District Director of the FairTax

The rest of the time will be for any member of the crowd to get up and exercise their Free Speech rights and let us know your thoughts. All are welcome.

The Tea Party will have tables set up with additional information on our group and how you can help us save this nation. Other groups will be present to share information as well.

The imperative becomes more critical with each passing day.

When Did Scientists Stop Inquiring?

There was a time not long ago when scientific conferences were held, the purpose for which was to have the best, most learned minds gather together to share ideas and debate issues on which their shared endeavors dwelt.

But that was before "global warming" came along.

Before scientists became proles.

Before scientific exploration of the natural world became a fax directive from the Sierra Club.

May those in this once-proud profession hang their heads in shame:
Polar bear expert barred by global warmists
By Christopher Booker, London Telegraph

Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world's leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week's meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".

Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful". His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was "inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG". [link]
What do you suppose these "scientists" are afraid of?

One of the leading experts on the subject is barred from the conference because he's not willing to participate in the WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE cheerleading session.

For the love of God.

Nothing Changes At General Motors

Well, that may not be true. Things might actually be getting worse at the once-proud once-giant:
The UAW Has A Long Memory
By Mickey Kaus, Kaus Files

The U.A.W., now a major GM shareholder, has delivered its final punishment to those auto workers who dared move to Spring Hill, Tennessee and show up the rest of the union by building reliable car without Wagner-style work rules. GM's new small car will be made in Michigan, and the Spring Hill plant will close. ....

P.S.: Nikke Finke has a better chance of making money producing this car than GM does. [link] (emphasis in the original]
It's almost sad. Can't someone just put this suffering beast out of its misery?

We Get Lectured By The Germans

And we deserve it:
Chancellor Merkel Visits the Debt President
By Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel

The Obama Administration's Five Errors

Mistake number one: It's not as bad as it seems. According to conservative forecasts, Obama's policies could end up being three times as expensive as US expenditures during World War II. If one calculates using today's prices, America spent $3 trillion for the war. Obama's budgetary calculations for the decade between 2010 and 2020 assume additional debt of $9 trillion.

Second: It is generally assumed that the money is part of an effort to resuscitate the crisis-plagued economy and is thus serving a good purpose. The truth of the matter is that the bulk of the borrowed money will be used to finance the normal US budget.

The third error: Many believe that when the crisis ends, borrowing will automatically fall. The truth is that it could climb afterwards. The graying of American society creates a new fiscal policy challenge for the country that so far hasn't been reflected in any budget plan.

Fourth: The world believes that the US is borrowing money from capital markets. It is often said that the Chinese and the Japanese will buy government bonds. But the truth of the matter is that trust in the gravitas and reliability of the United States has suffered to such a great degree that fewer and fewer foreigners are purchasing its government bonds. That's why the Federal Reserve is now buying securities that it has printed itself. The Fed's balance sheet has more than doubled since 2007, making the US central bank one of the world's fastest-growing companies. The purpose of this company, though, is to create money out of thin air.

Fallacy No. 5: The additional money is harmless because the economy is starting to pull together again and there is no threat of inflation. The truth is that the quiet on the inflation front is deceptive. The hot money is accumulating in people's savings accounts and in the balance sheets of banks that aren't keen to lend money at the moment. The supply of money has increased by 45 percent in the last three years and there has not been a corresponding rise in hard assets or production. That imbalance will eventually make itself felt in the form of inflation. [link] [my emphasis]
Anyone who isn't worried about this is either mad or unable to comprehend.

Rather Telling

I don't know if this guy speaks the truth, but his claim is certainly eye-opening:
Whatever the final autopsy results reveal, it was greed that killed Michael Jackson. Had he not been driven – by a cabal of bankers, agents, doctors and advisers – to commit to the gruelling 50 concerts in London’s O2 Arena, I believe he would still be alive today.

Many in his entourage spoke frankly to me – and that made it possible for me to write authoritatively last December that Michael had six months to live, a claim that, at the time, his official spokesman, Dr Tohme Tohme, called a ‘complete fabrication’. The singer, he told the world, was in ‘fine health’. Six months and one day later, Jackson was dead.
Fascinating.

From "'I'm better off dead. I'm done': Michael Jackson's fateful prediction just a week before his death,"Ian Halperin, London Daily Mail, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Want a List

A quick manipulation of the calculator tells us that Virginia taxpayers have shelled out $975,000 for every job that the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has "created" over the last twenty years here in Southwest Virginia.

And that's reason to celebrate.

Uh, wait.

That's reason to celebrate?

Guess so:
VCEDA marks end of second decade bringing jobs to Southwest Virginia
By Kingsport Times News staff

Lebanon — At the conclusion of two decades as Southwest Virginia’s economic development engine, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority looks back on $117 million in funding for more than 200 regional projects to help bring nearly 12,000 jobs to the region.

“In these 20 years VCEDA has had a hand in helping to bring more than $2 billion in announced investments to the region, including new opportunities in information technology, manufacturing, energy and other basic job-creating operations,” Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director, told the board of directors during the board’s most recent meeting in Lebanon.

Belcher outlined economic development highlights for each of the seven coal-producing counties of Virginia, including the 3,000-acre Southern Gap Business Park in Buchanan County due for a ribbon cutting later this year for its first business occupant. That occupant is information technology support center Sykes Enterprises — operator of a similar facility in Wise County — which will bring 400 jobs to the region.** [link]
Now, hang on a minute. Either the reporter or this executive director is being too slippery by half.

"VCEDA has had a hand in helping to bring more than $2 billion in announced investments to the region"? What the heck are "announced" investments? Are they remotely linked to actual investments? Or is somebody just massaging somebody here?

Will the Citgo in Bland take "announced" currency in exchange for real Bud?

I am hereby announcing my wish to invest one trillion dollars in the Southwest Virginia economy. Starting with a trip to the Bland Dairy Queen.

That takes us to $1,002,000,000,000 in "announced" investments.

Time for another celebration?

And if we are lumping "announced" investments in as part of that $2 billion, any bets on whether those 400 announced new jobs at Sykes Enterprises are included in that "12,000 new jobs" number?

Earth to reporter: What's the actual number of new jobs those 200 "projects" brought to the area?

Better yet, how about furnishing me with a list of those 200 projects and I'll tally the actual payroll numbers myself?

But I'll warn you of four rules I'll establish:

1) "Announced" doesn't get it.

2) Jobs that were created and then just as quickly disappeared won't be counted.***

3) Part-time, low-wage, no-benefit call center jobs won't be counted either.***

4) I'll not include any jobs that are simply being "churned." From the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority 2007 Annual Report:
Two manufacturers announced plans to locate in existing facilities formerly occupied by other businesses. Pinnacle Wood Products of Virginia, Inc.* is operating in the former Buster Brown Apparel building in Wise County and plans to create more than 200 jobs in the next three years. Rogers Foam Corporation, a Massachusetts company that makes engineered foam products, located in Scott County in a building formerly occupied by Mid-Atlantic Paper Company.****
I won't count the planned 200 jobs. But I'll darn sure include those lost when Mid-Atlantic Paper Company and Buster Brown Apparel closed their doors. Those are real numbers involving real people.

That should put the number of net new jobs created at around 16.

But I'm only guessing. As seems to be the method of operation in these matters.

But this isn't a guess: $117 million. That, friends, is a good, hard number.

The only hard number to be found in this exercise in mental masturbation.

- - -

* So you know, VCEDA assisted Pinnacle Wood Products with taxpayer dollars - to the tune of $1.2 million - some time ago. When last we heard, the company was employing 15 people.

- - -

** Sykes Enterprises is a call center.

- - -

*** Travelocity was supported by VCEDA back in 2001 in the amount of $250,000. It went along with $1.2 million that VCEDA invested in a child care center in Dickenson County for the kids of Travelocity employees.

Number of "announced" jobs? 300.
Number of actual Southwest Virginians in its employ? 0.

It closed in 2004.

Nexus Communications came to Dickenson County with an announcement that 550 jobs would be created. There were actually 188 employees there in 2000, when it closed its doors forever.

"Announced" jobs: 550
Actual jobs: 0

- - -

**** I would humbly suggest that the Kingsport Times News download the latest version of something called "Google" for its reporters to take advantage of. In doing so, said reporters wouldn't be led around by the nose by government officials and hangers-on who get paid to fax crap like this news of celebration out to unwitting news people who take it at face value and regurgitate it for their subscribers' viewing pleasure. (Making themselves look like idiots in the process.)

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Boucher votes AYE.

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Perriello votes AYE.

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Goodlatte votes No.

Buffoon or Despicable Politician?

Perhaps it's a matter of perspective:

Rick Boucher says the largest tax increase in American history, the one that he voted in favor of yesterday, will "create millions of new jobs."

Bullshit.

Largest Tax Increase In History Moves On To Senate

Where Mark Warner can be expected to do what he's told and vote in favor.

But James Webb, who was a proud conservative not that long ago, will he dance to the liberals' tune?

We're about to find out.

Quote of the Day

From the Roanoke Times:
[D]espite fame and the riches that came with it, [Michael] Jackson was clearly never comfortable with adulthood, and never really at home in his own skin, even as he altered that skin and his features to a grotesque extent. Accused and acquitted of child molestation in 2004, Jackson seemed genuinely incapable of comprehending the outside world's suspicion of a grown man's relationships with young boys.

Jackson was a tortured artist who, like so many other troubled, talented souls, came to an early end. The freak show his life became should not overshadow the joy his music and dancing brought to millions all around the globe.

Perfect.

"A troubled icon's tragic end," June 27, 2009

Tax Revenue Above All Else

So what if in-state businesses are crushed. The government needs more money.

Didn't the state of North Carolina go for Obama in November? That might help explain this:
Tarheels vs. the Internet
Wall Street Journal editorial

The U.S Supreme Court's 1992 Quill decision forbids states from forcing tax-collection obligations on out-of-state merchants, but Tarheel legislators still want Amazon and other online retailers to start taxing their constituents. The Seattle-based retailer has no physical presence in the state, but a pending North Carolina bill holds that since affiliate Web sites in the state link customers to Amazon, the company is now responsible for extracting cash from Carolina shoppers.

To its credit, Amazon yesterday refused to accept the expected new compliance burden and announced the cancellation of its North Carolina affiliate relationships. Said the company, "This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor." So now the state won't get the revenue, even as in-state Web retailers lose their ties to Amazon thanks to the legislature's revenue grab. Brilliant. [link]
Brilliant indeed. Those web retailers are tied at the hip to Amazon, so expect many of them to fold. Expect too the ranks of the unemployed to grow, as a result.

Unbelievable.

Roanoke Times Is a GOP Front?

This is odd:

Va. governor and DNC chief denies GOP travel query

I thought it was the Roanoke Times that requested records detailing Kaine's many trips around the country at Virginia taxpayer expense.

I guess, if you're not with 'em, you're against 'em.

Welcome, Roanoke Times people. Glad to have you on our side. Whether you accept us or not.

Obama Suppresses Facts About Global Cooling

"The most transparent administration in history."

Many believed it.

How today's reality must hurt:
Carbongate
Investor's Business Daily editorial

A suppressed EPA study says old U.N. data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other inconvenient truths. Was the report kept under wraps to influence the vote on the cap-and-trade bill?

This was supposed to be the most transparent administration ever. Yet as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on the Waxman-Markey bill, the largest tax increase in U.S. history on 100% of Americans, an attempt was made to suppress a study shredding supporters' arguments.

On Friday, the day of the vote, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said it was releasing "an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency." [link]
Why did Obama want the EPA study suppressed? This might give a clue:

"Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

"Rush into decisions"? The Democrats? Like they might do something so foolish as to vote in favor of a bill that none of them had the chance - or inclination - to read?

Or maybe it was this:

"The idea that warming temperatures will cause Greenland to rapidly shed its ice has been greatly diminished by new results indicating little evidence for operations of such processes."

Translation: It ain't happenin'.

What to conclude from this? IBD:

"In other words, the administration and Congress had their collective minds made up and didn't want to be confused with the facts."

So the government banned the report.

You wanted this bunch. Now live with them.

NY Times Calls On Bill Clinton To Resign!

Finally, after all these years ...

Times calls on Sanford to resign because he cheated on his wife

So predictable. I wonder if these morons ever see past their forked tongues.

I Think I Like This Woman

Why isn't SHE governor?
Governor’s Wife Is Hurt but Unbowed
By Monica Davey, New York Times

As Jenny Sanford headed off for a boating trip, the day after her husband, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, told the world he had been unfaithful, she met the throng of reporters waiting outside her South Carolina vacation home, all inquiring about her emotional condition.

“Am I O.K.?” Mrs. Sanford repeated, from the driver’s seat of a vehicle. “You know what? I have great faith and I have great friends and great family. We have a good Lord in this world, and I know I’m going to be fine. Not only will I survive, I’ll thrive.”

It was, friends and former aides say, classic Jenny Sanford — strong willed, steely, anything but a victim. Mrs. Sanford, a former New York investment banker, largely gave up her professional life and turned to helping her husband’s political career, but those who know her well say she was also never one to abandon her sense of identity, her direction, or her own opinions.

To one reporter who wondered what might come of Mr. Sanford’s political career, Mrs. Sanford answered sharply: “His career is not a concern of mine. He’s going to have to worry about that. I’m worried about my family and the character of my children.” And with that, Mrs. Sanford, who spent much of Thursday with her husband and said she was working on her marriage, pulled away, smilingly telling the assembled cameras, “I wish we had room on the boat for you all, but we do not.” [link]
I'll not be addressing the subject of her husband ever again. I'm tired of dealing with assholes like him.

He is to me no more.

Here's to Jenny. My kinda woman.

Joseph Goebbels Smiles

The New York Times. The propaganda wing of the Obama administration.

You know that massive redistribution of wealth bill that the House passed last night? The Times wants you to believe it had to do with the weather in some way.

I wonder if this was written with a straight face:
House Passes Bill to Address Threat of Climate Change
By John M. Broder

Washington — The House passed legislation on Friday intended to address global warming and transform the way the nation produces and uses energy.

The vote was the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change. The legislation, which passed despite deep divisions among Democrats, could lead to profound changes in many sectors of the economy, including electric power generation, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

At the heart of the legislation is a cap-and-trade system that sets a limit on overall emissions of heat-trapping gases while allowing utilities, manufacturers and other emitters to trade pollution permits, or allowances, among themselves. The cap would grow tighter over the years, pushing up the price of emissions and presumably driving industry to find cleaner ways of making energy. [link] [my emphasis]
I wonder if there is a living soul out there - besides the cloistered creatures at the New York Times - who still believes this bill was about controlling global temperatures.

Even one.

And The Horse You Rode In On

I'm thinking there is a message being sent here about the credibility of the recent Iranian election.

Just a guess though:

Hat Tip to Iowahawk.

Obama = Bush On Foreign Policy

What was the number one issue that propelled Barack Obama into the White House in November?

Iraq.

And high on the list of subtexts?

Guantanamo.

Those poor mistreated terrorists being held there indefinitely.

Obama is now president.

And those abused prisoners?
Obama prepares to hold Gitmo guys indefinitely, just as Bush did
By Andrew Malcolm, LA Times

In yet another sign of political perfidy, the White House of President George W. Bush has drafted a presidential executive order that would allow that double-dealing Republican chief executive to hold suspected terrorist detainees indefinitely.

According to the president's intentions, such suspects could be detained for long periods of time, virtually indefinitely. Is this really what the nation voted for last November?

Oh, wait. No. According to an exclusive Washington Post/Pro Publica report this afternoon, it's the refreshing new Democratic administration of Barack Obama that's now preparing this new executive order to hold certain terrorist suspects indefinitely.

This is an obviously inspiring sign of the new style of leadership the Democrat promised and is finally bringing to the White House. As one blogger put it, George W. Obama. [link]
This should be recognized as being the wise thing to do.

But where does that put all his supporters who expected Mr. Hope & Change to ... bring ... change to the slaughterpen otherwise known as Gitmo, otherwise known as the Bush Gulag?

I think we all know.

The Obama Gulag is a pragmatic answer to a serious ... blah ... blah ... blah.

Your Governent, At Work For You

The only way that Obama's universal health care scheme is going to work is if he forces everyone to participate.

Well, there is one exception. One group will be allowed to opt out. At least out of its tax provisions. You can guess which one is going to be protected by the Democratic administration:
Unions’ Health Benefits May Avoid Tax Under Proposal
By Ryan J. Donmoyer and Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate proposal to impose taxes for the first time on “gold-plated” health plans may bypass generous employee benefits negotiated by unions.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chief congressional advocate of taxing some employer-provided benefits to help pay for an overhaul of the U.S. health system, says any change should exempt perks secured in existing collective- bargaining agreements, which can be in place for as long as five years.

The exception, which could make the proposal more politically palatable to Democrats from heavily unionized states such as Michigan, is adding controversy to an already contentious debate. It would shield the 12.4 percent of American workers who belong to unions from being taxed while exposing some other middle-income workers to the levy.

“I can’t think of any other aspect of the individual income tax that treats benefits of different people differently because of who they work for,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington research group that often criticizes Democrats’ economic proposals. Edwards said the carve-out “smacks of political favoritism.” [link]
When Obama promised that he wouldn't increase taxes on 95% of us, I guess he meant to say 12.4%.

Expect his chief propagandist to say it was a rounding error.

Headline Of The Day

You can't make this stuff up:

Dems put Congressional Black Caucus member in charge of Congressional Black Caucus investigation

Good Lord.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Medicare For All!

Hey, it's free! Right?

The Roanoke Times:
A prescription for health care reform

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff asked President Obama's longtime physician in Chicago, Dr. David Scheiner, for a little medical advice: How would he advise his former patient on health care reform? Scheiner's prescription: a public insurance option, Kristoff writes, plus he "would love to go further and see Medicare for all."

Wise man. [link]

Wise?

A friend came to me recently and advised that he was filing for personal bankruptcy. He too was a wise man. As long as credit card companies were willing to pay his bills, he thought, heck, he was willing to rack them up. And he did. To the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

But the truth is, credit card companies don't pay bills. They simply hand a person like that the rope with which to hang himself.

The wise man unwisely hanged himself.

Government debt is no different. The bills racked up by government do-good programs come due. And we have to pay them.

From Yahoo News:

Washington – Social Security and Medicare are fading even faster under the weight of the recession, heading for insolvency years sooner than previously expected, the government warned Tuesday. Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, a year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner, trustees reported.

Medicare is in even worse shape. The trustees said the program for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year, just as it did for the first time in 2008. The trustees project that the Medicare fund will be depleted by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year’s report.

The trust funds — which exist in paper form in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, W.Va. — are bonds that are backed by the government’s “full faith and credit” but not by any actual assets. That money has been spent over the years to fund other parts of government. To redeem the trust fund bonds, the government would have to borrow in public debt markets or raise taxes. [link] [my emphasis]

So, you wise people at the Roanoke Times, yeah, let's party. The government is paying the bill. No worries.

If only it were true.

By George, It Might Work

Kilo made reference recently to an article in the Coalfield Progress ("Supervisors hear pitch for $200M trash-to-ethanol plant") (requires paid subscription) that gave us some details about a proposed project over in his neck of the woods (Wise County). I had read the same article and was - shall we say - a bit skeptical. In an email exchange, I asked Carl if the technology behind the effort was really reliable, wanting to know if it might take more fuel to burn the trash to make the ethanol than was produced in an end-product.

Well, I was reading an interesting piece in Popular Mechanics last night entitled, "6 Bright Ideas for the Future of Energy," and came upon this:
Turn Trash Into Power

The Green Energy Machine, or GEM, is an unlikely alt-fuel hero. Yet the dumpster-size cargo container jutting from a building in Waltham, Mass., can heat and power 200,000 square feet of space on a daily diet of 3 tons of garbage. The $850,000 system, which incorporates a Rube Goldberg–like array of devices, can pay for itself in three years, according to Michael Cushman, vice president of IST Energy, which makes GEMs. It can save some 540 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and—unlike much alt-energy tech—it’s ready now. “We welcome revolutionary technology, but this is an evolutionary solution with substantial potential for high impact,” Cushman says. “We don’t need a 10-year-off solution, we need a today solution.”
So maybe it's possible.

Trash to fuel. Who'd have guessed.

Keep us informed, Carl, as this progresses. This could be big.

What Obamanomics Will Bring

To think: The Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates fought a valiant and - ultimately - victorious battle to not let the commonwealth sink into being California, New York, or New Jersey. And for good reason:
The Albany-Trenton-Sacramento Disease
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama has bet the economy on his program to grow the government and finance it with a more progressive tax system. It's hard to miss the irony that he's pitching this change in Washington even as the same governance model is imploding in three of the largest American states where it has been dominant for years -- California, New Jersey and New York.

A decade ago all three states were among America's most prosperous. California was the unrivaled technology center of the globe. New York was its financial capital. New Jersey is the third wealthiest state in the nation after Connecticut and Massachusetts. All three are now suffering from devastating budget deficits as the bills for years of tax-and-spend governance come due.

These states have been models of "progressive" policies that are supposed to create wealth: high tax rates on the rich, lots of government "investments," heavy unionization and a large government role in health care.

So goes the real-life experience of progressive governance, with heavy tax burdens financing huge welfare states, and state capitals dominated by public-employee unions. Formerly rich states, they are now known for job losses, booming deficits and debt, wage stagnation, out-migration and laughing-stock legislatures. At least Americans have the ability to flee these ill-governed states for places that still welcome wealth creators. The debate in Washington now is whether to spread this antigrowth model across the entire country. [link]
This could have been us.
And now, with Obama in charge, it is soon to be us.

May God have mercy.

In Truth ...

... they became less protected on inauguration day:

U.S. Troops, Civilians to Become Less Protected on July 1

Our military men and women deserve better.

But it is what you wanted it to be.

Now live with the consequences.

The Sad Truth

Rick Boucher's global warming bill may today be passed by the House of Representatives. Investor's Business Daily gives us an idea of the damage that it is soon to wreak:
Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster
editorial

Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.

The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.

It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase. [link]
Here's the most visible impact that this legislation will have on our way of life (Click on the image to enlarge it):

Worse still, the job losses are not going to be distributed evenly across the country. Most heavily hit, proportionally, will be the coalfields.

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA 9), representing the Virginia counties in the fields, whose residents will be grievously harmed by the bill, supports the bill.

I hope he sleeps well at night.

Chart courtesy of The Heritage Foundation and Investor's Business Daily

Why The Democrats Are In Such A Hurry ...

... and Rick Boucher just wants it all to go away:
The Climate Change Climate Change
By Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S. [link]
The tragic truth: The planet is not warming. And these people - cynical, sinister figures all, are starting to grasp the implications. So they're rushing to get their tax increases passed before the tide completely turns.

They will be remembered for this.

What's With These People?

Democrats work overtime to force your kids into public schools.

They then send their own kids to private institutions.

Obama wants to force us all to have nationalized health care.

But he's reserving the right to take his kids outside the system he's creating, should they be in need.

Screwballs. Dangerous, elitist, selfish screwballs.

Good For Her

Some will fault Mark Sanford's wife for expressing concern for her marriage after she caught her slimeball of a husband cheating on her, but I think this brief interview shows real class. She is most concerned about her children's welfare.

Good for her. If only the other half of the partnership had shown the same concern, instead of being led around by his sex muscle:


Just to drive the point home ...

They deserved better.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

What If The Democrats Held a Rally and ...

... nobody came.

Well, it happened. Wednesday night.

The ABC News wing of the Democratic Party held what might be termed a "Get to know the real God, and kneel in his divine presence" extravaganza and ...
ABC's White House special struggled for viewers
THR.com

President Obama's town hall meeting on health care delivered a sickly rating Wednesday evening.

The one-hour ABC News special "Primetime: Questions for the President: Prescription for America" (4.7 million viewers, 1.1 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) had the fewest viewers in the 10 p.m. hour (against NBC's "The Philanthropist" debut and a repeat of "CSI: NY" on CBS). The special tied some 8 p.m. comedy repeats as the lowest-rated program on a major broadcast network. [link]
Beaten by reruns.

Does that mean that, as Ray Charles might want to know, the thrill is gone?

Or does it simply mean we the American people didn't need to see Charles Gibson with his lips firmly planted on Barack Obama's butt for sixty minutes?

In any case, Obama wants us to get involved in the health care debate. We did. We voted Wednesday night by tuning Mr. Magic (and his attendent suck-up) out. We're happy with the way things are (by and large). Don't screw with it, Barry.

And, if I may offer a suggestion: You and Mr. Gibson need to get a room.

- - -

* Here's the sweet irony: Rush Limbaugh had twice as many listeners yesterday as he eviscerated Obama's arguments held forth the night before. It don't get better than that.

A Prediction

Charles Rangel's grandchildren will be dead of old age before this Democrat-run committee produces a finding:

House Ethics Panel to Investigate Caribbean Trips

A side note: "House" and "Ethics" go together like "Bill" and "Hillary."

Democrats Play To Type

What a fun bunch they are.

How they do cut up and poke innocent fun.

What a marvelous sense of humor they all have.

A down's syndrome baby? Oh, the merriment.

Keeping it classy. As expected.

Would You Buy a Used Car From This Guy?

Actually, he's got a bridge he wants to sell you. A bridge to Ruin.

Me, The Responsible Motorist

I know better. I never text while drinking and driving.

What a Strange Afternoon

I thought I must have fallen asleep and remained in peaceful repose ... for years ... yesterday.

I got home from work and Paula said, "Did you hear that Farrah Fawcett had died?"

"Whhhaattt? I knew that she had been battling some form of cancer, but I had no idea."

A little bit later she said, "I guess you heard that Ed McMahon had died."

"Whhhaattt? What happened to him?"

Then the ultimate shocker. I sat down yesterday evening to catch up on emails and the news and read, "Michael Jackson has died."

"Whhhaattt? What is going on?"

Who's next? I'm afraid to turn to the news ...

Funny. And Yet Not.

Glenn Reynolds on yesterday's Must Watch TV:
A TV LOW POINT: Turned on the TV to see Geraldo interviewing Tommy Mottola about Michael Jackson’s death. In the background, footage of the body being delivered to the coroner’s office by helicopter. Glad to see Fox is keeping us up on what’s really important, the night before a big cap-and-trade vote in Congress, while revolution simmers in Iran, and people are trying to nationalize healthcare.

On the upside, Mark Sanford is probably pleased.
I'm reminded of the over-the-top grief fest that was held when Lucille Ball died. Days and days of endless drivel about her life, yea, her bigger-than-life.

Please. There is a word that comes to my mind on such occasions. Solemnity. Use it. Live it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Come To This?

When the president of the United States has to resort to subterfuge and double-talk in order to push legislation past the American people, you know the man - and his legislation - are in big trouble.

Here's an excerpt from Obama's press conference on Monday. It was brought to my attention by a loyal reader because our congressman - more on that weasel in a minute - is mentioned by name. Boucher got a pat on the head.

Back to subterfuge. Tell me if you know what Obama is referring to here:

Now, the second issue I want to address is our ongoing effort to build a clean energy economy.

This week, the House of Representatives is moving ahead on historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America. This legislation will spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.

This energy bill will create a set of incentives that will spur the development of new sources of energy, including wind, solar, and geothermal power. It will also spur new energy savings, like efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.

These incentives will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. And that will lead to the development of new technologies that lead to new industries that could create millions of new jobs in America -- jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air that we breathe. It also provides assistance to businesses and communities as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies.

So I believe that this legislation is extraordinarily important for our country; it's taken great effort on the part of many over the course of the past several months. And I want to thank the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman; his colleagues on that committee, including Congressmen Dingell, Ed Markey, and Rick Boucher. I also want to thank Charlie Rangel, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and Collin Peterson, the Chair of the Agriculture Committee, for their many and ongoing contributions to this process. And I want to express my appreciation to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer for their leadership.

We all know why this is so important. The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century's global economy. That's what this legislation seeks to achieve -- it's a bill that will open the door to a better future for this nation. And that's why I urge members of Congress to come together and pass it.

Perplexed? Scratching your head? Wondering what this business about a "clean energy economy" is? You didn't know that your government was working on a "clean energy economy" bill?

That's because it wasn't. And isn't. And never will be.

Obama is trying desperately to put lipstick on a pig, as the saying goes. The legislation to which he refers is/was intended to stop global warming.

It is global warming prevention legislation.

Or it was until the scientific community started coming to the realization that the globe isn't warming.

Until the American people got wise to the fact that Obama's legislation is nothing more than a massive environment tax. Certainly the costliest tax in American history and, perhaps, the most regressive ever devised.

Until Obama read the poll numbers and realized that his delusory little scheme to tax us into the Stone Age was failing in the eyes of the people.

Until some too-smart-by-half pollster told him that terms like "global warming" and "cap-and-trade" carried too many negative connotations.

So a global warming bill becomes a "clean energy economy" bill.

The gall.

Like we're that stupid.

But here's the good news: Obama's effort to lie about this brazen attempt at a Democrat power grab is doomed no matter what he calls it.

The globe is not warming and he and his ilk will not be seizing our grandchildren's college funds. At least not for this perversion. Not today.

Obama and this attack on the American way of life have failed.

And speaking of failures, there is also Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Asswipe) to deal with. He sold his soul to the devil and his most vulnerable constituency into the poorhouse in return for a few words of praise from his handlers when he signed on to this awful piece of legislation.

What's not mentioned in this presentation from Boucher's boss is the fact that this "clean economy" bill will do two things that will combine to have a devastating impact on the people and the economy of Southwest Virginia. Neither of which has to do with the planet's temperature.

1) Our utility bills are guaranteed to skyrocket. Obama's speech happened to occur on the same day that I posted Boucher's declared opposition to a proposed increase in our electric bills.

What?

That's right. Boucher opposes Appalachian Power's proposed rate increase but is an enthusiastic supporter of a global warming tax that will send your utility rates into the stratosphere.

Stop laughing. It's not funny.

Not only will our bills skyrocket, but for many they will go well beyond their means to pay them. Home heating will then become a luxury many in this area will not be able to afford. Heat will be a luxury.

This to shave 0.02 ° off of the average annual global temperature fifty years from now.

I'd be calling it a clean energy bill too.

2) The coal industry will be annihilated if this were to pass. And Boucher knows it. And doesn't care. He signed on to it - saying it was somehow inevitable - inevitable! - and is now a key supporter of the legislation. As signaled by Obama giving him an attaboy at Monday's press conference.

Inevitable? Only if cowardly, spineless representatives to whom we entrust our confidence to do right by us in Washington refuse to fight for our interests. Inevitable? That's the white flag of surrender waved by a man whose loyalties to Southwest Virginia were abandoned long ago, my friends.

Boucher, knowing that this global warming bill is aimed at the heart of the coal industry, should be fighting with his every fiber to preserve jobs here; to preserve the way of life of those still able to scratch out a living in Wise and Tazewell and Lee and Dickenson and Russell and Scott Counties - a way of life that is under assault by those who have Rick Boucher's first allegiance. He should be doing everything he can to prevent the citizens of the coalfields from slipping further into abject poverty. He should be thundering his hatred for those who are trying to do grievous harm to his - our - neighbors. He should be drawing a line in the sand and daring anyone who intends to bring hardship on his people to cross it. He should be defending us.

Not shrugging his shoulders and asking, "What's for lunch?"

Inevitable? Not in this life. Not by a damn sight.

Go home, Rick. Wherever home is these days. And let someone else take over. You've worn out your welcome. We need someone who will fight for us. Not someone who submissively says to the president, "Sure, we don't mind slipping further into poverty if that's what our environmentalist friends want. If that'll bring 'green' jobs to New York City."

Go home, Rick, We're tired of you. And we don't know you anymore. Go.

Or we're going to force you to go.

The hot winds of change are blowing, old man.

So What Is In Boucher's Global Warming Bill?

While he's working overtime to destroy jobs in the coalfields, Congressman Rick Boucher is - to his credit - making an effort to create jobs elsewhere.

In Brazil.

And Guatemala.

And Indonesia.

For the love of God:
Climate bill gives billions to foreign foliage
By Amanda DeBard, Washington Times

If a tree falls in Brazil, it will, in fact, be heard in the U.S. - at least if a little-noticed provision in the pending climate-change bill in Congress becomes law.

As part of the far-reaching climate bill, the House is set to vote Friday on a plan to pay companies billions of dollars not to chop down trees around the world, as a way to reduce global warming.

The provision, called "offsets," has been attacked by both environmentalists and business groups as ineffective and poorly designed. Critics contend it would send scarce federal dollars overseas to plant trees when subsidies are needed at home, while the purported ecological benefits would be difficult to quantify.

The offsets "would be a transfer of wealth overseas," said William Kovacs, vice president for environmental affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"The international offsets market is not a huge or cheap market," said Joseph Romm, a climate expert at the center. "By 2020, the U.S. could be spending $4 billion on international offsets." [link]
$4 billion to keep trees from being cut down in jungles far, far away.

And who's paying for it?

You are, sweetheart. Through the doubling of your utility bills.

Madness? Is there any other name for it?

By the way, if you want to let Rick know what you think of his efforts to destroy us, give him a call. (202) 225-3861. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

And What Is That 'Clean Energy Economy' Really?

George Will:
The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital.
So Obama will create 1,000 jobs in California and kill 2,200 jobs in Southwest Virginia. And everyone will be deliriously happy. We've created a green economy.

For the love of God.

That's So Yesterday

Before we leave the subject, I should bring to your attention a Roanoke Times editorial this morning that attempts - if fecklessly - to give Boucher praise for his global warming prevention efforts. See "The Politics of Pragmatism."

I won't go after it in detail, except to mention the fact that the author brings up "greenhouse gas emissions" and "climate change." Someone at the Times hasn't gotten the fax.

Boucher's legislation isn't about CO2 any more. That was last month. Nor it it about the weather.

Obama's pollsters have told him that those terms don't sell. So we're to talk about "clean energy" and horse shit like that.

Memo to Roanoke Times: Read your faxes. Your message has changed. So says the boss.

This Is As Good As It's Going To Get

I asked yesterday how Obama supporters were going to rationalize his change in position when it comes to Iran, his having gone from being an interested observer to having vociferously denounced the current regime in a matter of days.

The New York Times comes to his aid (in a "news" story, naturally):
Bit by Careful Bit, Obama Toughens Stance on Iran
By Helene Cooper

Throughout the Iranian crisis, Mr. Obama has tried to strike a difficult balance. On one hand, he has carefully modulated his response to minimize the chances that the Iranian government will cast the conflict as one driven by meddling from the United States, and to avoid closing off the possibility of talks with Iran over curbing its nuclear program, a signature element of his foreign policy since his election.

On the other hand, he has had to avoid appearing tone-deaf to the potential emergence of a democracy movement in Iran and to keep his political opponents from casting him as weak in foreign affairs.

The result has been a gradually evolving message that ... [link]
Translation: Obama was on the wrong side and reversed course.

A more cynical person might suggest that our inexperienced and woefully unqualified president hasn't a clue. But let's not be cynical. He brings with him a lot of hope and change, and all that, after all.

Anyway, here's how the rationalization business works. Marvel at its effectiveness.

For Whom Obama Toils

Much is made these days of those 46 million Americans* who have no health insurance. But who are they?

The Business & Media Institute enlightens us:
Fact: Nearly 10 million (9.7) of the 45.7 million uninsured are “not a citizen.” That makes every media claim of uninsured Americans higher than 35.9 million is wrong [sic].

Fact: More than 17 million of the uninsured make at least $50,000 per year (the median household income of $50,233) – 8.4 million make $50,000 to $74,999 per year and 9.1 million make $75,000 or higher. Two economists working at the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that 25 to 75 percent of those who do not purchase health insurance coverage “could afford to do so.”

Fact: The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that uninsured people get about $1,500 of free health care per year, or $6,000 per family of four.

Fact: An Urban Institute study found that 25 percent of the uninsured already qualify for government health insurance programs.

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office says that 45 percent of the uninsured will be insured within four months. CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin also said that the frequent claim of 40+ million Americans lacking insurance is an “incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the uninsured population.”

Fact: Liberal non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation put the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million. (The 8.2 million figure includes only those uninsured for two years or more.)

Fact: CBO analysis found that 36 million people would remain uninsured even if the Senate’s $1.6 trillion health care plan is passed.
Next time some sniveling newspaper editorialist plays on your sympathies about the plight of the uninsured (see photo above), understand who it is that he is using as a prop. More than likely it's the neighbor down the street with the plasma TV and the Sea Doo in the garage.

* A highly suspect number in itself. Go here for details.