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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Uh, Rick?

In his sniveling attempt at pleading for understanding the other day (see "Boucher's Running Scared") Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Sierra Club) forgot to mention another reason that led him to side with the environmental left over his constituents in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. M-O-N-E-Y:
Stream of New Lobbying Money Helped Climate Bill Flow Through House
Christa Marshall, writing in the New York Times

Major global-warming legislation that squeaked past the finish line in the House last month attracted millions of dollars in new lobbying money.

The fresh cash came from a combination of new groups and existing companies ramping up their payments to hired advocates in the second quarter of 2009. Entities hiring climate lobbyists for the first time shelled out more than $1.5 million overall from April to June and included a new natural-gas coalition and an arm of former Vice President Al Gore's nonprofit empire.

Corporations with a long-term presence in the nation's capital also opened their coffers specifically to push lawmakers on the cap-and-trade bill sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), which passed the House 219-212 last month. For example, Energy Future Holdings, a Texas-based firm, hired the Madison Group to push lawmakers on the bill and paid the firm's lobbyists $80,000.

At the same time, sectors with a stake in the measure, such as oil and gas and coal, upped their spending this spring by millions of dollars from the same period last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [link]

Let's bring it down to a level we can all understand:

· Boucher's climate tax bill (HR 2454), among other things, provides for protection for local electric distribution companies (LDC's) in the way of "allowances" starting in 2016. Sizable allowances.

· Thomas F. Farrell II, President and CEO of Dominion Resources (Dominion Power), has come out in favor of Boucher's bill.

· Dominion Resources - Surprise! - is an LDC.

· Dominion Power will be a major beneficiary of Boucher's largesse.

· By all accounts, Boucher's bill is going to raise utility rates substantially.

· Dominion Power doesn't pay for rate increases. You do.

· Since electric rate increases resulting from Boucher's bill come out of your wallet, Boucher's largesse comes out of your wallet. What a guy!

· Guess what organization happens to be Boucher's leading 2010 campaign contributor so far this year?

Dominion Resources.

· It all becomes clear.


The Pressing Issues Of Our Day

Staggering recession.

Looming inflation.

The scourge of terrorism.

Impending flu pandemic.

Illegal immigration.

Global warming or cooling or ... (what's today's weather going to be?)

Light pollution.


Light pollution.

Woody Allen movies.

Brussels sprouts.

French women with smelly, hairy armpits.

Maxine Waters.

Pee on the toilet seat.

Whopper Of The Day

From the Bristol Herald Courier editorial board:
While Barack Obama was talking to Kroger employees Wednesday afternoon, Democrats reached a needed health care reform breakthrough that meets the president’s chief goals – extending coverage to about 95 percent of Americans without increasing federal deficits. [my emphasis]
Beyond laughable.

The truth.

This Is Hilarious

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is a big believer in nationalized health care. So when he asked during a recent panel discussion that dealt with ObamaCare how many people in the audience were Canadian and then how many of those who were Canadian thought their health care system was terrible, a fellow panelist muttered, "Almost all of the same hands are going up."

The video doesn't lie:

Krugman's response: "Bad move on my part."

In so many ways, pal.

Hat tip to Right Wing News.

Something That Should Concern Us All

I read recently an article written by a prominent American economist that argued the point that the Chinese holding so much American debt was nothing to be concerned about and that we can feel reassured by the fact that they'll continue buying U.S. debt in the future because there was nowhere else on earth where they'd get any decent financial return on their investments.

My reaction? How shortsighted can this guy be?

Apparently the Chinese agree with me:
Weak Treasury Auctions Raise Worries About US Debt Burden
By Reuters

The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government's burgeoning budget deficit.

It was the second lackluster showing in as many days, convincing analysts that the stellar results of debt auctions just a few weeks ago were a fluke and that Thursday's $28 billion seven-year offering could suffer a similar fate.

"It was just a horrendous result," said William O'Donnell, head of U.S. Treasury strategy at RBS Securities in Greenwich, Connecticut. [link]
With regard to the five-year notes, it all comes down to this: What will the dollar be worth in five years? If inflation kicks in here in the USA, as the Chinese have apparently decided it will because of Obama's massive spending initiatives, the answer is not a whole lot.

Thus, they're taking their investments elsewhere. Why buy increasingly worthless paper?

This is not a good thing.

I wonder how our gifted leader is going to hope&change his way out of this one.

Headline Of The Day

Suppose they pay people to write this stuff?

Health Care Affects Everyone

I want that gig.

Obama's Plan Is Working!

Noun: stimulus ˈstim-yə-ləs
1. Something causing or regarded as causing a response.
2. An agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response.
3. Something that incites or rouses to action; an incentive

- - -

Regarding Obama's $780,000,000,000 effort to rouse and accelerate the economic recovery:

May-June joblessness up in 90 pct of metro areas

- - -

Antonyms: deterrent, discouragement, hindrance, tranquilizer

It Becomes Clear

For the life of me I couldn't figure out how in the world AARP could have come out in favor of ObamaCare. After all, it's AARP's membership that has a great big bullseye painted on its back if Obama's plan to ration care passes Congress. Everyone agrees: It's the elderly who are going to suffer most.

Then I read Mark Tapscott's article in the Washington Examiner and it all became clear. AARP deosn't represent old people. It represents Washington D.C. Big government. Liberals.

Obamacare could kill AARP

Marketing operations don't get any slicker than the one behind AARP. Their invitation to join arrived in my mail box even before I turned 50. I joined for one year, but never renewed because I knew the truth about this famous group.

That truth is this: Millions join AARP and in return receive a host of useful services and resources. But their money and influence are hijacked to support causes that are absolutely inimical to their best interests.

The hijacking is the work of AARP's Washington staff, which is an integral part of the tireless liberal lobbying machine that runs 24/7 in the nation's capital pushing to protect and expand current government entitlements and to create costly new ones.

[S]tick around D.C. for any length of time during the past three decades and you likely figured out that AARP's national office was and is today a key player on the side of Big Government, higher taxes and more bureaucracy.

But AARP's leadership has outsmarted itself by going all out to aid President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in their drive to nationalize America's health care system. [link]
Read the whole thing. AARP's 35 million members have reason to be frightened by Obama's health care plan. Yet AARP is blissfully happy with it.

There's something seriously wrong with that.

Race Problems Solved!

At least for 15 minutes.

Obama brought black and white together yesterday and made history.

All will be well now.

I hear Al Sharpton and David Duke have been summoned to the White House for brewskies next.

I feel a kumbaya moment coming on.

If only Michael Jackson were still around to see this day.

"We are the world ..."

- - -

* I'm kinda surprised that they allowed Joe Biden to attend. I can hear him now, as he wipes the Stroh's off his crotch:

"You boys hear the one about the rabbi, the negro, and the 14-year-old virgin?

Leavin' 'Em In The Dust

Here's the latest from Pollster.com on the McDonnell/Deeds race for governor:

McDonnell: 53.5%
Deeds: 40.2%

And the trend is going red - big time:

Click on the image to enlarge it.
Graph courtesy of Pollster.com.
Hat tip to Isophorone.

Who Is Jeanette Rishell?

And why does she think she might become a delegate to the Virginia House?

When I read of her (partially successful) attempts to have an opposition video suppressed by YouTube, I couldn't help but wonder if she has any idea what kind of firestorm she would create.

The story - and video - come from Greg at Black Velvet Bruce Li:
Jeanette Rishell Tries To Silence Critics

This is a new one. What political campaign has ever tried to remove videos from YouTube on the basis that the video included some of their own campaign content and argued that the criticism was a violation of their copyright? Well, Jeanette Rishell sets a new standard for utter incompetence today, which is arguably a really difficult thing for her hapless campaign to do. I must really be getting to them for Rishell’s campaign to start acting this stupid.

Here’s what showed up in my inbox this afternoon:

"This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Friends of Jeanette Rishell claiming that this material is infringing:

Jeanette Rishell and Used Condom Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrlgPdg9910

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, please go to our ..."
That came to Greg via email from YouTube, Inc.

His video has been blocked by a candidate for public office.

How bright is that? Now the videos in question will be all over the blogosphere* with mocking snark accompanying. They'll get a hundred times the play than had this Rishell woman just ignored them. As any experienced politician would have.

I'll get a copy of Greg's video(s) (he now has another) up and you can view them. They're very professionally done. And they're hard-hitting, as Greg's approach to politics in northern Virginia always is.

Here's to the First Amendment!

* The video in question can be viewed here.

- - -

Update: Greg has followed up his weblog post with a press release:


July 30th, 2009

Manassas, Virginia: The campaign of Jeanette Rishell, a candidate running for the 50th District House of Delegates in Virginia has filed a copyright infringement claim with YouTube regarding a video created by local blogger Greg Letiecq on July 29th. The video criticizes her selection of a campaign manager and uses short clips from her own campaign videos to demonstrate the hypocrisy of claiming to support family values, but hiring someone to represent her campaign who posted pictures of used condoms on her public Facebook page, written articles advocating homosexual relationships, and had supported including hard-core pornography videos in the collection of the library at Rochester University.

“YouTube maintains a policy of disabling video content after receiving any complaints regarding copyright infringement, so the videos are currently unavailable on YouTube” said Letiecq, the blogger who operates the Black Velvet Bruce Li blog. “It is unprecedented for a political campaign to allege copyright infringement when someone uses short clips of their campaign videos, and this is a clear effort to stifle criticism of her bad judgment by misusing the law.”

Copyright law provides limited use of the material of others under the “fair use doctrine,” particularly when such use is essential for parody, criticism or educational purposes and is limited to the minimum portion of the original work necessary. Recently, a similar “fair use” issue involving a video by the National Organization for Marriage and contested by Perez Hilton was resolved by YouTube in favor of the “fair use” of Perez Hilton's statements. Using short clips of a video for permitted purposes, even without authorization, is permissible "fair use" under Title 17 Section 107 of the United States Code.

Ben Tribbett, the blogger behind “Not Larry Sabato” called the Rishell campaign's actions “total insanity” in a post late on July 29th he decided to make the video available for download from his own servers so they could evaluate the claims of the Rishell campaign themselves. The attempt to misuse copyright law in an effort to stifle free political speech has failed because of a bipartisan effort by Virginia bloggers to stand up for free political speech.
Total insanity, indeed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Obama's Farcical 'Town Hall' Meeting

Is it still a town hall meeting if the town isn't allowed in without prior screening?

What's this guy afraid of? The free exchange of ideas?
Bristol greets Obama's health care plan with support, protest, questions
By Sarah Bruyn Jones, Roanoke Times

Bristol, Va. -- President Obama took on skeptics of his plans to overhaul the nation's health care system Wednesday during a town hall meeting held at a Kroger store in this far Southwest Virginia city.

Entrance to the meeting, which lasted about an hour and a half, was by invitation only, with most of the 160 people being employees of the store. Obama made the trip after holding another health care town hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C., earlier in the day. [link] [emphasis mine]
Not invited in were just as many concerned citizens who wanted a piece of Obama's skinny butt:

Before Obama's afternoon arrival, more than 150 protesters lined the streets and gathered outside Kroger to make their concerns about health care reform heard.

"We'll be here until the president sees us," said Katie Hughes, 18, of Kingsport, Tenn. "It makes me mad. I mean this could mean our grandparents won't be taken care of."

Art teacher Angie Meade, 39, of Bristol said she worries that government control of health care will mean she can no longer pick her own doctor.

Elaine Powers, 69, also of Bristol, said she thought people over 65 would receive only what she called "end-of life-care."

Powers said she believed the elderly would be given only pain pills.

Rho Griffin and her husband, Blake, drove down from Roanoke to tell the president to keep his hands off their health care.

That pain pill worry voiced by the 69-year-old from Bristol actually arose out of a comment that was made by Mr. Gifted Speaker himself just days ago.

To the daughter of a then-100-year-old woman who had opted to have a pacemaker installed and is still alive at 105 and was wondering if his plan would have prevented her from having that option, Obama said:

"We can let doctors know, and your mom know, that, you know what? Maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking, uh, the pain killer."

I think Ms. Powers - and the rest of the country - would like to have that term, "better off," better defined. As well as the term "pain killer." A bullet to the brain pan is a pain killer too, don't forget.

In any case, Obama came to Southwest Virginia for a town hall meeting in which the town was banned from joining.

Speaks volumes about Obama and his plan for us.

This Has To Hurt

I had to pause for a moment and try to remember who it is that Bob McDonnell is running against in the race for governor this year. Whoever it is, he's getting no respect from those he should be able to count on for support.

Oh, my:
Va.'s Wilder praises GOP's McDonnell
By Sarah Abruzzese, Washington Times

Former Democratic Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said Wednesday that his party's gubernatorial nominee, R. Creigh Deeds, is at risk of becoming the "me, too" candidate, and complimented GOP opponent Robert F. McDonnell on his efforts to reach out to Virginians who don't traditionally vote Republican.

"I would have to say Bob seems to be very aggressive in going out and strongly seeking the support of everybody," Mr. Wilder said.

The comments were made during an interview with The Washington Times in which Mr. Wilder, 78, the nation's first elected black governor, said Mr. McDonnell has been able during the campaign for November's election to set the agenda on several issues. [link]
Oh. Creigh Deeds. I'd almost forgotten. Poor guy.

The American People Know Better

President Obama came to Southwest Virginia yesterday.

And then left.

The reason for his visit remains unclear.

The New York Times tosses out a feeble explanation:
New Poll Finds Growing Unease on Health Plan
By Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee-Brenan

President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover that could limit Americans’ ability to choose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found.

Mr. Obama is making an intense effort to rebut those claims. On Wednesday, he flew to Raleigh, N.C., for a town-hall-style meeting to address the kinds of public concerns reflected in the poll results.

“First of all,” Mr. Obama said, “nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. I’m tired of hearing that. I have been as clear as I can be. Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. These folks need to stop scaring everybody, you know?” [link]
"First of all," Mr. President, you don't allay public concerns when you admit to us that you're not familiar with the legislation that is working its way through Congress.

Secondly, the American people have learned to look past all that hopey changey rhetoric and look at facts. And the facts are these:

· Costs to the federal government under the current proposal will go up (an eye-popping $1.042 trillion), not down.

· 63% of Americans get their health care coverage through their employers. If ObamaCare passes, an estimated 83.4 million Americans will be forced to enroll in government health care when those employers abandon their plans, as every employer will in a heartbeat.

· The elderly and those Americans with disabilities consume the lion's share of our health care product. "Comparative effectiveness research" is underway, a movement that is attempting to put a price tag on the lives of those who are old or infirm. "End of life" costs will soon have a value assigned to them alongside those of license plates and F-22 fighter planes. A bureaucrat working in some faraway government building will soon determine whether your granny lives or dies.

· Young, healthy, single males have no good reason to purchase health insurance. They will, overwhelmingly, remain healthy and chances are slim they will need it. Yet ObamaCare will force them to purchase coverage.

· Politics will interject itself into the legislation. While the elderly will be targeted for rationing and comparative effectiveness-based services, full coverage will be extended to abortion and transgender procedures.

You're 85 years old? Forget the hip replacement. You're just too darn old. But a sex change will be available to you, courtesy of the United States government.

· The end game in Obama's plan is to eliminate your ability to choose your health plan. The much-discussed "public option" necessitates the destruction of all competing plans.

· Those health care programs that the government is currently most responsible for - Medicare and Medicaid - are in a shambles, with costs skyrocketing. So Obama is going to take on the private sector?

· Health care today is expensive. And it should be considering the quality of service we are provided. But the government, if it is going to reduce that expense, will necessarily eliminate choice. The government will determine the menu, decide who will get paid for services rendered, how much those services are worth (in Manhattan and in Bland, Virginia!), and will select those who can partake from it. There is no other way the federal government can reduce the cost of care.

The New York Times article says, "Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests." They have every right to be concerned. In fact, they should be scared to death.

What's coming out of Washington is beyond concerning.

Like I Said

File the new information. Move on.

The Roanoke Times:
Correcting the Tech file

The state's official investigation into the Virginia Tech shootings should be updated to make it as complete and accurate as possible.

The sudden appearance of gunman Seung-Hui Cho's long-missing campus psychological records, however, does not automatically support calls to reconvene the state panel that investigated the mass murder.

[T]he Kaine commission's purpose was to learn what happened on April 16, 2007, so that it could recommend what changes in law and policies the state needed to make to reduce the risk of such a slaughter ever occurring again. That is the measure by which to judge any call to reopen the investigation.

Families and survivors say independent investigations have uncovered new information and revealed errors in the official record. But commission chairman Gerald Massengill, former head of the Virginia State Police, says he has yet to hear anything that would change the panel's recommendations. [link]
I ask: What purpose would possibly be served by reconvening this investigation? We'd find out that Cho Seung-hui wasn't just a deranged psychopath but a seriously deranged psychopath?

No. Let it go. Add an addendum to the report and put it in the file.

And move on.

The Usual Suspects

Those who gain the most from Congressional earmarks (in the way of "campaign contributions") are at it again. As sure as the Sun rises, the annual defense budget has slime dripping from it:
House Defense Appropriations Committee Members Rake in Nearly $1 million from Potential Earmark Beneficiaries
Taxpayers For Common Sense

A Taxpayers for Common Sense analysis found that the House lawmakers who write the annual defense spending bill asked for billions of dollars in earmarks for companies that gave them nearly a million dollars in campaign cash over the last few years. All 18 members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense asked for earmarks for at least one company that had made campaign contributions either through employees or a company political action committee.

All told, members of the Subcommittee submitted more than $1.6 billion in earmark requests--and potentially a lot more.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) topped the contribution list, requesting earmarks from companies who had given him $201,100 in campaign cash. Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), the subcommittee Chairman, was hot on his heels with $199,050 in contributions from potential earmarked companies. The subcommittee ranking member, Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL) was the other lawmaker to top $100,000, raking in $122,000. [link]
If anyone wonders how northern Virginia has fared so well during the current economic crisis, one need look no further than the earmarks contained in this bill. There are nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($243,066,000) designated to go to companies located in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. for "defense" purposes. Couple this waste with the everyday waste of the federal government and you get economic prosperity.

And interestingly enough, although Virginia's James Moran is on the receiving end of TCS's scorn, as he rightly deserves, the northern Virginia earmarks are actually sponsored by six different congresspersons from five different states (Moran, Kingston, Rothman, Bishop, Kaptur, Granger; VA, GA, NJ, OH, TX). With projects being paid for by the American taxpayer with titles such as "Multi-Sensor Person-Borne Suicide Counter-Bomber Detection Systems."

Every one of these bums should be thrown out of office.

Starting with that anti-Semitic, anti-taxpayer asshole up in Alexandria.

- - -

Note: The Taxpayers for Common Sense database can be accessed here.

- - -

The Washington Post this morning:

The Democratic-controlled House is poised to give the Pentagon dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need to fund next year, acting in many cases in response to defense industry pressures and campaign contributions under an approach he has decried as "business as usual" and vowed to help end.

The unwanted equipment in a military spending bill expected to come to a vote on the House floor Thursday or Friday has a price tag of at least $6.9 billion."

For the love of God.

We Want Our Money Back

We told our unqualified and inexperienced president that his monstrously expensive stimulus plan wouldn't stimulate anything.

He didn't listen.

It hasn't:

Despite stimulus, Va. jobless rate increases in June

Perhaps we should have gone with a guy who knew what he was doing?

Naaah. Hope and stuff are so much more appealing.

Where's Boucher?

We learn this morning that House Democrats have come to an agreement that will, if agreed to by the Senate and signed by Obama, end American health care as we know it.

Is 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher in agreement?

Is he supportive of this looming disaster?

Why is he silent on the subject?

Another Urban Bubble Bursts

"But I want to pay $4 for a carrot."

Nobody's going to stop you.

Just accept the fact that the sole reason for your doing it has been discredited utterly:
Organic food is no healthier, study finds
By Reuters

London (Reuters) - Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

"A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance," said Alan Dangour, one of the report's authors.

"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority." [link]
This should knock the wind out of that Whole Foods Market up in Charlottesville.

It won't, of course. Upscale Democrats will continue to cling to the notion that their $4 carrots are better and safer for them than standard garden variety carrots. So they'll continue to pay the additional cost.

For no good reason.

Ah, free enterprise.

About This There Can Be No Doubt

They believe! With unwavering devotion. And don't even think about challenging their worldview:
Global warming is the new religion of First World urban elites
By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun

[Ian Plimer, geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University] presents the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is little more than a con trick on the public perpetrated by fundamentalist environmentalists and callously adopted by politicians and government officials who love nothing more than an issue that causes public anxiety.

While environmentalists for the most part draw their conclusions based on climate information gathered in the last few hundred years, geologists, Plimer says, have a time frame stretching back many thousands of millions of years.

The dynamic and changing character of the Earth's climate has always been known by geologists. These changes are cyclical and random, he says. They are not caused or significantly affected by human behaviour.

Plimer gets especially upset about carbon dioxide, its role in Earth's daily life and the supposed effects on climate of human manufacture of the gas. He says atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at the lowest levels it has been for 500 million years, and that atmospheric carbon dioxide is only 0.001 per cent of the total amount of the chemical held in the oceans, surface rocks, soils and various life forms. Indeed, Plimer says carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a plant food. Plants eat carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. Human activity, he says, contributes only the tiniest fraction to even the atmospheric presence of carbon dioxide.

There is no problem with global warming, Plimer says repeatedly. He points out that for humans periods of global warming have been times of abundance when civilization made leaps forward. Ice ages, in contrast, have been times when human development slowed or even declined.

So global warming, says Plimer, is something humans should welcome and embrace as a harbinger of good times to come. [link]
The comment about CO2 is particularly important because it is that chemical compound that Democrat Congressman Rick Boucher is working to have taxed out of existence (see cap-and-trade) and to have most of the jobs in the coalfield counties of his district taxed out of existence in the process. It is also the compound that Democrat Senator James Webb is working to spend our hard-earned tax dollars to have buried deep in the ground to prevent it from becoming ... "plant food." (See carbon sequestration).

With geniuses like those representing us ...

But to the point: All evidence points to the fact that the globe is not warming. Yet these people believe and refuse to have their faith challenged. I'll bet it's the same bunch that worshiped crystals not long ago. And converged harmonically before that.

In other words, they are nuts.

"Let's all turn to hymn number 312: Computer models we hold on high."

A Question

Are the authorities in Abingdon intentionally ignoring that house on Valley Street through which pass dozens of alleged illegal Mexicans each year? If money is being made by someone in the process of transporting the illegals, aren't there laws against trafficking in human contraband?

Just asking.

To Those Who Went To War

A dedication. And a profound thank you.

"Before You Go"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A New Punching Bag Emerges

The tree fell in the forest. But nobody was there to hear it. Did it make noise?
Democrat Carter Turner announces decision to challenge Del. Morgan Griffith
By Pete Dybdahl, Roanoke Times

With 99 days till the November election, a new Democrat has entered the race for the 8th District seat in the House of Delegates.

He is a political newcomer named Carter Turner, a Glenvar resident and Radford University assistant professor with the kind of Salem pedigree that one local Democrat termed "instant appeal."

Turner formally announced his candidacy outside the Roanoke County Courthouse on Monday, calling for "solution-oriented politics" and bipartisanship in Richmond. And he recounted his involvement in the recent effort to block an asphalt plant that had designs on Glenvar.

For boosting the local job market, he pointed to tax incentives for business and an expansion of rural broadband services and the Governor's Opportunity Fund.

He also said he would make a "common-sense" evaluation of the Standards of Learning curriculum. As for transportation, he mentioned a long-term goal was passenger rail. [link]
Passenger rail. Yeah. That'll excite all twelve people who will ever take advantage of it.

Tax incentives for business might be a good idea though. Perhaps Turner could get a list of potential incentives from Griffith and coordinate their efforts.

Or, better yet, he might simply start planning his next summer vacation. A wiser move, indeed.


When a politician no longer fears election day, we get ...

... arrogance and condescension:
Pelosi The Mistrusted
Investor's Business Daily editorial

Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims she has no use for polls. For her, that's a good thing, because polls now show that voters despise her. But a politician who disdains public approval should be a little disturbing.

Not every House leader has been popular, but none have reached the nadir of Pelosi. Last week, a Public Strategies/Politico poll showed she is now trusted by fewer than one out of four voters. Asked for a reaction by Politico's Glenn Thrush on Monday, Pelosi laughed it off, declaring "I don't care."

A response like that can only come from someone so securely unaccountable in power that listening to voters is unnecessary. Its starting point is in Pelosi's disregard for the mainstream.

The speaker, who represents radical-left San Francisco, is a proponent of an agenda out of tune with what the average American wants. She has a gargantuan appetite for government spending plus intrusive legislation that curtails citizen freedoms.

Pelosi's unpopularity is bad news not only for Republicans. It's now fracturing the Democratic Party and damaging Obama's presidency. It's a sign of a political entrenchment that answers to no voters, and more at home in Caracas than Washington. Congress better end this soon because it is not consistent with democracy. [link]
She's the most polarizing figure in Congressional history. It's time to send her to a back bench where she belongs.

This From a Scientist?

You can't make this stuff up:
Hard Data on Climate Change
By Brenda Ekwurzel, woriting in the Washington Post
[The writer is a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists]

George F. Will once again ignored scientific evidence when he claimed that there has been no global warming over the past decade ["Climate Fixers' Hard Sell," op-ed, July 23].

Earth's average temperature rises and falls in large part because of multiyear ocean cycles, such as El Niño and La Niña. At the same time, human-induced global warming has been steadily pushing average temperatures higher. Because of the natural ocean cycles, 1998 was a warm year. Global warming made it even hotter. Conversely, 2008 was a cooler year, but global warming made it less cool. [link]
"2008 was a cooler year, but global warming made it less cool." This may be the most pathetic excuse-making I've ever read.

Absolutely shameful.

Breaking News

Actually it's news that has been breaking for the last twenty years:
Investors In China Fuel Fast Expansion
By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post Foreign Service

Hong Kong, July 28 -- China's first initial public offering in nearly a year rose so high, so fast on Monday that regulators were forced to halt trading twice. The Hong Kong stock exchange's Hang Seng Index this week soared to double its low point last fall. And new lending on the mainland tripled to more than $1 trillion in the first six months of 2009.

While most other countries around the world struggle to stabilize their economies, China's appears to be rocketing back.

China's leaders say that the economy may have bottomed out in the second quarter of this year. The National Bureau of Statistics in China reported that gross domestic product, or the value of goods and services it produced, was up 7.9 percent in that period -- surprising analysts who had predicted growth rates to skid to as low as 4 percent. At this pace, China is on track to overtake Japan as the world's second-largest economy as soon as year's end. [link]
Meanwhile Obama works diligently to wreck the U.S. economy, with the hope that the Chinese will be there to prop it up.

Good God.

To What End?

What do these people expect to find that hasn't already been found?
New Inquiry Is Sought in Virginia Tech Massacre
By Ian Urbina, New York Times

A group of relatives of Virginia Tech shooting victims asked Gov. Tim Kaine on Tuesday to reopen Virginia’s investigation of the 2007 massacre at the university.

A group of more than 30 parents and relatives of those killed or injured by the student gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, issued a statement Tuesday saying that they were making the request because of last week’s discovery of missing mental health records at the home of Robert C. Miller, the former director of the university’s counseling center.

“While we appreciate the hard work of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, the report issued by the panel contains grave errors, misinformation and glaring omissions,” the statement said.

The investigation should be reopened, the relatives said, because it was conducted hastily, did not have all available information — including the mental health records — and had not interviewed Dr. Miller. [link]
They want to reopen that ugly wound?

I don't think so. It serves no purpose.

Why NASA Exists

Why it has an annual budget of $18,686,000,000:

So that astronomers can take photos of craft in outer space and we can marvel at their awesomeness.

That's the only good reason.


It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This

I thought Mr. Sunshine was supposed to bring us together as a people when he got elected.

Dem healthcare infighting intensifies
By Alexander Bolton and Jeffrey Young, The Hill

A House fight among Democrats on overhauling the nation’s healthcare system has spread to the Senate, where centrists and liberals are clashing over the direction the legislation should take.

Trouble is brewing now that a bipartisan group of senators — led by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) — has signaled it will exclude a government-run insurance option from the committee’s draft legislation that could be marked up next week.

Leaving it out would be a major step toward attracting Republican support for President Barack Obama’s signature issue. But it also would alienate liberals, who say the effort is wasted without it and ... [link]
Obama needs to work a little of that hope & change stuff on these guys. And quick.

It Was Meant To Be

With Barack Obama in charge this eventuality was only a matter of time:

Britain and US prepared to open talks with the Taliban

Expect the stoning of women in the sports stadiums of Kabul to resume in a few short months.

Meanwhile, our president has taken up the case of a rich black Harvard professor who claims he was profiled and discriminated against by the local police.

Oh, the humanity.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Survived

Hello to all. As you can see, I'm back from purgatory. It turns out that the power supply on my (once-) trusty Compaq went kaput. Circumstances and a lack of time prevented my fixing the thing before now. But now it's humming once again.

One thing that was learned in this ordeal that stretched into three days: Paula had expressed the thought over the years - on numerous occasions - that my concentrating so much on the weblog was jeopardizing our marriage. She felt that I wasn't devoting enough attention to her. She was being shortchanged.

Well, with my computer being down and the weblog being inaccessible, all my thoughts and actions in recent days went, as a result, her way.

Having gotten really tired of me chasing her around the house, she is now a big fan of the weblog.

Thanks to all who were worried that I'd died.

Warm hugs go out to those who were hoping I'd died.

And a special thanks to my daughter Jodi for stepping up and ... providing fashion tips ... in my absence.

I'm back! Let's rock!

This Land, Our Land

How wonderful it is.

My Beautiful America.

Have the sound up.

To Put It Mildly

Analysis: July has been disaster for Obama, Hill Dems

To Mark Warner & James Webb:

This one goes out to you.

From the National Right To Work Committee:

"Union bosses are counting on your Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb to join President Barack Obama in support of their radical agenda. Number One on Big Labor's list? the Card Check forced unionism bill."

Knowledge is a powerful weapon. Use it.

In Remembrance

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.
(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

You read here not long ago of the passing of a true American hero - Dickenson County's Darrell "Shifty" Powers. If you lived close by, you would even have been able to read of his relatively small funeral and memorial services. On June 17 Powers received his "just a simple headline ..."

Well, there is a story - another true story - about Darrell Powers making the rounds on the internet.* It is told by one Mark Pfeifer:
I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 .. . . " at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day..

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes . And it's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach.

He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.
No big event in Staples Center.
No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that's not right.

Rest in peace, Shifty.
- - -

Not gold, but only man can make
A people great and strong;
Men who, for truth and honor's sake,
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly --
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
-- Walt Whiman --

To you, Mr. Powers, our profound and unremitting thanks.

* In the email version I received, the story and email were attributed to war hero Chuck Yeager. The truth is - according to Snopes - Yeager had nothing to do with it. That doesn't take away from its poignancy.

Where ObamaCare Will Take Us

I fear for the elderly in this country. They'll be the first group of citizens to be cut loose when "universal" health care kicks in and the government tries - in the only way it can - to control costs.

I'm not alone in my fears:

"Experts predict medical care will be rationed, even denied to the elderly. So ask yourself this: Would you be willing to put your own family into the hands of Barack Obama's socialistic health care plan?"

Not in America. Not now. Not ever.

Like I've Been Saying

When it comes to ObamaCare, Mr. Hope&Change is promising everything to everyone, including reduced costs across the board. And that cannot be.

Robert J. Samuelson:
If you listen to President Obama, his "reform" will satisfy almost everyone. It will insure the uninsured, control runaway health spending, subdue future budget deficits, preserve choice for patients and improve quality of care. These claims are self-serving exaggerations and political fantasies. They have destroyed what should be a serious national discussion of health care.

The health-care conundrum involves a contradiction that the administration steadfastly obscures: In the short run -- meaning four to eight years -- government cannot both insure the uninsured and rein in health spending.

Judged objectively, "reform" may do exactly the opposite of what Obama says. But because the president is so well-spoken, he has the ability to make misleading statements sound reasonable or sophisticated. Still, they're misleading.
He has no choice. If Obama comes clean on the issue and admits that his proposals will make health care more expensive for the average consumer, why "reform" it at all?

So he lies. Through his teeth. Daily. And hopes and prays his legislation passes before most Americans wise up ans apply heat to Congress to stop it.

A new way of governing? I'll say.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hello to all of the From On High readers! My Father, Jerry, has asked that I deliver a message to all of you. My Dad has had a weather related computer malfunction. When I noticed that he had not updated his blog today I immediately called thinking there must be a major crisis. He has called a tech to help get back online but it will be Monday or Tuesday before anyone can take a look at it.

He will be back in short order to continue posting on From On High. Until then, I will be taking over the blog to discuss fashion tips. Just kidding Dad!

Hopefully he will back online Monday... Until then, a tip of the hat from the coast of North Carolina.

Jodi Fuhrman

Saturday, July 25, 2009

As The Dem's Frantically Look For a New Victim

... their leader in Roanoke County tells the press he's got the perfect candidate for the 8th District House of Delegates seat:

"'We have a very strong candidate forthcoming, who will be very impressive for this district,' said Brian Lang, chairman of the party's Roanoke County committee."

Find someone fast! A warm body! Anybody!

Obama Justice Dept. To Carilion:

We cannot allow a monopoly in the health care business.

Carilion target of FTC antitrust complaint

Unless, that is, it's a government monopoly.

Obama's Auto Takeover Is Working

The government seizure of General Motors and Chrysler has quickly brought, to the surprise of the experts, profitability.

To Ford Motor Company:
Ford Pushes Into the Black, Snapping Losing Streak
By Kendra Marr, Washington Post Staff Writer

Ford Motor on Thursday posted a surprise profit of $2.26 billion for the second quarter, ending a streak of four straight quarterly losses.

In recent months, the carmaker has claimed market share from its American rivals, General Motors and Chrysler, while those companies struggled to restructure their operations in bankruptcy court.

Ford executives now say the automaker is on track to return to annual profitability in 2011. [link]
There are more than a few explanations for this. Including that which the Post makes note of - dramatic cost cutting. And better quality vehicles coming off the line. And this bad boy may have something to do with recapturing the magic:

But more than anything else, in my humble opinion, the reason red-blooded Americans are now flocking to Ford? Government Motors.

Would you buy a car built by a company run by politicians?

Ford is looking more and more inviting all of a sudden.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Oh, My.

This is not good.

Especially considering the fact that his health care legislation hasn't been officially declared dead yet.

Especially considering the fact that his climate tax legislation hasn't been officially declared dead yet.

Especially considering the fact that the minimum wage went up yesterday, with the effects on employment - and more particularly on unemployment numbers - to soon be felt.

From Rasmussen:
Do-over! Do-over!

Let's Help Them Kill Themselves

I've never understood how this can be considered by seemingly intelligent people to be a good thing worth our support, but if they want to give drug addicts the gun to be used to blow their brains out, I'm good with it:

House Bill Lifts Ban On Needle Exchanges

As long as I don't have to pay for the funerals, okay.

An Interesting Perspective On Race ...

... and on those who thrive on it. The real racists of the 21st century:
The Officer Didn’t Stereotype Henry Louis Gates — Henry Louis Gates Stereotyped the Officer
By Patterico

Racism is simply a form of stereotyping. Stereotyping occurs when one says: because of my past experiences with people from your group, as well as things I have heard about people from your group, I am forming a firm opinion about you.

Racism is simply one form of that attitude, in which “people from your group” means “black people.”

Oddly, however, many black people feel perfectly comfortable engaging in a similar form of stereotyping, in which “people from your group” means “police officers” or “white people” — or, best of all, “white police officers.” Apparently, stereotyping those groups is a laudable pursuit.

The Henry Louis Gates arrest is yet another reminder of how quick some black people are to leap to unflattering conclusions about others based on scant evidence. Mickey Kaus reads Gates’s account of his arrest, and makes this observation:

"Just reading this passage–Gates’ own words–it seems to me he pops into litigious mode a little quickly. He says he wanted to file a complaint 'because of the way he treated me at the front door.' How had he mistreated him at the front door? He asked him ‘Would you step outside onto the porch?’ (where, as Gates notes, the cop would have more rights). When Gates refuses and instead gives the cop an ID, the cop looks at the ID. And at that point Gates has already determined he’s been treated unfairly. He’s already refusing to answer questions and planning to file a complaint. Again, from his own words it looks like he rushes a bit to the conclusion that a white man in a similar situation would have been treated differently. Is that really true?"

Is it really true? Gates has no basis to say. All he has is a collection of prejudices about the group to which the officer belonged: white police officers. And based on that collection of prejudices, Gates leapt to a conclusion — this police officer is a racist. [link]
It goes well beyond police officers. There are still people out there who will argue that ALL white Americans are racists, simply because they are white and are of the "White American" experience. Whatever that is. This despite the fact that many of us have moved (or are struggling mightily to move) beyond race and have rejected skin color as a basis for any discussion beyond what SPF level sun tan lotion should be purchased before going to the beach.

Is this Gates character a racist? Who knows. Outside the shrouded halls of academe, few know anything about him. But based upon the above, he certainly seems to be a stereotypist. Of the Jeremiah Wright School of Judging People By the Color of Their Skin Rather Than the Content of Their Character.

For that alone Gates should be denounced.

And then let's move on.

'Nostalgia For Racism'

Patterico argues that Henry Louis Gates is a stereotypist (my new word). See post above. But others claim something else came into play when the police knocked on his door and as events unfolded:
Gates and Obama’s nostalgia for racism
By Roger L. Simon

[T]he United States, of all places I have visited, has done the most to obliterate its racism in a concerted manner. Perhaps it is because we are such a melting pot and have little choice that we have made a great effort. And of course there is the more than justifiable guilt over slavery. So we tried hard. And we’ve done a remarkably good job, considering that deep in the human psyche is distrust of the other. Most of us prefer to live in a comfort zone of our own people, our own ethnic, religious and racial groups. But we know that’s not cool and have, in our culture, worked very hard to combat that. Most of us have, anyway. And we have reached a point, I would say as long as twenty years ago or maybe more, when to be a racist or to exhibit racist tendencies was despised. To put it succinctly, to be a racist was to be a jerk.

But when the rules change, when values change, not everyone can adjust with it — not only the racist, but also those who depended on being victims of racism. For all his brilliance, Henry Lewis Gates is evidently such a man. Otherwise, why cry out about being victimized as a “black man in America” before there is any evidence that that is the case?

This is nostalgia for racism and our president probably suffers from it as well, although perhaps to a lesser degree, considering he clearly plunged into the fray without thinking. The problem is that this nostalgia not only blames people unfairly, it also increases the very thing it pretends to oppose — racism itself. The unfair or inaccurate imputation of racism promotes racism.

Our universities are havens for this form of nostalgia, so it is not amazing that Gates would suffer from it. [link]
I have in the past referred to Al Sharpton and his ilk as being modern-day slave traders. People who live off of - and thrive on - the institution of race relations. Those who denounce Amerikkka as being a nation of racists, and make a tidy sum in speaking fees and book deals doing it.

But Gates (probably) and Obama (certainly) don't fall into that category.

Simon is right. Both seem to fit the "nostalgia for racism" mold, having both leapt to conclusions about the mindset of the arresting officer in the Gates affair. He was white, therefore they knew what he was thinking. It's what they learned and absorbed years ago and neither can get beyond it. And probably don't want to.

Too bad. Most of us here in post-racial America moved beyond race a long time ago.

When Hope & Change Are Put To Paper

The excerpts from Obama's health care press conference the other day came across as being surreal. I had one recurring thought as I read through them: How can he say that when he has admitted that he doesn't yet know what's in the legislation?

Obama: "We already have rough agreement. It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you're happy with it."

How can he say that when he has admitted that he doesn't yet know what's in the legislation?

Obama: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

How can he say that when he has admitted that he doesn't yet know what's in the legislation?

And on and on.

What it comes down to is this: Obama is all talk. And his talk doesn't match reality. But, as Charles Krauthammer has determined, Obama's talk is in the process of meeting a painful, agonizing reality:
Why Obamacare Is Sinking

What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality. As both candidate and president, the master rhetorician could conjure a world in which he bestows upon you health-care nirvana: more coverage, less cost.

But you can't fake it in legislation. Once you commit your fantasies to words and numbers, the Congressional Budget Office comes along and declares that the emperor has no clothes.

President Obama premised the need for reform on the claim that medical costs are destroying the economy. True. But now we learn -- surprise! -- that universal coverage increases costs. The congressional Democrats' health-care plans, says the CBO, increase costs on the order of $1 trillion plus.

Health care is his signature reform. And he knows that if he produces nothing, he forfeits the mystique that both propelled him to the presidency and has sustained him through a difficult first six months. Which is why Obama's red lines are constantly shifting. Universal coverage? Maybe not. No middle-class tax hit? Well, perhaps, but only if they don't "primarily" bear the burden. [link]
So Obama won in November by promising the impossible. And he still makes the same promise.

· Everyone will be covered.

· And the average American's costs will go down.

· Preexisting conditions? Covered.

· And the average American's costs will go down.

· A trillion dollar tax increase? Yes.

· And the average American's costs will go down.

· Fantastically expensive treatments for rare ailments? Covered.

· And the average American's costs will go down.

· Illegal aliens? Covered!

· And the average American's costs will go down.

How, Barack?

In truth, they won't. And everyone knows it.

Dreamy pie-in-the-sky, hopey changey rhetoric - meet reality.

Obama Will Blame The GOP

Crack a beer and turn up the volume. This is turning out to be better than "Desperate Housewives." And take note: This mud wrestling contest pits Democrats against Democrats. Is this great entertainment or what?
House healthcare talks break down in anger
By Jared Allen, Mike Soraghan and Lauren Burke, The Hill

House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders.

The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.

“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations.

“Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.

Although those Blue Dogs were supposed to be headed back into another meeting of the Energy and Commerce Democrats, their anger was visible.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option.

But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach. [link]
ObamaCare is dead. Stick a fork in it.

In a few weeks watch the press start offering Party-approved obituaries. The Republicans will be blamed for universal health care's demise (again). Despite the fact that they could - and should - wear that charge as a badge of honor, the GOP didn't kill it. The "Blue Dog Democrats" did.

Here's the irony: Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, rose to prominence as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It was Emanuel who received credit for the Dems' sweeping success in the November 2006 elections (Iraq and Bush had nothing to do with it, ahem). Included in the praise was that for his shrewd selection of conservative Democrats to run for Congress in the conservative South. Shrewd indeed.

But it's those same conservative Democrats - what we now call Blue Dog Democrats - who are stopping the HappyObamaHope&ChangeUniversalHealthcareMagicalMysteryTour in its tracks. The one being driven by ... Rahm Emanuel. Who ain't pleased with the actions - at all - of those he selected to run for Congress in the South in 2006.

Sweet Jesus. It don't get better than this.

Who's got the Bud? Pull up a chair. Kick back. And enjoy.

Man-Made Global Warming Theory Crumbling

As the statistics pour in, as analysis of the data is released, we learn more and more about that which caused the planet to warm - and then cool - at the end of the last century. It turns out to not have had anything to do with your SUV after all:
Another New Study Challenges Climate Change ‘Orthodoxy’
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor, CNS News

Virtually all changes in global atmospheric temperatures in the late 20th century were the result of nature rather than human activity, according to a new peer-reviewed study, one of whose authors predicted Friday was “sure to cause a stir.”

“It goes against the orthodoxy,” said climate scientist Chris de Freitas of New Zealand’s Auckland University. The new findings called into question the politically-correct, politically-motivated assumptions driving the climate change debate, he said.

De Freitas and Australian scientists John McLean and Bob Carter reported that at least 80 percent of climate variability tracked over the past half a century could be attributed to internal climate-system factors including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Pacific warming phenomenon and its cooling twin, La Nina.

This left little room for human-caused factors like emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. [link]
But how can this be? Al? Where's Crazy Al?

Oh, yeah. He's off counting his cash.

Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

Boy, has he stepped in it this time. I must admit, I had no idea that there'd be such a violent reaction to Barack Obama's use of the word "stupidly" when referring to the police actions in Cambridge, Massachusetts the other day. It appears that police officers across the country are speaking out about his harsh criticism of the tactics used in an incident he admitted he knew little about.

The latest:
Obama Seeks to Clarify 'Stupidly' Comment, Praises White Policeman

President Obama stopped short of an apology to Sgt. James Crowley on Friday for saying he "acted stupidly" for arresting black Harvard scholar Henry Lewis Gates Jr., but said he should have chosen his words more carefully.

At an impromptu appearance at the daily White House briefing, Obama said he spoke with Crowley over the phone, and said he wanted to share a beer with Crowley and Gates at the White House.

"Because this has been ratcheting up and I helped contribute to ratcheting it up, I want to make clear that in my choice of words I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically and I could have calibrated those words differently."

"My sense is you've got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve it the way the wanted to resolve it," Obama added.

Earlier in the day Friday, the Cambridge and area police unions voiced their support for Crowley and called for an apology from Obama for his statement.

"His remarks were obviously misdirected but made it worse yet by suggesting somehow this case should remind us of a history of racial abuse by law enforcement," Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said at a news conference. [link]
I've heard it said that Obama's initial reaction to the circumstances (that "history of racial abuse by law enforcement") was nothing more than Jeremiah Wright's teachings manifesting themselves. Cops = Evil. Perhaps Obama was paying attention in church all those twenty years after all.

I've also read that good presidents don't stoop to the level he did in criticizing controversial actions taken at the local level that make them rise to national prominence. Goes to show.

In any case, Obama has made himself the center of this controversy. Way to go, big guy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Non-Response

I brought to your attention yesterday the limp excuse-making that some of the lefty blogs here in Virginia put forth with regard to the tea party over in Charlottesville, including this one, the incident having to do with the police being called to 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello's office to have some of his constituents removed from in front of the building for having the audacity to expect their representative or one of his (their) employees to come out and talk to them. They were being noisy, you see. Darn constituents.

The excuse is this: It wasn't Perriello's office that called the police.

As I wrote yesterday: Why anyone ... else ... would be concerned about protesters being in front of Perriello's office remains a mystery.

But the authorities in Charlottesville tell us that it wasn't Perriello's office that called. Perriello's office.

So who was it that wanted Perriello's constituents removed from in front of Perriello's office?

I made a simple statement of fact:

"This can be easily resolved, by the way. Calls to the police on emergency communications lines (9-1-1) are a matter of public record. Charlottesville police should reveal the name of that individual who called and lodged the complaint."

So how does that lefty blog respond to this?

With this:
Fuhrman heartedly implies Perriello, his staff, and/or those blogging the facts are lying. Despite the mudslinging, which I can handle, this is the important part:

"This can be easily resolved, by the way. Calls to the police on emergency communications lines (9-1-1) are a matter of public record. Charlottesville police should reveal the name of that individual who called and lodged the complaint." (emphasis mine)

Mr. Fuhrman, not a bad idea! As I noted in my two previous posts, the Daily Progress did just this. Again:

(UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s office did not contact police about protesters gathered outside his Charlottesville headquarters, according to emergency communi-cation [sic] center records.) [emphasis mine]

Now, I don't know who called the police, but this exonerates Perriello's staff.
Does it?

Does this in any way exonerate Perriello's staff?

The Daily Progress update did no such thing.

Perriello's office phones were exonerated.

But his staff?

Has any one of them a cell phone?

Has any one of them not a cell phone?

Is there any reason to believe that it wasn't someone who had a vested interest in the disappearance of the rabble from in front of Perriello's office who called?

The statement that you cite, genius, advises from where the call DID NOT originate. It didn't give any indication if the call was made by a staffer using a simple device called a cell phone.

Read my statement again:

This can be easily resolved, by the way. Calls to the police on emergency communications lines (9-1-1) are a matter of public record. Charlottesville police should reveal the name of that individual who called and lodged the complaint."

Don't respond with a blog post telling me which phones weren't used. And don't believe for a minute that you resolved anything.

- - -

Oh, by the way, on a separate note, regarding that "mudslinging" thing (see above), I made no such effort. You'll know when I start slinging mud your way. For now just consider my interest in your work to rise to the spanking level.

Boucher's Running Scared

I read this piece in the Dickenson Star and had one reaction:

Rick Boucher knows he's made a huge mistake, has angered his once-most-loyal constituency, and is trying his best to cover his ass. In a most pathetic way.

It's almost painful. If it weren't so devious.

I'm adding comments in [brackets and bold type] where the record needs to be set straight:
Climate change negotiations a necessity
By Rick Boucher Ninth District Representative

As Southwest Virginians consider how the interests of our region will be affected by the passage of legislation controlling greenhouse gas emissions, these points may be of interest:

[Like he gave two thoughts to Southwest Virginians' consideration BEFORE he voted for it]

• The choice is not between doing something and doing nothing. In 2007, the Supreme Court effectively required EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

[The Supreme Court did no such thing. It merely accepted the argument that the EPA was, by law, granted the power to regulate CO2. The word "require" never came into the ruling.]

Therefore, the choice is between EPA regulation and Congress intervening with its own regulatory program. Virtually all interested parties, from industry to the environmental community, would prefer that Congress regulate because, unlike EPA, Congress can consider the economic effects of regulation.

[Does anyone in Southwest Virginia believe that Congress was considering the economic effects - especially those on the workers in the coal fields - of this climate legislation except in providing for more government relief for those who will most certainly be thrown out of work because of it?]

We can simply do a better job. In essence, we have no alternative but to pass legislation through the Congress regulating greenhouse gases and do so in an economically sustainable way.

[No alternative? You might consider being a representative of your people, Representative Boucher. No alternative? Are you a puppy dog? Have you no clout? Does your considerable seniority afford you no influence? Are you there to simply vote the way you're told? Do you not have it in you to fight for those who will be harmed by Al Gore and his ilk?]

• Improperly drafted legislation could have had a major adverse effect on both our region’s coal industry and electricity rates in our area. [I have no doubt that Boucher's biggest concern in this mess was "improperly drafted" legislation. Like that engineer aboard the Titanic who was concerned that the clock in the grand ballroom was five minutes off as water came pouring in]. As a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, ["which served me no purpose since I have no intestinal fortitude to actually use it to the advantage of Southwest Virginians"], I was determined to prevent these outcomes and to assure that the legislation which passed the House enabled growth in our region’s coal industry and kept the overall cost of the program to a negligible level for the typical homeowner. We have achieved these goals.

[A lie. He was determined to satisfy the needs of the powerful environmental lobby in his hometown of Washington D.C.. The damage that will be inflicted on the coalfields by this legislation - sweeping and breathtaking in its potentiality - is, by any expert's standard, going to bring economic devastation to the area like it hasn't seen since the Civil War.]

• To have a role in the legislation, I simply had to be a part of the process.

["Part of the process." An admission of powerlessness that I would be too ashamed to ever have made.]

If I had announced my intention to vote no, [here comes the whimpering] I would have had no ability to negotiate the dozens of changes in the original draft of the bill which were ultimately accepted and which earned for the legislation the support of a broad swath of American industry, including electric utilities and American Electric Power Co., which serves our region. Simply stepping aside and voting no would have been the politically easier course; however, it would have been irresponsible because I then would have had no opportunity to modify the legislation to prevent it doing serious economic harm.

[Pathetic. In the end, he caved and voted YES. He here brags that he was able to put off the destruction for a few years. But the destruction remains in the bill he not only signed on to but now works to get passed.]

Unless I was going to be helpful in moving the legislation through the House, the Chairman of the Committee would have refused to enter into the extensive negotiations with me which resulted in major modifications of the bill.

[We'll remember how "helpful" you were come election day, pal.]

• Over two months of intensive negotiations, I was able to modify the original bill to assure that emission allowances are provided for free to electric utilities.

[The part left out: For only a period of time. Then the electric utilities will be saddled with cap-and-trade taxes that will send our electric bills into the stratosphere.]

By receiving free allowances and avoiding the cost of acquiring allowances at an auction, electric utilities can keep electricity rates affordable and can continue to use coal instead of having to shift to a fuel that has a lower CO2 content.

[The clock, however, ticks down.]

Another of my changes provided the offsets which will enable electric utilities to achieve their required reductions in CO2 emissions by planting trees or investing in agriculture while continuing to use coal at the generating plant.

[A testament to the fact that Boucher's lived up in the Magic Kingdom too long. This is absolutely silly and misguided.]

The offsets enable CO2 emitters to meet their greenhouse gas reduction obligations while continuing to burn increasing amounts of coal. My amendments lowered the CO2 reduction targets and also facilitated the early introduction of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration technologies [Another silly notion.], which will assure the long-term life of the coal industry across our nation.

[Another lie. All experts agree, his legislation will destroy - is intended to destroy - the coal industry.]

• The official projection of the Environmental Protection Agency is that because of the amendments I was able to add to the bill, coal use will grow by 2020 as compared to 2005 production figures, [Bullshit. Why use the rabidly partisan EPA as a source on commercial/industrial growth, something it has no expertise in? I think we know why.] and the total cost of the program for the typical American home will be no more than 20 to 30 cents per day per family. That number is well less than the cost of a postage stamp daily.

["The cost of a postage stamp." An absolute lie. He extrapolates that comparison from a Congressional Budget Office report on the bill. But the CBO, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, "only includes the cost of implementing and maintaining the system. It doesn’t count the cost increases of energy not just on the homes themselves, but on every step of the distribution chain for goods and services, which will create a significant jump in prices, which is also a sharply regressive burden as it will hit hardest those with less disposable income." Every study of this legislation pegs the costs of implementation at levels that will bring widespread harm to the United States, and most particularly to Ground Zero in the climate fight - the coalfields.] [link requires paid subscription]
Bottom line: This letter to the editor of the Dickenson Star* is an effort on the part of our congressman to slither out of that which he's done to us. He, in fact, tries to tell us that blue is actually green. That we should trust him rather than all the experts. That he couldn't help it. He was powerless to stop it.

He's begging for your forgiveness.

How utterly humiliating.

For this we need representation?

For this we need Boucher?

* Thanks go to the Dickenson Star for putting Boucher's letter of deception on the Opinion page rather than on the front page.