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

Monday, January 05, 2009

Oh, Why Not.

Congressman Rick Boucher on bailing out ... well, every freaking industry in America:

"Hell, it's only money. What are you whining about?"

Boucher defends votes to bail out financial industry, automakers [, governors, the steel industry, American Express, the real estate industry, local school districts, retailers, the city of Detroit, Wall Street, big city Mayors, California, Hollywood, the Bears ... see below]

Here's Boucher, as reported by Hank Hays at the Kingsport Times-News. Does anyone believe this for a second?
U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher is defending his congressional votes for the $700 billion financial industry rescue and the multibillion-dollar bailout for the Big Three automakers, although he says a narrow margin of his constituents backed both measures.

Boucher, an Abingdon Democrat, said a “bare majority” of his 9th Congressional District constituents who sent e-mails and messages encouraged him to vote for both measures.

“People understand what’s at stake here. They know this is not a gift to anybody. They understand this is an investment."
It's a gift.

And then there's this:
Boucher admitted it is “personally distasteful” to invest in automakers the same way the federal government did with Chrysler about 30 years ago.

“In this case, it’s necessary because if any of these (car) companies go under and has to liquidate, there is a great risk the other two would as well because they all depend on a common base of parts suppliers,” Boucher said. “If any of those suppliers loses a big customer, one of the Big Three, that supplier is no longer there for the other two alone. ... About 2 million jobs nationwide vanish. That cannot happen. If that were to happen this economy would be in total free fall. We would be back to Depression-era unemployment numbers.”
Yeah, sure. Distasteful.

Look, this is wrong on many levels.

First, I wonder how Boucher's constituents up at Volvo in Dublin feel about his giving Volvo's competitors (GM and Ford both make trucks) an unfair advantage by pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into manufacturing plants that are in states far far away. And I wonder how the Volvo workers (what's left of them) feel about Boucher giving taxpayer cash to a truck manufacturer - GM - in Mexico. Ford's there too. And soon it'll be in South Africa. The two in fact have dozens of automobile manufacturing plants all over the world.

Second, this is a zero-sum game. Supply and demand. Or, to put it in terms that Boucher can understand, you (... put down the rubber ducky and ...) take a glass of water out of one end of the full bathtub and pour the water into the other end, the water level as a whole ... remains the same!

People will be buying cars. And trucks. If they can't find a GM car, they'll buy a Toyota. And where are Toyotas made? Kentucky. And soon, if the economy stabilizes, in Mississippi. Nissan? Tennessee. Volkswagen? Soon they'll be in Tennessee. Subaru? Indiana. Honda? Ohio. And soon in Indiana. Mercedes? Alabama. Boucher's right about the fact that all these manufacturers share parts suppliers with "The Big Three" here in the U.S. But he's wrong when he says the industry will crumble if the "No Longer Big Three" fold. "Foreign rivals would step up if U.S. carmakers break down":
The failure of one or more of the Detroit Big Three automakers would put a huge initial dent in American manufacturing, but in time foreign-car companies would pick up the slack by stepping up production in their plants here, many industry experts and economists say.
Let me ask you, did we have a shortage of pantyhose when Kmart closed a thousand stores several years ago? No. Wal-Mart executives yelled, "Yippee!" and got on the phone to their pantyhose suppliers and ordered big. BIG. And I was able to get my pantyhose ... (uh, I think we'll save that story). The same will happen in the auto industry (with time for retooling).

Let's cut through the fluff and bluster here. Why did Boucher support a bailout of the auto industry really? The UAW is - and has always been - a leading contributor to his reelection campaigns. Pure and simple. You need know nothing more.

You need believe nothing more.

* A shout-out to Carl Kilo for the link.

Can We Get a Six-Pack Of Bud?

When do us taxpayers get some of this action?

U.S. governors seek $1 trillion federal assistance

Steel industry hopes for big stimulus shot

American Express Becomes A Bank... And Wants Bailout Money

Real estate industry also wants bailout

Local school district wants bailout money

Retailers want bailout, too

Automakers in Trouble - GM wants Bailout

Detroit Wants Bailout

Wall Street Wants Bailout

Mayors want bailout money for cities

California will lead states seeking bailout

Will Hollywood be the Next Bailout Candidate?

Bears in need of a bailout

Uh, I think I'd better check my wallet.


If a tree falls in the forest and no one's around to hear it, does it make a noise?

Tim Kaine is leaving us.

Will his departure make any difference?

Atheist: Don't Call Me An Atheist

This, from a Roanoke Times guest column, is funny, if confused:

Since I and a few others were the object of staff writer Rob Johnson's article "Nonbelievers go through the motions," I would like to respond to some of the article's comments.

Johnson continually referred to myself [sic] and others as atheists. Atheist is an inflammatory and derogatory word that many attach to the outspoken, somewhat surly Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who attacked the practice of school prayer in the 1960s. Her vocal outrage not only culminated in the ending of that practice but placed her squarely at the top of America's "People to Hate" list.

I and, I suspect, others like me would prefer to be called nonbelievers, because terminology does make a difference. If you don't believe this, consider the words "courtesan" and "prostitute."
Does this fella do himself favors by comparing himself to a ten dollar hooker? I don't know.

But beyond that, I want a show of hands. How many of you associate the word atheist with Madalyn Murray O'Hair? How many of you even know who she was?

You're an atheist, pal. A nonbeliever. An adherent to the doctrine or belief that there is no God. You can call yourself a member of "the reality-based community." Or a "believer in nothing." Or a courtesan. Or just plain smarter than the rest of us. But you're an atheist. Live with it.

For a while anyway ...

I can't imagine ...

... the grief, the agony.

What the Travoltas must be going through. Horrible. Just horrible.

The New York Post:

John Travolta and Kelly Preston held their son's hand and frantically begged him to live while they rode with him in an ambulance, it was revealed yesterday as the actor spoke out for the first time about the couple's heartache.

"Jett, come on, Jett, come on, come around!" Travolta begged Friday morning as he held the 16-year-old's limp hand en route to a hospital in the Bahamas, recalled EMT crew chief Marcus Garvey.

A weeping Preston then grabbed her son's hand, urging him, "Come on baby, come on, Jett!" according to an interview Garvey gave Radaronline.com.

Just moments earlier, Travolta had rushed to give "the kiss of life" to his son at their vacation townhouse after hearing screams from the teen's attendant, Jeff Kathrein, and feeling a "slight pulse" in the dying boy, according to the star's lawyer, Michael McDermott. "I tried the kiss of life for about 20 minutes. I wouldn't give up. Jeff gave Jett CPR," Travolta said, according to McDermott.

Our hearts break. No parent should have to endure this. Ever.

Photo courtesy of ETonline.com

Let It Be Duly Noted ...


North Dakota experienced only two murders in 2008. Both were stabbings. Not a single firearm murder in the state. Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership has ranked North Dakota 44 out of 50 in gun control.

Update: Similar trend in gun-friendly New Hampshire:

"Two murders non-justifiable homicides (10% of all homicides) committed with a gun in the entire state of New Hampshire (population 1.32 million).

How's that possible? Do they have better trained guns in those two states?

Odd, I Thought That Was Our Job

Senator Harry Reid has decided that the government is now going to determine who our congresspersons will be. So butt out.

Says our new emperor:

"We [meaning Reid and his pals] determine who sits in the Senate. And the House (of Representatives) determines who sits in the House. So there's clearly legal authority for us to do whatever we want to do. This goes back for generations."

I wonder if the people of Illinois are going to agree with Reid's startling diktat.

It All Becomes Clear

Except for a few warped economists who reside in the New York Times editorial boardroom, most experts have been puzzled - at least - and highly skeptical - to a man - about Obama's plan for long-term job creation through a trillion dollar "stimulus plan." Well, the details are coming out and the man's plan is taking shape. Obama doesn't "plan" on growing the economy (because, in part, he hasn't the first clue as to how to go about it), he's going to create make-work government jobs. FDR kind of jobs. Hire a crew to dig a hole and another crew to fill it in kind of jobs. WPA jobs.

Oh, he says he's going to create 2,400,000 private sector jobs too. Hey, someone's got to be hired to weigh the dirt brought up from those holes. A whole lotta someones in fact.

Jake Tapper has the story:

Prez-Elect Makes New Pitch, Promises on Job Creation -- Including 600,000 New Government Employees

Reminds me of those 100,000 cop jobs that Bill Clinton created (okay, it actually turned out to be only 60,000, with some being nothing more than laptop computers). The local police officers were employed only as long as the federal dollars were made available - which meant, in many cases, one year. Then, back to Wal-Mart they went.

Anyway, Obama has a plan to grow the economy the government. That's what he was elected to do, right?