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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kaine To GOP: 'Bend Over'

You'll be hearing a lot in coming months about the need for "cooperation." The big question will be just how much our taxes will be going up here in the commonwealth.

"Meet me half way, Republicans. I'm willing to accept a large tax increase rather than a moderate tax increase. In the name of magnanimity. In this time of crisis. I'm a cooperatin' kinda guy."

It's at this point that you're supposed to be whelmed:
Kaine makes appeal for cooperation in crisis
By Michael Sluss and Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

Richmond -- In each of the past two years, Gov. Tim Kaine stood before a joint session of the General Assembly and reported that the "state of the commonwealth" is strong.

On Wednesday, with Virginia mired in a budget crisis, Kaine used different phrasing. The governor appealed to a politically divided legislature for cooperation and said: "If we act with the resolve that has been summoned ... [blah blah blah]

The governor has proposed deep spending cuts, including reductions in education and Medicaid funding, and an increase in the state's cigarette tax to balance the budget. [link]
We've talked about the cigarette tax and how an increase there will fall most heavily on the poorest among us. An irony in this time of crisis if there ever was one. But does anyone think it's actually going to stop there? Does anyone remember how this Kaine character brought up the need for an increase in taxes to pay for transportation days AFTER he was elected? AFTER an increase in cigarette taxes, does anyone think he'll stop there?

Special session here we come. Again. The crisis continues.

A crisis of confidence, if you ask me.

Government Becomes Comedy

Obama's pick to be the overseer of the IRS is accused (and pleads guilty) of having failed to pay taxes and, according to those in the media who are paid to prop up this ship of fools, it's just no big deal. One example of many:
The Nomination That's Too Big to Fail
By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post

In the scandal-obsessed capital, the latest public peccadillo has been met by uncharacteristic indifference. [Timothy] Geithner, the man who would oversee the IRS, paid the government $42,702 because of mistakes he had made on his tax returns, and he disclosed to lawmakers that he briefly had a housekeeper without proper immigration papers. It's the sort of embarrassment that usually fires up the opposition -- but this time, as one senior GOP official put it, "CNN is talking about it more than we are.

There seems to be no chance that Geithner will suffer the nannygate fate of Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood or Linda Chavez; Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont) said his confirmation is "a given." Part of that is because Geithner's transgressions are relatively minor. But mostly, senators have decided that times are too dire to be puritanical. [link]
The times are too dire[ful]. That, it seems to me, is an excellent argument for jailing Geithner, rather than promoting the guy. Think about it, at a point in time when Americans are expected to rely on their government for their salvation like never before, the chief tax law writer in Congress is accused of cheating on his taxes and the soon-to-be chief tax collector in the Executive is accused of having cheated on his taxes. The obvious question arises: Is it okay for us to cheat on our taxes? Apparently, if you ask Washington Post columnists.

It becomes farce.

These guys are going to turn the economy around? Give me a break. They can't even fill out a 1040 properly. Or choose not to. And now they aren't even expected to.

The stuff of Saturday Night Live.

They Have Lost Their Minds

How else to explain the need to punish an already brutalized economy? From The People's Republic of Wisconsin:
City of Madison, Wis. Eyes Draconian Zoning Ordinances to 'Adapt to Climate Change'
By Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute

Call this a case of liberalism via central planning gone wild.

In one of the most politically left-of-center cities east of Berkeley, ideas put forth at city hall in Madison, Wis. would dramatically limit free enterprise and personal liberty, all in the name of environmental sustainability.

According to the “Broad Strategies” section of a meeting agenda recently posted on the City of Madison Web site, an ordinance being considered would force city zoning to account for and mitigate climate change ...

Other more Draconian regulations throughout the document would:

* Limit waterfront development in the name of water sustainability,
* Require two trees to be planted if one is removed from your property
* Limit the “number/density of fast food outlets and drive-through windows” in the name of public health
* Discourage individual parking options to promote public transportation usage [link]
Here's how the fools there are able to pull this off:
Madison is the state of Wisconsin’s capital and home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With a very low industrial base and few blue-collar workers, it has a reputation for being politically liberal, based on a high concentration of government employees, academics and students within its city limits.
That, by the way, is a redundancy. Academics are government employees too. And University of Wisconsin students there suck at the government teat. So Madison, in fact, has "a high concentration of government employees, government employees, and those being indoctrinated by government employees."

In the real world they, with their fatuous ideas, wouldn't last a month.

Pinch Me

A columnist for the New York Times puts into words that which I've been saying (and writing) for years:
Where Sweatshops Are a Dream
Nicholas D. Kristof

Mr. Obama and the Democrats who favor labor standards in trade agreements mean well, for they intend to fight back at oppressive sweatshops abroad. But while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they don’t exploit enough.

Talk to these families in the dump, and a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream, an escalator out of poverty, the kind of gauzy if probably unrealistic ambition that parents everywhere often have for their children.

“I’d love to get a job in a factory,” said Pim Srey Rath, a 19-year-old woman scavenging for plastic. “At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.”

I’m glad that many Americans are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid, barely legal workers in dangerous factories. Yet sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. [link]

This, of course, isn't going to sit well with all those geniuses with the yet-to-be-matured brains on America's college campuses. They see a poor slob living in the jungles of Guatemala making shoes for the American consumer and demand that they be paid prevailing American union wages - or paid nothing at all, calling for the "sweatshops" to be shut down.* Brilliant.

Kristof is right on the money. $12 a day is awful. And $12 a day is $12 more than the third world's average citizen makes. Like it or not.

- - -

* That's why America's organized labor is the biggest provocateur in this effort. If an employer is required to pay someone in Guatemala the same wage as a worker in Dubuque, why build a plant in the remote jungles of Guatemala?

Another Campaign Promise Into The Toilet

I thought it hilarious when, during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama tried to show how tough he could be on terrorism by saying he would hunt down and kill Osama bin Ladin (tougher than John McCain!). I knew at the time that he was joking.

He was joking:
Barack Obama: it is no longer essential to kill Osama bin Laden
By Tom Baldwin, Times of London

Barack Obama last night suggested that removing Osama bin Laden from the battlefield was no longer essential and that America's security goals could be achieved by merely keeping al-Qaeda "on the run".

"My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him," he said. "But if we have so tightened the noose that he's in a cave somewhere and can't even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America."

His comments, in a CBS interview last night, ... appear to contradict Mr Obama's own statements made in the election campaign.

As recently as October 7, in a presidential debate, Mr Obama said: "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

But yesterday, the President-elect adopted far less aggressive language, saying his "number one priority" was to protect America from further attack. [link]

That's laughable too. In fact it's his number 456 priority. Just behind getting the kids' homework done each evening. But hey, he's black!, so we support him.

This is the guy, you may recall, who said he would invade Pakistan (an ally) (whatever it takes!) in order to track down and kill bin Ladin. Now he'll issue an arrest warrant and be done with it.

What a jokester.

A Dog's Devotion

Watch closely as this dog goes through the dance routine with its handler. His (her?) eyes never leave its master:

Amazing. Heartwarming.