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Thursday, January 29, 2009

This Ain't Good

There'll be those - lots of those - who will cheer the implications to be drawn from this story in the Roanoke Times:
Wages frozen, days cut at Times
By Jenny Kincaid Boone

The Roanoke Times announced Monday a companywide [sic] wage freeze and a five-day furlough to curb expenses in the midst of a recession and revenue declines that are wounding newspapers nationwide.

The furlough, which will require full-time and some part-time employees to take off five days without pay, will begin in February. The unpaid days will fall one Monday a month through June. Those days are Feb. 16, March 16, April 13, May 11 and June 15.

In early 2008, Norfolk-based Landmark Communications announced that it planned to market for sale its holdings, including The Roanoke Times. But the process halted in October, after potential buyers failed to obtain credit and falling advertising volume caused values to decline. [link]
I'll derive no pleasure from the fact that the Roanoke Times is soon to be no more.

Sure, like so many others here in Southwest Virginia, I am critical of the left-wing idiocy that appears daily in the editorial section of the paper. In fact, I'm quite offended on a regular basis by the efforts of the editorial page editor and his gang of liberals to drive this country further into the ground. And many of us wished the owner of the paper hadn't promoted an abortion cheerleader to be its publisher.

Both, alas, are excellent reasons for me to never advertise there.

But there is this: The Times, for its size, is a good paper (the above notwithstanding), with top notch reporters, and a nice, professional on-line layout. And it informs.

Most of all, the Roanoke Times is one of Southwest Virginia's largest employers (currently payrolling 390 full-time employees. This area doesn't need additional multitudes joining the ranks of the unemployed. That line is long enough already.

So here's hoping the Times can figure out the magic necessary to keep its doors open.

Here's hoping folks there find that magic soon.

Real soon.

Kaine's Tax Increase On Poor Axed

As well it should have been:
Cigarette tax increase snuffed out in House subcommittee
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times

Richmond -- A House of Delegates subcommittee on Wednesday rejected a cigarette tax increase proposed by Gov. Tim Kaine, delivering a blow to a major piece of the administration's plan to balance the state budget and minimize cuts to the Medicaid program.

By a vote of 8-2, a House Finance subcommittee voted to kill legislation (House Bill 2389) that would double the state's cigarette tax to 60 cents per pack and dedicate the revenue to a health care fund that supports the Medicaid program. [link]
Good riddance.

Let it be noted that opposition to Kaine's tax increase included Democrats. See the vote breakdown here.

Coalfield Progress Asks You To Make an Exception

Don’t drive drunk on Super Bowl Sunday

* Link requires a paid subscription.

Surprise. Surprise.

Breaking news!
American Union Ranks Grow After 'Bottoming Out'
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post Staff Writer

The percentage of American workers belonging to a union jumped in 2008, the first statistically significant increase in the 25 years that the figure has been reported, reversing a long decline in union membership.

In 2008, union members represented 12.4 percent of employed workers, up from 12.1 percent a year earlier, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued yesterday. [link]

Well, not really. The only remarkable aspect to this story is the fact that it took eleven paragraphs for the Washington Post to reveal the obvious:

"Roughly 275,000 of the union-member surge -- about two-thirds [of] last year's gain -- came from the public sector, according to the new federal statistics. Union gains in the private sector, by contrast, were meager."

Government has grown. Stop the presses.

'Nuff Said

Regarding the "stimulus" bill that passed the House yesterday with no Republican support, Matt Drudge says it all. To Barack Obama, who now stakes his presidency on its success at pulling the country out of its tailspin:
You wrote a massive check that our grandchildren will have to someday pay. If you fail, you'll go down in history as having contributed directly to the worst fiscal calamity in American history.

And the media won't get you out of this one.

Quote of the Day

Mark Steyn:

"The way things are going it won't be necessary to nuke the Bay Area."

In The End ...

... it turns out that Obama didn't have to include tax cuts in his stimulus debt bill to entice Republicans to vote for it after all:

House OKs Stimulus Without Any Votes From Republicans

He could simply have left it the wasteful pork bill that it originally was.

I don't think he'll be looking for that bi-partisanship going forward.


The day after that massive waste of a "stimulus" bill passed a Democrat House of Representatives, we are shocked by the New York Times to learn this:

Stimulus Components Vary in Speed and Efficiency

Cutting edge, fellas. Timely.

The rest of us knew this a week ago. That's why America turned against the bill so quickly.

Where you been?

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

"I'm going to give up on booze. Just as soon as I finish off this bottle of Wild Turkey."

And speaking of those now responsible for America's fiscal well-being:
OMB director calms Blue Dogs
By Patrick O'Connor, Politico

President Barack Obama's budget director has reached out to a trio of House committee chairmen, reminding them to remain fiscally disciplined — after they spend $825 billion to bolster the flailing economy, that is.

Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a note to Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) warning them some fiscal belt-tightening will come very soon.

"We need to recognize that this recovery and reinvestment plan is an extraordinary response to an extraordinary crisis," Orszag wrote. "It should not be seen as an opportunity to abandon fiscal discipline." [link]
"It should not be seen as an opportunity to abandon fiscal discipline." This on the same day that the majority Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to abandon all semblance of fiscal discipline.

May God have mercy.

No Sex Since 1955

A crusty old US Marine Sergeant Major found himself at a gala event hosted by a local liberal arts college.

There was no shortage of extremely young idealistic ladies in attendance, one
of whom approached the Sergeant Major for conversation.

"Excuse me, Sergeant Major, but you seem to be a very serious man. Is some
thing bothering you?"

, ma'am. just serious by nature."

The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action."

"Yes, ma'am, a lot of action."

The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, "You know
, you should lighten up a little.

Relax and enjoy yourself."

The Sergeant Major just stared at her in his serious manner.

Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"

"1955, ma'am."

"Well, there you are. No wonder you're so serious. You really need to chill out! I mean, no sex since 1955!

She took his hand and led him to a private room where she proceeded to "relax"
him several times.

Afterwards, panting for breath, she leaned against his bare chest and said, "Wow, you sure didn't forget much since 1955."

The Sergeant Major said in his serious voice, after glancing at his watch,
"I hope not, ma'am. It's only 2130 now."