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

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Anyone At The Helm?

How did the Bristol Herald Courier's editor let this, from a reader's letter thereto, get past him?

The very first sentence in "Writer Urges Support For Stimulus Plan":

"In fall 2008 a Republican-held Congress approved more than $700 billion in corporate bailouts with little planning and no accountability."

I know history in this our enlightened era is whatever we deem it to be but ...

... Congress was "Republican-held" in 2008?

Flush It

The question is: How much money are the people of Virginia willing to lose on this hopeless proposition?
Passenger train may extend to Roanoke
By Mason Adams, Roanoke Times

Richmond -- Passenger rail service hasn't been available to Roanoke since 1979, despite its roots as a rail town.

But a state official told a state Senate panel Friday that -- assuming funding is available and there's no conflict with freight trains run by Norfolk Southern Corp. -- there could be Amtrak passenger rail service up and running between Roanoke and Lynchburg and on to Washington by as early as 2015.

From there, the state is looking at a further extension south to Bristol, possibly by 2020, said Kevin Page, chief of rail transportation for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. [link]
The cost? Anybody's guess. It's certain to be completely underestimated by the experts.

How many people will actually ride the damn thing? Far fewer than anyone is willing to put their reputations on the line to conjecture.

A better idea?

Why not just lease one of these and put it on a daily Roanoke-to-Richmond run and save millions of taxpayer dollars?

I know. It's not that vaunted "mass transit" that Democrats get all orgasmic about. It's too little an idea to qualify as one of their "big ideas," the kind of thinking required of our elected officials, they tell us.

And it's just too darn economical to be a viable alternative to a multi-million dollar passenger train.

I'd be willing to bet, though, that a Dodge B3500 15-seat van will accommodate every person who wants a ride to Richmond from Roanoke each day.

But no. We're going to spend tens of millions on a passenger rail system that will go virtually unused on a daily basis. That's a "big" idea. The kind our government is known for.

Passenger rail service out of Roanoke. What a cruel joke.


The Washington Post this morning:

"Bipartisanship produced Friday's stimulus deal ..."


The Usual Suspects

Actually, I thought the two Republicans who were sure to eventually betray their party, cave to the president's pressure, and decide to support his monumentally wasteful "stimulus" bill would have been Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

And although the vote on the bill hasn't occurred yet - and Ms. Snowe may yet come through - I was right about Collins. Betrayal is standard operating procedure for this liberal from Maine:
Senators Reach Accord on Stimulus Plan as Jobs Vanish
By Carl Hulse and David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times

Washington — Senate Democrats reached an agreement with Republican moderates on Friday to pare a huge economic recovery measure, clearing the way for approval of a package that President Obama said was urgently needed in light of mounting job losses.

The details were negotiated at an afternoon meeting in the office of the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, involving Mr. Reid, other top Democrats and two Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. [link] [my emphasis]
Oh, yeah. Specter. I forgot he existed. He can always be counted on for betrayal as well.

But wait. I didn't read far enough into the story:
"Mr. Obama called Ms. Collins and Mr. Specter, as well as Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, another Republican expected to support the deal, to acknowledge they were acting against pressure from their party and, one official said, to thank them for their patriotism in helping advance the bill at a critical time."
I was right. The usual suspects. All three represent the Republican Party of 2008 well. How proud they must be.

How Dare You?

Someone in the press wants to ask a question of Obama's people that doesn't have to do with the kids' homework assignments, his favorite hip-hop group, or the evening meal?

There'll be none of that.

This is pathetic.

How Times - Quickly - Change

One month ago, when he was Emperor of the Planet:

"He told reporters at his transition office that his package will set a 'new higher standard of accountability, transparency and oversight. We are going to ban all earmarks, the process by which individual members insert projects without review.'"

Now that Obama's been exposed as being just another political hack:

"Stopping just short of a take-it-or-leave-it stand, Obama has mocked the notion that a stimulus bill shouldn't include huge spending. He's also defended earmarks as inevitable in such a package."

Now that's ... change.

A Slap On The Wrist

For her willful actions, this little sweetheart deserved some of President Bush's Guantanamo action. At least until Obama gets going, that's what we do with anti-American terrorists, right?

Or maybe that's too good for her too:
Woman Gets 22 Years For '99 Mich. Campus Arson
Associated Press

(AP) A radical activist who helped set a $1 million fire to protest research on genetically modified crops was sentenced Thursday to nearly 22 years in prison _ even more than the prosecution recommended.

Marie Mason decided to "elevate her grievances beyond the norms of civilized society" through fire and destruction, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said. The case _ which was prosecuted as domestic terrorism _ was "about an abandonment of the marketplace of ideas," he added.

The explosion and fire caused more than $1 million in damage to Michigan State University's Agriculture Hall on New Year's Eve 1999.

The 47-year-old Mason, of Cincinnati, had acted on behalf of the radical group Earth Liberation Front, or ELF, which has been implicated in a spate of similar crimes, mostly in the West.

At MSU, Mason and [her former husband Frank] Ambrose targeted a campus office that held records on research related to moth-resistant potatoes for poor parts of Africa. Computers, file cabinets and desks were doused with a flammable liquid. Vapors contributed to an explosion, and the fire got out of control. [link]
Moth-resistant potatoes? Oh, the horror.

Anyway, this bit of human waste, this ELF twit, is going to the slammer and, if society's lucky enough, she'll stay there until she's a wrinkled old prune.

There is sometimes justice to be found in this land of ours.

Even CNN Is Appalled

Regarding the hysterically hypocritical and holier-than-thou members of Congress, when even CNN finds their actions beyond ridiculous, you know these guys have gone off the deep end:
Commentary: Congress clueless about retreats
By Campbell Brown, CNN

(CNN) -- Leave it to members of Congress to be completely daft, entirely clueless, and unbelievably out of touch.

Seriously, only a member of Congress can make a Wall Street executive seem like a sympathetic figure these days. And boy, do they make my job easy.

Yes, while our representatives have been jumping up and down screaming about the excesses of Wall Street, condemning those corporate boondoggle trips to luxurious resorts, what do they do?

They all go away on retreat together to a luxurious resort. [link]
The sad part of it is, not one of these jokers sees anything wrong with it.

If Washington were swallowed by a black hole tomorrow, I doubt that any one American would give two squirts.

So Much For 'Bipartisanship'

We all knew There were a few of us who knew all along that the slop Barack Obama was feeding the American people during his run for the presidency about bringing change to Washington was nothing more than a cynical tactic intended to bring him victory.

That it did.

That it was.

Yesterday, in a speech to his fellow Democrats who gathered at that luxurious seaside resort here in Virginia, a speech from which I caught some of the more memorable snippets, he sounded like Washington at its worst. Washington as it's become. Lashing out at his Republican opponents, he was defensive, snide, impertinent, even mean-spirited.

And what he presented to the gathered elite was the same old, same old. A plan for massive government spending that was intended to reward friends and empower favored interest groups. That now infamous stimulus plan.

The story:
Obama ratchets up the rhetoric on stimulus plan
By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) -- President Barack Obama's soft-sell pitches to Republicans haven't gotten him very far on his economic stimulus plan, so he's resorting to a sharper tone that is at odds with his vow to make Washington less partisan.

Stopping just short of a take-it-or-leave-it stand, Obama has mocked the notion that a stimulus bill shouldn't include huge spending. He's also defended earmarks as inevitable in such a package. And he's pointedly reminded Republicans about who won the November election.

The heightened rhetoric reflects White House frustration that Obama's earlier efforts, which included high-profile visits to House and Senate Republicans last month, yielded not a single House GOP vote for the legislation. [link]
A rather childish reaction, to those of us who weren't swept away by his wardrobe and by his jump shot.

Oh, and lest we forget:

"'They sent us here to bring change,' he said."

A Democrat.
Spending massive amounts of money the Treasury doesn't have.
On pork.

Please. I'm not sure we can handle all this ... change.