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

Friday, February 13, 2009

You Make Your List, I'll Make Mine

The editorialists at the Galax Gazette are disappointed that the Virginia General Assembly isn't doing more to punish smokers:
Revenue Up In Smoke
editorial

It was encouraging to see Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly clear the air between them and compromise on a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

It was less encouraging to see a proposed 100 percent hike in the cigarette tax go up in smoke last week, as Virginia lawmakers voted down a bill that would have used the increased revenue to offset the planned cuts to the state's Medicaid program in en effort to make up a projected $2.9 billion shortfall in the budget.

The state absorbs $400 million in Medicaid costs for tobacco-related illnesses, Gov. Tim Kaine has said. The ban is a nice gesture, but the tax hike would have been more beneficial to Virginia. [link]
But wait. $400 million is spent here in Virginia to deal with "tobacco-related illnesses" (a highly dubious guess). But 100% of the $4,654,115,156 spent on Medicaid (in 2006) went to fighting the effects of poverty.

Rather than focus on that miniscule 10% of the problem, why not put a hefty tax on the other 90% of our poor as well? You want them punished? That'll punish them.

Tax the bastards! Make 'em squeal! They're costing us money!

"But we can't do that. They did nothing to deserve such harsh and arbitrary treatment," you'd say.

And you'd be right.

On Those 3 GOP Turncoats

Kimberly Strassel, writing in this morning's Wall Street Journal, says they didn't turn at all. They were going to side with the liberal Democrats all along. She's right:
Obama's Enablers in Chief

Sens. Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter ...

[O]nly in Washington could the word "powerful" be applied to three members who voted for a bill that they always intended to vote for, no matter how big, bad or ugly. Their real accomplishment this week wasn't "fixing" the stimulus; they didn't. Their real role was providing cover for moderate Democrats (smile, Messrs. Conrad and Nelson) who might have been reluctant to vote for an unpopular spending blowout, were it not for GOP back-up.

Ms. Snowe had to be worried that someone might remember that she's spent 13.99 of her 14 years in the Senate publicly agonizing, usually in view of a camera, about the "deficit." Or that as recently as, oh, January, she was fervently devoted to "paygo" -- which she waived in deference to $839 billion in deficit spending. She might have even worried her enthusiasm for this bill might finally, after all these years, highlight that her fiscal responsibility only surfaces when it is time to oppose a tax cut, and that she's never met spending she didn't love.

But no worries! Who has time to remember all those obvious facts? [link]
Liberal Republicans. The downfall of the Gingrich Revolution. The primary reason for the demise of the Republican majority. The bane of the conservative movement.

Banishment seems now appropriate.

- - -

* It's particularly galling that Arlen Specter is involved in this embarrassment. In 2004, conservative Republican Pat Toomey had an excellent chance of unseating the egregiously liberal Specter in the November elections. Had it not been for President Bush's intervention on behalf of Senator Spector, Toomey would have won.

Conservative Republicans in Pennsylvania have been seething ever since.

We Aren't Talkin' Chump Change

This is why you should be having sleepless nights over Obama's plans for the country's future. It's absolutely frightening.

From Harvard economist Greg Mankiw on past and projected federal deficits:

You can blame Bush for a lot of things. Including the ongoing recession. Most will.

But you can't blame Bush for that which is taking place as revealed above. It's all Obama. And it's a blunder of historic proportions.

We are out of control.

* Click on the image to enlarge it.

What We Need First & Foremost

Confidence that our political leadership knows what it's doing. The "All we have to fear is fear itself" thing.

Does this give you confidence?

In Midwest, Obama Sings Praises of Stimulus Plan

Obama hasn't read the plan. Except in broad terms, he hasn't a clue what's in it. But he's out singing its praises.

A confidence builder?

I have one response. Gold. Take all your liquid assets and invest in gold.

This ain't gonna end well.

Ship of Fools

Well, we could have picked from any of a number of qualified candidates. Instead we wanted the black guy. So we got the black guy. The unqualified black guy. The completely inexperienced and unqualified black guy.

We got what we wanted. We get what we deserve:
OBAMA BURNED: GREGG WITHDRAWS AFTER POLICIES TOO MUCH TO STOMACH
Drudge Report

Senator Gregg Statement on His Withdrawal for Consideration of U.S. Commerce Secretary

Sen. Gregg stated, “I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives. [link]
This isn't even funny anymore.

Quote Of The Day

Peter Wehner on the withdrawal of Judd Gregg's name for Secretary of Commerce:

"It is really quite astonishing. 'I screwed up' may become a bi-weekly confession."

"Take Three For Commerce," National Review's "The Corner," February 12, 2009