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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

He Doesn't Get It

And neither do the editorialists at the Roanoke Times.

Today's editorial (with occasional interjections provided by me):
Harsh truths, a hopeful vision

President Obama delivered a clear-eyed assessment of the nation's grim economy to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. His overarching message, though, was upbeat and confident: We can do better than simply endure a deepening worldwide recession; we can come out of it a better nation.

The president struck a balance between the painful honesty the times require and the hopes he has inspired.

He issued an urgent call to turn a crisis into an opportunity to address festering national ills:

... dependence on foreign oil ...

[Never mind the above-mentioned economic crisis]

... an unsustainable health care system ...

[Never mind the above-mentioned economic crisis]

... and an education system that continues to leave many children behind.

[Never mind the above-mentioned economic crisis]

[I]t comes in already tumultuous times, while major financial institutions teeter on the brink of insolvency, consumer confidence has hit rock bottom and the only promise economists can make is that things will get worse before they get better. [link]
But, what the heck. It's only an economic crisis.

For the love of God.

The Anti-Trejbal Bill

I don't know if Roanoke Times columnist Christian Trejbal is proud of the fact that a bill passed by the Virginia legislature that came about as a result of actions he took could easily bear his name, or if he wants to run and hide because of it.

But pass the Anti-Christian Trejbal Act did:
Va. bill blocking gun permit information passes
Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- The public would not have access to a statewide database of Virginians with permits to carry concealed handguns under legislation on its way to the governor.

Republican Delegate Dave Nutter's bill passed out of the Senate unanimously on Wednesday. It passed unopposed from the House earlier this month.

The public still could get information on concealed carry permit holders at each circuit court, but would not have access to a statewide State Police database.

Nutter first introduced the bill last year after The Roanoke Times posted the state police database of permit holders on its Web site. [link]
For those not familiar with the story, go here. Mr. Trejbal decided two years ago to make the names and addresses of concealed carry permit holders available to the public. The public, in turn, was outraged (to the point where Trejbal's home address was also made public and he feared for his life). He's also been a discussion point across the country when it comes to "the public's right to know."

I see this as Delegate Dave Nutter's effort to protect Christian Trejbal - and journalists like him - from themselves. Impress us with your reporting (and analysis), fellas. Not with what you think you can get away with.

Anyway. Roanoke Times editorial writer Christian Trejbal has his own law. How proud he must be.

Music To My Ears

I still smile when I think on the day that Republican-in-name-only Lincoln Chafee got bounced from office in Rhode Island in the otherwise depressing 2006 elections. That alone made the Democratic sweep to power tolerable.

This news is just as sweet:
Gleason: Pa. GOP may not back Specter
By Josh Drobnyk, The Morning Call.com

Pennsylvania Republican Committee Chairman Robert Gleason Jr. said in an interview today that the state party may not support Sen. Arlen Specter in the Republican primary next year -- a day after his national counterpart suggested that GOP supporters of the economic stimulus bill could take a hit in upcoming elections.

"I really can’t make that call right now. That is kind of a what-if question. I really don’t know what it is going to be like," he said. "I don’t even know if he is going to be a candidate. Who knows what is going to happen a year from now. With all this conjecture about Arlen Specter’s reelection effort … if he is a candidate, we will cross that bridge when we get there."

Specter's vote for the economic stimulus bill ruffled GOP feathers throughout the country, but particularly in Pennsylvania, where the lawmaker has always stood on shaky ground with conservatives. He eked out a challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey in a primary in 2004. [link]
In fact, Specter's enthusiastic support for Obama's massive "stimulus" bill is only the latest of many such outrages, going back to his single-handed destruction of the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination. Specter's ass should have been tossed that year. And every election year since.

But 2010 will suffice.

Here's to the Pennsylvania GOP. May it do that which must be done.

How We WISHED They Had Answered The Blowhards

Via Glenn Reynolds:

That reminds me: How was that taxpayer funded vacation in Italy, Ms. Pelosi? Have fun?

Cartoon courtesy of Dilbert.com
Click on the image to enlarge it.

What's The Purpose?

How many times have I reminded you that America's corporations don't (generally) pay taxes? That, except in instances where they have foreign competition and are unable to do so, they simply pass their tax burdens on to their customers in the form of price increases?

That being the case, what's up with Obama?

In "Obama to Seek Higher Tax on Affluent to Pay for Health Care" we read this bit of lunacy:

Mr. Obama’s blueprint, which will project spending and revenues for the next decade, will flesh out the president’s thinking on his energy plans both to cap the emissions of gases, particularly carbon dioxide, that are blamed for climate change and to spur development of nonpolluting energy alternatives.

The budget will show the government beginning by 2012 to collect billions of dollars in revenues from selling permits to businesses that emit the polluting gases, assuming the president’s energy initiative becomes law as soon as this year, officials said.

Because utilities and other businesses would presumably pass on their costs to customers, Mr. Obama will propose to use most of the government’s revenues from the permits to finance an extension of the new “Making Work Pay” tax credit beyond the two years covered in the $787 billion economic recovery plan that was just enacted.

That tax relief, the administration will argue, will offset households’ higher costs for utilities and other products and services from businesses’ passing on their permit expenses.
Let's follow that logic:

1) The government will tax businesses (through the use of permits) for the amount of pollution their operations emit.

2) Those businesses aren't expected to control their emissions; they're fully expected to simply pass the costs on to their customers.

3) The government will take the money confiscated from those businesses, which took it in payment from the American people for products sold and services rendered, and will return a portion of it to the American people to offset the higher cost of the products and services they buy.

4) The remainder of the wealth confiscated will be handed over to favored constituencies (think green) and used to feed the bloated federal bureaucracies.

Emission levels won't change. Prices will simply rise.

Oh, and the government will grow. And grow ...

Which gets us back to my initial caveat about foreign competition. Those tens of thousands of Chinese companies that have taken millions of American jobs? They won't be paying this silly and misguided tax. But their American competitors will (those that are left anyway). So the Chinese will benefit from this boneheaded move. Swell.

Like we need to give the Chinese even more of a competitive edge over the USA, where corporate tax rates are already second highest on the planet, second only to also-floundering Japan.

- - -

Lest we forget, too, those emissions? CO2. The stuff we all exhale. The stuff plant life here on planet Earth thrives on. The stuff that is supposedly warming the planet. The planet that isn't warming.

See "There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998."

Said alien life form from the Capitol steps: "Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life here."

- - -

To put this in terms we can all understand, let's take the case of Henry County manufacturer Stanley Furniture. It's primary competitors now build their products in emissions tax- immune China. Stanley still struggles to make the majority of its goods here in the USA.

Stanley Furniture will be paying Obama's emissions tax.

Stanley Furniture is already battling bankruptcy.

In today's news:
Stanley Furniture to lay off 100 workers
By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times

Stanley Furniture Co. announced plans Wednesday to lay off 100 production employees at its factory in Stanleytown in Henry County.

The layoffs take effect March 27.

After the cuts, Stanley Furniture will employ about 1,000 people in Henry County. It also operates a facility in North Carolina.

Henry County and the city of Martinsville's manufacturing industries have been battered for years by imports and other market forces. [link]
Here's an interesting twist: Two of Stanley's fellow manufacturers - Hooker Furniture Corp. and Bassett Furniture Industries - won't be paying Obama's tax either. They've already laid off most of their American workers and moved a majority of their production overseas. The production process being the instigator of those evil emissions.

"Unlike nearby competitors Hooker Furniture Corp. and Bassett Furniture Industries, Stanley still manufactures domestically the majority of its case goods furniture."

Stanley Furniture is encouraged to shift jobs overseas.

Like it needed additional encouragement.

Headline Of The Day

Reason TV salutes noted moron turned stimulus czar

They criticized Sarah Palin for what again?

Obama Opens Mouth. Stocks Tumble.

I know his claim to fame is supposed to be his speaking ability. But at some point someone needs to tell this guy to shut his trap:
Wall Street sinks as Obama warns of oversight
By Chuck Mikolajczak, Yahoo Finance

New York (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Wednesday after President Barack Obama warned of stricter oversight for Wall Street, raising the specter of greater regulation that investors fear could sap profits.

Obama's comments near the market close rattled investors when he said financial institutions that pose a serious risk to markets should be subject to serious government supervision.

"Whenever there is a question about how large the government role will be ... the market doesn't like that," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"As we came close to the bell we got the curveball: our president came on TV," he said. [link]
We're all in this together, Barry. Remember? It might do you well to think on that next time you decide to attack a very vulnerable segment of the American population next time.

'Change' We Can Believe In

Let's see if he means it.

The Washington Times:
Spending bill has 9,000 earmarks

Expect late nights at the White House and eye strain from President Obama. "We need earmark reform, and when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure we are not spending money unwisely," candidate Barack Obama said last September.

McClatchy Newspapers reports that congressional officials say the $410 billion omnibus spending bill Congress is preparing to send this week has 9,000 earmarks (local projects inserted by members of Congress) totaling $5 billion. Not nine, not nine hundred, but nine thousand.

[H]e should do what he promised and send the bill back with 9,000 suggested deletions, no matter how valid some of the earmarks may be. [link]
Oh, poo on those promises.

Any bets?