Saturday, February 28, 2009
See "Scenic beauty is a driver of economic plan" in today's Roanoke Times.
I hate to piss in someone's wheaties, but this "plan" was adopted by Congressman Rick Boucher about 27 years ago. Since then, Southwest Virginia has been in ever-more rapid decline.
You want to pin the future of the area's economy on the interest outsiders might have in our boulders, weeds, and abandoned factories?
May God help us.
The alternative, as approved by our disgraceful United States Senators Mark Warner and James Webb, is to ignore the Constitution and simply give D.C. rights it doesn't deserve (a question: why not Poughkeepsie as well?).
Today, Washington Post columnist Ramesh Ponnuru comes over to my side. Well, sorta:
The D.C. Vote TravestyThere is precedent for retrocession. That's how Arlington County, Virginia became Arlington County, Virginia.
Supporters of the bill to grant D.C. a representative with voting rights in the U.S. House--notably including the editors of the Post--claim that the constitutional question is close and should be sorted out by the courts. But it's not a close call at all.
The Constitution says that states send representatives to the House. Supporters of the bill say that because Congress has jurisdiction over D.C., it has the authority to give it a House seat. (Yes, the argument for strengthening "home rule" concedes that home rule is a legal fiction.) But this is ludicrous. If taken seriously, it would mean that Congress could remove free-speech rights from District residents. If the grant of jurisdiction does not make the First Amendment a dead letter, it does not make the Constitution's provisions governing the make-up of Congress a dead letter either.
The fact that D.C. residents don't have the political powers that come with living in a state is an anomaly but, given the fact that people are free to leave this small city, not an injustice. If Congress nonetheless wants to change it, there are two constitutional options: retrocession, presumably to Maryland, or a constitutional amendment. Congress is voting to flout the Constitution. [link]
So we make progress. When the Supreme Court makes quick work of Webb's and Warner's embarrassingly wrong-headed work, declaring it to be unconstitutional, as it surely will, Congress should then get serious and cede the city of Washington D.C. to Maryland. And be done with it.
Once and for all.
* Another Washington Post columnist, George Will, has also suggested that D.C. become part of Maryland.
From today's Washington Post:
Economy Shrinks At Staggering RateThe economy is imploding. And Obama is oblivious.
By Annys Shin and Neil Irwin, Washington Post Staff Writers
The prospects for an economic recovery by year's end dimmed yesterday, as government data showed that the economy contracted at the end of 2008 by the fastest pace in a quarter-century. The worse-than-expected data fueled doubts about whether the Obama administration had adequately sized up the challenges it faces in trying to pull the country out of recession.
Gross domestic product, a measure of the goods and services produced across the nation, shrank at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2008, according to the Commerce Department, far worse than the initial estimate of 3.8 percent and the 5 percent most analysts were expecting. The downward revision means the economy began the year from an even weaker position than previously thought.
The revised GDP figure helped stoke skepticism among economists who say the White House's projections for the nation's recovery are too rosy.
"If you looked at the Obama administration's forecast, it's very much at the optimistic end of the spectrum. There's a whole 180 degrees between us and them," [Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR] said. "That doesn't guarantee they're wrong and the pessimists are right. But they are making pretty optimistic assumptions right now to hit even these terrible numbers for deficits." [link]
Chart courtesy of the Washington Post
The Bush PulloutObama will get no credit here for the victory in Iraq. Not here.
Investor's Business Daily editorial
President Obama traveled to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Friday to announce that the U.S. would stay in Iraq at least until 2012 and keep 50,000 troops there even after combat ends. Sound familiar?
When Obama first began running for the nation's highest office in 2006, he vowed he would immediately withdraw all U.S. combat forces if elected. At the time, few with any knowledge about the conflict in Iraq took him seriously.
Obama's withdrawal plan would take U.S. forces in Iraq down from a current 142,000 troops to 35,000 to 50,000. Under the status of forces agreement between the U.S. and Iran, negotiated and signed last year by the Bush administration, all forces must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.
In short, though President Obama will get credit, it was Bush's plan — not Obama's. [link]
Thanks go out to former President Bush for staying the course, for driving the bad guys into caves in remote parts of the planet, and for making this world a safer place.
You did good, W.
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm rather bemused by those who can look at a cartoon of a chimpanzee having been shot, in an incident that had nothing to do with our new president, with a caption that has nothing to do with our new president, and see a connection to our new president.
The monkey is the president. The president is a monkey.
Odd. Scary odd.
Well, it doesn't require our being geniuses to see where these people get their twisted psychosis. They get it from each other. They feed off their own delusions.
The chimp president was yesterday's example of derangement. Today, we have a New York Times contributor providing us with another example in an article about America's historic connection to apes as negroes (or negroes as apes). In an opinion piece replete with wild exaggerations by Brent Staples (see "The Ape in American Bigotry, From Thomas Jefferson to 2009"),we get a most bizarre detachment from all reality.
After providing us with this whopper - "In last year’s presidential campaign, for example, likenesses of the black presidential candidate Barack Obama portrayed as a monkey became distressingly common" (Common? Distressingly so? I never saw one - NOT ONE - and I scour the papers every day and get a flood of emails, including jokes) - we are subjected to this:
I remember seeing that cover of Vogue. I remember it being a little weird (but aren't trendy magazine covers supposed to be?) but never did I associate it with King Kong. "The similarity was so obvious that ..." this white boy didn't see it.
Ape-inflected images come in the high-fashion variety, too. Consider the much-criticized Annie Leibovitz photo that appeared on the cover of Vogue last spring. It depicted the towering black basketball star LeBron James roaring at the camera while dribbling a basketball with one hand and embracing the white fashion model Gisele Bündchen in the other.Vogue proudly pointed out that Mr. James was the first black man to adorn its cover. Unfortunately, the image was a dead ringer for the movie poster from “King Kong,” which shows the giant ape clutching his blonde lady love. The similarity was so obvious that it seemed premeditated.
A "dead ringer for the movie poster from 'King Kong'"? You decide:
I guess, when you perceive black people as being little more than monkeys, you see here a big ape and Fay Wray. Which says far more about Brent Staples than about America.
I don't get it. I just don't get it.