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

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

The Roanoke Times sees a sweeping victory for municipalities in the Virginia Supreme Court's decision regarding Blacksburg's Wal-Mart ban. I see it as being just another tiny hurdle - one of many - that all big box retailers have to overcome in order to expand.

The Times:
Blacksburg's big-box victory

he Virginia Supreme Court last week ruled that the developers of Blacksburg's First & Main project must ask town council for special permission to build a big-box store. The decision was a victory for the council and for residents opposed to a possible large retailer next to Margaret Beeks Elementary School.

More important, it was a victory for localities throughout the commonwealth. Local officials now can work with developers without ceding control over what goes up within their borders.

[A]ll Virginia localities now can better negotiate with developers. Officials need not worry if they have thought of every contingency when they approve a zoning request and accept proffers. If a developer changes his proposal, they can act.

Virginia law long has tilted in favor of developers. This decision will help ensure profits do not trump the community good as long as elected officials are vigilant. [link]
That last little ditty will, I'm sure, give the retail development people at Wal-Mart and Kmart and Best Buy and Kohl's a bit of a chuckle. The law has tilted in favor of developers (meaning big box retailers)? To them, that news warrants a big ... whatever.

The reality of it is that there is a host of cities and towns in the commonwealth that have never allowed a big box in their midst. And never will. Want to know the biggest reason for their blocking retail growth? Quite often those making the decisions - the town "fathers" - are merchants themselves. The owner of Uncle Ernie's Trading Barn is also a councilor. They see Wal-Mart as a competitor. And they have the power to prevent that major competition from coming to town out of self-preservation. They therefore exercise that power.

The folks at America's big boxes know this and accept it as a part of doing business.

So the Virginia Supreme Court has allowed town "fathers" to block Wal-Mart from building in town. Just another (minor) hurdle. One of many.

Big whoop.

- - -

Ever wonder why so many Wal-Marts are built out by the interstate? Besides the fact that it works ... see above.

Liberals Make Me Laugh

I have to tell you, I chuckle every time I read some liberal talking head repeat the Democratic talking point that Rush Limbaugh is now the titular head of the Republican Party. As some Obama toady does in this morning's Washington Post (see "Minority Leader Limbaugh").

I ask these fools: If Rush Limbaugh held any sway in the party, would John McCain have been the Republican nominee?

These nitwits are at least entertaining.

Quote of the Day

From Glenn Reynolds:

DAVID BROOKS: This is not the Barack Obama I thought I knew.

Actually, it’s the same Obama it always was. [New York Times columnist] Brooks, and others, were just so excited at the idea of a black President — or, more specifically, at the idea of themselves, voting for a black President — that they suspended all critical faculties. Now it’s buyer’s remorse. We’ll be seeing more of that.

Like I said ...

Obama Toadies Doing What They Do

It would seem the New York Times got the story straight anyway:
Moscow — The Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said Tuesday that his administration was open to overtures from the United States on its proposed missile defense plan, but he dismissed the notion of a deal in which the United States would shelve the plan in exchange for Russia’s help on Iran.

The statement came in response to a report in The New York Times about a private letter from President Obama to his Russian counterpart, saying the proposed missile defense system would not be necessary if Moscow could help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons and nuclear warheads.

“If we talk about some bargain or exchange, I can say that the issues were not raised in this way, because it’s counterproductive,” Mr. Medvedev said at a news conference in Madrid, where he was meeting with the Spanish prime minister.
In other words, "Shove it up your a**, Barry."

And the headline for the story? If you can believe it:

Russian Welcomes Letter From Obama

You'd think they'd be embarrassed.

The Problem. Not The Solution.

Two headlines in today's Washington Post say it all:

As Markets Slump, U.S. Tries to Halt Cycle of Fear

But ...

Bernanke Blasts AIG For 'Irresponsible Bets' That Led to Bailouts

So the markets shouldn't fear the Obama administration. Just as the administration is lashing out at one of the largest players in the market.


'It's Amateur Hour In Our Darkest Moments'

Jim Cramer despairs:

About Obama: "He's made people afraid."

All that talk about hope ...

That's Odd

I thought, when I read the headline, that it would be a Republican congressman who made the statement. But no ...
Congressman: Demise of old media mostly for better

Denver (AP) - A Colorado congressman told bloggers that they and other new media are responsible for the demise of the Rocky Mountain News and other traditional news outlets, and that the change is mostly for the better. He later apologized.

Rep. Jared Polis made the remarks last weekend at a Denver event sponsored by Netroots Nation, a progressive political group. The News published its last edition Friday.

"I have to say, that when we say, 'Who killed the Rocky Mountain News?' we are all part of that, we truly are. For better or worse, and I argue that it's mostly for better," the Democrat said.

"Media is dead, and long live new media, which is all of you," he said.

Polis also said at the event that bloggers and citizen journalists carry a new responsibility since they're part of the reason for the demise of other news outlets. [link]

This guy's wrong on several counts.

First, bloggers haven't caused the demise - or impending demise - of that part of the "old media" that is comprised of print journalism. But the internet, and free access to the day's news and advertisements certainly was/is.

Second, the passing of the mainstream press is not to be celebrated (okay, some editorial pages won't be missed, but even they should have a place in the arena of ideas). After all, we still depend in large measure on newspaper reporters going out and getting the news for us. News that will otherwise be handed out to Katie Couric by the Obama team. A frightening thought.

Third, not knowing this beanbrain, I can only assume he was lumping all newspapers together because he holds a particular animus toward the recently shuttered Rocky Mountain News, a paper that had a center-right reputation. This "progressive" - being a "progressive" - cheers when the opposition is silenced. Which speaks volumes about progressivism.

Anyway, I'm one person who will miss the newspapers when they're gone. But, just as I was able to finally get over the cancellation of Joanie Loves Chachi, I'll get past this.

- - -

God knows, they do make it difficult to want them saved.

Food For Thought

On the media's outrage over Rush Limbaugh's comments about the president failing, here's Peter Wehner:
What I wonder, though, is where Anderson Cooper and his colleagues were during the Iraq debate, when the surge was clearly beginning to work — yet leading Democrats, one after another, said it was failing. This was a situation in which America was engaged in a war of enormous consequences and, if we had lost, it would have been a geo-political and humanitarian catastrophe. Yet anti-war critics – including Senator Barack Obama — insisted on promoting the narrative of America’s failure in Iraq when the evidence was the opposite.

Where was the outrage then, I wonder? And why wasn’t Cooper insisting that those who opposed Pres. Bush critics line up behind him? We could be generous and merely call it a double standard. Or we could be less generous and call it hero-worship by Obama’s media courtiers.
I wonder as well.

Read the whole thing.

Getting Around The Tax Man

Stephen Spruiell brings us an account from a pediatrician who, along with his wife (also a pediatrician) brings in about $400,000 a year in household income. The pair has figured out that, if Obama's tax plans go into effect, if they implement plans to counteract them, if they reduce their combined income to $249,999 (just under Obama's top tax bracket threshold, thus reducing their earnings by over $150,000, they will only lose $10,000 in net income - after taxes. Here's how they're going to do it:
My wife and I are both Pediatricians. We own our own practice together. We have one PA and 7 other employees. We each gross about $200 K a year. We have 3 young children at home, 2 of which are not in school. We also employ an in home Nanny. My wife has been torn for years about not being at home for these children, which are our biggest investment in the future. We operate parallel S corperations as PC's, with a 50/50 ownership of the LLC that is our business. We file taxes jointly. After crunching some numbers concerning the President's tax hike proposals, I have come to the following conclusions. If the President's plan is inacted, we will do the following:

1. My wife will become a stay at home mother.

2. At least 3 of my 7 employees will be released.

3. The practice will downsize to a smaller office space, i.e. less rent.

4. The number of patients cared for on a daily basis will drop by 40%.

5. My wife will come out of the forced ER call schedule for good.

6. I will gross $249,999.00 a year, exactly.

7. The net income of our personal home will decrease by less than $10 K a year from where it would have been if we changed nothing. [my emphasis]
The pediatrician and his wife will be happy.
But their patients won't be.
Nor will their former employees.

And Obama? He'll be happy as a pig in slop too. The rich are now paying their fair share.