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

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Virginia GOP In Flames

Looking back on it, perhaps it would have been best if now-ousted Republican Party chairman Jeff Frederick had fallen on his sword and resigned his post after the horrible 2008 election returns poured in. It's the sort of thing leaders of disgraced parties are supposed to do. And it might have saved him a little face.

Instead he's been pushed out, kicking and screaming.

For that, he and everyone involved should be congratulated. What a spectacle to behold:
Virginia's GOP chairman ousted
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times

Glen Allen -- Virginia Republicans took the extraordinary step of dumping Chairman Jeff Frederick on Saturday, hoping to put an end to a tumultuous, 10-month period marked by missteps, controversy and defeat at the polls.

In a closed-door meeting that lasted more than five hours, members of the state party's governing body voted 57-18 for Frederick's removal, barely mustering the three-fourths majority needed to oust the chairman. Frederick, a state delegate from Prince William County, expressed disappointment with the outcome but hinted that he may fight to win back the post when the Virginia GOP holds its convention May 30.

"People don't always like change," Frederick told reporters after the vote, which left some of his supporters seething. "Too many are still invested in ... [link]
Looking on the bright side, 97% of Virginia voters couldn't care less about this internecine cat fight. But with the drubbing that the GOP has taken in recent elections, is this the sort of thing that key Republicans - like Bob McDonnell - want splashed across the pages of the commonwealth's newspapers?

Where's the leader who can take everyone into a room and do a little James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General on them:
Now we'll talk all day if you want to. But, come sundown, there's gonna be two things true that ain't true now. One is that the United States Department of Justice is goin' to know what in the good Christ - e'scuse me, Angie - is goin' on around here. And the other's I'm gonna have somebody's ass in muh briefcase.
Bob, if you're the last man standing the current leader of the party, it's time you put somebody's ass in yu' briefcase and get beyond this. Pronto.

The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

George Will on GM's foresightedness and the government's ability to produce a car that the public might be willing to drive:

Last week, in an unenthralled summary of GM's "viability" plan, Obama's administration said: "GM earns a large share of its profits from high-margin trucks and SUVs, which are vulnerable to a continuing shift in consumer preference to smaller vehicles. Additionally, while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short term."

The stunning shift in consumer preferences that should make the White House's freshly minted auto experts feel vulnerable has been reported under headlines such as "Like a Rock: Hybrid Car Sales Plummet" (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 9) and "Hybrid Car Sales Go From 60 to 0 at Breakneck Speed" (Los Angeles Times, March 17). Absent $4 gasoline, customers, those nuisances with their insufferable preferences, do not want the vehicles the politicians want them to want, even with manufacturers now offering large rebates and other incentives.

The two best-selling vehicles in America this year are large pickup trucks (Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado). In February, Toyota sold 13,600 Tundra and Tacoma pickups and 7,232 Priuses. It sells the Prius at a loss, which it can afford to do because it makes pots of money selling pickups. Has the Car Designer in Chief, a.k.a. the president, considered the possibility that what he calls "the cars of tomorrow" will forever be that?

His administration cannot be faulted for failing to do well what cannot be done well -- industrial policy, wherein the political class, with negligible experience in commerce, flounders. The administration can, however, be faulted for trying. The government's wallow in the automobile industry, under this and the previous administration, merits a hockey coach's evaluation of his team: "Every day you guys look worse and worse. And today you played like tomorrow."

"Government vs. the Axles of Evil," Washington Post, April 5, 2009

Questions Asked

I'll not hold my breath waiting for answers ...

Investor's Business Daily:
... Tim Geithner decided to fire GM CEO Rick Wagoner last week. He wanted accountability.

Fair enough. But given Michigan's economic ills and the growing cost to taxpayers, why not fire UAW chief Ron Gettlefinger, too? After all, he and his predecessors are at least as responsible for ruining GM as the company's admittedly inept managers.

Don't forget Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They had to be bailed out at a cost of $200 billion last year. Now we see that 2,600 key employees will get $210 million in bonuses over the next 18 months.

For what? Don't they deserve just as much public scorn as the AIG execs who took $170 million — and who, with their families, now live with death threats and ongoing crude, personal attacks?

Curious how the double standard works. If you're in the private sector, expect severe punishment. But if you're an incompetent government enterprise or a union that gives millions to Democrats, your sins are forgiven — or worse, never recognized.

"The Michigan Model," editorial, April 3, 2009

Hey, Stupid

The New York Times editorial page this morning - in so many words:

Obama's $800,000,000,000 fiscal stimulus bill has failed. We need to do more of it.

Hello?
Unemployment Rising

For much of last week, it was possible to think that the economy was looking up. Various indicators, though weak, were not as bad as expected. The disappointing results from the Group of 20 meeting in London were offset in part by the leaders’ display of seriousness and, in particular, President Obama’s debut on the world stage.

On Friday, reality bit back with the news that the unemployment rate spiked in March, to 8.5 percent, a 25-year high. The government’s report also showed that employers had shed 663,000 more jobs in March. Nearly two million jobs have vanished this year — 5.1 million since the recession began in December 2007. The ranks of the unemployed now stand at 13.2 million.

In the stimulus bill passed in February, the Obama administration got off to a good start in combating the ravages of unemployment, mainly by bolstering unemployment benefits and health care coverage for the jobless. It is painfully clear, however, that the law’s potential to create or save a few million jobs will not be enough to combat the current scale of unemployment.

More fiscal stimulus will be needed to support more demand and, in turn, more jobs. [link]
The words rat and hole come to mind. Use them expansively.

As does Albert Einstein's definition of the word insanity.

Look, there were some really smart people who warned these jokers that Obama's stimulus bill wouldn't, in the end, stimulate anything except the growth of government. Those smart people are being proven right with each passing day.

Now those who argued vehemently in favor of Obama's plan see its failings and demand more of same?

Forgive me for not receiving the news with any great enthusiasm.

My My

Well, let's see if the New York Times and the Washington Post are as hard on Obama as they were on Bush for not securing international participation in the war on terror (or whatever Hillary's calling the war that we're fighting terrorists in):
Barack Obama fails to win Nato troops he wants for Afghanistan
By Michael Evans and David Charter, Times of London

Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to America’s allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities.

But though he continued to dazzle Europeans on his debut international tour, the Continent’s leaders turned their backs on the US President.

Gordon Brown was the only one to offer substantial help. He offered to send several hundred extra British soldiers to provide security during the August election, but even that fell short of the thousands of combat troops that the US was hoping to prise from the Prime Minister. [link]
Bush was mocked unmercifully for this. But at least he was prepared to go it alone, knowing that our "allies" couldn't be counted on in a pinch anyway.

Obama has gone into this naively thinking that his fellow fraternity brothers would pitch in to help. All he had to do was ask. He is The Obama after all.

Well, now what, big guy?

We Look Like Idiots

Two days ago:

"President Obama issued a stern warning to North Korea today, saying that it cannot go ahead with the planned launch of a long-range rocket with impunity."

Can anyone say ... Jimmy Carter?
Defiant N Korea launches rocket
BBC

North Korea has defied international warnings and gone ahead with a controversial rocket launch.

State media said a satellite had been put into orbit and was transmitting data and revolutionary songs.

But there has been no independent confirmation so far. The US, Japan and South Korea suspect the launch was a cover for a long-range missile test.

They strongly condemned the launch. The US president told Pyongyang to "refrain from further provocative actions". [link]
Or what, Barack? You'll give the North Koreans another stern warning that they'll immediately proceed to rub in your face?

One thing you can say about George W. Bush: He may not have been the best loved president in certain foreign capitals, but the crazies of the world knew enough to not cross him. It has to do with respect. Which sometimes is grounded in fear. Our new "leader of the free world" is just laughed at and ignored. Not a good thing for the "world's only superpower."

Expect us to pull out of the 2010 Olympics in retaliation to this "provocative action."

For the love of God.

- - -

Update: President Obama has responded to North Korea's provocative in-your-face missile launch. He's sending the Pacific Fleet to the north Pacific in retaliation.

Er, no. He's going to do something just as forceful though. From a White House statement released this morning:
The launch today of a Taepo-dong 2 missile was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which expressly prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind. With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations. We will immediately consult with our allies in the region, including Japan and the Republic of Korea, and members of the U.N. Security Council to bring this matter before the Council.
That'll show 'em. We're going to bring this matter before THE COUNCIL! Take that, Kim Jong Fancy Pants.

Good grief.

This Is Kinda Cute

For your amusement:
I was having trouble with my computer. So I called John, the 11 year old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.

John clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?'

He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID
ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.' John grinned. 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'

'No,' I replied.

'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'

So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T

And to think I used to like the little shit.
Author unknown.