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

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Don't Get The Mindset

When the economy was humming along, did the Roanoke Times editorial team advocate for a balanced budget? I'm trying to remember. Hmm.

Well, today the boys at the Times do.

"Washington needs to worry about balancing the budget ..."

Oh, but there's a qualifier:

"... but that will take years and a healthier economy."

Yeah. We'll worry about saddling each of our grandchildren with $100,000 in federal debt, the collapse of the dollar, and hyperinflation ... another day.

My guess is we won't be seeing these fellas at a Tea Party rally any time soon.

All Things Are Relative

So let's see.

The current rate of inflation, annualized, is hovering right around negative 0.10% so far this year.

In 2007, the most recent year for which numbers are available, the median annual household income rose 1.3%.

So what's wrong with this picture?
Va. Tech, Radford tuition increases relatively modest
By Greg Esposito, Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech and Radford University passed relatively modest tuition increases Thursday, thanks in part to federal stimulus money designed to hold down costs of in-state students.

The executive committee of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted to increase tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates by 5 percent next year, the lowest percentage tuition and fee raise at the university since 2002.

Tuition and fees at Radford will go up 5.6 percent next year for in-state undergraduates. [link]
Bankruptcies. Unemployment. Mortgage foreclosures. 401K's obliterated. Life savings vanished. Stocks in the toilet.

And a 5% (or 5.6%) increase in tuition is "modest"?

What would be considered draconian?

McAuliffe Created Jobs?

In a dreary "debate" yesterday before a throng of union members - a "debate" between the three Democrat gubernatorial hopefuls (shouldn't a debate necessarily involve differences of opinions?) - the Washington Post has this about former Clinton hatchet man Terry McAuliffe:

"McAuliffe brought some teachers to their feet with his cry to create new jobs that would generate tax revenue for schools. As a businessman, McAuliffe said, he knows how to create jobs."

Well, I don't know if the former "businessman" has ever created jobs, but I do know he knows how to create wealth. For himself.

A trip down memory lane:
DNC Chair Caught in Global Crossing Scandal
Judicial Watch

So why has the Democratic Party’s most spotlight hungry mouthpiece faded from view? Two words. Global Crossing.

While the SEC and FBI begin to probe the questionable accounting practices of telecommunications giant Global Crossing, Ltd., which went belly up on January 28, Judicial Watch has launched a full investigation into Terry McAuliffe’s ties to the company.

In what is an unprecedented case of political profiteering, McAuliffe turned a $100,000 initial investment in the company into $18 million in less than a year and a half—a nifty 18,000% profit. According to the New York Times, McAuliffe made millions more trading the stock and options after the company went public in 1998.

But McAuliffe’s shady ties to the company go beyond his questionable investment windfall. According to the press reports, McAuliffe also did “political work” for Global Crossing CEO Gary Winnick, working out of an office in downtown Washington owned by Winnick. On one occasion, McAuliffe set up a golf outing for Winnick and then-President Clinton. Winnick would later give a million dollars to Clinton’s presidential library. The question is: what did he and Global Crossing receive in return?

Like Enron, Global Crossing had artificially inflated its stock price while executives engaged in massive stock selling in the year leading up to filing for bankruptcy. While Global brass made billions, employees lost their life’s savings as their 401(k) retirement plans were casualties in the Chapter 11 filing. [link]
Shady backroom deals. Self-aggrandizement. Riches. Power.

The Democratic nomination?

Seems likely.

Don't be so glum, you Democrats. At least he hasn't raped anyone. Except the employees of Global Crossing that is, who all lost their jobs.

Now, what was that about "job creation" again?

A Humble Opinion

Well, okay:

Campbell Wants Out If Redskins Draft QB

Campbell should be out. And the Redskins should draft a QB.

Don't let the door ...

They're Not Really Serious

From CBS News:

Obama Earth Day Flights Burned More Than 9,000 Gallons Of Fuel

Wasn't that supposed to be about protecting the environment? Guess not.

You can tell that Obama took a lesson from Crazy Al Gore on how to save the planet, one carbon-spewing plane jaunt at a time.

- - -

Oh, and it was colder than heck and snowing like crazy as I drove into West Virginia Wednesday morning. The end of April. Global Warming Day.

Just As I Suspected

I wrote a few days ago about a story appearing in the New York Times having to do with espionage and California Congressperson Jane Harmon. The story stunk to high heaven. I quote myself:
I'm trying to figure out what the motive is behind the New York Times printing this as if it's some kind of shocking exposé.

Ms. Harmon did (allegedly) what congresspersons do. She (allegedly) offered to lend a hand and asked for support in return. Beyond that, you'll note the two men around which the story is built - Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman - are not charged with sharing state secrets; they're charged with sharing "with colleagues, journalists and Israeli Embassy officials information about Iran and Iraq they had learned from talking to high-level United States policy makers." They talked openly - Shocker! - to government officials and passed along some of that which they were told. Where's the crime?

This story smells of ulterior motives.
I'm not alone in finding this whole thing to be too contrived by half. David Frum:
The real Jane Harman scandal

Sometimes in Washington, what is most scandalous is the attempt to create a scandal where none exists.

Let me give you a current example.

Maybe you’ve heard about an allegation of scandal against Jane Harman, the California Democrat who served with great distinction on the House Select Committee on Intelligence until Nancy Pelosi gave her the heave-ho.

The story is almost insanely complicated. But the deeper you delve into the details, the more you see that if there is any wrongdoing in the case, it was done by Harman’s accusers.

In fact, this whole bundle of stories is one in which the designated targets of outrage are those who have behaved well—while those who behaved badly escape entirely. [link]
Always be wary when reading anything in the national press. It's often not what it seems to be.

Democrats Are Good For Business

Well, a business that might go the way of the cigarette business, that is, with the specter of ammunition being taxed through the ceiling (taxed by the guy who says he has lowered taxes for 95% of us non-smokers).

Obama says he supports the 2nd Amendment. The American people know what that means: Time to load up. Unfortunately ...

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

NSSF has received numerous calls regarding shortages of ammunition. Many of these callers have expressed concern that the supply of ammunition is not able to keep up with the current demand.

In order to provide the best information possible on the issue of ammunition availability, NSSF interviewed ammunition manufacturers across the United States. Here's what we have learned:

Is there truly a shortage of ammunition?

The shortage of ammunition is real and is caused by several factors including:

  • A significant spike in consumer demand

  • Law Enforcement demand for training and readiness

  • Department of Defense demand for training and readiness

  • Higher prices from commodities

What calibers are in the highest demand?

The high demand for ammunition extends across caliber lines. The increase can be seen in most handgun, rifle and rimfire ammunition and on certain shot shell products such as buckshot.

What are manufacturers doing to keep up with demand?

In order to help keep up with demand for ammunition, manufacturers are working at full capacity (24/7). It is believed that any ammunition shortage is likely a temporary issue; however, it will take time for supply to catch up with demand.

How long will it take for supply to catch up with demand?

While it is believed that supply will be increasing, the great unknown is what demand will be later in the year. Since there is no way for manufacturers to predict how long consumer demand will be sustained at its current, unprecedented level, it is impossible for manufacturers to forecast the timeline for when the current backlog will begin to improve.

Buy 'em if you can get 'em. Obama is not your friend and they may soon be worth their weight in gold. Literally.

Boucher's Constituents Speak

Received via email:
With unemployment rising, oppressive tax burdens just around the corner, that stupid and silly cap and trade ready to be implemented, old roads and schools crumbling with new ones needed, this is what our caring and compassionate congressman thinks some of the poorest people in his district should focus on and be concerned with this week.

From today's (4-22-09) issue of the Dickenson Star [link requires paid subscription]:

Do Your Part to 'Keep America Beautiful'

By Rick Boucher, U.S. Congress

The month of April has been designated as a special time to encourage Americans to take greater responsibility for improving their local community environments. Keep America Beautiful Month is a great time for Southwest Virginians to volunteer in ways which will enhance the physical treasures found ... [blah blah blah]
Suppose he even remembers what conditions are like down here in Southwest Virginia?