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

Friday, May 08, 2009

Telling It Like It Is

Today's cheerleading effort comes to us from the Roanoke Times editorial page:
Swine flu declines

As the swine flu epidemic declines in Mexico and proves to be less virulent than feared elsewhere, many across the globe are breathing sighs of relief.

As governmental responses are assessed, some will be tempted to charge the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Obama administration and others with overreacting.

That would be a mistake. [link]
No, it actually wouldn't. the LEVEL 5 PANDEMIC, as was predicted here weeks ago, was wildly overblown from the start. It was never going to amount to anything and the Roanoke Times's brothers in crime went predictably overboard in responding to the non-implications of the non-threat. 400 schools closed. Flights canceled. People living in fear. Biden making an ass of himself. Again.

I "charge the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Obama administration and others with overreacting."

Oh, and lest I forget, I also charge the biggest culprit in this embarrassing affair with the same crime: The press.

On That 6th District Race

It seems there was something left off the résumé of Democratic challenger A. Carol Pratt the other day. A reader provides this additional bit of information (tell me if it's not true) about her past:
Your commentator forgot to mention that Dr. Pratt ran for the House of Delegates many years ago against Tommy Baker and for State Senate against Bo Trumbo. She lost both times and why will the third time be any different?
Three strikes and you're out?

Guess we'll soon see.

* A special note to A. Carol Pratt: Do your friends call you A. Carol? What's up with that? Come down to Earth and tell us what your friends call you. Bubbles? Kong? Chaquita? You need to project that warm and fuzzy - like Terry McAuliffe is doing in his TV commercial.

The Best Of Intentions

Here's a good example of why expensive government job training programs are a complete waste of taxpayer money. This little thingie called "the market" always dictates the end result:
Volvo returns state money
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times

In 1999, Virginia officials gave Volvo Trucks North America in Pulaski County a chance to earn millions in state grants and tax credits if it completed a major plant expansion, hired nearly 1,300 additional workers and created a worker-training center.

Last month, the company sent a portion of the money back because of missed hiring targets.

According to information from [the Virginia Economic Development Partnership], Volvo is in the process of repaying $1.29 million of $3.6 million the company received under a state grant and tax-break program. Because of its inability to fully comply with the terms of the original deal, which had a maximum potential value of $50.7 million, the deal has been canceled, officials said.

Last year's production was about 20,000 trucks and this year's production is expected to be less. Employment, which had reached 3,000, stands at about 1,200 today.

The worker-training project, which never got off the ground, was abandoned by the company. [link]
Volvo executives were more than willing to take your taxpayer dollars in 1999. If the market for trucks remained strong, the company was going to expand and hire - and train - new workers anyway. At its own expense until manna from heaven (otherwise known as taxpayer largesse) rained down.

But the market shrank. As did Volvo's plans. The "plan" never got off the ground.

Now about that money, do we get a refund on our taxes?

It Was All Bluster

How many of you bought into the Democrats' argument (when Bush was still with us and needed to be destroyed) that Guantanamo was the scourge of Planet Earth and needed to be closed forever? Go ahead, you can admit it.

Well, what are those same Democrats saying now?

From a Washington Post story:
The Democratic-led House Appropriations Committee yesterday passed a bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while stripping the more than $50 million that administration officials had requested for closing the prison and starting the relocation of its 240 prisoners.
As it turns out, they were only trying to fool you. They have no problem (now) with Gitmo at all. And fooled you were.

Root word being fool.

Creating The Illusion

This is an interesting choice of words. From a headline in the Washington Post this morning:

U.S. to Wind Down Help for Some Banks

The thrust of the article? The U.S. is going to continue helping large banks that are in big trouble. Potentially to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

So why isn't this the header?

U.S. to Continue Help for Some Banks

Obama ... Democrats ... Power ... Propaganda ... Orwell ...

Now This Is Cool

Want to take Hong Kong from late afternoon to darkness of night with the movement of your computer mouse?

Go here: http://61226.com/share/hk.swf

Place your cursor at the top of the photo. You will notice it is 6:10 PM. Bring the mouse down slowly over the photo without pressing the button on the mouse. Do not right or left click. Night time appears, the lights come on, and at 7:40 PM, it's dark! Photo technology at its best!

Quote of the Day

From the New York Times:
But [Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy expert at the University of North Carolina] and some other experts say Congress may have a difficult time devising a new tax on health benefits that does not threaten to do more harm than good.
"Taxing Those With Insurance to Pay For Those Without," May 7, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

Too bad too. We held such high hopes for this alternative fuel:
U.S. Drops Research Into Fuel Cells for Cars
By Matthew L. Wald, New York Times

Washington — Cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, once hailed by President George W. Bush as a pollution-free solution for reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, will not be practical over the next 10 to 20 years, the energy secretary said Thursday, and the government will cut off funds for the vehicles’ development.

Developing those cells and coming up with a way to transport the hydrogen is a big challenge, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in releasing energy-related details of the administration’s budget for the year beginning Oct. 1. Dr. Chu said the government preferred to focus on projects that would bear fruit more quickly. [link]
Try as we might, we just can't get away from those darn petroleum products.

We need Al Gore.

The Worm Turns

You know Mr. Wonderful is losing some of his cred when even the mainstream press isn't buying into his carny show antics any longer.

From CBS NEWS:
Obama Tells Journalists To Stress "Significant" Nature Of Budget Cuts
By Brian Montopoli

In remarks on his administration's proposed $17 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget this morning, President Obama was somewhat on the defensive against charges that his cuts don't amount to much considering that next year's total budget amounts to $3.4 trillion.

As Steve Chaggaris noted in Hotsheet's morning bulletin today, the news that the cuts totaled $17 billion "landed with a bit of a thud" in the media. Reporters stressed that the cuts made up "a tiny fraction" of the total budget and that they would be hard to push through; USA Today noted that the "proposed cuts are about one-fiftieth the size of this year's $787 billion economic stimulus package — all of which was added to the deficit." [link]
I think everyone on the planet knows that the budget isn't going to be reduced by $17 billion anyway. Or even 17¢. It's all an illusion.

It should scare the bejeebers out of Obama, though, that the press will no longer play along.

A Growing Problem

News flash: The actions of your government to make you feel better have consequences. Potentially very serious consequences:
Weak Treasury auction sends stocks lower
By Tim Paradis and Sara Lepro, Associated Press

New York (AP) — Weak demand at a Treasury bond auction touched off worries in the stock market Thursday about the government's ability to raise funds to fight the recession.

The government had to pay greater interest than expected in a sale of 30-year Treasurys. That is worrisome to traders because it could signal that it will become harder for Washington to finance its ambitious economic recovery plans. The higher interest rates also could push up costs for borrowing in areas like mortgages. [link]
The Chinese, as previously reported, are more and more reluctant to pay for our profligate ways by buying up our debt (the current rate of which this country has never seen before).

So who's going to keep us living beyond our means?

The Credibility Gap Widens

We can't trust these people at all:
CIA Says Pelosi Was Briefed on Use of 'Enhanced Interrogations'
By Paul Kane, Washington Post

Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.

In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress ever briefed on the interrogation tactics.

The issue of what Pelosi knew and when she knew it has become a matter of heated debate on Capitol Hill. Republicans have accused her of knowing for many years precisely the techniques CIA agents were using in interrogations, and only protesting the tactics when they became public and liberal antiwar activists protested. [link]
In response, Pelosi's office has issued some bullshit explanation that's not worth commenting on.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Why can we never believe these people?