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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, June 12, 2009

What a Boner

Today's news reminds me of Wrong Way Corrigan:
Douglas Corrigan became a legendary aviator, not because of his accomplishments as a pilot but rather because of a supposed navigational error. In 1938, Corrigan "mistakenly" flew from New York to Ireland--when he was supposed to be flying from New York to California--because he seemingly misread his compass. For Americans, who were caught in the midst of the Great Depression, Corrigan's antic provided a great deal of humor and uplift and he became a national folk hero. To this day, Corrigan's nickname, "'Wrong Way' Corrigan," remains a stock colloquial phrase in popular culture. People use it to describe anyone who blunders and goes the wrong way, particularly in sporting events.
"Anyone who blunders and goes the wrong."

But not just in sports.

It applies to politics as well.

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Sierra Club), in an effort to mollify his party bosses and the environmentalist left that leads him around by the nose, sold out his most loyal constituency in Virginia's Buchanan, Dickenson, Wise, and Tazewell Counties when he signed on to that abominable global warming bill that all the liberals in Washington are drooling over. He decided it was in his best interest to risk alienating his base, rather than risk the wrath of the powerful and connected.

His soul he thus sold to the devil.

As it turns out, ol' Wrong Way Rick, had he kept his powder dry, his mouth shut, and his spine erect, didn't need to sacrifice himself for his D.C. buddies after all. It now appears that the legislation he put a french kiss to is going down in flames.

And, irony of ironies, it's other Democrats in Congress, they of the masculine wing of the party, that are killing Boucher's awful, awful bill:
Dem mutiny on climate bill grows, says Peterson
By Jared Allen, The Hill

More and more Democrats are ready to vote against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s climate change bill, according to a congressional committee chairman who opposes his leader.

The House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that he’s at an impasse with the lead sponsor of a climate change bill strongly backed by Pelosi (D-Calif.), and that his list of Democratic members who would join him in voting against the measure is growing rather than shrinking.

Peterson has warned that the bill put together by Waxman and Energy and Environment subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) will fail if agriculture-related provisions aren’t altered, and he’s said he has as many as 45 votes on his side. That number of Democratic defections would certainly doom the prospects of passing the bill in the House.

And while the Agriculture chairman said he’s working to resolve those differences and not intentionally trying to torpedo the legislation, he noted that skepticism toward the bill is growing, not shrinking.

“I’m just estimating the number of votes that will be against this,” Peterson said. “I suspect that the list has grown as more members have gotten a chance to look at this.” [link]
So what price will Rick Boucher pay for his having betrayed the people of Southwest Virginia, only to have his betrayal betrayed by members of his own party?

I don't know.

I can only wish ...

It's Colder Than A Waitress's ...

I sit here this morning in a sweatshirt.
In the middle of June.
Because it's chilly outside.
In June.
We've run the air conditioner for a total of two hours.
This entire year.

Global warming? What globe, amigo?

And if you think my situation is just an aberration, get this:
Waitresses cover up against cold as burned Maine coffee shop reopens in tent
By The Associated Press

Vassalboro, Maine — A topless coffee shop in Maine is now shopless after a fire.

But waitresses are serving coffee again after the Grand View Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, just north of Augusta, returned to business this week in a tent. One difference though.

The waitresses are covering up because of a recent cold snap, with many of them sporting sweat shirts. [link]
A question: If there is no "grand view" at the Grand View, why go there?

But I digress.

Here's the deal:

It's cold here in Virginia.
And it's cold in Maine.
And in Ohio.
And in Australia.
And in Wisconsin.
And in Canada.
And in Africa.
In Asia.
In fact, across the entire globe.

But fear not. Obama is going to ... uh, well, no he's not. He somehow still thinks the globe is warming.

And he intends to do everything in his power to reverse the trend.

I ask: Can we just thank him for a job well done now that the planet is cooling and move on to health care?

And about those non-topless topless waitresses ...

So Show Us What Ya Got, Big Guy

Doesn't it seem reasonable that we ask Obama to prove to us that he can fix the health care system before he proceeds to wreck destroy dismantle ruin change it?

And wouldn't it seem reasonable, what with the government-run Medicare program in a shambles, that he be asked to prove to us that he has a clue by fixing it first?

The Kingsport Times News asks the same questions:
Government should fix Medicare before trying to reform health care system
editorial

President Barack Obama has identified the reform of health care as one of the top priorities of his administration. The president and his advisers promise that a government-run plan similar to Medicare will assure high quality medical care for all Americans at an affordable cost.

And yet, according to a recently released report from the Executive Office of the President, which was prepared by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Medicare system is said to be “plagued by substantial inefficiencies and market failures.”

Forget trying to reform the jungle of competing and confusing health insurance benefits in the private sector. That’s far too daunting a task. Instead, how about starting with the government’s own Medicare program?

The advantages of using Medicare as a demonstration project are as numerous as they are obvious.

And since the government — as the single payer — already controls the program anyway, reforming it ought to be a breeze. [link]
It ought, oughtn't it?

So, Barack. Get your own house in order. Before you wreck destroy dismantle ruin change ours.

What's The Law?

This is interesting:
Virginia Tech's Collegiate Times newspaper sues West Virginia State Police
By Shawna Morrison, The Roanoke Times

The Collegiate Times has filed suit against the West Virginia State Police after the agency denied the newspaper access to documents related to the investigation into a Virginia Tech student's disappearance.

Collegiate Times reporter Caleb Fleming worked throughout the 2008-09 school year on a story about the 1998 disappearance of Robert Kovack, said Kelly Furnas, the paper's editorial adviser.

The 11-chapter story, called "Decadelong disappearance" and published May 7 in the Collegiate Times, "has prompted a significant response in the community," Furnas said.

He said the state police were helpful and provided Fleming with insight, but then denied two requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act for documents related to the case. The requests were denied in full on the grounds that the investigation remains open. [link]
Can the state refuse an FOIA request on such grounds? It's worth knowing.

Secondly, it might do the investigation some good if the West Virginia State Police closed the case. Then maybe progress could be made - by professionals - on finding the missing student.

Have I Got a Deal For You!

When we receive one of those Nigerian emails that offers us millions if we would be willing to pay - up front - advance fees, transfer fees, handling charges, account generation expenses, etc., oh, and be willing to provide the emailer with, ahem, our bank account numbers, we smile. And hit delete.

But we take him seriously when Obama runs the same scam.

Why?

Kimberly Strassel on the health care "pay me up front" fraud:
Democrats and the Health Tax Taboo
Wall Street Journal

The cost estimates for the Democrats' health-care reform have by now hit $1.5 trillion over a decade. Goodness knows the architects of this beast -- which they hope will include a new "public option" health entitlement -- have been creative in dreaming up ways to pay for it. In recent months, the administration and Congress have floated ideas to limit tax deductions, penalize soda-pop drinking, tax alcohol, tax salty foods, further raise the price of cigarettes, tax specific companies, charge for carbon, cut Medicare payments, or even implement a national sales tax.

In each case, Democrats have confronted the bitter reality that the proposed tax is too puny (Dr. Pepper tariffs), too doomed (cap-and-trade revenue), or too politically ugly (a sales tax). Contrast this with the tantalizing reality that requiring Americans to pay taxes on some part of the company health-care benefits they now receive for free could easily raise a half-trillion dollars over a decade. In a choice between a dozen niggling tax fights that could yield uncertain revenue, or a bigger fight over benefits taxes that could yield oodles, Mr. Baucus will take the oodles.

But for two small problems. The first is that about 99% of the Democratic Party is on record trashing the idea of taxing health benefits. Trasher-in-chief is none other than President Barack Obama, who mercilessly berated Sen. John McCain for proposing such a change during the 2008 campaign. "Apparently, Senator McCain doesn't think it's enough that your health premiums have doubled. He thinks you should have to pay taxes on them, too," ran one Obama ad. Republicans are, as you read, turning these words into crisp attack ads.

The Democrats' other problem is that the usual populist line won't fly. The party would like to be able to protect itself by saying that only those who now receive the most generous benefits will face taxes. Then again, the Americans who now have the Cadillacs ... of health-care coverage are union workers. Union workers "would be stuck footing more of the bill than others," says Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. [link]
Lest we forget, the $1,500,000,000,000 that Obama intends to seize from American taxpayers - including his most fervent supporters in the AFL-CIO - is supposed to save us money on health care!

The $1,500,000,000,000 being required up front, of course. The savings is to follow. In the mail.

Sound familiar?

Was Obama's father from Nigeria? I'm trying to remember.

Palin's An Idiot?

Compared to whom?
Palin Vs. Biden
Investor's Business Daily editorial

Our vice president's foot lands in his mouth almost every time he speaks. Yet the news and entertainment elites are giving the Dan Quayle treatment not to Joe Biden, but to Sarah Palin.

During last year's campaign it got so bad that even the liberal New Republic started running a "Biden Gaffe-o-Meter" feature. [link]
The piece is loaded with Biden embarrassments. Hits that keep on comin'.

Yet the press is fixated on the governor of Alaska, hoping against hope that she says something that could be construed as being ... Biden-like. A forlorn hope, I might add.

Yet every day, Mr. Stumblebum is out there making a fool of himself. And not a peep from the gaffe police.

Rather telling, no?

Blowing Smoke

When I read this challenge in the New York Times, I knew the editorialist didn't mean what he was writing. The subject matter concerns the state of Georgia (and a host of others) and the need for the state to verify voter rolls. In "Why the Voting Rights Act Matters":

"Georgia has every right to verify the identity and citizenship of people on its rolls. But it must use well-designed, accurate and nondiscriminatory methods."

Really.

The proof is in the pudding, sugar. Because the New York Times has never been able to articulate a verification process that it deemed acceptable - "well-designed, accurate and nondiscriminatory" - I knew the author here was just blowing smoke if he or she didn't outline just exactly what would be acceptable.

Needless to say, no alternative was suggested.

We're told what's not acceptable. We're not told - as usual - that which might pass muster.

Which means the New York Times - still - opposes all attempts at cleaning up voter rolls and preserving what little legitimacy elections have in this country.

So file this editorial where it belongs.

Environmentalists Eat Their Own

You'd think hydroelectric power - a renewable resource - would pass the green test. But you'd be wrong. In the Pacific Northwest, where cheap water power is readily available and plays a significant role in heating homes and fueling commerce, is under assault. Assaults led by those who have their heads buried in the sand:
As Wind Power Grows, a Push to Tear Down Dams
By Kate Galbraith, New York Times

Wasco, Ore. — For decades, most of the nation’s renewable power has come from dams, which supplied cheap electricity without requiring fossil fuels. But the federal agencies running the dams often compiled woeful track records on other environmental issues.

Now, with the focus in Washington on clean power, some dam agencies are starting to go green, embracing wind power and energy conservation. The most aggressive is the Bonneville Power Administration, whose power lines carry much of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest. The agency also provides a third of the region’s power supply, drawn mostly from generators inside big dams.

Yet the shift of emphasis at the dam agencies is proving far from simple. It could end up pitting one environmental goal against another, a tension that is emerging in renewable-power projects across the country.

Environmental groups contend that the Bonneville Power Administration’s shift to wind turbines buttresses their case for tearing down dams in the agency’s territory, particularly four along the lower Snake River in Washington State that helped decimate one of North America’s great runs of wild salmon. [link]
Never mind the fact that wind power is woefully unreliable. And very expensive. And that it - wind - is under vicious assault from environmental groups in other parts of the country too.

Here's the thing: Water power is cheap, reliable, abundant in certain areas of the country, and, except for harm inflicted on fish, is wonderfully environmentally friendly.

Oh, did I mention fish? Yeah, certain species don't like dams.

So we're against hydro power too!

One last thing. These morons now run Washington D.C.

Expect a lot of help for the fish.

Biting The Hand That Feeds You

I couldn't help but think, after reading "Administration, Congress seek to rein in exec pay," that Obama and staff are attempting to "rein in" the income garnered by the very people they are depending on most for tax revenue going forward.

If rich people are no longer rich, where will Mr. Magic get his trillions for health care, and stimuli, and climate control, and bailouts, and ...

Shouldn't Obama be encouraging hefty paychecks? The bigger the check, the bigger the tax.

Or are these guys not bright enough to understand that?