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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Want a List

A quick manipulation of the calculator tells us that Virginia taxpayers have shelled out $975,000 for every job that the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has "created" over the last twenty years here in Southwest Virginia.

And that's reason to celebrate.

Uh, wait.

That's reason to celebrate?

Guess so:
VCEDA marks end of second decade bringing jobs to Southwest Virginia
By Kingsport Times News staff

Lebanon — At the conclusion of two decades as Southwest Virginia’s economic development engine, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority looks back on $117 million in funding for more than 200 regional projects to help bring nearly 12,000 jobs to the region.

“In these 20 years VCEDA has had a hand in helping to bring more than $2 billion in announced investments to the region, including new opportunities in information technology, manufacturing, energy and other basic job-creating operations,” Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director, told the board of directors during the board’s most recent meeting in Lebanon.

Belcher outlined economic development highlights for each of the seven coal-producing counties of Virginia, including the 3,000-acre Southern Gap Business Park in Buchanan County due for a ribbon cutting later this year for its first business occupant. That occupant is information technology support center Sykes Enterprises — operator of a similar facility in Wise County — which will bring 400 jobs to the region.** [link]
Now, hang on a minute. Either the reporter or this executive director is being too slippery by half.

"VCEDA has had a hand in helping to bring more than $2 billion in announced investments to the region"? What the heck are "announced" investments? Are they remotely linked to actual investments? Or is somebody just massaging somebody here?

Will the Citgo in Bland take "announced" currency in exchange for real Bud?

I am hereby announcing my wish to invest one trillion dollars in the Southwest Virginia economy. Starting with a trip to the Bland Dairy Queen.

That takes us to $1,002,000,000,000 in "announced" investments.

Time for another celebration?

And if we are lumping "announced" investments in as part of that $2 billion, any bets on whether those 400 announced new jobs at Sykes Enterprises are included in that "12,000 new jobs" number?

Earth to reporter: What's the actual number of new jobs those 200 "projects" brought to the area?

Better yet, how about furnishing me with a list of those 200 projects and I'll tally the actual payroll numbers myself?

But I'll warn you of four rules I'll establish:

1) "Announced" doesn't get it.

2) Jobs that were created and then just as quickly disappeared won't be counted.***

3) Part-time, low-wage, no-benefit call center jobs won't be counted either.***

4) I'll not include any jobs that are simply being "churned." From the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority 2007 Annual Report:
Two manufacturers announced plans to locate in existing facilities formerly occupied by other businesses. Pinnacle Wood Products of Virginia, Inc.* is operating in the former Buster Brown Apparel building in Wise County and plans to create more than 200 jobs in the next three years. Rogers Foam Corporation, a Massachusetts company that makes engineered foam products, located in Scott County in a building formerly occupied by Mid-Atlantic Paper Company.****
I won't count the planned 200 jobs. But I'll darn sure include those lost when Mid-Atlantic Paper Company and Buster Brown Apparel closed their doors. Those are real numbers involving real people.

That should put the number of net new jobs created at around 16.

But I'm only guessing. As seems to be the method of operation in these matters.

But this isn't a guess: $117 million. That, friends, is a good, hard number.

The only hard number to be found in this exercise in mental masturbation.

- - -

* So you know, VCEDA assisted Pinnacle Wood Products with taxpayer dollars - to the tune of $1.2 million - some time ago. When last we heard, the company was employing 15 people.

- - -

** Sykes Enterprises is a call center.

- - -

*** Travelocity was supported by VCEDA back in 2001 in the amount of $250,000. It went along with $1.2 million that VCEDA invested in a child care center in Dickenson County for the kids of Travelocity employees.

Number of "announced" jobs? 300.
Number of actual Southwest Virginians in its employ? 0.

It closed in 2004.

Nexus Communications came to Dickenson County with an announcement that 550 jobs would be created. There were actually 188 employees there in 2000, when it closed its doors forever.

"Announced" jobs: 550
Actual jobs: 0

- - -

**** I would humbly suggest that the Kingsport Times News download the latest version of something called "Google" for its reporters to take advantage of. In doing so, said reporters wouldn't be led around by the nose by government officials and hangers-on who get paid to fax crap like this news of celebration out to unwitting news people who take it at face value and regurgitate it for their subscribers' viewing pleasure. (Making themselves look like idiots in the process.)

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Boucher votes AYE.

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Perriello votes AYE.

House Passes Largest Tax Increase In History

Goodlatte votes No.

Buffoon or Despicable Politician?

Perhaps it's a matter of perspective:

Rick Boucher says the largest tax increase in American history, the one that he voted in favor of yesterday, will "create millions of new jobs."

Bullshit.

Largest Tax Increase In History Moves On To Senate

Where Mark Warner can be expected to do what he's told and vote in favor.

But James Webb, who was a proud conservative not that long ago, will he dance to the liberals' tune?

We're about to find out.

Quote of the Day

From the Roanoke Times:
[D]espite fame and the riches that came with it, [Michael] Jackson was clearly never comfortable with adulthood, and never really at home in his own skin, even as he altered that skin and his features to a grotesque extent. Accused and acquitted of child molestation in 2004, Jackson seemed genuinely incapable of comprehending the outside world's suspicion of a grown man's relationships with young boys.

Jackson was a tortured artist who, like so many other troubled, talented souls, came to an early end. The freak show his life became should not overshadow the joy his music and dancing brought to millions all around the globe.

Perfect.

"A troubled icon's tragic end," June 27, 2009

Tax Revenue Above All Else

So what if in-state businesses are crushed. The government needs more money.

Didn't the state of North Carolina go for Obama in November? That might help explain this:
Tarheels vs. the Internet
Wall Street Journal editorial

The U.S Supreme Court's 1992 Quill decision forbids states from forcing tax-collection obligations on out-of-state merchants, but Tarheel legislators still want Amazon and other online retailers to start taxing their constituents. The Seattle-based retailer has no physical presence in the state, but a pending North Carolina bill holds that since affiliate Web sites in the state link customers to Amazon, the company is now responsible for extracting cash from Carolina shoppers.

To its credit, Amazon yesterday refused to accept the expected new compliance burden and announced the cancellation of its North Carolina affiliate relationships. Said the company, "This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor." So now the state won't get the revenue, even as in-state Web retailers lose their ties to Amazon thanks to the legislature's revenue grab. Brilliant. [link]
Brilliant indeed. Those web retailers are tied at the hip to Amazon, so expect many of them to fold. Expect too the ranks of the unemployed to grow, as a result.

Unbelievable.

Roanoke Times Is a GOP Front?

This is odd:

Va. governor and DNC chief denies GOP travel query

I thought it was the Roanoke Times that requested records detailing Kaine's many trips around the country at Virginia taxpayer expense.

I guess, if you're not with 'em, you're against 'em.

Welcome, Roanoke Times people. Glad to have you on our side. Whether you accept us or not.

Obama Suppresses Facts About Global Cooling

"The most transparent administration in history."

Many believed it.

How today's reality must hurt:
Carbongate
Investor's Business Daily editorial

A suppressed EPA study says old U.N. data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other inconvenient truths. Was the report kept under wraps to influence the vote on the cap-and-trade bill?

This was supposed to be the most transparent administration ever. Yet as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on the Waxman-Markey bill, the largest tax increase in U.S. history on 100% of Americans, an attempt was made to suppress a study shredding supporters' arguments.

On Friday, the day of the vote, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said it was releasing "an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency." [link]
Why did Obama want the EPA study suppressed? This might give a clue:

"Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

"Rush into decisions"? The Democrats? Like they might do something so foolish as to vote in favor of a bill that none of them had the chance - or inclination - to read?

Or maybe it was this:

"The idea that warming temperatures will cause Greenland to rapidly shed its ice has been greatly diminished by new results indicating little evidence for operations of such processes."

Translation: It ain't happenin'.

What to conclude from this? IBD:

"In other words, the administration and Congress had their collective minds made up and didn't want to be confused with the facts."

So the government banned the report.

You wanted this bunch. Now live with them.

NY Times Calls On Bill Clinton To Resign!

Finally, after all these years ...

Times calls on Sanford to resign because he cheated on his wife

So predictable. I wonder if these morons ever see past their forked tongues.

I Think I Like This Woman

Why isn't SHE governor?
Governor’s Wife Is Hurt but Unbowed
By Monica Davey, New York Times

As Jenny Sanford headed off for a boating trip, the day after her husband, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, told the world he had been unfaithful, she met the throng of reporters waiting outside her South Carolina vacation home, all inquiring about her emotional condition.

“Am I O.K.?” Mrs. Sanford repeated, from the driver’s seat of a vehicle. “You know what? I have great faith and I have great friends and great family. We have a good Lord in this world, and I know I’m going to be fine. Not only will I survive, I’ll thrive.”

It was, friends and former aides say, classic Jenny Sanford — strong willed, steely, anything but a victim. Mrs. Sanford, a former New York investment banker, largely gave up her professional life and turned to helping her husband’s political career, but those who know her well say she was also never one to abandon her sense of identity, her direction, or her own opinions.

To one reporter who wondered what might come of Mr. Sanford’s political career, Mrs. Sanford answered sharply: “His career is not a concern of mine. He’s going to have to worry about that. I’m worried about my family and the character of my children.” And with that, Mrs. Sanford, who spent much of Thursday with her husband and said she was working on her marriage, pulled away, smilingly telling the assembled cameras, “I wish we had room on the boat for you all, but we do not.” [link]
I'll not be addressing the subject of her husband ever again. I'm tired of dealing with assholes like him.

He is to me no more.

Here's to Jenny. My kinda woman.

Joseph Goebbels Smiles

The New York Times. The propaganda wing of the Obama administration.

You know that massive redistribution of wealth bill that the House passed last night? The Times wants you to believe it had to do with the weather in some way.

I wonder if this was written with a straight face:
House Passes Bill to Address Threat of Climate Change
By John M. Broder

Washington — The House passed legislation on Friday intended to address global warming and transform the way the nation produces and uses energy.

The vote was the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change. The legislation, which passed despite deep divisions among Democrats, could lead to profound changes in many sectors of the economy, including electric power generation, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

At the heart of the legislation is a cap-and-trade system that sets a limit on overall emissions of heat-trapping gases while allowing utilities, manufacturers and other emitters to trade pollution permits, or allowances, among themselves. The cap would grow tighter over the years, pushing up the price of emissions and presumably driving industry to find cleaner ways of making energy. [link] [my emphasis]
I wonder if there is a living soul out there - besides the cloistered creatures at the New York Times - who still believes this bill was about controlling global temperatures.

Even one.

And The Horse You Rode In On

I'm thinking there is a message being sent here about the credibility of the recent Iranian election.

Just a guess though:

Hat Tip to Iowahawk.

Obama = Bush On Foreign Policy

What was the number one issue that propelled Barack Obama into the White House in November?

Iraq.

And high on the list of subtexts?

Guantanamo.

Those poor mistreated terrorists being held there indefinitely.

Obama is now president.

And those abused prisoners?
Obama prepares to hold Gitmo guys indefinitely, just as Bush did
By Andrew Malcolm, LA Times

In yet another sign of political perfidy, the White House of President George W. Bush has drafted a presidential executive order that would allow that double-dealing Republican chief executive to hold suspected terrorist detainees indefinitely.

According to the president's intentions, such suspects could be detained for long periods of time, virtually indefinitely. Is this really what the nation voted for last November?

Oh, wait. No. According to an exclusive Washington Post/Pro Publica report this afternoon, it's the refreshing new Democratic administration of Barack Obama that's now preparing this new executive order to hold certain terrorist suspects indefinitely.

This is an obviously inspiring sign of the new style of leadership the Democrat promised and is finally bringing to the White House. As one blogger put it, George W. Obama. [link]
This should be recognized as being the wise thing to do.

But where does that put all his supporters who expected Mr. Hope & Change to ... bring ... change to the slaughterpen otherwise known as Gitmo, otherwise known as the Bush Gulag?

I think we all know.

The Obama Gulag is a pragmatic answer to a serious ... blah ... blah ... blah.

Your Governent, At Work For You

The only way that Obama's universal health care scheme is going to work is if he forces everyone to participate.

Well, there is one exception. One group will be allowed to opt out. At least out of its tax provisions. You can guess which one is going to be protected by the Democratic administration:
Unions’ Health Benefits May Avoid Tax Under Proposal
By Ryan J. Donmoyer and Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate proposal to impose taxes for the first time on “gold-plated” health plans may bypass generous employee benefits negotiated by unions.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chief congressional advocate of taxing some employer-provided benefits to help pay for an overhaul of the U.S. health system, says any change should exempt perks secured in existing collective- bargaining agreements, which can be in place for as long as five years.

The exception, which could make the proposal more politically palatable to Democrats from heavily unionized states such as Michigan, is adding controversy to an already contentious debate. It would shield the 12.4 percent of American workers who belong to unions from being taxed while exposing some other middle-income workers to the levy.

“I can’t think of any other aspect of the individual income tax that treats benefits of different people differently because of who they work for,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington research group that often criticizes Democrats’ economic proposals. Edwards said the carve-out “smacks of political favoritism.” [link]
When Obama promised that he wouldn't increase taxes on 95% of us, I guess he meant to say 12.4%.

Expect his chief propagandist to say it was a rounding error.

Headline Of The Day

You can't make this stuff up:

Dems put Congressional Black Caucus member in charge of Congressional Black Caucus investigation

Good Lord.