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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Obama's Farcical 'Town Hall' Meeting

Is it still a town hall meeting if the town isn't allowed in without prior screening?

What's this guy afraid of? The free exchange of ideas?
Bristol greets Obama's health care plan with support, protest, questions
By Sarah Bruyn Jones, Roanoke Times

Bristol, Va. -- President Obama took on skeptics of his plans to overhaul the nation's health care system Wednesday during a town hall meeting held at a Kroger store in this far Southwest Virginia city.

Entrance to the meeting, which lasted about an hour and a half, was by invitation only, with most of the 160 people being employees of the store. Obama made the trip after holding another health care town hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C., earlier in the day. [link] [emphasis mine]
Not invited in were just as many concerned citizens who wanted a piece of Obama's skinny butt:

Before Obama's afternoon arrival, more than 150 protesters lined the streets and gathered outside Kroger to make their concerns about health care reform heard.

"We'll be here until the president sees us," said Katie Hughes, 18, of Kingsport, Tenn. "It makes me mad. I mean this could mean our grandparents won't be taken care of."

Art teacher Angie Meade, 39, of Bristol said she worries that government control of health care will mean she can no longer pick her own doctor.

Elaine Powers, 69, also of Bristol, said she thought people over 65 would receive only what she called "end-of life-care."

Powers said she believed the elderly would be given only pain pills.

Rho Griffin and her husband, Blake, drove down from Roanoke to tell the president to keep his hands off their health care.

That pain pill worry voiced by the 69-year-old from Bristol actually arose out of a comment that was made by Mr. Gifted Speaker himself just days ago.

To the daughter of a then-100-year-old woman who had opted to have a pacemaker installed and is still alive at 105 and was wondering if his plan would have prevented her from having that option, Obama said:

"We can let doctors know, and your mom know, that, you know what? Maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking, uh, the pain killer."

I think Ms. Powers - and the rest of the country - would like to have that term, "better off," better defined. As well as the term "pain killer." A bullet to the brain pan is a pain killer too, don't forget.

In any case, Obama came to Southwest Virginia for a town hall meeting in which the town was banned from joining.

Speaks volumes about Obama and his plan for us.

This Has To Hurt

I had to pause for a moment and try to remember who it is that Bob McDonnell is running against in the race for governor this year. Whoever it is, he's getting no respect from those he should be able to count on for support.

Oh, my:
Va.'s Wilder praises GOP's McDonnell
By Sarah Abruzzese, Washington Times

Former Democratic Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said Wednesday that his party's gubernatorial nominee, R. Creigh Deeds, is at risk of becoming the "me, too" candidate, and complimented GOP opponent Robert F. McDonnell on his efforts to reach out to Virginians who don't traditionally vote Republican.

"I would have to say Bob seems to be very aggressive in going out and strongly seeking the support of everybody," Mr. Wilder said.

The comments were made during an interview with The Washington Times in which Mr. Wilder, 78, the nation's first elected black governor, said Mr. McDonnell has been able during the campaign for November's election to set the agenda on several issues. [link]
Oh. Creigh Deeds. I'd almost forgotten. Poor guy.

The American People Know Better

President Obama came to Southwest Virginia yesterday.

And then left.

The reason for his visit remains unclear.

The New York Times tosses out a feeble explanation:
New Poll Finds Growing Unease on Health Plan
By Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee-Brenan

President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover that could limit Americans’ ability to choose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found.

Mr. Obama is making an intense effort to rebut those claims. On Wednesday, he flew to Raleigh, N.C., for a town-hall-style meeting to address the kinds of public concerns reflected in the poll results.

“First of all,” Mr. Obama said, “nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. I’m tired of hearing that. I have been as clear as I can be. Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. These folks need to stop scaring everybody, you know?” [link]
"First of all," Mr. President, you don't allay public concerns when you admit to us that you're not familiar with the legislation that is working its way through Congress.

Secondly, the American people have learned to look past all that hopey changey rhetoric and look at facts. And the facts are these:

· Costs to the federal government under the current proposal will go up (an eye-popping $1.042 trillion), not down.

· 63% of Americans get their health care coverage through their employers. If ObamaCare passes, an estimated 83.4 million Americans will be forced to enroll in government health care when those employers abandon their plans, as every employer will in a heartbeat.

· The elderly and those Americans with disabilities consume the lion's share of our health care product. "Comparative effectiveness research" is underway, a movement that is attempting to put a price tag on the lives of those who are old or infirm. "End of life" costs will soon have a value assigned to them alongside those of license plates and F-22 fighter planes. A bureaucrat working in some faraway government building will soon determine whether your granny lives or dies.

· Young, healthy, single males have no good reason to purchase health insurance. They will, overwhelmingly, remain healthy and chances are slim they will need it. Yet ObamaCare will force them to purchase coverage.

· Politics will interject itself into the legislation. While the elderly will be targeted for rationing and comparative effectiveness-based services, full coverage will be extended to abortion and transgender procedures.

You're 85 years old? Forget the hip replacement. You're just too darn old. But a sex change will be available to you, courtesy of the United States government.

· The end game in Obama's plan is to eliminate your ability to choose your health plan. The much-discussed "public option" necessitates the destruction of all competing plans.

· Those health care programs that the government is currently most responsible for - Medicare and Medicaid - are in a shambles, with costs skyrocketing. So Obama is going to take on the private sector?

· Health care today is expensive. And it should be considering the quality of service we are provided. But the government, if it is going to reduce that expense, will necessarily eliminate choice. The government will determine the menu, decide who will get paid for services rendered, how much those services are worth (in Manhattan and in Bland, Virginia!), and will select those who can partake from it. There is no other way the federal government can reduce the cost of care.

The New York Times article says, "Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests." They have every right to be concerned. In fact, they should be scared to death.

What's coming out of Washington is beyond concerning.

Like I Said

File the new information. Move on.

The Roanoke Times:
Correcting the Tech file

The state's official investigation into the Virginia Tech shootings should be updated to make it as complete and accurate as possible.

The sudden appearance of gunman Seung-Hui Cho's long-missing campus psychological records, however, does not automatically support calls to reconvene the state panel that investigated the mass murder.

[T]he Kaine commission's purpose was to learn what happened on April 16, 2007, so that it could recommend what changes in law and policies the state needed to make to reduce the risk of such a slaughter ever occurring again. That is the measure by which to judge any call to reopen the investigation.

Families and survivors say independent investigations have uncovered new information and revealed errors in the official record. But commission chairman Gerald Massengill, former head of the Virginia State Police, says he has yet to hear anything that would change the panel's recommendations. [link]
I ask: What purpose would possibly be served by reconvening this investigation? We'd find out that Cho Seung-hui wasn't just a deranged psychopath but a seriously deranged psychopath?

No. Let it go. Add an addendum to the report and put it in the file.

And move on.

The Usual Suspects

Those who gain the most from Congressional earmarks (in the way of "campaign contributions") are at it again. As sure as the Sun rises, the annual defense budget has slime dripping from it:
House Defense Appropriations Committee Members Rake in Nearly $1 million from Potential Earmark Beneficiaries
Taxpayers For Common Sense

A Taxpayers for Common Sense analysis found that the House lawmakers who write the annual defense spending bill asked for billions of dollars in earmarks for companies that gave them nearly a million dollars in campaign cash over the last few years. All 18 members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense asked for earmarks for at least one company that had made campaign contributions either through employees or a company political action committee.

All told, members of the Subcommittee submitted more than $1.6 billion in earmark requests--and potentially a lot more.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) topped the contribution list, requesting earmarks from companies who had given him $201,100 in campaign cash. Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), the subcommittee Chairman, was hot on his heels with $199,050 in contributions from potential earmarked companies. The subcommittee ranking member, Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL) was the other lawmaker to top $100,000, raking in $122,000. [link]
If anyone wonders how northern Virginia has fared so well during the current economic crisis, one need look no further than the earmarks contained in this bill. There are nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($243,066,000) designated to go to companies located in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. for "defense" purposes. Couple this waste with the everyday waste of the federal government and you get economic prosperity.

And interestingly enough, although Virginia's James Moran is on the receiving end of TCS's scorn, as he rightly deserves, the northern Virginia earmarks are actually sponsored by six different congresspersons from five different states (Moran, Kingston, Rothman, Bishop, Kaptur, Granger; VA, GA, NJ, OH, TX). With projects being paid for by the American taxpayer with titles such as "Multi-Sensor Person-Borne Suicide Counter-Bomber Detection Systems."

Every one of these bums should be thrown out of office.

Starting with that anti-Semitic, anti-taxpayer asshole up in Alexandria.

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Note: The Taxpayers for Common Sense database can be accessed here.

- - -

The Washington Post this morning:

The Democratic-controlled House is poised to give the Pentagon dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need to fund next year, acting in many cases in response to defense industry pressures and campaign contributions under an approach he has decried as "business as usual" and vowed to help end.

The unwanted equipment in a military spending bill expected to come to a vote on the House floor Thursday or Friday has a price tag of at least $6.9 billion."

For the love of God.

We Want Our Money Back

We told our unqualified and inexperienced president that his monstrously expensive stimulus plan wouldn't stimulate anything.

He didn't listen.

It hasn't:

Despite stimulus, Va. jobless rate increases in June

Perhaps we should have gone with a guy who knew what he was doing?

Naaah. Hope and stuff are so much more appealing.

Where's Boucher?

We learn this morning that House Democrats have come to an agreement that will, if agreed to by the Senate and signed by Obama, end American health care as we know it.

Is 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher in agreement?

Is he supportive of this looming disaster?

Why is he silent on the subject?

Another Urban Bubble Bursts

"But I want to pay $4 for a carrot."

Nobody's going to stop you.

Just accept the fact that the sole reason for your doing it has been discredited utterly:
Organic food is no healthier, study finds
By Reuters

London (Reuters) - Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

"A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance," said Alan Dangour, one of the report's authors.

"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority." [link]
This should knock the wind out of that Whole Foods Market up in Charlottesville.

It won't, of course. Upscale Democrats will continue to cling to the notion that their $4 carrots are better and safer for them than standard garden variety carrots. So they'll continue to pay the additional cost.

For no good reason.

Ah, free enterprise.

About This There Can Be No Doubt

They believe! With unwavering devotion. And don't even think about challenging their worldview:
Global warming is the new religion of First World urban elites
By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun

[Ian Plimer, geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University] presents the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is little more than a con trick on the public perpetrated by fundamentalist environmentalists and callously adopted by politicians and government officials who love nothing more than an issue that causes public anxiety.

While environmentalists for the most part draw their conclusions based on climate information gathered in the last few hundred years, geologists, Plimer says, have a time frame stretching back many thousands of millions of years.

The dynamic and changing character of the Earth's climate has always been known by geologists. These changes are cyclical and random, he says. They are not caused or significantly affected by human behaviour.

Plimer gets especially upset about carbon dioxide, its role in Earth's daily life and the supposed effects on climate of human manufacture of the gas. He says atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at the lowest levels it has been for 500 million years, and that atmospheric carbon dioxide is only 0.001 per cent of the total amount of the chemical held in the oceans, surface rocks, soils and various life forms. Indeed, Plimer says carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a plant food. Plants eat carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. Human activity, he says, contributes only the tiniest fraction to even the atmospheric presence of carbon dioxide.

There is no problem with global warming, Plimer says repeatedly. He points out that for humans periods of global warming have been times of abundance when civilization made leaps forward. Ice ages, in contrast, have been times when human development slowed or even declined.

So global warming, says Plimer, is something humans should welcome and embrace as a harbinger of good times to come. [link]
The comment about CO2 is particularly important because it is that chemical compound that Democrat Congressman Rick Boucher is working to have taxed out of existence (see cap-and-trade) and to have most of the jobs in the coalfield counties of his district taxed out of existence in the process. It is also the compound that Democrat Senator James Webb is working to spend our hard-earned tax dollars to have buried deep in the ground to prevent it from becoming ... "plant food." (See carbon sequestration).

With geniuses like those representing us ...

But to the point: All evidence points to the fact that the globe is not warming. Yet these people believe and refuse to have their faith challenged. I'll bet it's the same bunch that worshiped crystals not long ago. And converged harmonically before that.

In other words, they are nuts.

"Let's all turn to hymn number 312: Computer models we hold on high."

A Question

Are the authorities in Abingdon intentionally ignoring that house on Valley Street through which pass dozens of alleged illegal Mexicans each year? If money is being made by someone in the process of transporting the illegals, aren't there laws against trafficking in human contraband?

Just asking.

To Those Who Went To War

A dedication. And a profound thank you.

"Before You Go"