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

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

'The Devil Made Me Do It'

Without a whole lot of legal training (okay, I took two classes in the law in graduate school), it's my opinion that the above is no good defense in a criminal trial. "Your Honor, the devil made me do it."

So why is Congressman Rick Boucher using it as his defense when his devastating vote on the potentially devastating anti-coal climate tax bill comes up in conversation?

Criminal? Or pathetic. You decide:
Boucher addresses Clean Energy and Security Act
By Bill Archer, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

U.S. Rep. Frederick C. “Rick” Boucher, D-Va., serves on the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee and had a voice in shaping the American Clean Energy and Security Act that passed in the House of Representatives and will soon be considered in the U.S. Senate. The bill passed the House on June 26, and ignited a firestorm of controversy in the coalfields of southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia. Boucher voted in favor of the bill, and explained his reasoning to a group of people gathered for a Labor Day celebration in Pocahontas, the unofficial capital of the Southwest Virginia coalfields.

Boucher said that “unfortunately,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases are pollutants. “I wish it were not so,” he said. “When that decision came down, we had no choice.” He explained that the single question that remained on the table was who would regulate greenhouse emissions — the federal Environmental Protection Agency or Congress. “My preference is we would not have addressed this,” Boucher said.

However, Boucher said the Supreme Court’s decision on the Clean Air Act served as the catalyst to engage in drafting a bill that would ease the impact on the coal industry, electricity generating business and electric utility customers. “We’re not going to see jobs lost,” Boucher said, pointing out that he was able to inject the House bill with amendments that will insulate the impact of the bill. [link]

In three short paragraphs we go from obfuscation and distortion to outright lie.

"He explained that the single question that remained on the table was who would regulate greenhouse emissions — the federal Environmental Protection Agency or Congress." As I have mentioned before, the Supreme Court ruling specifically stated that CO2 needn't necessarily be regulated at all. The EPA was simply ordered to explain why it shouldn't be.

And there was no requirement of Congress to take up regulation before the EPA did. Congress could simply have passed legislation declaring to the EPA that carbon emissions be considered hands-off (the sensible approach) and Boucher could have led that effort. Instead he whines about being powerless before a mean Court and a potentially mean EPA.

There'll be no argument here. That's absolutely pathetic.

But that last paragraph takes the cake. “We’re not going to see jobs lost." That's a lie. And every expert on the subject agrees. Even Boucher now knows it (that's why he is now trying to weasel out of his vote).

See "Waxman-Markey Global Warming Tax Kills More Jobs and Kills the Economy."

See "Waxman-Markey: death knell for U.S. jobs, low-cost energy."

See "The Waxman-Markey Climate Legislation: Higher Energy Prices, Fewer Jobs, and More Government Intrusion."

See "Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade scheme will wreck U.S. economy."

And Boucher considers himself powerless to stop it.

Maybe we should find someone to represent us in Washington who has some backbone. Someone who isn't a complete wiener.

This guy needs to go.

On Obama & His 'Crisis'

What is the guy trying to accomplish?
Obama's Crisis: Credibility
By Michael Gerson, Washington Post

And so Barack Obama's address to Congress on health care, at a minimum, must answer the question: What is the crisis?

The overwhelming majority of Americans, by the definition of denied care, do not face a health-care crisis. Most polls show that about 80 percent are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their health plans. Those in the greatest need are often the most satisfied -- 90 percent of insured Americans who suffered serious illnesses are satisfied with their health care. According to a study published by the Cato Institute, a very small percentage -- even of the uninsured -- are "dissatisfied or highly dissatisfied" with the health care they get in other ways. On health care, the American public brims with satisfaction -- though most are concerned about rising costs.

So perhaps this is the crisis: rising costs that will eventually overwhelm state and federal budgets and consume more and more of individual paychecks. But this is precisely the area where current Democratic approaches are least credible. Obama abandoned his pledge to reduce the government's health costs long ago; now he aims only at budget neutrality. But every pending health-reform bill in Congress would increase both short- and long-term deficits, failing even on Obama's modified terms. Americans get the joke. While Obama has made cost control a centerpiece of his public message, only about 20 percent of Americans, in one poll, believe Obama will keep his promise not to increase the deficit with health reform.

America has an ongoing crisis -- an economic crisis of rising unemployment and negative economic growth. Obama clearly believed the economic emergency would give him the opportunity to do anything on the progressive agenda that he wished. Actually, it gave him the burden to do one thing well: respond to the economic emergency. Insofar as health reform is seen as complicating this task -- particularly by the addition of massive, inflationary debt -- the narrative of crisis will continue to work against Obama instead of for him. [link]
Gerson also points out that Obama's primary goal in going after health care reform was originally to control rising costs. But he's abandoned that goal over time because it was determined that it was impossible to achieve.

So what is he trying to accomplish now, beyond getting his name in some history book?

Sunstein vs. Sunstein

One of Barack Obama's new czars, University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein, who's also rumored to be on Mr. Hope&Change's short list of Supreme Court nominees, holds dear the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. In recent days anyway.

Here's Sunstein vs. Sunstein:
Sunstein flunks gun rights test
Washington Times editorial

University of Chicago law professor Cass R. Sunstein, the president's embattled nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, misfired one time too many.

Mr. Sunstein has been assuring Second Amendment advocates, including key Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, that he strongly believes the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms. In a July 14 letter clarifying his positions at the request of the senator, Mr. Sunstein wrote: "Your first question involved the Second Amendment. I strongly believe that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess and use guns for purposes of both hunting and self-defense. I agree with the Supreme Court's decision in the Heller case, clearly recognizing the individual right to have guns for hunting and self-defense. If confirmed, I would respect the Second Amendment and the individual right that it recognizes."

But it turns out that the professor has held a certain contempt for the very viewpoint he suddenly claims to espouse.

A videotape has surfaced of a lecture Mr. Sunstein gave on Oct. 23, 2007. Here is what he said: "My coming view is that the individual right to bear arms reflects the success of an extremely aggressive and resourceful social movement and has much less to do with good standard legal arguments than [it] appears." Discussing the anti-gun laws in the District of Columbia, he said a critic of such strict gun control would say that a "trigger lock interferes with his efforts at self-defense against criminals. What on Earth does that have to do with the Second Amendment as originally understood?"

Mr. Sunstein said, "My tentative suggestion is that the individual right to have guns as it's being conceptualized now is best taken as a contemporary creation and a reflection of current fears - not a reading of civic-centered founding debates."

Mr. Sunstein's overt hostility to the idea that the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms, including for purposes of self-defense, is not something that should be welcomed from somebody whose job might entail weighing in on the value of anti-gun regulations. It also makes his more recent assurances that he is a Second Amendment stalwart seem rather disingenuous, at the very least. [link]
Is it any wonder that this two-faced liberal lawyer finds himself in high places in the Obama administration where such duplicity is the order of the day?

Obama Could Take Lessons From Kaine

This, Junior, is how you counter budget deficits and keep your fiscal house in order:
Gov. Kaine slashes 593 state jobs, college funding
By Bob Lewis, Associated Press

Richmond - Nearly 600 of the state's 101,000 executive branch employees are being laid off, and state-supported colleges and universities will have state support substantially cut in new budget reductions.

Two state prisons will also close under the orders Gov. Tim Kaine announced Tuesday, and state employees would also be required for the first time since 1983 to contribute to their own state retirement plans.

The $1.35 billion in cuts are among the deepest and most painful Mr. Kaine or the General Assembly have ordered and the fourth round of reductions since July 2008, when the nation's economy took its worst downturn since the 1930s.

The cuts also include a furlough of state employees on the Friday before Memorial Day in 2010. The unpaid day off will not apply to critical personnel such as police and emergency crews.

Mr. Kaine isn't proposing any tax increases to balance a cumulative revenue shortfall approaching $7 billion out of less than $33 billion in general funds anticipated for the current two-year budget - the worst on record, said Finance Secretary Richard D. Brown. [link]
Of course, Kaine hasn't completely shed his Democrat cloak:

"Mr. Kaine did propose about $9 million in increased fees, including new costs imposed on booking state park reservations by phone."

All in all, a sensible plan for trying times.

Now, why can't the feds be sensible as well?

Look To The Sun

As each day goes by, we learn more about the causes of global warming. And global cooling. With this being another day ...
Sun-Caused Warming
Investor's Business Daily editorial

A team of international scientists has finally figured out why sunspots have a dramatic effect on the weather. It shows the folly of fearing the SUV while dismissing that thermonuclear furnace in the sky.

The study found that chemicals in the stratosphere and sea surface temperatures during solar maximums act in a way that amplifies the sun's influence. The slight increase in solar energy in the peak production of sunspots is absorbed by stratospheric ozone, warming the air in the tropics where sunlight is most intense.

This stratospheric energy absorption and sea surface warming can intensify winds and rainfall, and ultimately influence global weather in ways that amplify the sun's influence.

The world has significantly cooled in the last decade, a period that corresponds to a decline and virtual halt in sunspot activity. Solar activity is in a valley right now, the deepest of the past century. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that in 2008 and 2009 the sun set Space Age records for low sunspot counts, weak solar wind and low solar radiance. [link]
So the sun is causing the planet's warming and cooling. Why isn't Congress doing something about that?

Have You Lost Your Minds?

They'll laugh at the people who somehow find the image of the Virgin Mary in a tree stump. Or on a pizza pan. And they'll ridicule those who see Jesus's face inside a Kit Kat bar to no end. As they will those who see His visage in hamburger grease.

And rightly so. I suspect that when Jesus Christ decides to make His presence known, it won't be on the head of a pin or in a shower drain. Just guessing.

So, then, why do these same people who scoff at Jesus sightings and at the rubes who buy into their "divine creation," wet themselves when they see "Mother Nature" in an iceberg?
Icecap photo shows 'mother nature in tears'
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent, London Telegraph

Marine photographer and environmental lecturer Michael Nolan captured the pictures while on an annual voyage to observe the largest icecap in Norway Austfonna on July 16.

He said the image looked just like mother nature in tears, "as if she was crying about our inability to reduce global warming".

'Tears' in the natural sculpture were created by a waterfall of glacial water falling from one of the face's 'eyes'.

"On this trip I was struck myself by the amazing image of a woman's face, a motherly face, crying. Totally natural but very animated because of the amount of melt water running off.

"This is how one would imagine mother nature would express her sentiments about our inability to reduce global warming. It seemed an obvious place for her to appear, on the front of a retreating ice shelf, crying.

"It exactly fits with my image of mother nature, wise to the way of the world, and saddened by it."[link]

For the love of God.

Quote of the Day

On our Congressional representatives' return to the Tower of Babble, otherwise known as the nation's capital, after a tumultuous summer recess:
Now they’re back on safe ground, ensconced in the loving arms of the federal bureaucracy, safe from their constituents and accountability. They shouldn’t get too comfortable, however, because a number of them will be hearing “Welcome Back” after the 2010 elections from those same constituents, who will send replacements who understand their place a little better.
Ed Morrissey,"Video: Welcome Back, Congress!," Hot Air, September 8, 2009