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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, September 11, 2009

A Portent Of Things To Come?

An interesting (if unscientific) poll is ongoing over at Clintwood Connection, a local Dickenson County message board that gets a whole lot of traffic each day from people in the coalfields. The question asked reads as follows:

"If the 2010 congressional race in Virginia's 9th district turns out to be between Congressman Rick Boucher and challenger Virginia Delegate Terry Kilgore which of those candidates would you be more inclined to vote for as of now?"

The results thus far?

Boucher 32%.
Kilgore 60%
Undecided 8%

Remember, this is from Boucher's stronghold of Dickenson County, where newborns are issued a birth cirtificate and membership in the Democratic Party.

Is it any wonder that Congressman Boucher is backpedaling like crazy on that climate tax that is destined - if implemented - to destroy the coalfields of Southwest Virginia? The one that he voted in favor of and endorsed but since has unendorsed?

"Sow the wind and reap ..."

Headline Of The Day

Nielsen ratings: So You Think You Can Dance tops So You Think You Can Lie

Never Forget

2,993 Americans slaughtered on 9/11 simply because they were Americans. And those who killed them are still plotting and planning ...

Ah, How Quickly We Forget

Rather than provide a roundup of reaction to Joe Wilson's breach of decorum during Obama's photo op before a joint session of Congress the other night, I'll take the lazy route and let Glenn Reynolds do it (in part because it's quite good):

UNION TRIBUNE: Sure, he was a rude jerk. But Rep. Joe Wilson has a point. “The president is right that his proposal specifically says the plan does not extend to illegal immigrants. But one of the most undercovered stories in national politics is the fact that congressional Democrats have gutted the plan’s enforcement provisions.”

I’m finding it hard to get excited about this. It was a breach of decorum and civility. But someone who says “get in their face” and “punch back twice as hard” has little standing to bring that up. If you want to benefit from traditions of civility, you should respect them, and that has hardly been a hallmark of this administration, which has gone out of its way to try to demonize and shout down opponents.

UPDATE: Video Flashback: Dems Shout And Boo At Bush During 2005 SOTU. Goose, meet gander.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Video: Obama supporters boo Bush at inauguration. Like I said, you can’t stand on decorum when you’ve acted without it.

Or maybe we’re seeing the beginnings of British-style parliamentary debate in Congress!

MORE: Reader James Somers writes:

"Glenn, it might also be noted that a lot of Democrats and MSM journalists (same thing, I know) who suddenly have the vapors over Joe Wilson’s breach of decorum thought it was just dandy when an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at President Bush. Sure, the journalist wasn’t a Congressman; and sure, a press conference isn’t the same as the SOTU. But that journalist became a folk hero to a lot of folks on the Angry Left – I think you actually could become a Fan of his on Facebook. The point is that lefties loved Sticking It To The Man when Chimpy McHitler was president, but now they’re prissily toting around copies of Robert’s Rules of Order."

Indeed. Sticking It To The Man is supposed to be their sole prerogative.

STILL MORE: Bill Quick: Remember When Harry Reid Called Bush a Liar?

Good stuff. Thanks, Glenn.

And thanks, Joe. If breaking decorum is the biggest complaint the left has in this ongoing health care debate, they have no place in the debate.

And to those of you who found Wilson's words offensive, how many times were your undies in a bunch when you heard the words "BUSH LIED"?

Not once, I'm guessing. So take it somewhere else.

Don't Blame Joe Wilson

Blame the guy who was lying. Over and over and over again ...
Obama's Lies Matter, Too
The president pushes back against health care misinformation, then spreads a bunch of his own.
By Matt Welch, Reason on line

On Wednesday night a broad chunk of the American left, and an overlapping circle of media commentators, got what they'd been aching for since the beginning of August: A presidential bitch-slap of the lying liars who've been, in the words of stereotypical L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten, "crowding out nearly all substantive and realistic discussion of the critical issues surrounding healthcare reform."

It is telling that so many people who claim to be speaking on the side of Truth, Justice, and the American Way of Journalism have consistently focused their outrage-o-meters at individual townhall attendees, political broadcast entertainers, and the lesser lights of a lame (if resurgent-by-default) opposition party, while letting walk nearly fact-check-free the non-irrelevant occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If calling out lies and misrepresentations about a significant policy proposal is such pressing journalistic business—and it should be!—you'd think the watchdogs might start with the guy doing the proposing.

Again and again last night, the president's numbers didn't add up. "There may be those—particularly the young and healthy—who still want to take the risk and go without coverage," he warned, in a passage defending compulsory insurance. "The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people's expensive emergency room visits." No, it means that, on balance, the healthy young don't pay for the unhealthy old. The whole point of forcing vigorous youth to buy insurance is using their cash and good actuarials to bring down the costs of covering the less fortunate.

Such fudges reveal a politician who, for whatever reason, feels like he can't be honest about the real-world costs of expanding health care. "Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years," he said, trying hard to sound like those numbers weren't pulled out of Joe Biden's pants, and won't be dwarfed by actual costs within a year or two. "We've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system–a system that is currently full of waste and abuse," he said, making him at least the eighth consecutive president to vaguely promise cutting Medicare "waste" (a promise, it should be added, that could theoretically be fulfilled without drastically overhauling the health care system). Any government-run "public option," he claimed, somehow "won't be" subsidized by taxpayers, but instead would "be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects."

And in a critical, tic-riddled passage that many of even his most ardent supporters probably don't believe, Obama said: "Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits–either now or in the future. Period." In case you couldn't quite read his lips, the president repeated the line for emphasis. Then: "And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize."

If that "one dime" formulation sounds familiar, that's because Obama made—then almost immediately broke—the same promise regarding taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000 a year. Surely the no-new-deficits pledge is headed for the campaign dustbin faster even then that "net spending cut" we'll never see.

The result of this challenge-dodging counterpunch was a speech that pleased Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, but I doubt will sway the many Americans who are both on the fence and off Sarah Palin's e-mail list.

Unfortunately, the president evinces zero understanding of how increased regulation can reduce consumer choice, even or especially when the government joins the competition. And even if he did see the connection, we'd have good reason to suspect that he wouldn't talk about it openly with the American people. That, ultimately, worries me more than a senior citizen who wants to keep the government out of Medicare. [link]
I think we should all be worried when the president of the United States can't be straight with us on such an important matter as our health care coverage. When he shouted "You lie!" at Obama the other night, Joe Wilson was speaking for all of us, whether some realize it or not.

Nixon Redux?

Tucker Carlson on Obama's speech the other night:
A Man on His Way to Bitterness
The Daily Beast

This didn’t look anything like the Barack Obama I remember from the campaign. Obama the candidate seemed almost unaware of his opponents. At his best, which was most of the time, he rose above them completely, utterly unwounded by the attacks.

He also seemed like an adult. Obama was forever reminding audiences of the hard choices America needed to make, choices that had been sugarcoated when they weren’t ignored completely by politicians too fearful to tell the whole truth. Once elected, Obama promised, that would change.

Never has a president been warped by Washington quicker. At times tonight, Obama sounded like an embattled second-termer with a 35 percent approval rating. What percentage of his speech was spent lashing out at his enemies, real and imagined? Radio and cable-television pundits, George W. Bush, former Congresses, unnamed ghouls employing “scare tactics,” whose “only agenda is to stop reform at any cost”—they’re all against him, Obama said. And they’re lying.

This isn’t how confident leaders speak. These are the complaints of a man on his way to bitterness. So soon? [link]
He does seem to be awfully defensive these days. Did he think he was going to get a free ride when he was coronated elected? If so, that bubble has quickly burst.

Smart Move

When I first heard the news about Ellen DeGeneris being picked to help judge American Idol this coming season, I asked myself, "What does she know about singing?"

But then I remembered: It's not about singing. It's about entertaining. And not only is DeGeneris knowledgeable on that subject, she's supremely entertaining herself. And boyishly charming. And witty.

So I think she was a brilliant choice and she'll be a smash hit.

I also know that, had the producers of the show picked a fence post to replace Paula Abdul, the show would have been greatly improved.

* Yeah, I'm something of a fan. Though I tend to watch the early competition, where the show gets really awful contestants making fools of themselves, and the finals.