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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

The Roanoke Times this morning goes after Northrop Grumman for allegedly failing to meet contract terms with the commonwealth of Virginia:
The future of Virginia's IT services
editorial

A legislative audit released on Tuesday reported that Virginia's contract with Northrop Grumman to provide information technology services is a disaster. The state cannot easily or cheaply escape it, but doing so is something that deserves serious consideration.

The contract goes back to 2003. Then-Gov. Mark Warner and the General Assembly agreed to pay the defense giant $2.3 billion over 10 years. In return, the company would upgrade aging state computer systems and maintain the new ones.

According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the company failed to deliver. It missed deadlines, inadequately planned how it would implement services and provided widely panned customer service.

There is little reason to believe the company will ever successfully deliver on its commitments. The state could wind up throwing good money after bad. It might be better to cut the losses now and set an example for other contractors. [link]
I don't disagree with any of that.  If Northrop Grumman isn't meeting its obligations, we should consider giving it the boot.

But understand what goes with Northrop Grumman when it packs its bags.  400 jobs in Southwest Virginia.

As you may recall, the company was forced contractually by politicians in Richmond to locate its I.T. facility down here.  In Lebanon, as it turned out.  That's the only reason NG came here.  If NG goes, will the jobs disappear as well?

Count on it.

I think I'd be careful what we recommend.  If there is any way that Northrop Grumman can work itself out of this mess, we need to give it every opportunity to do so.  Lebanon would certainly appreciate it.

With Mark Warner, There's No Gray Area

Of course, there's no black or white areas either. When it comes to the critical issues of the day, it's fair to say, he stands four-square in favor of ...

... ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Take, for example, the issue of global warming and legislation working its way through the Senate to combat it.  Where does Warner stand?

Here's how Scott Harper of the Virginian-Pilot characterizes Warner's position.

Or positions.

Or non-positions:
Sen. Mark Warner stood with Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and John Kerry, D-Mass., when they released the Senate version of the bill Sept. 28. But in speeches, Mark Warner also has expressed reservations, though he seems to favor action of some sort this year.
Clear? He's for it. Sorta. But against it. Sorta. Though he feels that something needs to be done.

Sorta.

What should be done? Sorta hard to say.

Now there's a man who knows what he believes and is willing to risk all in defending it.

For the love of God. Had Warner been in charge when Pearl Harbor was bombed
we'd all be ...


Earth To New York Times:

"Climate change" has been relegated to the crackpot trash heap of history.

I wonder how many years it will take for the "enlightened" left's favorite newspaper to get a clue.

Todays' evidence of blissful ignorance:


"Curbing climate change." It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

- - -

If you want to see how bad things have gotten for the global warming true-believers, go here.  The Roanoke Times informs us in a post to its "RoundTable" blog that it is putting together an editorial that warns state and national policymakers that they should heed "the impact of global warming and climate change on the coastal [Virginia] metropolitan area," "causing sea levels to rise, to potentially devastating effect."

It is followed in the "comments" section by readers heaping ridicule on the notion that the planet is warming, much less causing seas to rise and locusts to be descending.  Not one commenter supports that which the real world now recognizes as being nonsense.

Yet they push on into that vast wilderness ...

So Which Is It?

Rush Limbaugh, the enlightened among us want you to believe, would, if he owned an NFL franchise, never hire a black man to coach his team.  Yet they also tell us that he'd love to have black people working for him because it would represent to him "plantation grandeur."

So he'd readily hire them but would never hire them.

Any wonder liberals in this country have been labeled MORONS?

Quote of the Day

Daniel Henninger on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama and what it says about the western world:
The unanswered question at the center of this odd Nobel is whether Barack Obama admires Old Europe for the same reasons it admires him.

When it was a vibrant garden of ideas, Europe gave the world more good things than one can count. Then it discovered the pleasures of the welfare state.

Old Europe now lives in a world of unpayable public pension obligations, weak job creation for its youngest workers, below-replacement birth rates, fat agricultural subsidies for farms dating to the Middle Ages, high taxes to pay for the public high-life, and history's most crucial proof of decay—the inability to finance one's armies.

Mr. Obama is at a crossroads in his presidency. As George W. Bush departed the White House, he said his successor would one day arrive at the need to make a decision that made clear the reality of being the American president. That moment has arrived.
One needn't argue that Obama would prefer the USA to be more like Old Europe.  One could argue that we're already there, what with our "unpayable public pension obligations, weak job creation for its youngest workers, fat agricultural subsidies for farms ..., high taxes to pay for the public high-life, and history's most crucial proof of decay—the inability to finance one's armies," as well as our soon-to-be " below-replacement birth rates."

A Warning

Want to accelerate America's decline?  Follow Al Gore and the mainstream press on their foolish - yet dangerous - journey.

Or:
Who Else Will Challenge Gore's 'Truth'?
By Phelim McAleer, writing in Investor's Business Daily

I served years of hard time as a liberal journalist in Europe and learned that covering the environmental beat meant toeing the line of extremism — no inconvenient questions allowed.


But it is now time for journalists, and the consumers and businesses that will pay the ultimate price, to start questioning the conventional wisdom about global warming and exposing its true cost. If alarmists like Al Gore get their way, millions of American families will watch as their dreams of a prosperous and pleasant future disappear.

The evidence of environmentalism run amok abounds in Europe. Spain believed the spin that environmental regulation can create "green jobs" and boost the economy. Now the country has 18% unemployment. Britain could suffer blackouts because of policies that require the country to replace coal with fuels like solar and wind power that aren't readily available or reliable.

Unfortunately for Americans, many of the lawmakers who represent them in Congress seem unwilling to learn from Europe's mistakes. [link]
One of those lawmakers who is unwilling to learn from Europe's mistakes, of course, is our very own congressman, Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon).  He chose to support global warming legislation over the well-being of his own constituents in an effort to combat a problem that doesn't exist.

We are, in my opinion, beyond "questioning the conventional wisdom about global warming" however.  It has been invalidated already.  We needn't question it.  We need to denounce it. To kill it.

Only when the message sinks into their thick heads will our political leadership abandon this dangerous quest of theirs to send the civilized world back into the dark ages.

That's Why I Call Them Slave Traders

Andy McCarthy on Rush-bashing and "post-racial" progressives:
I'm hunkered down on some projects and just heard about the phony attacks on Rush by the race-hustlers extraordinaire, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. I know Rush has big shoulders and he'll handle it just fine. But every time one of these stories comes up, which is all too often, I can't help but think it says a lot more about us than whoever happens to be in the cross-hairs. Why do Sharpton and Jackson have careers? Why aren't they shown the door for serial racism and dishonesty? Why does anyone give a damn what they say? Why does the press treat them like they matter when they're a walking, talking parodies?

In the 1970s, I went to a highly integrated, all-boys high school (Cardinal Hayes) in the Bronx.   Everyone was treated like he belonged, if you did something good it was yours, and if you screwed up it was on you, not your heritage.


That's how Rush treats people — in the Martin Luther King aspiration that the content of one's character is what matters, not the color of one's skin. Yet, in the media narrative, he's somehow the one who's got a race issue — and the guys who trade on race, live and breathe it 24/7, are held up as our public conscience. The Left calls this "progress." I call it perversion.
Perverse indeed.  Depraved.  In Obama's America, no less.

Rush refuses to bow to the likes of Sharpton and Jackson.  He sees them for what they are. Snake oil salesmen.  Or, as I label Sharpton and Jackson for their nefarious schemes, slave traders.  Crooks who make a fabulous living off of liberal white angst.

Many of us, including Rush, will have no part of it.  We will judge you only on the content of your character.  If you want some upper hand or special dispensation by pointing out your skin color, take it somewhere else.  That idiocy doesn't work here.  Not anymore.

We are post-racial.

If only the "enlightened," "progressive" left was as well.

But He Was Going To LOWER Costs

When Obama and the Democrats in Congress have finished their work, expect your health care costs to go through the roof.  Especially those of you young adults.  So says another expert:
The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Remember when health-care reform was supposed to make life better for the middle class? That dream began to unravel this past summer when Congress proposed a bill that failed to include any competition-based reforms that would actually bend the curve of health-care costs. It fell apart completely when Democrats began papering over the gaping holes their plan would rip in the federal budget.

As it now stands, the plan proposed by Democrats and the Obama administration would not only fail to reduce the cost burden on middle-class families, it would make that burden significantly worse.

Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.

It might not appear that way at first, because the dollars are collected via a 40% tax on sales by insurers of "Cadillac" policies, fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, and an assortment of odds and ends.

But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

The promise of real reform remains. But the reality of the Democrats' current effort is starkly less benign. It will create a dangerous new entitlement that will be paid for by the middle class and their children. [link] [my emphasis]
Like I wrote the other day, expect, in the end, for Obama's effort to reduce our health care costs to finally be nothing more than another welfare program.  With the middle class and the national debt suffering for it.

Hope and change, my ass.

Fantastic

As you might imagine, I became a connoisseur of fine newspapers long ago.  And there is none finer than the Wall Street Journal.  That's why this news doesn't come as a complete surprise (okay, a pleasant surprise, how's that?):
Wall Street Journal surpasses USA Today as No. 1
By Andrew Vanacore, AP Business Writer

New York (AP) - The Wall Street Journal has surpassed USA Today as the top-selling daily newspaper in the United States.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations won't be releasing its latest figures until Oct. 26, but the Journal said Wednesday that it gained about 12,000 subscribers in the April-September period, compared with a year earlier.

That puts its average Monday-Friday circulation at 2.02 million.

USA Today, which has long been No. 1, said last week that it had its worst circulation decline ever, dropping 17 percent to 1.88 million. [link]
People know a good thing when they see/read one, eh?

As for USA Today, you know how they're always giving them away for free when you stay at a hotel?  I always tossed my free copy in the trash and went downstairs and bought a real newspaper.  Either a local paper (depending on the city I was in and the quality of the paper) or I'd buy the Wall Street Journal.  It is, without doubt, the best newspaper on the planet for news and analysis.

So it's now number 1.  Where it should be.

Good for them.

Another Reason Why I See Decline & Not Recession

When they start using the word "unprecedented," consider something unprecedented to be going on:
Still on the Job, but at Half the Pay
By Louis Uchitelle, New York Times

In recent decades, layoffs were the standard procedure for shrinking labor costs. Reducing the wages of those who remained on the job was considered demoralizing and risky: the best workers would jump to another employer. But now pay cuts, sometimes the result of downgrades in rank or shortened workweeks, are occurring more frequently than at any time since the Great Depression.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track pay cuts, but it suggests they are reflected in the steep decline of another statistic: total weekly pay for production workers, pilots among them, representing 80 percent of the work force. That index has fallen for nine consecutive months, an unprecedented string over the 44 years the bureau has calculated weekly pay, capturing the large number of people out of work, those working fewer hours and those whose wages have been cut. The old record was a two-month decline, during the 1981-1982 recession. [link]
A correction resulting from pressures being applied by foreign competitors?  In part, for sure.  Reversible?  I don't see it.

So where does that leave The American Dream?