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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Out Of Both Sides Of Their Mouths

The Roanoke Times editorialists on raising the gas tax:

"Granted, any increase will pinch all consumers, and its regressive nature would hurt lower-income drivers more.

It still deserves support ..."

The Roanoke Times editorialists on the power company raising rates:

"Appalachian Power couldn't have chosen a worse time to implement a double-digit interim rate increase. The 12.5 percent raise comes when electric customers are confronting bills for a frigid winter snap that caused furnaces to run nonstop.

"Appalachian might appease both lawmaker and constituent by rescinding the interim raise at least until this cold winter passes."

 Aren't those electricity customers the same people who buy gasoline?

My hair hurts.

Well, As Long As The Gov't Had Good Intentions

After all, it's only money:
Minnesota wind turbines won’t work in cold weather
By Ed Morrissey

Minnesota invested itself in alternative energy sources years ago, and so the revelation that the state spent $3.3 million on eleven wind turbines hardly qualifies as news. However, the fact that they don’t work in cold weather does. KSTP reports that none of the wind turbines work, prompting the Twin Cities ABC affiliate to dub them “no-spin zones.” [link]
It turns out that fault lies with the "green" technology company that produced the turbines and guaranteed their effectiveness.

But if you've been following this saga about "green technology" and "green jobs," you've come to the understanding that it's not about technology or jobs at all.  It's about environmentalists feeling good about themselves.  They built windmills!  Eleven of 'em!  And three people were given jobs!  And the planet is saved!  And the project only cost 3 million!

So what if the damn things don't work.

Which brings us to those curlicue light bulbs that don't light well ...

Remember, These Are Scientists

Or are they?


This fits into the same category with Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Both make you shake your head in wonder and ask, "What in God's name were these people thinking?"

As I've Said Before ...

The biggest problem with our current health insurance "crisis"?  The government is involved. 
Mental Health Parity for Insurance
By Megan McArdle, The Atlantic

Apparently, the administration has issued rules requiring parity for mental health treatment with other illnesses. They'll take effect July 1st. If you want to know why health insurance costs keep marching upward seemingly uncontrolled, this is why: mandating new benefits is always popular, and the government doesn't have to pay for them. [link]
Try to imagine government mandated car insurance. Lexuses are nice.  Everyone should have one.  Therefore the government, being everyone's best friend when it comes to giving away other peoples' cash, mandates that everyone get a Lexus and the insurance companies pay for them.  Do you suppose the price of insurance would go up?

That's the state of our health insurance industry.  So many ailments, illnesses, diseases, treatments, procedures, counseling, etc. that the government wants covered.  And cover them all the insurance industry will.  At a price.  Until employers and policyholders can no longer afford the insurance.

Welcome to America, 2010.

How Quickly Things Have Changed

Just a year ago Democrats were falling all over themselves in eager anticipation of being seen in the same room with Mr. Messiah.

Today?  "Uh, that wasn't me you saw in that photo.  That was my evil twin."

Unfortunately, they can run but they can't hide:
GOP to tie Obama to Dem candidates
By Jonathan Martin, Politico

Honolulu – As buoyant Republicans devise their game plan for the 2010 campaign, party officials are counting on a boost from an unlikely source – President Obama.

A tactic that would have seemed far-fetched a year ago, when the new president was sworn in with a 67 percent job approval rating, is now emerging as a key component of the GOP strategy: Tie Democratic opponents to Obama and make them answer for some of the unpopular policies associated with the chief executive.

GOP strategists gathered here for the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting believe that now that he's fallen below 50 percent in the venerable Gallup poll, Obama will be an asset to GOP candidates, particularly in conservative or swing states. [link]
Those GOP strategists might want to start here in Southwest Virginia:

 

Rick Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal bill.

Rick Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal bill.

Rick Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal bill.

Rick Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal bill.

Rick Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal bill.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unfortunately, it's still General Motors

I was reading the latest issue of Consumer Reports last night and found its ratings of  the 2010 family of small cars to be interesting.  Listed at the top were those makes and models you'd expect to see - Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Honda, Prius, Sentra - and some you might be suprised to see - Hyundai.  Listed at the bottom, way at the bottom almost in a class by itself, was ...

... the Chevy Aveo.  Still.

All the taxpayer dollars in the world aren't going to help if GM doesn't stop making crappy cars.

Gun bills flourish because of mass shootings

Fools

With all the hand-wringing and the tears, the wails and condemnations, the tough talk and Bush-is-a-moron-we-know-better, Obama is taking the Guantanamo issue right where G.W. Bush had it all along.  In Guantanamo:
Bay what? Guantanamo eyed for 9/11 trial
By John Doyle, David Seifman, and Charles Hurt, New York Post

The trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed won't be held in lower Manhattan and could take place in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, sources said last night.

Administration officials said that no final decision had been made but that officials of the Department of Justice and the White House were working feverishly to find a venue that would be less expensive and less of a security risk than New York City.

The back-to-the-future Gitmo option was reported yesterday by Fox News and was not disputed by White House officials. [link]
 Just days ago Mr. My-First-Official-Act-Will-Be-To-Close-Gitmo said this:

"Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.  In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."

Well, it turns out our national security interests weren't damaged, apparently, and Guantanamo isn't really a recruiting tool for those Islamist assholes. In fact, it's a darn good place to warehouse those who have vowed to do our children grievous harm.  And a wonderful place to hold military tribunals.

To all of you who excoriated Bush for keeping Gitmo opened and cheered Obama's decision to close it - and you know who you are - what say you now?

My guess is you have nothing to say.  Finally.

Coal Is Off The Hook

Long after the debunking of anthropogenic global warming theory has taken its toll and pounded the final nail in its coffin there will still be environmentalists out there who will be whining about carbon footprints and CO2 greenhouse gases.  Because the ploy gets the conversation where they want it to be.  If the EPA follows through and declares CO2 (the stuff we exhale and plants thrive on) to be a pollutant, then our government can tax and regulate us back into the Stone Age, where they think we'll live at one with nature.

But their dreams and aspirations all rest on the theory that global temperatures are affected in a significant way by CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  An ever more discredited theory:
NOAA, NASA: Water Vapor Largely Responsible for Global Warming
By Nate Kharrl, Eco Factory

An increase in atmospheric water vapor is responsible for at least a third of the average temperature increase since the early 1990s, say scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Susan Soloman, the respected climate scientist who lead the research, says that this finding does not undermine man-made global warming theories. "Not to my mind it doesn't," she said. Soloman did point out that the research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought, and serves as a warning to climate modelers who "over-interpret the results from a few years one way or another." Despite Soloman's personally held belief, the NOAA study is expected to give further ammunition to climate skeptics working to draw public attention to perceived flaws in man-made global warming theories.

NASA scientist Eric Fetzer say that the new study created models much more accurate to past events than those previously used by climate change advocates, and proves that "water vapor is the big player in the atmosphere as far as climate is concerned." [link]
Water vapor. Not CO2. Therefore not carbon. Therefore not coal.

Remember that next time some enviro-wacko tells you he's going to alter your way of life in order to save the planet from certain destruction.

And They Wonder Why The Tea Party Movement Has Caught Fire

From "Class War, How public servants became our masters":
In California unfunded pension and health care liabilities for state workers top $100 billion, and the annual pension contribution has shot up from $320 million to $7.3 billion in less than a decade. In New York state, local governments may have to triple their annual pension contributions during the next six years, from $2.6 billion to $8 billion, according to the state comptroller.

That money will come from taxpayers. The average private-sector worker, who enjoys a lower salary and far lower retirement benefits than New York or California government workers, will have to work longer, retire later, and pay more so that his public-employee neighbors can enjoy the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. The taxpayers will also have to deal with worsening public services, since there will be less money to pay for things that might actually benefit the public.
It's broken.  And it may be irreparable.  And they don't care.

Our forefathers look on in shame and heartache.  Tinged with rage.

'Meet Me Half Way'

Obama to Republicans: "Let's work in a bipartisan fashion to get accomplished everything I've itemized on that document in front of you that I'll need signed before you leave the room."

Key word being bipartisan.

I'm Game

Call me old-fashioned.  These days I generally consume my bourbon straight from the bottle.  Sometimes, in an effort to impress, in a glass, over ice.  I've even been known to mix it with Coke.

But with fruit juices?  In pie, coffee, and ice cream?

What's the world coming to?

It's come to this:



"Paula, you know what I want for dessert tonight?  Horse race pie."

Getting a Few Priorities Right ... or not

Gosh.  Yesterday I agreed with Obama on funding nuclear power.  Today it's his decision to defund NASA.  Is this a trend?  The latest good news out of the White House:
Obama to End NASA Constellation Program
FOXNews.com

On the eve of the fullest moon of the year, NASA scientists were told they won't be able to visit any longer. In his new budget, President Obama plans to eliminate the space program's manned moon missions.

When the president releases his budget on Monday, a White House official confirmed on Thursday, there will be a big hole where funding for NASA's Constellation program used to be. Constellation is the umbrella program that includes the Ares rocket -- the replacement for the aging space shuttles. [link]
This decision was long overdue.  The money being poured into NASA is, as far its existing manned space program is concerned, a massive waste of taxpayer money.  The shuttle program amounts to nothing more these days than a regular effort to see if we can launch a vehicle into space and get it to return without hurting anyone.  Hardly the stuff that Gene Roddenberry contemplated.

The bitter truth (sorry, JFK) is, we can't afford the expenditure any longer.  And the goal has degenerated to the point of insignificance.  And the bureaucratic bloat is staggering.  So there are good reasons to scale back the missio ...

Oh, wait.  I didn't read far enough into the article:
NASA will receive an additional $5.9 billion over five years, some of which will be used to extend the life of the International Space Station to 2020. The official said it also will be used to entice companies to build private spacecraft to ferry astronauts to the space station after the space shuttle retires.
So funding for NASA will continue to expand.  And the shuttle "mission" (again, the mission being nothing more than to keep all the "astronauts" alive) will continue apace.

We're still on track. 

For the love of God.

They Haven't Learned a Thing

Millions of Americans unemployed?  So what?  We have more important things to concentrate on:


To be sure, Obama is acting on the request of Senator Orrin Hatch - a Republican - for an investigation of college football to determine whether or not the Bowl Championship Series violates anti-trust law.  Something every American worries about on a daily basis.

Nothing better to do, one must surmise.

Friday, January 29, 2010

They Found That Poor Little Boy

He had been tossed into the trash.  And ended up in the landfill.

There is no punishment harsh enough ...
Body found at Roanoke Co. landfill
By Amanda Codispoti, Roanoke Times

Amid acres of the Roanoke Valley's forgotten waste, a team of people looking for toddler Aveion Lewis on Wednesday found the body of a small child.

Police Chief Joe Gaskins could not say with certainty that the body found in a Western Roanoke County landfill was that of Aveion's. The medical examiner will identify the remains and a cause of death.

Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell said Wednesday evening that he had previously planned to present a murder charge against the child's stepfather, Brandon Lockett, to the grand jury on Monday.

Now that police have discovered a child's body, that may change, Caldwell said. [link]
My son, Jarrod, as a member of Roanoke's Swift Water Rescue team, spent hours searching for little Aveion's body in the Roanoke River, hoping they find it, and yet hoping they don't.

As it turned out, the body lie amid the other refuse in a landfill not far from Jarrod's home.

Brandon Lockett, it is reported, has confessed to having killed the boy.  Maybe now he'll confess to having tossed the child into the garbage as well.

When the news came Paula suggested that there is no punishment on this earth that fits the crime committed.  I reminded her that Virginia has, at least, the death penalty for scum like Brandon Lockett.

But Paula is right.  There's no punishment within the law that fits this crime.  He deserves to feel pain.  Suffering.  Like tiny Aveion did. And more.

So much more.

Now We're Talkin'

Ask anyone in Southwest Virginia who has to pay AEP to keep their lights on and you will find unanimity when it comes to cultivating cheap sources of energy.  And I'm not talking about the silly and distracting "green energy" which won't ever amount to much beyond being a big contributor to our national debt.  I'm talking coal.  And ...
Obama Said to Seek $54 Billion in Nuclear-Power Loan Guarantees 
By Daniel Whitten and Hans Nichols, Bloomberg

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama, acting on a pledge to support nuclear power, will propose tripling loan guarantees for new reactors to more than $54 billion, two people familiar with the plan said.

The additional loan guarantees in Obama’s budget, which will be released on Feb. 1, are part of an effort to bolster nuclear-power production after Obama called for doing so in his State of the Union address Jan. 27. Today, the Energy Department plans to announce creation of a panel to find a solution to storing the waste generated by nuclear plants.

“To create more of these clean-energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives,” Obama said in his speech. “That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear-power plants in this country. ” [link]
He might have pledged to fight the powerful environmentalist lobby to keep the costs of bringing additional quantities of nuclear energy to market from reaching into the trillions.  But Obama is a Democrat, so we can't expect too much.

Beyond that ... 

Here's the bottom line: Electricity rates are going through the roof (see note about environmentalists above).  Unaffordably and unsustainably.  We need a lot more (cheap) energy to drive the price back down so as to keep poor people from turning off their heat because they can't afford it.  It's getting that bad.

Nuclear energy will save lives.

So here's to Obama's effort to resurrect the nuclear industry.  May he succeed beyond our wildest imaginations.

That's Not a Good Argument

Defenders of President Obama will invariably use as a justification of his actions the now-tired line, "But Bush did it too!"  Like that means it's not bad if it was done before.  Especially by the "conservative" Mr. Bush.  Whatever "it" may involve. 

It's annoying, to say the least.  And irrelevant without doubt.

And there's this:
Obama Perpetuates the Myth of Bush as Free-Marketeer
By Ilya Somin, The Volokh Conspiracy

In the State of the Union, Obama continued to blame Bush and the Republicans for our current economic problems. This is understandable for two reasons. First,the GOP does deserve a good deal of blame, though my list of their misdeeds would probably look different from Obama’s. Second, pretty much any president in Obama’s position would do the same thing.

Much less defensible is Obama’s attempt to claim that the Republicans purused free market policies during the last eight years, and thereby caused the economic crisis ...

In reality, of course, the Bush-era GOP greatly expanded government control of the economy, including major increases in spending, regulation, and federal “investment” in education.

The Bush as free marketeer meme is an important prop in the Democrats’ case for massively expanding government control of the economy today. Logically, of course, it is possible to argue for such an expansion even if Bush did it too. Maybe he just didn’t go far enough, or didn’t calibrate his interventions as precisely as the Democrats plan to with theirs. From the standpoint of political rhetoric, however, it’s much easier for Obama to justify greatly expanded government if he can portray it as the opposite of his discredited predecessor’s policy. The gambit probably wouldn’t work if the public knew the facts about what Bush did. Obama, however, may be banking on widespread political ignorance, reinforced by the GOP’s image as the pro-free market party. He is far from the first politician to try to take advantage of ignorance. The Republicans have hardly been above doing the same thing when it suited their interests. But the fact that everyone does it doesn’t make it right. [link]
Bush as free marketeer.  I have to chuckle.

"But the fact that everyone does it doesn’t make it right."  That's for all you Obama supporters.  In fact it's wrong.  Time to come up with an actual argument.

Bouncing Off The Walls

When are these guys going to start thinking before they act?
White House asks Justice Department to look for other places to hold 9/11 terror trial
By Kenneth R. Bazinet, Adam Lisberg and Samuel Goldsmith, New York Daily News

The White House ordered the Justice Department Thursday night to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.

The dramatic turnabout came hours after Mayor Bloomberg said he would "prefer that they did it elsewhere" and then spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The order to consider new venues does not change the White House's position that Mohammed should be tried in civilian court. [link]
I'm thinking Obama could move the terrorist trial to San Francisco where folks seem to have a special place in their hearts for those who hate America and want it destroyed.

Or he could move the trial here to the mountains of Southwest Virginia where we have a special liking for Islamists too.  We hear they make good kindling.

You Want a Strategy?

You want a strategy?


How 'bout this for a theme, an outgrowth of the hundreds of Tea Party protests that have taken place over the last twelve months:

Tear it down. Start over again.

The American people, in overwhelming numbers, know the system is broken and hurtling toward certain doom.

Anything less than A New Beginning will only lengthen the timetable.

- - -

Doom as exemplified by this.

The 'Copenhagen Effect' Comes To Denver?

Obama traveled to Copenhagen to win over the Olympic Committee. They rejected him.

He traveled to Copenhagen again to get climate change legislation approved. He was rejected again.

Mr. Magic then traveled to New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts to help Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds, and Martha Coakley win. 

All lost.

He now heads to Denver, Colorado to assist the campaign of one Michael Bennet.  Poor guy.
Obama coming to help Bennet in February
Associated Press

Denver — The White House has confirmed that President Barack Obama will visit Colorado in February to attend an event with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.

White House spokesman Adam Abrams said Thursday that the details are still being worked out.

Craig Hughes, Bennet's campaign manager, says Obama will be in Colorado to campaign for the senator, who is running for election. A date hasn't been set.

Bennet was appointed by fellow Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter to the Senate last year to complete Ken Salazar's term. Obama appointed Salazar as Interior secretary. [link]
Oh, dear.  What did Bennet do to deserve this?

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

A Post Mortem On Obama's Speech

From Peggy Noonan:

"The central fact of the speech was the contradiction at its heart. It repeatedly asserted that Washington is the answer to everything. At the same time it painted a picture of Washington as a sick and broken place. It was a speech that argued against itself: You need us to heal you. Don't trust us, we think of no one but ourselves."

And the Democrats cheered every word of it. 

- - -

James Taranto adds this:

"If the voters of Massachusetts sent a message, President Obama refuses to listen."

On The Law Professor's Understanding of the Law

Obama, for those not aware of it, was a law professor before he became what he's become.  One wonders, when reading the following what his understanding of the law amounted to:
Obama v. the Supremes
Alito wins the oral, and factual, argument.
Wall Street Journal editorial

We're not among those who think the Supreme Court is above criticism. Especially in recent decades as the judiciary has become more political, and has encroached on the powers of Congress and the executive, politicians in the other branches have an obligation to defend their powers. Mr. Obama may have exhibited bad manners in sandbagging the Justices without warning on national TV, but he has every right to disagree with their rulings.

But could a graduate of Harvard Law School at least get his facts right? "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections," Mr. Obama averred. "Well, I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

Let's unpack the falsehoods. The Court didn't reverse "a century of law," but merely two more recent precedents, one from 1990 and part of another from 2003. Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce in 1990 had set the Court in a markedly new direction in limiting independent corporate campaign expenditures. This is the outlier case that needed to be overturned.

Mr. Obama is also a sudden convert to stare decisis. Does he now believe that all Court precedents of a certain duration are sacrosanct, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal, 1896), which was overturned by Brown v. Board (1954)? Or Bowers v. Hardwick (a ban on sodomy, 1986), which was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas (2003)?

The President's claim about "foreign entities" bankrolling U.S. political campaigns is also false, since the Court did not overrule laws limiting such contributions. His use of "foreign" was a conscious attempt to inflame public and Congressional opinion against the Court. Coming from a President who fancies himself a citizen of the world, and who has gone so far as foreswear American exceptionalism, this leap into talk-show nativism is certainly illuminating. What will they think of that one in the cafes of Berlin?

Desperate Presidents do desperate things, and Mr. Obama's riff against the Supremes reveals a President who—let us try to follow Mr. Obama's admonition about changing the "tone" of our politics—lacks grace under pressure. [link requires subscription]
On a separate note, I was able to watch the clip showing Justice Alito's reaction to Obama spewing these various falsehoods.  The one in which Alito shook his head and mouthed the words, "Not true."  There will be those who will cheer his response and there will be those who'll denounce him for it.  I find it interesting that nobody opposes audience members reacting to the president's speech - as Alito is defensively responding to Obama's attack Senators Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray are also shaking their heads (up and down) and rising to clap and cheer - they only oppose negative reactions.  At least this year and with this president.

Whatever.

But understand, I believe in participatory meetings.  I'd have been in the audience starting a chant, "You lied! You lied!  You lied!"  I find hugfests to be so much a waste of time.

- - -

James Taranto:

"How can you tell when President Obama is lying? Justice Samuel Alito's lips move.

"If the president of the United States is going to display his contempt for a coequal branch of government and the First Amendment, you'd think he could at least be troubled to get his facts straight."

A Perspective On Unions

From one who works side-by-side with card carrying members.

In yesterday's comments to this blog post I found one from "Krispy."  He or she offers some valuable perspective:

I might be able to provide a little insight. I'm a private sector laborer who isn't part of the local union. To some of my union co-workers I'm a leper. But I'm not gonna knock these people, most of them are just honest folks who want to make a living.

The corporations aren't really doing anything to decrease the need for unions, as far as I can tell. That's not the issue. What's happening is that the unions (especially the big umbrella outfits) are marginalizing themselves from the top down. It isn't about protecting honest working people anymore, that idea is anachronistic. Big labor today is just a political movement, and they're increasingly out of step with the rank and file who they rely on for dues.

And make no mistake, that's all a man with a lunch pail is to big labor: We're just the golden goose. They'll gut us at the drop of a hat. And we know it.

Of course there are still very passionate pro-union people on local levels ... but when you talk to them it becomes obvious that their fervor is really their religion. It's simple fundamentalism, and like all fundamentalists, they see outsiders as the enemy. If you don't share their beliefs, you're an anathema. They believe what they believe on faith, and evidence to the contrary simply has to be lies. It's simple: Grandaddy was a union man, daddy was a union man, and so am I. Gimme that old time religion.

As more and more people wake up to how destructive (or, at best, irrelevant) big labor is ... and as more and more of the old-timers retire ... there is less and less willingness to accept what we're told just based on faith. The younger people in the workplace are paying attention to the world around us (what the UAW has done to Detroit, how happy non-union Wal-Mart employees tend to be, how badly big labor wants to take away blind elections and right-to-work laws, etc) and we're more willing to question what the unions tell us. It's supposed to be a business relationship, not a religion. The union halls are supposed to be business offices, not churches. And if what the unions have to offer is a losing proposition, why should we buy what they're selling?

My two cents.
Two cents worth far more than two cents.  Thanks, Krispy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Unions Thrive!

Well, they thrive where the boss man doesn't have to compete:



Two contributing factors: (1) unionized companies in the private sector continue to disappear, and (2) the government continues to grow.

In a few years?

Chart courtesy of Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson

While Obama Wants To Throw Tax Dollars At Our Problem ...

... the private sector shows us how innovation and quality control actually bring about success:


The company that the Treasury Department Henry Ford built was even profitable - very profitable - in North America.

Ford rocks.

Some Common Sense Regarding The Supreme Court Ruling

George Will:
Cleta Mitchell, Washington's preeminent campaign finance attorney, rightly says that few for-profit corporations will jeopardize their commercial interests by engaging in partisan politics: Republicans, Democrats and independents buy Microsoft's and Pepsi's products. If for-profit corporations do plunge into politics, disclosure of their spending will enable voters to draw appropriate conclusions. Of course, political speech regulations radiate distrust of voters' abilities to assess unfettered political advocacy.

Mitchell says the court's decision primarily liberates nonprofit advocacy groups, such as the Sierra Club, which the FEC fined $28,000 in 2006. The club's sin was to distribute pamphlets in Florida contrasting the environmental views of the presidential and senatorial candidates, to the intended advantage of Democrats. FEC censors deemed this an illegal corporate contribution.  [link]
I can see it now.  Leftists in this country who, just days ago, were whining about the decision opening the floodgates to corporate cash and corporate influence, when they find out that in fact advocacy groups like the leftist Sierra Club will benefit far more than Halliburton! will, can be expected to reply with ...

... well, that's okay then.

Such rock-solid intellectuals they are.

Silence

Where are those New York Times reporters who roundly criticized George W. Bush for his "go-it-alone" strategy in our War on Terror?


Looks like Barry is going to go it alone.

I can just hear the howls of derision coming from the Times.

I can just hear ...

Solving the 'Undesirables' Problem

Oh, well.


Alexandra Nuñez was only Hispanic.

Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, would say her plan is on track.  One less undesirable.

In a civilized world, tears would flow.

Magic Wand Won't Make It Better

I was struck the other day as I was watching President Obama deliver a teleprompting to his White House Task Force on Middle Class Families how few of the recommendations that he and the members thereof had come up with that actually related to job creation and growth.  Most could be labeled as "welfare as we know it," and some had to do with tax breaks, which are certainly needed.

But what about jobs?  Does he have any answers besides "stimulus"?  He didn't in that speech.

I didn't watch the State of the Union address last night (I have things I have to do early in the morning, ahem), but some people who are experts in the field of economics did.  And they have this assessment:
Staying the Course
The same agenda in more humble clothes
Wall Street Journal editorial

So much for all of that Washington talk about a midcourse change of political direction. If President Obama took any lesson from his party's recent drubbing in Massachusetts, and its decline in the polls, it seems to be that he should keep doing what he's been doing, only with a little more humility, and a touch more bipartisanship.

Mr. Obama's economic pitch ... differed little from last year, when the jobless rate was 7.2%. He offered a spirited defense of the stimulus, though the jobless rate is now 10%, and he promised more of the same this year, especially on "green jobs." He also offered some minor if welcome tax cuts for small business, and $30 billion in handouts for "community banks" to be able to lend more.

Yet at the same time, he couldn't resist more banker baiting, and he promised that he's determined to see tax rates rise for millions of Americans next year when the Bush rates are set to expire. He also pushed more exports while saying he'll raise taxes on some of our biggest exporters, otherwise known as multinationals that "ship our jobs overseas." Mr. Obama believes he can conjure jobs and a durable expansion from the private sector while waging political war on its animal spirits. It can't be done.

This reflects a larger problem, which is his belief that economic growth springs mainly from the genius of government. Thus Mr. Obama presented a vision of an economy soaring to new heights on "high-speed railroad" and "clean energy facilities" and 1,000 people making solar panels in California. He seems not to appreciate that what really drives growth are the millions of risks taken each day by millions of individuals, far from the politicking and earmarks of Congress or the Department of Energy. [link]
You read here the other day about the foolishness that guys like Obama call "green jobs."  Governor Kaine here in Virginia is proud, according to the Roanoke Times, that he was able to create five green jobs here in Southwest Virginia at a cost of millions during his tenure.

Five jobs.

Costing millions of taxpayer dollars.

Even the Big-Government types at the Times had trouble defending that bit of hooey.

The experts at the Wall Street Journal seem equally unimpressed with the recommended solutions to our problems that Obama delivered last night.  After liberals throw money at a weak economy and the economy only worsens, what's a liberal to do?  Something that might actually work?

No.

Obama wants to throw more government money at government driven programs - green jobs - and, as if they haven't been punished enough, he intends to tax the living hell out of the rich, until they too are in our boat.

What's that term that General Honoré came up with a few years ago for people who are bashing their heads against a brick wall?  I'm trying to remember ...

Is Chris Matthews' Show Still On The Air?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds on that groupie whore's latest embarrassing pronouncement ("You know, I forgot he was black for an hour"):

"Good grief. Why is this guy still on the air? Oh, wait, he’s not — he’s on MSNBC . . .."

Is he?

Here's the latest cable news ratings, published by the Drudge Report:


Where's Matthews?

Must have been off somewhere doing someone something else.

But It Got Him His Gig

A Reaction to the speech last night:


I think he's learning that "BUSH!," though a great election year tactic, does not policy make.

Teleprompter Should Be On Mt. Rushmore For That Speech

Gosh, I'm Sorry I Didn't Stay Up & Watch

Michael Gerson on the State of the Union speech last night:

"For much of the speech Obama sounded like a commerce secretary at a professional conference on a particularly uninspired day."

Ouch.

Giving Credit Where It's Due

On Virginia Senate Bill 268, which provided "that the governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, make it unlawful for any person to possess a dangerous weapon upon the property, including buildings and grounds thereof, of any facility that is owned or leased by that locality and used by it for governmental purposes," which would have voided that which we call preemption, was defeated in the Committee on Local Government by a vote of 6 yea and 9 nay on Tuesday. 

Put in terms that everyone can understand, the bill would have voided a portion of the Bill of Rights should some liberal city council somewhere decide to ban possession of firearms on their (actually the taxpayers') property.

Included among those who voted to support the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution -

Roscoe Reynolds, D-20.

Here's to ya, Roscoe.

The Left Reacts

You know Obama is in free fall when his most loyal newspaper has this for a lead headline:


Hope!  Change!  Stop!  Don't retreat!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Official

ObamaCare is dead.  The Democrats' mouthpiece, New York Times, says so:
Democrats Put Lower Priority on Health Bill

Washington — With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care.

“We’re not on health care now,” Mr. Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.”

He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.

Mr. Reid said he and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, were working to map out a way to complete a health care overhaul in coming months. [link]
Coming months, my ass.  Coming decades is more like it.

Breathe a short sigh of relief.  We dodged a bullet on this one.

But other bullets are coming.  You can count on that.

All They Had To Do Was Ask

We could have told them what "the most trusted name in news" is.

CNN?

Please.
Fox Is The Most Trusted Name In News According To New Poll
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters

CNN might call itself the most trusted name in news, but a new poll found Americans think the Fox News Channel is the organization deserving this honor.

In fact, according to Public Policy Polling, FNC is the only national television news organization that more people trust than distrust.

A new poll asking Americans whether they trust each of the major television news operations in the country finds that the only one getting a positive review is Fox News. CNN does next best followed by NBC News, then CBS News, and finally ABC News.

49% of Americans say they trust Fox News to 37% who disagree. [link]
They've been trying to tell you all along that they are fair and balanced.  Now the American people back up their claim.

No surprise as far as I'm concerned.

The Eminent Domain Travesty Continues

Good God:
Condemnation of couple's property to proceed
By Sarah Bruyn Jones, Roanoke Times

The revelation that Carilion Clinic is not interested in the privately owned property adjacent to its growing medical park won't stop the condemnation of the property.

In a ruling Tuesday, Roanoke Circuit Court Judge William Broadhurst rejected a motion by the lawyer for B&B Holdings LLC and Stephanie and Jay Burkholder to reconsider the condemnation of their Reserve Avenue property.

Joe Waldo, the Burkholders' attorney, argued that the condemnation of the property would create blight instead of eliminating blight. The government is seeking to take the property and use it for economic development.

The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority's attorney, Mark Loftis, argued that Carilion's lack of interest had no relevance to the issue of determining if the property could be condemned.

Waldo said that by forcing the Burkholders to sell and with no plan in place to develop the land, the property would sit vacant, resulting in a loss of tax revenue and a loss of jobs. Currently the flooring business Surfaces Inc. operates on the site, employs about 10 people and supports about 40 independent subcontractors.

"The property is going to be taken without any useful purpose," Waldo argued during court. Broadhurst sided with the housing authority, noting that the law does not require there to be a specific design in place for the use of a condemned property.

He said even if the new evidence of Carilion's lack of interest presented by B&B was true, it wouldn't have changed his November ruling that the government had the legal authority to condemn the property under Virginia's eminent domain laws. [link]
Unfortunately, that last statement is true.  The government is seizing the Burkholders' property because it can. It has no other reason for doing so - see above.  It simply can. And is.

And that's the problem that should scare every American citizen to death.

I Think We All Knew It Would End This Way

Although we hoped against hope:
Remains likely Tech student's
Rex Bowman, Roanoke Times

Charlottesville -- The three-month search for Morgan Harrington ended in a remote hayfield Tuesday when an Albemarle County farmer checking his fences discovered what authorities are confident are the Virginia Tech student's skeletal remains.

How she died, when she died and even where she died are now the questions Virginia State Police are trying to find answers to as they scour the hayfield less than 10 miles south of Charlottesville, where Harrington was last seen alive after disappearing from a rock concert.

While state police are waiting for the medical examiner's office in Richmond to make a definitive identification of the body, the search for Harrington is now a search for her killer. [link]
Find him.  Fry him.  And give him a fair trial.

It's Going To Require a Newt Gingrich

Because Barack Obama has demonstrated NO willingness to discipline Congress:
Lawmakers give cold shoulder to Obama call for budget freeze
By Walter Alarkon and J. Taylor Rushing, The Hill

President Barack Obama’s proposal to freeze government spending is turning out to be a tough sell on Capitol Hill.

His liberal base warned Tuesday the three-year cap on most non-defense discretionary spending could hamper an economic recovery. Conservatives dismissed it as insufficient and just for show.

Even the bipartisan group of lawmakers who praised Obama’s plan, most of them centrists, questioned whether he has the fortitude to veto plump spending bills that fail to adhere to the limits he has set. They also wonder if he will take further steps to rein in the $12.3 trillion federal debt.

Top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), offered tepid support for Obama’s plan, saying it wasn’t enough.

“Of course I’m glad, but now there’s got to be spending cuts,” said McCain, who called for a discretionary spending freeze during the 2008 presidential debates. “They’ve added nearly 20 percent in spending in the past year. So a freeze is the right thing to do, but we’ll have to see how it gets implemented.” [link]
The Obama train is hurtling downhill.  And now he says he wants to put on the brakes.  Why don't I believe him?

Voters Become Disillusioned

I guess that's what happens when you wake up from a dream to find ... he is human after all:
One Year Later: The 40-Percent President
By Brad O'Leary, American Thinker

Today, Obama's policies face public approval of around 40% or less. In fact, across the board, from his policies to the candidates he supports, 40% or less of the American public back the Obama brand. As they say, the numbers don't lie.

Voters Running from Obama

* Only 43% of voters say they would vote to reelect Obama. (Zogby poll of 2,377 voters, January 19-21, 2010)

Voters Running from Obama-Backed Candidates

* Only 37% of Americans would vote to reelect their Obama-supported Democratic congressman. (Rasmussen poll of 800 likely voters, November 24, 2009)

Voters Oppose Obama's Health Care Plan

* Only 32% think Obama's health care plan is a good idea. (NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll of 1,008 adults, December 11-14, 2009)

* Only 13% of voters agree with the Obama administration's decision to bar C-SPAN from broadcasting negotiations about his health care bill. (Zogby poll of 2,377 voters, January 19-21, 2010)

* Only 12% of voters agree with the provision in Obama's health care bill that would force some married couples to pay $2,000 more per year for health insurance than unmarried couples. (Zogby poll of 2,377 voters, January 19-21, 2010)

* Only 21% of voters think that taxpayer dollars should be used to fund elective abortions. (Zogby poll of 2,377 voters, January 19-21, 2010) [link]
Sad thing is for Mr. Obama, this is as good as it gets.  From here on in, it's all downhill.

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Call It Tough Love

Yeah, I know it's not nice ...

... but it is funny.

And there's a point to be made. If they want to succeed here ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Was a Silly Argument In The First Place

When I first heard of opposition mounting to that proposed wind farm up in Highland County, it was being represented that the construction would disturb "hallowed" Civil War ground.  But it then turned out that the "hallowed" ground involved a temporary camp site that a relatively small number of troops occupied and skirmished with the enemy over - briefly.  And, if that didn't burst the bubble, it then turned out that the "hallowed" ground was actually one mountain removed from the planned wind farm complex.

But if you used binoculars, you could see the "hallowed " ground from the wind mill farm, dadgumit.

Well, got me there.

A helpful piece of advice to those in opposition:  Just say you don't want the damn thing in your neighborhood. At least you'd gain the sympathy of half the population in Southwest Virginia - the half that complains about skyrocketing energy costs (AEP!) but refuses to do anything to lessen their own burden.

Anyway, here's the latest:
Examiner: Toss Highland Co. wind farm complaint
By Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times

A complaint that a proposed wind farm in Highland County will ruin the view from a nearby Civil War battlefield should be dismissed, a hearing examiner with the State Corporation Commission ruled Monday.

The recommendation, which now goes to the full SCC, appears to give a green light for developers of the first commercial wind farm in Virginia.

Highland New Wind Development has said it plans to begin construction this spring of 19 turbines that will tower 400 feet above a ridge along the West Virginia line, capturing enough energy from the wind to provide electricity to 12,000 homes.

Opponents say the wind farm will mar the scenic beauty of Highland County and undermine the historical significance of the Camp Allegheny Battlefield, which is just across the state line in Pocahontas County, W.Va. [link]
I've never quite understood why people (in this case in Highland County) see those windmills (that I find quite majestic) as being grotesque but have no problem with all those abandoned, rotting, decaying, crumbling, disease-infested houses and factories around every turn.  Scenic beauty?  Make me barf.  Personally?  I would think - if they were concerned about scenic beauty - they'd go after all those double wides that haven't had occupants since ... well, probably since that epic Civil War battle took place on that mountaintop in the far distance.

But to each his own.  They howl about the cost of electricity.  They howl about solutions that would reduce the cost of electricity.  They howl about Civil War battles that never occurred.  They probably howl at the moon.

The world we live in.

It's Much Worse Than Reported

How can people say the real unemployment number here in the USA isn't 10%; that it's closer to 18?  Because of all the forgotten Americans who have simply given up looking for work.  The graph tells the sad tale:




The line in the chart, so you know, represents the amount of Obama's stimulus money that has been spent thus far.  It's almost in the inverse to the number of Americans remaining in the labor force.

10% of us are looking for work.  The remainder have just given up and disappeared.

Chart courtesy of Veronique de Rugy.

Jimmy Carter Lives

A word that hasn't been used since the days the worst president in American history occupied the White House - the worst till now, at least - is being raised from the dark and malefic depths of hell.

Stagflation.

Swell.  On top of all our other problems ...

When Spin Becomes the Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day, from the New York Times editorial team:
It would be a terrible mistake for Democrats to abandon comprehensive health care reform just because voters in the Massachusetts Senate race last week decided that they liked the Republican, Scott Brown, more than the Democrat, Martha Coakley.
They crack me up.

And if that's not howler enough for you, how about this from New York Times columnist Bob Herbert?

"Mr. Obama is in danger of being perceived as someone whose rhetoric, however skillful, cannot always be trusted."

Ya think?

This is better than Leno and Conan combined.

This Does Not Boost Confidence

Global warming is unequivocally a fact.

Probably ...
Right Before It Was Wrong
By Tim Blair, The [Sydney] Daily Telegraph

So the science wasn’t settled after all:

"Professor Christopher Field, director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution in California, who is the new co-chairman of the IPCC working group overseeing the climate impacts report, said the 2007 report had been broadly accurate at the time it was written.

"He said: 'The 2007 study should be seen as 'a snapshot of what was known then. Science is progressive. If something turns out to be wrong we can fix it next time around.'” [link]
Translation: "We have no clue."

It's on this basis that leftists around the world want to set governing policy as it relates to the environment.  And commerce.  And industry.  And education.  And population control.

For the love of God.

Massaging His Own Caricature

Yes, I admit I'm getting way too much enjoyment out of this.  A Drudge headline:

[Obama] Uses Teleprompters During Speech at Elementary School...

The linked AP photo:


"Now kids, it's important ... uh ... to ... learn to read and ... uh ...write ... and ... uh ... to eat your spinach and ... uh ..."

Our gifted president.  Making the difficult seem ...

Oh.  Never mind ...

- - -

There are a whole lot of people having fun with this, including one Jammie Wearing Fool.  See "Pitiful: Obama Needs TelePrompter to Talk to Schoolkids."

I don't think he needed it, really.  It simply provided a nice security blanket in case one of the younguns asked the president of the United States to spell potatoe.

- - -

Jon Stewart gets in the act.  Hilarious.

That Was Then

I warned you numerous times during the presidential campaign of 2008 that candidate Obama didn't mean a word he was saying.  It was all nothing more than empty rhetoric being spewed to get him elected.  Another day, another I Told You So:
Obama Campaigned Against Spending Freeze
Real Clear Politics

No less than four times during the presidential debates did President Obama actively campaign against an across the board spending freeze.

ABC News: In his budget for Fiscal Year 2011, to be presented on Monday, February 1, President Obama will propose a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, to last from 2011 through 2013. [link]
Some will say this isn't a lie.  He's just flying by the seat of his pants since he really has no experience whatsoever with leading anything larger than a Harvard sing-a-long.

Well, you were warned about that too. Fools.

- - -

A trip down memory lane, the video:


Graphic via Libertymanics/Zazzle

But Don't Think There's Any Pressure On You, Bob

We're just calling on you to save the entire free world from ruin:
The Speech Needed to Save the Free World
By James Simpson, American Thinker

Newly minted Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will be presenting the "Republican Response" to President Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday evening. Given McDonnell's victory in Virginia, Chris Christie's upset win in New Jersey, and especially Brown's stunning triumph in Massachusetts, it is absolutely critical that McDonnell capture the optimism, energy and momentum these victories have generated by sending exactly the right message.

I hope Governor McDonnell hears me on this.

The reason Republicans are having such stunning success is because Republicans are currently the only viable alternative to the willfully destructive policies of the radical leftist Democrats currently in charge, and those policies are deliberately destructive.

Bob McDonnell is a genuine conservative, but while his gubernatorial campaign perhaps focused on the issues he knew were of critical importance to Virginia voters, this Wednesday he will be speaking for the entire Republican Party and all other citizens alarmed by the radical Democrat agenda. In other words, he is going to be speaking for America.

As the chosen standard bearer for the Republican Party, Governor McDonnell must state firmly that Republicans don't intend to compromise in a process which merely allows Democrats to continue along their destructive path, only now with bipartisan support.

He must state firmly that Republicans do not intend to assist the Democrats while they ruin the economy, bankrupt government, destroy our healthcare system, and continue pitting us one against the other in a divide-and-conquer strategy that is Balkanizing our nation.

If anything has been learned from the explosive growth of the Tea Party movement and similar organizations, it is that people everywhere, Republican, Democrat and Independent, are horrified at what Obama and the Congressional Democrats are doing.

I pray that Governor McDonnell and the Republicans take this message to heart. Our nation, indeed, the free world, depends on it. [link]
I think "horrified" is a good way to describe the reaction the American people have had to Obama's brief time in office and the Democrats' less brief ownership of Congress.  Radical leftist policies and agendas will have that effect.  That - horror - and seething rage.

Thus Massachusetts.

So Bob McDonnell is going to have to step up and save humanity from impending calamity.  And then, after he's accomplished that ...

The Latest On That Eminent Domain Case In Roanoke

You know the one.  The case that has brought statewide attention. The one in which a Roanoke couple's land was condemned -- but why? The couple, Jay and Stephanie Burkholder, is speaking out. And their words are pointed directly at the Virginia legislature:
Roanoke Mocks Assembly
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Three years ago, we breathed a sigh of relief when the General Assembly opposed the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision and prevented Virginia officials from using their eminent domain power for economic development. For seven years before that, we had been told that our property would be taken by the City of Roanoke and given to Carilion Health Clinic. It appeared we had been spared.

Bob McDonnell, who was instrumental in getting the law passed in April 2007 as attorney general, and who is our new governor, hailed the moment "as a victory for liberty."

We thought we had good reason to be grateful. Now we know better.

Despite the General Assembly's 2007 law, we are reliving Susette Kelo's fight. The only difference is that our adversaries are the City of Roanoke and Carilion Clinic, not New London, Conn. and Pfizer, and our battle is still under way in the courts and the right result can still occur. Like the City of New London, Roanoke is using its eminent domain power to force us to surrender our renovated and expanded floor covering business to Carilion for its Riverside Center for Research and Technology.

Had Roanoke taken our land and buildings for a fire station or a school, things we all know are true public uses, we would not have fought so long and so hard and at such great expense to hold on to our property. We would have stepped aside. But that's not the case. [link]
Read the whole thing.  It's important.

The Bill of Rights to the Constitution was very specific in its granting to the government the power to seize private property.  That power was limited to properties that were to be put to public use.

The city of Roanoke has no use for the Burkholder land.  It intends to hand the parcel over to Carilion.  Its interest is simply in securing tax revenue from Carilion that it wouldn't realize with the Burkholders owning it.  And the city is taking it because it can, thanks to a travesty of a ruling by the tottering old fools who sat on the Supreme Court in 2005.

It ain't right.  As it stands right now - Virginia legislation notwithstanding - every property owner in America is at risk.  If the rich want your property - regardless of need or intent - an out-of-control bureaucrat can begin proceedings that will end in you being thrown out on the street.  And there's nothing you can do about it.

The Burkholders here are pleading for the Virginia legislature to once again address this issue:
Roanoke's actions make a mockery of the General Assembly's promises in the well-intentioned reforms of 2007. It may be too late to preserve our property rights, but it is not too late to protect the private property rights of all Virginians by amending our state Constitution. Our hope is that lawmakers will find room on their 2010 agenda to attend to this unfinished business, finally and fully delivering on their promises to Virginia's property owners.
Virginians.  Our neighbors.  Our friends.  Us.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, Somebody's Wrong

"A great debate has begun as to how Barack Obama should respond to last week's election results in Massachusetts, which was clearly a protest vote against him, congressional Democrats and their signature policy proposal: the health-care bill."
-- Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post --

"It was not a referendum on Barack Obama, who in every poll remains one of the most popular politicians in America. It was not a rejection of universal health care, which Massachusetts mandated ... in 2006."
-- Frank Rich, New York Times --

Ah, pundits. Ya gotta love 'em.

They Still Don't Get It

While the United States government is in debt up to its eyeballs (don't think too hard on the image I just created) it is, at the same time, trying to buy beachfront property on the lush and inviting tropical island of St. Croix.

Say what?

What:
Virgin Islands land eyed for historic site
By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times

The National Park Service hasn't yet decided whether it wants beachfront land in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a new national historic site, but House Democrats for the second time in two weeks will try to push the Park Service to do it, at a potential eventual cost in the tens of millions of dollars.

The Virgin Islands project, on the island of St. Croix, would be called Castle Nugent National Historic Site. It's intended to preserve 2,900 acres of land and an additional 8,600 acres underwater that together include archeological sites, a barrier coral reef and historic cattle plantations.

The underwater lands are owned by the Virgin Islands, but the other lands are privately held and would have to be bought. [link]
The Democrats in Washington who control the purse strings are preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars that they don't have on a beach in the Caribbean.

Stop this train.  I want off.

They Probably Don't See The Hypocrisy

A corporation denouncing a Supreme Court decision allowing free and unfettered voice to corporations in elections?  Do you suppose they realize how silly they - Landmark Communications, Inc. and its mouthpiece, the Roanoke Times - look?
Corporate influence without bound
editorial

The U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected more than a century of settled law when it struck down limits on campaign spending by corporations -- and by extension by unions and special interest groups. Henceforth, deep pockets shall shape electoral outcomes to the detriment of democracy.

The decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission is breathtaking in its scope and its audacity. Companies may spend unlimited funds for or against candidates, the court's five conservative justices ruled.

The same applies to unions and special interest groups, but the spending power of corporations dwarfs theirs. [link]
And, it might have been mentioned, the boys at the Times aren't really bothered by the fact that unions are being "allowed" free access to the arena.  Unions are okay.  It's those despised, evil corporations!

The arguments that the Times makes seem to be the same as are being made by others who would restrict speech rights to only favored entities.  Namely, (1) torrents of cash will now, for the first time, enter politics (no, they're serious - "money equals power in politics" and all that), and (2) corporations aren't people and only people should be guaranteed free speech rights.  Which means, if their twisted logic holds, the Democratic Party - not having a heartbeat -  should be barred - or can be barred - from participating in the election process (again, they're serious).

Here's something for the small minds at the Roanoke Times to ponder.  It has to do, believe it or not, with the solution they themselves propose:
The only solution might be a constitutional amendment clarifying for the five justices that the Founding Fathers did not have international conglomerates in mind when they wrote "We the people."
"We the people."

From the preamble to the Constitution: "We the people," acting in concert with one another, "do establish and ordain ..."

A corporation: "Any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body."

Would it make them feel a little better if they understood that a corporation is nothing more than people acting in concert as a group?  We the People are a corporation.  The Constitution is our corporate mission statement.  We are the corporation's board of directors.

That thought should scare the crap out of 'em, I know

- - -

Oh, and as is always the case when the Supreme court passes down a ruling they don't like, the cry of "Precedent!" arises (they cling to "precedent" except when it doesn't suit them):
The conceit that conservatives respect precedent and prefer judicial minimalism is now laughable. Chief Justice John Roberts pulled the wool over the Senate's eyes during his confirmation hearings a few years ago. He pledged that he would uphold previous court decisions. Yet under his leadership, the Supreme Court has hollowed out some precedents to the point of uselessness and rejected others completely.
Not so much, really.  Roberts and his majority simply cited previous precedent and set the Constitution back on its original foundation.  It's a matter of choosing your precedent.

And, as for "judicial minimalism," the Times should be celebrating.

But no.  They support free speech only when and if the words spoken are in lockstep with theirs.

Why are they hellbent on restricting the scope of the 1st Amendment here?  Roberts et al. just unfettered Freedom of Speech in a way that would make the Founding Fathers proud.  It's the minimalists like those at the Times who would have censors involved in the evaluation process relating to our freedom of speech. Shamefully, I might add, since they get paid for that which is - at least today - protected by that same thingie called the 1st Amendment.

Another thing: if they knew anything about the Constitution, they'd know that the Bill of Rights was written as a block on the power of government, not on Halliburton.

So maybe they should wise up.

A corporation arguing that it is being guaranteed rights that it feels it should not have.  For the love of God.

One last thought: If the government can ban the speech rights of those incorporated, what's to stop the government from banning Landmark Communications, Inc.?

Let Us Grade You, Mr. President

And of course we will, come November 2012.  But in the meantime, how's Mr. Solid B-plus doing?

A study conducted by IBD/TIPP of "Independents" in this country has it pretty much spot on, I think:



I would, of course, have given Obama a failing grade in most of those categories, except perhaps in "Handling foreign affairs."  Foreign leaders, especially those who are our sworn enemies, seem to like the guy.

But a D+ in "Managing the federal budget"?  How does one mismanage it any more than Obama has?

I know.  I know.  I am, perhaps, to the right of most of my fellow independents, and I accept that.  And I accept this poll's results as being representative of the attitudes of America's "moderates" at this point in time.

So that's your grade, big guy.  Assigned by those who showed up at the polls in Massachusetts in legions last Tuesday. Ahem.

Deal with it.  Or don't.  2012 is fast approaching.

Graphic courtesy of Investor's Business Daily.

Obama's Solution For Our Economic Woes

As one might expect:

Welfare.

Odd, he doesn't say where he's going to get the money.

A Movement Stirs

"Would you buy a car that was built by the same people in Washington who are building our health care delivery system?

"No?

"Then come on down to Ernie's Ford and buy a car built by honest-to-God Americans for red-white-and-blue Americans and not for lobbyists, environmentalists, and union fat cats."

I should be an ad guy.  There's punch in that approach:
The secret to Ford Motor's success
Bryan Riley, American Thinker

The federal government's bailout of Chrysler and General Motors has been a big success. At least, it has been a big success if you're a Ford dealer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ford sales for the month of December 2009 were up 33.5 percent compared to December 2008, even as Chrysler and GM sales were falling.

When the government's auto bailouts were announced, Dick Edwards Ford in Manhattan, Kansas, saw an opportunity. According to Mark Besthorn, the dealership's sales manager: "We just thought about it and decided we wanted to strike while the iron was hot." Days later, the following billboard made its first appearance:


Shrewd move.

Of the many reasons to buy a Ford, add another one, as of 2009.  You're not promoting or aiding and abetting the government welfare program known as General Motors.

Buy a piece of the USA as it should be.

I know.  I know.  It's still the UAW and it's still Detroit.

But there's a difference.  Ford is making it without government relief.  It's doing it the old-fashioned way.  By building a better product and delivering it at a reasonable price.  That's the American Way.  Or was before the Age of Obama.

So call us old-fashioned.  We don't care. We will live our lives - proudly - the old-fashioned way.  By spending our hard-earned income (that portion we're allowed to keep) on by-God American products, built by Americans for Americans.  And not those built by Obama Nation for the sole purpose of keeping certain other UAW members out of the other welfare line.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds, who has another interesting photo to go along with the one above.  Look closely.

Let W. R.I.P.

A favorite rejoinder by commenters on this weblog to my criticisms of Barack Obama is "But look at what Bush did!"  Like that makes Mr. Miracle's crappy performance as president thus far acceptable, or something.  The refrain - we'll fairly call it a whine - is, to them, an argument.  Bush!  To those of us who simply want this country put back on sound footing, it's irrelevant.  And extremely off-putting.

It's like the response you might have gotten when you were a kid in an argument with another kid: "Yo' mama!"

Whatever.

Be it understood, you people who see some grand strategy in invoking the Bush name to gain points - where is James Webb these days? - it does about as much in the arena of ideas as Obama's done in fixing America.  In other words, it doesn't work:
Democrats' Bush-bashing strategy goes bust
By Jonathan Martin, Politico

After three consecutive losses in statewide races, some top Democrats are questioning a tactic aimed at boosting the party’s candidates in each of those contests: Bush-bashing.

Running as much against the Bush White House as he was running against Sen. John McCain, Barack Obama easily carried Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts in 2008.

Yet when Democratic nominees for governor in Virginia and New Jersey and for Senate in Massachusetts sought to tie their GOP opponents to the still-unpopular former president, the strategy didn’t resonate. Voters were more focused on the current administration or local political issues — and the onetime Democratic magic formula seemed yesterday’s news.

“Voters are pretty tired of the blame game,” said longtime Democratic strategist Steve Hildebrand, a top aide on Obama’s presidential campaign. “What a stupid strategy that was.” [link]
Well, it worked for Senator Webb.  A long time ago.

But it won't work any more. Webb, and those who hated Bush back in the day, own the problems we face now. And delving into the past to try and palliate the present is not a strategy. In fact, as the longtime Democratic strategist says, it's pretty stupid.

And a loser's proposition.

- - -

Oh, and speaking of those stuck on stupid:
Democrats need to learn the blame game
By James Carville, writing in Financial Times

Contrary to what you might think, I am a proud member of the pro finger-pointing caucus. It wasn’t too long ago that my longtime colleague Paul Begala and I urged our friends on the other side of the aisle to engage early and often in the blame game.

Democrats would not be playing the blame game with one another for the loss [in Massachusetts] or for the healthcare debacle if they had only pointed fingers at those (or in this case, the one) who put Americans (and most of the world) in the predicament we’re in: George W. Bush.

It is under his disastrous tenure in the White House that ... [blah blah blah] [link]
Bush is a faded memory to most Americans who are trying to grapple with the here and now.  But to Carville, Bill Cinton's campaign strategist in another age, it'll always be 1992.  Blame Bush!  A winning strategy to get elected?  Massachusetts answered that.

But here's the stupid part - that's his recommended strategy for governing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Those 'Green Jobs'

I think the Roanoke Times is right in supporting investment in biomass and waste-to-energy projects around the state.  Though both involve little more than nibbling around the edges of our ever-growing fuel needs, every little bit helps.  And they will help ... a little.

But let no Democrat claim that they are going to produce jobs.  Even the Times admits that. From its editorial, "Hanging the future on new energy":
One of Tim Kaine's final hurrahs as governor was an announcement that 15 biomass and waste-to-energy projects around Virginia will split $10 million in federal stimulus grants to help develop alternative energy sources and create jobs.

[T]he grants are going to boost $110 million in private investment in projects that will offer more immediate cost and environmental benefits. Most involve just a handful of new jobs directly related to the projects.

The Southside city will get $1 million to help pay for a $3.4 million project that will generate electricity from landfill gas -- and create three jobs.

Similarly, the Roanoke Valley's Western Virginia Water Authority will get $500,000 to install a system in its water pollution control plant to turn excess biogas into power for heating and cooling the buildings, saving on energy costs. The work will create eight construction jobs and two permanent, full-time positions.

Every little bit helps -- a little. [my emphasis]
...3 jobs in Martinsville.
+ 2 jobs up in Roanoke.
= 5 freaking jobs.

Let's go back to the Times's quote:

"One of Tim Kaine's final hurrahs as governor was an announcement that 15 biomass and waste-to-energy projects around Virginia will ... create jobs."

5 to be exact.

Can't call him a liar.

But I don't think I'd call him a jobs creator either.

Meanwhile a Wal-Mart opens up in Manassas in October where 350 Virginians are provided with job opportunities - 350 - and there's not even a thank you - much less a Tim Kaine investment of millions of dollars - from the Times.

350 ........ 5.

Perspective, fellas.  You might get your head out of your ass just long enough to get some perspective.

An Air America Epitaph

From Ed Morrissey:
Listening to Air America was a tedious chore without much payoff, either, except to note one interesting point about its business model.  While our station has dozens of local and regional businesses sponsoring content, Air America’s advertising mostly came from unions, non-profits, and PSAs.  From the start, it seemed obvious that the entire network was nothing but a vanity project for people with more money than sense.  Liberals wanted a talk-radio network not because of any overarching demand for the content, but merely to say they had one.
Well, they had one.  And now they don't.  Just goes to show - sense, in the end, always trumps money.  Even in circles where sense is hard to find.

- - -

I particularly enjoyed this reference:
Since last summer, Air America has been heard in the Washington area on WZAA (1050 AM). Its audience has been so small that Arbitron, which compiles radio ratings, was unable to detect any listeners for WZAA during several weeks in December.
Is that even possible?  You'd think at least one numbskull - Al Franken - would have tuned in.

Words Well Writ

By Mark Steyn:
Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they’re voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts.

Presumably, the president isn’t stupid enough actually to believe what he said. But it’s dispiriting to discover he’s stupid enough to think we’re stupid enough to believe it.
Dispiriting indeed.

When Your Own Gov't Can't Be Trusted

NASA is up to its eyeballs in the deceit that drives global warming theory.

See “The Science is Scuttled” – NASA climate page, suckered by IPCC, deletes their [sic] own ‘moved up’ glacier melting date reference."

This doesn't involve some obscure nutbag who has an activist agenda or an axe to grind. This involves a government agency made up of our employees.

I think it's high time we put a stop to this.

There Is No Better Example Of Media Bias

Remember how ESPN forced Rush Limbaugh out of his analyst gig back in 2003 for having criticized the media for the way it had promoted - to him unreasonably - a black football quarterback?  No?  Well, here's what got him canned:
I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.  There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.
Ugly?  Hardly.  Vicious?  Please.  Racist?  Only to those who find racism lurking under every rock.  Racial?  Okay.

Compare that to this statement from another major network sports analyst:
In [recently elected United States Senator] Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.
Ugly?  Without doubt.  Vicious?  Shockingly.  It doesn't get any more venomous and hate-filled than that.  

So how did the president of MSNBC (his primary employer) respond to Keith Olbermann's reprehensible tirade?

By sending out a memo to all his staff members ordering them to not criticize the hatemonger.

A double standard?  By anyone's any reasonable person's measure.