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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, February 28, 2010

Don't Look At That Elephant In The Room

Dan Radmacher, editorial page editor of the Roanoke Times, should stick to writing about stuff he knows and understands.  Like personal attacks that have gained him a modicum of national renown.  What he should steer completely clear of, however, is any topic relating to business.  Because in this realm - my world - he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

He never did listen ...

Take today's column - "Killing America's jobs machine" - as a shining example of that which he doesn't know.  In the process he let's everyone in the free world know it.

He asks the following question about the lack of job creation in this country over the last ten years (Note: He meant nine years; ten would take the discussion into Bill Clinton's era and we all know there were no economic problems in those intoxicating days; the ugly period began the day you-know-who got elected):

"What happened?"

After offering up a number of tantalizing - and debatable - reasons for our economic hardships, he settles on one culprit:

Wal-Mart.

As Christ is my Savior.

Not mentioned by Mr. Economics is that one little elephant in the room that he would rather ignore:

China.

Wal-Mart, you see, is an American company.  And when you despise all things American ...

Ya Gotta Love Al Gore

On why, with all the dire predictions he made in his docuapocrypha, "An Inconvenient Truth," he didn't foresee the record snowfalls in the Northeast U.S. coming:

"Uh, snowfall, yeah, well, that's easily explained.  I foresaw it all along."

It Was So Easy When He Was Campaigner-in-Chief

But now that Obama actually has some responsibility and must actually act ...

Little known history about Mr. Civil Rights Advocate:

"Then-Senatorial candidate Obama in 2003 branded the Patriot Act 'shoddy and dangerous' and pledged to dump it."

Mr. Commander-in-Chief  now:


Another example that should make you understand that anything these guys say in their effort to get elected is just ... their effort to get elected, and that it all means absolutely nothing.

Read It. Memorize it. Live It. Defend It.

The Bill of Rights.  It was added to the Constitution for a very good reason.  To place clear limits on the powers then being granted to the United States government.  A government we all respect.  To a point. 

Scenes of federal agents armed to the teeth, pulling screaming, frightened - innocent - little children from their bedroom closet hideaways will have their effect on our perceptions of government power out of control:





A government that has too often given us reason to fear the powers it naturally wants to seize:


Government power yearning to be unleashed:


With all this in mind, it's heartwarming to know there is at least a majority of the citizenry that has a healthy fear of government:


Make no mistake, Obama has left his legacy in one short, tumultuous year.  For this, if only this, he is to be congratulated.

Photo courtesy of Alan Diaz
Chart courtesy of the Heritage Foundation

What Will Be The Next Cataclysm?

I've mentioned Paul Ehrlich's book, The Population Bomb, before on a number of occasions, and wrote about how important it was to modern-day thinking among those who reject God but have unwavering faith in wild predictions about an apocalyptic future based upon absolutely no hard evidence beyond wild predictions.

His 1968 work, which predicted that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death," is in today's commentary again.

Ah, the memories:
We Are Doomed -- Again
By John Dietrich, American Thinker

Global warming is far from the first apocalyptic prediction, or even the first based on computer models.

In the 1960s, Paul Ehrlich's bestseller, The Population Bomb, predicted the end of civilization by 1983 as a result of overpopulation. Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology, claimed that "the battle to feed all of humanity is over ... In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." He was the first to base his conclusions on computer modeling.

If famine or nuclear annihilation doesn't kill us, perhaps diseases will. In 1987, the New York Times headlined an article titled "AIDS May Dwarf the Plague." The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, told a congressional panel, "We could spend our energy on research and immunization and education and still not have any Americans left unless we're prepared to confront the crisis of AIDS." Oprah Winfrey announced that "one out of five heterosexuals will be dead of AIDS by 1990." The swine flu "pandemic" nearly devastated the tourist industry in Mexico. In October 2009, President Obama declared a state of national emergency because of the swine flu. It is quite possible that more people perish by falling in their bathtubs than have died of swine flu. So far, the president has not declared this a national emergency.

The crisis de jour is global warming.

The threat of global warming will eventually recede.  The need for an apocalyptic vision, however, will not. The next threat will contain many of the characteristics of the global warming threat. It will predict the end of the world. It will be based on "scientific facts." It will require massive counseling for the psychological distress it will cause. It will require the creation of a massive bureaucracy. And it will require the transfer of massive amounts of money to the hypothesized victims of the future crisis.   [link]
So what will their next cataclysm be?  A worsening earthquake problem, maybe?  Killer whales seeking human prey?  Stay tuned.  As they flee global warming theory, they'll be seeking a new faith-based scenario to cling to.  Odd.  Really odd.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The View From My Window

With the exception of a brief period after Christmas, we've had a heavy snowpack on the ground here in Southwest Virginia for nearly two-and-a-half months now, with no end in sight.  Again, this is southern Virginia.

A look outside reveals ...

 
For this I could be living in Nome, Alaska.  
 
I decided, actually, to do this post to show off another photo.  Click on this one to enlarge it.




Paula has been trying to keep the wildlife alive through this trying winter.  Imagine, the deer have not been able to forage for food around here for over seventy days.  The photo actually shows quite a collection around her feeding station behind the house.  Four deer, two bunnies, cardinals, doves, junkos, and a fox squirrel in the bird feeder to the right, gobbling down sunflower seeds.

It's tough out there, folks.  Paula is doing her part to save a few of God's creatures.  If only a few ...

OOPS

How humiliating it is when a columnist sticks his foot in his mouth and everyone is there to see it.  A predicament I do know something about. It draws my sympathy.

The following (as it originally appeared), though, involving a rabid anti-gun nut who writes for the Roanoke Times, is better than anything I've ever had the opportunity of involving myself in.  It's downright sweet:
Crooks buying guns at gun shows
By Dan Casey, Roanoke Times

The state Senate didn't have the cajones to try and close the so-called "gun show loohole" this year, under which criminals can purchase guns from unlicensed sellers with no criminal background check.

If you doubted that shady characters go to gun shows for this purpose, I would refer you to a story by my colleague Neil Harvey in today's newspaper. It happened Jan. 23 at a gun show at the Salem Civic Center, where a man tried to buy a gun with counterfeit cash.

From The Roanoke Times:

"Police were also called to the Salem Gun Show on Jan. 23 where a man was trying to purchase a gun with a large amount of what proved to be forged currency. [Salem police Lt. Mike] Green said the buyer cooperated with police and told them he had received the bills from another man, now considered a suspect, in a separate private transaction.."   [link]
Now I know you're wondering at this point what on God's green earth the "gun show loophole" has to do with a purchase involving counterfeit money. Well, don't wonder too hard.  It's the best this guy's got, so he's going with it.

But about that "shady character" who Casey wants us to believe is some kind of gun crazy, he - Dan Casey - had to make a subsequent mea culpa.  In an update we learn this:
UPDATE: Neil Harvey [the reporter who wrote the article Casey cited] has informed me that the "separate private transaction" in which the counterfeit currency initially changed hands was not a gun transaction, and that the guy who tried to buy the gun with fake money didn't know it was counterfeit."
How disappointing facts prove to be.  The "shady character" didn't even know he had acquired the funny money that he was trying to use at the show to make his purchase.

Well, Dan.  Don't feel bad.  The dude was at a gun show.  That in itself makes him a "shady character," right?

My.  My.

This is a learning moment: Mr. Casey probably thinks of himself as being "open-minded."  This embarrassment, I would charge, says otherwise.  For obvious reasons.  His mind was closed around the caricature it had created, and facts weren't going to abuse the imagery, no matter what.

And, as I've written before, to be open-minded, like having a bird cage that is open-door, is to be woefully empty-minded.

- - -

* As for the header - "Crooks buying guns at gun shows," something that Dan Casey is not necessarily responsible for (it might have been a copy editor that tagged his piece with the title), it should be noted that a citizen attempting to transact with counterfeit money unknowingly is not considered by law enforcement to be a "crook."  He is, however, a poor schmuck who finds that the bogus cash he possesses is worthless and he's out whatever he had invested in it.

And While We're On The Subject of Handgun Derangment ...

... let's put things in perspective.

Roanoke Times columnist Dan Casey enjoys citing a slimy and deceptive "study" that was released by the wildly anti-gun Violence Policy Center that purported to provide the "body count of people killed by concealed-carry permit holders."  Slimy and deceptive because in many of the instances cited in the "study" handguns weren't involved at all, and in some cases it was determined that crimes weren't even committed and the individuals implicated by the VPC were actually found to have used weapons in self-defense.

But to the deaths themselves that Casey orgasms over, some perspective:
Handgun Derangement Syndrome Grips Restaurateurs
By Chuck Rogér, American Thinker

How many permit-holders use guns to commit crimes?

The Violence Policy Center found that in the United States between May 2007 and April 2009, fifty-six deaths resulted from gun crimes committed by CCW permit-holders. Whether this anti-gun organization derived its number objectively or creatively, we accept the claim. Using the VPC data, U.S. Department of Justice statistics on nationwide gun murders, and Arizona's 290 firearms homicides spread over a population of 6.5 million, your chances of being gunned down by a CCW permit-holder in that state are a bit more than one in ten million.

How does dying at gunpoint stack up against other ways to go? According to the U.S. Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, from 1999 to 2003, the likelihood of being killed by lightning was one in 6,061,000, or 28 percent greater than the likelihood of being cut down by a licensed hand-gunner. During the same time frame, people in America had a one-in-18,700 chance of death by poisoning. The restaurant that doesn't nail you by taking your gun from your hand when you need it has a 400-times-better shot at killing you with over-the-hill thousand-island dressing. [link
For this Casey feels the need to waste his precious time?

And what about the flip-side to the story, the one that Casey will - to the day he dies - fight to ignore.  What about the lives that are saved by the use of guns?  From the same article:
The benefits of having decent citizens carry concealed guns outweigh the one-in-ten-million chance that one of those citizens will turn not-so-decent and shoot you. Law-abiding Americans brandish handguns in 2.5 million defensive incidents a year -- once every 12½ seconds. In most cases, a gun's mere appearance settles a brewing conflict. The National Center for Policy Analysis found that major crime plunges when law-abiding citizens carry concealed handguns . The same NCPA study, covering every American county, found that murders dropped by 8.5 percent, while rapes and serious assaults fell up to 7 percent in states with licensed concealed carry. Furthermore, if states without licensed concealed carry would institute it, then 1570 murders, 4180 rapes, and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would not happen each year.
1570 murders, 4180 rapes, and over 60,000 aggravated assaults are prevented.  Each year

And Casey wants to focus on the relative handful of instances where lives were lost.

Listen Up, Boucher

The fight against Obama's EPA has only just begun.

In today's news we learn that a group of scientists are calling on Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, to put up or shut up when it comes to her reasons bolstering the need to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

From a letter submitted to Ms. Jackson by 35 climate scientists asking for public hearings to be held on her controversial decision to regulate the air we exhale:
In light of the monumental importance of the EPA’s proposed rulemaking, we urge the adoption of the [U.S. Chamber of Commerce's] request [for hearings]. Additionally, we urge the EPA to address four critical questions, which, in addition to the issues enumerated in the Chamber’s Petition, are central to the EPA’s proposed rule-making. Indeed, these questions require careful analysis before intelligent public policy can be promulgated. They are:

1. Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?

2. Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO2 is only a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?

3. Can climate models that assume CO2 is a key determinant of climate change provide forecasts of future conditions that are adequate for policy analysis?

4. Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability?

The fundamental issue facing the EPA is whether or not human-caused CO2 emissions have already led to, or can be expected in the future, to lead to significant adverse changes in the Earth’s climate system. That is, in order to justify the current proposed Endangerment Finding, a very critical theory or assumption that must stand up to rigorous scientific analysis is that highervatmospheric CO2 levels will, with some appropriate level of confidence, lead to measurably higher surface temperatures.

This theory can only be tested or validated by testing the so-called null hypothesis that CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate system. If this null hypothesis cannot be rejected, there is no basis for regulating CO2, particularly given the enormously negative implications of such regulation on the Nation’s Energy, Economic and National Security. [link]
If you ask me, it's time we got Al Gore out of the discussion and more of these experts into it.  I think we'd then quickly learn that this business about CO2 being a greenhouse gas that, by its elevated presence in the atmosphere, is causing global warming is, in fact, all a bunch of hooey.

Knowing the political driver behind the global warming movement, I fully expect there to be EPA hearings, and for Professor Al Gore to testify in defense of the indefensible.

More to follow ...

- - -

* I mention Congressman Rick Boucher here because, as I've written before, he has abandoned all hope of stopping the EPA from regulating the coal industry into oblivion and is trying to cut the best deal - for his coalfields constituents - that he can.  Think welfare.

But hope is alive.  And can be found in scientific research.  Sooner or later - pray for sooner - the notion that there is any real link between (trace) CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and global warming will be found to be untenable.  And the environmentalists will move on to some other scare scenario.

Boucher may have given up but others fight the good fight.  Here's to them.

Hummer Not Dead After All?

It appears that there are investors out there after all who might be interested in buying the niche brand.

From Newsy.com:




If there's a market for it, someone is going to be there to supply it. I read that somewhere in Capitalism 101.

Is there a market for the brand that Desert Storm built?

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Climate Science In Tatters

The gist of the following article is that Al Gore's "consensus" on global warming has crumbled.  And those "scientists" who were so sure of its validity don't know what to think now.  Factual data will have this effect:
Analysis-Scientists examine causes for lull in warming
By Gerard Wynn and Alister Doyle, Reuters

* Exact causes unknown for lack of warming from 1999-2008

* The underlying reason for cold winter not known

* Climate science in focus after email scandal, errors

London/Oslo, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Climate scientists must do more to work out how exceptionally cold winters or a dip in world temperatures fit their theories of global warming, if they are to persuade an increasingly sceptical public.

At stake is public belief that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet, and political momentum to act as governments struggle to agree a climate treaty which could direct trillions of dollars into renewable energy, away from fossil fuels.

Scientists said they must explain better how a freezing winter this year in parts of the northern hemisphere and a break in a rising trend in global temperatures since 1998 can happen when heat-trapping gases are pouring into the atmosphere.

"There is a lack of consensus," said Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, on why global temperatures have not matched a peak set in 1998, or in 2005 according to one U.S. analysis. [link]
"There is a lack of consensus."  Someone phone Al Gore.

It Comes To This

A city that once had 1.8 million residents, but finds itself now counting (perhaps) a bit more than half of that, must do something to stem the tide of out-migration.  Or not.  Perhaps its leaders simply decide to abandon huge swaths of it to weeds and vermin.  Welcome to Detroit, a microcosm of all that's wrong with the USA:
Detroit Mayor Bing emphasizes need to shrink city
Mayor says it's not 'an easy conversation,' but people, services must be focused to save city
By Christine MacDonald, Detroit News

Detroit --Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday he "absolutely" intends to relocate residents from desolate neighborhoods and is bracing for inevitable legal challenges when he unveils his downsizing plan.

In his strongest statements about shrinking the city since taking office, Bing told WJR-760 AM the city is using internal and external data to decide "winners and losers." The city plans to save some neighborhoods and encourage residents to move from others, he said.

"If we don't do it, you know this whole city is going to go down. I'm hopeful people will understand that," Bing said. "If we can incentivize some of those folks that are in those desolate areas, they can get a better situation." [link]
Welcome to the Welfare State.  An infectious sore a long time in the making.

So sad.  And ominously foreboding.

- - -

To break your heart, see "Incredible Hulks - Exploring Detroit's beautiful ruins" and "Forgotten Detroit."

CBS Sums Up The ObamaCare Fiasco In One Short Sentence

Yes, CBS News.  Believe it or not.

How is this line graph - showing public opinion over time as it relates to Obama's effort to reform our health care system - to be explained?

 
Obama, of course, would blame it on Rush Limbaugh.  Or on the fact that we the American people just can't grasp complicated issues.

But CBS News, by God, gets it right:

"One problem for the president is that, so far, he has been unable to convince Americans that they will benefit from health care reforms."

Generally, Obama's argument in favor of reform has little to do with the reform itself, emphasizing instead the need.  Poor kids, millions without insurance, poor coverage, insurer gouging, pain, suffering, inadequate care, etc.  What he has failed to argue is this: How will his specific proposals help us and improve things?

It's not that he hasn't occasionally tried.  Obama has attempted to convince people that he can improve care, insure millions more citizens, and reduce costs at the same time.  Like the proverbial bridge in the Sahara salesman.  Fakery that everyone dismissed out of hand as being ludicrous.

I'd like to see the poll that shows customer satisfaction over time.  I come into this debate with the conviction that we have the best health care delivery system in the world - despite its problems - and that government interference can only screw it up.  Obama has only strengthened that conviction with his whimsy.  I'm thinking there are now a whole lot more people in this country who have listened to the debate and evaluated the related studies and have come to the same conclusion I did long ago - We have a pretty darn good - and expensive - system, all things considered.  Anything Obama does will only make it ungood.  And we'll be having none of that.

See the chart - provided above by CBS News - once again.  It speaks volumes.  The American people listened carefully and patiently to what Dr. Magic had to say and have, over time, rejected him.

Another example of us being a whole lot smarter than liberals like the president give us credit for.

* I know.  "Ungood" is not a word.  But it felt good.  So I used it.

What If They Held a Summit ...

... and nobody cared?


I hope they didn't preempt Days of Our Lives for this.  Citizens are willing to put up with a lot from Washington bumblebutts.  But it can be taken too far.

I wonder: Did Obama think his mere presence was going to somehow make a difference?  Did Copenhagen teach him nothing?

- - -

Okay, on the lighter side this is not going to go down in bloggerisianism's history as its high point.

Wishful Reporter Thinking

This, from Politico, is amusing:

"Mark Critz, the former district director for Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), won a potentially pivotal endorsement from the late congressman’s widow in his bid to claim Murtha’s vacant seat in a May special election."

Murtha's spouse's endorsement is "potentially pivotal."  A chuckle would be appropriate at this point.

You Can't Say I'm Not Fair

Yeah, I dump on Barack Obama every day.  For good reason.

But I'm not a strident red/blue partisan.  I call 'em as I see 'em.  Remember this from my comments in election mistakes past?

 

Republicans chose him as their standard bearer despite my warnings.  The rest is history.

But history has a tendency to repeat itself.  Michelle Malkin today:

Attention, GOP: John McCain is the problem


Leopard. Spots. Same old same old.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recession Has a Silver Lining

For the first time in decades government-funded art here in the commonwealth (government-art; an oxymoron if there ever was one) may be defunded.  Finally:
After House bill cuts funding, what's next for local arts programs?
By Mike Allen and Tad Dickens, Roanoke Times

Roanoke arts and cultural organizations are cringing at the potential effects of a House of Delegates budget-slashing proposal that would eliminate the Virginia Commission for the Arts within two years.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Taubman Museum of Art, Opera Roanoke and other regional nonprofits all say the loss of funds would be difficult to recoup and damaging, even devastating, to their operations. The Jefferson Center says there is "a possibility" it would be forced to close its doors if the cut is approved.

The proposal, scheduled to be voted on today, would cut the commission's $4.4 million budget in half in 2010-11, and then eliminate the agency entirely as of July 1, 2011. Virginia would become the only state without such a body. [link]
Two things:

1) Virginia would be the only state with delegates with enough sense to know they can no longer involve themselves in rich people's dabblings.  We're broke.

2) The effort will die in the Virginia Senate, where such sense is in short supply.

Too bad. 

A Sign of the Times

I put GM's Hummer in the same category with Chrysler's Prowler - novelty vehicles for people with excess disposable income and adventuresome spirits.

But now that all that disposable income resides in banks in Shanghai and that adventuresome spirit has been dampened by the unemployment line, this seems to be understandable:
GM ends Hummer after sale attempt fails
By Dan Strumpf, Associated Press

Detroit (AP) -- General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will shut down Hummer after its bid to sell the brand to a Chinese company collapsed.

Heavy equipment maker Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. pulled out of the deal for Hummer, known for its hulking, military-style SUVs, because it was unable to get clearance from Chinese regulators within the proposed deal timeframe, the manufacturer said in a separate statement.

GM said it will continue to honor existing Hummer warranties. [link]
So Hummer is dead.

There's a metaphor here somewhere ...

Breaking Environment News!

New York Times "global environmental issues" reporter:


Global warming not blamed!

Caption of the Day

From Hot Air:
When imbued with that can-do hopey changey attitude, all news negative comes as a shock.

Over and over and over and over and over again.

NRA Endorses Boucher

Local members, unwavering in their loyalty, would rather their beloved gun rights organization butt out.

Gotta Love Them Democrats

It appears likely that the Democrats in the Senate are going to bypass the rules they've cherished for lo these many years and will pass ObamaCare with a simple majority by deploying a parliamentary technique called "reconciliation."  What, in Bush's day, they called "the nuclear option."

They make the rules so they can do whatever they please.  With the understanding that they'll pay for it in the end.

But it is laughable to hear them talk about the maneuver today, and listen to them talk about it back when the Republicans were threatening to use it.

Then: The Republic is on the verge of ruin.

Now: Uh, I think it's a neat idea.

Enjoy:




My favorite - Joe Biden in 2005:  "I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power grab you are doing."

So you know, the Republicans didn't pull the trigger.  More importantly, Joe Biden's prayer appears to be going unanswered.

Oh, I should probably mention this: "Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports."  I wonder why.

- - -

This sort of thing makes them look like buffoons too:

"It took less than two weeks for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to vote to break rules requiring that new spending be offset elsewhere in the budget, waiving the requirement just minutes before a strong bipartisan majority pushed through a $15 billion job-creation bill in the Senate on Wednesday. 

"The bill provides money to continue funding ..."

Clowns.  They're all clowns.

Video courtesy of Breitbart.

What ObamaCare Will Inflict On You

You think taking the most effective health care delivery system ever devised by man and turning it over to some clueless empty suit who was shoving cocaine up his nose a few short years ago won't have consequences?  Here (from Great Britain) is what government-administered health care will look like when you check your father into the hospital a few short years from now:
Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’
David Rose, Health Correspondent, Times of London

Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.

An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

The inquiry report, published yesterday by Robert Francis, QC, included proposals for tough new regulations that could lead to managers at failing NHS trusts being struck off.

Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”. [link]
People lying in filth.  Getting no attention.  Rampant infection.  Unsanitary conditions.  But costs have been held to a minimum so all's good.  And shut up.

Coming to a hospital near you. 

Just how badly did you want to keep your father alive anyway.

This Ain't Good

According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke if everything goes well, we could see the unemployment rate get back down to where it was when Geroge Bush left office ...

... by the time Obama leaves office ...

... after his second term.

Good God:
Bernanke: Jobs picture still grim
By Victoria McGrane, Politico

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't give lawmakers much to cheer about Wednesday on the economic recovery front.

In his first congressional appearance since his reconfirmation last month, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee there are some “positive signs” in the economy, but the jobs picture — the most important in terms of politics — remains grim.

“The job market remains quite weak, with the unemployment rate near 10 percent and job openings scarce,” Bernanke said in his opening remarks. Particularly worrisome, he said, was the trend of long-term unemployment, with more than 40 percent of unemployed workers now out of work for six months or longer, nearly double the share of long-term unemployed a year ago.

Bernanke said he expects the unemployment rate to decline slowly, to 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent by the end of 2012, “still well above their estimate of the long-run sustainable rate of about 5 percent.” [link]
Maybe we need a "jobs" bill.

Oh.  Wait.  We'll soon have our third "jobs" bill rolled out by Congress. And, with their timely actions, the Democrats there have managed to get the unemployment rate down to up to 9.7%.

Here's an idea: Maybe we need fewer "jobs" bills and more wealth creation bills. And maybe if Obama stops taxing wealth creation, we'd get out of this hole too.

Looks Like We Got Us a Contest!

If nobody else enters the arena, it appears that Roanoke Delegate and House GOP leader Morgan Griffith is going to go head to head with Rick Boucher for the 9th District Congressional seat in November.  Sweet.

What's interesting about the attached news item is the fact that it is an Associated Press release that ran in a San Francisco (The Examiner) newspaper.  Think this isn't important news?
House GOP leader to challenge Boucher in Va.
By Bob Lewis

Richmond, VA. — H. Morgan Griffith, the Republican majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, will challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher in November.

The nine-term delegate confirmed his plans Tuesday in a news release touting support for his candidacy from fellow legislative Republicans.

The release was sent to reporters on letterhead that read "Morgan Griffith for Congress." He is the first Republican to express his interest in the race so clearly.

Boucher, 63, was elected in 1983 and is finishing his 14th term in the House.

Ninth District voters have been loyal to him for years. Boucher is among the few members of Congress to consistently enjoy concurrent endorsements by the National Rifle Association and the AFL-CIO.

But energy legislation backed by President Barack Obama and an allied Democratic Congress has not set well in the region. Griffith said it prompted his interest in a 2010 race.

The Democratic cap-and-trade bill, Griffith said, "not only kills the coal industry but it also hurts — maybe not kills, but hurts — railroads. They're two of the largest employers in the region." [link]
Note Griffith's Number One issue - the Obama global warming (cap-and-trade) bill. The one that will devastate the coalfields of the 8th Congressional District.   I'll bet Boucher is kicking himself these days for signing on to that awful piece of legislation.

If Griffith decides to make it a contest, it should be an interesting contest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doing Boucher's Job For Him

"We have urgency for Congress to act on greenhouse gases.  Steps have to be taken. The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant within the meaning of the 1972 Clean Air Act. As a result, the EPA is in effect under mandate to regulate CO2 emissions. The debate is over."

No, Rick.  The debate has just begun.  Too bad you've taken yourself out of it:
Jay says EPA can't regulate industry
Charleston Daily Mail

Washington - Eight Democratic senators from industrial states are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate pollution blamed for global warming.

In a letter written by Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the lawmakers said the agency lacks the power to restrict greenhouse gases from stationary sources such as power plants, factories and mines. The lawmakers said Congress - not the EPA - should address an issue with big implications for thousands of U.S. jobs and businesses.

Opposition to EPA regulations by Democrats could pose a serious blow to the Obama administration's effort to restrict heat-trapping greenhouse gases. While the administration is still pushing for Congress to pass a comprehensive climate bill this year, officials have not ruled out controlling greenhouse gases through regulation. [link]
I'll not make more of this than is there.  These are Democrats leading the charge, so they still believe human-generated greenhouse gases cause global warming, and they think Congress can somehow control them.  A fool's game, to be sure.

But the point is, there are members of Congress who are standing up to the Supreme Court and are saying, "The legislative branch of government makes law, not the EPA."  Unfortunately, one of those members is not the man we pay to protect our interests here in Southwest Virginia - Representative Rick Boucher.  He's taken himself out of the debate by ceding it to his radical environmentalist buddies.

So we're now rooting for a West Virginia senator to save the Virginia coalfields from Obama depredation.  How wrong is that?

You're All a Bunch Of Racists

So says your congressman. And a clueless Washington Post reporter.

I get so tired of this.

From "Va. Democrat from Appalachia hopes to quell anger among voters," reporter Amy Gardner sees wickedly nefarious attitudes lurking behind every criticism that might come Barack Obama's way from voters down here in hilljack country. Regarding Rick Boucher's fading chances for reelection, she writes:

"Race is also a factor. Sometimes it's subtle, such as when Obama is described as un-Christian or un-American. Other times, slurs directed at Obama are part of the normal conversation."

I defy anyone, including this pinhead, to make a connection - "subtle" or otherwise - between Obama's skin color and criticism of him for being "un-Christian or un-American." Heck, nearly everyone here in Southwest Virginia considers every Washington Democrat to be un-Christian and un-American. Even the white ones. How is that racist, you ditze?

Then there's Boucher. He agrees with the Washington reporter:
Race adds another challenge for Boucher, who enthusiastically endorsed Obama early in the 2008 Democratic primary. In a year when defining himself apart from Washington is crucial to his survival, Boucher has chosen to align himself with a president whom some of his constituents will never support.

"Candidly, yes, I think some people are motivated by these more traditional attitudes," Boucher said. "It's unfortunate, but it's a fact."
"Candidly, yes, I think some people are motivated by these more traditional attitudes.  It's unfortunate, but it's a fact."

Candidly, yes, Boucher thinks some of you are  racists.  

That's your elected representative talking about you. You the people who have kept him in his marvelously swanky gig up in D.C. all these years.

Boucher's been living in Washington way too long.  He's now one of them.  It's high time he packed it in and left us - racists - alone.

For the love of god, do these people even have a clue?

And While We're Talking About Boucher & the Press ...

... why doesn't our congressman simply email his weasel words directly to us rather than waste valuable trees and have his statements quoted verbatim - ad nauseam - unchallenged - in the local paper?

This ("Boucher defends position on cap and trade"), appearing in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, is embarrassing.

A few quotes, as they appear:
Boucher said ... He said that ...

He said the ... Boucher said the ... 

He said ...

... Boucher said. He said ... 

He cited ... He said ... 

Boucher said ...

Boucher said ...

Boucher said 

Boucher said ...

He denied ...


He said ...

He said  ... ... Boucher said.


Boucher also expressed ... ... he said.


He said ...


Boucher said ... He said ... 

Boucher said ... ... Boucher said. 

Boucher said ... 

...and Boucher said ... He said ...
Good God.  For this we don't need reporters.  We simply need fax machines that Boucher can send his propaganda to directly.

The Citizenry Speaks Up

Because Rick Boucher won't.

It appears our congressman got an earful over in Tazewell the other day.  And not over ObamaCare.  He had to answer for his deplorable support for that reprehensible global warming legislation that will certainly, if it becomes law, bring ruin to the area's coal industry.

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Coal fires passions
Crowd presses Boucher on cap and trade vote
By Charles Owens

Richlands, Va. — A large crowd — including some who were upset with U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., for his support of the federal cap and trade legislation — demanded answers Tuesday from the veteran lawmaker during a town hall meeting on coal and energy.

“To place an entire economic system at risk for an unproven theory seems a little bit risky to me,” said David Moore of North Tazewell, who questioned the concept of global warming and climate change during the town hall forum held on the campus of Southwest Virginia Community College.

“I’m definitely against cap and trade,” Bobby May of Hurley, who brought an anti cap and trade sign to Monday’s meeting, said. “I think you made a big mistake not voting against it. You sir are the only representative from a coal community to vote for cap and trade. Please explain to me sir what made you so smart, and made all of those other representatives dumb.” May said U.S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, D-W.Va., voted against the same measure in neighboring West Virginia.

Seth White, chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said voters can take a stand against the Environmental Protection Agency if Boucher and other Democrats are unwilling. “I want to state today — there is something we do about the EPA,” White, one of about 150 people who attended the town hall meeting, said. “If the folks we have in the House and Senate won’t do anything we can elect new representatives who can.”

White also criticized Boucher for his support of President Barack Obama. “I will say today when you support a president who vehemently hates coal, and hates Southwest Virginia, you didn’t do what is right for your district,” White added. [link]
I love you guys.

It is so uplifting to see the common man make the point that I - another commoner - keep making.  One that Boucher should have been making but is woefully incapable of.  He should be defying the EPA, not supplicating himself to it.  The way of life for everyone in the coalfields depends on his protecting them against forces that are plotting to throw them out of work, and he hangs his head and says he's powerless to stop it.

And maybe he is.

But his replacement, come November, won't be.  As Seth White put it: “If the folks we have in the House and Senate won’t do anything, we can elect new representatives who can.”

It's that time.  It's the only way.

- - -

* I keep wondering, when Boucher voted for Obama's anti-coal global warming bill, if he actually thought he could talk his way out of it.  If so, he's a bigger fool than I thought he was.

** Boucher's defense of Obama is laughably pathetic.  In response to Seth White's charge that our president "hates coal,"  our congressman, with decades of political experience, responded:

First of all he doesn’t hate coal.  He doesn’t hate Southwest Virginia. He’s been to Russell County. He’s been to Bristol. He’s been to Roanoke. He understands the importance of coal.”

What does that even mean?!  Coal in Bristol?  Coal in Roanoke?  What's that?

You can believe that - if you can understand it - or you can believe Barack Obama when he laid out his plan to bankrupt the coal industry.

Boucher: Trails Bring Happiness

Well, they bring him happiness anyway.  They make for a campaign issue that the local media seem to enjoy. And they bring him reelection. Even though there has never been any real evidence (the cheerleaders at the Virginia Tourism Corporation don't count; they get paid to come up with fantastic tourism numbers) that all those hiking trails and bike paths that he's funded over the years have brought squat to Southwest Virginia.  But he keeps making the contention.  And the media keep printing it for him.

The latest bit o' blarney:
Boucher: Trails can mean dollars
By Debbie Hall, Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

The Virginia Creeper Trail generates more revenue than personal property taxes and, according to U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, a similar project in Patrick County has the same potential.

The Abingdon Democrat, whose 9th District includes Patrick County and part of Henry County, is a proponent of building trails along abandoned rail lines as a way to boost the economy in rural areas.

The concept has brought dividends in other areas and does not drain resources, Boucher said.

In Abingdon, the 35-mile “fabulous terrain” of the Virginia Creeper Trail attracts about 300,000 people to the region each year, Boucher said.

Although there are other attractions, such as the Barter Theatre, restaurants and shops, Boucher said the Creeper Trail “is the major draw.”

Two localities — Abingdon and Damascus — consider it a major part of the local economy, he said.

The town of Abingdon in particular receives an economic boost from the trail because tourists also eat in local restaurants, shop at local businesses and stay in local accommodations, Boucher said.

“Abingdon collects more revenues from meals and lodging” that it collects in property taxes, he said. “That is all because of tourism.” [link]
Nonsense.  It's absolute nonsense.

That last point that Boucher made, that all the revenue generated in Abingdon from meals and lodging come from tourism, doesn't even pass the smell test.  For those of you not familiar with the area, let me make it short and sweet for you - there are no hotels or restaurants anywhere near that trail.  They're all over along the interstate.  And unlike what the Virginia Tourism Corp. would have you believe, most of those "tourists" are actually interstate highway travelers on their way north and south.

You can read all about the flimflammery that is the Virginia Tourism Corp. here.  But I'll resurrect two points I made regarding the VTC's report on Southwest Virginia "tourism":

(1) A resident of Big Stone Gap is a tourist, by definition, if he travels to the Kmart in Abingdon to buy a quart of motor oil.  By definition.

(2) Revenue generated in eating establishments and convenience stores along I-81, including McDonald's and BP, is considered tourism revenue.  You're local to Abingdon?  Every time you buy gas over at the Citgo you're considered a tourist.

Which makes this whole thing smell to high heaven.

I should add one more point: Boucher's figure of 300,000 "visitors" to the Creeper Trail includes dozens and dozens of busloads of kids bused in each month from area schools to walk the trail. A nice time had by all, I'm sure, but it ain't tourism.

And while we're dealing with the smell test, go down to Damascus (the epicenter of the Creeper Trail) on a nice spring or summer day and count the number of hikers going through town on the trail.  On one hand.  300,00 a year my ass.

Finally, we now have bike paths and hiking trails - funded all or in part by Mr. Boucher - crisscrossing Southwest Virginia.  If they were such the draw, why is the area so depressed?  And where are the jobs?  Beyond the canoe livery and the bike repair shop, where are the jobs?

This whole subject continues to ... smell.

When is some mainstream media type going to actually start asking the right questions of this snake oil salesman?

Boucher To Be Challenged

Hmmmm:
Griffith officially running for Congress?
By Julian Walker, Virginian Pilot

It sure sounds like it from the tone of a statement House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith's office released Tuesday featuring testimonials from fellow legislators about his apparent congressional candidacy.

Our Roanoke Times colleague Mike Sluss last weekend reported that Griffith, R-Salem, is lining up support to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep Rick Boucher in the 9th Congressional District.

Not surprisingly, some of the support announced today comes from Griffith's colleagues in the House of Delegates.

And though Griffith clearly is positioning himself to run this November, he appears to be hedging his bets ever so slightly in the release which refers to his "possible candidacy." [link]
There won't come a better time for it.  Boucher is wounded (see cap-and-trade; see Obama agenda).  It will be a tough slog, but it is doable.

A helpful suggestion to Mr. Griffith: When you announce your candidacy, Boucher is going to welcome you to the arena and announce his intention to make it a clean and friendly campaign.  Bullshit.  Go for the jugular.  The electorate is unnerved by what's going on in this country.  Playing this as a fraternity competition will get you nowhere.  Bring thunder.  Throw hand grenades.  Or lose.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Less than three weeks after being sworn in, and after becoming the darling of the conservative movement, Scott Brown defies his Republican Party and gets a favorable write-up in the New York Times to boot. 

I guess he's expecting a lot of help from the liberal left when he runs for reelection in two short years.

If he keeps this up, he's going to need it.

A Good Line

Michelle Malkin:

"Jon Stewart mocks CPAC as a "festival of whites." And I’m sure the studio audience and demographic breakdowns for his nightly shows are a veritable rainbow of fruit flavors."

Nice.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Red Flag Is Up

I keep making this point: The recession we're in is like no other the USA has experienced.  It's not just a downturn.  Manufacturers - our lifeblood - are fleeing the country.  The latest:
US Jan mass layoffs edge up on weak manufacturing
Reuters

Washington, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The number of mass layoffs by U.S. employers edged up in January as manufacturers stepped up job cuts, data showed on Tuesday, but probably not enough to alter views that the economy is on the brink of creating jobs.

The Labor Department said the number of mass layoff actions -- defined as job cuts involving at least 50 people from a single employer -- increased by 35 to 1,761. Mass layoffs had trended lower since August.

A total of 182,261 workers were affected last month. In January, 486 mass layoff events were reported in manufacturing, resulting in 62,556 workers filing claims for state unemployment benefits. It was the first increase in mass layoffs in manufacturing since August.

The labor market is lagging the broader economic recovery that started in the second half of 2009. Since December 2007, when the worst recession in 70 years started, the U.S. economy has shed 8.4 million jobs. [link]
The worst part is in the fact that many of those 8.4 million jobs are gone forever. To China.

Worse still, the Obama government is poised to increase taxes substantially on American business, which will drain precious capital and force additional retrenchments.  And more workforce reductions.

We're in a downward spiral.  And all the stimulus money in the world won't slow its acceleration.

Want To Impress the Neighbors?

Put a tank in your garage:


Actually you'd be putting it on the garage.  The garage door to be specific.

How cool is this?  Make 'em think you've got that M3 Beamer sitting there waiting to be taken out ...


 One of my favorite posters - a religious message for all your neighbors to consider:

Garage door posters.  Sweet.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Blood In The Water

You know the Virginia Republican Party sees Congressman Boucher as being vulnerable in November when the VAGOP puts out YouTube hit pieces like this.  And a spot-on piece it is. 

For your viewing pleasure, "How's He Doing?"




A screen shot for those not interested in watching the flick:


Great stuff.

'There goes one of them again. That liberal, pansy Roanoke Times editorial board, if given its druthers, would round up all guns and melt them down to cast a statue honoring the socialist god of journalists.'

At least she has a good handle on who she is.

See Times columnist Luann Traud's embarrassing whimper about too many guns being allowed to be out there amongst the populace - "More guns, less safety."

This is the best she can muster:

"It occurs to me that those pushing for everloosening [sic] restrictions will win the day in Richmond this year. But lifting restrictions will prove fatal to their cause in the long run when bad things inevitably happen."

Inevitably?  It occurs to me that these liberal whiners have been anticipating the inevitable gun conflagration since this Traud woman was crapping yellow in her diapers.  And, at the risk of bringing sobriety to the discussion, with regard to the relationship between gun ownership and crime, it occurs to me that statistics are proving just the opposite to be the case.  Inevitable?  Only in her delusional world of Cho Seung-hui-behind-every-rock make-believe.

But why let reality get in the way of a good liberal rant? Shiny, metal objects bad.  End of ... story.

Here's a Side-Splitter

The Roanoke Times is reporting a noteworthy decline in crime in Southwest Virginia.  A trend that mirrors statistics nationally.  So what does Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell credit the drop to?

Obama's stimulus plan.

I ain't kiddin'.

Caldwell, so you know, is a Democrat.  Which explains the derangement.

A more likely explanation for the drop in crime?  Americans are armed like never before

That, coupled with the fact that we have taken the worst of the worst criminals off the streets and sent them off to prison for longer stretches of rock-busting and beanbag-sewing, has really made the difference.

As for Obama's jobs stimulus having any effect on crime, it should be noted that Roanoke's unemployment rate is higher now than it was when Obama came to office and pushed through his "jobs plan."

Nice thought, though.  I see this Caldwell character being a rising star in Democratic politics.  He has the right frame of ... mind.

Boucher's a Coward

Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher's (D-9) pathetic reasoning for voting in favor of that coal industry-killing global warming bill:

We have urgency for Congress to act on greenhouse gases.  Steps have to be taken. The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant within the meaning of the 1972 Clean Air Act. As a result, the EPA is in effect under mandate to regulate CO2 emissions. The debate is over."

We have no choice.

We are powerless to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

We can only mitigate the problem and try to hang on to as many coal jobs here in Southwest Virginia as we can.

The debate is over.

Before it began. Without a shot being fired.  We surrender.

The coward's response to Obama's environmentalist assault on the coalfield way of life. 

Well, thank God there are officials out there with balls:
Cuccinelli fights the EPA
Washington Times editorial

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli took a gutsy and intelligent step Feb. 17 when he petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its ill-advised "finding" that carbon dioxide creates an endangerment for human health. The endangerment finding would let the EPA battle alleged global warming by regulating emissions of CO2, which of course is the gas that every animal and person exhales with every breath. The finding was ludicrous from the start, and now Mr. Cuccinelli makes a reasonable case that it also was unlawful.

"Attorney General Cuccinelli believes that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion and failed to properly exercise its judgment by relying almost exclusively on reports from the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an arm of the United Nations] in attributing climate change to [human-caused] greenhouse gas emissions," the AG's office explains. "The IPCC is an international body that is not subject to U.S. data quality and transparency standards and the IPCC prepared their reports in total disregard to U.S. Standards."

Since the EPA finding was issued, the IPPC's reports have become subject to scandal on multiple fronts. [link]
As I pointed out back when Boucher decided to support his Washington environmentalist friends over his constituents and vote for Obama's global warming bill, he had the power to stop the EPA from destroying the coal industry.  Instead he whined about being powerless because the Supreme Court had "ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant," which was itself a lie.

Since then other Congressmen have stepped up and done what Congressman Boucher said was impossible to do - fight the EPA.

And now our brave attorney general takes the fight to the radicals at EPA as well.

Thank God for him.  May he bring success.  May he ultimately prove victorious and save coal jobs here in Virginia.

But woe be unto us here in Southwest Virginia.  We have but one United States congressperson.  One who would rather duck and cover than fight for his people.

Time to go, Rick.  It's time to go.

One of the Mysteries of Life

This is perplexing:


How can that be? The stuff tastes like pee.

* Okay, I've never tasted urine.  But I imagine it tastes a whole lot like this awful, awful "beer."

Battle of the Posts

Washington Post: "Earth is warming."

New York Post: No, it's not.

Getting Off-Message Again

After he took a drubbing in the Massachusetts Senate election that put a Republican in "Ted Kennedy's seat," Barack Obama switched gears and decided that the issue of jobs - the lack thereof - was to be his Number One priority henceforth.

And a few days later he changed his mind and made the deficit his Number One priority, launching a committee to make determination as to what was needed to force Congress to do what we pay the schleps who work there to do.

But even that lasted only a matter of days.  Now Obama's Number One priority is what it was just before he got his ass handed to him - health care:
ObamaCare at Ramming Speed
Wall Street Journal editorial

A mere three days before President Obama's supposedly bipartisan health-care summit, the White House yesterday released a new blueprint that Democrats say they will ram through Congress with or without Republican support. So after election defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts, and amid overwhelming public opposition, Democrats have decided to give the voters what they don't want anyway.

Ah, the glory of "progressive" governance and democratic consent.

"The President's Proposal," as the 11-page White House document is headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them—but by expanding them to everyone. [link]
This is the legislation that includes a provision for the United States government to start regulating your insurance premiums.  An undertaking perfected by the artful ministries of the Supreme Soviet in 1917.  Legislation that the American people, in overwhelming numbers, have come to despise.

But which is it, Barry?  Jobs?  Deficit?  Health care?  Or will it be something else, like the takeover of Ford Motor Company?  Regulating the air we breathe?  Or will it be that war thingie that's going on somewhere out there in a land far, far away?

Ronald Reagan was successful at bringing about dramatic reform in part by focusing all his energies and the media's focus on one topic and only one topic until he achieved his goal.

Barack Obama is bouncing off the walls.  Nobody knows from one day to the next what it is he wants done.  And his rate of success in getting things done reflects that confusing game plan.

So we're back to beating that dead horse named ObamaCare.  My head is swimming.

- - -

And even the health care message is convoluted.  Remember the Number One goal in reforming our health care system?  It was to reduce our health care costs.  Now?  Now our Number One goal is to cover the uninsured (whether they like it or not).

From cost reduction to a welfare program.  Good grief.

- - -

And on the plan itself, a good line from Rich Lowry:

"In keeping with his new spirit of compromise, President Obama has offered a health-care bill staking out middle ground between House and Senate Democrats."

Which makes one wonder why Republicans are willing to sit down and talk to Obama about this mess.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Lie

"One more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."
-- Barack Obama, September 9, 2009 --

Really.
Obama's ‘New’ Health Care Plan Would Use Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortions
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer, CNS News

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama unveiled his plan for health care reform on whitehouse.gov on Monday, but pro-life legislators and advocates said the “new” proposal mostly mirrors the Senate bill and, in particular, would allow for tax dollars to be used to fund health plans that cover abortion.

“The health bill passed by the Senate in December (H.R. 3590) had become, by the conclusion of the Senate amendment process, the most expansively pro-abortion bill ever brought to the floor of either house of Congress since Roe v. Wade,” Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), said in a statement issued on Monday.

Johnson said Obama’s bill will not include the same prohibitions set forth in the Stupak amendment--named after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)--which was part of the health care legislation passed earlier by the House of Representatives. Instead, Obama’s bill allows federal funds to subsidize abortions through the structuring of programs and insurance plans. [link]
I'm sure he and his pals in the mainstream press will come up with a perfectly good explanation for the apparent deceit.

Memo To Richmond Democrats:

Don't be stupid.  Or stupider, as the case may be.  What you are trying to pull here in Virginia is already posing disastrous consequences in bluer states around the country.

I'm speaking of unfunded - and grossly underfunded - state pension plans.

First, the news about what the Democrats in Richmond are trying to pull:
Senate budget restores funding
By Bob Lewis and Dena Potter, Associated Press Writers

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- The Senate has proposed a budget that restores funding for education, free medical services and law enforcement by contributing less than expected into the state employee and teacher retirement fund. [link]
So you know, the Senate is controlled by Democrats.

Obviously these small minds haven't been reading the papers.  Here's what that kind of irresponsibility will get you:

In the state of Washington: "Billion dollar headache: Looming pension liability worries state officials."

In New York: "The Empire State's Looming Public Pension Explosion."

California: "The Looming Pension Disaster."

Pennsylvania: "Pennsylvania public school employees' pension fund crisis looming for school districts and state."

Oregon: "Oregon leaders shrug as pension crisis looms."

Illinois: "Illiniois Public Pension Crisis."

How 'bout I just list every state controlled by liberals and make the blanket statement that every one of them is looking at pending fiscal doom.

And Democrats here in Virginia want to bring that train wreck to the commonwealth.

Another really good reason to drive every one of the bastards out of office before they do irreparable harm.

We Don't Know, But Let's Fix It Anyway

You may have read here in the past of that seminal moment in my life when I made the conscious decision to oppose environmentalism with everything in me.  Without going into the details again, it had to do with a United States senator arguing on TV that we had to pass legislation to end some looming catastrophe despite the fact that there was no evidence at the time that a problem even existed or that a catastrophe was in fact impending.  When confronted with that little hurdle, he responded by saying, "We can't wait for evidence.  We must act now.  If we wait for evidence it will be too late!"

I then came to the realization that these people are dangerous.

And speaking of the Washington Post editorial staff:
Climate insurance
editorial

The Earth is warming. A chief cause is the increase in greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans are at least in part responsible, because the oil, gas and coal that we burn releases these gases. If current trends persist, it's likely that in coming decades the globe's climate will change with potentially devastating effects for billions of people.

What's the right response? It seems to us there are two key arguments that can provide some shelter for politicians who want to do the right thing. The first is to acknowledge a level of uncertainty in the predictions and make the case for taking out an insurance policy, as would any prudent homeowner. It's true that we don't know for sure how many degrees warmer the Earth will be, on average, by 2050 or what effect this will have on the ferocity of storms or coastal flooding or starvation-inducing drought. But it's also true that, as the science has progressed, the predictions have become more dire, not less -- and that they are still as likely to be too optimistic as the reverse. If there is action that can be taken, now, to begin to reduce the dangers, why would we not do so? [link]
We don't know.  So let's act.  Sound familiar?

The editorial goes on to demand new taxes on the citizenry (naturally) and a redistributive - and destructive - cap-and-trade regime foisted upon already struggling American industries so as to be able to stop ... well, we're not sure.  But we need to stop it anyway.

Dangerous.  These people are ... admittedly clueless ... and dangerous.

Jimmy Carter Redux

I remember those horrid days when President Carter decided that America was past its prime and that, in order to combat foreign oil, we all needed to turn down our thermostats, put on heavy clothing, and live out our miserable lives in iceboxes.  And then Reagan came along and actually did something about our problems.

Now, 2010:
Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs
By Peter S. Goodman, New York Times

Buena Park, Calif. — Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits.

Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.

Yet the social safety net is already showing severe strains. [link]
Obama'a response so far has been to extend unemployment check assistance - again and again - but how long will that go on before it's considered welfare?

What we need in this country are employers.  And existing employers need to be able to keep some of the cash they accumulate - that is currently being sucked up by the government - and be able to reinvest.  And add jobs.

Obama can indeed provide relief.  But not in the form of assistance.  That's been tried for decades - and we are where we are.  He needs to provide relief by unchaining the capitalist spirit that still yearns to be free.

He should.  He won't.

So the Times is accepting of millions being on permanent unemployment lines.  My God.

Another Global Warming Untruth

Another day another discredited scientific study:
Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels
By David Adam, The Guardian

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper's estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate. [link]
In other words, scientists who are studying potential climate changes haven't a clue as to what those changes might be.

For that reason, can we ask Obama and his band of radicals at the EPA to not alter our way of life until they know what they're dealing with?

- - -

A question: Why does the New York Times continue to ignore this building scandal?

What Business Is It Of Theirs?

The government will get away with it. And most Americans will be accepting. But Obama deciding what a company can charge for its product is just another step toward that socialist state that leftists in this country say isn't happening, and won't happen. The latest nail in our coffin:
Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers’ Rate Increases
By David M. Herszenhorn and Robert Pear, New York Times

Washington — President Obama will propose on Monday giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies, as he rolls out comprehensive legislation to revamp the nation’s health care system, White House officials said Sunday.

By focusing on the effort to tighten regulation of insurance costs, a new element not included in either the House or Senate bills, Mr. Obama is seizing on outrage over recent premium increases of up to 39 percent announced by Anthem Blue Cross of California and moving to portray the Democrats’ health overhaul as a way to protect Americans from profiteering insurers.

Congressional Republicans have long denounced the Democrats’ legislation as a “government takeover” of health care. [link]
Obama will get away with this because we've reached a point in time when we don't care that the government is dictating pricing to the private sector.  Today it's the hated insurance industry.  Tomorrow it's your employer.

A question: If he can restrict pricing, can he control wages as well?

Hello, Richard Nixon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wisdom For The Ages

A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 one Ranger was carrying and asked him, "Why do you carry a 45?"

The Ranger responded, "Because they don't make a 46."

I Knew We Would Prevail

I also knew it would take time.

And we've got a lot longer to go before we've crushed them once and for all.

But we now are at the beginning of the end:
Time to Turn Up the Heat on the Warmists
By Selwyn Duke, American Thinker

At one time some would call them "deniers." The more generous called them "skeptics." But now, increasingly, it appears that they can be called something else: sane. Yes, the climate has certainly changed.

Even in the mainstream media, the less liberal organs are waking up. There is now a never-ending barrage of articles on the climate scam, with The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post firing some recent salvos. And these inconvenient truths are just adding to a case against the Climateers that has become dizzying.

Really, those issuing Chicken Little warnings had a tough sell from the get-go. We're told that our world has seen at least five major ice ages, but, then again, I've also heard four. It has experienced numerous minor ones, although I'm not sure anyone knows precisely how many. In fact, we hear that the pattern is to have 100,000-year glacial periods followed by 12,000-year interglacials, with1500-year cycles of warming and cooling embedded within them. We're told that during part of the Cryogenian Period -- otherwise known as "Snowball Earth" -- the world was completely blanketed with snow and ice and that during another period, glaciers were almost or completely gone. Furthermore, we're informed that during the latter there was still, believe it or not, dry land and creatures to tread upon it.

But the creature called man has the capacity to worry, and worry he does. [link]
That's probably what this was all about from the get go.  People fearing what they don't know.

The saving grace is in the fact that, as time goes by, we will know more and more about our climate.  And sanity will return to the discussion of trends.  And Al Gore will finally be sent into exile where he belongs.

Science is a good thing.  When administered by the right scientists.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

They Got It Half Right

The Roanoke Times in an editorial today:

"Times are desperate, though, and senators at least are willing to discuss an increase."

Times are desperate. And it is high time that senators discussed measures to increase economic vitality in this country and to grow jobs, in a country that is having the lifeblood sucked out of it by ever-growing government needs.

Oh.  wait.

The Times is applauding those Virginia senators who are preparing to address an increase in taxes.  To address the government's "desperate" times.

For the love of God.

The End Times Cometh

Law allows firearms on Blue Ridge Parkway

With That You Could Buy a NEW Home

"Recently Congress approved and President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. By meeting critical needs in our communities, the measure will help create jobs in the short term and provide a solid foundation for long term economic growth in Southwest Virginia. One provision in the economic recovery measure provides $5 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides assistance to families in reducing energy costs.

"The program reduces the national energy demand by the equivalent of 18 million barrels of oil each year. State and local agencies leverage the U.S. Department of Energy funding with other federal, state, utility, and private resources to weatherize more low-income homes and to deliver more services. Every $1 million of program funding supports 52 direct jobs and additional jobs are created for subcontractors and material suppliers.
"
-- Congressman Rick Boucher, February 23, 2009

One year ago.

Today:
Obama's federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each
Los Angeles Times

Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days?

Well, a new report due out this morning will show the $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it's weatherized only about 9,000 homes.

Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far. Makes for pretty crowded doorways.

ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare today that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind -- about 98.5% behind -- the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act's very first, very chilly year.

The Energy folks did tell ABC they've so far spent 522-million Recovery Act dollars on the program. So, let's see, about 9,100 homes divided into that chunk of stimulation change to believe in is -- gee! -- about $57,362 worth of very expensive weatherstripping for each home fixed up so far.

Seems believable for a federal program. [link]
So how many houses have been weatherized and how many jobs have been created here in Southwest Virginia in the last year?

Who knows?

Who cares?

It was never about jobs or homes or weather or human tragedies.

It was about Democrats once again trying to convince - convincingly - the American people that they were there to take care of them.

$57,362 for each house winterized.  That would have bought a lot of beer to get us through this awful winter if it had been left in our bank accounts.

For the love of God.