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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lotta Good It Did

The eulogies for Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia pour in.  He died Monday at the age of 92.

This one from this morning's Roanoke Times is typical of the general effort:
The senator grew up in West Virginia's impoverished coalfields, and he never forgot where he came from. As his position grew more powerful, he never stopped trying to improve conditions for his constituents.

When he became chairman of the powerful Appropriations committee, he went about trying to improve those conditions by sending as much federal largesse as humanly possible back to the Mountain State.
So Byrd gets an "A" for effort.  (Which is all that ever matters to liberals.)

But how about results? Did he "improve conditions"?

West Virginia was one of the poorest states in the nation when Byrd set about dumping billions of tax dollars on his state.  West Virginia, fifty years later, is, next to Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation today.

With a couple of nice highways that make out-migration so much easier.

Robert Byrd's lasting legacy.

Quote of the Day

From "Watts Up With That?":
Perhaps the stupidest article I’ve ever seen

Here’s the link.

I have no other comment.
The subject matter? 


For the love of God.

What We Know About Obama's Supreme Court Pick

She has squat in the way of judicial experience.

Not much more in courtroom litigation background.

Or in juridical academics, for that matter.

But Elena Kagan is one heck of a political foot soldier in the liberal horde.

Gotcha!

If you're an admirer of statistics, as I am, you'll find this exposé of Daily Kos's daily political poll as being fraudulent quite fascinating.  It has to do with the fact that making purposive numbers appear random ain't all that easy.

Sweet.  Statisticians rock!

Even if they are nerds and dweebs.

Who Knew?

Larry King is still alive.

But We Made Friends

Not much has been written about Obama's recent venture into the world of high-stakes multi-national summit meetings.  So, from American Thinker:
The Obama administration's strategy of pumping up the economic tire without patching the trade deficit leak has not worked. Its attempt to talk Germany, Japan and China into balancing trade has not worked. And yet, Obama pledges in the G-20 communiqué that we will not take any action to balance trade, stronger than talk, before 2014.

From the standpoint of what the U.S. hoped to accomplish, the G-20 meeting has to be considered a total failure, if not a diplomatic and economic disaster. The big winners were the trade-surplus countries, led by Germany and China. At previous summits, they were under pressure to stimulate their imports - no longer. The big losers were the world's trade-deficit countries, especially the United States, who have no effective leadership whatsoever at this time. 
"No effective leadership."  A pattern.

Leadership By Small Minds

Read "The Bucyrus Travesty."  An excerpt:
In other words, the White House is happy to subsidize "green jobs" at a company that hasn't proven it can compete commercially. But it refuses to subsidize the export-related jobs at a globally competitive U.S. company like Bucyrus because they involve coal, which despite Washington's distaste will remain the workhorse of U.S. and world energy supply for decades to come.

The Bucyrus travesty is a preview of the consequences of the cap-and-tax program that Democrats are still trying to ram through Congress, and the peculiar income redistribution that it entails: taking from the middle class that depends on coal for jobs and power and giving to politically connected investors and the affluent who can afford to pay $40,000 for a car. Maybe Mr. Obama will explain to Bucyrus workers today why they are less deserving than Fisker Auto's.
Peculiar indeed. And damaging.

After Two Months of Oil Spewing In The Gulf ...

... Obama makes a decision:



For the love of God.

Headline Of The Day

From Glenn Reynolds:


Alrighty then.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Takin' It Downtown

Morgan Griffith can win if he draws Rick Boucher out of the safe confines of Washington D.C.

Morgan Griffith can only win if he draws Rick Boucher out of his comfort zone.

Morgan Griffith will win if he forces Rick Boucher to answer for all that ails Southwest Virginia.

To that end, the following letter was forwarded to Congressman Boucher yesterday:
June 28, 2010


The Honorable Rick Boucher

2187 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Congressman Boucher,

I am writing you today to ask you to meet me in debate. More specifically, I ask that you agree to open public debates in every county and city across Virginia's 9th Congressional District between now and Election Day in November.

The people deserve to hear their candidates for Congress debate so that they can make an informed decision on who is the best fit to serve them in Washington.

I look forward to hearing your explanation as to why you voted against the people of Virginia and with Nancy Pelosi on Cap and Trade. This legislation will send manufacturing jobs overseas, eliminate coal jobs in southwest Virginia and increase electric bills.

Since the Congress is taking an extra week of vacation time this year you will have a full five weeks in late July and August to schedule these debates. Congress will also recess by early October so you will have that entire month to meet me in debate before the election as well. Certainly you can find the time for these important events.

I know that in the past you have preferred to run TV and radio ads rather than debate, but I hope in this critical election year you will meet with the voters.

I will be willing to debate you anywhere, anytime and anyplace. I am willing to take that risk to educate the voters about our respective political philosophies, ideas and plans for our country. Are you? I am confident that it is to my benefit that the voters know where we stand on the issues.

To make sure we have a level playing field, we can ask the local media to set the terms of the debates and moderate them.

I hope your response will be favorable and my campaign can work with your staff to start scheduling these important debates tomorrow.


Respectfully,


H. Morgan Griffith

A series of debates is the only plan Griffith should settle for (Boucher will try to settle on one). Griffith must be the news for the next four months. He must take the offensive and not relinquish it. And he must not get sidetracked by the Roanoke Times trying to make much of the fact that he doesn't live in the 9th Congressional District yet (neither does Boucher, in reality).

It's Griffith's time. There is no better time. Th'ow down the gloves. Have at him.

Why We Need To Get Out Now

Every American life lost in Afghanistan is now being wasted.  We no longer send troops into harm's way to gain victory over terrorism (a goal that is critically important to many of us), or to bring stability to a war-ravaged country; we are there only in preparation for withdrawal. To leave.  An awful reason to ask our best and brightest to die.

The latest bit of news to bolster my position:
Pelosi: There Will Be 'A Serious Drawdown' From Afghanistan In July 2011
By Sam Stein, The Huffington Post

In some of the strongest terms she has used to date, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared last Friday that the United States will see "a serious drawdown" of forces in Afghanistan by July 2011 and that the House may use the power of the purse to ensure the drawdown takes place.

In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, Pelosi made clear that while recent talk has hinted that the administration's stated goal of a June 2011 start date for a troop drawdown may be open to change, her commitment to it remains firm.

"I think we'll have a serious drawdown, I don't think it'll be, as [the president] said, turning out the lights," said Pelosi.

Asked point-blank whether she thinks troops will be pulled out of the country in July 2011, Pelosi replied: "I do. And everything I saw there before, for all the bad things there that I saw in terms of [corruption and money wasted] ... I did consistently hear that the timetable was on schedule to have serious drawdown." [link]
It's a rare day that this woman and I agree on anything.  But on the subject of our war presence in Afghanistan, we are of like minds.  Almost.  Pelosi wants us out sometime soon; I want us out now.  Because Obama has no intention of winning the War on Terror.  Or whatever it is that he's calling it these days.

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautions that goals have been too broad and need to be more 'realistic and limited,' or the U.S. risks failure."
-- CNN, February 7, 2009 --


"In 1991, I was asked why the US could not assume a 'limited' role in Bosnia. I had been engaged in limited military involvements before, in Vietnam for starters. I said, 'As soon as they tell me it’s limited, it means they do not care whether you achieve a result or not.'"
- -  Colin Powell, My American Journey, p. 543-4, Jan 1, 1995 - -

On The Chicago Gun Ban Case ...

... and Justice Clarence Thomas's opinion, Randy Barnett, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, practically stands up and cheers.  The 14th Amendment is interpreted to mean what it was originally meant to mean!
The Privileges or Immunities Clause has been virtually a dead letter since 1873, when the court in The Slaughter-House Cases limited its scope to rights of a purely national scope, such as the right to access a foreign embassy or to be protected when traveling on the high seas. It was a preposterous interpretation—these were hardly the rights congressional Republicans in the aftermath of the Civil War were most concerned to protect in the wake of the terrible abuses of free blacks and white unionists by Southern states.

There is a remarkable academic consensus that the original meaning of the 14th Amendment protected an individual right to keep and bear arms against interference by state governments. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago affirmed that this is indeed the case. It is, therefore, a great victory for enforcing the original meaning of the Constitution. Thankfully for the rights of Americans, the Chicago gun ban at issue will soon be consigned to the dust bin of history. 

To the conservative fear that the full scope of the Privileges or Immunities Clause was uncertain, Justice Thomas countered that the only "question presented in this case is . . . whether, and to what extent, a particular clause in the Constitution protects the particular right at issue here." With this narrower focus, Justice Thomas presented an extensive and detailed analysis of the original meaning of the Clause in the belief that "this case presents an opportunity to reexamine, and begin the process of restoring, the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment agreed upon by those who ratified it." While conceding that "interpreting the Privileges or Immunities Clause may produce hard questions," Justice Thomas countered that "they will have the advantage of being questions the Constitution asks us to answer." 
Interestingly, Clarence Thomas was the only justice to hold this position.  The other eight were content in leaving the 14th Amendment to mean something other than what it was originally meant to mean. 

It's a strange, strange world.

And They Say WE'RE Full of Hate

Liberal radio talk show host Mike Malloy on former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent trip to the hospital:
Cheney has had five heart attacks, and history of heart trouble. Well, I guess they're one and the same. The cause of his latest health problem is not clear. I think I know, but ... he's done too much cannibalism, drunk too many cups of blood! Cheney's in the hospital. Ah, the first good news all day.

No, I'm not going to feel anything but intense gratitude that this miserable bastard has stepped off this earthly coil! Really! And I'm sure on a much lesser scale when I die, there will probably be some of you right-wing flip tops who will feel the same way - I frankly don't give a damn!

But no - Cheney is responsible. Cheney is a murderer. He's a killer. He's a torturer. He is evil personified! He is a walking mass of horror and when he's gone, this planet will be cleaner! [link]
Compare this to anything that Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity says on any given day and you'll agree: Hate is a left-wing trait.  Exclusively.

Hat tip to NewsBusters.

Monday, June 28, 2010

They Just Don't Get It

Government seizes capital from small business so as to be able to give it to small business.

Only in BizarroWorld:
Boucher plans small business seminar
Southwest Times Staff Report

Ninth District Congressman Rick Boucher will host a July conference to help inform Southwest Virginia business owners and entrepreneurs of resources available for business startup and development.

The workshop, entitled “Building our Local Economy in a Global Market,” will be held on Monday, July 19, at 9 a.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon.

“Small businesses are at the core of our economy. These businesses are a wellspring of innovation, and they give strength and diversity to the economic foundation of communities throughout Southwest Virginia,” said Boucher. “For these reasons, creating a climate that is favorable to small business startups and providing resources and other assistance to those who aspire to be small business owners is an important part of our strategy for promoting economic growth throughout our region and an important part of the work of my Congressional office.”

He added, “The conference I am hosting on July 19 will provide ... [blah blah blah] [link]
This guy actually believes the government can create a favorable climate for small business to thrive.  The same government that has done everything to make it more difficult for small business to even exist in this country.  This the same guy who has voted in favor of every tax increase and every regulatory mandate on those same small businesses that has been set before him over the last quarter century.  Every one.

It takes more than a seminar and boloney sandwich luncheon to make for a "favorable environment," pal.  Maybe some day you'll come to realize that.

Maybe not.

Headline Of The Day

The Economy Teeters

Whatever Obama's doing to turn things around?  It ain't workin':
Economic Outlook: Worsening picture in the US
By Jack Farchy, Financial Times

Investors will this week be bracing themselves for signs that the US recovery is slowing, as a slew of economic data on the world’s largest economy is expected to paint a downbeat picture.

This week sees the release of the monthly US non-farm payrolls report, the most closely watched statistic in global markets.

The headline figure is expected to show a sharp drop in non-farm employment – but that is largely the effect of temporary workers hired to carry out the US census coming to the end of their contracts.

There was a decline of about 250,000 in the number of people working on the census this month from May, leading to consensus expectations of a drop of 75,000 in the headline non-farm payrolls figure. [link]
Are we ready to concede - a year and a half in - that government stimulus doesn't work anymore?

We need private sector stimulus.  And the only way that will come about is if the government gets its foot off the throat of America's business enterprises.


Cut taxes.  Reduce the regulation burden.  Stand back.

- - -


The New York Times today calls for the federal government to raise corporate taxes (a nation that touts one of the highest rates of corporate taxation on the planet already) again.

There apparently hasn't been enough destruction of capital in this country in recent years to suit the socialists there.

It Beats Actually Doing Something

In the news:


Agreeing on timetables proves to be so much more achievable than actually cutting deficits.

So "world leaders" agree to do something someday.

For the love of God.

Lest You Forget Who Your Enemies Are

Let's give credit where it's due.  When Obama declared his intention to bankrupt the coal industry, he wasn't lying.  His effort is now in process:
Obama’s promise to bankrupt coal industry to cost 1,000 jobs in upper Midwest
By Ed Morrissey

During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to bankrupt any new coal-burning plants in the US through his global-warming policies.  Congress has followed suit with a cap-and-trade bill that Harry Reid keeps promising to revive.  One firm in Wisconsin shows exactly what happens when politicians intervene to attempt to conduct social engineering in the energy sector. Bucyrus just lost a $600 million project for a new coal-burning electricity plant in India, thanks to a decision by the Congressionally-funded US Export-Import Bank to deny the Wisconsin firm credit, based in part on Barack Obama’s policies:

"Up to 1,000 jobs at Bucyrus International Inc. and its suppliers could be in jeopardy as the result of a decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, funded by Congress, to deny several hundred million dollars in loan guarantees to a coal-fired power plant and mine in India.

"About 300 of those jobs are at the Bucyrus plant in South Milwaukee, where the company has 1,410 employees and its headquarters. The remaining jobs are spread across 13 states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.

"On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank denied financing for Reliance Power Ltd., an Indian power plant company, effectively wiping out about $600 million in coal mining equipment sales for Bucyrus, chief executive Tim Sullivan said.

"The fossil fuel project was the first to come before the government-run bank since it adopted a climate-change policy to settle a lawsuit and to meet Obama administration directives.

"'President Obama has made clear his administration’s commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future,' Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said in a statement. 'After careful deliberation, the Export-Import Bank board voted not to proceed with this project because of the projected adverse environmental impact.'"


This decision won’t stop one carbon molecule from hitting the air. In fact, it will likely make carbon emissions worse. India will look for other vendors to supply the equipment, probably from neighboring Russia or China, as they will continue to build and operate the plant. Both nations compete in the same marketplace as Bucyrus, but they don’t work as cleanly as the American company does, which means the end result will be lower efficiency and more pollution.

Democrats like Obama keep talking about eeeeeevil corporations that export jobs overseas to save costs rather than keep them in the US. Well, Obama and his Congress just sent 1,000 jobs overseas — jobs Americans lost, and jobs that either Russian or Chinese workers will get instead. And instead of bankrupting this new coal plant, they just made it dirtier.
Wisconsin jobs today.  Dickenson County jobs tomorrow.  Just a matter of time.

Obama intends to do you grievous harm.  Act accordingly.

Lest You Forget Who Your Enemies Are II

Obama's effort to bankrupt the coal industry has its impact right here in Southwest Virginia:
Mountaintop removal: Army Corps deals another blow to region
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

The hits just keep coming for the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. The decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend an expedite process for obtaining surface mining permits across much of the nation’s eastern coalfields last week will spell more trouble for coal miners and their families right here in southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.

The controversial decision by the Army Corps is the latest move by the Obama administration to curb mountaintop removal coal mining. Environmental groups — who claimed victory following last week’s decision — argue the practice of blasting away mountain tops to expose multiple coal seams causes too much damage to the environment. They want the federal government to ban the practice, and President Barack Obama appears ready to honor their request.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, called the EPA’s suspension of the Nationwide Permit 21 “absolutely frustrating.” NWP21 applies only to the coal mines in the six states in the heart of the Appalachian coalfields.

“I think EPA’s arrogance in this process is absolutely frustrating,” Raney said last week. “It represents another step in the Obama/EPA efforts to punish coal mining in the eastern states.”

Dan Pochick, president of Rish Equipment that is headquartered in Bluefield, also expressed frustration last week with the latest administration decision. Rish sells machinery to companies that operate surface mines.

“The EPA comes down here and holds public hearings, but they already have their minds made up,” Pochick said. “They are out to stop coal mining in Appalachia.”

According to Pochick, non-elected officials are making decisions that will ultimately impact the price area residents pay for energy.

While our region continues to fight this assault on coal, it would appear we are losing the battle. If the Obama administration is determined — as it would appear — to put an end to coal mining as we know it, there may be little our region can do to change his mind. [link] [emphasis mine]

A rather bleak assessment.  But possibly - regrettably - accurate.  Obama may very well follow through on his pledge to bankrupt the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

The good people of Buchanan and Dickenson and Lee and Russell and Scott and Tazewell and Wise Counties didn't deserve this.

As Toronto Burns

Mark Steyn has some particularly harsh words for the way the Toronto police have reacted - or not reacted - to anarchists wreaking mayhem in its downtown streets:
For the G20 summit, the Toronto coppers ordered up a ton of new body armor, weaponry, gas masks, etc - and then stood around in their state-of-the-art riot gear watching as a bunch of middle-class "anarchists" trashed the city. Streetcars were left abandoned, and even police cruisers were seized, vandalized and burned.

The Toronto PD are your go-to guys if you want a fetching police escort for the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid float in the Pride Parade, but they don't otherwise seem to perform any useful function. David Miller, the city's brain-dead mayor, can usually be relied upon for a fatuous soundbite. In this case, he offered:

"This isn't our Toronto."

Er, actually, it is. Try looking out the window.
If they're not there to serve and to protect, what good are they?

We Need More Gun Control

Robert Byrd Has Died

At the age of 92. RIP.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why Do They Hate Palin So?

Note this little - and unwarranted - jab at the person the leftist press hates more than Osama bin Ladin.  From the Associated Press piece, "Palin headlines Va. rally alongside Allen, North":
Norfolk, Va. (AP) -- Sarah Palin is speaking at a Norfolk rally for conservatives, with two heroes of Virginia's Republican right serving as warm-up acts.

The former John McCain running mate who bailed as Alaska's governor to prosper politically and financially on the talk circuit speaks Sunday at Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Center. [my emphasis]
Can you imagine an Associated Press "reporter" ever writing that about Hillary Clinton, who was prepared to bail from her United States Senate gig to become president, but instead bailed from her Senate gig to become Secretary of State?

It's not only mean.  It's petty.

It's the Associated Press.

Quote(s) of the Day

From David Hackworth:

"Because our homeland and very survival are once more at stake, the American people can't afford to treat this new war against terrorism like they did Vietnam."

From Tom Friedman:

"The ugly truth is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it."


From Adrian Cronauer:

"Good morning, Vietnam!

Obama's Mentor Speaks Out On Whitey

I ask you (again): Who are the real racists in this country?

A few quotes from the Reverend Jeremiah Wright that came out of a "seminar" he recently conducted at the University of Chicago, a five-day lecture that could easily have been entitled The White Man Is The Devil:

"White folk done took this country.  You're in their home, and they're gonna let you know it." 

"You are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be a brother to white folk.  And if you do not realize that, you are in serious trouble." 

"Bill said, 'They just killed four of their own at Kent State. They'll step on you like a cockroach and keep on movin', cause you not a brother to them.'"


Oh, I should add this:

"What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics."
-- Barack Obama --

How that "truth" involves white America is anyone's guess.

- - -

Exit question: Does this make you think less of the once-venerable University of Chicago?

USA Soccer Meets Ghana

USA soccer team is gonna.

Arizona Pleads For Help

Obama responds by telling the American citizenry that it's too dangerous to go into certain parts of the state and to leave those areas to the Mexicans who now control them.

My God.  It's come to this.

But the state's governor isn't taking Obama's surrender lying down:



"This is an outrage. Washington says our border is as safe as it has ever been. Does this look safe to you? What is our country coming to?

"We will not surrender any part of Arizona. ... Mr. President, do your job. Secure our borders."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And Here I Thought You Just Had To Be Ugly

Turns out, there are strict requirements that must be met if you're to be considered a feminist.

Sarah Palin doesn't qualify.

Though not spelled out, surely ugly is in there somewhere.

Can Kathleen Parker Be Far Behind?

It's almost laughable watching the Washington Post twist itself in knots trying to justify its hiring - and firing - of a liberal blogger that it had touted to the world as being a conservative.  Well, maybe a libertarian.  Uh, okay, a liberal with the occasional libertarian tendency,  Or something.

In truth, the Post didn't have the first clue as to whom it had hired.  Which poses the question: Who's at the helm of that Titanic?
David Weigel quits – and a debate begins
By Keach Hagey, Politico

Blogger David Weigel’s resignation from the Washington Post after emails he wrote disparaging conservatives were made public has touched off a raging Internet debate about journalistic objectivity and prompted Weigel’s fellow Post blogger, Ezra Klein, to shut down the listserve where Weigel expressed his opinions.

The Post, which stood by Weigel after his first emails from Journolist were published and Wiegel apologized on his blog “Right Now,” apparently changed its mind when a new batch surfaced Friday.

“Time to move on,” Managing Editor Raju Narisetti told POLITICO Thursday night. But Friday Kris Coratti, the Post’s spokesman, said: "Dave offered his resignation and we accepted it."

It was the second time an attempt by the Post to find a credible blogger to cover the right ended badly. In 2006, it hired Ben Domenech, founder of the RedState group blog, but allegations of plagiarism against Domenech quickly surfaced in the blogosphere, and he never started. [link]
As it turns out, based on the emails made public, this guy is about as conservative as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Just this side of Oliver Stone and Helen Thomas.  How did he get hired in the first place?

My guess is, someone at the Post thought it a good idea to go out and find some bloggers to fill some space and score a few "diversity" points.  Who filled that space really didn't matter.  Because bloggers don't matter to these elitist snobs who know everything and need not be challenged on their beliefs.  So the directive was sent down: Go out and get me some o' them weblog people.

This conservative turns out to be a flaming liberal?  Who cares?  He's just a blogger.  Get back to work.

So when do you suppose the Post will find out the truth about its other "conservative" staffer, Kathleen Parker?

And some wonder why the newspaper business is on the brink of extinction.

Why Kagan Is a Poor Choice For The Court

Like Harriet Miers before her, she is totally under-qualified.  But she'll be confirmed anyway.  James Taranto:
Republican senators are gearing up for next week's argument over the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. (It would be silly to call it a "battle," since, with 59 Democrats in the Senate, the outcome is foreordained.) Kagan will be the first Supreme Court appointee without judicial experience since William Rehnquist in 1972; most of her experience is administrative and political, including in the Clinton White House.

Politics trumps the well-being of the United States of America.  Again.

It gets dispiriting, doesn't it?

The Headline Is The Story

Why America is in the trouble it's in:

Conrad Black and the Criminalization of Business

Someday - maybe many years from now - people are going to once again find affiliation between the words "corporation" and "jobs" Whether that realization arrives before we become a third-world nation is not yet clear.

Can They Do This?

Might liven things up, eh?

I gotta get me one of those.

When Democrats Are Put In Charge

Reminiscent of the congressman who worried on national television that the island of Guam, if too many people were to stand on top of it, would tip over and sink, so too this Democrat official from Milwaukee frets over the fate of local legislation intended to force her city to boycott Arizona over the illegal alien issue.

If only Arizona were a border state, she might consider it.

Idiocy on display for all the world to see.

Did I mention the fact that she's a Democrat?

So How Did Your Congressman Vote?

On the DISCLOSE Act, David A. Patten:

"The Disclose Act that House Democrats passed Thursday would 'shred' the U.S. Constitution and represents a 'blatant partisan maneuver to protect their incumbency,' according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President R. Bruce Josten."

And how did Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA-9) vote on this Constitution shredding?

AYE.

I'm sure Boucher would tell you that it is an effort at transparency at election time.  Or something.  But ask yourself, if this is such a good idea, why did he vote to exempt two of his largest campaign contributor groups from its oversight - the NRA and the unions?

This is such an ugly business.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Maybe We Should Sell New York

Where's The Media?

I wonder what the mainstream press would be headlining if a Republican were in the White House right now instead of the Doofus-in-Chief:
Jobless claims still mainly staying the same
Ed Morrissey

After spending much of 2010 criticizing the media for misreporting unemployment figures, I feel the need to credit them for getting something right — even if the AP only gets it half-right, as they do today. The Department of Labor’s new figures on initial jobless claims show a reduction of 19,000 from the previous week, which had sharply spiked upward. However, even while promoting the decline as “the largest amount in two months,” the AP mainly focuses on the fact that nothing much has changed this year at all:

"Initial claims for jobless benefits fell by the largest amount in two months last week, but remain above levels consistent with healthy job growth.


"Despite the drop of 19,000, claims are at about the same level they were at the beginning of the year. The stubbornly high level of requests for jobless aid is a sign hiring remains weak even as the economy recovers.


"The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 457,000. That’s slightly below economists’ forecasts of 460,000, according to Thomson Reuters.


"First-time requests for unemployment insurance have been stuck at about 450,000 since the beginning of this year. New claims dropped steadily last year after reaching a peak of 651,000 in March 2009. Claims need to fall closer to 425,000 to signal sustained job growth, many economists say."

Actually, “many economists” put that level at 325,000 for sustained job growth past the addition of 100,000 new working-age Americans being added from population growth each month. Otherwise, they’re mainly correct about the stagnation in initial jobless claims this year. [link]
Reaction from the press?

Ho hum.

Headline Of The Day

This involves that IQ-challenged Georgia Democrat who was worried that the island of Guam might tip over and sink if it has too many people standing on it, so keep that in mind ...


So you know, the Disclose Act is the piece of legislation that exempts the NRA from punitive action that is soon to be leveled against every other champion of the Bill of Rights.

The Disclose Act passed the House yesterday.

Not their finest hour.

Where Were They When It Counted?

Another instance of buyer's remorse.  I'm getting really annoyed:
The Roundtable's Great Awakening
Big business discovers President Obama's 'hostile environment.'
Wall Street Journal editorial

Among the ironies of President Obama's style is that he regularly denounces big business even as big business has been one of his closest allies. But that may change, at least judging by the Business Roundtable's high-profile second thoughts on Tuesday.

"We see a host of laws, regulations and other policies being enacted that impose a government prescription of how individual industries ought to be structured," said Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, also chairman of the Roundtable, the association of chief executives of the largest U.S. companies. In a remarkable speech at the Economic Club of Washington, he even added that this agenda is creating "an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation here in this country."

Over the last year under president John Castellani, the Roundtable has largely supported the White House-Democratic program of advancing the power of the state over business. BRT favored the stimulus, ObamaCare, cap and trade and other Washington Inc. programs. Mr. Seidenberg semi-recanted Tuesday, saying that "By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses."

All's fair in love and lobbying, and many Roundtable members thought they could best advance their own business goals by cooperating with Capitol Hill. Some tried to buy political protection from this or that regulatory agency, others hoped that the fellow behind the tree would be taxed, not them. Still others were bluntly engaged in rent-seeking—ObamaCare dispensations for Pfizer, sweetheart cap-and-tax deals for Exelon, whatever General Electric is looking for this week, etc.

Yet this is a mug's game, and always has been. [link]
I wonder why the Journal changed that colloquialism from "this is a fool's game" to "this is a mug's game."  The original seems more fitting.

In any case, it's too late now ...

Backbone

Someone's gotta do it.


You go, girl.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Burn Them At The Stake!

Can a witch trial be far behind?
Was denial based on facts or fear?
Galax Gazette editorial

Those who visit our area often speak of the warm and inviting atmosphere, the acceptance they feel and the friendly people they meet.

So, where was that hospitality at last week’s public hearing for a special use permit sought by The Oracle Institute to create a “spiritual community” and learning center in Grayson?

Citizens have every right to oppose a rezoning issue based on the facts — in this instance, an access road that may not have been wide enough for emergency vehicles or a question about developing agricultural land. But to turn out in droves —175 people packing the county courtroom and 29 voicing mostly opposing positions — and to condemn the permit-seekers as a “cult” with allegedly dangerous ideas that could threaten the community is preposterous. Quite frankly, it makes us look bad. It perpetuates the — one hopes, mostly erroneous — stereotype of the intolerant rural citizen.

Speakers mostly ignored the factual issues and launched into religious diatribes against the New Age “eco-spiritual” group, which founder Laura George says doesn’t want to start a new church and subscribes to no religion in particular.

What was on display at the hearing was fear, pure and simple. [link]
Okay.  There is some likelihood that the founder of this "spiritual community" is a new-age nut.  See "Beliefs Are Not So Different."  But the world - and particularly Grayson County - is chock full of nuts.  Why single out this gal for vilification?

We here in Southwest Virginia take pride in the motto, "Live and let live."  Not "Live but forbid everyone else to."

We also live by this creed: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

Good Christians are afraid of no one.  Ask yourself: What would Jesus do?

The Latest on AG Cuccinelli's Investigation

As expected, a judge has granted UVa's request for a temporary halt to Ken Cuccinelli's request for fraud-related document:
Judge grants U.Va. stay on Cuccinelli subpoena
The Daily Progress

Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl V. Higgins has temporarily stayed a subpoena that demands the University of Virginia produce reams of documents related to the research activities of a former climate change researcher.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a civil investigative demand - which carries the legal force of a subpoena - in search of documents relating to Michael Mann, a prominent climate change scientist who worked at UVa from 1999 to 2005.

Cuccinelli, a climate change skeptic, has said he is seeking evidence of possible violations of Virginia’s anti-fraud law in connection with five grants totaling $466,000 that Mann obtained while at UVa.

UVa has challenged Cuccinelli’s CID in court, arguing that it is unprecedented, overly broad, oversteps the attorney general’s authority, and violates the basic tenet of academic freedom.

Higgins’ order allows UVa to hold off on Cuccinelli’s demand until the dispute is resolved in court. [link]
More to follow.

I Have One Question

Why is the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries devoting time and energy to the possible reintroduction of elk to Southwest Virginia when the elk are doing it without any help? 

Seems the elk in Dickenson, Buchanan, Wise, and Lee Counties have their own "plan":
Draft elk plan heads to southwest Va.
Associated Press

Lebanon, Va. (AP) -- The first of five public meetings on an elk management plan for southwest Virginia is scheduled to be held in Lebanon.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will outline the draft plan Thursday night.

Virginia is attempting to manage 50 to 100 elk that have wandered across the state line from Kentucky, where about 10,000 of the big animals now roam. The state has developed several potential plans, ranging from a status-quo [sic] approach to bringing in more elk to several southwest Virginia counties.

The other public meetings are scheduled in Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan and Lee counties. [link]
Not sure what that whole "manage" thing is all about.  It would appear that the creatures are "managing" quite well on their own.

I guess, in order for them to be considered residents of the Commonwealth, we have to make their presence official.  Or something.

I Have One Question

Is this why Tipper kicked Crazy Al's fat ass out?

I Have One Question

Would Muslims have been arrested for disorderly conduct as they passed out literature to passersby outside a Christian meeting?

I Have One Question

Gloria Steinem is still alive?

In Lieu of 100,000 Border Agents ...

... the Obama government is sending an unmanned drone to the Mexican border to end the lawlessness.

Right. That'll make a difference.

Why You Had To Give Up The Children's College Fund

The federal government needed your money more than you did:


For the love of God.

Why We Need To Leave Afghanistan Now

To put it in as few words as possible, Obama has announced that we will be abandoning the Afghan people to their fate soon anyway.

George Will:
The McChrystal debacle comes as America's longest war is entering a surreal stage: The military is charged with a staggeringly complex task, the completion of which -- if completion can even be envisioned -- must involve many years. But when given the task, the military was told to begin bringing it to a close in a matter of 18 months. 
And that 18-month timetable was passed down six months go.  In one year we're starting a pull-out.

So we're losing American lives on a daily basis so that we can ... what?

Leave.

Are the lives of America's best and brightest worth so little?

- - -

Ramirez:

Click on the image to enlarge it.
Cartoon courtesy of Michael Ramirez and Investor's Business Daily

In The Wake Of The McChrystal Firing ...

... the question arises:


Since the now-disgraced McChrystal voted for Obama, shouldn't the question be:

Shouldn't the military be Republican?

Who is the Gov't There To Protect?

Certainly not the people of Louisiana:
Federal Gov't Halts Sand Berm Dredging
Nungesser Pleads With President To Allow Work To Continue
WDSU, New Orleans

New Orleans -- The federal government has shut down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done. The department says one area where sand is being dredged is a sensitive section of the Chandeleur Islands, and the state failed to meet an extended deadline to install pipe that would draw sand from a less-endangered area.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who was one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue.

Nungesser's letter includes an emotional plea to the president.

"Please don't let them shut this dredge down," he wrote. "This requires your immediate attention!" [link]
Nungesser: "Who is giving these orders?  Who is in charge?  Do they not forget that the president said we were at war?  Where is the disconnect between the president of the United States and these federal officials?"

WDSU anchor: "Nungesser said he put repeated calls into BP, Admiral Thad Allen, and the White House, but no one called him back."

You may recall this admonition from Obama to Billy Nungesser just weeks ago:

"Well you know, if you can't get it done through the chain of command ... you pick up the phone and call the White House. And, if you can't get me on the phone, then you can go blast me." 

This from the guy who won't come to the phone.

Blast away, Billy.  And good luck.  You're on your own, pal.

- - -

This should come as no surprise:

I Know The Feeling

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Quote of the Day

From Investor's Business Daily:
You know you're way out of bounds, economically speaking, when the spendthrift European Union rejects your advice to spend more. But that's exactly what happened to the White House.

In advance of the G-20 meetings in Canada, President Obama politely asked the EU to boost its spending, the classic Keynesian response to an economic slowdown, despite the region's out-of-control deficits and debt. The EU's response: A not-so-polite, "Are you nuts?"

"Even Europe Sees What U.S. Doesn't," June 23, 2010

A Policy of Indifference

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where Are Webb & Warner?

Why aren't our two senators working to protect coalfield jobs in Southwest Virginia?

I'm not a fan of Jay Rockefeller, but, by God, unlike the embarrassments we have here, he's there in Washington fighting for his constituents:
Rockefeller: Abandon climate legislation for now
By Ben Geman, The Hill

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on Thursday said the Senate should abandon efforts – at least for now – to pass a sweeping climate change bill and also urged adoption of his plan that would block some EPA greenhouse gas regulations for two years.

“The Senate should be focusing on the immediate issues before us – to suspend EPA action on greenhouse gas emissions, push clean coal technologies, and tackle the Gulf oil spill,” he said in a prepared statement Thursday afternoon.

“We need to set aside controversial and more far-reaching climate proposals and work right now on energy legislation that protects our economy, protects West Virginia and improves our environment,” added Rockefeller, an ally of the his home state’s coal industry. [link]
We can debate the details.  But the point is, Rockefeller is standing up against those - including the leader of his party - who are intending to inflict grievous harm on his people.  Warner and Webb?

Not a peep.  Not a whimper.

Taking Action. Without The Facts.

Obama - and his infamous EPA - are poised to alter our way of life so as to control CO2 gas "pollution" so as to stop "global warming."

Only two problems.

The globe ain't warming.

And CO2 couldn't contribute to the phenomenon if it were:

Warmists have been riding the wrong horse. A new paleoclimate study shows that it is methane, not CO2 that affects warming. CO2 levels are tied to ocean circulation

Kinda makes you wonder if any of these geniuses - from Obama on down - have the first clue as to what they're doing, doesn't it?

Foregone Conclusion

This is no way to build confidence in our government:
Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Commission and the Missing Experts
By Robert Eugene Simmons Jr., American Thinker

Instead of an oil spill commission staffed with experts, as promised in his Oval Office address, the president has announced a panel with membership that reads like a Who's Who of radical environmentalism. Former Senator Graham of Florida, for example, has consistently pushed for a ban on oil drilling, and Frances Beinecke of the National Resources Defense Council has argued for the global warming agenda -- including linking "global poverty" to global warming, an argument used at the Copenhagen conference to support reparations to be paid to nations such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe for our supposed global crimes.

In fact, if you peruse the names of the council members, there isn't a single expert in oil drilling, oil platform rigs, or petroleum engineering. The panel's membership doesn't even include a single oil drilling company executive, or even a field engineer. In fact, the only technical-minded person on the commission at all is Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard's Engineering School. Murray has had a long and distinguished academic career at all of the "right" schools, but she has absolutely nothing in her resume to indicate that she has the slightest knowledge about petroleum exploration. When it comes to academics, there isn't even one professor that specializes in petroleum exploration despite the plethora of possible names that could be drawn from institutions such as the prestigious Colorado School of Mines. [link]
So the "oil spill commission" is, in fact, going to be a global warming commission.  Swell.  That'll get to the bottom of the problem with oil rig explosions.

For the love of God.

So He Can't Make It Up As He Goes Along?

There's the rule of law.

Who knew?
Obama's Moratorium, Drilled
Wall Street Journal

As legal rebukes go, it's hard to get more comprehensive than the one federal judge Martin Feldman delivered yesterday in overturning the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a remarkably pointed 22-page ruling, the judge made clear that even Presidents aren't allowed to impose an "edict" that isn't justified by science or safety.

Oil-services companies brought the case, which is supported by the state of Louisiana, arguing that the White House ban was "arbitrary and capricious" in exceeding federal authority, and Judge Feldman agreed. He noted that even after reading Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's report on safety recommendations (which included the ban), and Mr. Salazar's memo ordering the ban, "the Court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium."

Quite the opposite, said the judge, "the Report makes no effort to explicitly justify the moratorium." It does "not discuss any irreparable harm that would warrant a suspension of operations" and doesn't provide a timeline for implementing proposed safety regulations. There is "no evidence" that Mr. Salazar "balanced the concern for environmental safety" with existing policy, and "no suggestion" that he "considered any alternatives." The feds couldn't even coherently define "deep water." Ouch. [link]
Obama's decision to stop drilling was a blatant political ploy intended to capture headlines and gain favor with the environmentalist gangs out there.  And jobs were lost because of it.  For no good reason.

Here's to a judge - one of the few - who is willing to tell the president that he has overstepped his bounds and had no basis upon which to take arbitrary action.

What Goes Around ...

"This administration is the first since Herbert Hoover’s to actually lose jobs on its watch -- 1.8 million jobs."
 -- Senator John Kerry referring to the first Bush term, 2004 --

But it wasn't the last.  Or the worst:
Democrats of 2004 Brand Obama Worst President
Commentary by Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- As we approach another general election, it will be interesting to see how the economic performance of Democrats is judged. If voters borrow the preferred method of John Kerry and other Democrats from 2004, Barack Obama will be revealed to be among the worst presidents in history.

During the 2004 election, Democrats constantly reminded voters that George W. Bush was the first president in decades to oversee a net loss of jobs.

Obama, of course, is just 17 months into his presidency, and more than two years from facing the voters personally. But with a big midterm congressional election upcoming, let’s see how Obama would fare if Kerry-like tactics were used on him.

The answer: not well. Whether the measurement is job creation, unemployment or growth of gross domestic product, the economy has been worse under Obama than it was under Bush.

First, job creation. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. shed 2.3 million jobs since February 2009, Obama’s first full month in office. Going back to World War II, that is by far the worst record for any president in his first 17 months, outpacing the job destruction experienced in the early Bush years by more than 800,000 jobs.

For Obama, there is an even worse way to play the data, which might just become fodder for a political ad: From November 2008, the month he was elected, until now, the economy has shed an astonishing 4.4 million jobs. That’s worse than Hoover. [link]
What will John Kerry have to say about that?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What a Mess

The press criticism will be deflected away from Obama and onto the shoulders of General McChrystal, but consider what our war effort in Afghanistan has devolved into since George W. Bush left.  Infighting and recriminations.  My God:

Jackson Diehl:
For months Obama has tolerated deep divisions between his military and civilian aides over how to implement the counterinsurgency strategy he announced last December. The divide has made it practically impossible to fashion a coherent politico-military plan, led to frequent disputes over tactics and contributed to a sharp deterioration in the administration’s relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Ed Morrissey:
[U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl] Eikenberry is an even more direct example.  His memo ripping Hamid Karzai nearly drove the NATO-backed government in Kabul into the arms of the Taliban, and would have if Karzai thought they’d let him live long enough to enjoy his revenge.  His insubordination on Karzai exposed the disarray within the White House on Afghanistan.  His antipathy towards McChrystal has also been well known for months.  Yet Obama allowed Eikenberry to remain in place despite nearly costing the US its position in Afghanistan, and Eikenberry is still in place to this day.
James Taranto:
While McChrystal's comments were highly improper, they will strike many observers as having a ring of truth. Even if the president gives the general the ax, the whole episode is further grist for the developing media narrative of an administration that is incompetent and adrift.
See "Obama's real McChrystal problem: Afghanistan plan in trouble."

The New York Times (!):
The news from Afghanistan is bad and getting worse. Back in Washington, the Obama team is still battling — months after the president committed another 30,000 troops — over how deeply to invest in the war.

Whatever President Obama decides to do about General McChrystal, he needs to get hold of his Afghanistan policy right now.
Spinning out of control.

This is as bad as it gets.  Get our troops out now.  If we're not there to win, and Obama couldn't care less about winning, we can only lose.  Not one more American life should be sacrificed for this clustercoitus.

Bring 'em home.  Now.

Graphic courtesy of The Drudge Report.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

Here's To Bob Goodlatte

Up in Roanoke, Congressman Bob Goodlatte is concerned that the Obama government is renovating the federal building there at a cost that is four times what it took to build the thing in the first place.  To make it more "green." (You decide if that makes any sense.)

Especially since the primary tenant of the Poff Federal Building has already announced that it is vacating the premises.

See "Goodlatte targets Poff renovation."

In Obama's defense, this is one of those "stimulus" initiatives.  So the fact that the money being spent is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars is of lesser importance than the fact that "green" construction and renovation jobs have been created.  So what if we end up with an empty - but really HVAC-efficient - office building.

Whither Electric Cars?

Politicians love 'em.  Environmentalists orgasm over 'em.  Engineers and experts in technology?   Not so much.

First, here in Virginia we find that our government, having nothing more pressing on its plate, is getting out ahead of the electric car phenomenon before EV's, as they're called, become commonplace:
Va. makes new green-energy push
By Julian Walker, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot

Richmond -- Virginia announced plans Wednesday to make the state a leader in the use of electric cars, another signal that Gov. Bob McDonnell, an ardent offshore drilling proponent, is eager to burnish his credentials as someone who also embraces green energy options.

With new electric models set to hit the market this year and next, now is the time to prepare for when they are commonplace, Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said.

"The states that prepare for them are going to be the states that benefit the most from their availability," Connaughton said.

"We take for granted the infrastructure that's in place to service our gasoline powered vehicles," he continued. "But we don't have that type of infrastructure for electric cars." [link]
My reaction(s)?

What's it going to cost?

And: The limits to the technology will require that families own second vehicles for longer trips.  How many Virginia families can afford to do that?

And then there's the reaction of experts in the field

They offer up the counting of chickens before they hatch disclaimer:
Study: Electric cars aren't the answer, unless the question is urban commuting
by Eric Loveday, AutoBlogGreen

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) claims that electric vehicles (EVs) are far from ready for the big time. The IET finds that EVs won't be viable as a form of everyday transportation for at least ten more years. The study suggests that battery life and weight will continue to hold EVs back.

According to the IET study, electric cars will continue to be capped at around 100 miles of range for many years to come. In addition, the effects of continuous fast-charging will takes its toll on both battery life and vehicle range. The study recognizes that battery breakthroughs will continue to drive down costs, but weight will remain relatively constant. In closing, the IET recommends that investments in high-efficiency diesels and hybrids will be a better bang-for-the-buck solution that provides an immediate increase in fuel-efficiency without the negatives associated with EVs:

"While we believe electric cars overall are a good idea, particularly for short-range commutes, there's a need for more honesty on whether they can really be the solution to our transport and environmental needs in the mid- to long-term. Do people really have to invest in more than one car, and all the resources they demand, to take care of commuting and family holidays? We need to encourage alternative solutions." [link]
"We need to encourage alternative solutions."  Except in Virginia, where it's been decided that electric is the alternative.

My my my my my.

New Yorkers Are A Strange Bunch

Cigarettes there are considered to be the equivalent to the Bubonic Plague.

See the latest in "Cigarette Tax Will Mean $10 Packs."

Isn't it New York City that has the thriving underground weed business?

So the geniuses there will drive - are driving - the cigarette business underground too, like the marijuana business.

And everyone is happy.

Odd bunch if you ask me.

The World Makes Progress

After slipping into an enviro-Dark Ages that brought about the deaths of tens of millions of African children, leaders there are confronting the scourge of malaria head on:
Malawi going for DDT to fight malaria
Digital Journal

Lilongwe - Malawi may soon start using DDT, an organochlorine pesticide, as a precaution in its fight against malaria in the country.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Chris Kang’ombe said DDT may be an option in Lilongwe during the launch of this year’s anti-malaria campaign themed, “Malungo zii (Kick out malaria)”.

According to 2004-2009 statistical data provided by the UN, World Bank, WHO and UNAIDS, there were 4,204,468 reported malaria cases, 12,950 estimated malaria deaths and 7,132 reported malaria deaths in Malawi. [link]
Oh, and then there are the caring folks on the left:

"Some commentators and activists have raised concerns about DDT contaminating the environment ..."

Thank God they are finally being marginalized.  After their kind brought about the deaths of millions.

Here's to progress.

The Media Being The Media

Notice how BP is being made out by the mainstream press to be the villain in the Gulf disaster saga that worsens by the day?  Though it deserves its share of criticism for the debacle, wasn't it Barack Obama who took "control" of the situation early on?  Why isn't he being vilified for the chaos and poor planning that have been the hallmark of the containment and clean-up effort to date?

It's the press being the press.  Paul H. Rubin:
Mr. Bush responded quickly to Katrina but was handicapped by regulations giving power to the states. Nonetheless, the federal response was well coordinated and helpful overall. But Mr. Bush was rapidly and widely blamed for the result of Katrina and for failures that actually occurred at other levels of government.

Now Mr. Obama has much more power than did Mr. Bush, but the federal response is ineffective and often stands in the way of those in the best position to know what to do. It is only in the last week or two that the mainstream press has voiced any criticism of Mr. Obama.

This is because the media's default position for Mr. Bush was "Bush is wrong," and it sought stories aimed at justifying this belief. For Mr. Obama the media's default is "Obama is right," and it takes a powerful set of facts to move it away from this assumption. As oil continues to gush from the unplugged well, this set of facts has unfortunately come to the fore. 
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco got a pass from the media in the Katrina clean-up fiasco.  Obama gets a pass now.  What do the three have in common?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roanoke Times 1, Eric Cantor 0.

This is painful:

The Roanoke Times, June 13:
Fiscal responsibility goes out the window
editorial

The new GOP looks a lot like the old GOP. Just ask Cantor himself, who recently led the push to keep $485 million in the latest defense appropriation bill to pay for an alternate engine program for the next generation of advanced jet fighters.

Lockheed Martin, the defense giant that won the contract for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, decided to use an engine made by Pratt & Whitney. That decision was approved by the Pentagon.

But GE and Rolls Royce want to build an alternate engine for use in the jet, at a cost of at least $485 million.

Rolls Royce just opened a new headquarters in Virginia and is building a factory in Prince George County.

So Cantor abandoned any pretense of fiscal responsibility and pushed the appropriation for an engine neither the jet's builder nor the Pentagon believe is necessary. [link]
Congressman Cantor, in response, this morning:
Find cuts to pay for spending

[jf: After a whole mess of weasel words, obfuscations, and distractions that are, frankly, beneath him ...]

Recently, The Roanoke Times questioned whether my support for an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was necessary ("Fiscal responsibility goes out the window," June 13 editorial). After much research, I became convinced that there is a compelling national security and economic case to be made in favor of the alternate F-35.

Military procurement competition, particularly in the development of engines, has produced a wide range of savings and improvements in quality over the years -- and I have no doubt that the trend will continue in the future. Simply put, I believe that market competition will not only produce a better product for our military, but actually save money over time.

In fact, the Government Accountability Office reached the same conclusion. It estimated that F-35 engine competition may produce sufficient savings over the fighter's lifetime to offset the cost of developing an alternate engine. The GAO and the Armed Services Committee have also cited benefits such as enhanced operational readiness, superior engine performance, better engine reliability, improved responsiveness from contractors and the maintenance of a healthy industrial base.

Without the funding, we will be straitjacketed with only one engine for a plane that will comprise a whopping 90 percent of our fighters in 2035. This means that if the engine fails in the future, the vast majority of our fleet would be grounded until the problem was fixed or an alternative was found.

The question becomes whether the project is worth a $485 million investment. I believe it is ... [link]
Good argument. If one ignores the fact that the the United States military has no intention of using the 485 million dollar engine.

Cantor's argument, at its crux: "We will be straitjacketed with only one engine for a plane" that has use of only one engine.

I was hoping, when I began reading Mr. Cantor's explanation for his support of a powerful constituent, that he would cite a military study that bolstered his argument. In using the GAO, the accounting arm of the government,  he disappoints in the extreme. One look at the Defense budget will tell the curious that we are willing to spend whatever it takes to defend this country of ours.  Defense is not a matter of accounting.  It's life and death.  Our lives or our deaths.  And if the military - which admittedly is a political animal as well - has decided that a competitor makes a more utilitarian engine for its fighters, then the discussion ends there.

Rolls Royce will continue to develop its engine.  As it should.  On Rolls Royce's dime.  We don't need to be paying for its research and development.  Especially if Air Force experts have determined that the company offers an inferior product at present.

Mr. Cantor needs to rethink this.  Constituent services are one thing.  Misguided government largesse and wasting taxpayer dollars are another.  He's supposed to be one of us.  Consistently.

Voodoo Session To Be Held

Or, as the mainstream press prefers to tell it:
Hearing to focus on Va. uranium mining's impact
Associated Press

Chatham, Va. (AP) -- A state panel considering the consequences of uranium mining in Southside Virginia is traveling to Chatham to hear from residents.

The Virginia Coal and Energy Commission's Uranium Mining Subcommittee has scheduled a public meeting Tuesday evening to gather comments on the scope of a socio-economic study.

The study is one part of the state's examination of the impact of uranium mining on Pittsylvania County. The other aspect involves scientific and technical matters.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a 119-million pound uranium ore deposit near Chatham. The state has had a moratorium on uranium mining and milling since 1982. [link]
Should be a hoot.  Expect a lot of hand-wringing, angst, tears, anger, distress, and a complete detachment from reality.

I'll bring the popcorn.

China Is Number One ... Soon

This should come as no surprise:
US manufacturing crown slips
By Peter Marsh, Financial Times

The US remained the world’s biggest manufacturing nation by output last year, but is poised to relinquish this slot in 2011 to China – thus ending a 110-year run as the number one country in factory production.

The figures are revealed in a league table being published on Monday by IHS Global Insight, a US-based economics consultancy.

Last year, the US created 19.9 per cent of world manufacturing output, compared with 18.6 per cent for China, with the US staying ahead despite a steep fall in factory production due to the global recession.

That the US is still top comes as a surprise, since in 2008 – before the slump of the past two years took hold – IHS predicted it would lose pole position in 2009.

However, a relatively resilient US performance kept China in second place, says IHS, which predicts that faster growth in China will deny the US the top spot next year.

The US became the world’s biggest manufacturer in the late 1890s, edging the then-incumbent – Britain – into the number two position. [link]
And, as with the rise of the world's powerhouse - the USA - a century ago, the explosion of Chinese manufacturing might has occurred with breathtaking speed.  Thousands upon thousands of jobs in this country have been snuffed out in the last two decades as job growth in China has exploded.  And the acceleration of growth there, and decline here, continues apace.

Where will it end?  We have the ability to alter the trend.

We just don't have the will.

Expect it to get really ugly.

Where Was The Washington Post?

Remember the coverage and analysis of George Allen's use of the non-word, macaca in his race for reelection in 2006?  Remember the Washington Post addressing the incident 100 times?  There are those wondering these days why news outlets like the Post aren't giving similar treatment to a Democrat's far-more egregious physical attack on a couple of innocent students last week:
Howard Kurtz: Why Didn't Media Cover Etheridge Attack Like Allen's Macaca?
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters

Howard Kurtz on Sunday said most mainstream media outlets "really blew it this week" in how they reported North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge's attack on students.

"Most treated it as intriguing footage or a good gossip item, but the guy went bonkers when approached by two young men with a video camera," Kurtz said near the end of CNN's "Reliable Sources."

After playing the video of the incident, Kurtz surprisingly asked, "Remember how the media went nuts over that tape of Republican Senator George Allen using the word 'Macaca?'"

He continued, "By minimizing this footage of a Democratic congressman, most news organizations have enabled their critics to charge once again that they have a double standard." [link]
A double standard?  The mainstream press?  Nahhh.

- - -

As background, see "Congressman Assaults Student on Washington Sidewalk" here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And So It Goes

I don't know why this particular manufacturing facility always stuck out in my mind.  I suppose it has to do with the fact that every competitor in its industry had abandoned the U.S. for more inviting geography overseas long ago, but this one kept plugging along in Evansville, by God, Indiana.

Alas, "kept" being past tense.
In Indiana, Centerpiece for a City Closes Shop
By Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Evansville, Ind. — Having seen her father make a solid living at the Whirlpool refrigerator factory, Natalie Ford was enthusiastic about landing a job there and was happy years later when her 20-year-old son also went to work there.

But that family tradition will soon end because Whirlpool plans to close the plant on Friday and move the operation to Mexico, eliminating 1,100 jobs here. Many in this city in southern Indiana are seething and sad — sad about losing what was long the city’s economic centerpiece and a ticket to the middle class for one generation after another.

Whirlpool has operated the plant since 1956, and at the factory’s peak in 1973 it employed nearly 10,000 workers.

“This is all about corporate greed,” said ..." [link]
"Greed" is a harsh word but it applies if it's meant that Whirlpool executives would like to continue to provide shareholder (owner) equity, stock dividends, and employment to human beings (including thousands of other Americans).  In that sense, greed, as the saying goes, is good.

What's bad is the manufacturing base that we're watching crumble on a daily basis.

Food stamps and government stimulus plans will only get us so far.  We need employers.  We need to create conditions that allow employers to thrive in this country.

So Whirlpool is finally leaving Indiana for Mexico.  With conditions such as they are, one can only ask: What took so long?

As for that "greed" thing, is it inappropriate to mention the 1974 strike that ripped Whirlpool apart to the point that it never regained its health and vitality?  (Note the above: " ... at the factory’s peak in 1973 it employed nearly 10,000 workers.")  A strike that had everything to do with petty, bullshit - but costly - union demands that eventually made Whirlpool non-competitive?

There was plenty of greed to go around, fellas.


In truth, Whirlpool's demise in Evansville was a negotiated deal.

Photo courtesy of the Evansville Courier & Press.

Crisis? What Crisis?

It's so hard to feel a sense of urgency when those in authority are partying their brains out:

BP CEO GOES GOLFING
OBAMA GOES SAILING
WE GO IT ALONE

Graphic courtesy of the Drudge Report.

It's All Based Upon a Lie

Carbon emissions.  Cap-and-tax.  Sequestration.  CO2 buildup.  EPA.

It's all based on one thing.  Global warming.

Which isn't.

From "Heartland Conference Establishes Post-Climategate Consensus":
For years now, alarmists have arrogantly ignored the cooling we’ve experienced worldwide since 1999, continuing their demands that we sacrifice everything – jobs, money, comfort, progress and ultimately, freedom -- to halt fictitious “runaway global warming.”  Such unfounded hysteria seems all the more inane after hearing the unvarnished truth from the experts at ICCC-4, beginning with their predictions that the global cooling will likely continue for the next few decades.  

The globe has been cooling for 12 (perhaps 31) years while atmospheric CO2 levels have risen 6 (perhaps 15) percent.


And yet, left-leaning policy makers throughout the world would have us surrender all that mankind has achieved, “flinging us back to the Stone Age, but without even the right to light fires in our caves” as Monckton describes it.   That even a small percentage of the population is willing to do so despite the overwhelming evidence that we are being conned by a well-organized and well-funded eco-socialist movement is nothing short of staggering.

That Obama and the Democrats plan to exploit public outrage over the entirely unrelated BP disaster to muster votes for this larceny of our freedom is downright vulgar.  
Vulgar indeed.  And, in the case of certain "scientists," downright criminal.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Enviro-Panacea Down The Drain

This time it's biomass*:
Net Benefits of Biomass Power Under Scrutiny
By Tom Zeller, Jr., New York Times

[P]ower generated by burning wood, plants and other organic material, which makes up 50 percent of all renewable energy produced in the United States, according to federal statistics, is facing increased scrutiny and opposition.

That, critics say, is because it is not as climate-friendly as once thought, and the pollution it causes in the short run may outweigh its long-term benefits.

The opposition to biomass power threatens its viability as a renewable energy source when the country is looking to diversify its energy portfolio, urged on by President Obama in an address to the nation Tuesday. It also underscores the difficult and complex choices state and local governments face in pursuing clean-energy goals. [link]
In other words, there is no alternative - yet - to coal.  Environmentalists - and Obama - can talk till they're blue in the face about "green" alternatives but the sad fact remains - there is no "green" alternative.  And wishing it were so doesn't make it so.

- - -

* Biomass, according to Wikipedia, is "a renewable energy source, biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms such as wood, waste, (hydrogen) gas, and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat."

** Okay, nuclear power is a viable alternative.  But there are too many environmentalists out there who oppose it - out of ignorance - to let that technology go forward in an appreciable way.

Wake Me When The World Cup Is Over

Besides the fact that I can't stomach grown men acting like sissies when two of them collide and both flop to the ground, writhing and wailing in fake agony, often, and besides the fact that the sport allows Italy to participate (which is reason enough to shun the "sport"), the biggest reason I have no interest in soccer?  Here are the action-packed results of the USA's first two outings in the World Cup competition:

• a 1-1 tie against England.

• a 2-2 tie vs. Slovenia.

I'm on the edge of my seat for game 3 against Algeria.  Maybe someone will actually win.

Obama Joins Illegal Immigration Fight ...

... on the side of the Mexicans and against the USA:
Breaking: WH will sue Arizona over SB1070
By Ed Morrissey

CBS News reports that a “senior administration official” has confirmed to them that Hillary Clinton was telling the truth in the interview with an Ecuadorian media outlet. The Obama administration will file a lawsuit in federal court to block Arizona’s new law requiring law-enforcement personnel to check immigration status while processing suspicious people already in custody. [link]
As for Obama's responsibility to secure our border, well, he's given up on that.

What in God's name has the American electorate done?