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

Friday, January 15, 2010

Memo To Virginia Democrats ...

... and to Tim Kaine in particular, as well as his butt buddies at the Roanoke Times:

Pre-K initiatives are a waste of money.

So says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Long Overdue Head Start Evaluation Shows No Lasting Benefit for Children
Heritage Foundation

After some prodding, yesterday the Obama administration released the long-overdue first grade evaluation of the federal Head Start program. As expected, the results show that the $7 billion per year program provides little benefit to children – and great expense to taxpayers.

The evaluation, which was mandated by Congress during the 1998 reauthorization of the program, found little impact on student well-being. After collecting data on more than 5,000 three and four-year-old children randomly assigned to either a Head Start or a non Head Start control group, the Department of Health and Human Services found “few sustained benefits”. From the report:

"In sum, this report finds that providing access to Head Start has benefits for both 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in the cognitive, health, and parenting domains, and for 3-year-olds in the social-emotional domain. However, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole. For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits, although access to the program may lead to improved parent-child relationships through 1st grade…" [link]
We all know that Tim Kaine's proposal to fund pre-K education was just a sop to the state's teachers' unions.  But this report might finally put an end to all the silliness  - and prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars.

Uh ... Might?  what am I thinking?  It was never about education.  Why should it be in the future?

Wrong Again, Mr. Boucher

"The stimulus legislation has clearly worked.  The Christmas retail season was better than expected, a sign of recovery. Inventories are down. That will mean more factory orders, more people hired to fill orders. It’s a process and the results will not be seen for some time.

“The fundamentals of the economy are good.”

We've already pointed out in weblog posts past that this guy's "the stimulus legislation has clearly worked" declaration is clearly a lie.  By any reasonable non-politician's standards.  All he needed to do was look at the unemployment numbers as well as the other specific fundamentals relating to the economy and he would never have made that statement.  Except he did look at them, and lied anyway.

But beyond that, one other thing he'd stated as fact gave me pause.  Was the Christmas retail season better than I had thought?  Was Boucher right about that?

I'll not accuse him of lying about this one.  I'll simply point out that he's wrong.  Again.
Retail sales fall unexpectedly; jobless claims up
Retail sales drop 0.3 pct in December, plunge for year; new jobless claims rise
By Martin Crutsinger and Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writers

Washington (AP) -- Retail sales unexpectedly fell in December, leaving 2009 with the biggest yearly drop on record and highlighting the formidable hurdles facing the economy as it struggles to recover from the deepest recession in seven decades.

In another disappointing economic report, the number of newly laid-off workers requesting unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week as jobs remain scarce.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales declined 0.3 percent in December compared with November, much weaker than the 0.5 percent rise that economists had been expecting. Excluding autos, sales dropped by 0.2 percent, also weaker than the 0.3 percent rise analyst had forecast. [link]
And to top it off, Boucher was wrong on that third count as well.  In addition to his and Obama's stimulus being a monumental flop and the economy not being "good," there's that other claim.  Boucher: "Inventories are down."

In fact, inventories are up.  From the same AP article:
A separate report showed that business inventories rose by 0.4 percent in November. It marked the second straight month that stockpiles have increased after a stretch of 13 monthly declines in inventories.

(1) The stimulus legislation has clearly not worked.  (2) The Christmas retail season was better worse than expected, a sign of recovery continuing economic hardship. (3) Inventories are down up. That will mean more fewer factory orders, more fewer people hired to fill orders. (4) It’s a process and the results will not be seen for some time [a fact!]."

(5) The fundamentals of the economy are good awful and worsening.

Other than that our brilliant representative in Washington got it right.

Maybe he should go back to funding horseback riding trails and leave economic analysis to those who know what they're talking about.

Poor Creigh Deeds

I'm reminded of this sorrowful photo of Creigh Deeds and family on election night:

Deeds is/was a good man who chose (poorly) to be a Democrat and (ditto) to run for governor of Virginia at a time when no Democrat was going to win in the commonwealth.

Because his loss was so pronounced - and because he made too many strategic errors - Creigh Deeds's name is now being associated with poor campaigners running feckless campaigns everywhere.  He certainly doesn't deserve this:

Massachusetts: 'Bottom has fallen out' of Coakley's polls; Dems prepare to explain defeat, protect Obama
By Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent, Washington Examiner

Here in Massachusetts, as well as in Washington, a growing sense of gloom is setting in among Democrats about the fortunes of Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley. "I have heard that in the last two days the bottom has fallen out of her poll numbers," says one well-connected Democratic strategist. In her own polling, Coakley is said to be around five points behind Republican Scott Brown. "If she's not six or eight ahead going into the election, all the intensity is on the other side in terms of turnout," the Democrat says. "So right now, she is destined to lose."

Given those numbers, some Democrats, eager to distance Obama from any electoral failure, are beginning to compare Coakley to Creigh Deeds, the losing Democratic candidate in the Virginia governor's race last year. Deeds ran such a lackluster campaign, Democrats say, that his defeat could be solely attributed to his own shortcomings, and should not be seen as a referendum on President Obama's policies or those of the national Democratic party.

The same sort of thinking is emerging in Massachusetts. "This is a Creigh Deeds situation," the Democrat says. "I don't think it says that the Obama agenda is a problem. I think it says, 1) that she's a terrible candidate, 2) that she ran a terrible campaign, 3) that the climate is difficult but she should have been able to overcome it, and 4) that Democrats beware -- you better run good campaigns, or you're going to lose." [link]
From what I'm reading, this gal did indeed run an awful campaign.  But she carried the Democrat message.  And she had the Democrat machine behind her.  And union muscle.  And an army of Obama operatives. And a pile of cash.

No, this goes beyond her ability to reach out to voters.  This has everything to do with the mess that the USA has become.  And is destined to become worse if she were to win and ObamaCare were to be the law of the land.

The people of Massachusetts have had enough of Washington.  Coakley represents to them Washington.  That's why she's having such trouble.

Leave Creigh Deeds out of it.  FDR would be struggling in Massachusetts right now with the way things are.

Photo courtesy of the Virginian Review.

Whither Boucher?

Though our congressman, Rick Boucher, voted against ObamaCare first time around, Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics believes he might still, in the end, vote for that awful, awful piece of horse plop:
Is Health Care Reform A Sure Thing?

[T]he math is not a slam dunk for House leadership.

Consider the following.

The bill earned 220 votes the first time around. Yet Robert Wexler has resigned. That puts the total support at 219.

Let's assume that the new bill will lack Stupak language on abortion - a reasonable one, I think. That would lose them Joseph Cao, the sole Republican supporter. Bart Stupak claims that he has 10 to 12 Democrats who would walk away then, too.

Assuming Stupak's number is correct, that puts the bill at 206 to 208, with 218 needed for support. The House leadership would have to find 10 to 12 supporters among the 38 Democrats who voted against it late last year. [link]
One of those 38 is Rick Boucher.

Mr. Cost then goes on to name the names of those Democrats he thinks might still be convinced by the White House to vote in favor of final passage of ObamaCare.  Boucher's name looms large on it.

Will he reverse course?  Will Boucher vote for ObamaCare after voting against it?  We don't know.  He ain't talkin'.

But Jay Cost and a whole lot of other people in the know - including me - are certainly believing that the possibility exists.  Boucher is, after all, a Democrat politician first.  And a representative of the people of Southwest Virginia second.

So anything is possible.

Ah, Those Sneaky Statistics

Read "Voting Democrat Causes Cancer" and you'll understand how Democrats twist statistics to reach a certain contrived goal. It's almost amusing.

One indisputable fact:

"Locations that voted for Al Gore [in 2000] tended to suffer higher cancer rates."

Make of it what you will.

While That 23-Year-Old Construction Worker ...

... will be forced to buy ObamaCare insurance even though he doesn't need or want it, Obama is reported to have exempted members of America's largest unions from having to pay taxes on their "Cadillac health plans."  A tax that every other citizen of this country who has a quality plan that costs more than most will have to pay.   Is this what he meant by redistribution of wealth?  Take from those who can barely afford it and give it to his powerful friends?
Morning Bell: Behind Closed Doors, Unions Win, You Lose
Heritage Foundation

And just what deals were Big Labor, the leftist majorities in Congress and the Obama administration making behind closed doors? How to pay for President Obama’s likely $1 trillion health care plan without raising taxes on one of the President’s most loyal constituencies: labor unions. Specifically, Big Labor reportedly has struck a deal with health care negotiators to exempt union members from the 40% excise tax on high-priced health insurance premiums. By some estimates, the tax would hit one in four union members. Now Big Labor will get all of the big government health care spending they always wanted, but they will not have to pay for it.

And Obamacare’s Big Labor handouts don’t end there. The legislation also sets aside $5 billion to subsidize the costs of employer health benefits for early retirees. As Heritage fellow James Sherk notes, few nonunion employers, of course, pay pension and health benefits for workers to retire at 55. And then there’s the small business exemption from the employer mandate for businesses with less than 50 employees. At first this applied to all small businesses, but after aggressive lobbying by Big Labor, non-unionized construction businesses were unexempted. Big Labor lobbyists explicitly admitted they wanted to use Obamacare’s job-killing employer mandates as a competitive advantage to drive non-unionized firms out of business.

Big Labor’s high wages and inflexible work rules have already bankrupted our nation’s once proud automobile industry. Across the country, their early retirement and exorbitant pensions are bankrupting states. The health insurance excise tax was once the signature health care spending cost cutter of Obama’s entire health care plan. Now it has been gutted at the altar of Big Labor power. The big loser in all of these cases is you, the American taxpayer. [link]
So that 23-year-old construction worker will not only be forced - at the point of a gun and with threat of imprisonment - to pay for health insurance - whether he needs it or not - he'll be compelled to pay for that portion of Obama's plan that union members - Obama's closest friends - will now be exempt from.

This is wrong. And these increasingly dangerous people must be stopped.

- - -

Update: I changed the wording above for the purpose of clarification.  A loose reading of the original post might lead one to believe that I was trying to give the impression that union members would be given health care coverage by Obama for free, which is silly - even for him.  But my message was unclear so I altered the sentence so that everyone understood that union members would be exempt from paying taxes on their plans, and not be exempt from paying for health care.

I Blame Bush!

Oh. Wait. That won't work any longer. He's been gone for a year.

I blame computers!

Old computers. I blame Bush!

I Admire The Enthusiasm

This is funny:

I sometimes wish I could be as focused and enthusiastic a sports aficionado as this woman - and my wife - are.

They can get kinda vicious when provoked.

"Green Bay decided not to take Favre back?! Those stupid sons o' b ...!"

Women. I've learned to stand clear on game day.

When You Start Breaking Down Barriers ...

There are lots of smart people out there who will argue (as will lawyers in Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that  government should not discriminate against two loving human beings just because they are homosexual.  That "gay marriage" thing.

Here's how I see it.  Government shouldn't be licensing marriage (like it licenses dogs) at all.  What are we, slaves?

But to the point the smart people (we'll call them David Brooks's "educated class") make about those two loving couples, where do you draw the line?  Why two?  Why loving?  If you're going to dilute the institution of marriage to accommodate gays, why not allow polygamists who have fathered dozens of children by as many as 30 women, and who, in doing so, commit acts of rape, slavery and incest?

See "Israeli police have arrested a suspected cult leader who is believed to have fathered dozens of children by as many as 30 women. He is being held on suspicion of rape, slavery and incest."

But ... but ... but ... we draw the line at two loving human beings.

A line the next generation - and a host of sexual deviants - are prepared to cross.

Think about it. Your line; their line(s). Who decides? 

Soon there are no lines.

To approve of any type of deviant sexual behavior is to be accepting of them all.

Accept all the above (as well as bestiality - human beings? why be so neanderthal?) or be prepared to be accused of being a bigot.

Now you understand.

Hope. Change. Not.

What?  It was just an election ploy to win over the half-wit vote?

It worked:

You can't make this stuff up.

A Deed That Should Not Be Rewarded

If there is a good reason for us to move to Massachusetts and vote against the Democrat there who is running for the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy, it's this:
Martha Coakley's Convictions
By Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal

The story of the Amiraults of Massachusetts, and of the prosecution that had turned the lives of this thriving American family to dust, was well known to the world by the year 2001. It was well known, especially, to District Attorney Martha Coakley, who had by then arrived to take a final, conspicuous, role in a case so notorious as to assure that the Amiraults' name would be known around the globe.

[read the full indictment]

It was clear, when Martha Coakley took over as the new Middlesex County district attorney in 1999, that public opinion was running sharply against the prosecutors in the case. Violet Amirault was now gone. Ill and penniless after her release, she had been hounded to the end by prosecutors who succeeded in getting the Supreme Judicial Court to void the women's reversals of conviction. She lay waiting all the last days of her life, suitcase packed, for the expected court order to send her back to prison. Violet would die of cancer before any order came in September 1997.

That left Cheryl alone, facing rearrest. In the face of the increasing furor surrounding the case, Ms. Coakley agreed to revise and revoke her sentence to time served—but certain things had to be clear, she told the press. Cheryl's case, and that of Gerald, she explained, had nothing to do with one another—a startling proposition given the horrific abuse charges, identical in nature, of which all three of the Amiraults had been convicted.

No matter: When women were involved in such cases, the district attorney explained, it was usually because of the presence of "a primary male offender." According to Ms. Coakley's scenario, it was Gerald who had dragged his mother and sister along. Every statement she made now about Gerald reflected the same view, and the determination that he never go free. No one better exemplified the mindset and will of the prosecutors who originally had brought this case.

In 2000, the Massachusetts Governor's Board of Pardons and Paroles met to consider a commutation of Gerald's sentence. After nine months of investigation, the board, reputed to be the toughest in the country, voted 5-0, with one abstention, to commute his sentence. Still more newsworthy was an added statement, signed by a majority of the board, which pointed to the lack of evidence against the Amiraults, and the "extraordinary if not bizarre allegations" on which they had been convicted.

Editorials in every major and minor paper in the state applauded the Board's findings. District Attorney Coakley was not idle either, and quickly set about organizing the parents and children in the case, bringing them to meetings with Acting Gov. Jane Swift, to persuade her to reject the board's ruling. Ms. Coakley also worked the press, setting up a special interview so that the now adult accusers could tell reporters, once more, of the tortures they had suffered at the hands of the Amiraults, and of their panic at the prospect of Gerald going free.

On Feb. 20, 2002, six months after the Board of Pardons issued its findings, the governor denied Gerald's commutation.

What does this say about her candidacy? (Ms. Coakley declined to be interviewed.) If the current attorney general of Massachusetts actually believes, as no serious citizen does, the preposterous charges that caused the Amiraults to be thrown into prison—the butcher knife rape with no blood, the public tree-tying episode, the mutilated squirrel and the rest—that is powerful testimony to the mind and capacities of this aspirant to a Senate seat. It is little short of wonderful to hear now of Ms. Coakley's concern for the rights of terror suspects at Guantanamo—her urgent call for the protection of the right to the presumption of innocence.

If the sound of ghostly laughter is heard in Massachusetts these days as this campaign rolls on, with Martha Coakley self-portrayed as the guardian of justice and civil liberties, there is good reason. [link]
The Fells Acres Preschool saga represents the worst case of prosecutorial excess and wrongfulness in American history.  And one of the prosecutors at the center of this travesty is running for governor.  She should instead be doing time in prison for her willful actions.  Without doubt.

Her actions should not be rewarded..