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

Friday, January 22, 2010

Doing Boucher's Work For Him

Remember Congressman Rick Boucher's excuse for having voted in favor of that coal industry killing cap-and-tax bill?  He's still making it, feckless and whiny though it may be.  Here's the way he explained it to SWVA Today recently:
We have urgency for Congress to act on greenhouse gases.  Steps have to be taken. The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant within the meaning of the 1972 Clean Air Act. As a result, the EPA is in effect under mandate to regulate CO2 emissions. The debate is over. The Supreme Court ended the debate. There will be regulation. The only question is will the EPA regulate it or will Congress intercede with its own regulatory program. Virtually all observers prefer Congress rather than the EPA. The reason is because the EPA does not have the tools available to it under the law to do a good job. For example, the EPA cannot do what I was able to do in 2009. Coal is protected. Related jobs are protected. Utilities that burn coal can continue to do so. I ensured the House bill provides up to $250 billion to deploy CO2 capture and sequestration technologies so coal and be burned without CO2 emissions. The EPA does not have the authority to create a fund for the deployment of these critical technologies.
Not only is this pathetic, it's wrong in so many ways, I can't count them all (see below).

To his main point, which is, "The debate is over. The Supreme Court ended the debate. There will be regulation. The only question is will the EPA regulate it or will Congress intercede with its own regulatory program," I reply by saying ...

Bull Shit.

You are a United States congressman, sir. Man up. If you had any gonads you'd cease bowing before the EPA and work diligently - relentlessly - to mitigate its leftist efforts to destroy the coal industry. You'd stop the extreme environmentalists lurking there from throwing your constituents out of work. Stop them. You have the power to prevent them from decreeing that CO2 - and with it, coal - are pollutants at all.

Hell, you have the power to shut down the EPA if you choose to exercise that power.

If you have it in you.

Perhaps you don't.

But thank God, others in Congress do:
Three Dems Back Effort to Halt Global Warming Regulation
By Brian Montopoli, CBS News

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is leading the charge to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gasses, and today she got some support from across the aisle: Three Democratic senators signed onto Murkowski resolution to bar such regulation.

The Democrats, the Associated Press reports, are Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Murkowski's resolution says a rule submitted by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases "shall have no force or effect." Thirty-five Republicans co-sponsored the measure. [link]
Be it hereby mandated by the Congress of the United States of America: Any rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases shall have no force or effect.

How difficult was that?

Let's revisit that quote from our spineless representative in Washington:

" The Supreme Court ended the debate. The only question is will the EPA regulate it or will Congress intercede with its own regulatory program."

Not even.  The only question is: Do you represent the environmentalists in Washington or do you represent the people of Southwest Virginia?

- - -

Let's look again at that Supreme Court ruling and Boucher's convenient interpretation of it:

Boucher: "The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant within the meaning of the 1972 Clean Air Act. As a result, the EPA is in effect [my emphasis] under mandate to regulate CO2 emissions."

Wrong.  Note the weasel words "in effect."  The Supreme Court made no such ruling mandating anything other than that the state of Massachusetts was to be afforded standing in this matter.  To Boucher's point, I quote from the ruling:

"Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Act’s capacious definition of “air pollutant,” EPA has statutory authority to regulate emission of such gases from new motor vehicles."

EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act.  It doesn't say the EPA must exercise that authority, though one could reasonably argue that the Supremes' position is that it should.  Nor does it bar Congress  - Boucher - from amending the Clean Air and prohibiting EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Where Once We Ruled the World

This pretty much says it all:

So where did those six + million jobs go?
China's growth accelerates to 10.7 percent in 4Q
By Joe McDonald, Associated Press

Beijing (AP) - China shook off the global crisis as growth surged to 10.7 percent in the final quarter of 2009 but inflation picked up, adding to pressure on Beijing to cool rising prices without disrupting the recovery.

Quarterly growth beat forecasts and boosted the 2009 expansion in the world's third-largest economy to 8.7 percent, up from a low of 6.1 percent in the first quarter.

Strong Chinese growth could help to drive a global recovery by boosting demand for foreign oil, consumer goods and other imports. [link]
It could.  But the Chinese need someone to sell their goods to in order to reap all those rewards.  And with unemployment languishing at 10% here in the USA (some say it is actually as high as 17%), the USA as sugar daddy may not come back for a long, long time.

I applaud China for having become the powerhouse that it is.  But its success has come about as a direct result of actions taken here in the USA that made us fail.  We deliberately sent jobs to China.  We continue to do everything we can to send more jobs to China.  That I condemn.

Sad, all this falls on deaf ears.

Graph courtesy of American Thinker.

The Day Health Care Was Saved

Climategate Grows

Those who cling to the notion that anthropogenic global warming is real now respond to Climategate allegations with, "Yeah, those snakes at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) faked their studies, but the overwhelming preponderance of evidence from other reputable sources still supports the proposition that the earth is warming and humans are causing it."

Well, so much for those other sources:
Climategate: CRU Was But the Tip of the Iceberg
By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker

Not surprisingly, the blatant corruption exposed at Britain’s premiere climate institute was not contained within the nation’s borders. Just months after the Climategate scandal broke, a new study has uncovered compelling evidence that our government's principal climate centers have also been manipulating worldwide temperature data in order to fraudulently advance the global warming political agenda.

Not only does the preliminary report [PDF] indict a broader network of conspirators, it challenges the very mechanism by which global temperatures are measured, published, and historically ranked.

Last Thursday, Certified Consulting Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo and computer expert E. Michael Smith appeared together on KUSI TV [Video] to discuss the Climategate -- American Style scandal they had discovered.

This time out, the alleged perpetrators are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

NOAA stands accused by the two researchers of strategically deleting cherry-picked cooler-reporting weather observation stations from the temperature data it provides the world through its National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

“We think NOAA is complicit if not the real ground zero for the issue.” [link]
At this point, one begins to wonder if there's any real evidence - undoctored, unfudged - that supports the theory of global warming.  It certainly seems not.

What a Cluster (act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman)

I want to give 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher credit for being really shrewd, for having seen ObamaCare for what it was, knowing how it was going to be received by the American people, knowing that it was headed for the trash heap of infamy, and, thus, knowing that he needed to vote against it to cover his ass.

But then he also voted in favor of that disastrous anti-coal global warming cap-and-trade bill that languishes ... somewhere, the one that has him in deep doo-doo with his most loyal constituency over in the coal counties of Southwest Virginia.

So much for astute.

But if he saw this coming, praise be unto Boucher.  Because this is ugly:
Dem health care talks collapsing
By Patrick O'Connor & Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico

Health care reform teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as House and Senate leaders struggled to coalesce around a strategy to rescue the plan, in the face of growing pessimism among lawmakers that the president’s top priority can survive.

The legislative landscape was filled with obstacles: House Democrats won’t pass the Senate bill. Senate Democrats don’t want to start from scratch just to appease the House. And the White House still isn’t telling Congress how to fix the problem. [link]
This is far from over but at this point things are looking up for the good guys.  Which means the bad guys (who have all the votes) might still pull this off.  But America might yet prevail and ObamaCare might be taken out back and put out of its misery.

Let's hope.

As to Rick Boucher, he's probably going home each night thanking God that he can come back down here to Southwest Virginia (he's rumored to make the journey, however reluctantly, at least twice a year) and honestly tell people:

Yeah, I'm a Democrat, but you can't blame me for this one.

And he'd be right.  We can't blame him for this one.

Shrewd, though?  You decide:

Marvin Machiavelli

Gotta Love Them Democrats

This dude was once a leading contender for the Democratic nomination for president:

Stinky. Stinky.

A metaphor.

All Show, No Go?

For an intelligent analysis of Barack Obama's much-ballyhooed assault on America's big banks yesterday, we turn to the Wall Street Journal.  It's reaction to the entertaining, fist-pounding media extravaganza that was staged for a fawning, eager press?

A big question mark.  What does Obama intend to do?
Phony populism aside, yesterday Mr. Obama introduced his first serious idea into the debate on reforming the financial system. In calling for an end to proprietary trading at firms with a federal safety net, the President showed that he now understands an important principle: Risk-taking in the capital markets is incompatible with a taxpayer guarantee.

Under the President's still-sketchy plan, firms that hold government-insured deposits or are eligible to receive cheap loans in an emergency from the Federal Reserve would not be able to trade for their own accounts. The firms could facilitate customer orders as brokers have always done and continue to underwrite new issues of stocks and bonds, but they could not make bets with their own capital or own or invest in hedge funds.

The days ahead will demonstrate whether Mr. Obama is serious, or if this is merely a political tactic to encourage Republicans to defend big banks.

In other words, the devil will be in the details.

Oh, and there's this: The Journal is of the opinion that, with all the cheering that will come from the mainstream press, Obama's plan, as murky as it is, wouldn't have prevented the credit crisis that prompted the financial meltdown last year.  The very one Obama is wanting to prevent from ever happening again. 

So why, you ask ...

Nice tie he had on, though.

Let Freedom Ring!

It was just a matter of time before the Supreme Court came to its senses and started dismantling McCain-Feingold.  With a changing of the guard, the Court has now found some modicum of sense:
A Free Speech Landmark
Wall Street Journal editorial

Freedom has had its best week in many years. On Tuesday, Massachusetts put a Senate check on a reckless Congress, and yesterday the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision supporting free political speech by overturning some of Congress's more intrusive limits on election spending.

In a season of marauding government, the Constitution rides to the rescue one more time.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote yesterday's 5-4 majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which considered whether the government could ban a 90-minute documentary called "Hillary: the Movie" that was set to run on cable channels during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Because it was funded by an incorporated group and was less than complimentary of then-Senator Hillary Clinton, the film became a target of campaign-finance limits.

The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act, aka McCain-Feingold, banned corporations and unions from "electioneering communications" within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. Yesterday, the Justices rejected that limit on corporate spending as unconstitutional. Corporations are entitled to the same right that individuals have to spend money on political speech for or against a candidate.

Justice Kennedy emphasized that laws designed to control money in politics often bleed into censorship, and that this violates core First Amendment principles. "Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy - it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people - political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence," he wrote. The ban on corporate expenditures had a "substantial, nationwide chilling effect" on political speech, he added. [link]
"Speech is an essential mechanism of democracy."  I think that's what the 1st Amendment says.

It's a good day for democracy and freedom.

- - -

Let's not get complacent, though.  The left is not going to give up on its effort to stifle free speech.  From the same editorial:

"New York Senator Chuck Schumer vowed to hold hearings, and the Naderite Public Citizen lobby is already calling for a constitutional amendment that bans free speech for "for-profit corporations." Liberalism's bullying tendencies are never more on display than when its denizens are at war with the speech rights of its opponents."

How sad.  How foreboding.
- - -

In the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" category, the New York Times Corporation denounces this ruling that allows for "corporate influence" to creep into American politics.  As you might imagine, the editorialists at the Times don't see the hypocrisy.

The Washington Post Company, duly incorporated, is in opposition to corporations being allowed to be given a voice as well.

Uh, what?

I guess there are good corporations and bad corporations, or something.

So Long

In the arena of ideas, I think the leftists in this country continue to take a serious drubbing.  To prove it:
Air America Radio closing, filing for bankruptcy
By Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

Los Angeles (AP) — Air America Radio, a radio network that was launched in 2004 as a liberal alternative to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative commentators, on Thursday shut down abruptly due to financial woes.

The network once boasted hosts such as Al Franken and Rachel Maddow, but struggled from the outset, including multiple management shake-ups, a bankruptcy in 2006 and sale for $4.25 million the following year.

Air America ceased airing new programs Thursday afternoon and said it will soon file to be liquidated under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It began broadcasting reruns of programs and would end those as well Monday night.

"The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business. This past year has seen ... [blah blah blah] [link]
Created to confront and challenge the breathtaking success of Rush Limbaugh.  And it crashes and burns.  While Rush gets ever stronger and ever more popular.  Sweet.

In this arena, where democracy only works if all sides have a voice, the loss of one of those voices - weak as it was - is not something to celebrate.  But capitalism is a powerful driver in this once great country we call America too.  And advertisers - capitalists to their core - flock to the medium and the marketeer where they get the most bang for their buck.  From the outset, Air America provided not a bang, but a whimper.  It never garnered much of an audience.

So, in a way, this is a more telling story than that of Scott Brown winning Massachusetts on Tuesday, and coincides with Barack Obama's precipitate slide in his first year in office.  One in which he was found to have campaigned as a moderate but has turned out to be a radical liberal.

Proof.  Though they make a lot of noise, and garner a whole lot of media attention, there just aren't enough leftists in this country to sustain a movement.

Goodbye, Air America.  Ye'll hardly be missed.  Though we mourn the loss.  As we celebrate the loss.