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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, Somebody's Wrong

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

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

Ah, pundits. Ya gotta love 'em.

They Still Don't Get It

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

Say what?

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

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

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

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

Stop this train.  I want off.

They Probably Don't See The Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- - -

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

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

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

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

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

So maybe they should wise up.

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

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

Let Us Grade You, Mr. President

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Graphic courtesy of Investor's Business Daily.

Obama's Solution For Our Economic Woes

As one might expect:

Welfare.

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

A Movement Stirs

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

"No?

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

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

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

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

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


Shrewd move.

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

Buy a piece of the USA as it should be.

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

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

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

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

Let W. R.I.P.

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

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

Whatever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a loser's proposition.

- - -

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

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

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

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

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