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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, February 03, 2010

They Prefer To Live In Ruins

Tazewell County, which has as its claim to fame the unique position of sporting a population a large portion of which is on some sort of government relief, where 18% of the people live in poverty,  where nearly a quarter of the population is on Medicaid, where another 16% is supported by Social Security, where the "poverty rate is 60% higher than the Virginia rate and the per capita income is only 64% of the per capita income of Virginians," where the two largest employers are the government and Wal-Mart, where the population is in decline because of a lack of job opportunity, has decided it likes things just the way they are.

For the love of God:
Future of Tazewell wind farm looks bleak
By Debra McCown, reporter, Bristol Herald Courier

Tazewell, Va. – A proposed wind farm project might be dead in Tazewell County.

The future looks bleak for the project after the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to prohibit development of tall structures on the county’s scenic ridgelines.

“I think this proposed tall structure construction carries with it too much public controversy and too little public revenue,” said Supervisor Mike Hymes, who cast the deciding vote on a divided board.

The project is one of two announced in far Southwest Virginia a year ago by Dominion and BP Wind Energy. The other, planned for the ridges of Black Mountain in Wise County, has received enthusiastic support from that county’s board. 

“We are proud of the supervisors,” said Charlie Stacy, a member of the Mountain Preservation Association, which formed to opposed the project. “They saved one of God’s greatest creations tonight from devastation.” [link]
“We are proud of the supervisors."  "“They saved one of God’s greatest creations ..."  Some Tazewell County natives who have moved north to find work might tell you that God has forsaken the area, what with the economic devastation that has been inflicted upon it in recent decades.

But they'd be wrong.  God didn't wreak economic ruin on Tazewell County.  Shortsighted, boneheaded county supervisors did.

Here's the bright side:  At least those folks remaining, many of whom will remain on government life support, will have their trees and boulders.  They'll have that.  And happy, apparently, they'll be.

Someone Should Break It To Him

Here's the problem:

We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money, as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation.
-- Barack Obama --

Statistics compiled from Obama's Office of Management and Budget in graph form:

 

"We simply cannot continue to spend ..."  As he continues to spend.

My guess is, by 2012 even the Chinese won't have enough money on hand to buy all our debt.  Then what?

Chart courtesy of OMB and Investor's Business Daily.

A Problem That Is Not Going Away

One that in fact might get much, much worse:
No Help in Sight, More Homeowners Walk Away
By David Streitfeld, New York Times

The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home’s value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.

They are stretched, aggrieved and restless. With figures released last week showing that the real estate market was stalling again, their numbers are now projected to climb to a peak of 5.1 million by June — about 10 percent of all Americans with mortgages.

“We’re now at the point of maximum vulnerability,” said Sam Khater, a senior economist with First American CoreLogic, the firm that conducted the recent research. “People’s emotional attachment to their property is melting into the air.” [link]
There's emotional attachment. And then there's credit score.  Default on a major loan was once the kiss of death for an individual.  Maybe not so much any more?

But 5.1 million Americans owning homes that aren't worth nearly what's owed on them poses a very troubling problem.  One that will be a full-blown crisis when they all start walking away from their 5,100,000 loans. 

There is only one solution (and Obama is finding out that it isn't the government one he devised).  A robust economy with everyone back to work.  And that, I'm afraid, isn't coming any time soon.

And the Mainstream Media Love Him

Obviouly this joker has no relatives with mental disabilities:
Emanuel apologized for 'retarded' remark
By Ben Smith, Politico

A White House official emails that Rahm Emanuel has acknowledged calling liberal Democrats "retarded" and apologized for the remark.

"Rahm called Tim Shriver Wednesday to apologize and the apology was accepted," the official said.

Shriver is the Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, which has launched a campaign against what it calls "the R word."

The remark was first reported last week in the Wall Street Journal, and drew an extended attack from Sarah Palin.

Said the official, “The White House remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all.” [link]
Is it a sincere apology if some "official" offers it up for Emanuel?  Get the impression it isn't all that sincerity-based?

* For the record, Politico leaves out part of the actual reference, for some reason.  Rahm Emanuel actually called certain liberals "f**king retarded."  What a nice guy.  Obama must be so proud.

- - -

Well, it looks like his spokesman's apology didn't get it.  Emanuel Steps Up His Apology.

Fascinating

How cool is this?
Early draft of the Constitution found in Phila.
By Edward Colimore, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Researcher Lorianne Updike Toler was intrigued by the centuries-old document at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

On the back of a treasured draft of the U.S. Constitution was a truncated version of the same document, starting with the familiar words: "We The People. . . ."

They had been scribbled upside down by one of the Constitution's framers, James Wilson, in the summer of 1787. The cursive continued, then abruptly stopped, as if pages were missing.

A mystery, Toler thought, until she examined other Wilson papers from the Historical Society's vault in Philadelphia and found what appeared to be the rest of the draft, titled "The Continuation of the Scheme." [link]
The stuff researchers live for.  I'll bet this discovery made her day.

It's amazing what lurks in America's forgotten nooks and crannies, doesn't it?

The Only Place To Go For News

Amazing:
Still Rolling: Fox News Has Its Best January Ever
by Steve Krakauer, Mediaite

Fox News had its best January in the history of the network, and was the only cable news network to grow year-to-year.

FNC also had the top 13 programs on cable news in total viewers for the fifth month in a row, and the top 13 programs in the A25-54 demographic for the first time in more than five years.

• FNC grew in double digits in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic from January 2009. In prime time, it was up 22% in total viewers and 51% in the demo. CNN was down 34% and 37% and MSNBC down 26% and 38%. [link]
You'd think the other networks would learn from Fox News's success and strive too to become "fair and balanced."  Odd that they all refuse to adopt a business model that is proving to be wildly successful.  Instead they stick with Katie Couric and Keith Olbermann and Wolfe Blitzer, et al.

Is it any wonder they all continue their free fall?