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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recession Has a Silver Lining

For the first time in decades government-funded art here in the commonwealth (government-art; an oxymoron if there ever was one) may be defunded.  Finally:
After House bill cuts funding, what's next for local arts programs?
By Mike Allen and Tad Dickens, Roanoke Times

Roanoke arts and cultural organizations are cringing at the potential effects of a House of Delegates budget-slashing proposal that would eliminate the Virginia Commission for the Arts within two years.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Taubman Museum of Art, Opera Roanoke and other regional nonprofits all say the loss of funds would be difficult to recoup and damaging, even devastating, to their operations. The Jefferson Center says there is "a possibility" it would be forced to close its doors if the cut is approved.

The proposal, scheduled to be voted on today, would cut the commission's $4.4 million budget in half in 2010-11, and then eliminate the agency entirely as of July 1, 2011. Virginia would become the only state without such a body. [link]
Two things:

1) Virginia would be the only state with delegates with enough sense to know they can no longer involve themselves in rich people's dabblings.  We're broke.

2) The effort will die in the Virginia Senate, where such sense is in short supply.

Too bad. 

A Sign of the Times

I put GM's Hummer in the same category with Chrysler's Prowler - novelty vehicles for people with excess disposable income and adventuresome spirits.

But now that all that disposable income resides in banks in Shanghai and that adventuresome spirit has been dampened by the unemployment line, this seems to be understandable:
GM ends Hummer after sale attempt fails
By Dan Strumpf, Associated Press

Detroit (AP) -- General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will shut down Hummer after its bid to sell the brand to a Chinese company collapsed.

Heavy equipment maker Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. pulled out of the deal for Hummer, known for its hulking, military-style SUVs, because it was unable to get clearance from Chinese regulators within the proposed deal timeframe, the manufacturer said in a separate statement.

GM said it will continue to honor existing Hummer warranties. [link]
So Hummer is dead.

There's a metaphor here somewhere ...

Breaking Environment News!

New York Times "global environmental issues" reporter:

Global warming not blamed!

Caption of the Day

From Hot Air:
When imbued with that can-do hopey changey attitude, all news negative comes as a shock.

Over and over and over and over and over again.

NRA Endorses Boucher

Local members, unwavering in their loyalty, would rather their beloved gun rights organization butt out.

Gotta Love Them Democrats

It appears likely that the Democrats in the Senate are going to bypass the rules they've cherished for lo these many years and will pass ObamaCare with a simple majority by deploying a parliamentary technique called "reconciliation."  What, in Bush's day, they called "the nuclear option."

They make the rules so they can do whatever they please.  With the understanding that they'll pay for it in the end.

But it is laughable to hear them talk about the maneuver today, and listen to them talk about it back when the Republicans were threatening to use it.

Then: The Republic is on the verge of ruin.

Now: Uh, I think it's a neat idea.


My favorite - Joe Biden in 2005:  "I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power grab you are doing."

So you know, the Republicans didn't pull the trigger.  More importantly, Joe Biden's prayer appears to be going unanswered.

Oh, I should probably mention this: "Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports."  I wonder why.

- - -

This sort of thing makes them look like buffoons too:

"It took less than two weeks for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to vote to break rules requiring that new spending be offset elsewhere in the budget, waiving the requirement just minutes before a strong bipartisan majority pushed through a $15 billion job-creation bill in the Senate on Wednesday. 

"The bill provides money to continue funding ..."

Clowns.  They're all clowns.

Video courtesy of Breitbart.

What ObamaCare Will Inflict On You

You think taking the most effective health care delivery system ever devised by man and turning it over to some clueless empty suit who was shoving cocaine up his nose a few short years ago won't have consequences?  Here (from Great Britain) is what government-administered health care will look like when you check your father into the hospital a few short years from now:
Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’
David Rose, Health Correspondent, Times of London

Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.

An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

The inquiry report, published yesterday by Robert Francis, QC, included proposals for tough new regulations that could lead to managers at failing NHS trusts being struck off.

Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”. [link]
People lying in filth.  Getting no attention.  Rampant infection.  Unsanitary conditions.  But costs have been held to a minimum so all's good.  And shut up.

Coming to a hospital near you. 

Just how badly did you want to keep your father alive anyway.

This Ain't Good

According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke if everything goes well, we could see the unemployment rate get back down to where it was when Geroge Bush left office ...

... by the time Obama leaves office ...

... after his second term.

Good God:
Bernanke: Jobs picture still grim
By Victoria McGrane, Politico

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't give lawmakers much to cheer about Wednesday on the economic recovery front.

In his first congressional appearance since his reconfirmation last month, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee there are some “positive signs” in the economy, but the jobs picture — the most important in terms of politics — remains grim.

“The job market remains quite weak, with the unemployment rate near 10 percent and job openings scarce,” Bernanke said in his opening remarks. Particularly worrisome, he said, was the trend of long-term unemployment, with more than 40 percent of unemployed workers now out of work for six months or longer, nearly double the share of long-term unemployed a year ago.

Bernanke said he expects the unemployment rate to decline slowly, to 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent by the end of 2012, “still well above their estimate of the long-run sustainable rate of about 5 percent.” [link]
Maybe we need a "jobs" bill.

Oh.  Wait.  We'll soon have our third "jobs" bill rolled out by Congress. And, with their timely actions, the Democrats there have managed to get the unemployment rate down to up to 9.7%.

Here's an idea: Maybe we need fewer "jobs" bills and more wealth creation bills. And maybe if Obama stops taxing wealth creation, we'd get out of this hole too.

Looks Like We Got Us a Contest!

If nobody else enters the arena, it appears that Roanoke Delegate and House GOP leader Morgan Griffith is going to go head to head with Rick Boucher for the 9th District Congressional seat in November.  Sweet.

What's interesting about the attached news item is the fact that it is an Associated Press release that ran in a San Francisco (The Examiner) newspaper.  Think this isn't important news?
House GOP leader to challenge Boucher in Va.
By Bob Lewis

Richmond, VA. — H. Morgan Griffith, the Republican majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, will challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher in November.

The nine-term delegate confirmed his plans Tuesday in a news release touting support for his candidacy from fellow legislative Republicans.

The release was sent to reporters on letterhead that read "Morgan Griffith for Congress." He is the first Republican to express his interest in the race so clearly.

Boucher, 63, was elected in 1983 and is finishing his 14th term in the House.

Ninth District voters have been loyal to him for years. Boucher is among the few members of Congress to consistently enjoy concurrent endorsements by the National Rifle Association and the AFL-CIO.

But energy legislation backed by President Barack Obama and an allied Democratic Congress has not set well in the region. Griffith said it prompted his interest in a 2010 race.

The Democratic cap-and-trade bill, Griffith said, "not only kills the coal industry but it also hurts — maybe not kills, but hurts — railroads. They're two of the largest employers in the region." [link]
Note Griffith's Number One issue - the Obama global warming (cap-and-trade) bill. The one that will devastate the coalfields of the 8th Congressional District.   I'll bet Boucher is kicking himself these days for signing on to that awful piece of legislation.

If Griffith decides to make it a contest, it should be an interesting contest.