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

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stuck On Stupid

"Likely voters in the upcoming congressional elections, regardless of political allegiances, are fixated on one central issue, and it isn't health care reform -- despite Republican efforts to keep beating that dead horse."
-- Roanoke Times editorial, "It's Still The Economy, Stupid," July 7, 2010 --

Americans are fixated on one central issue?  And anything beyond that one central issue is a "dead horse"?

As a famous film character once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Targeting the gun show loophole

Monday, we’ll have an editorial supporting a federal law to close the so-called gun show loophole. H.R. 2324 (the “Closing the Gun Show Loophole Act of 2009) has no chance of passing in this election year. Democratic House leaders refused even to hold a hearing on it, but a forum Wednesday chaired by Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott underscored the need to keep pushing.
I can't wait.  I'm looking forward to the Times linking the "gun show loophole" to the our one central issue - our miserable economy.

I can't wait, too, for the geniuses at the Times to finally explain how a transaction taking place at a gun show between two private individuals - neither of which is ever required to secure a gun background check if he were anywhere else on the planet should they decide to transact the very same business - is a loophole in the law.  They can't seem to grasp the difference between licensed dealers - who are required to complete the checks - and non-dealers (you and me) - who aren't. (Hint: start with this - anyone can sell a gun at a gun show - inside or in the parking lot; just as they can in the Roanoke Times editorial board ... er, romper room - it has to do with this thingie we call America.)

To coin a phrase:  "It's Still Stupid, Stupid."

There's Talk. And Then There're Actions.

Ben White:
The White House has launched a coordinated campaign to push back against the perception taking hold in corporate America and on Wall Street that President Barack Obama is promoting an anti-business agenda.

So the White House has launched a campaign to help instill that confidence, highlighted by Obama’s remarks on Wednesday stressing his commitment to lifting trade barriers as a way to spur economic growth.  [link]
Corporate America - as well as America's small-business entrepreneurs - should be instilled with confidence in Obama because he provided ... remarks.

Yeah.  Sure.

I have a better idea.  One that would actually infuse much-needed confidence - even exuberance! - into the marketplace.  How about our Socialist-in-Chief do something about these:

Marginal income tax rate increases.

Investment income tax increases.

Health tax increases.

Private equity tax increases.

And I might include the massive tax increases on small business that are coming in a few months when George W. Bush's tax cuts - already repealed - disappear.

Talk is cheap.  Especially when it's coming from Obama's teleprompter.

Only actions will make the difference.  The only difference.

At Least He Got The 'Mess' Part Right

From the Associated Press yesterday:
Obama tells NBC in an interview that "nobody in the White House is satisfied" with continuing high unemployment.

But he also says the midterm congressional elections could come down to "a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and my policies that got us out of this mess."
"My policies got us out of this mess."

As measured how, sir?

Also from yesterday's Associated Press:
Manufacturing cools in June as recovery slows
By Martin Crutsinger and Daniel Wagner, Business Writers

Washington – New evidence of a slowing economic rebound emerged Thursday in reports that manufacturing activity is slowing after helping drive the early stages of the recovery.

Factory output fell in June, according to a government report on industrial production. It was the sharpest monthly drop in a year. And two regional manufacturing indexes sank this month.

Production of automobiles, home-building materials and processed food all fell in June. The data sent stocks falling.

Federal Reserve officials took note of the weakening recovery when they met last month and lowered their forecast for economic growth, according to minutes released Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve report on industrial production showed that overall output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.1 percent in June. It was the fourth straight monthly gain. But factory output — the largest component of industrial production — dropped 0.4 percent.

"It is pretty clear that a slowdown is in process," said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist for IHS Global Insight. [link]
We can argue about whether it was George Bush's policies that got us "into this mess."  But there is no arguing the fact that the mess - after all these months of Obama policy implementation - is as bad as it was when George W. Bush left office.   And, in some ways, far worse.

It's a Cold Day In Hell

Mark the occasion.  The ACLU - the champion defender of a select few of your civil liberties - is working to protect a gun owner in Florida.

No.  Really:

Will wonders never cease.  Who knows, maybe next they'll be championing religious freedom too.

When hell freezes over.  A second time.

Think It Through, Mr. Bollinger

We were treated the other day to a letter written by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger (see "Journalism Needs Government Help") in which he made the attempt to convince us that it was a swell idea for the government to fund the mainstream press.

I ask Mr. Bollinger: When media paychecks are dependent on the good will of government politicians, do you really think the Washington Post would be considering the publication of state secrets?

If you answer yes, you're even more delusional than your letter implied.

Think it through, man.  Do you want a Dick Cheney controlling your livelihood?

The Way We View History

I remember driving down the street somewhere in Chicago the day Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died (When was it?  Google ... 1993).  I was listening to a radio talk show host (a liberal talk show host, believe it or not; they come and go but they do exist}.  He was eulogizing the life of this influential African-American who had done much to further the cause of Civil Rights.  In the course of his rapturous paean to the man, the host made this declaration: "Thurgood Marshall was a champion of the individual.  The little guy. The ..." Or something to that effect.

I retorted to my radio: No he wasn't.  Thurgood Marshall epitomized class politics in this country at its ugliest.  To him I wasn't an individual at all.  I was a male.  A white male.  A middle-class white male.  A young middle-class white male.  A young middle-class Christian white male.  (He held a particular animus toward Jews.)  Nowhere in his work on the Court can one find evidence that Marshall had any interest in championing the cause of individuality.  He was there to protect the rights of a few minorities. (Which has its place.)

In fact America got all twisted in knots over affirmative action as a direct result of the efforts of people like Thurgood Marshall to pigeonhole the citizenry into class distinctions.

Champion of the individual. Please.

I recall that moment after having read "The Odd Couple: A liberal's harsh criticism of Justice Thurgood Marshall" in today's Wall Street Journal.  It seems a lot of folks remember history differently.

Good For a Chuckle

I was walking through a parking lot the other day and noticed an Obama bumper sticker still affixed to the rear bumper of some guy's car (a white dude, God forgive me for making note of it).  I thought: "How sorry he must be for buying into all the Obama hype to the point where he's got a sign on his bumper that reads IDIOT ON BOARD."

With that recollection in mind, I found this to be rather amusing.  The Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit:

You can scrape the embarrassment off. Or you can cover it with one of these:

It's up to you.

Bumper sticker courtesy of Zazzle.