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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, October 06, 2010

That's The Point, Dana

Sometimes I wonder if columnists who work for the Washington Post are allowed to ever venture outdoors.  We talked yesterday about longtime resident loon Richard Cohen.  Today we get treated to an eye-opening bit of idiocy from one Dana Milbank.

Get a load of this:
Who's a real conservative? It's all relative.

A couple of weeks ago, in a column about how conservatives are cannibalizing the likes of Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bob Bennett of Utah, I had the nerve to describe Murkowski, a member of the Senate GOP leadership, as a "faithful conservative."

"Dear Mr. Milbank," began an e-mail from Myron Ebell, a climate-change skeptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "Your column today would be more convincing if its broad assertions had some connection to facts."

This was evidently not a fan letter. "You call Senator Murkowski 'a faithful conservative.' You must be thinking of her father. By most measures, she is the most liberal . . . Republican Senator west of Maine and considerably to the left of most of her constituents. I suggest you check her American Conservative Union ratings over the past few years."

I took Ebell up on his challenge. What I found was astonishing -- although not in the way he had supposed. Comparing the ACU ratings of Murkowski and Bennett with those of other Republicans in the House and Senate going back to 1971 (the first year in the ACU online ratings archive), I discovered that if conservatives were to employ the purity standards they applied to Murkowski and Bennett, they would have rejected many, if not most, of the leading Republican lawmakers of the past 40 years. [link] [emphasis mine]
That last sentence should have been enough to convince Milbank that Mr. Ebell was right.  After all, it was those "leading Republicans" (Milbank lists Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, Howard Baker, Bob Michel and a host of other middle-of-the-road Republicans who went along with their Democrat buddies in Washington to get us into the mess we face today) who got us into the mess we're up to our eyeballs in today.

Of all the names mentioned (George W. Bush would have made the list for sure had he ever been a member of Congress), not one would be considered by any knowing conservative today to have ever been a conservative.  Every one of them went along (with lots of talk about dismay and frustration) with the largest growth in government this country has ever experienced.  They went along.  They got along.  And America is bankrupt and in decline.

Is Dana Milbank too stupid to know the difference between the words "Republican" and "conservative"?

Perhaps.

But we're not.

That's why Murkowski has been driven out.  And Bob Bennett is in retirement.

The United States of America teeters on the brink of disaster.  And they helped push it to the edge.

If Mr. Milbank ever left the insular confines of Washington, he'd realize that.

- - -


He also lists our own Senator John Warner. Anyone with half a brain and who paid attention knew Warner to be as liberal (except when it came to the military) as any Republican ever was in Washington.

I Smell a Rat

Up to this point in time I've avoided mentioning the name Jeremiah Heaton when talking about the 9th District congressional race that's being fought out.  He's an articulate and reasonable independent running against the two mainstream party candidates.  He's also a veteran and a businessman down in Washington County.

But he hasn't a chance of winning.

So I've ignored him.

Until now.

Seems he missed out on this old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

So why is Heaton attacking the underdog Republican in this battle to unseat an extremely liberal Democrat who has done great damage to Southwest Virginia?

Something here smells:

Heaton targets Griffith in 9th District Congressional race
By Joe Dashiell, reporter, WDBJ7

Roanoke, Va. - The Independent candidate in the 9th District congressional race is taking aim at the Republican challenger. Jeremiah Heaton says state out-sourcing, mandated by the General Assembly, has resulted in private contractors hiring illegal immigrants. He blames Morgan Griffith for not doing more to stop it.

Jeremiah Heaton says he believes that some of the private crews now providing maintenance along the state's major highways include illegal immigrants. And he provided a videotape that he says supports his claim.

The video posted on YouTube was shot near Marion last month, and includes Heaton questioning several members of a road maintenance crew. While News 7 has no independent confirmation that state contractors have hired illegal immigrants to perform highway maintenance, Heaton has called for an immediate investigation. [link]
We've all seen those road crews.  And we've probably all noticed that they appear to be made up of Hispanics.  Perhaps they're legal, perhaps they're not.

But what in God's name does that have to do with Morgan Griffith?

"[O]ut-sourcing, mandated by the General Assembly, has resulted in private contractors hiring illegal immigrants. He blames Morgan Griffith ..."

Outsourcing caused the hiring of illegals?  With eleven million Americans currently unemployed?  Make that case, big guy.

And its Griffith's fault?  Because contractors may have broken the law?

I mentioned above that Jeremiah Heaton seems to be a reasonable man.  Perhaps I was wrong.

Or perhaps he sees opportunity in pitching in and helping out the Democrat incumbent.

The question is why.  And what that opportunity affords him.

If Heaton siphons off 5% of the vote on November 2, and Morgan Griffith loses by 4% or less, and we go back to business-as-usual in Washington, did the independent accomplish that which he set out to do?

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.  There is a distinctive odor emanating that is most foul.

Yick

Take it from someone who has a whole lot of experience in such things.  When it comes to marketing, it's sometimes the perception that dooms your effort.

If you were to drive into Bland, Virginia, the first large building you'll see is an abandoned one with a faded old sign out front that still displays the name of its last occupant, a manufacturer that went by the name of ...

Bland Sportswear

Let me ask you, if you were a salesman, how enthusiastically would you promote "bland sportswear" to a buyer at Wal-Mart?  And how interested would that buyer be if someone knocked on his or her door and said, "Hey, I've got some bland sportswear for you"?

Perhaps there's a reason why the building is abandoned.

Which brings us to Frito-Lay.

Far be it from me to tell the (highly-paid?) geniuses there who dream up the international food conglomerate's marketing strategies how to do their job, but did no one in their Marketing 101 class teach them that you don't use a term that connotes horse shit on a bag of snacks?

Take a look at this photo and tell me what's wrong with this picture:
Compost
Noun: compost kŏm'pōst
1. A mixture of decaying vegetation and manure; used as a fertilizer

Chips
Noun: chips
chĭp
1. Thin crisp slices of potato fried in deep fat
2. Pieces of dried bovine dung

Personally, I  didn't get past the words "compostable" and "chips."

It's all downhill from there.

Oh, I should mention this:

Frito-Lay withdraws noisy compostable SunChips bag
By David Bellm -- Packaging Digest

Frito-Lay is dropping its biodegradable SunChips bag, just 18 months after introducing it. Launched with extensive publicity that highlighted the bag’s 100-percent compostability, the new packaging quickly became the target of negative attention because of how noisy it is.

The bag’s infamously pronounced crinkling sound is said to be caused by the unique molecular structure of the material, which makes it more rigid and therefore louder when manipulated.

Although many people initially applauded the company’s move toward the recyclable bags, public opinion quickly turned against the brand, driving SunChips sales down more than 11 percent over the past year, according to USA Today. [link]
Sure.  Sales plummeted when the new bag was introduced because it made noise.  It had nothing to do with the fact that a marketing guru put a word that is a derivative of "horse manure" on its front, big and bold.

All I can say is ... pew.  This effort stunk to high heaven.

Taranto Shows Us How It's Done

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writing about ObamaCare:

"The first elements to kick in are very popular."

"Best of the Web" impresario James Taranto, in response:

"Perhaps, but when a condemned prisoner is put to death, the first element of the execution to kick in is a free meal."

Score Taranto.

To Those Who Thought ObamaCare Was a Sweet Deal ...

... including that hapless Democrat running for reelection in Southside Virginia, who has been running ads on TV locally touting its Christmas gifts to retirees, behold that which your leaders have wrought:
3M to dump retirees from medical coverage
By Ed Morrissey

Remember when Barack Obama repeatedly promised that no one’s current coverage would have to change if Congress approved the health-care overhaul he demanded?  When the ObamaCare bill passed, the Associated Press suddenly discovered that the change of tax law that would supposedly generate billions of dollars to pay for the costs of the bill would also drive companies to dump retirees from their existing drug coverage and push them into Medicare.  Minnesota-based 3M became one of the first large corporations to do just that — and push retirees off of all their plans as well:

"3M Co., citing new federal health laws, said Monday it won’t cover retirees with its corporate health-insurance plan starting in 2013.


"Instead, the company will direct retirees to Medicare-backed insurance programs, and will provide reimbursement for that coverage. It’ll also reimburse retirees who are too young for Medicare; the company didn’t provide further details.


"The company made the changes known in a memo to employees Friday; news of the move was reported in The Wall Street Journal and confirmed Monday by 3M spokeswoman Jackie Berry."

The ObamaCare bill created a fund to subsidize employers who didn’t dump their retirees, but the WSJ notes that it simply wasn’t enough to change the negative incentives created by the government interventions:

"The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years.


"Democrats that crafted the legislation say they tried to incentivize companies to keep their retiree coverage intact, especially until 2014. The law creates a $5 billion fund for employers and unions to offset the cost of retiree health benefits. More than 2,000 entities, including many large public companies, have already been approved to submit claims for such reimbursement. 3M did not apply."

How did Democrats come up with the $5 billion figure for subsidies to protect retirees from losing their plans? From the looks of it, they simply made it up. They also didn’t do much calculation to determine whether the subsidies would actually incentivize employers into rejecting this strategy for cost savings. To some extent, they may not have been able to make that calculation, because thanks to the massive amount of ambiguity in the bill, no one can really say for sure what the future costs would be. And of course, that’s why 3M chose now to dump the retirees.

3m has 23,000 retirees, many of them likely to be living in Minnesota. They’re also likely to vote in the upcoming midterms, perhaps even more likely now than ever. [link]
The system is imploding a lot faster than anyone imagined.

Frightening. 

With a Vengeance

And with a love of country.

And with a fear for our children's future.

The tsunami is coming on November 2, the likes of which we've not seen in my lifetime.  Witness:

Gallup Delivers a Stunner
By John Fund, Wall Street Journal

As Election Day draws closer, every major public opinion poll shifts from interviewing registered voters to those whom it identifies as "likely" voters. Gallup, the oldest U.S. polling company, first developed the model it uses for identifying likely voters back in 1950 and its final election polls have proven highly accurate.

Yesterday, Gallup delivered its first 2010 "likely voter" poll and the results floored the political community. In the generic ballot question, which asks which party a voter would favor in a generic House contest, Gallup gave the GOP a 46% to 42% edge. But then Gallup applied two versions of its "likely voter" turnout model. In its "high turnout model," Republicans led Democrats by 53% to 40%. In its "low turnout model," the GOP edge was a stunning 56% to 38%. That kind of margin in favor of Republicans has never been seen in Gallup surveys. [link]
It's "never been seen" before in all the years voters' opinions have been measured leading up to election day.

The willful destruction of that which most Americans hold dear will prompt such a result.


Our way of life hangs in the balance.

I Found It!

See this post from yesterday that had to do with some nitwit working for the Bristol Herald Courier who called upon American Electric Power to come up with an alternative fuel source - and make it snappy! - to fossil fuels, one that is cheap and clean and efficient and environment-friendly. And makes for "more livable communities," whatever the hell that means.

Well, I've come up with AEP's answer to her demand:


"Enter a world of pure imagination ..."

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Family Entertainment.

Honoring Those Who Served

Here's something that will stir your patriotic fervor.  And, believe it or not, it comes from CBS News:




We have been blessed by their devotion and their sacrifice.

May God bless every one of them.

Don't Trust The Scientists

I didn't believe them when they were telling us that the planet was heating up.  And I'm not believing them now:


Sure.