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

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Where Do They Get These Goofy Ideas?

I'm no tax attorney but even I knew this, from the Roanoke Times editorial page from last Sunday, would never fly:
Virginia Tech should collect town taxes

Blacksburg for years has wanted Virginia Tech to collect the town meals and lodging taxes on campus. University officials have stridently refused, usually unwilling even to discuss it. Now, however, a few campus food sellers have started collecting the meals tax, making this an ideal time for the school do the right thing.

As long as Tech holds out, it adds a little bit to the sense that it is separate from the town, not a full partner with the people who live here year round. With this small effort, it could more fully invest in the community. It could say, "Yes, we are all part of the same team." [link]
We can all be part of the same team?

My first thought, when I read that, was: Uh, no we can't.

These guys wanted Virginia Tech to collect taxes that should be collected by contractors doing business with Virginia Tech students, visitors, and faculty?  In what statute is that authority granted (or mandated)?

It turns out, I - the legal scholar - was right.  Virginia Tech has no such authority:
Va. Tech declines to collect taxes on dining and lodging
The college said state law doesn't direct it to collect local taxes, so it can't do so.
By Tonia Moxley, Roanoke Times


That's the short version of a long answer Virginia Tech President Charles Steger gave this week to a request from Blacksburg officials that the university collect town taxes at on-campus dining and lodging facilities.

"Unfortunately, Virginia Tech is not in a position where the university can comply with the town's request," Steger wrote in a letter dated Oct. 1 but delivered to the town this week.

Tech officials have said the university's legal counsel has advised that, because state law does not explicitly direct the university to collect local taxes, the university is prohibited from doing so. [link]
How did these people - "Blacksburg officials" and the mental giants at the Times - miss the obvious?  You can't just accept - or dispense - authority to tax people simply on a whim and the notion that it would be a good idea.

There are these thingies called laws, people ...

How Did Boucher De-Create Jobs?

You've seen Congressman Rick Boucher's ad in which he's claiming to have created 5,000 new jobs here in Southwest Virginia since he came into office last century.  If not, you can see it here: "I Know How to Create Jobs...And it Has Never Been More Important."

Leaving aside the fact that the man has never created a job in his life, what's up with that "5,000" figure?

Why, last time he ran in a competitive race, in 2006, was the number 40,000?

Or, as I remember it, 41,000?

So now it's only 5,000 new jobs?

Did he de-create 36,000?

How do you do that?

I suppose, in the end, it doesn't really matter.  He's lying through his teeth whatever number he dreams up.

The truth, from the RPV:

The Real Boucher Record: 9th District Loses 17,500 Jobs on Democrat's Watch

While the rest of the Commonwealth boomed, Boucher's 'job creation' efforts saw Southwest Virginia lose, not gain, private sector jobs

Rick Boucher is spending tens of thousands of dollars on TV ads, trying to convince Southwest Virginia voters that the economy is just fine, and that he's creating jobs right and left.

If Rick Boucher is creating jobs, somebody needs to tell the unemployment rate.

Rick Boucher likes to talk about how he's bringing jobs to Southwest Virginia, but the facts paint a different picture entirely. While the rest of Virginia was booming from 2000-2010, when the Commonwealth added nearly 114,000 jobs, the 9th District was LOSING jobs.

The Virginia Employment Commission statistics tell the sad tale: The localities of the 9th District shed 17,543 private sector jobs, while the rest of Virginia was hiring.

But don't take our word for it. Go to the Virginia Employment Commission's data analyzer here. Find a spreadsheet compiled from that data here.

And yet all the job losses on Boucher's watch pale in comparison to the massive job losses he supported under Cap and Trade.

Anywhere from 20% to 35% of coal jobs could disappear thanks to Cap and Trade. Again, don't take our word for it. Open this report from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan "referees" for Congress. The relevant portion starts at the bottom of page 6.

If Rick Boucher keeps "creating jobs" like this, it won't be long until everyone in Southwest Virginia is out of work.

If Rick Boucher is going to hang his hat on job creation - 5,000, 40,000, or 40,000,000 - shouldn't he also accept blame for the horrendous job losses in his district over the last two decades?

He won't.  But maybe We The People should demand it.

Griffith Gains Valuable Endorsement

"Move America Forward", a non-profit organization set up by a group of freedom loving patriots in 2004 to support our troops in the War on Terror (at a time when the Democratic Party chose to abandon them) has come out with an endorsement of 9th District Republican Morgan Griffith.  From a press release:
The Move America Forward Freedom Political Action Committee announced its endorsement today of Morgan Griffith, the Republican candidate for the Ninth Congressional seat.

Debbie Lee, spokesperson for the group, said Griffith is the only candidate in this race who truly understands and respects the mission of our brave men and women who serve in uniform. "As our military fights to protect our freedom abroad, Griffith has promised to fight for our Constitutional freedoms here at home, and give the people of Southwest Virginia a representative they can trust and be proud of."

Lee continued: "In contrast, Rick Boucher has failed the people of Virginia, by voting multiple times in opposition to America's security interests and the interests of our brave troops! He voted against the Surge in Iraq (2/16/07), and later voted in favor of "CUT AND RUN" (7/12/07). Boucher has been in office for so long. It seems these days he knows less about Virginia, and more about making deals in D.C."

Lee and Navy SEAL Ben Smith met with Griffith at his Christiansburg headquarters.

Lee is the mother of Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq on August 2, 2006. He was awarded the silver star, bronze star with valor, and a purple for his actions in attempting to protect his fellow soldiers as they were attack.

Move America Forward is one of the nation's largest pro-troop grassroots organizations, and is best known for sending many thousands of care packages to troops stationed overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I'd rather have a handful of "Move America Forward" mothers on my side than all the Washington lobbyists and fatcat contributors to the Boucher campaign combined. They do the Lord's work.

And they now stand with Morgan Griffith.

Nothing short of victory ...

Why I Love the Wall Street Journal

The editorial page is an art form unto itself.  A sampling from yesterday's paper:
The Politics of Foreclosure

Talk about a financial scandal. A consumer borrows money to buy a house, doesn't make the mortgage payments, and then loses the house in foreclosure—only to learn that the wrong guy at the bank signed the foreclosure paperwork. Can you imagine? The affidavit was supposed to be signed by the nameless, faceless employee in the back office who reviewed the file, not the other nameless, faceless employee who sits in the front.

The result is the same, but politicians understand the pain that results when the anonymous paper pusher who kicks you out of your home is not the anonymous paper pusher who is supposed to kick you out of your home. Welcome to Washington's financial crisis of the week. [link]
It drips with caustic sarcasm, doesn't it?  Does "Washington" deserve anything else?

Great stuff.

A Good Line

You've seen the signs dotting the landscape:

Morgan Griffith:
"There is a sign war in Southwest Virginia.  The winner is not Griffith for Congress signs or Boucher signs, it's the 'closed,' 'for sale' and 'foreclosed' signs.  We are hurting and no amount of happy talk from Obama or Boucher is going to change that."
A sad fact: There will soon be more "For Sale" signs planted in the ground around Southwest Virginia than there are "Rick Boucher Has Brought Prosperity to the 9th" signs.

And a sad fact it is.

There's a New Blogger In Town

I just came across a new weblog, emanating out of the People's Republic of Blacksburg, that's worth checking out.  It's entitled "Southwest Gateway" and can be found here.

I was drawn to it by this:

Well written, concise, nice layout.  And there's depth to it.

I've added the site to my blogroll.

Welcome to the fray, Mr. (Ms.?) B. Roop. Lock and load.

* Could the author be Brandon Roop?  Just curious.

You Think Boucher's Not One of THEM?

You've seen 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher trying like mad to run from his record, what with a strong challenger, Morgan Griffith, nipping at his heals this year - you know the ads, "I did not vote with Nancy Pelosi 96% of the time; that's preposterous," and all that - in an effort to show that he's not tied at the hip to the most despised set of Democrats the party of Jimmy Carter has ever defecated.

Well, you'll be interested to know this: He's been "put on notice" by Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic leadership.  Don't want to stray too far, Rick.  Or Mama's gonna spank your fanny:
Dems Define Success Down
By Major Garrett, National Journal

In 1994, Van Hollen told the caucus, the entire party fell asleep, but "that won't be the case this time."

The party plan, following a strategy conceived by then-DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, now running for mayor of Chicago, was to demand quarterly fundraising totals from all freshman and sophomore Democrats seeking re-election. These 41 so-called Frontline Democrats also had to sign a contract with the DCCC, a formal memorandum of understanding promising to raise enough campaign cash by March 2010 to pay for their entire TV ad budget for the final six to eight weeks of their contests.

On both fronts, the quarterly fund-raising reports and the memorandum of understanding commitment, incumbents who fell behind were forced to meet with Van Hollen and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Frontline program. Senior Democrats describe these sessions variously as "going to the principal's office" and a "parent-teacher conference." Either way, Van Hollen and Wasserman Schultz did most of the talking, with an implied threat hanging in the air: If you don't meet these targets, you might not receive party money down the home stretch in a tough race.

At the same time, party leaders were focusing on more than two dozen Democrats with substantial seniority who had not run modern races in tough political climates for years. Ike Skelton of Missouri, Rick Boucher of Virginia, and Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota were among those summoned to private meetings and put on notice. [link] [emphasis mine]
Rick Boucher wants us to believe that he's his own man.  His actions tell us a different tale.  He does what he's told.

Otherwise he gets put in the bad boy's chair.

Is it any wonder he turned tail and ran from the most critical debate in Southwest Virginia's history - surrounding that cap-and-trade bill that was intended to destroy the coal industry - and "cut a deal" with the radicals in his own party?

This is just more evidence that Boucher is a wiener.

Our congressman was "summoned" to be lectured on his responsibilities.  And "put on notice."

For the love of God.

Quote of the Day

James Taranto on those three dozen people who all got sick at a political rally up in Maryland the other day:

"The bad news is, President Obama made them sick. The good news is, they can still get insurance even though they have a pre-existing condition."

"Condition Critical," "Best of the Web Today," October 8, 2010