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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 27, 2010

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Despite the widespread suffering ...

... and despair.

The rising unemployment problem ...

.. and the mortgage crisis.

Which goes along with the banking crisis ...

... and the debt crisis.

Regardless how much the manufacturing sector has been devastated ...

... and how hard Obama, the Democrats, and his EPA work to bankrupt Southwest Virginia.

No matter that 17% of us live in poverty ...

... and thirty percent are on food stamps.

Even though the 9th Congressional District is depopulating because there is no opportunity for a career-minded high school graduate here any more ...

... and we face a depression the likes of which this area has never seen ...

... the Roanoke Times endorses MORE OF THE SAME.

See "Rick Boucher in the 9th District."

For the love of God.

Hmmm

How about a little bit of mystery to start your day. From a Morgan Griffith for Congress press release:
Media advisory

Christiansburg - The campaign of Morgan Griffith will hold a press conference Wednesday, October 27 to announce a major endorsement and to discuss the final days of the election. The event is set for 11 a.m. at the Republican's Christiansburg headquarters, 1055 W. Main Street.
What could it be? What major figure or group might be endorsing Griffith that would be of such importance as to prompt a press conference?

I'm betting it's Senator James Webb. He's seen the error of his ways and has come back home from the dark side and is a conservative once again.

Or Lady Gaga.

When Did Rick Boucher Move To Damascus?

Seems like only yesterday our congressman was telling us in his sappy TV ad that he still lives in a house in Abingdon just up the street from the one in which his family lived when he was born.

Quaint.

If that's the case, though, what's this?

Boucher said that both he and Heaton live in Damascus and have met before to discuss the impact of Heaton's general store on the town's tourism economy.

News flash: Damascus ain't up the street from Boucher's old digs.

Another home perhaps?  To go along with the first one (as well as his home away from home in posh Avon, Colorado) and his second/third/fourth in Washington D.C.?

- - -

Another thing, does anyone actually believe that Boucher and Heaton got together - with all that's now known - to discuss Heaton's general store and its freaking impact on tourism?

There is what might be called the smell test.  But this doesn't even pass my bullshit-o-meter test.

What was really discussed, Jeremiah?

- - -

UPDATE 10.27.10, 9:25pm: See the comments section for a clarification from the author.

If You're In The Neighborhood ...

There's probably not a person in all of Southwest Virginia who thinks of Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) as being anti-gun.  For a possible change of heart, and if you're in the Christiansburg area this morning, why not stop by and listen to what Gun Owners of America's Director of Communications Erich Pratt has to say on the subject.  You might quickly be disabused of your notion that Boucher is on our side in the fight to be free.

An announcement:
Gun Owners of America Media Advisory
GOA to appear in Christiansburg
October 26, 2010

Springfield, VA - This Wednesday, Gun Owners of America's Director of Communications Erich Pratt will be speaking at an 11:00 am press conference at 1055 Main Street in Christiansburg.

Pratt will be discussing the anti-gun votes of incumbent Rep. Rick Boucher, and contrasting his record with the pro-gun record of Morgan Griffith. The two candidates are locked in a tight battle in Virginia's Ninth Congressional District .

GOA, the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington, is exposing the anti-gun records of dozens of so-called Blue Dog Democrats across the country who pretend to be pro-gun while they often vote with anti-gun House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. [received via email]

There can be no compromise on this most vital of all vital issues facing America today. For, as Charlton Heston once said:
I say the Second Amendment is, in order of importance, the first amendment. It is America's First Freedom, the one right that protects all of the others. Among freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of redress of grievances, it is the first among equals. It alone offers the absolute capacity to live without fear. The right to keep and bear arms is the one right that allows "rights" to exist at all.
Be locked. Be loaded. Know who's there in Washington to protect our First Freedom.  And who's not.  And vote.

The Race Is Now Neck & Neck

I mentioned a Washington Post blurb the other day that touched on an internal Republican poll that showed the race here in the 9th Congressional District to have devolved into a dead heat - 44% for Rick Boucher and 44% for Morgan Griffith.  But because there were no statistics to go along with that factoid (and because it was cited as a GOP poll), I didn't make much of it.

Now I can make much of it.

We've drawn even with those who like things here in Southwest Virginia just the way they are.

From SurveyUSA:
Republicans Make Their Move in Virginia's 9th District; GOP's Griffith Pulls Even with 15-Term Incumbent Democrat Boucher: A dramatic reversal of fortune in Virginia's 9th Congressional District, where Republican challenger Morgan Griffith appears to have awoken after 3 months of polling at 40% and today, 7 days until votes are counted, vaults into a tie with incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher, who had been sailing to a 16th term.

In a SurveyUSA polling conducted exclusively for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, it's Griffith 47%, Boucher 46%, within the survey's theoretical margin of sampling error. Griffith's lead may or may not be statistically significant; the contest should be reported as even.

Among traditional midterm voters -- those who vote in most or all congressional elections -- Boucher is nominally ahead, by 3 to 5 points. But: among the group of voters who tell SurveyUSA they are uniquely motivated to vote in 2010, the Republican leads almost 2:1. The relative sizes of these groups will determine the winner. If the uniquely motivated 2010 voters walk-the-ballot-box walk, and don't just talk-the-pollster talk, the Republicans have a chance to snatch the seat. If the uniquely motivated voters aren't so motivated after all, Boucher keeps the seat.

Compared to 4 previous tracking polls, Independents have broken sharply Republican in the campaign's final week. The number of Republicans crossing over to vote for Boucher has steadily decreased, from 26% in July to 18% today. The number of higher-income voters voting for Griffith has steadily increased, from 43% in July to 49% today. Boucher's lead among women has evaporated from a once 23-point advantage. The older the electorate, the better Boucher's chances. [link]
Here's my take on all that:

1) That 3 to 5 percent edge in favor of Boucher among "traditional midterm voters" involves the elderly voter who goes to the polls every year out of civic duty and who has supported the Democrat since he or she was a kid.

And never discount the union vote, (especially the retired union vote), especially the closer to Dickenson and Russell Counties you get.

2) Those who are "uniquely motivated to vote in 2010" (and who have said they'll be voting for Griffith 2 to 1) have only one thing in mind - OBAMA. With everything that can be associated with the name.  And the deeper you get into coal country, the more Obama's cap-and-trade assault on the coal industry weighs as a factor.  (I'm reminded of the Roanoke Times's Mason Adams' observation yesterday in the "Blue Ridge Caucus" that young miners seem to be ready to jump the UMW ship and vote Republican while the older miners in the coalfields are still loyal to party and the union "bosses."

3) As I predicted a month ago, the "undecided" vote is breaking for Griffith in the last days of the campaign.  This has to do with (a) the name recognition problem that's finally righting itself, and (b) those uncommitted voters, as always happens, are now getting serious and paying attention.  And they're looking around at all the abandoned homes and factories and reading the papers.

4) The fact that Boucher's lead among women has evaporated from a once-astounding  23 point advantage has me baffled.  I'm inclined to suspect the validity of the poll.  A 23 point swing?  Did Boucher get caught with his pants down at a Cub Scout event and I missed it?  I don't know.  Consider me skeptical.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that women have grown accustomed to that awful goatee of Griffith's.

Or maybe women don't like their congresspersons partying like Hollywood movie stars in Vail, Colorado while their friends and neighbors are struggling to hang onto their jobs and homes back here in the 9th District any more than men do.  Who knows.  If SurveyUSA is to be believed, the Democrat now has only a 2 point lead among women with just days to go before Election Day.

5) Here's the most important set of statistics to emerge from the SurveyUSA study (which was conducted between the 21st and the 25th of October): The age of those polled, and the likelihood that they'll go and vote on November 2:


Those under the age of 50 are - by far - in support of Republican Morgan Griffith - 55% to 37% - with almost the reverse being true of those over 50 - 53% to 41% in favor of Boucher.

More important than that is the likelihood of those having opinions actually turning those opinions into votes.  The older voter  - the Boucher voter - is far more likely to turn out next Tuesday.  That ain't good.

Anyway, there are two competing "motivations" in play here.  The first involves those who will be voting because they always vote.  They'll be going for the Democrat in large numbers.  The second motivation (among the younger voters) is to stop the bleeding in this country - the motivation to change things.  That's the Griffith camp.

Are the numbers of those who seek change motivated enough to offset the elderly vote by getting off their butts and showing up at their neighborhood polling place next Tuesday?

We're about to find out.

- - -

Remember my weblog post from earlier this month in which I openly speculated that independent challenger Jeremiah Heaton may have had some ulterior motive for being in the race and attacking only the challenger, Morgan Griffith, giving the incumbent Rick Boucher a complete pass?

Remember "I Smell a Rat"?

Well, read the following and see what you think motivates Mr. Heaton's continued dalliance with the race.  From Mason Adams's "9th District candidates clash in televised debate" in this morning's Roanoke Times:
The exchanges likely to leave the strongest impression on viewers, however, came in the debate's second half, when Heaton launched a series of sharply worded attacks at Griffith. He criticized the Salem attorney's choice of legal clients, suggested his decision to marry in a cemetery was strange and called him a "carpetbagger" for running in the 9th District while living just outside it.

"I knew when I agreed to debate with [both of] them it was probably going to be two on one," Griffith said afterward. "It's a little disingenuous to have one candidate [Heaton] who's getting only four percent do all the hits, and have the other candidate be the good cop. It was good cop, bad cop tonight."

Boucher said that both he and Heaton live in Damascus and have met before to discuss the impact of Heaton's general store on the town's tourism economy.

But "we've never discussed this race," Boucher said. "That's just sheer nonsense."

Heaton acknowledged that Boucher's wife has played music in his store three times but said he's running just as hard against Boucher as he is Griffith. During the debate, Heaton assailed both Boucher and Griffith as "career politicians" who have sold out for special-interest money.

Heaton said he wasn't looking to help Boucher, but attacked Griffith for a different reason: "Morgan Griffith took my opportunity to beat Rick Boucher away from me by rolling in here with all this special-interest money and running in a congressional district where he does not live. I don't care if his feelings are hurt."

Most of the debate was given over to discussion of policy, however.
See the results of the SurveyUSA poll again. Griffith is up by 1 point. Heaton has five.

It certainly seems to me that if the Republican eventually loses by less than the number of votes that the independent captures, Heaton's plan to derail the Griffith candidacy and to reelect Rick Boucher will have been successful.

I hope Heaton and Boucher are happy with the result.

Smell? No. This now has the stench of rotting flesh.

* Click on the image to enlarge it.

The More Important Poll

Believe it or not, this poll - totally unscientific and easily manipulated - is of far more importance to me than the SurveyUSA poll cited above.  Because this one is conducted in the heart of coal country over in Clintwood, with the readership of the "Clintwood Connection" being overwhelmingly local.

Here's what you need to concentrate on the evening of November 2: As goes Dickenson County, so goes the 9th Congressional District.

As things stand right now over in Coal Central:

Griffith leads Boucher by 6.

Make of it what you will.  This is big.  A harbinger.  A herald.  A Republican leads the race in the heart of coal country.

Who would have ever thought ...

Thanks go out to the Clintwood Connection.

Quote of the Day

From James Taranto:
"If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's gonna be harder and that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on Nov. 2."

This, by the way, is the same man who in 2004 declared: "There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America--there's the United States of America." Or there was, until it suited his interests to divide us.
"Best of the Web Today," October 26, 2010

Tim Kaine Always Was a Doofus

It's just that now that the Washington Post can't be there round the clock to watch over him, he's letting the entire planet know how stupid he really is:


Really.

Thing is, Tim, every Republican in America is happy with it too.

Tim Kaine, the Democrats' Melvin Machiavelli.

Good grief.

Regardless What They Say About Rush Limbaugh

He never slithers into the gutter the way the mouths on the left are apt to:


Her audience applauded when she vomited that malodorous bit of nausea, by the way. Which says a lot about what kind of people enjoy Behar's foul-mouthed on-air shrieking.