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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Lose Our Best & Brightest

And Obama couldn't even tell us why:
VMI grad among 9 dead in Afghan attack
Roanoke Times

A Virginia Military Institute graduate died Wednesday while on duty in Afghanistan, the school announced Friday.

Air Force Capt. Charles Ransom, 31, was a trainer assisting the Afghan National Security Forces, according to a VMI news release. He was one of eight American service members who died when a veteran Afghan air force pilot opened fire in a military compound near Kabul's airport. An American civilian contractor was also killed. The Pentagon said the incident remains under investigation.

Funeral arrangements for Ransom, of Midlothian in Chesterfield County, were pending. [link]
Such a waste.

As The People Of Glade Spring Bury Their Dead ...

... a leftist publication tells them that their loved ones deserved to die:
Think Progress: Those dead GOP hicks had it coming

That’s my translation of this Think Progress piece.

"The congressional delegations of these states — Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky — overwhelmingly voted to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous. They are deliberately ignoring the warnings from scientists."

I guess Think Progress and those who commented on that story think Mother Nature made sure those GOP voters got what they deserved.

Meanwhile if you are a person who lives in reality and would rather actually help instead of trying to make an obscene political point, you can donate to the American Red Cross here. [link]
Someone needs to explain to me why Terry Jones burning a Q'uran is beyond reprehensible but climate worshippers reveling over the mangled bodies of innocent Virginians is not.

Jesus would have us turn the other cheek.  Jesus would have us turn the other cheek ...

- - -

See also "Hippies heart disaster."

Liberals Know No Bounds

The Constitution, to them, is only useful when a defense of the heinous abortion industry in this country is required.* Other than that ... nada.

The latest delusion - The Constitution doesn't protect political protesters:
First Amendment Headed for the Breyer Patch?
By Terry Heinrichs, American Thinker

A week after [Reverend Terry] Jones threatened to burn the Quran last September SCOTUS Justice Steven Breyer commented that "he's not prepared to conclude that -- in the internet age -- the First Amendment condones Koran burning." Alluding to Holmes's famous "fire" metaphor he added: "You can't shout fire in a crowded theater. Holmes said [the First Amendment] doesn't mean you can shout ‘fire' in a crowded theater."

Breyer's concern was really not with Holmes's metaphor as much as it was with the harm it portrays. In this, Breyer was as worldly as he was au courant. Just as in many countries truth is no defense to libel, so in many jurisdictions free expression "guarantees" are no protection against speech deemed offensive.

[T]here is plenty of support in the so-called "international community" for sacrificing individual free speech rights on the altar of communal harmony. Breyer and some others on the Court have indicated they are open to legal arguments and results common in other parts of the world. If this openness begins to make itself felt in free speech litigation -- and it will if the internationalists and the "politically correct" among us have their way -- First Amendment exceptionalism might very well give way to an exception for the protection of Islam. In the event, what we can say and do will be determined not by current First Amendment doctrine but by what the offended among us will permit. [link]
Breyer, a run-of-the-mill liberal, is offended that Terry Jones offended Muslims.  He therefore would consider stifling Jones's 1st Amendment rights. His bottom line? Protecting radical Islam is more important than protecting an American citizen's most precious right.

It don't get scarier than that.

* Revealingly, there is no actual defense of abortion to be found in the Constitution.  Nor is the usual explanation - the right to privacy - to be discovered there, despite it being the major defense adopted by America's liberals.  Instead they fell upon the Due Process Clause in the 14th Amendment to justify the right to privacy to justify the right to an abortion - "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..."  

A real howler if you read the words carefully.

Headline of the Day

Oh, my:

Does this mean that Obama wasn't telling us the truth when he said he opposed such groups?

I'm absolutely shocked.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Greg Habeeb Knows How To Work The Crowd

How important is this in the big scheme of things?  Not much.  But it's the little things that add up to big things.

In his case it all adds up to votes:
Habeeb to toss first pitch at Salem Red Sox Sunday home game; asks local physicians to attend

Salem – Delegate Greg Habeeb will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Salem Red Sox Sunday, May 1st home game against Potomac at 4:05 p.m.

Habeeb, who considered himself athletic 15 years and 25 lbs ago, is asking as many Roanoke Valley doctors as possible to attend the game.

“I feel like throwing out the first pitch will be a lot of fun,” said Habeeb. “But the last time I tried something like this it didn’t end well, so we need to take as many precautions as possible. If some doctors are there, it won’t be a bad thing.”

Habeeb broke his ankle during a pick-up basketball game shortly after being elected to the House of Delegates in January. He worked a large part of the General Assembly’s Legislative Session in a walking boot.

Habeeb (R-Salem) represents the City of Salem and part of Southwest Roanoke County.
Received via email.

Coal Mining Under Assault. Still.

This news release comes from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office:
Attorney General Cuccinelli says federal agency is overstepping authority with aggressive directives to slow mining

Richmond, VA (April 29, 2011) – Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is asking the federal agency which oversees surface mining to justify its new, aggressive directives to slow mining and to overrule the oversight authority of the states. In his letter (attached), he makes it clear that Virginia will take whatever steps are necessary, including litigation, if the agency persists in overstepping the role Congress has provided for it.

Beginning in January 2011, the Office of Surface Mining, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, launched a series of directives that constituted a significant change in policy. The details are complex, but the message is clear: Under these directives, OSM has decided to significantly expand its regulatory role at the expense of the states.

Under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, however, Congress gave the states primary responsibility to carry out the regulation of surface mining. OSM's newfound aggressiveness is not justified by any deficiencies on the part of the states, nor is it justified under the statutory scheme Congress has established. OSM's directives are, however, consistent with the Obama Administration’s aggressive use of administrative agencies to accomplish policy objectives that fail to gain congressional approval.
Here's to General Cuccinelli. He's looking out the little guy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What a Wild Night

Well, we finally got our power restored.  It went out about midnight and was off all this time.  I'm guessing it took so long to restore service in part because of the widespread damage, and because of the destruction that resulted from a tornado slamming into Glade Spring, down I-81, killing seven people.

I don't know that I've ever seen a storm like that one.  The sky around us was lit up for hours, especially beyond one mountain (Brushy) to the west.  Those folks over in West Virginia were getting pounded all night.

Anyway, we survive to tell the tale.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Need To Get Out Of The U.N.

I really don't want to be associated with (nor provide tax donations to) any organization that is run by such mindless idiots:

Syria. Sits in judgment on human rights. As decreed by the United Nations.  At the very time that Syrian forces are committing horrific human rights abuses and are slaughtering innocent people in the streets of Damasus.

For the love of God.


Is this even possible?

The numbers tell a different story. In 2008, 95% of votes cast by black Americans went to Obama.


Statistically speaking, you can't get much more racist than that.

Want To Try Again?

You may remember this ditty from a few weeks ago:

"The latest trend you're missing out on is... typewriters?

"That's right, typewriters aren't just for famous authors and technophobes. They're everywhere nowadays, from brick-and-mortar vintage typewriter stores to iPad docks that look like a typewriter.

I, of course, scoffed:

"I don't know, nor care, why typewriters are "everywhere" nowadays, unless they've become the newest trend in boat anchors.

"So am I to believe that there are people out in the world who would rather type on a typewriter?

"Have they lost their minds?"

As it turns out, the only person to have lost his mind is the moron who wrote that bit of lunacy. In reality:
The end of the line: Last typewriter factory left in the world closes its doors
London Daily Mail

It's an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce - the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters - has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock. [link]
They're everywhere!  They're everywhere! 

I'll bet this guy is still planning on making a killing with his Enron stock too.

Laugher of the Day

This seems so ... expected.  Get a bunch of Democrats together to tackle this - "Cleveland deemed most miserable city in USA" - and this - "Cleveland rated poorest big city in U.S." - and how will they respond?

With this, naturally:

An outdoor smoking ban and a ban on trans fats.


Tying all this together, how do the people of Cleveland react? 

With their feet:

"Cleveland leads big cities in population loss, census figures show."

I don't know.  Do you laugh at Democrats for being fools or do you imprison them for the damage that they do?

Oh, until you decide?  They're in charge of Cleveland again tomorrow. And the next day.  And ...

Don't They Have More Important Things To Do?

You know, I read stories like this and wonder: What's the story behind the story?
Congress's Sour Grapes
Wall Street Journal

Congress specializes in giving nice names to bad bills, and the latest is the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (Care) Act. This purports to give states and communities more authority to regulate alcohol. In fact, its purpose is to prevent out-of-state wine producers from selling directly to consumers around the country.

The federal government and states have been in a tug-of-war over alcohol regulation since the 21st Amendment passed in 1933. That amendment gave states the right to decide whether to go wet or stay dry. But the Supreme Court in 2005 came down decisively in favor of the feds in Granholm v. Heald. The Court struck down laws in New York and Michigan allowing in-state wineries to ship directly to consumers while forbidding out-of-state wineries from doing the same. The Court ruled that while the 21st amendment gives states the authority to regulate alcohol within their borders, the Constitution's Commerce Clause bars them from erecting such protectionist barriers.

Enter the Care Act, which would strip alcohol businesses of their Commerce Clause protections and thus eliminate their ability to sue states in federal court. [link]
Okay.  So that's the story.  But what's the story behind the story?  Why would someone in Congress feel it necessary to introduce this kind of protectionist legislation when there are so many other pressing issues facing this country of ours?  And why do it (in this the age of eBay, internet marketing, and global commerce) when this kind of wall-building has proven time and again to be detrimental to consumers' way of life?

For an answer we turn to the guy who introduced the bill, one Jason Chaffetz of Utah.  Here's his explanation.  Or not:

I want to preserve states’ rights to decide the appropriate regulation of alcohol within their borders.  Most importantly, the bill preserves the status quo on Utah’s unique regulatory regime, and reaffirms the presumed validity of Utah’s laws.

He's a states' rights champion?  Are we to believe that?

As a bit of background, this is a fight that has been ongoing for years between beer and wine wholesalers - who want to limit our access to out-of-state purchases of the goods they sell to retailers down the street from you - and producers - who are set up to sell direct over the internet, anywhere in the country.  Some politicians side with the wholesalers, some with producers, retailers, and the public.  

For a bit of a taste of how bad this gets, the New York Times reports:

"Alabama oenophiles [jf: i.e. wine lovers] can order wine only from an out-of-state producer if they have received written approval from the state’s Beverage Control Board. Wineries can ship into Indiana and Delaware only to consumers who have visited the winery and made a purchase in person. In 37 states, residents are prohibited from ordering wine from online retailers or auction houses or even joining wine-of-the-month clubs."

Believe it or not.

And it's not limited to beer and wine.  One state even regulates the sale of out-of-state caskets to in-state consumers.  To protect "states' rights," if not dead consumers, one might expect to be told.

Here in Virginia, this battle was fought and the free exercise of commerce was - more or less - won.

But why Utah and why this Chaffetz person?  This article hints that his motivation might come from the fact that he's a Mormon and Utah is crawling with Mormons.  This one suggests that the congressman is beholden to beer and wine distributors because they are major donors to his reelection fund.  This blast from a Utah libertarian would have us believe that Jason Chaffetz has a voting history of being opposed to liberty.

Whatever the reason for it, Chaffetz is wrong to try to inhibit interstate commerce.  Today it's wine.  Tomorrow it's computers.  Or movies.  Or books.  Or Google (for God's sake).

The nation has moved beyond these circa 1920's interstate trade barriers.  It would do the good congressman well to do the same.

Krugman's Just a Politician

Politician.  A word that carries with it everything one conjures when thinking about rats and snakes.

Michelle Malkin makes note this morning of the fact that New York Times columnist politician Paul Krugman was once in favor of raising the retirement age when it comes to Medicare (considering the proposal to be "sensible") but now ridicules Republicans for suggesting that we do just that.

Slimy, man.  And so not pretty.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The New Face At The Roanoke Times

Well, they have found a replacement for radical leftist Dan Radmacher as editorial page editor of Pravda, Southwest Virginia. Otherwise known as the Roanoke Times. Her name is Christina Nuckols.

Here's the news:
Christina Nuckols named editorial page editor of The Roanoke Times
By Jenny Kincaid Boone, Roanoke Times

Christina Nuckols, a former reporter for The Roanoke Times and an editorial writer for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfork, is returning to the Roanoke Valley as The Times' new editorial page editor.

Nuckols was chosen from a pool of 25 applicants for the post that Dan Radmacher left in March. Nuckols begins her new job May 31.

A native of Page County, Nuckols, 44, has worked for newspapers in Lynchburg and Staunton. From 1996 to 2000, she was a reporter for The Roanoke Times, where she covered Roanoke County and later reported on state politics from the newspaper's Richmond bureau. Nuckols went on to report on state politics for The Virginian-Pilot and later became a Richmond-based editorial writer for the Norfolk operation. The Roanoke Times and The Virginian-Pilot both are owned by Landmark Media Enterprises.

Nuckols' passion for Southwest Virginia and knowledge of the issues that affect this area allowed her to rise above a competitive group of candidates, said Debbie Meade, president and publisher of The Roanoke Times.

"She knows our region," Meade said. "She has a real fondness for ... [blah blah blah] [link]
To get to know the new head of propaganda at the Times, I turned to this compilation of her editorial work at the Virginian-Pilot.

My verdict?

All I can say is, I miss ol' Dan already.

Can you say MILQUETOAST?

At least we can give Radmacher credit for one thing.  He may have been totally wrong about every subject on which he tried to expound, he was at least entertaining.  This gal is boring beyond words.  A word of prediction: You'll never see the words "hard-hitting" and "Christina Nuckols" used in the same sentence.  Ever.

Her most controversial piece to date?

Respite at the Byrd: Organ music soothes cranky lawmakers

Wow. Hold me back.

I'm going to venture a guess and suggest that this was publisher Debbie Meade's plan for the Times. In a region growing ever more conservative, the business model that she had deployed to date - that being to see how many of her potential customers she could piss off by forcing the most outlandishly liberal editorials down their throats - just wasn't cutting it. So she's decided to move the editorial page onto a more non-controversial plane.

That's probably a good move.

Though it's going to make it difficult for a guy like me to heap scorn on the Times when I'm reading smashmouth stuff about skirt length and doggy grooming.

Yeah, I think I'm going to miss ol' Dan.

I'll just have to hope the Roanoke Times doesn't dump Christian Trejbal. He's still good for a few laughs.

Quote of the Day

From Robert J. Samuelson on the president giving up on leading and going back to running for president:
We aren't having this debate, and President Obama is mainly to blame. His recent budget speech at George Washington University was a telling model of evasion, contradiction and deception. He warned that by 2025 present tax levels would suffice only to pay for "Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the interest we owe on our debt. ... Every other national priority -- education, transportation, even our national security -- will (be paid) with borrowed money." He noted that businesses may not invest in a country that seems "unable to balance its books."

Fine. But Obama has no plan to balance the budget -- ever. He asserted "every kind of spending (is) on the table." But every kind of spending is not on the table. He virtually ruled out cutting Social Security, the government's biggest program (2011 spending: $727 billion).

The president keeps promoting an "adult conversation" about the budget, but that can't happen if the First Adult doesn't play his part. Obama is eager to be all things to all people. He's against the debt and its adverse consequences, but he's for preserving Social Security and Medicare without major changes. He's for "tough cuts," but he's against saying what they are and defending them. He pronounces ambitious goals without saying how they'd be reached. Mainly, he's for scoring political points against Republicans.
"The First Adult -- AWOL," Real Clear Politics, April 25, 2011

You'd Think They'd Learn The Lesson

Few people outside of northern West Virginia know the name Alan Mollohan.  Even though he was just run out of his congressional office in November last.  How quickly political thieves fade into history in this country. 

For his shameful story, go here:

Here's the nut of the story from 2009 that got the voters in his district aroused:
Mollohan has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice since 2006 for not reporting his income and misusing his position on the House Appropriations Committee by funneling millions of dollars of earmarks to friends and associates, including five West Virginia non-profits created by the congressman: Vandalia, MountainMade, the Institute for Scientific Research, the West Virginia High Technology Consortium, and the Canaan Valley Institute.
Though the man was never indicted, Mollohan was sent into ignominious exile on election day.  The people, as it turns out, will allow only so much corruption before they call a halt to it.

Well, we may be heading down that road again.  This time in Kentucky.  The exact same road:
Hal Rogers’ empire of nonprofits under scrutiny
By John Bresnahan, Politico

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has funneled more than $236 million in federal funds since 2000 to a web of nonprofit groups he created back home in the Bluegrass State, according to a new report by an ethics watchdog group.

Another group of private firms linked to Rogers and the nonprofit companies received another $227 million in federal loans, grants and contracts during the same period, a three-month investigation by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found.

Rogers’ family members, current and former aides, donors and business associates have benefited personally from the congressman’s largesse with federal dollars, according to the report. For instance, Rogers’ son, John, worked for one Kentucky company - Senture - that received a $4 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security with Rogers’ help back in 2004.

Rogers, dubbed the “Prince of Pork” by his critics for obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks during his 27-year stint on the Appropriations Committee, has come under scrutiny in recent years from conservatives and anti-spending groups — including for earmarking money for a cheetah conservation program where his daughter Allison worked, among dozens of other projects.

The nonprofit groups set up by Rogers comprise an alphabet soup of acronyms: the Center for Rural Development, Inc. (CRD), Forward in the Fifth, Inc. (FIF), Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, Inc. (SKED), Southern & Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association, Inc. (TOUR SEKY), Eastern Kentucky Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment, Inc. (PRIDE), Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, Inc. (UNITE), and the National Institute for Hometown Security, Inc. (NIHS).

Rogers touts these groups on his official website as having “brought local communities together by revitalizing the environment, providing hope in the fight against drugs, building small businesses, and creating jobs by increasing tourism in one of the most beautiful regions of the country.” [link]
In Alan Mollohan's case, the Justice Department ultimately decided not to pursue an indictment, because what the congressman had been doing was not illegal.  It was just unethical as hell.

So too with Rogers's misuse of taxpayer money.

Let's hope the good people of Kentucky send this joker to the same retirement home Mollohan rests in these days come November, 2012.

The Media Are Surely Disappointed

All those "Haley Barbour is a racist" stories will now never be launched:

They're probably thanking their lucky stars they still have Sarah Palin to kick around.

So many tales to be told.

I Can't Imagine

You read a headline like this and decide in a flash - there's no way I'm going there:

And I don't doubt it one bit.

But count me out.

Drowning In Debt

I watch this video, which gives warning about the mounting national debt crisis, and I can only think of the classic story about the man who is in trouble with the loan shark.  The loan shark who is charging such outlandish interest on the poor sucker's loan that he can only - barely - pay the interest as time goes by.  Leaving him indebted.  And ever deeper in the hole.

Time to be depressed:

How frightening is this? "According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, by the year 2021, which is only ten short years away, our interest payments [on the national debt] will reach a mind-boggling $1.1 trillion ... a year."

Where will our children get that kind of money?

We are probably already beyond the point of salvation. But still, you'd think someone would be trying to stave off impending doom.


- - -

Couple the debt crisis with the looming monetary crisis.  This comes from the Wall Street Journal:
The Fed has flooded the world with dollar liquidity that by its reckoning has lifted stock and other asset prices, eliminated the risk of deflation (if such a risk really existed), and prevented a double-dip recession. Wall Street and the White House are delighted.

On the other hand, this dollar flood has also contributed to a boom in commodity prices around the world, spurred inflation in countries with links to the dollar, and prompted investors to seek returns in non-dollar assets that are often risky and in many cases will prove to be a misallocation of capital. All of this, in turn, has reduced growth in real incomes, undermined consumer confidence and raised doubts about the durability of the recovery. The American middle class doesn't feel any richer.

[T]the Fed has already kept interest rates close to zero for 28 months, purchased mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys at unprecedented levels, and blown out its balance sheet to $2.7 trillion. America hasn't run a monetary policy this loose in modern history. It was possible to justify such extreme measures at the height of the financial panic, but by now the recovery is nearly two years old.
So you know, that $2.7 trillion isn't considered part of our "national debt." But make no mistake, it's part of our national debt, and will have to be accounted for ... sooner or later.

Add that to the stinking pile of horse plop we call the United States Treasury and we get ...

... suicidal.

My God.

- - -

You know, one reads all this and wonders - since no one in Washington seems to have an interest in all this - if there isn't some grand scheme that they're all in on that will, in a certain year in the not-too-distant future, bring about hyperinflation the likes of which this country has never seen before. That would, in short order, eliminate both crises.

It will also destroy your life savings and your 401-K's.

I wonder ...

Get a Life

I have to tell you, I don't care what anyone says, to me this video, deemed by millions of music critic wannabes to be the worst music video in history (go here, here, here, and here), is entertaining.  Sure it's sappy and a tad too sanitary.  But it's a teenager singing a pop song targeted toward teenagers, for God's sake.

So Justin Bieber has something on her?  Look, the girl's got talent.  And the necessary pipes. And she's not bad on the eyes.  No, she doesn't appear to be shooting anything into her veins and she's not calling anyone a ho in the recording.  Too bad.

Besides, the title for "worst video in history" is/has been/and always will be held by Fleetwood Mac.  For anything they ever plagued us with.

And wrap your brain around this: Rebecca Black, the much-ridiculed artist, may be laughing all the way to the bank.  What other singer has ever had 119,428,107 human beings listen to his or her songs?

Can you say recording contract?

Monday, April 25, 2011

'I'm from the Government & I'm Here ...'

I would suggest that anyone wishing to argue with all those liberals out there who think our government does right by us simply bring up the subject of toilets.  They don't work.  Thanks to the United States government.

I speak from personal experience.

But I will let Rand Paul do the speaking for me:

Here's the problem: Low-flush toilets.

Government types, in their infinite wisdom, decided back in the 90's that they would save us from ourselves by decreeing that flush toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush, rather than the traditional 3.5 gallons.  We'd conserve on water big time.

Gaia was fulfilled.

Only problem is, the toilets didn't provide enough water to flush the turds down the drain.  So one ended up flushing (at least) twice to make the system do what God intended it to do. 

Two flushes.  1.6 gallons + 1.6 gallons = 3.2 gallons.


So much for saving us and our precious water.

Is this any more than an annoyance?  Not really.

But should our government be in the business of annoying the crap out of us?  (pun intended)

Add to this detergents that don't clean (by government decree).

And washers that don't wash.

What next?  Is the government going to tell us where on our persons we can carry an ice cream cone?

Oh.  Wait.

Good grief.

Ronald Reagan certainly had it right: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

Gas Prices Skyrocket. Obama's Happy.

Remember, not that long ago, when Barack Obama's only regret with the rising price of oil was that it wasn't more gradual?  Well, whether it's gradual enough to suit him or not, the outcome should please him:

Rejoice, Barry.

Memo To Obama: The Problem With Trying To Hide Your Past

Here's what happens when a president tries to hide things.  The speculation about who he is just keeps getting more ... speculative. 

The latest having to do with Barack Obama's refusal to reveal his past?

Obama's father may not have been his father.

Good grief.  Did this dude learn nothing from the Nixon saga?

No Rhyme Nor Reason

I read stories like this and I still don't understand why we're killing Libyans but not Syrians.

Hillary claims we had to go to war with Libya to prevent "unspeakable atrocities."  Has she checked out Al Jazeera lately?

In fact, the world is full of bad people doing bad things.  We've decided to put Americans' lives in harm's way to stop the killing meliorate the situation in only a few places, attempting to punish only a few bad guys.

Can someone explain this?

Obama tried, but couldn't.  Hillary tried, by making stuff up, and failed.

Yet here we are.

I just don't get it.

The Verdict Is In. And Shut Up.

Get this: We're no longer allowed to think that maybe "climate change" theory is flawed.

So says a ... journalist.

This comes via NewsBusters:
Longtime Minnesota TV reporter digs into global climate change
After spending 32 years in front of the camera as an anchorman and investigative reporter for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Don Shelby wanted to apologize to people about climate change.
By Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer

After spending 32 years in front of the camera as an anchorman and investigative reporter for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Don Shelby wanted to apologize to people about climate change.

“For those of you who are confused on this issue,” he said, “you’re forgiven. It’s my fault.”

Shelby was speaking at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday on what he called “The most important story since journalism began — global climate change.” His speech served as the kick-off for a two-day sustainability fair sponsored by UMD’s Office of Sustainability.

The TV newsman’s mea culpa about having misreported climate change came after of years of treating the story the same as he would any other, requiring the views of two opposing parties, Shelby told the packed lecture hall of the chemistry building.

But, he said, climate change is not a pro or con issue; it’s a scientific fact. And journalists who work to “balance” a story present an inaccurate picture when they give equal weight to sources promulgating inaccurate facts. [link]
It's a fact.  So both sides of the warming argument should not be aired.  But wasn't it a fact, not that long ago, that the earth was cooling?  Which fact is a fact?

In fact, here's a fact: "SPECIAL REPORT: More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims - Challenge UN IPCC & Gore."

Maybe there are other opinions out there still.

This "investigative journalist" has investigated the story and has closed his mind around one theory.

The world should rejoice the fact that he's gone into retirement.  Perhaps he could stay there?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Is American Foreign Policy?

I read somewhere the other day someone trying to convince the world that Hillary Clinton should reconsider her decision to not pursue higher office, because she's done such a swell job as Secretary of State. Swell measured by the amount of interaction she's had with foreign potentates and their minions.

An odd measurement, but rational thought has never been a necessary asset for those who idolize our former cookie-baker-in-chief.

A more measurable examination of her rate of success might involve the evaluation of the foreign policies that she and Obama have put in place over the last few years.

And I defy anyone to figure that mess out.

We still have a presence in Afghanistan so that we can bomb terrorists in Pakistan. We're in Iraq because ... well, that conflict ended long ago, so who knows? We're now sided with Libyans and are killing Libyans because they (the latter ones) are harming the former ones. As they (the latter) have been doing for decades. And we're now NOT siding with the Syrians who are being harmed each day by their Libyan-like government because ... well, Hillary will get back to us on that one.


Does anyone understand any of this?

The Washington Post sure doesn't:
Shameful U.S. inaction on Syria’s massacres

For the past five weeks, growing numbers of Syrians have been gathering in cities and towns across the country to demand political freedom — and the security forces of dictator Bashar al-Assad have been responding by opening fire on them. According to Syrian human rights groups, more than 220 people had been killed by Friday. And Friday may have been the worst day yet: According to Western news organizations, which mostly have had to gather information from outside the country, at least 75 people were gunned down in places that included the suburbs of Damascus, the city of Homs and a village near the southern town of Daraa, where the protests began.

The Obama administration has denounced the violence — a presidential statement called Friday’s acts of repression “outrageous” — but otherwise remained passive.

As a moral matter, the stance of the United States is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the U.S. commitment to human rights. In recent months President Obama has pledged repeatedly that he would support the aspiration of Arabs for greater freedom. In Syria, he has not kept his word. [link]
Hey, let's start a war with Syria too!

I don't follow the Washington Post closely enough to know what position the editorialists there maintain when it comes to our Libyan war.  I can only assume, if the slaughter of innocents is now a "vital American national interest," that they are big on bombing the stuffing out of government forces there.  That would be consistent.

Consistent.  A concept that is foreign to the Obama/Hillary regime.

But let's not give these two any ideas.  For Côte d'Ivoire beckons.  As does Swaziland (wherever that is).  And Chechnya.  And Baltimore, for that matter.  There's so much violence in the world.  And so many Predator drones.

Are we to be the world's policeman?

Who knows?

For an answer to that question we turn to Barack Obama, the Harvard/Yale educated ... peace candidate ...

I'm Not Alone

Remember when I wrote this the other day about the arrest and incarceration of the Reverend Terry Jones?
You know that Florida pastor who has gained so much attention for threatening to - and then following through on his vow to - burn a Q'uran?

Well, he was apparently arrested and jailed for planning to hold a protest in front of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn having the largest Muslim population in the U.S., if memory serves).

He was jailed for planning to protest.


Since when is planning a peaceful protest a crime?

In these United States, in 2011, where hyper-sensitivity toward the potentially hurt feelings of Muslims abounds, apparently.
It looks like I - a layman when it comes to the law - ain't alone in my wonderment and outrage. Here's attorney Dodd Harris:
Well Done, Dearborn
Outside the Beltway

Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.

But even asshats have Constitutional rights. In fact, as is often said, protecting the fundamental rights of the worst of us is a vital part of ensuring that the rest of us can enjoy our liberties in peace.

So the fact that Terry Jones was jailed for, essentially, not promising that he wouldn’t hold a protest at a mosque, is unconscionable. Adding insult to injury, Judge Mark Somers ordered him to stay away from said mosque for 3 years, giving the proprietors a veto on his freedoms.

The charges against Jones are obviously, patently, incontrovertibly unconstitutional. The entire basis of the indictment is that their planned protest would “likely breach the peace.”

This case won’t have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. Michigan’s appellate court should vacate the convictions immediately. And then Pastor Jones will get to file his 1983 action and be entitled to damages from the state. All of which will do nothing but increase his media exposure and generate sympathy for his asshattery. [link]
Or, as I put it more eloquently, if not more succinctly:  


Quote of the Day

My heart bleeds:

"Being a Muslim in the United States is another form of torture, a psychological torture, an emotional torture, and it's just getting worse."

Duke University's Muslim chaplain, Abdullah Antepli, March, 2011.

I'll have to defer to this chaplain's judgment.  Being Muslim, he obviously knows a heck of a lot more about torture than I do.

But "psychological torture"?  Is that akin to having your head separated from your shoulders?  And is that going on in the streets of America?

I must have missed that.  Perhaps I was distracted by all the Muslim ass-kissing that goes on around me each day.

Such hardship.  Give me a break.

The Best Laid Plans of ... Gov't

Remember Susette Kelo? No? As a refresher, she's the woman who was required at the point of a gun to surrender her property to her local government, ultimately approved in a now-infamous Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. City of New London.  The decision, along with the actions of local officials and the state court system, sent shock waves through the country because, it was decided, all private property was subject to seizure by any government entity if the property at issue could, as determined by a nameless, faceless government apparatchik, be of more value to the state if it could be determined that the property would (a) produce jobs and (b) generate greater levels of tax revenue when handed over to a contractor for private commercial development.

Lower middle-class Susette Kelo wasn't a particularly valuable citizen.  And a development company promised riches.  So she was kicked off her land.  By the government that was originally put in place to protect people like her.

Well, you may not have heard but Susette Kelo's property, after she was forced to abandon it, is now an empty lot.  No development.  No tax revenue.  No jobs.

As it turned out, the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, which had planned on having an office complex constructed on the site, backed out several years ago, leaving weeds and vermin, along with the government, to overrun the place.  Said the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009:
The well-laid plans of redevelopers, however, did not pan out. The land where Suzette Kelo's little pink house once stood remains undeveloped. The proposed hotel-retail-condo "urban village" has not been built. And earlier this month, Pfizer Inc. announced that it is closing the $350 million research center in New London that was the anchor for the New London redevelopment plan, and will be relocating some 1,500 jobs.
So, after the government confiscated the land in the name of some promise and whimsy of a future "public purpose" (a decision and an action that make toilet tissue of the Constitution of the United States, which clearly states that any "taking" of private property must be for public use), the property sits vacant.  Empty.  Desolated.

But it gets worse.  Until Susette Kelo was driven from her home, she was a property taxpayer.  No, she wasn't writing checks the likes of which Pfizer might have, but a taxpayer just the same.  And with the land sitting undeveloped, the city of New London is now receiving squat for its treacherous work.  But guess what the latest is.  The developer who controls the Kelo location is now asking for a tax exemption going forward if the land is to be made productive.

This is the stuff movies are made of:
Would-be Fort Trumbull developers seek tax break
By Kathleen Edgecomb, The Day

New London - A developer hoping to build housing at Fort Trumbull said Thursday they [sic] will seek tax abatements from the city to move the project forward.

Robert and Irwin Stillman, the father and son owners of Westport-based River Bank Construction, said the abatements were necessary to make the project financially feasible.

"If abatements are not approved, we would have to reconsider,'' Robert Stillman said during a meeting Thursday afternoon with The Day's editorial board.

The 90-acre Fort Trumbull development area has been an ongoing issue in the city for more than 10 years. The NLDC presented a plan in 2000 that the city approved that in essence leveled nearly all the buildings in Fort Trumbull to make way for new construction. [link]
So the parcel has brought about no jobs.  And has done nothing but act as a drag on tax revenue.  And, irony of ironies, the wealthy property owner now wants an exemption from paying taxes on the parcel.

And guess what he's using as a carrot.  From the article:

"Michael Joplin, president of the New London Development Corp., said the city should offer the abatements because it will help increase homeownership and eventually bring in more taxes."

The very argument that made an empty lot of the land that American citizen Susette Kelo fought to maintain and wretched, putrefied pulp of the Constitution of the United States.

For shame.

Susette Kelo didn't deserve to be treated like this by her government.

We don't deserve to be treated like this either.

And we sure as hell don't deserve the kind of intellectual vapidity that makes a mockery of our most sacred institutions and our founding documents.

Here's my prediction.  That development company will next approach the government geniuses who hold power and seek a government funding grant in order to begin its redevelopment project.  That will produce jobs ...  And tax revenue ...  Someday ...

And those geniuses will grant wads of taxpayer cash to the wealthy contractor because ... they can.

May God have mercy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On The 'Birther' Issue

I don't know where Obama was born.  And, because it matters little now that the worst president in the history of this country has been elected, the investigation into his citizenry seems a bit futile and, therefore, is peeve-inducing at most.  What are we going to do - decertify the 2008 election?  I don't think so.

What interests me, though, is the swirling controversy that has derived from the simple question:

"Where's the Birth Certificate?"

Why does it interest me?  Because I like to see the angst.  The expressed effrontery. The aghastness.  Nine times out of ten it's some liberal bringing it up as part of a mission to shoot it down.  The latest, in a long, long line of many being ABC News's George Stephanopoulos (an awful TV host and interviewer but a liberal in good standing).  A weird phenomenon manifested as well by headlines like this:

Though the claims are indeed persistent, they are made so mostly by Democrats refusing to let the silly and distracting subject die.

Which leads to the question: "Touchy" for whom?

Most Americans find the antics entertaining but do they really care?  No.  With issues like food prices, gas prices, joblessness, and the federal debt giving everyone sleepless nights, they want the discussion to revolve around solutions to actual problems.

No, it's the Stephanopouloses of the world who are touched by it. 

Which makes me ask: What, the "touchy" birther issue is going to keep Democrats like him from voting Republican in 2012?


This whole thing is amusing for one reason.  The "enlightened" among us persist in keeping the issue alive in their hilarious effort to kill it.

It's better than "Dancing With The Stars."

What Am I Missing?

You know that Florida pastor who has gained so much attention for threatening to - and then following through on his vow to - burn a Q'uran?

Well, he was apparently arrested and jailed for planning to hold a protest in front of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn having the largest Muslim population in the U.S., if memory serves).

He was jailed for planning to protest.


Since when is planning a peaceful protest a crime?

In these United States, in 2011, where hyper-sensitivity toward the potentially hurt feelings of Muslims abounds, apparently.

I wonder, would I be arrested if I planned a protest of the idiocy of all this?

For the love of God.

You Could Have Counted On This

The one serious proposal that's been put on the table intended to rein in government debt and guess who's opposed:

What's the definition of the acronym RINO?

See headline above.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We Reach Out

Hey, look whose spanking of Tim Kaine is being featured over at Red County.

Where'd they get that photo of me on my wedding day?  That's what I want to know.

They're Making It Difficult

So I'd like to go see "Atlas Shrugged, Part I."  And I turn to this handy theater finder to seek out the nearest location where it's showing.  And ...

Let's see.  I can run down to Winston-Salem, NC.  But that's an hour and a half. 

Or I can drive to Johnson City, Tn.  But that's an hour and a half.

Aha!  Charleston, WV. 

An hour and a half.

It's a conspiracy.  That's what it is. 

Guess I'll just wait.

Where's That Teleprompter?

Left alone our commander-in-chief is lost in the wilderness. 

This is troubling:
Has Obama read his own deficit reduction plan?
By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

When Barack Obama gave a much-anticipated speech on the budget and deficit spending last week, it turned into a disappointing mix of ambiguities and demagoguery. Most people couldn’t discern any “plan” at all in the speech, only hazy promises with few specifics. As it turns out, Obama himself doesn’t appear to be aware of even those few specifics he did offer. In yesterday’s Facebook townhall event, Obama not only mischaracterized the scope of the Republican plan to cut deficits, he also mischaracterized his own:

In the short term, Democrats and Republicans now agree we’ve got to reduce the debt by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years. And I know that sounds like a lot of money — it is. But it’s doable if we do it in a balanced way.

That’s actually wrong on three counts. First, Obama’s plan doesn’t reduce the national debt at all. It reduces by $4 trillion dollars the amount that Obama originally promised to add to the debt through deficit spending in his earlier budget projections. Obama’s plan adds at least $7 trillion to the national debt by its end, with projections rapidly increasing thereafter. Secondly, Republicans have a plan to cut deficit spending — not debt in the short term — by over $6 trillion, using the far less rosy baseline figures of the CBO over the Pollyannaish predictions of growth coming from the OMB.

And thirdly, Obama promised a twelve-year plan, not a 10-year plan, a point he made repeatedly in last week’s speech ... [link]
I'm embarrassed for my country.

Why I'll Vote Against Him As Many Times As I Need To

The "heart" of Barack Obama's ... "campaign":
"No matter who you are. No matter where you can came from. No matter what you look like. No matter whether your ancestors landed here on Ellis Island or came here on slave ships or came across the Rio Grande, we are all connected. We will rise and fall together. That's the vision of America I've got, that's the idea of the heart of America," President Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco.

"That's the idea of the heart of our campaign," Obama added.
We are all citizens of the world, to this guy.

I've got news for Obama.  When the heart of America includes lawlessness, America is doomed.

* Better to go back to the "campaign" than to solve the nation's problems, it appears.

Our Kids Will Be Educated ...

... despite the efforts of every Democrat in the land - at the urging of their union masters - to prevent it.

I've not been keen on school vouchers, mainly because they - in too many cases - involve education spending over and above the massive amounts we pour into our public school systems.  Instead of either/or, it's often both.

Still, something must be done to end this tragedy.

To that end, Indiana takes the lead:
Indiana Senate Passes Nation's Largest Voucher Bill

Inianapolis, IN — The Indiana Senate today passed legislation that would create the nation's broadest school voucher program, allowing low- and middle-income families to use taxpayer funds to send their children to the private school of their choice.

House Bill 1003, which was approved by the Senate in a 28-22 vote, would create a new scholarship program enabling families to send their children to the private school of their choice. Scholarship amounts are determined on a sliding scale based on income, with families receiving up to 90 percent of state support.

The Indiana House of Representatives previously approved a similar version of the bill by a vote of 56-42. The Senate version, which adds a $1,000 tax deduction for families that pay out of pocket for private or homeschool expenses, will now go back to the House. If the House agrees to the changes made in the Senate, the bill will proceed to Governor Daniels, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

"This is exciting news," said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Foundation for Educational Choice. "We applaud those legislators who stood tall for kids, and we hope the House will concur as soon as possible so that Indiana families who desperately need educational options do not have to wait any longer."

If enacted, the voucher would be available to far more students than other programs in the country, where vouchers are limited to low-income households, students in failing schools, or special-needs students. Under HB 1003, a family of four earning up to $61,000 per year would be eligible.

Additionally, the $1,000 tax deduction for private and homeschool expenses has universal eligibility. The bill also improves Indiana's scholarship tax credit program by increasing the program cap to $5 million, making $10 million in scholarships available to Hoosier families.
Our kids will be educated.

Our kids will be educated.

Received via email from The Foundation for Educational Choice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

'Atlas Shrugged,' a by-God Phenomenon

In this time of national turmoil and strife, citizens turn to those with answers to their many questions.  An island in that sea of tumultuous upheavel?

Ayn Rand.

To her the people flock:
Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders
By Paul Bond, Chicago Sun Times

The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” during its opening weekend.

“Shocking,” one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing, considering its “awful” marketing plan.

Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders.

“Things have turned for us,” Kaslow said. “When we started, exhibitors were not embracing the film like we thought they would. Now, we can pretty much go into as many theaters as we want. It’s just a matter of logistics.”

The producers stand by their marketing campaign, which relied heavily on the Internet to drum up support among members of the Tea Party, libertarians and other Rand enthusiasts. [link]
As for that "exhibitors were not embracing the film," if I were an exhibitor, knowing Rand's novel as well as I do, I wouldn't have been a big embracer either.  Rand's book is so complex (and, by modern standards, her writing at times so turgid) that I would have expected the movie to big a big mess.  And a flop.

But it seems to be playing well.  And, as the weeks progress, it's gaining more audience.

I'm looking forward to seeing it.

The ACLU, Comedy Central

These guys love a good joke:

Death Row Inmates Sue FDA Over Execution Drug from Overseas
American Civil Liberties Union

Yesterday, six inmates from death rows in California, Arizona and Tennessee sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Health and Human Services for allowing those states to import non-FDA-approved sodium thiopental from foreign suppliers to carry out executions.

Sodium thiopental is a general anesthetic sometimes used by doctors for surgery patients. The drug is also part of the three-drug cocktail many death penalty states use to execute condemned inmates. The only FDA-approved manufacturer is Illinois-based Hospira, which announced last month that it will cease manufacturing the drug. [link]
The last paragraph in the article reveals the fact that the membership of the ACLU not only enjoys foisting a good joke on the American people (we can't kill these rapists and murderers with a non-FDA approved lethal injection!), it does so in a drunken stupor.  How does one decipher this gem?
Yesterday's lawsuit and the sodium thiopental shortage in general have revealed some states' true colors: While California went through a $4 million rollercoaster ride in an attempt to execute Albert Brown and convinced the FDA to break its own rules to secure enough of the death drug, a bill repealing the death penalty in Illinois sits on Gov. Pat Quinn's desk awaiting signature. We hope these two states will compel other death penalty states to re-examine their use of capital punishment.
The shortage of sodium thiopental reveals ... what?  That the only U.S. source for the drug stopped production?  No, that the death penalty is still in use!

Whatever these yucksters are drinking, pour me a double.

Their World Is Crumbling Around Them

Here's a story I've been following in recent weeks.  It has to do with environmentalists and their wacky predictions.  Predictions that become part of the liturgy of the Global Warming Faith.  A faith being brutally shaken by ... reality.

The story:
Climate Refugees, Not Found
Wall Street Journal

In 2005, the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) published a color-coded map under the headline "Fifty million climate refugees by 2010." The primary source for the prediction was a 2005 paper by environmental scientist Norman Myers.

Six years later, this flood of refugees is nowhere to be found, global average temperatures are about where they were when the prediction was made—and the U.N. has done a vanishing act of its own, wiping the inconvenient map from its servers.

The map, which can still be found elsewhere on the Web, disappeared from the program's site sometime after April 11, when Gavin Atkins asked on AsianCorrespondent.com: "What happened to the climate refugees?" It's now 2011 and, as Mr. Atkins points out, many of the locales that the map identified as likely sources of climate refugees are "not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world."

These columns have asked for some time how anyone can still manage to take the U.N.-led climate crowd seriously. Maybe the more pertinent question is whether the climateers have ever taken the public's intelligence seriously. [link]
What have the environmentalist true-believers learned from this embarrassing episode?  That maybe their faith has been misguided?

Don't be stupid.

They've learned to make predictions that can't be challenged by empirical data!

See "New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres."

The year 3000.  Warmth.  Count on it.  We're scientists.  We know this stuff.

For the love of God.

What Kind Of Person Makes Fun of a Down's Syndrome Baby?

A "progressive," naturally.

If there is a hell ...

Hey, Let's Take One For Gaia

Purchase a curlicue light bulb.  Die a slow, ravaging, painful death:

But you will have helped reduce greenhouse gases by 0.00004° C. So feel triumphant in your pain and misery.

Just What We Need. Another McCain.

If you need a reason to avoid this future GOP presidential contender like the plague, look no further:

I warned you about McCain. You didn't listen. Now McCain Junior waits in the wings, poised to lead the Republican Party to another crushing defeat in 2012.

But the New York Times loves him just the same.

Go figure.

You may remember this bumper sticker that I had plastered to the sidebar on this weblog - until it was too late to stop the GOP madness:

So here we go again.

It doesn't quite work.

But then again ...

- - -

Update 9:14am:  From AL in the comments:

"How about...

"I'd rather stick my tongue in a fan, than vote for Huntsman

I burst out laughing.  I love you guys.

If I Were To Change My Name ...

I sometimes have the strangest thoughts come to mind.

But I read this - "Kloppenburg's folly" - and it came to me: there's the name I'd want.

Ernst-Ulrich Fuhrman.

Either that or I go all out and do Hans Klaus Krieg.

How cool is that?

Now all I need is a Hollywood agent.

This Should Be Interesting

States working in (semi) defiance of federal law.

As one might expect, the flashpoint - Obamacare.

The first state to enter the fray - Georgia.

News from the Health Care Compact:
Georgia First State To Sign Health Care Compact Into Law

Alexandria, VA – Today the Health Care Compact, an agreement between participating states that restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to member states, was signed into law by Georgia's Governor, Nathan Deal. The compact allows Georgia to create their own health care policies by joining an interstate compact that supersedes prior federal law. Georgia is the first state to sign the compact into law.

Health Care Compact Alliance Chairman Eric O’Keefe released the following statement:

“Today, Georgia's Governor Deal joined the Georgia legislature in taking a bold step to give the people of Georgia control of their health care future. By acting to move authority and responsibility for health care from Washington, D.C. to Georgia, Governor Deal will help to trigger a robust conversation among citizens and their local representatives about sustainable reforms that meet the needs of all Georgians.

Georgia's leaders have acted to escape the mandates handed down from a centralized bureaucracy in Washington which threatens to bankrupt the country while rationing health care.

The Health Care Compact Alliance congratulates Governor Nathan Deal as well as all of the sponsoring legislators. With their leadership and determination, Georgia will lead the country toward a brighter future in which patients – not bureaucrats -- determine their care."
The federal government - through the machinations of Barack Obama - has stepped way beyond its ordained role in overseeing our once-great health care delivery system.  He and it have now created a complete mess of our most precious institution.  And, until Obamacare is overturned, that mess will continue to worsen.

The various united states, with Georgia leading the way, are trying feverishly to save us from total ruin.

Here's to the attempt.

- - -

Speaking of the rising tide of federalism, Georgia isn't alone in its effort to work independently of the United States government.  Here's something that I find interesting:

It is said that money became so worthless in the Weimar days of post- (and pre-) war Germany that one had to secure the use of a wheelbarrow to haul enough paper currency down to the local grocery in order to buy a loaf of bread (we're all familiar with the Deutschmark; how about a 50 million Mark?  In November, 1923 the purchase of a loaf of bread would require sixty of these bad boys!).  It got so bad that one gold Mark was pegged at one trillion paper Marks.

Gold, by the way, is trading at $1,504 this morning, up from $273 in 2000.

People aren't stupid.  They're going to put their investments where they'll get the most bang for their buck gold.  Massive federal debt, the threat of hyperinflation, and a grossly weak dollar will do that.

What does Utah's action foretell?  Perhaps nothing more than a rising level of unease with the way the United States of America conducts business these days.

By the way, you can plan ahead and get a really nifty wheelbarrow at Lowe's this morning for a hundred bucks.

Price subject to change, of course ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tim Kaine Makes My Hair Hurt

"When I was DNC chair, nobody ever asked me to say anything I didn't agree with or believe.  That's not how I operate, in my personal life or in my political life."
-- DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, April 6, 2011 -- 

Well, that's honorable.  So did Mr. Kaine, when he was DNC chair, "agree with or believe" in taking lobbyist campaign money?  Here he is, on April 28, 2010, bragging about the fact that the Democratic National Committee had banned lobbyist cash under his leadership:
Fundraising has been strong. And I want to point out ... [that] fundraising has been strong despite the fact that for the first time the DNC does not take money from [political action committees] or from federally registered lobbyists. That was a significant portion of our budget before I became chair. We are completely funded off individual contributions now, and yet we have been successful enough to be able to put unprecedented resources onto the field. [emphasis mine]
Looks like Kaine is a strong supporter of the ban on lobbyist campaign donations.

Or not.
Unlike DNC, Kaine will take money from PACs, lobbyists for Senate bid
By Ben Pershing, Washington Post

Newsflash — Timothy M. Kaine’s Senate campaign will accept donations from lobbyists and political action committees.

Actually, that shouldn’t be news at all. Nearly every candidate for Congress does the same.

But what makes Kaine a bit different is that he is running to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) fresh off a stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And the DNC under Kaine’s watch — at the behest of President Obama — did not accept donations from PACs and registered lobbyists.

Now that he’s running for Senate — and not working for Obama anymore — a Kaine campaign official confirms that he will be taking those contributions. [link]
Tim Kaine.  Against lobbyist money before he was for it.

So how does he resolve this conflict?  By doing the Democrat Shuffle.  From a Kaine spokesperson quoted in the Post article:

"As a candidate, Governor Kaine has always welcomed lawful donations from anyone who shares his vision for progress for Virginia and the nation.  No donors get special treatment and none ... [blah blah blah]" [emphasis mine again]

Tim Kaine has always been accepting of lobbyist campaign cash.

Is he lying about all this?  Not necessarily.

Is he a weasel?

Without doubt.

- - -

Oh, my.  Kaine has already lost the loony left when it comes to Big Donors' Big Money.  An MSNBC talk show host, writing for Daily Kos a few months ago, is not happy about this. Try to get past the whining:
Should Tim Kaine Be Fired?
By Cenk Uygur

When Howard Dean was the chair of the DNC, the Democrats were getting crushing victories. As soon as he left, the losses started piling up. Yes, circumstances also matter. When Dean was chair, it was easy to blame Republicans but now the Democrats own the national problems. Before the economy was the Republicans' problem, now it's the Democrats'.

But tactics also matter. Tim Kaine seems to be running the reverse 50 state strategy -- we can lose anywhere in the country. So, what's he doing wrong? He's gone back to the old days at the DNC, where all you do is raise money and hope that you can win without a message. This is principally the Rahm Emanuel strategy -- cave in to lobbyists, collect their money, choke off Republican fundraising efforts by better serving corporate America and win elections by outspending the opposition. The only problem is that it doesn't work. [emphasis mine]

Kaine should be fired for choosing the wrong strategy and getting the wrong results. [link]
And now, having adopted that same strategy of "serving corporate America" (as long as the evil monsters "share his vision for progress for Virginia ...") in his run for the Senate, Kaine accepts that which he wouldn't accept a few months ago.

Wondering by now just where Tim Kaine really is on all this?


The Law Is The Law

I get a kick out of hearing (Democrat) legislators here in the Commonwealth (and their buddies in the liberal media) whimpering about that.  The law is the law?!  We can't be having that!

Then change it, dumbass.

But don't evade it or pretend that it doesn't exist.

What's this all about?
State charity: Skirting the rules
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion about state contributions to charities has caused considerable trouble. Agency officials have frozen payments while they sort things out, leaving some nonprofits in a tight spot and others concerned.

Responding to a legislator's request, Cuccinelli issued an advisory opinion in January noting that the state constitution forbids the legislature from giving money to charitable institutions "not owned or controlled by the commonwealth." The opinion has drawn some angry responses, but it seems incontrovertible. U.Va. professor A.E. Dick Howard, who led the commission that wrote the current version of the state constitution, says the AG "got it right — the language is pretty plain."

That, did not stop lawmakers from doing as they pleased anyway. They often have skirted the constitution by deeming organizations historical or cultural groups, rather than charities. This sort of contempt for the governing document of the commonwealth invites citizens to view lawmakers in the same low regard.

There is a process for amending the state's constitution. It is used with some regularity. Those who think the state should be supporting private charitable groups are welcome to introduce a constitutional amendment. The hardship visited upon charitable groups is unfortunate, but they should direct the blame where it properly lies: with the legislators who exceeded their authority in the first place. [link]
Here's how Senator R. Edward Houck, Democrat, Spotsylvania, sees it. Or prefers to not see it, as the case may be:

What has set all this into motion is the attorney general’s opinion. I hope that level-headed people would understand that the opinion should not carry the day.”

So what should carry the day?

The law, dude. That's where you come in. And if it requires a constitutional amendment, write it and submit it for our approval.  It ain't rocket science and it ain't about Ken Cuccinelli.  Do your freaking job.

- - -

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office released the following statement on the subject:
I have been asked by several media outlets about the recent articles regarding state agency funding to certain charities being suspended because of the attorney general’s January legal opinion that charities cannot be funded by direct appropriations from the state budget. This email is to clarify this issue.

First, this office was asked for its legal opinion and it provided it based on the plain language of the Virginia Constitution: that charities which are not owned or controlled by the commonwealth cannot be funded by direct appropriations from the budget (see http://www.vaag.com/OPINIONS/2011opns/11-002-O'Bannon.pdf). Legal experts such as A.E. Dick Howard, who led the commission that gave us the current revision of the Virginia Constitution back in 1971 even said that this office was correct in its legal interpretation.

The attorney general’s official opinion merely stated what the law already is; it did not make new law. Official opinions are not the attorney general’s personal opinions. They are his legal analysis of what current law is, based on the law as written and any applicable court decisions. He does not make the law or change the law. In fact, the Supreme Court of Virginia has previously invalidated General Assembly budget appropriations to charities based on the language of the Constitution (these cases are cited in the opinion).

For those legislators who are disparaging the attorney general’s office for its plain reading of the state constitution, they should know they are the only ones who can change laws they don’t like. That power does not rest with this office.

Second, there is a growing misperception that this office is going through lists of charities, stating which ones can receive money and which can’t. That is not the case. When asked, our attorneys have worked with individual state agencies and have provided legal guidance on the scope of the constitutional prohibition, applying the law to specific facts presented to us by agencies without regard to the nature of the charity. But we do not have a master list of charities that we are “approving” or “not approving” for funding. That is not the job of this office.

Finally, although the state cannot donate money directly to charities, if charities are providing a contracted service to the state, they can be paid for that contract work, just like any other vendor. Some news outlets have reported that some agencies are working with charities to create contracts with deliverables that could change their relationships from those of handing out direct donations of taxpayer money to instead contracting for specific services.

Brian Gottstein
Director of Communication
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
"For those legislators who are disparaging the attorney general’s office for its plain reading of the state constitution, they should know they are the only ones who can change laws they don’t like." (ouch.)   Don't like it? Fix it.

What's Up With Newt?

Let's stipulate up front: there is not a more articulate or engaged candidate (or soon-to-be candidate) on the Republican side of the debates that rage throughout the land than Newt Gingrich.  None.  When it comes to disputation, he's the master.

So what's going on here?
Newt Gingrich struggles to raise hard money
By Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico

Newt Gingrich raised a meager $53,000 into his political action committee in the first three months of the year, highlighting potential fundraising difficulties as the former House Speaker girds for a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.

The PAC brought in about $34,000 in March, according to a report filed Tuesday night with the FEC, bringing its total haul for the year to $53,000, and its total since being created in late 2009 to $790,000. That pales in comparison to the $13.7 million raised in 2010 alone by Gingrich’s 527, American Solutions for Winning the Future, which won’t have to report 2011 fundraising figures until July. [link]
Gingrich's supporters will say - and they'd be right in saying it - that's it's too early to draw any conclusions from this.  That he's not even an announced candidate for the Big Gig.  That's certainly true.

But at one time he was the electricity that powered the GOP.  He was the champion of all things conservative.  Why isn't his candidacy on fire?

A couple of reasons.

One, there's that small matter of him being the champion of all things conservative (a political philosophy embodied in part by fidelity to marriage and an adherence to "family values") and, at the same cheating on his then-wife.  Uhhhhhhh ...

More important to me, though, me being a confessed Newt fan, he has gained a reputation over the years of being more of an opportunist than a stalwart conservative.  The cheating-on-his-wife-while-touting-faithfulness-in-order-to-gain-voter-support in the 90's aspect of his biography being part of it.

Most troubling is this:

When "global warming" was still cool (pardon the pun), there was ol' Newt, sitting on a bench with Nancy Pelosi (!) lecturing us, telling us that we need to adopt "clean energy" policy, and that we need to put pressure on Washington to save the planet.

I can't imagine anything being more embarrassing. And transparently opportunistic.

(One can even give Mitt Romney the benefit of the doubt and say his heart was in the right place when he dreamt up that albatross now known as Romneycare.)

So. Rather than being the "man from Hope" or "Mr. Hope and Change," Newt is now seen by many as being ... a politician.

Too bad. His career was so promising. And it's a shame, because he could have skewered the Democratic field in the upcoming campaign like no other candidate could, had he not made some serious missteps in his personal and professional lives.

But it's not to be. The emperor's new clothes have been exposed. And what we now see of Newt Gingrich is not a pretty sight.

- - -

We'll always be thankful to Newt Gingrich for his almost bringing about the only federal budget surplus in modern times, something that is of particular note in this age when we are heading toward insolvency because of out-of-control federal spending.  But that was light years ago.  Sorry.

With Enemies Like This ...

I have this recurring nightmare.  It goes like this.  I'm in a crowd and I'm asked by a reporter for a major newspaper what my thoughts were on a particular political topic and I come across on video that the entire world can watch as being a complete noodle.  A liberal noodle.  A seriously anal, liberal noodle.  A seriously anal, paranoid, liberal noodle.

Like this guy. 

Skip to the 45 second mark and watch the hilarity unfold.

"You are biased. You're proud of it. Don't pretend that you're not biased. Who are you?"


They Give Paranoia Its Name

First they feared "assault weapons."

Next it was "assault clips."

Now it's assault umbrellas that scare the crap out of them.

Soon it'll be assault shadows and assault bogeymen.

These people really need to man up.