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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, August 31, 2011

How Times Change

This from the incomparable Mason Adams ought to raise a few eyebrows:
Via Roanoke County Republican Committee Chairman Mike Bailey, we’ve got the results of the presidential straw poll that took place this past weekend at the party’s 22nd Annual Shrimpfest.

The quick results, followed after the jump by Bailey’s full report on the event:
Rick Perry – 52 percent
Mitt Romney – 19 percent
Michele Bachmann – 8 percent
Ron Paul – 7 percent
Wow.

And just wait until Mr. Hope & Change Hopeless gets on the ballot.

- - -

Update: Apologies go out to Mason Adams.  My reproduction from his piece had an error in it.  (Since corrected.)  An HTML tag got stuck in the wrong place.  My bad.

Ignorant People In High Places

And speaking of the executive editor of the New York Times, how did I miss this?
Plenty of people — Ed Morrissey and Mollie Hemingway among them — have neatly dissected New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s perfect storm of ignorance and bias when it comes to the religious beliefs of those running for the GOP presidential nominee. Keller identified Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum as “all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity,” when Santorum is Catholic, Bachmann is Lutheran, and Perry is a Methodist. Keller hauls out the boogeyman of “dominionism,” when none of his targets are dominionists ... 
The attitudes expressed by Bill Keller support the argument that ignorant people shouldn't be allowed to vote. 

Though I personally don't favor discrimination ...

Call Them Out

They want "jobs."  But they also want products banned that keep those jobs in existence.  It's one or the other, fellas.  Time to choose.
Gun making vs. gun control
Boston Globe editorial

New England has a centuries-old tradition of both gun manufacturing and gun control. It shouldn’t have to pick between the two. However, at least one manufacturer is trying to force the matter. Proposals to require that guns be made suitable for micro-stamping, a technology which would allow shell casings to be traced back to the exact gun they were fired from, have been introduced in the Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts legislatures. These have drawn significant criticism from gun manufacturers, at least one of which, Colt, is threatening to move out of New England if such legislation is adopted. [link]
"New England ... shouldn’t have to pick between ... gun manufacturing and gun control."  In other words, they want it both ways.  They want guns banned but gun manufacturing jobs to be kept in place.

Earth to Boston Globe: Colt Manufacturing says otherwise.

I could never figure out why the company has kept its operation where its products aren't wanted - in the hotbed of anti-gun fanaticism in the northeast (Hartford, Connecticut) - when more inviting locales - say BLAND, VIRGINIA - would love to have them.

As would a host of countries overseas ...

Earth to Boston Globe: Principled positions sometimes produce undesirable results.

Time to rethink one of your two irreconcilable principles.

Uh Oh

This wasn't supposed to happen:


Didn't all those climate scientists, including the esteemed Professor Al Gore, PhD, tell us that their computer models showed a marked - and continuing - rise in sea levels?

How can this be?

Can it be that "weather cycles" cause a drop in global sea levels while "climate" increases them at other times?

I - and the geniuses who cling to their computer models like they were Russians clinging to Gadget Hackwrench - get really confused.

- - -

Also, see "Mental illness rise linked to climate." I think I now know why Bill McKibben is so caught up in the subject.  He's simply nuts.

What, You Want Him To Come Back?

Living In The Past

Apparently this Hollywood loon, at some point, came down out of her tree:


This time she's protesting the construction of an oil pipeline.

Presumably, Hannah made the 2,754 mile journey from La La Land to D.C. on her bicycle.

Otherwise she runs the risk of being labeled a hypocrite for burning fuel and polluting the atmosphere while protesting the manufacture of fuel that pollutes the atmosphere.

Me? I'd never accuse her of that. I simply see her as being your typical environmentalist nitwit.

Heads Roll

Someday we'll get the facts behind "Fast and Furious."  I may still be alive when they come out.  But probably not.

In the meantime the Obama administration is deploying a delaying action so as to keep the damage to a minimum.

This was Barack Obama not long ago:

"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"

Today it's all cynicism:
ATF Director Reassigned; U.S. Attorney Out Amid 'Fast and Furious' Uproar
By William Lajeunesse, Fox News

Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights.

Melson's step down from his role as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Programs is effective by close of business Tuesday, administration officials announced. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones will replace Melson.

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.

The purge of those responsible for the firearms trafficking scandal continued as new documents reveal a deeper involvement of federal agencies beyond ATF. [link]
Those investigating this scandal (oddly, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post don't seem to be all that interested) have said for months now that there were crimes committed, and by administration officials in high places.  We seem to be getting closer to that truth.

We've seen the smoke.  We now witness the fire.  The question now: How high will the flames reach?

* For more information on "Operation Fast and Furious" go here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's On

This will hopefully be a knock-down, drag-out fight over a state Senate seat that, because of changing demographics - and a collapsed economy - may put it in the red column:
Voters pick Nutter to take on Edwards as Republican nominee for Virginia Senate in 21st District
By Mason Adams, Roanoke Times

Virginia Del. Dave Nutter took the next step toward becoming a state senator Tuesday, defeating tea party candidate Tripp Godsey by nearly a 2-to-1 margin to win the Republican nomination in the 21st District.

Nutter, a Christiansburg resident who has spent 10 years in the House of Delegates, will now challenge 16-year incumbent Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, in the general election on Nov. 8. The 21st District, which was redrawn earlier this year, includes all of Roanoke, a portion of Roanoke County, part of Montgomery County including Blacksburg, and all of Giles County.

Nutter based his campaign on two major issues: jobs and electability. He touted his experience working with economic development groups through his job at Virginia Tech as an indicator of his experience in job creation.

Now, Nutter moves to challenge Edwards in what has previously been seen as a safe Democratic seat. Edwards hasn't been challenged since William Fralin ran against him in 1999, and the district has changed, growing out of the Roanoke Valley to include Giles and Montgomery counties. [link]
I look at the obstacles that Nutter faces (namely two: Blacksburg and Roanoke) and wonder at times if he's lost his mind.  If anything, the recent redistricting regimen that the Commonwealth went through strengthened Edwards's position in the 21st District.

But times are hard.  And times in Southwest Virginia are the hardest.  And Edwards represents the old crowd that drove us to the point of collapse.

And Mr. Nutter has the right message (and the background that gives his message gravitas).

That message?

JOBS.

Foremost.  Firmly.  Front and center.

While Edwards will continue promoting the failed policies of the past ("The government needs to spend more money ...")

This could be a Republican victory.  If that message is delivered until the mountaintops reverberate with the cheers for his mission statement.

And a giant mountain it is.

The People's Republic of Blacksburg and Save-Us-Big-Brother Roanoke.

My, oh, my.

* If only Obama were on the ticket too ...

The Celestial Point in the Bush Presidency

"I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
-- September 14, 2001 --

It was like walking into Hell

Everything had changed. For better. For worse.

Punchline of the Day

James Taranto:

"Oh, and no one died in the Great Virginia Earthquake of 2011. Obama saved or created everybody."

"Earthquake! Hurricane! Alien Invasion!" Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2011

Send In The Clowns

Remember how, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, all those experts rushed out to claim that an era of massive - and numerous - hurricanes was upon us?  That was 2005.  And remember how a major hurricane hasn't materialized since?

So much for experts.

Well, a lesser hurricane (in fact, one that barely rose to the level) finally came lo these many years later ...

... and here come those same experts.

The New York Times's resident expert, Justin Gillis:

"The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?"

The left's favorite environmentalist goofball Bill McKibben (whom we spanked just the other day):

"It's easy to despair. It's easy to despair today watching Irene come up the coast. It's going to come over the warmest water that's ever been recorded off the shores of New Jersey and New York. I mean, Irene's middle name is global warming."

(source)

Like frightened children.

Delusional and frightened children.

Hurricanes are "getting worse"?

Irene is the first hurricane to ever come up the east coast?

What are these "experts" drinking?

- - -

Truth is, it may not have been a hurricane at all by the time Irene made its way to the U.S. coastline.

I Like This Guy

He reminds me of me.

Meet Lance Burri, The Troglopundit:
Admittedly, Al Gore does tend to drive me a little bit crazy.

Okay, that’s not what they mean. Here, read this:

"Rates of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says."

What they mean is: when the climate changes, people are going to go crazy. Next up: class action lawsuits!

They’re completely ignoring the possibility that the climate will be better, of course. Were we better off, for example, with that glacier draped over half of North America 50,000 years ago (or however long it was)? I think not. We’re better off without it.
Speaking wisdom to the hopelessly boneheaded.

The Troglopundit.  Good stuff.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Question For Tim Kaine

Someone in the press may someday ask our prospective United States senator if he still supports that "green" initiative of his that he called, with great fanfare, back when he was governor, "Renew Virginia."  And maybe that someone can ask the question before the election.

Because it seems the former governor isn't going to bring it up and would rather not talk about it.

Why do I say that?

Go to YouTube.

Key the words "Governor Tim Kaine Launches Renew Virginia Initiative" into the search engine.

And this is what you get:


Now why would the "user" - the Kaine campaign - pull this political advertisement?

Why wouldn't Mr. Kaine be touting from the rooftops that "green jobs" initiative he was so proud of just a few years ago?

Maybe because ...
Green jobs revealed as fiscal black hole
Orange County Register editorial

The faddish obsession with "green jobs" is being revealed as a massive waste of taxpayer money.

Pipe dreams eventually are revealed for what they are – unrealistic, wishful thinking. It didn't take long for Spain's touted green-job revolution to be revealed as a financial disaster, siphoning taxpayer subsidies and destroying 2.2 real jobs for every green job created.

Domestic green-job pipe dreams similarly drain U.S. taxpayers' money into economic sink holes. The millions of so-called green jobs promised by President Barack Obama and other champions of taxpayer-subsidized energy schemes not only haven't materialized, many that did, already are disappearing. [link]
Included on that list of "other champions of taxpayer-subsidized energy schemes," is Tim Kaine.

Maybe that's why he'd rather not talk about it.

His green jobs initiative, like the man himself - is a loser.

A Lesson For Jamie Radtke

I think it was the famous military strategist Sun Tzu who once said, "Focus on your enemy.  That enemy is not the powerless weblog warrior who plays no part in your success or defeat.  Stupid."

Sun Tzu?  Or was it Rosie O'Donnell?

In either case, my eyebrows went up the other day when I read Robert Stacy McCain's assessment of the Jamie Radtke/Erick Erickson feud, the assessment that included this:
You can read the Politico story — based in part on e-mails obtained from Radtke’s campaign — and feel Erick’s pain. He was caught in a conflict between what he wanted to do (back Radtke against the GOP Establishment) and what his bosses wanted to do (support their long-time friend Senator Allen). Now, however, Erickson has doubled down against Radtke — and against Radtke’s campaign manager, Carter Wrenn, a veteran conservative who is legendarily known as a take-no-prisoners operative.
Carter Wrenn - whom I've never met - may be a take-no-prisoners kinda guy, but is he at all bright?  With the title "campaign manager" comes the responsibility of keeping the campaign focused on the goal of winning the election - not winning a debate with a blogger.  George Allen is the enemy, not Erick Erickson.

How did Radtke and Wrenn fall - jump? - into this snake pit?

And it ain't over.  Finishing poorly in the upcoming Republican primary just ain't gonna be enough for these two.  They have to be seen as being right.  To that end:
Tea Party Tattler? Candidate Sends Erick Erickson's E-Mails to Politico
By Tim Graham, NewsBusters

Based on the dramatic bias of past election cycles, nobody should count on The Washington Post to be helpful (or even fair) to Sen. George Allen. But in Sunday's paper, political writer Ben Pershing reported on how Jamie Radtke, a Tea Party activist running against Allen in the primary, leaked e-mails to Politico from RedState blogger Erick Erickson and turned him from an endorser to someone joking about how one of her speeches made people wonder if she'd been drinking. [link]
Let it be stipulated, those emails are not flattering to Mr. Erickson's reputation.

And when Erick Erickson decides to run against Jamie Radtke in a future Senate race, boy, will they be damaging.

But who's Radtke's opponent in this contest again?

And what in that paragraph above will the average reader take away from it (if they remember Ms. Radtke's name at all)?  The words "she'd been drinking."

To Mr. Wrenn, a word of advice: A simple email response to Erickson would have been proper.  With the "f" word used profusely.  But to make this feud public for all the world to laugh at?

Tsk.  Tsk.

Carter Wrenn may be the best take-no-prisoners campaign manager money can buy.  But it's not about shooting one's prisoners.  It's about winning elections.  And in that light, the campaign - such that it is - makes Wrenn look like a take-no-voters campaign manager.  Albeit an entertaining one.

Someone once said - I think it was Aristotle (or was it Rosie O'Donnel?): Keep your eyes on the prize.

A proposal apparently lost on certain people in this sordid affair.

So Who's Got Time For It Anyway?

This should sadden me:


It should sadden me but it doesn't. Republicans labor on Labor Day. Democrats sit on their dead asses, drink beer, get lathered up, and then parade down Main Street, demonstrating - for all the world to see - their unwillingness to labor.

Me? I'll be working next Monday.

I'll do my parading on 401K, Long-Term CD, Mutual Fund, and Rollover IRA Cascade Into Fat Retirement Account Day.

Labor Day is for non-laborers.

Not this working stiff.

Explain This

When Paula and I decided to move to Bland, Virginia from the Detroit area ten years ago I made the decision to not have Mayflower move tons of books (instead settling on a half-ton).  So I selected and auctioned a large assortment (hundreds?) on eBay, one at a time.  Some went for a dollar (plus shipping).  Others for more.  A few went for a lot more.

But the only book that I sold that went for more money than its original hardcover price?



Don't ask me to explain it.

* I notice a "used" copy of the book is currently selling on Amazon at $84.21.  If memory serves, its original price tag in 1981 was $19.99.  It's still held in that much regard by certain people.  Go figure.

Say What?

[Al] Gore: Global warming skeptics are this generation’s racists

From On High: Global Warming enthusiasts are this generation's crystal worshipers.

Things To Ponder

An interesting bit of speculation:

See "The Ticket Obama Fears Most" by Bruce Walker.  Can you say Vice President Marco Rubio?

I sure can.

But here, to me anyway, is a more fascinating question:

Who will Obama replace Uncle Doofus (also known as Joe Biden) with on his ticket next year?

After all, the young Senator Obama in 2008 needed  - or so his handlers felt - a seasoned veteran to offset his woeful lack of experience, and thus Mr. Biden was dragged from the funny farm, given a few new hair plugs, dusted off, and made V.P..

But Obama isn't thought of as young anymore.  And he's certainly not inexperienced - though, alas, all of his experiences in recent years have proven to be either tragical or farcical.

He, therefore, doesn't need the old coot to make him look older.  People already see him as having aged considerably in mere months.

So Biden's out.  (You read it here first.)  But who's in?

It's too early to suggest (and a bit less than seemly) a Vice President Gabrielle Giffords.  Though it's an idea I wouldn't put past the political animal David Plouffe to promote.  But how about this?

Vice President Bev Perdue?

A Question That Will Go Unanswered

Who wrote Barack Obama's first autobiography?

There's convincing evidence that it wasn't Barack Obama.

Since his father was dead, it's fair to say that Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance weren't dreams from his father. But they probably weren't dreams from the supposed author either.

So who wrote the thing?

Only two people know for sure.

Of Course It Is

What else could it possibly be?


That, of course, would also explain why G.W. Bush's poll numbers plummeted when the economy crumbled. Racism.

Chris Matthews is such a small person.

Epitaph

The Wall Street Journal this morning on the dismal record of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke:
Republicans have run the House for fewer than eight months. Mr. Bernanke has been Fed Chairman since February 2006 and has presided over 32 months of historically easy monetary policy in the name of spurring faster growth and avoiding deflation. What we have instead is a mild stagflation—1% GDP growth, 9.1% unemployment, and a commodity price bubble that has robbed middle-class real incomes. Is this John Boehner's fault?
"St. Augustine at the Fed," August 29, 2011


Sunday, August 28, 2011

How Gov't Fosters Its Poor Reputation

I may have told this story before.  If so, indulge me.

I once, years ago, had a car with a busted upper radiator hose.  I needed to replace it.  But I couldn't drive the car (obviously) to the nearest Advance Auto to get a replacement.  But I could have driven my other car.  The one that was in the driveway in front of the broken-down one.  The one that was blocked.

As luck would have it, my driveway had a gentle slope that allowed me to put the disabled vehicle in neutral, let it coast, and guide it onto the suburban street I lived on, making a sharp turn once on the main drag, and parking it at the curb.  As circumstances dictated, the street had a serious downward slope too that required that I turn right out of the driveway and park it backwards, facing oncoming traffic.

In a legitimate parking spot, only backwards.

Doing so allowed me to fire up my other car and make a run to the parts store.

Got an idea where this story is going?

When I returned - 15 minutes later - there was a ticket on my windshield - supplied by the traffic nazis - for - get this - parking backwards on the street.

Did you know there was an ordinance prohibiting the parking of vehicles backwards?  Neither did I.  (Neither did the judge when I went before him; he seemed annoyed by the pettiness of it.)

In any case, I found myself being accused of wrongdoing by The Man.

Whatever.

Do you think the city I lived in did the right thing?  After all, it confiscated sixty bucks from me.  And I never parked backwards again.

But I thought a whole lot less of government after that too.

You decide if it was worth it.

I bring this up for a reason.  There are so many similar stories to be told.  Including:
Letter of the law deserves an "F"
By Dan Casey, Roanoke Times

Life is full of major and minor outrages, and last week, I heard about one of the latter.

It involves Joyce Crouch, 65, of Salem and a $25 parking ticket she got in Roanoke on Wednesday.

She's retired, and disabled as a result of a knee replacement that didn't work. She also has a hernia condition that prevents her from stretching out her arm. Joyce can't even use the drive-through teller at a bank. Her husband Carson is disabled, too.

As a result of her conditions, Joyce has a handicapped placard that allows her to park in disabled parking spaces.

Wednesday she had an appointment at a Carilion Clinic rehabilitation center. She parked her Ford Expedition SUV in a handicapped space at McClanahan and First streets in south Roanoke.

Because the hernia makes it difficult for her to reach up to the rearview mirror, she didn't hang her placard there. Instead, she stood it up neatly in a slot on her dashboard, so it would be obvious. She said she's been doing this for at least three years without any problem. (It's illegal to drive around with a placard hanging from the mirror.)

Joyce's appointment lasted for an hour, and when she returned she found a parking ticket on the SUV.

Her offense? She didn't hang her placard from the rearview mirror. The listed violation was: "Improper display of placard." A little farther down on the ticket was this comment: "Placard on dash beside rehab center."

This means the ticket-issuer actually saw Joyce's placard and busted her anyway. [link]
Suppose Joyce is going to fight this?  My guess is no.  She'll pay the city the bullshit fine and get on with her life.

But she'll never forget the way she was treated by her government either.

I struggle to not make too much of this.  Chances are slim that the shabby treatment will make her a Tea Party reactionary.  But it will give new perspective to that whole "of the people, by the people, for the people" silliness.  It's us against them in that small way, and in too many major ways to count.

The city of Roanoke will get its revenue.  And Joyce will hang that tag in the proper way from now on.  A win-win.

But deep in her heart she feels the sting - the helplessness  - of being just another prole expected to walk the daily line.

I parked backwards.  Joyce didn't hang her disabled tag in the proper manner.  May God help us so that we don't defy the government ever again.

But here's the deal:

When the revolution comes - and it's coming - don't come looking to us for support.  Change is now a welcome concept. 

How Dare They

The abortion industry is all worked up over the fact that facilities here in the Commonwealth that perform invasive surgical procedures are now required to meet the state standards set for facilities that perform invasive surgical procedures.

How awful:
Virginia issues long-awaited regulations for abortion clinics
By David Sherfinski, The Washington Times

The Virginia Department of Health on Friday issued highly anticipated draft regulations governing abortion clinics that pro-choice groups say would be the most stringent such measures in the country and are part of a politically motivated plot to undermine the rights of women to access abortions.

“We’re disappointed the Virginia Department of Health apparently has ignored sound science and drafted regulations designed to limit access to safe, legal abortion services,” said Jessica Honke, public policy director for Planned Parenthood advocates of Virginia. “We believe they go beyond any existing regulations seen in other states.”

The highly-anticipated release of the draft regulations came after a bill passed during last year’s General Assembly session called on the Board of Health to develop regulations that would require facilities that perform five or more first-trimester abortions per month to meet the same standards for staffing, security, construction and maintenance as hospitals. [link]
What Ms. Honke means is, the government, in requiring that her abortion clinics meet certain basic safety and cleanliness standards, will cut into her profits.  How dare they.

She'd much prefer this.  So what if women came away sterile and near death.

Pardon me if I'm not overly sympathetic to her whining.

Memo To Maureen Dowd

You don't like Dick Cheney.  Fine.

But stop and develop an argument.  A theme.

Then go after him.

Don't slop together a bunch of one-liners and unconnected snits and think you've written something worthy of publication.

"Darth Vader Vents" is an embarrassing mess. Not even worthy of a high school grammar student.

I'm guessing that somewhere along the way someone praised you for being a fine wordsmith.  That you have an uncanny ability to skewer.  That you're the master of derisive critique.  So you feel obligated, when you sit down to knock out a column for the New York Times, to lavish your readers with lilting prose that dazzles their every synapse.  And I can picture the pangs of constipation that must grip you when the wondrous wordage just won't come out.

So you try.  And you ramble.  And, thank God, you finally meet the quota established for column length.  Hoping nobody reads your junk.

Don't worry.  Soon enough that prayer will be answered.  Nobody wants to read a fifth grade current events meandering any more than they want a recurrence of hemorrhoids.

And Speaking Of Obama ...

What a plummeting stock market couldn't do ...

What another awful jobless report couldn't do ...

What reports of a faltering economy couldn't do ...

What record low polling numbers couldn't do ...

... a forecast of rain on the golf course has done:


Can't be playing with soggy balls, after all.

So it's back to being leader of the free world and commander-in-chief.

Till Irene passes.

Then ...


Quote of the Day

On the federal government's decision to crack down on illegal immigration illegal guitar wood down in Nashville, here's Jack Baruth:

"Why would the government use armed agents to attack one of the few major manufacturers of anything remaining in the United States?"

How long before Gibson Guitars packs its bags and moves its production to Indonesia to end the  persecution?

How long before pinhead apologists for the Obama administration deride Gibson Guitars as being unpatriotic for taking its manufacturing overseas?

And how long will it be before Democrats unveil the latest version of their “Make It In America” agenda, aimed at creating manufacturing jobs and boosting the economy?

Are they stupid?  Or just ... stupid?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Say It Ain't So

What's this?  Warren Buffett - he of the you-rich-people-should-be-paying-more-in-taxes fame - is fighting the federal government to keep from paying more in taxes?

This is sweet.  See "WARREN BUFFET, TAX HYPOCRITE."

Obama should appoint the dude to some administration gig.  I don't care which one.  It's just that his do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy fits in so well there.

Lights Out For The Weather Channel

My daughter is in the mouth of the tiger right now.  Not literally.  Figuratively.  She lives a minute inland from Topsail Island, North Carolina.  Hurricane Irene has been ripping through there since last night on its way north.

To get the latest information on the storm and the damage it is inflicting, I turn to the Weather Channel.  For about a minute.  Then I walk away.  I can't deal with the histrionics.

The following exchange between Paula and me a moment ago sheds light on the approach these people are taking to hyping the storm rather than giving us factual information about conditions on the ground:

I walk into the living room.

Paula's tuned to The Weather Channel.

Paula: "Stephanie just almost had an orgasm."

Stephanie being Stephanie Abrams, morning co-host.

Jerry: "How's that?"

Paula: "She just blurted out, 'Breaking News!  The pier at Atlantic Beach is being destroyed!'"

With a little too much glee - seemingly - in her voice.

Stephanie's.  Not Paula's.

Good grief.

I watch for thirty seconds as the obligatory reporter - buffeted by the wind and soaked by the rain - oh, the drama! - reports from above the pier that the weather is bad and the surf is up.

Good grief.

I return to my computer to try to get the latest weather news.

For "Days of Our Lives" I'll tune into "Days of Our Lives" later.

Good grief again.

- - -

Text message received from my son at 6:25am:

"Strong winds.  We are fine.  This house is built solid.  Call you later."

Waiting ...  Watching ...


Ya Gotta Be Kidding

I went to this article thinking I could be supportive of something - the first something in a very long time - that the Obama administration is doing.  Instead, I sit here dumbfounded.

Doesn't he have something better to do than this?
Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear
By Eric Felden, Wall Street Journal

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle. [link]
Wait a minute.  This doesn't have anything to do with Gibson hiring illegal Mexicans?  (Oh, I forgot.  Obama has decided to give them a pass.)  This is about freaking wood?

It's about freaking wood:
It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."

The question in the first raid seemed to be whether Gibson had been buying illegally harvested hardwoods from protected forests, such as the Madagascar ebony that makes for such lovely fretboards. And if Gibson did knowingly import illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar, that wouldn't be a negligible offense. Peter Lowry, ebony and rosewood expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, calls the Madagascar wood trade the "equivalent of Africa's blood diamonds." But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.
For the love of God.

- - -

Note to the Obama Justice Department: I own a rifle with a rosewood forearm cap.  I admit to it.  Just tell me to which prison I should report.

Environmentalists Making Fools of Themselves

Has this guy been living under a rock his whole life?  Did he pay no attention all those years he was in school?  The answers to both questions seem to be YES.

The hurricane, a recurring phenomenon that has plagued the southeast coast of the U.S. since time immemorial, is news to this activist:
Was Hurricane Irene caused by global warming?
By Bob King, Politico

Hurricane Irene hadn’t even made landfall in the United States before some people figured out what to blame it on.

“Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming,” environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote Thursday night in The Daily Beast. He argued that this year’s hot Atlantic Ocean temperatures and active spree of hurricanes — coupled with droughts, floods and melting sea ice elsewhere on the globe — are “what climate change looks like in its early stages.”

Besides, “what’s a ‘tropical’ storm doing heading for the snow belt?” asked McKibben. He also said the storm represented bad timing for the Obama administration’s favorable environmental impact statement on TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which environmentalists label a danger to the Earth’s climate. [link]
Got all that?  Hurricanes - along with droughts, floods, melting sea ice - and presumably Obama's double bogey on number seven - are the results of global warming.  And a gas pipeline out west.

How do you respond to such nonsense?

With one word: Nitwit.

Get the idea that he and Crazy Al are desperate?

- - -

This map, provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows the tracking of hurricanes since they began to be tracked:


Click on the image to enlarge it.

McKibben: “What’s a ‘tropical’ storm doing heading for the snow belt?

Same thing it's always done, dumbass.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Say it ain't so!

Bummer:


What's a Pataki anyway?

Here's To The Virginia GOP

This, I think, generally holds true: If you don't field a candidate, chances are slim you're going to win.  And speaking of the Democratic Party of Virginia, it appears, as we head into election season, that there's going to be slim pickin's if you're of the blue persuasion in much of the state next time around.

The RPV has assembled a strong slate of candidates here in the Commonwealth, while the Democrats heve ceded a bunch of contests already.

See "2011 General Assembly Races."

Here's how it shakes out across the state:
By the Numbers: Election 2011

-- GOP fields far more candidates, challenges far more incumbents than Democrats --

● 40 districts in the state Senate
● 36 districts where there is a Republican candidate running for the state Senate
● 28 districts where there is a Democrat candidate running for the state Senate
● 3 Incumbent Republican Senators are facing a Democratic challenger (20% of Republican incumbents)
● 16 Incumbent Democratic Senators are facing a Republican challenger (80% of Democrat incumbents)
● 29 Senate districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009
● 11 Senate districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009 that currently have a Democratic incumbent state senator seeking re-election
● 3 Senate districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009 by more than 60% that currently have a Democratic incumbent state Senator seeking re-election
● 11 Senate districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009 that currently have a Democratic incumbent State Senator seeking re-election that also have a strong Republican challenger


● 100 districts in the Virginia House of Delegates
● 73 districts where there is a Republican running for the House of Delegates
● 53 districts where there is a Democrat running for the House of Delegates
● 17% of incumbent Republican Delegates are facing a Democratic challenger
● 21% of incumbent Democratic Delegates are facing a Republican challenger
● 72 House of Delegate Districts that that Governor McDonnell won in 2009
● 6 House of Delegate Districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009 that currently have a Democratic incumbent Delegate seeking re-election
● 4 House of Delegate Districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009 with at least 55% of the vote that currently have a Democratic incumbent Delegate seeking re-election
● 13 of the 14 open House of Delegate seats are in districts that Governor McDonnell won in 2009
4 open House of Delegate districts where the Democrats are not even running a candidate

● 140 members of the General Assembly
● 109 Republican candidates are running for the House of Delegates and state Senate (Republican are fielding candidates in 78% of all districts)
● 81 Democratic candidates running for the House of Delegates and state Senate (Democrats are fielding candidates in just 57% of all districts)
● 28 more Republican candidates are running for the General Assembly than Democrat candidates
● 12 total incumbent Republicans in the General Assembly who will face a Democratic challenger in 2011
To quote Pat Mullins: "Bottom Line: In 2011, Republicans have a good opportunity to keep the momentum of 2009 and 2010 going strong."

I'd say that's not in doubt.

George Allen Smiles

How he must be enjoying this.  His primary opponent, Jamie Radtke - she of the Tea Party persuasion - has lashed out at Redstate. Or is it vice versa? Lawyers are now involved and God knows where this goes next.

All this over a short speech Ms. Radtke was to have given - one that apparently became a long, drawn-out speech at a Redstate gathering - and ... all hell has broken loose.

Go here to see where all this started.

Then here.

Then Real Clear Politics got involved.

And Politico.

That was followed by this, as a matter of clarification.

So what's all this about?  Nothing much, to be honest.  Other than some hurt feelings and damaged egos.

Sometimes getting bloggers and Tea Partiers in the same room can produce a volatile mixture.

This appears to be a glaring example of how that mixture combusts.

Too bad.

George Allen can only be pinching himself, wondering how he got so lucky as to be able to stand back and witness the conflagration.

- - -

Shaun Kenney makes his contribution to the cacophony of voices.

- - -

Me?  I'm of the Rodney King persuasion.  Can't we all just get along?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

That Was Then ...

Remember how bent out of shape the mainstream press got when Reagan's White House announced that his ceaselessly hounded Attorney General Ed Meese had accepted a gift of cufflinks from the South Korean government? If you don't, you may be shocked to learn that a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the matter.

The value of the cufflinks?

$400.

Oh, the outrage.

Skip ahead to 2012. Oddly, you'll have to go to the foreign press to find out that ...


In zeroes, that's $10,000,000.00.

Did I miss the calls from the press for a special prosecutor?  Must have.

And (knowing that there probably weren't any laws broken) has there been even an eentsy weentsy bit of outrage expressed by the dogged members of the mainstream media here in the land of the ... free press?

Not even.

Instead we get this:


In case you don't recognize her, that ain't Michelle Obama.  That's the other Michelle - Bachmann.  The Queen of Rage, according to the Democratic Party's house organ NewsweekThat queen of rage, mother of five, foster mother of 23, who - with her husband - runs a Christian counseling center in Minnesota.  So many reasons there for Newsweek to feel the rage.

As for Obama and her lifestyle, the likes of which would make Imelda Marcos blush?  Not a peep.

Just wait till she comes upon a pair of cufflinks though, boy.  All heck's going to break loose for sure.

A Lecture From An Expert On The Subject

Barack Obama (the 2008 campaigner) on presidents running up the national debt:



"That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

Or not.

How Embarrassing

Note to Steve Chabot:  Democrats pull this crap.  Not Republicans.  Shame on you:
Cops Confiscate Cameras at Ohio Congressman’s Town Hall
Kurt Nimmo, Infowars.com

A congressman from Ohio had cops grab the cameras of constituents during a town hall meeting. Steve Chabot, a Republican, had cell phones and cameras confiscated in order to “prevent an embarrassing Youtube video from making the rounds,” according to Carlos Miller, who runs a blog documenting efforts by the state to stifle the First Amendment rights of photographers.

See video of the incident [here].

Police said the cameras were taken “to protect the constituents.” A local television station, however, was allowed to videotape the meeting and the brazen move by Chabot and the cops.

Think Progress, the Soros-funded media operation, also reported the incident, primarily because Chabot is an establishment Republican and protesters outside the event called for more taxes. [link]
Chabot is generally right on the issues and usually has his head screwed on straight. But here? What was he thinking?

A Lesson For Warren Buffett

He of the tax-me-before-I-spend-the-money-I've-earned persuasion.  For those not aware, Buffett thinks the government is wiser and more capable of spending your income than you are.

Really.

To Mr. Buffett I offer this lesson in government wisdom:
Coin of the Realm of Madness
By Fay Voshell, American Thinker

Deep in the bowels of the US Mint in Philadelphia are coin presses which run constantly, producing millions of one-dollar coins, day after day, day in and day out. The mechanized beasts are more productive than the god Vulcan, sweating away in his forge beneath Mt. Aetna, and they certainly require less upkeep than the legendary Norse dwarves mining gold in the dark, dank recesses of the earth.

The relentlessly efficient seven machines run nonstop, pouring out 1,800,000 presidential coins per diem, each coin costing 32 cents to produce, adding up to a total cost of $600,000 each day.

It all started when the Congress in session in 2005, led by Delaware's Mike Castle, among others, got the golden idea of commemorating every dead president by imprinting the images of the deceased leaders on coins. Promoters of the cause thought the coins would instantly be put into circulation or snapped up by eager professional and amateur numismatists.

But it has turned out that nobody wants the coins.

Even the coins stamped with the visage of James K. Polk haven't seen much demand.

Imagine that.

So the coins have been put in storage at the Federal Reserve in Baltimore, which since has run out of storage capacity, its underground vaults stuffed with shelf after shelf of so many plastic money bags that even Ebenezer Scrooge wouldn't be able to count the monies. Now, 650,000 dollars are being allocated to build a new vault in Dallas, Texas. The cost to ship the billion or so coins? A cool $3,000,000. The full story, as related by Diane Sawyer of ABC News, can be found here.

There's a lesson here. [link]
That lesson?  We need to scrap Buffett's government and start over again.

We now own over a billion of these things.   Most all of which will go into storage and never see the light of day until they're melted down and molded into boat anchors.

Now, you think that's bad?  Guess what.  The same legislation that calls for the federal government to mint these presidential coins that nobody wants also requires that "First Spouse" coins be minted too.

Don't believe me?  Here's the law.  Go to Section 103: FIRST SPOUSE BULLION COIN PROGRAM.  And go here to see what a Letitia Tyler coin looks like.  And weep.  You're paying for it.

Warren Buffett's beloved government in action.

Maybe we should pass a law requiring Mr. Buffett to buy the things and get them off our hands.

Good Luck With That

You libertarians out there need to understand - you have an aversion to big government.  You're not anarchists.

Or are you?

Here's an interesting tidbit from the latest Gallup poll:  The presidential candidate who attracts the largest libertarian following?  It turns out that Ron Paul is truly a big, BIG hit.  Amongst people who don't vote.

Amongst people who don't vote.

Now there's a recipe for success.

Joe Manchin's a Nice Guy

I'm not.

So when his state of West Virginia is attacked by that brainless moron of a congressman from Michigan who goes by the name John Conyers, I'd have a whole lot more to say to the dumbass than this:
John Conyers, Joe Manchin spar over West Virginia coal comments
By Robin Bravender, Politico

Michigan Rep. John Conyers doesn’t think there’s much to West Virginia other than coal mining, and he’d like to shut that industry down.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t think much of Conyers.

Conyers took aim at the West Virginia coal industry Wednesday, saying the state’s history with mining is “one of the sorriest reports you’ve ever seen,” Greenwire reported.

The Michigan Democrat was speaking at the EPA’s environmental justice conference in Detroit, and suggested unions could help find other jobs to displace the coal mining industry.

"We've got to work out a situation in one state of the union, there may be others, in which we come up with alternative ways of creating full employment without just putting everybody out of work," he said.

Conyers also said, “There is no such thing as clean coal.”

Manchin shot back Wednesday, blasting Conyers for “degrading” his home state.

“I would never degrade another state or the people of that state because it takes 50 great states to make this great county,” Manchin said in a letter to Conyers.

“I am very troubled to hear about your recent negative comments about our beautiful state of West Virginia, and the important role coal plays not only in our state, but in our country,” he added.

Manchin encouraged Conyers to meet with him to learn more about the importance of coal mining. [link]
How sweet.  They could meet and discuss the importance of coal over tea and crumpets.

Joe.  Joe!  The man is wanting to throw your constituents out of work, Joe.  And you want to have a sit-down with him?

Attack him.  Set him on his skinny ass.  Remind him, when he talks about the deploring state of affairs that he thinks exists in West Virginia, that he presides over freaking Detroit.

I wish Conyers wouldn't say bad things about my constituents.  Good grief.  Remind me not to get in a bar fight with Joe Manchin having my back.

At Least It's Something

A hit piece in this morning's Politico:


Is that better or worse than no-wage non-jobs?

Got another arrow in that quiver, big guy?

* It should be noted that economists generally agree that low-wage job creation fuels high-wage job creation.  Contrast that with Obama's "green job" creation which produces no job creation.

How To Give Perry A Boost

Wonderful:


From On High to Texas Democrats: Listen and obey. Perry needs all the help he can get.

Quote of the Day

From a one-time Obama supporter, Mort Zuckerman:

"Many voters who supported him are no longer elated by the historic novelty of his candidacy and presidency. They hoped for a president who would be effective."

Wrong.  If you were to be honest, fffectiveness played no part in your decision-making.  It was all about being "elated by the historic novelty."  The black thing.

I ask the gentleman, where in the campaign of 2008 was there any exhibition on Obama's part - either in resumé or in actions - of a competency for effectiveness? 

"They hoped ..." says it all.  He got what he what he was looking for.  He has his black president.

An ineffective black president.

Disappointed?  My heart bleeds.  

ObamaCare Metastasizes. As Planned.

We're on our way to a single-payer health plan. That single payer being Barack Obama.  It's just a matter of time.  And if you like the way the British administer their health care delivery system, you're going to love Obama's.

In order to do that, we need to remove all those pesky employers from the equation.  Those who still look for the best buy and for the most comprehensive plans in the marketplace.  Can't be havin' that.

So:
Survey shows employers consider ending health coverage
By the Associated Press

Nearly one of every 10 midsized or big employers expects to stop offering health coverage to workers once federal insurance exchanges start in 2014, according to a new survey from a large benefits consultant.

Towers Watson also found in a survey completed last month that an additional 20 percent of the companies are unsure about what they will do.

Another big benefits consultant, Mercer, found in a June survey of large and smaller employers that 8 percent are either “likely” or “very likely” to end health benefits once the exchanges start.

Employer-sponsored health insurance has long been the backbone of the nation's health insurance system. But the studies suggest that some employers, especially retailers or those offering low wages, feel they will be better off paying fines and taxes than continuing to provide benefits that eat up a growing portion of their budget every year. [link]
"Employer-sponsored health insurance has long been the backbone of the nation's health insurance system"?  Kiss that goodbye.  Now Obama is the backbone.

Wrap your brain around that scenario.  And grab the smelling salts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

But They Don't Want To Be In Kansas

The first rule in editorial writing: Don't make your readers scratch their heads in befuddlement.

Like this piece in today's Roanoke Times does:
For the first time ever, all Roanoke city schools earned accreditation, and graduation rates aren’t shameful.

But, if just for today, go ahead, Roanoke boosters, click your heels and enjoy the moment.
I took a moment all right.  To wonder why Roanoke boosters - if they were boosters - would want to go back to Kansas with Dorothy, per Glinda, the Good Witch of the North's instruction.

Click their heels?

But that can't be right.  So I googled it.  Turns out the Times wants people to adopt a move developed by Irish step dancers.  To show their glee.  Just before they're rushed to the hospital with a slipped disc.

Seems an odd way to celebrate.

But what do I know.  I'm still trying to perfect my battement dégagé.

Them Tea Partiers Sure Look Like Terrorists To Me

This goes out to Democratic congresswomen who dress like Homey the Clown and think we are America's Enemy Number 1:



Yeah, we're terrorists all right. First we demanded that the government spend only money that it had.  Soon we'll be expecting that money to be spent wisely.

Such ruthless bastards we are.

Run for your lives.  The Tea Party is on the loose.  Death and destruction will surely follow in its wake.

And Speaking of Clowns

Good grief.


Remember when they said Sarah Palin was too stupid to be vice president?  Those same they think the world of this buffoon.

Says a lot about they.

Photo capture from Hot Air.

There are Earthquakes and Then There Are Earthquakes

I told Paula, when I got home last night, that people out in California must be looking at the antics going on up in the Washington area with a certain amount of amusement.  Earthquake?  Folks out there wouldn't consider what happened yesterday as even rising to the level of burp.  I actually heard someone on the radio (I was 150 miles west of the epicenter when the tremor hit and didn't notice anything, alas.) tell an alarmed populace: Be prepared for aftershocks. (!)

Heck, by California standards there were few foreshocks.

To play up my amusement, I offer this:

A shocking photo of DC Earthquake Devastation.

To the people of Washington D.C. I carry this message: It's safe.  You can come out of your hiding places now.

Sorry, Pal

It was all about slavery.

Too Funny

In a shameful sort of way.

How about a flaming liberal college professor who donates routinely to Democrats and leftist causes and then turns around and does a "study" that finds Tea Partiers to "fear change and harbor negative attitudes toward immigrants."

One who got paid handsomely to do it.

Can't imagine?  Meet Andrew Perrin, PhD.

- - -

* The "study" also found that Tea Partiers "valued deference to authority and libertarianism."  If deference means "a courteous regard for," so what?  Is that better or worse than leftist college professors who harbor attitudes of subservience to authority.  We respect it.  But out of that respect comes a healthy understanding of its inherent evils.  As well as its weaknesses.

- - -

Then there's this: "The poll also found that 51 percent of people who were very concerned about 'changes taking place in American society these days' were tea party supporters."  So what?  That doesn't mean Tea Partiers "fear change."  In fact we demand change.  Just not the kind of change - call it decay - that America is experiencing.

Can anyone be a college professor these days?  Are there no standards of intelligence?

- - -

And, for the thousandth time, we don't hate immigrants.  (I, for one, have no problem increasing the quotas for legal immigration when the employment situation reflects a need for more low-end workers to enter the workforce here.)

But we do have a problem with foreigners coming here, disrespecting our laws, and making demands of us.  They can take that right back where they came from.

Only To a Leftist

I'm not even believing this first sentence of a (totally detached) Richard Cohen piece in the Washington Post:

"Whatever global warming might or might not have done to polar bears, it has put Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy at risk."

And he ain't jokin'.

Is that to be considered wishful thinking?  Or a cry of desperation - on two counts?  Global warming as a working theory is dead.  And Rick Perry's candidacy is vibrant.

Cohen, generally considered to be the least bright of all the mainstream columnists out there (in a very large field of close-seconds), dreams the impossible dream.

By the way, the rest of the column is just as foolish.  Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And While We're On The Subject of Guns As Personal Protection

There's this to consider, from the one and only Instapundit:

"THE INSTA-WIFE: Gun Owners: What Are You Compensating For? 'I’m compensating for being too weak to carry a whole cop around with me.'"

Things that make you go hmmmm ...

Speaking Truth To The Clueless

The Washington Times editorial board to Virginia Beach's chief of police:
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Gun owners tend to be law-abiding members of their communities. Allowing concealed-carry at the local watering hole did nothing to change that. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police worked overtime to defeat restaurant carry, urging Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto the bill in March of last year. “Allowing guns in bars is a recipe for disaster,” [now retired] Virginia Beach Police Chief Jake Jacocks Jr. wrote. “We can fully expect that at some point in the future, a disagreement that today would likely end up in a verbal confrontation, or a bar fight, will inevitably end with gunfire if you sign this legislation into law.” The shootouts never happened.

Earlier this month, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reviewed Virginia State Police records and found the number of firearms-related crimes committed in establishments that serve alcohol dropped 5 percent a year after concealed-carry permit holders could legally pack heat while out on the town. There were 145 gun crimes reported in taverns and eateries a year after the law took effect, compared with 153 before. The Times-Dispatch could only identify a single permit holder who had misbehaved, though gun charges later were dropped against that person. [source] [emphasis mine]
"A recipe for disaster."  "Inevitable ... gunfire."

We can expect ... what, again, genius?

Reading Your Mind

Yes, you are predictable.  To prove it, this amazing math quiz can likely predict which of 18 movies you would enjoy the most. It really works! Every time...

Here we go...!!!
:

Movie Test: 

    Pick any number from 1-9.

    Multiply by 3.

    Add 3.

    Multiply by 3 again.

    Now add the two digits of your answer together.

Using that last number, you will find your predicted favorite movie in the list of 18 movies below. 


Movie List: 

    1. Gone With The Wind

    2. E.T.

    3. Blazing Saddles

    4. Star Wars

    5. Forrest Gump

    6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

    7. Jaws

    8. Grease

    9. The Obama farewell speech of 2013
           
    10. Casablanca

    11. Jurassic Park

    12. Shrek

    13. Pirates of the Caribbean

    14. Titanic

    15. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

    16. Home Alone

    17. Mrs. Doubtfire

    18. Toy Story


   Now, ain't that something..?


* From my inbox.

Texas Jobs Gov't Jobs?

This goes out to Dan Radmacher, who suggested recently (in a weblog comment) that "The Texas Miracle" simply involved the hiring of a whole lot of government workers in the years that Rick Perry has been governor of the Lone Star State.

The facts tell a different story:
Per Capita Gov't Workers Declined as Perry's Texas Created 1M New Jobs, Says BLS Data
By Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

(CNSNews.com) - Since Rick Perry became governor of Texas, the number of government workers per capita has marginally declined in the state as private-sector employers created 73.5 percent of the more than 1 million additional jobs now found in the state, according to data published by the Census Bureau and Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Between December 2000 when Perry became governor (replacing George W. Bush who had been elected president) and July 2011, the latest month on record, the number of nonfarm civilian employees in Texas grew from approximately 9,563,500 to 10,619,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That means approximately 1,056,300 new nonfarm civilian jobs have been created in Texas during the time Perry has been governor.

That contrasts with a national decline in jobs of approximately 1,295,000 during the same period, according to BLS data.

Of the 1,056,300 new nonfarm civilian jobs created in Texas since December 2000, according to the BLS, 280,400 have been government jobs (including local, state and federal jobs) and 775,900 have been private-sector jobs. That means 73.5 percent of the new jobs created in Texas since Perry became governor have been private-sector jobs.

Meanwhile, from the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census, according to the Census Bureau, the population of Texas grew from 20,851,818 to 25,145,561. The 1,574,700 civilian government workers in Texas in December 2000 (as reported by BLS) equaled one government worker for every 13.2417 people in the state. The 1,855,100 civilian government workers in Texas in July 2011 equaled one government worker for every 13.5548 people in the state.

That means the number of people per government worker in Texas has increased by about a third of a person (0.313) since Perry became governor. [link]
Read the whole thing.  The author goes on to trash a recent Washington Post hit piece for manipulating data to make a point unfavorable to the Texas governor.  As the saying goes, and as Terence P. Jeffrey points out here, statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics.

Bottom line?  Try to dismiss the phenomenon until you're blue in the face, but this much is true:  Texas has created almost as many jobs as Obama has lost nationally.  There's certainly some kind of miracle at work there.

This Can't Be Good

We're well over a year from the election, the Republican Party hasn't even settled on a nominee, most voters haven't turned from "Dancing With The Stars" to the GOP debates yet, there are still a lot of name recognition issues out there, and Obama can't beat any one of four Republican challengers at this point in the contest?

A lot can happen between now and November, 2012, but this don't look good for The Messiah.  From Gallup:
Obama in Close Race Against Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Paul
Romney has slight edge over Obama, Bachmann slightly lags
by Frank Newport

Princeton, NJ -- President Barack Obama is closely matched against each of four possible Republican opponents when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today. Mitt Romney leads Obama by two percentage points, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry and Obama are tied at 47%, and Obama edges out Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann by two and four points, respectively. [link]
Get the impression there's an "anybody but Obama" effect in play here?

This must especially depress the members of the mainstream press.  They've gone out of their way to make Bachmann look like a nut.  And they've completely ignored Ron Paul because they can't quite figure him out (therefore he's a nut too).  And both Paul and Bachmann are within striking distance of knocking off their cherished Obama?

This is so not right.

Maybe they need to go back to that which worked for them last time around:

Obama's black!  Obama's black!

'cause nothing else is working for the poor schmuck.

A Day To Showcase Nitwits

Exhibit A:


I read the other day that the unemployment rate for black males in Washington D.C. has hit 50%. I think we should round up every white employer in that city and hang him.

Oh, wait. The only white employers to be found in all of D.C. are congresspersons.

Racism?  Name names, babe.

I Love These Guys

The Republican Party of Virginia has a genius in its midst.  He's the dude who churns out ass-kickin's like this:
ICYMI: Dick Saslaw is Getting Nervous... 

The Times Dispatch notes the metaphorical sweat on Dick Saslaw's forehead: 


"We're talking to some people that could pump more money in here than the governor has ever dreamed of," he said.

Let us know when these alleged donors get back to you, Dick. But we won't be holding our breath. For some reason, people seem to like the idea of balancing budgets without raising taxes. 

But Dick wasn't finished. Lest people start to like balance budgets with no tax hikes, he warned that Virginia would become  "Mississippi and Arizona if they get control of the Senate."

In his defense, Republicans have put forward some "radical" ideas in the past couple of legislative sessions:  

  • ● Major Investments in Transportation,
  • ● Balanced Budgets,
  • ● $950 million two-year surplus, and and of course,
  • ● No Tax Hikes.

Lower taxes, limited government.  
Radical, indeed.
Excellent.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripp Godsey, Right Man, Wrong Job

As I read in recent months the various policy positions put forth by 21st District Republican Senate candidate Tripp Godsey, my thoughts kept returning to the fact that he and his plank were ill-suited for the gig he's hoping to take on.  Basically (and pardon me if I'm misstating his platform), Godsey has staked out two principle positions - one so far removed from reality that it is irrelevant to the vast majority of the voters - that being the fact that "property taxes are fundamentally wrong and cannot be reconciled with the right to own and control our own property" - and the other better held for when he decides to run for Congress - that being the protection of our 2nd Amendment rights.

Property taxes are wrong?  Hear, hear.  But so is head lice.  And we aren't going to eradicate either in this lifetime.  But hey, it would make for a great debate over beers.  I'll buy.

The 2nd Amendment has more relevancy.  And defenders of the faith - like Godsey - certainly need to be supported in the delegation we Southwest Virginians send to Richmond.  But to support the "natural right" for free citizens to keep and bear arms - which exists and will never be infringed - is a debate Godsey needs to make in the halls of Congress.  Not in the state capital.  There the argument is knocked down a few dozen notches.  That argument can best be found here.

I think Tripp Godsey's worldview is therefore better suited for Washington.  And for another day.

His opponent?*

Dave Nutter's first priority is every Southwest Virginian's priority: JOBS. From "Candidates flaunt conservative bent in 21st Senate District competition," by Mason Adams in yesterday's Roanoke Times:
Nutter said this is the most important issue in the race.

"It's still about jobs," Nutter said. "I did a tele-town hall last night: Jobs are far above taxes and everything else."

Nutter said his background in economic development makes him the man for this particular job. He proposes phasing out the state's corporate income tax and pushing math and science harder in public schools.

"Where do you find ways in which American industry can be competitive on a global scale?" Nutter asked. "The skill sets these workers need is very different. It's not a pair of gloves and a strong back anymore. It's going to be mathematical skills."
Here Godsey again talks on a national level rather than on the state level:
Godsey, meanwhile, has focused his jobs platform on what he said are unnecessary, job-killing government regulations.

"That's why I got in the race," Godsey said. "A lot of these restrictions are keeping businesses from hiring."

Most of his complaints stem from federal and not state regulations, though. He complained about air quality regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency and the 2009 health care reform law.

Although the General Assembly has no control over federal laws, Godsey said he would change that by carrying the Freedom For Virginians Act -- a bill that would attempt to give the state power to nullify a federal law through a voter referendum.
Nullification. A worthy topic of debate. With none other than John C. Calhoun looking down in eager anticipation of the outcome. And a law that will soon get its due, as America becomes - once again - a more federalist America. But can we save that for a different forum, Tripp? Can we get people back to work here in this tortured land first?

I like Tripp Godsey. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat if he were running against any Democrat in Virginia for a seat in Congress. But he's not running for Congress. He's running to take the seat that, up to now, had been held by the woeful John Edwards, Democrat.

We need a candidate who has his focus on that seat. Not on Mark Warner's.

There'll be plenty of time for that, my friend.

See us in a couple of years. We'll talk.


* Yeah, there's a Democrat opponent as well.  Edwards.  But who cares?

Problem Solved!

To think: the Roanoke Times editorial board killed trees to make this argument (in "Virginia should have a slavery museum, even if one for Fredericksburg flops"):

"A National Slavery Museum is a good and important idea that should be seen to fruition -- if not in Fredericksburg, somewhere in Virginia."

Somewhere else. Hey, I know. Let's put it at 500 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

Oh. Wait. There's already a museum there devoted - in part - to America's shameful experience with slavery.

Neat! What are the odds?!

Perhaps the fact that the American Civil War Center is but 60 miles from Fredericksburg - and that the proposed museum in the latter would be a complete redundancy when it comes to a focus on the slavery era, that the latter failed to materialize?

Exactly how many slavery museums do we need in that one stretch of I-95?

Maybe it's a typo.  Maybe they mean we should have a slavery museum in every county in Virginia.  Starting with Henrico and Spotsylvania.

Showing Their Spots

It sure didn't take long for leftists in this country to move away from arguing for Republicans in Congress to compromise on raising the debt ceiling - lest utter calamity occurred otherwise - to ignoring the debt crisis and demanding more of that which brought the calamity to our doorstep.

Those of us who have made a hobby of watching these snakes knew it was a lie all along.

Today's evidence?

E.J. Dionne wants there to be an explosion in new government spending:
Obama: Go big, long and global
Washington Post

President Obama has only one option as he ponders a world economy teetering on the edge: He needs to go big, go long and go global.

Going big means immediate action to boost the economy, even though this will increase the short-term deficit. [link]
It should be noted for those who are fuzzy on terminology, including Dionne it would seem, all deficits are short-term.  In the case of the government balance sheet, each annual deficit is tossed on the pile known as the national debt, which currently amounts to some 14.6 trillion dollars and counting.  It takes a whole lot of "short-term deficits" to achieve that nothing-in-human-history-comes-close.

When the debate over the debt ceiling was raging, I kept telling you that the Democrats really had no interest - absolutely no interest - in our debt.  They simply wanted - as they always do - a big, fat tax increase to work with, and they saw a "debt compromise" as a way to achieve it.

The fact that, with that crisis having been averted (at least for a few months), these leftists - like Dionne - prove my point.  They don't give a damn about the debt.  They care only about spending more of our money on policies and projects that have proven to be utter failures in the past.

E.J. Dionne, the ultimate leftist, proves the point in spades.

Rick Perry - Demigod or Demagogue?

I wish I knew the answer to that question.

I do know this: After reading Ross Douthat's column in today's New York Times, it's quite possible that the Texas governor is both.

Read "Messing With Texas."

The bottom line, as best I can tell?  The relationship between Texas government and the private sector - even beyond the energy sphere - has produced a smokin' economic machine, the likes of which no other state comes close to competing with. 

And Perry has done nothing to screw it up.

A star for him.

If only there were some indication that he had the ability and the know-how to take a broken, chaotic, schizophrenic system - say, the United States of America - and fix it.

Is Rick Perry a reformer?  Or the Defender of All Things Good?

To stave off economic calamity in 2013, we'll surely need both, when Obama's finally been sent off to that community organizer retirement home in West Boca and the pressing issues of the day finally get addressed.

The devil's in the details.  Details we haven't seen yet.

Tony Blair Has a Point

Perhaps it is unfair to blame his nation for the actions of a few ... thousand:
Blaming a moral decline for the riots makes good headlines but bad policy
By Tony Blair, writing in the Guardian

[I]n the overall commentary on the riots, I think we are in danger of the wrong analysis leading to the wrong diagnosis, leading to the wrong prescription.

[T]he big cause is the group of young, alienated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream and who live in a culture at odds with any canons of proper behaviour. And here's where I don't agree with much of the commentary. In my experience, they are an absolutely specific problem that requires deeply specific solutions.

The key is to understand that they aren't symptomatic of society at large.

Britain, as a whole, is not in the grip of some general "moral decline". I see young graduates struggling to find work today and persevering against all the odds. I see young people engaged as volunteers in the work I do in Africa, and in inter-faith projects. I meet youngsters who are from highly disadvantaged backgrounds where my Sports Foundation works in the north-east and I would say that today's generation is a) more respectable b) more responsible and c) more hard-working than mine was. The true face of Britain is not the tiny minority that looted, but the large majority that came out afterwards to help clean up. [link]
He's right, of course, in saying his British brethren shouldn't have their reputations tarred because of the actions of a few thousand hooligans.

But the riots - and the reaction of society thereto - that occurred across his country demonstrated a larger problem.  One that he chooses to dismiss ("Britain, as a whole, is not in the grip of some general 'moral decline'") while, at the same time, giving it validity: ("many of these people are from families that are profoundly dysfunctional, operating on completely different terms from the rest of society, middle class or poor").

To those of us not steeped in moral relativism, the proliferation of profoundly dysfunctional families in a society is an indication that there is a general moral breakdown occurring.

In this case, too, a macro look at the riots tends to erode Blair's argument.  He mentions the fact that the police did little to stop the rioting until public support buttressed their actions against the lawbreakers.  That the police need to know that society wants them to police the streets is, in itself, frightening to comprehend.  Why else are they there?  To counsel and role model?  Under what circumstances would a police officer not know that he or she has that support?

Answer: In the relativist society that Britain has become.

That relativism will show itself most prevalently in the courts.  Nothing in the way of meaningful punishment will be meted out to the thieves and arsonists.  A slap on the wrist and home they go.

And the same with the political leadership there as well.  Leftists will call for more taxes on the rich.  Laws will be passed sending more love and money into the already over-loved and over-ransomed gang neighborhoods.  And nothing will change.


And then there's the fact that law-abiding citizens there - and, Blair's right, there are still many - have been disarmed and made defenseless by those same lawmakers.

One might accept Tony Blair's argument that British society isn't experiencing moral decline had the riot occurred - and been crushed.  As it should have been.  Instead, it went on for days.  And spread from London to cities across the country.  And nobody lifted a finger to stop it.  Because nobody there considered it proper to lift a finger.  Nobody. 

It was someone else's responsibility.

If that's not moral decline, I don't know what is.