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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?