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

Monday, January 09, 2012

Where Were They When It Counted?

I'll give the boys and girls on the Roanoke Times editorial team credit.  They take the right position on this topic:
Don't rubber stamp economic incentives

After persuading state legislators to pony up $100 million for economic development incentives over the past two years, Gov. Bob McDonnell is back for more this year. His budget includes another $37 million in tax credits for small-business investors, rocket launches, tourism, agriculture, forestry, offshore wind and motion pictures.

The governor said he's still crunching the numbers to show that previous expenditures for job creation were a good investment. Legislators should sift through that data with care.

In recent years, lawmakers have wisely demanded performance-based incentives and careful monitoring of outcomes. [link]
While it may be true that "lawmakers have wisely demanded performance-based incentives and careful monitoring of outcomes," the Roanoke Times in recent years, sadly, has not.

Time and again politicians here in Southwest Virginia proposed the creation of bike paths and hiking trails - to be constructed at taxpayer expense - the intentions for which always had to do with the creation of "tourism" jobs - politicians who were duly awarded with millions to bring those trails to nowhere about - and the Times either remained conspicuously silent on the subject or blindly lent its support to the hapless schemes.

Millions of dollars in expenditures later, we're still waiting for that Roanoke Times editorial that reads, "we wisely demand performance-based incentives and careful monitoring of outcomes."

Meanwhile the region is now scarred with dozens of really neat and well-groomed paths and trails, and one can count the number of permanent "tourism" jobs brought about by their creation on one's thumbs.

So here's to the Roanoke Times editorial page for being right when it comes to government accountability.

If only it were consistent on the subject.

A City Lavrentiy Beria Could Love

In poverty-ravaged, crime-plagued Newark, New Jersey unemployment isn't the problem, economic devastation isn't the problem, roving bands of criminals aren't the problem. Guns are the problem.

Want to put bread on your table and "stop crime"? Rat out your neighbor (who possesses a gun in an effort to do that which law enforcement fails to do):

Says the mayor:
We have a program in our city right now that is completely anonymous, and we will give you a thousand dollars cash - a thousand dollars - to anyone who calls our anonymous tip line. Give us the information about who is carrying a gun and we don't even have to have a conviction. We simply arrest that individual and get that gun off the street.

This is the best program in the country. A quick thousand dollars.
That country? You'd think Corey Booker was referring to the old Soviet Union.

But no.

Really makes you want to live in poverty-ravaged, crime-plagued, NKVD-simpatico Newark, New Jersey, doesn't it?

We Live In Different Worlds

I've never understood why it is that politicians, who can meet one another in the break room and hash out plans over donuts and coffee, feel the need to pull this kind of stunt instead:

Prince George's Council takes costly retreat to Baltimore

I don't have a dog in this hunt, so it's no skin off my teeth what the taxpayers of Prince George's County, Maryland allow. But, for the life of me, I don't understand the mindset that permits this sort of waste. Are the council members that immune to pressures applied by voters?

You see this sort of thing all the time, and more often than not it's politicians in Washington who are living la vita loca on the taxpayer dime. In this case, it's lowlife county council members.

Whichever. They should all be hanged from the nearest sour apple tree.

Figuratively, of course ...

- - -

* Let it be noted that I have, over the years, attended many a business meeting in faraway places.  But in every one of those instances - except one - the companies I worked for were assembling employees from around the country in one location.  It just happened to be in Orlando or San Antonio or Denver.

That one exception?  The president decided he needed to take headquarters staff to Las Vegas for a weekend meeting that ... could have been held in the break room at HQ.  That company?  Went bankrupt a few years later.  That president?  Out on his ass.

The two circumstances - needless and costly Las Vegas meeting and unemployed corporate president - were directly related.

And so it should go.

Where Do They Get These Guys?

Has-been reporter/now-columnist (for many years with CNN and, of late, with Hearst Newspapers) Bob Franken, he of the media elite fraternity in good standing, thinks we conservatives want to resegregate the USA.

No, I'm not kidding.  Yes, he may be senile:
Former CNN Reporter Claims GOP Stuffed With Voters Who Want 'Good Old Days of Jim Crow'
By Tim Graham, NewsBusters

The latest liberal tendency -- to try and cast Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as racists, or cynical race-baiters to a party stuffed full of racists -- is an absolute natural for "Reverend" Al Sharpton on MSNBC. On the Sharpton show "Politics Nation" on Friday night, former CNN reporter Bob Franken shoved both candidates into the mud for their talk of blacks and government dependency: "I think this is very intentional. I think it is part of a hateful campaign that is being very methodically run in the hope it`s going to appeal to voters who would love to see us return to the good old days of Jim Crow." [link] [emphasis in the original]
I want to laugh at this old fool. But his comment doesn't warrant my simply dismissing it as the delusional ramblings of an old dolt. As far as I know, Franken is still out there writing columns that appear in newspapers around the country, influencing readers' attitudes. That gives his stupid musings weight.

For that reason, therefore, Bob Franken is to be denounced.

Jim Crow?  That awful period in America's history is over, you old goat. Get over it.

I Gotta Tell Ya ...

... for people who scold us conservatives for spending too much time focusing on "social issues," the liberals out there sure seem to spend a lot of time focusing on ... social issues:

CBS Highlights 'Very Conservative' Santorum's Views on Gays, Abortion & Contraception

Santorum's views on the economy?  On unemployment?  On the skyrocketing price of gas?  On the plight of the poor?  On America's inability to compete in the arena?  On the federal debt load?  On our deficit?  On what Obama's doing to the military?

Unimportant matters, apparently.

The planet shudders.  Rick Santorum believes the 10th Amendment to the Constitution means what it says.

Oh, the humanity.

Jim Moran Is On To Something

You know that bigot up in northern Virginia - who happens to be a Democrat - who happens to represent Virginia's 8th District in Congress - James Moran?  It's not often that you'll read on these pages any kind of praise for some idea that he's come up with.  But today's the day.

It so happens that Moran thinks enough of the state he resides in that he wants out.  That's right.  Moran wants out of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Moran:

"We'd all be better off if they took the Virginia and Maryland suburbs and made them part of the district," he said. "But that's not going to happen, so we're dependent on what happens in Richmond."

In other words, he's stuck with us.  Boo hoo.

So Moran thinks we should cede Arlington County to Washington D.C.

You think that's another boneheaded idea from Virginia's most boneheaded politician? Think again.

Washington D.C. has no representation in Congress. Moran would - upon becoming a resident of the district - be without a job.

In the big picture, it may be a lousy idea. But for that one reason alone we should give it serious consideration.

No more anti-Semitic bullies embarrassing us - each and every day - in Washington.