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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On The Debate

Who "won"?

Charles Krauthammer isn't ambiguous about it:
Krauthammer on Romney’s ‘unequivocal’ win: ‘Romney went large — Obama went very, very small’
By Jeff Poor, Daily Caller

The decisive winner of Monday night’s final presidential debate, according to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“I think it’s unequivocal that Romney won,” Krauthammer said during Fox News Channel’s wrap-up of the debate. “He didn’t just win tactically, but strategically. Strategically, all he needed [was] to draw and continue momentum he’s had since the first debate, and this will continue it. Tactically, he had to go up there and show he’s a competent man as somebody who you could trust as commander in chief, a man who knows every area of the globe, and he gave interesting extra details, like the Haqqani network, which gave the impression he knows what he’s talking about.”

Krauthammer said Obama made a mistake by focusing on “small” matters, while Romney successfully discussed the “big picture” and avoided getting lost in the weeds on Libya details.

“But there is a third level here, that is what happened in the debate. We can argue about small points and debating points. Romney went large — Obama went very, very small — shockingly small. Romney made a strategic decision not to go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could be accusing him of being a Bush-like warmonger. Now, I would have gone after Obama about Libya like a baseball bat, but that’s why Romney has won elections, and I never even have contested them. What he did was stay away from that, and that might have actually worked for him. What he did concentrate on is the big picture. People don’t care that much about what our policy on Syria is going to be. They care about how America is perceived in the world and how America carries itself in the world.”

Romney impressed Krauthammer specifically by referencing the president’s rhetoric abroad.

“And the high point of that debate for Romney is when he devastatingly leveled the charge of Obama going around on an apology tour,” Krauthammer continued. “Obama’s answer was, ‘Ask any reporter, they’ll be able to tell you it wasn’t so.’ It’s about as weak an answer as you could get. And Romney’s response was … to quote Obama saying, ‘We dictate to other nations,’ and Romney said, ‘We do not dictate to other nations. We liberate them.’ And Obama was utterly speechless. … I thought Romney had the day. He looked presidential. The president did not. And that’s the impression I think that is going to be left.”

“I think those on the right, like me, who would have loved to have been bellicose and loved the near-fisticuffs in the last debate will understand exactly why Romney did it. He stayed away from pitfalls. He did not allow himself to be painted as a warmonger. This is what Reagan understood in 1980. He it did well — Romney did, and I think this could help him win the election.” [link]
An apology tour. Which could be said about every aspect of the last four years.

Here's to Mitt Romney for rising above the fray and being presidential.

How They Feel In The Coalfields

Like they are the damned.

Damned by the government that is supposed to serve them:
Hope Turned Into Damnation
By Debra McCown, American Spectator

Grundy, Va. -- More than 5,500 people turned out Sunday afternoon at a mountaintop park in remote Buchanan County to show their support for coal.

With the "War on Coal" rhetoric that's been on a lot of Republicans' lips this election season, a lineup of political speakers that included Matt Romney, son of Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, came to talk about the resource that powers both the electricity and the economy here.

"Right now our country is in dire straits," Matt Romney said, promising that his father, if elected, would make the nation energy independent by 2020. "We can't ignore the vast natural resources we have in this country: coal, natural gas, oil."

In coal country, the issue is complex. On one hand, the Appalachian coal industry has been steadily losing jobs in recent decades, due in part to mechanization and declining reserves. On the other hand, new policies implemented by the Obama administration have had a painful, immediate impact.

It was clear in the mood of the crowd Sunday. Some talked about how thousands of recent coal industry layoffs have impacted their families and communities; others said they go to work every day wondering if they will still have a job when they get there.

"The only promise Obama kept was to kill coal," said Jerry Shortt, a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day -- and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent.

"You see all these people? I bet you a quarter of them's laid off," he said. "I know a lot of people that did [vote for Obama] that are not going to next time. Hope turned into damnation."

The war that coal miners and companies perceive is one being fought on several fronts, said Barbara Altizer, executive director of the Eastern Coal Council, one of five industry-funded groups that sponsored Sunday's rally.

"They come at us on the air side. They come after us on the water side. They've stopped the permits, so that's like starving us. And EPA has started… allowing various anti-coal groups to run things into the ground."

On the air emissions side, two new sets of EPA rules have cut both the present and future use of coal.

First, new air emissions standards prompted utilities to announce the closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants, cutting the demand for coal and costing jobs. In some cases, utilities chose to convert those units to natural gas, which because of new technology for extraction has become relatively cheap and plentiful. Rules for coal-fired boilers have also affected factories and other facilities that use industrial boilers.

Second, a new proposed EPA rule would require any new coal-fired power plants to be constructed with technology to control carbon dioxide emissions -- technology that's not been fully developed. With this proposal, even state-of-the-art coal burning technology, like that being used at the new power plant that just opened in nearby Wise County, couldn't be permitted, utility officials have said.

On the water pollution side, coal mines are now subject to new restrictions in obtaining the permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Targeted specifically at mountaintop mines in Appalachia, according to industry supporters, the change effectively prohibits modern surface mining and has also created significant problems for deep mining.

At the same time, hundreds of mining permits have been suspended in limbo for the years of the Obama administration, with the federal agencies in charge of processing these permits choosing to simply take no action.

At mines that are presently operating, miners say federal safety inspectors have also increased their efforts, going to great lengths to find "nit-picky" violations for which they can charge thousands of dollars in fines.

And then there is the Spruce No. 1 Mine, a surface mining project in West Virginia that was permitted after a decade-long process of environmental review -- and, last year, had its permit revoked by EPA. The case, which is viewed by many as a test case for what could happen to the rest of the industry, is now working its way through the court system.

Ninety-one year old Emory Altizer, introduced as America's oldest working coal miner, told the crowd at the rally that when it comes to coal and energy, the nation is at a crossroads. "Of all the presidents and all the administrations I've ever seen, this is the first one that's declared war on coal," he said. "We have to get rid of that."

Will Morefield, who represents the area in the Virginia House of Delegates, called on the crowd to vote in November for leaders who will support coal. "I'm here to tell you that Yes We Can," he said. "Yes We Can correct our mistakes on Election Day." [link]
Yes. We can.

Why Is Hillary Still Employed?

This is shameful:
A Damning Indictment of State Department Security in Benghazi
By Helle Dale, The Foundry

Last Friday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released 120 pages of documents on the situation in Benghazi, Libya, from March 2011 to September 2012. In light of these documents, the denial of additional U.S. security personnel in Libya is shocking. The documents provide plenty of new material for tonight’s presidential debate.

Emails describe concerns over unstable security; weekly Benghazi reports detail growing violence; and specific requests for more temporary duty (TDY) security personnel from Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom and Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself show that they were keenly aware of the danger.

A final report from Ambassador Stevens on concerns over violence was sent on the fateful day of September 11, hours before armed terrorists attacked the embassy and killed the ambassador and three members of his small security staff.

First is an Action Memo addressed to Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy sent in December 2011 requesting an extended presence in Benghazi through the 2012 calendar year. Of the two recommendations given was that Kennedy approve “a combined footprint of 35 U.S government personnel in Benghazi, including eight State Department and USAID and two TDY beds.”

Both recommendations were signed in the affirmative. Background information, however, states that, due to budget constraints, Diplomatic Security’s (DS) permanent presence was reduced to five, down from 17.

According to a thread of emails from Nordstrom to various State Department personnel, as early as February of 2012 there were concerns regarding the lack of security resources in Benghazi. Nordstrom went on to say that because there were only 2 DS agents supplied on the ground, it “severely limits operations in Benghazi” and the problem couldn’t be rectified because he had “been advised that DS isn’t going to provide more than 3 DS agents over the long term.” [link]
There's no other way to look at it. Ambassador Chris Stevens was left there to die.

He died.  A most horrible death.  One that could - and should - have been prevented.

Yet life in Washington goes on as if nothing happened.

Shameful.

Heads should roll.  Heads should roll.

I've Always Felt The Same Way

Yes, it would have meant that Crazy Al Gore would have been president.  But at least every vote would have counted.

Electoral College Is A Dangerous Anachronism

One easily done away with.

Yeah ... Yeah ... Yeah ...

We're all racists.

He'll never give it up.

You Knew This Was Coming

Pediatricians raise doubts about the benefits of organic foods