Friday, April 28, 2006

If New York only had a brain:

Everyday New Yorkers get one step closer to discovering who the new governor will be. For Republicans it’s one step closer to learning who will be the David to take on Goliath. Last night the Queens County Committee voted to endorse John Faso giving him a nice boost to his chance of getting to slay the dragon.

Despite endorsements within the party the real question is are New Yorkers smart enough to recognize the talent when they see it or have they been so blinded by the Rep. before the name to be able to make an informed decision. A couple of weeks ago John Faso outlined his proposed business plan to strengthen New York’s economy. With 200,000 people leaving the state a year a strong business plan would make sense. The plan, which focuses on workers comp reform, tort reform and tax cuts for businesses are really good. For economists and those familiar with how to grow an economy, his plan is nothing revolutionary but instead simple common sense to get this state going. Unfortunately common sense is something average New Yorkers are buckets short of.

John Faso and his plan are like the New York Yankees. On paper they look great and should take it all but that’s why you play the game. The question is can Faso or even Weld convince not just diehard republicans but also the clueless New Yorkers who make up the majority and by default vote for the Dem.

On May 9th John Faso will be speaking at a breakfast with Crain’s. I’ll be there with the rest of the business community to hear what he has to say but preaching to the choir is not going to win him votes. Winning votes and the election will require convincing people that Spitzer is more of a risk to the state then an asset. To do that he should start questioning the strenght of Spitzer’s relationship with big business, which like it or not are the ones that will create the jobs. Based on Spitzer’s attacks on industries of all sorts that shouldn’t be to hard, which if done right might even get brainless New Yorkers to think straight and look past the Rep.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Great. Maybe now the City Council will take down their partisan banner ad against the Governor:

About a month ago I wrote about how the City Council was using it’s tax payer funded website for partisan attacks against Governor Pataki to push their and their teacher union buddies agenda. The banner ads in both English and Spanish attacked the governor accusing him of holding money back from the school system. No matter who is correct on the issue, the City Council shouldn’t be using a taxpayer funded website for political attacks. The NYYRC even issued a press release to the press to see if they would bother to report it. Of course it never happened because liberal papers like the New York Times would never attack the hand that feeds them no matter how wrong. Thanks to the media’s inaction the City Council has continued to get away with using your tax dollars to attack the Governor.

Several days ago the City Council issued a press release celebrating “education funding in the State Executive Budget”. Speaker Quinn in the release stated how “Through the leadership of Governor Pataki and the State Legislature we now have the means to move forward in our five-year plan to lower class sizes, to create libraries and science labs, and to provide our children with an education that will make them the leaders for a new generation.” I know, I almost fell out of my chair too, hearing Quinn use the words “leadership” and “Governor Pataki” in the same sentence.

What I want to know is if speaker Quinn really means what she says, why does the taxpayer funded City Council website still have banner ads attacking the Governor. I also want to know why the press continues to let them get away with it (hint, hint, to any journalist who may be reading this).

Checkout the ads for yourself below and you decide if taxpayer money should go for such partisan attacks, especially since right next to it is a press release how happy Speaker Quinn is with the new funding. If you’re like me and think the Council is out of line, call your Rep. and while you’re at it, a newspaper and tell them these attacks on our dime need to stop!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Unforeseen consequences:

In this morning FT, Marc Levinson writes an article about the “most powerful law in economics”, the law of “unanticipated consequences”. Mr. Levinson’s article is about the invention and growth of the shipping container and its affect on the world. I found the article interesting but more important it go me rethinking about something I thought about last night.

Last night myself and several other YR’s from the club went to a reception and fundraiser for Pete Ricketts here in Manhattan. Pete Ricketts is running for Senator of Nebraska taking on the incumbent, Ben Nelson. Senator Nelson holds on to the most vulnerable seat for Democrats and stands a good chance to loose to Ricketts considering Nebraska is a conservative state where Republicans have a commanding lead in voter registration.

Pete Ricketts is an impressive candidate; he’s a University of Chicago graduate and an executive at Ameritrade. His business experience is a great asset to the American people, as he understands what’s needed to continue to grow the economy. Also living through and surviving the Internet crash as an executive of an Internet company gives much needed experience at a time when our government has a major spending problem. As Pete Ricketts stated last nigh, “our government doesn’t have a tax receipt problem”, mentioning how tax receipts have gone up since the President’s tax cuts but instead it has a “spending problem”. A problem he plans on using his experience to fix.

Overall I was impressed with Pete Ricketts and thought his Q&A session with the crowd went really well. He answered all the questions as expected but did it with confidence and a belief in his eyes that he meant what he was saying. There was one answer though that had me thinking which relates to my opening paragraph above. One of the questions asked was about immigration. Pete Ricketts gave the usual response about how we need to secure our borders and start making it easier for people to come into this country the right way. He did give a little twist to the response mentioning how we need to exploit modern technology to make the process more efficient telling a story of a U.S. citizen who had to wait on line for four days at the U.S. Consulate in Mexico so he could get back into his own country.

What had me thinking about his answer and everyone else’s is that the response on immigration always stops at stopping the flow. In the spirit of “unforeseen consequences” there is something I wish our elected officials would answer. The reason for immigration in this country is not because employers are looking for cheap labor but they are looking for labor period. If you believe in free markets you would understand that wages are a reflection of education and the skill needed to do the job at hand. With that said, no one can expect someone who picks grapes to be paid the same as someone who spent $100K on a college education. Our unskilled labor force gets paid what they do because that’s how wages and labor works.

This leads to the problem at hand. Say our government was successful at stopping the flow of immigration, what is the governments plan to handle the possible “unforeseen consequence” of any labor shortage that may ensue in industries like agriculture. Our government can’t expect that if they stop immigration all of a sudden current Americans will line up and start taking jobs picking grapes in a field or busing tables at a local restaurant. On the surface it’s always easy to play politics and cater to the emotions of the American people who view immigration as a threat. The problem is the threat to the country economically is not having illegal immigration, it’s how would we handle it as a country without it. Maybe one day our elected officials will take the question one step further.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Our scheming government:

Generally I’m not one for conspiracy theories but every once and a while certain stars align that make you wonder. With prices at the pump going back over $3.00 a gallon and the summer driving season coming our leaders in the Senate are once again threatening to impose a windfall profit tax on oil companies. Here is why I think this is a big government scam.

First oil companies do not set the price of oil. Oil is a commodity and is traded on a free market where the price is decided by supply and demand. The first reason why oil has reached $75 a barrel is because the markets are concerned that supply is being threatened. What’s interesting is that the reason supply is being threatened is a result of factors that range from geopolitics to the upcoming hurricane season. These are events that oil companies have no control over and are instead at the mercy of.

Reasons why prices are up is because of things like unrest in Nigeria, a crazy Venezuelan President who is now threatening to nationalize oil after private firms spent billions building it, Iran nuclear concerns and the United States decision to force oil companies to convert to ethanol for MTBE.

Not only does our government know that oil companies have no control over the price they also know they are one of the big reasons for the rise. The governments decision to force companies to switch to ethanol at the beginning of the driving season instead of the end is head scratching. Further the Iraq war and our constant verbal attacks on Iran are not being made by Exxon but by politicians pushing prices even higher. Now that Washington has helped push prices nice and high they figure they can do the next best thing, take the money by lying to the American people. Our government is trying to shift the blame and demonize our oil industry by threatening to tax them.

It doesn’t matter that our oil industry only has about 9% profit margins the lowest of any industry, as a comparison the cable industry has margins closer to 35%. It doesn’t matter because they know figuring out percentages is something that gives the American people headaches. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and Arlen Specter know that they can throw large numbers around like $10 billion and get the American people to jump on board.

Is creating policies to get oil prices up a grand scheme to jilt the American people into letting big Gov steal money from the oil companies? I don’t know but the facts are hard to ignore. What I don know is that our government already taxes the American consumer on every gallon we purchase to the tune of 18 cents per gallon for federal taxes and varying amounts on the state level, with New York charging an additional 32 cents. If our government was not scheming and meant it when they said they were concerned about the American people they would let oil companies keep their 9% so they can invest it in more supply. Instead they should give a temporary reprieve on gas taxes to help out during the driving season. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting but at least you now have some food for thought when the government really starts talking “windfall”.

Friday, April 21, 2006

NYYRC General Meeting

For Immediate Release April 21, 2006
Contact: Jen Saunders, Public Relations Chair


New York, NY - The New York Young Republican Club held our general monthly meeting on Thursday, April 20 at the Union League Club. U.S. Senate Candidate KT McFarland and Manhattan Institute Fellow R.P. Eddy addressed the club. Newly elected club President Richard Brownell presided over the meeting.

Senatorial candidate KT McFarland gave members a history of her impressive government experience and explained how the events of September 11 prompted her to reenter public service. Ms. McFarland outlined her agenda and goals should she be elected to represent New York in the Senate.

“KT has a depth of experience in foreign policy that is head and shoulders above our current junior Senator from New York,” President Brownell said after the meeting. “We should be so lucky to have more people like her not only running for public office, but serving as well.”

R.P. Eddy, Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism at the Manhattan Institute, Executive Director of the Center for Policing Terrorism (CPT), which focuses on the role of police in the fight against terror, and Managing Director of Gerson Lehrman Group, the world's leading primary research firm, gave an enlightening presentation on the risk of home-grown terrorists and Hezbollah.

“Mr. Eddy gave as clear a picture as anyone we’ve heard from in some time about the true state of affairs in the fight against terrorism,” President Brownell said. “We’ll need the kind of understanding he possesses in order to win the war against the radical Islamic fundamentalists.”

The Community Outreach Committee recently adopted a soldier in Iraq. At the meeting they collected items for a care package to send to the soldier and her unit. At the conclusion of the meeting, members gathered for a picture to include in the care package, and signed a card thanking her for her dedicated service. The club plans on regularly corresponding with the soldier and periodically sending care packages to Iraq.

The New York Young Republican Club, Inc., is a not-for-profit political organization that exists to bring Republicans aged 18-40 together to discuss the Republican Party platform and aid the Republican Party in the education of the public about the Republican agenda and the promotion of Republican candidates for office. To find out more about the New York Young Republican Club, Inc. please visit the Website at

Time to cover your George Bush short:

While the stock markets have been hitting multi-year highs, President Bush has been hitting multi-year lows when it comes to his approval ratings. Whether it’s a segment of the market or the Presidents declining popularity it’s always easy to jump on the bandwagon and try to catch the momentum to gain some profit. In the market when things get too hot, like Internet stocks in the late 90’s, there comes a point of capitulation where every single person is on board meaning there is only one place to go but in the opposite direction. When the reversal is about to occur there are always plenty of signs. Most of the time it’s when people who have no business being in that part of the market jump on the back of bus. They’re the late comers who couldn’t find a seat and are forced to hang on by their fingernails usually with the outcome being them falling off and getting run over by oncoming traffic.

This morning I saw the equivalent of this in politics when I went to purchase my NY Sun and on the counter was the latest issue of Rolling Stones Magazine. On the cover was a drawing of President Bush with a stupid looking face wearing a dunce cap. The headline in big letters asked if George Bush was the worst President ever and how a “historian” looks into the issue. In my opinion seeing that caused me to loose all respect for the magazine and the historian who would actually write in Rolling Stone. Rolling Stones job is to write about entertainment not politics (though politics could be viewed as such). They have no business even flirting the idea of trying to make such a claim but this is what happens when capitulation rears its ugly head.

After I got over my initial anger I actually was glad that they did it. In my opinion this is the sign that President Bush’s value has hit bottom and is ready for a sharp rebound. Rolling Stone writing about President Bush is like all those old ladies in March 2000 who couldn’t miss out and sold their CD’s to buy technology stocks only to loose it all. When you see people like that coming you know it’s time to leave the party. At this point there is no one left to jump on except maybe the people at Highlights. Based on this, I’m predicting for those short President Bush, it’s time to cover and get ready for the rise.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chuck Schumer’s growing problem:

In the beginning it seemed Senator Schumer was making a great political move. With the American public’s lack of knowledge on trade and economics, getting on his soapbox in the Senate to champion a bill against China seemed like a good idea for his political future. With U.S. trade deficits at all time highs attacking China with their cheap labor and snails pace of currency reform made Schumer’s plan of placing 27% tariffs on Chinese goods look like he was fighting for the people. He did the TV rounds and gave speeches about how China needs to act or he would. Senator Schumer even took his saber rattling to the next level by taking a trip to China to show the American people he meant business.

Unfortunately for Schumer all his hard work appears to be coming back to bite him in the rear hurting his reputation not helping it. First as the months have passed the American public has become more educated on the topic. Thanks to the hundreds of economic experts that have been gracing the TV, the American public has learned that Senator Schumer’s plans would be a disaster for the U.S. economy and worse not change the U.S. trade deficit. Though the U.S. trade deficit is high, China account for less then 20%, which means even if China was to revalue their currency it would only lower the U.S. trade deficit by a mere 10%.

Worse then having no effect on the deficit it would open up the U.S. economy to problems. His tariffs would raise the cost of goods on thousands of products that many, including the poorest in the U.S. must consume everyday. This would mean fewer products would be consumed which would raise unemployment, as layoffs would ensue. What the American public is starting to learn is that we have tried this once before, it was called the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. The Act in an attempt to help the U.S. economy raised import tariffs on thousands of goods, what followed was the great depression.

The problem for Schumer is that everyday now the talking heads are discussing China with part of that discussion being about the “Schumer Bill”. The discussion tough is never positive with all the parties in the group agreeing the “Schumer Bill” is bad. The signs that it’s taking its toll on Schumer is the fact that he has stopped making his rounds and came back from China backpedaling saying he would not act on his tariff scheme just yet.

As someone who is not a big fan of Senator Schumer I enjoy watching him flounder in his own ignorance though as a citizen of what is the capital of finance, it’s embarrassing that the state’s senator is 90 cents short of a dollar on the topic.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Playing Dumb:

The Wal-Mart issue has made it back into the news again as the chain continues to try and convince the New York City Council to please take their money. What I’m referring to is the fact that New York City continues to loose millions of tax dollars to New Jersey, Nassau, Connecticut and Westchester. On Thursday I posted how Wal-Mart was trying to find a space in Flushing, Queens. I mentioned how Wal-Mart knows City residents want Wal-Mart based on their collected credit card data that shows residents are leaving the city to shop in Wal-Mart’s elsewhere. My comments were confirmed this morning when the New York Sun reported that Wal-Mart will today release credit card data showing just how much money the city is loosing. My comments and the report had nothing to do with each other except pure coincidence and the fact that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what goes into a retail company deciding where to open up shop.

Considering it doesn’t take a rocket scientist it continues to blow my mind how the City Council ignores all the obvious facts surrounding the issue. Facts like, it is known that New York City losses millions of dollars in tax receipts to surrounding areas because Wal-Mart is not here. This isn’t theory. If a Wal-Mart in Nassau takes in a credit card sale from a Queens resident we know that money would have been spent in Queens if Wal-Mart were located there. Another fact is that the city looses additional tax money through the businesses people like John Liu on the City Council are claiming to protect. They claim Wal-Mart would hurt small businesses but these businesses skim the city everyday of the week. We all have been to stores in this city where the owner told us if we pay in cash the tax would be waved. These businesses skim the city of millions of dollars every year, something Wal-Mart can’t do. Further these small businesses violate every labor law on the books by paying workers off the books, evading income taxes. Many also violate child labor laws hiring teenagers off the books without working papers. Again something Wal-Mart could never get away with.

When all the data is put on the table it becomes obvious that the city councils constant attacks against the company are ridiculous and shine a light on what the real issue is. The real issue is that the unions who view Wal-Mart as a threat control the city council. The council being the lowest people on the totem pole when it comes to politics have more strings attached to it then a wooden puppet. Even though people like John Liu and Christine Quinn know Wal-Mart would do wonders economically for the city’s cash strapped accounts they have to play dumb. Then again for the city council I guess that’s not too hard.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cindy Sheehan Still Has No Life (Or a clue)

While she could be spending time with family over the Easter holiday, Anti-War Protestor Extraordinaire Cindy Sheehan has decided to camp out in Crawford, Texas, near the Bush ranch to protest the war in Iraq. Along with a small group of protestors, Sheehan will again skew the facts of the war and continue to besmirch the memory of her son, Casey, who died in combat in 2004.

Sheehan and her gaggle had vowed to gather in Crawford every time Bush is in town because they generally have nothing more constructive to do than to disrupt the lives of citizens of that sleepy little Texas hideaway. Bush has spent virtually every Easter in Crawford since he became president, but this year had decided to travel to Camp David instead. Naturally Sheehan says he is hiding from her. And it seems that so is much of the press these days, as Sheehan's celebrity status among the Hollywood left and the liberal media has diminished considerably. I guess her brand of crazy just went out of style.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sorry We’re Closed:

Yesterday Wal-Mart made news when it revealed that it was looking to place a store in Flushing in a large location that has been abandoned for years. As a resident of Flushing for 30 years I immediately knew where Wal-Mart was referring too. The location, on Roosevelt Ave off of Main Street, use to be Macy's before they closed. I remember many of days shopping with my mom there as a little kid. The location then became a Caldor before they too packed up and left. Knowing the location I don’t know if the space would have been good for Wal-Mart for the simple reason that it’s a little small for what Wal-Mart is use too. Wal-Mart took a look anyway because their studies, not the politicians, tells them New Yorkers want Wal-Mart. They know this because their credit card receipts from stores in Long Island and New Jersey tell them people are coming from the City to shop there.

Despite the data that shows Wal-Mart would be great for the City our representatives still fight hard to keep them out. This time it was Flushing’s City Council member Democrat John Liu. John Liu after hearing the report told the New York Sun “Wal-Mart is not welcome in Flushing”. As a resident of Flushing his comments make sense. Flushing has become a stronghold for Asian nationalism in the City and John Liu is its result. He has fought hard to make sure more than just Wal-Mart isn't welcomed as he has consistently fought local groups to make sure signs for local businesses don’t have to have English. This creates an unfriendly environment for anyone who can’t read them. The business owners also do their part for when you try to patronize their stores; many treat you poorly making you feel not welcomed. It’s also well known and something I have experienced personally, that if you attempt to call one of the real-estate offices in the neighborhood, if you’re not Asian you don’t get your call returned.

It’s funny watching John Liu attempt to get on his high horse and act as if he’s concerned about Wal-Mart bringing down this great town. Considering John Liu had no problem tearing down landmarks like 100-year-old buildings like the old Queens County Bank to build a crappy little mall, it’s amazing he would think Wal-Mart is a detriment to the town. I think Wal-Mart should try the location again but this time tell Liu they’ll put their sign in Chinese.

Disgracing Nixzmary:

Its been several months since little Nixzmary was brutally killed by a monster who doesn’t deserve to have one penny of taxpayer dollars funding his life. Many in New York have already forgotten but some people haven’t like Nixzmary’s family.

When tragedies like this happen you can choose to approach the situation in a number of ways. The most obvious and just is to make sure the city organization meant to oversee children at risk like the Administration of Children’s Services, is fixed and better controls are put in place. You can also take another route, which is the one many families do and decide to sue the pants off the city at a huge cost to taxpayers. Unfortunately this is the route some in Nixmary’s family are taking. Her grandmother has just decided to slap the city with a $150 million suit for failing to protect her. This is the third suit by a family member as her real father and father of one of her siblings has already filed one against the city as well.

Now I’m not saying that the family and its members shouldn’t have the opportunity to sue but suits in the amount of $150 million reeks of an agenda that says I’m using this little girls death to get paid in the shade. Does her grandmother really need $150 million? When you see that kind of number you have to say to yourself, tragedy or not, this woman is looking to exploit us the taxpayer.

If her motives really are to make sure something like this never happens again, which is what it should be, her family should try to make sure more money stay’s in the system not out of it. If they really feel winning such money from the city is just and will heal their pain, they should then channel that money to a productive outlet, like starting a foundation for abused children. Something tells me though, grandma will be to busy taking cruises.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Now that’s a website:

If you recall a couple months back I took a shot at Jeanine Pirro for failing to have her website up and functional. The seat for Attorney General is arguably the best chance Republicans have of winning and for her not to have her website up several months into the year was weak.

During that time I thought to myself that if it was taking this long to get a website going, when it does hit it better be nothing short of amazing. Well Jeanine Pirro has finally put her site up and I have to say that this thing is great.

Her tag line, “nothing beats experience” is perfect and she follows it up with a “nothing beats experience” section that describes her work in protecting New Yorkers. Smartly her website team made that tab larger then all the others just begging you to click bringing you to a section that allows you to learn about her work in everything from Medicaid fraud to sexual predators. The photos she includes in each of those sections works great and really helps carry her message.

In addition she has a couple of other tabs that are a nice touch. For instance she has a “Pirro Saftey Tips” section with advice on everything from animal abuse to Internet security. She also has an “Ask Jeanine” tab that lets you ask her a question. I love the fact that looking at her site you can’t tell if she’s running for AG or is AG.

Whoever created that site for Jeanine did a great job and should pass their number onto John Faso.

Speaking of Polls: The Bush Censure/Impeachment Poll

Over at The Fix, the Washington Post political blog, there's an interesting poll going on that I thought I would bring up in light of Nick's recent comment on polling. This poll inquired as to the level of support for either censure or impeachment of President Bush.

I encourage you to take a look at The Fix(ed)'s numbers for yourself, but here's the Cliff Notes version of how it breaks down.

Democrats overwhelmingly support censure over Republicans, but the margin of Republicans who are against censure is wider than the Dems' support. Women support censure more than men, though not spectacularly so. The east is more in favor of censure than the rest of the country (Gee, what a surprise!), and the South was the region that most strongly opposed it (Another surprise. Makes me think about moving.) Perhaps the most interesting juxtaposition was that better educated people and poor people supported censure, while lesser educated and richer people opposed it.

The impeachment argument was less strongly embraced. Only a third of the poll's respondents supported the idea, widening margins across the board.

Unfortunately, I don't think of this whole censure/impeachment debate as glibly as I used to. Feingold's censure motion has gained a good amount of unspoken support from his colleagues, and anti-Bushies across the country are just looking for an opportunity to pounce. If the Democrats win a majority in November, you can bet the first and only item on their agenda will be to attack President Bush with everything they have.

How do we prevent this from happening, you ask? Vote Republican, silly.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I have a request for these pollsters:

Today we have been subjected to a new poll that says President Bush has reached an all time low in his approval ratings with 60% of the people polled disapproving of the job he’s doing.

According to the report a “total of 1,027 randomly selected adults were interviewed” and that’s it. I would like to see these pollsters give me the real breakdown. I want to know how many people in each state were called and what counties. Considering this country is evenly split to where you’re either a blue state or a red state I would hope these pollsters are calling people across all states and not stacking the deck with say people from New York and California. If they are give us the data and then I’ll start believing these polls.

The Government is saying it today. I said it last month:

One of the big news stories today, is the Energy Information Administration’s energy outlook for the summer. In their outlook they claim gasoline prices will increase this summer to an average of $2.62 per gallon, 25 cents more than last summer. They claim that the reason for the increase is due to:

“Increase in production and distribution costs associated with Tier 2 gasoline and the phase-out of MTBE”.

If you recall back on March 17th I posted on this blog how “gas prices will most likely rise this summer but don’t blame the oil companies”. As I said back then, gas prices should go up this summer as the governments plan to replace the unfriendly MTBE with the environment friendly ethanol. Unfortunately as with any overhaul there is a difficult transition period that must take place. In this case it will be a drop in production, as the oil industry said supply would drop by 145,000 barrels a day driving up the cost to the consumer.

So when you see the report in the news today remember the NYYRC Blog had told you first.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Seymour Hersh Goes Out on a Limb...And Comes Back

Seymour Hersh is a respected columnist in many circles, but then again, anyone gets respectable if they live long enough and get published enough. His article in this week's New Yorker about the Bush administration's plans for Iran has caused a bit of a stir among the liberal literati who frequent the NY-DC corridor. And that's too bad, because it doesn't offer much that isn't already known by anyone even casually following the situation.

First off, to treat the fact that the White House is considering a military solution to Iraq's nuclear ambitions as an exposé is like the New York Times doing a five-banner headline on the fact that the sun rose in the east this morning. The military option has to remain on the table if we are to ever hope to get Iran to give up its nuclear program. Time and again history has proven that dictatorships only understand force. Anything short of that, including what we Westerners pride as diplomacy, is interpreted as a sign of weakness.

Second, Hersh's story is so puffed full of air that my ears popped just reading it. Virtually all his facts are gleaned from faceless "Pentagon officials," unnamed "policy experts," and anonymous "military sources." I understand that some people will only speak candidly about a subject if they can be guaranteed anonymity, but when you're talking about a subject of this magnitude, I want to see some names. I want statements being made about our considerations of using nuclear weapons to be attached to a specific person. I want accountability. Otherwise, you've got nothing more than armchair generals blithely speculating about possible conflicts and potential threats.

The Hersh piece is worth taking a look at, even if only to get a sense of the scope of our plans to take out Iran should they continue to misbehave. But I wouldn't spend too much time on it, and I certainly wouldn't go quoting it at dinner parties.

And Then There Were Two

Randy Daniels has bowed out of the race for Governor and thrown his support behind John Faso. It's an interesting, albeit unsurprising, event that comes just weeks before the New York State GOP convention, and now it's all about Faso and Bill Weld. May the best man win.

The one sore spot about it all was that there was a lot of talk about Daniels running for Governor for a good couple of years now. He was dedicated to a run for the office and possesses an intellect not often found in this thing of ours. On two separate occasions I've heard both Faso and Weld recognize Daniels's brilliant mind and great speaking skills. And having heard Daniels during the times he has spoken to the NYYRC, I heartily agree with that assessment. Randy Daniels truly is a classy guy, to paraphrase Weld, and I hope we have not seen the last of him.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bin Laden loves the U.S. press.

This morning I was watching a great documentary on the Discovery Times Channel about Bin Laden and why it’s been so difficult in capturing or killing him.

During the documentary Richard Clark stated very clearly that the biggest problem was that in 1998 the U.S. media had leaked that the U.S. was tracking Bin Laden on his satellite phone. It was this tracking method that allowed us to come close to killing him in the 1998 Tomahawk missile attack on his camps.

Unfortunately after learning from the U.S. media how we were tracking him, Bin Laden stopped using a satellite phone making the tracking of Bin Laden “impossible”.

Good job press! You do an amazing job of putting the interest of the United States first.

Friday, April 07, 2006

France: Eat your heart out!

Well the jobs report for March has come out and once again the U.S. economy is rolling! The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that the U.S. economy generated 211,000 jobs in March with the unemployment rate coming in at 4.7%.

These statistics show two things. First immigration is not an issue as there is plenty of jobs being created and without immigration we would have a dramatic labor shortage leading to high inflation.

Finally it shows that our system of capitalism works. Free markets, low barriers to entry, low tax rates and flexible labor markets make an economy go. France should take note!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Cynthia McKinney Chronicles

Witnesses to Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's smackdown of a Capitol Hill police officer will be testifying to a grand jury today that will ultimately decide whether to bring charges against the firebrand Georgia Democrat for striking a man for doing his job.

McKinney had breezed through a security checkpoint at the Capitol without proper ID and was told to stop by the Capitol Police. When she didn't, the policeman grabbed her arm and she struck him in the chest. Then she went on to interpret the incident as one provoked by her race and her gender. A classic liberal victimology ploy. It's the move that only someone with a chip on their shoulder and an inflated ego would ever pull.

It's also symbolic of something larger among the liberals - a complete lack of concern for the security apparatus that keeps this country safe and an utter lack of respect for the men and women who run that apparatus as our nation's last line of defense against terrorism. McKinney and her acolytes - former entertainers Harry Belefonte and Danny Glover among them - are unconcerned about her utter respect for people trying to do their job, which is to protect her and her congressional colleagues.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when you have an elected representative in office who is so blatantly self-absorbed that she will spin an incident in which she was totally in the wrong to make it appear that The Man is keeping her down. If she's the pride of her congressional district, it has to make you wonder about the people who voted for her.

Is Rudy Giuliani the cause of our Republican woes?

In keeping with the sky is falling on the Republican Party debate, I continue to reflect on just where our fortunes turned for the worse in New York. On the surface it’s easy to say it was when Senator D’Amato lost to Schumer. Schumer’s presence in New York has been monumental and the Democrats in this state owe a lot to him. We could say case closed but in the spirit of Steven Levitt, author of “Freakonomics”, which goes by his proven theory that what may appear as the cause of the effect is usually not so I decided to keep searching.

So I did and came up with a different turning point for the Republican Party in New York and it’s called Rudy Giuliani. One looking at the current problems in the party has to ask themselves what would have been had Rudy Giuliani not bailed out in the last minute against Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate. With Rudy’s popularity it’s hard to believe that Hillary would have won. Lazio, though a good man, never really had a chance with his late start in the race giving Hillary and Democrats the momentum they needed in New York.

If we sit back, close our eyes and envision New York with Senator Giuliani, things today could be dramatically different. He would be an amazing counter to Schumer in big races like Governor and would be a constant reminder to the people of the state that Republicans are a great party. Though still around, he is to far in the backdrop to have any material effect for the Republican cause today.

What’s worse is that the Rudy effect might still have ramification for years to come. We could easily suspect that if Hillary lost to Rudy, she would have had her political dreams delayed for years if not indefinitely. That didn’t happen and now she is the talk as the Democrat Presidential nominee for 2008. If she is the nominee and wins giving Democrats control of the White House, I think we will be forced to look back on what could have been had Rudy stayed in.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Opening up a hole:

Recently Governor Pataki came under attack as the frustrations of the Republican Party in New York came to a boil. The issue continues to be how can the Republican Party convince voters that their current Democrat representatives have reached a point of entrenchment where they no longer are concerned about the voter and instead are more concerned about the unions that fund their campaigns. One only needs to look at the arrogance of the City Council to see they have zero concern of getting voted out.

Unfortunately when humans get angry they also many times go blind and fail to see any positives in the situation, as is the case currently with the Governors critics. In the midst of the Governors budget battle with state representatives the Governor has put expanding charter schools and tuition tax credits at the forefront. I personally have gained a newfound respect for the Governor thanks to this issue. Here he is in his last year, he has no incentive to be aggravated and waste his time fighting the malcontents in our state government over the issue. He could easily say, “do what you want I’m out here anyway” but he’s not. He’s fighting for our children’s future because he’s a good man and knows it’s the right thing to do. He knows if he don’t get this done now, after he leaves it might never will, with only our children left to suffer.

Besides fighting for our children, could the governor also be fighting for the party? Is his battle over school choice also an opening for Republican candidates across the state especially Weld and Faso? There are very few issues that Republican candidates in New York can stand on that allow them to connect with the voter in a way Democrats can’t. One issue is school choice. Poll after poll and the lines of parents signing up for lottery’s every time a new charter school opens has shown parents are behind Republicans on the issue. Today the Governor is headed to a private school in Jamaica Queens to address hundreds of black parents on the subject as he continues a fight he doesn’t have too.

My disappointment is in our current and future candidates, those that attack the governor on his lack of support for the party and Republicans in office who are not supporting his plan. In case anyone has noticed Spitzer has been MIA on the issue as he is forced to keep his mouth shut thanks to his special relationship with the Teachers Union.

So here is our opening, the issue every parent can relate to and understand across all ethnicities, yet where is our call to arms? The governor like a good offensive tackle has opened the hole and is desperately trying to hold the line. The real test will be if those running for office or complaining about his efforts are smart enough to recognize, grab the ball and run through it. From my seat it looks like they’ll all get tackled in the backfield.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Evaluating Federal Programs:

The White House has just released a new website called that will aim to inform taxpayers:

“the performance of every Federal program and hold ourselves accountable for improvement.”

The site ranks each federal program based on its effectiveness and what action plan is in place to make it better.

Check it out, it’s pretty interesting.

DeLay's Final Day

I can't say I'm surprised that Tom DeLay has decided to resign from the House and not seek reelection. It is the right thing to do. And whatever can be said about DeLay, he is an astute politician. His battle against Ronnie Earle is an epic legal struggle, and it has already threatened to engulf this year's elections. Earle, if you'll recall, is the superzealous prosecutor who's had a portrait of DeLay on his dartboard for some time now, and the media attention given his case has only further fueled his desire to nail DeLay on conspiracy, money-laundering, perjury, jaywalking, whatever will stick. So he is not likely to give up the fight any time soon.

DeLay made the right decision in stepping down. The urge in such situations is to fight on, as he vowed to do last year. But this is bigger than DeLay, who has already lost his leadership position in the House because of it. Where it was once righteous to stand and fight, it has now become selfish because the whole Republican Party stands to lose in a big way if DeLay stays in the limelight over this case. The Dems are looking to make the public see the GOP as the party of crooks in this year's elections, and they've already succeeded in doing that in many circles. If DeLay remained in office, every news cycle would have brought daily updates on his case and fresh ammunition for the Democrat propaganda machine.

So, thanks to Tom DeLay for his service in the House. And thanks for being magnanimous in what surely must have been the toughest decision of all to make.

Political Box Score:

With the new baseball season upon us, lets take a look at a different kind of box score, the one that shows how our representatives vote.

On March 30th Congress passed H.R. 609 to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965. The bill passed 221 to 199 with 12 no votes.

The purpose behind the bill was to:

Provide extra Pell Grant aid for high-achieving first and second-year students.

Provide year-round Pell Grant aid for students attending school throughout the year, and encourage students to make progress toward degree completion.

Simplify the financial aid process for needy students and families.

Strengthen minority serving institutions.

Improve repayment options for borrowers having trouble.

Remove barriers that may prevent home-schooled students from pursuing higher education.

Strengthen international and foreign language studies programs for the post-9/11 era.

Expand loan relief for nurses, educators, and other professionals in areas of national need.

Strengthen U.S. competitiveness through math and science programs.

And more…

So how did our New York Congressman Vote?

Democrats: 1 Yea, 18 Nay, 1 No Vote

Republicans: 9 Yea

Here is the breakdown per district. If you’re not happy with how your Rep voted let them know.

• Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-5) N
• Rep. Tim Bishop (D-1) N
• Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-24) Y
• Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-7) N
• Rep. Eliot Engel (D-17) N
• Rep. Vito Fossella (R-13) Y
• Rep. Brian Higgins (D-27) N
• Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-22) N
• Rep. Steve Israel (D-2) N
• Rep. Sue Kelly (R-19) Y
• Rep. Peter King (R-3) Y
• Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-29) Y
• Rep. Nita Lowey (D-18) N
• Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-14) N
• Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-4) N
• Rep. John McHugh (R-23) Y
• Rep. Michael McNulty (D-21) N
• Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-6) NV
• Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-8) N
• Rep. Major Owens (D-11) Y
• Rep. Charles Rangel (D-15) N
• Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-26) Y
• Rep. Jose Serrano (D-16) N
• Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-28) N
• Rep. John Sweeney (R-20) Y
• Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-10) N
• Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-12) N
• Rep. James Walsh (R-25) Y
• Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-9) N

Monday, April 03, 2006

If you are going stop immigration then you better start having babies:

Currently, the political topic of the day is how we’re going to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. As a staunch capitalist who believes in Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, I disagree tremendously with the attempts by certain people in this country to stop our flow of labor and wreck the economy.

First immigration, illegal or legal is not a problem. Unemployment in this country is currently under 5% the amount considered to be full employment in a country, which means these immigrants are not hurting or taking away jobs. Secondly the jobs these immigrants do are typically unskilled or jobs Americans don’t want to do, like pick grapes in California vineyards.

These immigrants have nothing but positive effects on our economy. They for one keep the price of goods and services low for all Americans leading to higher consumption and more jobs. Without many of these immigrants more companies would offshore. Besides remittance to their home country billions of dollars stays in the U.S. every year thanks to these immigrants whose employers would most likely setup shop elsewhere if this portion of our labor force were not available. The millions of goods these immigrants purchase every year in this country helps fuel our economic growth and leads to many other higher paying jobs in the service industry.

Above all the most important reason why we need immigration is because sustainable population growth is the key to growing and maintaining a successful economy. Currently the biggest risk to Europe in the coming years is that their fertility rates are below 2.1 the number needed to maintain the population of a country. Across Europe the fertility rates are in the low 1’s with countries like Estonia and Italy projected to have less then half their population left by the year 2050.

The reason why shrinking populations are a concern is because fewer young people means less consumption and lower consumption means a shrinking economy. It also raises dramatic concerns for the housing market as when the backend of the population scale dies off there will be a glut of housing leading to a potential devaluation in the market, as there are more homes then people. The biggest concern though is that before that backend of the population dies it will far out weigh the younger front-end and when you throw in all our social programs like Social Security and Medicare that is a pay as you go system there will be not enough people paying in to sustain those collecting. One only needs to look to Japan at the negative effects on an economy with no population growth. Last year Japan started the first of many years to come of population decline. Looking at the years leading up to this decline, we saw Japan struggle economically for decades as consumption came to a grinding halt as the number of new people in society purchasing goods was dramatically lower than the decades before. Without a young population to buy homes, clothes and other items economic activity declined.

Currently the United States is fairing much better then the rest of the developed world when it comes to sustaining our population but we’re also at risk. Our fertility rate sits just at the 2.1 needed for sustainability and it is only because of our large immigrant population that generally have more children then the level needed, plus the immigrants themselves keep things level. Most people reading this blog only need to stare in the mirror and ask themselves how many children do they and their friends have. I would bet the number ranges from 0-1 making the chances of sustaining our population going forward impossible without immigration. These days many people are attacking immigrants I’m thanking them.

For further reading on the risks population decline has on an economy I would recommend checking out “The Empty Cradle” by Philip Longman.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

RE: For this we need a panel discussion:

I'm putting my response to the comments of my last post here because it's to long to fit in the comment section and frankly want to push this debate further in hopes to get more people involved because I like hearing peoples opinions.

When I left the last post I was hoping that I would get responses from people other than wacky liberals and I did, which is great. I appreciate your viewpoints and definitely can see how some people in the party could be upset with the Governor. I’m as frustrated as the next person that despite holding both the Governor and Mayor of NYC it hasn’t spilled over to other elected seats. The theory that a rising tide lifts all boats definitely didn’t hold true.

I think whenever anyone is looking for answers to why something didn’t workout it’s always easier to point to the top. I always compare politics to business and this time will be no different. When a company is having problems the CEO is always the one to get the blame. However many times no matter whom the CEO is the forces surrounding the market that company is in is to powerful for them to have a positive effect. As I have said in the past voters are like consumers, that’s your market and you have to know what your customers want. Is it possible that the consumers (voters) of New York like to purchase liberal politics which makes the brand of politics we’re selling harder to gain market share? I don’t know why people just can’t accept the fact that we live in a city and state that agrees with liberal politics. As I mentioned in my original post, we would laugh at the idea of a bunch of Democrats sitting around in Kentucky trying to figure out why they can’t get elected because we know why. The consumers (voters) in that state believe in the Republican creed or brand over what Democrats are offering.

Now no way does this mean we can’t turn this ship around, transform how we deliver our message and slowly pick away at the market share Democrats currently hold but it will take allot of work. Howard, you mention how Pataki didn’t win and Cumo lost and you are 100% correct. Pataki won because the consumer was disgruntled after years of poor service and wanted to try another option. However though he was handed his first election he earned his next two and you shouldn’t take that away from him. It’s the same reason Rudy finally won as mayor, our city after years of poor service said lets try purchasing the Republican brand of politics and see what the results are.

Why we haven’t been able to channel those results into local races could be for a number of reasons including maybe the people in this city view things as going well so don’t see a reason to change their local representatives. That’s why if we’re going to be successful I think we have to learn from Pataki and Rudy and look for when our competitor gives us an opening to exploit like Brian McLaughlin just did in Queens. Here is a guy who is a local assemblyman and head of the NYC Central Labor Union, can you say conflict of interest? Recently both his assembly office and labor office was raided because of his possible implication in bid rigging for electrical work in the city. Locally we should be all over this, mobilizing and pounding away now how the voters aren’t being served right and should choose another option. Besides the initial news of the raid I haven’t heard jack on our side.

Is this the governor’s fault, maybe, maybe not? Again in business, the CEO can’t possibly control everything that is why you have regional and local managers. For McLaughlin’s seat that direction in my opinion should be coming from the Queens County Chairman. My wife runs Manhattan and parts of Queens for a major retail company, when an opportunity comes up she doesn’t wait for the CEO to tell her to move on it, that’s what they pay her for. The Governor’s job is to run the state and delegate the responsibility of party growth to local leaders. If anyone needs to be criticized maybe it should be our county and district leaders.

Finally I just don’t agree that attacking Pataki is the answer just like I don’t agree with Republicans currently attacking Bush as the answer to their 2006 elections concerns. Trying to separate yourself shows dissention, implies weakness not strength as this panel discussion attempted to do and alienates the voter even more from our party, making it harder to deliver our creed.

Speaking of creed I would like to leave one last note, Daniel, you say the NYGOP creed has nothing of “substance” and I frankly have no clue what you’re taking about. Going to the website you directed me to, I read nothing but line after line of why I’m a Republican. If that list isn’t why you’re a Republican then I don’t what list does and maybe is a good look into why we’re having problems. If you can’t look at that list and be convinced why you’re a Republican how can you expect someone who always votes Democrat too look at it and change.