Friday, September 29, 2006

Schumer kills the Schumer Bill:

For over a year I’ve been giving Senator Schumer hell over his harebrained idea to place a 27.5% tariff on goods coming from China. It always puzzled me that in this day and age a Senator, especially one from the business capital of the world, would actually think tariffs are a good idea for an economy.

I believe there was actually a point during this crazy plan where Schumer realized that his idea was ridiculous. I recall during one of Ben Bernanke’s testimonies where Schumer asked about his bill with Schumer telling Bernanke that he knew it wasn’t a good idea but didn’t know what else to do. I wondered at the time if I was the only one worried that our Senator “didn’t know what to do”.

It’s become obvious for months now that Schumer has wised up and never had any intention to implement his bill and was instead trying to use it as saber rattling to hopefully get China to act. China new better and even Schumer’s visit to the country had him coming back with nothing but more proof that he’s out of his league when it comes to dealing with the country’s economic policy. Schumer threatening China with tariffs would be like me threatening to throw my HDTV out the window if my wife didn’t stop watching Desperate House Wives. She knows I would never do it because I would only be hurting myself more.

Fortunately for Schumer a man who knows a thing or two about sound economic policy, Hank Paulson, opened a door for Schumer to save face with his own trip to China. Paulson’s trip to China was a tremendous success as China finally had someone they can talk shop with that understood all aspects of trade and the theory of “Comparative Advantage”.

Give Schumer credit though for being wise enough to seize the opportunity to pull his bill. He still couldn’t do it without making somewhat of an ass out of himself, by stating during the press conference that his bill was a “blunt instrument” that got China to this point. I’m sure people unfamiliar with how things work might believe him but everyone who knows better laughed at that statement and thought it fitting that he is from the party represented by a donkey.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bloomberg’s Blunder:

On the front page of most New York papers this morning is the Bloomberg Administration’s decision to propose the banning of trans fats in restaurants across the five boroughs. Whether Bloomberg’s ban passes or not doesn’t matter because as of this morning the damage has been done to thousands of restaurants with the risk of all of them going out of business.

The ramifications that will take place from the precedent set yesterday by Bloomberg is dangerous. First the ban will only cover restaurants still allowing city residents to by hundreds of products with trans fat in their local supermarket. However it is still early and if the ban passes a spillover effect into the supermarkets can still occur forcing hundreds of products to be pulled from the shelves.

The biggest risk to the city and its small business restaurant community will be economically. The admission by Dr. Thomas Frieden, the city’s health commissioner, that trans fat is a “dangerous” ingredient along with the bill will be used in courtrooms across the city as America’s litigation society will storm the castle and attempt to raid the banks of every restaurant across the city.

Over the last couple days we have been reading about the door being open for people to now sue tobacco companies over light cigarettes. Thanks to mayor Bloomberg the door has been open for New Yorkers to sue any restaurant. My father has lived in NYC for 65 years; he’s had four heart attacks and a quadruple bi-pass. He has also eaten in hundreds of restaurants from steak houses to Italian restaurants. His situation is can be copied thousands of times over and Mayor Bloomberg has just given people like my dad a free ticket to sue and personally put a restaurant out of business.

Faso-Spitzer debate - Hevesi

Near the end of Tuesday's debate, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi's name came up. Spitzer thinks that Hevesi is an honest, able accountant who ably serves in this position. Of course, Spitzer's definition of honest and able differs from John Faso's, and pretty much everyone else's for that matter.

To get a little background on Mr. Hevesi, take a look at this note from J. Christopher Callaghan, Republican candidate for state comptroller. And visit Callaghan's Web site, too.

Special message from Chris Callaghan
Last Thursday, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, the man responsible for protecting New York’s taxpayers against fraud and abuse in government, admitted to one of the most shocking cases of abusing the public trust in recent history.

After the Comptroller had gotten into hot water as New York City Comptroller for having a City employee work as a chauffeur for his wife, Hevesi paid restitution to the City and discontinued the practice. Certainly, as City Comptroller, he should have known better. At the very least, he should have learned from his mistake. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of New York, he hasn’t.

In response to a tip I phoned in last week to Comptroller Hevesi’s fraud, waste, and abuse hotline, the Comptroller’s office admitted that Hevesi had, incredibly, done it again as State Comptroller - same employee, same passenger, just a different level of government. Worse, after being told by the State Ethics Commission that he had to reimburse the State, Hevesi failed to do so. The kicker? Hevesi’s spokesman admitted that they don’t even know how much the Hevesis owe the State, because the calculations had not yet been made.

Not long ago, Hevesi earned the ire of New York’s corrections officers for failing to deliver a pay raise that the officers had won, deservedly, through arbitration. Hevesi’s office had known what the numbers were long ago, but it declined to make the necessary calculations to permit the officers to be paid promptly upon legislative approval. Instead, Hevesi never made the calculations, and when pressed, blamed union leadership for the problem.

This payroll failure was inexcusable. Hevesi’s provision of a chauffeur for his wife at taxpayer expense is both inexcusable and outrageous. But his failure to calculate and remit payments as advised by the Ethics Commission defies all logic, and irreversibly compromises his legitimacy as the State’s head accountant and chief elected fiscal watchdog.

Last Friday, we learned that the Ethics Commission actually never gave Hevesi permission to subsidize his wife’s transportation with State taxpayer money, "absent security concerns." This directly contradicts information released by Hevesi’s office in the wake of this story. Each new day brings a new scandal and further evidence that Hevesi long ago traded in his moral compass for an easy button. What new ethical lapse will we learn of tomorrow?

My fight to remove Alan Hevesi and his questionable accounting practices began in 2004 when one of his accounting gimmicks threatened to cost Saratoga County taxpayers money. I’ve been fighting for the taxpayers in Saratoga County for 23 years, and today they pay the lowest taxes per capita of any county in New York State. As County Treasurer, I called him on the gimmick, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board agreed, and the taxpayers in my county benefited. I have been speaking out against his shady fiscal practices ever since, and believe that it’s high time to send this man on his way to collecting his third government pension.

Friday, Fred Dicker, State Editor of the New York Post, reported that if I had any money or name recognition, I might beat Alan Hevesi on this issue alone. Well, I have been traveling the State continuously, running a true grass roots campaign, and building my name recognition one handshake at a time. As to money, it has been a challenging year, as many of you know.

Many folks are hesitant to contribute to someone who they believe can’t win. I understand that. I’ve been a government accountant for 35 years, and I’m the last one to advocate throwing away good money. But Hevesi’s exploits, including his bizarre statements about assassinating the President of the United States, his office’s losing sensitive state employee personal data, and now this admitted misuse of public funds, have been so well documented, I know that we have a chance to show the voters of this State what kind of man he really is.

Hevesi has said that "I don’t report to anybody." Well, this November, he reports to us!

I know that times are tough, especially for those of us drowning in a sea of unnecessarily high property taxes and struggling to make ends meet. But I need your help. Together, we can return credibility, competency, and accountability to the Comptroller’s office. Please help in any way you can, either by clicking on the online donation form below, by sending a check to my campaign headquarters, or by signing on to volunteer through the website.

Instead of passion, let’s bring some integrity back to Albany.


Chris Callaghan

Privacy Policy   © 2006. All Rights Reserved. Paid for by J. Christopher Callaghan for Comptroller

Faso-Spitzer debate - No love lost there

John Faso and Eliot Spitzer finally squared off Tuesday night in the first (hopefully not the last) debate of the NYS Governor's race. They traded some pretty good barbs, and Eliot performed much as expected: snide comments and asides, and lots of pie-in-the-sky ideas with no realistic plan to implement them. Well, maybe that's not completely fair. He can enact his agenda, provided he taxes us into the ground. He says he won't, but if you believe that, then I can't do nothin' for ya.

There will be a lot of commentary about the big duke-a-roo come Wednesday's news cycle. For my money, I think that Spitzer will get the majority of the positive coverage, which he does not truly deserve. True enough, Faso had a couple of painful missteps early on, but he recovered well, and did a good job of poking holes in Spitzer's rhetoric.

And if you haven't checked out the Web site Faso referred to, do yourself a favor and visit Find out just how deep a "Governor" Spitzer will dip into your pocket to pay for his social engineering scheme.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Watch Faso Debate tonight on New York 1

Eliot Spitzer doesn't have the guts to face John Faso on a stage down here in New York City, but we'll still have the opportunity to see the two gubernatorial candidates duke it out.

Tune in to NY1 on Time Warner tonight at 7:00pm to watch the debate taking place at Cornell University in Ithaca.

And come back to the Record blog afterwards. There'll be plenty to talk about.

Helping out Robert Heim

Last night, a small contingent from the NYYRC showed up to help Robert Heim in his bid to wrest the 73rd Assembly District seat from the clutches of tax & spend liberal Jonathan Bing.

Robert brings a wealth of experience to his bid for the New York State Assembly. He served as a top prosecutor for the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also has worked in private practice, establishing Myers & Heim LLP to work with brokers, investors, and bankers on securities issues.

Robert's campaign is dedicated to passing real crime control legislation that the Democrat-led Assembly has failed to do. He also has great ideas about giving health care management a much needed shot in the arm: a public-private sector partnership between "Manhattan’s premiere health care institutions and Wall Street’s investment banks so that new entrepreneurial biotechnology companies can stay in New York City to create jobs and new medical treatments."

Visit Robert's campaign Web site, for more details.

Like many fine candidates running for office this November, Robert Heim is someone who has the skills and the experience to represent us in Albany. But he needs our help to make it happen.

Monday, September 25, 2006

About that Record:

Over the weekend former President Clinton got more then defensive during a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace. Clinton became hostile when Wallace challenged him on his terror record, squirming in his chair and at one point poking Wallace.

I was raised believing that if you’re not guilty then you have nothing to be defensive about. Clinton’s Howard Dean moment was an interesting look at just how sore President Clinton is over the subject. I have said numerous times that Clinton did a poor job fighting terrorism during his eight years in office. Between the first WTC bombing, two embassy bombings, a U.S. barracks bombing and the U.S. Cole, Clinton never really did all he could and actually hurt matters by slashing defense spending in half, cutting our battle ready forces from 19 to 10.

To be fair it wasn’t all Clintons fault. As discovered in the 9/11 Report, Tenet was instrumental in talking Clinton out of several plans by Clark to get Bin Laden. The problem with Clinton is that he was more interested in not doing something that could go bad. He wasn’t a risk taker and when things got messy he picked up and ran.

He took the pressure off Iraq when Saddam threw out weapons inspectors and he hightailed it out of Mogadishu when things started to get heated. This morning there is more news coming out of Somalia that shows not only what a big mistake it was for Bill to accept defeat but also why staying in Iraq is critical. It’s being reported today that heavily armed Islamic militiamen have seized control of another town in Somalia giving them full control of all the countries seaports. Clinton’s surrender in Somalia paved the way for al-Qaida to take charge of the country and effectively create a new base for their operations.

I’m not going to argue that Clinton didn’t “try” but the question is how hard? The difference between Clinton and Bush is that Clinton new what should be done but never took the all out risk because he was more concerned about his image then doing what was needed as the leader of a country.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thank the City Council:

Yesterday Wal-Mart announced that it was cutting the prices on 350, yes 350, generic drugs to $4 a refill. These drugs will cover everything from asthma to diabetes.

New York City residents will have to keep paying the $20+ they do now since our brilliant City Council thinks Wal-Mart shouldn’t be allowed to open in the city.

So not only has the City Council’s ignorance cost us hundreds of millions of tax revenue by watching NYC residents go to Jersey, Long Island and Westchester to shop at Wal-Mart, they can now be thanked by those who don’t own a car for making them pay full price for their meds when Wal-Mart rolls out the plan nationwide.

Bravo City Council, Bravo!!

Spitzer plays class warfare:

Yesterday Spitzer finally decided to give New Yorkers a glimpse at what he would do to help New York if elected Governor. In his speech to the New York State Business Council, Spitzer spoke about his five-point plan.

His first plan was to “reduce taxes”. To achieve this, the first thing he would like to do is increase the amount New Yorkers receive in the Star Program, which lowers homeowner’s property taxes by a certain amount. The Star program is a good one and any move to expand it is not a bad idea. However Spitzer made the mistake of announcing that anyone making over $235,000 a year would not get the benefit.

This is when New Yorkers should start to get concerned. Attacking the highest earners in the state is a mistake. Those fortunate to earn that much are also the ones who have the luxury to leave. It has been no secrete that the wealthiest New Yorkers have been leaving because of New York’s discriminating tax system and singling them out further will only make matters worse. Further Spitzer’s plan fails to index for inflation, which means more and more people will lose the tax benefit as incomes rise. What's worse, people who need tax cuts the most are usually the ones that don't own a home. So if you rent, which most people in this city do, you're not going to get relief from the burden of New York taxes under Spitzer.

Finally the biggest problem with Spitzer’s “tax cut” plan is that he doesn’t cut taxes. New York has been tops on the list for years when it comes to States with the highest tax burdens. For Spitzer to think that he’s going to be able to turn New York around without having to cut corporate or personal income taxes he’s as lost then I originally thought

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Panel on Emergency Preparedness Tonight!

Be sure to attend the September general meeting of the New York Young Republican Club tonight at the Union League, 38 East 37th Street, corner of Park & 37th.

We are hosting a panel on Emergency Preparedness Five Years After September 11th.

Panelists will include Frank Tabert, Assistant Director, New York State Department of Homeland Security; Avi Bell, visiting law professor at Fordham University; and Philip Caracci, Republican District Leader and survivor of the World Trade Center attack.

The panelists will discuss the state of emergency preparedness in New York City and will take questions from the club. Mr. Tabert, Assistant Director of the New York State Office of Homeland Security, oversees state agency, public authority and select private sector procedures for deterring, preventing and responding to terrorist acts or threats. He also works developing and implementing statewide counterterrorism training programs; and specializing in air, rail, and seaport security programs and critical infrastructure issues. Before joining the department, Mr. Tabert spent 25 years working in airport and transportation law enforcement.

Professor Bell is a law professor at the Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law in Ramat Gan, Israel (a suburb of Tel Aviv) and a Visiting Professor at Fordham University Law School. His fields of expertise are administrative law (including anti-terror law), international law (especially the laws of war), and property. He is also a staff sergeant in a reserve infantry unit of the Israel Defense Forces, and was called up for active duty in Lebanon this summer.

Philip Caracci is a District Leader in the 74th Assembly District. He has been involved in the Republican party in New York City for nearly 20 years and has served on the executive committees of several local clubs including the TR Group and Gramercy Park Republican Club.

The meeting at the Union League starts at 7:00pm sharp. As always, business attire required. Please check your coat at the door and turn off your cell phone.

Look forward to seeing you there.
Rick Brownell

Should Hungarians be surprised?

Thailand isn’t the only country currently having a revolution. My ancestors homeland, Hungary (I’m half Hungarian), is currently in chaos after discovering that its Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany of the Socialist led government, had lied to voters during the election about the country’s finances in order to win.

Should anyone ever be surprised that a Socialist government lied about the strength of its finances?

Somebody tell Schumer that’s how it’s done:

Yesterday the U.S., led by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, announced a new “strategic economic dialogue” with China. The initiative will help address many of the economic issues that often see the two nations at odds with each other.

Paulson’s trip to China is being viewed as a huge success and should lead to stronger economic ties where both sides can see eye to eye and benefit. This is the opposite of the Schumer trip to China, which didn’t accomplish anything but greater concern from the Chinese thanks to Schumer’s continued insistence on implementing his potentially disastrous tariff bill.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise that a former Goldman Sachs head that understands the “invisible hand of capitalism” would have success versus Schumer who still hasn’t completely figured out the law of supply and demand.

What am I missing?

As most of you know, I am big on ballot security and voting issues. I have proudly given testimony in support of expanding the reach of the Motor-Voter Law while before the City Council (on behalf of my former employer the Association of the Bar of the City of New York) and as a member of the Social Welfare Committee (for those that don't know, the Motor-Voter Law allows people to register to vote at the DMV). While I recognize studies that show making it easier for people to register does not necessarily translate into more people voting, I consider that if we make it easy for people to get in the "game," by definition they have a better chance of playing (they can't vote if they don't register). I have been a strong proponent of spending money to increase voter confidence in elections including, but not limited to improving our voting machines. I have also participated in ballot security measures since 2001, helping to ensure elections are free from fraud, both here in NYC and nationally.

So, with this as background I am shocked (shocked!) to see the Congressional Democrats coming our against a new regulation that would require the presentation of photo ID when voting in national elections.

As described in the Washington Times today, The Federal Election Integrity Act or "Voter ID" Bill, "would require voters in federal elections to provide picture identification by 2008 and provide proof of U.S. citizenship by 2010. It was among the recommendations made last year by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican."

So, why are Democrats so willing to throw President Carter's recommendations beneath the bus? "Democrats, siding with groups that work on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens, called the bill a 'modern-day poll tax' and said it would place an insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights."

Okay - so illegal aliens, who shouldn't be voting anyway, don't like this. Go figure. So Democrats are essentially saying they rely on this bloc of non-voters to vote - illegally. And I thought the Democrats were supposed to be fighting for fairness and electoral integrity.

Now as to the "poll tax," this argument has more to do with the details than the principle. It is argued that the poor, minorities and the elderly (or very young voters) are less likely to have a valid photo. Putting aside that my grandparents both have valid driver's licenses (although my grandfather hasn't driven in what seems like forever) and that, although I represent many poor minorities they all seem to have licenses of some other photo ID, I will stipulate that in some areas of the country this is not the case. For example, a June 2005 University of Wisconsin study found that less than half of Milwaukee black and Hispanic adults have valid licenses (although no word if any of those folks were illegal aliens).

Nonetheless, voter fraud happens. Indeed, I hope to move to Chicago when I die so I can keep voting. Kidding aside, arguments that equate the use of some form of ID to a poll tax are simply not serious. The real issue is what type of ID can be used or, if an ID is not possessed, how easy and costly it is to get one. A list that includes military ID, passports, driver’s licenses and other government issued ID, as well as a “Voter ID” issued by each state, should be more than able to balance the demands of ballot integrity with intrusion on lives of There is no reason that the Board of Elections for each state cannot issue a "Voter ID" to those without an otherwise valid photo ID for no cost. Thus, unlike the poll-tax (a fee requested at polls that would be used to disenfranchise blacks), the ID would cost the poor nothing, save the time to get it. Considering what it took to win the right to vote, and to maintain that right, is it really too much to ask that citizens go down to the BOE and wait in line for an ID?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

But what if New Yorker’s didn't vote in a Republican Mayor?

This is old news but the TV in my elevator mentioned it today and it made me think.

For 2005, New York City was once again rated the safest big city.

I wonder, if New Yorkers had not voted in Rudy Giuliani (Republican) in 1993 and instead stuck with Democrats like David Dinkins, would New York have been rated the safest big city?

Considering since almost to the day Giuliani (Republican) took office crime started to decline, 36% in just Giuliani’s first two years, you have to give credit to the man and his no excuse stance on crime.

One big reason Republicans across the country made huge gains was in part due to the high level of crime across the country and Democrats unwillingness to do anything about it.

Since then crime has gotten so low that Americans have become spoiled and forget where they came from. This issue will be interesting to bring up when Bloomberg’s term is up and Democrats look to elect a Freddie Ferrer type.

Waterboy Goes to the UN

I just happened to glance over at my monitor to see Chavez addressing the UN. It was perfect timing because I turned up the volume just as he was describing how the UN still smelled like sulphur after Bush addressed the General Assembly yesterday, right before he called Bush "The Devil". (Ah, but the bigger question would be, Does he wear Prada??) That's classic. I couldn't help but laugh and think of Kathy Bates in The Waterboy.

Another gem: Apparently, we Americans want peace, but the US government doesn't, as evident in the fact that our military is bombing Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine. A little chicken-or-the-egg syndrome and a lack of understanding how democracy works....But that's no surprise.

As much as I'd hate to admit, he did make a few good points: a) that the UN is "worthless", good for meetings and "introducing long documents", b) suggesting the UN move out of the US.

At the end of the day (nod to Nick), I think he was jealous b/c the only people who attended his speech were his fellow whackos, despite the cameras trying to limit the view of all the empty seats, whereas Bush spoke to a full, packed assembly. Heeheehee.....

Still Waiting:

It’s now been 3 weeks since I left the question to everyone who visits this blog, to give me one reason why Eliot Spitzer would make a good governor.

As of today I still have had not one response. Now I know this site is read by allot of people especially Democrats (it takes a good chunk of my morning deleting all the insulting profanity) yet even they have not wanted to seize the opportunity. Being as objective as possible I can come up with several reasons why Hillary, as much as I dislike her, is ok as Senator but can’t think of one for Eliot Spitzer. As I said prior I think Democrats lost their one good candidate in Suozzi who at least had a plan.

Spitzer has so far promised $70 billion in new spending. How is he going to pay for that? I’m still waiting for the New York Times to ask that question.

He has said he wants to reform Albany. How can you reform Albany when every special interest group is in your pocket? That’s like Randi Weingarten saying she’s going to reform the teachers union.

What about Spitzer’s refusal to debate John Faso more then the two times scheduled and even with those two debates Spitzer has refused to do it in NYC and on network television. Isn’t the New York Times, which prides itself on being a reputable newspaper at least a tiny concerned about a candidate who doesn’t want to debate as many times as possible in front of the people he plans to lead?

What do Democrats think about Eliot Spitzer who in his 1998 campaign for AG told the press that New Yorkers deserve no less then 9 debates across the state? What happened? Doesn’t he think they deserve it anymore or is he just afraid of the fact that he has no plan for this state other then to let special interests ride roughshod over the state?

If people and the New York media want to support Spitzer that’s ok but don’t embarrass yourself by not being able to give a valid reason other then he has Dem in front of his name and was able to exploit his position to get convenient footage for his campaign ads while Medicare fraud in New York continued to suck away taxpayer dollars.

I’m done. Now I’ll wait and see if the responses are insults or good solid explanations of why Spitzer would be a good Gov.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bloomberg's Novel New Plan

Bloomberg announced a new plan to help allay poverty by offering cash incentives for people who take positive steps to improve their education or the health of their children. Details of the plan have yet to be released, but similar programs have shown promise in Mexico and Brazil.

I like what Bloomberg had to say on the issue:
"Long experience has taught us that simply throwing dollars at poverty does not make it go away. We've learned that lesson. We will target our resources, closely monitor results, and discard what doesn't work."

Much like education, simply throwing money at problems does not solve them. Yes, we should encourage personal responsibility, but part of the problem with the welfare state is that often the benefits are better than if a recipient graduates into a low-paying job. So maybe offering cash incentives for furthering one’s potential in the job market might be a good way to encourage people to get out of the cycle of poverty.

The proposal calls for funding with private donations, so if it doesn’t work, at least it's not our tax dollars. I look forward to seeing more details on this plan.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good thing France decided not to send troops to Iraq:

From the beginning France wanted to have no part of the war on terror, particularly refusing to join the coalition of the willing to liberate Iraq. France believed that if they took the Bill Clinton route and ignored the true intentions of Islamic fascists they would be spared their wrath. Well so much for that theory.

A couple days ago, al-Qaida announced that it was joining with an Algerian insurgent group, designating France as the enemy. Though I have no doubt that France will continue to make believe there’s no problem I did find interesting a quote from one French politician when asked to comment on the news.

“The Americans have become harder to target domestically, so they are trying to widen the field of action and strike their allies,”

I don’t know what’s better about that quote, that France thinks they’re our allies or that they admit we’ve become safer under President Bush.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Violence = Tolerance?

While reading coverage of the backlash over the pope quoting a 14th century Christian emperor, I found a very interesting quote from a Pakistan spokeswoman:

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

Statements should not be made that offend Islam because it will incite violence? Violence over comments you disagree with does not sound like tolerance to me.

Here is what the pope said:
"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,. He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."'

Now, the pope’s comments were inappropriate and hypocritical – the Catholic Church did quite a bit of spreading the faith by sword during the Middle Ages – but the proper response is debate and education, not mass protests where the pope’s image is burned in the street.

Somebody get me a chair I need to sit down before I faint!

NY1, yes I said NY1 has a story about Eliot Spitzer that actually exposed the mighty king for being dishonest.

In a story by Josh Robin he calls Spitzer out on his latest campaign ad. The ad claims Spitzer walked the hallways of a Nassau school accompanied with a voiceover of Spitzer talking about “fundamental values like truth”. The truth though is that Spitzer never entered the school on his visit but stayed outside.

I’ve had my complaints about NY1 and their pandering to Democrats but today I’ll give them credit for taking a shot at the king.

John Liu must be disappointed:

Last night Survivors social experiment came and went without a riot anywhere. A week ago people on our City Council led by John Liu had made it sound that if CBS aired the show bias attacks would flourish. The city would fall into chaos, as ethnic groups would join in their own struggle for dominance.

Those that don’t live their day separating groups for the sake of getting votes (John Liu) knew that Survivors idea would result into nothing more but the usual show with Americans pulling for the person they like best.

Watching the show last night said a lot about America today and how the idea of racism being a problem is continuously blown out of proportion and played up by a select few for their own power. As CBS interviewed the contestants none thought the idea was bad and instead thought it would be interesting. What I found most interesting was how through the entire show the contestants didn’t spend time complaining about the other groups but instead about themselves. Whether it was the Asians, whites, blacks or Hispanic anytime they made a complaint about someone it was against someone on their own team.

I’m sure Survivor will end up being as interesting as always and I’m glad CBS didn’t cave to the likes of John Liu. Personally I wonder if John Liu even watched the show? Today it seems the only ones interested in playing the race card are the ones from the groups they claim to protect. The rest of the country really could care less what color anyone is but more about how much they contribute to society. The fact that an African American can win American Idol twice and that millions of Americans tune in to watch thousands of non-white sport stars and celebrities proves that the only place racism lives is in the minds of those who benefit from making you believe it does.

It's not all Spongebob's fault!

Nutrition experts have determined based on a number of studies that parents are primarily responsible for rising childhood obesity rates. But what about the consenus that Spongebob, McDonald's and Oreos were responsible? Is this not all the fault of greedy corporate executives? Are these experts actually saying that the people who buy the food for the children may be the culprit? Do adults actually have the power to tell a 6 year-old no when they want soda for breakfast? Is it possible that there is a level of personal responsibility involved?

So who do you think knows more about business?

It seems these days City Councils around the country have come to believe that they know best on how to run a business. Location, labor, pricing, they know it all. At this rate City Councils will soon be demanding that they get a seat on every board.

With that theme in mind, NY’s City Council overrode Mayor Bloomberg on a bill that he vetoed the day before. The City Council bill stated how often NY gas stations could raise prices. The Mayor knowing how business works vetoed the bill because frankly he understands the invisible hand of capitalism and what happens when you start implementing price controls.

So who do you think knows best in this situation? Mayor Bloomberg, a man who started a business in a one-room office and turned it into a multi-billion dollar empire? Or a City Council that couldn’t run a lemonade stand?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Follow the money:

Everybody has an opinion about whether or not Republicans will hold the House, Senate or both. Democrats say Republicans are going down in flames and Republicans say Washington is still theirs.

I on the other hand like to put my own biases aside and listen to people who care less about who wins and more about how much money they can make off it.

What I’m referring too is the international trading system that lets you bet on everything from who’s going to win the Super Bowl to the weather.

I’ve been following these guys ever since the Economist turned me onto them several years ago and they have been dead on accurate. In 2004 when everyone was sweating about Bush losing the odds maker always had him winning.

So what is the current smart money doing?

When it comes to whether or not Republicans will hold the Senate, Trade Sports, has the contract trading at 84. That means that there is an 84% chance of Republicans holding the Senate and when Trade Sports has something at 84 it’s a pretty done deal.

The House though is where Republicans should worry. The current contract is currently sitting at 51-54, which means it can go either way right now.

As we get closer to November the House line will change and where it changes too will more then likely give you the answer to today’s hot political debate.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More proof Republicans are smarter then Democrats.

Yesterday in Rhode Island, left leaning Republican Lincoln Chafee won his primary over conservative opponent Steve Laffey. The Chafee vs. Laffey primary was the Republicans version of Lieberman vs. Lamont. The difference was that Republicans put aside their emotions and voted for the individual who was best for the party, strategically voting for Chafee. This is compared to Connecticut Democrats who kicked their onetime VP nomination to the curb for the hard left Lamont.

November should prove brains work over emotions every time when Chafee retains his seat in the Senate as a Republican and Lamont goes down in flames to the new Independent Lieberman.

Hey, nobody said Democrats were quick on the uptake.

Is John Spencer New York’s tallest midget?

There is no doubt in my mind that John Spencer would make a good Senator for the state of New York. New York already has a Democrat Senator and having a Republican would just make more sense for the State considering Republicans will continue to control Washington. If New Yorkers were really concerned about the State they would want to have at least one Senator from the party that has the power.

The unfortunate reality is that New Yorkers are either not that smart or to emotional about their politics to be able to make a strategic decision. I’m not going to be as blind as a Democrat voting Eliot Spitzer over Tom Suozzi and think Spencer has a chance to win in November. Nothing is impossible but unless Hillary calls someone a “putz” it’s safe to say she’s going to win.

Spencer should be congratulated for his victory over KT but his celebration should be kept to a minimum unless you’re someone who would brag about being the tallest midget.

Breaking News: 80.77% of New York voting Democrats are zombies!

80.77%, that’s the percentage of votes Eliot Spitzer received against his primary opponent Tom Suozzi. Now I’ve been following both candidates but I have to ask, have Democrats? Putting all bias’s aside, listening and reading about both candidates, how can any Democrat have walked away and said Spitzer was better then Suozzi?

When it came to experience, Suozzi had Spitzer beat.

When it came to ideas, Suozzi again threw them out on the table every chance he got while Spitzer just restated the problem never telling you what he would do.

Even here on this blog I asked a week ago for people to give me one good reason to vote for Spitzer and the only comments I got were the usual insults. Not one person was able to give me a reason they liked Spitzer.

This all makes me wonder just how influential the media in the city has become. These are not the same Democrats who recognized someone who is just better when they voted for Giuliani. If they were they would have seen right through Spitzer and voted for Suozzi all the way. So just whom did New York Democrats vote for yesterday? Eliot Spitzer or the New York Times?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Let’s not just remember 9/11:

As everyone remembers 9/11, I think it’s more important to remember all the significant days prior to 9/11 under President Clinton and his weak response that led to 9/11.

2/26/1993 First WTC bombing.

6/23/1996 Dharan, Saudi Arabia barracks bombing killing 19 U.S. servicemen.

8/7/1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Tanzania

8/7/1998 U.S embassy bombing in Kenya

10/12/2000 U.S Cole Attack

The New York Sun mentioned these dates in their cover story and I thought it was important enough to reiterate. So for everyone protesting President Bush, remember it was President Clinton’s inaction on the days above that has us mourning today.

The question I want to ask is, would we be mourning today had President Clinton in response to the attacks above had the leadership to tell Berger and Tenet to stop making excuses and take the risk President Bush is today?

Remembering September 11th

As we recall where we were five years ago today, what we did, and the feelings that overcame us - sorrow, fear, anger - let's all be sure that we take a moment and remember those who were lost.

It helps me to think about not how they died, but how they lived.
And it also helps me to remember why we fight now.

Support the troops.
Support those courageous enough to make the decisions that have to be made so that we may be safer.
And most importantly, support each other.

Best wishes,

Rick Brownell
New York Young Republican Club

Tomorrow is Primary Day:

If you’re interested enough in politics to be reading this, then you probably know tomorrow is primary day. I still thought I would remind everyone anyway.

So if you’re a Spencer or KT fan get out there tomorrow and cast your vote. However you can always stay home and just take a Quick Pick.

A question I would like the media to ask Bill Clinton:

My biggest frustration with all media is that it seems it never wants to ask the tuff questions. Sure they get bold once and a while but even those questions are never the “oh crap I can’t believe he/she asked that”.

Well if the media ever is looking for a good one, here is my vote. With talk of the U.S. military being overextended and our overuse of National Guard troops, I would like someone to ask former President Clinton the following:

Mr. President, during your Presidency in order to attain a budget surplus you slashed spending on defense in half. You lowered the country’s battle ready battalions from 19 to 10 as well as eliminate almost half our navy ships. Looking back now do you think your actions were premature and in anyway feel your decisions have cost the military vital experienced troops for the current war on terror and any major global conflict that may still arise?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Iraq and al-Qaida:

Last week a new report came out stating that there was no link between al-Qaida and Iraq yet the 9/11 report says different in several locations.

One conflict is on page 128 in section 4.4 where the 9/11 Commission wrote:

Though intelligence gave no clear indication of what might be afoot, some intelligence reports mentioned chemical weapons, pointing toward work at a camp in southern Afghanistan called Derunta. On November 4, 1998, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah. The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had "reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."109 This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was "probably a direct result of the Iraq-Al Qida agreement." Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the "exact formula used by Iraq."110

My favorite passage though is on page 61 where it states:

With the Sudanese regime acting as intermediary, Bin Ladin himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995. Bin Ladin is said to have asked for space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but there is no evidence that Iraq responded to this request.55 As described below, the ensuing years saw additional efforts to establish connections.

If we fast-forward to post 9/11. Knowing that we had al-Qaida on the run with our invasion of Afghanistan, was invading Iraq and eliminating a dictator who might seize the opportunity to allow Bin Ladin to setup shop a bad idea? The way I look at it, the evidence connecting the two was as foggy as the evidence Clinton had on Bin Ladin that stopped him from going completely after him. History now shows that if Clinton jumped on that foggy evidence instead of listening to Tenet, the U.S. would be better off today. Sometimes the bigger risk is not doing something and if we didn’t invade Iraq why would the world be better off today?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Look out below:

The price of crude oil and with it prices at the pump, are continuing to fall. There is a number of reasons for this, from a weak hurricane season, record historical supply and a oil market that had priced in all sorts of doomsday scenarios, like Iran or Venezuela pulling oil off the market.

What will be interesting to see is if the price of oil continues to fall into November, if it will help Republicans on Election Day?

I feel like I need to take a shower after reading that:

Our liberal visitors were at it again last night. Not pleased that I mentioned their kind words, they hit back with profanity that would make a porn star blush.

I personally didn’t think it was possible to put that many different curse words in one sentence. Just how did these people get the “bleeding heart” label?

About the only word that wasn’t profane was when they called me a bigot.

Lets see, the definition of bigot is:

“One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

Hmm. Based on the official definition and the “intolerant” comments thrown our way, I wonder who’s the bigot.

I find it interesting though that they have plenty of time to comment with crude insults but no time to accept my challenge to give me one reason to vote for Spitzer other than he’s a Democrat.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

First day of school:

Today my son started his first day of kindergarten at the local Catholic school. It’s so great being able to send him to a nice reputable private school.

Maybe I should thank New York City Democrats for fighting so hard to not allow school choice. If Democrats had any sense and allowed the city to save money by offering families’ vouchers to send their kids to private school my son would actually have to share a superior education with people who can’t afford it.

Giving lower income people the ability to send their kids to private school, so they can get a top notch education saving money for the City Council so they can spend it in other areas like healthcare?

That’s just crazy talk!

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Some liberal left a comment on the blog directed to the club’s Jen Saunders.

The comment was titled “to Jen Saunders the (place the nasty C word here)”.

So much for Democrats being the party of tolerance.

This is why we moderate comments because the liberals that visit the blog just don’t know how to act like adults.

ABC’s 9/11 movie:

Clinton and Democrats are enraged that ABC has decided to film a movie about all the things that lead to 9/11. The problem Democrats have is that most of the planning came during the Clinton administration and with it all the failures.

The 9/11 Report, where most of the info for the movie came from, reported several instances where Clinton and Tenet failed to give the ok to capture or kill Bin Laden. The ABC movie is a dramatization that lays these issues out for the American people.

What I want to know is why Clinton and Democrats are so upset about this dramatization yet had no problem throwing their support behind Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, which made all sorts of preposterous claims.

Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 claimed to be a documentary while ABC’s 9/11 movie claims to be a dramatization. You decide if Democrats are being hypocrites or not. Even better read the 9/11 report like I did and see if ABC’s movie is that far from the truth.

Spitzer dropping some charges against Greenberg:

It’s been reported that Eliot Spitzer has dropped some charges against Hank Greenberg. If you recall Eliot Spitzer has been using this case as a major marketing tool for his campaign.

The fact that Spitzer is dropping some charges should cause all New Yorkers to pause and think.

Were these charges purely an exploitation to make Spitzer a household name in NY?

Were they a lack of judgment by Spitzer, which would mean he accused someone without sufficient evidence?

This is just another black eye for Spitzer and his position as AG. So despite his claim to fame of being the crusader of Wall St., he’s had only one case go to court, which he lost. His only victories came via the help of the media who lent him their microphones to scare companies into settling.

Someone please tell me why New Yorkers should vote him in other then the fact that he is a Democrat because that’s not an answer?

Did they say surging U.S. wages?

This is an item I should have mentioned yesterday but better late then never.

Yesterday the Department of Labor reported that worker compensation for the first quarter of the year was revised up to 13.7% growth rate!!! The second quarter number, which also came out yesterday, showed an increase of 6.6%. For the second number, it needs to be kept in mind that it’s just an initial reading and there is a very good likelihood that that number will also be revised up.

Isn’t it amazing how despite the minimum wage staying the same companies are raising wages on their own? Not really. This is the beautiful thing about capitalism and free markets. Companies don’t need governments to tell them what wages should be offered. Why do Democrats think companies know how to properly price the worth of a secretary and not a cashier at a retail store?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Looking to slam the breaks on New York City:

Democrats from all across the city are patting themselves on the back for their plans to keep Stuyvesant Town below market value. They claim if the current owner, Met Life, sells the property, the new owner might be motivated to do something crazy like try and turn a profit relative to the risk that their taking. They’re concerned that the neighborhood would see an influx of upper middle class people that would crowd out the middle class that has lived there for years.

There’s been some interesting quotes coming out of the press-release including from Democrat Assembly Member Jonathan Bing who said:

“I am well aware that affordable housing in New York City is in short supply. I applaud Councilman Garodnick, labor leaders and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village tenants innovative effort to preserve this large-scale affordable housing enclave on the East Side."

Somebody needs to inform Mr. Bing that the decline of affordable housing in many NYC neighborhoods is also the reason NYC has grown and prospered. Today’s rents and real-estate prices reflect this growth. It’s due to, may I say, “the invisible hand of capitalism”.

By trying to take over this block of land, as Bing and others would like to do, they will end up suppressing overall growth in the city. Bing and others need to have faith in free markets and know from history that middle class families loosing Stuyvesant Town won't mean a loss for the city. Instead it will be an overall gain.

For example, for years neighborhoods like Astoria, Woodside and Maspeth were lower middle class. The growth of Manhattan and other surrounding neighborhoods like Bayside and Fresh Meadows to upper middle class caused middle class people who wanted to live in NYC to turn to other neighborhoods. As a result Astoria, Woodside, Maspeth and even Jersey City are what they are today. Such situations should not be viewed as a crowding out but a natural progression where all neighborhoods move forward.

Now if your goal is to suppress the growth of neighborhoods, then by all means don’t let the true value of Stuyvesant Town shine. However if you’re looking to make today’s poorer New York neighborhoods into the next Astoria or Jersey City, then letting Stuyvesant Town sell and progress to its market value would be the best the answer.

Maybe New Yorkers and America deserve an unpleasant reminder:

There’s an old saying, “be careful what you wish for”. With every poll claiming New Yorkers want a Democrat to be governor of New York and Americans want Democrats to take control of the House and Senate, I’ve been thinking maybe having it occur will be a huge wakeup call why these people voted in Republicans in the first place.

For the last twelve years George Pataki, a Republican, has been the Governor of New York. As someone who grew up in this city and not moved here post Pataki’s first election like most people now living here, I remember what it was like with a Democrat as Governor. I also remember what it was like with a Democrat as Mayor. To make a long story short, it was bad. Crime was atrocious, filth was everywhere and places that are today hot like Woodside and Long Island City, you knew not to go to. All that started to change when Pataki took office. One of the biggest reasons Pataki won was because New Yorkers were fed up with the crime. Democrats were and still are notorious for being soft on crime and Mario Cuomo was no different. One of Pataki’s biggest gains during the campaign was at the expense of Cuomo and Democrats liberal nature toward convicted criminals, when in 1987 a convicted murderer, Arthur Shawcross, was paroled after only serving 15 years who then went on to become a serial killer.

The biggest benefit a Republican Governor gave New York was as a devils advocate figure who sat on the opposite side of the table come budget time keeping everyone honest. A Spitzer victory will change all this, as he will now be on the same side of the table giving the State away to all the unions that supported him raising taxes to pay for it.

On a national level the same can be said. It’s also been twelve years since Republicans took control, which is long enough for American’s to forget why they kicked the Democrats out.

If Spitzer wins as Governor and Democrats retake Washington this is what we can expect:

1) Tax increases
2) Protectionist policies, erasing the 12 years of open trade that has lead to billions of dollars in (FDI) foreign direct investment to America and amazing growth.
3) A recession as a result of these modern day Smoot Hawley policies.
4) The cancellation of the Patriot Act and an inevitable attack on the U.S.
5) A major hike in minimum wage, leading to a pickup in inflation and a loss of jobs.
6) Poor healthcare thanks to Democrat’s new nationalized healthcare, which will mean months of wait time to see a specialist (i.e. Canada and U.K.)
7) A forced pullout of Iraq and a new cushy home for Terrorists to regroup and build (i.e. Mogadishu)

All I have to say is the future looks bright with Democrats in power. The current 4.7% unemployment, record investment into the U.S., record number of homeownership, lowest crime nationwide in decades and (cross my fingers) not a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 under Republicans is completely overrated.

I think November will be a win, win for Republicans. If we win and hold on, great. If we lose Democrats will come in power, do all of the above, and send Americans running back to Republicans.

Sometimes people need a little spanking to understand what they did wrong.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eliot Spitzer thinks New York’s income taxes are just fine:

This morning I’m on Spitzer’s website and I go to a section on the site that lets you chose what you’re “passionate about”. The page gives you a list of items you can click on bringing up a box that lets you submit your name, address and e-mail to send off to his campaign.

What puzzles me is that his list fails to include income taxes!

Breaking news to Eliot Spitzer: People are moving from New York for the comforts of the south for one reason. INCOME TAXES!!!!!! Businesses are locating their operations and factories down south for one reason. INCOME TAXES!!!!!

John Faso on the other hand got the memo and has proposed tax cuts to keep New York competitive. His plans include:


· Cut income taxes by doubling the amount a married couple earns from $40,000 to $80,000 before the highest tax rate is imposed, and index this amount to inflation
· Eliminate recapture provisions on income between $100,000 and $150,000, giving all taxpayers the benefits of lower marginal tax rates
· Eliminate the Estate Tax

· Eliminate the corporate franchise tax on manufacturers
· A reduction in the top corporate tax rate, from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent
· Enact full-cash expensing for businesses, which allows for the 100% deduction of capital purchases instead of deducting the depreciated value
· Gradually remove the $1.3 billion in hidden taxes on health insurance
· Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax
· Eliminate the ton-mile tax on the trucking industry.

Eliot Spitzer has no plan because he doesn’t think it’s a reason New York continues to struggle. So if Eliot Spitzer doesn’t think New York’s income taxes are not to high does that mean he thinks they’re to low and should be raised to cover all that spending he’s proposing?

Hopefully one day New York’s mainstream media will bring this to Spitzer and the voter's attention.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

But Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror:

This morning the Iraqi government announced that it has captured the second most senior al-Qaida figure in Iraq, Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi.

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003:

We destroyed a terrorist camp in northern Iraq run by Ansar al-islam, which as reported in the 9/11 Report, proved to be connected to Bin Laden.

We arrested Abu Abbas in Baghdad, the mastermind behind the hijacking of the Achille Lauro. Wonder what that guy was doing there since Saddam didn’t harbor terrorists.

We killed al-Zarqawi in Iraq who was the head of al-Qaida in the country and now captured the number 2 guy.

Al-Qaida in Iraq? If Iraq was insignificant for the war on terror then why is al-Qaida wasting so much time, money and men on keeping Iraq unstable? Since 2003 Al-Qaida has been telling Americans Iraq is a major part of the war on terror, it’s about time Americans start to listen.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Still Going:

U.S. Payroll growth for the month of August was released this morning showing the country added 128,000 jobs. The fact that the economy continues to add a large number of jobs despite a big slowdown in housing construction over the last six months shows that other areas of the economy are picking up the slack.

I can’t but wonder how Democrats can continue to be so stubborn. Do we not now have enough data that proves an economy based on flexible labor, free trade and low tax rates leads to overall economic growth?

When it comes to economic policy it’s a good 60% of why I can’t be a registered Democrat. As a party they just don’t get it! What’s even more interesting is that one of the party’s favorite all time Democrats, John F. Kennedy, was a HUGE supporter of tax cuts.