Friday, February 27, 2009

NYSYR Spring Board Meeting & Targeted Campaign Weekend

New York State Young Republicans (NYSYR)
Spring Board Meeting and Targeted Campaign Weekend
March 20-22, 2009.

Hotel, meeting, location, schedule and transporation information, as well as the official registration form, can be found in this google document.

See ya in Troy!

Why American Princess Loves the South...

While we're talking about 1 Trillion dollars in new taxes, I figure I'll take a cue from American Princess ( remind everyone to keep a tight grip on their guns, as well as their money...

(a Big TY to Shep for passing it on...)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

GOP Looks To Make A Northeast Comeback

Stuart Rothenberg in The Rothenberg Political Report analyzes Republicans chances for gaining gubernatorial and congressional seats heading into 2010.

For New York, he believes that Jim Tedisco has a good chance of grabbing Sen. Kirsten Gillenbrand's open seat in the 2oth congressional district. He also sees Greg Ball being able to defeat Democrat Rep. Jim Hall in the 19th district.

As for major contests in the Northeast, Rothenberg believes that former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie could defeat NJ Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 and that Sen. Chris Dodd could be in trouble for re-election in Connecticut.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Americans Confidence Shaken In War On Terror

According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, only 47% of Americans believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror.

This is a remarkable 15% drop from two weeks ago and provides President Obama with a major hurdle to overcome in foreign policy. Last week, Obama decided to commit an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan and plans to remove all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010.

Remember...the main reason President Obama won the Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton was his early opposition to the Iraq War. His main reason for opposing the war is that he felt the United States needed to focus on the Taliban in Afghanistan and catching Osama Bin Laden.

This is now President Obama's war and he already has to deal with skepticism from the American people on whether or not it is being won. Although the economy is his main challenge, the young president needs to show that he is a strong commander-in-chief who can make wise decisions about the use of our military.

If Iraq reverses into sectarian violence and Afghanistan becomes a worse problem, then President Obama's approval rating will plummet like a rock. It is important that he follows the commands of Gen. David Petreaus and Sec. of Defense Robert Gates who stabilized the situation in Iraq. They have the experience needed to guide a newly inaugurated president to a winning strategy in the Middle Last

Join the Tea Party This Saturday in City Hall Park

If you are in New York this weekend, and you have had it up to your eyeballs with the stimulus package, then you need to come to City Hall Park at 2:00pm for the Tea Party.

The Tea Party, and 39 other such parties around the country this weekend, will be a show of unity and protest over the government's willingness to gamble away our present and our future with its sham stimulus package.

You can RSVP here or just show up. There are more supporters of responsible government than you know. Come by and see for yourself. This is the real thing.

2PM, Saturday Feb. 28th, City Hall Park in Manhattan. Socializing afterwards. Let's make our voice heard in NYC!


2:00pm start time: Organizers comments

2:10pm: Confirmed speakers and anyone from the crowd who wishes to address everyone.

2:45pm: Closing statements, press interviews

3:00pm: End.

Obama picks Israel-hater to chair National Intelligence Council

Check out Gabriel Schoenfeld's Opinion Article in the Wall Street Journal, about President Obama picking Charles "Chas" Freeman Jr. for chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman is a notorious China apologist, Israel basher, Palestinian apologist, and Islamic Terrorist apologist.

Freeman was the President of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), which in 2006 published the controversial and disgusting essay, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. Freeman himself defended the article and endorsed its thesis, that American Jews have a "stranglehold" on the U.S. Congress, which they employ to tilt the U.S. toward Israel at the expense of broader American interests. It pains me to even write those words, those lies. But it doesn't bother Barack Obama.

I am a Jew. I spent months warning every Jew I could that Barack Obama was bad for Israel, bad for Jews, and good for Islamic Terrorists. But none of my friends and family listened. And John McCain refused to say it. On Election Day, 78% of Jews voted for Obama. Mayor Bloomberg went to Florida to tell old Jewish people that Obama was not a Moslem. Jews went to Florida to tell their grandparents to vote for Obama. I am disappointed and ashamed that eight out of ten Jews voted for this man. Now, to quote Jeremiah Wright, our "chickens are coming home to roost." Obama is appointing as many Israel-haters and Jew-haters as he can. You can decide for yourself if Obama himself hates Israel and hates Jews.

A Matter of Great Concern

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is “making brisk headway” for the launch of the Taepodong-2 that will carry the nation's first....err.....the “second” experimental communications satellite after failed tests in 1998 and 2006. Many analysts believe that Pyongyang is attempting to test the willingness of the BHO White House to bargain a deal, especially after the six party talks on verifying their nuclear activities have been on hold since mid-2008. South Korea, having linked financial aid to disarmament, has cost the North $300 million in aid and therefore may be trying to turn public opinion against President Lee Myung-bak's policy.

As Iran has been the major recipient of North Korea's missile technology, how they was first to succeed in space probably eludes them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paterson Favorability Takes a Dive

Like most Americans, I eschew political polling unless the results confirm my own beliefs or prejudices. Case in point: the latest polling by Siena College's Research Institute indicates that Governor David Paterson is at an all-time low in popularity (40 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable) and job performance (28 percent positive, 69 percent negative).

In hypothetical 2010 election match-ups, Paterson fares no better. In this poll, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo leads Paterson 53 percent to 27 percent in a Demo primary. In a race against Rudy Giuliani, Paterson gets beaten by 15 percentage points.

Right now only 19 percent of voters are prepared to vote for Paterson in 2010. 57 percent would rather vote for "someone else."

Check out the full results here.

Santelli Nation

The Politico reports that a Rasmussen poll found 55% of those surveyed (49% of Democrats) believe that Obama's federal mortgage subsidies "rewards bad behavior". As you recall, CNBC's Rick Santelli passionately argued last Thursday against the mortgage bailout and stimulus plan. The White House press secretary, Bobby Gibbs, brushed off Santelli's comments, dismissing him "as a know-nothing derivatives trader out of touch with Main Street".

Although proponents claim that the plan does not reward irresponsibility but is rather an effort to stabalise the housing and financial markets, both you and I know better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Supreme Court Reform Ideas

A group of legal scholars and attorneys gathered recently to develop a detailed proposal to reform the Supreme Court. Among the items addressed are term lengths and appointments as well as changes in how the high court actually handles and picks its cases.

I'm not averse to making some changes to the Supreme Court. For instance, I've always believed that in a democratic society no public office of any sort should be a lifetime appointment. I don't think the Founding Fathers were wrong about too many things, but I think they fouled the ball on that one. On the other hand, I'm extremely concerned about the idea of making fundamental changes to the judicial branch of our government when the Democrats control the White House and Congress. They simply don't have the respect for the rule of law necessary to undertake such a mature task.

Mickey Rourke Should Have Won

Sean Penn won the Oscar for Best Actor and made a passionate but predictable political speech. I was really hoping to see Mickey Rourke win for the pure entertainment value. The Academy Awards would be more interesting with speeches in which actors swear uncontrollably while thanking Eric Roberts, police officers, and the wrestling community. Most of all, I was pulling for the Best Actor award to be dedicated to a dog.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, look up Mickey's speech at the Independent Spirit Awards. It is amazing (and extremely profane, so discretion is advised).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Abu Ghraib Reopens

The Baghdad Central Prison, formerly known as Abu Ghraib, reopened, its halls now decorated with plastic flowers, streamers, and fresh paint. The prison was turned into “something like a resort” where prisoners can find some R&R reading at the library, enhancing their gardening skills, chatting online, or building muscle.

“Now it is a place where law and justice are respected and prisoners are rehabilitated” and is sure to be a model for the new Gitmo located in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District.

Eric Holder's Cowards

Attorney General Eric Holder berated America at large this week for being a "nation of cowards" about the subject of race. His high and mighty pronouncement came right about the same time that Al Sharpton and his racial bogeymen called for the firing of a New York Post cartoonist and a general boycott of the paper for a cartoon Sharpton deemed to be racist. God does indeed have a sense of humor.

Holder's roundabout request for a dialogue about race should be taken for what it is. And Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute calls him on his comments with relish. If he wants this dialogue to happen, then we should frankly address the impact of race on the American electorate, education, crime, and other issues.

But does Holder really want a conversation about race or is this just another opportunity to spread around some good old fashioned "white guilt." John McWhorter, also of the Manhattan Institute, explores that question and unfortunately discovers that it is the latter.

Well, Mr. Holder, your dialogue about race in America has begun. How do you like it so far?

North Korea Redux

Secretary of State Clinton (I can't believe I have to type that) said this past week that we have get negotiations back on track with North Korea and their burgeoning nuclear weapons program. There really is nothing to negotiate. The North Koreans do pretty much whatever they want.

Haven't we been to this rodeo? Several times as former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton explains in his article, Hillary Clinton's North Korea Naivete. An apt title and a great article from one of the few people to serve in this country's foreign service in recent memory who actually has America's best interests in mind.

The Great Stimulus Experiment

The minds at the Cato Institute have been closely watching the development of the Democrats' strategy to boost the economy, misguided and ill begotten though it may be. This latest article by Richard Rahn explores the folly behind the stimulus plan that jacks up government spending. Don't miss this one.

Speaking of GOP Senate Candidates...

...what is to become of the potential candidacy of Rep. Peter King (CD 3)? A few weeks ago, King publicly announced that he was going to run for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in 2010. He reportedly didn't care who Gov. David Paterson was going to appoint to be her replacement. He was going to take them on regardless. Now, not so much. It looks like money may be the reason for his trepidation. A lot of people can make that excuse nowadays for a lot of things.

I for one hope that King does run next year. We could use his experience and his integrity in the upper chamber.

Pataki Unlikely for 2010 Senate Bid

Almost as quickly as the rumor started that former NYS Governor George Pataki was considered a possibility to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand, it now seems highly unlikely that he will take up the task. Cynics say the rumor was deliberately trumped up to drum up business for his law practice. What's more likely is that he is enjoying himself in the private sector and wants to make a few bucks.

Who can blame him? He's been a small town mayor, he served in the state legislature as both an assemblyman and senator for nine years, and he was governor of the state for twelve years. It could be said that he has done his bit for king and country.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Okay If Newspapers Die

Bruce Bartlett writes an article on where the central point of the piece defeats the main purpose for writing it.

Confusing right. Well I'll explain.

Bartlett believes that it is important for newspapers to survive so that there are reputable news sources to educate the public with reliable information. He is correct in saying that blogs are not accurate news sources since bloggers are not editors and therefore post items that contain mistakes in them.

However...he misses the point of what blogs are supposed to be. The first major blog was the Drudge Report and it simply just links to stories around the web. Blogs are a social media tool where individuals find stories from around the web and share them with a like minded audience. Blogs are news communities not journalism.

However, the best part the article is when he states that newspapers should be bought up by think tanks, foundations, universities, or even political parties. This is laugh out loud funny.

What Bartlett doesn't realize is that think tanks, foundations, universities, and political parties all have websites and make their articles and policy studies available to the public. Therefore the public can read their content...and be educated. So there is no purpose for newspapers, since these institutions are regarded my writers as reliable sources. Also, most opinion pieces in newspapers come from these institutions any way. I think it would be cool if the Heritage Foundation bought the Washington Times as Bartlett suggests, but it is not necessary.

The real way for newspapers to become relevant again and grow their subscription rates is to be more ideologically diverse and feature important investigative reporting. Nobody needs to buy the New York Times to read about President Obama buying his girls a dog. How about presenting the facts regarding his past government service and how it will affect his decision making capabilities as president. I know...what a novel idea. In order to survive, newspapers have to go back to being a watchdog of government, rather than a lapdog for liberalism.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Former Speakers Liaison Kerry Picket at CPac

Former NYYRC Speakers liaison Kerry Picket will be teaching a class at CPAC this year for the Leadership Institute:

So for ALL you folks heading down to CPAC, go take Kerry's class!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tedisco Race Heats Up

The Democrats aren't going to suffer the potential loss of the 20th CD gladly. Both donkey Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have endorsed Tedisco's opponent Scott Murphy.

The election, which RNC Chairman Michael Steele has called a "battle royale," is set for March 31.

For all of you who Ordered the Obama Coin...

It's a Sticker! That's right, a sticker. At least they're 50 Cent Pieces... Take 12 of them, and go buy yourself a beer (at least here in Manhattan!) and you can cry it in. Or better yet, send that ridiculous plate you bought of him back, before they claim it's made of lead.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sen. Graham Advocates Bank Nationalization

This from ABC News --
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) says option to nationalize banks should be on the table

This is disturbing on many levels. One of the most troubling aspects of Graham's suggestion is that he is identified as a "conservative Republican." No, he is not (advocate of amnesty for illegal aliens, for one), and no, this is not a conservative position. Republicans will never win another election if they keep talking like this, and the media are happy to identify Sen. Graham as a "conservative." Well, frankly, he's not and he's hurting our (that is, Republican) cause. --Would recommend a primary challenge for Sen. Graham.

It is tempting to label bank nationalization "socialism," which indeed provides the root justifications. But bank nationalization is actually much closer to Fascism, because it implies state-private cooperation. This is the essence of a fascist economy, and inevitably leads to corruption and cartelization. It is similar to the New Deal, which was devised by intellectuals whose admiration for Fascism (of Italy and Germany) was frank (search for the period writings of such intellectuals as W.E.B. Dubois and H.G. Wells).

American conservatives should reject Graham's suggestion in a full-throated manner and argue instead for freer banking laws and less government meddling in our financial markets. Even the suggestion is dangerous and sets bad precedent.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How To Save Conservatism

Sam Tanenhaus in the latest issue of the New Republic analyzes the plight of modern conservatism in an article labeled "Conservatism is Dead." One of his main arguments is that conservatism lost its power because it became an ideological movement rather than a form of governance. I totally agree with this central point. The public view of conservatism has tended to focus on restricting social issues like abortion and gay marriage through moral based arguments rather than the constitution.

The original definition of conservatism is tied directly to freedom. Conservatives believe in a strong national defense in order protect our liberty and freedom from enemies that are looking to compromise and destroy it. They also believe in free market capitalism, which allows financial growth without government regulation. In attempting to fight moral issues through government initiatives, the right has allowed conservatism to be perverted.

Too many conservative politicians over the last 30 years have tried to legislate social issues through moral arguments rather than the constitution..and therefore have severely hurt their brand in more socially liberal states in the Northeast and West Coast. Promoting and protecting individual freedom should be central basis of all conservative arguments otherwise we will just be seen as "counterrevolutionaries," the label Tanenhaus uses for us in this piece. Our central philosophy of individualism and personal responsibility is more in line with Jefferson, Madison, and most other constitutional framers than liberalism. All conservatives must embrace these principles if we want the American people to follow us. If we follow the true definition of conservatism...then conservatism will not be dead...but rather it will retake America from it's current stranglehold of government control.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama's Pyrrhic Victory

It can be safely said that bipartisanship in Washington is dead. Obama could only secure three Republican votes in the Senate (from liberal Republicans at that) and none in the House on his stimulus package. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) just walked away from his Commerce nomination. House Donkeys would just as soon set the Capitol on fire before even allowing Republicans to speak their views on legislation.

So this is Obama's victory.

Well, he owns it now. There's no more blaming George W. Bush for this mess, not with the mainstream public anyway. The Democrats control Congress and the White House. This is their bill in whole and in part.

The success and failure of Obama's whole administration may very well come down to this moment. That's not a very good place to be three weeks into your presidency.

Gregg Withdraws From Commerce

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) did the right thing today by withdrawing his name from consideration for the Commerce Secretary post.

There is a world of difference from Gregg's views and Obama's on two key issues - the economy and the census. Gregg is a fiscal conservative. Obama is a spendthrift. Gregg wants to use the census as a tool to gain data on the population. Obama wants to use the census as a political weapon to benefit the Democrats.

Democrats Settle on Stimulus Package

Congressional Democrats settled on their final stimulus package - $789 billion worth. It was settled on rather quickly, which is to be expected when you completely close out the Republicans and chisel away just enough RINOs (three to be exact) to make it happen.

Here is what the Wall Street Journal had to say about the focal points of the stimulus. My own comments are in Italics.

Business confidence
Steps: Tax breaks for businesses, appropriations.
Measurement of success: Stock market results and management surveys. So far, they don't seem too impressed.

Low income/unemployment aid
Steps: Benefit checks, foodstamp increases, health insurance assistance, Medicaid.
Measurement: Benefit rates ...which will continue to rise, leaving the burden on the taxpayer and the taxpayers children, and the taxpayer's grandchildren.

Consumer spending
Steps: Tax breaks to workers.
Measurement: Retail spending, consumer-confidence surveys. What's to measure? There is no confidence.

Job creation
Steps: Infrastructure spending, aid to states.
Measurement: Unemployment. Obama will claim credit for all the jobs that are created over the next four years, regardless of whether they were created from the stimulus.

Economic Growth
Steps: Spending, tax breaks.
Measurement: GDP. The debt created by the stimulus will claim a larger share of the GDP than at anytime since World War II.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stop the Presses: This Yankee fan likes Curt Schilling

As many of you know I am a big Yankee fan... I'm reminded of it everyday while living with a hardcore Mets fan. That said, I'm also a big fan of Boomer and Carton in the morning on WFAN 660.

So when hopping in the car this morning, I turned on the radio to hear Craig welcome Curt Schilling to the program. "Oh Yak!" was my response.

Click above and listen to to it. The interview was conducted well - Craig is known for tossing out the tough questions and making news on the program -
(You may have seen the NYPost cover last week with Mets great Smansky and his estranged wife -- some say Craig ignited it)

Curt Shilling took on A-Rod, Steroids, Manny, his future in the MLB and whether or not he's a Hall of Famer, all in one interview. Straight from the hip, not holding back and when it concluded, I realized that this Yankee fan had fallen for a member Boston Red Sox. Please don't tell my dad!

Kudos to Boomer & Carton! Listen to the interview here: CURT SCHILLING, BOOMER AND CARTON

verb: Googorize

How is it possible that after spending $30 Million dollars three years ago to establish a secure database which simply houses every public students grades throughout the state we now have to lobby the Federal Government and the State Tax payers for additional funds to basically scrub the plan and redesign it completely?

In an age of companies like Google, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo, who in essence are giant database managers and sift through trillions of documents across multiple geographic locations in nanoseconds, we (the New York State tax payers) can't seem to either build a database that in essence contains the grades of all k-12 children in public schools and can spit out the results in less than 10 minutes?

God forbid we were to expect this database would keep track of the 7,000 public/private schools and our 248 colleges and universities. Or our 7,000 libraries, and 750 museums. Or the 750,000 professionals we have hired to administer classes or maintain facilities.

We are severely overdue a reality check. Unfortunately it is coming in the form of severe layoffs and excruciating economic hardship. Lets face it, when the Department of Education is allowed to burn money the way it does, can this possibly be a surprise? We are constantly throwing good money at utterly incompetent people and not asking for concrete and realistic results.

Does anyone with any sort of realistic rational think we could not have put this project up for a competitive bid and demanded guarantees from the developers? Does anyone honestly think Google or Microsoft would not have built this database for us for cheaper? Furthermore, does anyone doubt that once one of these fabulously smart whiz kids was assigned to this database that it would not morph into a piece of software that would manage not only our young kids, but also our older ones, our facilities, our teachers, our administrators and probably anything else he/she/them might think was pertinent?

Take it one step further, by establishing a comprehensive database like the one I have portrayed, how much money would the Department of Education save that could be applied to special education programs, or new facilities, or teacher training, or extra curricular activities?

I don't know for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the savings would be large enough to completely revamp and fund every arts program in the State for example.

We need serious operators who grasp the severity of our problem and more importantly understand the vast resources we have available if we could just approach issues with an open mind and without a sense of arrogance. Members of the Board of Regents have failed us, and more importantly our kids.

The fact that the mayor and the governor have not stepped up to confront them is equally alarming. Yet again, another undeniable example of frivolous waste, cowardice and irreverence to their constituents.

New Jersey Allows Retroactive Lawsuit in Spill Case

Chalk one up for the rabid environmentalists who will subvert everything, even the rule of law, to get their way.

Wrong-sighted New Jersey Superior Court Judge Ross Anzaldi ruled that Exxon Mobil can be sued under the state's Spill Compensation and Control Act for breaking that law prior to its being enacted.

If we're just going to hold companies accountable for actions that they committed before laws were even enacted, why bother enacting the laws? Why not just take them to court and strip them of their ability to conduct commerce? It's only jobs and money right?

Actually, I should quit this post now. I don't want to reinforce any crazy ideas that people like Judge Anzaldi already possess.

One Step Closer to National Health Care?

Apparently, the stimulus bill to nowhere includes a $20 billion incentive encouraging medical record digitization. The intent of health IT is to gain a better understanding of health trends and outcomes. If you recall, Mr. Daschle proposed in his book "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis," that the federal government be given massive powers in health care regulation, thereby imposing price controls and determining the drugs and treatments to be used for patients under a federal health system. We are now one step closer to that dream as no doubt this bill will help to solidify the governments intent for control.......and for a future mess.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sinking the Ship

Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, has announced that bank rescue might reach $2 trillion.

It's almost like the Democrats want the economy to never recover.

Prediction: Most banks will effectively be nationalized by the end of the year.

Obama's Plan for the Census

There's a great op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal by John Fund about how the Democrats plan to subvert the coming census into a political tool for their own benefit.

Read this and spread the word. The donkeys have gone too far on this one and they can't be allowed to get away with it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Talk to People, Not Machines

Frustrated by those awkward computerized phone trees you get when trying to call customer service? Well grab an ax and chop down that phone tree!

The GetHuman Database at provides instructions for bypassing automated phone trees for hundreds of companies and organizations so that you can cut to the chase and talk to a real live person to ask your real live questions.

Now, I can't make any promises that you'll be immune from the runaround with a live operator. But at least you'll save a few minutes before slaving away on the intricacies of the English language with a representative from Bangalore.

Stimulus for All, Except Oil Companies Working in Utah

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cancelled oil and gas leases on 130,000 acres in Utah last week.

The signal sent here is that if America is going to get stimulus money to invigorate our economy and create jobs, those jobs are not going to be in the oil and gas sector. And if we are going to ween ourselves off foreign oil, we are apparently not going to consider developing our domestic oil resources in the interim.

That's too bad. Any cohesive energy policy that expects to succeed is going to have to include developing domestic oil and gas reserves, otherwise it simply will not work. Nuclear plants and the implementation and distribution of wind and solar power will take many years to develop. What are we supposed to fuel our economy with in the meantime if we don't use oil during this transitional period?

Sad State of the White House Press Corp

President Obama should have had his feet put to the fire at tonight's press conference on a number of occasions, but the White House press corp totally blew it.

Obama claimed there is no pork in the stimulus plan. That's a flat-out falsehood. It's loaded with pork. He also used several occasions to talk up bipartisanship, which never really existed, and pushed the false choice that it was either the stimulus or Doomsday. (The Republicans have come up with a perfectly reasonable stimulus alternative).

I could go on and on. Perhaps I will have to because we certainly can't rely on the White House reporters to challenge Obama about the shaky points he made. The only questions he got were practically designed for him to reiterate the points he made during his opening statement.

You Say Press Conference, I Say Softball Tourney

President Obama's first prime time presser isn't even over yet as I write this, but I can't wait to decry what a complete sham it was.

First off, virtually every answer he gave to a question related to the stimulus was equal in length to his ten-minute opening statement. His foreign policy answers, not so much. We got a healthy dose of ums and uhs there.

Second, the White House press corp can lob some nice pitches. The ones that Obama hit probably won't even land before next Tuesday.

Third, Helen Thomas touched on the presence of "so-called terrorists" in the hinterlands of Pakistan. "So-called terrorists?" Can someone tell me, is she still with UPI or did she go back to Pravda?

Fourth, Obama on more than one occasion blamed the previous administration for a $1 trillion deficit. Obama's going to double that deficit by the time he hits his second year in office, so he might want to temper the finger pointing. Also, the reason there was a $1 trillion deficit in the last year of the Bush administration was because of emergency spending to stem a financial crisis that had its origins in the loosening of lending practices so that low-income people could buy homes they ultimately couldn't afford.

A Plan To Get Our Economy Working Again

American Solutions, a non-partisan organization fronted by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with the goal to end partisan gridlock in Washington, has come up with a plan to get America's economy working again.

"12 American Solutions for Jobs & Prosperity" will do more to help our current economic situation than the current stimulus bill.

A few of there suggestions are below:

Get rid of the capital gains tax:

  • This will give consumers confidence to invest in American industry and therefore bring jobs back to numerous sectors in our economy.
Invest in new energy and transportation infrastructure
  • Our current transportation system is in shambles with roads and bridges that need repair, numerous airline delays and cancellations, and a limited rail system. I believe one solution could be to invest in European-style bullet trains...that will help move people quickly within these six regions (Atlantic Coast, South, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest, Pacific Coast). This would allow commercial airlines to focus on cross region and international travel, therefore reducing air traffic
The rest of the solutions are here.

George Reisman on Dowd

Here's a link to Prof. George Reisman's (Professor Emeritus of Economics at Pepperdine University) retort to Maureen Dowd's NYT column on executive compensation.

...I'm thinking even a Democrat would realize she's in over her head.

Obama Begins the Buckling Process

Iran's testing missiles. North Korea's testing missiles. What is President Obama's plan? To "reconsider" our missile defense system. In political parlance this means he is going to stop it.

Which means Russia will think we're weak for caving in to their demands to remove the system in Poland. History has proven that their demands from here will only get bolder.

It also means that Iran and North Korea will continue their push to militarize terrorists and all of our enemies. Again, history has proven that in the face of anything but pure force, they will only be emboldened to come after us.

I'll try to be as unequivocal here as I can: Anything short of continuing to research, fully fund, build, and deploy missile defense systems to protect ourselves and our allies will be a mistake of epic proportions. Let the consequences fall squarely on Obama's shoulders.

Friday, February 06, 2009

TARP: Anodyne or Asinine?

This is no place to comprehensively review TARP and the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and I know for a fact that there are more authoritative sources than the me, a political hobbyist. But in light of yet another “stimulus” bill, it is helpful to have a fundamental understanding of the underpinning ingredients of this unprecedented government intervention in our economy.

To understand how a burst housing bubble can cause so much misery, one needs to understand first the function of prices in a market economy. Prices are what coordinate economic activity. They are, fundamentally, information. If you were charting a cross country road trip, you would look at a map and decide which roads to take in order to satisfy your interests. For businesses operating in a dynamic economy, prices are the GPS on the windshield. Through financial calculation of the predicted profit and loss, business decide what is feasible (profitable) and impossible (loss). In terms of material satisfaction of the population, only accurate pricing can help create new wealth because it allows this calculation.

Prices are expressed in terms of money – that is, they find numerical expression in dollars, pounds, euros, pesos, etc. Money, for this reason, is considered one of the most useful inventions in human history. Monetizing preference, i.e., individual judgments of value, allows for economies of huge scale and complexity to emerge from free and disparate economic actors (that is, we the people). It does not really matter how much money is in circulation, just that the quantity remains stable.

And while money serves the important role of rationally expressing preference, its primary function is one of exchange. It eliminates the main obstacle posed by a pure barter system: the double coincidence of wants. Basically, money allows people to exchange all sorts of services indirectly through a commonly accepted medium. This gives rise to specialization, arguably the foundation upon which modern society is built. Such an understanding should also clarify the difference between money and wealth, wealth being the goods and services we actually consume, among other things, and not the currency.

If the above is true – that money exists (in part) to express preference, allow for economic calculation, and help facilitate coordination – then the effects of increasing the money supply, or inflation, are obvious. In the long run, prices rise proportionately to the monetary expansion, adding no real wealth. But in the short and medium term, before the new money has been properly re-valued, the increase in the monetary base distorts economic calculation of new enterprises. One likely consequence is adding fuel to the fire of a speculative bubble. Can you say “housing?”

Anyone who has taken an introductory macroeconomic course knows how our government adds money to the economy: the Federal Reserve buys U.S. Treasury bills on the market. It does this through the digital age’s equivalent of a money printing press – the computer, the “0” key. Facing likely recession in 2001, the Fed sought to lower their target rate, and thus began purchasing these securities. A graph is available here:

This new rate allowed banks to extended mortgages (and other loans) at previously unthinkably low rates. Inevitably, projects that before were unprofitable became so due to a lower discount rate. Coupled with the Community Reinvestment Act, this was a recipe for disaster in the housing market. Yet this happened in every industry, housing being only the most prominent. As money slowly came to its new market value corresponding to its expanded base, companies were unable to redeem the dollars for goods/services (this was termed a “credit crunch,” a bit of a misnomer). The economic dislocation brought on by inflation was finally brought to light, and markets and banks began to tank.

Instead of letting markets self-correct, the government, through the Federal Reserve, began buying these “toxic assets,” i.e., conglomerations of solvent and insolvent loans, from banks to help their balance sheets. Consequently, banks are sitting on hundreds of billions of new TARP dollars, food for yet another round of boom/bust. Through monetization, the government socialized the losses of banks, losses that the government helped precipitate.

It’s difficult to understand why our government would do so wittingly. In their defense, academia has its fair share of inflationary apologists (see Paul Krugman), and the philosophy is similar to that of the New Deal (that’d be Fascism and Keynes). The new spending bill, unlike TARP, is not aimed solely at banks (instead, it’s aimed at Democrat special interests groups). It’s purported that it will save 3 million jobs. The truth is that it would shift 3 million jobs into projects that the government, perhaps as few people as a small committee, deems necessary, not the people. It does so through deficit spending, either through borrowing or additional monetary expansion. All this spending adds additional risk to the future validity of the American dollar, teetering already under inflationary fears.

Unless you’re into politbureaus, there is every reason in the world to oppose this bill.

Deconstructing the Rhetoric

It’s difficult to stomach the daily news cycle when news pundits and commentators butcher the English language like a German would Wiener schnitzel.

In the world of our supposedly bias-free press, words lose their meaning, and as even a cursory knowledge of the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (a la Wikipedia) would predict, logical analysis cannot therefore exist.

What is a “toxic” asset? It’s not, as the word “toxic” connotes, a poisonous contagion that if left on the balance sheets of banks will spring to life and destroy our cities and families. No, it is simply bad debt. Banks messed up by “securitizing” a bunch of bad mortgages, forced upon them by the seemingly egalitarian Community Reinvestment Act – a product not of infamous “Wall Street greed,” but the United States Congress. The solution is flexibility in contract law and re-negotiation of mortgage rate, along with the standard foreclosure process; there are no shortcuts. Socializing bad loan losses through TARP appears to me flagrantly unconstitutional as well as ineffective.

What of “responsibility?” Responsibility roughly translates to self-reliance when it comes to American civics. President Obama and his sycophantic press, advocates of big government, define responsibility as compliance to government/bureaucratic edict. Twisted, but true.

And how about “Rights?” Well, we’ve got some in the first 10 amendments, but nowhere do I see anything about education or healthcare. Americans have conceived rights as God-given; used to anyway. Now we are told we have a right to education, a right to healthcare, a right to a “livable” wage (likely defined by Barney Frank). No government can provide these things without severely infringing on the liberty and property of others. In other words, our new “rights” demand tyranny.

A gigantic spending bill being rammed through Congress that would line the pockets of Democratic constituents goes under of header of economic “stimulus.” No, taking taxpayer money, particularly money of those who are not yet born, and redistributing it to friends of the Democratic party is not stimulus. It is legal theft being sold by a 24/7 propaganda machine and benefiting from the economic ignorance of the population – the ignorance a product of another failed government program, public education. Above all, such a bill is morally reprehensible.

And, “Action!” “Action” for President Obama means passing this spending bill now rather than later. Correspondingly, any other plan is “partisan.”

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lindsey Graham Shows Strong Opposition To Stimulus Bill

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham discusses his opposition to the current stimulus bill.

He thinks that President Obama's leadership has been "lacking" in his attempt to devise legislation that will resolve our current economic situation. Sen. Graham wants Obama to hold a bipartisan meeting at the White House where both sides can help create an economic recovery bill .

Republicans Poised To Win Stimulus Bill Battle

President Barack Obama is poised to suffer his first major political loss since announcing his candidancy for President of the United States two years ago. During the campaign...Obama inspired 53 million Americans to vote for him through his ideas of change, transparency, and unity.

The first two weeks of the Obama presidency has not lived up to this message at all as he has gotten off to a rough start trying to pass his stimulus bill through Congress. Victor Davis Hanson of The Corner on National Review Online even described the efforts of his administration as "laughable." John Gibson of Fox News Radio took it a step further saying that he was "A JV player trying to play in the NBA...and right now he is getting schooled"

Obama's biggest mistake so far was going after popular Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh by saying to House GOP that if listened to Rush they would get nothing done in Washington.

This arrogant stance fired up conservative talk show hosts and their audience, which gave Republicans in Congress a chance to use a variety of media outlets to criticize the Stimulus bill and show how outrageous it was to the public. This caused many Americans to bombard Capitol Hill with angry phone calls over the bill.

Now even with close to a 60 seat majority in the Senate it looks like the Stimulus bill may not pass as only 37% of the public support the bill in the latest Rasmussen poll. Now the Republicans are on the verge of a stunning upset on the scale of the Giants beating the undefeated Patriots. Just like New England, Obama was eventually going to lose a game even if his wide receiver (the Mainstream Media) was better than Randy Moss

After a very unpopular president, a badly run presidenital campaign, and two years of infighting, Barack Obama has done something that seemed impossible on election night. He has united the Republican Party around solid, conservative principles. So...On Thursday, February 5...I stand before you in amazement at "The Messiah's" first "miracle." Let us rejoice...and be glad.

More Tax Problems

Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis' Senate hearing was cancelled because her husband had to settle old tax liens. First Rep. Charlie Rangle, then Sec. Geithner, then Sen. Daschle, then White House chief performance officer nominee Nancy Killefer, now Rep. Solis. The Democrats have enough players to form a basketball team called the Washington Tax Evaders.

Sean Hannity: "...they themselves don't pay taxes, so there's no reason for them to worry about tax increases, right?"

Congress Eases "Buy American" Clause in Stimulus Bill

This From CNN:

"The Senate agreed Wednesday to soften a "Buy American" provision in its economic stimulus package, clarifying that the clause will not override existing U.S. trade treaties.

"The so-called "Buy American" provision in the $900 billion stimulus plan would have mandated that only U.S.-made goods be used in projects funded by the bill. Lawmakers who supported the provision said it would help jump-start the economy because it would help American companies."

A good question to consider is - what projects will not be in-part funded by this massive 647 page spending bill?

Update: National Review has detailed much of the bill in this article.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Job Cuts

From CNBC, a list of companies set to layoff more employees:

BIG list! It seems Obama's alleged stimulus package isn't going to stop the bleeding any time soon. Maybe that's because it's really a... spending bill?!

A Small Step Toward Stimulus Common Sense

The Senate has agreed to strip out a tax break for film studios that would have allowed film projects started in 2009 to qualify for an immediate 50% write-off.

The tax break would have amounted to $246 million. Thankfully it was deemed unnecessary since ticket sales for the month of January were over $1 billion.

$246 million is a pittance compared to the overall size of the bill, but common sense has to start somewhere. Hopefully it will grow contagious.

A Tavern Hangover

Last night I was discussing my latest entry to this blog with my smarter/better half and I was scolded for not being clear enough.

So I am going to briefly attempt to clarify my thoughts. As I stated, I am not suggesting the city should take over the day to day operation at Tavern on the Green. The Tavern has successfully attracted masses from all over the world for decades and should remain so. My argument revolves around the paltry returns taxpayers receive in exchange for what is potentially the premier entertainment venue this city has to offer.

We need to recognize that there are options beyond extending the existing agreement and not enforcing its by-laws or transferring it to a different bidder under the same or slightly better conditions. Take for instance the possibility of relocating the fashion shows (currently hosted at Bryant Park and looking for a new home) to the grounds at Tavern on the Green. The fees generated by hosting these two events a year would generate in excess of the $286k the restaurant paid the City last year.

Additionally, turning the Tavern into a state of the art, quasi- banquet/conference hall owned by the city and operated by a professional event planner for a fee would most probably also generate cash flow in excess of the $1M we are paid in rent too.

Assume for a second that the countless bureaucratic entities in the City's administration were to host their events at a City owned venue rather than at the Waldorf, or the Marriot, or the Hilton. The fees from those entities alone are well over a million dollars a year!

We need to approach Tavern on the Green for what it is, a huge revenue generator that the city should be apporpiately compensated for. If the city does have a revenue sharing provision attached to the lease, then we should ensure that we are treated with the same transparency and generosity all other partners recieve, especially if the City demands the same preferrential lease rate.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Enemies at the Gates

A look around the world at some of our most well-known trouble spots is not encouraging. It seems that America's stated and potential enemies are all testing the waters with more than just rhetoric to see just how strong our new president really is.

Let's take a little tour:

Iran apparently launched a satellite into orbit Monday to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. If the reports of this event are true, we should be extremely concerned because that kind of missile technology could quite easily be converted to deliver a nuclear payload.

North Korea has entered a new temper-tantrum phase that has included sharply belligerent rhetoric toward South Korea and preparations for a long-range missile test.

China doubled the number of submarine patrols it executed in 2008, according to a report recently released by the Federation of American Scientists. This is only one sign among many that China is dedicated to building a larger navy to challenge America's dominance as a naval power.

Tough economic times or not, this is not a time to be considering defense budget cuts like Obama proposed last week.

Obama's Vetting Process, or Lack Thereof

What is going on over there at Chez Obama? Do his people know what a vetting process truly entails? I've seen kids get a more thorough going-over to get a job at The Gap.

First Bill Richardson withdraws as Commerce Secretary because he is part of an ongoing corruption investigation in his home state of New Mexico. Oops.

Then Timothy Geithner gets tripped up on his waltz to confirmation as Treasury Secretary because he failed to pay taxes. Big oops.

Next, we have Nancy Killefer, who withdraws her nomination for Chief Performance Officer at the White House because she didn't pay taxes for her nanny. (Didn't we go this route with a Clinton nominee years back?) This is also embarrassing, but maybe not so much because this post was newly created and no one was really sure what Killefer's job was going to be anyway, other than to add another glorious layer of bureaucracy to a bureaucrat-heavy administration.

But the kicker has to be the withdrawal of Tom Daschle, nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle's march back from the political wilderness was stopped but cold by, yep, not paying taxes. Daschle said he withdrew because he felt he could not be effective in the post with all the controversy surrounding his nomination. Funny, I never thought he would have been effective regardless of the controversy.

James Tedisco Kicks Off Race for 20th CD

New York State Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco has announced his candidacy for the 20th NY Congressional District, recently vacated by the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to the United States Senate.

Tedisco is a solid Republican who has represented Schenectady and Saratoga since 1982. In 2005, he was unanimously elected Minority Leader.

We look forward to his campaign. For more information, check out his campaign Web site.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today That the Music Died

On Feb. 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash after leaving a Rock 'n Roll gig in Clear Lake, Iowa. All three young rockers were at the top of their game, carving out a lasting place for themselves in a music format that was still in its infancy.

The event was immortalized in Don McLean's epic tune, "American Pie." (Don't listen to the Madonna version, it's a travesty.)

Long live Rock and Roll.

Northeast Is Key To Restoring The Republican Party

John J. Pitney writes a great article on National Review Online about the challenge ahead for the GOP. It looks like Michael Steele wants to pursue a plan similar to the "50 State Strategy" employed by Democratic Chair Howard Dean after John Kerry's loss in the 2004 presidential election. According to "The Plan" listed on the GOP's Rebuild the Party website...the party will attempt to run candidates in all 435 House districts in 2010.

If the Republicans are to be competitive in the Northeast...they will need to deal with these sobering facts from the 2008 election:

Republicans are currently in none of the 22 House districts representing New England. Also..according to Gallup...Party identification favors the Democrats by a staggering difference in Massachusetts (34%), New York (27%), and Connecticut (26%).

Chairman Steele must find a way to make Republicans competitive in the Northeast...or the GOP will remain the minority party in Congress for years to come.

Day 15: Is President Obama's Honeymoon Over?

The Obama Administration received some bad news today when Tom Daschle decided to withdraw his nomination for head of the Health & Human Services Department.

However, the most troubling news for the new president is watching his near trillion dollar stimulus package (a.k.a Massive, Unsustainable Spending Bill) plummet in popularity.

According to the latest Gallup Poll ...only 38% of Americans support the bill in its current form...including just 13% of Republicans.

Also...only a meager 10% of those polled say that the stimulus plan will improve the economy in 2009.

This puts Senate Republicans and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a great position to present alternatives to public...such as a decrease in the corporate tax rate, which would free up companies to hire additional workers.

Tax cuts are crucial to stimulating the economy. Ronald Reagan demonstrated this in 1980 by implementing across the board tax cuts that helped create 35 million new jobs and led to the longest period of peacetime growth (1982-1990) in American History.

If President Obama doesn't follow this model...and raises taxes on corporations and high wage earners during a recession...he may follow in the disastrous footsteps Herbert Hoover after the stock market crash of 1929.

Steele Announces his Transition Team

Chairman Steele announced his transition team and I must admit -- I'm really excited about the former Senate candidate and his upcoming tenure as head of the RNC.

What do you guys think?

Binge Drinking at the Tavern

In what is going to be another great example of missed opportunities (and an extraordinarily unfathomable mismanagement by several key members of the city administration) the city has set May 1st at the deadline for bids to operate the almighty Tavern on the Green for years to come.

Tavern on the Green, that landmark venue in the heart of Central Park which hosts around 750,000 guests a year and generated $38M in revenue in 2007 has it's lease and revenue sharing contract coming due at the end of this year!

Under the present agreement, the city charges the operator $1M in rent per year. This translates into $83,333 per month, or $3.0864 per month per square foot. We in turn agree to maintain the roadway and "garden" around it in pristine shape and beauty at a cost of tens of millions.

As tax payers we are also apparently entitled to 3.5% of the gross revenue generated by what apparently is the second highest revenue generating restaurant in the nation. According to the restaurants website, their revenue is roughly $34M a year. So if my mathematical skills are still what they were in 4th grade, that should mean the city was due around $1.19M. So for 2008 the city should have collected $2.19M total. Well apparently we only collected $1.268M.

Hmm, I wonder what happened there? Let's make a few assumptions: Assume Tavern on the Green booked absolutely no private parties and lost half of the total revenue they claim to average. So their revenue is now $17M, the city would be due $595k not the $286k it was paid.

Lets make these assumptions even more tragic (to account for the terrible economy) and assume that not only did they not host any private parties, but they also had 50% less patrons and their revenue dropped to $8.5M for 2008. Under this new assumption the city would be due $297k not the $286k it was paid.

I understand that I might not have the exact figures to calculate an exact balance due to the city. However, even under the worst of assumptions I think it is clear that the city is not being compensated appropriately.

I am not suggesting that the city should assume the responsability of operating and managing the day to day business at Tavern on the Green, but considering the torrid financial situation, I do beleive it behooves the city to pay close attention to whoever the new proprietor is, what kind of a deal we grant him, and how transparent his bookkeeping is.

Dan Schorr Campaign Opening

Sal Calise Award Winner and Fellow YR Dan Schorr will open his campaign HQ Thursday!



January 30, 2009 – (White Plains, NY) Dan Schorr, an experienced prosecutor and candidate for Westchester County District Attorney, will officially open his campaign headquarters with a press conference on Thursday, February 5 at 10am at the Westchester County Republican headquarters located at 214 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains.

“Over the past several months we have discussed with people throughout Westchester the need for the DA's Office to take tougher stands in order to remove dangerous criminals from our streets and act more aggressively to protect crime victims. With better management we can provide enhanced and more accessible services to victims of domestic violence and repair the important relationship between the District Attorney and our local police departments,” Schorr said. "Opening our campaign headquarters is our next major step, building upon the campaign's early successes and continuing our work towards bringing about a safer Westchester."

Follow the Link for more:

Palin the Party's Powerbase?

Steve Kornacki over at the NY Observer put together a piece on Governor Palin and her future as a potential Presidential candidate in 2012. It's an interesting look at the "divide" amongst Republicans, (he quotes the lastest Rasmussen poll stating that Republicans prefer a conservative candidate, over a moderate one,) and that her popularity is still sky-high, (as demostrated by her recent attendance at the Alfalfa Dinner in DC).

I guess I would rather pose the question, is it about issues or is it because people like Palin? I like like her hometown, no-nonsense feel, don't others? Is it the Hockey Mom-turned-Alaska Governor's determination and star feel that draw folks to her? Or is it about more?

Monday, February 02, 2009

What's The Best Strategy For The GOP?

Since suffering heavy losses in the 2008 election....the Republican Party has been having an internal battle over what direction the party should go in.

On Barone writes that he believes that the GOP should go after upscale voters living in affluent suburbs...rather than set their sites toward rural conservatives that were energized by Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy.

I tend to agree with Mr. Barone...but still believe that Republicans need to create a message centered around two main points...individualism and personal order to win future elections. These were two key focal points in Ronald Reagan's 1980 victory...and led America to great prosperity and confidence after the dismal Carter Administration.

We as a party have to take our inspiration from the "Great Communicator" and come up with a simple message that the American people can both comprehend and embrace. The days of "Karl Rove Politics" need to end...where the GOP targeted cultural conservatives in the Midwest and South in order win elections.

Republicans should be thrilled with their new chair Michael he believes strongly in limited government, a strong national defense, and is more mainstream on social issues. He just the man to unite Republicans...and will give us a chance to boost our numbers in the Northeast

Power Politics

American history, thankfully, does not provide for us many instances to ruminate on the characteristics of dictatorial government. Aside from the era of the New Deal, an intellectual import of collectivist (Fascist, to be more precise) Europe, America’s history is one of personal freedom and responsibility. As such, it would be somewhat surprising if Joe or Jane Public were to recognize tyranny when it struts onto the political stage only thinly disguised. Yet open a history book, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar or Hamlet, or the Communist Manifesto and suddenly the observer becomes acutely aware that decisions already made in this young administration are not about economics, liberty, or security, but the plain advancement of government authority. No, money is not the root of all evil; however, if abused it becomes a convenient conduit for the true seed: power.

To that end, taxes and regulation are a form of control. They build steadily over the years with virtually no respite. The unfortunate consequence is complacency and relegation on behalf of the citizenry. While citizens inclined towards the ideals of liberty should always keep their ears perked for serpentine encroachment, rarely do we hear a hiss the grass as loudly as we do today.

President Obama’s thematic response to our current economic crisis has been in the traditionally conservative rhetoric of personal responsibility. We are lectured (really, lectured) about our greed, about our wastefulness, about our civic duty demanded of us for the benefit of our neighbors in words that sound more appropriate coming from a Commander-in-Chief than a Chief Executive. Personal responsibility has indeed made this country great, but Obama’s actions, in particular, his stimulus package and pick of certain Cabinet officials, suggest that this responsibility won’t be so personal, unless one considers state coercion intrinsically component to that American civic tenet.

No, the responsibility Obama speaks about is your responsibility to government. Your duty to bail out banks with your tax dollars; your right to tell automakers what cars to make; your stewardship of the environment, including classifying carbon dioxide as a pollutant worthy of regulation; your responsibility to reduce your carbon footprint and to fund the healthcare of illegal immigrants; and finally, your right to government healthcare, subject to the changing standards of a whimsical bureau. Do not be fooled. This is autocracy, not liberty.

Observe: When governments play for power, the financial health of the nation no longer matters. That’s why a dangerous federal deficit is not only disregarded, but favored. Deficit spending leads not to recovery, but lays the groundwork for additional calamity; conditions richly suited for additional government control, all in the name, of course, of benevolence.

Such talk is often derided as paranoia, overstatement, or extremism by critics. But can they name even one hero in classic literature that is an autocrat? Not in the Greek or Shakespearean tradition. Nor in the Bible, where that role is reserved (sparingly) for God alone, and where Adam and Eve suffer dearly for their hubris. No, these classics, overwhelmingly tragic in nature, exist to remind us that a lust for power is real and will only die with mankind.

Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter, but Staten Island Chuck predicts an early spring

Happy Groundhog Day.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.
But Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring. Here is the video.

I prefer Staten Island Chuck.

~ Staten Island Matt

Ruined Honeymoon

We're just entering the February following an inauguration, and already the Obama administration shows the distinct signs of losing that shiny new glow that comes with a new presidency.

He (President Obama) failed to attract even one! (1!) Republican on his So-Called stimulus package. He angered the Vatican after revoking the Mexico City policy, essentially allowing American tax dollars to fund overseas abortions. He has potentially initiated what would be an economically disastrous trade war with Europe through his provisions for a modern day "America First" program, part of his So-Called stimulus; already top E.U. officials are warning of retaliation. And of course, he picked a fight with the king of political media, Rush Limbaugh, and by extension approximately 40-50 million talk radio listeners. These are only the more notable fumbles.

President Obama may not realize it (this POTUS gig being his first real job), but he's in the big leagues now - the biggest. Limbaugh's reputation among his non-listeners is irrelevant. He will drag Obama's reputation through the mud, leaving him with, I predict, an approval rating no higher than the low 60s. It currently hovers around 70.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just What is $1 Trillion?

Our friends at Suitably Flip have done a little comparison math to illustrate the true size of the so-called stimulus package.

Take a look here and here, too.

No, We Don't All Agree About the Stimulus Plan

The Cato Institute published a full-page ad last week in a number of newspapers to let President Obama know that in fact there is disagreement about the wisdom of the nearly $1 trillion stimulus plan that is about to be foisted on the American people.

So much for liberal plans to staunch disagreement about their misguided economic ideas.

Mayor Bloomberg's Budget Plan

We all have to make sacrifices. That is the mantra of this recession and we hear from the president, to the governor, and now from the mayor, too.

Bloomberg outlines his plan for saving New York City as thoughts start to turn to this year's coming mayoral election. Is there anyone out there to challenge him? Are there any other ideas about how to save New York in this fiscal crisis?

Details Behind That Stimulus Tax Cut

Our friends at Americans for Tax Reform have done some homework on the so-called tax cuts in the gargantuan stimulus bill.

Some highlights of the "refundable tax cuts":

even those with $0 income tax liability would receive a check from the government. Thanks to income eligibility phase-outs, many of the recipients of refundable tax credits are low- and moderate-income families with little or no income tax liability.

46 million of the 138 million tax returns filed (33 percent) have no income tax liability. Yet these 46 million households would still be able to receive refundable credits, despite having zero income tax liability

Under current tax rules, the refundable Earned Income Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit already remove both income and payroll tax liability for 15 million filers (or 11 percent of families). These people neither have an income tax liability nor a payroll tax liability, yet would be getting a “tax cut”

Read more here.

Ideas About Handling the Gitmo Detainees

It seems that the Obama administration is content with pursuing a "ready, fire, aim" solution to handling the closure of the Guantanamo detention facility and relocation of the detainees there. But a legal framework has to be established. This article outlines some good thoughts on the subject: "What to Do About the Gitmo Detainees" by Stephanie Hessler.

"We're Gonna Win Again in the Northeast"

My favorite quote from RNC Chairman Steele's acceptance speech this past week: "To my friends in the Northeast, get ready baby. It's time to turn it on."

That's very good to hear because our fingers are on the switch, and we are ready to go.

NYYRC President's Statement Congratulating New RNC Chairman

Dear Members & Friends,
The Republican National Committee has elected Michael Steele as its new Chairman!

I congratulate Chairman Steele and wish him the best of luck in this new position. In a time when all facets of our government are run by Democrats, Chairman Steele's leadership will be vital to rebuilding our Grand Old Party.

We look to our new Chairman to guide us into the future, with remembrance of our past victories and losses, with experiences learned every step of the journey. We ask the Chairman and the RNC as a whole to help the Young Republicans in re-branding the Party and reinforcing the important ideals of the GOP's foundation.

As Young Republicans, we will continue to do our part, growing a base, building our coffers, and promoting our Party. I look forward to the future of the GOP with Chairman Steele at the helm.

All the Best,
Lynn Krogh
NYYRC, Inc. President