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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Timothy Stampfler to Challange Matt Doheny for NY-23 Republican Primary

Another bumpy ride ahead in NY-23? Watertown Daily Times reports that Timothy Stampfler will be challenging Matt Doheny for the Republican nomination in 2012.

Timothy Stampfler is a corrections officer in Dannemora, the paper reports.

Mr. Stampfler has not responded to my requests for comment, but I spoke with Don Lee, the Clinton County GOP chair, two days ago. Mr. Lee told me that Mr. Stampfler had previously spoken to him about a run, but at the time, Mr. Stampfler had not made up his mind.

This complicates much for Matt Doheny, who is already looking at another possible two challengers in Doug Hoffman and possibly Kellie Greene. I'll have more on Stampfler in follow up posts, once I have a change to look more into his candidacy.

Of course, redistricting may drastically change the map for NY-23.One thing is for sure, the more the committee chairmen in NY-23 like a candidate, the more resistance that candidate seems to attract from the party's base. Republicans may want to take notice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will NY-25's Brianne Murphy be Against Wall Street After She was for It?

Generally speaking, Democrat politicians are a walking contradiction. Wall Street is the latest example. Where many progressives and liberals have taken to deriding Wall Street and fat cat bankers, most congressional Democrats are counting on money from wealthy Wall Street donors.

This bring me to Brianne Murphy, Democrat hopeful for NY-25. Where Democrat Dan Maffei's campaign strategy is to claim he's moderate and hope voters forget that he voted down the line for health care (public option included), cap and trade and the stimulus, Brianne Murphy hopes to occupy the extreme left.

So, with OWS and other anti-business rhetoric becoming the norm for far left politicians I'm wondering if it is only a matter of time before Murphy flip flops. Until she started running for congress, she was for Wall Street. Her Linked In profile says so:

The Murphy Group LLC is a full-service legislative and legal consulting firm with offices in Washington, DC and New York, NY, providing domestic and international clients with distinct perspective and creative counsel.

Our diverse team of outstanding government affairs and legal professionals provide clients with comprehensive solutions for their legal, government and public affairs needs. Each of our consultants brings a unique subject matter expertise coupled with broad legal, legislative or media affairs experience. This comprehensive approach – strategically addressing the political, legal, and media implications of each client objective – distinguishes Murphy Group. The firm’s advocacy skills are unrivaled, providing clients invaluable assistance on Capitol Hill and in the courtroom.

Whether you are a Wall Street Firm looking for a finger on the pulse of Capitol Hill or an attorney representing a party to an agency accident investigation seeking advice on the process, Murphy Group is well positioned to meet your needs. Our team brings a wealth of substantive knowledge on cutting edge legislative developments as well as a deep understanding of the litigation, regulatory and investigative processes. Our blend of experience and extensive network make us an essential resource for anyone seeking the most up-to-date information and analysis regarding developments impacting their clients.

Legislative & Legal Consulting, issue areas include transportation, energy & the environment, labor & employment, and education.

I have yet to see an article reporting an anti-Wall Street positions as of yet, but it's only a matter of time. After all, her entire party is planning on running against Wall Street. It's only a matter of time before Murphy was for Wall Street before she was against it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bob Turner's Stance on Medicare Posses a Problem in Run for NY-9?

Democrat David Weprin's campaign has signaled that it is going to begin a strategy of mediscare. Today, his campaign released the following statement against Bob Turner's views on Medicare:

A news release out last night was titled, “Does Bob Turner plan to cut Medicare for the next generation or is he lying to voters?” and describes a group of seniors approaching Turner at a fundraiser last night and asking if he supported Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare.

“Nothing will change for people over 55,” Turner is said to have responded.

Per the release: ”He purposefully neglected any comment about the security of Medicare for the next generation.”

“Bob Turner continues to try to hedge his position on Medicare, but he can’t have it both ways,” said Elizabeth Kerr, Weprin’s spokeswoman. “Bob Turner either has to support asking millionaires and Big Oil to pay their fair share, or he has to admit he plans to cut Medicare.”

Will it work? We'll see. However, it has signaled two very important nuances to the race.

First of all, David Weprin is now elevating Bob Turner and recognizing him as a threat to his race. That's a significant development and a recognition on Weprin's part, that he is vulnerable in the race.

Second, Weprin's response means that we are going to get a full vetting of the messages the Parties hoped to run in 2012. Since NY-26, Democrats have hung their hats on the idea that Mediscare is going to be effective in retaking the House in 2012. Weprin hopes to right his sinking ship on this message. If it proves unfruitful, in a highly liberal district and fails to eclipse Bob Turner's message of "NY-9 as a referendum on Obama foreign policy", you can be sure that Mediscare won't work in 2012.

If not mediscare, if not the deficit, it is a real mystery as to what Democrats will run on; certainly not on any accomplishments.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Obama NY Fundraiser: the day the messiah compared himself to Cuomo and King

Obama's numbers are in the red in NY, but that's not half as interesting as how desperate and lost the President appeared at his own fundraiser.

Today, Obama flew out to NY for yet another fundraiser. Despite being amongst the most liberal of supporters, Obama tried hard to lift his own image in parity with others:

Standing in Weinstein’s basement, Obama said his troubles are like the ones facing Cuomo.

“When I ran in 2008, I think that a lot of folks believed we elect Obama and suddenly we’re going to fix politics in Washington,” Obama said. “And Andrew is familiar with this, because everybody figures, well, we’re going to fix politics in Albany.”

“And then it turns out that there are a lot of bad habits that have been built up over time, and we’re also a big, diverse country and not everybody agrees with me; not everybody agrees with the folks who live in Manhattan,” he said, drawing laughter from the rich celebrities that filled the room. “West of here,” he said. “You guys may not be familiar with it.”

The comparison was something of a stretch. Obama is struggling to recharge the national economy amid an increasingly deadlocked capitol split along party lines, while Cuomo, for his part, isn’t struggling much.

He passed a budget without raising taxes or destroying social service programs, and passed a landmark bill legalizing same-sex marriage, turning the state government in Albany from “dysfunctional” to hyperactive, in under seven months. (Cuomo attended the fundraiser as an invited guest, and did not pay, according to a source.)

Before leaving, Obama likened himself to one more figure. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I think that we forget when he was alive there was nobody who was more vilified, nobody who was more controversial, nobody who was more despairing at times,” he said.
In 2008, Obama was stopping the rising tides and healing the planet. He basked in messiah comparisons. Flash forward to 2011 and Obama is hoping people mistake him for Martin Luther King Jr. or even just Cuomo. Unable to sell himself as himself, he's trying to sell himself as other people and doing a bad job of it if the tone of the Observer is any indication.

Completely gone is the once seemingly impenetrable brand and image of the Obama of 2008. Now the President of the United States highest aims are to somehow elevate himself to the level of a freshman governor.


A memeorandum thread!

Welcome Legal Insurrection readers and thanks for linking Professor!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chucky Schumer and “foot in mouth disease”

by Bill Claydon

Originally posted to Liberty Ink Journal and RedState

Chucky has an easy — and most importantly, GUARANTEED — job. As of 2009, he fully became the Senior US Senator from New York. Oh yes, he had that title since 2001, but let’s face it, it was in name only. He was lost in Hillary’s shadow after she parachuted in from Arkansas by way of DC. In 2009 she finally stopped pretending to represent New York (a mere intended stepping stone to the presidency) and moved over to the State Department. Her political future has been utterly ruined by being part of the Obama Regime. But, she was replaced by someone who can stand in Chucky’s shadow and serve as his “extra vote” 95% of the time. (On the rare occasions when Chucky’s rubber stamp wants to show “independence,” she gets into that very narrow place on the ideological spectrum —- to the left of him.)

Chucky is still learning the ropes of what it’s like to be a Senior Senator. So, don’t blame him when his mouth, uh, gets the better of him. Afterall, with all of the money Obama is wasting, the United States can evidently only afford ONE teleprompter — and that goes to the empty suit at the top. (Hmm, maybe a non-government grant could be found to buy Chucky a teleprompter to keep him out of trouble? I mean, this USUALLY works for Obama, so we’ve got some data to justify the feasibility.) Anyway, Chucky hardly needs a teleprompter. His constituents are in ultra leftist New York. He just won by a landslide in 2010 so he doesn’t have to worry about another election until 2016. But even so, he’s got that magic “D” after his name. He’d win again no matter what. A majority in New York would vote for a cartoon character if it had a “D” after its name. (And considering how overhyped Obama was…)

So, anyway, after a couple of humorous paragraphs, let’s get to the main point of this post. First, Chucky ran his foul mouth on a plane, rudely insulting a flight attendant because she asked an elitist such as him to abide by the rules. These rules should only apply to the American commoners who are beneath him. Then, on national television, he flubbed up the three branches of government. But now he admits he lets others do his thinking for him. Rather than have little snafus like this, can’t the Democrats buy him a teleprompter? Look, as one who doesn’t exactly agree with the Democrats’ plans, far be it for me to give advice here to help them. But really, Democrats at least ought to make sure the reporters aren’t on the line when they say stuff like that! Just a word of advice here.

One of my favorite lines in the article is: “After apparently realizing his mistake, Schumer fell silent.” Um, what? Schumer fell silent? That’s utterly amazing. I’ve never heard of anything that could quiet Chucky!

Chucky and his big government buddies want to continue spending like there is no tomorrow. Any attempt to put the brakes on runaway government waste is called “extreme” (though remember, if a conservative uses that word to describe what Chucky and his ilk do, it’s apparently “wrong”). They have no concern about enslaving several generations into the future with debt. As the article notes, the other Democrat Senators on the call marched to Chucky’s orders (like leftist zombies).

At some point, it’s going to be time to pay the piper. We cannot continue to spend money and mortgage future generations for the unsaitiable appetites of the present generation. We hear all about how the answer is merely to “tax the rich” while Obama hangs out with all the globalist corporate elite and hands out appointments to the likes of GE’s Jeffrey Immelt. Ah, but Chucky has no need to concern himself with what will happen to future generations. He gets elected in New York…..a state addicted to big government, despite having accidentally elected a Democrat governor who seems to “see the light” about runaway spending. (Or, he at least realizes that if he cleans up New York, he would be formidable in any future presidential election.) Basically, if Chucky is going to call the Republicans extreme for trying to clean up DC, he’s also calling Andrew Cuomo “extreme” for cleaning up the disgusting mess that is New York State.

But I digress. Chucky is useful for something. As one who is guaranteed reelection because he is an incumbent in a state that will vote for anything with a “D” after its name, he gives us a window into the elitist politician’s mindset. Whether it is true contempt for working people like flight attendants, or lack of interest in knowing what is in the Constitution, or considering fiscal responsibility to be “extreme,” at least we have someone like Schumer to use as a barometer of where the elite are coming from.

Weiner Wants a Waiver for the Woefully Worthless ObamaCare

by Bill Claydon

Originally posted to Liberty Ink Journal and RedState

Agree or disagree with her views, you must admit Michelle Malkin has a way with words. And her column about the obnoxious and extreme liberal Anthony Weiner and his desire for an ObamaCare waiver is a good example.

First, Obama exempted his big union fatcats and their thugs who do things like damage public property funded by taxpayers in places like, oh, I don’t know, Madison, Wisconsin. Then he started exempting the supposed enemies of the unions, selected big corporations. Well, why not? Like union fatcats, big CEOs such as GE’s Jeffrey Immelt are Obama’s buddies too. (Shh, don’t tell the left. They claim the Democrat Party is here to “protect” us from all those big corporate CEOs. Heck, it’s not like the top elected official in the Democrat Party isn’t buddy buddy with them.) Then Maine insurers get exemptions from certain provisions of this massive boondoggle. Nevada and Kentucky line up behind Maine, along with a bunch of other states.

But now Anthony Weiner, ObamaCare champion, wants a waiver for his beloved New York City. New York City is a heavy voting bloc for Democrats. This would be the LAST place that should want or deserves to get any kind of waiver from ObamaCare. They made their bed and all that.

Look, we heard impassioned speeches on the House floor about how wonderful this thing is, and villifying anyone (Republican politician or ordinary American) who dared speak against the Democrat will. The speechifying finished with the now shellacked EX Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying “Vote my darlings, vote.” The Democrats chose to ram this mess through on a party line vote without taking the time to hash it out and make sure the provisions were right for people. It seems like a show of lack of confidence in their work to be handing out waivers like candy at a parade (and what would Michelle Obama, self-appointed czar of “healthy eating” while simultaneously being a fan of barbecue and ribs, think of that??).

The leftist leaning Media Matters tried to do damage control for the Democrats by claiming Weiner merely said the ability to grant waivers shows it’s “flexibility.” Actually, it just proves further that this is indeed government control over our health care. Bottom line is that it is an opportunity for the powerful to scratch the backs of their powerful. What is the process for getting a waiver? Who must one know to get a waiver? How much campaign cash must be given to Democrat politicians to get a waiver? How can I get a waiver? How can you get a waiver? Can’t we all just get waivers if we want them? Should the law have any meaning or can various well connected groups get a “get out of jail free” card like in the game of Monopoly (Obama edition, of course)? Do we get to collect $200 as we pass “Go” and have the government take it all away from us? Oh wait, the system Obama is pushing on us is like all of us being perpetually stuck on Boardwalk with a government owned hotel on it.

The Democrats wanted a one size fits all “solution.” THE LAW IS THE LAW. There should be no exemptions, PERIOD. If this inconveniences unions or causes big corporations to shed more employees, so be it. This is what the Democrats wanted, this is what they wasted so much energy, time, and money cheerleading for, not to mention destroyed their political careers for in some cases, and they should deal with the consequences like responsible people. (Wait, I’m talking about entrenched elitist politicians. Responsibility doesn’t enter into the equation there.) There should be NO backroom deals to cover up the disastrous effects of ObamaCare. If jobs are lost or union workers have to pay more as a result of ObamaCare, well, that’s “change we can believe in,” just in time for Obama’s hopefully failing bid for a second term.

By the time this thing is done, it will look like virtual swiss cheese. We’ve heard the “You might be a if…” jokes. Well, let’s hear everyone’s ideas for “You might get an ObamaCare waiver if…” Oh and just to clear it up, no government funding for this. All responses must be the work of the writer’s own mind. No outsourcing of thinking to some government commission or committee (and heck, one probably already exists for this sort of thing), please…

But I digress. On another note, couldn’t Weiner have wanted a waiver in Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or better yet, in Walla Walla, Washington? Certainly, conservative bloggers could have had even more fun with blog titles for that!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Albany's Rally for Collectivism

by Bill Claydon

In the Capital Region of New York, one of the biggest “industries” is government of one form or another. The state is in a fiscal crisis due to decades of nearly limitless spending with no concern for the future. This is a state that would likely give a majority vote to a cartoon character for any statewide office if it had a “D” after its name.

As then candidate Andrew Cuomo said, during the 2010 New York Gubernatorial Candidate Comedy Variety Act Starring Jimmy McMillan and Friends, aka the 2010 New York State Gubernatorial “Debate,” young people leave New York because there is no opportunity. A bloated government which wastes money like it’s going out of style will do that kind of thing. Young people who have nothing holding them to New York leave (they can always visit relatives who are “stuck” here because nobody wants to buy their home on a postage stamp sized lot with $4,000+ in taxes to fund the never satisfied appetite of government). The same is true of the “evil rich” who are in a position to easily get out even if it means taking a substantial loss on their property. Big government supporters never seem to quite get this. There aren’t enough private sector jobs and let’s face it, the government can’t just hire everyone. Despite the easy availability of welfare in New York, some people actually want something more meaningful than that kind of big government enforced hopelessness.

So, when Van Jones had an “emergency” rally (great marketing for everything Van Jones) bringing all the various ultra leftwing groups together doing the best they could do short of building a time machine and taking everyone back to Woodstock, OF COURSE Albany, NY would have a large showing. Liberals cheered as if this is some sort of show of “strength” for collectivist unions. Look, the Capital District is home to gargantuan government that is deep in debt due to decades of wreckless spending. Is it any surprise there would be a huge turnout for this? Some have also pointed out that unionized college professors are getting students interested in supporting unions. If you stand outside in a rain storm, you get wet. And Obama is an “eloquent speaker” if it’s all laid out for him on his teleprompter. He’ll read whatever is there, complete with the dramatic pauses he has perfected oh so well. Do we celebrate the obvious? OF COURSE leftist college professors would promote collectivist unions to students when they’re typically fed all sorts of propaganda about other causes that run the gamut of leftwing activism. Par for the course. This is status quo, hardly anything surprising. Of course, as unions and their collectivist bargaining basically reward mediocrity and status quo the same way they do hard workers (with piddling and pathetic raises spread across the board for everyone), I suppose it’s no surprise that union supporters cheer the obvious.

So, while there may have been a decent number in a state with one of the largest state governments in the country, the numbers were limited elsewhere, according to reports.

I understand that in changing times, liberals want their outdated causes to continue to seem relevant. Unfortunately for them, we are starting to realize the tremendous costs of their whims. People are deciding they do not feel like continuing on this unsustainable path and subjecting themselves and their great grandchildren (the ones not brutally aborted, that is) to unending debt. People do not have the money to support big six figure salary union fatcats who forcibly take money from workers and use it to create multimillion dollar commercials or send it to the Democrat party. Likewise, people will have to closely examine the high costs of other liberal boondoggles.

We are in the midst of a shifting of historical eras. The failed policies of the past simply won’t be able to be sustained, now matter how many teeth are gnashed. The big UAW union got its bailout courtesy the taxpayers. Government employees were “stimulated” for a time, but that (failed) “stimulus” was not going to last forever. People cannot continue to pay for even more public debt. The gravy train is coming to an end.

Ultimately, the more the unions keep this in the news, the more opportunity they give conservative groups to educate people on the many problems associated with collectivist unions, and their ties to the Democrat party. We have needed this conversation for decades. May the next big “sacred cow” liberal institution shine a spotlight on itself as much as the big unions have done. We’ll need a national conversation about that one too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

FAILED "stimulus" anniversary

by Bill Claydon

Today marks the second anniversary of the failed Obama (or maybe Pelosi?) “stimulus.” No sooner did Obama get nearly coronated after winning what was largely the equivalent of a national popularity or prom king election (complete with near expressionless zombies chanting “Yes we can”) then he started hawking a gargantuan “stimulus.”

Obama wore the hat of “salesman in chief” well while people were still virtually drunk on the hope and change nonsense after his near coronation. But as time went on, he simply became a less charming version of the fictional character Mr. Haney from the 1960s show Green Acres. In fact, looking at Mr. Haney’s Wikipedia entry, I found this quote to be so perfect in describing what Obama tries to sell us:

He often took a piece of junk and called it by some outlandish name, suggesting that it has some use that it clearly does not and that it’s in some way valuable.

We were told that unemployment would go above 8% if we didn’t pass the stimulus IMMEDIATELY! Of course unemployment is hovering around 10% and underemployment is hovering at 20%. But it was so important to pass this thing that nobody in Congress had enough time to fully digest it. In fact, when Obama campaigned, he said that bills would wait for five days until he signed them into law. He broke that promise in just about a month after his near coronation. And despite our nation being in a severe economic crisis, Obama took the liberty of ordering that his taxpayer funded personal private jet be flown to Colorado, dumping untold amounts of carbon into the environment, for an unnecessary signing ceremony. (Cue the kneejerk “What about Bush?” comment. Answer: Obama was supposed to be better than Bush since he campaigned that way against term limited Bush. Further, Bush did not lecture the American people about carbon and global warming/climate change/liberal term du jour. But if it makes you feel better, you can blame Bush for Obama wasting taxpayer money and spewing carbon for his unnecessary Colorado signing ceremony.)

I know some on the left will come up with vague and unprovable figures, saying “If we did not have the stimulus, it would have been worse.” Heck, why not just suggest something equally absurd: “If we did not have the stimulus, the moon would fall into the earth” or something. I mean really, if we want to do the chicken-little-the-sky-is-falling thing, let’s at least be creative with it. Speaking of creativity, HOW many jobs were “saved or created,” including all those short term census jobs that happened as a result of a Constitutionally mandated project every decade since 1790?

Despite the FAILED stimulus shackling future generations (the ones actually not aborted — likely at taxpayer expense that is) to debt to pay off Democrat political interests, it had some interesting side notes. First, party identity challenged FORMER US Senator from Pennsylvania, “Benedict” Arlen Specter (who flipped from D to R and then back to D at the end) voted for this boondoggle. As did the two RINOs from Maine. Without their help, the “Stimulus” never would have been an excuse for Obama’s expensive signing ceremony in Colorado. After criticism, “Benedict” Arlen flip flopped back to his original party and the party that basically represents his voting habits. He knew he couldn’t win a Republican primary after that. (He then was primaried out by another member of the Democrat party, which was perfect.) On the House side, the now shellacked Pelosi wielded her majority to ram this thing through.

But the drama surrounding the votes wasn’t even the most entertaining point. What was really fun were all the phantom congressional districts that supposedly got “stimulus” money. This after a multimillion dollar taxpayer funded project to construct a database to let taxpayers know where their future generations’ money was being wasted, um, I mean, spent. Districts like New Hampshire’s 00th or Arizona’s 84th supposedly received “stimulus” money and/or “saved or created” jobs. Hey, could someone tell me who won the 2010 congressional races in those and all the other phantom districts?

Then we had the millions of dollars of large and expensive signs built which announced that a routine paving project was paid for with “stimulus” (or rather, the lengthy outlandish name they called it) money. Hey why not spend it? It’s not like it was coming from the politicians personally….it’s debt on the shoulders of future generations. Waste, baby waste! I’m not sure if they thought this would garner political points for the 2010 elections, but ultimately it just created a lot of negative publicity.

After having just supported and voted for TARP, Obama turned right around and demanded another 700 billion from future Americans. Enough was enough with DC’s big spending ways and this was not the “hope and change” promised. So, while the tea was brewing with TARP, the whistle on the kettle blew when it came to the FAILED “stimulus.”

Make no mistake. The “stimulus” and ObamaCare were two huge factors in the gigantic shellacking Pelosi received and the reduction in Democrat Senate seats. Outside of solidly Democrat New York, many Democrat held governor seats flipped to Republican. Others in Congress saw the shellacking coming and suddenly remembered after all these years that they had a family and needed to spend time with them.

Had the “stimulus” actually worked, we’d see unemployment at or below 8% like Obama read from his teleprompter. The tea party may have dried up. People would not continue to be losing their homes as much. There wouldn’t be talk about extending unemployment indefinitely. There would be REAL hope. And let’s face it: Pelosi would still be Speaker and people like Andrew Cuomo would not have to at least talk tough. Chris Christie wouldn’t even get a political footnote as he would have been soundly defeated by Jon Corzine. Yes those things are fun to watch, but too bad our power hungry ruling class had to enslave future generations so much to get us there.

Happy anniversary, Obama/Pelosi FAILED “stimulus.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jimmy McMillan for President??!!??

by Bill Claydon

Sales of CDs and Jimmy “Rent is too damn high” McMillan dolls must be down. Despite being someone who simply cannot even be classified on the ideological spectrum, he has resurfaced at CPAC! And better yet, he wants to run for president as a Republican! What? Is the “Rent is 2 damn high” party (of one) not big enough for national politics?

As an entertainer whose faux NY gubernatorial campaign focused on one issue — that rent is “too damn high” — he hasn’t really articulated himself on other, more pressing issues. Until now. He has announced (drumroll please) that the DEFICIT is too damn high! I’m not sure there is anyone who can disagree with that.

Fun and games aside, he does make a good point. The youth are strapped down due to the shortsightedness and big spending ways of previous generations. Young people of today and future generations will be forced to pay for the lack of vision espoused by the previous generations who have grown government far beyond its Constitutional limitations. This goes for both major parties. We are simply on an unsustainable path and no amount of whining from big government cheerleaders representing the failed policies of the past is going to change that. The status quo cannot be maintained and we are facing a reckoning.

However, such a reckoning, while upsetting in the short term, is very necessary to bring this nation back to its Constitutional parameters. We have drifted morally and in terms of abiding by the Constitution. The out of control spending by the current and previous presidential administrations just hastened what would have probably come a couple of decades later. Had the tremendous waste merely increased at a slower rate, we would have continued to drift. Things were not right under the Bush years (or those of the last several presidential administrations) and have simply declined faster under Obama. We needed that faster downward spiral to create a wake up call.

The Founders instructed that ordinary people must pay attention to what is happening in government. Most ordinary people were “asleep.” The wake up call has finally begun to get people away from their distractions and more involved. Everything must be examined, considered, and tested as to its constitutionality. And no, the “general welfare” phrase (or as some ignorant types have called it the “good and welfare clause”) in the Constitution is not a catchall for every single big government whim that can be dreamed up so as to further enslave future generations with debt.

These are indeed exciting times and I for one am quite glad this reckoning is happening sooner rather than later. We were on the wrong path….and it will take decades to correct the mess that much of the 20th century created. It's better to get started now than to put off the necessary clean up job.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Andrew Cuomo vs. the special interests

by Bill Claydon

I didn't vote for Andrew Cuomo, but it was a foregone conclusion he was going to win. While there are many positions he has with which I disagree, I must say that I find his economic statements to be interesting. If he means what he says, all I can say is that the special interests are really in a pickle. This is going to be a prize fight to watch, but the stakes are even higher with Cuomo being a Democrat and basically the "figurehead" of New York Democrats. But hey, disgraced ex-NY governor Eliot "the Steamroller" Spitzer told us during the election that Andrew Cuomo has brass knuckles. (Oh and it should be mentioned that Spitzer made this announcement just as his CNN show was about to be launched. A nice contrived political firestorm is always good for ratings.) I'm going to enjoy watching this as a conservative.

Cuomo has already announced that the overly expensive sob story propaganda ads on television put out by the big unions will not deter him. Whenever there is talk about a cut in one program or another, suddenly these ads pop up on television. Gosh, they are expensive. One would think if the various special interests have all this spare money floating around to run television ads, they could just roll that back into the programs near and dear to their hearts.

It almost would have been better for the special interests if Carl Paladino had won. They could have a free for all running numerous ads vilifying him, calling him the scourge of the earth, making him into their virtual punching bag, complaining about Republicans, etc. They could have raised tremendous sums in donations from people just by bandying about Paladino's name. They could have had a field day with a Paladino governorship. Had it been a narrow victory, he would have been a great boogeyman for them.

But, wait, what's this? A liberal Democrat is in office now, a member of New York's political dynasty (his father Mario Cuomo was a three term ultra leftist governor) no less, and he is claiming he is NOT going to play ball with, or be a puppet of, the special interests? How dare he!! For too long, Democrats were basically joined at the hip with the big unions and other massive special interests driving costs in New York out of sight. Where can they go now? 2014 is a long way away. And even so, they can't get behind a Republican. What do they have left? The Green Party and Howie Hawkins? Or perhaps his ideological twin Charles Barron who also had a "tax everything" mentality in the 2010 New York Gubernatorial Comedy Variety Show, aka "Debate"? Hey, speaking of comedy, maybe Jimmy "Rent is too damn high" McMillan could be talked into changing his message a bit? "Cuts are too damn much"?

This is really entertaining. The special interests have to be a bit careful criticizing Andrew Cuomo, being that he is a Democrat afterall. Against the likes of Paladino, they had to support him. Criticizing him too much now would seem hypocritical. And yet he's at least talking about refusing to do their bidding. What can they do?

New York is on an unsustainable path. Too many people are without jobs and too many people continue to leave the state for others with less regulation, more efficient state governments, lower property taxes (that's practically every state other than New York), less welfare, more opportunities, and a host of other reasons. The special interests can get out their violins and spend millions to complain all over television, but fewer and fewer people will buy it. And worst of all, they have to spend this money with an elected liberal Democrat in office! My goodness.

Cuomo would not have to do anything if all he wanted was reelection. He could coast along, be friendly with everyone, do the bidding of the special interests, and win a landslide reelection as a Democrat and a sitting governor. But if he has any higher ambitions in mind for the future (like 2016 or 2020), he must make good on his statements. He cannot buckle. So, I'm going to get some popcorn and enjoy watching the epic battle between New York's entrenched political dynasty and New York's entrenched special interests.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Does Schumer Need a High School Civics Refresher?

by Bill Claydon

Okay, I know some believe in a “living Constitution” which means different things depending on what ends they have in mind on any given day, but this one takes the cake. Since high level big government politicians are never wrong, according to Chucky Schumer, the three branches of government now consist of the House, Senate, and the President. Silly me, I thought there was a Legislative (consisting of the House and Senate), Executive (including the President and his collection of Secretaries and continuously multiplying Czars that write regulations which ultimately reduce the power of the Legislative branch), and the Judicial branch. In Schumer’s (frightening) world, the Judicial branch no longer exists, and the House and Senate are each a separate branch. Wow.

Now, will Kirsten Gillibrand initially deny that Schumer said that, like she did with his little, um…..gaffe involving a flight attendant? I know I’ve complained about her lack of media appearances, but maybe she is the smarter of these two.

Okay, fun time is over. Let’s face it: Schumer misspoke. But doing a quick Google search reveals that the only media which gave this any attention are conservative media and blogs. Can anyone imagine the level of (liberal) mainstream media feeding frenzy if Palin or Bachmann (cue all the nasty, angry statements about these two now that I’ve mentioned their names) said anything like this? It’s amazing to see how the mainstream media is constantly lurking for any gaffe by a conservative woman who does not hold elected office on one hand, or a conservative woman who is a mere US House member from way out in Minnesota on another. Yet, a high ranking ultra liberal Senator from a state with a high population utters a gaffe which gets very little attention by the liberal mainstream media.

On the other hand, maybe Chucky really does want to forget about the Judicial Branch. Afterall, he and his minime, Kirsten Gillibrand, rubber stamped Obama’s power grab over individual rights known as ObamaCare. And now a federal judge has struck that mess down. It will ultimately wind up in the US Supreme Court. There are four liberals, four conservatives, and a lone swing vote justice who happened to be appointed by Ronald Reagan. And that justice, Anthony Kennedy, has said he will not retire in Obama’s first term. Obama’s disrespectful, petty, and totally unprofessional swipe at the Supreme Court during his 2010 State of the Union address probably did not exactly endear him to Justice Kennedy. A 5-4 decision is all it takes…

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Senator Gillibrand, Tear Down This Bill

by Bill Claydon

Recently, I blogged about how Harry Reid, still leading the Senate merely due to a very slim Democrat majority, is preventing the American people from seeing a Senate vote on the measure to repeal ObamaCare as passed by a bipartisan majority in the US House. He is preventing Obama from possibly having to veto this bill since Obama must face voters in 2012. But as I noted in my previous blog, Reid is also allowing a handful of Democrat Senators up for reelection in 2012 from red or purple states to hide behind him while he, well, hides the repeal bill. Ultimately, Reid gives fodder to the opponents of both Obama and all the Democrat Senators up for reelection in vulnerable seats.

But I never bothered to mention another Senator up for reelection in 2012: New York’s own Kirsten Gillibrand. As it stands now, it is my opinion that New York would vote for anyone with a “D” after their name. If it was the clown Jimmy McMillan (if you’ve forgotten that flash in the pan already, you’ll remember this: “Rent. Is. Too. Damn. High.”) running as the Democrat nominee for a US Senate seat, he’d easily take 60% of the vote. At least right now. That may not always be the case.

Gillibrand is a chameleon. The Kirsten Gillibrand who represented New York’s 20th Congressional District was independent and outspoken. She was frequently in the media, voted against the TARP boondoggle, and let everyone know where she stood. As much as I may have disagreed with her on some issues, I admired that she would come out and make her case known. I even found a small number of areas where I agreed with her. When she was appointed Senator, I thought she would be the same person. Instead, she seems to just vote however Schumer (finally the real Senior Senator once Hillary went on to bigger things) does. When she wants to show some occasional independence, she votes to the left of Schumer, difficult as that feat is to accomplish. She almost never speaks out on why she voted. Media appearances seem to be focused more on things like spreads in Vogue.

Under current circumstances, Gillibrand has a cakewalk to reelection. But so does another Democrat in a high position in New York politics: newly minted Governor Andrew Cuomo. The funny thing is that while Gillibrand is just towing the line of Schumer and others in the Democrat hierarchy, Cuomo is at least talking about and doing some occasional things to attempt to deal with New York’s problems. Cuomo really doesn’t have to, because as it stands now in New York, he is guaranteed reelection no matter what he does. Nobody beyond the Jimmy McMillans and others who participated in the New York Gubernatorial Circus Show last year needs to bother wasting their time running. But maybe Cuomo realizes things are in a mess and does not want to have a legacy of doing nothing. Maybe he even realizes that there is (shudder) the remote possibility that unless he does something in his first term, he might not actually be returned to the governor’s office for a second term. Of course, for Cuomo, he has to worry about 2014, not 2012. Political winds can shift quite a bit by then.

While Gillibrand has an election coming up sooner, and while she is not a chief executive of a state, she should gather the courage to vote to repeal what is simply bad legislation. If, as a Senator, she lacks the backbone she once had in voting against the boondoggle known as TARP, she at least ought to push for a simple VOTE on repealing the boondoggle known as ObamaCare. She can still vote with Schumer on it and be in line with her Democrat masters.

Although 2012 might be “just around the corner,” much can happen between now and November of next year. With Reid starting things off by blocking legislation coming out of the House, the Republicans can run on a national message that Reid is disrupting progress for the American people. Should they continue to pass decent legislation that just gets Reid’s “veto,” it’s a gift on a silver platter. If unemployment continues to hover close to 10% and the economy continues to stagnate, it may not be a “cakewalk” environment, even for a Democrat in New York.

Gillibrand may have to actually fill the role of Junior Senator from New York, unlike her predecessor. But that does not mean she cannot be outspoken, actually defend each of her votes, appear more often on hard media (note: Vogue does not qualify) and show some leadership skills. She had them before being handed a “promotion” by former New York Governor David Paterson. She needs to remember them.

While 2010 was a referendum on Obama and Pelosi’s “leadership,” 2012 will be an even bigger referendum on Obama. With John Boehner basically hamstrung by Harry Reid, he has far less power than Nancy Pelosi. Should there be no progress, the focus will be on defeating the incumbent president and flipping the Senate from the limited grip of his party. Gillibrand needs to distinguish herself and stand on her own, rather than just riding coattails of Obama for better or worse. Should the road to 2012 be a messy ride without real change, her reelection may not be a given. Not even in deep blue New York.