"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yes, They Won and More Pork


The economic stimulus plan could be better referred to as the Democrat's pork dinner. The plan has little to do with "infrastructure" improvements as originally billed, which was suppose to put people to work and stimulate the economy, and more to do about the Democrat's version of pork filled earmarks.

The pork plan will do little to rein in spending at state and local levels in order to solve budget problems. To the contrary it will close the current budget gaps and push real solutions that involve reducing spending further out in years and exacerbate the problem.

Nearly $100 billion would result from increasing the “Medicaid matching rate,” a technique for reducing states’ Medicaid costs to free up state money for spending on anything governors and state legislators want.

Tax credits for investment in homes or business would have been more effective in order to persuade people to spend and create some real economic activity.

The plan is to give a tax cut of $500 a year for two years to each employed person. That’s not a good way to increase consumer spending. Experience shows that the money from such temporary, lump-sum tax cuts is largely saved or used to pay down debt. Only about 15 percent of last year’s tax rebates led to additional spending.  

John McHugh and the rest of his colleagues did the right thing in voting NO on this pet project spending plan, they have no reason to give the Democrats bi-partisan cover for this ill conceived plan. After the Republicans soundly voted NO on this plan, the Democrats threatened to remove the tax cuts, which would surely be met with opposition from the public. 

Here is a selection of critics on the new American debt plan.

Read here, here, and public support for this mess is waning and rightfully so, read here

R.I.P. Donald "Dutch" Grant


Long time public servant former Dexter Mayor and former General Brown School Superintendent Donald "Dutch" Grant passed away.

Calling hours are Tuesday 2-4, 7-9 and Wednesday 2-4, 7-9 at Johnson Funeral Home in Dexter with the funeral service Thursday at 11 AM

Here is a clip from WWNY TV 7 when he was recently honored for his service.

Friday, January 30, 2009

This Sums It Up

Watch this well done video, it pretty much sums up what the Republicans stand for; lower taxes, smaller government, transparency in governing, diversity, national security. It is not about being moderate or conservative it is about proper governing to address issues of concern. 


Back At Ya BO!

This ad was requested to run during the Super Bowl but rejected by NBC. To be fair NBC rejected an ad from  PETA, but NBC is still working with PETA to air their ad. This ad would be difficult for The One to dispute.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well Today...

It is a sad day for the people of Fulton and surrounding area in Oswego County. The hospital administrator announced just a short time ago the hospital will close soon. According to a source, the fate of the facility even as a diagnostic and treatment facility is even uncertain at this point in time.  The facility will go from employing 300 people to only 100.

Syracuse.com

Pall Times


The facility was used as a political pawn in the 48th District Senate race last fall and touted as campaign rhetoric by Senator Aubertine, but he was not there today for the bad news.

Say what you will, but Jim Wright told you like it was, no fluff, no b.s. he was straight up with people. You knew where an issue stood. Unfortunately, the trait currently does not exist in our state elected representatives. 

Aubertine owes the people of this community an apology. He should have been more candid and forthright with them instead of using their situation as political material.








Gillibrand Up, Paterson Down

A Siena poll release today is somewhat favorable news for Kirsten Gillibrand, but not such good news for Paterson.

Governor David Paterson's favorable rating continues its skid from a high of 64 to currently 54%, while his unfavorable rating has reached its highest percent at 30.

An overwhelming number of voters approve of the Gillibrand appointment but she is clearly favored upstate more than downstate. New York City voters approve of her appointment by a margin of 44-34, downstate suburban voters 44-43 and upstate voters 63-19.

NY Congressional Analysis

RCP has an extensive article on New York's Congressional district and presentations.

The article is title Gov. Paterson Gives the GOP Three Gifts

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Congratulations


Addie Joseph, being of the line of Sheldon Silver David, was required to go to Albany Bethlehem to register. While in Albany Bethlehem, Addie Mary gave birth to ?? Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Addie Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

Serious now, PIV has heard twice from credible sources that congratulations are in order for the Russell family as they are expecting their second child.

Exciting times for the Russell family, Addie is a new Assembly person representing the 118th Assembly District and the little one should be approaching his first birthday.

She sounds busy which probably explains this comment yesterday, "I'd like to have a discussion about the overall financial picture and how sales tax plays into it. I think every time it comes up, it shouldn't be an automatic." After all, she has only been out of county government for three weeks.

Anyhow, Congratulations Addie and family!



Myth: "Bigger Government Stimulates The Economy"

"Obama has decided that he wants to be George Bush on steroids."

Video length, 7:16.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MAD

Mad Magazine depiction of BO's first 100 minutes. 

Blago On Tape

Listen and decide, here are the links to Blago'a audio recordings and the transcripts.


Chicago Tribune

Makes You Wonder What He Is Referring To?

Bob Woodward hints there are more problems to confront BO's team.

The public or media has shown an incredible tolerance for people who do not pay their taxes with Geithner, how bad can or will this be to raise attention and why Woodward would throw it out there now.



Corporate Welfare

Citigroup and the other recipients of the bailout money might need another handout of your money. But they are still spending the first batch of federal money.

Citigroup, who are the recipients of $45 billion dollars from the federal government in bailout money is about to receive their new corporate jet worth $50 million.

This is a quote from Politco

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, asked about the plane at his televised briefing, said the president believes that that for banks receiving U.S. capital “so that they can lend money,” private jets aren’t “the best use of money at this point.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here Is A Quote That Should Please You.

Chuck Schumer never ceases to amaze people.

A comment from Schumer appearing on Fox News Sunday.


Schumer said he was happy with Paterson's choice but added that Gillibrand's district "is quite different than much of the state. It's very rural. In some ways, it's more like Montana than New York City."


He Could Not Take The Heat

So he left the kitchen.

The Governor has witnessed his share of bad press these days, mainly because of his own doing. It appears he could not tolerate any more unfavorable press with his numbers tanking quickly.

He passed up on the economic summit in Davos, Switzerland and realizes there is more pressing issues here.

Read here, here and here.

Meanwhile, Paterson's numbers are plummeting like a skydiver without a parachute. A month ago he held a 23 point lead in a head to head match up in a Democratic gubernatorial primary against AG Andrew Cuomo, in a poll released today by Siena it shows that number is now 2 and the number of undecideds increased by 7, which can be considered a negative for him.

The rating by those who believe his job performance is fair or poor has increased by 5 points from 40 to 45%.

The bright spot for Paterson is 42% believe New York is headed in the wrong direction, if he can turn that number around successfully then he will be difficult to defeat in 2010.
 

Classic NIMBY

Classic case of NIMBY as Senator Caroline Ed Kennedy opposes the offshore wind farm project in his back yard in Cape Cod while the Massachusetts Governor supports the wind farm project.

The decision to move the project forward is in the hands of BO's administration. Both pols are major supporters of BO, which puts him and his energy policy in an awkward position.

Read the AP report here.

Where Is Silver Now?


Sheldon Silver was highly critical every time Pataki was out of the state during session, often rhetorically asking the press how he could govern while he was off to some other place.

Our accidental Governor, Dithering Dave is off on a junket to a high brow resort location of Davos, Switzerland. New York is facing a $15 billion deficit and Paterson wants a $2 billion commitment to close this year's gap by February 1st, coincidentally he is gone until February 1st.

A Caribbean tour, then Washington and now Switzerland, when does Albany and the New York budget become a priority? Where is Silver and what does he have to say now?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not Taking It Too Well

Reporters, bloggers, politicians and a whole host of people are not rolling over with joy on the Gillibrand pick for US Senate and the process. There are some even comparing the Illinois situation in a more favorable light than the New York selection process. The Governor appears to be severely damaged by this and possibly jeopardizes both seats in 2010. Below are a selection of reports that tell the story. 

The AP reports about the messy drawn out process where Governor Paterson was vacillating for weeks.

Tucker Carlson types about the Kennedy fiasco and throws Paterson under the bus later in the article. Here is the last graph.
For the sake of New York, let's hope Paterson got lucky this time and accidentally picked the right candidate in Kirsten Gillibrand. The state could use a break from the headlines. "At this point," says one prominent New York politician, "we're making Blagojevich look good."

Cap Confidential cited constituencies unhappy with the Gillibrand pick, here is one.

Lady Liz at Daily Politics uncovers a host of primary possibilities and progressives who are unhappy with the Blue Dog Dem selection.

Hot Air talks about how blue a Blue Dog Gillibrand is and that Paterson might even expect a primary from someone further left because of his choice.

Connecting the Dots is not too kind on Paterson's handling of the process.

The Reaction reports on the drama of the ridiculous insane episode that the selection process was and labels Paterson as a "weak and ineffectual figure."

Bill Hammond was not too kind to Paterson and staff about the way they handled the process and Caroline Kennedy.

The NY Times isn't exactly ecstatic over the accidental Governor's handling of the process either.

PolitickerNY.com weighs in also here

Left leaning Room Eight claims the Senate selection is a duo loser in 2010 for both Gillibrand and Paterson.

Liberal Dems "howl" according to the NY Post or how about "Blago did better" ouch!

It's a vaudeville act by The Neighborhood Retail Alliance.

Follow Suit Jefferson County

The Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) has lowered its tipping fees if haulers sign multi-year contracts. This is good news but according to the published figures they will have room to lower fees even more in the future and should do so.

According to the published figures the methane gas power plant should realize $1.64 million in revenue a year with recurring expenses some where around $408,000 for operations and $310,000 for capital expense leaving an annual profit of approximately $900,000.


The other expenses appear to be short term or one time cost of $172,000 for reimbursement to a landfill account and a $300,000 reserve fund probably funded over multiple years for a tipping fee stabilization reserve account.

There is plenty of room to pass greater savings onto the consumer.

And Jefferson County, who just raised the tipping fee at the county transfer station by $4 per ton is no different. If the $4 increase covers the cost necessary to maintain and operate the transfer station and if they suddenly realize a savings from a $2 per ton reduction by DANC, then pass it on to the consumer!

It was intended to be a customer savings, not a county windfall! 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tedisco Is In!


For Release: IMMEDIATELY, January 23, 2009
Contact: Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione
  
STATEMENT FROM SARATOGA COUNTY CLERK
KATHY MARCHIONE:
 
            "I am proud to announce my enthusiastic endorsement of Assembly Republican Leader Jim Tedisco for the 20th Congressional District.  Jim Tedisco has consistently been the leading Republican voice in our state, working for more jobs, a stronger economy, lower taxes and a better quality of life for Saratoga County families and all New Yorkers.  He has done an excellent job leading his Assembly Republican Conference in the fight for a safer, stronger New York State. 
 
Courage is a rare thing in politics – time and again, Jim Tedisco has shown the courage to lead.
 
            As Assembly Republican Leader, Jim Tedisco stood up to a Governor who had tried to steamroll New Yorkers with higher taxes and spending.  Jim also stood by me, and my fellow County Clerks, when that same Governor considered taking action against us for refusing to support an unlawful policy. 
 
          Jim Tedisco has effectively led his Republican Conference in the fight for making state government more fiscally responsible, accountable to the taxpayers and offering meaningful property tax relief to overtaxed, overburdened homeowners.
 
Jim Tedisco has tremendous experience, an incredible work ethic and an unsurpassed ability to communicate.  Most importantly, Jim Tedisco has the personal integrity to make an excellent Congressman for our region. 
 
These are challenging times facing our state and nation.  Our economy is suffering and families are hurting.  We need a proven leader and a dedicated public servant like Jim Tedisco serving as our voice in the House of Representatives, fighting for our community and making a positive difference for middle class families and small businesses across the 20th Congressional District. 
 
I am proud to call Jim Tedisco a friend and prouder still to support him for Congress."
 
 
#   #   #

Gillibrand In As Senator?

We will know the answer to that question at noon today when Governor David Paterson is expected to announce his choice for US Senator to replace Hillary Clinton.

By many media reports Kirsten Gillibrand for the neighboring congressional district is the front runner. Will the appointment of a Blue Dog Democrat such as Gillibrand create tension in the party?

Long Island Representative Carolyn McCarthy is reportedly said she will challenge Gillibrand, presume that means primary her for the seat in 2010.

Whether or not McCarthy poses a serious threat is yet to be seen, but the larger story here is what the subject matter will be in the forefront of the race - gun control - and its division of upstate and downstate. Gillibrand, who is supportive of gun owner rights will be well received upstate while getting a cool response in and around New York City.

McCarthy, a fierce advocate for gun control and having a personal narrative for it, will not be well received upstate. McCarthy may not even be the choice for a challenge, but as New York turns deeper blue (liberal, not blue dog) someone may give Gillibrand a serious primary challenge and dust up in 2010, and possibly give a slight opening to a centrist Republican.   

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Class

Example after example where many Democrats demonstrated they lack class from Pelosi on down to entertainers at the inaugural events in the evening.


These are entertainers at the Heroes Red, White and Ball. It is reported several veterans left the ball after this display.

 
Then none other than the Madam Speaker herself demonstrated no class when she opened her mouth, Pelosi said, 
One of her favorite moments from Inauguration Day was when Marine One lifted off the Capitol grounds, signifying former President George W. Bush's exit from Washington. "It felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head," she said.

Might this be an example of hope and change and then ending of petty grievances that Barack Obama mention in his speech?

Frankly, it shows what is wrong with Congress and why their approval rating is lower than "W's," Pelosi has been working with an anvil on her head!

This Is Worth A Reprint

Today, Barack Obama became the 44th President on the back of an incredibly powerful story. Some of these storylines are true and unassailable: the historicity of the first African American President. Others are the work of an incredibly skilled campaign team and a candidate who mastered the literary realm (and indeed, used it as the basis of his political career) as Reagan mastered stagecraft. Watching TV today reminds me of an immutable truth of our politics: above all else, we as Americans love a good story.

Oddly, this dynamic does not wind up devaluing issues and policies as you expect it might. When radical policies like the biggest expansion of government since FDR can be cloaked in a tableau of hope, change, and history, they are much easier to get through. Good storytelling is the natural ally of those who would like to see bold public policies -- on both sides.

Again and again in American politics, certain themes recur. And certain storylines are more successful than others. I went back and looked at Presidential elections since 1960 -- generally considered to be the birth of modern Presidential politics -- to see which storylines worked and which didn't, and it's not hard to see why Obama's trifecta of youth, change, and hope -- represented here by optimism, is so powerful: they've won every time they've been tried.

Here are the overall themes. I tried to boil down each candidate to a maximum of two main narratives:

Year Winner Narratives Loser Narratives
1960 Kennedy (D) Youth, optimism Nixon (R) Continuity
1964 Johnson (D) Continuity, risk Goldwater (R) Opposition, integrity
1968 Nixon (R) Stability, experience Humphrey (D) Continuity
1972 Nixon (R) Continuity McGovern (D) Opposition
1976 Carter (D) Integrity Ford (R) Americana
1980 Reagan (R) Optimism, change Carter (D) Risk
1984 Reagan (R) Optimism, continuity Mondale (D) Opposition
1988 Bush (R) Continuity Dukakis (D) Competence, opposition
1992 Clinton (D) Change, party reform Bush (R) Service, risk
1996 Clinton (D) Continuity, optimism Dole (R) Service, integrity
2000 Bush (R) Integrity, party reform Gore (D) Intelligence, continuity
2004 Bush (R) Safety, continuity Kerry (D) Service, opposition
2008 Obama (D) Change, youth McCain (R) Service, party reform
Here are the overall standings:

Theme Won Lost Win %
Optimism 4 0   1.000
Change 3 0   1.000
Youth 2 0   1.000
Safety 1 0   1.000
Continuity 6 3    .667
Party reform 2 1    .667
Integrity 2 2    .500
Risk 1 2    .333
Americana 0 1    .000
Intelligence 0 1    .000
Opposition 0 4    .000
Service 0 4    .000

Oh The Democrats Turn To Use Kids

If memory serves me correctly the Democrats were howling at the use of kids in a political commerical during a recent campaign.

What say you now?

The Oath x 2

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 21, 2009


The following is a statement from White House Counsel Greg Craig.

"We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday. But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time."

Barack Obama stepped on Chief Justice Roberts as he was reciting the first line of the oath for Obama to repeat. He must have failed to remember it is a "repeat after me" situation.

What would the media be saying today if Bush had done the same thing? They would have been relentless, but they must have turned the corner on congeniality.

For a safe play Obama took the oath a second time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kennedy Is Out

Is this political cover, taking Governor Paterson off the hook?

Did she realize she might not have received the nomination and she wanted to preempt the negative media?

Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name for US Senator. Ironically she waited until the day Clinton was confirmed as SoS. 


Read the story here

The Speech

The game of managing expectation will be one of Obama's greatest challenges, as he learned yesterday.

His speech was fascinating to listen to and read. It he delivers several underlying messages and tones. But the thought that it would go down in history as one of the best ever delivered by a President was not even close to the hype it received.

The inaugural address for the most part was a call to action for public, but there  should have been fewer political gut punches.  There is a lot of material that can be read into and it gives a sense of where, we as a country are headed under Obama.

Some other interesting lines, where you might wonder who he was making reference to:

Is this a shot at John McCain? He represents hope and John McCain represented fear?
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. 
If this was not meant for it; should be a shot at both political parties,
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. 
Is this a shot a "W" or congress?
But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

A reference to Bush's policies?
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. ... and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint. ...
Guided by these principles once more





Points Of Interest From Yesterday.

To the surprise of many, Barack Obama was not my first choice for President, but he is my President and hope he succeeds.

The United States broke another racial barrier yesterday and for that history was made, frankly with the thought all are created equal I seldom enter the racial debate, as Martin Luther King plead for all people to be judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. Anyone who utilizes the racial debate to belittle the moment of history yesterday are mistaken.

On the other hand, equally tasteless were the following parts of yesterday's events.

George W. Bush, like him or not, deserved respect on the way out the door and the boos and the undertone was classless. Yesterday was a day to check your partisan politics at the door and respect the transition of power this country holds so dearly.

Then there was Lowery.

Rev. Joseph Lowery did nothing yesterday, but simply fan the racial based flames. Comments like the one he made yesterday provide no progress to the issue of equality. Obama has stressed forward thinking, this comment was anything but forward thinking.    
“Lord, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around… when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.”
Is he reliving times gone by? Blacks being asked to get in the back, whites do not embrace what is right? Rev. Lowery maybe able to cite examples as exceptions to today's living, and more work needs to continue, but certainly it is not the the current way of life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Transition - Obama's Day

It has been a relatively smooth and definitely peaceful transition of power in the United States. The new administration has been assisted by the Bush administration and today Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States at 12:00 PM.

The country awaits with high hopes and certainly high expectations for the changes Barack Obama has promised in both foreign policy and the economy. The current condition of the nation's economy and some animosity toward the wars along with such high expectations for Barack Obama leaves his administration only two extreme directions to go; highly successful or fail miserably to live up to the expectations. The country certainly hopes for the former and not the latter.

Regardless of party we are all proud to be American's and we want our country to succeed.

Here is Barack Obama's schedule for today.

8:25 a.m.: Obamas leave Blair House for prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church

8:35 a.m.: Prayer service

9:45 a.m.: Church service ends; Obamas depart for the White House

10:05 a.m.: Obamas arrive at White House for coffee with the Bushes

11:00 a.m.: Motorcade departs for the Capitol

11:30 a.m.: Bushes and Obamas proceed to platform on the West Front; California Senator Dianne Feinstein will issue the call to order and deliver brief welcoming remarks, followed by an invocation from Dr. Rick Warren and a performance from Aretha Franklin (who also sang at Bill Clinton's first inauguration)

11:50 a.m.: Joe Biden is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Stevens

12 p.m.: Barack Obama is sworn in as president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama, with his hand on Abraham Lincoln's inaugural Bible, will recite the same oath as his predecessors: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Musical performance from John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill, followed by "Hail to the Chief" and a 21-gun salute

12:05 p.m.: Inaugural address, followed by a poem written and recited by Elizabeth Alexander and a benediction from Dr. Joseph Lowery. The national anthem will be performed by the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters

12:30 p.m.: Ceremony concludes

12:35 p.m.: Bush departs via helicopter; Cheney departs by limo

12:45 p.m.: Obama signs inauguration papers in the President's Room

1:00 p.m.: Obama attends congressional luncheon

2:15 p.m.: Obama and Biden review troops at Capitol

2:30 p.m.: President Obama leads the parade from the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House

3:15 p.m.: Arrival at the White House

3:45 p.m.: Obamas and Bidens proceed to the reviewing stand; inaugural parade continues until 6 p.m.

7:00 p.m.: The official inaugural balls begin with the Neighborhood Ball at the Washington Convention Center, with performers scheduled to include Beyoncé. Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Stevie Wonder and others. Nick Cannon will DJ.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Departure With Class


As opposed to the Clinton departure, "W" will leave office tomorrow with class. There will be no long "me, me, me" speech at Andrews Air Force like Clinton gave during the Bush inauguration that served as nothing more than a distraction during the festivities for Bush.

Clinton's self indulgent speech along with White House staffers removing the W's on keyboards was fitting for a president whose sole focus was on himself. By contrast, Bush understands tomorrow belongs to Obama and has scheduled a departing speech, but no press.

1:25 pm          THE FORMER PRESIDENT makes Remarks at Departure Ceremony
                       Andrews Air Force Base – Hangar 6 | Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
                       CLOSED PRESS
The White House staff has also stressed the O's on keyboards will remain in tact.

Spreading the Wealth


New York State government may claim to be pinched for money and taxpayers will feel the pinch in their wallet from the mounts of new taxes passed by New York State government controlled entirely by the Democrats, but that does not stop the Democratic majority in the Senate from spreading the largess around to each member.

The base salary of a New York State Legislator is $79,500, therefore the Democratic Senate majority of 32 members should cost New York taxpayers $2,544,000 but once they are finished spreading the wealth the number balloons to $3,178,000.

What Do They Have In Common?

Turns out Joe the Plumber and Secretary of Treasury nominee Tim Geithner have a little bit in common, unpaid taxes.

But what is the difference, one is prepared to ascent to power and one questioned power! And the one who questioned power received the headlines and scrutiny of the media for his unpaid taxes while the other gets a free pass and nothing more than "it was a common ordinary honest mistake."

Tim Geithner who as Secretary of Treasury would oversee the very agency charged with collecting his taxes, the compassionate IRS.
"The most significant tax concern is identified as Mr. Geithner’s failure to pay Social Security taxes during his entire tenure at the IMF, which began in 2001 and concluded in 2003 (some compensation was not paid until calendar year 2004). He paid no FICA taxes or self-employement taxes with respect to the IMF income during that time."
Yet, there are one set of rules for Joe the Plumbers and another set for Tim the Treasury head.

Obama is showing he has one thing in common with his predecessor, W, they both have loyalty and possibly to a fault. The media is not doing their job when issues like this get a free pass.
 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hey Sean - This is Crappola!

Sean Hennessey, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic committee believes party prevails or qualifications when back filling elected positions.

Hey Sean, you have your head up your.....

Read the press release here on Danger Democrat, Oswego Democrat, Jefferson Democrat.

If Sean was concerned about "public" service he would advocate for the most qualified person, regardless of party.

Mike Kinnie resigned from Sackets Harbor as Mayor, they should back fill the seat with the most qualified person, party should not be a prerequisite.  

Allen Drake's position as supervisor in the Town of Theresa, was filled by someone they thought was best fit to handle the job, it just happened to be a Republican. Congratulations Allen for thinking non-partisan and looking out for the people of the town.

Such thinking like what Hennessey reduced to writing has to make you shake your head!

Upstate is Cool....

Not just the weather, but cool to the Guv's job performance. A majority of the respondents, 57%, rate Governor Paterson's performance as either poor or just fair, while 35% think good or excellent.

Comparatively, his December numbers were 38% thought he performance was poor or fair, while 55% thought good or excellent.

His numbers flipped in a month, what has changed?  A budget!

This is what happens when Democrats take ownership of difficult issues, like the Republican's experienced while they were in control, their numbers sink. The Democratic legislature is naive' if they think it will not happen to them as well. Especially when there is no one to blame for failures but themselves.
   

Do You Really Think He Listens?


Te Executive Chamber
David A. Paterson | Governor


For Immediate Release: January 16, 2009
Contact: Errol Cockfield | errol.cockfield@chamber.state.ny.us | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418
Contact: Maggie McKeon | maggie.mckeon@chamber.state.ny.us | 518.474.8418

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON ON FINAL RADIO BROADCAST OF JEFFERSON COUNTY’S HOME GROWN SHOW


“For the past seven years, residents in the North Country have been both educated and entertained by Jefferson County’s weekly agricultural radio show – The Home Grown Show on AM 1240 WATN. Unfortunately for those faithful listeners, the show has ended broadcasting today following the station’s announcement of plans to change formats.

“The Home Grown Show provided a valuable service to the agricultural industry in Upstate New York by bringing the industry together on issues of interest, while educating consumers on the importance of agriculture to the New York State economy. The light-hearted humor and insightful wisdom of radio morning host Mike White and Jefferson County Agricultural Coordinator Jay Matteson is sure to be missed.

“On behalf of all residents of the North Country, I bid farewell to The Home Grown Show and offer thanks to the entire staff for years of dedication to the agricultural industry of the North Country.”
###

Another Look At The Balance of Power In NY

Put your mouse over the graphic to get a better view of our new Senate majority
New York Senate is controlled by NY City Democrats

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush Farewell Speech

In case you missed it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bush Says Goodbye

With his approval ratings experiencing a slight uptick the man prepares for departure, but he leaves knowing he stuck close to his principles and not the polls.





"He kept the country safe from attack after terrorism redefined his presidency, cut taxes, freed the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, reformed education, oversaw 52 straight months of job growth, acted decisively when the economy tanked, stuck to principle no matter what his poll numbers, retooled the military and improved federal crisis management after the worst U.S. natural disaster happened on his watch."

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

The Oswego Democrat is a new blog site that appears to be a take off on the very similar looking site of Jefferson Democrat.
 
The Oswego Democrats emerged about the same time the Danger Democrat site morphed into Jefferson Democrat and shuttered it's comment section and switched from being a site with a little edge toward the issues to that of simply spewing fluff.

As well, word from Oswego is that Darrel Aubertine is said to be organizing the Democrats in the county where he needs to run stronger in order to maintain the seat. According to one Democrat in Oswego County, Darrel is reportedly going to transfer campaign money to help at least 8 handpicked Democratic candidates in a run for the County Legislature this year.

All of this coincidental, probably not!

You May Recall - Senator Parker

You probably recall the ignorance Senator Parker displayed toward the assets of Northern New York, if not watch the classic "you tube" moment below.

Anyway, ironically this Senator assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee, the same committee that former Senator James W. Wright chaired. Northern New York will not see the same representation from that committee, guaranteed!



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ag Budget Debate

The Governor has proposed elminating funding for various agricultural programs that were include in the SFY 2008-09 budget. Below is a partial list of the items from last year's budget.

To point out a few of importance to Northern New York:
  • $1.8 million for marketing New York State wines. 
  • $200,00 for northern New York agricultural development at Cornell.
  • $150,000 for the Maple Syrup Association. 
  • $750,000 for the New York State Apple Growers Association. 
This is just to highlight a few items important to Northern New York agriculture.

Today, Farm Bureau tesified before the Senate advocating for these programs and their importance to upstate. Senator Young, former Ag chair, questioned Agriculture Commissioner Hooker about the wisdom behind "eliminating" (not just reducing) the funding for programs that have experienced growth as well as strength to compete against other states.

(2008-09 budget of funding items restored by legislature)
The new minted Agriculture Chairman Darrel Aubertine was silent!

Another Sweep From Northern New York

Northern New Yorkers will help balance the state budget for the second straight year with sweeps from accounts that have been established to benefit our region. The governor last year chose the snowmobile trail maintenance account to sweep money from and this year it is the New York Power Authority, NYPA account.

From the Executive budget

  • New York Power Authority Transfers. The New York Power Authority would transfer $306 million to the state’s General Fund in 2008-09 and $170 million in 2009-10. Of this amount, $215 million represents funds that were reserved by NYPA to pay for the disposal of waste at a federal repository. It is anticipated that NYPA will not need these funds for several years. The remaining transfer represents assets not necessary to meet NYPA’s short term operating, capital or debt service costs. (2008-09 Savings: $306 million; 2009-10 Savings: $170 million)

Yesterday Governor Paterson signed the power pact with ALCOA, but he did a reach around and got our wallet. The NYPA funds could be or should be reserved to invest in economic development in Northern and Western New York, which is part of NYPA's mission. The funds could be used for investment in new jobs or lowering cost of electricity.

New York has swept funds from NYPA before but they were appropriately used for programs like Power for Jobs and not just to simply balance the budget.

The north country state legislatiors should be working to reverse this policy decision.

The Queen


The queen of conversatism takes on the liberal ladies from The View. This is about an 8 minute interview, if you like Ann Coulter you will cheer her on, if you don't you will be howling.

Addie is M. I. A.


Where is Addie Jenne Russell, D-Theresa, newly minted Assembly member in the 118th Assembly district?

Two appearances by the Governor in her district in as many days and she is a no show both times. Albany is only a three hour drive she should be able to be in here district and Albany in the same day, it is part of the job and it involves a great deal of time on the road. It is not sufficient for her out of district staff to be at these events, other legislators made appearances, she has no excuses.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Balance of Power Sequel


A few post ago displayed the balance of power in the New York State Senate since the Democrats took over and it illustrated just how concentrated the power was in New York City.

Here is what it looked like prior to the flip. Where do you think upstate will stand?

High Priority - Pro Choice Agenda

The new majority leader has expressed one of his priorities this year is a pro-choice agenda, specifically Reproductive Health Act and Healthy Teens Act.

It could be his priority, but is he just blowing empty kisses to a group of advocates without having the votes?

The Democratic conference in the Senate has a razor thin majority and include conservative Democrats such as; Darrel Aubertine, Ruben Diaz and Carl Kruger, which likely will be needed to pass the majority leader's agenda.

Just how far will these guys bend to satisfy the leader? Will Darrel compromise his principles and support this legislation for a quid pro quo?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Guv Visit

The community was well represented for the Governor's visit to Watertown this afternoon, estimating around 300 people in attendance.

Issues ranged from organic farming, minimum wage, wine sales in grocery stores, Empire Zones, AL Lee Memorial Hospital, wind power to tax caps.

It was interesting on several issues where the Governor had opposing views to local state legislators, such as Aubertine and Addie Jenne Russell. He spoke against the circuit breaker - he labeled it as ineffective and said it was after the fact and the tax cap needed to be enacted. The opponents of wind got a little wind behind their back with his responses for their cause when he talked about siting them in less conspicuous places than the St Lawrence River. The minimum wage where he said he preferred to wait and see what is done at the federal level and the time is not right for an increase.

The Governor actually talked with the ideological tones of a Republican.

The Governor was his usual quick witted self, he brought a bit a levity to a serious situation and was able to disarm those who looking to attack him.

He was compassionate to some speaker's causes while being brutally honest to others about their hopes for more funding. 

The notables in attendance included State Senators Joe Griffo and Darrel Aubertine, State Assembly members Dede Scozzafava and Will Barclay. The notable not in attendance was Assembly member Addie Jenne Russell, which is her district, with the Governor here you would have thought her appearance was next to mandatory, oversight or excuse this was a major fauz pas. 

The sum of New York State government could be found in one remark from the Governor yesterday.

"2008 New York woke up to our economy..."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Balance Of Power ????

EJ McMahon On The Governor's Budget

The Journal News and LoHud editorial is pretty progressive, below is a taped interview the editorial board conducted with Manhattan Institute's EJ McMahon on the Governor's budget and the state's fiscal crisis.

The interview is fairly lengthy - 40 minutes - but if you are interested in your New York State it is worth the watch and very educational.

"Millionaires Tax" discussion is around the - 9 minute to the 17 minute mark

"No recovery" discussion happens at 26:30 minute. McMahon talks about the fact that Wall St has changed forever and a "recovery" to New York's fiscal situation is not likely to occur, essentially saying this is the new New York.

Here is the accompanying story, click here 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Endangered Species List

The Governor's budget is thought by many to be a concoction of tiny morsels, several tax increases here to several tucked away cuts there.

The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is mostly likely one of the receivers that will sacrifice, which would put the small hometown attraction on the endanger species list.

The Daily News is reporting funding for zoos and living museum such as the one here will face a considerable reduction in funding in the 2009 budget and elimination of funding in the 2010 budget.
If passed, the 2009 budget for zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums across the state, most of which goes to New York City programs, will be cut from $9 million to $4 million. Funding will be eliminated entirely in 2010 under the proposal.
This is the result of tinkering around instead of making the tough decisions. They risk the very existence of a small program like the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park rather than go after larger portions of the budget.

It is all a matter of voices being heard, the zoo will never stand a chance against the Democrat's powerful union allies. 

LATER ADD - The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park receives $25,500 from this fund.

What The Ag Chair Really Means

Senator Darrel Aubertine was one of a couple upstate lawmakers to make committee chair being appoint Ag Chair. The representation of the Senate Democratic Conference is mainly concentrated in and around New York City.

Here is what a former colleague, Bill Parment, D-Harmony had to say on Darrel's chairmanship. Don't all you koolaide drinkers howl at poor 'ole P IV, I'm just being the messenger here. 
A concern for some is that Democratic control over the state Senate will mean issues important to the agriculture committee will take a back seat to other priorities of the Democratic caucus, like environmental issues.

''The challenge for Darrel Aubertine will be to ensure a balanced approach between environmental and agricultural issues,'' Parment said. ''His challenge will probably be to fight his own conference.'' ...
Is Darrel Aubertine, farmer-Cape Vincent, up for the task of fighting his own conference, time will tell. He was up to the task of two hard fought political campaigns, it looks like he can't rest as the fight to represent us will continue.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kinda Makes Ya Wonder


Where does upstate stand in the New Democratic State Senate Majority.

Looking at the list of committee appointments, Senator Aubertine as Agriculture chair is it, he and Northern New York have an uphill against the downstate interest.


The list and highlights are kinda telling!

Deputy Majority Leader: Jeff Klein (The Bronx)
Aging: Ruben Diaz Sr. (The Bronx)
Agriculture: Darrel Aubertine (Jefferson)
Children and Families: Velmanette Montgomery (Brooklyn)
Cities: Daniel Squadron (Brooklyn)
Civil Service: Diane Savino (Staten Island)
Codes: Eric Schneiderman (Manhattan)
Corporations and Authorities: Bill Perkins (Harlem)
Crime and Corrections: Ruth Hassell Thompson (Westchester)
Education: Suzi Oppenheimer (Westchester)
Elections: Joe Addabbo Jr. (Queens)
Energy: Kevin Parker (Brooklyn)
Environmental Conservation: Antoine Thompson (Buffalo)
Finance: Carl Kruger: vice-chair, Liz Krueger (Brooklyn, Manhattan)
Health: Tom Duane (Greenwich Village)
Higher Education: Toby Ann Stavisky (Queens)
Housing: Pedro Espada Jr. (Bronx)
Insurance: Neil Breslin (Albany)
Judiciary: John Sampson (Brooklyn)
Labor: George Onorato (Queens)
Local Governments: Andrea Stewart Cousins (Yonkers)
Mental Health: Shirley Huntley (Queens)
Tourism: Jose Serrano Jr. (The Bronx)
Transportation: Martin Malave Dilan (Brooklyn)
Veterans and Homeland Security: Eric Adams (Brooklyn)


Long Island Members
Government Operations Committee:  Craig Johnson
Ethics: Brian Foley 

Hiram Monserrate of Queens, who is facing felony assault charges for the alleged domestic abuse of his girlfriend, got a high-profile role as head of the Consumer protection Committee.

Bill Stachowski of Buffalo, among the most senior members of the Democrat caucus, was denied the chairmanship of the powerful Finance Committee.

Dave Valesky of Syracuse, did not get any committee post

(Hat tip NYDB)

The New Leader

The Democrats have the entire burden of governing New York State, controlling every branch of government in Albany. They have a large task in front of them, the near collapse of Wall St. has shrunk revenues for the foreseeable future, which presents a quagmire for the Democrats. Spending in New York has been out of control the task ahead is either reduce spending and run up against their special interest allies or raise taxes and run up against their constituents.

My guess - they raise taxes.

Here is the Democrat's press conference. Two of the gang of three are visible, Espada is immediate right of Leader Malcolm Smith and Carl Kruger (makes a late entry) is second to the left of Smith.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Senate Democrats Prepare

A deal is reported a lock, the Senate Democrats have the support needed to take the majority in the New York State Senate.

How will Northern New York fare in this new majority, a wall flower or an active role?

Your thoughts!

Too Soon To Say We Told You So....But

With concern for the power shift to New York City in the new Democratic majority senate, some Democrats are bonding to protect each other from their own!

There is a report that the architect of the Democratic takeover of the New York Senate has formed a lobbying group to protect the interest of upstate Long Island.

If Long Island is afraid of the ramifications from a New York City controlled Senate and it requires one of their own key players that brought the Democrats to power, what hope does Northern New York have?

And according to the report another coalition has been formed by two Democratic Senators, Craig Johnson and Brian Foley of Long Island to protect their interest.

Where does all these power plays leave Northern New York, our Senator has yet to display any potency?

Here is a comment from the report:
“He (Governor Paterson) was given the opportunity to say, ‘Don’t worry, it will be all right,’” Crosson said. “And he didn’t. When all the power is in one place, the rest of the state should be concerned.”

This is no place for spectators and with this protectionism mentality these days in Albany Senator Aubertine has to be aggressive. But, thus far he has been silent while various coalition groups appear to be forming. He has the ability to team up with Senator Dave Valesky of the Syracuse area to ensure we are not overlooked.

Northern New York faces some very difficult issues in the next year such as the budget crisis and Mercy. Aubertine and Valesky need to bond relatively soon and exercise their influence, before the train has completely pulled away from the station and Northern New York is left standing with bags in hand.     

Watertown Welcomes Governor Paterson

Watertown residents will play host to Governor David Paterson.

The Governor is traveling upstate for a series of town hall style gatherings, the first of which is at the Northside Improvement League in Watertown.

This is an opportunity for residents of the area to share their views with the Governor following his state of the state message Wednesday. The Governor uses these town hall meetings as much for his next election as he does for gathering information, but this is an opportunity for people's voices to be heard. The Governor is taking the time to listen, give him a ear full.


The moderator is the well respected news anchor in town, Brian Ashley, eh!

Com'on Bob Jump in, The Water is Warm

They are dabbling around with the idea...it looks like a blog, he typical writes pieces that read like a blog, so is this a blog or not?

Bob Gorman at the Watertown Daily Times has massaged his column a bit and looks as though he is sticking his toes in the waters of blogging. Jump in Bob!

Go all the way, open it up for comments and let it rip, show the world you are hip!

See it here, the title is Rough Draft.



Tedisco On The iTax

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco is taking a new approach to getting the word of his conference out, instead of the typical lifeless mailer in your mailbox Tedisco's uses You Tube to convey his message. Considering the message is targeting i(whatever) users it is a smart approach and something you would never see done by Sheldon Silver.

 

Monday, January 5, 2009

St. Lawrence County Settled


The leadership battle in St. Lawrence County is settled, the New York State Democrats could only hope to settle their battle so quickly.

Greg Paquin has been elected Chairman with support of his faction and 3 Republicans, while the other 2 other Republicans split company and sided with the other faction of Democrats.

As an olive branch to the losing group of Democrats; Peter FitzRandolph was nominated for vice chair but he respectfully declined. This paved the way for Republican Alex McKinnon to be elected Vice Chair.

Unions Take Up GOP Cause

Welcome and Happy New Legislative Year to you all.

New York State is within 48 hours of determining just how dysfunctional our government will be this year or if they can pull up their boots and get the important work done.

The first order of business in the New York State Senate will be to settle the leadership battle that has been brewing since the election when the Democrats took numerical control of the Senate.

Democrat Malcolm Smith has made and broke deals, deployed special interest groups and even engaged the Governor to broker a deal, until the Governor wisely backed away from the food fight, all of this in Smith's quest to become the Majority leader.

The Republican's have been largely just observers on this subject while the Democrat debacle played out. But the Republican's are in the ring for the last rounds of this fight and more importantly, the Republican aligned unions.

(Disclaimer this is not anti-union, union serve a purpose for their members) 

Enter SEIU 1199 and AFL-CIO as mediators for the Republican cause.

The unions have no business getting in this scrimmage! The Republicans should ask them to stay out of it and say thank you, but no thanks. This is a Senate issue, not a special interest issue, which requires a quid pro quo for putting them in charge. But the Republican's can't help themselves and perhaps this is why they find themselves in the mess to begin with and on the short end of a 32-30 legislator head count.

Until the Republican's learn they are their to serve their constituents through some of their basic principles like; smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation and not bend over for the special interest then they may continue to witness their own decrease in head count. They need to learn what separates them from the Democrats and the answer right now is not much, they are simply an echo in a canyon!

This is why Albany is labeled dysfunctional.


Government Loves To Spend Our Money


When the Democrats regained control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 — that’s $8.67 trillion.
In the two years Pelosi and the Democrats have been in charge, the national debt has grown to $10,699,804,864,612.13 — that’s $10.70 trillion.
Since Pelosi and the Democrats regained control of Congress $2,029,208,621,639.09, or $2.03 trillion, has been added to the national debt. That is a 23% increase in two years the Democrats have controlled Congress.
The Democrat controlled Congress gets the credit for the soaring national debt because under the Constitution Congress controls the purse strings:
Article I, Section. 8.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
Be sure to thank your Congress critters for a job well done — a 23% increase in two years.
Just Wait until Congress adds Obama’s $800 billion bailout boondoggle to our $10.70 trillion national debt.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jefferson Democrat Site Tanks

Danger Jefferson Democrat's better days are well behind them. The website Jefferson Democrat, formerly known as Danger Democrat, was hijacked by Sean Hennessey and company and since then it has lost it's edge and readership.

The graph below illustrates their visits. The site is averaging only about 130 visits a day.


Below is the graph for P IV which continues to have a strong following and grateful for the visitors and their comments.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Retirement and Election Speculation Begins

The start of the new year is upon us and as some officials prepare to take the oath of office, others are planning to bid adieu from the offices they hold.

Jo Ann Wilder is expected to announce her retirement as County Clerk this year, along with her deputy Gloria Knapp. This is not a fact hidden from anyone; Mrs. Wilder has been forthcoming about her retirement plans.

So, who will the Democrats put forward as their candidate to seek the County Clerk's office? Early sources speculate Sean Hennessey may seek the seat himself while there is no word on who the leading candidate is from the Republican side.

This is a county wide race, which requires fairly extensive resources in finances and people in order to run a successful campaign. Early advantage belongs to the Democrat candidate; Republicans will need to be united and collectively work harder for their candidate to win this election, no more appropriate time to start than now!

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