According to reports in the N.Y. Times, the New York State Legislature is about to vote itself a twenty-one percent (21%) pay raise. The legislature has fallen from highest paid in the nation to third highest paid in the last eight years.
Given the horrible track record of our legislature, I'd say that any pay raise ought to be linked to significant legislative reform.
The same goes for the 21% pay raise proposed for N.Y. State judges. Any such pay raises should be linked to significant judicial reform that improves the quality of the N.Y. judiciary.
Both the Daily News ( http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2007/05/08/2007-05-08_kalikow_moved_new_york.html ) and New York Post ( http://www.nypost.com/seven/05082007/postopinion/editorials/peter_kalikows_tenure_editorials_.htm ) have written glowingly of MTA Chairman Pete Kalikow's tenure.
Wouldn't Governor Spitzer, supposedly more interested in getting the job done than political payback, be better off leaving him in charge? After all, the devil you know is better than the one you don't.
According to the New York Post, your mayor is looking to move addresses up to Albany:
On two occasions in recent weeks, the mayor brought up the possibility of running for governor, of running against Spitzer in 2010," said the senior Republican, who said he was surprised at Bloomberg's blossoming - and clearly unequivocal - interest in the state's highest office...
"Mike Bloomberg doesn't like Spitzer," insisted the source.
"He thinks he's spoiled and an arrogant f--- who wants to run the City of New York, who is trying to run the whole city.
I wonder if a spend-thrift Republican governor is better than a tighter-fisted Democratic governor with eyes on the White House.
Americans and military families have endured four years of a failed warplan administered by Donald Rumsfeld's "Richard Perle Fan Club" and a clique of bobblehead commanders whose common legacy was a lack or original thought. From the incomptence and corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority to what can only be characterized as "transient 'success'" of "shock and awe"(which seemed to me like using a steak knife to eat yogurt, with comparable results), to the diplomatic failures with long-time NATO allies, Iraq has been mishandled and mismanaged from before the first shot was fired and the first boot stepped inside the Iraqi border. Finally, mercifully, President Bush has finally adopted a new tactic, if not a new strategy.
But now neither the Democrats nor, apparently, the Republicans leadership are willing to allow the new warplan time to play out. And our enemies in Iraq have come to realize what North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap realized over a generation ago: what happens in an American battlespace is far, far, less important than what happens in an American living room.
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Five years after 9/11, the international community's conflict with transnational terrorists continues. Cooperative international efforts have produced genuine security improvements -- particularly in securing borders and transportation, enhancing document security, disrupting terrorist financing, and restricting the movement of terrorists.
The international community has also achieved significant success in dismantling terrorist organizations and disrupting their leadership. This has contributed to reduced terrorist operational capabilities and the detention or death of numerous key terrorist leaders.
Working with allies and partners across the world, through coordination and information sharing, we have created a less permissive operating environment for terrorists, keeping leaders on the move or in hiding, and degrading their ability to plan and mount attacks. Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many other partners played major roles in this success, recognizing that international terrorism represents a threat to the whole international community.
From The Daily Politics (with video shot by Kyle Huges of NYSNYS.com):
The runaway favorite at last night's LCA show was Chris Callaghan, the former Republican Saratoga County Treasurer who will go down in history as the man who couldn't defeat ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi last year in spite of Chauffeurgate. Callaghan, whose dry wit and sarcasm sometimes hit the wrong note on the campaign trail (and he probably wasn't helped by his penchant for bow-ties), was in his element delivering the GOP response to the political satire show. Accompanying himself on an electric piano, he brought down the house with such numbers as "If I Were Comptroller," sung to tune from the Broadway hit "Fiddler On The Roof." Callaghan received two standing ovations for his performance - one after he finished and another when he re-entered the convention center to return to his seat at the head table, where he was seated with Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, who also delivered responses.
State GOP Chairman Joseph N. Mondello states ( http://www.nygop.org/ ):
We will be successful by rebuilding our grassroots to enroll new members in our Party, communicating our message, recruiting and supporting qualified candidates for office and encouraging participation on behalf of our great Party.
Every Republican must take part in this great task.
I encourage every registered member of our Party to contact your local county or town committee to find what you can do to help with their efforts to strengthen and revitalize our Party.
What exactly is the "Republican Message" that we should be communicating?
France has a new leader, Nikolas Sarkozy, and he's considered as "pro-American" as a frenchman can get.
With a Sarkozy win, how did the "peaceful socialists react?"
Late Sunday, small bands of youths hurled stones and other objects at police at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, across town from a giant street party celebrating Sarkozy's win. Some youths bared their backsides at riot officers, and police fired volleys of tear gas. Other fights with the police broke out in Toulouse, Lyon, Rennes and Nantes, police said. Two police unions said firebombs targeted schools and recreation centers in the Essonne region just south of Paris.
just proves why supporting our American Socialist Party (we call them Democrats) is the wrong way to go. :)
Sen. John McCain's presidential candidacy has "fatal problems," says David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union ... The ACU runs the Conservative Political Action Committee's (CPAC) annual conference in Washington and publishes an annual Rating of Congress, the gold standard for ideological assessments of members of Congress. Political leaders like Karl Rove routinely consult Keene ... "I can be proven wrong, but McCain is dying a slow political death right now ... There are a number of reasons for that. On the right, he's simply not trusted, doesn't have credibility. He is not a small government conservative, and that's the basic underlying problem." McCain's second problem, Keene says, is that he has "never come to grips with the kind of candidate he was and the kind of candidate he has to be. He's almost schizophrenic about it." McCain's third problem is that his early frontrunner status attracted a lot of support because he was thought to be the inevitable winner. "The problem with that kind of support is when you no longer appear to be the inevitable winner, that support drains away," Keene says. "In the process, he's built up a campaign organization that's sort of like the Spanish Armada. It can't move, and half the admirals aren't sure that the battle is going to be won anyway. So given that — and you can see his frustration personally when he's out there — I think he'll be the first of the big ones to fade." ...
One thing that is clear from the debate earlier this week is that the GOP has a dearth of new ideas. Virtually all of the candidates repeated the same messages that have been party dogma for at least the last 15 years: "any tax cut is a good tax cut"; "we support the War on Terror" (without offering anything other than force of arms to resolve it); and the ever popular "we'll "appoint judges who are strict constructionists".
All the "right" talking points. All the "right" sound bites. And nary a new idea among all of them.
While they're all trying to stake out the legacy of Ronald Reagan, they all came up short on President Reagan's greatest legacy: he was a pragmatic man of ideas. And when an idea didn't work, he'd jettison it and try something different.
With the "Right Track - Wrong Track" poll at 75:25, how can the party of Reagan so fail the American people? Worse, how can we let the failure to develop new ideas let the Democrats reclaim the White House and the rest of government when we know their ideas will be disastrous for the future of the country?
The first mistake at the Republican Presidential debate was that uber-liberal Chis Matthews was the moderator. His questions were idiotic and intended to bring out the worst in the 10 candidates. Not that it worked every time but what kind of question is “Do you believe in evolution? Or another example, “Did you read Al Gore’s Inconvenience Truth?” There were many more dumb questions but I will not bore you with them…again (for those of you who watched the debate already).
Oh gosh, just one more stupid question “What do you hate about America?” Maybe he thought he was questioning the Board of Directors at the New York Times, I do not know, but generally Republicans do not hate America, like their Democrat/New York Times reading counterparts.
Another problem with Chris Matthews is if he did not like your answer he did not let you respond. Giuliani and McCain got a lot of talking time, because being the most moderate of the ten candidates, Matthews was being kind, letting them at least answer the question.
Has Urban Elephants gone so far down hill that no one is even interested to blog post on last night's debate or were we all out at some GOP function last night that prevented us from viewing it?
I would've thought someone who comes onto UE would have given his/her personal analysis on last night's debate, like we're seeing in today's paper, instead we get two little blurbs about camera coverage chopping off heads and an attack entry that does not say anything about all ten candidates from last night.
It's really sad, if you ask me.
From the Daily News:
Rudy Giuliani's sky-high poll numbers drop back down to Earth when "Law & Order" star Fred Thompson is included in the Republican lineup, a new poll found yesterday. Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee, has yet to say whether he will he'll enter the presidential sweepstakes, but his entry appears to be increasingly likely. The Quinnipiac University poll found that Giuliani's support would drop precipitously, to 27% from 40%, if Thompson does takes the plunge. The former mayor still holds a commanding lead over his rivals, however, according to the Quinnipiac University survey released yesterday. ...
Tonight, I went to Bourbon Street, a bar on Bell Blvd in Bayside Queens, representing the New York Young Republican Club at an event hosted by the new chapter of Young Republicans in Queens County. The expected turnout was somewhere around two dozen people, but the Queens YR chairman, Richard Alicea, was pleasantly surprised to be entertaining more than fifty people!
Also in attendance were Brooklyn YR Vice President Britta Van der Linden along with her husband, former Bklyn Prez, Luke Van der Linden. Outgoing State YR chair Jason Weingartner was there to support the new county chapter, as well as the two elected State Senators, Serph Maltese and Frank Padavan.
It was good to see a solid show of support for the Queens organization and here's hoping the Young Republican chapter in Queens will succeed and continue to grow.
More talk on the project can be found through the Queens Tribune website.
Ryan Sager reports that Florida has moved into second place for Primary order behind New Hampshire.
The GOP candidate in the lead down in the Sunshine State?
The debate lasted for approximately one-hour on Pace Law School's campus in White Plains, New York as Mr. Patrick Megaro was able to get though the entire immigration debate against Prof. Bennett Gershman. No disrespectful comments were made. No heckling. Nobody pulled a fire alarm with a protest waiting outside. With over 120 students and faculty in the room, both speakers were allowed to make their argument. And for the first time in any New York City university over the last several months, everybody had respect for both debaters.
Congratulations Cari, and to everyone who worked hard in bringing a serious discussion to a college campus with no disruptions.
Start: 05/15/2007 - 6:00pm End: 05/15/2007 - 9:00pm description:
A Debate Featuring:
Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
DATE: Tuesday, May 15, 2007
(The Club requires gentlemen to wear jackets and collared shirts, and ladies to wear clothing of equivalent formality.)
The Federalist Society
I'm a native New Yorker who lived in Tennessee for ten years before moving back to NYC. That's where I came to know, and to respect, former GOP U.S. Senator Fred Thompson. Our GOP candidates here in New York could learn some things from Thompson's successful first campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Rudy Giuliani is my top choice for president, even though I'm more socially conservative than he. But for a second choice, Fred Thompson would be excellent.
Via Instapundit, here's an excellent summary:
"Thompson had entered the race as a conventional candidate, doing what conventional candidates do, and he hated it. He also wasn't making any progress in catching [Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Jim] Cooper.
What's the difference between science and pseudo-science? And why is Al Gore's hypothesis that human beings cause global warming pseudo-science?
One possible answer is here:
"People from all walks of life are familiar with [Karl] Popper's rule of thumb for separating pseudoscience from science: If a theory can't be "falsified"—if there is no way to disprove it—then it doesn't qualify as science.
Early in the course, you will learn that Popper came up with this formulation in the 1930s in response to his disillusionment with Marxist political theory and Freudian psychology. Neither discipline appeared to have the self-confidence of, for example, Einstein's relativity theory, which could unequivocally state the kinds of observations that would disprove, or falsify, it.
By contrast, Marxists and Freudians tended to argue away all apparently disconfirming evidence, rendering their theories immune to falsification. Spurred by this realization, Popper proposed that true science is engaged in a ceaseless attempt, not to prove theories (something that can never be done definitively), but to falsify them, and having done so, to move ahead to improved theories. These, in turn, undergo a new round of tests until falsified, and so on."