Saturday, December 22, 2007

COMMERCIALS vs. REALITY: CREDIT CARDS vs. CASH


I am so sick of the credit card commercials that have everybody doing a synchronized dance up to the cash register. Everything is in harmony, until one person tries to pay with cash. The whole line stops, as well as the background music. After the awkward stares from everyone, the "cash" person produces a card to swipe at the terminal, restoring music and harmony to the commercial.



Here's the real story. I have twice as much handwritten paperwork to do for credit card customers at my job, so it's exactly the opposite of the insipid commercial. Credit card customers take longer to process, for reasons besides the paperwork. ID requirements are strict at my job, which means I've had to make people go back to their cars for their ID, if they want to pay with a credit card. We accept debit cards, but the pinpad also takes much longer than paying cash. Are you getting the point of this post yet?



Contrary to the stupid commercials, it is actually easier to use cash, in my place of business, at least. I see these commercials as selling the opposite of what you get from using the product they're selling. It's probably convenient at the "swipe by" terminals, but I have to verify that the person is the card holder, and that takes a little more time. In plain language, credit/debit card customers hold up the line, especially when it's busy. It's clearly false advertising, which would be worthy of a lawsuit in the EU, I'm sure. (See the EU's banning of Master Card's service fees, after 40 years; but I digress)



Do the clerks in these commercials wonder if the people swiping their cards to the music are actually the people whose names are on those cards, or could they care less? What are they selling in these credit card commercials? Convenience. I've already shown that to be a fallacy.



If someone steals your cash, you only lose that asset, and perhaps any assets it secured. If someone steals your credit card number, or other electronic key to your assets, they can steal your identity, and abuse it. They can "swipe" your credit card electronically, by walking next to you, these days



Maybe I'm crazy, but I still have high confidence in the US dollar bill (not that I have many, mind you). I'd buy as many of them now, while they're cheap, as I could, were I an international investor. That's not the same as buying packaged debt securities, whether they're based on US credit card debt, or US real estate mortgages, neither of which is a good investment, currently. Just a PS, mind you.

HUCK VS. RUSH: "Flavor of the Month" Meets Reality


Huckabee is the flavor of the month, and the month is drawing to an end. This is a blog roundup of his latest controversy, where his campaign slanders Rush Limbaugh. I think he's "hit the wall," regardless of how he does in Iowa. The following is crossposted from STOP THE ACLU, with permission.






Wow! Now this is gonna have to sting, at least a bit. There may not be many conservatives in Iowa that read the blogs, but I know there are plenty that tune into talk radio. As Jammie Wearing Fool says:




If you're now a top contender for the GOP nomination, the last man you want to alienate is Rush Limbaugh.





"Honestly, because Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker?he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be too."




Of course his campaign is backpeddaling like crazy!



Audio response from Rush via Hot Air




CALLER: Yeah, Romney after that debate, the last debate, said he was in favor of expanding entitlements, which is anything but conservative.

RUSH: Yeah, that's why I haven't endorsed anybody. I'm waiting. I don't know how else I can do it. I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right. But, at this point, it's just an age-old belief that I have, and I remain true to my beliefs and principles. Now, some people have written me, "I hear you say this, but you're full of it. What about 2000 with Bush and McCain in South Carolina?" Special circumstance. You had a two-man race, and what was happening in South Carolina, McCain was going so far off the conservative reservation, so far off of it, that it was necessary to step in. Huckabee is getting close, I'm going to have to tell you. Huckabee's getting close to the same stuff. Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He's really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with "the DC-New York axis." But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. "Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being ? a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs. Giuliani departs from recent Republican stances regarding two issues ? abortion and the recognition by the law of same-sex couples. Huckabee's radical candidacy broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity. [C]onsider New Hampshire's chapter of the National Education Association, the teachers union that is a crucial component of the Democratic Party's base. In 2004, New Hampshire's chapter endorsed Howard Dean in the Democratic primary and no one in the Republican primary. Last week it endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary ? and Huckabee in the Republican primary." It likes Huckabee on education.




Holy Crap at the blog reactions!!!!: Allahpundit:




Huck's people have already begun kissing ass to mitigate the damage. The more the conservative world comes out against him, from Will to Peggy Noonan to NRO to Rush to Sean Hannity, the more he'll be forced to pitch an "us against them" campaign to his supporters. He's too far left on too many issues to tack right credibly, so the only way to keep them in the fold is to try to build on that religious and economic populism he's peddling and make this a full-blown Cause against the conservative establishment. The trick is keeping the few truly big players like Limbaugh neutral, since they really do have the chops to tilt this thing in a two-man race. Sounds like it might already be too late.




Jim Geraghty:




My instinct is to say, "no way, a thumbs down from Rush is fatal," but a guy on another campaign cautions me. "An Iowa pastor who has been talking up Huckabee isn't going to change his mind because Rush Limbaugh doesn't like him." He points out that a pastors and religous leaders deal with people who fall short of their ideals all the time; hearing that Mike Huckabee was too merciful in dealing with Wayne Dumond is not going to be a dealbreaker for them. They'll probably go, no pun intended, "there but for the grace of God go I."

So? if a certain significant chunk of Huckabee's supporters back him because he's the most vocal Christian in the race, not because of the conservatism of his record or policy stances?. if the moment comes where the race needs a Huck Slayer (as social conservatives thought the race might require a Rudy Slayer)? can anybody in the race go after Huckabee on that ground? Can anyone make the argument to that Republican plurality, "Okay, nevermind conservative policy choices - he's not the good Christian leader you think he is"?




Michelle Malkin:




I was in the car listening to Rush Limbaugh responding to the Mike Huckabee campaign's attack on him. What an unbelievably knuckle-headed move by Huckabee's minions. Casting Limbaugh as part of the Beltway-Manhattan elite? Those who've been tuning in and listening closely know that Limbaugh has scrupulously avoided playing favorites with any of the GOP candidates. He's been an equal-opportunity scrutinizer. What possible benefit could accrue from going after one of the conservative moment's most popular figures?



I believe this Rush-bashing incident may turn out to be Huckabee's Howard Dean scream moment.




Glenn Reynolds:




I told you attacking him was a bad idea. That would be like Hillary going after Oprah.




Bit's Blog:




You don't claim to be running against the Washington elites and then pick a fight with the person who makes his living skewering the same elites.




Axis of Right




Before anyone knew who Huckabee was, he seemed like a very amiable, conservative Republican. Over the last few weeks, however, he's burned the bridges with Romney and Giuliani, alienated the not-as-churchy conservative base with his liberal tax policies, ostensibly alienated Rush Limbaugh (and many of his millions of conservative listeners) from his big tent, attacked Bush's foreign policy which offends the party people, being so out of step with conservatives on illegal alien college tuition, etc.



Yet, he's still polling well. I'm just baffled at Huckabee's behavior and statements recently, especially since his recent fronterunner status materialized.




Caution: Watch for falling in the polls. As Bill Quick says:




I Think The Huck Has Gone About As High As He's Going to Get.




Captain Ed:




Had Huckabee not gone out of his way to slap at George Bush, people may have believed the denial, because attacking Rush makes no sense at all. Candidates who disagree with him would normally just avoid talking about it. No one needs the figurative 800-pound gorilla in the room stomping on them, and Rush has a much more powerful podium than any of the people in this race.



I'd think that the source will wind up being a lower-level operative with a big mouth. Still, the damage is done. Huckabee will have a hard time living this down, although maybe not so much in Iowa, where the caucusers tend to like populists. Expect this to sting most in South Carolina and the national numbers.




Dan Riehl:




The media is bound to pick it up giving it even more exposure than Rush is. And Huckabee's bound to lose. You don't pick fights with people who buy ink by the barrel, or have three hours of air time every day. As I suggested below, I guess Huckabee really isn't all that bright.




Ace gets the sarcasm out of the bag:




The liberals have a threadworn gag: Don't vote against the Republicans, or else the Baby Jesus cries. But Mike Huckabee is basically really saying that.



I am not a religious guy so perhaps my opinion doesn't count. But you can take this "at least he's sincere and nice" crap and chuck it. Invoking Jesus as a reason to not discuss one's political record while running for office seems to me to be borderline blasphemous, a rather presumptuous inversion of who, precisely, is supposed to be in the service of Whom.



And I don't know if a real, believing, reverent Christian would dare to do that. Has any Christian out there ever gone into an employee evaluation around Easter and Christmas and told his boss, "I hope, out of respect for this blessed season, you refrain from commenting negatively on my performance this quarter. Otherwise you're not giving proper respect to our Lord and Savior."




Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit:




The Huckabee Rush-bashing incident is costing the Arkansas governor dearly.




Jonathan Martin of Politico:




Raising the ire of Limbaugh is different than annoying elite conservatives. Rush may not live in Cape Girardeau anymore and he may hobnob with a different set, but his millions of listeners emphatically see him as one of them.



Among the ditto-heads are thousands here in Iowa getting their Rush fix from one of nine stations on which he airs in the state. Within this group is a large subset of GOP activists and come-hell-or-high-water caucus goers.



It's these Republican regulars ? the phone bankers, envelope stuffers, Lincoln Day Dinner casserole-bringers ? who will almost certainly have second thoughts if so respected (and there are few more) a conservative voice as Limbaugh is calling Huck's conservative credentials into question.




Rick Moran on Huckadumb:




Huckabee is running toward a gasoline dump with a lit match and no one appears able to stop him. Rudy is fading.




Doug Ross:




Huckabee has no chance at winning the nomination. That's no chance. And that, my friends, I can promise you.




I save the best two for last:



Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller:




Boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy it's going to be a rather splendid time watching the Huckabomb go down in flames.



We don't know about you, but somehow it strikes us as rather unwise to choose for the leader of our nation somebody who likes to pick fights with people he can't possibly hope to win against. Pick a fight. With Rush freakin' LIMBAUGH???




MacRanger:




My support of Fred Thompson is based on the fact that he IS the only true conservative choice in the pack - period.



In listening to the tapes of Rush's montage today he says exactly the same thing. If we have a choice of choosing someone who holds up the tenants of conservatism, then why not support them? There is no reason not to, except as I pointed out to pick someone ONLY on the basis of whether or not they can beat Hillary in 2008.



The latter is a copout, pure and simple.




My last thoughts?.who is this going to help the most? Its obviously going to send Huckabee down in Iowa, and eventually in the national level. Fred has the most to gain from this, as well as Romney. I think Michelle Malkin said it best?it is the Howard Dean moment of this primary. C-ya Huckablunder.



PS from Chris Leavitt: I am offended that these pols presumed that it was a good idea to make me think about primary politics in the middle of the Christmas/New Year holiday/shopping season. That's what "huckster" means to me. It's interesting that after Huckabee got so much attention with his "subliminal" Christmas ad, every candidate had their own within a few days. I don't like political ads intruding on the commercialization of the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Christ.






Also, see ARE CONSERVATIVES CRACKING UP?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Differences With The NYCLU on "Reproductive Rights"


This is an excerpt from my latest email from the NYCLU:




In April, the Supreme Court showed a frightening disregard for a woman's right to make private reproductive health care decisions when it upheld a federal ban on abortion methods. This decision was a profound setback - not just for women, but for all Americans who believe medical decisions should be made by patients and their doctors, not by politicians. This defeat endangers women and undermines one of the core principles of Roe v. Wade - that women's health is always paramount.




Is there no consideration for the life that the man and woman create? The Supreme Court seems to think there is some. The question is how much can women and men restrict the procreation of humans. It's an age-old question, but it still lingers as a theme in the public/political debate.



The "women's health" argument is a canard. If a woman could abort a pregnancy for "health risks," EVERY child could justifiably be terminated. Having a baby causes a health risk, period. So what's the real reason behind this charade?



The NYCLU sees this as an issue of women's rights; of "privacy" of a woman's "decision." They don't consider the rights of the father, or the child whose life is taken. They propound a feminist ideology that I find repugnant, and worthy of the term that Rush coined, "feminazis."



Did anyone notice that the NYCLU's press release said the Supreme Court "upheld a federal ban on abortion methods?" Why were no specifics given in their statement, regarding the proscribed "methods?" Because the methods we're talking about are clearly inhumane, both in theory and practice.



The NYCLU doesn't care about the rights of the least among us. They prefer to cater to the political struggle of women's rights, over all others. They are sorely misguided in this endeavor.



There are many other factors in this debate, and I am pro-choice, to a certain degree (less than 3 months, with other factors mitigating that time frame). Morally, I may be a hypocrite, but as a person, this is how I feel about this issue. If I was a woman, I don't think it would be my right to kill a child growing inside of me. As a man, I know I would go to jail if I tried to kill a child of mine, inside a woman's belly.



Finally, does Roe V. Wade say that the woman's health is paramount? Or is the NYCLU up to their old "spin" on this one? If so, then I say "nice try, but no cigar." They got a response from my heart, and it finds them lacking on the "civil rights" issue. But they profess to protect "civil liberties," not "civil rights," so maybe I'm wrong about their goals, anyway. Perhaps a woman's liberty overrides a child's rights, in their view.

ONLY IN NEW YORK: Muslim Defends Jew Against "Christian" Subway Thugs


Alot of people think alot of bad things about New York City, sometimes with reason. Here's a story that shows not just the bad, but the greatness that exists in our fair city. The story made the front page of the NY POST. Here's an excerpt:




A Brooklyn man whose "Happy Hanukkah" greeting landed him in the hospital said he was saved from a gang of Jew-bashing goons aboard a packed Q train by a total stranger - a modest Muslim from Bangladesh.



Walter Adler was touched that Hassan Askari jumped to his aid while a group of thugs allegedly pummeled and taunted him and his three friends. So Adler has invited his new friend over to celebrate the Festival of Lights.



The two new pals - Adler, 23, with a broken nose and a fat lip, and Askari, 20, with two black eyes - broke bread together and laughed off the bruises the night after the fisticuffs.



"A random Muslim guy jumped in and helped a Jewish guy on Hanukkah - that's a miracle," said Adler, an honors student at Hunter College.



"He's basically a hero. Hassan jumped in to help us."



But Askari, who is studying to be an accountant, shrugged off the praise.



"I just did what I had to do," he recalled. "My parents raised me that way."



Ten people were arrested in the underground attack on Friday night - including two men who have been arrested for race crimes before.




It all began when Adler, his girlfriend, Maria Parsheva, and two other pals boarded the subway at Canal Street bound for Brooklyn and someone in another group wished them "Merry Christmas."



Adler and his pal Angelica Krischanovich responded: "Happy Hanukkah."



Apparently, those were fighting words.



"They just came at us so fast. The first thing that came into my mind was, 'Yeah, this is going to be violent,' " said Parsheva, 20.



One of the group immediately hiked up his sleeve to reveal a tattoo of Christ.



"He said, 'Happy Hanukkah, that's when the Jews killed Jesus,' " said Adler.



The group of about 14 men and women then allegedly began taunting Adler and his pals as "dirty Jews" and "Jew bitches."



Amid a huge scrum, Askari jumped in.



"...there's lots of people, they're fighting with Hassan still, and I'm like, why isn't anyone else doing anything?" Adler said.




Yes, we have people as bigoted as anywhere in the world, here in NYC. We also have something else, though. We also have people like Hassan Askari, who stepped up when others were scared to. This guy's a hero in my book.



Read the whole article (linked above), for more info about one of the twisted attackers (and photos of the victims). Already facing 6 months jail for a previous racial assault, this was the lowlife's comment:



"I'm trying to stay out of trouble," he said. "When I get out, I want to go into the military."



Only in NY, folks. The best and worst of humanity, right on our front pages.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Long Knives Come Out: THE NEW YORKER AND VANITY FAIR TO "PROFILE" SPITZER

Spitzer gets "profiled" by both The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. According to PAGE SIX, neither is a flattering profile. My buddy jJack Midnight asked me back in July: "why I should care about local politics in New York?" My reply was that he was a rising Democratic star, who was about to fall.

And fall he has. That two "dyed-in-the-wool" liberal magazines will feature him, in a critical light, at the same time, says it all. He should never have made a problem for Hillary. I'd like to think that my reporting of Spitzer's excesses helped, but this level of media influence is uniquely Clintonian. The "long knives" are coming out.

Readers of LEAVWORLD: GRAFFITI POLITTI will be familiar with all of the dirt on Spitzer, of course. I'm just glad to see the "progressive intellectual" media agree with a position I've been advocating for months. A final thought: "Don't put a fork in Spitzer; he's not done yet!"

Update: Fred U. Dicker's latest column gleans some "new" dirt on Spitzer, from the New Yorker piece, in Tuesday's (12/04/07) NY Post! Echoing my "final thought!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

GOP YOUTUBE DEBATE SCANDAL: CNN CAN'T SEE THE FOLIAGE FOR THE PLANTS


I was going to write about today's NY Daily Snooze double-page spread on the GOP YouTube debate, which didn't mention the "plant" situation once (the Post was sold out at two stores). Instead, I'm publishing this rambling rant, on the wider story.



For those who don't know, more than 4 of the question videos that CNN selected were from open supporters of Democratic candidates, and the story's still breaking. One, Keith H. Kerr, is on Hillary's LGBT steering committee in California. He was flown into CNN studios, to ask follow-up questions. He looks like a "plant," but it's growing into what Michelle Malkin calls "foliage." (Read her lead story for all the updated details)



Edwards, Obama, and Richardson supporters also were selected, as evidenced in their own YouTube profiles, in some cases. One guy participated in the Democratic YouTube debate, so they had to know his political affiliation. We're talking overwhelming bias, that can't be called a "random oversight." Why would CNN have Democrats asking questions of candidates in a Republican primary race; especially committed supporters of specific Democratic candidates?



I hate to digress, but didn't all of the Dem candidates boycott the Fox News/ Congressional Black Caucus debate, under the flimsy excuse of "political" bias? What if CNN had been found to have Romney, Giuliani, and McCain supporters' questions asked of the Dems, back in the July YouTube debate? Would this be a bigger story, and wouldn't heads roll at CNN? These are fair questions.



I've read alot of commentary about "who knew what," most of it absolving Anderson Cooper. I agree with that, but the producers of this debate should be held to account, and how these people got selected should be exposed. This is not asking too much, in light of the sensitivity over media "bias" these days.



I only watched a few minutes of the debate, but the people I saw seemed to be "extreme" right wingers. I saw a guy with a gun, who asked what kind of guns the candidates own! I have to admit I laughed out loud, but what kind of question is that, for a presidential primary debate? CNN has proved again how "in the tank" they are for the Democrat/liberal political agenda, with their selection of video questions.



CNN does no service to the Dems, with overt support like this. People are skeptical of the media already, and CNN is just playing into this storyline. As I listen to, and read partisan leftists "rage on" about Fox News, the NY Post, and the Daily Sun, among other News Corp. media, I have to laugh. All that liberal drivel is now biting CNN in the butt, as they get caught exhibiting bias to a higher degree than they often accuse Fox News of.



The facts are that the NY Post blasts Republicans as often as Dems, proportionately, when they screw up; there are just more Dems to bash in NY. Further, Fox News asked tough questions of the Republicans, when they hosted debates. Finally, Bush gets raked over the coals as much as anyone, though he gets praise for his accomplishents, from both of these "fair and balanced" news outlets, even in their editorial and analysis pieces.



As for CNN, Glenn Beck should be in charge of their whole network, if they want to turn their overall ratings around. He was honest enough to interview Michelle Malkin about this controversy, which brings up a final question: Is it political bias, or bias against integrity and honesty, that keeps Glenn on CNN "Headline News" channel, instead of CNN?



Maybe both.

Monday, November 26, 2007

ACLU Opposes Firefighters' Reporting Terrorism Suspicions


Hat tip to STOP THE ACLU and Weasel Zippers.



What to make of this?




WASHINGTON (AP)Firefighters in major cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people’s privacy.



Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel don’t need warrants to access hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings each year, putting them in a position to spot behavior that could indicate terrorist activity or planning.



But there are fears that they could lose the faith of a skeptical public by becoming the eyes of the government, looking for suspicious items such as building blueprints or bomb-making manuals or materials.



The American Civil Liberties Union says using firefighters to gather intelligence is another step in that direction. Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now national security policy counsel to the ACLU, said the concept is dangerously close to the Bush administration’s 2002 proposal to have workers with access to private homes — such as postal carriers and telephone repairmen — report suspicious behavior to the FBI.



"Americans universally abhorred that idea," German said. (we do?- ed.)




One would hope that anyone who sees something suspicious would alert the authorities. Of course, the ACLU doesn’t see it that way. I am reminded of the rapper that said he wouldn’t rat out a terrorist, even if he lived next door. It would conflict with his “don’t snitch” philosophy. Disgraceful.



Let's get one thing clear: even the ACLU acknowledges that firemen, or any official with "warrantless" access to a person's home must report any criminal activity they witness. They are also required to report any hazardous or unsafe conditions. Would training them to be alert for known terrorist tools and M.O. be a bad thing?



Still, read the whole AP piece. It has more details about the sharing of intelligence between FD's and the feds; why it is already going on, and probably will expand. Take that, ACLU.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

IS SPITZER A BULLY ON TAXES AND ENERGY POLICY? WHO'S IN CHARGE?


Gov. Spitzer has a serious credibility problem permeating the core of his administration, beyond the looming "dirty tricks" scandal. This problem stems from the attitude he instills in his appointees, and how "hands on" he manages their bullying tactics. I will relate three stories that illustrate either a lack of control over his administration, or direct control over shameful tactics, and policies.



The same day that Spitzer flipped on his license plan for illegals, he killed a proposed tax on internet sales in NYS, that would have gone into effect just in time for Christmas shopping season. The interesting thing was that it hadn't been publicly "proposed" anywhere, until they announced it's cancellation. Spitzer now claims that he just found out about the tax, and cancelled it. The NY Post has two Op-eds that are worth excerpting. First, from "The Grinch & the Gov."




Alice in Wonderland has nothing on Eliot in Albany: The latest Spitzer administration trip down the rabbit hole comes courtesy of state Budget Director Paul Francis.



Francis is the putative author of the Grinch tax - a bizarre proposal intended to impose new Internet-shopping taxes just in time for the Christmas rush.



Even the astonishingly tone-deaf Gov. Spitzer seems to have recognized the PR disaster lurking in that little gem, for it died a swift death shortly after news of it leaked to The New York Sun.



But the Grinch tax wasn't a tax at all, complains Francis: "It's only a tax increase to the person who is paying."



Could he possibly believe that?



Does Spitzer believe that?



Or maybe Spitzer wasn't in on the scheme. Francis also told the newspaper that the Grinch tax was so secret the governor wasn't even told about it.



Now, this is the same governor who says he wasn't apprised of the plot to sic the State Police on Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno - so, we suppose, anything's possible.



If so, though, it's a little unsettling to learn that the state budget director - in the final analysis, an unelected numbers-cruncher - feels free to hit New Yorkers with new taxes without telling the boss.



Or anybody else, so it seems.




The second explores wider tax policy, and another Spitzer appointee. It's titled "The Tax Man Grabbeth":




Gov. Spitzer's Grinch Tax, floated and withdrawn in a trice last week, raised some disconcerting questions:



* Just who is making policy at the state tax department?



* What other mischievous schemes are overzealous underlings in his adminstration plotting for New Yorkers?



* What does the Grinch Tax have in common with the Yankees' Derek Jeter?



The answer to that last question may well be one Robert Plattner - an Albany lawyer and a deputy commissioner at Spitzer's Department of Taxation and Finance who apparently has dedicated himself to scooping up every last penny Albany thinks it has coming...



...Plattner may not be the fellow who ginned up the Grinch Tax, or who actually put the arm on Jeter - but it's pretty clear that he's a key intellectual force behind a super-charged collection policy.



According to the publication State Tax Notes, Plattner announced that Albany would launch a tax "compliance campaign," with "increased enforcement."



He said the state was considering "a more expansive approach" for both corporate-income and sales taxes.



Indeed, it turns out that Plattner - the author of several New York tax handbooks - has long boosted a dubious interpretation of "use tax" laws, like the one at the heart of the Grinch Tax.



He knew he was pushing the envelope: "One strategy," he said - in an item from 2003 posted at taxanalysts.com - is "extending" states' use-tax authority "to the outer boundary of existing constitutional limitations." (Translation: Really never give a sucker an even break - ever!)



Plattner went on to call for stretching the "definition of 'independent sales representatives' " to include Web sites that direct shoppers to online retailers, like Amazon.com. Those retailers would then have to collect taxes.



Which is just how the Grinch Tax would've worked.




I think I can safely say that Gov. Spitzer supported this idea, which would have hit every NY'er shopping online, at a time when everyone is trying to stretch their personal budgets. The "lack of knowledge of it" excuse smacks of clear deceit, after reading the second excerpt. Apparently, he prefers an air of ignorance to embracing unpopular policies his own people came up with. This goes to an old Rush quote, "Democrats can't be who they are, and get elected." They always run for cover when their agenda is exposed.



There is also Spitzer's problem with temperment, which has bled down into his administration to an amazing degree. This is not a good thing, and is a huge factor in his current situation. Spitzer's people treat any opposition harshly, as shown in this article, 'Eliot's Bully' Made Threat: Insider:




A top aide to Gov. Spitzer involved in the Dirty Tricks Scandal angrily threatened to "professionally kill" a top utility executive for opposing the governor's energy policies, sources have told The Post.



Spitzer Policy Director Peter Pope said he was "going to kill" Gavin Donohue, the head of the Independent Power Producers of New York, an association of private energy companies, in a bitter clash early last summer over the governor's efforts to block the construction of nuclear-power plants and more than two "clean coal" plants in the state, the sources said.



"He was really threatening Gavin. It was unbelievable. It was shocking," said one of the state's best-known lobbyists.



"Pope was screaming and threatening to get him fired with his bosses and jabbing his finger in Donohue's face," added another source, who claimed Pope had also threatened several lobbyists over policy disagreements.



"He was yelling at Gavin, 'You're working against us! You're trying to hurt us! You have to pressure [Senate Majority Leader Joseph] Bruno to get with us on this!'



"When Gavin tried to explain why he opposed the governor's plan, Pope said he didn't want to know about the substance of the issue. He just wanted to close down [pass] the governor's bill," the source continued.



"I have never been treated so unprofessionally in my whole life," he told associates.



Donohue kept detailed, written notes of the clash, one associate said. Contacted by The Post, Donohue said he'd had "intense negotiations" with Pope. But when asked whether he had been threatened, he responded, "I have no comment."




Again, who is the man pulling this guy Peter Pope's strings? Gov. "Steamroller" Spitzer. It's tough to keep up with all of the negative stories coming out, since he came out with his illegal license plan. As I mentioned in several posts and comments, the greater attention he brought to himself did little to distract people from his underlying serious flaws and scandals. Rather, it has brought on more scrutiny.



A parting gift, from PAGE SIX:




Give Us Pataki!



November 18, 2007 -- EVEN in the staunchly Democratic bastion of the West Village, there's no love for Eliot Spitzer. Former Gov. George Pataki, who's now with environmental consulting firm Pataki-Cahill, was celebrating wife Libby's birthday at the Waverly Inn last week when he was greeted by admirers. Pataki, leaving the restaurant with his former economic-development chief Charles Gargano and a crowd of family friends, was approached by a man on the street who started shouting, "Bring Pataki back, Spitzer sucks." A spy laughed, "This went on for like 15 minutes."




To quote Cindy Adams: "Only in New York, kiddies. Only in New York."

PS: I still dislike PaTAXi more than Spitzer, for now. He was supposed to be a Republican, not a sellout.

How Gov. Spitzer Was Elected, and How It's Coming Back To Haunt Him


I was recently asked a few questions about Gov. Spitzer: How was he elected by such a large margin? What was his platform? What was his reputation in NY before becoming Govenor?



The answers to all of these are intertwined, but I'll try to answer them with some context here. Spitzer, as the NYS Att'y Gen., was known as "the sheriff of Wall St." He "prosecuted" many high-profile CEO's and corporations, also making some forays into the richly corrupt area of NYS Medicaid fraud. I put "prosecuted" in quotation marks, because of the lesser-known stories, one of which has resurfaced of late. Spitzer is being hit with a lawsuit for $75 million, accusing the former AG with fraudulent prosecution. Here's an excerpt from Alex Ginsberg, reporting in the NY Post:




The lawsuit, filed last week in Brooklyn federal court, charges that Spitzer, who in 2006 was the attorney general and the Democratic front-runner in the primary battle for governor, was getting slammed as being soft on Medicaid fraud - and found a convenient fall guy.




Read the whole article for the particulars, but this was typical of Spitzer's style as AG. Often, he made decisions based on media exposure, instead of the facts, or law. What he did on Wall St. was called a "shakedown," by some, with good reason. It was less costly for many of these firms to settle than fight in court. He aslo strangely overlooked some high profile CEO's (Bob Rubin of Citibank, for one), prosecuting the lower-level employees instead. These were the unreported storylines, unless you're a regular NY Post reader (the Wall St. Jornal editorial page was another exception).



On the other hand...



It was a NYers dream come true, if you watched the MSM, or read the NY Times or NY Daily News. He made a national reputation as an anti-corporate crusader, and became very popular with not just rank-and-file Democrats, but many disaffected Republicans in NYS. He ran on this slogan: "Day one, everything changes," and promised to end "pay for play" politics.



This fed into many people's hope that he would turn his zealous prosecutorial skills on the pit of corruption that is Albany. It overrode all other issues of his "platform," because every NY pol, of either party, gives "lip service" to the typical liberal issues. After three terms, it was Republican Governor Pataki's turn to be mired in corruption, so deep that he flirted with running for President, while gracefully declining to run for re-election. This is apparently becoming a tradition in NY, with Spitzer replacing Pataki as "coming in on a white horse," much as Pataki did when he beat Democrat Gov. Cuomo twelve years earlier.



Alas, it's not the Governor's job to clean up the system that got him elected. The dashing of those hopes explains his unprecedented crashing poll numbers. Gov. Spitzer is a complicated man, or at least has complicated scandals to explain. He used the media in his political quest for the governorship, and made alot of enemies along the way. This lawsuit, while a minor story now, highlights how the people he stepped on can return the favor. The media may help destroy him, as well, if it sells. I hope this answers the three questions, with some context.



PS: It's important to note that NY is deep "blue" country, with Dems outnumbering the GOP signifigantly. The NY Republican party was (and still is) pretty much a "shadow organization," among rank-and-file Republicans, which made them easy pickings for Spitzer's media machine.




Gideons Keep Out of North Carolina’s Elementary Schools!


Crossposted from Stop the ACLU! Written by Jay



Gideons Keep Out of North Carolina’s Elementary Schools!




A North Carolina school district is putting an end to the donations of Bibles to elementary school kids.



The Cumberland County school system says state law limits the practice strictly to high schools and has issued instructions banning it at 54 elementary schools in the metro Fayetteville area.



The move comes after a parent complained about the stack of Bibles left in her son’s classroom earlier this month. The same parent filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union.



The Fayetteville Observer said that while a 1998 court decision allows outside groups to make Bibles available to high school students, the ACLU contends it doesn’t apply to elementary kids who might see the practice as promoting Christianity over other religions.



The Bibles came from the Gideons, the group best known for supplying Bibles to hotel rooms.




Gideons be warned. The ACLU are likely to jail you if you try to share the gospel to kids. What? You thought the Constitution protected freedom of religion? Not according to the ACLU’s version. Maybe you should try pro-Palestian, or pro-Communist propaganda. Or maybe install some footbaths to accomadate Muslims. The ACLU seem to think these are protected speech.



The ACLU have a long history of going after the Gideons, but talk about splitting hairs. I thought their argument was based on public schools being government funded. Whats the difference between Elementary and High Schools on that basis? A biased loophole is all. Once again the ACLU lives up to its reputation as America’s number one religious censor.



Conservative Belle:




I wonder if parents of an elementary school student in NC could sue the state now and claim there is age discrimination by only allowing Bibles for teenagers. They seemed to be the ones now discriminated against. The ACLU is once again picking and choosing their ridiculous battles.




Lobo emails this article on it as well and says:




“The ACLU also argued that the case did not support Bible distribution in elementary schools. >>>Those students are impressionable<<< and would likely think that the school was promoting the Bible by making it available, said Katherine Lewis Parker, the legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina."



Is the ACLU admitting that students are "impessionable" when it comes to the Bible but NOT when it involves teaching and advocating Islam in our schools? Or homosexuality? etc.


Friday, November 16, 2007

The Arafat Legacy (of Death) Continues...


Crossposted, with permission, from Sweet Spirits of Ammonia, by BobG:



Yasser Arafat's legacy of death is still bearing its rotten fruit in the Middle East. At a rally in Gaza City to commemorate his death, at least six have died from gunfire.



The opponents are the secular Fatah and Isalmist Hamas. Hamas has banned opposition rallies since its takeover of Gaza. However, stopping a ceremony to honor Arafat would not have been possible. So great is the Palestinian worship of this devil's spawn, it crosses all factions.



The demonstration became chaotic as Hamas security began shooting. Hamas officials said they fired toward Fatah protesters for throwing stones at the security compounds. Others said the shots were fired when the crowd began taunting Hamas security forces, accusing them of serving the interests of Shia ruled Iran. The crowd chanted the word "Shia" repeatedly. That's enough to get you shot by Isalmomaniacs.



And we want these lunatics to have their own country?



UPDATE: According to The Jerusalem Post there are seven dead, eighty five wounded and 400 arrested.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gov. Spitzer Update: Crossing Hillary, Backtracking, and the Return of Spygate


It's been awhile since I updated everyone on my Governor, Eliot Spitzer. His "illegal license" plan has been causing quite a stir in the democratic primary race, but that's all been in the news. My last Spitzer post was about his retaliation against his political opponents, in the form of funding cuts to the poor. He's been busy as a bee since then, and not all of it has been widely reported.



Gov. Spitzer was reeling from the Spygate scandal, when he released his policy. It caught many of his political allies off guard, including Hillary Clinton, showing it for the political distraction ploy it was. It did distract the media, but became too big a story, focusing much negative attention on Spitzer, from both sides of the political aisle. One can only guess how Hillary's campaign expressed their displeasure.



The story, as all NY political dramas do, gets more convoluted. Spitzer is backtracking on the license policy, and one of his former top aides may have lied under oath in the Spygate investigation. His poll numbers continue to plummet, and people are pushing NYC Mayor Bloomberg to run against him, in 3 years (if the Gov. lasts that long in office).



Here's a roundup of stories, with the particulars, from the NY POST. I start from the earliest, so look at the bottom for the latest installments, and this only scratches the surface of their Spitzer archive. (link to complete index here)



MIKE IN THE "NO"



November 2, 2007 - For the first time, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday flatly came out against Gov. Spitzer's plan to allow legal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses - as Hillary Rodham Clinton took fire from both...more



SLOWING DOWN DEMS: HILL WON'T CHOOSE LANE



November 2, 2007 - THE ISSUE: Sen. Clinton's refusal to commit to a position on granting driver's licenses to illegals. This week's debate spelled trouble for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as her continual...more



ADS AIM TO "DRIVE" HILL NUTS



November 3, 2007 - WASHINGTON - In a pair of new Web ads, Hillary Rodham Clinton came under searing attack from rivals in both parties yesterday over her slippery position on whether to give driver's licenses to...more



ELIOT PUTS DYING GOP IN DRIVERS' SEAT



November 5, 2007 - SOMBER Democrats are privately conced ing that Gov. Spitzer's controversial plan to give drivers' licenses to illegal aliens has done the impossible by reviving New York's long-moribund...more



GOV'S PLAN GIVES GOP ELEX BOOST UPSTATE



November 7, 2007 - Upstate Republicans yesterday got an electoral lift from Gov. Spitzer's controversial plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. But the issue played a lesser role on Long...more



DENY THIS, MIKE!



November 7, 2007 - ALBANY - One of the state's most prominent political figures confirmed yesterday that a top aide to Mayor Bloomberg had talked with a leading Republican strategist about Hizzoner running for...more



GOV. FIGHTS "TRICKS" SUBPOENA



November 9, 2007 - ALBANY - Gov. Spitzer yesterday filed legal papers to quash subpoenas issued by a state Senate committee for documents pertaining to the Dirty Tricks Scandal. In exerting executive privilege, the...more



LAWYER DROPS DOPP AMID PERJURY PROBE



November 10, 2007 - ALBANY - The lawyer for the one-time aide to Gov. Spitzer at the center of the Dirty Tricks Scandal abruptly dropped his client yesterday as the Albany district attorney began a probe for possible...more



SPITZER IN LANE CHANGE



November 10, 2007 - Embattled Gov. Spitzer yesterday for the first time pointedly refused to rule out shelving his controversial plan to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses. Speaking to reporters in...more



TOP SPITZ MAN TOLD AIDE TO LIE: INSIDER



November 12, 2007 - Gov. Spitzer's former communications di rector, Darren Dopp, asked another Spitzer aide to lie about the origins of the Dirty Tricks Scandal - including the governor's own allegedly extensive...more



DA WILL PUT SPITZ MAN ON THE GRILL



November 13, 2007 - ALBANY - Albany District Attorney David Soares will interview a top aide to Gov. Spitzer later this week about the circumstances under which the aide and two officials helped prepare a sworn...more






This concludes my update on Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Now, I'll give a brief summary of the man that around 70 percent of NY'ers voted for. He is a typical failed politician, having made too many enemies on his way up. He seems to have an abrasive personality, even for a politician. It has all come back to haunt him. When NY'ers turn against someone the way they have with Spitzer, other political knives come out. "Et tu, Hillary?" Maybe, but no-one will ever know. "wink-wink"

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: As I was writing this, Rob Port over at Say Anything (Hat tip) was posting a link to the NY Times, confirming that Gov. Spitzer is "abandoning his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, saying that opposition is just too overwhelming to move forward with such a policy," to quote. This confirms a huge backtrack, which I believe Imentioned, earlier in this post. Thanks for the timely post, Rob, because I don't read the NY Times!

I did, however, click on the link to the Times' stories on Gov. Spitzer. Want to see their sympathetic coverage of Spitzer? Click HERE.




Saturday, November 10, 2007

Re-examining McCarthyism While Watching the Manchurian Candidate: I'm a McCarthyist!



In a strange, almost "karmic" co-incidence, I started reading Ann Coulter's latest column, "McCarthyism: The Rosetta Stone of Liberal Lies," at the same time that PBS was broadcasting "The Manchurian Candidate," Friday morning. I had never seen the movie, and was shocked to witness the very same historical liberal smears of Sen. Joe McCarthy that Ms. Coulter was writing about!



In the movie, released in 1962 (which was long after McCarthy's "fall from grace"), a fictional version of the senator is portrayed as totally subservient to his domineering wife, who is also a Communist agent (Angela Lansbury, in an outstanding performance). Here's an excerpt from Coulter's column that explains this in political terms:




Rather than own up to their moral blindness to Soviet espionage, Democrats fired up the liberal slander machine, which would be deployed again and again over the next half century to the present day. In hiding their own perfidy, liberals were guilty of every sin they lyingly imputed to McCarthy. There were no "McCarthyites" until liberals came along.








McCarthy was the target of Hollywood for obvious reasons, but there are parallels to the treatment given to the current administration, conservatives, and Republicans in general by our political opponents. In the movie, a "good guy" liberal senator calls the McCarthy character a "facist." That does sound familiar, doesn't it?



Watching the conclusion of the movie, as the "McCarthy"- modeled character gets shot in the head (though not before the liberal senator does), I finally finished reading the column. The movie is an intricate conspiracy theory, which brings me back to another relevant Coulter excerpt:




Ironically, for all of their love of conspiracy theories -- the rigging of the 2000 election, vote suppression in Ohio in 2004, 9/11 being an inside job, oil companies covering up miracle technology that would allow cars to run on dirt, Britney Spears' career, etc., etc. -- when presented with an actual conspiracy of Soviet spies infiltrating the U.S. government, they laughed it off like world-weary skeptics and dedicated themselves to slandering Joe McCarthy.




Here we are, decades later, and "right wingers" are still being slandered as facists, or racists, or "the real terrorists," by a new crop of liberal idiots. Hollywood is having a revival of the "counter-culture" days, and the world is being told how awful we are by our own media.



The war on islamofascism is real, though somewhat more amorphous than the war on communism was, in several ways. The locus of islamofacism is spread among many nations; some are "our staunch allies," and some are "the axis of evil," to quote our President. The truth is that we know where this evil is coming from, and it includes some of our erstwhile "allies" in this war, as well as our obvious opponents.



It is an internal conflict for many of them, as it is for us. I stand as a McCartheist, opposed to the infiltration of our culture, and government, by those who sympathize with people who would destroy the very freedoms that make our way of life possible. I cite a movie from 45 years ago, to show how similar these "useful idiot" liberals of today are to the ones from the peak of the cold war. Don't let history repeat itself.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Racism and Power: University of Delaware and Hazel Dukes' OTB

Let's take a look at another liberal folly exposed. First, from FNC's Special Report, the Political Grapevine segment:

The president of the University of Delaware has pulled the plug on that
controversial student diversity program we told you about Thursday.

Training materials for the program stated - "The term (racist) applies to
all white people ... living in the United States, regardless of class, gender,
religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be
racists, because ...they do not have the power to back up their prejudices,
hostilities, or acts of discrimination."

Students also complained about coercion on such topics as sexual
orientation, politics and the environment.

Thursday, university President Patrick Harker said, "Questions about the
program must be addressed and there are reasons for concern that the actual
purpose is not being fulfilled."


Indeed. This type of thinking is based in leftist ideology, not reality. People of every color have power in this country, and can abuse it, for any number of reasons, including racism. I cite Hazel Dukes, former NYS Off-Track Betting president, as well as former NAACP NY chairman. In the '90's, when she was appointed head of OTB by Gov. Mario Cuomo, she fired most of the white managers, if not all of them, and only white managers. There is little to be found online, but they did sue, and reach a settlement, as I remember.

There is no doubt that Ms. Dukes had the power, but did she abuse it for racial reasons, or just to put her friends in charge? It doesn't make a difference, because if the races were reversed, there would be no question in a liberal's mind (or in our courts) that it was racism. In fact, the overwhelming evidence forced the settlement. This refutes the theory underlying the "diversity" (read as liberal) propaganda they're shoving down student's throats at UD, and most colleges.

Because of the freedoms we enjoy in this nation, all minorities are free to speak about their different experiences, and viewpoints. Racism is a big problem, but it's not the exclusive province of white people, by a long shot. This "diversity" policy, at the University of Delaware, was biased on it's face, and didn't recognize racism as a worldwide phenomenon, not exclusive to the USA. This is a narrow, rather than comprehensive view of the subject.

As I said in the opening, another liberal folly exposed. Talking candidly about racism is the only way to deal with it. I hope this leads to a trend in re-examining policies on college campuses. I know that there's already a FIRE burning under their collective butts, but that's for another column. For now, I'm waiting to see what UD does next, as far as reforming their "diversity" program. Maybe they can get some views on "diversity" from conservatives?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Alliance Defense Fund: Fighting the Good Fight


I often post about STOP the ACLU, and repost alot of their stuff. This week, I want to focus on an organization that I learned about from the fine folks at STACLU. The Alliance Defense Fund is kind of an ACLU for people of faith, who choose to express it openly. Apparently, the ACLU is often an opponent of religious civil liberties; the ADF is there to oppose them, as well as some like-minded activists in the bureaucracy and judiciary. Here's a roundup of some of their latest cases, so you can get an idea of where they stand:





5th Circuit upholds parental rights victory for Texas teacher



Teacher represented by ADF ally denied promotion after declining to move her children from private religious school to public school



ADF attorney available to the media following hearing on Ga. man jailed for handing out religious literature



Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman will be available to answer questions from the media following a hearing Wednesday in the case Baumann v. City of Cumming. The case involves a Christian man, Fredric Baumann, whom Cumming police arrested in April for handing out religious literature on a public sidewalk, using the city’s "parade ordinance" as justification for the arrest.



6th Circuit rules in favor of Boyd County student, reinstates free speech case



Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have succeeded in their appeal of a federal judge’s decision against a Boyd County, Ky., student. A former school district policy prohibited the student from saying to other students that homosexual behavior is wrong. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Friday reversed a ruling in favor of the school district and sent the case back to trial.





ADF attorney sends invocation policies to help Penn. Senate and Akron officials who want to pray





The Alliance Defense Fund has sent letters to the Pennsylvania Senate and city officials in Akron, Ohio, offering legal information to both on the constitutionality of opening public meetings with an invocation. In recent weeks, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has threatened both of those governmental bodies and countless others nationwide with legal action because the officials begin their meetings in the traditional manner.



Earlier this month, after receiving similar information and offers of support from ADF, the Ohio House of Representatives reversed its previous decision to censor legislative prayers. A growing number of public bodies across the country are now adopting tailored versions of ADF’s model prayer policy for their own local use.




These are not cases the ACLU has "found the time for," to be polite. In fact, my buddy Glib Fortuna over at STACLU skewers their amazing claim that a "Federal Court Agrees with ACLU: Schools Can Protect Both Gay Students and Religious Speech." Here's the relevant part of the ACLU press release:




The case decided today was brought in 2005 by an anti-gay legal organization, which claimed that the training and policy violated the religious freedom and free speech rights of students who are opposed to it. The ACLU, representing former student plaintiffs in its original case, joined the lawsuit to help defend the school's ability to conduct the training and to support all students' free speech rights.




To this, Glib says:




Sounds like the ACLU was in the right on this one…that is until you know how the school came to institute a tyrannical program in the first place. No, this isn’t what the ACLU "was saying all along."





The ACLU filed suit against this school several years ago on behalf of students who wanted to form a "Gay-Straight Alliance" club. The ACLU argument for this type of sodomy-promotion club are constitutionally sound on Equal Access grounds (though, natch, the ACLU has argued against a Christian club being permitted using the opposite argument in a case currently at the 9th Circuit), but that isn’t the problem. The ACLU claimed that because "anti-gay harrassment" was "widespread" at the school (charges that were completely inflated, but this rural school district was being attacked by the ACLU, so of course it did what it was told), part of letting the scared-shirtless district off the hook would be the implementation of the very policies and program the ACLU is claiming the federal court "agreed" with it about!




He continues:




In 2005, the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against the school for enforcing the policies the ACLU demanded. No doubt the ACLU would agree with the manner and course of the implementation of these policies had ADF not filed suit to protect the rights of students constitutionally-vicitmized by the ACLU-inspired speech suppression, but the ACLU had to cover its 6 once ADF smoked this thing out. Not only was this "tolerance training" mandatory (students would be penalized academically for refusing to attend, even if their parents excused them), students were not even permitted to voice an opposing viewpoint! The ACLU is claiming that the school went too far, but who really believes the ACLU would have jumped in had it not been for the ADF which exposed the program the ACLU demanded and surely had to know how it was being run.



Of course the infantile ACLU can’t resist name-calling in its press release. Instead of acknowledging ADF’s stand for the First Amendment in a case the ACLU surely would not have brought itself, it instead refers to an "anti-gay legal organization." Hey ACLU, do you mean that same group that is cleaning your clock in courts all across the country over and over again.




Here's an excerpt from the WND story linked in Glib's post, though I recommend reading the entire article:





The ACLU's support of a legal precedent used to gain recognition of a student homosexual group has reversed now that the ruling is being used to back the rights of a Christian club on campus, claims a public-interest law firm.





The "public interest law firm" is the ADF, and consider me an admirer. All it takes is "secular" people of all faiths to look away, and those who profess their beliefs in their lives become open to discrimination, in many ways. Christians may be a majority, but Christian beliefs are being excised from the "public square" in clearly unconstitutional ways. The ADF is fighting this trend, with amazing success.



Full disclosure: They linked to my blog, the last time I did an ADF roundup. It was quite some time ago, and I'm not expecting one now. I just like them.


Friday, October 26, 2007

EVERYBODY'S SCARED OF BUSH, ALL OF A SUDDEN?

"Bush wants to take us into a war with Iran." HULABAZOO! This is a "scare tactic" from the left. I love it that they aren't terrorized by the thought of a nuclear weapon in Iran's possesion, than the thought that Bush might authorize a war with them over it. It's not going to happen.

This has become a political football for the Dem primary candidates. Obama accuses Hillary of giving Bush "cover" for an invasion with her vote declaring Iran's Republican Guard and Al Quds Force terrorist organizations, but he wasn't there for the vote.

I have to side with Hillary on this one. The truth is that these organizations are responsible for the Shiite terrorists in Iraq, as well as linking with both Sunnis and Christians in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, especially the Gaza. They fund Hezbollah, Hamas, among other terrorists.

Let's look at the "sabre-rattling" done by other world leaders recently. Ahmedinejad just called the nuclear issue "closed." Putin resumes "cold war" military flights, meets with Ahmedinejad. Bush is just rattling a bigger sabre. Anyone who thinks we will invade Iran before Bush's term ends is a bigger fool than they assume George Bush is.

GIULIANI AND D'AMATO BUYING CRACK: 1986

Seeing the recent news (link) about the Mafia's "vote" on whether to whack Giuliani back in the '80's, I was reminded of an old publicity stunt he pulled with then-Sen. Al D'Amato, in '86. Picture D'Amato and Giuliani dressed as bikers. buying crack on a NYC streetcorner. Here's an excerpt from The New Yorker, August 4, 1986, p. 66: (link)

D'Amato & Giuliani, dressed in disreputable clothing, went to what
amounts to an open-air drug market in Washington Heights. They were accompanied by 30 armed federal agents & undercover police plus photographers. Within a few seconds each had bought 2 vials of crack. No arrests were made. The purpose of the excursion was to demonstrate that it's easy to buy crack in that neighborhood.


I remember the photos. They were hilarious! Expect them to resurface soon, probably with a story of how improved that corner is today. Google the title of this post for more links, but I didn't find any that show the photos yet. It's just a matter of time, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

SPITZER'S "GOVERNMENT BY VENGEANCE" MAY CLOSE MEDICAL CLINIC (Young and Poor Hit Hardest)

In my last column, I noted that the NYCLU thanked NY Gov. Spitzer for his "illegal alien drivers license" plan. I wonder if they'll thank him for this week's stunt.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R) has pledged to sue Spitzer, to block the drivers license plan. Now, Spitzer has blocked $300,000 of "member item" spending in Tedisco's district.

"Member items" usually mean pork, but in Tedisco's struggling Assembly district, the money was designated for, among other things, the following: Upgrading one school district's elementary school playgrounds; video surveillance upgrades for another; finally, $100,000 for Schenectady's health clinic, which provides free health care for poor and uninsured people. Tedisco predicts that this will shut the clinic down, harming the most needy people in his district.

It's not hard to see why the Gov's poll numbers are in a freefall, and not likely to come back up anytime soon. Still, it's five years until he stands for re-election, which is a long time for the electorate's collective memory. He is still getting more deeply caught up in the "dirty tricks" travel scandal, having to admit his aides tried to forward Sen. Joe Bruno's travel records to the IRS, in the last few weeks.

Let's hope he's no longer governor by the time the next scheduled election comes around.

UPDATE: "Smoking gun" emails have been exposed by Tedisco, "showing Gov. Spitzer's administration had OK'd funding for a local health-care clinic last month - before suddenly canceling the grant on Monday ," according to the NY POST (NYC's real "paper of record"). You won't read about this in the NY Liberal Times, folks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NYCLU THANKS SPITZER FOR ILLEGAL LICENSE PLAN: "RABID RIGHT" OPPOSE IT?

There they go again. The NYCLU sent out an email containing the following excerpt:




Then, on September 21, Governor Spitzer announced his plan to expand access to New York State driver’s licenses to hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in New York. This was a tremendous step for public safety, for immigrants’ rights and for the civil rights of all New Yorkers. The policy will enable some 500,000 New Yorkers to emerge from the shadows and become full contributing members of society and the economy, building trust between undocumented communities and law enforcement.



Take a moment to thank the governor for taking action to promote public safety, safe roadways, and civil liberties for all New Yorkers by clicking here.




Now, this is not surprising, but it brings up several questions. First, won't this make it harder for employers to screen out people who are here illegaly, opening them up to legal sanctions? I hear my friends on the left saying that the feds should "go after" the greedy corporations who take advantage of the cheap labor that illegals provide. Isn't Spitzer making this exploitation easier? Does anyone think that an employer who doesn't intend to hire illegal workers will get any less penalty because the person has a valid NYS license?



Gov. Spitzer calls opponents of his plan "the rabid right." This excerpt from the NY POST puts that theory to rest:








Meanwhile, in Albany yesterday, Spitzer dismissed much of the opposition to his plan as being fueled by the "rabid right" - despite the fact that a number of Democrats, including Koch and Suffolk County Executive Steven Levy, oppose the measure.



Freshman state Sen. Craig Johnson, who owes his current seat to Spitzer, also came out against the plan.



"We set a policy that is good for public security," Spitzer said. "The rabid right that wants to pile on and use this to demagogue the issue will not carry the day in New York state."



Spitzer also said he will not bow to pressure to back off his plan.



"Those who view this as a political issue once again are taking the state in the wrong direction," he said.




I'd like to turn Spitzer's statement on it's head. It appears that the people that support his license plan are actually "the rabid left," as evidenced by the "thank you" form letter sent in the NYCLU email. They are a political interest group, masquerading as a civil rights' organization. Spitzer has unmitigated gall to say this is not "a political issue." He, and his cronys are taking this state in the wrong direction!



Spitzer, and the NYCLU are out of touch with regular liberals on this one, as well. Every liberal I know thinks this is a bad idea, and I know quite a few liberals, here in NY. What is going on here is Spitzer taking a radical left turn, because of heat from the right over his "troopergate" scandal. Unfortunately, he's stepped into a larger controversy, over the illegal issue. This will not divert attention from "troopergate," but bring more media attention.



The NYCLU is the main chapter of the ACLU, which purports to stand for the American Civil Liberties Union. Am I the only one that sees Spitzer's license plan as violating the rights of every legal immigrant, visitor, and citizen? Are special, extra-legal rights to be conferred to people from other nations who reside here in violation of civil law? This is basic stuff, without even touching the security arguments. Will a US citizen be able to get a NYS driver's license without a SSN, as well?



This point may be moot, however, once the final parameters for the REAL ID act are announced. Spitzer is sucking up to the NYCLU on this now, because he knows that NYS is already not in compliance with the first draft of the DHS rule enforcing it. See this link to understand how the REAL ID act is being applied through the DHS bureaucracy. The ACLU, of course, will oppose it in any form, with constant legal challenges.



This is another reason the ACLU, and the NYCLU are widely known to be "rabid left" institutions, that ought to be opposed. They, and Gov. "steamrolled" Spitzer, are WRONG on this license scheme, whatever their motivation. NY's Chicken Gov. has gone "home" to roost, and crow from his left-wing nest that he's "fighting the good fight." BLARNEY! (or BALONEY, as most NYers say it)


This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at Over 200 blogs already onboard.

UPDATE: See my next post, SPITZER'S "GOVERNMENT BY VENGEANCE" MAY CLOSE MEDICAL CLINIC (Young and Poor Hit Hardest). This governor symbolizes the cesspool of NY politics, and I intend to continue exposing him.