Saturday, July 28, 2007
July 27, 2007
The Energy Bill That Isn't: Rep. Nick Rahall's Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007
The Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act would set back vital energy infrastructure improvements needed to address America's rapidly growing energy needs. Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA558_Energy_Bill.html
Neo-Know-Nothings? Law of the Sea Supporter Casts Civility Adrift
Are Law of the Sea Treaty critics a new version of anti-Catholic immigrant bashers? One LOST negotiator says so. Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/2007/07/neo-know-nothings-law-of-sea-supporter.html
Protecting Police Officers More Important Than Helping Political Donors, Group Says
Congress should not put the lives of law enforcement officials at risk to benefit its trial lawyer contributors, says Deneen Borelli of the national black group Project 21. Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21PR_Tiahrt_Amendment_072607.html
Senate Committee Passes a Parade of Pork - Threatens Property Rights
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has approved a bevy of pork-barrel legislation that simultaneously expands the ever-growing federal estate and threatens the rights of private property owners. Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/2007/07/senate-committee-passes-parade-of-pork.html
CAFE Tab Too Expensive for America
Proposed legislation to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards - the federally-mandated fuel efficiency rules for cars, light trucks and SUVs - will likely cause more harm to the American people than good, says Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVBorelliCAFE90707.html
Anti-DDT Policies Are Deadly for Africa
Last year, one of our colleagues, his wife and their two children were diagnosed with malaria... Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVAyodeleDDT90707.html
Car-Crazy Congress Set to Break the American Auto Industry
Barack Obama wants you to drive a car that gets over 40 miles per gallon, but it's a case of "do as I say and not what I do." Go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMartinCAFE90707.html
Thought-provoking stuff! Go take a look!
Friday, July 27, 2007
SPITZER EXPOSED: ANATOMY OF A "BREAKING" SCANDAL; LIBERAL MEDIA, STATE POLICE, and POLITICAL CORRUPTION!
The liberal-oriented paper has whacked Bruno for years, and the pol claims it's
because he's a Republican. On Sunday, the Times Union had a story alleging he
improperly used a state- owned helicopter to fly to Manhattan for
politically-connected events - a claim Bruno denies.
It turned out that Sen. Bruno attended official business, as well as political functions, on all of his closely-documented trips, which makes them acceptable under state law. While investigating Sen, Bruno, it came to light that his NY State Trooper security detail was instructed to document his movements in greater detail than any other state official they are assigned to escort. In fact, he had been singled out for this treatment at the behest of the acting superintendent of the State Police.
Spitzer's administration first tried to blame this extra "documentation" of Sen. Bruno by saying that Conservative Party leader Michael Long had requested the probe, after Bruno showed up at a fundraiser with an "intimidating" state police escort. This excuse didn't last much more than a day or so, after Mr. Long vehemently denied it. Then the news broke that two of Gov. Spitzer's "inner circle," Chief of Staff Richard Baum and Communications Director Darren Dopp were behind the State Police "surveillance."
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo investigated, and issued a report, which basically said that "no laws had been broken," to paraphrase, while criticizing the conduct of the two aides. All the while, Gov. Spitzer has denied knowledge of this arrangement, or any involvement in it. Some find this claim hard to believe, including NY Post State Capitol chief Fred U. Dicker, who challenged Spitzer at a press conference today.
Baum and Dopp refused to testify under oath about whether the Governor was "in the loop," instead submitting sworn statements too late for inclusion in the AG's report, though others did, according to the NY Post:
The refusal of Baum and Dopp to answer questions was in sharp contrast to
Spitzer's insistence Monday that his administration had cooperated fully with
William Howard, deputy secretary to the governor for security matters, and
Preston Felton, the acting State Police superintendent both agreed to be
questioned under oath, and a source told The Post that they were asked by
investigators whether Spitzer was aware of the plot.
They responded that they had not discussed it with him. The governor
insisted on Monday that he had no knowledge of the campaign to get Bruno.
In his bombshell report, Cuomo found that Baum, Dopp and Felton were
involved in a scheme to create and publicize Bruno's detailed travel records in
an effort to prove he was using state aircraft for political purposes.
Lerner said that neither Baum nor Dopp gave a reason for their refusal to
cooperate, although he said they did agree to submit sworn statements to Cuomo's
office. But Baum and Dopp gave their written statements on Sunday at the 11th
hour - the day before Cuomo's report was released. They asked to have their
statements included in the report, but Cuomo's aides refused, a source said.
In the wake of Cuomo's findings, neither Baum nor Felton was punished, but
Dopp has been suspended without pay for at least 30 days and Howard has been
That was 2 days ago. Since then, Sen Bruno has called for "multiple investigations" of Gov. Spitzer, and the state Ethics Commission has started a "preliminary investigation," to see if this is worth investigating. Quotes from both stories from the Post:
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno yesterday called for multiple
investigations into the role of Gov. Spitzer and his top aides in an
unprecedented dirty-tricks campaign.
"A lot of people in authority think there was criminality in the executive
branch," said Bruno, who accused Spitzer's aides of using their power to "spy
and track and attempt to really destroy what apparently the Governor's Office
considers a political rival."
"I want to know how much the governor knew . . . This is not going to go
away, not going to get swept under a rug," he continued.
Regarding the state Ethics Commission:
...[T]he state Ethics Commission has subpoena power, which in this case
Cuomo didn't. That means the Ethics Commission could compel Dopp and Secretary
to the Gov. Rich Baum or even Spitzer to testify on the matter.
Ethics Commission spokesman Walter Ayres said the letter refers to what he
termed a "preliminary investigation." It involves a review of all that Cuomo
produced, and could lead to the commission's own interviews and documents
searches. Spitzer's office, however, considers it a routine "review" of Cuomo's
"The Ethics Commission has requested the attorney general and the inspector
general to provide their files for the Commission's review," state Ethics
Commission spokesman Walter Ayres said late Thursday in a written statement.
"The Commission has made no determination as to whether to investigate these
I think they will, and you can quote me on that.
I want to remind everyone that I have been following this story since it's inception, and this story is still breaking. Gov. Spitzer came to power wanting to "change everything," and maybe he has, by exposing the corruption in his own administration, and it's media partners. (While I was writing this, ABC's local NY news cited the Governor's supporters calling this a "political witch hunt," in the final line of their report on his combative press conference today.)
"Systemic corruption" is a term that's thrown around often, but this scandal is an insight into the relationship of an unregulated media colluding with a "police state" minded political (read as criminal) bureaucracy, in order to eliminate a common political opponent. That is "systemic corruption." Spitzer's ties to the Albany Times Union go back to his days as NYS AG, so this behavior fits a pattern.
Imagine that Pres. Bush had Sen. Harry Reid's movements documented on a minute to minute basis by his security personnell. What if Karl Rove leaked potentially damaging, but ultimately false assertions about Sen. Reid, based on those documents, to the Washington Times? What if AG Gonzalez investigated it, and said "no laws were broken," but Rove, or other key players never testified under oath?
...I digress into fantasy, but so does Gov. Spitzer. While he apparently thinks that he has to deny any knowledge of this, he should come clean about it, if no laws were broken... it might help people believe in him as a reformer of corruption. OOOPS, I'm back in Fantasyland!
Many people predicted Eliot Spitzer's "coronation" as Governor long before his election, myself among them. This story has legs, and may end Eliot Spitzer's political career. It all depends on what he knew, and when he knew it. I predict that we're gonna find out both of those things, and it ain't gonna be good for Gov. Spitzer. Pardon my slang.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Here's another outrage that you won't hear much about in the MSM. It seems that one billion federal dollars are being held by an entity called the "WTC Captive Insurance Company." It seems to have been set up between 2002, when NYC requested the money, and 2004, when the NY Post quotes minutes from a company meeting. The company has spent 74 million on overhead and legal expenses, while paying out 45 thousand to one person for medical expenses. I repeat:
The company has spent 74 million on overhead and legal expenses, while paying out 45 thousand to one person for medical expenses.
Here's where it gets ugly. Mayor Bloomberg is saying that "The truth of the matter is Congress didn't set up a victims compensation fund." It looks as if he sees this money as a "legal defense fund" to fight WTC lawsuits by rescue workers. "They've set up a captive insurance company. And the insurance company can only pay out money if somebody sues us in court and wins a judgment against us." Who are "they," in that sentence?
Why was money appropriated from FEMA used to set up an insurance company? As the NY Post reports (see link above):
In May 2002, the city made a request to feds, saying "toxic chemicals emanating from the WTC debris site" made insurance "absolutely vital to protect the city and its contractors."
Congress appropriated $1 billion through FEMA.
Then-Gov. George Pataki pushed a bill to create the nonprofit firm to manage the fund. "This legislation is necessary for the city to expedite the payment of claims," Pataki and Giuliani said in a 2003 press release.
At a meeting in December 2004, minutes show, LaSala declared the firm's main purpose was to disburse the fund "in an equitable manner that maximizes compensation to those parties who suffered damages as a result of the WTC debris removal program."
The LaSala mentioned in the quote is Christine LaSala, president and CEO of the company, who makes $350,000 a year, plus $20,000 in health benefits. Now, if the company's purpose is "to protect the city and its contractors," then Mayor Bloomberg is correct in his defense of it, because it is indeed a legal defense fund for NYC, against WTC victims.
Besides the fund, LaSala, and Bloomberg, the outfit's five-member board of directors - all appointed by Bloomberg, are now being sued by the same law firm already battling the city in a class-action negligence suit on behalf of nearly 10,000 ill WTC responders. They have some help from several congressmen, as well, according to this further report, from the Post:
[S]everal New York members of Congress quickly jumped on the mayor's comments, insisting he is wrong - and that the city-run WTC Captive Insurance Company has the freedom to settle all valid claims from Ground Zero workers as quickly as possible.
David Worby, a lawyer for the WTC workers who filed the suit, called Bloomberg's rationale "preposterous."
"Insurance companies are supposed to pay just claims. If you run someone over in your car and Allstate is your company, Allstate doesn't have to wait for a lawsuit to pay," Worby said.
Apparently, public "captive insurance companies" funded by FEMA do. Please read the whole story in the links, because this is worth knowing about. I smell collusion between the government and the trial lawyers' lobby. I wonder what the insurance lobby thinks of this. They fight claims viciously, I hear.
This is another NYC hornet's nest, with blatant misfeasance getting little news coverage. It was hard to find these articles in the NY Post online, and I had the exact titles from the paper version!
Just remember that as things stand now, the WTC Captive Insurance Company is a one billion dollar "deep pocket" for the city to use against WTC victims. It might make sense, because the city is the deepest pocket that people will sue. I'm not sure who's right, because I don't trust any of the politicians involved, and Giuliani gets a pass because he wasn't in office when this thing happened.
If it's supposed to be a "fund" to aid WTC victims, it is the biggest scandal to come out of the 9/11 aftermath directly, and Bloomberg has much to answer for. Anyone want to call their Congressman? If you do, ask them why they appropriated $1 Bil of FEMA money to fight AGAINST WTC victims' claims for compensation of medical treatment, or why the money they appropriated is being used that way.
It's probably all Pres. Bush's fault, I'm sure.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I co-owned, with one of my best friends, a 5,000 sq. ft. nightclub called The Main St. Cafe, for a year and a half. During that time, we had some classic rock acts play there, usually for around two thousand bucks a performance. We had Rick Derringer, Dave Mason, and Billy Preston, to name the biggest acts we could book. Okay, they were "B" list "over the hill" acts, even back in 1992.
The point of this post is that some weeks before Billy Preston played, we were solicited for ads by Newsday, the largest Long Island newspaper. We regularly ran ads in the "free" Long Island "bar" newspapers, and were familiar with the fact that if you don't buy ads, you don't get stories about your club. We had no idea about "negative press." We didn't buy any ads in Newsday.
A funny thing happened, a few days before the show. Newsday ran an article, on page 92, titled "Billy Preston is Back, Let Him Be." After more than 10 paragraphs about how the "5th Beatle" was facing child molestation charges in California, the last paragraph said "he's playing at the Main St. Cafe" on whatever night of the week it was.
This brings me to today, and political gossip from the NY Post's PAGE SIX. I'm working on an article about Gov. Spizer's vow to "change everything" in Albany (the capitol of NYS), and how he's abusing his political power, but not changing much. Consider this a preview, and compare it to my previous personal experience with liberal "fourth estate" types:
July 4, 2007 -- SENATE Majority Leader Joseph Bruno canceled his subscription to his local Albany paper yesterday after it promised him better coverage if he bought ads. "If it was not already obvious that the Times Union is only concerned with one side of the story, today an indi vidual in the TU advertising department called the Senate Press Office to say that I would need to buy ads in the paper if I wanted to get fair coverage," said Bruno. The Rensselaer Republican's press aide, Mark Hansen, told Post State Editor Fredric U. Dicker he was "flabbergasted." The Times Union confirmed a call was made "to sell 'issue-based' advertising," but publisher Mark Aldam denied it was linked to more favorable stories. The liberal-oriented paper has whacked Bruno for years, and the pol claims it's because he's a Republican. On Sunday, the Times Union had a story alleging he improperly used a state- owned helicopter to fly to Manhattan for politically-connected events - a claim Bruno denies.
An interesting note: Spitzer spent millions of his personal dollars on ads to deflect criticism over his political "reform" agenda. "Pay to play" is the media's motto, as well. I'm sure Spitzer bought ads in the Albany Times-Union.
The article I am compiling from "non-gossip" NY Post news items show that Senator Bruno did nothing wrong, but Gov. Spitzer may have violated the law, by using the State Police to "keep tabs" on Bruno. Stay tuned, because this NY Governor is a HUGE failure, and negative press against his opponents won't help. The Albany Times-Union is a liberal hack propaganda machine, from what I've seen of it. They should go down the toilet with Newsday, in the publishing world.
I don't get paid for promoting anything, whether public, private, political, or commercial! I'll take on Gov. "Steamroller," who would be more appropriately called Gov. "Snowflake," for the amount of time his political captal lasted. His "help" from the Albany Times-Union is exposed, and he's on the hot seat. This is just a little teaser rant, for everyone's personal enjoyment!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
This is an outrageous story, which just keeps getting stranger. First, some background: in 2003, NYC Councilman James Davis was gunned down in City Hall by a political rival.
Four years later (2007), the city council was divided over naming a portion of a street after the late Sonny Carson, a self-described "anti-White" activist. Councilman Leroy Comrie of Queens abstained, along with several other council members. The measure was defeated.
After the council rejected the measure, Councilman Charles Barron's chief-of-staff, Viola Plummer, said this about Comrie: ""If it takes an assassination of his ass, he will not be borough president in the borough where I live."
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is White, suspended Ms. Plummer, without pay, for six weeks, after weeks of researching all legal alternatives. During that time, Councilman Barron defended his chief-of-staff, saying that she meant "character assassination," or "assassinating" his political career. I saw him on Neil Cavuto's "Your World" show, spewing this line.
There is more, from the NY Post: "In addition to the suspension, Quinn has also asked Plummer, Barron's chief of staff, to sign a document promising to 'conduct herself appropriately in the future and to cease being disruptive in the Council Chambers.'"
It doesn't end there, though. Ms. Plummer has filed a $1million lawsuit against Speaker Quinn, charging "racial discrimination, defamation, harassment and retaliation."
From today's Post: "A federal judge yesterday balked at the city's attempt to play Emily Post by forcing an embattled staffer for City Councilman Charles Barron to sign a letter agreeing to be courteous - or be fired."
"How do you decide what's discourteous? Who decides that?" Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley asked a lawyer for the city.
City attorney James Lemonedes argued that Plummer had been disruptive during the City Council session that day, claiming she ignored instructions to keep quiet and "continued to shout, yell and interrupt City Council members as they were speaking."
But the judge fired back, "People have certain First Amendment rights. They need to know where the boundaries are."
After consulting with city officials during a break, Lemonedes told the judge Quinn's office would draft a new letter focusing only on Plummer's future conduct while the City Council was in session.
Councilman Barron continues to defend Ms. Plummer, attacking Quinn, the first woman Speaker of the NYC Council. Some quotes, from the NY Post:
Barron charged that the speaker had "overstepped" her bounds.
"We're not bowing down to white supremacy," Barron fumed. The speaker, he said, has "gone crazy."
"She is drunk with power, so she's liable to do anything."
Might that not apply to Ms. Plummer, as well? I mean, she only got a six week suspension after calling for the assassination of a council member! What will happen when her lawsuit is rejected for the frivolous nonsense that it is? On June 6th, she said this: "I could care less. I'm 70 years old... do you really think that I would be concerned about a job at this point in my life?" She obviously does care, or she wouldn't have filed the lawsuit.
Councilman Barron, and Ms. Plummer have a point of view that I consider racist, and fascist. Calling for, and defending the call for the assassination of a political opponent is fascist, and doing so over abstaining from taking a "racial litmus test," like the controversial Sonny Carson street naming vote is racist. Their statements seem to back up my opinion.
All of the politicians mentioned in this post are Democrats. In NYC, they have a virtual monopoly, as shown by the "selling" of judgeships by the Brooklyn Democratic party, among many other scandals. The judge in this case is federally appointed, but apparently sympathetic to the "radical fringe" of the Democratic party. I don't think "freedom of speech" applies, when it's only intent is to silence other speech, much less at a city council meeting.
There are more strands to this story, believe it or not, but you can see them in the "related stories" part of the pages I've provided links to. One story that deserves to be looked at is the reaction of Geoffrey Davis, brother of the late James Davis. Here are two relevant quotes, from the Post:
"For her to have uttered such a statement only yards away from where my brother, the late Honorable James E. Davis, was murdered is heartbreaking."
"Barron said he was shocked that Davis was so offended."
I'D LIKE TO GO SLAP BARRON UPSIDE THE HEAD, BECAUSE HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT! - to paraphrase Councilman Barron, of course.
As I said at the top, a strange, and outrageous story, indeed.
Update, from the NY Post's Page Six column: (posted here 07/10/07)
July 8, 2007 -- AFTER a bid to name a street after race-baiting activist Sonny Carson was blocked by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, FM talk station WBAI has made her Public Enemy No. 1 - but the campaign seems to have backfired. Sources say the station is losing audience due to hosts who've used "racist, sexist and homophobic" slurs when discussing openly gay Quinn on air. Our regular listener says the worst offender is Father Lawrence Lucas, who serves on the station's board and has made "the worst comments out of everyone. They are anti-white and homophobic remarks. "He calls her a 'nasty lesbo.' A lot of listeners have started calling in and complaining." The on-air anti-Quinn tirades began in early June after a bill was introduced to rename four blocks of Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant after Carson, who led the racist boycott against a Korean deli in 1990. Quinn opposed it, calling Carson "anti-white" - just as Carson described himself. "The public outcry against these comments demonstrates there is no tolerance for hatred and bigotry in this city," said Quinn's rep of the name-calling. WBAI did not return calls.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
For the second year in a row, I am publishing Cindy Adams' Fourth of July column. She's a damn fine American, and one hell of a gossip columnist! "Mother knows best, kiddies!"
June 24, 2007 -- COME July 4th it's thoughts of a long weekend - gas prices, the car's GPS, picnics, which houseguests we can avoid, which hostesses we can invade, do ants prefer Hellman's or Miracle Whip. Shouldn't thoughts maybe turn to the original Fourth of July?
It was 56 Founding Fathers from 13 colonies who signed The Declaration of Independence 231 years ago. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest - 70. Ed Rutledge, from North Carolina, was 26; the youngest. The president of our Second Continental Congress, the famous John Hancock of Massachusetts, who grew to have an insurance company named after him, was 39. Virginia's Thomas Jefferson, 33. Most were late 30s, early 40s. Seven were sixtyish. Three in their 20s.
Per the Plymouth Rock Foundation's Rus Walton, they who Signed For Us were merchants, farmers, lawyers, physicians, one a bond servant, 10 pastors' sons. Not one had a hedge fund, none was from Silicon Valley. Roger Sherman of Connecticut, who now has a nice little inn in his name in New Canaan, was a shoemaker's apprentice and learned reading via books propped on his bench.
Leader of the Sons of Liberty, delegate Samuel Adams - who has since become a world-class beer - arrived in Philly's Pennsylvania State House, known as "Independence Hall," dressed in new suit, stockings, wig, shoes, all donated by supporters.
After signing to pledge their lives and "Sacred Honor" to the cause of Independence, it was Presbyterian pastor Dr. John Witherspoon, founder of what today is Princeton, who added the final phrase that gave God a hand in this whole thing: ". . . with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."
It was in The Proceedings of The Virginia Convention in The First Continental Congress in the town of Virginia in St. John's Church that Deputy Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me death." Following that speech, America's patriots voted on July 4, 1776, without dissent. John Hancock signed boldly so "John Bull can read my name without spectacles and may now double his reward of 500 pounds on my head."
Voting "Aye" that "these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, free and Independent States," they became marked men. King George III declared them rebels and traitors. The penalty for treason: hanging. Being deeply committed to principles bedrock to the Declaration and signing for this new country meant death.
And as we barbecue and snorkel and sip warm iced tea, how many of them can we name?
First signer to die, seven months later, John Morton of Pennsylvania. South Carolina's Arthur Middleton and Thomas Heyward were captured during the siege of Charleston. British troops destroyed Georgia's Dr. Lyman Hall, killed another in a duel, captured another in the battle of Savannah.
All the property of four New Yorkers were destroyed. Wealthy importer Philip Livingston lost his townhouse in New Yor City, his country place in Brooklyn Heights, and died a pauper in 1778. Francis Lewis - now known mostly because of his boulevard in Queens - saw his wife brutalized, taken prisoner and die shortly thereafter. William Floyd of Long Island suffered a scorched-earth policy and hid out for seven years. You should know that when you speed on his parkway.
New Jerseyites. John Hart, hunted through the woods like an animal. Abraham Clark, jailed on the enemy's notorious prison ship Jersey when it was reported, "New York harbor is heavy with the stench of the dying." Justice Richard Stockton, imprisoned, abused, starved, died of maltreatment. Brigadier Gen. Thomas Nelson, at the final battle of Yorktown, personally directed the cannon fire that destroyed his own home.
The instant these newfangled, newly named Americans declared Independence, a massive British force landed to seize New York City on Sept. 6, 1776. Then the overmatched George Washington retreated to northern Manhattan where now stands the bridge that bears his name.
Sept. 20, the enemy burned one-quarter of New York City.
Sept. 22, Connecticut's 21-year-old Capt. Nathan Hale, fresh from his Yale graduation, was the first American executed for spying. His last words: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." A plaque at 66th and Third marked the site of Hale's execution.
So, while you're fuming at Montauk Highway's traffic, buying Sunday-brunch goodies at H&H Bagel, watching fireworks along the East River or complaining bitterly about the broken screen door on your weekend place in upstate Bedford, remember what July 4th really means.
The spirit of our beloved nation has not dissipated. The goodness and glory of this land is not of yesterday - but of today and tomorrow. Let this be OUR declaration.
God Bless America.
...and God Bless Cindy Adams, too.