A few weeks back I took a shot at Pirro for having her website state that it’s “under construction”, which I will point out still is. This just mind boggles me since I can pull any 12-year-old off the street who could at a minimum get her photo up there.
This time around though, I thought I would checkout the website of those running for Governor and give my impressions.
Bill Weld: I was impressed with this site. The coloring was good with four well placed photos of the great state, with Weld’s photo overlapping. I like the fact that the web master didn’t try and overwhelm me early with every piece of information possible. I felt welcomed as it had the feel of a brochure that you would find in the office of a Boston travel agent.
The links were inviting with his “volunteer center” being very user-friendly. He also had a link that opens up another box that allows visitors to register to vote.
I rate it an 8 out of 10.
John Faso: The home page has no main focus point when you first get in making it all very confusing. Unlike Weld’s site where the first thing you see is “Bill Weld for New York” standing out in the middle, Faso’s site has your eye trying to stand still as there is things jumping out all over. I first thought I was at a CBS 2 news site instead of Faso for Gov, because that was the biggest thing my eye caught. The CBS 2 link is in the middle, while Faso for Gov is in the top left being consumed by links to every news station imaginable.
Additionally the text choice is horrible and not very appealing. Next he has “What’s New” with today’s date yet all the news is old. A link to latest news would have done just as well.
I have to say I wasn’t very impressed and hope that he got that site donated because he definitely shouldn’t have paid for it.
I rate it a 5 out of 10
Pat Manning: Again another site like Faso that has just too much going on for a homepage. At least Manning’s site does have some central focus when you go in, with them being photo’s. He also has a “message from Pat Manning” on his homepage that should have been cut off with a link to the rest of it on another page.
Like Faso the font and text is a poor choice with the color blue so rampant that it makes you want to leave before your eyes go blind. My biggest complaint is the “check out our endorsements” section on the left hand side, where he has everyone with a pulse in the Conservative party listed. I could have sworn reading through that I saw Steuben County dogcatcher at one point.
I rate it a 6 out of 10
Randy Daniels: By far the most impressive. Randy is the main focus, with a nice pace of ever changing photos and comments. You can see whoever put this site together really new what they were doing and has a flair for design. Another interesting thing is he has a link that translates his message into four other languages, Korean, Chinese, Creole and Spanish. He also has a link informing you how to register to vote like Weld.
What I liked best though is that his site invites you to explore. The links up top are rollovers that invite you to choose other options and explore his record and vision all within a comfortable setting.
Besides a dead link of photos on his Creole page, the site was just beautiful.
I rate it a 9.5 out of 10
The book currently latched to the side of my hip is “Who Are We” by Samuel Huntington. You may recall that I recently mentioned Mr. Huntington because of his book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order”, which was written in the late 1990’s and predicted much of what is happening today. Based on that amazing bestseller, I had to read his most recent book, “Who Are We”, which focuses on the challenges facing America’s historical identity.
I bring it up because once again his opinions are playing out in real life just as he wrote them. In one part of his book, he writes about the “Americanization” of our country, which took place from its founding up until about the 1960’s. The idea behind “Americanization” was to get new immigrants like my Italian and Hungarian descendants to assimilate to the “Anglo-American Protestant traditions and values” that shaped our nation. He goes on to mention how after the 1960’s our country went from one of “Americanization” to one of “Deconstructing”, where certain groups started recommending, “immigrants maintain their birth country cultures”.
I bring up this subject because coincidently I opened up today’s New York Sun to learn that New York City’s education department has approved to spend over $2 million a year to translate school documents for non-English speaking parents. This coincides with the over $10 million spent on other bilingual services. It’s relevant to Mr. Huntington’s book because he talks about how during “Americanization”, the central institution behind it was our public school system whose “creation and expansion in the mid-nineteenth century was, indeed, in part dictated by and shaped by the perceived need for Americanization”. For me his comments make perfect sense listening to stories from my parents about their experiences in the public school system. The move today to create these bilingual services also ties into Mr. Huntington’s “Deconstruction” idea where he talks about how public schools and the liberal school boards attached to them have been the driving force behind it.
Maybe everyone else finds this stuff boring but I find it interesting to stop and see how things are changing for the better or worse. More importantly I respect guys like Huntington who see it happening before anyone else.
The Tax Foundation has released a report that puts New York State last when it comes to creating a business friendly environment. The Foundations opinion is based on the States triple play of high business taxes, high income taxes and high sales taxes.
Of course most of the problem has been thanks to an out of control Albany, which the Gov. has had the unfortunate pleasure of battling every year with over the budget.
With this report though, it’s comforting to know that Elliot Spitzer might be our next Gov. since he has said part of his plan is to invest in transportation and education. When a Democrat uses the word “invest”, it usually means they plan on investing your money through higher taxes.
I can’t wait.
If Saddam was good for anything in Iraq, it was to keep three completely different groups under control. Ever since his removal, despite several successful elections, the Shia and Sunni that make up most of Iraq have been hard at work trying to kill each other while the Kurds, the third party in the group, have been quite bystanders thanks to the autonomous region they call home in the north.
These daily killings have raised the talk of an imminent civil war to the horror of most of the world and glee to most of the Democratic Party. I’ll raise the question though, being the gutsy guy in the group, would a civil war be all that bad? Now before those who have a hard time having a lively debate start calling me a warmonger, recognize I’m simply bringing up the topic for the sake of discussion.
If we look at past civil wars, which there have been several dozen, some have been disasters or beginnings of much larger conflicts like the Spanish Civil War was to World War II. However there have been others like the American Civil War that has unified a nation. Prior to the American Civil War, the United States was just that, a group of states that didn’t consider themselves a nation but instead a union of states who felt no allegiance to the constitution or underlying country. It wasn’t until after the North’s decisive victory did the idea of the U.S. being a nation come to be, with the Spanish American War acting as the event that finally glued all the states together.
I see the biggest problem with Iraq currently being that the parties involved have no allegiance to the country itself, the way the South had no allegiance to America. A civil war could be the event that brings these groups together because it appears elections haven’t been working. The way things have been progressing it appears that someone is going to have to beat these groups into submission, whether it be by each other or us. If we don’t let them fight it out and we can’t get things under control, then maybe letting each group secede to form their own country might be the only other option.
It’s obvious by now that most people here feel that I’m a buffoon when it comes to my support of the President and the Dubai port deal. I have given a number of reasons why this dispute is just politicians taking advantage of an ignorant public for political gain with the pile on getting higher and higher. Since my word obviously doesn’t mean much, I though I would reprint a copy of a Wall St. Journal Op Ed. I look forward to the hearing some responses on this rag tag paper.
Ports of Politics
How to sound like a hawk without being one.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 12:01 a.m.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is the latest Republican to broadcast his “independence” from President Bush on homeland security, yesterday joining Senator Lindsey Graham, Representative Peter King and numerous state politicians in calling on the Administration to stop a deal that would allow a United Arab Emirates company to manage six major U.S. ports.
The Democrats are also piling on, and we’ll speak to that in a moment, but this behavior of Republicans strikes us as peculiar coming from people who claim to support the war on terror. Mr. Graham told Fox News that the Administration’s decision allowing the state-owned Dubai Ports World to run commercial operations at U.S. ports was “tone deaf politically.” The voluble Senator said this is no time “to outsource major port security to a foreign-based company” and that “most Americans are scratching their heads wondering, ‘Why this company, from this region, now?’ “
Some of us are scratching our heads all right, but we’re wondering why Mr. Graham and others believe Dubai Ports World has been insufficiently vetted for the task at hand. So far, none of the critics have provided any evidence that the Administration hasn’t done its due diligence. The deal has been blessed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a multiagency panel that includes representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense and Homeland Security.
Yes, some of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens. But then the London subway bombings last year were perpetrated by citizens of Britain, home to the company (P&O) that currently manages the ports that Dubai Ports World would take over. Which tells us three things: First, this work is already being outsourced to “a foreign-based company”; second, discriminating against a Mideast company offers no security guarantees because attacks are sometimes homegrown; and third, Mr. Graham likes to talk first and ask questions later.
Besides, the notion that the Bush Administration is farming out port “security” to hostile Arab nations is alarmist nonsense. Dubai Ports World would be managing the commercial activities of these U.S. ports, not securing them. There’s a difference. Port security falls to Coast Guard and U.S. Customs officials. “Nothing changes with respect to security under the contract,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday. “The Coast Guard is in charge of security, not the corporation.”
In a telephone interview yesterday, Kristie Clemens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection elaborated that “Customs and Border Protection has the sole responsibility for the cargo processing and cargo security, incoming and outgoing. The port authority sets the guidelines for the entire port, and port operators have to follow those guidelines.” Again, nothing in the pending deal would affect that arrangement.
The timing of this sudden uproar is also a tad suspicious. A bidding war for the British-owned P&O has been going on since last autumn, and the P&O board accepted Dubai’s latest offer last month. The story only blew up last week, as a Florida firm that is a partner with P&O in Miami, Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc., filed a suit to block the purchase. Miami’s mayor also sent a letter of protest to Mr. Bush. It wouldn’t be the first time if certain politicians were acting here on behalf of private American commercial interests.
Critics also forget, or conveniently ignore, that the UAE government has been among the most helpful Arab countries in the war on terror. It was one of the first countries to join the U.S. container security initiative, which seeks to inspect cargo in foreign ports. The UAE has assisted in training security forces in Iraq, and at home it has worked hard to stem terrorist financing and WMD proliferation. UAE leaders are as much an al Qaeda target as Tony Blair.
As for the Democrats, we suppose this is a two-fer: They have a rare opportunity to get to the right of the GOP on national security, and they can play to their union, anti-foreign investment base as well. At a news conference in front of New York harbor, Senator Chuck Schumer said allowing the Arab company to manage ports “is a homeland security accident waiting to happen.” Hillary Clinton is also along for this political ride.
So the same Democrats who lecture that the war on terror is really a battle for “hearts and minds” now apparently favor bald discrimination against even friendly Arabs investing in the U.S.? Guantanamo must be closed because it’s terrible PR, wiretapping al Qaeda in the U.S. is illegal, and the U.S. needs to withdraw from Iraq, but these Democratic superhawks simply will not allow Arabs to be put in charge of American longshoremen. That’s all sure to play well on al Jazeera.
Yesterday Mr. Bush defended his decision to allow the investment to go ahead, and he threatened what would be his first veto if Congress tries to block it. We hope this time he means it.
Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For Immediate Release, February 22, 2006
Contact: Jen Saunders
THE NEW YORK YOUNG REPUBLICAN CLUB, INC.
SUPPORTS CALL TO BLOCK PORT DEAL
New York, NY: The New York Young Republican Club, Inc. supports Governor George Pataki, Senator Bill Frist, Representatives Peter King and Vito Fosella, and many other members of Congress, Governors and Mayors who have opposed the sale of American port security to the United Arab Emirates Company Dubai Ports World, a state-owned company.
After the proposed sale of operations of six American ports became public last week, a number of public officials have come out in opposition to the sale. Yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist called upon the White House to stop the deal. NYYRC President Dennis Cariello stated “Even though the United Arab Emirates may be an official ally, we cannot ignore the fact that many of the hijackers on Sept. 11 trained there and the country has many terrorist sympathizers.” President Cariello continued, “We cannot risk the possibility that this company may hire workers who harbor hostility towards the United States.”
Governor Pataki and Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich suggested they may pursue legal maneuvers, including canceling leases to run the ports, if the sale goes through. New Jersey has filed a lawsuit this morning. President Cariello remarked “I commend Governor Pataki for doing whatever he can to make sure our ports are in good hands. Our ports are vulnerable; we cannot ignore a blatant security risk.” President Cariello continued, “If this company was going to be responsible for operating security at one of our airports, this deal never would have been permitted, and it should not be permitted at our ports either.”
The New York Young Republican Club would also like to wish Governor Pataki well after yesterday’s surgery.
The New York Young Republican Club, Inc., is a not-for-profit political organization that exists to bring Republicans aged 18-40 together to discuss the Republican Party platform and aid the Republican Party in the education of the public about the Republican agenda and the promotion of Republican candidates for office. To find out more about the New York Young Republican Club, Inc. please visit the Website at http://www.nyyrc.com.
Looks like we have a good old fight on our hands by a surprisingly united Dem and Rep House and Senate versus President Bush. Looking at the two sides it’s interesting how the one side, President Bush who is not up for reelection, has nothing to loose and who can do the right thing is calling for the deal to pass. The other side that conveniently now has an issue is against the deal despite the ports being owned by the British and every other port in this country being owned by a foreign entity from Hong Kong to the Singapore government. These politicians have conveniently found an issue that they can get America to sweat over giving them a chance to appear strong on terrorism when the ownership of the ports is irrelevant to the issue.
I think it is summed up best by comments from a Homeland Security official who stated in today’s FT, “do you know how much influence the owner has over what happens at US ports? Zero. Since September 11, security at US ports has been legislated, its been regulated and the question of who owns the company is irrelevant.”
The reason it’s “irrelevant” is because as I commented yesterday, the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs control what comes in and out of the ports.
Does anyone know how many foreign government owned airlines fly into the U.S. everyday? Nobody complains about that considering those countries from Saudi Arabia and the like can plant anything in its cargo hold. They don’t complain because like the ports, those planes and what’s on them is checked by Customs.
Has Elliot Spitzer given Republicans an opening? Spitzer in his drive for Governor yesterday claimed that he would sign legislation that would force pharmacists to let women and young girls buy the “morning after” pill without a prescription. If we recall Governor Pataki had vetoed the bill previously because he wanted young girls to get parental notification before purchasing it. Spitzer in his comments, said that “politics” should not decide, yet his support of the bill is completely based on politics.
Personally I think any Republican candidate can have a field day with this. There are millions of parents in this state who can have their stomachs turned by the thought of their 13-year-old daughter walking into CVS to buy a “morning after” pill without them knowing, which is what would happen if Spitzer signed the bill. Some well-placed commercials showing young girls abusing the drug, with the tag line “don’t you want to know what your daughter is doing”, should work wonders.
The pro-abortion groups love the bill and the idea of a “morning after” pill is ok with FDA approval for grown women if deemed legal to sell. This however is about people like Elliot Spitzer trying to remove my right and responsibility as a parent to monitor my child.
I find it absolutely hysterical that if a teenager wants to buy a pack of smokes they have to show ID that they’re 18, beer 21, an R rated movie 17 and even Hillary Clinton is trying to get a law passed that would make it illegal to sell a video game to a minor if the rating is M for mature. Yet some 14-year-old girl who wants to buy a powerful drug like the “morning after” pill, no problem.
The contraceptive bill that Elliot Spitzer wants to pass in its current state is nothing more then an attack on parenthood. Elliot for the first time has fumbled the ball and guys like Faso, Manning and Weld should pick it up and run with it.
Reading today’s headlines, you probably know that the “Cheney victim” has given a press conference. You’ll know that there is question as to whether a man who allegedly shot and killed his wife and child will get a fair trial. You’ll know that the dog that won the Westminster Kennel competition is missing. You’ll know that there is a $1 million bounty on the head of a cartoonist. You’ll know that you can easily find out about the people who have been shot, robbed, were injured or are sick in this country in the last 24 hours.
I went to the US pages of Yahoo News, Google News, Fox News and CNN, just to see what the big domestic headlines were. These are the news stories that should inform people on the issues that are critical to this nation. One shouldn’t have to dig for them; you should be able to see these headlines with one or two clicks. I find it odd, then, that one news story has been swept under the so-called prayer rug.
So, in case you missed it, shipping terminals in NY, NJ, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, were sold to Dubai Ports World — a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want or need to know more to be a bit dubious about this deal. Only Drudge has a link to it up on his page, right up top.
(As I was writing this, it looked like maybe CNN was about to do a story on it. The President was giving a speech in Miami, but I guess they got too bored with him yammering on about how we need to continue to fight terrorism…since the President didn’t mention anything about the port sale in the 30 seconds they aired, why should they?)
But it gets even better, because according to Reuters, guess who’s introducing legislation to block this deal? Our very own junior senator from NY! (Actually, there is a whole list of lawmakers involved in this from both sides of the aisle, as there should be — this is not a partisan matter.)
Look, I don’t care who looks into this — this has that same uneasy feeling that the CNOOC purchase of Unocal had (which was ultimately blocked). What’s next, a sale of mining companies to an Iranian company? Come on.
Update: No sooner do I hit “publish” than do CNN and CNBC both mention this story. Still, this should be top news. This should be ALL OVER the business pages, political pages, etc.
Using commonsense, it’s not being out of line as Republicans, to say that the chance of someone defeating Hillary Clinton for New York Senate is unlikely. Though we have the pleasure of having a Republican governor, his election resulted from having a former governor that more than overstayed his welcome at a time when even Democrats could recognize a state in decline and a shakeup was needed. Even in New York City, a liberal stronghold, Giuliani won (not on his first try remember) because the prior mayor was a disaster who did more to separate the city than unite it. The city was such a mess that again, even Democrats new some toughness had to be brought back in.
Fortunately for the state and unfortunately for the Republican Party, New York State is currently not in that same situation and Hillary has definitely not overstayed her welcome in the eyes of most voters. This does not mean that as Republicans we should throw in the towel or that there is no purpose in spending money to run against her. Though the small battle that can be waged against her for New York Senate will most likely end up in a loss, the battle itself should have a positive effect for a Republican victory in the overall war for the 2008 Presidency.
If you notice when nobody is looking Hillary makes sure to try and lay a foundation where she can represent herself as a moderate come 2008 so she can appeal to southern voters. Yesterday was a perfect example when she agreed by a yea vote with other senators to allow the extension of the Patriot Act (one of the most hated policies by the left) to come to a vote in the Senate where it will most likely pass. What candidates like John Spence and whoever will get the Republican nod should do, is force Senator Clinton to constantly take positions that are extreme left throughout the campaign. Making her take these positions will create great sound bites and quotes that can be used against her in 2008 when she has to appeal to a national audience that leans more to the right if anything. Forcing her to take stances on things like gun control, abortion, immigration, and the like that won’t win New York but do matter to someone down south in states like Kentucky where electoral votes have been shifting and the presidency won, will end up hurting her in the long run and screw up her plan of trying to appeal as a moderate.
Though the skirmish Republicans will wage against Hillary for Senate will most likely go down as a short-term defeat, when the smoke clears enough damage should have been done for Republicans to win the war of 08.