Archive from March, 2006
31 Mar
2006
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For this we need a panel discussion?

This past Wednesday the other Young Republican Club (don’t ask) and a respected group of individuals from various think tanks held a panel discussion on the state of the GOP to ask why we continue to have difficulties gaining traction in New York. I wasn’t there but from comments of people who were and an article by New York Times columnist Patrick Healy, it’s no surprise that it became a, blame the governor party. What I find most ironic about these attacks on Governor Pataki is that the same groups continuously like to attack and blame the one Republican who consistently has been elected statewide for over a decade in a state heavily Democrat. Never mind studying and learning how he did it so we can copy his format, it’s much easier to just blame him for not making his coattails long enough to be held onto.

The panel discussion proposed three questions that were:

How did we get to this point?
Is it too late to change our fate?
What can we do to fix our party?

Personally I don’t think you need to have a discussion on such questions. The idea is as funny as a bunch of Democrats sitting in Kentucky trying to have the same debate as why Republicans always win there. However for fun I’ll answer the questions for you.

How did we get to this point?

To begin, New York as a state is heavily controlled by unions whether they be the Teachers Union or TWU. Like a sheep following their shepherded the union workers have bought into their leaders call to vote democrat. New York has also become a large immigrant state and frankly Democrats have done a good job exploiting those groups and neighborhoods. The districts are drawn to be in favor for Democrats as they are for Republicans in Texas. As an example Flushing has become one of the largest Asian communities in the country and growing. John Liu has become the first Asian elected to the City Council and is no surprise a Democrat. We as a party have to ask why did John Liu become a Democrat instead of a Republican. Unfortunately he became a Democrat and now will control Flushing for decades to come, how that is Governor Pataki’s fault is beyond me. This scenario is being played out all over the city and state, as Democrats have become pros at brainwashing minority communities into voting for them.

Other problems are that the Republicans in this state continue to move away particularly down South, which is why New York has lost congressional seats over the last several decades while states in the South have gained and grown more Republican. Those that have stayed have been those married to the system of handouts New York has created that vote unsurprisingly Democrat. Basically our base has moved while we still stay wondering why we’re not getting votes.

Finally it also doesn’t help that the media in New York is as liberal as they come so anyone reading the New York Times, Observer, Daily News, NY1 or Eldario are getting their daily dose of subliminal messages that Democrats are good and Republicans bad.

Is it too late to change our fate?

I think one thing that can change our fate is if Democrats continue to tax us into submission, which they are getting close. There has already been some backlash in Long Island over unaffordable property taxes, which are issues as a party candidates need to jump on. In my opinion getting elected is like selling a product to the consumer. It’s never to late to transform and turn yourself around. As a party in New York we need to find our Ipod.

What can we do to fix our party?

To the fix the party we need to start from the ground up. We need to be patient and look for long term success not immediate gratification as many of our candidates want. I look at people like Emily Csendes who has been building a brand name for herself and knows one day it will pay dividends despite her lumps today. In an article this week in the Economist about the scarcity of black Republicans, the Economist points out how it’s amazing considering most of the things the black community believes in are similar to the Republican creed like being socially conservative (banning partial birth abortion and gay marriage) and school choice, two things elected black democrats consistently have voted against. The Economist points out despite those connections Democrats get a head start in the communities with the youth, who only see Democrats helping with coaching sports leagues and other good works. When was the last time anyone on that panel discussion, rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at organizations like Harlem RBI.

Finally I don’t think our party needs fixing, unless you believe our Republican creed needs to be changed. What needs to be fixed is how we convey that creed to the citizens of this state when we have monumental forces against us like the media and unions. We also should remember that it was not to long ago, where Republicans thought we would never gain control of the government nationally and look where we are today. If Governor Pataki is anything, it’s a symbol that the Republican Party can get elected in New York not the problem.

31 Mar
2006
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Taxing votes away

In the latest issue of Forbes, Steve Forbes, makes an interesting observation in his Fact and Comment section regarding state taxes and it affects.

Mr. Forbes points out how states with high taxes like Vermont, New York and Maine are crushing growth while low tax states like New Hampshire, Texas and South Carolina are stealing people and businesses away.

He states, as I have many times, that the proof is in our country’s census that takes place every ten years. Mr. Forbes says, “since 1950 New York State has lost 14 congressional seats, and in the next census it will lose several more.” The reason for the loss in seats is because people are fleeing for the more tax friendly confines of the South and Midwest. With the 2010 census right around the corner the shift will only get worse with even California as Forbes puts it ready to see “tens of thousands of native-born Americans moving out of the state instead of moving in. For the first time since becoming a state 155 years ago, California will not gain, and may actually lose, congressional representation…”

For Democrats this shift in congressional representation has been disastrous as it’s allowed and will continue to allow Republicans to pick up seats in the House as the shift has been completely from states heavily Democrat to states heavily Republican.

It continues to amaze me how despite the numbers, Democrats still just can’t get away from the idea of high taxes. Maybe the 2010 census will be the final hit over the head that does it for them when they see Republican states like Texas gain even more seats.

With New York set to get a new governor and spending by the state growing more and more – the economist this week in an article about Governor Pataki’s battle to reign in our drunken sailors of a state senate and fight over a ruling by NY Supreme Court justice Leland DeGrasse to increase school spending, who as the Economist notes “does not have to answer to taxpayers” and thinks New York is a “neverland of unlimited resources” – it seems our representatives have yet to catch on to why New York continues to loose representation. The question is will they ever?

29 Mar
2006
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One Day Left Until the Spring Fling!

Tomorrow is our annual Spring Fling, which means today is the last day you can purchase your ticket online and save $10.

Response to the event as expected has been great, which means so will the event.

Remember the Spring Fling includes three hours of open bar, food and good company, so don’t miss it!

For location and pricing visit our website and hopefully we’ll see you there!

29 Mar
2006
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Vice President Rice?

While reading my FT this morning I came across an interesting comment while reading about President Bush’s move to replace Andy Card with Josh Bolten. The author of the article, Ed Alden, mentioned how the President has been under pressure to clean house and that even Fred Barnes (who the NYYRC had as their guest speaker last month) has “urged the president to undertake an overhaul that would include replacing Mr. Cheney with Condoleezza Rice”.

This got me thinking. Up until know I have been in the camp that Cheney and his ego would never step-down as vice-president. I also could never imagine President Bush asking him to, considering his respect for the man. For arguments sake though what if the stars aligned just right that both Vice President Cheney and President Bush thought it would be a good move?

Considering Cheney has had his share of medical issues (I heard they have a special parking space for him at the hospital) he could easily address the nation and say he can no longer serve do to his medical condition. This would give him the chance to step-down gracefully and President Bush a chance to bring someone in who does plan on running in 2008.

Strategically it would make sense because it would give the American people time to get comfortable with someone like Condoleezza Rice in a position of power. In 2008 it would give Republicans a head start on any potential challenger, especially Hillary Clinton. It also might save Republicans from having a messy and dirty primary on the idea that maybe many will step aside out of respect to the new Vice President.

This is all just hypothetical thinking and odds are that the only way Cheney is leaving before his term is up is if he is abducted by aliens and taken away in a spaceship. Further if aliens do come, Rice may be not the only option. If President Bush is really looking out for the party he could pick from a long list of candidates from McCain to Senator Brownback. It’s definitely fun to ponder but I don’t believe in aliens.

28 Mar
2006
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Let Them Eat Cake:

From the BBC

28 Mar
2006
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No Fight on Bush Judges

Behind all the big name legislation, like renewing the Patriot Act and approving Supreme Court nominees, there are a lot of smaller things that don’t usually show up on the radar but also have a lasting affect.

Knowing how concerned liberals are with the conservative direction of our courts, I would like to just take a moment to point out how Democrats are voting on the issue.

On March 6th, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved two new U.S. District court judges in Georgia and West Virginia nominated by President Bush.

The first was Timothy C. Batten Sr. of Georgia who was approved 88-0 with the missing 12 votes being no votes.

The other was Thomas E. Johnston of West Virginia who was approved 89-0 with the missing 11 votes being no votes.

These two gentlemen are no lightweights when it comes to Republican ideas with Johnston being the former head of the Ohio County Republican Party. What I want to know is what’s up with the Democrats not having one nay among them. The liberal base must feel great that their elected leaders are giving President Bush such an easy time in making our courts more conservative.

For Democrats this seems to be a trend when it comes to President Bush court appointees. On March 16th the Senate voted 96-0 with the missing 4 votes being no votes for Jack Zouhary, who will be the new District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. Zouhary is again no moderate and a former appointee of Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

For our Senators, Schumer gave a thumbs up on all three and Hillary gave a thumbs up on Zouhary, while being absent on the other two.

28 Mar
2006
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Creating Millionaires:

Democrats like to argue that under Republicans only the rich get richer. However a new study by TNS Financial Services reported in the New York Times, has found that “for the third consecutive year, the number of households with more than one million dollars in net worth has risen”. The survey found that the number of millionaires in the U.S. increased to a record 8.9 million in 2005 or 8% from 2004. This follows a 33% increase in 2004 and a 13% increase in 2003.

What makes the study even more impressive is that the numbers excluded primary residence. That means that the record 8.9 million people only include liquid assets. Though the study doesn’t give a number, we could only imagine based on the latest housing boom how many millionaires there are when you include residences.

27 Mar
2006
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Our intern, Vanessa, in the New York Times

NICE JOB Vanessa!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/nyregion/27scholarship.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

March 27, 2006
Students With Grit and Courage Are Awarded Times Scholarships
By MANNY FERNANDEZ
Some teenagers work to buy an iPod or a cellphone. Anna Umanskaya works to pay the rent.
At 18, Ms. Umanskaya has been leading a kind of double life. She is a soft-spoken, energetic student at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, a Russian-born girl with stellar grades, a love of acting and an acceptance letter from Brandeis University. Yet she is already more of an adult than many of her classmates: she is raising herself.
Ms. Umanskaya lives alone in an apartment in Brooklyn and spends much of her time after school at work, serving lattes at cafes. The bill from Con Edison on her kitchen table has her name on it. No one wakes her in the mornings to tell her to go to school. No one reminds her to turn in her English paper on the playwright Henrik Ibsen. She does all of that on her own.
Her grandmother brought her to New York from Moscow when she was 10, and she has moved from place to place ever since, living with her father in Montreal, at a group home on Staten Island, with a friend of her mother’s in Brooklyn. A rocky family life eventually prompted her to live on her own.
She said she felt abandoned, but never hopeless, filling her high school days with honors classes, volunteer work with the elderly, leadership training in Manhattan, mock City Council debates, essay and poetry writing and small parts in plays.
“I had to have more,” said Ms. Umanskaya, who plans to study international relations at Brandeis. “To make my dreams come true, to get into Brandeis, to be where I want for a change.”
She recently added another achievement to her three-page résumé: winning a college scholarship from The New York Times.
As part of the annual program, Ms. Umanskaya and 18 other high school seniors will each receive a four-year scholarship of up to $30,000, a six-week summer job with The New York Times Company and a laptop computer. The students are also paired with a mentor from The Times and are offered advice and assistance through their college years from Roger Lehecka, an educational consultant and a former dean of students at Columbia College, Columbia University’s undergraduate liberal arts school.
Nearly 1,400 students from 250 of the city’s public, private and parochial high schools sent scholarship applications to the newspaper. A group of Times reporters, editors and managers picked 36 finalists, and a smaller committee selected the 19 winners.
They are, like Ms. Umanskaya, a resilient lot, chosen as much for their accomplishments inside the classroom as for their grit and courage outside it. Some have managed in a few years to settle in a new country, learn a new language and master their studies, while their parents – often just a single mother or father – struggled with bills, unemployment, family conflicts or addiction. Several of the families make less than $20,000 a year.
Another of the scholarship winners, Justin Jimenez, lived for about a year in a homeless shelter in the Bronx in 2001 after his mother lost her job. He recalled it as prisonlike: they had a curfew at night and slept in a space that was more a cubicle than a room. He did his homework on the bed. “I strove to do well academically to avoid the life that I lived,” said Mr. Jimenez, 17, who now lives in an apartment in the Bronx with his mother, a clerical worker.
Mr. Jimenez receives financial aid to attend Cardinal Hayes High School, where he leads community service projects as the spiky-haired, Thoreau-reading president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter. He has tutored struggling freshmen, helped the school raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims and coordinated the cleanup of a Harlem playground, all while earning the second-highest grades in the senior class.
Another winner, Sayeeda Ahsanuddin, 17, an India-born Muslim whose father runs a newsstand near Yankee Stadium, flourished in an unlikely place: an all-girls Catholic high school, Preston High School in the Bronx. There, she overcame her shyness and discovered her love of neuroscience, winning a regional Brain Bee competition last year. Her older sister, Sadia, who attends Harvard, was also a Times scholarship winner.
Vanessa Salazar has one clear memory of her father, Carlos Julio Salazar. She had tumbled down the spiral staircase at home in Cali, Colombia, when she was 3 or 4 and hurt her head, and he swept her up in his arms. He was murdered soon after, in 1990. “When I see kids playing with their fathers, I remember that my dad was like that once, that he played with me once,” she said.
Mr. Salazar loved politics, and his daughter, now 18 and a senior at the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies in Manhattan, has become fascinated with it as well. After moving to the United States with her mother and her younger sister, she learned English, developed an interest in Republican politics and, one April, sent an e-mail message to the New York Young Republican Club, asking about an internship. She has since volunteered at the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan and with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s re-election campaign.
She dreams of becoming secretary of state, and of earning enough money so her mother no longer has to sell jewelry at a small shop in Queens, where she, her 8-year-old sister, Camila, and her mother share a two-bedroom apartment. Her mother sleeps on a bed near the kitchen so each of her daughters can have her own bedroom.
“There will be a day when my mom is not going to have to lift a finger,” said Ms. Salazar, who is waiting to learn if she has been accepted to Harvard. She wears a Harvard sweatshirt in the meantime. Camila wears one, too.

Soma Golden Behr, the scholarship program’s director, said: “There are so many wonderful kids in New York who have enormous adversity in their lives, and who somehow manage to survive in brilliant fashion. What we want to do is help give those remarkable young people a helping hand, a boost over the fence.”
The New York Times College Scholarship Program started in 1999 with six students. Since then, it has helped pay for the college educations of 160 young New Yorkers.
Past winners include Anahad O’Connor, 24, who scrapped his dreams of becoming a nuclear chemist but found something else to do after graduating from Yale. He is now a reporter for the Metro section of The Times.
Phillip Marcus, 18, a freshman at Wesleyan University, is already considering a career as a political strategist. Rebecca Deng, 24, is a media planner at an Asian American advertising agency called A Partnership. Last year, one previous winner gave back to the program, sending in two checks, each for $1,000.
The scholarships are paid for by The New York Times Company Foundation, contributions from readers and an endowment started with a grant from the Starr Foundation, a charitable group created by Cornelius Vander Starr, founder of the American International Group, the insurance company. The program also recognizes the teachers who inspired the students. A group of teachers nominated by the scholarship winners will be given $3,000 each in June, awards provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

27 Mar
2006
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Sorry Mr. President but I must correct you.

During a speech this morning by President Bush on immigration he made the statement that “this country was founded by immigrants”. That however is not correct.

As critically acclaimed political scientist Sam Huntington points out:

“In its origins America was not a nation of immigrants, it was a society, or societies, of settlers who came to the New World…”

“Settlers and immigrants differ fundamentally. Settlers leave an existing society, usually in a group, in order to create a new community, a city on a hill, in a new and often distant territory.”

“Immigrants, in contrast, do not create a new society. They move from one society to a different society.”

I think Huntington does a great job of pointing this fact out. To many times in the battle over immigration politicians like to claim that people are being hypocrites since this country was “founded by immigrants”. As Huntington points out this is not correct as settlers founded America not imigrants. Our founding fathers came and created something out of nothing drafting our laws and constitution around their own beliefs and visions, something today’s immigrants cannot do.

This is not to say that immigration is bad, personally I think it’s a vital component to economic growth and the continued reason why we outshine all other developed economies. I just think it’s important for any leader to get it right and to not add more disinformation into a topic that is plagued by it.

27 Mar
2006
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Survey says!

Ok I admit I’ve been hard on France when it comes to their economic policies and its affect on the country. Unfortunately for France they have become so engrained in the idea of getting more for less that reform is almost impossible. Though many of the politicians understand what’s needed to save the country economically, it’s evident by the mass protests that despite all their education the French people will continue to live in denial.

But what about the rest of the Euro area? I’m always comparing France to the U.S and that just isn’t fair. France is part of a much larger European Union that is attempting to create an economic zone similar to the United States. So comparing France to the U.S. would be like trying to compare Michigan to Australia. So how about we compare the U.S. to the Euro zone as a whole?

Today the Economist has latest statistics on the two, lets take a look shall we at whose system is more successful.

GDP: U.S. 3.2% E.U 1.7%
Unemployment: U.S. 4.8% E.U. 8.3%
Retail Sales: U.S. 6.1% E.U. 0.9%
Industrial Production: U.S. 3.3% E.U. 2.5%
Wage Growth: U.S. 3.5% E.U. 2.4%

And my favorite:

Trade Balance: U.S. (792.6 billion) E.U. 18.1 billion

Numbers don’t lie and hands down the U.S. and our system of limited protectionism (at least for now), low taxes, flexible labor laws and the ease to start a business is the proven way to go. Hopefully these numbers will also squash the argument that France is just an anomaly. Also I would like to point out the trade balance number. Again I will stress that trade deficits don’t matter (Chuck Schumer) and that trade surpluses historically have not correlated with economic growth in developed nations and actually have been present in countries with economic stagnation.