Archive from July, 2006
31 Jul
2006
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Another Democrat pushing for national healthcare:

No matter how many facts you throw at Democrats they still continue to focus on the worst plans for our economy. This weekend John Kerry was pushing for universal healthcare at a fundraising event.

Here is a look at some the wait times you can look forward too, based on wait times is Europe, if Kerry’s plan goes into affect.

8 months for cataract surgery
11 months for a hip replacement
12 months for a knee replacement
5 months to repair a slipped disc
5 months for a hernia repair

To put it into perspective my mom blew her knee out several years ago and had her knee replacement done in less than a week.

It’s because of socialized healthcare in Europe and like the plan John Kerry wants to introduce that medical tourism in countries like India has become a multi-billion dollar industry. That’s right people from Canada to Britain visit places like India’s Escorts Hospital and Research Center to get treatment on medical issues despite being able to get it free in their home country because the wait time in their country, especially for heart procedures, could be the difference between life and death.

31 Jul
2006
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Power Conservation Tips:

Since it’s going to be 100-105 for the next three days I thought I would put up energy conservation methods recommended by New York City’s Office of Energy Management.

Now lets see if everyone will band together and listen.

Power Conservation Tips:

During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve as much energy as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions.

· Set your air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78 degrees — a 75-degree setting uses 18 percent more electricity and a 72-degree setting uses 39 percent more electricity. This setting allows for sufficient cooling while still conserving electric power.
· Only use an air conditioner when you are home. If you want to cool your room down before you arrive home, set a timer to have it switch on no more than one-half hour before you arrive
· Turn off all nonessential appliances.
· Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
· Only use appliances that have heavy electrical loads (dishwashers, washers, dryers) early in the morning or very late at night.

While diminishing your power usage may seem like an inconvenience, your cooperation will help to ensure that utilities can continue to provide uninterrupted electrical service.

30 Jul
2006
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Bloomy Running for President?

Recieved this in my email this morning from Newsmax (Would link if I could – couldn’t find on website…)

Insider Report from NewsMax.com

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Bloomberg Serious About White House Run

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will dispose of his multibillion-dollar business holdings next year by giving much of his fortune to charity and using some of the rest to fund a run for president as an independent, a source close to the mayor tells Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.

But could a Bloomberg candidacy actually succeed?

“Certainly, dissatisfaction with both major parties is high, with large numbers of Americans viewing Republicans as unprincipled and less than competent and Democrats as feckless and unserious,” John Fund writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“Similar conditions gave rise to Ross Perot in 1992, and for a while the diminutive Texas billionaire was running first in the polls. He eventually won 19 percent of the national vote and helped Bill Clinton defeat the first President Bush.”

Bloomberg would hold several advantages over Perot, Fund notes. For one thing, he has actually won two elections, something Perot has never achieved.

As NewsMax reported, political strategist Dick Morris opined that Bloomberg can succeed where Perot failed because – thanks to his years dealing with the national press corps as mayor of the country’s biggest city – he knows how to handle himself in the public spotlight.

“That education makes it unlikely that he will implode with paranoia or be rattled by the antics of the party national committees, as Perot was,” Morris points out.

Also, Bloomberg would likely have even more money to spend than Perot. He was overheard saying he could put up “half a billion.” That’s almost as much as George Bush and John Kerry combined spent during the 2004 race.

According to Fund, the thinking is that a Bloomberg run as an independent would hurt the Democratic candidate more than the Republican.

“As the quintessential urban candidate, Mr. Bloomberg would likely appeal most to city dwellers, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Then there are his issue positions. Mr. Bloomberg has run and won twice as a registered Republican in New York, but he supports partial-birth abortion, gun control, and gay rights and opposes the death penalty.”

But the speculation about a Bloomberg run could turn out to be idle, according to Fund. “Bloomberg knows that the odds are against him: No modern third-party candidate has come close to winning, and even if one managed to poll close to 40 percent of the popular vote, it would be hard to carry a majority of the Electoral College.

“Thus, while the mayor could afford the stratospheric spending requirements of a national campaign, observers think that in the end the 64-year-old mayor is likely to skip the race.”

Not so fast, says Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and a NewsMax pundit.

Bloomberg “could decide that the climate is right” for a run as an independent, Weyrich writes.

“Half the country does not want Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, yet she is the likely Democratic nominee. More than half the nation loves John McCain, but most likely he will not be the GOP nominee. So Bloomberg, very much attracted to public service, may just say, ‘To heck with it.’

“Get those ‘Bloomberg for President’ bumper stickers rolling off the presses?”

28 Jul
2006
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Under Siege!

When it comes to Wal-Mart many in the City Council think that they continue to win their war against the retailer because Wal-Mart has been unable to breach the walls of the city.

In reality, it is Wal-Mart that continues to win the war using a strategy that has been successful since the days of the Roman Empire. Wal-Mart has decided to lay siege to New York City and in return, suck the city of local tax revenue. Currently there are 20 Wal-Mart stores that surround NYC ranging in a distance from 4 miles to 30. Though 30 miles sounds allot in actuality it’s only like 30 to 40 minutes away and for people who live in Queens, it’s much shorter. These stores surround NYC in every direction located in NJ to the west, Westchester to the north and Long Island to the East.

Where the City Council thinks it’s winning because they haven’t seen a Wal-Mart enter the city, Wal-Mart knows it’s winning by the thousands of credit card receipts from NYC residents that fill its cash registers.

When it comes to Wal-Mart and the City Council, the Emperor(s) clearly have no clothes.

27 Jul
2006
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“It is a Jihad for the sake of God and will last until our religion prevails… from Spain to Iraq”

Those were the words of Al-Qaida’s number two man, Al-Zawahri. So to you Democrats, do you still think the war in Iraq is not worth winning? Do you still think if we just compromise with Muslim extremists and abandon the Middle East that they will go away and not chase after us?

I know Democrat think whatever Republicans say is a lie and untrue but what about what Al-Zawahri, the man himself says? Just what does his comment “until our religion prevails” mean to Democrats?

27 Jul
2006
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Why the Chicago’s City Councils vote to raise minimum wage for big box retailers to $10 will hurt the people it is meant to help.

Yesterday the City Council of Chicago passed a bill that will require a number of big box retailers like Wal-Mart to pay a minimum wage of $10 an hour to their employees. The goal of the bill is to raise the wages for the slice of the city that has the lowest income.

The problem is that Chicago’s City Council is failing to see an important reality that Adam Smith had realized centuries ago, that wages are a reflection of education.

By raising the minimum wage to $10 the City Council will crowd out those people who need the job the most and here’s why. At say $6.25 an hour certain responsible educated people like stay home wives and those in early retirement might not be enough to get them to come fill out an application even though Wal-Mart would love them too. Instead those that apply are people that $6.25 is an attractive wage to get them out of the house, generally those less educated. However when you artificially raise the wage to $10 it now may be enough for that stay at home spouse or retired person to go apply as the pay is worth their time. The result is the unskilled that currently fill the job in the store are crowded out, as Wal-Mart would rather hire the educated person who is less likely to steal and more likely to give better customer service, if they are going to be forced to pay $10.

26 Jul
2006
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National Review and Rudy Giuliani

I don’t know if anyone picked up the recent issue of National Review with Mayor Giuliani on the cover (in drag). I am a subscriber and I have to say I was terribly disappointed in the article, which discusses the Mayor’s chances at the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Admittedly, I am a supporter of the Mayor’s and hope that he runs. That being said, there were numerous problems with the piece. For one, Mrs. O’Beirne only manages to cite one pundit (NY Post’s John Podhoretz) supportive of the Mayor’s prospects. One? You must be kidding. Considering he leads in most polls, I find it shocking that she could only find one person that thought President Giuliani was a good thing and could happen.

She also highlights the Mayor’s social views (or “God, guns and gays,” as she quotes an unnamed “veteran strategist”) and, in essence, concludes that this will be his undoing. While I concede that others share this belief, she fails to meaningfully consider three items: (1) what Rudy Giuliani did for this city even prior to 9/11; (2) the universal credit he receives around the country for NYC’s turn around and the effect that will have and (3) that he has sky-high approval ratings among Republicans, despite the strong likelihood that they are aware of his positions on social issues.

To the first point, while she cites Mr. Podhoretz for the proposition that Giuliani “governed their ungovernable city and dramatically reduced crime, while holding views on law and order and welfare dependency that put him on the right of the city’s political spectrum,” she denies this position any respect. Who remembers the druggies lying in the streets on the upper East and West sides? Who remembers the constant threat of violent crime? Who remembers the city of dependence, the welfare cheats and the generations for whom work was a foreign concept? Apparently Mrs. O’Beirne does not, for if she did, she would recognize the Mayor’s accomplishments on these issues not only turned NYC into a model for all big cities, but proved the merit of long-held conservative values (“broken windows” policing?). Republicans will respect such vindication in a primary, as well as the record of accomplishment.

As to the second point, around the country Rudy, rightfully in my view, gets the credit for NYC’s turnaround. He turned the city around – and he did so in the face of enormous opposition. Al Sharpton, Norman Seigal, Ron Kuby, the unions, the activists, they all fought him. Yet Rudy, and NYC, won the war. And let’s not forget that in 2004, many of those primary voters witnessed Rudy’s handiwork first hand at the Convention. Thus, Republican primary voters see the man – one man — who beat the liberal boogeymen and the one man who made NYC great again.

As to the final point, people often forget what it means to say that NYC is the media capital of the world. One byproduct of this fact is that the mayor of NYC gets oodles of national media coverage. Heck – is there anyone in the country that does not know about Mayor Bloomberg’s crusade against illegal guns? To that point, I would think it safe to presume that primary voters — who are typically better informed than most folks anyway — know everything there is to know about Rudy – good, bad and ugly. So, despite knowing his stance on social issues, or how Rudy looks in a dress, Rudy still has approval ratings above 70% among Republicans (with unfavorable ratings in the single digits). What exactly will people learn when, as Mrs. O’Beirne puts it, “the research teams of other GOP contenders for the 2008 nomination . . . take[ ] Giuliani on”? That he’s pro-choice? Who doesn’t know that? Or that he left his wife? Again, is this news to anyone? Maybe the “research teams” will uncover something – maybe he’s from Mars, which would be news – but barring a real shocker, I don’t see people really changing their mind about the Mayor. Seems that people know what they’re getting in Rudy Giuliani — good and bad — and most people like what they see.

Of course, all this is without considering the effect that 9/11 and the leadership he displayed will have. To be brief, I don’t think anyone thinks it would hurt his nomination’s prospects

In short, while I would while I favor Rudy’s run (“Run Rudy, Run”) my problem is not that Mrs. O’Beirne clearly disagrees with me. My problem is that in the guise of serious analysis, she merely regurgitates the “accepted wisdom”(“too liberal”) without thoughtfully reexamining that “wisdom.” The piece was not in line with the thoughtful pieces done on George Allen or Mitt Romney and, frankly, was out of character for Mrs. O’Beirne and National Review.

26 Jul
2006
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Out of the Box, or Out of His Gourd?

No one has been claiming that Queens has been unfairly targeted by a conspiracy to deprive them of air conditions. I live in Queens and I don’t feel like Con Ed targeted my neighbors (I wasn’t affected by the blackout). What I am claiming is that Con Ed was totally incompetent and heads should roll. Moreover, Con Ed is more than a publicly traded company that is accountable to its shareholder – Con Ed is a public utility which holds a government-granted monopoly over the distribution of electric in New York City. As such, it is no different, in my mind, than a City agency when it comes to whom it is accountable. Con Ed must answer to the citizens of New York City first and the shareholders second. The issue is not lost revenue for Con Ed, it is lost earnings and diminished health (or lost lives) for Queens residents. To focus on shareholder rights and Con Ed profits (as the reason they would want to fix the problem) is to lose sight of the problem and to whom Con Ed is accountable first and foremost.

But, I still love Nick and his willingness to be contrarian. Next debate, “Resolved, the world is flat.” Nick, I believe you are speaking in favor of the resolution . . .

: )

26 Jul
2006
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Correction: Vertucci out of the box thinker – Not crazy:

Yesterday there was a news flash on the blog that I went crazy and thought I should add a correction by elaborating on my brief comments defending the Mayor over Con Ed.

The reason for my defense of Con Ed is that I found it interesting how people in this city have been acting like the power outage and the time it was taking to fix it was a big conspiracy against Queens’s residents to keep them without their air conditioners.

The way I look at it is if there is anyone who wanted power restored as soon as possible it’s Con Ed. Con Ed is a publicly traded corporation traded on the market that has millions of shareholders to answer too. The last thing Con Ed wants to do is go days without revenue and worse have to spend cash to reimburse people affected. These are things that negatively affect the balance sheet, which doesn’t make investors happy.

Finally for those calling for the head of Con Ed’s CEO they don’t have to worry. If there is true blame to be had investors will be the first to recognize it and act accordingly. My point is Con Ed is not the MTA where there is nobody to answer too when things go wrong and those acting like it is don’t understand how free enterprise and the invisible hand that guides it works.

25 Jul
2006
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News Flash – Vertucci Goes Crazy

I LOVE NICK VERTUCCI!!! I LOVE HIS CONTRARIAN VIEW POINT!!! I also think he has gone insane with the summer heat. Nick, my brother, my crunk nizzle (as the kids say), you have got to be kidding me.

I have gone nuts when Home Depot failed to deliver doors for my kitchen cabinets on time. If something like ELECTRICITY was not being delivered to my house, I would look to burn the CEO of Con Ed in effigy and get pitch forks and torches (at least the torches would provide light). People died thanks to Con Ed’s failure to deliver the electricity people paid for.

The fallacy of your argument is your reliance on “these things happen.” This equates it to some sort of act of God. Snow happens. Hell, tornados happen. If a twister relocated a few transformers to Oz (or the East Side of Manhattan) then yes, I would say Con Ed should not be blamed (although we should have twister-proof transformers). But Con Ed screwed up while . . . DELIVERING ELECTRICTY! They are paid to deliver electricity. No outside influence came in and monkeyed with the process. Their wires are old and they didn’t get off their collective behinds to do the necessary maintenance.

Additionally – to equate a failure to conduct routine maintenance for an electric company with not changing a light bulb is such a poor analogy that it borders on insulting. When my light bulb goes out, only one light goes out. If, for example, one light bulb going out in my house would cause me to lose power throughout my whole house, you’d be right to assume I would be replacing light bulbs every two months just to be sure I didn’t lose power. And that’s just my house. Now, what if my failure to change my bulb resulted 100,000 people losing lights and refrigeration, let alone television, air conditioning, phones (in some cases) and the other things in life that run on electricity? I would assume that a mob would greet me at my door every time that bulb went out. And, if I wanted to live for any period of time, I’d be sure to change the bulbs.

There is one party at fault here Con Ed. We SHOULD blame them. Notwithstanding the failure to check the wires, they should be blamed because of their underestimates of the effected populace (originally they severely undercounted) which, while better from a PR standpoint, resulted in Con Ed’s they failure to marshal the resources to deal with this in a timely fashion. Con Ed should be blamed because they are responsible for perhaps millions of dollars of lost income as well as lives lost (and put in jeopardy).

Dennis