Archive from November, 2006
10 Nov
2006
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Changes at the top: RNC

Ken Mehlman will be stepping down as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Chairman Mehlman, who spoke at the NYYRC August general meeting, is likely to be replaced by Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate this last go-round.

Any of you who think that Mehlman’s falling on his sword after Tuesday’s Republican losses, think again. Mehlman made his decision to step down “win, lose or draw” earlier this year.

Steele gathered a lot of support during his run for the Senate this year, and he makes a fine choice to head the RNC. Rumor has it he’s also been offered a post on the president’s Cabinet. We’ll know soon which offer he accepts.

This is the first of probably many Republican party changes we’ll see over the coming weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what unfolds here in New York State.

10 Nov
2006
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So it begins:

Democrats are wasting no time informing Americans about their plans to fight the invisible hand of capitalism. Harry Reid is already on the attack, stating he plans on going after the drug companies to get them to lower their prices.

Now I’m not saying they won’t be successful in getting drug prices lower but what people should consider is the reaction to his action. Drug companies have been producing drugs to allow us to live longer because of the reward that goes with the risk. Companies like J&J spend over $6 billion a year in R&D in hopes to find that one drug that will not only make back the $6 billion but also a decent return.

What happens when the government looks to put price controls on the system, companies will answer by lowering R&D. This means the pace of new drugs will slow making it more difficult to find cures for things like cancer and AIDS.

We should all refresh our memory with what happened when President Clinton intervened in the market for flu vaccines. The American companies that were producing the drug left the market because it was no longer profitable. America was then forced to import our flu vaccines, which consequently led to a shortage in 2004 when that company, Chiron, had their license suspended by the British government.

Cheap drugs might sound good but don’t expect companies like Pfizer to go out of their way to spend billions on new drug development if Reid is not going to let them profit from it.

9 Nov
2006
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Rangel’s at it again…

Isn’t this mature? According to AM New York, Rangel is going to ask Pelosi to make Cheney hand over his congressional office space to him:

“The outspoken Harlem congressman, who will become the next chairman of the powerful Ways & Means Committee in January thanks to the Democrats’ victory Tuesday, says he wants the storied suite of offices in the House of Representatives currently occupied by Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff.”

9 Nov
2006
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As Spitzers wins election based on his crusade against Wall St. excessive compensation, the City Council looks to give itself a 14% raise.

One of the issues Democrats seized this election was the small pay raise Americans on average were experiencing. The truth when it comes to pay increases is that companies tie them to the current rate of inflation. The reason pay raises have been small at around 3% is because the Federal Reserve has done a great job of controlling inflation.

New Yorkers have to ask how did the City Council come up with a 14% pay raise when inflation is only at 3% and their salaries are already above the average New Yorker? The Council does have an argument that they haven’t received a pay wage in seven years and is an issue that should be corrected. Instead of a big raise every few years, the Council should implement a bill that gives them a raise every year that is tied to the current rate of inflation. Either way, $112K a year is to high a salary for a group of misfits.

9 Nov
2006
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What happens to Hevesi now?

Remember when Eliot Spitzer proudly professed his trust in Alan Hevesi during a debate with John Faso? Then he pulled his support when public confidence in the crooked comptroller started to fade. That was about the same time that Andrew Cuomo said that, as Attorney General, he would pursue an investigation of Hevesi if elected.

Governor Pataki publicly stated that he wants to look into this monkey business of Hevesi misappropriating government funds. But, realistically, Pataki is as lame as a duck can get. Does he or any other Republican really have any power to see through an investigation before January? All the Democrats have to do is stall the process until Governor-Elect Spitzer and AG-Elect Cuomo take office in a few weeks.

I’m willing to bet right now that nothing but a slap on the wrist awaits Alan Hevesi for his crimes. The Dems are likely to see his landslide reelection (travesty though it may be) as a vote of confidence in the comptroller, and sweep this whole scandal under the rug. It’s already off the front page of the papers. Shoot, it’s not even on the twentieth page of the papers.

Call me a cynic if you like. But unless we demonstrate a real interest in Hevesi’s removal, I don’t think it will happen.

9 Nov
2006
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If anyone should support free trade it’s Charley Rangel:

Out of all the post election articles I have read, the best one so far is in today’s FT. The article titled, “Free trade is the real election casualty”, points out how most of the Democrats that gained seats at the expense of Republicans did so running on a protectionist campaign or what the author calls “economic nationalism”.

It is no longer a secret that in the long run free trade creates more jobs then it costs. Mercantilism as an economic theory has long been discarded and thrown away as a viable economic plan but that doesn’t mean governments still don’t attempt to use its populist attraction as a means to gain support. The results for the governments that use it though are always the same, low growth and high unemployment. Simply comparing the high unemployment of your average protectionist European nation of 8-10% to America’s free trade model of 4.4% shows free trade creates more jobs. Further when protectionist policies like Schumer’s proposed 27.5% tariff on goods from China are passed, the result is higher prices, which then leads to inflation. Inflation then brings in the Federal Reserve who is forced to raise interest rates, starting the cycle of economic decline and higher unemployment.

One thing I always admired about Bill Clinton was his decision, despite his party’s opposition, to support NAFTA and free trade as a positive economic theory. Clinton understood free trade makes economies grow and creates more jobs. As stated in the FT article, Clinton’s “argument was always that government should address the negative consequences of open trade through worker retraining programs and by ensuring benefits not tied to employers, like healthcare and portable pensions”.

This finally brings me to Rangel and his recent comments that once in charge he will make trade a top issue. Considering Rangel represents the inner city of New York, he should be falling over people in Congress to pass free trade not prevent it. It’s not like any protectionist policy is going to lead to the opening of a t-shirt or sock factory in Harlem. What it will do though is raise the price of those items that Rangel’s constituents purchase regularly. Comes the new session Rangel should follow Bill Clinton and keep prices down for his district by beating back the protectionist wave that is about to occur

8 Nov
2006
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Proud To See No Sore Losers Here

I would just like to commend our contributors and many other GOP and conservative bloggers for staying positive and looking for solutions to respond to the results of this mid-term election. Rather than wallowing in the losses or looking to blame anyone, most are looking inward and regrouping. As long as we take a lesson away from this election and look for ways to bring voters back into the fold we will come out on top. Yesterday’s vote was not about each individual candidate and the fact that the majority of seats were turned over to conservative Democrats (some even former Republicans) means that on most issues GOP’s ultimate message has not been rejected by the voters. Of course on the issue of Iraq we need to reevaluate the plan and the progress and the first steps toward that are being taken as I write this. Whether Rumsfeld is the most appropriate target of GOP “house cleaning” remains to be seen, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction and proof to the voters that the Administration heard them loud and clear last night.

8 Nov
2006
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Standing up and dusting off

Looking through today’s papers and assessing last night’s returns, there are a few questions that keep running through my mind.

Do voters truly believe that Eliot Spitzer can bring business back to New York, even though he’s strong-armed Wall Street to do his bidding?

Do voters truly believe that they can trust Alan Hevesi to control the state’s pension fund, even though he has blatantly betrayred that trust?

Do voters truly believe Hillary Clinton, whose only concern for our state is as a stepping stone to higher office, will fairly represent what New York needs in the U.S. Senate?

We had some fine candidates this year who wanted to crack the fiefdom that runs our state legislature and bring some fiscal responsibility to Albany. But do voters truly believe that Albany is fine just the way it is?

Judging by the shellacking Republicans took in last night’s contest, apparently the answer to these questions is ‘yes.’

Nationwide, Democrats claimed that we are seeing a change. But here in New York, we are seeing more of the same. And that’s not good.

As Republicans in this state, we need to get our act together. Instead of waiting till the last minute to field our candidates, we need to start building tomorrow’s campaigns today. Instead of talking amongst ourselves at private parties, we need to air our grievances in public, and proudly. Instead of simply accepting the fact that we live in a Blue state and a liberal city, we need to appeal to people’s common sense, and put the credit for our situation where credit is due.

If we’re not willing to do that, then perhaps it is us who should find a new line of work.

8 Nov
2006
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The best new job in New York:

As of this morning the best job in New York will be the person who gets to be the chairman of the Republican Party in the State.

If Republicans decide to replace Minarik, for the new Chairman it will be like Lou Piniella coaching the Chicago Cubs. There is only one way to go but up and the team has been so bad that their use to loosing, so expectations will be low making it easy to succeed.

8 Nov
2006
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The good thing about the Democrat’s New York sweep:

New York Republicans should cheer up this morning because there’s some good news buried under the disaster.

Now that Democrats have taken complete control of New York they can no longer blame us for New York’s ills. Over the next 18 months as New York slides deep into a hole like the New York Times circulation, New Yorkers will be forced to look to Democrats who were unable to create the utopian society they promised.

Over the next 18 months New York home prices will decline, taxes will go up, upstate will still be upstate and unemployment will come up off its recent lows to head higher.

The question will be if the New York media like the NY Times that did everything they could to make sure this day would come, will be willing to ask what happen when all their dreams don’t come true.