Articles by " Scott R."
17 Jun
2013
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Free Trade Between EU and US

At the recent G8 summit President Obama and PM Cameron discussed starting talks about establishing a free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. The first negotiations would start on July 8th of this year and they hope by 2014 to have an agreement. “America and Europe have done extraordinary things before and I believe we can forge an economic alliance as strong as our diplomatic and security alliances, which of course are the most powerful in history,” said Obama.

France, which blocked the idea in the 1990s, is threatening to block the agreement again. They are afraid of the cultural competition from Hollywood and online entertainment. Nice to know the French haven’t changed.

The agreement is excepted to create 2 million jobs for the two sides of the Atlantic. Trade between EU and the US already makes up one third of global trade and is worth just shy of $3 billion a day. The German non-profit Bertelsmann Foundation study shows the trade agreement would help the US more than the EU. For the US the free trade would create a 13% increase in GDP per capita compared to the 5% for the EU. The study also suggested that the UK would benefit.

14 May
2013
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Scandalmania!

Yesterday, on the radio program “The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this:

“What I’m trying mightily to do is not allow the Scandalmania–’cuz you know how the press is with scandals and that becomes all-consuming–I don’t want that to eclipse the session and I don’t want it to derail the session because we have a lot of good work to do out there for New Yorkers who just want their government to function,”

This quote is pretty interesting. First, Cuomo has the audacity to complain that the press is covering Democratic legislators’ arrests. That’s what the press is supposed to do. The press isn’t making these Democrats break the law. And Second, Cuomo’s logic doesn’t make much sense. He wants the press to stop talking about the scandals because “New Yorkers just want their government to function,” but it is because of the scandals that the government is not functioning.

Here are some more about Scandalmania!

The ‘Complicated, but All Bad’ Scandal in New York’s State Legislature

FBI had eye on nine Democrats

New York corruption probe: Names released of 7 elected officials recorded by disgraced state Sen. Shirley Huntley
For Officials on Tape, Legislator’s Invitation Was Ruse

Officials Named in Huntley’s Wire List Proclaim Innocence at Varying Speeds

13 May
2013
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IRS Targets Conservative Groups

The revelation that the IRS “decided to target” conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name is truly disturbing.  One of the most troubling aspects to this breach of trust is that no one seems to know who is responsible.

The American colonists protested “taxation without representation”. Today we have taxation without accountability. Those involved with targeting specific groups may be fired, but the underlining issues won’t be fixed. Under the constitution, Congress has the power to levy taxes—yet the responsibility of enforcing those taxes have fallen to nameless bureaucratsthat cannot be held accountable by voters.  Thus, the IRS department that oversees tax-exempt groups and has the ability to decide which of those groups are tax-exempt or not targeted for extra scrutiny and perhaps even harassment groups with tea-party or patriot in their name. Tomorrow it could be another group or criteria. The issue isn’t that they targeted conservative groups, but that the IRS is able to target political groups’ period. And this is yet another reminder that our tax code needs reform.

Reuters reports ““Exactly who at the IRS made the decisions to start applying extra scrutiny was not clear….” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) told NBC, “Somebody made the decision.” And on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said, “There has to be accountability for the people who did it.”

How can we have “accountability” for that nameless, vague “somebody” who made and encouraged “the decision” to “target” specific political groups?

10 May
2013
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A Republican Plan

Peter Wehner has an interesting article today titled “The Republican Party’s Road Back to Victory” on RealClearPolitics. His ideal road is to be “the party of reform and modernization” and he gives five areas for Republicans to concentrate.

They are:

Entitlement reform

Tax code reform

Immigration

Education

Energy

I would add one other point. The Republican Party should focus their efforts on being the party of “reform and modernization” in the cities. New York City is a good place to start.

9 May
2013
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Dems Corruption Continues

2013 for New York Democrats is turning into a nightmare of their own making. Six more New York City Democrats are under federal criminal investigations. Those named in the investigation are John Sampson, Eric Adams and Velmanette Montgomery of Brooklyn; Malcolm Smith (again, see below) and Jose Peralta of Queens; and Ruth Hassell-Thompson of The Bronx. Ex-senator Shirley Huntley (Dem.) wore a wire exposing the others to help herself win some leniency in her own criminal investigation.  Senate Democratic spokesman Michael Murphy commented, “This is an extremely trying time in Albany.” I agree for Democrats. For Republicans this can be a time to showcase an alternative to corrupt Democrat NYC politics.

25 Apr
2013
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Politics As Usual For NYC?

Queens senator Malcolm Smith (Democrat) pleaded not guilty this month to charges that he bribed to get onto the Republican mayoral ballot. He got caught while talking to co-conspirators for hours with an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer. Smith agreed to use the power of his senate chair to get state money for the suburban town Spring Valley, which the FBI agent’s “company” was hoping to develop.

Queens Councilman Dan Halloran (Republican) is charged this month for offering bribes using his delegated taxpayer-funds.

Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (Democrat), who is involved in The New Age Social Adult Day Care Center, was charged this month for bribing to pass legislation that would block other adult day care centers being opened near his.

Malcolm Smith’s lawyer told reporters that “Smith is a dedicated and highly respected public servant.” If Smith’s lawyer had paid attention to a recent poll that shows 91% of New York voters believe “legislative corruption is a serious problem,” he would realize no one is going to believe him.  In addition, 81% of New York voters believe more corruption stings will come. The poll also pointed out that a third of voters actually believe it will be their senate or assembly representative that could get busted. Now, New York City has had its fair share of corrupt politics (Tammany Hall comes to mind), but what’s disturbing is how New York voters suspect it could be the very elected officials who they put into office. What does that say about the voters in this city? And what does that say about the faith they place in their choice in elected officials?

 

22 Apr
2013
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Can I make a decision for once?

The New York City council is aiming to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21. City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said, “The more difficult it is for [young people] to gain access to tobacco products, the less likely they are to start smoking. The more likely they are to live longer.” This continues the policy against tobacco use in the city. Ten years ago smoking was banned in bars and restaurants and recently there has been a push to conceal tobacco products in stores so children can’t see them. The city has also expanded in other unhealthy habits. They have made selected restaurants place calories on their menus to guilt you to order healthier food items. They have pushed to curb New Yorkers’ usage of salt and sugary drinks. There are ads showing how far you have to walk just to walk-off the soda you just drank. There seems to be a new ad campaign out every week telling subway riders how to live their lives according to the experts in government. Ronald Reagan in a 1964 speech put it this way: “We believe in our capacity for self-government or… we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite… can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” Republicans believe the former, while Bloomberg and Quinn believe the latter.

13 Apr
2013
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Mr. Ed: Central Park Horses

Issues such as housing and jobs have been put on the back burner by Democrats to address the more important topic; Central Park horses.  A $1 million ad by animal lovers is due to arrive soon, attacking Christine Quinn’s support of the horse-carriages. Quinn, who see’s herself as an animal lover, has proposed that she will seek a “no-kill” policy for the city’s animal shelters if elected, but that is not enough for the “real” animal lovers. On Wednesday a few dozen horse-carriage protestors met in the Upper West Side were the majority of them said they are single-issue voters. Enter Democrat candidate Bill de Blasio. If he wins, he promises on the very first day in City Hall, he will ban the horse-drawn carriages. Republican candidates have not issued any statements on the topic. Perhaps because they see housing, education, crime and security, and jobs as being more imperative.

8 Apr
2013
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Conservative British Political Leader, Margaret Thatcher RIP at 87

A few words from Thatcher”s vast amount of insightful conservative quotes:

“In the Conservative Party we have no truck with outmoded Marxist doctrine about class warfare. For us it is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters, but what you are and what you can do for your country that counts.”– Margaret Thatcher 1984

“Without economic liberty, there could be no true political liberty.”– Margaret Thatcher 1979

“Let me give you my vision: A man’s right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master. These are the British inheritance. They are the essence of a free country, and on that freedom all of our other freedoms depend.” — Margaret Thatcher 1975

Iron Lady” Was Among the Most Influential Global Leaders of the Postwar Period –Wall Street Journal

Margaret Thatcher Who Remade Britain– New York Times

Grocer’s Daughter Who Rose to Become a Towering Figure in British 20th Century Politics–NY Daily News

She “Dominated British Politics for Two Decades — New York Post