Monday, April 28, 2014

Even before the indictment was unsealed, the Conservative Party Leadership was looking to dump Grimm

Mike Long tells New York Times that Grimm needed to do the right thing for the citizens of his district  ---  even before today's events had unfolded:  including a twenty count federal indictment against Congressman Grimm, and a statement by an FBI Agent in Charge denouncing Grimm as a former FBI agent

In a 4/27/14  report that appeared in The New  York Times' Monday edition, Mike Long was quoted as follows: "[Congressman Grimm] ought to give some serious thought to the citizens of his district and do the right thing for those citizens....  I don’t know what the truth is,  but I do know that I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to mount a serious campaign when this is hanging over his head....”  ( See "For Politician, an Indictment Looms, and So Does a Campaign for Re-election" by Thomas Kaplan, 4/27/14 [print edition 4/28/14], NY Times []).

The indictment against Michael Grimm was unsealed today, and the Congressman turned himself in, formally denied the charges and was released on bail (See "We read the Michael Grimm indictment so you don’t have to" by Wesley Lowery, 4/28/14, Washington Post []).  The Washington Post report contained the following synopsis of what it described as a 30-page indictment against the Congressman for Staten Island and some parts of Brooklyn:
"According to prosecutors, Grimm....  ***  [ ]Hired a staff of illegal immigrants. As Healthalicious' business manager, Grimm was in charge of hiring and firing, as well as of the payroll (more on that later). According to the indictment, Grimm routinely hired workers who did not have legal papers to work in the United States. The fact that Grimm is accused of hiring illegal immigrants is significant in part because the congressman is one of a handful of House Republicans who has publicly supported passing comprehensive immigration reform this year.  ***  [ ] Paid his staff in cash, under the table. According to the indictment, Grimm kept two separate payroll documents; he would pay half of an employee's due on the books and dole out cash for the rest. This setup, prosecutors say, allowed Grimm to under-report the amount he was spending in wages and therefore dodge hefty payroll taxes due to the state and federal government. ***  [ ] Used an AOL email account to run the restaurant while he was campaigning. According to the indictment, Grimm hired two new employees -- a business manager and an accountant -- to help carry out the scheme once he had entered the 2010 Congressional race. Officials say Grimm corresponded  with the business manager via email (an AOL email account!), telling him how much cash to pay employees during any given pay period. Grimm allegedly kept information about his cash payments from the accountant, which ultimately led to errors when tax returns were filed for the company.  ***  [ ] Lied about it all, under oath. In January 2013, Grimm was deposed in a federal lawsuit filed by two former 'Healthalicious' employees who accused him of paying them less than minimum wage. According to the indictment, Grimm attempted to hide his cash-payment scheme by lying under oath about whether he paid employees in cash, what his interactions were with the payroll management company, whether he corresponded via email about Healthalicious' business, and whether he still had access to the email address."


According to a Reuters  Report, " 'As a former FBI agent, Representative Grimm should understand the motto: fidelity, bravery, and integrity. Yet he broke our credo at nearly every turn,' said George Venizelos, who runs the FBI's New York office.  ***  'Representative Grimm lived by a new motto: fraud, perjury, and obstruction,' Venizelos said...." ( See "Republican Representative Grimm of NY indicted on fraud charges" by Bernard Vaughan and Aruna Viswnatha, 4/28/14, Reuters  []). Similar, but more expanded remarks by the same FBI supervisor were contained in an ABC report (See "FBI Arrests and Rips Rep. Michael Grimm, an Ex-FBI Agent" by Aaron Katersky, 4/28/14, ABC News []).



 "After years of the US Attorney searching for a crime they (all the prosecutors and investigators) come up with against Grimm is paying restaurant workers in cash. If that standard was applied across the board, there wouldn't be any restaurants operating in Manhattan. This US Attorney was, and apparently still is, a Schumer operative. This is one problem when prosecutors owe their jobs to  other politicians. It's a fact of life"



On the "Is It Legal" segment of  last night's The O'Reilly Factor, with Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle doing counterpoint to Bill O'Reilly, everybody was pretty much in agreement that the timing of the U.S. Attorney's unsealing of the Grimm indictment was political. They were also in agreement that, based upon the charges contained in the federal complaint, Grimm is finished politically and probably will wind up in jail.


In what looks like a death knell for the Grimm re-election campaign, House Republican leaders are coming close to pulling the plug on Rep. Michael Grimm’s reelection campaign by cutting off funding from the national party’s main campaign committee to the embattled Staten Island lawmaker (See "In Michael Grimm, the surprising rise of a nobody" by Geoff Earle, 4/29/14, NY Post []). According to the NY Post, without such funding from DC, Grimm is effectively on his own as he works to win reelection in a competitive district while under federal indictment for tax fraud, obstruction, and perjury. “As long as these legal issues are playing out there we’re going to hold off,” National Republican Campaign Committee chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told the Post. “That’s our analysis this day and time. We have to look where we can go win seats...  In any race certain dynamics occur cause you to reevaluate. And certainly a 20-count indictment causes you to reevaluate,” Walden added. 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Peruse Mike Long's remarks in  Seth Lipskey's column in the New York Post on April 24, 2014   ---  What an example of a pathetic piece of venality posing as "evolved" thinking

Here's how New York State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long came right out and said what he thought about throwing over the U.S. Constitution and over two hundred years  of American history:  “It was clear to me that both Democrats and Republican candidates, the only time they came to New York was to get money [sic]....  The time has come that every vote should count, every candidate should be forced to campaign in every nook, corner, and crevice in the entire country.... ” (See "Cuomo embraces risky popular vote campaign' by Seth Lipsky, 4/23/14 []; appearing in NY  Post of  4/24/14  as "NY Pols Embrace Risky Vote Scheme").

Do Long's remarks sound un-American to you ?  They do to me.  And why did Mike Long say all this un-American bilge  ---  more important, why did he help push this noxious bill through the NYS legislature ?   It's obvious.  Read what he said again.   Mike Long "evolved" in order to force the national GOP to come into New York State and pay-off Long and his political shakedown operation,  The New York State Conservative Party.

Here's what Long is really saying  in the Lipsky column  ---  both Democrat and Republican candidates should not be allowed  to come into New York only to get money for their national campaigns. The time has come that every candidate should be forced to campaign in a place like New York so that national Republicans would be subjected to the same Conservative Party shakedowns as New York State Republicans.

If you read everything that Seth Lipsky had to say about all this, you'll see that Long and his Conservative Party types are now openly aligned with Andrew Cuomo and the far left of the Democratic Party in doing an end-run around the U.S. Constitution and the way that we have elected U.S. Presidents from the very beginning of this constitutional republic. To drive home the point, Seth Lipsky specifically included  the quasi-Marxist Working Families Party in his list of Long's new allies.  Once upon a time, we'd call those kinds of allies fellow travelers, now they're all just evolved thinkers.

It's clear that Seth Lipsky doesn't like it; and, if you haven't noticed yet, neither do I.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What does Hillary Clinton think is the low point of her tenure as Secretary of State ? Surprise ! HRC reasserts that she thinks it's Benghazi -- Benghazi -- Benghazi !

Remember when Democrats and MSM apologists for Obama and Clinton, and all things Democrat said that the only people who cared about Benghazi were Fox News and the GOP Chairmen of a couple of House committees ?  ---  Now, even after a few months from when she first mentioned it, Obama's former Secretary of State implies that things should have been done differently concerning Benghazi

In a recent video, Clinton was asked, “If you could change the outcome of any event that occurred while you were secretary of state, what would it be?”  Hillary is seen and heard to answer, “Oh, it would certainly be the attack on our facility in Benghazi and the loss of two State Department personnel and two CIA contractors from the terrorist attack, and the terrible consequences to that....”  (See "VIDEO — Hillary Clinton Says She Really Wishes She Could Change What Happened in Benghazi" by Bryan Preston, 4/24/14,  PJ Media/ The PJ Tatler [] with video of Clinton's statement).  Among several other criticisms, that article goes on to state:  "Clinton’s delivery is flat, without emotion, despite the fact that her department’s repeated rejections of requests to beef up security at the facility — which Clinton does not call a consulate anymore — played a starring role in the disaster. ***  Clinton does not acknowledge that she or any of her close associates got anything wrong...."

This is only the most recent iteration by the former Secretary of State and the 2016 presumptive presidential front-runner's revised sentiments on the subject of Benghazi (See,  eg., "Hillary Clinton: 'My Biggest Regret Is What Happened In Benghazi' " by  Mollie Reilly, 1/27/14,  The Huffington Post  [] with video of Clinton's comments).

It remains to be seen how HRC squares her more recent sensibilities about l'affaire Benghazi with her prior infamous formal rhetorical question to congressional questioners, "But what difference, at this point, does [ what had been first done and said about Benghazi] make?  However, her choosing to revisit the events of September 11, 2012, expressing her regret, certainly will prompt many questions as to exactly what it is that she regrets about all of it or any of it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The sidetrack railroading of Salvatore Perrone by the so-called criminal justice system continues unabated --- This time with some help from the Daily News and the NY Post

Sal Perrone, of Brooklyn and Staten Island again appeared in a Brooklyn court  in front of the former Bronx guy, Criminal Court Judge Alan Marrus ( an ACTING Supreme Court Justice in the Brooklyn Criminal Term)  ---  yet again, the multiple murder case against Perrone was adjourned a few months  ---  this time until June 30th

This has to be the strangest pursuit of justice in what most people believe is "an open and shut case" of any that's been held in Brooklyn for a very long time. After a rush to put a suspect named Salvatore Perrone , but referred to by the police as "John Doe - Duffle Bag" ---  and sometimes in the press as "Son of Sal" into police custody without making an arrest for days  ---  there was a rush to convict the man in the court of public opinion after charges had been announced (the actual time in police custody prior to any arrest might yet prove to be a problem in the case). For almost a year and a half, there has been no similar rush to convict that man in court; quite to the contrary, the jury selection and a trial of this case has not yet been scheduled. According to press reports, it is not likely to occur before this fall.

In case you missed it (and it is obvious, that is exactly what all parts of  the criminal justice system want right now), Salvatore Perrone again appeared in a Brooklyn Criminal courtroom on March 28th before "the Honorable" Alan Marrus, AJSC, Kings Co.  Several things happened that were unusual this time around. First and foremost, the appearance was covered by several of the city-wide papers, several of which had seemed to lose interest during  prior court appearances.  Second, some of the coverage showed the unprofessional disdain with which the judge presiding over the case treated both the person and the subject matter before him ( See  "Accused serial killer 'Son of Sal' Salvatore Perrone files long, bizarre list of witnesses" by Oren Yaniv,  3/29/14, NY Daily News [];  "‘Serial killer’ needs legal help, judge says" by Laurel Babcock and Josh Saul, 3/29/14, NY Post []; Accused killer Salvatore Perrone's turn as lawyer "singularly ineffective," judge scolds by Frank Donnelly, 3/31/14 [ ; ]).  For the most part, this "news" coverage, by the three papers just cited, fell into line with the persistent narrative that Perrone is only some kind of homicidal nut, who is insisting on defending himself and that he really has no defense worth talking about or looking into.

This passage from the  Orin Yaniv article in the Daily News  is illustrative:
"His court appearances all featured the defendant launching long-winded complaints about the voluminous evidence he has yet to receive. ***  Friday’s was no different, even after the prosecutor noted that most of the discovery has been turned over. ***  Among Perrone’s demands was an email address of a woman named Nadia, whom he believed to be living in Russia. ***  “You’re not happy with everything,” Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus told him at one point. ***  'Have you considered that you decided to represent yourself and that you’re not doing a very good job?' the judge asked. 'You are being singularly ineffective in representing yourself. Do you understand that?' ”

One of the things that the press has not actually looked into is the quality and the actual quantity of discovery material that the Brooklyn DA's Office has provide to the defendant in discovery  --- and perhaps more important, what might not have been turned over.

Something else that has not been reported in any of the coverage of this case thus far is whether the pro se defendant in this capital murder case has been provided with or even offered "legal assistance"  after he asked that the court appointed attorney be removed from his case.  Judge Marrus has done little more than carry-on at defendant Salvatore Perrone's ability to defend himself whenever Perrone complained about various things, including the repeated failure of prosecutors to turn over  discovery material needed by his defense against all the charges.  Earlier in the case, Judge Marrus had been quite solicitous to Perrone's "assigned" attorney, a former Bronx Judge who had been thrown off the bench and disbarred  ---  some commentators had noted that both Marrus and the assigned counsel had some history in the Bronx.

A very illustrative example of the disdain, animus  and bias against Mr. Perrone by the Judge sitting on his case for about a year and a half now is a comment the judge made in response to a complaint by the defendant that $78,000 had been taken from his home in Staten Island.  According to one of the press reports, Acting Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus glibly responded,  “The IRS might be interested.”  It's clear that Judge Marrus' was quite dismissive of the defendant's complaint; and his even clearer implication was that the only way that Perrone might be in possession of  that amount of money would necessarily involve some violation of the federal tax laws.

Nonetheless, one of the things that did come through in this round of reporting is that Judge Marrus has repeatedly pointed out how "singularly ineffective" Perrone has been in defending himself in court.

Friday, April 11, 2014

UH-OH ! Did Jerry Kassar’s column show that his boss State Senator Golden has “A Catholic Problem” ?

Unlike what Jerry Kassar might have you believe  —  Cardinal Dolan’s published remarks look like there might be a problem for both Republicans and Democrats who failed to deliver on their professed support for the Educational Investment Tax Credit

I can’t tell if Jerry Kassar is doing a war dance or his happy dance in his weekly column in the Home Reporter, this week entitled “Common Sense: ‘A Catholic Problem’.”  According to Mr. Kassar, “Reading the comments by Cardinal Dolan as well as other Catholic Church leaders in the days following the demise of the Educational Investment Tax Credit, one might wonder if Governor Andrew Cuomo is developing a ‘Catholic problem.’ ***  Although there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, with Assembly Speaker Silver deserving his share, Cuomo seems to be the focus of the church’s anger....” (See “Common Sense: ‘A Catholic Problem’ ” by Jerry Kassar, 4/8/14, Home Reporter/ Sunset News []).

Kassar went on to say this: “The Catholic Church leadership is essentially saying that [Cuomo] broke a commitment. They are suggesting he had the ability to move the issue into the final budget, but choose not to apply the significant powers of his office in the final push. The leaders have thrown around a lot of tough words to describe his actions including betrayed.”  Well, maybe the Catholic leadership is saying that  —  then again, maybe it isn’t.  I don’t think somebody like Kassar can be relied upon to be an accurate spokesman of the Catholic Church position on this particular bit of budgetary legerdemain and the almost identical political sleight of hand that led up to it  —  all of it leading to the failure to pass any Educational Investment Tax Credit in the 2014-2015 NYS Budget .

What is particularly odd about all of this is that even though Kassar acknowledges that there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, Kassar thinks that the GOP NYS Senate leadership and even Kassar’s own boss, Marty Golden, don’t have a full share of  “A Catholic Problem” coming out of the demise of the Educational Investment Tax Credit. After all, wasn’t this part and parcel of this year’s budgetary dealing that resulted in a “Budget Deal”; and didn’t those so-called conservative Republicans in the NYS Senate gladly vote in favor of that very problematic budget  —  the very budget that contained no Educational Investment Tax Credit in it.

A statement by Cardinal Dolan that appeared in the Daily News earlier today seems to be equally critical of Governor Cuomo and GOP NYS Senate Co-leader Skelos for giving him assurances that they could not deliver on ( See “EXCLUSIVE: Timothy Cardinal Dolan is outraged that Albany did not approve promised tax credits” by Glenn Blaine, 4/10/14, NY Daily News []).

These chickens might come home to roost personally on State Senator Martin Golden’s doorstep.  Golden specifically is on the record as saying that he proudly backed the NYS budget that recently passed for 2014 and 2015. Some of what he had to say “on the record” follows:  “State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, 22nd District)... is today applauding the significant achievements of the 2014-2015 New York State Budget [on a matter clearly passed at the expense of the Educational Investment Tax Credit]....” (See Release by State Senator Martin Golden, 4/1/14 []); “I am proud to have voted for a New York State budget last week that included [ another matter also clearly passed at the expense of the Educational Investment Tax Credit]....” (See Release by State Senator Martin Golden, 4/9/14 []). None of Golden’s laudatory releases about his support of the 2014-2015 budget, and his mention of specific items in it, contained any explanation of the failure to include the Educational Investment Tax Credit in the overall budget, nor did Golden mention any remorse for the failure to follow through on commitments made to Catholic leaders and other supporters of the Educational Investment Tax Credit.

To paraphrase Kassar, in a question pointed at him and his boss: Could the demise of the Educational Investment Tax Credit become a campaign talking point against another Golden term in the State Senate ?  Time and Golden’s future answers on his votes surrounding these issues will tell that unfolding story.




According to Governor Cuomo, “... This budget contains the framework that will allow us to build a new New York, and I commend the members of the Senate and the Assembly who have joined us to continue that progress....” (See “Cuomo: New York State budget a 'grand slam' ” by  Chelsea Bishop &  Kelly McCarthy, 4/1/14, 12WBNG Action News []).

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced the historic passage of the State’s fourth consecutive on-time budget. ...***...  Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, “I am pleased that we are acting today on a bipartisan budget that delivers property tax relief to hardworking families, reduces taxes for businesses so they can create new jobs and gives every student the resources they need to be successful. Our enacted budget includes a new property tax rebate program, a reduction in the Gap Elimination Adjustment for schools, expansion of the EPIC program for seniors, and elimination of the corporate tax for manufacturers. I congratulate Governor Cuomo for achieving comprehensive, bipartisan ethics and election reforms that will increase transparency and restore confidence in government. Working together, we will pass the state’s 4th consecutive on-time budget, a symbol that state government is functioning and getting results. I thank the Governor for his strong leadership and our partners in the Legislature, Senator Klein and Speaker Silver, for their hard work and commitment to the people of this state.” ( See “Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Announce Passage of 2014-15 Budget” Press Release by Governor Andrew Cuomo, 3/31/14, Governor's Press Office []).

According to Governor Cuomo’s  release and other reports, “The New York State Legislature approved the 2014-2015 state budget ....   the fourth on-time budget in a row to start the new fiscal year. Again, the budget is a series of compromises and serious trade-offs....  The spending plan totals $138 billion and continues the state’s fiscal discipline by holding spending growth to less than two percent for the fourth consecutive year. ***  Historic investment in education. The 2014-15 state budget increases school aid by $1.1 billion, or 5.4 percent, which is $551 million over the Governor’s proposal....”  (See “Summary of 2014-2015 State Budget” by Patricia Fahy, 4/2/14, Albany Times Union []).

Needless to say, for those interested in the issue, even though there was plenty of money for countless other initiatives such as real estate, movies and other business development, and for many, many public school based programs, there was no provision in the 2014-2015 state budget for any Educational Investment Tax Credit.



Most of this week's "Common Sense" column by Jerry Kassar was more preening about Brooklyn Conservative Party bells and whistles --- none of which advances conservatism or fundamental conservative principles (See "Coomon Sense: Bad Idea/Worse Timing" by Jerry Kassar, 4/15/14, Home Reporter/ Sunset News [link omitted]).

The only relevant political news was that Kassar, the Conservative Party's Brooklyn chairman, stated that the Conservatives intended to have a full slate of congressional candidates --- by the notable omission of other offices, one has to assume that there will NOT be a full slate of State Senate and/or Assembly candidates. Supporting GOP-Conservative candidates for the assembly and state senate might run afoul of a few deals that GOP-Conservative Golden still has with incumbent liberal Democrats.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

State Senator Martin Golden is SHOCKED! ... Perhaps even SHOCKED and OUTRAGED! — Abortion clinics are operating without inspections — Golden says it’s “CRAZY!” just “CRAZY!”

How many years has Brooklyn’s only Republican-Conservative State Senator been an elected official ?  How many years has Brooklyn’s only Republican-Conservative State Senator held a public position in opposition to abortion ?  When did Republican-Conservative State Senator Martin Golden first speak out on the inspection of abortion facilities ?

It seems like Marty Golden is a little late to the party  —   He spoke up only after abortion-supporter Diane Savino clearly expressed her outrage  —   GOP gubernatorial front-runner Rob Astorino stated that he was “ALARMED !”  —  And many other legislators called for hearings

Most people of a certain age know about the scene when Claude Rains, as Captain Louis Renault, announces that he is closing down Rick’s club because he is “SHOCKED... SHOCKED to find that gambling is going on in here !”   Marty Golden now pretty much finds himself in the same shoes as Louie Renault, but without the nifty uniform, and calling for hearings instead of calling for a shut-down of the uninspected facilities.

Today’s New York Post ran a small article entitled “Pols rip lax checks at abort sites”; this appears to be an earlier print edition of a much longer piece by Carl Campanile that appeared later in the day on line (See “Astorino ‘alarmed’ by uninspected abortion clinics” by Carl Campanile, 4/9/14, NY Post []). Marty Golden is quoted in both versions of the article as calling the situation “Crazy.”

Very succinct, Marty, very succinct....

State Senator Diane Savino,  generally a supporter of abortion rights, was reported to be far more articulate on the issue, saying the following: “It’s kind of scary. The lack of inspections is really quite frightening....  These are facilities where women are seeking medical care. We shouldn’t allow these medical facilities to take second fiddle to inspections for tanning salons and restaurants.”

Computer searches on “Marty Golden” or “Martin Golden” or “State Senator Golden” and the issue of abortion clinic inspections turned up no hits. As recently as earlier this week the issue was in the news and there was not a peep from the GOP-Cons Brooklyn State Senator.  Even when Carl Campanile did a pair of long articles/posts on the same subject a couple of days ago, it looks like State Senator Golden had nothing to say about either one of them at the time (See “NYC’s tanning salons inspected more regularly than abortion clinics” by Carl Campanile, 4/7/14, NY Post []; and “State has only shut one abortion clinic in 14 years” by Carl Campanile, 4/7/14, NY Post []).

Golden has a long history, and he has been on the record on many controversial matters (occasionally sounding like he was on both sides)   —   where has this so-called social conservative been when it comes to abortion clinics ?

Maybe State Senator Golden would rather answer this question. What would he do or say if somebody like the Post’s Carl Campanile did an article about how somebody named Major Heinrich Strasser had been shot while fugitives were allowed to escape and to continue the “crimes” for which they were being sought.



The New York Post is taking a victory lap using a page two headline for another Carl Campanile article to proclaim  —   “NY health big quits in abort-clinic flap” (See “NY health boss resigning after agency failed to inspect abortion clinics” by Pat Bailey and Carl Campanile, 4/9/14, NY Post []).  If it weren’t for Julia Louis-Drefus’ tattooed assets, this story might have made the Post’s front page.

Certain New York State GOP politicians are looking good for having called for the resignation of New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah  —  most notably, that would have to be Bob Astorino  —   who looks both strong and on top of things like this.

There was a local GOPer who also came off smelling like a rose.


According to the Staten Island Advance, “Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has gotten her wish. ***  Dr. Nirav Shah, the state health commissioner, will step down in June ... the agency said Wednesday -- on the same day that Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn) called for his scalp....”  (See “Update: State health commissioner is stepping down” by Tom Wrobleski, 4/10/14, SI Advance/ []). The advance article had lots more to say about Ms. Malliotakis.  However, her Brooklyn colleague State Senator Golden is not to be found anywhere on the issue of calling for action on abortion clinics, other than his one word observation that it’s all  —   “CRAZY !”

Yesterday, I said that State Senator Golden got into this late in the game; today, it looks like he struck out in his only at bat.  Or to use the old saw  —   “He was a day late and a pound short !”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Make sure to keep Hillary Clinton engaged in the “Obamacare” debate

It’s 2014 and the time has come to morf “Obamacare” into “Hillarycare” for 2016

Hillary Clinton last made news in the national debate on the occasionally-properly-named Affordable Care Act back in a February speech at Georgetown (See “Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare” by Maggie Haberman, 2/26/14, Politico []; “Hillary Clinton Defends Obamacare, But Is Open To Changes” 2/26/14, Reuters []; “Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare” by Jane C. Timm, 2/27/14, MSNBC []).

Obamacare needs to be tied like a can to Hillary's tail in 2014; or else, she might be able to stay away from any complicity in it during any 2016 campaign.  Alternatively, if Mrs. Clinton is so inclined, if she wants to distance herself from the current version of the Affordable Care Act, force her to do so early and often in 2014.

According to MSNBC’s coverage, “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a tempered defense of the President Obama’s health care law on Wednesday. *** ‘I think we are on the right track in many respects, but I would be the first to say if things aren’t working then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes....’ ” That particular article goes on to say this: “The speech signals how the potential candidate could approach the contentious law in an election. *** ‘Part of the challenge is to clear away all the smoke and try to figure out what is working and what isn’t,’ [Clinton] said. ‘What do we need to do to try to fix this? Because it would be a great tragedy, in my opinion, to take away what has now been provided....’ ”

So far, the former Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner for the presidential election in 2016 has gotten away with an amorphous and very understated defense of the major domestic policy initiative of the administration in which she was a head-liner and key player. As we move into the 2014 congressional election cycle, as a top Democrat campaigning with various senatorial and congressional candidates, Clinton needs to be confronted about what she thinks are the shortcomings of the current healthcare “law”; and she needs to articulate how her “fixes” might reflect or differ from whatever the  current administration did by fiat and might do or propose in the future. In addition, Hillary Clinton needs to be challenged on how her positions on “Obamacare” might agree or disagree with those of the Republican opposition.

The GOP and its 2014 Senate and Congressional candidates need to recognize that their campaigns must include an Un-Hillary agenda; and it has to deal with much more than “Benghazi - Benghazi - Benghazi ! ! !” 24-7-365 (366 in 2016).

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jerry Kassar’s “Common Sense: Making no sense”

The Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman’s weekly column is so aptly titled that I couldn’t change it

Of course, the Conservative Party leader and State Senator Golden’s Chief of Staff buried his lead, since the one item in his column that made the least sense of all was his advocacy of something called  —   the National Popular Vote Act  —  Kassar put his discussion of that last

According to Kassar’s take on this issue, “The legislature with bipartisan support passed the National Popular Vote Act last week.  Once signed by the governor, it will make New York State part of a national compact in which state members of the compact allow for their state’s electoral votes to be cast in proportion to the votes cast for president. Several states including California are members.  If it had been in effect for the 2012 presidential election, roughly a third of new York’s electoral votes would have gone to Romney. ***  The compact goes into effect when half of the nation’s electoral votes, as represented by the states, join. New York is giving the popular vote movement until 2016 to succeed or it will withdraw.  With New York’s involvement, the  national effort  is almost two thirds there....” (See ““Common Sense: Making no sense” by Jerry Kassar, 4/1/14, Home Reporter/Spectator (Home Reporter News) []).

There is no two ways about this; it’s a bad, bad, bad idea. Depending on which states actually agree to this compact, it could be a boon to the Democrats; and it could well mean that the Republicans will never elect a president again. Imagine the Democratic nominee automatically getting about 60% or more of the vote in most of the large states, around 50% of the vote in all of the swing states, and between 40-45% of the vote in many of the reliably Republican states.

Just picture a close election like 2000 with Florida-like recounts in state, after state, after state  —  perhaps in as many as 40 out of the 50 states  —  to precisely determine the percentage and the exact allocation of electors in every state, even when one side or the other was the clear winner in most of those states as a whole. In addition to its problematic application in close elections, this radical scheme is an attack on the historic operations of the Electoral College; and thus, the proposed "compact" is an irresponsible proposal of dubious constitutionality that skirts the normal methods of constitutional amendment.

Whenever I see any argument based on “fairness” I’m always suspicious. But even more than that, in my opinion, the key words in Kassar’s column that show that this whole thing is  “a poison pill”  were these: “... [passed] with bipartisan support [ ]....”  Let me ask you this; as between Democrats and Republicans, which can be relied upon to serve almost completely their partisan interests in legislation proposed and/or passed in the New York State Legislature ?  Hint: it’s not the Republicans  — especially those in the state senate.

Gee ! I wonder how Kassar’s boss State Senator Marty Golden voted on this one.