A candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New York named Charles Palladino is having a real tough time trying to make headway against former Congressman Rick Lazio, the man brave enough to take on Hillary Clinton in her first race for the U.S. Senate.
Lazio is the establishment candidate and for all the right reasons. He is a solid Conservative and someone who has had the courage to take on the tough fights. And whoever wins the Republican nomination for Governor will be in for a fight. They will be opposing the State’s Attorney General and son of Former legendary Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo is likely top win the governor’s mansion but it is not locked up. But before we can get to that fight, Lazio and Palladino must fight for the right to be the Republican that goes head to head against Andy Cuomo.
As a virtual unknown who is not backed by the establishment of the Party, Paladino is not likely to win.
As the planned construction of a Mosque in New York City in the area of Ground Zero, grabs national headlines and inspires the ire of millions of Americans, Charles Paladino has just grabbed an issue with the right hook and could ride to victory……..maybe even winning the Governor’s mansion.
While people debate how wise it is to allow a mosque to be built in the former shadow of what once was the World Trade Center and as those who oppose it can’t seem to make a difference, Paladino has become the King Solomon in New York’s gubernatorial contest. He has come up with a solution that split’s the baby in half by using Eminent Domain to take the property in question and construct a memorial in its place.
I am an opponent of eminent domain policies. I have tried to gain attention to the issue and have proposed legislation that would make it nearly impossible for the federal government , states and local governments to use.
But that is not getting anywhere. Still governments all over the nation take peoples constitutional right to property away from them.
However in the case of the Ground Zero Mosque I support using Eminent Domain to stop its construction.
That may seem hypocritical but given the reality we face it is for me a necessary evil.
Although there is not yet any legal grounds to prevent the construction of a Ground Zero Mosque, I oppose it in principle. I oppose it because I believe that it sends the message that Islam can in fact be spread by the sword. To allow a Mosque to rise from the ashes, rubble and death of 9/11 sends a signal that the Islamic extremists won and that as a result of their terror , Islam gained some ground. Literally.
Yet zoning laws do not prohibit the mosque from being built and the law so far has no legitimate reason to prevent this project from coming to fruition.
But eminent domain solves this problem.
And the added benefit is the attention eminent domain will get by using it to solve this mosque issue.
Supporters of this mosque project will rise in protest of eminent domain. Others will finally realize how at risk they themselves are with the existence of loosely applied eminent domain laws.
This will in turn help to finally create momentum to adopt the type of measures that will the use of eminent domain.
It is a solution that kills two birds with one stone. It is also one that could generate just enough support from the people of New York to make Paladino at least the next Republican nominee for Governor of New York.
There remain only a few hours left in the presidency of George W. Bush. For eight years he has given us his best. There were some low points but there were fewer than the media and liberals would have you believe.
Katrina was a low point but even that, President Bush really can’t take all the blame for himself . But for liberals, President Bush was there scapegoat.
Hurricane Katrina ravaged Mississippi every bit as much as it did Louisiana, yet Mississippi, under the leadership of Republican Governor Haley Barbour, did not encounter the same long duration of recovery or mishandled evacuations that Louisiana did.
Mississippi’s local leaders did not decide to park their buses on low lying surfaces as did New Orleans’ Democrat Mayor, Ray Nagin.
No, Mississippi’s first line of defense in natural disasters, their local governments, the governments closest to the people, came through and were every bit as prepared as they told the federal government that they were. Not so in New Orleans though.
But a liberal bias from the media helped to make Hurricane Katrina President Bush’s fault.
Shortly after the events of Hurricane Katrina many left leaning conspiracy theorists also claimed that Hurricane Katrina and a few of its devastating predecessors were the product of Japan where the Japanese government was inventing a new weapon that increased the intensity of tropical storms into category 5 hurricanes and directed them to land masses that they targeted.
Many of the same people who made this claim gave blame to George Bush. That should tell you something.
Although Katrina may not have been Bush’s fault, the recovery effort in Louisiana does get blamed on him and to a degree that is acceptable. But I guess, on the other side of the coin, the successfully rapid recovery in Mississippi warrants some credit for President Bush?
Putting aside the blame game of Hurricane Katrina, there are two things that when grading this presidency, bring his average down.
The first is his delay in approving the surge that his own Secretary of State urged for a year before he finally accepted it.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been advocating for more troops in Iraq. It was a strategy called “clear, hold and build”. It was also the same strategy that Senator John McCain called for.
Clear, hold and build was successfully used by Col. H.R. McMaster in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar. The strategy called for door to door operations that cleared insurgents from the city along with an ongoing troop presence in each neighborhood that was cleared. Once this was achieved residents felt secure, and U.S. troops were able to begin rebuilding there. Wherever this strategy was conducted, it worked. The resurgents were gone and our continued presence there, prevented them from returning. As a result, citizens no longer lived in fear and life began to flow unimpeded by terror and violence. To carry out clear, hold and build, more troops were required. But increasing the number of troops was not something the administration wanted to advocate for. Although it was required in order to successfully carry out clear, hold, build the administration was afraid of the reaction to such a call.
The President flinched in this area. It was one of the few instances where he allowed public perception to make him second guess his policy judgment. After Viet Nam, we should have learned that if you are going to enter into a fight, throw everything you have into it from the onset. Otherwise don’t get into the fight.
In the case of Iraq, we held back. Had we went along with the surge from the beginning, we would have avoided the upsurge in violence that led to the waning of support for the war effort.
The other area of deep negative impact on this administration was the financial collapse that brought on the current economic crisis.
President Bush does not get blamed for causing the collapse, but it happened under his watch and it should not have.
The President, through his advisers, should have seen this coming and helped to avoid it.
He should have aggressively turned back some of the policies which led to the overextended loan practices which ultimately tied up loans and the markets.
Many of the policies that brought us to this point were from Bill Clinton’s administration.
Clinton‘s National Homeowners Strategy was a financial scheme that promoted insanely low down payments and coerced lenders into giving mortgage loans to first-time buyers with unstable financing and incomes.
It was a way to increase home ownership. That is an admirable motive but as usual, the liberal mentality, forced government to do that which it should not have done. Essentially, the Clinton era initiatives that forced government action on private sector interests led to the need for government to take over FannieMae and FreddieMac. This is not to say that private sector greed and bad business practices did not add to the wrong minded government policy, it did, but what happened here is that government solutions to one problem, created another . Now, ironically, the government which helped to create this problem is having to solve it
As for George Bush, this all came to a head under his watch. For that he must be blamed.
So we have the recovery effort in Louisiana, delaying the surge in Iraq and not avoiding the economic crises that we are in, all helping to lower the average of this administrations grade.
I have two more things to add though.
One is immigration.
On immigration President Bush was most inept. On this issue his positions were no where near appropriate for the leader of a sovereign nation.
The Presidents refusal to accept that illegal immigrants are participating in illegal conduct that needs to be prosecuted was a horribly blundered policy and it is one that has not helped to solve our border security problem or alleviate the continued problem of illegal immigration.
The other issue I hold against President Bush is his administrations inability to articulate their cause in a way that appealed to the people convincingly.
The administration had been doing quite well in it’s first two years when the voice of the President came from then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Once Ari Fleischer left and Scott McClellan entered the picture, the White House lost any sway with the press or the public.
This President was great with messages when we were in crisis and he had the people’s attention, but in between crisis his message was jumbled and unconvincing. That, for this administration, was half of the battle and after Fleischer left they lost it.
On the upside President Bush has many, much wrongly maligned, initiatives to help bring his grade up.
Their was his “Faith Based Initiative” which allowed government to accept the involvement of religious institutions in helping out. Faith based initiatives were no longer penalized or denied by the federal government because of religion. It was something long over due in America, especially in an America where religion is not to persecuted against.
There was “No Child Left Behind”.
This policy was one which had universal support except for some extremist fringe players and teachers union.. But not willing to give credit where credit was due, liberals charged that President Bush backed out of his No Child Left Behind policy by under funding it.
Truth be told, federal education spending is at record levels so that argument doesn’t swim.
There are many other policies such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003. It triggered competition between drug companies and wound up costing less than expected.
The Bush tax policy is also to his credit. He didn’t ask for lips to read on this issue, he simply created no new taxes and when he did not reduce them he held the line on them. I only wish he could have added drastic spending cuts to that.
Another high point in this administration was the appointment of two supreme court justices, one being the chief justice.
The appointments of John Roberts and Sam Alito were remarkably good choices. Neither had any judicial or personal blemishes and neither see the role of the judiciary to be one that makes law but rather interprets it. Add to that their relative youthful ages and the Roberts and Alito appointments to the bench will have a profound on our great nation for decades to come.
The next greatest achievement of the administration was twofold. It involves The War On Terror and Iraq.
Despite charges that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, the two are entwined together as violent threats.
Pre-Saddam Hussein Iraq did not send to us the pilots that took nearly 3,000 Americans in one day but it had intentions just as dire.
Saddam did not have any tangible links to 9/11 but he did have links to terrorist, including several who dabbled with Al Quaeda and he did continuously break and defy the cease fire agreement that he signed after the first Gulf War. Combine that with the fact that everyone from Bill Clinton and Al Gore to John Kerry and Ted Kennedy swore that Saddam was a threat and you had every reason in the world to eliminate Saddam Hussein.
After 9/11 George W. Bush realized that we must eliminate threats before they eliminate us and so he took out the threat known as Saddam Hussein. In doing so not is democracy being brought to the Middle East but the power and richness of freedom is being delivered to a people that have long since forgotten what independence offers.
Add to that that you can say what you want, but we no longer have to worry about any threat Saddam intended, and for that I thank the President.
I also Thank him for the second part of this War On Terror effort. Under his watch not another single attack occurred on mainland territory since 9/11.
Now if you want to blame Katrina on Bush because it happened during his watch you must also credit him for there being no more attacks under his watch. And when you think about, more attacks occurred under Bill Clinton then George Bush, so I thank President Bush for that as well.
The final most valuable thing brought to life under President Bush goes back to exactly four years ago.
In his inaugural address , after being sworn in for the second time, President Bush stated:
“America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.”
He went on to articulate a policy that directed the United States to end tyranny in the world as we know it.
Now some may have seen that as a declaration of war by him but most read it the right way.
He went on to say………“We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.”
“All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.:”
The speech has since been forgotten by most but it has not been forgotten by me and hopefully President Barack Obama will also remember it..
In its entirety, the address presented the essence of what it means to be an American and it captured the most important role that America must play in this world as its current, last remaining superpower.
For me it Bush’s second inaugural address was the foundation for our greatest doctrine ever, the doctrine to achieve and true freedom and peace.
When you have the time, click here and read the speech. You will be moved and you will understand our place in this world.
The bottom line…….
President Bush is a good man and was a good President. He will not go down in history ranked along side of Washington or Lincoln nor will he be lumped together with Franklin Pierce or Jimmy Carter.
Ultimately, I believe George W. Bush warrants a B-.
Many on the left will now assault me for giving that grade but I base George Bush’s presidency on the truth of reality not on the lies and distortions that they have spent the last eight years perpetuating and when you add that to the retrospect of history, I believe George W. Bush’s name will slowly rise to its proper placement among American presidents.
That is something that will take time.
As President Bush recently put it, “they’re still debating and writing about how good or bad George Washington was, so I assume the same will happen to me”.
Once upon a time, in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers…
… that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.
He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.
The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’
The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys.
Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!
Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.
Last year, In Iraq, 5,908civilians and Iraqi soldiers and police were killed between January 1, 2008 and December 29, 2008.
Members of the police carry a coffin of one of their own. Seven police employees were killed in the same incident that took this fallen officers life
In Mexico, 5,376 Mexican federal agents, police and civilians who were killed by drug traders during the same time period.
So it can be safely said that nearly as many Mexicans died as a result of drug terrorists as did Iraqi’s from the terrorism in their war torn nation.
All of us are aware of the threats posed by terrorism. 9/11 brought that fact home and since the events of September 11, 2001, America has been on guard and on the offense in that War On Terror. Since that dreadful day and our somewhat official declaration of War on Terror, not a single attack has again taken place on American soil.
That is quite a contrast from the record that we accumulated in the decades since we declared the War On Drugs.
The term “war on drugs’ was first used by President Richard Nixon in 1971. At the time it was a play on the well known “War On Poverty” penned by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid 60’s. The technical aspects of the War On Drugs have varied over time but it’s basic strategy has remained the same……. employ the cooperation of other nations to eliminate the illegal drug trade and eliminate the selling and use of illegal drugs through an aggressive zero tolerance, law enforcement agenda and a persistent and wide spread anti-drug education program and campaign.
To some degree, it has helped but the amount of time and money spent on the effort has produced results that are less than stellar. The rate of success in the War On Drugs certainly would not be considered acceptable in the War On Terror and yet as far apart as the results of the two are from each other, they are about to become one in the same.
Iraq is 6,005 miles away from the shores of the Unites States off of New York. That is a long distance yet we know that distance, although it may not make things easier, it still does not prevent terrorist attacks from taking place here. Mexico isn’t even inches away though. So terrorism through Mexico is even easier. They are connected to us, and not just physically. They are connected to us by direct and immediate contact through trade health, agriculture and citizens, legal and illegal. But perhaps the greatest connection between the United States and Mexico is drugs.
It is a deadly connection. One that dulls the minds of millions, endangers the lives of hundreds of thousands and kills tens of thousands each year.
A soldier stands guard in front of the Camino Real Hotel in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Drugs are probably the most prolific and profitable commodity exchanged across the U.S.-Mexican border, yet, despite the negative effects, it’s illegality and the “war” on them, drugs flow form South to North with the ease of the Shenandoah River in the Virginias.
The incredibly violent rate of drug deaths in Mexico during 2008 is a loud warning bell. It rings with more dire warning than the bellowing horns of the Titanic as it went down after the iceberg tore a lethal hole into it’s hull.
The incredible number of deaths occurred as a result of the increased boldness of drug cartels and gangs. They have taken a stand and made it clear that they are defiant and will not allow any government to infringe on their livelihoods.
In 2008, an increasing amount of drug lords have made incursions in the United States. One of the most recent well publicized events brought about an Amber Alert after the grandson of a man with shady loan debts to drug dealers kidnapped his grandson. The boy turned up in Las Vegas, but the drug dealer’s message was clear.
However, I must ask, what will it take for the drug issue to be truly taken seriously in the United States? Would it have made a difference if that little California boy was found with his throat slashed? How many more incidents will it take before we realize that terrorism is about to get a partner. A partner that, like Palestinians in Gaza firing missiles into Israel, will be lobbing more violence into America.
America must wake up.
While there are those so far on the left and so far to the right that they meet together in the ideological circle and both try to legalize illegal drug use, an explosion of death and violence that we have not seen before is about to unleash itself.
I am well aware that drug violence is nothing new, but the extent to which it is escalating is new and yet we sit idly by as though things are not different. We almost accept it as commonplace.
Do you know how ingrained the dug culture has become in our southern neighbor?
Ever hear narcocorrido?
Narcocorrido is a form of music based on a type of Mexican folk music called corrido. It sounds like a Latin polka and goes way back in time. It was used to celebrate revolutionary figures and heroes like Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa. The new version is called narcocorrido and it sings the praises of drug traffickers and drug related bandits. One older narcocorrido sings about Camelia the Texan, and her boyfriend who go to Los Angeles with a load of marijuana in their car’s tires. They sell it and Camelia’s boyfriend dumps her, saying, “Here’s your half, now I’m going up to San Francisco to my true love.” The song goes on to sing about how Camelia pulls out a gun and pumps him full of lead.
It concludes with the line……… “All the police found was the fired pistol; of the money and Camelia, nothing more was ever known.”
Sweet tune, isn’t it?
Not that the little ditty is astonishing. Here in America, with the likes of P. Diddy, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and others, the lyrics of that narcocorrido could be considered tame by American standards. Then again, standards are the problem. Just as narcocorrido is easing into mainstream Mexico, acceptance of drugs and drug violence has been easing into American culture.
That is not to say that we think violence or drug violence is good, but our tolerance of it has increased as our intolerance of drugs has leveled off.
For example, I can recall a recall a comments board for a local newspaper in New Jersey called the Asbury Park Press. In it was a story about underage teens arrested for drinking and serving alcohol at a party that they held in their home while their parents were away. More than 60 percent of the comments were of the “let them be” impression. Some said “kids will be kids” and others said “the police should be doing more important things than enforcing underage drinking laws”.
I am not suggesting to bring back prohibition of alcohol but I am merely pointing out the permissiveness that is increasing in society. People are actually suggesting that kids should be let off the hook for breaking laws.
My point is, just as it took 9/11 to finally deal with terrorism effectively, what will it take for us to deal with drugs and the drug trade effectively?
I for one feel that some of the intentions of the “War On Drugs” must be dealt with by using the same sense of conviction that 9/11 created, especially when it comes to the drug wars goal of employing the cooperation of other nations to eliminate the illegal drug trade.
But more than that, I believe it would be encouraging if we at least secured our border with Mexico. In fact I believe that is, first and foremost our nations top priority.
YES!, our most important priority. More so than even the economy.
Without a secure border there will be no economy to handle.
At a later date, I will detail a proposal of my own that I have previously released. It is called Open Arms-Secure Borders. It is a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that welcomes legal immigration but defends the sovereignty of our nation and respects and secures our borders.
For now though, Americans must at least acknowledge the fact that the iceberg is in sight and that the U.S.S. Freedom & Prosperity better start steering in another direction or like the Titanic, we will tear apart our hull of security.
During what can, at the very least, only be considered tough economic times, Congress is looked at for acting responsibly and demonstrating some fiscal responsibility.
Yet despite these facts, Congress goes ahead and accepts an automatic pay raise.
Doing so is reminiscent of the captain of the Titanic demanding that iceberg lettuce be served with dinner the night the great vessel went down.
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Last week should have been a wake up call for the GOP. They received more positive press than they have in a very long time on the heels of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour ‘fillibuster’ in which he ranted and raved against the vague policy of the use drones on American soil. Standing with Senator […]
Originally posted on White House 2016: Abraham Lincoln. Arguably one of the most famous Presidents America has ever had. Whether directing the country through the Civil War, abolishing slavery or hunting vampires, Honest Abe is a pillar of American politics. The standard bearer of presidential legacies. Today however, Licoln’s memory and legacy have been hij […]