Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Cluster-Based Economy Enhancement Act of 2010 would establish a grant program to help similar companies operating within a region to engage in joint marketing and problem-solving activities to boost competitiveness and growth within the region.
"Our rural communities face unique economic challenges, and we need more opportunity for success from Washington," Owens (D-Plattsburgh) said.
For example, the bill would allow similar companies, such as bio-mass facilities or plastics manufacturers, to work together to develop ways to acquire needed resources.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Republican Senators are stopping 1.5 million people in rural America (Oswego County) form being able to watch local television
Bunning acknowledged rural satellite TV viewers in remarks on the Senate floor Friday morning. According to an unofficial Senate transcript, Bunning agreed "that everybody in this chamber wants to extend unemployment benefits, COBRA health care benefits, flood insurance, highway bill assistance, medical doc fix, small business loans, and rural satellite television for viewers that can't get cable or something."
David Paterson says he won't run for election, during a February 26, 2010 press conference in mid-town.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.
As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.
And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: "Tough shit."
"It is critical to our nation's security and North Country job growth that Fort Drum funding cuts be restored as quickly as possible," said Owens. "Fort Drum is a main driver of our local economy and I will continue to fight these cuts every step of the way."
The hearing marked another step in Rep. Owens’ fight to restore Fort Drum funding cuts. Since the budget reduction was announced, Owens has regularly met with military officials to ensure that adequate support is provided to the facility, which houses the most deployed division in the United States Army.
Congressman Bill Owens is a former Air Force JAG officer and currently sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It seems that the Republican Assembly delegation has been complaining that the Democratic Marjory will not listen to them and they have been calling for bi-partisanship. It is important to note that population determines the number of Assembly persons any region receives and 68 percent of the New York States population lives south of Delaware County.
With only 24 upstate Republican Assembly members you would think that the Chair of the Assembly Minority Manufacturing Task Force would have invited Democratic Members to the hearing as a gesture of bi-partisanship? Well no, here is what chairman Barclay stated to the Watertown Daily News,
The task force squandered an easy opportunity to act in a bipartisan manner when they failed to invite Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, to their meeting Thursday. Mrs. Russell works in the same building where the foursome had their forum.
"She should have been (invited)," said Assemblyman William A. Barclay, Pulaski, following the meeting. "A problem we've had - and I'm probably as guilty as anyone - is that it's gotten political. And so, unfortunately, politics are coming before policy."
Outside of press releases it seems the Republican members of the Assembly would prefer to talk about changes and bi-partisanship but not actually do it.
Monday, February 22, 2010
“In these difficult times, we cannot afford to lose focus on our top priority, which remains protecting the jobs we have, while also putting in place the right tools to create new jobs here in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties, and throughout New York State,” Sen. Aubertine said. “These are the people on the ground working to build our economy, who have the most intimate knowledge of what can be done to spur growth. The input collected here today will be used shape policy and a budget that promotes jobs and economic growth, especially Upstate, while also laying the foundation for a sustainable, long-term recovery.”
“Our job is to get people back to work,” said Sen. Stachowski. “That means listening to the people we represent to help us take immediate action as well as implement a long-term strategy to address the state’s unemployment. The expertise of industry leaders will be used to draft comprehensive job creation proposals that will be included in the state budget.”
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The reforms might have a better chance of getting enough support and becoming law if passed as several, smaller bills, U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said Friday morning.
"Everyone agrees we have a problem" with health care, Owens said at a luncheon at Paul Smith's College held to commemorate TRiO, a federal program that helps low-income, first-generation and disabled college students attend and graduate.
"We're spending a tremendous amount of money on health care" and not getting the best results, Owens continued, citing our infant mortality rates, which are higher than many other developed countries.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Senate Republicans added 98 new taxpayer-funded positions, bringing the total to 420, and granted raises to a host of others, Dems charge.
In addition, Republicans created the new office of GOP Minority Policy Development, which has four people and costs $260,000, Senate records show.
Senate Republicans are on pace to spend $17.5 million, a jump of about $3.5 million from the $14 million that was available before the botched takeover.
"It appears the only jobs the Republicans want to create are for themselves, paid for by taxpayers," scoffed Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran.
Friday, February 19, 2010
But last week, this charade ended when Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, author of the House Republican budget proposal, revealed that nothing had really changed. Like every right-wing Republican, Mr. Ryan still wants to kill Medicare, leaving seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry. His budget plan proposes a “defined benefit” voucher system that would eventually abolish traditional Medicare in order to control future deficits. The Republican Study Committee, an influential conservative caucus of House Republicans, favors the same kind of proposal. In fact, converting Medicare into a subsidy for insurance companies has been a key objective of Republican legislators ever since Newt Gingrich served as House speaker, when he pushed a plan that he promised would let Medicare “wither on the vine.” (Lately, Mr. Gingrich has refashioned himself as a Medicare advocate, by insisting that costs must be controlled somehow without cutting the program’s budget—but then, he is probably dreaming of another presidential run.)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Roll Call reports that Senate Republican leadership staff has begun meeting with lobbyists after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scrapped plans for a large, bipartisan jobs bill in favor of a simpler and leaner bill.
The previous bill had won Republican support but was jammed with corporate giveaways. As HuffPost's Ryan Grim reported, the new jobs bill excludes a K Street priority: "an extension of soon-to-expire tax breaks that are highly beneficial to major corporations, known as tax extenders, as well as other corporate giveaways that had been designed to win GOP support."
Roll Call spoke with a lobbyist planning to attend the meeting who said staffers from the offices of GOP Senators McConnell, Hatch and Grassley are expected to participate.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
At the same time, Democratic operatives on Tuesday highlighted a series of instances of Republican officials praising or taking credit for stimulus programs despite criticizing the legislation when it was being debated last year.
For instance:Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "Nearly one-third of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) final budget proposal would rely on $387 million in federal stimulus money... according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Pawlenty opposed passage of the economic stimulus legislation early last year telling Bloomberg it was 'largely wasted' and 'misdirected.'"
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Appearing alongside each other during a panel session, Maddow pivoted from a discussion on job creation to note that Schock had appeared at an event on Friday touting a grant program that he had voted against.
"You, in your district, I just read that you were at a community college touting a $350,000 green technology education program, talking about how great that was going to be for your district," she said. "You voted against the bill that created that grant. That's happening a lot with Republicans sort of taking credit for things that Democratic bills do and then Republicans simultaneously touting their votes against them and trashing them. That, I think, is a problem that needs to be resolved within your caucus. Because you seem like a very nice person but that is a very hypocritical stance to take."
Watch the exchange at 2:20:
President Obama has reached out to Republicans in recent weeks, acknowledging that he needs bipartisan support to effectively govern the country. But the White House and congressional Democrats are also hedging their bets with a plan to make a campaign issue of what they say is Republican intransigence.
The emerging strategy seeks to take advantage of the partisan stalemate in Congress over Obama's nominees and major policy initiatives, and to turn the page on a year when the White House failed to secure passage of complicated health-care and energy legislation.
The idea is to make Republicans either vote for a series of more modest bills identified as popular with the public or explain to constituents this fall why they opposed them.
The decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to offer a pared-down jobs-creation bill and dare the GOP to oppose it is the most visible sign of the plan so far. White House officials and congressional staff members say it will be followed in coming weeks by a House vote to lift the antitrust exemption for insurance companies, measures to assist small businesses and extend unemployment benefits, and a proposal to levy fees on Wall Street banks that received bailout money.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Over the last several days, an increasingly shrill chorus of GOP personalities has slammed the Obama administration for defending its decision to process accused Christmas underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab through the civilian court system, rather than some kind of military tribunal. Republicans have gone so far as to suggest that the administration basically fabricated claims, articulated earlier this month in a letter sent to senators by Attorney General Eric Holder, that the Bush administration had successfully prosecuted more than 300 terrorists via civilian courts. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, called Holder's statistic "unsubstantiated" and dared him to back it up: "If this figure is valid, why is the attorney general not willing to explain it?" Another prominent Senate Republican, John Kyl of Arizona, said that he had been bugging the administration since last year to substantiate such statistics, which he says were first were alluded to when President Obama, in a speech touting his plan to close the terrorist detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, talked about how civilian "supermax" prisons already hold "hundreds" of convicted terrorists. "It's a disingenuous argument," Kyl told the conservative Washington Examiner. Last week the Fox News Web site quoted Dana Perino, George W. Bush's former press secretary, snapping: "The 300 number is as false as false gets."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating the circumstances surrounding a $750,000 payment that ended up in the hands of a Republican political operative who helped with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s campaign last year, a political insider with knowledge of the investigation said on Tuesday.
Mr. Bloomberg made two $600,000 payments to the state Independence Party last year, according to financial disclosure reports. In December, the party paid $750,000 of that money to Special Election Operations L.L.C., a company run by John Haggerty Jr., a Republican Party operative from Queens, according to the political insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
The company, which has an address in Albany, was formed Dec. 3, about a month after the election, according to state records.
Republicans love hallowing Ronald Reagan’s name. Too bad they know so little about the guy.
Last week in Hawaii, the Republican National Committee almost passed a resolution named after the Gipper. “Whereas President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies,” it declared, only candidates who complied with eight of 10 “Reaganite” principles would be eligible for party funds.And what were those principles, exactly? No. 1—according to the resolution—was “smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes.” Let’s take those from the top. Smaller government: Federal employment grew by 61,000 during Reagan’s presidency—in part because Reagan created a whole new cabinet department, the department of veterans affairs. (Under Bill Clinton, by contrast, federal employment dropped by 373,000). Smaller deficits and debt: Both nearly tripled on Reagan’s watch. Lower taxes: Although Reagan muscled through a major tax cut in 1981, he followed up by raising taxes in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986. In 1983, in fact, he not only raised payroll taxes; he raised them to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Let’s put this in language today’s tea-baggers can understand: Reagan raised taxes to pay for government-run health care.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Last month, a Superior Court judge in Alaska named Patrick McKay issued a decision sought by Palin. His ruling has the potential to undermine—perhaps even destroy—transparency within the Alaska state government.
McKay had presided over the appeal in a case initially brought against Palin in 2008 by Andrée McLeod, a self-styled good-government advocate in Alaska. While Palin was campaigning as John McCain's running mate, McLeod, a former Alaska Republican Party official, filed public records requests for emails regarding state business that were sent to or from Palin's official and private email accounts, as well as to and from Todd Palin's private email account.
McLeod contended that Palin and her office had an obligation under two Alaska state laws—the Public Records Act and the Records Management Act—to preserve emails related to official business, whether they went through state or private accounts. (Governor Palin used her private account to conduct plenty of state business.) McLeod asked that the court declare that these emails were indeed public records—which would render them available to public inspection under the state's open records law—and that the court instruct state officials to stop using private email accounts to conduct state business.