October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween

We realize we’re very much in the midst of the political season, which for Democrats is beginning to look a lot like a Wes Craven film. But Halloween’s always been one of our favorite times of the year, so today we take a break from the political:


October 28, 2010

Buffalo Teachers Union Boob Defends Taxpayer-Funded Boob Jobs

We’ve never hidden our absolute disgust with Phil Rumore, the Buffalo Teachers Federation’s odious president. Heck, we can’t even write his name without adding a negative adjective to his job title.

Watching the public sector union slimeball defending a teachers’ union benefit that cost Buffalo taxpayers $8.9 million in just one year, though, was just too much for us. At the same time that Buffalo schools are crying poverty and warning of draconian layoffs, the tenured and unionized teachers are using their health insurance for every conceivable nip and tuck:

Now, a normal person might have some sense of shame at getting caught receiving such an obscene benefit, particularly at a time when school taxes are skyrocketing out of control. But not Phil Rumore.

No, Rumore made a wild assertion—and here we’ll quote directly: “Our teachers are getting older and a lot of the women are coming up with cancer and cancer is very prevalent in this profession so unless you know the specifics or what it's for, I don't know.”

Um, wow. Aside from the grossness of Rumore’s attempt to win sympathy and some sort of moral high ground, we’re just stunned that WGRZ reporter Josh Boose didn’t even, you know, flinch. We mean, Phil Rumore doesn’t represent nuclear reactor operators. His union isn’t full of coal miners or shipyard workers. There is absolutely no aspect of the Buffalo Teachers Federation’s jobs that would increase their individual risk for cancer.

Now, we’re not denying that cancer may be in play here, and of course we wish only the best for those suffering from that disease. But for Rumore to attempt to link cancer to one of the safest professions we can think of is not only ludicrous, it’s an embarrassment.

Unfortunately, Rumore’s defense of the indefensible is just too typical of what we’ve seen from public sector unions in this state for far too long. Next Tuesday, we have a chance to begin fighting back—and reducing boobs like Phil Rumore.

October 27, 2010

Witryol's Double-Talk

The following was received from a reader. It is unedited and posted in its entirety.

Every time I watch an Amy “HOPE” Witryol television ad, I cringe. It sounds like a good sound bite – “Take the money out of government.” Yet Ms. Witryol has yet to disclose where her funding is coming from. It is public record that she has purchased at least $70,000 worth of TV advertising, and yet her filings show that she has acquired about $9,000 total in her campaign fundraising efforts (with many financial donations coming from out of state sources.) So, where is the money coming from? Who is funding this campaign? It looks like she has loaned the campaign over $50,000 herself!
And she’s hardly one who practices what she preaches…in June of 2006, Amy was publicly thanked at a Lewiston Town Board Meeting for paying for an Albany Trip for some local politicians.
“I want to recognize Mrs. Witryol who took on the entire expense for all of us…I wanted to recognize Mrs. Witryol publicly for her leadership on that issue and her kind generosity in funding the travel expenses.” - from the Town of Lewiston Board Minutes June 26, 2006.
Not only is this in violation of lobbying laws, but it seems hypocritical for someone who complains about special interest money. Let me get this straight - If it’s her money it doesn’t count?
Are all registered voters aware that Amy never carried petitions and it was at the 11th hour that she replaced a democratic candidate that decided to withdraw from the race? Was this a last minute stand in or a well-planned scheme?
Whatever it is, Amy Witryol has many questions that need to be answered. As a “retired banking executive,” she has not been employed since she moved to the Niagara County area. She is listed as the editor of the Niagara-Health Science Report (a non-existent entity) and claims an annual income of $120,000. Where does this income come from?
She is a self-proclaimed authority on hazardous waste disposal, and yet nothing in her history would explain where that knowledge would originate?
Amy Witryol is either a puppet for some interest group that would like to see CWM close down or a delusional person with illusions of grandeur. Whatever she is – she is not the answer for change in the 62nd district.
Attached here is a photo of Amy in protest at the Lewiston Christmas Walk. Is this what we want as our next Senator?

October 26, 2010

High-Octane Election

Yesterday, filling up at a gas station where 87 octane gas had surged to $3.01 per gallon, we were puzzled. When prices surged under George W. Bush, we heard about it from the media. Their silence on the issue has been surprising.

OK, really, it hasn’t. These are the same guys who’ve been declaring the economy to be in recovery since Barack Obama said “So help me God” and unemployment was 7.6%. But still, we were wondering if gas prices were going to be a factor at all this fall.

Turns out that we can stop wondering.

The Washington Times, admittedly not a part of the dominant left-wing media, released an interesting article today that addressed that very issue. According to data from a very-recent Associated Press poll, 56% of Americans say that gas prices are “very important.” And, indeed, gas prices are doing something extremely unusual.

They never climb after Labor Day. They never climb heading into an election. It’s a function of supply and demand. More motorists drive more miles in more motor vehicles during the summer. Heck, the three big holidays that define summer see our nation’s interstates turn into parking lots. If gas prices are rising now, with demand falling off, they will surge next spring.

We’re not naïve enough to suggest that the President of the United States sets gas prices. But his policies do have an impact. And since Day One, this president has made it clear he intended to pursue “green” policies like cap-and-trade and using the government takeover of GM to push the construction of battery-powered cars that are, in the words of Vince Vaughn, gay.

As for us, our pickup truck can’t vote, but we can—and must.

October 25, 2010

Another Devastating Anti-Obama Political Ad

Last Wednesday, we posted the “Mourning in America” political ad being aired by the conservative group Citizens for the Republic. At the time, we commented that it “has got to be the most devastatingly accurate, and effective, political ad of the 2010 campaign season.”

We may have been premature.

While we’re still enormous fans of the Mourning in America ad, this new ad, by Citizens Against Government Waste, may have it beat:

Devastating. Simply devastating.

October 22, 2010

What This Election Was Supposed to be About

Watching Carl Paladino’s polling implosion has been painful for those of us who remember why he entered the race in the first place, and why we supported him.

Breaking news yesterday reminded us, incidentally, why we do support Carl, still. It was lead paragraphs like this that first convinced us an outsider with a disdain for political niceties was the best hope for our state:

ALBANY — In a town grown weary of corruption cases, the findings of an investigation of Albany's newest scandal rocks the very foundation of the Capitol's three-men-in-a-room system of governing.

Albany is a dysfunctional mess. That the entire upper echelon of state government—and, by default, the entire upper echelon of the Democratic Party’s elected leadership—has been caught up in such a scandal days before the election is a not-too-subtle reminder of that fact.

This is a consequential election. We only hope enough New Yorkers still get that fact to make a difference. For anyone who is heart-sick about the scandalous behavior of the majority governing Albany, there is no excuse to stay home, and, this year, no excuse to vote Democrat.

It’s time to take back our government.

October 21, 2010

Kimble Steals DelMonte’s Ruby Slippers

There’s an old saying that, in politics, friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. As Francine DelMonte has specialized in the accumulation of enemies, everyone should have seen the political whirlwind that brought her crashing to earth coming.

We weren’t the only ones expressing absolute delight last month when fellow Democrat John Accardo landed a house on the woman dubbed “
The Wicked Witch of Western New York” by, well, by fellow Democrats. After all, she deserved what she got. But, we were caught off-guard when she refused to accept the verdict rendered by members of her own political party. (Given everything we know about Francine, we shouldn’t have been. But we were.)

When Mayor Paul Dyster (D-Munchkinland) began reaching out to Accardo after the primary, we weren’t surprised, either. After all, Francine’s legs were sticking out from under Accardo’s house. Dyster must have been shocked when she climbed back on her broom and began gathering up her remaining flying monkeys to push on in her delusional bid to retain her seat as the candidate of the minorest of minor parties, the Working Families Party.

But, as we noted, in politics, friends come and go, but enemies do accumulate. And Francine DelMonte has one very determined enemy out there working to ensure that, when the next house lands on her Nov. 2, she stays down for the count.

Niagara Times reported back in August that Francine DelMonte herself had
personally torpedoed the nomination of Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble, a leader of Niagara Falls’ black community, to the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees by former State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, a pioneering black politician and Kimble ally, by storming into the office of Gov. David A. Paterson’s appointments secretary. (We realize it’s pointing out the obvious, but Paterson, like Kimble and McCall, is also black.) DelMonte succeeded in forestalling Kimble’s appointment, but may have ended up making more than a few enemies that day—and at least one of those enemies is planning to throw a bucket of water on her on Nov. 2.

We are told that Kimble is reaching out, aggressively, to her political base—that is, the black churches in Niagara Falls. Kimble is contacting every black minister in her hometown, and has a very simple message for their flocks. Kimble, who we are told is herself quite the preacher, is planning to deliver the coup-de-grace to DelMonte, urging black voters in the Falls to back Accardo, or even her County Legislature colleague Republican John Ceretto—but not DelMonte, whose commitment to racial equality and the advancement of the black community is, in Kimble’s eyes, questionable.

Our regular readers are smart, so we hope we don’t insult their intelligence by pointing this out, but here goes: Kimble’s actions have doomed the Wicked Witch’s long-shot bid at retaining her office and left her political career nothing more than a steaming puddle on the floor. With nearly a quarter of the population of Niagara Falls members of the African-American demographic, and this group voting monolithically for Democratic candidates and John Accardo as the standard bearer for that party, and Kimble doing her best to ensure they vote against DelMonte on Nov. 2, the Wicked Witch is finished.

And Renae Kimble just got herself a new pair of shoes. We hope red is her color.

October 20, 2010

Mourning in America

The following has got to be the most devastatingly accurate, and effective, political ad of the 2010 campaign season:

Here at Niagara Times, we get chills every time we view this ad. Why? Because we know when we’ve seen the ad people will be talking about for years. For those born too late to remember the 1984 election, when Ronald Reagan won an awe-inspiring 49-state landslide, it’s necessary to explain that “Mourning in America” is a direct take-off on the Reagan campaign’s “It’s Morning in America” ad, still considered one of the most effective political ads of all time.

For those of you too young to remember the 1984 campaign—and those of you who still get misty-eyed and nostalgic thinking back to the eight years of the Gipper—the Reagan “Morning in America” ad can be viewed

October 19, 2010


We had planned to post a rehash of last night’s gubernatorial debate this morning, but really the candidate who stole the show was the positively insane Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. If, like us, you can't quite get Jimmy McMillan's insane utterances out of your head, you can re-live McMillan’s crazier moments here.

Indeed, last night, as we headed to bed, we were sure the craziest thing we’d see this morning would be recaps of McMillan’s nutty performance. Boy, were we wrong:

We’ve never felt the reason to disguise our absolute disgust for all things related to Niagara Falls and its corrupt political system, but even the goings-on at City Hall take a backseat to the thorough corruption of the Niagara Falls City School District. It’s like Bizarro World there. All the rules that you and I live by out in the real America seem to cease.

For years, of course, former Superintendent Carm Granto ran the district like a little, close-knit fiefdom where the best way to get a job was to be…well, was to be related to Carm Granto. Eventually, Granto’s playing fast and loose with taxpayer dollars caught up with him, and a scathing report by the state comptroller’s office torpedoed his career.

So, the School Board did what any sane organization would do under such circumstances, and brought in an outsider with fresh perspectives to fix Granto’s mess.

(That last sentence was meant to be ironic. Unless you live under a rock, you know what the School Board did: they
hired Granto’s sister, Cynthia Bianco, to replace him for a paltry $155,000 a year.)

Of course, such practices aren’t anything new in the Niagara Falls City School District; an old Granto-era joke was that the only place more disastrously
inbred than West Virginia was the Niagara Falls School District’s front office.

That’s why word that long-time School District attorney
Angelo Massaro’s daughter Maria being hired as the $120,000-a-year human resources director for the District, despite not having any actual human resources experience, and without any kind of search beyond an internal posting, doesn’t surprise us. And it shouldn’t surprise our readers, either: The Cataract City stopped being anything more than an illegitimate third-world joke a long time ago.

You stay classy, Niagara Falls.

October 18, 2010

Paladino Could Learn from Ceretto

While we remain very much supporters of Carl Paladino’s run for governor, we will freely admit to spending a goodly portion of last week grimacing and cringing after his flubbed comments about gay marriage and the gay agenda in New York State.

We generally agree with Paladino about the overarching issue. It was the unnecessary, er, rhetorical flourishes we could have done without. By making statements that could reasonably be interpreted as derogatory toward gays, Paladino undermined what should have been a simple argument about policy, hurt his campaign, and, frankly, needlessly hurt feelings.

None of these things should disqualify Paladino from office; after the Spitzer-Paterson debacle, Democrats seeking to deride Paladino are offering nothing more than hype aimed at preserving their stranglehold on state government.

Why, then, would we—as admitted Paladino fans—rehash this debacle? Well, reading the Buffalo News on Sunday, we were extremely impressed with the political deftness of John Ceretto, the Republican who hopes to replace political derelict Francine DelMonte in the Assembly.

Asked by Buffalo News reporter Tom Prohaska where he stood on both gay marriage and abortion—either of which could accurately be described as “the third rail of electoral politics”—Ceretto gave a very straightforward, very blunt, very honest answer, and yet said not a single word that could be described as harsh or mean-spirited or derogatory.

Here’s how the exchange played out
in Prohaska’s article:

Ceretto said he says the rosary while walking in Niagara Falls State Park on his lunch break. He showed a reporter the wallpaper on his cell phone: a photo of a statue of the Virgin Mary at the Fatima Shrine.

“I carry Mary to keep me focused,” Ceretto said.

Gay marriage? Abortion rights? Not on his watch.

“I follow the Catholic Church on that,” he said.

Reasonable people can, and do, disagree on these issues. (In the interest of full disclosure, we’re socially moderate ourselves and have mixed feelings on both very complex issues.) That being said, there can be no doubt for anyone who’s ever met Ceretto about his sincerity when it comes to his faith, or where he stands on issues. There’s not a single bitter note in his words here, and yet he gave a more direct answer than many Albany politicians have ever given in their entire political careers. People deserve direct answers from their elected leaders, and they also deserve not to be insulted when their representatives don’t share their views—whether the issue is tax policy or something as deeply personal and intimate as when life begins. In Ceretto’s answer, he managed to be both direct and respectful. We like that.

And that’s why we’re becoming rather fond of the guy who in all likelihood will be the next Assemblyman from the 138th District—and why we wish he had been the one whispering in Carl Paladino’s ear before that disastrous comment.

October 15, 2010

Friday Ruminations


An item by Niagara Gazette reporter Mark Scheer left us scratching our heads. It seems that, even as Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster prepares to ram through a significant tax hike, his inept police superintendent, John Chella, is looking to add nearly a half-million bucks to his budget.

So, where is all this money going?

Well, according to Chella, it’s going to “fight crime.” (Much like increases in school budgets, which are always going to “teach kids,” increases in police budgets always go to “fight crime.” In both cases, these goals are ostensibly accomplished by expanding payrolls.)

What really got our attention was this paragraph:

One of the department’s biggest challenges remains overtime which has been on the rise in recent years. The department spent $828,000 on overtime in 2008. The number jumped to $1.2 million last year. Through Oct. 1, the department has incurred $1.1 million in overtime costs.

"Challenges," huh? Well...let’s see. In New York State, pension payments are paid out based on the average of the three highest-paid years…and that includes overtime…so, if retiring police officers got more overtime, they could max out their pensions…

Nah, that can’t be it.

It must be all those successful efforts to fight crime in the Falls.

George Washington, He’s Not

We’ve always had mixed feelings on Buffalo School Superintendent James Williams here at Niagara Times. On the one hand, we view him as about as good a schools chief as a place like Buffalo is going to get. On the other hand, we view him as about as good a schools chief as a place like Buffalo is going to get.

You see our dilemma.

We were disappointed, though, when it came out late yesterday that, unlike George Washington, Williams quite can tell a lie. Williams has, as of late, been toeing the union line a lot more closely, particularly on the issue of charter schools—long a burr in the side of public teachers unions. He once spoke very favorably of the institutions, but this fall began to parrot Buffalo teachers union boss Phil Rumore on the subject.

However, his decision to go public with dire predictions of “900 layoffs” if charter schools continued to receive payments they were due sounded a little fishy to us, and it turns out that Williams was saying one thing to Buffalo’s parents and another to the Board of Education—and told two diametrically-opposed things to the two groups in less than 24 hours.

We hope that the Buffalo schools add some classes on the importance of telling the truth to its curriculum next year.

A Worthy Cause

We noted in the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal a notice about the Tony Nemi Sportsman League fundraiser set for Oct. 24. It’s no secret to us that a number of our readers are politically-involved, and this is the season when those folks are asked to open their hearts—and their checkbooks—for the candidacies of any number of would-be politicians. And we salute that kind of hands-on participation in democracy.

But the Tony Nemi League, from our understanding, is one of the best examples of hands-on participation in community around. The League has donated a figure somewhere north of $70,000 over the years to youth athletics in Eastern Niagara County and to Lockport High School’s athletic squads.

The League, incidentally, is not named for County Legislator Tony Nemi, but rather his late father, who was very big into sports. (As, we are told, is the son, who apparently is one of the few people left in Western New York who is still watching the Buffalo Bills.)

This year’s fundraiser is being held at Taboo in downtown Lockport, and tickets are $20 at the door—which includes beer, pop, pizza, and the rest of the standard WNY fare we’ve come to expect at such events. It starts at noon, and attendees will be treated to the Baltimore Ravens' inevitable thrashing of the Bills. But, hey, it’s for a good cause.

Another Worthy Cause

We are pleased to see U.S. District Judge Joseph Arcara’s decision, yesterday, to extend, indefinitely, his stay on New York State collecting taxes on Indian cigarettes.

We’ve long agreed with the tribes on this issue—even as we’ve found many of their tactics in their fight with New York State reprehensible. However, while we don’t know enough about law to weigh the legal merits of Arcara’s decision, which is based on his belief that collection of taxes would result in the loss of jobs at smoke shops (actually, we know a lot about law, and can’t recall that ever being a fully valid reason to stop the enforcement of the law) we are glad for his ruling.

We don’t smoke, but we’re sick of New York State’s war on those who do. And we always felt like they were bullies of the worst sort when they tried to steamroll a handful of Indian smoke shops, especially in light of all that we, as a state and a nation, had done to the Indians over the years.

This is a small, but good, victory for common sense.

Much More Affordable Than Roger Waters

As regular readers know, we’re still nursing a grudge over not being paid highly enough by our boss to be able to afford tickets to last week’s Roger Waters “The Wall” show at the HSBC Arena. That being said, we see that the Seneca Allegany Casino is offering up a decent fall-back options.

The Black Crowes, who we admit to having listened to more than a few times in our misspent youth, will play the Salamanca casino tomorrow night, and there are still plenty of good—and reasonably-priced—seats left.

While you’re deciding whether to buy tickets, we’ll leave you with this classic from the Crowes:

See you Monday.

October 14, 2010

Three Cheers for Socialism in the Falls

We’ve been critical of a lot of things about the HOPE VI housing project over the years—especially its $280,000 per unit pricetag. We just can’t wrap our heads around the notion that our government is giving away housing to people for free that cost us, as taxpayers, a helluva lot more than Hobbes Manor, that we paid for ourselves. We mean, why do we even bother working day in and day out? (In fairness, we had the same reaction last night in Wegman’s watching a woman pay for all the fixings for a sundae bar with chocolate, strawberry, caramel, and some other kind of syrup using a benefit card, but we digress.)

Now that we read in today’s Buffalo News what’s involved in those units, though, we’re even more annoyed:

“It’s going to be a lovely neighborhood. It’s going to grow. They are coming tomorrow to hook up the telephones. And we have two full bathrooms — and one of them is downstairs,” gushed Neziezadie Brown as she relaxed in the afternoon sunshine on the spacious front porch of her new apartment at 1350 Garden Ave.

“Look how big this porch is. We’ll have lights all over the porch for Christmas, and everybody else will have them too,” Brown said as she looked ahead to the changing seasons in the new Hope VI community being created by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority.

Ah, yes, big porches and two bathrooms per unit. Hobbes Manor only has 1 ½ baths, and we’re rather fond of the place.

More obnoxious was this quote from Richard Higgins, the “developer” who made big bucks building welfare housing in the Falls:

“Yes, America, stimulus funds are producing and preserving jobs in this community and you are seeing it right here,” Higgins said. “Without that money, we would have been dead in the water.”

We could ask the obvious—that is, just how much economic stimulus do you get by building free housing for people who don’t plan to work—but that would just kill the spirit of this happy day.

Our favorite news quote in all of this, though, comes from the Niagara Gazette:

While that may not seem like much to some, for Brown, one of the residents to occupy the first batch of affordable units completed as part of the North End HOPE VI housing development, it is like a gift from the heavens.

Actually, it’s a gift from the taxpayers. Give credit where credit’s due.

October 12, 2010

DiNapoli: A Study in Doublespeak

We admit to being anything but fans of inept State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Frankly, we’ve used an assortment of blue language to describe the partisan fiscal lapdog to our friends; this being a family blog, we’ll avoid repeating those words here, although the one we use most commonly is a synonym for a certain feminine hygiene product.

To call DiNapoli incompetent would, of course, be the kindest thing we could say about him. After all, under DiNapoli’s stewardship, the state’s pension fund has performed worse than pretty much any 401(k). So badly it has performed, in fact, that the local contribution funded by county and city taxpayers has increased massively—in fact, DiNapoli’s optimistic assessment is that next year, local governments will be on the hook for 37% more than last year.

Despite his gross incompetence and general nastiness, though, we hadn’t previously attached the word “crook” to DiNapoli. His performance last week in a debate with Republican comptroller candidate Harry Wilson changed that, though, when DiNapoli repeatedly refused to answer whether or not he was under investigation. The following video excerpt is quite short, and quite worth your time:

That is just a mind-blowing performance. The sad thing is, Sheldon Silver’s handpicked comptroller might just manage to be elected to a full term in his own right.

We’re not quite sure what a hand-basket looks like, but we are certain that, if Tom DiNapoli wins another term as comptroller, this state is headed to hell in one.

October 8, 2010

Friday Ruminations

Save the Earth. Or We’ll Kill You.

Snuff films have never been our thing. But apparently, after a year that has turned “global warming” from a fashionable cause to an international laughingstock, the true believers in the Warmist religion have gone from kooks who rant about internal combustion engines to wannabe terrorists.

Something called the 10:10 Project put out the following video, where climate-change-battling do-gooders are rewarded, and global-warming skeptics…well, er, global-warming skeptics are blown up, Al Qaeda style:

Ha! That’s freakin’ hysterical. We get it!!! “Join us or we’ll kill you!” You guys have a gift for comedy on par with Mel Brooks and Monty Python!

Actually, we’re not laughing at all. But we’re not entirely shocked by this. Anyone who has ever tried to argue facts with a Global Warmist knows that you might have better luck converting the Pope to Mormonism.

Maybe it’s time to start putting Sierra Club members on the no-fly list.

Earning His Nickname

Dysaster. There, we said it.

Niagara Falls’ failed mayor proposed, as we predicted,
a weighty tax hike last Friday. (Any time a politician makes an announcement on a Friday afternoon, it’s never a good thing.)

Residents of Niagara Falls have a $17.75 per $1,000 tax rate to look forward to next year. And, even more shocking is the outrageous $31.87 per $1,000 for business owners. (Maybe that has something to do with the lack of businesses on your Main Street, Paul. Just sayin’.)

Aside from the fact that taxes in Niagara Falls are going up, that Dyster continues to lead
one of only 13 cities that tax their businesses at a higher rate than residential spaces is a profound commentary on why Niagara Falls, under Paul Dyster, is turning into a ghost town.

Break a Treaty, Break the Law

Regular readers of this space know that we are sympathetic to the plight of New York’s Indian tribes, where state efforts to tax their smoke shops are concerned. That being said, we cannot condone their lawless behavior. The Indian tribes are the ones who, after all, have made the phrase “Break a treaty, break the law” a part of Western New York’s lexicon. Yet,
by withholding payments owed to New York State, and, in turn, the City of Niagara Falls, they have shown a callous disregard for their own moral argument.

The Gaming Compact governing gambling in New York State had nothing to do with cigarettes. Tobacco wasn’t even mentioned. The issue addressed was casinos and bingo parlors. For the Senecas to refuse to abide by that Gaming Compact now, as a form of retribution for Gov. Paterson’s lawful, if misguided, efforts to collect taxes on cigarettes sold at Indian smoke shops, is even more misguided—and not at all lawful.

The Gaming Compact was, for all intents and purposes, a treaty. New York State abided by its obligations under that particular treaty. It is the Senecas who are now guilty of breaking a treaty—and breaking the law. We wish Gov. Paterson would leave the Indians’ cigarettes alone. But if he wants to shut down the Seneca Niagara Casino until the Senecas begin honoring their treaties, we think he’d be perfectly justified in doing so.

Carl’s Best Hope to Turn Things Around

We are, like many of those who know the harm that Andrew Cuomo will do to Upstate, concerned about Carl Paladino’s apparent drop in the polls.

That being said, news that Paladino and Cuomo will
square off in a debate Oct. 18 in Long Island is a welcome development.

We’re not naïve enough to believe that a lot of the idiots who show up on Election Day will watch the debates. But if this race tightens, as we believe it will, it may be enough. In 1980, a last-minute debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter is credited with shifting momentum to Reagan just when he needed it. And we all know how that turned out. We can’t help but hope the Carl Paladino we love and know here in Western New York—the straight-talker with a command of the issues—shows up on-stage at Hofstra that night. If he does, he may be able to recapture the momentum he had right after the GOP primary.

We Don’t Need No Education—But We Do Need Tickets.

If you’re one of the very lucky few that managed to acquire tickets to tonight’s
Roger Waters “The Wall” show at the HSBC Arena, we’re jealous. For the rest of us, this excerpt from Pink Floyd’s magnum opus will have to do:

Incidentally, tickets are still available, although the prices made us uncomfortably numb.

See you back here on Tuesday.

October 7, 2010

Blumenthal For The Economy

Below is a clip of Connecticut Attorney General and United State Senate candidate Dick Blumenthal delivering his answer to the question of "how do you create a job?". It is simply astounding how horribly Blumenthal flubs his answer.

This is not a difficult question. To have no concept of how to answer it is an embarrassment. Unfortunately, this is what the Democratic Party has been reduced to. This is the "Hope & Change" that has been inflicted upon this country by Obama.

And this guy wants to go to Washington to cures all that ails this country. God help us.

October 6, 2010

DelMonte's Denial Costs Her Dearly

The most telling aspect of outgoing New York State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte's most recent financial disclosure is not the fact that she brought in more money from outside of her district, nor is it the $19,000 she spent on a poll from a Massachusetts company with ties to Sheldon Silver (a fact that we reported on long before it hit her financials). Nope, the most telling aspect of DelMonte's financials is just how far off her compass was in approaching the primary election.

In no uncertain terms, DelMonte never saw the train that hit her coming. This conclusion is made glaringly clear by the fact that she didn't spend any of that money that has so generously flowed to her campaign coffers from Albany and New York City lobbyists and special interest groups.

DelMonte's 32 Day Pre-Primary financial disclosure showed her sitting on about $69,000 in her campaign account. Of that, she spent about $21,000. Of course, that includes the $19k she dropped on Kiley & Company. So entering the most competitive primary of her political life, she dropped two grand. That's not only indicative of an astounding level of arrogance, it's an amazing indication of the inability of DelMonte to empathize with voter anger. Of course, she was only one of two Democratic Assemblypersons in the state to lose the primary election, so maybe she figured it couldn't happen to her. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

So with about $48,000, DelMonte is going forward with her campaign on the Working Families line. She is now the poster child for the party of ACORN; of voter fraud; of corruption. Congratulations.

DelMonte can't win on the WF line. Even with $50,000, she won't pull 12% of the vote. Her actions tell me is that she doesn't care one bit about her party. She doesn't care about keeping the seat in the hands of the Democrats. She cares about settling a score with Dem challenger John Accardo by siphoning as many votes away from him as possible.

Now, I pegged Ceretto for a winner against DelMonte when it was thought that she would be the Dem nominee, but with her vindictive actions, she is virtually ensuring a win for Ceretto. Nice job looking out for your party, Fran.

October 5, 2010

Google Search Validates Paladino's Claim About Post Reporter

We've been firmly in Carl Paladino's corner ever since last week's brouhaha with New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker. Dicker, whose name suits him, repeatedly invaded Paladino's personal space with a finger-pointing, chest-poking routine that, we think, would have caused an ordinary man to punch him. Carl didn't, but had he, we'd still support him, having seen Dicker's behavior. Add to that Paladino's claim that the Post had gratuitously smeared an innocent ten-year-old, and we can certainly understand why he might be perturbed at Dicker.

All that being said, when Paladino went on the top-rated cable news show, The O'Reilly Factor, last night, we expected some fireworks. What we got, instead, was a man both enormously possessed of self-control—and also a man without any regrets for defending his ten-year-old daughter. We like that. And, we think you will too if you watch the video:

Now, in fairness, we wish Paladino could more accurately name names when O'Reilly pressed him on what Post reporters went after his daughter. O'Reilly seems to question his credibility on that item when he couldn't name reporter "Amber"'s last name. That being said, there's little doubt after a 4-second Google search that Carl was referring to the Post's Amber Sutherland. AND, we might add, the photos included with Sutherland's article about Paladino's daughter lend credence to Paladino's assertion that the Post invaded his daughter's world. So, anyone wishing to question Paladino's veracity on this point—don't bother. Amber Sutherland's tabloid tactics would have set us off, too, had we been in Paladino's shoes.

As we said before, Fred Dicker crossed a line that should not have been crossed. But, given Dicker's past writings on both Paladino and Andrew Cuomo, it doesn't surprise us.

All that being said, we commend Paladino for doing his best to return this election to issues. Because on that score, he's head and shoulders above Andrew Cuomo—even if Fred Dicker doesn't think so.

October 4, 2010

What if They Held a Rally, and No One Came?

Here at Niagara Times, we’ve always taken a less-than-charitable view of activists who end up shooting themselves in the foot by overusing theatrics. Sometimes, they just end up inadvertently showing how weak their position really is.

And so it was this weekend, when the American Left held a rally to support President Obama and the Democrat Party in Washington, D.C. We’re of the mindset that any time a Democrat rally fails in a city with an 11-to-1 Democrat-to-Republican registration edge, the Dems are in serious trouble. And, indeed, following on Glenn Beck’s rally of a month ago, which gathered a crowd in the many hundreds of thousands, having even friendly media writing your rally only numbered in “the thousands” is not a good sign:

We could leave our commentary there, at a stark comparison of numbers, and an examination of the overall softness of the Democrats’ rally. But that wouldn’t be any fun. Instead, we’re going to refer you to the picture below, which we happily borrowed from the Daily Mail, long one of Britain’s great newspapers. We think it perfectly illustrates why the New Right seems to be on course to deal the Old Left around Barack Obama a nearly-unprecedented electoral defeat this fall:

Now, here at Niagara Times, we’ve never really been too fond of the hippie element. Frankly, we can’t stand hippies. Growing up, when other kids were having nightmares about the bogeyman, we were waking up screaming from dreams that smelled of patchouli and featured psychedelic Volkswagen Microbuses and a soundtrack by Crosby, Stills & Nash. And we still have a deep aversion to Ben & Jerry's, and pretty much anything else associated with Vermont. So, we’re a bit biased. Maybe you look at that photo and see a citizen happily exercising his right to be, er, different. Eccentric, even. Heck, some out there might even see someone who should be given the keys to the car. (We know, we know: 'D' for 'Drive,' 'R' for 'Reverse.' That's funny stuff, Barry...)

Us? We just see a dirty old hippie burnout. We suspect a lot of our fellow Americans do, too. And they realize that people just like him—albeit oftentimes camouflaged by a close shave and a trip to Brooks Brothers—have been running this country into the ground for the last two years. And they don’t like it. Some Americans are old enough to vividly remember the Carter Era and know what happened the last time we went down this road. Others just really, really don’t like the inescapable feeling that the folks running Washington right now never spent a day in the real world before leaving their ivory-tower college classrooms to take jobs as Obama’s czars.

Whichever is the case, the hippie fever that swept this Administration into office seems to have broken. They threw a rally for the Democrats this weekend, and no one came. For the Dems, that portends an electoral thumping. For America, perhaps it portends nothing more than this country getting a second chance. Even if that’s the case, it’s a welcome sign.

October 1, 2010

Friday Ruminations

DelMonte Delusional

We read coverage of Francine DelMonte’s ongoing fight to save her seat in the Assembly in the Niagara Gazette this morning and chuckled.

Then we laughed out loud hysterically.

First off, before we get to the meat of DelMonte’s lunatic bid for office, we couldn’t get over a pair of quotes in the article:

“The boys might have knocked me down, but I’m not out. A fight isn’t over when you get knocked down, it’s over when you don’t get back up. Too many people have told me they have no confidence in either of other two candidates and urged me to continue on with the campaign.”

“The time of telling lies and misleading voters is over,” she said. “I will shut down every lie the boys in this race tell. I’m not going to let them pervert my record. People deserve honesty not rhetoric and distortion.”

“The boys” eh? That rhetoric is eerily reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s failed run for president, when she would whine about the gender of all the other Democratic candidates running against her. That a gender-based argument failed in the party that typically enjoys the positive side of a female gender gap shows how specious an argument it is.

That being said, we believe a bit of education is in order for Ms. DelMonte about how ballots are constructed.

On Nov. 2, voters will be faced with a ballot that lists a whole bunch of Democratic nominees, next to a big, black, bold word: Democrat, on Row A. That party’s kind of been around for a while. A lot of voters just vote that line. And, if they look at the part of the ballot that says Member of the Assembly, they’ll see John Accardo’s name.

On Row B, a similar thing will play out. Republican in bold-face type. Carl Paladino’s name for governor, and John Ceretto’s name on the line as the GOP candidate for Assembly.

On Row C, voters will read the word Independence. This party isn’t nearly as long and storied as the Democratic and Republican parties, but it tends to draw a fair number of voters on Election Day. There, voters will see Andrew Cuomo’s name and John Ceretto’s name.

On Row D, voters will read the word Conservative. That party is nearly 50 years old, and its name means something to a whole heckuva lot of people—especially in socially-conservative Western New York. Heck, a registered Conservative even chairs the County Legislature. And voters will see Carl Paladino’s name and John Ceretto’s name together on the same line.

Finally, voters will reach Row E, Working Families. This party is widely expected to not even garner 50,000 votes statewide, and drop into electoral oblivion this cycle. And Francine DelMonte hopes to win running on that line, and that line alone.

Getting to watch Francine lose twice will be entertaining for many of us. But, if our name was John Ceretto, who has to benefit from every vote she strips from Democratic candidate John Accardo, it would have to be pure ecstasy.

You go, girl.

Tidal Wave Building

Several items in the past couple of days have convinced us that Election Night 2010 is going to be bigger even than Election Night 1994, in terms of a GOP blowout.

The respected websites Election Projection (which, while good, has consistently underestimated GOP fortunes and the size of waves in the past) and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball show Democrat hopes of holding the House are gone. And, one has to suspect the Senate will fall to the GOP in short order.

Add to that a new poll that shows even a very damaged GOP gubernatorial candidate in Florida leading, where Democrats hoped to score an upset, and another that shows former WWE CEO Linda McMahon surging in the Connecticut Senate race, and you see just how bad things have become for the Party in Power.

Two years ago, a lot of Democrats were thanking Barack Obama for their Election Night outcomes. We have a feeling that they’ll be giving him the credit for this year’s Election Night outcomes as well.

Picture Defines Coolness

While we’ve admitted to a certain preference for matters political, a picture we first saw on the Drudge Report bears some note. Sometimes, a photographer gets lucky, and times something perfectly. For the rest of us, of course, there’s PhotoShop.

That being said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t post a link to a photo of the Hollywood hills, a rainbow, and a lightning strike. Pictures like that define coolness, and it’s Friday.

Buffalo Spree Unloads on the Sabres…for Their Fashion Sense

OK, we admit it. We enjoy thumbing through Buffalo Spree as much as anyone. But their blog was a bit harsh the other day when it unloaded on the new Buffalo Sabres jerseys, calling them “unimaginative.”

If, by unimaginative, they mean straight, to the point, not overdone, then yes, they’re unimaginative.

As for us, we’re just hoping to see another decent season. Maybe one that doesn’t leave us, in the end, bitter about what might have been.

But that probably won’t happen. After all, it’s the Sabres:

See you Monday.