Richard Hanna Fuzzy on Health Care Repeal


[Richard] Hanna is not listed as a co-sponsor of H.R. 2, which places him among the minority of Republicans not co-sponsoring the measure.He did cast a procedural vote, along with every House Republican, in supporting the rules for debating the legislation, but that does not necessarily mean he will vote for repeal.

During the campaign, Hanna said that he thought that health care bill was flawed, he would "be an agent to repair it".
Here is the H.R. 2, Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, with the list of sponsors.
Speaking with Robert Harding of, Hanna said he hasn't decided how he will vote.  Debate on the bill is expected to begin Tuesday, with the vote coming Wednesday.
Tell Hanna your thoughts through his House web site.

Compare & contrast

The three states in the worst shape financially are California, Illinois, and...New York.  From today's Ithaca Journal USA Today page:
Illinois enacts tax increases to cut $15 billion deficit
CHICAGO — Debate is raging across Illinois about tax increases passed this week by a lame-duck General Assembly: Are they job killers that will drive employers away or a vital step toward erasing a $15 billion budget shortfall?

The latter, says Ron Howell, executive director of Recovery Resources, a non-profit substance-abuse treatment center in Quincy struggling with a 30% cut in state funding and a 90-day lag time for state reimbursements.

"The bigger the (state budget) hole gets, the bigger the problem becomes," he says.

In Danville, though, owner Bob Watson of Watson Tire and Automotive Service says he might scratch his plan to hire another worker and may even consider a move 5 miles away to Indiana.

"I have to live on what I make," he says, "and so should the government."

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, signed the legislation Thursday. The measure could add $6.8 billion a year to revenue by temporarily raising income taxes from 3% to 5% and increasing the corporate tax rate from 4.8% to 7%.

Quinn says the increases are necessary to stop the state from "careening towards bankruptcy."....

Interestingly, the New York Times reported that same story this way:

Illinois Legislators Approve 66% Tax Increase


Published: January 12, 2011 

CHICAGO — With only hours left before new state lawmakers were to take over, Illinois’s State Legislature narrowly approved early on Wednesday an increase of about 66 percent in the state’s income tax rate.

The vast size of the increase, the rarity of such increases here — the last one came two decades ago — and the hour of the vote (in the wee hours of Wednesday) all reflected the urgency and depth of this state’s fiscal crisis.

Even grudging supporters of the tax increase, which won no Republican support in a state capital controlled by Democrats, voiced a desperate sense of regret over the circumstances in which Illinois finds itself. State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat who voted for the increase, described her decision as an alternative “between bad and worse.” Another Democrat cautioned his colleagues: “We don’t have a better choice today.”...

Creates a very different impression from the first version, doesn't it?  

A couple of things come to mind: first, particularly where numbers, percentages, etc., are concerned, beware of spin and use common sense. The other side is banking on our "innumeracy" to cloud the issues.

Secondly, this probably isn't going to end well for Illinois (from John Kass's column in the Chicago Trib, via Pundit & Pundette):

They forgot to earmark some extra funds for that great, big wall.

You know, that wall they're going to need, 60 feet high, the one with razor wire on top and guard towers, equipped with police dogs and surrounded by an acid-filled moat.

The wall they're going to have to build around the entire state, to keep desperate taxpayers from fleeing to Indiana,Wisconsin and other places that want jobs and businesses and people who work hard for a living.

Something to keep in mind, NYS leaders.

And as for "Pundit and Pundette": we only wish we'd thought of it first.

Calendar girl

Reminded of Neil Sedaka (if so, you're probably at least as old as I am)? Maybe you're reminded of Calendar Girls, that movie with Helen Mirren a few years back about a group of English ladies who try to raise funds for the local hospital by posing in the—well, never mind.  Back when this post had a point, the point was that there is a calendar feature on this blog (it's up there, in the red bar) which I do try to update once in a while. It's only as useful as the info that's there, so if you've got town, county, or state items that would be appropriate for posting on this blog's calendar, do let us know.  Thanks!

UPDATE: NO 'Stache in Albany on January 25th

UPDATE (1/20): Heartache! There'll be no 'Stache in Mudville next week after all.  Now the scheduled speaker is slated to be Chuck Cunningham, Director of Public Affairs for the NRA.  No offense to Chuck, but...bummer.

From Dave Henderson's Outdoors column in the Ithaca Journal:

Bus To Albany

I haven't heard of any groups chartering buses from this area for the Jan. 25 second Annual Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day in Albany, but you can catch a bus at the Gander Mountain store in Cicero that morning.

The Oswego County Federation of Sportsman's clubs is sponsoring the bus, which will make a 5:30 a.m. pick-up. The bus will leave Albany at 2 p.m....

NRA head Wayne LaPierre will not be the speaker this year. In his place will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. (emphasis mine)


Whoa!  Much bigger deal than Wayne LaPierre, frankly.  Methinks perhaps the 'Stache is running for President in 2012.

An earlier post on this event is here, and it also is listed on our calendar.

State Senator Seward to Run Insurance Committee

State Senator James Seward, whose district includes Dryden, will run the Senate insurance committee. The committee will influence how New York implements the federal health care overhaul.

Seward swill also evaluate Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to merge the state insurance and banking departments.  Seward said:

“Much of the work of actually implementing the health care reform will be at the state level.  That will dominate much of our attention, and that is a 2011 issue. It can’t wait until the last minute."

Lifton Drags Feet on Tax Cap


State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton doesn't seem to be on board with Gov. Cuomo's property tax increase cap (Property tax cap faces fight in State Assembly).

Lifton, D-Ithaca said:

"A lot of people are very concerned about it. They know a straight cap will be extremely harmful to public schools."

The "lot of people" includes teachers' unions, who have supported Lifton.

Cuomo said Friday: 

"The enormous burden of unfunded and underfunded mandates is breaking the backs of taxpayers, counties and municipalities across the state. These mandates are throwing budgets out of balance and sending local property taxes through the roof."

A Tangled Web

What drove the Arizona gunman to his deed?  Apparently the Arizona madman was obsessed about mind-control through grammar.  Could it be that "The Elements of Style", the grammar bible with an Ithaca connection, sparked the madman's delusions?  

Rule 12: Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language.
Illustration from Charlotte's WebWe can see where this is going:  the "Elements" are only one step away from violence.  The evidence?  Cornellian E. B White not only revised (sharpened?) Prof. William Strunk's "little book," he also penned the tale of Charlotte A. Cavatica, an unapologetic, bloodthirsty killer, a daily devourer of insects, who happily catalogs any creature that's careless enough to be caught in her web.  This dangerous story has been repeated, in nighttime rituals, across our nation, within the hearing of children.  What couuld go wrong?  Clearly the "Elements" and the subsequent tangled web must be banned.
Seriously, the calls to "tone down the rhetoric" are rich after a decade of provocation and actual violence from the left.  This is the tactic of those who are losing their  argument for more government, more dependency and less free speech.  In truth, it is not violence they fear but the failure of their ideology.
If sometime we decide to eschew the language or symbols of military campaigns or marksmanship in our debate, it will be because they are clichéd, not because words are dangerous.

" Facts are stubborn things;...


...and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."— John Adams, speaking as the defense attorney for the Boston residents—no, wait!—for the British redcoats who had fired into the crowd at the Boston Massacre

In the wake of the AZ shooting, Washington Post cartoonist Jeff Danziger published this cartoon:

As blogger Ed Frank writes, "It’s one thing to hastily jump to conclusions before the facts are known, but it’s another to stick to those hasty conclusions in the face of contradictory facts." Frank was sufficiently troubled by the clear implication of the cartoon that he wrote to Danziger, and reproduced the exchange (with Danziger's permission) in his blog, Frank Strategies (via Hot Air).  As you read the whole post, notice how quickly Danziger's justifications descend into complete moonbattery.  But perhaps I repeat myself—lefty "justifications" and "moonbattery" often end up being identical.  But we're the nutty ones.

County Takes Another Commercial Property Off Tax Rolls


At the end of December, The Tompkins County Legislature voted 11-3 to take the Carpet Bazzar building on State Street in Ithaca off of the tax rolls and relocate the County Office for the Aging to it.  

Tompkins County will pay $720K over 15 years for the building and, of course, will need to renovate the building for the new purpose.

Legislators Carol Chock, Frank Proto, and Leslyn McBean-Clairborne voted against the purchase.

County IDA Considering Giving, Taking Away

According the the Journal (Jan 6), the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency is looking at whether the agency should offer tax incentives to developers who build low-income or energy efficient housing.

Short answer: no.
For one thing: 
County Public Works Commissioner Ed Marx said there are many benefits to incentivizing highly energy efficient buildings, but in order to take on tax incentives for housing developments, the county must be careful not to add to the burden of other homeowners struggling to remain in their homes.
If energy efficient building is a good deal, it will pay for itself, and does not need to be subsidized.  If there isn't enough demand for housing (i.e., someone willing to pay), then it shouldn't be built.  The laws of economics are not suspended at the county line.


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