WHO’S FREDO?

 

 

 

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Tom Hanks as Forest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Chris Cuomo threatened to throw a man down the stairs for calling him Fredo, a reference to the character brilliantly played by the late John Cazale in Godfather 1 and 2. Fredo was easily the dullest of his three brothers, and as a result, he was given menial tasks in the Corleones’ vast criminal empire. I’m Italian-American and proud of it, but calling someone Fredo is calling them stupid, bumbling and incompetent; it is not an ethnic slur. Since the Fredo affair I’ve been thinking: which Cuomo brother is the biggest bumbler? Who’s really Fredo? It’s a close call.

 

Astonishingly, both Cuomos claim that calling them Fredo is smearing their Italian heritage. They’re the sons of a former governor, presidential hopeful and scions of one of New York’s most powerful families. One is a CNN anchor, the other New York’s governor. They both whine like victims. If that’s not Fredo-level stupidity, I don’t know what is.

 

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Fredo Corleone: “I can handle things.  I’m smart and I want respect.”  Like running New York State, Andrew?

Let’s look at Andrew Cuomo’s record as Governor. Upstate NY has been hemorrhaging people since 2010. The grim numbers show that 43 of the 50 upstate counties have lost population since the last census.

Cuomo had a chance to jump-start the upstate economy, but he banned gas development. Fracking would have brought billions of dollars into Upstate. Pennsylvania produces 20% of the nation’s natural gas, second only to Texas. Imagine the cash tidal wave flooding into that state. That could have been us. But instead of being a net exporter of gas, we are an importer. Our dollars flow out but in Pennsylvania, dollars flow in. Cuomo looked prosperity in they eye and said no, thank you. This should go down in history as one of the dumbest executive decisions in the history of executive decisions.

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Cuomo banned fracking, rendering the vast natural resource that is natural gas unusable.  Natural resource development has been a source of prosperity throughout history. Steuben County NY is a stone’s throw from Tioga County PA.  But while Tioga County prospers because of fracking, Steuben County withers, in no small part because fracking is banned.   

Cuomo’s economic development plan is a joke. Cuomo “invested” $15 million in the Central New York Film Hub. It was sold last month for $1. Soraa LED reneged on a $90 million factory near Syracuse funded by us, the taxpayers. But don’t worry, the State Senate “invested” $15 million more to lure another company to the factory.

New York State’s jobless rate lags behind the national average of 4.1 percent at 4.7%. In 55 of the 57 counties outside of New York City the jobless rate rose from 2016 to 2018. Then there’s the Buffalo billion. Cuomo “invested” $750 million of our hard-earned money to create 3,000 jobs. So far the jobs created stand at 700. Cuomo spent $600 million for a factory for a company called Ams AG. They bailed on the deal. Job growth in the counties outside of New York city was a puny 1% from 2010 to 2016, but from 2016 to mid-2019 job growth slowed even more, to 0.5%

Like that great philosopher Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does.” By the Gump standard, Governor Andrew is really stupid.

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One Cuomo brother screws up New York State, the other brother makes a hash of television journalism, but the question remains, who’s Fredo?

Chris may be adding to the low ratings and joke status of CNN, but you can turn off CNN. Sadly, Andrew’s governorship has no off button for New Yorkers. The mute button offers relief from Andrew’s noise, but not from his policies. By the sheer the weight of impact, the hands-down winner of Who’s Fredo is Andrew, and the joke is on us.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

LIARS FIGURE— THE GENDER WAGE GAP

The old saying goes, figures lie and liars figure. This is never more true than in the debate over the so-called gender pay gap, the allegation that men are paid more than women for the same work because of discrimination. A sure sign that our progressive friends are lying is the moral preening that began soon after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed equal pay for equal work legislation for women. Cue the epic virtue-signaling. Cuomo said, “ by signing this legislation…we are doing the moral thing.” Not to be outdone, Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said of the champion US women’s soccer team, “…we are reminded that these champions do not make the same that the US men’s team makes.” Here’s the truth: female professional athletes are paid less because women’s sports draw many less fans than men’s sports, resulting in a smaller purse from which the athletes can be paid, and therefore, yes, the women earn less money at this time. Simple as that. Discrimination has nothing to do with it. But honesty and common sense deserted progressives a long time ago.

I fully support equal pay for women. I have a mother, a wife, a sister, several nieces and two granddaughters. I love them and I want the best for them. They work hard and they deserve to be paid what men make for the same work. What I don’t support is using women (or anyone else) as political human shields, which is what progressives always do.

The so-called gender wage gap is calculated by dividing the median income of all men employed full time by the median income of all women employed full time. The result is the endlessly repeated number that women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, or 23% less than men. This number proves nothing (please read on to see why), but that doesn’t stop progressives from robotically repeating it, along with the ugly charge of discrimination. If they were really interested in the truth and not political exploitation, they would ask three questions. Do women really earn 23% less than men and if so why, and where?

When I was in graduate school my professors said: if you want to do research, start with a research question. For example: What laundry detergent gets clothes whitest, Tide or All? To answer the question every variable must be controlled, such as the type of washing machine, water temperature, amount of detergent, and how dirty the clothes are. All these variables must be equalized, and only then can the question be answered with any certainty and honesty.

To answer the wage gap question, we must match subjects. A male physician, for example, is expected to earn more than a female police officer. The expected wage gap between them is due to education and occupation, not discrimination. To see if men are paid more than women you must control for the variables: type of job, education, years of experience and hours worked. There are no controls in the wage gap number, and therefore no one can correctly claim that women make 23% less than men, never mind that the cause for the so-called gap is discrimination.

Comparing all men to all women yields a simplistic number that proves nothing. This comes to us from the “We believe in science” crowd, who are all very keen to call conservatives backward and anti-science. How do they make the number stick in the public mind? They repeat the message ad infinitum. Much of our culture is controlled by progressives; the news media, entertainment, schools and universities are firmly in their hands. They use those levers of power to create myths and make them stick.

Have you noticed that no specific industry or job title is ever identified as a source for the wage gap? Where is it exactly that men are paid more than women for the same work? Is it in government? Highly doubtful. How about major corporations, which are subject to government oversight? Are women accountants, attorneys, doctors or engineers paid a lower hourly rate than their male colleagues? No specifics are ever looked at, because the progressive agenda is not to solve problems, but to score political points and gain power.

Think the progressive argument through for a minute. There must be a lot of people (men) who hate women. The country must be shot through with them. They’re everywhere. Here’s the progressive message in a nutshell: America sucks. That means you suck. But if you want to un-suck, you must agree that Americans meanly and routinely discriminate. You must denounce your fellow citizens for the bigoted creeps they are, and most importantly, vote for progressives. Give them the power they crave, and only then will you will receive absolution.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

 

THE PROGRESSIVE EUPHEMISM MACHINE

Progressives are expert at misbranding and using euphemisms to shape the terms of a debate. Let’s start with abortion.

Abortion ends a life and buries a potential that will never be realized.

As the character Bill Munn, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven, said, “It’s a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”

Given this unarguable reality, the lefty spin machine has given us: “reproductive rights,” “choice,” “reproductive health care,” and “women’s health care.” Notice what’s missing? No mention of the death of a human being and what could have been. Why? Because women vote, and fetuses don’t.

Renewable energy” and “green energy” are outright falsehoods. There is no such thing as renewable energy. Energy always has a source, be it natural gas or solar cells. Both require a manufacturing process that relies on fossil fuels and consumes resources that are mined or drilled. Taken as a whole, there’s nothing green or renewable about either of them.

Whoever coined the phrase “environmental justice” should be charged with assault on the English language. Justice is a human concept. People who are wronged seek justice. The environment can’t seek justice because it isn’t human. Progressives claim to speak for the environment. If so, I want the progressive who claims he heard the environment ask for justice removed from office for mental health reasons.

This leads us quite neatly to healthcare. Progressives have branded their Venezuelan-style takeover of healthcare as the innocuous-sounding “Single-Payer,” “Universal Healthcare,” or the very utopian “Medicare for All”. It’s properly called nationalization, which is defined as “transfer from private to state ownership or control.”

Describing criminal border-jumpers as “Undocumented Immigrants” belongs in the euphemism hall of fame. Immigrants are people who are here legally. If they’re undocumented, they are illegal. If they’re illegal, they are most accurately called aliens. Alien means “not of this place.” An individual who violates immigration law to get here or stay here is an illegal alien.

The terms “weapon of war” and “assault weapon” is an attempt to brand every firearm as “military” and therefore too dangerous for public use. This argument is easily skewered. A single-shot revolutionary war musket was an assault weapon and obviously a weapon of war. Progressives will always mount an argument, no matter how silly.

Progressives hijacked the term “liberal.” Up until the 1930’s, liberals were people who believed in individual rights, limited government and economic freedom, which sounds like – you guessed it – conservatives. Now, “liberals” believe in group rights, centrally planned economies and big government.

Democratic Socialism” is an oxymoron, using two contradictory terms. There is nothing democratic about socialism, which always requires extensive government control. It is elected tyranny.

Progressives control almost every part of culture, entertainment and news media. That’s how they get away with mangling the language. We can push back by, for example, calling “undocumented immigrants” by the correct term, illegal aliens. Doing this in our own lives makes it harder for progressives to frame the issues, and makes it easier to hold them accountable for the real damage that their policies do.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

ONE-TRICK PHONIES

Let me get this right. President Trump told four radical, anti-Semitic, America-hating Congresswomen to go home, fix the broken places they escaped from, and then they’d have the right to come back and tell us how to solve our problems. This led to a pearl-clutching meltdown of the statist left. It’s the end of the freaking world if the President calls out the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. What’s missing is what is always absent in a hysterical fit: rational thought, proportion, context and most important, honesty.

The two words “go back” are endlessly repeated without the context of his full remarks. If you haven’t read the whole 3-paragraph tweet, please do. Here’s the link:

https://www.newsweek.com/you-can-disagree-his-language-trump-right-about-squad-opinion-1449766

Character assassination is a time-honored tool of the left, and their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Liberal lion of the Senate” Teddy Kennedy destroyed the reputation of Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, who was highly respected by all who worked with him and by those who appeared before him. But Kennedy was on a seek-and-destroy mission, and he succeeded. In his infamous “in Robert Bork’s America” speech, Kennedy threw every vile, loathsome charge at Bork, saying, “In Robert Bork’s America, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters.” The so-called conscience of the senate had, as it turned out, a very tiny conscience, but a large sexual appetite for women other than his wife. One of the many young women was Mary Jo Kopechne, who died at Kennedy’s hands in Chappaquiddick Creek to protect his chances at the presidency. This murderer was called a champion of women.

Another Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas, was dragged through the mud by Democrats and accused of sexually harassing a subordinate, Anita Hill. In front of the U.S. Senate and in full view of the nation, Thomas had to answer questions of a deeply personal nature, most phrased like this– “When did you start sexually harassing Anita Hill?” It was political blood-sport of the worst kind. Thomas’s reputation was damaged forever.

Most recently, of course, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused by Senate Democrats of rape. They dug up Christine Blasey-Ford and erased her social-media history (which pegged her as a Trump-hating Democrat activist,) and presto – instant victim-turned-accuser. Two of the lowest forms of human life are racists and rapists, and Democrats often accuse Republicans of both. Just to put a cherry on top of this ugly cake, Democrats added gang rape and alcoholism to the mix.

When then-Presidential candidate George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a black man, James Beard Jr., was tortured and killed by three racists who put Mr. Beard in chains and dragged him behind a truck. Bush refused to accept Justice Department help, which came in the form of labeling the murder a “hate crime;” instead, Bush let the process go forward in the Texas courts. Two of the three men were executed and a third is now serving a life sentence. Justice was done, and what did Bush get for his actions? That’s right, Democrats called him a racist.

A glaring double standard divides left and right. The left can accuse us of the most vile things and we’re supposed to take it. It takes courage to defend ourselves. Aristotle said, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” Trump has oodles of it, and he was absolutely right to defend us against those four by calling them out. Don’t be intimidated by the latest tantrum thrown by the statist left. Look them in the eye and tell them, yep, I’m voting for Trump, and I’m giving him money, too. And I’ll be damned if I’ll be lectured by the likes of you.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

DEMOCRAT SEGREGATIONISTS

Vice President Joe Biden’s failing Presidential bid hit a major snag when Biden said he could work with segregationist Senators James Eastland (D-Mississippi) and Herman Talmidge (D-Georgia) “to get things done.” Eastland and Talmidge are long gone from the US Senate, and Biden never mentioned that they were fellow Democrats. Biden continued, “But today, you look at the other side, and you’re the enemy…we don’t talk to each other anymore.” The other side? Huh? They were all Democrats.

History is poorly and selectively taught in schools today. Most people don’t know that the Republican party was founded to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Lincoln ended slavery at the cost of 600,000 American lives in the Civil War. Republicans passed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution to outlaw slavery, give blacks the right to vote and guarantee them equal protection under the law, over fierce Democrat opposition. It was Democrats who imposed Jim Crow laws, lynched blacks, founded the Ku Klux Klan, and opposed anti-lynching laws. Democrat Senator Robert Byrd was a longtime leader of the KKK.

The media, who are supposed to inform us and give context to the news of the day, barely mentioned that Talmidge and Eastland were Democrats. Instead they called them “southern segregationists.”

Democrat/progressive propaganda is everywhere. My wife Jo and I visited a great historical site, the Seward House in Auburn. The tour guide was a young woman, a college student studying history at Hobart. She said that Lincoln may have been a Republican, but he became a “liberal” and that’s why he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Obviously, the young woman was poorly served by her professors. Jo tried to set her straight, but she would have none of it. If conservatives preserve that which is true and has been shown to work from the past, then Mr. Lincoln was every inch a conservative. He based his opposition to slavery largely on the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator…” That’s not progressive fadism. It is rock-ribbed conservatism.

Recall what Obama said of traditional people living in small towns: “…and it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment…” A few years later, Hillary Clinton said, “…half of Trump supporters are a basket of deplorables…” She continued, calling them “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

The message is clear—many Americans are stupid, ignorant and worst, racist. Flash back to Biden: I think he was speaking in code. He was banking on people’s ignorance of basic history, especially the Democrat base, betting they’d think “Republicans” when he said “southern segregationists.” Translation: I’m the guy who can work with those racist Republicans.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

ILLEGAL ALIENS, LEGAL DRIVERS

It’s official. The Democrat-controlled Albany government has turned a blind eye to federal law by allowing illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses in New York State. Of course, Albany Democrats don’t call illegal aliens what they are; instead, they use the progressive euphemism “undocumented people.” You see how this works? The slogan goes, “No human is illegal.” True, humans are not illegal, but they can do illegal things, like breaking our immigration laws. That’s why we have laws in the first place, to protect our citizens, property and institutions.

Governor Cuomo supports this affront to New York’s citizens and to every immigrant who jumped through the proper hoops to get here legally. Cuomo, may be the state’s chief law enforcement officer, but he has abandoned that responsibility in the pursuit of new voters.

Cuomo expressed worry that the federal government might use the database created to track illegals, saying, “Why give Trump a list of undocumented immigrants?” Clearly, he does not intend to enforce federal law; he will obstruct it, thereby encouraging more illegal immigration.

Meanwhile Letitia James, State Attorney General, will continue to contravene federal immigration law, saying, “The legislation (the law granting illegal aliens driver’s licenses) is well-crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses.” Translation: we’ll gum up the works to prevent federal law enforcement from doing its job.

Senate and Assembly Democrats delivered 33-29 and 86-47 majorities to pass this monstrosity over the votes of Republicans. Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, with her fingers crossed behind her back, said, “By passing this needed legislation, we are growing our economy while at the same time making our roads safer.” She blathered on, “This is the right step forward for New York State as we continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level.”

Let’s take these silly, specious arguments seriously for a moment. Illegal aliens do not help grow the economy; they are a drain on it. Does anyone seriously believe that physicians, software engineers and various Ph.D.’s are scampering across our southern border? No, we are getting low-skilled, poorly educated people who eat public resources and our tax dollars. And does merely getting a driver’s license make a driver safe? When Ms. Cousins says she is “advocating for comprehensive immigration reform,” she really means: I want more law-breaking and border crashing; I want a giant flashing neon sign on our southern border screaming ILLEGAL ALIENS WELCOME, COME ON IN!

I have a question. Are Cuomo and company fools or liars? I think they’re both. They are sure we’re fools, but we are not. New York’s taxpayers are voting with their feet, and the population drain continues.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.