WHO’S FREDO?

 

 

 

gump 9-19
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.

 

fredo 9-19
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.

acuomo1
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.

a & c cuomo 1
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.

BRAZEN

Democrats always sink to the lowest intellectual and moral common denominator, and the latest Tracy Mitrano advertisement is a prime example. Tracy is the Democrat candidate for Congress in the 23rd Congressional district.

Here is an excerpt from the ad, attacking Reps. Claudia Tenney and Tom Reed: “…backing a tax bill that burdened the middle-class homeowners, handed tax breaks to the wealthy, and made it nearly impossible for people to relocate or start a business in upstate New York.” Mitrano blames New York State’s problems on the federal government. State and local taxes are the result of legislation produced by Democrats in a state dominated by Democrats. The Trump tax cuts put $1,400 in the pockets of every family across the 23rd Congressional district. Having more money makes it easier to pay the outsized property taxes foisted on us by Manhattan and Albany Democrats. This logic is inescapable to all but Mitrano. Republicans have not held a statewide office in New York since 2007. Businesses and people have been fleeing New York since the 1960’s.

Mitrano and her running mate, Anthony Brindisi also said: “With state and local taxes no longer deductible for the first time in history, why would they think any company would relocate to our communities? They had to know this was a job killer.” Yes, the list of companies that have left New York is a long one, and it long preceded President Trump’s tax cuts. State and local taxes remain deductible up to $10,000. Apparently Mitrano favors tax cuts for the rich, since the $10,000 cap only effects wealthy taxpayers. Why not ask the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay their fair share? If Mitrano believes in a big, expansive government why not endorse it, along with the humungous taxes needed to fund it?

The lowest common intellectual and moral common denominator, indeed.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

A LOST WAR

Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in his 1964 State of the Union address, saying, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” Johnson wanted to “break the cycle of poverty” and “make taxpayers out of tax-eaters.” In the 54 years since war was declared, we have spent over 22 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs, three times the cost of all the wars America has ever fought. And yet, the poverty rate remains unchanged. This is sadly true in cities across upstate New York. Unfortunately for those trapped in poverty, progressive solutions remain the go-to for elected officials and journalists alike.

An article by Jeff Platsky appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette on September 13th 2018. The link appears below.

https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2018/09/13/upstate-ny-ny-metro-areas-have-highest-childhood-poverty-rates/1276754002/

Platsky cites the American Community Survey, which finds that three upstate cities are in the top 25 in the nation in child poverty and overall poverty.

Rochester has 56.4% of its children living in poverty, third worst in the nation, and 32.3% of its people in poverty, 12th worst nationally.

In Syracuse, 47.4% of children live in poverty, 10th worst, and 32.4 % overall are below the poverty line, 9th worst.

Buffalo has 43.6% of its children living in poverty, 17th worst in the nation, and 29.6% of its citizens in poverty, 24th worst nationally.

These numbers ought to set off alarm bells across New York State, hearings in the NYS Senate and Assembly, heated questions to the Governor and other Democrat leaders, and scathing editorials from Buffalo to Albany. But there’s been nary a peep. Why?

For his part, Platsky interviews the 14-term Assemblyman and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D), who says these numbers should be a call to action for New York. Morelle blames uneven job growth, industrial loss and the old standby, “structural racism.”

These cities have been decaying for as long as Morelle has been in the Assembly. Morelle is the second highest ranking Democrat in the Assembly. He helps set the legislative agenda. Democrats run the Assembly and, notably, all these cities. Rochester has had Democrat mayors since 1970. Syracuse had Democrat mayors from 1970 to 2017; an independent now runs the city. As for Buffalo, it has been run by Democrats since 1966. Democrats occupy every statewide office and have done so for 12 years.

Several things are apparent. The war on poverty is an abject failure. The promise was to end poverty, but poverty is alive and well. The progressive idea that big government can solve individual and family problems should be put to rest once and for all. Yet it lives. Why? And why do people who live in continual poverty keep voting for the same people?

Platsky never asks Morelle about government policy on the state or federal level. This allows Morelle to answer as a bystander and not a policy maker. Platsky’s article reads like: “One day poverty happened – who knows how or why?” Here are some questions he should have asked: Mr. Morelle, you’ve been in the New York State Assembly for 28 years, several as Majority Leader. Are you in part responsible for this? Mr. Morelle, is the 54-year-old war on poverty a failure? You said structural racism was in part responsible. Could you define that term and tell us exactly who is discriminating against the residents of Rochester, Buffalo et. al.? Mr. Morelle, your party has been in charge of the state and these cities. Does the Democrat party bear any responsibility for the poverty in upstate cities?

The press never questions the effectiveness of progressive policies and never asks Democrats about those failures. Therefore, the unfortunate residents of these cities never hear a critique of the policies that keep them in poverty.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

WHY UPSTATE IS STILL A MESS

 

Andrew Cuomo has been a disaster for all of New York but especially for Upstate. The Upstate economy is fragile and has been in an economic depression for generations. Cuomo promised to turn it around but he has failed. Seth Barron of the Manhattan Institute cataloged the boondoggles Cuomo funded with our hard-earned tax dollars. The title of the article is “A Kings Ransom” and it appeared in the Sunday July 22nd New York Post. The link appears below:

https://nypost.com/2018/07/21/cuomo-has-wasted-billions-and-somehow-hes-still-here/

The article is an indictment of Democrat economic policy. The basic theory is that government and the experts who reside therein must direct tax-payer dollars to the “right” places to grow the economy and create jobs; in stark contrast to empowering people to create economic growth. Any Republican candidate running for state-wide office in New York state should loudly and clearly state that Democrat economic policies don’t work. We have 8 years of Cuomo’s abysmal record to prove it.

I urge you to click on the link above and read the article by Mr. Barron.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

WHO ME?

Progressives usually blame the country (us) for their failures. And so it is with a new report from the Brookings Institute (a left-leaning think tank) on urban racial income inequality.

The author, Alan Berube, details racial income inequality (RII) in the nation’s 100 largest cities from 2014 to 2016.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/city-and-metropolitan-income-inequality-data-reveal-ups-and-downs-through-2016/

New York has its share of RII. On May 20, the Elmira Star-Gazette’s headline blared: “A startling racial income gap in Monroe County.”

According to the Brookings report, whites make twice as much as blacks in Monroe county. Onondaga county is the seventh worst county in the nation, while Kings County (Brooklyn) is 18th worst. Two New York cities made the RII top ten, New York (7th) and Buffalo (10th).

Politicians predictably reached into their bag of politically correct cliches. Rochester mayor Lovely Warren said: “The data in this report confirms what we’ve known for a long time – that there is a lack of equality in our work force.” (What exactly does that mean?)

Naturally, there’s a program to address the issue, the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Its director, Leonard Brock, says the program is focused on institutional racism, stating, “We could give people jobs all day, but that doesn’t necessarily mitigate some of the structural challenges that create inequality.” (Wait – a $25-per-hour job wouldn’t help?)

The lack of imagination, critical thinking and common sense on the part of politicians and the press are, to borrow a phrase, “startling.” Every city in the top ten is governed by Democrats. The study covered a period when Democrat Barak Obama had been President for six years. Cuomo, a Democrat, had been Governor for four years. Cuomo said he wanted New York to be “the progressive leader” of all states. Every statewide office in New York is held by Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in New York by 2:1.

Psychologists call it externalization, which means fixing responsibility outside yourself. In the minds of progressives, their policies never lead to bad outcomes; it’s racism, sexism or some kind of “ism”, which means it’s your fault – you, the citizen, with no power to make policy, simply going about your business each day. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren acts like an innocent bystander. Her party, her political philosophy and her decisions as mayor are in no way culpable.

Where’s the press skepticism of Democrats in power? Where are the editorials asking why their policies haven’t worked? The press never asks such questions of them.

African-Americans vote 90% Democrat. Progressives build straw-men to deflect from their incompetence and keep minorities voting for them. This is the progressive Houdini trick: to slip the shackles of responsibility and point the finger of blame away from them and at the rest of us.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D

 

NAILS

According to the Urban Dictionary, a nail in the coffin is an event leading to inevitable failure. Upstate New York is in a generations-long decline which was already underway 56 years ago, when President Kennedy noted it in his 1962 speech to the New York Economic Club.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkeconomicclubaddress.html

Governor Cuomo has said he wants to revive the upstate economy. However, he has driven three nails into the coffin of Upstate: paid family medical leave, the $15 hourly minimum wage, and the ban on shale gas development. All three are popular progressive policies and job-killers.

 

 

 

Only New York, New Jersey and California have paid family medical leave, a policy guaranteed to inhibit business development. How do employers fill the position vacated for the 12 weeks that the “benefit” allows? They must pay both the employee and the replacement. New York’s benefits are the most generous in the nation, a huge expense, not to mention the red tape.

Businesses will quite naturally choose more hospitable states that are cheaper and less regulated. The minimum wage is $7.25 in Pennsylvania, $8.60 in New Jersey and $10.50 in Vermont. No state bordering New York has a minimum wage anywhere near $15.

Cuomo’s ban on gas development robbed our neighbors of their right to the natural gas under their land. In almost any other state, landowners enjoy that right, profit by it, and thereby enrich the community as a whole. Gas development would have been like a jolt of electricity to the flagging Southern Tier economy. The gas industry was going to invest billions in upstate, mostly here in the beleaguered Southern Tier. In states where gas development is allowed, people prosper. The national average median income is $50,502, while the average gas industry job pays $71,220.

The effect of Cuomo’s policies is continued decline. According to a recent Department of Labor report, for the year ending in March 2018 (Cuomo’s been in office since 2011), Elmira had a 1.2 % decline in private sector employment, the worst in the state. Binghamton had zero job growth.

In the competition between states for people, New York is the loser. Upstate lost another 3,596 people in the year ending in July 2017. Since the last census in 2010, upstate has lost 61,688 people. Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler and Tioga counties saw population declines of 4%, 1%, 3.5% and 5.6% respectively.

If Cuomo’s policies were effective, people would be arriving, not leaving.

If the states are laboratories of democracy, then progressive policies in New York have failed.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

Translation

Jon Campbell, in the Saturday, April 7th Elmira Star-Gazette, writing about the Democrat takeover of the New York State Senate, said:

On paper, a Democrat-led Senate would clear the way for a variety of progressive-favored policies and issues to take hold in New York, given that Cuomo is a Democrat and the party dominates the Assembly.

Cuomo and legislative Democrats, for example, have called for a variety of voting reforms, including allowing early voting that would clear the way for voters to cast their ballot prior to Election Day.

Democrats have also pushed for measures that would install federal abortion rights in state law and allow college-tuition aid to go to those without legal immigration status — measures staunchly opposed by the GOP.

But a Democrat-led Senate wouldn’t automatically mean those issues would pass.

If Democrats hold only 32 votes, they would have to stay completely unified for the measures to pass.

That’s not a given, especially considering Felder leans conservative on many issues.”

The link to Mr. Campbell’s article appears below.

https://www.stargazette.com/story/news/politics/albany/2018/04/06/what-control-ny-senate-means/493142002/

With all due respect to Mr. CampbelI, I think this article requires a translation from Democrat to plain-spoken, common-sense, experience-based English, as follows.

With the State government now firmly in Democrat hands, New Yorkers (especially upstaters) beware. Tax increases, regulations and reductions in your freedoms will follow. Your Second Amendment Rights are in serious jeopardy. In spite of their denials, Democrats don’t believe in the 2nd Amendment and will confiscate every gun as soon as they’re able.

The upstate economy has been in a depression for generations. Democrats will assure its continued decline. Why? Because they love sky-high taxes, voracious regulatory-state agencies and the dependency this creates.

Democrats have added a high minimum wage and family medical leave to the enormous burden already borne by upstate businesses and by extension, the economy. No other state in the northeast is so hobbled. The Democrats don’t care who will win the competition for jobs between the states, as long as they remain in power.

Democrats will make voter fraud easier with early voting. They’ll continue to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards to illegal aliens so they can vote early and often, because illegals are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Dems will keep the gifts coming to illegals, sending them to State Universities for free, while New Yorkers must pay.

Because Democrats care more about people here illegally than about our own citizens.

No Constitutional right is more important to Democrats than abortion. They value it above free speech, freedom of religion, the right to self-defense and private property rights. Therefore, they will enshrine the right to abortion in the NYS Constitution.

Mr. Campbell’s article is informative and plays it straight. But Dem-speak requires a conservative translator to make plain what the Dems really mean.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.