…… rather a prayer space, they say. Why? According to the leaders of the ” Park 51″ project, changed from an original name of ” Cordoba House,” it cannot be a mosque because it space for musical performances and a restaurant. But an AP article datelined Albany and written by Michael Gormley said that the center will contain a mosque. Confusion runneth rampant it seems. Glad we got that cleared up. But, call me a skeptic if you will, but at this stage of the project one can say there is space for any number of things that may or may not come to fruition.
Doubtful that anyone opposed or in favor the 13 story facility will change their opinion based on that information. So what are some of the things being said about the facility scheduled to be built at 45 Park Place. Some say that it shows great tolerance, some bring up our constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion ( insert the name of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg here) some say that a Muslim facility should not so near to the site of the former World Trade Centers.
So , on a site fist occupied in 1858 by a structure built for a New York shipping tycoon, at its last fateful incarnation it was occupied by a simple Burlington Coat Factory store. The site was purchased for $4.5 million in cash just over a year ago, at which time the current process began. Certainly what is now being proposed was planned long before that date.
No doubt there are very well-intentioned people on both sides of this issue. Personally, I would prefer that the Muslim group that says it wants to rebuild the community would begin that process somewhere a bit distant. Governor David Paterson tried that approach and was unsuccessful. Of course, there is no way that one can have the feelings that many New Yorkers have about the structure because we have not experienced what they have. But, having said that, I wonder if all of those affected by 9/11 are opposed. I would guess that they are not . So, once again we have quite a convoluted situation.
Two final observations. Newt Gingrich has been quoted as saying that ” there should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York as long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” That certainly appeals to many although I really don’t see its relevance. One thing with which I do agree is that freedom of religion is not the issue. Another quote, this from Mayor Bloomberg. ” I always believed that government should not be involved in deciding who you pray to, what you say or where you say it.” But Mr Mayor, government is already quite involved in one of those areas, the where. ASk the religious groups who have trouble getting permission to build in certain locales due to zoning laws, etc. Conclusion, freedom of religion provides no guarantee of being able to build a house of worship anywhere one chooses, Confuses things even more, huh? The discussion about this center will doubtless proceed. A suggestion, follow the money.
The food police are feeling their oats , so to speak, and it is not a pretty sight. We have nefarious things afoot in the Empire State and that is not even the worst of it. First, there is A.10129 that has been introduced in the New York legislature by Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. The bill would ban the use of salt in any restaurant in the state and provide for a fine of $1000 per violation.
Item#2, also from New York. For the second straight year Gov Paterson has included a proposed soda tax in his budget. Now, read very carefully his reason.” Someone has got to contribute to the $7.6 billion the state spends every year to treat obesity.” His proposal dovetails nicely with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for a 1 cent tax per ounce on soft drinks. Paterson also hinted that other products such as burgers and candy bars could be tax targets.
And, just down I-95 in Philadelphia, the city budget for fiscal year 2011 includes a 2 cents per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages. Approval is pending.
Finally, researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine are suggesting taxation as a weapon in the obesity fight. They estimate that an 18% tax on pizza and soft drinks could cause a decrease of as much as 5 pounds annually in the weight of the average American adult. Presumably this would happen by reduced consumption due to the tax.The team, which was led by Kiyah Duffy of UNC has strong allies in the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control director, Dr Thomas Frieden.
What does all this activity bring to mind? Why, the campaign against smoking, of course. Don’t be at all alarmed if somewhere, either New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco gets this tax passed. If one city does it, others will be sure to follow. Then,the door is open to tax on multiple items;candy, cookies, any fast food, even sugar itself. And, it is all in the name of health. So, that wouls make it good and right, right?
Sometimes I think that I should feel quite indebted to those people who provide leadership for the Democrats in this country. For your reading pleasure today, we have examples of some of our favs in action. We have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and an intersting combination of Rahm ( next senator from Illinois) Emanuel and departing congressman Eric Massa.
As you may know, Senator Reid is facing a strong challenge in his bid for re-election. He officially filed the necessary papers to just a day or two ago. In his statement, he mentioned working to get jobs for the good people of Nevada. Good, sure. But juxtapose that with the statement he made in the Senate a few days ago. It’s a good day today, only 36,000 people lost their jobs. Bet none of those folks saw it that way.
Example #2 comes from Madame Speaker, who incidentally claimed today that she has the votes to pass health care reform or Obamacare or the great takeover of 1/6 of the economy. Take your pick. Anyway, she was quoted as saying the bill needs to pass because- long pause for effect- people could then see what was actually in it. Sounds like buying the old pig in a poke to me; but in a very big way.
Last but by no means least is the Massa vs Emanuel confrontation. First, I need to introduce Rep Massa, D, NY. He is serving his first and last term from the 29th district of New York. He won a very close election over then incumbent Randy Kuhl, Jr. Seems that the Congressman is under fire for some alledged bad personal behavior, which I will not repeat. In sort of his swan song, he shared some interesting comments on Mr Emanuel, who needs no intro. Seems that the two had a confrontation not long ago in the Congressional gym. What was Rahm doing there? Why, he is the Chief of Staff, he goes where he wants. So the story goes, Emanuel berated Massa in extraordinarily colorful language ( probably words with 4 letters I’m guessing) for not toeing the line on a health care vote. I won’t paint the entire picture, but remember they were in a men’s locker room and the guess is they were not wearing coats and ties. Betcha Emanuel did not think a mere freshman congressman would ever have the audacity to breathe a word of what happened. The mental pictures near boggle the mind. Guess the Dems need a new candidate for the 29th district. Reckon Randy Kuhl,Jr wants his ld job back? Just found out that he doesn;t want the job and is urging support for Republican Tom Reed. New York Governor Paterson will announce a special election shortly. Lot of those in New York, huh?
So, just another day in As the Democrats Turn.
Our president has made much of the phrase,”the audacity of hope” and he is correct in that hope is an audacious thing. But, there ae other things associated with our ruling class that are perhaps equally as audacious.
We may be witnessing a phenomenon that is unprecedented in recent political history or not, but it is quite fun to take note of it. Have you observed how many Democrats servings as either senators or governors were not elected to their current positions.
- New York Governor David Paterson and Senator Kirsten( guns hidden under the bed) Gilliland
- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Senator( for now ) Roland Burris
- Delaware Senator Ted( temporary until it’s time for Beau) Kaufman
- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
- Colorado senator Michael Bennett
- Kansas Governor Mark ( wait until Kathleen Sebelius is confirmed to HHS ) Parkinson
Any common ground up there, at least one caretaker and one whose shelf life as a senator is limited. We could have had yet another until New Hampshire’s Jud Gregg went, oops, what was I thinking, and withdrew. Shucks, there could even be more. The Administration is still young.
Ok, now for part two which is sort of related. Have you noticed ow many of the nominees or their their spouses etc have had tax problems. Well, not that I am a conspiracy theorist or anything , but I think that was all done for a purpose. Pick people with tax problems, have them do a mea culpa, fess up, pay the taxes, get sympathy, because they are the best person for the job, etc. Beside, look how they are doing double duty by helping the budget deficit. So, if you know a politician with IRS trouble, preferably a Democrat, contact the White House at once. Oh yes, bonus news, the state of Kansas has big time budget problems and cannot at present send out tax refunds. For your further consideration, hope you are not rich whatever the Democrats define that as today because the tax man cometh.
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