Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

50 bucks a week

Scarier than a foot of snow on Halloween:  Your take-home pay is about to shrink by $50/week!  Since the nightly news won't mention it, we need to alert every voter we know.  Read this morning's AP story, then forward it to anyone who might miss that $2,000+ next year:
If the tax cuts were allowed to expire indefinitely, a typical family of four with a household income of $50,000 a year would face $2,900 more in taxes in 2011, according to Deloitte Tax LLP, a tax consulting firm. The same family making $100,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $4,500.
Tuesday is election day.  Click here to read the rest, and use the email button below to forward this post.

Friday, October 29, 2010

We're rich!

Mr. & Mrs. Thurston B. Howell III
Your government is raising taxes on the "rich".  That means you!  We're all about to become poorer.  It's hard to understand why nobody is talking about this.  If the price of gas goes up 4 cents, everybody freaks....
Come January 1, the average household earning between $20 and $80 thousand dollars annually will see their Federal tax bill increase by roughly $175 a month.  An average of a $2100 a year in reduced income for hundreds of millions of Americans, all because the Obama administration and a leftist Congress intend to allow the Bush-era "tax cuts for the rich" to expire on December 31st.
Joe Herring explains at American Thinker.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the wrong track and headed for you

Finger Lakes families have had to find a way to survive during decades of job losses, rising taxes, and widespread economic decline.  Still, we are unlikely to hear anyone say "my economic woes would be resolved if only I could get to Batavia faster by train."

WSYR reports the federal government, mere days before the mid-term election, has taken another $18 million from taxpayers and given it to Big Rail:
The announcement is the latest round of funding for high-speed rail along the so-called Empire Corridor. The $18 (million) to be spent in Onondaga County is a majority of the $28 million to be spent across three projects in the Empire Corridor.

The funding came from a Federal Rail Administration grant that will formally be announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It was announced Monday in a joint press release from Representative Louise Slaughter, Representative Dan Maffei, Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The political nature of this spending is analyzed by the Anti-Planner, under the heading "More Money Wasted":
Just in time to influence the November election, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has granted $2.5 billion for high-speed rail to several states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. Underscoring the political nature of the grants, the announcements were not made by the Federal Railroad Administration, which doesn’t mention them on its web site.
Instead, LaHood phoned major politicians (all Democrats), who then announced the grants to the media. A formal announcement is expected on Thursday.
Bold added.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gas prices rising before election

TV news reporters love to interrupt folks at the gas pump when prices are going up, but never when prices are going down. When fuel prices are dropping, we don't get to hear a driver gushing about how she'll take her kids out to eat with the money she's saving.  

Jammie Wearing Fool also obsesses about pumpside interviews, and notices a new trend:
Recall back a couple of years ago when gas prices rose precipitously. It was 24/7 news. You couldn't escape it. Live remotes from the gas pumps. Stories of how people were reduced to choosing between gas and food, gas and medicine, they had to eat dog food because gas was so high, it was Bush's fault, the greedy oil barons were conspiring to get us all, blah blah blah. An endless cacophony of gloom and doom.

I've recently noticed gas prices climbing quite a bit since I drive so much. Curiously, however, I never see any stories on the news about the rise in prices. Funny how that is when the Democrats are in charge

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Headline of the day

YNN of Rochester takes the low-key approach:

Victor Residents Disapprove of Proposed 300-Percent Tax Hike

"Disapprove?"  "They're really going to hear the wrath of God", quoth one taxpayer.

Andy Cuomo to "Clean up Albany"?

Governor-in-waiting Andrew Cuomo claims his first priority is to "Clean up Albany".  When they fill out their new electronic ballots next Tuesday, how many New Yorkers have will ever have ever heard of the other Andrew: Andrew Farkas

In 2006, the Village Voice reported on Andy Cuomo's involvement with real estate developer Farkas while Andy C. was head of Bill Clinton's HUD.  Andy C., working his trademark shtick, pursued a high-profile, headline grabbing civil suit against Farkas.  This time, however, Cuomo backed off as his term at HUD drew to a close.  Then, returning to private life, young Cuomo quickly scarfed up two million bucks in salary and and contributions, from Farkas!

It is said we get the government we deserve.   Before Tuesday, please read the whole Voice article, which is still available online - click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Can't find your Walkman?

If you can no longer locate that Walkman you you thought was in the attic, don't worry.  Although Sony has manufactured the portable cassette players since 1979, the run is now over.  However, stragglers can still get on board, as Sony will license Chinese manufacturers to carry on the tradition.

"60 Minutes" unemployment shocker

In a surprising return to objectivity, last night "60 Minutes" ran a terrifying report on the nation's long term unemployment nightmare.  With the mid-term election less than two weeks away, CBS's Scott Pelley delivered a staggering blow to the administration's rapidly declining propects. 

While many Finger Lakes dwellers are living the crisis, "60 Minutes" has just exposed the results of the elections of 2006 and 2008 to a national audience.  Take a few minutes to watch the piece, and be sure to note the scene where Pelley asks a room full of middle aged, long term unemployed to raise their hands if they have a college degree.  Click to view:

Post-Standard endorses Hanna

This could be the end for Pelosi puppet Michael Arcuri.  If Richard Hanna wins the 24th, we'll need to watch him closely.  We wouldn't classify Hanna as "wishy-washy" yet, but New Yorkers who are demanding health care repeal and/or believe the billions of dollars wasted on "stimulus" amount to nothing more than massive looting, should consider this from the Post-Standard's tepid endorsement:
He says he would not have voted for either the economic stimulus or health care bills — but supports infrastructure stimulus programs and wants to improve, not repeal, the health care overhaul.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shop locally?

A sharp-eyed reader reports a surprising sighting in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Superstore in Watkins Glen, Schuyler County,  yesterday:
.... we noticed a blue Nissan Altima sporting "official" plates.  Wondering which government agency would buy a foreign car, we took a closer look.  It was a hybrid, natch, belonging to the City of Ithaca.
Ithaca is in Tompkins County.

Palin: defund NPR

 On her Facebook page, Sarah Palin calls for a spending cut: 
If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for “National Public Radio” to become “National Private Radio.” It’s time for Congress to defund this organization. (bold added)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand?

New York's unelected junior senator was recently declared by no less an authority than Harry Reid to be that august chamber's "hottest" member.  While that may be the only issue upon which this blog ever agrees with Dingy Harry, Gillibrand remains unknown to many voters.  In the American Thinker, Fred Eckert helpully summarized Kirsten's positions on key issues, formerly as a member of Congress, and currently as our appointed junior senator:
  • Against gay marriage as a member of the house -- For gay marriage since the day her appointment to the Senate was announced.
  • For keeping "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in place while in House -- Against as senator.
  • Against gun control while in the House (100% NRA rating) -- For gun control as a senator.
  • Against any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants as a member of the House -- For as a senator.
  • For withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities while in House -- Against as senator.
  • For making English the official language while in the House -- Against as senator.
  • For empowering local police to enforce federal immigration laws while in House -- Against as senator.
  • Against the McCain- and Obama-endorsed Bush $700-billion TARP bank bailout in a vote in the House, calling it "fundamentally flawed" -- For the Obama $787-billion "stimulus" bill four months later as a senator.
And then there's Gillibrand's hand in the destruction of the US economy, when she worked at HUD with current governor-in-waiting Andy Cuomo:
When that wacky wrecking crew of the Clinton administration, Chris Dodd in the Senate, Barney Frank in the House, and Andrew Cuomo as HUD Secretary were smashing the banking system by foisting destructive subprime mortgages on the banks, causing collapses, leading to massive bailouts and triggering financial pain and suffering for millions of Americans, right there in a key supporting role at Cuomo's side as HUD legal counsel was...Kirsten Gillibrand.

Gillibrand was the person whom that gang tasked with promoting "new products" for HUD, a euphemism that means forcing banks to provide subprime mortgages to millions who could not afford them. (bold added)
Eckert refers to "Bonnie & Clyde" when he reminds us:
She and her husband profited really big-time by selling short companies heavily into subprimes. This is something not very many New York voters are aware of -- but they soon will be.
Debating Republican senate candidate Joe Dioguardi, Gillibrand sidestepped the opportunity to deny the short selling charge.  In fact, she effectively confirmed it.  Click for video.

NPR fires Juan Williams

Reliable liberal commentator and long time NPR regular Juan Williams has also been a frequent guest on Fox News.  Juan exceeded NPR's free speech limits when he appeared on Bill O'Reilly's Fox show and said what most folks are afraid to admit:
 "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
In a press release, taxpayer-supported NPR explained:
NPR News has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after remarks he made on the Fox News Channel about Muslims.
While Juan has has reliably supported big-government liberalism over the years, he's an American and refuses to be intimidated by our enemies.  He'll find another job.


Glenn Beck is pointing out that NPR just received a huge donation from George Soros.  Beck questions the timing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pentagon attack "random incident"

Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, with leaky oil cans
Washington (CNN) -- A Pentagon official said he believes the shooting early Tuesday at the U.S. Defense Department headquarters was a "random incident."
Just like in "The Jerk", when the sniper picked Navin Johnson at random from the phone book.  Completely random.  Nothing to see here, move along.........  they really think we're that stupid.

Monday, October 18, 2010

We're all Timberwolves fans now

Wes Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Jason Hart

Geese fly south

And you  know what that means:

The best freshman class in the country!

"I'm not voting for any incumbents"

Photo credit: The Other McCain
DeWITT, New York -- "I work 75 hours a week at this place," said the owner-operator of a convenience store on State Route 41 in Cortland County. "All I ever get are bills coming in, where they're raising the taxes on this and raising the taxes on that."
Robert Stacy McCain visited our neck of the woods yesterday and reported on the change we're hoping for, in the American Spectator:  Mad as Hell in New York.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

RIP, Barbara Billingsley

June Cleaver and Theodore

Kingston Freeman: Hinchey's lying

In a statement provided to Ed Morrissey yesterday, the Kingston Freeman stands by the Maurice Hinchey assault and battery story:
I am the managing editor of the Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY, for which the reporter, William Kemble, works. The following is a statement I have prepared in response to the misrepresentations of this incident by Congressman Hinchey’s office:
There was an incident. Mr. Kemble says the congressman put a hand on his neck. A third party who witnessed the incident says he did not see that, but did see the congressman jabbing Mr. Kemble in the chest with his finger. Yet another witness says Kemble was pushed into the path of another person by the congressman.
... Further, the Hinchey camp’s characterizations of the incident as either prompted by aggressive action by Mr. Kemble or by false accusations they claim he and the Freeman have made are untrue.
Hinchey Must Go!  Read the whole thing at Hot Air.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hinchey assaults reporter

In what would be a career ending exhibition for most politicians, Ithaca's leftist congressman turned violent at a League of Woman Voters debate last night.  The issue was corruption:
When Kemble persisted, Hinchey told him: “Shut up!”
After the shooters turned off their cameras and started to break down, Hinchey made a beeline for Kemble and got in his face, according to a YNN videographer who was on the scene. The congressman poked Kemble in the chest aggressively, according to the YNN staffer.
Capital Tonight has details and video.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wild and crazy governor?

Wild and Crazy Guys
The idea that, of all the millions of eligible citizens of the State of New York, we're going wind up with Andy Cuomo as governor is truly mind boggling.  Fred Dicker elaborates:
Why, pray tell, would any voter in his right mind think that a good choice for reforming the corrupt, dysfunctional gang that passes for a state government in Albany and rescuing the state from its disastrous policies is someone who has been an Albany insider his entire adult life and a devoted apostle for the very sort of thoughtless ultra-liberalism that has New York twirling on the brink of bankruptcy?
New York has the highest state and local government taxes in the country and the nation's second-worst business climate. Andrew Cuomo worked long and hard to help make that happen.
Sorry, Fred, apparently most New York voters have no idea how much of the responsibility for our current desperate situation falls directly on Andy's shoulders.  Read Dicker's complete analysis at American Thinker, in which he suggests Carl Paladino look to the Fenstruck Brothers to save his campaign.  

To confirm how bleak the Empire State's financial situation really is, see Bloomberg's "`Impossible' Paladino Cuts May Be Inevitable to Close New York's Deficit."

Don't forget the Motor City

In a town lacking essential services, what do local leaders and federal politicians have in mind for helping the city? What's needed to hoist Detroit back to its 1950 heyday, when it was America's fourth largest city, with more than double its current population? 
Why, light rail, of course!
The Motor City is moving ahead with a plan to build a 9.3-mile light rail line that will run from downtown Detroit to the edge of the suburbs. It’ll cost an estimated $500 million. Three-quarters of the bill will be paid by federal taxpayers, with the rest picked up by a consortium of foundations and businesses.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cheap natural gas and its enemies

Today's headline from the AP: Natural gas elbows its way to center stage.

Our economy is only now beginning to experience the benefits of modern natural gas recovery technology.  Development of a domestic supply of low cost, clean, abundant natural gas is already causing a decline in wind, coal and nuclear investments.  This trend will result in a higher standard of living for all Americans. 

It's easy to understand why certain billionaires, heavily invested in competing energy sources, are fighting a desperate battle against natural gas, funding activists at every level.   Ed Lasky explained the Soros/Sandler connection last December in Cheap Natural Gas and Its Enemies , required reading!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Comparing unemployment rates

Per US Misery Index

Seniors will pay more

In 1993, P.J. O'Rourke said "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."  Here it comes:
A Medicare official concedes that seniors may have to dig deeper into their wallets next year thanks to the health care law.
The new analysis obtained by POLITICO finds the health care overhaul will result in increased out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare Advantage plans.
Details at Politico.

Rescue drill made in USA

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn

Wilbur Clark opened the fifth hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in 1950.  Here's one night's casino staff posing in 1950.  In 1966 Howard Hughes checked in, decided to stay, and eventually bought the place.  Click the photo for more.

Episode 12

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

Clinton visits Binghamton

Clinton received about $8,000 from the Hinchey campaign for speaking at the event.

In preparation for Bill Clinton's visit to visit to Binghamton last night, Ed Morrissey provided the press a convenient list of Maurice Hinchey's positions:
The press may want to ask Clinton if he endorses Hinchey’s publicly-proclaimed positions, such as:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pay more, eat less?

Eight dollars for a dozen eggs? $3.90 for a pound of peaches?
We can remember when so many farmers came to town for breakfast at one local cafe that an observer cracked "Main Street looks like a pickup truck convention."  That cafe, and those rusted F-150s, have now faded away.  Long time Finger Lakes residents have seen well-funded city folks arrive to acquire expensive farmland, part of yet another "back to the land" movement. 

Third generation farmers who live and work on roads named after their grandparents are now dismissed as nothing more than "row croppers."  The latest movement, flourishing in academia, finds virtue in having consumers return to limited food choices, sold at higher prices, produced by stoop labor. 

Writing in the WSJ, Virginia Postrel subjects the local food argument to her freedom-based analysis:  No Free Locavore Lunch.

Career politicians stick together

Republican Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney thinks Upstate needs mo Cuomo.  In an apparent bid to go down in history as "Joanie Phony", the career politician has crossed party lines to endorse fellow career politician Andy "Mario Junior" Cuomo for governor.

The Syracuse Post Standard provides the gory details.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hinchey story goes national

William Jacobson, our favorite Cornell professor/nationally prominent blogger, picks up the Hinchey story this morning:

Could this be the year in which I completely shed myself of the dubious distinction of splitting the year between Congressional Districts controlled by Patrick Kennedy and Maurice Hinchey?

We know Patrick is gone, but are recent reports (via HotAir) of Hinchey's demise accurate?

Marvel at the map of Hinchey's bizzare gerrymander over at the good Professor's blog, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Obama hits links for 52nd golf day

President Obama hit the golf course Saturday for what, by CBS News' Mark Knoller's calculation, was his 52nd such outing since taking office.

Clinton flies in to prop up Hinchey

Yes, they're worried.  Debbie Swartz  reports for Gannett:

A federal election will bring out the big guns to the Southern Tier on Monday.

President Bill Clinton is expected at a free 7 p.m. rally for U.S. Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, D-Hurley

"I'm delighted and honored that President Clinton is taking time out of his busy schedule to come out to Binghamton and show his support for our campaign," Hinchey said.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Maurice Hinchey in trouble?

Bad news for Ithaca's favorite congressman?  

The pistol-packing conspiracy theorist has always been able to count on the college towns in his bizarrely gerrymandered district to overwhelm whatever token opposition the Republicans can muster.  Writing in the New York Post, Imre Beke Jr. says this may be about to change.
But this year might be different for Hinchey. His challenger is George Phillips, a bright, charismatic conservative from Binghamton who knows both the Congress and the district. A former staffer for Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Phillips now teaches history at a Catholic school in Binghamton.
A recent internal Phillips campaign poll showed the gap between the two to have narrowed to seven points, 44 percent to 37 percent -- with Hinchey leading, but below the 50 percent mark, a bad place for any incumbent to be.
Worse still for Hinchey, 19 percent were undecided. They're not undecided about him (not after his 18 years in Congress), but waiting to hear more from his challenger. And so far, the more they know, the more they like Phillips.
The poll -- plus Dick Morris' recent assessment that the seat is a "possible pickup for the GOP" -- has had an impact of its own. "Donations are starting to pour into our race," Phillips recently announced on his Web site. He'll need every donation he can get to make the race competitive.
But Hinchey has certainly left him an opening. The congressman's supporters say voters are just angry about high unemployment and government debt, but they's also upset at his disregard of the district.
Hinchey votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time -- even though the district is hardly populated with San Francisco Democrats.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Unhappy New Year

He won't put taxpayers on a never-ending hook

Reality overtakes the Garden State.  The Star-Ledger reports:

Gov. Chris Christie today killed the multi-billion-dollar Hudson River commuter train tunnel, aborting the nation’s biggest public transit project as well as the state’s decades-long quest to double rail capacity to New York.

Christie said that given the impact of the recession and the probability of continuing cost overruns, the state could no longer afford the tunnel’s escalating costs. More than a half-billion dollars has already been spent on construction, engineering and land acquisition for a project currently budgeted at $8.7 billion that the governor said could go as high as $14 billion. 

"The only prudent move is to end this project," he said at a Trenton news conference. "I can’t put taxpayers on a never-ending hook." 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gallup Poll boosting market?

The AP reports "The Dow gained 7.7 percent in the month, making it the strongest September since 1939, at the dawn of World War II."  Last year, Floridian Jim B. and I discussed the possibility that Republicans regaining control of Congress would revive the decimated stock market.  With the recent Gallup poll indicating a GOP landslide in November, no less an authority than Larry Kudlow feels the market has now bought in:

Could it have been the new Gallup poll that drove stocks up almost 200 points on Tuesday? That blockbuster survey, regarded by many as the blue-chip gold standard for election forecasting, pointed to an unprecedented Republican landslide tsunami in the generic congressional race.

To read Kudlow's complete comments, click here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Willful incompetence?

Cardinalpark, posting at Tiger Hawk, steps up to the pump and says what you've been thinking:

Many Americans still hesitate to deal with this issue.  No more doubt at Three Line Haul - it's clearly intentional.  Click the link to read the entire post.

Choosing an agency

TLH has decided to accept advertising, so we drove down to Manhattan to meet with a new agency.  I think these guys can handle the assignment, and they seem to need the work:

Not a hybrid

Buy everything here

Need to buy something?  Support Three Line Haul and the Finger Lakes economy by starting all your Amazon searches right here.  Whatever you're looking for, just use the handy search window over on the right hand side.

Who really pays?

You do.

Walter Williams is one of the few Three Line Haul-approved professors of economics.  Today Dr. Williams reminds us who really pays all those corporate taxes:

"If a tax is levied on a corporation, and if it is to survive, it will have one of three responses, or some combination thereof. One response is to raise the price of its product, so who bears the burden? Another response is to lower dividends; again, who bears the burden? Yet another response is to lay off workers. In each case, it is people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, who bear the burden of the tax."

We all need to understand this concept, and nobody explains it better than Dr. Williams.  Click the quote to read the entire article.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Mo Cuomo, again

We Upstate New Yorkers have suffered through decades of economic collapse, courtesy of our masters in Albany.  Recently, the entire United States has veered more than one toke over the same line.  And yet, the Albany establishment has selected for our next governor the man whose fingerprints are all over corpses of both our state and national economies.  What should we know about Mario Cuomo's son, Andy?

Writing in the Village Voice in August of 2008, Wayne Barrett explained:

Click the quote to access the full article.  Every New York voter needs to take the time to read Barrett's piece.