Custom Search

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama To End Iraq War in 2010


He says we will be there only to train, advise, and conduct limited counterterrorism operations.

Surprisingly he doesn’t thank Bush for not giving up, allowing him to attribute it to “there have been real advances” in Iraq instead of that we’re getting our butts kicked and we should give up.

Everyone bashed Bush for not admitting he was wrong about the WMDs.  Obama should receive the same treatment for not admitting he was wrong about the “Surge” in Iraq.

Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama Will Half the Deficit, After He Almost Doubles It


He inherited a 1 Trillion dollar deficit from Bush.  This story says that by the end of the year, it will be at 1.75 Trillion.  That’s a pretty big jump.  Don’t worry though, he promises that he will cut it in half by 2013.

So basically Obama will have almost doubled the deficit in one year, while his media lackeys try to put the emphasis on his promises to half it.  How does he intend to do this, anyway?  Credit where credit is due, he’s actually planning to cut farm subsidies, but that’s only about 10 billion over 10 years.  He also plans to increase taxes on wealthier Americans.  Wealthier than who, I wonder?

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama’s Speech


Obama made his big speech last night.  He continues to surprise me.  I fully expected him to shift into a “it’s really not that bad, things are getting better” mode.  Instead, he doubled down.  His speech basically amounted to, “Don’t worry Americans, we can get out of this, but only if you let me spend A LOT more money we don’t have.”

Unsurprisingly, Jindal’s response was excellent:

"Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need?" Jindal asked. "That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did."

Here’s another comparison.  The democrats are like a gambling addict who just lost his paycheck at the horse races and keeps borrowing more with a gleam in his eye, knowing next time he’ll win.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama Taking Bill Clinton’s Advice


Obama will make a speech today to congress in which he will try to balance a grim economic reality with a hope for the future.  This is days after he was criticized by Clinton for not sounding hopeful enough.

In all honesty, it’s more likely Obama saw the opposition he was getting from his mortgage plan, even from his once trusted ally the press, and realized he’s reached the limit of what he can scare the American public into supporting. 

Technorati Tags: ,

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Three Best Governors in the U.S.

47.MarkSanfordjindal haley-barbour1 

Mark my words, one of these three men will be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012: Mark Sanford (governor of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal (governor of Louisiana, Haley Barbour (governor of Mississippi).  All three have turned down large portions of the stimulus bill meant for their state because there were too many strings attached.

Evidently if they accepted money meant for unemployment benefits, they would have to expand the unemployment program, essentially raising taxes on businesses.

Even if they did it for political purposes, so what?  At least they care what their constituency thinks, a trait many politicians are lacking nowadays. 

Meanwhile fellow “Republican” governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’ll gladly take their share of the loot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bill Clinton Says Obama Should Sound More Hopeful


He said this in an interview with ABC.  Hmm, if Obama did sound more hopeful it might help to restore consumer confidence and get people spending and investing money again. 

That would be a great idea, except it’s exactly the opposite of what Obama wants.  He wants people to stay as frightened as possible so he can continue to convince them to support his dream of a massive, all powerful government ready to swoop in at a moments notice and save the day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I’m From the Government, I’m Here to Help

closeup of buinessman's hand holding wad of banknotes with laptop computer in background

The Obama administration continues on its crusade to convince people we need more government intervention in the financial system.  Now it’s billions to help prevent foreclosures. This is despite the fact that the number of foreclosures is starting to decline, not to mention the inconvenient truth that most people facing foreclosures are doing so because of poor decisions on their part.

So America continues to gleefully give away its freedom for the promise of financial security.  The saddest part is that it’s a false promise; with the government in charge, the only guarantee is mediocrity, not prosperity. Someone needs to ask every politician who dares to vote in favor of all these ‘bailout’ plans when they decided to give up on freedom. 

The sheep that support all this garbage need to see that when you are not free to face the consequences of bad decisions, you are not free at all.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama Goes Back to What He Does Best


The fact that most people oppose the stimulus bill literally hurts his feelings.  He can’t be used to receiving criticism like this.  Lord knows he had almost none while he was running for president.  So does he go back to the drawing board and come up with something more palatable to the American public?  Of course not, he’s The One and he’ll use the sheer force of his personality to sway the masses back to his side:

Obama Promoting Agenda In Key Battleground States

Media reports are casting President Obama's trip to Denver (where he'll sign the stimulus bill this morning) and Phoenix as an attempt to boost popular support for his economic agenda. Moreover, says the Los Angeles Times, the tour "reflects a decision by the president to escape the Beltway and touch base with the rest of the country at least once a week" and a recognition "that congressional Republicans were gaining traction in the debate."

Remember when he cited his extensive experience running a presidential campaign as evidence of having the executive experience necessary to be ready on day 1 of the presidency?  Maybe the many recent stumbles and outright failures in his first few weeks of office have caused to him revert back to campaign mode like a scared child assuming the fetal position.

Obama Set to Sign Away Our Whole Economic System Today


I never thought that I would wish bad things for America, but today I do.  I sincerely hope that the economy makes no moves toward recovery that can in any way be twisted by the media into being a result of this Bill.  If that happens, say goodbye to America as an economic superpower and say hello to an America as just another Western European welfare state.

From its inception, America has operated under the belief that government is at best a necessary evil.  As time passed we’ve looked more and more towards the government for the answers to our problems and have successfully turned our once austere government into a massive behemoth constantly trying to intrude into our lives. 

Nothing lasts forever, and I always suspected American superiority would end this way, but I always figured it would be much more gradual.  You’ve got to hand it to Obama, he wasted no time in bringing his “change,” and boy is it a doozy.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gillibrand Not Backing Off of Her Pro-Gun Stance


Sure, she may have caved when they came after her about her immigration stance, but at least she drew the line when they came after her guns.

"If I want to protect my family, if I want to have a weapon in the home, that should be my right," Gillibrand, who has two small children, said in an interview published in Monday's Newsday.

Good luck finding many other Democrats who would utter that seemingly common sense statement.  Notice how they mention she has two small children as if it makes her a bad mother to own guns.  Isn’t that sexist or something?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Geithner to Approve Auto Company Restructuring Plans


Great.  So a guy who can’t even figure out how to pay his taxes on time is going to figure out how to get the auto companies making money again.  If it were that easy, I’m sure their execs would have figured it out by now.

Maybe they should runs these plans by some people in the private industry who actually know something about making money rather than a bunch of government lackeys.

Everyone’s heard the saying, “if you can’t do, teach.”  Well, there should be a new one, “if you can’t do, govern.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

California’s Clueless Caught Unawares By DMV Furlough


Nearly everyone who showed up to the DMV branch on Alma Avenue in San Jose had no idea it was Day One of California's furlough program, an order by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut down most state offices twice a month, including about 180 Department of Motor Vehicle offices, to save the cash-strapped state about $1.3 billion.

Wow.  How can you not hear about this?  I’ve been reading about it for at least a week and I live on the opposite coast.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Lynn Thurman, 58, of San Jose. "The whole situation. There is no need for this. We're supposed to be one of the richest states in the country. If we're so bad off, tell Schwarzenegger to take a pay cut."

Uhh, he doesn’t get paid in the first place lady.  Good try, though.

A San Jose man who asked not to be named said he called in sick Friday, an unpaid day, to run a handful of errands, including going to the DMV. The man said that doing business at the DMV has become increasingly difficult now that the state office no longer keeps Saturday hours.

Maybe if he had told his boss what he really planned on doing instead of lying, the boss could have filled him in about the furlough.

Something Wicked This Way Comes


Something fishy is going on.  First Russia persuades Kyrgyzstan to shut down our base there (which they deny), and now they volunteer to let us go through them instead.  What are the odds that Obama is so wrapped up in the stimulus bill and his crappy cabinet position appointments  that he’s ignoring warning signs that something bad is brewing out there in the outside world?

Let’s hope Russia is doing this just so they can have more leverage at the bargaining table and that it’s not something more sinister.  With Putin pulling the strings over there, who knows?

What Does Reagan Have to Say About Our Current Economic Crisis?


Well, nothing really because he is, unfortunately, no longer with us.  But, from James Pethokoukis, Reagan’s farewell speech speaks to us from the grave:

Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So, we cut the people's tax rates, and the people produced more than ever before. The economy bloomed like a plant that had been cut back and could now grow quicker and stronger. Our economic program brought about the longest peacetime expansion in our history: real family income up, the poverty rate down, entrepreneurship booming, and an explosion in research and new technology. We're exporting more than ever because American industry became more competitive and at the same time, we summoned the national will to knock down protectionist walls abroad instead of erecting them at home. ...

You can find the rest of the speech at the link above.

Technorati Tags: ,

Speculation Begins On Obama’s First Supreme Court Nominee


As news of Justice Ginsbeug’s tragic diagnosis of pancreatic cancer spreads, people are already guessing at who Obama will nominate to replace her if she decides to retire early.

It wouldn’t be surprising if she did retire, as she can now do so secure in the knowledge that a liberal president will be appointing her replacement. 

An AP story already has a list of likely nominees:

• Judge Diane Wood of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

• Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

• Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

• Pam Karlan, a law professor at Stanford University.

• Judge Margaret McKeown of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

It will be interesting to see if there will be as much stonewalling by the Republicans as there was by the Democrats to Bush’s nominees. 

Obama Setting Stricter Energy Standards On Household Appliances


Great.  At a time when companies are losing money hand over fist, let’s make them spend even more money by forcing them to increase the energy efficiency standards on their products.  President Obama needs to realize that companies making money is what drives this economy and if he really wants to improve it he needs to start by not doing things to increase their overhead costs.

Also, let’s not forget this hypocrite’s own affinity for keeping it rather warm in the White House:

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Emergency Radio Chatter: White House and Hilda Solis-White


This mock conversation from the LA Times is hilarious:

HS: We had a problem on takeoff. Flew into a flock of liens.

WH: Of what?

HS: Liens. Tax liens. My husband has more than 6,000 in unpaid business taxes.

WH: That's a lot of faxes!

HS: No, not faxes. Taxes. You know, like money. That regular people pay to government.

Make sure to read the whole thing, it’s pretty funny.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25% of Republicans View Rush Unfavorably


No surprise here.  They did nominate John McCain after all.  I guarantee you at least half of those Republicans who view Rush unfavorably have probably never listened to him other than the non-contextual snippets played over and over by the MSM. 

Here’s my favorite part of this story:

One in 10 Democrats and independents said they'd never heard of Limbaugh or didn't have an opinion on him; only 17% of Republicans fell in that category.

Doesn’t it seem like they’re trying to make it sound like less Republicans had never heard of him than Dems and independents, when we all know one in 10 is less than 17%?

Technorati Tags: ,,

Obama Continuing With Office of Faith Based Initiatives


Obama is expanding Bush’s “Faith Based Initiative” program which seems to irk some on the left.

President Obama's newly revamped Office of Faith Based Initiatives is reigniting a contentious debate across the ideological spectrum over whether religious organizations that accept funds from the government should be allowed to discriminate when hiring.

Private organizations should have the right to hire or not hire anyone they want for any reason, whether religion is involved or not.  However, if you’re going to take government money, you’re going to have to play by their rules. 

Do I think that church organizations who are fundamentally opposed to homosexuality should be forced to hire them?  No, but I also don’t think they should be given money by the government.

When the government spends money on charities they are basically telling taxpayers, “You are going to donate your money to this charity, whether you like it or not.” 

I hate the fact that my tax money goes to organizations like Planned Parenthood that encourage abortions.  I can also see how people who think that homosexuality should be a societal norm would be upset that their tax money goes to fund organizations that in their eyes discriminate against gays.  Both of us could have our way if the government would step out of the charity business altogether.  Give us that little bit of tax money back and let us decide how to donate it (or not donate it) ourselves.

Unemployment at 26 Year High


Initial unemployment claims are now the highest they’ve been in 26 years.

Is it any wonder employers are cutting jobs left and right?  They have no idea what’s going to happen next.  We have a government full of people arguing about how to “fix” things when all we really need is for everyone to slow down and take a deep breath so people can do some planning.

Everyone is betting on the economy getting worse, and no wonder. Who knows what abomination might come slouching its way out of Washington next? 

Technorati Tags: ,,

Who Needs the Media Anyway?


So Obama thinks he can use his 13 million email addresses to get around some of the media scrutiny on his latest screw ups.

Because of Obama's reach -- 13 million email addresses is a stunning number -- these sorts of tactics (Daschle? Daschle who?) have the potential to quickly re-focus the American public on the economic stimulus package rather than allow people to linger on the Daschle withdrawal and what it says about Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the president's judgment more broadly.

All of that is not to say the media doesn't have a role to play. But, Obama has a unique ability to end-run the media filter and use technology to make it stick.

First of all, Obama doesn’t need to bypass the “media filter.”  The only filter the media has when it comes to Obama is a thick sheet of rose colored glass. 

Secondly, I’m not all that impressed with 13 million email addresses.  Those people are probably his most hardcore sycophants and weren’t prone to much questioning of The One in the first place.  He’s Preaching to the choir.  It sure doesn’t seem to be helping his stimulus plan, which continues to lose support from the American Public.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stimulus Can’t Be Used in Institutions That Allow Religious Worship


While I don’t think formal religious instruction has a place in publicly funded schools, the wording of this seems overly restrictive.

According to the bill, which the Democratic-controlled House passed despite unanimous Republican opposition, funds are prohibited from being used for the "modernization, renovation, or repair" of facilities that allow "sectarian instruction, religious worship or a school or department of divinity."

Having guided prayer and allowing people to pray individually are two different things.  A school has no right to prevent individuals praying on their own, and if that is considered “allowing religious worship,” then that clause would prevent any school from receiving funds.

Technorati Tags: ,

Obama Evidently Still Clueless as to What Caused Our Economic Woes


I find it hard to believe that he can really be this dense:

Apparently referring to Republican foes of the stimulus plan, Obama said recent criticisms of it "echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place: the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care, that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive."

Obama added: "I reject those theories. And so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change."

Tax cuts had nothing to do with it.  The credit markets were freezing up not because companies weren’t paying enough taxes, but because they were holding onto crappy assets.  Assets that were forced on them by Democrats who made them abandon their normal risk assessments under the delusion that it is every American’s “right” to own a house.  I don’t recall seeing a guarantee to property anywhere in the constitution. 

The American people did not reject any theories when they voted for Obama, because he never offered any alternatives.  They voted for “change,” while having no idea exactly what that meant, because he never told anyone!

Technorati Tags: ,

First Gay Couple to Marry in Massachusetts Now Divorced


For those who oppose gay marriage, it does seem rather ironic that two people who fought so hard to have the government recognize a promise they wished to make to each other, would go on to break that promise a few years later.

While I do think that gay marriage is probably detrimental to society, I wouldn’t be so quick to pounce on this news as if it proved it.  Let’s not forget that most heterosexual marriages end in divorce as well.

Obama Still Trying to Make Sure Everyone Stays Friendly


Obama is making the mistaken assumption that just because people like him, they’ll go along with his policies.  Yes, you might be able to change the “tone” of Washington, but the disagreements will always be there. 

In the end though, does the tone really matter?  House Republicans gushed about Obama after meeting with him about the stimulus plan, then promptly and unanimously voted against it.  So unless making sure politicians are polite to one another is for some reason extremely important to you, who really cares about the “tone in Washington?”  This is just another example of how naive Obama really is.

Technorati Tags: ,

Democrats “Don’t Have the Votes” to Pass the Stimulus Bill


This means that at least a few Democrats had to join the Republicans in opposition to it.  Congratulations to them all. 

Obama’s not going to let it go that easy though.  Like a lion trying to pick off the young and weak from the herd, he’s meeting one on one with some of the more moderate Republicans.

Also, someone better let Obama know that one percent of a trillion dollars is still a lot of money:

President Obama said, "The overwhelming bulk of the package is sound, is designed to put people back to work. ...Most of the programs that have been criticized, as part of this package amount to less than one percent of the overall package."

Technorati Tags: ,

Obama Set to Cap Exec Pay


Most of us are outraged when we hear about these Wall Street Execs and their bonuses, which are so much more than we little people make, especially when they are the recipients of our tax money.  Tax money that wouldn’t be needed if they hadn’t bungled the running of their company in the first place.

In his latest effort to demonize Wall Street, Obama is expected to announce a plan capping financial compensation to the executives of companies who receive bailout money.

While my first instinct is to agree, something about this nags at me. Now more than ever, these companies are going to need the most talented people they can find to help bring them back from the brink.  This compensation cap drives the truly talented away and ensures that only the mediocre will ever run companies that have received federal funds.

Don’t worry, I have an alternate plan: stop bailing out corporate losers!

Technorati Tags: ,,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sen. Russ Feingold Calls For an Amendment for Senate Appointments


He wants  a special election instead of just having governors appoint them. What prompted this sudden interest in the way replacement senators are picked?  No, not the fact that Blagojevich was still able to appoint a replacement for Obama seat in the Senate, despite being accused of trying to sell it in the first place.  It was because he didn’t like the fact that the Democrat governor of Illinois is going to appoint a Republican to take Judd Gregg’s spot.

To be honest, I agree that the spots should probably be filled by a special election.  I’m just surprised that he has the gall to say something now, after sitting quietly through the Blago fiasco.

Daschle Withdraws From Nomination


Surprisingly, Tom Daschle withdrew as Obama’s nominee to lead the Health Department.  I hate to be cynical, but my guess is that Obama nudged him into it after realizing Daschle wasn’t worth the flak he would get.  Especially considering he already had two other nominees with tax problems, not to mention all the lobbyists he’s appointed, despite his executive order barring lobbyists from serving in office (it’s ok, they have waivers).

Obama Nominates a Republican for Commerce Secretary


The nominee, Judd Gregg, is a Republican senator from New Hampshire.  New Hampshire’s governor is a democrat and would appoint his replacement to the senate. It was speculated at first that this was a shrewd move by Obama to get that coveted 60th Democrat in the senate to overcome GOP filibusters, but supposedly Gregg has said he wouldn’t take the spot unless the governor agreed to appoint another Republican.

It Creates Jobs, So Ignore All That Other Stuff


"The bottom line is this: You've got a piece of legislation that creates jobs," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said after several questions. "The latest statistics based on the economic reports show that 90% of these jobs are private-sector jobs."

Wrong.  That is not the bottom line because the Democrats who wrote the bill decided to fill it with a ridiculous amount of unnecessary spending.

You can justify all this extra junk in the stimulus plan through various circuitous means, but it doesn’t change the fact that they do nothing to immediately stimulate the economy.  Like the Pell Grant expansion for example:

Others say investing in education would be an indirect benefit by helping students compete for better jobs in the future. Indirect benefits will be "fairly widely dispersed through the economy … so all kinds of jobs will be created," says Chad Stone, chief economist for the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

That’s great, but if it’s long term, then it doesn’t belong in an emergency plan to stimulate the economy.  Put in some other bill where that statement can be adequately debated.

Technorati Tags:

Note to Obama: You Might Want to Look Up the Word “Protectionism”


Obama vowed to fight protectionism while negotiating a trade deal with South Korea.

Obama was quoted as telling Lee that trading states should fight the temptation to revert to protectionism, in the two leaders' first telephone conversation since Obama took office, Lee's spokesman said.

That sounds great, except that he does exactly the opposite.  He opposes the trade deal with South Korea because it provides too much access to the American market.  Uhh, that’s called protectionism, Mr. President.  Let’s not forgot all the “buy American” stipulations in the stimulus bill as well.

With each passing day of his Presidency, I become more and more convinced that Obama actually has no convictions about anything and just says what people want to hear.  I know, I know, it’s called being a politician.  All politicians have to do that to some extent, but usually you can get a feel for what they truly believe.  Obama… he’s still a mystery.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The First Bill Obama Signed


If I owned a business, I would negotiate with my employees about their salary on a case-by-case basis.  In each case, it would be my goal to pay them the minimum that they would be satisfied with, just as it would be their goal to get me to pay the maximum I would be able to.  Some people would be better negotiators than others, and have more leverage, therefore would get paid more. 

With this new law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, it seems like that would be illegal.  If one of the people I had negotiated a lesser salary with happened to be a woman, I would be breaking the law.  So do all companies now have to standardize what they pay their employees? 

Lilly Ledbetter was willing to work for her employer for 19 years at the salary they paid.  It wasn’t a problem until she found out other people were making more.  If a company is willing to pay a certain amount and an employee is willing to take it, how is that not fair? 

Obama Admits His Actions Might Result in Another Terrorist Attack on the US


In an interview with Matt Lauer, Obama admits the possibility that his closure of Gitmo could cause the release of a terrorist who would later participate in another attack on America:

MATT LAUER: — to be less of a threat. But if one of those people that's released goes back and takes part in the planning of or carrying out of an attack against U.S. interests, you're gonna have a Willie Horton times 100 situation on your hands. How are you gonna deal with that?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Of course I'm worried about it. Look, the — you know, I have to make the very best judgments I can make in terms of what's gonna keep the American people safe and is what — what's gonna uphold our Constitution and our traditions of due process ... If we don't uphold our Constitution and our values, that over time that will make us less safe. And that will be a recruitment tool for organizations like al-Qaida. That's what I've gotta keep my eye on.

If Obama was really that worried about it, why didn’t he figure out what to do with the detainees before closing Gitmo?  Probably because he was more worried about appeasing the left than the security of our country.

Technorati Tags: ,,

A Math Lesson for James Carville


James Carville snidely tries to insinuate that Rush Limbaugh is the moral and intellectual leader of the Republican Party (as if that would be so horrible) in his piece at CNN, “A History Lesson for Rush Limbaugh.”

Last week Rush proposed taking the money going to be spent in the stimulus bill and allocate it according to the popular vote in the 2008 presidential election: 54% to the Dems for government spending and the rest to be spent on tax cuts.  Carville takes this tongue-in-cheek proposal seriously and makes this ridiculous statement while wondering what if that had been applied to the the 2000 election:

Heck, had Democrats been able to control 50 percent of the government from 2000 to 2004, we wouldn't have even gone into Iraq in the first place.

I don’t know how he comes up with that, but I did my own math and I have to disagree.  When the authorization to invade Iraq passed, Democrats already did control 50% of the Senate.  29 of 50 Democratic senators voted for the authorization. 

In the house 39% of democrats voted for it.  Let’s imagine that the Dems controlled 50% of the house and give them 217 members instead of the 209 they had.  That would have given them 132 votes no (85 votes yea) instead of 126.  97% of Republicans voted yea.  If we give them 216 members instead of 221, that gives them 209 votes yea and 7 no.

So the totals would have been Yea: 294, No: 139, the invasion would have still been authorized. 

Gillibrand Appointment Just Gets Better and Better


Not only did Governor Patterson appoint a relatively conservative Democrat to take Hillary Clinton’s spot in the Senate, her seat in the house may be picked up by the GOP.

Paterson boosted the Democrat from the House to the Senate to fill Secretary of State Clinton's seat, triggering an uphill special election battle for Democrats in a district where the GOP has a 70,632 voter enrollment edge.

There is some bad news, though: she might be caving on illegal immigration.

Seeking to mollify Hispanic lawmakers wary of her stance on immigration, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday told a group of 16 New York City politicians that she will use the group as a sounding board to help form her immigration policy, Assemb. Peter Rivera said.