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Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Photos: President Obama's Motorcade passes through Genesee County

post by Timothy Walton in Barack Obama, genesee county, photo

Earlier today, the motorcade of President Barack Obama passed through Genesee County. These photos, submitted by Jordan Difilippo, show the motorcade passing through Genesee County on the Thruway. The photos were taken from Keiffer Road in Pembroke.

A helicopter was first to pass by, followed by New York State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriffs, several law enforcement motorcycles, then more State Troopers, Secret Service SUVs, the President's bus, more Secret Service SUVs, two other buses, more State Troopers, more motorcycles and then more State Troopers in the back. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Photos: President Obama's Motorcade passes through Genesee County

post by Timothy Walton in Barack Obama, genesee county, photo

Earlier today, the motorcade of President Barack Obama passed through Genesee County. These photos, submitted by Jordan Difilippo, show the motorcade on the I-90 headed towards Buffalo. The photos were taken from Keiffer Rd in Pembroke. The exact route was not made clear, but it's rumored he took the I-490 to the I-90.

A helicopter was first to pass by, followed by New York State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriffs, several law enforcement motorcycles, then more State Troopers, Secret Service SUVs, the President's bus, Secret Service SUVs two other buses, more State Troopers, more motorcycles and then more State Troopers in the back. 

Monday, July 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

When it comes to keeping quotes in context, Collins should heed his own advice to Hochul

post by Mark Brudz in Barack Obama, chris collins, kathy hochul, NY-27

Publisher's Note: A few weeks ago, Mark Brudz discussed the idea of regularly fact checking the candidates for the NY-27 Congressional District, much like a site like factcheck.org does on a national level. We believe this is the first such post with more to come in this campaign. We hope to encourage both candidates to run more honest and truthful campaigns than is usually seen in this highly partisan era.

If Mr. Collins is going to cry foul for Mrs. Hochul cherry-picking his words and not keeping them in full context, he should also hold himself to the same standard.

A Collins For Congress email sent Saturday afternoon used a statement by President Obama to attack Hochul.

Obama: "If you got a business, you didn't build it. Somebody else made that happen."

The email then went on with the subtitle: "Kathy Hochul's Presidential Candidate Slams Small Businesses."

Yes, the president did in fact say that, however, it was taken out of context in a excerpt from a campaign rally speech in Roanoke, Va., on Friday July 13. The Collins team included in their email a quote from the Washington Times article written by Walter Cooler.

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

The president's entire statement however, was not exactly a slam toward small business. In full context, the president more specifically expressed his belief in infrastructure and that successful business people rely on that infrastructure to grow their business. Additionally, President Obama stated that successful business people have achieved but also relied upon teachers and mentors to reach their goals.

All in all, there was much fodder for Mr. Collins with the statement in full context because it becomes more of philosophical discussion where Chris Collins actually can make some issue-based arguments.

It is no different than the flap earlier this month between Collins and Kathy Hochul. (See The Batavian; NY-27 race shaping up as a war over words.)  Hochul jumped on a Collins statement that he made in answer to a question during an interview for The Batavian. Clearly Mrs. Hochul took Mr. Collins out of context in order to obtain the upper hand when there was plenty in that interview that she could have taken issue with in full context.

What we need from both Collins and Hochul at this point is more statement of what they intend to do in Congress and less of the carefully choreographed talking points that are typical in today's politicians.

This is President Obama's statement in full context:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires; we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

It would be very appropriate for Chris Collins to take the president to task on the entire statement in context, likewise it would also be appropriate for him to question Mrs. Hochul's position on this statement, should she actually have made one. In Chris Collins email, there were several bullet points where he did in fact state his strengths and there was a legitamate question posed as to Mrs. Hochul's private sector business knowledge and experience.

I say let them both go at it from that point and may the best candidate win. But spare us the talking points and the he said/she said game this time around. If you want my vote, spell out your agenda and let me decide.

After the jump, the complete press release from the campaign of Chris Collins (click on the headline to read more):

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 12:25 am

Statement: Hochul responds to Obama's State of the Union speech

post by Howard Owens in Barack Obama, kathy hochul, politics

Press release:

“Tonight, President Obama reported on the state of the nation and laid out his plan to move our economy forward. While we’ve seen some progress, we need to continue to invest in America, ensuring Americans have good jobs to go to every day.

“The President’s proposal to revitalize our manufacturing community, invest in American infrastructure, and focus on job training at community colleges, like ECC, NCCC, GCC, and MCC, will keep America competitive and bring jobs back to the United States. It’s time we stop rewarding those companies that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

“I, however, would have liked to hear more about the President’s plan to cut the deficit and reduce our national debt. This is why I supported the Balanced Budget Amendment that requires Congress to balance its finances in the same way Western New York families do every day; and why I support efforts to streamline government, eliminate waste, and be more responsive to the needs of American businesses.

“Right now is the time for us to come together and work with one another to strengthen our nation and give Americans the chance to get back to work. We have the best ideas, the finest universities, and the hardest working people in the world – now we must create an economy that benefits the working families of America.

“Like the President said, every American just wants a fair shot at achieving the basic American promise; having a good paying job, buying a home, and raising a family. Our country is strongest when every American is contributing their fair share, but this can only happen when we’re all given that fair shot.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Imagine, a President encouraging students to take personal responsibility gets blasted by the right

post by Howard Owens in Barack Obama, elba, politics, schools

Who would ever have thunk that the idea of a President of the United States speaking to the nation's students on the first day of school could be controversial, but in the days leading up to the speech, Obama was accused of attempting to subvert school kids, turning them all into socialists, or worse, Democrats, and/or of using the speech to push a policy agenda through Soviet-style propaganda.

Who would have thunk that a simple message: Do your homework and stay in school could be seen as an inappropriate message from the President.

Imagine, a President proclaiming the virtues of personal responsibility being blasted by the opposition party.

“At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities,” Obama said in the speech.

“Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. And that’s what I want to focus on today, the responsibility each of you has for your education,” Obama said.

The speech didn't stir much notice in Genesee County. Only two districts were in session today -- Elba and Pembroke. The other schools start tomorrow.

Elba Superintendent Joan Cole spoke with WBTA this morning and said use of the president's speech in the class room was optional for teachers.

"We haven't had any concerns expressed by any of our parents," Cole said

Watch the video above for yourself, in which Obama makes such supposedly un-American statements as:

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Everybody wanted health care reform. So what happened?

post by Howard Owens in Barack Obama, Health Care

One of my favorite blogs about rural issues, the Daily Yonder, carries this:

What promised to be a consensus-building search for solutions for American’s unsustainable fragmented health problems has turned into a debacle. Make no mistake about it, this is the fault of the President — no one else.  I say this as a supporter of President Obama. I’m a lifelong Democrat. I voted for Barack Obama with enthusiasm and I still have his bumper sticker on my car and pickup truck.

And

I can tell you that his first mistake was to discount the good advice he was getting from rural Senators on both sides of the aisle. Obama is an urban president and he’s been looking to the coasts for direction. He should be looking more to the Plains.

Read the whole thing.  It's a disappointing and disturbing assessment. If the president really screwed the pooch on health care, it will cast a pall on the next three years of his presidency. That's not good for the country, whether you like the president or not or are a localist or a nationalist or not.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 9:24 am

NPR reports Obama apparently backing away from promise for rural summit

post by Howard Owens in Barack Obama, rural

Early in his campaign for president, Barack Obama promised to call Republican and Democratic leaders together within his first 100 days for a rural summit.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports that the Obama White House seems to be backing away from that promise.

Inouye then cited rural initiatives in the stimulus bill and Obama's proposed budget. "His administration is taking affirmative steps to help strengthen rural America."

As to the pledge of a rural summit in the first 100 days, Inouye said, "[Obama] is working with his Cabinet, advisers and congressional allies to form a comprehensive rural agenda, and is planning on hosting a forum to discuss those ideas."

That's a commitment to do something, but not in the first 100 days, and not in the form of a summit in Iowa.

Yes, a lot has changed since Obama made his pledge, and it doesn't appear that Obama's administration is completely forgetting rural towns.  And I'm not even sure, frankly, what a rural summit would accomplish.

But it's good that reporters like Berkes are out there looking after rural America's interest.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 10:58 am

Poll: Getting your thoughts on President Obama's inaugural address

post by Philip Anselmo in Barack Obama, poll, president

Well, folks, we start the day with a new president this morning. Hopefully, you're invigorated by that, no matter what your political affiliation. There's no knowing where we'll go from here, but it feels like we've got a chance to climb back up and out of this ditch. President Barack Obama yesterday delivered his inaugural address from the steps of the Capitol. Much was said of how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed—why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

Whatever else this president may turn out to be, I'm glad to find him a skilled speaker, who knows not only how to turn a phrase but also how to instill it with meaning.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends—hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism—these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility—a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

So today we opt for the obvious poll. We would like to hear your thoughts on the presidential inaugural address. Please, feel free to leave comments once you've voted. This is worth a discussion. We have left in the "Didn't listen to it" option. However, we will also include this link to the complete text of the inaugural address in the hopes that maybe you will read it and then vote.

Once you've finished voting, if you're looking for a laugh nd yet further proof that we live in an age of farce, please check out the article in the Financial Times about China's attempt at real-time censorship of the address. It is mentioned in that article that China's central Internet news hub, in its translation of the inaugural address, did not include the phrase: ”To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Coincidentally, their fists aren't the only the only parts of their body that need to be unclenched.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Video: Thoughts on the inauguration

post by Philip Anselmo in Barack Obama, inauguration, president, video

We had a great time this morning and afternoon at T.F. Brown's, where The Batavian crew hosted an inauguration party. We were happy to see some new faces come down, as well as some friends we;ve known since we first arrived here in Batavia. We would like to extend a big thanks to all who came out, especially those of you who were willing to stand in front of the camera and share your thoughts. Speaking of those folks...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Congressman Lee congratulates President Obama

From the Office of U.S. Rep. Chris Lee (NY - 26):

Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today commented on Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States:

“It is inspiring to see Americans from all walks of life come together to mark this historic moment for our country. Today is certainly much more than another orderly transfer of power.

“President Obama’s inaugural address set the right tone for the work that lies ahead in repairing our economy and restoring the public’s trust in their government. I am hopeful that today marks the beginning of an era of progress grounded in a commitment to bipartisan solutions.

“I know my constituents join me in congratulating our new president, vice president, and their families.”

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