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Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Nancy Pelosi

What Was Objectionable In State Of Union Speech?


What Was Objectionable

In State Of Union Speech?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips up a text of the State of the Union Address as President Trump was accepting applause at its completion Tuesday, Feb. 4.

By MIKE ZAGATA • Special to

This past week we had an opportunity to observe our President highlight his accomplishments and lay out his agenda for next year.  Every president does this annually in the State of the Union Address.  As is almost always the case, depending on party affiliation, there will be things covered that draw applause and some that draw frowns – and once in a while both sides are supportive.

I watched the address and here’s what I heard the President claim to have done for us: increase wages more for the lower half of wage earners than for the upper tier; reduce unemployment, especially for minorities, to historic lows; stimulate a blue-collar boom; create “Opportunity Zones” in our economically depressed cities (we could use one); re-negotiate trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China that will benefit American workers, including farmers; take steps to assure we are an “inclusive” society; and defend our borders.

Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and a former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

These actions should not come as a surprise because they were part of the promises he made while campaigning.  When was the last time a candidate you supported actually kept those campaign promises?

The latter half of the Address was devoted to listing the actions he was committed to take, with the support of Congress, on our behalf in the coming year.  The list included things normally supported by Republicans and things normally supported by Democrats.

Some of those things are: Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunities Act (freedom for students in impoverished school districts to choose the best school); ensure that every high school offers vocational and technical education; permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities; health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; reduce the cost, not the quality, of healthcare and prescription drugs; ensure that Medicare benefits are secured for our senior citizens and not allowed to be depleted by providing those benefits to illegal aliens; complete the wall along our southern border; further curb the opioid epidemic; increase funding for neo-natal research; end late-term abortion; provide paid family leave via the “Working Families Act”; join the international initiative to plant one trillion trees to restore forests and combat climate change; re-build our infrastructure; provide high-speed internet to rural America; increase support for law enforcement, afford families who lose a loved one due to a criminal protected by a “sanctuary city” the right to sue that city; revise our out-dated immigration laws; defend religious freedom and the second amendment; plant our flag on Mars with the help of the newly created “Space Force”; negotiate peace talks between Israel and Palestine; end the war in Afghanistan; invite Iran to the peace-talks table; and fight terrorism.

It seemed to me the President had addressed traditional Republican-oriented programs and offered several olive branches to the Democrats.  In response, the Democratic Speaker of the House publically tore up the speech reflecting her disdain for its contents and the President.

How much longer are those of us being impacted by this obvious hatred by those Democrats going to allow it to continue?  We are all, Democrats and Republicans alike, suffering as a result of this acrimony and it needs to stop.  Grow up and work together on behalf of the American people who elected you.


ZAGATA: Democratic Intrigues Weave Tangled Web


Democratic Intrigues

Weave Tangled Web

By MIKE ZAGATA • Special to

Speaker Pelosi proudly informed us that she is a Catholic and thus doesn’t hate the President, but she conveniently ignored her pro-choice voting record – even defending the taking of a life about to be born. I think I’d be happier, as a fellow Catholic, if she admitted she hated the President but defended the lives of the unborn.

Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and a former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

I’d also have more respect for her as a person if she didn’t let her political ambition, i.e. retain the title of “Speaker,” interfere with her judgment as she clearly didn’t want to proceed with impeaching the president. However, that’s what her base wanted and she couldn’t/wouldn’t risk losing her throne.

These are indeed strange times. The Democrats are trying to impeach the President for something he denies while choosing to ignore the fact the former vice president, Joe Biden, bragged on tape about doing the very thing the President is being accused of doing.

The Democrats are also accusing the President of attempting to interfere in the 2020 election by trying to find out if the former vice president and his son participated in Ukrainian corruption while ignoring that Hillary Clinton and the DNC hired a foreign operative to assemble a now-discredited dossier to embarrass then candidate Trump.

Is it one’s Party that determines whether or not something is legally and morally wrong or is it our conscience?

With 43 percent of NYC’s population falling below its definition of the poverty line, it is abundantly clear why politicians pander to the Left and pandering includes funding them with our tax dollars. You and your tax dollars are paying for the activist groups that oppose jobs and economic growth. Is that something you plan to continue doing?

The Mayor is spending taxpayer dollars to send the homeless to other cities and states while knowing full-well that when the time limits for the programs that are paying for these relocations expire, those unfortunate people will become an economic burden to those cities and states – but to  the Mayor they will be “out of sight out of mind.”  How convenient!

“New York City spends about $95 billion a year, and 13 percent of it goes for human services” for the 43 percent of its population below the city-defined poverty line. Some of these contracts, such as the one to Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York, can amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. Smaller contracts go to community-based organizations, and every member of the New York City Council gets to dole out $2 million to favored groups.” That wouldn’t amount to
buying votes now would it?
The same thing is happening at the federal level. Our government covers the cost of the environmental groups when they sue a federal agency. That’s one of the reasons California continues to burn, yet those groups have no skin in the game and are not held accountable for the results of their intervention.

Do you remember when Sen. Jeff Flake decided to ask the FBI for a full investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh after two women screamed at him in a Senate elevator that they were rape survivors? Well, it turns out Ana Marie Archila was co-executive director of the “Center for Popular Democracy” and then executive director of “Make the Road,” both liberal groups, when she screamed at Senator Flake. In February, Archila was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s guest at the State of the Union address.

The thread continues, as it seems “Make the Road” was involved with the successful effort to block Amazon from establishing a headquarters in Long Island City and providing 25,000 high-paying jobs. Deborah Axt, the group’s co-executive director, said, “This is a huge victory. We are thrilled,” when Amazon withdrew. How can they be thrilled when 43 percent of The City’s population falls below the poverty line?

Have you been following the debacle surrounding the inability of National Grid and Con Edison to provide natural gas service to new customers in Westchester County and Long island due to a lack of gas? According to one article, Governor Cuomo sent them a letter claiming they, not the Public Service Commission which he controls, should have better prepared for increased demand in years past rather than imposing a moratorium when its application for the pipeline project got blocked by him.

“The ‘moratorium’ is either a fabricated device or a lack of competence” Cuomo wrote.

He went on to say, “Gas can be trucked, shipped, or barged.” Remember that uproar locally about “bomb trucks” on Route 205 – imagine the outcry about having them on the Long Island Expressway. How long would it take to get the necessary permits – decades while people’s pipes are freezing.

He also proposed “other infrastructure or additional unloading facilities being installed” – again, it would take decades to get the necessary local approvals and state permits. He went on to say, “Electric service and demand response measures could be proposed” – being proposed and actually making them operable are two very different things. He further suggested “heat pumps” which require electricity to operate the pumps – and guess where that electricity comes from – and “renewable sources”.

According to the governor, who controls both the PSC and the DEC, “the choice was never between the pipeline or an immediate moratorium.” And then he accused the utilities of trying to bully the state and threatened to take away their franchises to do business in New York – and he did that from his very own Bully Pulpit.

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