We The People: Success is measured by achievements, not grandstanding

Empty barrels make the most noise.

Senator Ted “Empty Barrel” Cruz [R-Texas], despised by Democrats and Republicans alike, told a cheering crowd of Tea Party Patriots in Washington, D.C. that “we will turn this country around.” He told them that they should be proud of conservative successes like the defeat of White House gun control proposals and the low approval rating of President Obama.

He failed to mention a single affirmative accomplishment to the neo-conservative malcontents and snickered about how the “mainstream media” is only concerned with “tinfoil hat wearing” kooks while regular people are ignored.

He claimed that he discovered the Tea Party by meeting regular folks in “VFW halls” and “IHOPs” around the nation. He then insinuated that he was responsible for the Tea Party “accomplishments” mentioned which he insisted guaranteed American liberty. The snide and flippant performance from Cruz contained many one-liners and an omnipresent smirk. This is what the Tea Party calls success?

The speaker and the audience should have been wearing tin foil hats themselves because their vision for government could not be kookier. The Conservative Party and Representative Michael Grimm should distance themselves from these out-of-touch zealots. We need elected representatives who take leadership seriously and who try to accomplish things like reasonable gun regulation or affordable health care instead of calling delay and defeat success.

Mayor de Blasio wants to eliminate transportation deaths in New York City under a “Vision Zero” initiative. Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights welcome safety enhancements and additional school crossing guards, traffic enforcement agents and police officers for pedestrian as well as vehicle law enforcement. Councilmember Vincent Gentile met with Police Commissioner Bratton and his request for more school crossing guards received a favorable response.

A proposal to find a new operator for Long Island College Hospital looks like it will keep the venerable institution open. Money from savings in Medicare will be available to support LICH, SUNY Downstate and Interfaith Medical Center. A reasonable contract with SEIU 1199 hospital workers, early supporters of the de Blasio campaign, will affect hospitals’ financial health.

State Senator Marty Golden hosted a town hall at P.S. 170 to talk about a plan to deal with prescription drug and heroin use in the community. It was attended by citizens, NYPD Chief Owen Monaghan, NYPD officers, and D.A. Ken Thompson’s top assistants.

Senator Golden stressed a need for a return to harsher laws in order to get drug peddlers off the street. Chief Monaghan believed citizen involvement like that given to the NYPD to apprehend a shooter who wounded a police officer on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights as the way to interdict drug use in Bay Ridge.

Community Board 10 announced the formation of three committees, staffed with board and community members, to fashion a community-based awareness, cooperation and education approach to combat drug use which has cost at least eight young lives in recent months.

Governor Cuomo needs to set an example for Mayor de Blasio on labor negotiation by settling contracts with state workers who have worked without a contract for more than four years. Meanwhile, he must make a decision on hydrofracking in New York State. A group has sued Cuomo in state court to force him to make a decision on the controversial gas drilling technique.

Secretary of Defense Hagel announced that defense spending will be cut significantly in 2015. The proposed 2015 Pentagon budget may contain $100 million in cuts that will involve base closings and weapon system cancellations. Democrats and Republicans who are starting to work together to pass legislation that will help all Americans will have to deal with this reality. It will require sacrifice on the part of everyone but it will avoid indiscriminate sequester cuts.

Issue balancing is at the heart of every compromise. Compromise may be a dirty word to TPers but reasonable people can disagree and still discuss ideas and strike a bargain. There is no such thing as a perfect compromise but a refusal to compromise is perfectly unreasonable.

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