“Money, it’s a crime”


So, the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t think the ballooning deficit isn’t a republican problem and to make up revenue lost by the unasked for tax cuts for the 1% of the 1%, he wants to cut social security and medicare among others, since those are “entitlements.”

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He’s a schmuck.

Both parties have screwed that up. The errors along the way have all hands on them. I say that avoid recapping who did what when. I’d like to get past “Whataboutism” and deal with the present issue, solving the catastrophe in front of me as it were.

Not only is it incredibly corrupt of the Majority Leader to want to do cut benefits to accommodate that ill-conceived tax plan, it’s such a bad lie that gutting earned benefits won’t solve the deficit issue as they are two different sets of money. I will give him credit for saying that with a straight face, but there is nothing honorable about it. But he is guilty of theft with this. I don’t care about the errors that proceeded that or examples of this guy did that or whatever as the important thing is now. This shouldn’t happen. If the fleecing of working people (yet again) isn’t enough to get you to vote, I don’t know what will. It’s a caustic example of the people in power giving absolutely not a rat’s ass of about the actual electorate, just the wealthy donors who put them there. It’s not the first time Social Security has come under attack by politicians who can’t control their own spending habits.

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It’s only an entitlement as too many of our representatives have felt “entitled” to borrow from social security to pay for politically motivated tax cuts and wars that we didn’t have the credit line to cover. It shows you how little the Majority Leader thinks of the people he claims to represent by making like Steve Miller and taking the money and running.

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To quote the buddha of my youth, that noted philosopher, George Carlin:

“It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the impression you’ve got freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice.

You have owners. They OWN you. They own EVERYTHING… They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for:
-The Senate
-The Congress
-The State Houses
-The City Halls
They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all of the big media companies so they control just about all the information you get to hear. They got you by the BA**S. They spend billions of dollars every year LOBBYING to get what they want.

Well we KNOW what they want. They want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population capable of critical thinking…

They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f’ed by a system that threw ’em overboard 30 f’in years ago…

…You know what they want? Obedient workers. People who are JUST smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shi**ier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that dissappears the minute you go to collect it.

And now they’re coming for your Social Security money.

They want your f’in retirement money. They want it “back”. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later. ‘Cause they OWN this f’in place.

It’s a Big Club… and YOU ain’t in it!”

It feels like he is right. The current president and majority leader aren’t the first guys to abuse the system, but the abusesThey want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. are coming at such a clip, the result has been an ongoing induction of ADHD from all the headlines. And we aren’t paying close enough attention to how we are getting hosed.

Tom Toles in the Washington Post captured it perfectly:

It would be good if the Leader and his followers would adhere to the gospel of the Rolling Stones and realize that they can’t always get what they want.

Nobody should. The sooner that is a universal conclusion, we all stand a better chance of getting what need. And that, that would be pretty great.

Democratic candidates got an issue for the election. They can and should run on this and nothing else.

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Primary Colors


“I’m the President of the United States, not just the people who agree with me”

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A fictional president said it, but you sort of wish all the folks running now would remember it as well. I worry about writing about the election at all since no one has ever changed the mind of anyone in a facebook post, yet there are plenty of folks in the “share if you agree” part of the electorate.

There are an awful lot of manufactured controversies that get big shift and real problems that aren’t getting addressed at all. There are some things don’t make a damn bit of sense to this semi-interested observer.

People really dig Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” but nobody has asked what that means. I mean no freedoms have been lost in 8 years, gas is $2.00  a gallon, unemployment and the deficit are headed in the proper direction. Show me what you mean there, o, curiously toupeed one.

On the other side, Hillary Clinton doesn’t know where Bernie Sanders was when she was championing health care as the first lady, but a picture revealed he was right behind her, literally.

Bernie, by the same token, I sort of admired at first, because he told you what he was standing for, actually taking a view. That is a rare thing, but redoing healthcare once more? I think the Senate might have millions of our dollars to waste taking that one down. Take what we have and make it better, refine what is there into something greater, so much so, the other side will want to take credit for it. It’s a million dollar idea, and it is yours for free.

Violence at a rally? seems like guy on the name plate should LEAD and shut that stuff down.

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The same show I quoted at the top of this piece also once said “People aren’t smart during elections.” Another character countered with people are talked to like they aren’t smart during elections. While I want to agree with the second sentiment, the first seems to be playing out in greater detail. That is the depressing part.

Ted Cruz apparently wants to be the president of the white evangelicals and lock everybody else out. Trump will pay legal fees for anybody who punches a protestor in the face. His supporters have been caught on camera threatening to punch people. And don’t get me started on the Chris Matthews interview. And psst, Cruz is a bigger threat.

I get that none of them like each other. That’s fine, but they don’t seem think much of us either. Because despite all the speeches, and pointless debates, absolutely nothing has been said yet that will hold any weight on the actual Election Day. It’s like political American Idol, but we need Simon Cowell to call them all out.

You want the job, why should you have it?

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But barely.

Vote, folks.

 

Exit Polling


I took my recycling down to the appropriate dumpsters this morning as I left for work this morning. In addition to the cereal boxes and other flotsam and jetsam, I had accumulated 28 large full color postcards having to do with the primary elections that accumulated over the past few days. It’s such a huge waste of money. There were a couple  that were addressed by hand, like some campaign worker just had cards and walked up to apartment buildings and just started addressing.

The common thread through all is that each candidate talks mostly about who they are running against and how they dislike that person. It’s basically a print version of noise, nothing is actually getting said, just a lot of rabble being roused. Whenever I read this, I can’t help but wonder what it achieves. I mean, I get it, you disagree, hence the whole running against each other thing. I picked a party because you have to for voting in primaries. But with the parties endorsing or disavowing candidates prior to the voting on primary day, I think that chases people away. You get that sense of “why bother,” and that is a little troublesome. Those who make the trek, probably aren’t as informed as they could as a result.

As my favorite fictional president once intoned, “decisions are made by those who show up.” I guess my take on that isn’t to believe what my junkmail is telling me.

It’s been known to fib.

Electoral College never plays on Sportscenter


So, the elections are finally going to be done tomorrow!

That thankfully means the commercials go away. Since none and I mean none of those tell you about what a candidate might or might not do in office, it’s a sad commentary that that might be what pushes an “undecided” in one column or another.

I’m a big believer in social media (duh), but one thing that is getting to me is that there doesn’t seem to be much online respect for positions. You have your guy, I have mine, they might not be same dude, but that is actually okay. That is what is supposed to happen. I tend to steer clear of the Facebook threads that dissolve into chosen sources.

Funny how we are for freedom of speech or religion until somebody exercises them.

To that end, it was distressing for the always gawdawful Fox and Friends to bitch about the Hurricane Sandy telethon as a pro-Obama rally, when no mention of the president was made at all. The involved musicians played music and asked for help for the Red Cross. The goofs at the Fox and Friends program decided to smear it because nobody was calling them on it. Well, I’m calling them on it. I don’t know what bothers me more, that they have so much contempt for their audience that they will blatantly lie about something like that or that there are people who willingly go yeah, they’re right, where are the conservative performers? (and the answer will be not present, not organizing, not getting together, etc). Dipshidiots.

I’m not a fan of early voting. That seems to set systems up for more abuse, fraud, and law suits. If you can register, you vote. If you can’t get there Election Day, absentee vote. Done and Done.

But how can one candidate just happen to have a son who has a business involving voting machines in a swing state? That ain’t right

Hope the big loser does so gracefully. Lawsuits, motions, & manipulation in 2000 really accelerated the road to divisiveness that we trod on currently.

So, go vote, the country in our hearts in waiting. Make your choice and I’ll respect that.

And hopefully the squeaky trick or treat spot is fading…

Healthy business


Let me see if I got it straight. The Republican Party’s response to the current health care proposals in Congress is to oppose them, not to suggest, debate or create anything else, just oppose it. I have no trouble with disliking a proposed bill, that’s fine. That’s 15 flavors of cool, but the usual suspects weren’t specifying anything else, just their vile at what was out there.Hell, blind faith is anything is a bad idea, but geez, come up with something. The only thing more infuriating that the vast array of obfuscating knuckleheads being offered up by Fox, CNN and MSNBC are the petulant types in Congress who will only play their way, provided they can can figure out what that is. Hey Mitch McConnell? What don’t you like about the public option? Is there a flaw that we should know about or are you twisted that you didn’t think of it. I’m all for concepts but at least bring something to the table along with your distaste for the table. No less a figure as the mighty Bono (I know he can be annoying, but he was right) noted that the mood here has transcended from polarizing to hope and back to polarizing pretty quickly.

Thankfully, Harry Reid (Harry Reid?? the Casper the Friendly Ghost of Congress??) and others came up with a notion of the states deciding if the much vaunted public option was right for them. Lordd knows his bill isn’t perfect, but he rediscovered his backbone much to the consternation of a dozen moderate democrats who are busy taking up the do nothing mantle when it comes to this issue. I almost didn’t recognize Reid as it has been awhile since he has done, well, anything. The notion is actual responsible compromise. You can knock me over with the a feather. It’s like two sides got together and worked on something. That hasn’t been seen since Newt was running the show. I think my keyboard started to spark from writing that. But imagine, all the screeching about the states rights might actually get honored. Trouble is we aren’t out of the woods yet. Sen. Joe Lieberman who seems to stand for standing sake says the opt out creates a whole new level of entitlement. Scientists are dissecting that syntax back at the shop. Evan Byah wants to see costs. Fine, but if you are going to throw mud at the glass house have a concept or clue handy in case you get asked a question. For the love of god, don’t hide behind politics.

This could start a trend. MSNBC can quit campaigning for the President to be placed on Rushmore and Fox can quit building effigies. Maybe this can be a primer for other efforts. Actually listening to one another instead of trying out soundbytes.

A guy can dream.

Inglourious Basterds


A colleague of mine complained that he sees President Obama “constantly campaigning.” He’s pretty much an arch-conservative and I respect that, so I’m never going to change his mind, but he has a point. Where we disagree is that I think it’s a great thing to see our leader talking to us, explaining what he wants to do.

Too many of our representatives are scared to talk about the Health Care Plan with anyone but each other. The Buffalo News correctly pointed out that only a southern tier legistator has else any kind of “town meeting” locally to talk about the possibilities of Health Care Reform. Because everything pertaining to health care is an understandably hot button issue, there have been some impassioned exchanges, protests and near brawls. I think a lot of that comes from not many people actually talking. As usual there is a lot of bluster, soundbite posing, but a dearth of people actually talking to us and telling us what is being entertained.

I used to be a bit of news junkie but the current lack of backbone among the electronic press might save the newspaper, so I’m all for the President getting out there and bypassing the incestuous Fox/MSNBC relationship and speaking to the people.

As one of my favorite fictional characters wondered “What could be better than seeing our leaders talk to us?” The southern tier legislator scored points with both sides just showing up. It’s good for people to talk instead of drawing imagined conclusions. It’s also really good politics.

Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx, putz


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We’re all going to need a hug at this rate. The New York State Senate has a proud long history of bungling.  But the past month has been a mother of ineptness and misaimed attempts at power grabbing. To paraphrase that noted political reporter, Jay Leno, “What was Sen. Espada thinking?”  He might make people nostalgic for the barely distinguishable leadership of Malcolm Smith, the object of his affection in the picture above. We can even influence peddle well here. In a series of flip-flops that brought state business to an even great crawl than usual, he got himself a title. He’s “profoundly sorry.” Big deal. The inability of our government  to, well, govern, did have effects on schools, businesses, and residences around the state. Apparently, the shroud of self-interest protects you from the havoc you create.

Thankfully, the keystone kops got right to work, starting to clear the considerable backlog of bills waiting for their overpriced rubber stamp. But the whole exercise reverberates with me as we got through a process in the spring where the state government seemed to want to make up for years of over-spending and budget setting in a fortnight, but taxing this and upping fees for that, but never actually looking on itself to spend smarter, buy less, and generally act like the proverbial educated consumer.

Yeah, they worked till 1Am this morning. Big Deal. They’ve had a month off with pay. I’d like that, but it ain’t happening. Hold on, I’ve worked for almost two hours. Let me stop and check the rules…..

I’m a democrat and this is embarassing to say, but if the Bronx can scrounge up a socialist, marxist, libertarian, green party guy, Romulan ambassador, as long as she or he has some combination of conscience and backbone, they would be worth looking into for the next election cycle.

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The Complaint Department


If you ever wonder why people are disinclined to vote, I believe those folks received validation in the form of the New York State Senate. As a moderate democrat, I like to think I see both sides, but this is ridiculous. While the democratic senators pout and act like petulant fifth-graders, the republicans are playing a glorified version of “King of the Castle.” Neither is doing anything remotely resembling the people’s business. Nobody’s looking to lead, change the nature of a government hellbent on getting the very last drop of blood from the stone. Talk about a bunch a people who need smacked with a big bag of hammers.

Wish it was possible for a government bail-out because our state senate is run worse than GM.

In other news, I’ve had it up to here with the race for this, the fun run for that, the 5K for rectal itch, you name it. The race organizers seem to think the city has three streets and the course help doesn’t know the route either. I was trying to take my daughter to work this morning down one street, was told to take another, when I got to the end of that, was told to turn around to go back where we started. I realize it is the only time you get folks into the city, but how about a little consideration for city lifers and spread this grab out a little, puhleeze??

Been down Elmwood at Forest three separate times today, each time there was some butthead who couldn’t remember to get out of the right lane so they could keep traveling on Elmwood, and they HAD to challenge everybody who remembered?

Lest you think I’m too high and mighty gentle reader, after hitting the ATM by Bidwell, thinking I was free and clear, I pulled right in front on an SUV who thankfully was too oblivious to me.

It’s Allentown weekend and once again, the stuff around the Art Festival is cooler than the items in the Art Festival. You’d think the Art Association would embrace the positive vibe and not be such hypocrites when it came to music and the merchants in the area, that way a big party could get spread out as it grew.

Buffoons.

We’re getting screwed with our pants on.


Wow, if you believe we get the leadership we deserve, we must really stink. There is an old political axiom about how decisions are made by those who show up. There is no disclaimer about how that is a physical or a spiritual appearance.  The state budget process has been broke for as long as I can remember.  When my kids were younger, angry letters to the editor used to be a rite of Spring when the Pataki administration regularly waffled on funding pre-kindergarden classes that were not mandated.  

They have never been on time, never spent within their means and despite the overall economy being seriously broken, our heroes are still spending like drunken state senators.  The fact that the budget was decided by 3 guys who, if pushed couldn’t spell reform, was bad enough. But they seem oblivious to the big picture.

We are all doing with less. In our jobs, we do more with less, stretching dollars and abilities to get more done.  Our fearless leaders apparently don’t subscribe to that. Instead of even pretending to watch spending and not buy what they can’t afford, they are searching for more revenue. New York State is becoming the General Motors of the US. Our business model is busted and the guys at the top are looking for more money to fuel their private jets.  Tje squeezing of blood from the proverbial stone doesn’t apply when it comes to pet projects, committee work stipends and a slew of double dippers. Although I do applaud Raymond Gallagher for getting a conscious and quitting his state post of part time work when a potential raise got revealed. The idea of the state applying download fees is ridiculous. The state is threatening to layoff 8900 union employees if concessions cannot be reached. The less mentioned portion of that is that 8000 people have been hired around the state since our economic picture “got dire.”  Got news, it’s been dire. 

I suppose in one respect they do have something. Not only does all this bad news keep people out, it makes it difficult to leave to, so things should stablize.  Our representatives have to get away from screwing the constituents at every turn.  The latest sin is that there will be no Woodlawn or Bennett Beach available this summer.  It’s a revolting state of affairs when pork barrelled crap makes a disaster day budget, but things that might actually improve quality of life do not.  I know Woodlawn is not exactly paradise, but in a region where the state senators get five figure stipends for going to a small handful of extra meetings but neither has the kahones to speak up for their region? What the hell. Positively gutless.

When the budget here was in a state of flux, the whole department participated in an exchange of ideas, not just 3 shifty guys and a highlighter.

The beach thing especially blows. Since apparently some chucklehead decided that Fort Erie is on the other side of the Rio Grande, casual trips to the Canadian beaches are almost a thing of the past. Seasonal customs help apparently believes they are Dirty Harry, you have to look inward. We used to go to the Holiday Inn on Delaware to partake of their pool club. Since the hotel decided they didn’t want money (?), they in a fit of Albany-like pique, did away with that program.

Any wonder Patterson got booed at the Ballpark yesterday. I know I’m oversimplifying, but holy crap, the state priorities are so unbelivably fubar (and let’s face it, have been).

Yep, we’re getting screwed, and Albany will not respect us in the morning.