Saturday, November 01, 2008

Make Sure Bloomberg Knows What He's About To Sign Is Wrong

Michael Bloomberg may have a bank account packed to the brim with billions of dollars, but he is also full of conceit and arrogance. His massive ego blocks out respect for democracy and the will of the voters in New York City by pushing the highly unethical term limits extension legislation. Now this coming Monday he will come to his office and sign the bill into law. We still have the right as citizens to watch him sign it in public, so make sure he knows how you feel and drop by to jeer him with all your might.

From The Gothamist:

While the term limits extension legislation was passed by the City Council last week, the public does have the chance to speak up when Mayor Bloomberg signs the bill on Monday. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum points out, "The voices mainly heard on this subject were elected officials and the newspapers themselves. Contrary to what some are saying, there was very little opportunity for public input or dialogue... That's why I urge New Yorkers to use their last chance on Monday to speak face to face with the mayor before he signs the term limits bill."

Representative Anthony Weiner, who is running for mayor in 2009, hopes for big turnout, "The Mayor and the City Council may be able to take your vote away, but they can't take away your right to speak. I hope every New Yorker comes out and tells the Mayor that the people should have the right to vote on term limits." Today at 11:30 a.m., Representative Weiner will be at City Hall to rally the public to attend on Monday. And he'll be joined by Rachel Trachtenberg, the 14-year-old who testified during the City Council's hearings (and essentially stole the limelight--even from former governor Mario Cuomo)...

At, you can sign up to attend the bill signing/hearing on Monday, 9:30 a.m. at City Hall's Blue Room.
I'll be there with camera in hand and voice at full throttle to at least verbally punish the Mayor for what he's done to democracy in our city. Not that canvassing all day isn't tons of fun, but it adds an extra layer to the day before one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. So tell your boss you'll be in a little late Monday morning and show up to show Mayor Mike how serious we are!

Palin Gets Pranked By Montreal Radio Station!

Funniest moment of the week in the election, hands down!

How pissed must McCain and his staff have after hearing about this, lol!

Cheney Endorses McCain, Is It Out Of Spite?

With three days to go John McCain has an enormous problem on his hands, just within the conservative community. Democrats and many Independents are lining up behind Barack, but so are long time conservatives such as Lawrence Eagleburger and even GOP Congressman Chris Shays has thrown McCain under the bus. So obviously he needs to hear that someone prominent is still in his corner, but could there be anyone worse to step up than Dick Cheney?

From The Huffington Post:

The Obama campaign gleefully sends over an announcement of a major endorsement.... for John McCain... by Dick Cheney.

"In three days we'll choose a new steward for the presidency and begin a new chapter in our history," the Vice President said Saturday morning. "It's the biggest decision that we make together as Americans. A lot turns on the outcome. I believe the right leader for this moment in history is Senator John McCain."

Gleefully, ecstaticly, joyfully, all those adjectives work for the occasion. Cheney isn't an idiot though, he knows how much America loathes him after the last eight years. Why would he offer such an "endorsement" with only a few days to go when the last of the impressionable voters are looking for their candidate? Perhaps he did it out of spite because McCain didn't go negative enough? Hmmm, that's one question to ponder, but I'll take the good news even without an answer.

Sen. Chambliss Shows His Racist Side

Senator Saxby Chambliss certainly thinks he knows his supporters, specifically by skin color. In these waning days of the election, what was thought of by the GOP as a safe seat to hold on to has become a battleground thanks to the hardworking campaign of Jim Martin. There is an atmosphere of change in this country and Georgia is certainly a part of it, even if Obama is a few points down here in this "red state." Well Chambliss doesn't like that change and a potential loss of power, so he is going negative in ways we haven't seen since the turbulent times of the 1960s.

From ThinkProgress:

On Wednesday, the chairman of the Hillsborough County, Florida Republican party forwarded an e-mail to several hundred party members that warned of “‘the threat’ of ‘carloads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes.’” While the McCain campaign condemned the email, the sentiment does not appear to be isolated. As Tapped notes, earlier this week, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) proclaimed that the the “rush” of African-Americans to the polls has “got our side energized“:

There has always been a rush to the polls by African-Americans early,” he said at the square in Covington, a quick stop on a bus tour as the campaign entered its final week. He predicted the crowds of early voters would motivate Republicans to turn out. “It has also got our side energized, they see what is happening,” he said.

Similarly, Chambliss has been warning his “predominantly white base” in North Georgia, “The other folks are voting.”

Chambliss' outright racism is energizing like-minded Republicans in his area, inciting the worst parts of people. It isn't just Chambliss, but he certainly is a big part of the problem in this Southern state. The man came to power by attacking the patriotism of a triple-amputee war hero, so I guess we really shouldn't expect much from this scumbag of a Senator.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Let Robo-Calls Attack You!

Get away from John McCain's vicious robocalls (especially if you are in a swing state) and help Obama make real-live calls from actual people to undecided voters and others to help get out the vote this weekend through election day!

Addabbo And Maltese Square Off In Queens

Queens County has the ability to turn the status of power in the State Senate this year and Joseph Addabbo can be a part of that change. He is one of two Democratic Councilmen running for higher office, including Jim Gennaro who is running against Frank Padavan in the nearby 15th District. Addabbo is considered to have a good shot at throwing out the incumbent Serphin Maltese and was out to prove it at their debate last night.

From The Queens Chronicle:

Addabbo positioned himself as an agent of change, arguing that his city council record, along with his energy and fresh ideas, would allow him to reinvigorate the 15th Senate District. He cited as an example his “Adopt-A-Station” plan, similar to the “Adopt-A-Highway” program already in place, which he had proposed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to allow local businesses “to help beautify the A and J lines.”

The debate heated up when Maltese emphasized the advantages of being a 20-year incumbent. “Councilman Addabbo would come in as a new man, a neophyte, somebody that would not command the authority and funds that I do,” he said. “He would come in as sixty-second out of 62 senators, and that’s not going to command a great deal of attention for any plan he may come up with.”

Addabbo responded with one of the many one-liners he delivered that night: “At least I have a plan.… You don’t need seniority to have confidence in working with the MTA.”
What Addabbo didn't mention is that when the Senate has a Democratic Majority, Serphin's longevity in the Senate won't amount to a hill of beans. Being in the minority is a huge disadvantage to any politician, whether they're in there for thirty days or thirty years.

Also according to the Chronicle, Addabbo was cheered by the immigrant community for opposing Maltese's legislation that promoted racial profiling after 9/11. In the most diverse areas of the country, the old ways of thinking about immigrants should not be tolerated in our 21st century society, whether that be at the Presidential level, or on the State Senate side of things.

The article also focuses on whether a train station smells of urine or not and the seriousness of going to check out the problem as soon as possible, which adds for a little humor to the debate.

Gale Brewer Wants Council Hearings Streamed Live

This month the City Council held an unbelievable vote to give the Mayor and themselves an extension on term limits that were instituted by public referendum. During those two days of public hearings before the vote, the only way New Yorkers could see it was by going to City Hall or waiting more than a week to watch a taped edition on public television. Every other major city has webcasting available to their citizens for their Council meetings. The Times wonders why we do not and Councilwoman Gale Brewer (who voted against the term limits extension) has a very good answer.

From The NY Times Cityroom:

A bill proposed by Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, a Manhattan Democrat, would require city government meetings — including City Council committee hearings and public meetings of city agencies — to be Webcast and archived. It would be similar to an executive ordered signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer (who was not known for being a tech-savvy governor) on his first day in office, which mandated that state agencies had to Webcast their public proceedings within six months.

“If we could do it statewide, you’d think we could do it in the five boroughs,” Ms. Brewer said.

FYI: When The Polls Close On Election Day

In case you haven't voted early and are wondering what time you must get to the polls, here is the map of all the states with their end time to vote, care of Swing State Project:

Bush Working On One Last Shot To Wreck Our Government

George Bush may only have eighty days and change left in the White House, but that doesn't mean he isn't hard at "work." Economists have been bashing the deregulation policies of the last twenty to thirty years as the main problem of our fiscal crisis but that won't stop the Pretzeldent from enacting more of the same failed policies. In one last trick on the American people and another treat for corporate America, a whole array of regulations that protect the environment and consumers will go out the door if Bush gets his way.

From The Washington Post:

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

Once such rules take effect, they typically can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis.

"They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration's penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge "a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto says that they have the "best interests of the nation in mind," but we know he is completely full of shit. The Republican Administration is doing everything in its power to make things as difficult as they can be for the next (presumably Democratic) President. The wealthy elite are going to miss their confidante in the Oval Office so they are hoping that this one last push will help them get through until the next time they can trick the people into voting against their own interests.

Hopefully that day will never come.

Quinn Frustrated With Bloomberg?

Well how about this nugget of news, Quinn's people are frustrated with the Mayor. Boo friggin' hoo. The Times is reporting that tensions are up between the Speaker's staff and the Mayor's due to the term limits battle and the upcoming votes to raise property taxes and cut funding. Those last two things are never fun, but Quinn should have thought about those tensions before deciding to become Bloomberg's chief lackey in his unethical quest for more power.

From The NY Times:

Feelings are raw between the two sides largely because Ms. Quinn took heavy political shrapnel for the mayor during the term limits battle as she rounded up support for what became an unusually difficult vote.

The strains at City Hall could stymie the Bloomberg administration’s agenda in the middle of the deepest financial crisis to strike New York City in decades.

In closed-door meetings over the last few days that occasionally escalated into shouting, Ms. Quinn has told the mayor’s aides to back off a plan that would change how hundreds of programs for the elderly are financed, a proposal that has infuriated several council members.

According to people briefed on the conversations, she has warned that the mayor’s plan to push for a property tax increase as early as next week could encounter resistance, especially since council members are still reeling from the term limits vote.
Quinn really should have thought things through in regards to her job at the Council and representing her district before calculating her political ambitions next year. If she (gasp) stuck to semblance of having principles, such as respecting democracy, things may have come out differently. Instead, she gave the Mayor what he wanted, a chance to run for another term and now she must live with it.

Of course, she isn't the only one whining, the Times quotes the ethically tarnished Councilman David Yassky saying “There is a sense that the mayor has damaged his popularity and that is emboldening members,” which is ironic because that is exactly how residents and activists feel about him in his own district for turning his back on them. Another complaintant in the article is Councilman Fidler, a long time opponent of Bloomberg but who decided to support the abolishment of term limits through the Council, even though he thought the tactic wasn't the best way to go about it. So much for his respect of the people.

The attitude I liked best was from Charles Barron, one of 22 members that voted against the term limits legislation. In his conversation with the Mayor, Barron ended the chat with a “meet you on the battlefield.” That is exactly what many of us will do with Bloomberg from now until election day of next year.

Rachel Maddow Goes One-On-One With Barack Obama

Barack Obama has done an impressive amount of interviews lately, reaching out to as many voters as possible, not only to swing them to his side but remind people to Get Out The Vote and be counted this coming Tuesday. The latest network spot went to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Circular Firing Squad Continues Within McCain/Palin Camp

These are not good times for the GOP and their hope (McCain) and prayer (Palin) to stay in the White House. George Bush has less than three months to go but the way things are going on the campaign trail the "team of mavericks" have four days until it's all over. The blunders were bad enough yesterday, but one supposed supporter of McCain and former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger shredded Palin's "experience" went above and beyond, or shall I say below for the Republican ticket.

From The Huffington Post:

Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an "adequate" commander in chief.

"And I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested," he added for good measure -- referring both to Palin's policy dexterity and the idea of McCain not making it through his time in office. (Listen to audio below.)

The remarks took place during an interview on National Public Radio that was, ironically, billed as "making the case" for a McCain presidency. Asked by the host whether Palin could step in during a time of crisis, Eagleburger reverted to sarcasm before leveling the harsh blow.

"It is a very good question," he said, pausing a few seconds, then adding with a chuckle: "I'm being facetious here. Look, of course not."

Facetiousness aside, prominent Republicans are abandoning McCain in droves. Incumbents looking to win close races are either ignoring him or trying to link themselves with Obama and/or attacking the Presidential nominee out in full view for the public to see. Pundits started leaving with the selection of Sarah Palin and it could just make for the undoing of tie that binds the different factions of the Republican party, not just for the hope and prayer of getting into office.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Self-Interest Motivates Bloomberg To Stump For Maltese

Rumors may be swirling that Michael Bloomberg may run for re-election as a Democrat but it really is hard to gauge what party he wants to hang his hat on. He recently endorsed Democratic challenger Dennis Shulman for Congress out in New Jersey, but his latest push is for old-time Republican State Senator Serphin Maltese.

From PolitickerNY:

Michael Bloomberg will make his first campaign appearance with Republican State Senator Serf Maltese of Queens, who is in a tight race for re-election against Democrat Joe Addabbo, a City Councilman.

Bloomberg, an independent, has spoken openly about the need to help Republicans maintain their control of the State Senate since Democrats already control the governor's mansion and the Assembly.

The irony here is that Bloomberg's efforts may be undone by Addabbo, who Bloomberg aides encouraged to run two years ago.

Bloomberg makes himself out to look independent with his endorsements of various candidates, but looking at the big picture shows that he is only looking out for #1. He exaggerated New York's fiscal status to scare people into giving him a shot at running for re-election. He is helping Republican Chris Shays in Connecticut, someone who has like-minded constituencies they both enjoy serving. Dennis Shulman is in New Jersey and gives Bloomberg political cover for sticking with Republicans like Maltese back here in New York.

Really when it comes down to it, Bloomberg is trying to hold onto as much power as he can to remake New York into a playground for the rich. With the Republicans holding on to the Senate, a bill that could overrule his term limit gambit would be stuck in the Assembly where it is currently gaining support. Further, a Democratic State Senate is something Bloomberg opposes because it would open the floodgates for legislation that would help New Yorkers other than wealthy developers. So the Mayor will do whatever it takes to keep Republicans in control so that ultimate authority in New York City will continue to rest with him.

McCain Aide Claims Obama Pals With Anti-Semites But Can't Name Them

The McCain campaign truly is in shambles. Listen to his national spokesman Michael Goldfarb try to link Obama to anti-semites and fail miserably. Seriously, this campaign is a total joke. If you are going to viciously smear someone, at least try to get your names straight before going on air.

CUNY Gives Top Boss $55K Raise With Budget Cuts Looming

It must be nice to be Matthew Goldstein. In case you don't know, he is the Chancellor of the City University of New York, that includes dozens of schools across the city such as Baruch, Hunter, John Jay and City College among others. The budget crunch in our state is looking horrific and cuts have been promised across the board and CUNY has no special protection from the axe Paterson and the Legislature wield. So how does the board over there respond?

From The NY Post:

Chancellor Mathew Goldstein's raise puts his annual base salary at $450,000 - plus more than $100,000 for a housing allowance and other perks.

At 7 percent over each of the last two years, Goldstein's boost was just slightly above the 5 to 6 percent raises for vice chancellors, whose salaries were all pushed above $200,000.

"It's twice as high as the raise for the faculty," Barbara Bowen, president of the teachers union at CUNY, said of the chancellor's raise. "The faculty and staff at CUNY . . . are shocked by a salary of $450,000 when the university is facing the prospect of further budget cuts."

CUNY claims they are just doing what they are doing is perfectly fine and within the norms, but this is no normal time. If anyone gets a hefty raise, it should be the teachers, not someone that already got close to half a million a year in cash and prizes. With daunting cuts coming down the pike, this should be a time of frugality and wise spending choices by the educational megalith. Goldstein is aware that CUNY must make cuts of nearly $6 million this year and $9.5 million in the next. So while he is "closely monitoring its financial situation" at the helm, he'll be doing it with a nice cushion on top of his already well-funded salary.

McCain Gets Stood Up By Joe The Plumber

You know things are bad for McCain when your last hope at connecting to the mythical American "Joe" bails out on you at a campaign rally five days out from the election. Not only did that happen to the Arizonan Senator, but no one gave McCain the message and he tripped up on a grand scale in front of his 6,000+ audience.

From ThinkProgress:

At a rally today in Ohio, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) of wanting to “spread the wealth.” McCain then summoned Joe the Plumber, who wasn’t even in the audience:

McCAIN: That’s only because Joe the Plumber asked [Obama] the right questions right here in Ohio. … Joe’s with us today. Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today.


McCAIN: All right, well you’re all Joe the Plumbers, so all of you stand up!

Sir, Joe the plumber can't be found because your idea of him doesn't exist. Joe Wurzelbacher is busy becoming a country music star, so having him tip his hat in your direction is over. McCain used Joe for a political argument and now Joe is using him, that is all there is to it between the two of them. Now I wonder what the 4,000 students who were bussed in to make McCain's crowd swell get for being his stage props?

Bill Clinton Introduces Barack Obama To The Crowd In Florida

Stereotypes of Floridians aside, an enormous crowd came together late into the night yesterday to see Barack Obama and his special guest, former President Bill Clinton. Needless to say, it was an incredible moment to see one President so strongly endorse the man that will be our next Commander in Chief. Speaking of which, where's George Bush on McCain's campaign trail?

We Have Two Credit Crises On Our Hands

Everyone with access to a newspaper or even a radio is aware of the national and increasingly international credit crisis. Banks are afraid of loaning money to other banks in fear of them closing next week, so you can imagine what they think of small businesses and average people in need of some cash to buy a home, car or whatnot. Yet there is another crisis that does not care about dollars, euros or yen, it has to deal with our planet as a whole.

From The BBC:

The Living Planet Report is the work of WWF, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network.

It says that more than three quarters of the world's population lives in countries where consumption levels are outstripping environmental renewal.

This makes them "ecological debtors", meaning that they are drawing - and often overdrawing - on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries to sustain them.

The report concludes that the reckless consumption of "natural capital" is endangering the world's future prosperity, with clear economic impacts including high costs for food, water and energy.

Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy at the conservation group's Scotland arm, added: "While the media headlines continue to be dominated by the economic turmoil, the world is hurtling further into an ecological credit crunch."

The United States of course is the largest debtor in this sense, though China is vying to be the world's largest polluter and energy hog. Despite the arrogance of China's growing economy, that does not mean we in America cannot help to lead by example and help alleviate this ecological crisis. President Bush was certainly not up to the task, but under Obama and a public willing to make changes across the board, we can certainly alter our course for the better.

Bloomberg Played Economic Fear Card For Term Limit Extension

In the run-up to the term limit battle, Bloomberg and his supporters in the Council trumpeted his economic expertise as a reason for giving him more power. The Mayor said he would guide us through because he can manage money (like his own personal wealth that quadrupled to $20 billion since he took office) and that we should trust him, blah, blah, blah. He also said we'd have more choice, but really that choice was to let him spend another $80 million for his re-election bid next year. Well now it turns out that the crisis in the city is neither as bad as he said it is and his statements hardly warrant our trust.

From The NY Times:

New York City’s annual budget deficit, he said, would swell by $500 million during the current fiscal year because of weakening tax revenues.

At the time, the worsening picture seemed to strengthen his central argument for changing term limits — a vulnerable city needed his steady hand and business background for four more years.

But some of those inside and outside the administration say that Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks were inaccurate and may have painted a more dire financial situation than was warranted. Interviews with these people show that the city does not expect any budget deficit in the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

In fact, data that was provided to the city about the same time the mayor was speaking showed the city’s tax revenue grew at an unexpectedly brisk pace during July, August and September.
That doesn't mean things are looking great for the road ahead, but Bloomberg still embellished his story of our impending economic ruin. And who else could save us from that calamity other than our Billionaire Mayor? Give him the opportunity or else, he and his minions said. Despite the riling of financial fears, many New Yorkers were coming on board to fight the Mayor in his quest to extend term limits they enacted. And even with that, the Mayor strong-armed the Council into passing the ethically-challenged legislation.

Now we find out that the grim news he was peddling wasn't all that grim, and we have yet another reason not to trust him.

American Stories, American Solutions....From Barack Obama

In case you missed Barack Obama's half-hour address on several networks last night, here it is for your viewing pleasure and as a reminder to Obama supporters who we are fighting for.

Five more days people, go and help Obama now!

An Ode To Howard Dean

Crowds 100,000 strong are chanting Obama! Obama! Obama! at rallies in what were traditionally known as red states in the last week. Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia were safe for the GOP, or so said the pundits and pollsters from both sides of the aisle. Yet there was one man and one movement behind him that believed there was another way, his name is Howard Dean. The focus has been on the candidates recently and rightly so, but the man behind the scenes and the DNC was the one who not only introduced the 50-state strategy but blasted it through the thick minded conventional wisdom.

CNN's Roland Martin thinks it's about time for some apologies:

(CNN) -- If Sen. Barack Obama is able to prevail over Sen. John McCain on Tuesday, all of those Democrats who ripped Howard Dean's 50-state strategy over the last four years should call the head of the Democratic National Committee and offer a heartfelt apology.

First in line should be New York Sen. Charles Schumer, Chicago, Illinois, Rep. Rahm Emanuel and my CNN colleague, political strategist James Carville.

When Democrats were in the final stages of winning back Congress in 2006, those three were at odds with Dean, saying he should forget about his pie-in-the-sky plan to have the Democratic Party competitive in all 50 states.

They reasoned that money spent on get-out-the vote efforts in non-congressional elections was futile, and all the effort should be on reclaiming Congress.

But Dean resisted their suggestions, weathering repeated calls for him to resign after that election.

Thank god he didn't resign. That would have been the worst thing for our party looking for an identity other than "Republican-lite." While Obama is certainly offering change in this crucial election, a lot of that gets done on the ground with organizers who GOTV day in and day out. If we were stuck in a 2004 mentality, the party would have called for a multi-state strategy but only in what they deemed swing states. Last time around that number was 17, far short of the fifty the Democrats are operating in now.

Also, a lot of what Obama is doing across the country is modeled on Dean's successes with online organizing and a small donor army that is providing for a full-on saturation across the nation. While we probably won't win states like Mississippi, Texas and Utah this year, victories can still be seen there on the local level. Like the defeated Republicans of the 1960s, they slowly but surely built themselves from the bottom-up in order to control school boards and county positions that eventually turned into Congressional, Senatorial and Gubernatorial seats. And today, thanks to Dean, we are replicating those strategies but putting progressive policies back into practice. People have been hurting under conservative control for far too long and they are certainly ready for change, and thanks to Howard, it is able to reach them from one coast to the other and leaving nothing open in the middle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Paterson Goes To Washington For A Bailout

Next month the big debate in New York after the election is over will be in Albany over the state budget. We are looking at record budget gaps for the next few years and the Governor wants the Legislature to come and cut spending wherever they can to fill the holes left by the disaster on Wall Street. Though to Paterson's credit, he is trying to find balance with a bailout from the Federal level as well. He testified in front of Congress today and made his case for financial relief.

From Capitol Confidential:

Paterson said he was appearing on behalf of New York and other struggling states to “present our case” for federal investment in state water and food projects and more spending on food aid and other social programs to help jump start the economy.

In stark terms, Paterson described the fiscal crisis in New York and the looming economic problems in as many as 39 states bracing for deficits in fiscal 2010.

“The most essential way the House and Senate can help our country is to reinvest and reignite the engine of our economy, which we see as our states,” Paterson said.

Paterson asked Congress to consider helping states by:

_ Boosting spending and eligibility for food aid. “Food stamps are the best economic stimulus,” Paterson said.

_ Increasing federal spending on block grants to states.

_ Spending federal dollars to build roads and repair bridges and water treatment facilities. “Infrastructure repair (is) something this country has not addressed in the last 50 years.”

Some economists have been skeptical that infrastructure spending would provide the kind of immediate economic relief desired in a new stimulus package, because projects could take too long to get under way.

But Paterson said in New York alone there are 40 “shovel-ready programs for improving highways and bridges” and another 50 programs are “ready to go in the area of water projects.”

Having fellow Harlem resident Charlie Rangel at the head of the Ways and Means Committee is a promising sign for Paterson, but that does not put a financial package in the bag as of yet. All of his proposals are sound and putting dollars into infrastructure pays many dividends as opposed to just a simple $600 check that Congress and Bush approved a few months back. Programs like food stamps that are geared for the poor also must be followed through with, especially since so much money has already been allocated to the wealthy financial firms that are at the heart of this gigantic mess.

your Representatives in Congress to make the case for Paterson, so that the State Legislature does not need to make so many cuts to our state budget.

Gennaro Goes To The Airwaves Against Padavan

With a three to one money advantage, Jim Gennaro has the backing of the people's pocketbooks with enough vigor to tell voters in Northeast Queens about Padavan's anti-women's rights record:

Chris Shays Throws McCain Under The Bus

Sensing McCain's imminent defeat, Representative Christopher Shays is trying to save his own political skin by sacrificing his party's Presidential candidate. Shays is one of many conservatives that are running from McCain and the Republican party is getting ready for a big fight within its ranks, though the fact that this infighting is occurring now as opposed to after the election points to an ominous sign for the GOP.

From The Yale Daily News:

Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut’s 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.

“I just don’t see how [McCain] can win,” Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain’s campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain’s race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

“He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign,” Shays said.

Shays is doing whatever he can to hold on to his Congressional seat, though it isn't the only thing. He also accepted over $800,000 from the realty lobby among other perks to change his outlook on the housing bubble and giving out bad loans. The truth is, Shays will do anything and everything to acquire campaign cash and hold onto power. Despite his public break from McCain, he still needs to be kicked to the curb...and replaced by someone that will represent all of the 4th District in Connecticut, like Jim Himes.

McCain Claims Obama's Address Gets In Way Of Baseball, Fox Says Otherwise

John McCain is looking for anything to complain about these days and it showed yesterday by bringing up erroneous claims about Obama's paid 30 minute spot tonight. McCain tried to get in with baseball fans by saying that the World Series is going to be delayed for the ad, but as usual, the truth got in his way.

From Politico:

"Our first pitch for the world series is usually around 8:30 anyway – so we didn’t push back the game, it was really just about suspending the pre-game -- you know, Joe Buck," said the account executive, Joe Coppola. "That’s all we did."

He said World Series games this season have begun between 8:22 p.m. and 8:35 p.m.

"We didn’t push back the game at all," he said. He also said Obama had initially arranged to buy the time only if the Series were over before Game Six (in fact, a rain-delayed Game Five will continue tomorrow night), but Fox then decided to sell the campaign the time whether or not the game was played.
Another blown talking point for McCain. While John whines about not being able to spend the money on his own 30 minute ad, Barack Obama will be able to lay out his plans for the nation as our next President. Oh and what would a Republican attack be without a little hypocrisy.

This "Socialism" Attack Really Cannot Be Defended

Try as GOP pundit Ed Rogers might, there really is no basis in fact of the Republicans' attack on Barack Obama's tax plan. Matthews and Shrum easily batted away the fearmongering about socialism and "redistributing the wealth" and kept bringing the discussion back to reality, despite Rogers talking over the other guys as much as possible.

NYT Rails On Board Of Elections And Bloomberg, Where Were They Two Weeks Ago?

Yesterday's opinion section had a great rant on the Board of Elections and Bloomberg's hypocritical nature when it comes to helping to reform the system. It was great to see an article that address the fact that we have voting problems of our own right here in New York City and that there are issues that need to be addressed in order to fix the antiquated system.

From The NY Times:

Elections in New York City are managed by an arcane and secretive body — the New York City Board of Elections — that, in turn, is controlled by party leaders in the city’s five boroughs. Over the years, they have turned it into a nest of good old-fashioned patronage that Boss Tweed and the boys down at Tammany Hall would have admired.

Because of late mailings to voters, thousands of absentee ballots might not be received in time to be postmarked by the deadline of Nov. 3. A purge of more than 30,000 voters has raised questions about how many people were mistakenly dropped from the city’s official lists.

And when the elections offices were deluged with new registrations — 200,000 in the last two weeks before the registration deadline — they apparently had difficulty coping.

As a result, many new voters might not find their names on the rolls. Some may be on supplementary lists, but others could be required to vote on provisional ballots, never an ideal way to cast a ballot.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often rails about the secretive nature of city’s elections board, also made things worse in the short term. He cut city funds to the board and failed to spring for extra temporary employees to help with the expected crowds. Mr. Bloomberg is right that the city needs a better elections operation, but the mayor should have passed along enough emergency funds to help voters on Election Day.
The Times wants to hold the Elections Board accountable and rightly so. However, I have to wonder if this is just a way for them to get back some credibility after pushing for Bloomberg's end run around democracy with the whole term limits debacle. Yes, I am aware that the Times has always been against term limits, but the way the Mayor and Council went about changing the law was anything but ethical and the paper's approval of it was just flat out wrong.

The Times editorial from yesterday just adds to the fact that Mayor Bloomberg does not care about the voters of this city. Whether it be by making it easier to vote in this election with thousands upon thousands of new voters or by following the process with a referendum on term limits, New Yorkers deserve that and more yet we have a Mayor that wants anything but.

Citizens Union's Weak Argument For Padavan

First off I'd like to commend Citizens Union for endorsing Joe Addabbo against Serf Maltese. Maltese is part of the old establishment up in Albany that has done nothing for the likes of good government. However, Frank Padavan is a part of that broken system and should have also given a shove towards the door by CU. Instead of endorsing the progressively-minded Gennaro, they went with the status quo in the 11th Senate District.

From NYT Cityroom:

Mr. Padavan, a Republican who was first elected to the State Senate in 1972, was preferred by the organization over his Democratic challenger, City Councilman James F. Gennaro.

The organization said that it preferred Mr. Padavan “because of his long-held support for much of Citizens Union’s reform agenda and effective representation in Albany.”

Citizens Union, however, noted that Councilman Gennaro “is also an effective and well-liked Councilmember who could provide able representation in the Senate if he were elected.”; however, Citizens Union ultimately thought that a compelling enough case did not exist for it to no longer support Senator Padavan.

Since when has Senator Padavan supported the goals of Citizens Union? He may have given a nod to an independent redistricting commission but actions speak louder than words. Frank has been around for 36 years and how far has CU got in terms of reform with Padavan in office? Yeah, exactly my point. The Senate needs to be shaken up and Padavan is a giant rock in the way of change. Jim Gennaro of course had a response to this.

In response, Mr. Gennaro said that he considered it “surprising that Citizens Union would choose to endorse the Republican Frank Padavan, who has done nothing in his 36 years in office to challenge the Senate Republican Majority to push for the things that good government groups care about, like campaign finance reform, budget reform and legislative rules reform.”

He added: “My record of reform is clear, as demonstrated by my vote last week against the term limits extension bill in the City Council.”
Jim Gennaro has proven he deserves the endorsement and not just tepid praise. Dadey and CU went with a safe pick of an incumbent to give off a non-partisan look while Padavan is hardly a model of good government. The man names parks and schools after himself while in office in order to create his "institutional" character in the district. The state government would be much better served by Jim Gennaro in Northeast Queens, not the same old crap from Padavan.

Inside The Big Bad ACORN

John McCain thinks these people are perpetrating the biggest fraud on American democracy. What is that fraud is exactly, no one is really sure except for that the Republicans have done a lot of spinning in the press against them. The truth is they are trying to register minorities so they can vote, regardless of the fear tactics Republicans use against them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Under A President McCain, Forget About A Minimum Wage Increase

For the first time since President Clinton, the newly Democratic Congress increased the minimum wage last year. It was a welcome breath of fresh air in the room that has been stale for those who aren't rich GOP donors. It came at an opportune time and George Bush had to relent in order to get other things he wanted passed. The wage is still far below what it takes to keep an American family in a home, with a healthy diet and access to decent medical coverage. If you think you'll see another increase taken on by McCain, think again.

From ThinkProgress:

Today in an interview with CNBC, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that he wasn’t interested in raising the minimum wage:

BARTIROMO: What about a minimum wage increase? Would you consider?

MCCAIN: As long as we take care of small businesses. Small businesses right now — I see them every day — they say, You increase the minimum wage, I lay off workers. Is that what we want to do right now? Of course not.

As TP points out, he has voted against increases in the wage nineteen times and you can be certain that his veto pen would be used heavily against the Congress that (hopefully) will fight for more progressive values as it becomes much bluer this cycle. It is possible we could see a 100-seat majority and it would be much better served by a President that respects those who are in need and not those that "need" new yachts.

After Senate Rebuke, McCain Still Helped Keating Associate

John McCain is a real prize. The Arizona Senator was sharply rebuked by his colleagues for helping Charles Keating navigate through Congress and ultimately ended up helping the American people bail out the Savings and Loan industry nearly twenty years ago. Now a reformed politician would have severed all ties with a crook like Keating after that experience, but not the mavericky John McCain! He readily put his hands back in the mud, or shall I say dirty land swaps for one of Keating's friends.

From McClatchy:

The owners of the Spur Cross Ranch, a dramatic 2,154-acre tract of Sonoran desert just north of Phoenix, in the late 1990s sought to sell it to a developer who planned to build a premier golf course surrounded by 390 luxury homes.

Nearby residents and environmentalists, however, wanted to preserve the area's unusual cacti, stone formations and hundreds of Hopi Indian tribal artifacts.

After opposition surfaced, the developer sought McCain's help in forging a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service — a deal that also would benefit the owners of the ranch, including a company controlled by billionaire Carl H. Lindner Jr., an associate of S&L chief Charles H. Keating.

McCain and an aide pushed for the exchange in more than a half dozen sometimes-testy letters and phone calls up and down the Forest Service's hierarchy, according to former agency officials and correspondence. McCain's office even circulated draft legislation that would have overridden the agency's objection to surrendering national forest land. Ultimately, the deal fell apart.

Now this was all during the time he was engaged in grandstanding over campaign finance-reform. McCain talked tough in front of the cameras and on the Senate floor, but in the backrooms he was a much more amiable guy for wealthy developers that had to deal with pesky environmentalists. Thankfully that deal fell apart, but it still shows just what kind of politician John McCain is versus the pseudo-reformer he claims to be.

Stevens Proclaims His Innocence, Proves He Has No Shame Or Remorse

Even John McCain has called on his fellow Republican Senator Ted Stevens to resign, but that isn't slowing down the 84 year old convicted felon. Despite being convicted of several felonies, he is out and about, proclaiming his innocence with plenty of his conservative buddies saying that he wasn't tried with a jury of his peers, even though he lives in D.C. Listen to this crap he has to say for his convicted self:

Alaskan voters, regardless of party need to look at the race between Stevens and Begich again, because if they think that Sarah Palin is a national embarrassment to them, then having a convicted felon represent them takes that shame to a whole new level.

Give Mark Begich a hand so that Alaska can finally get rid of their shameful Senator.

Dov Hikind Falls For Petty Attacks On Obama

When America goes to the polls, knowing where the candidates stand on important issues is generally a good way to base your decision. Perhaps it is their tone and ability to handle a crisis or the way they interact with other legislators, as getting bills to the floor and passed is pertinent to making change happen in our frequently gridlocked Congress.

In the primaries, some Jewish voters sided with Hillary because of baseless attacks on Barack Obama because his Reverend Wright has some controversial views and praises some nasty individuals like Louis Farrakhan. What that has to do with being President, I honestly don't know. Regardless, Obama won the nomination and now the choice is between him and McCain, a man with controversial religious connections himself. I really could care less about Hagee and Wright, because policies will be shaped by McCain or Obama, not their preachers.

Coming back to Jewish voters, the ratio of Dems to Repubs have generally been three to one and the fears brought out by other candidates about Obama's faith, ancestry and whatnot has generally fallen on deaf ears, with Jews voting heavily for the Democratic candidate anyways. You would think a political leader within the community would also see beyond the stupid attacks and vote based on the policy agenda that helps govern their own principles, but not for Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Apparently he buys the anti-Israel bullshit being peddled the Christian Right and others in the GOP looking for any way possible to peel away Obama voters, particularly using wedge issues. Like Robert at TAP, Dov seriously needs to keep his warped ideas to himself and get pull his head out of the crap he gets in his email box or wherever he gets his rumors that are completely devoid of facts.

Republicans In Virginia Think You're Stupid

It is undeniable that Senator Barack Obama holds a large lead over Senator John McCain, but that isn't stopping the Grand Old Party and their compatriots from trying to take the election by nefarious means. Voter suppression efforts are going on across the nation in order to stop the massive influx of new voters from casting their ballots. The problem though is that in many instances, the courts are throwing out many Republican challenges, such as those in Montana, Ohio and Georgia. With their legal maneuvers failing nearly everywhere their lawyers go, anti-Democratic voting efforts are using the most basic and simplistic attacks to trick voters.

From Raising Kaine:

Unfortunately, we are going to have to be constantly vigilent about crap like this.
A phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5 is being circulated in several Hampton Roads localities, according to state election officials.

In fact, Election Day for voters of all political stripes remains Nov. 4.

It's disgusting, obviously, and possibly illegal (the state police are looking into the matter). Anyway, the bottom line is this: stay diligent, and...

Yes, November 4th, it is a Tuesday and like every other year, we are voting on the first Tuesday of November. If you are lucky enough to live in a state that allows early voting then do it, especially in swing states expecting unprecedented turnout numbers. Seriously though, are there people out there that would still believe this crap? Particularly this year, we are expecting as many hurdles thrown our way as possible. Everyone voting for Obama and aware of the implications for our racially-tainted nation should know his opponents will be doing whatever they can to keep people from voting. Something like this is should be considered child's play.

Smoke Rising From McPalin Camp

Cenk Uyugr delivers the damaging goods on the tumultuous relationship between John McCain and Sarah Palin. Things are not looking good for their ticket as Sarah goes wild and shows her "diva" to save her own hide in the GOP.

Your Money Going To Enlarge Wall St. Bonuses

The ridiculousness of the collusion between Washington and Wall Street knows no end. Once again, we see the lax regulation and oversight of our government helping those that need no extra help while the rest of us suffer. If a regular person lost all their money, Congress would never give them billions to replace that loss and allow them to receive an additional bonus. Yet come Christmastime, Wall Street executives are going to see larger bonus checks than they thought they'd get before the government bailed them out.

From Time:

Uncle Sam has a new name on Wall Street — Sugar Daddy. Bonuses for investment bankers and traders are projected to fall by 40% this year. But analysts, compensation consultants and recruiters say the drop would be much more severe, perhaps as much as 70%, had it not been for the government's efforts to prop up the financial firms. "Year-end pay on Wall Street will be higher than it would have been had it not been for the government and mergers," says Alan Johnson, a leading compensation consultant. "You would expect it to be down much more."

Johnson predicts the average managing director at an investment bank, a title typically earned around eight years on the job, will receive a bonus of $625,000. That's down from nearly $1.1 million last year, but it is still 15 times the income of the average American household. Top bankers could receive as much as $1 million. Even a bond trader just out of business school could see his or her bank account enriched by as much as $170,000 this Christmas. "The firms have had an extremely difficult year," says Joan Zimmerman, a Wall Street career coach. "But they can't afford to lose talent either."

While the government rescue limits the salaries of five top executives of each of the participating financial firms, Congress did nothing to restrict Wall Street firms from using taxpayer funds to boost the compensation of rank and file investment bankers. "Some people might argue that these bankers should not be penalized if they weren't personally involved in the risky mortgage-backed securities," says Sarah Anderson, project director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in Washington. "My response is that average taxpayer wasn't either, but she is being asked to take a hit."

We, the average taxpayer, are being repeatedly hit in the gut, kicked in the shin and slapped across the face. In a just world, these investment bankers who supposedly have "talent" would be paying back what they lost for their company and ultimately for our economy. People are suffering out there, losing their homes, their cars, their credit...and these wealthy few are still looking forward to six-figure bonuses. Seriously, wtf? W. T. F!!!

How is this fair? Someone want to explain this to me?

Big Money In The State Senate Races

If you've been following the State Senate races or live in a district with a tight contest, you know that there's been a lot of campaigning going on to determine the control of the divided body. Well in order to operate all of those campaigns requires a lot of money, even in the less expensive upstate media markets. Republicans are determined to hold their last vestige of power and the Democrats feel destined to take it away and make New York a one-party-ruled state. So how much money does that take?

From The NY Times:

Candidates and party committees have spent well over $40 million so far in the Senate contests, according to an analysis of recent filings by the New York Public Interest Research Group, a government watchdog organization. By Election Day, the group estimated, that figure will almost certainly exceed the $43.6 million spent during 2006 and will be far more than the $27 million spent during the 2004 Senate elections, according to the analysis.

With a week to go before Election Day, Republicans had at least $11.7 million on hand, far more than the Democrats’ $5.2 million. Republicans, who have controlled the Senate for roughly four decades, are greatly outspending Democrats. The tally now is 31 Republicans, 29 Democrats and 2 vacancies.

During the last three weeks alone, Republican candidates and committees have spent $7.4 million in races around the state, compared with at least $5 million for Democratic candidates and committees.

The Republicans’ financial advantage is less pronounced than in past years in part because Democrats have been able to raise more money from businesses and special interests, thanks to the narrowness of the Republican majority and to Mr. Paterson’s decision to break with Albany tradition by aggressively helping his fellow Democrats in the Senate.

Control of the Senate is extremely important to both parties. Keeping things the same gives the GOP some relevance in the state's power apparatus and a way to hold onto the status quo of getting next to nothing done on the progressive agenda. If the Democrats take the Senate back, a whole host of reforms promises to make its way from the Legislature to the Governor and then on to the people of New York. Everything from an expansion of renters' rights to legalizing gay marriage is possible. What determines the agenda are those New Yorkers living in key districts across the state that can shake up Albany like it hasn't been in over forty years.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The N Word At A Palin Rally, The Hate Continues And Increases - Update

With eight days to go, the spectacular end of the McCain/Palin ticket promises an explosive end. For the minority that votes for them, beware the racists in your midst. Today at one of Palin's rallies one supporter increased the level of hate by screaming "and he's a ni**er," clearly catching the VP candidate off guard. Unfortunately, like all other screams and shouts, she said nothing to denounce the racist in front of her, despite showing that it threw her for a moment. Okay, I've got to admit that this video doesn't say that after closer inspection, it says this.

It is sad to see this, but perhaps these few brazenly racists' acts can alert the people who erroneously believe that racism is a thing of the past and compel them to do something about it now and in the future. Racism still exists and it is still rampant in certain parts of the GOP and the far right. That was clearly put on display with the plot to assassinate Obama and kill over a hundred African-Americans in Tennessee. Thankfully that was broken up. Here for this video, the woman shouted "Redistributor." It is still wrong and comes from misguided Republican talking points, but not as bad as the N word.

Jury Confirms Sen. Ted Stevens Is A Corrupt Bastard

The fact that Senator Ted Stevens is a corrupt public official from Alaska isn't shocking or surprising. The fact that a jury of his peers convicted him of multiple crimes of corruption is fantastic news though. It is a great day for America when the system shows that it still works when an elected official can be held accountable for breaking the public trust and justice is served. Senator Stevens had put his self-interest ahead of his Alaskan constituents long ago and now he will have to pay the price for it.

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has been convicted of lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor.

The Senate's longest-serving Republican, Stevens was found guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents.

The verdict throws the upcoming election into disarray. Stevens is fighting off a challenge from Democrat Mark Begich and must now either drop out or continue campaigning as a convicted felon.

The trial hinged on the testimony of Stevens' longtime friend, who testified that his employees dramatically remodeled the senator's home.

Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count but, under federal sentencing guidelines, will likely receive much less prison time, if any.

Yeah so he probably won't go to jail which is a shame. Though the guy is 84 and doesn't have much time left as it is. He really should be put in jail or be forced to resign from office because the man clearly does not have the dignity required to leave office on his own accord. Now it is up to Alaskans to make sure Stevens goes on a long, permanent vacation and replaces him with Mark Begich.

Term Limits Gaining In Appeal Across NY

All the discussion, uproar and denigration of democracy here in the city has created quite the debate about term limits throughout the Empire State. Watching Bloomberg in all of his political arm-twisting glory, the public was generally aghast at what he and his minions in the Council did. Polls show the issue should have been addressed by another referenda but that wasn't good enough for the Mayor. So now pollsters are asking about term limits around New York and Paterson's popularity on top of that.

From PolitickerNY:

The new Siena poll seems to prove that voters statewide are, like city voters, able to be supportive of term limits without being unsupportive of the executive who happens to be in charge.

David Paterson’s approval rating is up (although he’d still lose in a hypothetical match-up to Michael Bloomberg, 43 to 47), even as a majority of voters said they support an eight-year term limit on state lawmakers, including the governor.

According to the data, voters support term limits for state lawmakers by a margin of 58 - 37 percent, with 5 percent undecided. And it's supported across party lines: Democrats support it 55 - 38, with Republicans even more in favor of it, 66 to 31; independent voters also support it 57 to 40.

Albany is just as messed up as City Hall so the numbers are't too surprising, showing how New Yorkers are generally displeased with how their representatives represent them. Even though Paterson (and by previous polling) and Bloomberg are popular, term limits are also favored by strong majorities. The more we hear about the shenanigans from our halls of government, the more people seem to want limits on the State Legislature's terms.

McCain Admits His Commonality With George Bush

McCain had a clever moment in the last debate where he tried to distance himself from George Bush. However, yesterday on Meet the Pres Brokaw had gotten the GOP candidate to admit the obvious connection he generally avoids like the plague. And of course, Obama didn't waste a moment in hammering him for it.

Palin Shows Her Disdain For Local Press

Sarah Palin has made herself famous for brushing off questions on a national stage, such as her insulting behavior with Gwen Ifill at the VP debate. When asked questions by well-known media personalities such as Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Williams she consistently stumbled and made a fool out of herself. Now that local reporters are getting a chance to interview her, the freedom to ask questions of the Disasta from Alaska has been severely curtailed.

From ThinkProgress:

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) granted an interview to a local CBS affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, much of which was filled with talking points that Palin has repeated in a number of local interviews recently.

However, after the interview, reporter Cynthia Fodor revealed that she had to submit the interview topics in order to talk to Palin, something she called “not standard procedure”:

HOST: Governor Palin, as we know, doesn’t give a lot of interviews so did you have a lot of time to chat with her?

FODOR: No, in fact this was the only one she gave today and we were limited to about five minutes of time which is not a lot of time and we had to submit which topics we wanted to discuss ahead of time which is not standard procedure.

I guess it all depends on what you define as "standard procedure." For journalists that care about the freedom of the press, then it is a testament to the way things are going for the Fourth Estate in our country. For Sarah Palin and like-minded Republicans, it is the way of doing business.

Whats Good For Obama Is Great For Turning The State Senate

Voter registration has skyrocketed across the country and a lot of it is attributable to the inspiration of Barack Obama and this pivotal election in our nation. Even here in New York, unprecedented numbers of new voters have made their intent to cast ballots known. While Obama has had a virtual lock on our 31 electoral votes, that doesn't mean other races that are in play won't be affected.

From Press Connects:

Republican voter advantages in some Senate districts where the GOP held healthy enrollment edges just two years ago have evaporated, enrollment statistics from the state Board of Elections show.

For example, Republicans in 2006 held a roughly 8,600 edge in enrollment over Democrats in Sen. James Alesi's 55th District, which covers the eastern Monroe County suburbs. But with more than 8,200 voters enrolling as Democrats since the last Senate election, the Republican lead is down to just about 500 voters as Alesi faces Democrat David Nachbar.

The 61st District, which is an open seat in western New York and a critical race for both parties, now has 5,800 fewer Republicans than it did in 2006. So instead of a 9,794 enrollment edge the GOP enjoyed, the lead is now about 4,100.

The differential in registered Republicans and Democrats is extremely important here and plays an important role in downticket races all across the country. Though that isn't the only influence the Presidential race has here. Polling throughout the year has shown great levels of enthusiasm in the Democratic ranks while Republicans are far from it with their not-so-stellar choice of John McCain. The more Republicans stay at home next week, the better things look for people like Joe Addabbo, Jim Gennaro, Joe Mesi and many others looking to turn the NY State Senate blue.

Unlike Palin, Biden Knows What The VP Does

Sarah Palin described for a third-grader last week how she wants to abuse the power of the Vice-President's office. It was an over simplification of exactly how she sees being McCain's number two but important nonetheless of how she emulates the Dick Cheney method of corrupting government. Joe Biden was actually interviewed by a fifth-grader recently and at about the 4:00 min mark of this very cute video, he accurately tells young Damon Weaver what the VP does per the Constitution of the United States.

Kyl Suggests Bush Had Nothing To Do With Our Fiscal Disaster

Republicans are extremely adept at trying to have things both ways on myriad issues. Senator Jon Kyl was no exception on CNN yesterday as he tried to talk up Bush's tax cuts while excluding him from blame over the current financial wreckage we are experiencing now. Kyl can spin all he wants, but the facts have a funny way of getting through the nonsense of his words.

From ThinkProgress:

Today on CNN’s Late Edition, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed President Bush’s economic agenda had nothing to do with the current financial crisis, insisting defiantly that Bush “doesn’t run the economy”:

KYL: George Bush doesn’t run the economy. He didn’t create this problem. His tax rates being lower actually helped for six years create the second largest economic growth that we’ve had in the history of the country in recent years. … The President doesn’t run the economy.

The current financial crisis is a direct result of Bush running the economy. Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy have contributed to record inequality and historic deficits and debt. The administration gutted several “specific regulations” of the financial system, helping plunge Wall Street into the mess it is facing today.

Embracing a common conservative talking point, Kyl tried to lay all the blame for the crisis on the lack of regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As Alan Greenspan, SEC Chairman Chris Cox, and former Treasury Secretary John Snow — along with the Wonk Room — have stated, this is false.

Of course, Kyl doesn't know jack shit about how to help the economy for anyone that ranks below John McCain's definition of middle class. For the 99.9 percent of us that make less, we have certainly felt the effects of Bush's economic stewardship, if you can use such a word to describe the disaster he has been for our nation. The decisions he has made have wrecked the country and if we let him get social security privatization through we'd be even more seriously screwed. Republicans must think the American people are stupid if we are to believe that the President has no economic pull, nice try Kyl.

Shelly Silver Decides To Take Pity On Millionaires

In an unsurprising move, Sheldon Silver preempted his return to the State Legislature next month by calling for a removal of the new millionaire's tax. In these tough economic times, the $2.6 billion in revenue this could have brought to New York must now be replaced with more budget cuts on top of the additional cuts needed with the economy in further decline. Of course, Shelly has "good" reason for this move.

From The NY Post:

Silver, whose Democrat-controlled legislative branch approved the tax in August, told associates over the past few days that he has had a change of heart "because of the meltdown on Wall Street," a source close to Silver said yesterday.

"Because of what is happening to the New York economy and to Wall Street in particular, with all the losses to so many people there, Shelly doesn't believe this is the time to be raising a tax on the wealthy, many of whom are a lot less so," said a source close to Silver, a Democrat whose Lower East Side district also includes Wall Street.

Yes, those poor wealthy people aren't quite as wealthy anymore. Dear Buffy can only afford one yacht and it's only a 31' footer. The extra $10,000 for those making a million dollars a year and extra $20,000 for the five million dollar income bracket would have done so much for the state in this rough time but no, they must keep that cash in lieu of all the poor people trying to storm the gates of their mansions.

Silver represents the Wall Street portion of his district very well, but in the other areas such as Chinatown and LES those who have had trouble making ends meet will have to do with even less. We wouldn't want to burden the rich with the problems of the country that has made them so wealthy, now would we Shelly?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Day More For Barack

Hopefully you've seen Les Miserable before watching this but it is hilarious nonetheless:

For those that have seen the movie or play, the song is very appropriate nine days out from the election. Obama supporters, to the barricades! We shall win this fight!

McCain Forgets Disasters At Three Mile Island And Chernobyl

The Chernobyl disaster occurred in the old Soviet Union, so perhaps John McCain may not care about Mother Russia much. Three Mile Island was right here in the U.S. and on some days upwind from his frequent location of Washington, D.C. However he showed his ignorance of nuclear safety and his arrogance for the American people for mocking Obama over the issue. McCain has grown increasingly nasty in his attacks on Barack Obama but this one truly affects us all.

From RawStory:

Sen. John McCain ramped up his attacks against Democratic opponent Barack Obama on Saturday, criticizing the Illinois senator for saying that nuclear power needed to be done safely.

The Republican candidate referenced the final presidential debate Oct. 15, in which Obama qualified McCain's support of nuclear energy and offshore drilling with the need to protect the environment.

"You know, the other night in a debate I said his eloquence is admirable but pay attention to his words," McCain said. "We talked about offshore drilling and he said he would, quote, 'consider' offshore drilling. We talked about nuclear power. Well, it has to be safe, environment, blah blah blah."
"Blah, blah blah," there you have it folks, John McCain's policy on nuclear safety in one word repeated thrice. With nothing left to his campaign including honor and dignity, the once imagined Maverick is long gone. The only thing that remains is a grumpy old man being led by campaign advisers such as Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis who command him to sling mud at will. The nuclear strategy has truly blown up in his face.