Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

How stunned are the Massachusetts Democrats? As stunned as Yankee fans were in 2004 when the Red Sox ended the Curse of the Bambino. I was at game 7 of the League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium when the Sawx completed their comeback from 0-3 to win the pennant. It was utterly unthinkable. Hell froze over.

But the Yankees didn’t play like Yankees, and curses don’t lace up spikes. You could say the same for Massachusetts- the Democrats took Kennedy’s legacy for granted, and the opponent got to work.

Unless Obama has a far worse ’10 and ’11 than the last year, Brown will be a 2-year Senator. The Democratic machine is already regrouping from this embarrassment and will go through this poor man’s garbage to unseat him in 2012.


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George Allen, an incumbent senator from Virginia, lost his 2006 re-election by a razor-thin margin after making controversial remarks on the stump which were interpreted by the press as racially prejudiced. He was calling out an opponent’s operative who was at the speech, made an off the cuff remark, and it reversed his momentum. He had a bad day for sure, and would love to have that one back; it cost him an almost certain re-election.

Harry Reid, US Senate Majority leader, made equally boneheaded remarks, not on the stump in a boneheaded moment, but in a new book. Like most books, it was probably revised and reviewed extensively prior to publishing. The Times ran a story on Reid’s apology, and my comment was highlighted as an editor’s choice. Here is what I wrote:

Yet again, a Democrat makes an incredibly dumb statement (in a book, not off the cuff on the stump, no less), and I see their supporters getting tribal. Reid’s supporters defend his honesty, yet whatever truths in his remarks serve only to remind us that we are in anything but a post racial society. Had a Republican senator written this in a book he’d be drawn and quartered by the media, and perhaps rightly so.

Reid should be judged by the same standards as anyone else, conservative or not, who would write and publish such stupid words. I am tired of the political wagons getting circled every time a politician reveals what a troglodyte he or she is.

Senator Reid should step down as majority leader at the very least. This is now out there forever.

How the editor missed that is beyond me. If Reid isn’t a bigot, he certainly is a dope.

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I always thought that if you were a conservative, you were for less spending, personal liberty, lower taxes, a pragmatic military, and personal responsibility. I voted for that twice. Here’s what I got: enormous deficits, my taxes underwriting failing companies to the tune of trillions, a party that no minority would want to support, and more fodder for those who view republicans as being theocratic homophobic bigots. 

This is not good. 

What happened to the party of Teddy Roosevelt? Jack Kemp? Why did we wait until John McCain was past his expiration date to nominate him for president? 

How would the world be different if McCain had been nominated in 2000 instead of George W. Bush? 

  1. We wouldn’t have had the electoral college/popular vots fiasco.
  2. There is a chance that 9/11 would have been at least partially foiled.
  3. Even if it hadn’t, we would not have gone to war in Iraq.
  4. Would the rampant corruption in the financial sector that has caused the Great Correction have occured on the watch of a reformer like McCain? I doubt it. 

There was a time when the Republican party was the party of  the competent, the self employed, the accountants like my father, and moderate voices. No more. It has been hijacked by social conservatives who don’t get that Jim Crowe against gays won’t just make everything OK. 

The story goes that Reagan asked NY Senator Moynihan what he should do about gay Americans. Moynihan’s answer was benign neglect. Reagan was a former actor who no doubt knew lots of gay people and  whom I admire on most counts, should have done more, especially in his second term, to change attitudes about gays. What gay person would be a republican now? What black person would be a Republican now? 

Conservative orthodoxy is now a caricature of itself. I have never been a member of a political party, and now, sadly, I don’t think I ever can.

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More Blue Village Blues

I have blogged previously on the blunders of the mayor of my fine municipality. Now, he has announced his resignation.
At tonight’s board meeting, Ossining Mayor Eugene Napolitano announced that he will be stepping down as Ossining’s Mayor, a year and a half after taking the post.

Napolitano was elected Mayor in 2004 after years of serving on the board as a trustee.  His term was supposed to end at the end of this year.

The Mayor cited "Personal reasons" for his decision to a shocked audience.  Later, he said, "It was a whole bunch of things.  At some point I had to get back to my life and my family."

The Mayor said he came to the decision about a week ago.

Earlier this year, the Mayor was criticized for selling his home to a company that will be turning the house into a group home for mentally challenged adults.

The Mayor has since moved to a temporary residence at Eagle Bay in Ossining.  He said tonight that he will spend more time at a home he owns in South Carolina.

A few observations:

  • "It was a whole bunch of things." How articulate.
  • The "more time for the family" card is best pulled when one is resigning from at least a full time position. The Mayor of Ossining is a $12,000 per year part time position. How hard could it have been to stick it out until December? He had already been a trustee for 10 years, so it’s not like this was a new development in his lifestyle.
  • Part time status aside, a guy who is elected mayor has promises to keep, as well as policies and decisions to answer for. You can’t offer a "no mas" without a plausible reason. We really have no idea what other shoe is about to drop, or if the mayor is pre-emptively exiting to avoid a brewing scandal. There were only 6 months left in the term. ‘Fess up.
  • How nice to hear that Napolitano has a 2nd home in South Carolina. Don’t all Con-Ed workers?
The (part time) village board has embraced an unpopular condominium development to be built on the banks of the Hudson on land donated to "the People of the Village of Ossining." This will obscure the river view of some, but kill forever any better ideas that might have come up for the area. This is to say nothing of the fact that land donated to "the people of the village" isn’t something the government ought to seize and sell to private developers. That such a decision rests on such a flighty group of five and not on a more reliable measure of the people’s will is just one reason the mayor should be more accountable than a perfunctory throwing in of the towel. Something is rotten here.

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Cynthia McKinney

I haven’t read much about Congresswoman McKinney’s incident with the Capitol police, but I certainly hope that opinion doesn’t fall along party lines. Ms. McKinney was not wearing her credentials, which essentially are the free pass given to members of congress so that they can bypass regular security. The cop had a job to do, and anyone- anyone– who is stopped by a cop needs to stop, shut up, and listen before they do anything. That goes for a guy being pulled over on the highway right up to the halls of the Capitol. It is intellectually lazy to cite race in this case.

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Indian Point

It is no secret that Indian Point, the nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY is located in a bad place, namely a county of one million people and in the northern region of a 20+ million person metropolitan area. It is no secret that it is slowly leaking radioactive water into the environment. It is also no secret that many people want it closed. Since I have grown attached to being alive, I’d be just fine with the thing gone, all things being equal. However, I’m a little spoiled. You see, I like having electricity.
Among the most vocal critics of our poor exit strategy in Iraq are people who have no exit strategy for alternative energy sources to Indian Point, which makes it’s closure, in my view, a pipe dream. I asked an advocate today what Plan B would be for energy, and he admitted that there really isn’t a magic bullet, which I suppose is the polite way of shrugging his shoulders. I’m all for conservation, reducing waste, consumption, and streamlining distribution. However, those things don’t produce a watt of juice to power my computers, copiers, fax, or phone. We could all have airtight houses with R-120 insulation ratings and furnaces that are so efficient that they recycle newspaper into Jello, but the fact remains that electrical use will always rise due to technology, not fall.
If you are uncomfortable with being within 50 miles of nuclear fission I can relate. It is one town away from me. But if you want to remove our power source and have no other feasible means of producing clean energy, I think you’ll lose my support.

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Howard Dean has a quote out there saying that "nobody is pro-abortion." The implication is that even pro-choice folks don’t high five each other when an expectant mother kills her baby. That’s a clever way of putting it, but I think the converse is true as well, which is that pro life does not mean anti-mother. But the very fact that I am addressing this means that I am playing Howard Dean’s game on his field with his ball (that sounds awkward). Dean dictates the dialog.

I think it is fair to say that nobody, not even the hardest core conservative, wants war. Nobody is "pro-war." I dislike fighting. However, if you break into my house, I have a Louisville Slugger with your name on it. It must have been Ground Hog day yesterday, because the president emerged for his annual press conference and actually spoke with the press on the war. He even had a little give and take with Helen Thomas, who could not mask her lack of objectivity.

Here’s what frustrates me about this man: the 2nd most dangerous place in the world is that space between a prominent democrat and a microphone when the opportunity to slam the administration’s management of the war presents itself. They are engaging a full court press to dictate the public perception of how things are going over there, which isn’t looking so good. You can’t address the media once a year and expect to counter that kind of effort. Only history will dictate whether this was a good move or bad move, folks. In the meantime, Bush is allowing himself to be slaughtered and making a disgraceful effort to direct where the conversation goes. It’s his vision; we aren’t mind readers. George, meet mic. Mic, George.

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