Say what you want about our mayor and his modus operandi but he has gotten a few things right over his tenure. I am not a big fan of his but I don’t dislike him either. He was absolutely correct with his ban on cigarettes in certain public establishments; taking the flack in order to get that policy into law. He was correct in putting public education on the front burner; even though I feel that his successes in this area were somewhat exaggerated: but you can’t deny that he has genuinely tried to deal with the issue. I think that in principle he was correct to suggest some type of congestion pricing formula for Manhattan’s traffic congestion problem; hopefully the details would be worked out before pigs grow wings. His positions on the issues surrounding illegal firearms (guns, gun shows, gun sales, etc.) are sensible and timely; and there are other things I could commend him on. Of course there are also many others that I could critique him on; like his police department that's totally out of control, and the fact that big developers have surely enjoyed his tenure in profitable ways; but that’s not the issue here. You can always view my column in the archives (where I called him a leprechaun), to get a better sense of how I felt about him just a year ago.
There is no more hypocritical whine than older New York State residents complaining that their children find it necessary to move away to find a decent life for themselves. It is hypocritical because while providing the nation’s richest Medicaid services for senior citizens, and excluding retirement income from state (and in New York City local) income taxes, New York has made decision after decision for nearly 20 years to favor those cashing in and moving out at the expense of the state’s future, which is now the present. In general, Republicans sell out the future with debts, caused by tax breaks and rich government contracts for business. Democrats do it with pension enhancements for those with seniority and already retired, passed every time a stock market boom swells pension fund coffers, followed by lower wages and benefits for new hires, agreed to by the Democrats’ union allies every time high pension costs leave the government broke. Now that the bills are starting to come due, there is a bit of unease in Albany, as our “leaders” look around for someone to blame. But with every deal passing the state legislature 212 to 0 they are all to blame. So are the older generations that have gratefully accepted this largesse without questioning who would pay how much. It is those deals that should be undone, and those generations who should pay first, if a recession and fiscal crisis requires sacrifice. To do otherwise would mean that Spitzer and Francis are merely continuing the practices of the now-despised Pataki to pump up the current Governor’s short-term popularity. In the end, Spitzer would be despised as well.
In his most reason "Vines" column, Rock Hackshaw poses the following query:
Am I the only blogger who believes that there could be a brokered convention of the democrats (and even republicans too, maybe); which in turn could lead to an Al Gore draft?
Well, I don't know about "only" (I'm too lazy to research it), but in terms of the Democrats, by Super Tuesday it will either be over or all but over. If Mr. Hackshaw's (I think wrong) prediction that Sen. Obama wins the Iowa caucuses (it's plurral, incidentally, Mr. Hackshaw) is correct, it could go on a little longer, but there will be incredible pressure on the candidates with low delegate totals to drop out and release their delegates before the convention because of the ultimate goal of winning in November. Although that is the only scenario where Gore could possibly be drafted, which would awesome, I think the likelihood is approximately nil.
News from New York State United Teachers
ALBANY, NY (12/04/2007; 1654)(readMedia)-- In an exclusive sit-down interview with New York State United Teachers’ official newspaper, the New York Teacher, Gov. Eliot Spitzer spoke about his commitment to public education and discussed his views on pre-kindergarten, higher education, charter schools and other front-burner issues.
Spitzer agreed to a wide-ranging discussion with NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi for the Dec. 6 edition of the New York Teacher. The full transcript of the discussion is available at www.nysut.org. Here are excerpts:
Rep. Nadler Speaks on Modern Day Slavery Bill
8th Congressional District of New York
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
FELDER AND BREWER DECLARE "Let's Get Green, New York!"
WHO: Council Members Simcha Felder and Gale A. Brewer with NYC High School and College Design Students
On Tuesday, December 4th at 5:30PM, Council Members Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan) will host a gallery viewing and reception for NYC high school and college design students who submitted designs for the "My Green New York" campaign that aims to reduce the use of plastic bags used in the city by encouraging the use of reusable canvas bags.
GOVERNOR SPITZER ANNOUNCES CONTRACT WITH NATIONAL PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE ON UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE
STATE OF NEW YORK
CONTACT: Christine Anderson
Department of Law Department of Law
New York, NY 10271 Albany, NY 12224
News from Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO SUES R.J. REYNOLDS FOR VIOLATING MASTER
Company That Brought Kids “Joe Camel” Now Advertises With New
NEW YORK, NY (December 4, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Congressman Nadler to Attend Boumediene v. Bush
8th Congressional District of New York
via the New York Post
Council Speaker Christine Quinn yesterday backed out of her longstanding promise to work on overturning term limits for herself and her legislative colleagues.
"I am today making a firm and final decision. I will not support the repeal or change of term limits through any mechanism, and I will oppose aggressively any attempts by anyone to make any changes in the term-limit law," announced Quinn (D-Manhattan).
STATE OF NEW YORK
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR CONTACT: Errol Cockfield
For Immediate Release
STATE OF NEW YORK FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEBCAST MEDIA ADVISORYGovernor Eliot Spitzer today will make an insurance announcement.