Featured Posts

Behind Some Cinderella Stories Awful Truths Are Hidden

Most USA-born folks don’t know that the World Cup Soccer Finals and the Olympic Games (both quadrennial), are the sporting events most watched by people of this planet. Many of them think that such distinctions would go to baseball (World Series) and basketball (NBA Finals); so it wasn’t surprising to find many of my USA-born friends asking rather silly questions, about the event currently being hosted in Germany. But that’s okay; many of us foreign-born folks understand the narcissism and we do empathize. Right here in these dis-united states, there is a different world beyond New York City. Just go south and west of the Potomac. And, oh yes, there surely is a different world east of the Atlantic Ocean and west of the Pacific too. Sometimes we tend to miss these lil truths while living in New York. Sometimes; especially when we want too.



Socialized Medicine? Get Real, It's Already Here

On another topic, Rock Hackshaw asked my opinion of government-funded healthcare, ie. "socialized medicine."  I responded by sending him an essay on health care finance I wrote a few years back during the recession, and he said I should post it here.  It's long, but he seems to think it's worth the read.

A spreadsheet backing up my assertions, produced some years ago, is attached.  The government share of health care spending is surely higher today.  Note also that when I make the case that, directly or indirectly, the federal state and local governments are already paying for most healthcare in any event, I included the share of private insurance that is purchased on behalf of public employees, but not the share purchased on behalf of public employee retirees, which I have no way to measure.  Add another few percent to the share of healthcare already funded by tax dollars, even as many are uninsured and get nothing despite paying taxes.



What Part of "You Will Pimp My Pay to $168K" Did You Not Understand?

Granted, it would have been difficult to understand where each of your congressional representatives stood on raising their own pay a couple weeks back because ... ummm ... well ... apparently, so many of them simply didn't want you to bother with such minutia.

Gettin' All Procedural On Us.

In order to have an up or down vote on their salary increases, members would have first had to vote "no" on this Previous Question.  And with a defeat of the Previous Question, Utah Congressman Jim Matheson would have then been able to offer an amendment suspending Congress's automatic pay increases - an amendment, btw, that Congressman Matheson has introduced for the past six years.



If This Is True, Spitzer Is Our Worst Nightmare

A union kiss, and a slight rebuff.

The AFL-CIO, the state's biggest labor union, proudly endorsed Spitzer for governor Wednesday afternoon, praising him as ``a good friend.'' Then, union leaders sat back as Spitzer told reporters he opposed two key union bills that came up this year and refused to outline his position on two others.

The Democrat opposed the so-called ``Wal Mart'' bill, which would have forced large employers to provide a minimum insurance coverage. He also opposed a measure to allow certain day-care workers to unionize and become part of the state workforce.



Interesting Pew Poll

Opening graph from a June 27 Pew Poll: "With less than five months to go before Election Day, Democrats hold two distinct advantages in the midterm campaign that they have not enjoyed for some time. First, Americans continue to say they favor the Democratic candidate in their district, by a 51% to 39% margin. Second, the level of enthusiasm about voting among Democrats is unusually high, and is atypically low among Republicans. In fact, Democrats now hold a voter enthusiasm advantage that is the mirror image of the GOP's edge in voter zeal leading up to the 1994 midterm election."



Speaker Silver on NY1: "There is no truth to most of what the New York Post writes."

"There is no truth to most of what the New York Post writes," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on NY1's Inside City Hall on Thursday night.

He didn't say "much." He said "most."

Over 50% of the sports section is wrong? Maybe the Post reversed the wins and losses of the New York Knicks?

"Most?"

Is that slander?



Kevin Powell To Withdraw From 10th Congressional Race

A development that is sure to raise more interest in the 10th Congressional race/ Brooklyn, is about to unfold. Kevin Powell, the young hip-hop guru, is about to withdraw from the race, leaving three candidates standing at this point. Those still entered are: Ed Towns (incumbent), Assemblyman Roger (The Dodger) Greene and Councilmember Charles Barron. Word on the street is that Roger’s candidacy is also shaky, because of his misdemeanor guilty plea and subsequent conviction.

Powell, whose entrance was met with controversy, hit the wall rather early, when his own writings were used to attack him. He is an admitted ex-woman-beater, and there were also stories of his wild party-hearty days of wine, women and song. Insiders are saying that this was no way to be introduced to the voters, and likened it to the introduction that Geoffrey Davis (the brother of deceased NYC Councilmember James Davis) received, when he was substituted as a candidate after his brother’s death. It can be recalled that Geoffrey’s baby-mamas dramas, problems with child-support payments, drug use, and prostitution solicitation, were all highlighted in the media right out of the box. He never recovered, and lost on the Democratic line to Tish James (WFP). It is the only time that the Working Families Party has won an election in New York City’s history.



On Room Eight NY: Great Formula For Choosing A Candidate

Below is an edited response to the Room8NY blog of EnWhySeaWonk posted 6/26/06. It was submitted by an Anonymous person  on Wed, 2006-06-28 02:52.

-----------------------------------------

“I generally look at four things when deciding who to vote for: experience, record, stances on issues, and character:.

1 &2 Record gets looked at first, because a politician can lie about his stances on issues, or I can misread his or her character, but its hard to hide an incumbent's record (it can be done if the media cooperates, but that is why you have to dig a little).



Labor's Desperate Measures

I thought you might be interested in knowing that the NYC special interest labor unions are at it again.This time they are REALLY abusing the system.  Check out this solid op-ed by Dennis C. Vacco (former U.S. Attorney and New York State Attorney General).

Labor's Desperate Measures

The American Spectator

By Dennis C. Vacco

Published 6/29/2006 12:08:28 AM

The Restaurant Opportunity Center of New York, otherwise known as ROC-NY, has come to represent a curious new strategic model for labor organizers -- one that all small and medium-sized business owners would do well to heed.



Layer upon Layer

Last year, Comptroller Alan Hevesi came to Buffalo, audited Erie County's coffers, and declared that the County needed "adult supervision" with respect to its finances. 

Adult supervision.  From Albany.  It is to laugh. 

In any event, with the subsequent advent of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (an advisory, "soft" control board), it seems that our state government, in its brilliant munificence, has merely added yet another dysfunctional layer of bureaucracy - and in this case an impotent one - to an already bloated, dysfunctional government bureaucracy.



Say Wha?

ackerman.bush

Turns out, that the questionable dude up above (yes, am talking about the one with the big fat question mark) admitted to not knowing much about the stock market in yesterday's Newsday, written in response to a piece I ran about his Dicktitude on Monday.

Though Representative Ackerman made some serious ka-ching off of Xenonics - a military contractor - in a very short amount of time, he had the audicity to tell Newsday's J. Jioni Palmer:



Red Light Cameras (some opinions from a judge)

Re: "Red Light Cameras to Double," NY Daily News, June 28, 2006.

It's a good thing that the New York City plans to double the amount of red light cameras. I have many other suggestions, however.

I'm a red light camera judge. I work in the Bronx, usually in a room without air and without windows (where there are windows there are bars on them), in a Help Center that's been without air conditioning for years. Last week, a person tried to throw a chair at me and take my head off. (He wasn't charged, and we have no cameras or metal detectors like even a high school has.) It would be nice if someone cared what I think.



Megabux: Mo Money, Mo Problems?

In this land of the rich and famous (that being, New York's 19th Congressional) ... well ... there appear to be the outright rich, the famous (of the I'm not a millionaire, but do hang out with Bonnie Raitt variety), the richly educated and the not so famous (though probably still rich).

NY19.1

Congressional Quarterly rates the 19th, which covers Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and parts of Dutchess Counties, as Republican Favored; most likely because incumbent Sue Kelly has been at the helm since 1994.



Political Dynasties

Tuesday’s Daily News had a story about Thursday’s Bronx Democratic County Committee Dinner.

One line in the story got me thinking –

The party has also been criticized for creating so many political dynasties, with a number of incumbents' sons and daughters in office.

I have heard this criticism many times. But is this unique to the Bronx? To New York City?  To Democrats?

To answer those questions, I decided to look at all the present members of the NY State Legislature and the NY Congressional Delegation to see how many were related to other elected public officials.



Shibboleth Time Is Here Again!

"The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he replied, "No," they said, "All right, say 'Shibboleth'." If he said, "Sibboleth," because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time." (Judges 12:5-6, NIV)

Judging from the editorials of  New York’s  dailies,  and the comments from  elected officials, bloggers,  and just ordinary  New Yorkers, this is a political season when a ground-swell of righteousness has risen like a tsunami, threatening to sweep away Racism and those elected officials and candidates who practice or appear to practice  it.  How wonderful!