Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

When Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was appointed Secretary of State by President Barack Obama in 2009, New York governor David Paterson selected Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the Senate vacancy.

Liberal Democrats, primarily from downstate (New York City) were not happy with the pick of the upstate Congresswoman with moderately conservative credentials. But, as Paterson knew, Gillibrand had won her House seat in 2006 and 2008 in a district gerrymandered to be in the Republican column.

As a Senator, she moved her political positions towards a far more liberal/progressive agenda. Her first early issue that I was aware of, though, didn’t seem to skew left or right, as she worked hard for passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

She has become a champion for victims of sexual assault, first in the military and then nationwide. She said, “This is a moment in time, unlike any other, with the ‘Me Too’ movement. Women are feeling the ability to tell what happened to them, some of the worst moments they’ve lived, and tell it publicly, and that is powerful and it is affecting everything.”

She’s also championed female candidates for office with the group Off The Sidelines, which professes not taking any corporate PAC money.

In 2017, no senator voted more often against the regime’s Cabinet nominees than Kirsten Gillibrand. She said recently: “We have a president who silences and demeans women, rigs the economy so corporations and the wealthiest few get richer while American families get by on less, allows the NRA to dictate his gun policy and threatens Dreamers with deportation from the country they call home. And what’s worse, the Republican Party has fallen in line behind him.”

A vulgar and suggestive message from the Tweeter-in-chief may have done her more political good than harm. The Washington Post reported that he raised her profile and fired up her supporters. She denies that she’s a contender for the 2020 presidential election.

She has been quite visible on television of late, including a 60 Minutes profile. “We are here to help people. We are here to put others first, to live a day in their shoes, to understand what their life is like and try to make it better.”

Kirsten Gillibrand is running for re-election to the Senate in 2018, and it appears extremely unlikely that she could lose.

For ABC Wednesday

Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), 112th Congress

I was president of student government at Binghamton Central High School. I served on the Financial Council when I was an undergraduate at New Paltz, and restarted the library school governance.

Until recently, I never thought much about actually running for a standard elective office. I did work on a few campaigns, always for Democrats, although not always the establishment choice. Before I could vote, I blew up balloons for Bill Burns’ failed 1969 campaign to succeed his brother John as mayor of Binghamton; he lost to Al Libous, who I did not like.

Some poli sci types did some polling for a state assembly candidate named Maurice Hinchey in 1972, and I did a little phone calling. Alas, he lost to the incumbent, H. Clark Bell.

But 1974 was different. It was a Watergate year. The incumbent member of Congress, Howard Robison of Owego decided that he didn’t want to run again in a district that spanned 150 miles across, from Ithaca to Woodstock. The New Paltz Democratic Club, of which I was a member, had four candidates to consider. One was the town supervisor from Union, near Binghamton, who didn’t bother to come. One was a Binghamton lawyer who a couple of folks supported. Most backed a Woodstock attorney named Bill Schecter (sp?), the local guy. But a few people, including me, favored Matt McHugh, the Tompkins County District Attorney at the other end of the district.

You’d think an anti-establishment sort like me wouldn’t support a DA, but he was a really strong on the issues. I carried petitions and got at least 125 signatures. Schecter may have won Ulster County, but McHugh carried the town of New Paltz.

Again, the poli sci folks did phone poling, for McHugh, running against the ambitious Libous, and Hinchey, who was in a rematch with Bell. The Democrats both won. McHugh spent 18 years in Congrsss, and was succeeded there by Hinchey (pictured), who, sadly, died recently.

I worked a handful of campaigns after that in Albany, carrying petitions at least four times.

When the possibility of a constitutional convention cropped up in 2017, I gave serious consideration about running as a delegate if it passed, which fortunately, it did not.

The only other times I thought about running for office was when a certain person was running for the Albany library board, four or five years in a row. If he had been running for, say one of two positions, and there was only one other person on the ballot, I would have launched a write-in campaign. As the then-President of the Friends of the APL, I thought I might have had a chance against a collector of Nazi paraphernalia, whose views seemed to match his hobby.

After the last guy was elected President, someone said to me, “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter WHAT skeleons are in your closet.” That’s SUCH 2016 thinking.

This is that thing that Jaquandor does on December 31, but I do on January 1.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Ya know, it wasn’t a New Years’ resolution, per se, but my wife and I swore this year (and for about ten years previous) that we would make a will, and we finally did this summer. You should probably do that too.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friends Susan and Anna had babies

Did you attend any weddings?

Don’t think so.

Did anyone close to you die?

Shockingly, no

What countries did you visit?

None, but my passport is in order, just in case.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

To live in a just country.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The aforementioned will.

What was your biggest failure?

Failing to create more Roger time, which can generate stress.

What was the best thing you bought?

A smartphone, my first. And I got that ONLY because I lost my flip phone that I had had for a decade or more.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

A lot of people, actually:
Robert Mueller
Those who went on the Women’s March on January 21
The #MeToo women and men
The folks loosely called the Resistance
The comedians, including John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, the folks at Saturday Night Live, and, surprisingly, Jimmy Kimmel, who I did not particularly like heretofore
Those who helped the people dealing with the weather disasters of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma in Florida and especially Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Those who helped the people dealing with the human-made disasters of explosions, mass shootings, and weaponized cars

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, who appears to be as terrible as promised
The US Congress, passing legislature, passing legislation contrary to the needs and the will of its constituents
The US Cabinet who have the mission to negate all the success their agencies have achieved
The White House liars-in-chief, such as Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders
The litany of sexual predators, starting with Harvey Weinstein
And most of all, the terrible guy who promotes awful legislation, negates the progress of previous administrations, tells big fat lies, AND who is a sexual predator

Where did most of your money go?

The house, though we had no big projects.

What did you get really excited about?

The idea of retiring someday; also seeing Sheila E with Lynn Mabry in NYC in August

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Only a little sadder, but really pissed off

Thinner or fatter?

About the same

Richer or poorer?

Richer, marginally

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Sleeping, writing, thinking

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Thinking about Agent Orange

How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve means singing at church, so that. Eventually we go to the in-laws

Did you fall in love in 2017?


How many one-night stands?

Jaquandor: “Now, that’s not the kind of question a gentleman answers! (Another stock answer!)”

What was your favorite TV program?

Finding Your Roots, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS This Morning Saturday, JEOPARDY!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is such an ugly word. But I certainly loathe the behavior of a whole lot of people; see above

What was the best book you read?

Inventing America: Rockwell + Warhol from the Norman Rockwell Museum

What was your greatest musical discovery?

There’s a group called Spoon I saw on CBS This Morning Saturday who I really liked

What did you want and get?

The new Hess truck

What did you want and not get?

Clarification of what I’m supposed to do about Medicare if I’m not retiring yet

What were your favorite films of this year?

I Am Not Your Negro; Hidden Figures; Kedi; The Big Sick; Fences

What did you do on your birthday?

I took off the day from work and…oh, who knows?

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

I still don’t get those pajama-like items being worn in public

What kept you sane?

Yet again I argue the premise of the question. That said, my dads’ group in church. seeing my best college friend more than once.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Surprisingly, Ariana Grande (who I disliked from her Disney shows), who showed up in Birmingham, England only a couple weeks after her show was disrupted by a bomb

What political issue stirred you the most?

Here’s the thing: lots of people said THEY are doing THIS to DISTRACT you from them doing THAT. I don’t believe it. They’re doing it all: killing health care, lowering taxes on the rich, destroying the environment, taunting other world leaders (unless they’re thugs, such as the guy in the Philippines), etc, etc. That said, immigration, and our restrictive policies is doing large and possibly irreversible damage to our economy, is probably my core issue. It’s hurting education, tourism, farming…

Who was the best new person you met?

Some new church members.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:

The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

From Funky National Anthem: Message 2 America by Sheila E.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”

Is God a Robot That Just Hasn’t Been Invented Yet?

Hating the poor in the season of giving

How to Hire Fake Friends and Family

Fiction from the New Yorker: Cat Person

Thousands Once Spoke His Language in the Amazon; Now, He’s the Only One

How ancient mastodon bones sparked a modern-day battle among scientists

Chuck Miller: When I caught the Times Union editing my blog headlines without my permission

RIP, Sue Grafton at 77 – Y Is For Yesterday: her last mystery series novel

Arthur answers Roger’s questions about the regime in DC and the nasty people in DC and blogging, and Kiwi language and his most evergreen post

RIP to Rose Marie, who was of an uncertain age; at least she was around for this; Dick Van Dyke has lost two costars this year, with Mary Tyler Moore passing in January

2018 US postage stamps: Musician John Lennon, performer and activist Lena Horne, America’s first woman in space Sally Ride, and children’s television pioneer Mr. Rogers

Mark Evanier has been blogging for 17 years this month, a site I check out daily

RIP Dick Enberg

Clifford Irving, Author of a Notorious Literary Hoax, Dies at 87

Quotable Kirby

Erie, PA Receives Record 53 Inches of Snow in 30 Hours

Now I Know: The People Who Protect Chewbacca and The Worthless $65 Million Masterpiece That Cost $29 Million and The Town That Pays Criminals to Cut it Out and The Accidental Masterpiece and The New York Police Department’s Giant Problem and The People Who Protect Chewbacca

What is it like to go through a car wash with the windows down?

Wise Old Sayings


What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself?

This is the thanks he gets for “overhauling” the American tax system?

‘He Would Probably Be a Dictator by Now’

The Nationalist’s Delusion

The United States of America Is Decadent and Depraved

Should We Care What Happens to the GOP’s Soul?

I Won’t Tolerate A ‘Different Viewpoint’ When It’s Based On Blatant Lies

The Whoppers of 2017: the year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet – It’s a real, powerful set of ideas

How life is now in Puerto Rico

“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – Augustine of Hippo


The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast 2017 and 1957

2017 is the best?

Instagram’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoons of 2017

YouTube’s highest paid stars – who ARE these people? I’m old

The Biggest Tech Fails of 2017

Turner Classic Movies’ annual Obituary Video

The Daily Show team looks back at the biggest events of 2017 in news, sports, and pop culture


RIP Keely Smith

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott Heron

Keep On Doing What You’re Doing/Jerks On The Loose – Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor

Two songs from Björk’s 2017 album Utopia

Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz No. 2

Regretro -Lifestyle album

The Last Day of Summer – Elyxr, ft Color Theory

Retrospect -Freen in Green, ft. Liz Enthusiasm

Heavensent – Bao


Sufjan Stevens, Chris Cornell, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Taylor Swift on longlist for Best Original Song Oscar

Dominic Frontiere, Composer for ‘The Outer Limits,’ ‘The Flying Nun,’ Dies at 86

John Bayard Anderson

John Anderson, a moderate Republican congressman back in the day when there still were moderate Republicans, ran for President in 1980 against the incumbent, Jimmy Carter, the Democrat, and the Republican standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan. Of course, the former actor and California governor beat the former peanut farmer and Georgia governor by over 8.4 million votes cast.

Reagan also won an absolute majority of the voters (50.75%) to 41.01% for Carter. Anderson, who died recently, received 6.61% of the ballots. And 1.63% of the people, including, BTW, me, voted for someone else. So those who oppose the Electoral College – the system where all electoral votes go to each state winner – should be satisfied with the results, right?

But under the EC rules, was John Anderson really a spoiler, as some have suggested? 270 electoral votes are needed to be elected.

States won by Carter: DC-3, GA-12, HI-4, MD-10, MN-10, RI-4, WV-6 = 49 electoral votes.

States won by Reagan with more than 50% of the vote: AK-3, AZ-6, CA-45, CO-7, FL-17, ID-4, IN-13, IA-8, IA-8, KS-7, LA-10, MO-12, MT-4, NE-5, NV-3, NH-4, NJ-17, NM-4, ND-3, OH-25, OK-8, SD-4, TX-26, UT-4, VA-12, WY-3 = 263 electoral votes.

So if you add the states where the difference between Reagan votes and Carter votes is greater than the Anderson votes, the Republican easily hits 270. In Alabama, for instance, Reagan bat Carter 48.75% to 47.45%, a difference of only 1.3%. But Anderson only managed to scrape up 1.23% of the votes, with others garnering 2.57%. 9 electoral votes to the Republican anyway.

Anderson did very well in the Pacific Northwest, getting 9.51% of the vote in Oregon and 10.62% in Washington. Yet the difference between Reagan and Carter was 9.66% and 12.34% respectively, meaning those 6 and 9 electoral votes were destined for the GOP column.

Even Illinois, Anderson’s home state, fell into that column. Reagan, who grew up in the Land of Lincoln, got 49.65% of the vote compared with Carter’s 41.72%. Anderson’s 7.3% is less than the 7.93% of the major party candidates. 26 electoral votes solid for the Gipper.

This is not to say Anderson wasn’t a spoiler in some states. In New York, Reagan beat Carter by 2.67% but Anderson got 7.54% of the votes. AR, CT, DE, KY, ME, MA, MI, MS, NC, TN, VT, and WI theoretically COULD have gone to Carter if it weren’t for Anderson. It would not have mattered to the outcome.

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