Posts Tagged ‘Politics’


Change Can Happen Faster Than You Think

Sierra Club secures 24,000 pages of EPA emails, calls logs, and documents which expose the culture of corruption in and around Scott Pruitt

NYSUT congratulates Albany Med nurses on the decision to unionize

Waging Peace: Two Billboards Outside Albany, New York

Speaking in Code: Two phrases that no longer mean what they used to

Roy Cohn, the Original Donald Trump

America’s Word is Worthless

‘Project Trumpmore’ to Carve President’s Face into Melting Iceberg

Federal Employees Face Cuts To Retirement Benefits And Pay Freezes

Cartoon: Circular Sarah

What ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah means by ‘the 5:30 curse’

The point at which the US politics firmly pivoted toward the Right

It’s A Toxic Myth That Celibacy Makes Men Violent

Monica Lewinsky: What We All Can Learn from My Disinvitation Debacle

Ancient Mass Child Sacrifice May Be World’s Largest

New Yorker cartoon: Late at night is my sacred time to catalog every single instance of when and how I am a terrible person

Is this the loneliest generation?

She was the first woman senator. Her term lasted exactly a day

Culture Cruise: ‘Homer’s Phobia’

Did Little Syria in Lower Manhattan Consist of Asian-Americans?

Their Ancestors Were on Opposite Sides of a Lynching. Now, They’re Friends

Free press: the future of Boulder, CO’s Daily Camera

The architecture of First Presbyterian Church in Albany, an article by Warren Roberts, who died this week, struck by two cars in Florida.

Science Marches On

Wait But Why: A thing happened while I was at the coffee shop

This Video is about Red-Eyed Tree Frogs? and How to Win

Ken Levine on the state of network TV

Internet Wading: The return

“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

Why Whales Got So Big

Gone to the dogs

Names list offers origins, statistics and popularity rankings for people names

Now I Know: The Color Changing Building (and Democracy Experiment) and The Accident and the Musical Savant and Why Dippin’ Dots Never Became the Ice Cream of the Future and When the NBA Doubled Its Money and I Can’t Believe It’s All Butter

Magnolias In The Park

Credit and Debt Management

The Best Coffee in Every State

MUSIC

Confounds the Science – parody of Sound of Silence

My Last Day Without You – Nicole Behari

Dire Straits’ “Sultans Of Swing” Played on the Gayageum, a Korean Instrument Dating Back to the 6th Century

Birdsong – Kina Grannis

I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You – Louis Armstrong

I’m Not in Love – Don’s Mobile Barbers (UK surf act)

Slow Turning – John Hiatt

Coverville: 1215: Cover Stories for Adele and Captain & Tennille and 1216: The Irving Berlin Cover Story

Uptown Funk- Big Daddy

When I’m Sixty-Four -MonaLisa Twins

The Hamilton Polka – The Casts of Hamilton

Black Water – some Doobie Brothers and the Playing for Change Band

Riley B King – Keb’ Mo’

In The Mood – Henhouse Five Plus Two

Beatle For 13 Days

Hit Parade: The B-Sides Edition

There’s a lot about Al Gore, 45th Vice-President of the United States, under Bill Clinton, that seems misunderstood to me.

It is suggested that he ran such a lousy campaign when he ran for President in 2000 that he lost his home state of Tennessee. But it is understood in some circles that
egregious intimidation and disenfranchisement of certain voters wasn’t limited to Florida.

The former college roommate of Tommy Lee Jones didn’t say he invented the Internet. The then-senator did create and introduce the High Performance Computing Act of 1991, which “led to the development of the National Information Infrastructure and the funding of the National Research and Education Network (NREN).

“The act built on prior US efforts of developing a national networking infrastructure, starting with the ARPANET in the 1960s, and the funding of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFnet) in the 1980s. The renewed effort became known in popular language as building the Information superhighway.”

“A spirited defense of Gore’s statement penned by Internet pioneers Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf (the latter often referred to as the ‘father of the Internet’) in 2000 noted that ‘Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development’ and that ‘No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution [to the Internet] over a longer period of time.'”

There was the kiss of his wife Tipper at the 2000 Democratic national convention. From all reports he wasn’t the wooden figure he had been portrayed.

“Claire Shipman of NBC speculated… the kiss sent a message. It signaled that Al Gore (unlike some presidents we know) is a faithful husband. Excellent point; imagine what would have happened if the Clintons had dared such a scene. Though some viewers were charmed by the Gore kiss and others squirmed, no one doubted that it was based on reality. There you have what really makes it seem odd. The kiss struck everyone as a political gesture based on truth, and nothing is rarer than that.”

Then there’s his wonky slide show presentation An Inconvenient Truth, which won the Academy Award in 2007 as Best Documentary, Feature.

Did any of this actually ‘save the world?’ “OK, you got us. Ten years after the movie’s release, climate change is still a growing threat and a polarizing issue, with record-breaking heat unable to stop skeptics from tossing snowballs on the Senate floor.

“But we’re also seeing corporate, political, and societal mobilization against the crisis on a scale that would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago, and there’s no question the film played a big part in getting us there.”

As Albert Arnold Gore Jr. said recently, “In 2017, Mother Nature certainly got our attention with a series of devastating extreme weather events. Our thoughts continue to be with the people of the US Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and California as they recover from the floods, powerful hurricanes, and wildfires made ever-more severe by our warming world.”

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?

Sure

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”

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