A lot to say about Governor Andrew Cuomo

59% of New Yorkers say they want Cuomo to resign

Andrew CuomoMy friend Catbird assumes I have a lot to say about Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and the allegations of sexual harassment, and I do. But it’s tricky to write about such a dynamic situation.

There have been legal activities at many levels for a few months. In March, the Assembly began a broad impeachment inquiry. It chugged along slowly, in part because it was examining several scandals involving Cuomo, including his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.

But when the 168-page report by the office of state Attorney General Leticia James came out, indicating that he broke several state and federal laws, it acted as an accelerant.

While there was some desire for him to resign months ago, those calls have become louder and broader.  The chorus includedng the entire NYS Congressional delegation,  several Democratic governors of neighboring states, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and President Joe Biden.

Go away, Andy

A Marist survey last week reported that 59% of New Yorkers, including 52% of Democrats, say they want Cuomo to resign. And “about the same number say the Democratic governor should be impeached and removed if he doesn’t resign. Fewer than one-third of New Yorkers surveyed say” he should serve out his third four-year term.

Check out the Times Union podcast for August 6. Cuomo has until Friday to  provide evidence defending against the sexual harassment allegations

Violated, demeaned,  humiliated, a horror movie: Those are some of the words 11 women used to describe how Gov. Andrew Cuomo made them feel when he touched, kissed, or hugged them or asked invasive questions.

“Many of these women who spoke to investigators hired by the New York attorney general’s office were state employees. Others encountered Cuomo in professional settings or at public events.”

I find the women who have spoken publicly to be quite credible. Additionally, it’s fairly clear that he lobbied for an attractive female state trooper to be assigned to his detail, though she didn’t have the requite three years of experience.

Romances

The 63-year-old governor was married to Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Ethel and the late Robert Kennedy, from 1990 to 2005. They had three daughters, twins Cara and Mariah, and Michaela. The marriage, according to several sources, including this Vanity Fair piece, was challenging.

The New York Post – not a newspaper of record – ran an article back in April about the split between Cuomo and his significant other from 2005 to 2019, lifestyle personality Sandra Lee. FWIW, the piece suggests that the governor was unfaithful.

It’s a crime

While the AG’s report addressed civil law, it might have empowered one of the women named to file a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. An assistant to Cuomo, D-N.Y. is listed as “Executive Assistant #1” by the report.

His denial of all actions was pretty much what I expected. In my view, he won’t resign unless he’s impeached by the state Assembly, and maybe not then, despite this Seussian admonition.

Lawmakers in the Assembly could impeach Cuomo with a simple majority vote, and I expect that to happen.

More scandals

I’ll admit that his COVID press conferences in 2020 were often useful, especially in contrast to the blather from other sources. But the pandemic led to other scandals, which theoretically could be folded in as charges. He “appears to have used gubernatorial staff and resources to write his 2020 bestselling book ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.’ That might violate state ethics rules and possibly the Public Officers Law. “

The trial portion after impeachment is cumbersome and rarely used, so Cuomo may take his chances.  Here’s what must happen. “A trial would be held in the state Senate, where Democrats are also in the majority.

“If convicted, Cuomo would be removed from office and potentially barred permanently from seeking statewide political office. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would replace him as governor.”

Yes, I voted for him (but not lately)

As I’ve noted, I knew that he was an SOB. That’s why I voted for him in his successful run as NY Attorney General in 2006. I even picked him as governor in 2010, though not in the primaries. But not since, either in the 2014 and 2018 primaries or the general elections.

Someone had asked what did it say about New York, with three of its last governors embroiled in some sort of controversy. Are we competing with IllinoisEliot Spitzer was also AG before he was governor, then was felled by sex crimes; he resigned.

His replacement, David Patterson’s flaws were far less severe. One of his top aides was involved in an alleged case of domestic abuse into which Patterson attempted to intervene. His chances for election to a full term disappeared.

The only NYS governor to be impeached was William Sulzer was impeached and removed from office in 1913. “The political machine took on a brand new governor, and won.” Curiously, I read a book about Sulzer’s successor Martin H. Glynn.

Yes, I do wish that Andrew Cuomo would resign. But I’m not holding my breath. 

 

IMPOTUS squared: djt, Please GO AWAY

The breakdown of civil society?

courage
Profiles in Courage

Mark Evanier tweet this Monday: “Sometimes, it’s great to turn on the TV and see a rerun you enjoyed before. I just turned to CSPAN and it’s the ‘Democrats impeach Donald Trump’ episode. Almost as timeless as Lucy and Ethel working in the candy factory…

The House of Representatives impeached djt again. IMPOTUS squared.  I’m of two minds on this. As Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said, “I don’t think is the smart move” because it lets IMPOTUS play the victim.

On the other hand, as Kinzinger also noted, “There is no doubt in my mind that [he] broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative.

“So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions—the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch—are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?”

Previously

When djt was impeached the LAST time, I thought it was justifiable. But I felt that Ukrainian stuff was too arcane for the general public to understand. I wish the House had tacked on an article regarding the emoluments clause, how he and his family were lining their pockets.

I knew that Mike Pence would refuse to invoke the 25th Amendment. “In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Pence said he didn’t think it would be ‘in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.'” One can argue about the former, but “if these actions… are not worthy,” then what is? His boss ACTUALLY shooting someone on Fifth Avenue?

In fact, I thought djt’s constant shuffling of his Cabinet, with many of them in “acting” roles, was a strategy to insulate himself from being dumped by A25. Then when Betsy DeVos and Elaine Chao, two of the four original appointees left, quit, it was probably a lost cause. (Can Acting Secretaries participate? I dunno.)

Mitch McConnell  reportedly believes impeachable acts took place— “And Aims To ‘Purge’ Him.” Of course, “it should never be forgotten that the Senate majority leader is the spawn of Satan.”

What a Cluster…

You know you’ve screwed up when all four of the living presidents— Carter, Clinton, GW Bush, and Obama– called out IMPOTUS2 and his party for inciting the rioters.

Bill Clinton: “The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another…

“The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result was final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.”

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has decided NOT to travel to the White House today and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bad news

There’s a  conservative influencer named Tomi Lahren. I know who she is because she appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart shortly before he left the program.

She had a post on Nov 3, 2020. “If @realDonaldTrump were to lose (he won’t) his supporters will go to work tomorrow just as we do everyday. When Biden loses, his ‘supporters’ will likely loot and riot. Tells you everything you need to know! #Trump2020”. Her skills as a prognosticator need work.

I feel SO much worse now than I did on January 6.  U.S. Capitol Police in shambles after the attack, undermined from within. The FBI Ignored Its Own Report Warning of ‘War’ on Capitol – Details Included MAGA Had Maps of Congressional Tunnels. Threats to ‘Storm the Capitol’ were public. Why did the police let it happen anyway?

Worse, Congressperson Mikie Sherrill says unidentified lawmakers led ‘reconnaissance’ tours ahead of the Capitol attack. There are members of Congress who bear responsibility. Republicans tried to blame the insurrection on ‘Antifa,’ “but they own every ounce of this treason.”

A very small start: Simon and Schuster canceled the book contract of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the instigators of challenging the electoral votes. He whined he was a victim of “cancel culture.”  The publisher has committed a “direct assault on the First Amendment,” he insists. The constitutional lawyer was lying. He knows a private publishing company is not required to publish anything.

Evangelicals should examine how they may have helped fuel the deadly siege, Ed Stetzer, head of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, told NPR in an interview published on Wednesday.

It Ain’t Over

“Trump: Nothing is my fault. Ever.” This is the headline in a lengthy Boston Globe piece by Teresa Hanafin. Like his “perfect” call to the Ukrainian president.

“Are we witnessing the breakdown of civil society?

“That’s what former DHS official Christopher Krebs thinks. (He’s the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who Trump fired because he said there was no election fraud.) Krebs told CNN that the disinformation about the election spread by Trump “created a tinderbox.” Now they have decided to hire the services of https://www.sapphire.net/open-source-intelligence-osint/ to handle of the data security.

“We are on the verge of what I fear to be a pretty significant breakdown in democracy and civil society here,” he said. He called on law enforcement to forcefully quell the current insurrection, and in the next couple of years, for all Americans with a brain (my words) to “chip away at the disinformation, propaganda, and lies that motivate and incite these insurrectionists.”

“Think he’s exaggerating? The FBI issued a bulletin to its field offices warning that Trump Terrorists are planning armed protests at all 50 state capitols and at the US Capitol — site of last week’s insurrection — starting as soon as this weekend and continuing to Inauguration Day next Wednesday.”

Check out How To Quell A Domestic Insurgency is the January 13, 2021 segment of On Point. (ht/ADD) Also, the statement by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Impeachment nostalgia: 1868, 1974…

abused the power of the Presidency for personal and political gain

Erie County’s best blogger and writer, Jaquandor, a/k/a Kelly Sedinger, starts off this round of Ask Roger Anything.

We’re entering the second impeachment trial of my life (and there should have been a third, had Nixon not read the writing on the wall). Are you tired of these things?

richard-nixon---the-origins-of-watergate

The nature of the three impeachment procedures I lived through – I just missed Andrew Johnson’s – are so different. In Watergate, as you may remember, the beginning of the scandal was the break-in in June 1972. It was dismissed as a “third-rate burglary” by Nixon’s Press Secretary, Ron Ziegler. Nixon was re-elected so easily that the networks called the election c 7:30 pm before I had even had a chance to vote.

Yet early in 1973, the Senate voted 77-to-0 to approve a “select committee” to investigate Watergate, with Sam Ervin (D-NC) named chairman. The hearings ran from mid-May until early August, and I watched quite a bit of it. It was shown by the three networks in rotation, so as not to tick off the soap opera fans too much.

But it got a whole lot more interesting in mid-July when White House assistant Alexander Butterfield acknowledged there was a taping system in the Oval Office. At some point, I was watching every day when I wasn’t in class. A special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, subpoenaed the tapes, as did the Senate. Nixon got all “executive privilege”.

SNM

Then there was the “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20, 1973. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, who recently died, both resigned rather than fire Cox. The Solicitor General, Robert Bork, finally did. The public, who had voted for the man less than a year earlier, were generally displeased.

On March 1, 1974, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted several former aides of Nixon, including H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and Charles Colson, for hindering the Watergate investigation. The grand jury secretly named Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator. John Dean and others had already pleaded guilty.

Nixon lost in the Supreme Court over whether he could hide the tapes. He turned them over in July 1974. About the time the “smoking gun” tapes were released implicating Nixon, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve three articles of impeachment over four days. As you know, Nixon resigned less than two weeks later at the urging of some Republicans.

As much as I despised Nixon’s policies, I didn’t feel a sense of elation when he announced he was stepping down. It was more, as Gerald Ford put it soon after, “our national nightmare is over.”

Slick Willie


Now Bill Clinton’s impeachment I was aware of, but I certainly didn’t watch any of the Senate trial. Before that, as I mentioned at some point, I was in the same Boston hotel as Bill Clinton in September 1998. I was there to be on JEOPARDY! Clinton was there for a political fundraiser. No, I never saw him.

There were thousands of protesters outside the Omni Parker House (?). About half of them thought Bill was awful. But the other half thought Ken Starr was terrible. This was the early days of the Internet, so such explicit info some considered unsavory, and they blamed Starr.

When it all went down, I felt bad for Hillary and especially Chelsea. But I didn’t watch the proceedings at all. I did follow the news, though. It was right that Bill Clinton apologized to the country. Some of the chief GOP accusers, it later came out, had no right to the moral high ground.

Impeachment #3

That’s what I did with the 2019 story as well. There was so much wall-to-wall coverage that I was feeling no need to watch in real time. I will say I thought, even before the fact, that forcing Robert Mueller to testify was a mistake. He said as much. Mueller had a part in getting several indictments or guilty pleas.

I did see snippets of a lot of compelling testimony from the hearings in the fall. Gordon Sundland, the EU coordinator, political fundraiser, and definitely not of the “deep state”, was oddly entertaining. The others were solid citizens, doing their duty to their country.

Rudy Guiliani, an extra-governmental figure, by his own admission, forced out the Ukrainian ambassador back in April. So the claim that the July phone call with the new Ukrainian president was “perfect” is rather beside the point. It was, as John Bolton said, akin to a drug deal. The man abused the power of the Presidency for personal and political gain. He obstructed Congress illegally, which was settled law when SCOTUS ruled Nixon had to turn over his tapes.

Still, I think the issues taken up here, while legitimate, are too arcane for most people to follow. Christianity Today, of all publications, seems to understand it, though.

Follow the money

Frankly, I wish the House had gone after the emoluments issue. He may have been guilty of that on January 20, 2017, when he failed to put his businesses in a blind trust and maintained controlling interests.

He encouraged foreign entities to stay at his properties with the suggestion that it’d be in their countries’ best interest. The Air Force refueling near his Scottish resort, and staying there longer than necessary. (If the G7 did stay at Mar-a-lago, that would be prima facie proof of corruption.)

Yeah, he should have been impeached. But since the charges won’t stick, I suppose there is some fatigue on my part. A lot of it is towards the 2019 GOP, which is not the 1974 GOP. You can say you don’t believe the charges reach the level of impeachment, as Will Hurd (R-TX) stated. But to say things that happen didn’t happen, even though Guiliani, Mick Mulvaney and the man himself have acknowledged them publicly, that’s exhausting.

One more thing

The suggestion that because he’s “doing a good job”, one shouldn’t impeach a president is weird to me. Let’s say that he did something clearly a high crime or misdemeanor. He shoots someone on Fifth Avenue, for which one of his lawyers claims he couldn’t be prosecuted. Would you not impeach him – it’s always him – because the unemployment rate is 3.5%?

On the other hand, I would oppose impeaching him because of policies I disagree with. And I disagree a lot. Or because he’s a vulgar and boorish liar; those are not reasons to impeach.

Nov. rambling: gifts of grace

Contractions-bitsThe Child Soldier Crisis: ‘Kids Are Cheap’

1619-2019: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration

Flat Earth conspiracy is growing especially among born again religious zealots

John Oliver Slaps Down Coal Baron’s SLAPP Lawsuit: ESB

Samantha’s Journey Into the Alt-Right, and Back from The New Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick. I happened upon this while listening on the radio in the car last week. Whoa.

Susie Meister: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal and The Reality of Being a Reality Star, from Ken Levine’s podcast

Why use Ukraine to impeach when you’ve got the emoluments clause (and the Hatch Act)?

Weekly Sift: An Impeachment Hearing Wrap-Up

Recognizing Israeli Settlements Marks the Final Collapse of Pax Americana

The GOP Tax Cuts Didn’t Work

As a Veteran, I Refuse to Celebrate War

On Nov. 19, 1863, the accomplished Massachusetts statesman Edward Everett gave a two-hour speech at Gettysburg, but history gave him the shaft

RIP, the great Howard Cruse, from cancer.

Now I Know: The Woman Who Sniffed Out Parkinson’s and The Man Who Won a Trip to Mars and The British Ban on Clapping and When the US Air Force Bombed Montana and How Luke Skywalker Beat the Puffins and Why Did the Crab Cross the Road? and The Poacher Who Got Sent to the DVD Player

Gifts of grace

Ranked-Choice Voting “Allows You to Vote for the Person You Really Like”

Why bad taste is over – An interview with John Waters

Ruthie Berman & Connie Kurtz Residence – NYC LGBT Historic Site

Worker Training Program tackles opioid misuse and addiction. I know Jonny Rosen IRL.

Syracuse University janitor who cleaned racist graffiti replaces it with kindness

We desperately need to get out kids back outside

blue books

250 families receive “gifts of grace” to donate to meaningful causes

US Census Bureau: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Authentic black beauty

102 Common English Idioms with Meaning and Examples

The Beautifully Macabre Cartoons of Gahan Wilson

Massachusetts Highway Exits to Be Renumbered by 2022

It’s a Musical

Who’s the greatest JEOPARDY! player of all time? I’m so glad this is on ABC-TV in January, not part of the syndicated series

Gone in 13 Episodes (or Less!)

The story of The Whistler radio program

Groucho Marx on TV after the game show You Bet Your Life

MUSIC

He’s Just a Gurl Who’ll Quid Pro Quo – Randy Rainbow

Dommage – Bigflo & Oli; English lyrics to Dommage

Papaoutai – Stromae

I’m Going Home – Sacred Harp Singers At Liberty Church; Idumea– ditto; Sacred Harp and Shape Note singing

The Rock by Sergei Rachmaninov

Mr. Tambourine Man – the Starbugs, from New Zealand

One, a U2 cover, features McKenna Breinholt as the soloist and the 100-person Cinematic Pop orchestra and choir, arrangement of Rob Gardner

Hooked on a Feeling – Pomplamoose

Coverville 1285: The Bonnie Raitt Cover Story and 1286: J. Geils Tribute and Indie Hodgepodge

Metamorphosis episode of Star Trek (original series), incidental music

Rockin’ in the free world, the Netherlands, 2016

Mah Na Mah Na – Piero Umiliani (1968); Mah Na Mah Na – first Seaame Street appearance (1969)

LAY DOWN (Candles In The Rain) – Melanie & The Edwin Hawkins Singers (1970). Full recording.

I Wanna Be A Lifeguard – Blottomoji version

A highlight of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Convention

Tina Turner is 80 years old. The big Interview

The Best-Selling Music Artists of the Last 50 Years

September rambling: end the stigma

Musicians Across Five Continents

post-apocalyptic section
The Most Segregated City

Vlogbrothers: End the stigma

What happened to Jaye McBride could have happened to any of us

WAVE 3 News reporter kissed on live TV; here’s why it’s not cool – Sara Rivest is the daughter of Michael, a guy I know in Albany IRL

The differential privacy video the Census Bureau sponsored from MinutePhysics

Unmarried Partners More Diverse Than 20 Years Ago

Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies at 75

Longtime TV newsman Sander Vanocur dies at 91

Bill Schelly, R.I.P.

Amy Biancolli turns 56

The Surreal End of an American College

What Happens Right Before Your Best Employee Quits

Alan Zweig’s Vinyl documentary – a record collector’s expose

Baking Isn’t Hard When You’ve Got a Library Card

The Guardian: 100 best films movies of the 21st century. 1) I’ve seen 26 of them, at least two of which I disliked; 2) the year 2000 is NOT in the 21st century

Save on Internet Safety guide

Chef Boyardee: The Sine Qua Non of Homemade Pizza

Alex Trebek saying “genre”

Epergne: It’s time this Kitschiest of Obscure Vintage Treasures had a Comeback

The Evolution of a Fractured Coin of the Rebellion

The Modern Jonah

Now I Know: Who is MP and Why Are His Initials on My Checks? and An Aria a Day Keeps the Cougars Away and The Aquarium That Turned a Blind Eye Toward Bullies and The Island That Floated To Safety and Why We Give 21-Gun Salutes

English

The Beauty of Being Bilingual

Merriam-Webster dictionary adds ‘they’ as a nonbinary pronoun – America’s oldest dictionary claps back at grammar snobs as it embraces a more inclusive definition

Public is or Public are: “British English tends to see either a plural or singular verb, pronoun or noun as acceptable, depending on the context in which the collective noun is used. American English, however, is considerably more rigid in sticking with the singular. Though they too may reconsider occasionally, based on context.”

Harry Potter and the Poorly Read Exorcist

Boss Tweet

New Yorker.20191007
He is a threat to virtually everything that the United States should stand for

If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is and If Democrats put off impeachment until he does something worse, he’ll do something worse and His call to Zelensky was not out of the ordinary – for him and With the Gears of Impeachment Finally Grinding, the Hard Part Begins; also Lindsey Graham’s Impeachment Views in 1999 Vs. 2019

Iran Policy Is a Failure

Health Insurance That Doesn’t Cover the Bills Has Flooded the Market

The Race to Prepare for a Potential U.S. Exit From the World’s Mail System

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Legal Immigration

Travel ban really was a Muslim ban, data suggests

Comedian John Mulaney has the perfect analogy for what’s going on in our country today [explicit language]

MUSIC

What’s My Name – Ringo Starr

Playing for Change: The Weight – Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, and Musicians Across Five Continents

Old Town Road -Courtney Hadwin

Overture: L’italiana in Algeri, or The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giacchino Rossini

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Sleeping At Last

Happy Birthday, Hans Zimmer edition

Coverville 1278: The Leonard Cohen Cover Story V

Love’s Creeping Up on Me – United Image, a 1971 Stax song that sounds more like Motown to me, and is billed as Northern Soul

All Kinds of Kinds – Miranda Lambert

Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris Trio Documentary

The importance of choir: John Rutter (there are about 20 seconds of him in b&w before he actually begins to speak)

Real Arrogance Over False Humility: The Beautiful Honesty of Joni Mitchell

The First Time I Met Prince, by Sheila E