Of the Five People in the Hunt for NY 21, Who is Your Favorite ?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Report: Obama overruled lawyers on Libya air war - USATODAY.com

It's often said 'a good lawyer remembers who his client is,' meaning when it comes to giving an opinion, you get what you pay for.
President Obama reportedly has disregarded lawyers from the Justice Department and Pentagon about the issue of seeking Congressional approval for US participation in the war on Libya.
Instsead , Mr Obama relied on the advice of White House counsel who argued in a tortured way that the daily assault on Libya does not constitute "hostilities". Much like arguing what the meaning of "is" is...
Presidents have pretty much done what they want in getting involved in wars and defacto wars, despite passage of the War Powers Act after Vietnam.
Are even the Obama Kool-Aid drinkers convinced on the White House definition of "hostilities" ?....I suspect they are, but the rest of us are not.
Report: Obama overruled lawyers on Libya air war - USATODAY.com

Wallenda may walk on wire over gorge

One bill that is winding its way through Albany would allow a member of the Flying Wallenda's Family to perform a high wire walk across the Niagara Falls Gorge... Nik Wallenda is a 7th generation member of the famous risk-taking family.
Wallenda may walk on wire over gorge - Niagara Falls - The Buffalo News

Albany Will Handle War of 1812 for Us

The State looks to be headed for creation of a bicentennial commission for the War of 1812.....This was clamored for on the grounds that we want to do something but we have to have a grant to do it....The War of 1812 did play out across the North Country and the 200th birthday would have been a great way for local communities and businesses to team up and put together commemorations.
Now we will have a State commission to handle it.
Addie Russell Press Releases: Legislature approves bill to promote commemoration of the War of 1812 200th Anniversary

Probably Should Have Put on a Different Shirt for TV 7, Don't You Think ?

       Today TV 7 came over to interview me and in what could be bad optics in an election year, I was wearing a Fort Pearl shirt....fuschia in color...Normally I try to make sure I have a tie but the reporter was in a rush and so was I as I had customers.
       So if you think the color is too avante garde, my sincerest regrets....
       The topic was a request by DPAO to not pay for chairs and tables at upcoming concerts.....Its part of the City Code but apparently was not collected in the past.
Council should repeal the provision on chairs and tables if its not to be enforced.  Just winking is not the appropriate course. This year there is pressure on staff to endorce the code as written without special dispensations
        I favor granting the relief Joe Rich wants if for no other reason than the matter needs to be discussed without having a concert just hours away.
        One of the results of the recent recreation audit is that a variety of people need to tighten up the way we do business, and that includes we lawmakers.
        Fees in the code should be such that they can be enforced and any deviation should only be through an appeals proceeding spelled out in the code.
         Dispensation should be through an overt act of the Legislature,  not by a wink and a nod. 
         I would act to repeal the chair fees Monday and include that issue in a broader discussion of fees and rentals later this summer.
      

Saturday: Cyclist Dies Fleeing From Police

Was this a case of a man reaping what he had sown ? Depends on how you look at it, but my experience is that high speeds and motorcycles generally yield poor outcomes.
Saturday: Cyclist Dies Fleeing From Police WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: High Speed Chase Nets Suspect, Worried Parents

When you are at people's front door, you hear about their problems and so it was for me last night as I made a pass to visit homes on Ball Avenue, a sleepy tree lined residential street where kids play with ease and the homes are well kept.
On Thursday the Key Bank was robbed again and the chase was on..A successful chase that resulted in a suspect being nabbed on the Ten Eyck Street.
On Ball Ave residents were abuzz over the high speed chase down their block and while appreciative the perp was caught, openly wondered about the safety risks to those kids of that kind of chase.
Its a classic case of the urgency of the moment versus the normal peace and quiet. No different than speeding to get to a hospital. We rely on judgement and training to mitigate what would normally be something not reasonable or prudent..
Watertown Daily Times Bail set at $40,000 for suspected Key Bank robber

Rent Control to Keep Gang in Albany for the Weekend

     Its back to basics for Democrats in Albany as the issue of rent control legislation bubbles to the top of the agenda, ahead of marriage and tax caps.
    This traditional downstate issue is a must for NYC Democrats and they will do just about anything to get it renewed. The Governor is keeping lawmakers in the capital to resolve it first, but it will be in the form of a temporary extension to Monday...That way rent control can still be a bargaining chip to force action on the Governor's other priorities.
    It may seem wrong to link unrelated issues, but it happens all the time. Its like plea bargains in the courts...If it didn't happen, everything would jam up.

WDT: HSBC Mum on Sale Rumors

That's too bad if HSBC sells off its upstate branches as is being reported in a banking publication. Makes you wonder if little places like Alex Bay, Evans Mills, Carthage and indeed Watertown will stay open under new owners....As much as banks automate and people use ATM's and the Internet, there is no substitute for the service you get by talking to actual people....
In the world of big banking, upstate NY is not as appealing as downstate with its concentration of people and money. Back in the day, Marine Midland was a powerhouse in NNY with lots of branches and a whole building full of people downtown...a building that featured heated sidewalks of all things....Indoor parking too...I like that. Let's hope the new boss is the same as the old boss.
Watertown Daily Times HSBC selling some upstate offices; 11 NNY branches may be on block

The Threshold for Authorship Gets Lower Every Day

Who reads these books ? Bristol has one coming out this week...Her ex boyfriend Levi Johnston has one later this year.
Other than the news coverage of the book (the AP bought a copy of Bristol's), it's hard to imagine an autobiography of a 20 year old is that interesting or profound.
I assume there is money made on these books, and their frequency of publication means used book sales will always have lots on hand. Look at the stacks of books sold each year at Flower Library. I don't think there will be one of Bristol's new book there soon, as even I wouldn't spend money on it. The AP summary of her claims on how she got pregnant is sufficient for me.
Bristol Palin calls her ex 'the gnat' in new book - Yahoo! News

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gay Marriage Game Theory–UPDATE | PolitickerNY

Republicans...at least the ones who like to play the political game....are said to really want gay marriage to pass, if only one of their own didn't have to be the 32nd vote.....Currently 29 Democrats and two Republicans publicly favor the change...There is a theory that the GOP would just as soon have to issue settled as the activists riled up by it will produce a lot of money in 2012 aimed at defeating GOP senators.
Of course these are not idealogue Republicans who feel this way...They are practicle, go along-get along types who are interested in saying their party is in charge but not interested in a strident agenda.
Its clear there are several Republicans who would just as soon the thing pass...They just cant bring themselves to say it publicly.
If the measure fails for lack of one vote, next year will indeed be a race where gay rights money will pour into certain races.
Gay Marriage Game Theory–UPDATE PolitickerNY

Lawmakers Have a Singular Focus

For you or I the concern in the closing hours of the Legislative session might be a tax cap or wine in grocery stores....But for lawmakers hunkered down in the Capitol, its all about gay marriage and rent control.
Same sex marriage is mired in a debate over "carveouts" for organized religions who may not want any part of the ceremonies. The GOP says they are concerned over "unintended consequences" while supports say that's a "smokescreen for intolerance" Closet supporters of the measure are looking for the Governor to give them some religious exemption language they can take back to their district as prove they are not too liberal......Whether Mike Long accepts a written not from Andy as an excuse is doubtful.
These hectic hours closing the session are when we appreciate most our humble blogger friends in Albany. Thank you Liz...Thank you Celeste...Thank you Jimmy. We in the remote reaches of the Empire State would be lost without you.
Skelos: GOP Worried About ‘Unintended Consequences’ Of Gay Marriage Bill

Romney and Obama Spark Outrage This Week

Gotta watch what you say these days or the outrage police will be after you....Mitt Romney joked about being unemployed himself to a group of jobless people in Florida...Of course he is a wealthy man pursuing the Presidency for an occupation....Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Romney "insensitive."
And President Obama incurred the wrath of FOX outrage crew this week when he joked about "shovel ready" jobs not being so shovel ready afterall.
With cable and the Internet, its easy to get outraged in a hurry and parse every statement to find insenstivity, racism, classism, factual error, bad syntax or whatever else.
Modern media and politics has devalued "outrage."
Romney jokingly tells out-of-work Floridians he's also 'unemployed'; Dems call him insensitive - chicagotribune.com

Anthony Weiner's Wife Should Run for His Seat - Politics - GOOD

Politics has lots of examples of wives running for their hubby's seat, but usually its in the role as widow...Should Huma Abedin run for the Ninth Congressional District ? While some may speculate the reportedly upset bride of Anthony Weiner would be well advised to do that, she might want to relinquish some excess baggage first....Like her Twittering husband.
It looks like Huma will "work on her marriage" and be the good wife after the tawdry affair in which she apparently was lied to as well...along with Congressional staffers and the MSM.
Anthony Weiner's Wife Should Run for His Seat - Politics - GOOD

Albany: Language Not Concept is Issue for Senators on the Bubble

Its clear there are sufficient votes for the legalizing of gay marriage, but only if the language of the bill changes to protect relgious groups from litigation if they refuse to perform such ceremonies in their facilities....I can see their point...This is a litigious country.
Its clear from this article, there are a couple more GOP Senators willing to sign on to the Governor's plan if the wording is cha nged...The Legislative session is due to wrap up on Monday. There is still no deal on other issues like the tax cap and rent control
Republicans Urge Cuomo to Alter Same-Sex Marriage Bill - NYTimes.com

Weiner and wife head to the Hamptons - NYPOST.com

After resigning from Congress, Anthony Weiner did what many in NYC do...he headed to the Hamptons for some R&R. Mr. Weiner and his wife were seen on the Island in a grocery store, stocking up for the weekend. What a tolerant wife he has and I am sure he will have a great time out there...If you can afford it, its a great place to get away from the hustle of city life.
Weiner and wife head to the Hamptons - NYPOST.com

Thursday, June 16, 2011

John Edwards Investigation: Feds Seek Recorded Testimony of Rachel Mellon, 100 - ABC News

Imagine how close he was to being Vice President ? This philanderer who was stroking a 101 year old heiress to try and get at her millions...Rachel "Bunny" Mellon of the famous banking family was the subject of John Edwards attention.....Edwards makes former Rep. Weiner look like a prince.
John Edwards Investigation: Feds Seek Recorded Testimony of Rachel Mellon, 100 - ABC News

Poll: Generic Republican Beats Bam

If polls like this mean anything...and they may not...the case for Mitt Romney is strong....A new survey shows President Obama losing to a "generic Republican" candidate fy a 44% to 39% margin.....No one is more generic than Mr. Romney...A solid country club GOP image with no sharp edges...
That is the argument for running him, as the Democrats need someone to villify as a tea party, racist, granny-killing knuckle dragger. Romney is bland enough that he could be the generic brand some in the party want...Of course the other argument is that bland people don't stand for anything....By hey, its about winning first..
2012 Voter Preferences for Obama, "Republican" Remain Close

Lady Gaga Mobilizes Twitter Army Of "Little Monsters" For New York Marriage Equality | New York Daily News

Lots of celebrities and others are making the last minute pitch for gay marriage in NY, perhaps in the belief that once approved here through a legislative process and not a court ruling, the OK to wed will spread across the land...That may not happen, but as goes NY, so goes California and that likely will be enough for marriage equality advocates.
Among those weighing in is Lady Gaga, with the pop music giant using Twitter to urge a western NY senator to join the pro's.
My understanding of the proposal in question is that is does not require religions or religious organizations to perform, host or recognize such weddings....Instead , same sex marriages would be mostly the domain of civil settings overseen by judges, JP's and mayors.
Despite hemming and hawing , it will pass.
Lady Gaga Mobilizes Twitter Army Of "Little Monsters" For New York Marriage Equality New York Daily News

Quote - "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare"

In an earlier post , I quoted President Gerald Ford, who after the Nixon resignation said, "our long, national, nightmare is over." I used the quote in reference to the Weiner resignation....A commentor questioned how I could call the Weiner affair a nightmare.... This is what is called "tongue in cheek" humor. Sometimes a sense of history helps in understanding my prose. Sorry for not foot noting it.
Quote - My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a gove.. on Quotations Book

Bank Robber Caught In Watertown While I Was Nearby and Oblivious

I was down in the Sherman Street/ Elm Street area in the late afternoon when I saw police cars driving fast towards the Washington Street Plaza.....I jokingly said to myself (as no one was there to listen) that maybe Key Bank had been robbed again....Turns out it was and the culprit was caught in a backyard on Keyes Avenue. I guess I should have gone over and rubbernecked but I was trying to canvass a couple of streets for petition signers.
Kudos to the Police for their quick action...That's the fourth time in the last few months a city bank has been robbed...Must be the sagging economy because robbing banks is a pretty risky endeavor for the amount of cash available.
It was beautiful weather to hit the streets and when done I visited the Savory Downtown Restaurant now open at the Best Western. Then I went to work.
Bank Robber Caught In Watertown WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

In a switch, GOP's Michele Bachmann talks of empathy - latimes.com

The sleeper candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012 is talking empathy for the plight of people in an effort to brand the tourist-in-chief as out of touch with the suffering of the American people....
Michelle Bachmann is trying to expand her appeal following a strong debate performance last Monday in which she and Mitt Romney emerged as the leaders of a small pack of Republican candidates at one time thought not to have a shot at defeating President Barack Obama...
That has changed and Ms. Bachmann is now thought to at least be a player in the GOP race.
In a switch, GOP's Michele Bachmann talks of empathy - latimes.com

Weiner to Quit

Think of your own clever headline for Rep. Anthony Weiner resigning....The man who has been a headline writers dream is ending his career in Congress after a tawdry sexting scandal that featured a daily drip of photos, women and texts portraying the Queen's lawmaker as a fiend.
Where does he go from here ? Does his wife give him the boot ? Who gets the seat ? All questions to keep this in the news for some time to come.
But for now our 'long, national nightmare is over."

NationalJournal.com - Rep. Anthony Weiner Plans to Resign - Thursday, June 16, 2011

Downtown Vancouver Rocked By Stanley Cup Post-Game Riot

A bad American tradition has spread to Canada with riots in Vancouver last night after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins and ended the excitement over the prospect of bringing the Cup north of the border.
Smashing windows and torching cars has been standard practice after NBA wins and many other sporting events in US cities and its a bad tradition for Canadians to adopt. What is it that suggests its OK to ravage a city with violence and vandalism over a sporting event ? And don't blame it on the beer. This is abhorent behavior that somehow has become accepted behavior.
Downtown Vancouver Rocked By Stanley Cup Post-Game Riot

Rent Laws Extension Voted Down In Senate

There are no rent controls in place in NYC after the Senate voted down an extension....Meanwhile its not known if gay marriage will come to a vote and the tax cap is in doubt too...Governor Cuomo says lawmakers will stay in Albany till work is done....It could be all part of the dance that occurs near session end.
Rent Laws Extension Voted Down In Senate

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Assembly Passes Marriage But, But Tally Is Low

For the fourth session in a row the Assembly has passed a gay marriage bill, but the 80-63 margin was the smallest ever...Now attention shifts to the Senate where observers still think the Governor has the votes to pass it. Meanwhile NYC rent control got a two day extender to Friday as it will become part of some grand compromise on several issues.
So far no one has announced as the 32nd vote for same sex nuptuals....A lot are afraid of reelection consequences.
While shaky knees could defeat it, I don't think so...Too much is on the line for Andrew Cuomo who said he wouldnt bring the bill to the floor unless he knew he had the votes.
Assembly Passes Marriage But, But Tally Is Low

Former porn star Ginger Lee says Rep. Anthony Weiner wanted her to lie about online messages - NYPOST.com

What scandal is not complete without an adult film star represented by Gloria Allred holding a press conference ?...And so it was as Weinergate undfolds on the day when the Mrs. returns from a trip abroad.
Former porn star Ginger Lee says Rep. Anthony Weiner wanted her to lie about online messages - NYPOST.com

Sheriff Reaches Across the Aisle For Number Two Slot

    Democrat Sheriff John Burns has reached across the aisle for his new undersheriff, naming longtime Deputy Andy Neff to the post effective next month.
   Mr. Neff replaces current Undersheriff Tim Dowd who is retiring.
    The new undersheriff is also the husband of a key staffer for Senator Ritchie, so this may be an olive branch to the GOP...Setting up a possible Republican successor in hopes the GOP legislature will fund more jail cells to reduce costly outboarding of inmates in other counties.
    Maybe I am over analyzing this, but party labels mean a lot in some quarters, or so I am told.
     While I am deeply disappointed at being passed over for the job, I am sure Mr. Neff will perform well.

Dems Push Bill To Ban Smoking In Cars With Minors Present

Another shoe is about to drop in the anti smoking crusade...Now its no smoking in a car with minors...Granted not a good thing to do anyway, but if enacted this bill will give police another reason to pull you over.....
And lawmakers are talking about the Millionaire's Tax again...Oh and the same sex marriage vote is on hold as no one wants to commit to a yes vote unless they are sure of passage.
Who knows what will pass in the final days of the session.?
Dems Push Bill To Ban Smoking In Cars With Minors Present

Who Says the MSM Has to be Boring ?

I have to stick up for the MSM on this one....A letter writer to the WDT chastises the paper for "bullying" by running a story about a man pushing a wheelchair around NNY highways with a mannequin in it....a mannequin the man claimed he was married to. The fellow was causing no harm and obviously had issues by most standards....
I think it was an interesting story and reported on something that happened and some people likely wondered about. I think they should do more "water cooler" journalism. What people talk about drives interest in the product and by extension circulation.
Crassly put in the 70s the phrase, "if it bleeds , it leads" was coined in TV news. Then there are sweeps series about transgender teen prostitutes , and two headed cows. Don Henley said , "its interesting when people die."
Surely there is room in the hallowed halls of old media for some stories you say "wow" or "can you believe that guy ?"
The guy with the mannequin was perhaps a manifestation of mental illness or just quirkiness....I don't make fun of him....but it is interesting and nobody had to die for it to be so.
Watertown Daily Times Bullying by the Times

Conservative Line is Important, But ........

Lawmakers on the bubble over same sex marriage are all aflutter over Conservative boss Mike Long's threat to withhold Line C next year from all who support marriage equality...The measure is expected to pass in a vote on Friday.
Come on, get real....How real is the threat. A year from now the issue will have faded and besides, is Long really going to threaten to hand control of the Senate to John Sampson and company ? I don't think so. There are too many budget issues of interest to fiscal conservatives to hand the body over to the gang who ran the Senate briefly a year ago.
While I know there are some strong feelings on gay marriage, I hear few people all worked up over it and most of the angst is concentrated in the Legislature and the Albany press corps.
Most people are ambivalent and likely cannot understand why this is such a big deal to the point where it is more important than the tax cap. I don't think the lawmakers feel that strongly either but they feel they have to say certain things.....
Mike Long ventured on his own in the Hoffman race and after that fuss, he will return to being the Republican's "me too" party.
The Value Of The Conservative Line (Updated)

Moving toward 'the big ugly' - Times Union

With the session nearing an end and the usual flurry of bills on the docket, the mantra in Albany is "there is nothing till there is everything." This means many issues are so linked that nothing big will pass until other issues are resolved.
Case in point is the Tax Cap and NYC rent control.....Downstate Dems can hold up the popular cap in order to get an extension of rent control. We have all seen this happen before as sunsetted bills allow future leverage.
Casual observers will not be able to follow the events of the next few days and it may take some time for the dust to settle after lawmakers go home for the summer.
Late June is called the "big ugly" for a reason.
Moving toward 'the big ugly' - Times Union

Homecoming for Mrs. Weiner...Oh to Be a Fly on the Wall

Honey , I'm Home...What's New ? The wife of embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner is back on US soil after her trip to Africa with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She can now have a face to face with her Twittering hubby who is now under pressure from his party's leadership to resign over his strange outreach to women via social networking sites.
Party leaders from the President on down are hoping the wife, Huma Abedin, can convince hubby of the the merits of being without a job for the good of the party.
Ms. Abedin has been absent through Weiner's self imflicted ordeal.
A sleasy, self-absorbed, stalkerish busband is bad enough...but a husband like that who is unemployed is hardly what today's young professional woman needs for wants.....But the wife is pregnant and did take the vows for better or worse....So who knows what will happen.
If she is a good Democrat she will heed the calls to get him out of the way..But rather than do Nancy Pelosi's bidding, Huma really needs to do whatever she thinks is best for herself and the child she is expecting.
NationalJournal.com - Democrats Hoping Weiner's Wife Persuades Him to Quit - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WDT: Finally a Peek In The City's Mystery Caves

One of those urban legends you always hear about are the caves said to be beneath much of the City of Watertown. Now thanks to a western NY there will be some exploration of the City's underworld...One opening on Newell Street was sealed up years ago when kids crawled in and had to be rescued.
Now that will be opened and a special security gate fabricated by the exploring group will be installed. This will allow access when needed. Exploration will also occur at the "rock hole" on the City's west side where questions about storm water drainage may finally be answered.
City resident Doug Anderson has helped in hooking up the exploring group with the proper city officials and logistical and legal questions have been resolved.
Nobody thinks Watertown will be another Howe Caverns, but interest in the geology is there and the opening of the Newell Street cave will be an event of sorts...It won't attract Geraldo as this is not a case of Al Capone's vault, but maybe we can get Brian Ashley to crawl in for a look-see.
Watertown Daily Times Cavers to visit city depths

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wisconsin unions: Court allows Wisconsin's union law to take effect - latimes.com

The Badger State's high court has given Gov. Scott Walker a win by allowing his law limiting collective bargaining to take effect...A lower court had stayed the law. The law led to protests and a national kerfuffle over the rights of public employee unions.....Like many state's, Wisconsin is struggling to deal with large deficits.
Wisconsin unions: Court allows Wisconsin's union law to take effect - latimes.com

Council Likely to Move Ahead With Bird House Restoration

The Aviary at Thompson Park Zoo became a subject of controversy last night, but in order to settle the matter, Councilwoman Roxanne Burns says she will vote to award the contract for engineering work to Bernier Carr, thus allowing the project to move ahead...
A flap developed at last nights Council meeting over whether rival firm GYMO should get the deal, even after City staff recommended in favor of the B/C proposal.......GYMO had done some preliminary work on the project.
Both firms will get the job done and its tough to make qualitiative judgments...That is why we traditionally rely on staff recommendations....My goal is the project move towards completion this year and if Mrs. Burns action helps do that, I applaud her.

Gay Marriage a Virtual Certainty as Cuomo Sends Bill to Lawmakers

I was chatting with the City Clerk today about how many same sex marriages we will get at City Hall, since we are the wedding leaders in the North Country. Governor Cuomo has submitted a gay marriage bill....Mr. Cuomo had said he would only submit the bill when he was sure he had the 32 votes in the Senate. The bill must age three days before it can be voted on.
The Cuomo bill includes language excluding religious facilities from having to perform such services, meaning same sex marriages will mostly be done in civil settings and certain liberal churches. This was likely a bone thrown to lawmakers to get the last couple of votes...God only knows what other promises were made to get marriage equality over the finish line.
     A reading of the bill shows it takes effect 30 days after signing, so it would be safe to plan August weddings.
Gay Marriage Bill Lands

GOP debate: Michele Bachmann announces 2012 bid but can't throw off Mitt Romney | Mail Online

While Mitt Romney did very well in last night's GOP debate in NH, could it be Michelle Bachmann is replacing Sarah Palin as the Mama Grizzly of national politics ?. Bachmann's performance got rave reviews, and will surely enhance her already prodigious fundraising skills.....Since money drives the process, Romney and Bachmann may have the best chance of competing in the range of state's needed in this process.
Ms. Bachmann is the former tax attorney turned Member of Congress who has the modulated voice, intellect, Tea Party street cred, and knowledge of issues that Palinistas may have looked for.
In order to promote unity in the GOP, I could see a Romney-Bachmann ticket, although there is clearly a long road ahead and much that could happen.
Big loser last night was T-Paw, who came across poorly...The other four were just that...the other four....
GOP debate: Michele Bachmann announces 2012 bid but can't throw off Mitt Romney Mail Online

Alesi: Gay Marriage Passes With 35 Votes

The actual number of Senators who support gay marriage may indeed be over the 32 needed for passage and they are looking for safety in numbers before publicly incurring the wrath of Mike Long. It will all be done by week's end and I suspect local clerks will be getting requests for licenses quickly.
The deals on this have been cut. If Senator Alesi is making this statement, he likely knows.
Alesi: Gay Marriage Passes With 35 Votes

Obama: 'I would resign' in Weiner's situation - TODAY News - TODAY.com

With his wife coming home on Thursday, and the President urging him to resign, the options are more and more limited for Rep. Anthony Weiner....What does he do now ? No one will be seen with him. Any TV appearances become discussions of his sexting and worse. He can hang on to keep collecting the pay check and hope it all blows over.....
Contrarian voters in CD 9 who see their guy as bing picked on may reelect him next year...Stranger things have happened...
But the coming days will be long ones for Mr. Weiner.
Obama: 'I would resign' in Weiner's situation - TODAY News - TODAY.com

Competitors in Miss New York pageant show off talents, community outreach and hometown pride

After 71 years of ladies on the runway, the Miss NY Pageant makes an appearance in NYC...Not in Manhattan but on Staten Island...The pageant had been held in Watertown before moving to Albany and Long Island in recent years.
Competitors in Miss New York pageant show off talents, community outreach and hometown pride

Study: New York is 'Least Free' State - NYPOST.com

New York State ranks dead last in freedom among the 50 states. DEAD LAST...The survey includes an analysis of government spending, taxes and nanny-state laws. Makes you wonder why people stay here.
Study: New York is 'Least Free' State - NYPOST.com

Same Sex Marriage Poised to Pass as Governor Turns Up Heat

With one GOP Senator now supporting gay marriage in NY the focus shifts to whether Sen. James Alesi of suburban Rochester can drag two other Republicans into voting for a measure many feel would hurt their relection chances.
While public support for marriage equality is there, its not at a level that support for it is risk free. The Conservative Party has threatened withholding of Line C and that's a real threat in upstate districts that are competitive.
Despite all the "do the right thing" arguments, what proponents need are two Republicans who support the concept and feel secure enough in their race that they can incur the perceived political risk. Frankly, I don't think its a game changer and all will be forgotten by this time next year. Even our own Senator could vote yes and still be reelected easily.
The easiest move for the Governor is to make a quiet pledge to two lawmakers that they won't have to face reelection because a commissionership will be coming their way.
State of Politics Blog

GOP Field Takes Focus and That's Good News for Romney

The first major debate for GOP candidates is history and frontrunner Mitt Romney is the consensus winner with Rep. Michelle Bachmann the only other one making a breakthrough. Tim Pawlenty was flat and ineffective. Phenon Herman Cain didn't move the ball any further, Newt was so yesterday and Ron Paul is obviously in it just to make a point.
The tendency to overanalyze`is manifest in these affairs....There will be many ups and downs, but for now Mitt Romney is established as the frontrunner and Ms. Bachmann seems poised to be the Tea Party alternative. It is still six months till the first primary and other candidates may enter. The names you hear the most are former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
NationalJournal.com - EXCLUSIVE: Political Insiders Give Debate Nod to Romney, Bachmann - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Council Fumbles Aviary Plans With Dispute Over Who Gets Architect Contract

     City Council is playing architect politics, rejecting a bid by Bernier Carr to do engineering work at the Zoo aviary because the staff recommendation did not channel the work to a competing firm, GYMO.
     Council had been in harmony on renovating the aviary into a community room in a bid to help out the Zoo....Now lawmakers were unable to accept Bernier Carr's low bid as some felt the contract should go to GYMO, which had helped out last Winter with preliminary drawings for the project.
     Council also agreed to support exploration of caves under the City, heard that the City's bond rating had been raised, debated a new proposal from me on water rates but declined to come to solution on realigning rates, and gave the go ahead to exploring outdoor skating rinks for next Winter.
     All in all a not very productive meeting at the beginning of an election season.
    

Cuomo: Now It’s Up To The GOP

With gay marriage on the verge of approval in the Senate, local wedding officers will have to get ready for a different type of ceremony...Some will object, but its their responsibility to offer the service if its legal...There is also the opportunity for gay receptions, gay wedding planners, gay everything...So its looking like the Governor will get the last two votes...Maybe he trades a prison or two...extra school aid...future cabinet appointments....
The Governor said this is one of only three priorities for this year...And so far Andy Cuomo is proving to be a governor committed to his agenda.
Cuomo: Now It’s Up To The GOP

WDT: Maple City Mayor Seeks 4th Term

Months of contemplation ? A blessing from his family ? Heck, months ago Bill Nelson told me he was running for another term...
Hizzoner does a good job representing the Maple City and has been active in the NY Conference of Mayors. In fact he is due to be its next president.....Bill had a close call four years ago when he won by five votes in a three way contest...But that was when there was a fester over sex offenders at the Psyc Center property. Now all in well in O-burg and Nelson should win easily.
 I believe Ogdensburg's longest serving mayor was Dick Lockwood who was in for five terms.
Watertown Daily Times Ogdensburg mayor Nelson seeking fourth term

Pro Gay Marriage Senators Torn Over Political Realities

Senator Alesi of Rochester is doing his best Hamlet on the gay marriage issue...even telling us he has prayed with advocates on both sides....Come on....just vote on it and take your lumps from Mike Long...Its not going to get any easier as its a 50-50 issue in most of upstate.
Three undecided Dmeocrats came out for gay marriage today, leaving the measure three votes short of a majority...All three of those would have to come from the GOP if it is to pass.
Parsing Sen. Alesi

Weiner Ponders Quitting

The man dubbed Senator Schumer's "mini-me" is now said to be considering stepping down from his seat in Congress. Anthony Weiner is also said to be "falling apart" as he realizes life as he has known it is over. With no political skilles, a pariah image and no marketable private sector skilles, Rep. Weiner must also face the return of his wife this week. Huma Abedin will also not likely be pleased with her hubby's life prospects.
Anthony Weiner lewd photo: Congressman FINALLY considers stepping down Mail Online

Council Meets in Regular Session to Debate Several Issues

City Council meets tonight to continue discussions on a variety of issues, including the rehabilitation of the former aviary at the Thompson Park Zoo, and a look at how water rates are distributed. Several other issues are expected to come up in what is actually an adjourned session from last week.
Watertown Daily Times City to hire firm to design aviary project

Oh the Humanity ! Zeppelin Burns and Crashes in Eerie Flashback

Those large lumbering airships called dirigibles or Zeppelins have been making a comeback as a tourist attraction, but all that suffered a recent setback with the fiery crash of a blimp in Germany. The pilot was able to get close enough to the ground to allow passengers to jump to safety, but the pilot was later killed trying to land the craft.
Lighter than air craft used for passenger travel suffered their greatest setback in the 1937 crash of the Hindenburg.
Pilot killed but three passengers manage incredible escape as Zeppelin blimp plunges to the ground in Germany Mail Online

A Flurry of Bills and then Its Out of Dodge for 212 Lawmakers

Two of the three legs of Governor Cuomo's legislative agenda are still in doubt as the NYS Legislature nears the end of its session. The tax cap is mired in the usual effort to extend rent control in NYC and of course there is same-sex marriage, which hinges on getting a handful of Republican senators willing to defy the state's Conservative Party, which has threatened to withhold Line C on the ballot from any Republican who votes for gay marriage.
I think its a hollow threat as the flap will blow over by next year and Conservative Chair Mike Long is not going to be able to mount third party challenges which will in essence hand control of the upper house to Democrats.
Lots of bills will pass this week and lawmakers will for the most part not know whats in them.
Five days of crunch time - Times Union

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yes I Do Have Pictures with Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton

   There is something very basic about the process of getting nominating petitions signed. You get to see old friends and meet new people. You also get out of the bubble and meet the people who live here but are not at all the community funcitions.....
   I took some time today to visit folks on the City's SE side. Many signed, some declined, all I talked to got a magnet calendar.
   One interesting comment came from an old friend who had reservations about me...He asked if I had a picture of Sarah Palin in my office, and said he didn't like the former AK governor.  That's OK.
   I did meet Ms. Palin in Auburn in the summer of 2009 and snapped some pictures and have one of me with her and husband Todd. Recently a Councilman visiting my office asked me if the picture was real. Of course it is and I will stipulate to posing with a woman I feel is a strong advocate for values I appreciate...
    I remember in 1999 when I hosted Hillary Clinton at the Flower Library during her listening tour, I caught grief from those who said being seen with her would hurt me.
   Hillary's popularity in NY then was in the dumps and the old guard conventional wisdom was people would never embrace her.
    Since, I don't think Ms Palin will seek elected office again, it doesn't matter what the conventional wisdom is....But I just found it odd that someone would take the time to tell others that I had a picture of her in my office as if that's a bad thing.
    I am running on my record and pictures of Palin, Clinton, Cuomo or even the photo I have of me with Governor Carey is really not that relevant...
    Actually, I am proud of my activism in state politics over the years, as I believe it has given me valuable contacts but also a great understanding of politics beyond the city limits....
     Next thing I will hear about is my picture with Governor Jerry Brown.

Hillary Clinton takes Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, under her wing | The Australian

No stranger to marital issues herself, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reportedly taken her aide Huma Abedin under her wing as Ms. Abedin deals with the crazy and bizarre actions of her Congressman hubby.....
With his career in public life coming to an end, Rep. Anthony Weiner cannot expect his marriage to Huma will last...The complication is her pregnancy. Huma has been abroad with her boss while all this played out, and returns to the nest this week...
Hillary Clinton takes Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, under her wing The Australian

Youth sex and drugs 'rampant' at Hamptons' Nello - NYPOST.com

Poor Nello...he had a good thing going but couldn't keep it on the down low...The occasionally sanctimonious MSM has blew him in and now the state will feel obliged to do something....Hey, its the Hamptons...Aren't the rules different there ? No its not the location...but the rules are different for those with the cash...
Youth sex and drugs 'rampant' at Hamptons' Nello - NYPOST.com

Summer in the City

   Looks like another problem house on my block. After clearing up a bad situation last year across the street, we now have the house two doors down where an 18 year old woman knifed her old man early Saturday.
    I am told this is the same crew who roamed up the street last weekend and were fighting in my parking lot at 4AM, leaving a mess and a shout out for me on the blotter....
    Now, as I did with the previous situation I will have to run out to the lot everytime someone tries to park in my lot and meander down the street.
     Got to protect my interests, customers and livelihood.....And my planters who punks keep pulling the flowers out of.
   

Lap dancers take it on chin from N.Y. court - CBS News

Big time media loves this story on a NY court ruling that erotic dancers must collect sales tax on their performances...They are not , the court say, artistic performances, which would be exempt.
Its a good news story because when you get loads of government big wigs, lawyers and judges musing over strippers...well, that's government at its best..
Actually the performances should be subject to sales tax as should everything else...There are too many things exempt from various taxes and that contributes to the intrinsic inequities in the tax code.
Taxing a cover charge is a lot easier to enforce than the $20 bill you might hand a dancer, but perhaps the department of Taxation and Finance could plant themselves in strip clubs across the state to monitor the situation.
Lap dancers take it on chin from N.Y. court - CBS News

Smiling Gabby Seen for First Time Since Shooting

After what happened to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords last winter, there is a natural tendency to ask, 'what does she look like' after taking a bullet to the head that statistically should have killed her. Five months later a photo released today shows Ms. Giffords smiling, and while the wound is obvious, looking good and continuing to recover. Ifact, she may leave rehab soon and go home.
Its an inspiring story to see someone fight back from a truly horrific situation. Whether she can recover to the point of continuing her political career is unknown, but everyone should wish her well.
The Associated Press: First photos of Gabrielle Giffords released

WDT: Wind Poll Shows Whart We Know....Cape is Split

So a poll says residents in the Town of Cape Vincent are evenly split on whether they want industrial wind turbines located there....There is a dispute over the methodology of the Zogby run poll......Calling them "industrial wind turbines" instead of the more colloquial "wind mills" is one example of shading the survey...
But lets assume the poll is fairly accurate. What does it prove ?
To me is shows those who can make some money off this industry favor it and those not making money off it do not...You will get the same arguments on something like hydrofracking. What this also says is that as long as wind is a political issue, it is in essence non-resolvable. Debate will continue to produce crowded and raucous meetings and local elections spinning around this one issue.
Now we don't live in a democracy, so every issue is not resolved by a plebiscite. We have representitive government and the armed camps of public opinion in the Cape are feverishly trying to get their guy elected.....Once elected though, its not so easy to move ahead with wind as the community and social pressures in this small community make it hard to anger so many neighbors and former friends.
In a way, this is democracy and even though it may limit property rights, the exercise shows an agrieved minority can prevail..
Watertown Daily Times Cape residents question poll on wind

On stroll in his NYC district, Weiner is cheered - State Wire - The Buffalo News

Rep. Anthony Weiner continues to enjoy the support of many in his Queens Congressional district as the lawmaker continues to insist he will stay in office and wants to get back to work.....
There is an interesting argument on whether the firestorm of media coverage and the stakeouts at his front door are making a mountain out of a mole hill. The flamboyant liberal made a name for himself with his confrontational exchanges in media and on the House floor. This may be a case of reap what you sow in addition to inappropriate behavior.
On stroll in his NYC district, Weiner is cheered - State Wire - The Buffalo News