Saturday, September 29, 2012

Even in the Oldest of Trades, There are Changes

  As I was looking at some photos my brother sent me of the gin mill in 1993, I see there are many changes....Lots more TV's, no pinball or phone booth (remember those fat phones),....Cigarette vending machines are gone, but ATMs are here.....There is Lottery now and no sign in pools any more.
Centipede and Super Mario games are gone. Computers are here. Pool and darts are still chugging along. See the Zima sign ? That's gone.
 There are way too many flavors of vodka nowadays but the basics remain the same...Keep the beer cold and the service prompt and you survive and some nights prosper.

WDT: Big Names, Big Money Rally Downstate for Candidates Upstate

   Rep. Bill Owens and other upstate Democrats are gearing up for the stretch drive with a major fundraiser on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Former VP Al Gore is the headliner for the soire. 
    In all fairness the Republican candidate was also on the same island recently for fundraising, or so I hear. It goes without saying, when you're spending millions on each side, you don't get that at a spaghetti dinner at the IACA.

Watertown Daily Times | Gore, et al to raise for Owens, et al

Doheny Tacks Positive With Widely Sent Mailer

    A glossy, color, four page direct mail piece from the Doheny campaign hit mailboxes today.
     It's strictly an upbeat piece in keeping with promises that the campaign would shift to trying to sell Doheny at a time when the opposition is stepping up the personal attacks on wealth and character.
    I always wonder how read these things are, but they are in households and are around long enough people may take time to read them...I have long said the campaign needs to start selling his attributes and not just assume everyone is Republican voting in lockstep.
    I will be interesting to see if the direct mail is buttressed by a similar message delivered through other media.
    I received one (Indy registrant) as did my Conservative tenant. My other tenant didn't get one. I assume the mailing is designed to reassure and shore up the base.
     I am assuming the Fords of LaFargeville didn't get one.   

Kate Middleton photos: Se Og Hor publishes bottomless pictures of Duchess | Mail Online

 More of those pesky photos from Princess Kates stay at a remote French chateau are showing up in a Danish celebrity tabloid. The publisher says it's her duty to print the bottomless photos shot as Kate changed out of her bikini while on the balcony sunning herself.
     It's only your duty if you believe the public's well being is ensured only if they see long lens photos a A-list celebrities shot in an unguarded moment.
      Of course, the other argument is that royals have to keep the jewels under cover except under the most discrete circumstances.
       While fascinated by celebrity and cute animals, we will only print appropriately modest photos of either category here.
Kate Middleton photos: Se Og Hor publishes bottomless pictures of Duchess | Mail Online

WDT: Bill Paid

 Watertown Daily Times | Watertown Wizards take care of unpaid bills

Christine Quinn’s Newlywed Nest -

   The New York Times is still up for a good story despite trying times in the news business....Like this picture of NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn's nightstand featured in the NYT Magazine.
    Since Ms. Quinn may be the next Big Apple mayor, these kind of slice of life vignettes are needed for an informed electorate.

Christine Quinn’s Newlywed Nest -

Presidential debate expectations: Great, for the other guy

    For the next few days it will be all debates all the time as the media begins the run-up to Wednesday's showdown in Denver.
     Mitt Romney has been in numerous debates this year, but conventional wisdom is that President Obama has the edge because is the 'The One' and as the incumbent, is naturally more up to date on the nuances of the office.
     Of course, he has a record to defend.
     For Mr. Romney, it's time to bend the rules....Make it a true debate by addressing your opponent, something not allowed under the rules. By making it a joint press conference instead of a debate, it's just dueling 30 second sound bites.
Presidential debate expectations: Great, for the other guy - Jennifer Epstein -

New York DOT worker used state contractor to pave his own driveway, Inspector General says |

     So how was he supposed to get his own driveway done ? He paid $1500 for a work that investigators say should have cost 2K to 3K. Relationships are what we all have and use them to get the best deal.
      Reading this story does not live up to the headline...Maybe there is more to the story.
New York DOT worker used state contractor to pave his own driveway, Inspector General says |

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Calling Out for a Cheap Shot

   Today on the HOTLINE a key Owens supporter took a way below the belt cheap shot....
    Middle Class Mike was talking about the "four islands" commercial and quipped that maybe there is a fifth island....Riker's Island. (The infamous NYC municipal prison)
    It was a revealing moment for Team Owens....As the implicit message in their Wall Street screeds is that criminal acts happened.
    I dressed him down for it, as I know from experience how the cheap shot is leveled in this regard.
     Clean it up guys.

Fox airs Ariz. carjacker killing self after chase

   Isn't that why we are fixated by freeway chases on local TV....Hoping to see something unusual, bombastic or in this case gruesome and tragic.
    A guy shoots himself on live TV...As Don Henley once said "it's interesting when people die, we need dirty laundry.
Fox airs Ariz. carjacker killing self after chase

WDT: Island Opinions Sought

      I see the WDT has taken to interviewing another rich Thousand Island owner to see what he thinks of Rep. Owens ridicule of Matt Doheny's two tony islands near Cring Point.
     Ambulance czar Marty Yenawine is a big time Dem who hosts fundraisers for Mr. Owens and others on his Island,
      There are 1700 odd islands in the chain, so if Brian Amaral is to get reaction from them all, he will have to expend all his youthful enthusiasm.
       One guy no longer on an island is Dave Mance who reportedly sold his crib on Tennis Island for north of 400K. He supports Democrats now too, but won't be voting here this year.
        There are a lot of Dems with a bulge in their back pocket.
         The City owns Sewall's Island.....As mayor, I guess I could give Brian my opinion, if he is interested.
Watertown Daily Times | Island owner, Owens supporter reacts to island ad

Pearl Street circa 1993

       A blast from the past photo of the Mayor's Bar from 1993 when it was called Melvin's after the famous moose from West Carthage.  Not the different floor and the openess now filled by the smoking room.
Photo: Bruce Graham
     The parquet floor in the foreground is a remnant from the Hotel Woodruff and is still in service on Pearl Street. The booths and tables are gone and there are lots more TV's these days...Back then there were still phone booths.
        Much of the rest is the same as 19 years ago.

Can Mitt Be Funny ?

   I am sure Mitt Romney is getting plenty of advice on how to shine in the first debate next Wednesday in Denver.....
    Humanize yourself...self deprecating humor....connect with the folks.....
     He needs to do something as the NBC decision desk has already declared President Obama the debate winner.
Mitt Romney: King of comedy - Roger Simon -

WDT: Watertown Wizards owe more than $6,000 in uncollected bills

        The failure of the Watertown Wizards to pay their bill for the second half of the 2012 season was properly billed and disclosed to City Council and the public in a timely manner. Collection efforts will be pursued in accordance with policy adopted last year after the Arena-gate revelations details in a very critical audit commissioned by Council.
        As I had said before, the Wizards have been more about control of the ball field for the purpose of alcohol sales at various Fairgrounds events and less about baseball, as the collegiate team is at best a modest draw and a dubious business venture.
         After Arena-Gate I argued in favor of upfront payments for all rentals and usage. City Council opted for a less stringent policy with deadlines for payment and delineated collection procedures.
          Billings and collections are job one for the new Rec team and its getting done.
          Disclosing billing problems is a reminder that not paying is not a private transaction. It's a public matter.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown Wizards owe more than $6,000 in uncollected bills

For Doheny, His Defense on Being Successful Needs to Become an Offense

   Matt Doheny says he is proud of his career in finance and banking that has led to his personal wealth and abililty at age 42 to pursue a dream to serve in politics as the North Country's Member of Congress.
    He should be. It's a pretty amazing story, but not one told. Instead, the long expected and very predictable October message from Rep. Bill Owens is a class warfare slam paralleling the screed against Mitt Romney, who had a similar career path.
    What's so insincere and duplicitous on the Congressman's part is his own successful law career with Plattsburgh's largest and most politically juiced law firm centered around late GOP State Senator Ronald Stafford. The money made off politics and deals was surely substantial.
Resentment Over Wealth, Not Medicare the Issue du jour for October

      The stories mentioned here of helicopter's shooting "B-Roll" video of Doheny's island estate for use in commercials was tamped down over the summer for fear of being called a millionaire.
      When I heard of choppers overhead at Doheny's mid summer wedding, I tweeted about Gawker in the sky. The gossip website saw the tweet and confronted the campaign about the charge and I was the bad guy. It may have been the DCCC and not Gawker per se, but the eye in the sky was the harbinger of the nasty and disingenuous finale now being played out by the Congressman.
Bill Owens Lies About Matt Doheny's Record of Protecting American Jobs | Doheny for Congress

WDT: Restaurant Gets a Second Bite at the Apple as New Booze Licensed is Approved

      Watertown's only waterfront restaurant will soon receive its license to serve 'the Devil's brew' once again after the NYS Liquor Authority reportedly ruled to issue new licenses to Maggie's on the River. The permission slip includes various stipulations designed to ensure the facility operates as an Appleby's style eatery and not a dance club. The business was busted last winter after operating without a license following a string of SLA violations and run-ins with police.
         The Newell Street neighborhood was the subject of many improvements to public lands in recent years and the restaurant had been a focal point for use and enjoyment of the Black River.
          Watertown Daily Times | Maggie’s on the River gets new liquor license

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Energy...Doheny is a San Francisco Liberal

Photo: Me
    One aspect of Matt Doheny's island home that may change the minds of some....The house is equipped with geo-thermal heating...Wells dug deep to retrieve heat without using fossil fuels.
     The left likes to talk the talk on alternative energy, but I know of no Democrat using solar or geo thermal....Let's see how the Congressman heats his house..
      The only mistake Matt made....insiders say he paid for the system and didn't take the federal tax credits...He didn't take the free phone from President Obama.

Oops: Murdoch joins Independence Party

   Funny thing about the NYC media, especially the Post...they keep refering to the Independence Party as "cult like" and suggesting those of us registered that way wake everyday to worship Lenora Fulani.
    I like Lenora, but I don't worship her.
    Apparently Post owner Rupert Murdoch registered in the IP...he now claims he didn't know what he was doing...
    Gee, Rup....If at your age, a media baron doesn't know what he's doing, we are all screwed.
     The Indy Party is not really a party, it's a ballot position to be marketed by those who know the election law enough to be able to control it. Same as the Conservative and (non) Working Families parties which prosper under New York's quirky system of fusion voting.

Oops: Murdoch joins Independence Party -

Living Green for Summer

    I passed 1,000 miles on my Yamaha scooter today, saving about $300 in gas this summer compared to driving my Jeep Wrangler.

Owens: I'm Rich....But He's Richer...So Vote for Me

   Rep. Bill Owens has unleased the helicopter video he had shot over the St. Lawrence River this summer...Footage of Matt Doheny's archipelego (only two islands, but that sounds more ritzy ) appears alongside video of Manhattan and the Cayman Islands. As a JETS fan, I was hoping he would include Revis Island and to make it more ominous, the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Two Islands !.... Show Me
    This stuff was so predictable...Time for the Doheny's to invite the media for a tour of the islands....a look inside their Watertown house and an examination of anything else he owns....Then ask the Congressman to do the same.
RELEASE: Owens releases new ad, "Four Islands."

Hillary Clinton caught doodling on her speech notes at U.N. Security Council meeting | Mail Online

   Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was spotted doodling on her speech notes while sitting at the United Nations listening to speakers.  Can't blame her. I do the same thing at meetings.

Hillary Clinton caught doodling on her speech notes at U.N. Security Council meeting | Mail Online

WDT: Few Seniors Think Candidates Talking to Them

   The AARP tends to favor Democrats, but the results of a survey they conducted in NY21 is revealing.
    Only 2% of respondents said either Bill Owens or Matt Doheny is articulating a position on what to do about Medicare and Social Security.
     2% !......
Watertown Daily Times | NY21 seniors pessimistic about Medicare, Social Security

Campaign Mail Pretty Light So Far...But That Could Change

      In the Pearl Street mail bag today, a couple of political items.
      There is a letter from Senator Ritchie touting mandate relief, and an invitation from the Doheny campaign to the reception for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on October 8.

Mail Today to 557 Pearl Street
      The round table tickets were eliminated. Good move. Price is affordable for NNY at $75 or $125/couple.
        I still keep getting a ton of mail from the Romney campaign although I have never donated to them....
        Been a little more frugal this year on campaign donations. Doheny, Ritchie and a small donation to Gary Johnson.

NFL, referees end lockout after reaching new labor deal –

     The real refs are back, so who do you blame when your favorite team loses ? 
NFL, referees end lockout after reaching new labor deal –

School District Works to Acquire Old Army Building

    The City School District is trying to meander through the long process of acquiring the vacant Army Reserve building on Massey Street. While the structure and related buildings are potentially good for  a variety of commercial functions, its location in a residential "A" zone precludes that and a zone change would be politically unlikely.
    The School District's plan makes sense and would allow them to get rid of a parcel on Lansing Street that currently ads nothing to the neighborhood and could be a spot for in-fill housing.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown City Schools waiting on Army Reserve radiological study

Campaign Owens....Other Side of the Same Coin

   And what's our Congressman had to say to rationalize a third term ?
    Not a heckuva lot...Haven't really seen him that much, at least not in district's most populous city. I did see two lawn signs on State Street.
    His ads tout the year's old effort to revamp the vacant Plattsburgh Air Base,while skirting over the fact there are over 5,000 fewer jobs in NNY since he took office...I wouldn't blame that on him, but like so many other pols, he claims to be a job creater.
    Beneath the surface of Mr. Owen's efforts is a class warfare ploy against his fellow millionaire Matt Doheny.
    Listen...both these guys are well off...both have been successful in their fields, yet Mr. Owens whispering campaign plays on people's envy and resentment of success.
     Doheny has an island...not a Cayman Island, but a Thousand Island.....I wouldn't have sunk that kind of cash into it, but it's his money...he earned it and he pays a boatload of taxes on it.
From the Latest Doheny Fundraising Pitch
      I am sure, Mr. Owens doesn't like having to wage three real campaigns in as many years.....He just happens to have stumbled up against a guy with the resources and energy to oppose him. He is said to have been angered a bit at putting up with hecklers in this weeks debate in Queensbury.
       Rep. Owens is more or less as he appears....a dapper, old style NNY RINO running as a Democrat. Not a lot of ideology. At age 60, with no prior political aspirations, he fell into a Congressional seat.  He gets to play on the Congressional softball team, live near his relatives in VA and tries to represent the sprawling NY23 (now 21).
      He knows if he survives this time, he is in for good. To do that, he too has placed his faith in the people producing the same spots in a hundred other races where it's working families versus those greedy tea baggers.
     The next five weeks will be testy, and I suspect both men in the end are better than the campaigns they will wage. I hope so, because in January one of them will be my Congressman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Bulls--- A'int Gonna Pull This One Out of the Fire

   I stopped at the Doheny fundraising soire hosted by Tom and Mabel Walker....Nice affair, nice people, and when I was talking candidly with some of the people they agreed with me on my view of the Congressional race....
     The inner circle theory is (as best I can surmise)  that the registration advantage (considerable), being on three lines (a plus), no Hoffman (good thing) and the constant utterance of "ObamaCare" and "Pelosi" is the recipe for a 49-47-4 win in a three way race....Now, no one told me that...That's just what I surmised.
      Mixed in is the use of cookie cutter , BS (I can't spell it out as the WDT may link) commercials that look like every other CD in the nation....
       There's a lot of musing about the helicopters over Caprice Island and the class warfare stuff...Team Doheny thinks they won last nights debate in East Jesus, NY, but nobody is watching....The challenge is to deliver in a 30 second spot....It's hard to make sense when you have bought into the nonsensical national nonsense of $716 Billion being robbed from Medicare.
      Obamacare is a mixed bag and too hard to explain. Going broke is an easier concept....Might want to try that one, as nobody believes the national noise.
      Of course, I am cynical and jaded...But so far the polls bear me out...The public is willing to vote for fiscal insanity because the candidate preaching it is either a rock star or at least charmingly avuncular.
      Time to stare down those choppers overhead and give an apathetic and disinterested public a bit of truth and awe.

Restaurant Review: Joanne Trattoria   - NY Daily News

    I had never heard the word "trattoria" until the new Pete's was called one...I know now it's Italian for a restaurant for everyman....
     So when I saw Lady Gaga's parents opened a trattoria, I didn't have to look it up.
After a certain age you think you can't learn anything new...but you can....
Restaurant Review: Joanne Trattoria   - NY Daily News

Is the era of free checking accounts over? - The Week

    Now here goes free checking....And it's Obama's fault.
Is the era of free checking accounts over? - The Week

Gallup: O Lead Expands to Six

    Candidates trailing tend not to like the polls....but polling in the aggregate is a pretty good predictor and major polls...including Gallup are now pegging President Obama's margin at around 6 points....Gallup was one of those which had the race much closer until today.
2012 Presidential Polls - 2012 Election -

Another Version of Debate Reality...But It All Calls for Issue Focus

   Another version of last night's Congressional debate appeared in the Saratogan today...It talks about a boisterous crowd of Doheny supporters outshouting the Owens supporters.
      The intel I got was that while Matt Doheny was somewhat agressive and good on issues, he did not break through the newsfilter with anything to catch the attention of those following the event through the media.
       The only way you can control what's reported is to pick a theme or point and just repeat it or a variation of it no matter what is asked...That way they have to quote what you want...I do that a lot with channel 7 when they try to get me to say what fits and I don't want to say it...
         Q:  Sir, what is your view of the recent killing of our Ambassador ?
          A:  It's a complicated world, but I am focused like a laser on the central dilemma facing our country. We have a money problem...a debt problem...a spending problem...My career in finance...yes, on Wall Street, and my experience turning around companies has taught me how to work towards a solution to our nation's money problem.
        Q: But sir, I ask about....
        A:  The single largest peril facing America is it's money's 16 trillion dollar debt, it's out of control spending. I will spend my time in Congress working to solve this problem as not doing so threatens our very being as a nation.
        Q: You didn't answer my question...
        A: Yes I did. You just didn't like the answer.

     Free strategy from this humble blog.

Candidates in three area political races debate in Queensbury -

Fireball Heads for Schenectady....Participants Pleased with Reception

          The 41 teams in the Fireball Run road rally left Watertown this morning on their way to Schenectady and ultimately to a conclusion in Bangor, ME.
              Drivers gathered at the new pavillion in the JB Wise lot before yours truly fired the pistol and sent them on their way.
              Among those in the rally was Astronaut Jon McBride who flew on a shuttle mission with the late Sally Ride. Call me a child of the 60s, but it's always an honor to meet an astronaut.
             The participants and organizers said Watertown was very hospitable and they seemed to truly enjoy their visit here.

Army Secretary McHugh Takes a Tumble on Bike.....

   Get well soon wishes to former NNY Congressman and current Army Secretary John McHugh after a bicycle mishap in VA landed the Watertown native in the hospital. He is at Walter Reed Army Hospital but is expected back to work soon.
Army Secretary McHugh hospitalized after bicycle accident, expected to resume duties soon - The Washington Post

Mitt Romney, back in battleground Ohio, tries to make up lost ground - The Washington Post

   Meanwhile on the national level, Mitt Romney is in Ohio trying to beat back polls showing the race slipping away, but with forty days left, and four debates there is time to right the ship, or so they say.
    Mitt Romney, back in battleground Ohio, tries to make up lost ground - The Washington Post

WDT: Long Drive To Hear Same Razz-ma-tazz

   So I also read the WDT version of the debate which was similar to the Post Star. Basicly, nothing new, but there is an emerging Bill Owens theme critical of Matt Doheny's strategy of bringing the GOP House leadership to NNY. Speaker Boehner was here and Majority Leader Eric Cantor is coming. Mr. Owens is using that as a hook to rap the GOP for not allowing a farm bill to come to a vote.
    Mr. Doheny invoked the name of Nancy Pelosi, who used to be Speaker.
Watertown Daily Times | Health care takes spotlight in debate

Report: Same Old Same Old in First of the Congressional Debates

     I was wondering what happened at the first of the stretch-drive debates for Congress held last night in Queensbury. The Glens Falls Post Star version of events suggests nothing new happened with candidates trying to label each other and the usual recriminations about 'ObamaCare' and 'card check'.
     Sounds like a less than visionary evening. Next stop is a closed-to-the-public TV debate in Plattsburgh followed by the October 25 finale debate in Watertown. A joint TV panel discussion is also in the works.
Doheny tries to label Owens

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fireball Leaders Visit Pearl Street

  The two leaders in the Fireball Run competition stopped by Fort Pearl this evening...The ladies from Maine are called Team Bangor and their names are Tina and Carolann.

    It was nice of them to stop by !
    Today was also a day for a lot of young people to have fun like these cheer leaders from LeRay.

Fireball Run a Huge Hit...Visitors Love Watertown !

   Today's Fireball Run Road Rally was clearly aided by the perfect fall weather, but the hospitality of our city was on display this afternoon as 41 teams arrived downtown for an overnight stop on their way to Bangor, ME this weekend.

     The Fireball is sponsored by Universal Pictures and its charitable goal is the plight of America's missing children. At the reception following their arrival, I chatted with the teams and they were genuinely thrilled with the reception they got.

      It was a struggle to gain support to host the event, but it turned out to be a huge success for the participants and for the city.
      Crews leave in the morning for Schenectady and then on to CT and ME.

I'm In ....College Prez Invites Me to Debate

    My good friend and JCC President Carole McCoy says I can sit with her posse at the October 25 debate at JCC between the major party Congressional candidates.
    The event is sponsored and run by YNN and they had announced you needed a ticket to get in....I hear each campaign gets 100 tickets leaving about 200 for others. Dr. McCoy says already she is getting requests to attend the final showdown between Rep. Bill Owens and Alex Bay native Matt Doheny.
      President McCoy told me today's college students are very apathetic and disconnected from politics but that the event is an honor for the college to host.
     I graduated from JCC some years ago.

Long Knives Coming Out In What Should Be a Nasty Finale to NY 21

    With no live television coverage and only a two week old tape delay to be on a distant PBS station, tonights one and only three way debate for Congress takes on the aura of a joke.  Just the partisans in the room and a print reporter from Watertown making the trek to Queensbury to offer up his dispatches from the eastern front.
    Meanwhile, a new Democratic commercial lashing Matt Doheny as a (OMG) millionaire is up on You Tube...I don't know if they ever really buy the avails or just get these things posted on news sites and blogs. Anyway, it's a hard hitter....So maybe it's not 13 points after all.
     The next six weeks will be shock and awe on the airwaves. Hold on to your Medicare, its going to be a bumpy ride.

updated --Mountain Lake PBS to broadcast Sept. 25 political debate

Dem Strategist Says Tresidder's Campaign Hopeless (for not listening to him)

   One of the area's top Democratic strategists again has turned on his party's candidate for State Senate.....Middle Class Mike posted today that Amy Tresidder avoided issues during her HOTLINE appearance yesterday and that the Oswego Democrat is hopelessly trailing incumbent Senator Patty Ritchie.
    I agree the candidate was a little vague, but in that venue it's good to present a persona and Ms. Tresidder came across well as an informed and sincere citizen on a perhaps Quixotic run, but still with the best intentions.
    Middle Class Mike sees it differently...With friends like that, who needs enemies ?

(37) Mike Flynn

Owens Glides, Doheny Seeks an Opening, Hassig Gets One Chance

     The Washington Post has rated NY21 a Democratic leaning district and tonights debate in Queensbury will be an attempt by challenger Matt Doheny to change the race.
      How he will do that is known only to him. Polls say he trails, although his staff continues to insist the margin is small.
       So far, Rep. Bill Owens has run a decidely Rose Garden campaign as he sees no need to mix it up and likes the justaposition of his stately, grandfatherly, centrist image to that of his younger, more strident, "young gun" opponent, Republican Matt Doheny. (internal polling will drive the need for a more negative approach.)
        Democrats have pinned the Wall Street, millionaire moniker on Doheny and Mr. Owens is content to let that acid slowly corrode his foe over the next six weeks.
        For Bill Owens, a win means being Congressman for life and his team thinks they have it in the bag and just need to look Congressional and avoid mistakes. Even gaffes don't matter as no one other than a couple print guys is really covering the race.
     For Mr. Doheny, it needs to be about something. He could embrace Wall Street as it's his career that gives him the knowledge and insight to discuss why this country is on the path to be the next Greece.
     He should quit calling himself a 'young gun' and reciting the list of towns in the district.
      Oh, on taxes and the 47% issue (sure to come up).....The dirty secret of our tax system is that low to middle income people in NNY are taxed not so much through the progressive income tax but through the flat rate FICA, the flat rate sales tax, excise taxes on sin, hidden taxes on cable bills, phone bills and gasoline. Homes are held hostage by the property tax. The 47% pays the taxes on medical devices and tanning beds put there by Mr. Owens and the President.
     Democratic advocacy for an 8% sales tax in St. Lawrence County is regressive.
     There's lots of things to talk about on taxes that can relate to the 47%....unless you've written them off.
      As for Donald Hassig....Tonights debate is also on his dance card.

WDT: Owens Visits Potsdam School to Hear Lunch Gripes

     On the day before his first major debate with his opponent, Rep. Bill Owens visited a Potsdam elementary school for some good optics and to hear school officials argue they could make more money by serving less healthy food.
     New regulations from the Department of Agriculture require healthier meals and school officials say that means more students are bringing their own lunches, instead of opting for the school lunches.

First Lady Promotes Her 850 Calorie School Lunch
     Do kids still use lunch boxes, including the ones shaped like a school bus ? Is there still a Thermos inside ?
     Bad eating habits is something we all grew up with...I remember pizza in school. Setting some standards is OK with me.
      As for the politics of it, the Congressman looks grandfatherly visiting the youngsters as continues to try and build his image as the adult in the room.

Watertown Daily Times | Owens tours AA Kingston Middle School, hears meal concerns

President Obama appears on “The View” after refusing to meet world leaders for UN General Assembly -

 I'd rather be on The View, rather than hold a bunch of perfunctory, BS meetings with so called world leaders. That's probably why you shouldn't elect me President.
    Helping Barbara Walters celebrate her birthday is way more fun than listening to PM Netanyahu chew me out over Iran.
     As the celebrity in chief, President Obama has important duties and that includes, SNL, Letterman and Entertainment Tonight.
President Obama appears on “The View” after refusing to meet world leaders for UN General Assembly -

Wendy Long: Media’s In The Tank For Gillibrand

     GOP US Senate candidate Wendy Long is complaining about the media, which is what you do when you are running an unfunded races that's impossible to win against an overfunded incumbent who is sure to win.
       Underfunded candidates always run to media trying to shop stories about an unpaid water bill, a mistake in a tax return, too many free mailers, or an old DWI or marital spat.
        None of it makes a difference and these type of attacks are like taking on a tank with a pellet gun.
        Wendy Long is going to get crushed...It's just the way it is.
Wendy Long: Media’s In The Tank For Gillibrand (Updated)

Three Way Debate Will Provide a Little Common Ground.

      He has been excluded from three other Congressional debates on tap, but tonight Green Party candidate Donald Hassig is being allowed in the first debate held in Queensbury.  It will not be carried live in keeping with the strange local Public TV policy of tape delaying important events, in this case two weeks.
     However, both major party candidates have to decide how to handle the enigmatic third party candidate, with fears he will start performing his interpretive dancing or perhaps try to touch one of his opponents.
    Mr. Hassig might rail against toxins in our food, but he stands in agreement with his foes on one issue....gun control. All three candidates claim they are against further federal gun laws.

Foreign Policy Sneaking into Race for White House

      President Ahmadinejad of Iran is in NY to threaten Israel again and our President says the turmoil in the Middle East is just a "bump in the road."
       Some in the Jewish community are appalled at the Obama Administration's perceived slights and indifference to Israel, but in the end some 70% of Jewish voters will vote Democratic.
        Mitt Romney has sharpened his attacks on US foreign policy, but the President continues on his way, taping appearances on shows like "The View" and enjoying the support and cover provided by the MSM.
       Debates are coming up, but with six weeks left, the Presidential race continues to lean Obama, but it's close enough that its far from over.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vet Samples New Pete's

   I ran into my new vet tonight at Pete's but the tough news for her is I don't have any cats or dogs anymore.....Oh well, it was a nice chat with Dr. Diane Ferry, who was in the new Pete's for the first time.

      Dr. Ferry's practice is in Adams and she doesn't do birds which is all I have now...I have a pair of canaries...I had named the first one 'Ezra' after Ted Ford, but couldn't think of a name for the second one...So I dropped Ezra and just call them 'A' and 'B'.
        When you ask Diane if she treats birds, she says, "no, but I have a couple good recipes."

Debate Details Announced

   Details on the three Congressional debates are fleshed out in the latest Doheny press release. What I am not fathoming in this race at how low key the Owens campaign is...I don't see much happening, although polls suggest you can't argue with success.
Adirondacks/Capital Region: 8 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) in the auditorium of Queensbury High School, 409 Aviation Road
Free and open to the public, so join us to show your support for Matt! Can't join us? Mountain Lake PBS will broadcast the debate at 8 p.m. Oct. 4.

North Country East: 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Valcour Conference Center at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The second debate will not include a live audience, but will be broadcast live on WPTZ (NBC in Plattsburgh) and on the station's website,

North Country West: 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Jefferson Community College, 1220 Coffeen St.
Free, but requires tickets. The Doheny campaign will have a limited number of tickets to give to supporters. To request a ticket from us, please e-mail your name and phone number to Can't make it? YNN will carry the debate live on its Syracuse, North Country and Capital Region stations.

   The funny thing in this release is the first debate tomorrow night in Queensbury is being taped by Public Television but not being aired till October 4.  By then, entire issues could change and the dialogue may be out of date...Also, the tape is not being shown on Public TV on this side of the district.
    There are some strange ideas in NNY media...Sorry to say it.

DiNapoli to Rate Cities

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is doing what he bills as a comprehensive review of the fiscal health of New York's 62 cities....Of course 8.2 million live on one city and 2.2 live in the other 61.
     Of course the announced reason is to reveal the deteriorating fiscal state of cities.
I can't wait to hear how we rate.

WDT: Fireball Run makes pit stop Tuesday in downtown Watertown

    A scavenger hunt and road rally will sweep through downtown Watertown on Tuesday as the Fireball Run makes a scheduled stop here on its 2500 mile journey that ends in Maine on Saturday.
    Beautiful fall weather is on tap and there is lots of entertainment in the one block of Washington Street closed to traffic for the bands, cars and fun going on.
Watertown Daily Times | Fireball Run makes pit stop Tuesday in downtown Watertown

Liz Benjamin....Frontier Woman...For the Weekend

     Liz Benjamin has taken on a sort of Annie Oakley persona as she left her big city haunts and ventured inside New York's Adirondack Blue Line....Liz donned her PFD and down vest and was seen paddling in the company of Governor Andrew Cuomo who took the media on a fall foliage tour of the state's massive and massively regulated forest preserve.

Media Wags Try to Keep Up With State's Outdoorsy Governor
     Liz and her media cohorts probably need some help handling those paddles, but I am sure the tour will result in travelogue video on Capital Tonight.
     Liz will be in Watertown next month to anchor a debate in NY21...Maybe we can send her down the Black River for some end of season whitewater rafting !

Tresidder Introduces Herself to the HOTLINE Family

      Democrat Amy Tresidder turned in a solid and personable performance on the HOTLINE today as the Oswego resident and county legislator made her radio debut.
      Ms. Tresidder affirmed support for an 8% sales tax in St. Lawrence County, something opposed by incumbent Sen. Patty Ritchie.
     The challenger comes from Hermon, NY where her dad was a long time county legislator and she grew up in a political household. She is in her second term as a legislator from the City of Oswego.

Democrat Amy Tresidder on the HOTLINE Today
      Ms. Tresidder says she hopes to be an upstate voice in her party's caucus, if elected and she has criticised the amount of spending on campaigns, as well as Senator Ritchie's use of taxpayer funded newsletters to promote her self.
       Like her opponent, she called for the resignation of Assemblyman Vito Lopez who is at the heart of a payoff scandal involving Speaker Silver.
       Tresidder said she does not expect an endorsement from Governor Cuomo who is widely thought to be chummy with several Senate Republicans, including Ms. Ritchie. 
       The Democrat says she will champion working folks and supports the reelection of President Obama.

Foxconn China plant closes after clash involving 2,000

   Funny how all of us, including those fighting for working families, are attached to cell phones made by people in China who live in dormitories and work at giant factories and are likely paid...not too much.....
    Now they are rioting...Hope that doesn't result in any yuppies waiting longer for their I-Phone 5.
Foxconn China plant closes after clash involving 2,000 -

Fair Weather Forecast for Fireball Run

As the rain clouds cleared today and the sun shone over Watertown, we are reminded of not just the most beautiful season in NNY, but also all the visitors we have tomorrow for the Fireball Run sponsored by Universal Studios.
    The road rally meanders through the Northeast this month and is a chance for Watertown to shine and Mother Nature is cooperating with a great forecast for Tuesday.
    Join us in front of the Jefferson County Historical Society on Washington Street at about 3PM Tuesday for all the fun.

Romney, Obama duel on '60 Minutes'

       Putting style aside, I watched just the words on closed caption at Pete's last night as President Obama and Governor Romney were profiled on "60 Minutes" last night.
       As a frequent critic of the challengers campaign, I would say he did very well and the President looked weary and continued the tired narrative about how he inherited such a bad situation and the Republicans are picking on him.
      While Mr. Obama still has the edge, according to most experts, the upcoming debate in Colorado will tell the tale of this race.
       Romney, Obama duel on '60 Minutes' - Jennifer Epstein -

POST: "Female defender" of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver revealed to be his male staffer -

    The Post has discovered that an ardent defender of Speaker Sheldon Silver on Albany political blogs is a male staffer masquerading as a female named 'Sophia Walker.'
      Silver staffer Bill Eggler provides Walker's words in defense of the Speaker on issues relating to paying off women who charged harassment in the case of Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
      It should be no surprise that staffers and operatives provide much of the running commentary on political blogs. They lurk here.
      The misleading nature of this case is a little more egregious and it also points out the political class fixates on the many words appearing in blogs that likely do not affect their bosses.
     I get that here too.

EXCLUSIVE: "Female defender" of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver revealed to be his male staffer -

Cuomo talks tourism during visit to Adirondack Balloon Festival

   Governor Cuomo was busy in what seems his favorite part of NY State over the weekend as he and first friend Sandra Lee visited a balloon festivan and touted the need to promote the Adrirondack Park as a tourist destination.

Governor Cuomo Canoes in Adirondacks (Where's The PFD ?)
    It's good to see a Governor not hanging in the Hamptons.
     Cuomo talks tourism during visit to Adirondack Balloon Festival

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Americans in Three Camps....Obama, Romney and a Pox on Both

   So much for a light hearted bit of political discourse in today's coarsening world.
    Today I wrote on the chalk board in the rest rooms at the bar, asking people to vote for either Gov. Romney or President Obama.  Within a couple of hours an Obama supporter had erased tick marks next to Mitt's name and wrote in the requisite "F" word so popular in today's speech..."Retard" also made an appearance and when I get back from dinner I will erase it and post a beer special.
     Since I am not voting for either, I don't care....but on the other hand, I dont hate either man and would gladly sit down to watch a JETS game with either....

Even Some Middle Schools Now Test for Drugs -

   I am so with the Kiederer's of Milford PA....They are in court trying to stick up for their daughter playing school sports without the indignity of peeing in a cup....Twelve year olds the school district wants to subject to mandatory drug testing.
    All of this is part of our indulgent, addicted society but also our obsession with sanitizing society of all ills at the expense of dignity and individual freedom.

     The War on Drugs and all the other wars on drinking, bullying, and the like are not creating the utopia the do-gooders want....
      There is no sense of personal responsibility or an assumption of innocense...Instead we have a world with cameras on utility poles, state agents swooping down on someone playing beer pong, and all sorts of conflicting messages about what is OK and what is not.
      This young lady shouldn't have to prove herself in any way but on the field of play.

Even Some Middle Schools Now Test for Drugs -

Arrest planned for Bronx Zoo visitor who wanted to “be one with the tiger” when he leaped into animal lair -

    The nut who jumped into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo says he wanted to be "one with the tiger."
Arrest planned for Bronx Zoo visitor who wanted to “be one with the tiger” when he leaped into animal lair -

Is that where the deficit's hiding? Obama whips out massive wad of cash to pay for sausages at deli

      That's more money than in my wallet or the wallets of working families across the country.
       Can you imagine the outrage if Mitt Romney had visited that Milwaukee deli and pulled out a wad like this...No, would be relentless.
        As for Mr. Romney, he was in southern California raising money.....When does he start campaigning ?
        This campaign has the feeling of 'running out the clock'.

Is that where the deficit's hiding? Obama whips out massive wad of cash to pay for sausages at deli | Mail Online

Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney

   Who does one believe when it comes to polls ? In some media, the race is over with massive leads for the President, but  the longest known name in polling has the national race tied at 47% each.....

Beer Drinkers Poll in Men's Room at Mayor's Bar
    When growing up and following elections, the occasional Gallup Poll or Harris Survey was the only barometer of the race. That's how Dewey defeated Truman.
      Now there are umpteen tracking polls, state polls, registered voters, likely voters, and analysts writing stories on why we shouldn't pay attention to some, but need to follow others.
       While NBC is awed and shocked by the Romney 47% speech, and the lack of more tax returns, the public seems to be taking it all in stride and we remain a 50/50 nation.

Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney

WDT: Sometimes We Get It First, But We Don't Crow About It

    For some time, there has been a small but vocal cadre of critics of this and other blogs for having the tumerity to utter news before the gatekeepers do.
     This story on two sets of absentee ballots for military voters is something I mentioned after discovering it while helping a military member get her absentee in a timely manner.
     I wrote it up here and the MSM picked up the idea and expanded on it for a story in their vehicle...That's fine..It is news and who gets it first is less important than informing the public.
Watertown Daily Times | Albany inaction means two waves of ballots to overseas voters

New York makes its hit list: Which plants and animals should be banned?

    A whole bunch of common shrubs used in landscaping will be banned as will a variety of animals including hedgehogs. It's all part of New York's invasive species law. "Experts" are compiling a list of what Albany doesn't want you to have
     Guess I will have to get those feral hogs off the back forty.
New York makes its hit list: Which plants and animals should be banned? |

Could hydrofracking help sinking school budgets in NY state? - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

     Remember the Lottery back in the 60s....It's immoral, predatory, downright wrong.....but hey, it's for the will provide needed dollars for education and allow our system of 700+ superintendents to continue unabated. Moral qualms were overcome.
     Well, here we are in 2012 and schools are finding they can go on unabated....Here comes hydrofracking, the controversial means of extracting natural gas from shale that critics say is a danger to the environment.
      How do you get it approved ?  
      Simple, promise it is a boon to education.
Could hydrofracking help sinking school budgets in NY state? - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York