Dino the Disgrace

I don’t live in Lancaster, so I don’t really care very much whether its rude, glibertarian supervisor, Dino Fudoli, fails or succeeds. However, Wednesday’s Buffalo News published a profile of Fudoli which revealed that some are turned off by his aggressive, obnoxious behavior, and that he’s occasionally willing to take unpopular stands. BFD. 

But it also featured this quote: 

“Sometimes I feel like I’m on an island, that nobody else is looking out for the taxpayers but me. People need to start waking up and realizing that the government’s not their friend, the government’s their enemy,”

I added the emphasis there, because it took me aback. I had to re-read that second sentence several times. Here’s a sitting supervisor – the government executive for a municipal entity – informing his constituents that he’s their enemy – after all, he is the chief executive of that government. That their neighbors are their enemy. 

What does government do? It provides us with the foundation for a civilized society. Because our government(s) are representative democracies, the government is us. The people who work as clerks and highway workers and teachers crossing guards and cops and firefighters and librarians and assessors and plow drivers and garbagemen – you know, these guys (NSFW):

These people do hard work, and they’re not monsters or the enemy or Hitler or Tojo or mad King George. They’re your neighbors. They’re your family and friends. They’re also part of “government”. Do you think they’re your “enemy“? 

I can’t think of a more fundamentally stupid notion than for an American elected official to promote the notion that government is the people’s enemy. Even if you disagree with a person or a policy or how money is being spent – do you think Boehner or Pelosi or Obama or Romney are your enemy? Do you think that your town supervisor or your county legislator are your enemy? Do you operate under the mindset that, if the town of Lancaster thinks that it really needs another cop, and the entire town board votes to hire a new cop – these people are all your enemy, and here’s Dino Fudoli to protect you from the tyranny of the extra cop? 

Fudoli is promoting not just a ridiculous, tea-partyist, idiotic idea of town government as someone’s “enemy”, but brewing up a recipe for anger, aggression, violence, and harm. It’s much, much easier for some lunatic to commit a physical assault of some sort on a government official if he’s been told by some simpleton that this official is the “enemy”. You go to war with enemies. Anyone with an ounce of decency should condemn this fundamentally un-American, un-democratic view of what our system of government is, especially on the local level.

Accused former drug dealer and undemocratic Collins apparatchik Dino Fudoli is a disgrace to his office, to Lancaster, and to WNY. 

Familiar Buffalo

On Tuesday, I wrote a post demanding an immediate end to the use of “Better Days” as Buffalo’s official anthem. omeone on Reddit pointed out that some of the images used in the WGRZ Olympic promotion video were lifted directly from CVB videos like “Buffalo: A Sense of Place” and “Buffalo. For Real.” Sure enough…

click to enlarge

 

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In the foregoing images, the one one the left is taken from a CVB video, and the one on the right is from WGRZ’s Olympic promotion. I contacted the filmmaker whom the CVB commissioned to do their videos, John Paget, but he has not responded.  Neither a Tweet nor an email to @WGRZ was answered.

I don’t know whether Channel 2 commissioned Paget to do this video, or if it lifted the shots from his productions. But at least the scenes above are identical. 

 

Reid Gives Republicans A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Did you hear how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor to accuse Mitt Romney of not having paid income taxes in 10 years? He says someone with deep knowledge of Bain Capital finances told him that, but he’s unwilling to reveal his source, and the Republicans and Romney are going absolutely out of their minds about it. 

Is the charge true? Is it false? Who knows? Obviously, the easiest way to prove its falsity is to release 10 years’ worth of tax returns – something Romney has repeatedly refused to do. The Romneys say we people have all we’re going to get from them – an incomplete 2010 return and a 2011 estimate. Romney deliberately omitted a document he would have filed with the IRS detailing the holdings he has in foreign banks in Switzerland, the Caymans, Bermuda, and other traditional tax-evasion havens with expanded secrecy laws to help, e.g., absolve Americans of their duty to pay taxes (and more nefarious reasons like money laundering). ABC News pointedly asked Romney whether he’s ever paid less than 13.9% in income taxes, and he said he’d go back and check – that’s not a “no”. He never came back to tell us one way or another. 

The Republicans are going nuts, demanding Reid’s taxes, Pelosi’s taxes, Obama’s college transcript – they’re grasping at completely manufactured straws and bringing up remarkable non-sequiturs to avoid one salient fact: 

While the rabid right-wingers in Breitbartland demand a “vetting” of Obama that happened in 2008 and they’ve conveniently ignored, they absolutely refuse to vet their own nominee. That refusal to vet – hey, rich white guy, former Governor – is already haunting them. You can’t complain about transparency when you have a candidate who’s hiding something. You can’t complain about job creators and taxes when your ultrawealthy one percenter candidate pays no taxes. 

(Why aren’t we demanding to see how much Chris Collins has been paying in taxes?)

But if you read anything about the set of balls on Harry Reid, you should read this piece from the Rude Pundit. His writing is NSFW, but I haven’t yet found anything that more creatively and pointedly explains why this is all fantastic.  (Quote after the jump, due to language – those with vapours should avoid).  Read more

Buffalo's Got a Spirit (Ban "Better Days")

No. Please, stop. I can’t take it anymore. Originally recorded for a Christmas album, the use of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Better Days”  to promote Channel 2, its love of Buffalo, and water splashing is downright insufferable, and it’s become our unofficial civic anthem. You should be insulted. 

It started back in February, during the Super Bowl. Channel 2 showed this, which everyone immediately recognized as being derivative of the Sabres’ own “Better Days” video from the 2007 playoffs:  

Channel 2 updated it for the Olympics. Instead of a blurry sea of lights behind the interstitial captions, now we have water splashing. Why? A statement about the weather? Something about diving or swimming? Foreshadowing? Symbolically reinforcing that we’re just drops of water in a big pond? Who the f*ck knows?

I detest these commercials. I have come to have an almost visceral, physically negative reaction to the song itself. Aside from the fact that it’s a maudlin, depressing, weepy dirge, I object to the song’s lyrics and sentiment. “You ask me what I want this year” is the opening line – it’s a Christmas ballad. Why have we turned a Christmas ballad about Jesus and forgiveness and redemption and lifting oneself up from a horrifically depressing tough time into the de facto anthem of Buffalo and western New York? Is living here so bad that we have to pine for the Messiah, or the Rapture, or Christmas? Is living here so fundamentally awful and sad that we need big business (Sabres) and big media (Gannett) to tell us, in effect, that it gets better? 

We’re watching these young, talented athletes compete at the highest levels of their respective sports.  We’re watching a rare display of international sportsmanship and peace. Channel 2 decides to chop up that coverage by occasionally making you feel like a chump for living here. 

Is there a story, or is it just a slideshow? The new video opens with sunrise over Buffalo and Lake Erie. Fade to helicopter shot of our downtown. Fade to kid swinging on a swing? Then – a splash of water with a “what I want this year” caption. It’s not Christmas. Why do I care what you want? Fade to Kleinhans – pan left to right. Quick cut – a couple walking in the park; quick cut – a little girl with what appear to be her grandparents. They’re laughing at something unknown and unknowable. They’re loving each other. They’re happy. Maybe it’s an ad for Caucasians. 

Fade to a beach on the Lake and the Lackawanna windmills. The lake appears cold and choppy. The beach is groomed. The lifeguard’s chair is empty. Abandoned. Like someone had prepared for a busy day of sun and sand, and then abruptly fled. Wait – quick cut to another Caucasian, this time a female, playing with her black lab, which is cavorting in the surf. Quick cut to the dog carrying a stick, quick cut to the woman kneeling by her seated dog, looking wistfully at the camera. She, too, appears to be wondering where and why everyone fled. 

Fade to water droplets overlaid with the words “Better Days”. 

Next, apropos of nothing, we fade to a soldier hugging his wife or girlfriend. They run to each other, and we quick-cut to him hugging two little kids – a boy and a girl. Fade to another water splash with “take these words” captioned over it. Fade to – whoa, fish eye shot of Coca-Cola Field from a passing vehicle. Quick cut to African-American hotel porter giving the thumbs up. Seriously, it’s like something out of a Marx Brothers movie – back before the War when African-Americans were able to be cast in motion pictures, but only as servants. Fade to water splashing and “sing out loud”. 

Quick fade to the Botanical Gardens. Cut to two perfect white people in their perfectly manicured backyard, hugging their perfect little kids. It’s ok. Everyone’s happy. Even these people. Almost as much as thumbs-up-porter guy. Water droplets behind “everyone”.  Then we cut to a time-lapse photo of cloudsmovingveryfast behind part of the Buffalo skyline, and we cut to a mother greeting her young boy, apparently just arrived off the school bus. Cut to American flag wafting gently in the breeze. We’re very proud to be proud. Cut to two teenage girls picking peaches out at the Bidwell Farmer’s Market. Cut & quick pan to a street sign reading, “Buffalo” at the corner of First Street. White fade to a helicopter shot of the American Falls. Fade to splashes, “tonight’s the night”, which, as we established above, is an allusion to Christmas or Christmas Eve. 

Cut to sun shining through some trees. Cut, zoom, focus on the “Village of Hamburg” welcome sign. Cut to boats in front of the rusting, hulking grain elevators. Flags of Canalside, pan up. Time-lapse of the corner of Main & Huron at dusk. Cut to a female looking at some Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass, then turning her head to the camera, smiling. Shot at sunset from a moving car out by the marina, with “tonight’s the night” captioned over it, fade to helicopter shot of downtown at dusk, with “to start believing in” captioned over it, as the words “better days” fade in beneath. Shot of the sunset as the Channel 2 logo flies in, and the Olympic rings embed themselves in it. 

I guess the story is sunrise to sunset and an average day in western New York, that is if your average day is made up of generic b-roll. 

Buffalo has problems just like everyplace else. Perhaps they’re more chronic, systemic, and difficult to improve, but it’s a great place to live. We love our seasons, our sports, our arts, our schools, our people. It’s a nice place, not a depressing place that needs a Christmas song perpetually to cheer itself up. Things are indeed looking up, but we hit bottom long ago – the song would have you believe everything is awful, but we’re about to turn a corner, if only you’ll watch Channel 2. I think the corner’s been turned, and we don’t need cheering up. We like it here just fine, and we don’t like people suggesting to us that we’re a bunch of cretins for living in such a rust-laden, depressing place. It’s not sad. Hell, the Sabres doing well in 2007 wasn’t sad, either. Stop making me sad, Channel 2. Stop playing Christmas songs in July.  As cheesy as “Talking Proud” was, at least the song showed that Buffalo is a happy place with happy people. Buffalo’s got a spirit, bitches.

This song and its overuse as Buffalo’s anthem was the topic of discussion on our “One Thing” podcast with Brad Riter at Trending Buffalo

TBOneThing08-06-12.mp3

Do you have a better idea for Buffalo’s unofficial anthem? Some ideas are being thrown around the Twitter machine under the hashtag “#betterdays2“. 

Buffalo’s Got a Spirit (Ban “Better Days”)

No. Please, stop. I can’t take it anymore. Originally recorded for a Christmas album, the use of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Better Days”  to promote Channel 2, its love of Buffalo, and water splashing is downright insufferable, and it’s become our unofficial civic anthem. You should be insulted. 

It started back in February, during the Super Bowl. Channel 2 showed this, which everyone immediately recognized as being derivative of the Sabres’ own “Better Days” video from the 2007 playoffs:  

Channel 2 updated it for the Olympics. Instead of a blurry sea of lights behind the interstitial captions, now we have water splashing. Why? A statement about the weather? Something about diving or swimming? Foreshadowing? Symbolically reinforcing that we’re just drops of water in a big pond? Who the f*ck knows?

I detest these commercials. I have come to have an almost visceral, physically negative reaction to the song itself. Aside from the fact that it’s a maudlin, depressing, weepy dirge, I object to the song’s lyrics and sentiment. “You ask me what I want this year” is the opening line – it’s a Christmas ballad. Why have we turned a Christmas ballad about Jesus and forgiveness and redemption and lifting oneself up from a horrifically depressing tough time into the de facto anthem of Buffalo and western New York? Is living here so bad that we have to pine for the Messiah, or the Rapture, or Christmas? Is living here so fundamentally awful and sad that we need big business (Sabres) and big media (Gannett) to tell us, in effect, that it gets better? 

We’re watching these young, talented athletes compete at the highest levels of their respective sports.  We’re watching a rare display of international sportsmanship and peace. Channel 2 decides to chop up that coverage by occasionally making you feel like a chump for living here. 

Is there a story, or is it just a slideshow? The new video opens with sunrise over Buffalo and Lake Erie. Fade to helicopter shot of our downtown. Fade to kid swinging on a swing? Then – a splash of water with a “what I want this year” caption. It’s not Christmas. Why do I care what you want? Fade to Kleinhans – pan left to right. Quick cut – a couple walking in the park; quick cut – a little girl with what appear to be her grandparents. They’re laughing at something unknown and unknowable. They’re loving each other. They’re happy. Maybe it’s an ad for Caucasians. 

Fade to a beach on the Lake and the Lackawanna windmills. The lake appears cold and choppy. The beach is groomed. The lifeguard’s chair is empty. Abandoned. Like someone had prepared for a busy day of sun and sand, and then abruptly fled. Wait – quick cut to another Caucasian, this time a female, playing with her black lab, which is cavorting in the surf. Quick cut to the dog carrying a stick, quick cut to the woman kneeling by her seated dog, looking wistfully at the camera. She, too, appears to be wondering where and why everyone fled. 

Fade to water droplets overlaid with the words “Better Days”. 

Next, apropos of nothing, we fade to a soldier hugging his wife or girlfriend. They run to each other, and we quick-cut to him hugging two little kids – a boy and a girl. Fade to another water splash with “take these words” captioned over it. Fade to – whoa, fish eye shot of Coca-Cola Field from a passing vehicle. Quick cut to African-American hotel porter giving the thumbs up. Seriously, it’s like something out of a Marx Brothers movie – back before the War when African-Americans were able to be cast in motion pictures, but only as servants. Fade to water splashing and “sing out loud”. 

Quick fade to the Botanical Gardens. Cut to two perfect white people in their perfectly manicured backyard, hugging their perfect little kids. It’s ok. Everyone’s happy. Even these people. Almost as much as thumbs-up-porter guy. Water droplets behind “everyone”.  Then we cut to a time-lapse photo of cloudsmovingveryfast behind part of the Buffalo skyline, and we cut to a mother greeting her young boy, apparently just arrived off the school bus. Cut to American flag wafting gently in the breeze. We’re very proud to be proud. Cut to two teenage girls picking peaches out at the Bidwell Farmer’s Market. Cut & quick pan to a street sign reading, “Buffalo” at the corner of First Street. White fade to a helicopter shot of the American Falls. Fade to splashes, “tonight’s the night”, which, as we established above, is an allusion to Christmas or Christmas Eve. 

Cut to sun shining through some trees. Cut, zoom, focus on the “Village of Hamburg” welcome sign. Cut to boats in front of the rusting, hulking grain elevators. Flags of Canalside, pan up. Time-lapse of the corner of Main & Huron at dusk. Cut to a female looking at some Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass, then turning her head to the camera, smiling. Shot at sunset from a moving car out by the marina, with “tonight’s the night” captioned over it, fade to helicopter shot of downtown at dusk, with “to start believing in” captioned over it, as the words “better days” fade in beneath. Shot of the sunset as the Channel 2 logo flies in, and the Olympic rings embed themselves in it. 

I guess the story is sunrise to sunset and an average day in western New York, that is if your average day is made up of generic b-roll. 

Buffalo has problems just like everyplace else. Perhaps they’re more chronic, systemic, and difficult to improve, but it’s a great place to live. We love our seasons, our sports, our arts, our schools, our people. It’s a nice place, not a depressing place that needs a Christmas song perpetually to cheer itself up. Things are indeed looking up, but we hit bottom long ago – the song would have you believe everything is awful, but we’re about to turn a corner, if only you’ll watch Channel 2. I think the corner’s been turned, and we don’t need cheering up. We like it here just fine, and we don’t like people suggesting to us that we’re a bunch of cretins for living in such a rust-laden, depressing place. It’s not sad. Hell, the Sabres doing well in 2007 wasn’t sad, either. Stop making me sad, Channel 2. Stop playing Christmas songs in July.  As cheesy as “Talking Proud” was, at least the song showed that Buffalo is a happy place with happy people. Buffalo’s got a spirit, bitches.

This song and its overuse as Buffalo’s anthem was the topic of discussion on our “One Thing” podcast with Brad Riter at Trending Buffalo

TBOneThing08-06-12.mp3

Do you have a better idea for Buffalo’s unofficial anthem? Some ideas are being thrown around the Twitter machine under the hashtag “#betterdays2“. 

Don Carlxote versus Everybody

 Popcorngif.com

If you’re somewhat politically involved, there’s a very good chance that in recent weeks, you’ve been subjected to a variety of emails from local developer and unfortunate politician Carl Paladino. Earlier missives had branded former Senator Al D’Amato a “predator”, while more recently he’s turned his venom on State Senator Tom Libous. 

No, I don’t know enough about Senator Libous to adequately explain why Carl Paladino would publicly embarrass him. But Don Clarey, the chairman of the Albany County Republican Committee had something to say about it: 

From: Donald Clarey [mailto:donclarey@xxxxx.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 1:11 PM
To: Carl Paladino
Subject: RE: Letters to Senator Tom Libous

Dear Carl, I am tired of your pathetic screeds that you send me. The latest, about Senator Libous has caused me to respond.

I have known Tom for over thirty years – long before you became a Republican. Tom Libous has done more for the Southern Tier and the State of New York than you have done for the Niagara Frontier and our State. While no elected official is perfect, Tom compares favorably with his predecessor, Majority Leader Warren M. Anderson – perhaps the greatest legislator this State ever had. But I am sure that by your standards you would consider him a RINO for working to Save New York State with Governor Carey (gasp! a Democrat).

I have read your rantings and ravings over the past several months and frankly they show how ill-informed you are about civic affairs and politics. Let us do a little math: The Governor is a Democrat (in part because of you). The Democrats control 100 of 150 seats in the Assembly (many from Buffalo). The Republicans, until the recent Special election in Brooklyn, controlled that body by one seat. Is that a formula for enacting the laws you mentioned in your letter? Unlike you, I live in the real world. While I would like the Triborough Amendment and the other measures you mentioned repealed, it can’t happen under the current political make up. Your efforts to undermine Senator Skelos and his members will only make it worse. Nice job. By the way, I know you were trying to get a primary opponent against George Amedore here in Albany. It was fun to chase you ass out of Albany County on that one.

I am embarrassed that I voted for you in the primary and general election in 2010. Your clownish, thug-wannabe campaign cost us Harry Wilson’s victory, one House seat (NY1), and at least one Senate seat. Your continued effort to hurt the Republicans lead me to believe you are a double-agent on behalf of the Democrats – by the way, when did you switch parties?

I sure that irrelevance is hard to take – and you sure are taking it harder than most; please crawl back into your clown car and drive it back into the hole you came out of.

By the way, take me off your email list. I am afraid you might forward racist, obscene, and misogynistic e-mails like you have done in the past.

With minimum high regard,

Donald A. Clarey
Chairman Albany County Republican Committee

That’s entertaining enough, and good reading. But Carl felt compelled to reply: 

In response to your letter below Don, whatever you think Tom was, he has evolved today into a sellout—a poster child for term limits. I have no ego to fulfill sir.  If relevance is on your mind, you should be concerned with your own.  You obviously have learned little in your career about public service.  Running for office was only the beginning statement for me.

You say you know about enacting laws.  Did you know it takes three to do anything in Albany? 

If the Republican party continues in its present disarray with only good old boy leadership it will continue its trip into true irrelevance.  We fought hard to regain a Republican majority in the Senate.  The only way to hold on to that was to provide real opposition to the liberal progressives advancing a Republican agenda and Republican values.  Even after their defeat of 2010, the Senate RINOs chose to run scared and climb in bed with the Cuomo/Silver cabal.  They played footsie with each other using illusion and theatrics with a complicit press scared of the Albany ghosts.

As long as the Republicans control 1/3 of the of the vote in Albany they can veto anything.  That’s where the bargaining comes in, Tit for tat.  Did you see any of that in the last session?  Of course not. The RINOs make excuses like that to hide their incompetence.  Do you really think Dean Skelos has the intelligence and ability of a Warren Anderson?  Warren would have beat the loving hell out of the democrats over the last 2 years.

By the way I did not try to get an opponent for Amedore and you did not chase my ass out of town.  If I had tried to do something, the likes of you wouldn’t stop me.

Also Harry Wilson only lost because you and your RINO buddies advised him not to campaign with me.  Had he stood at my side in the mid and western parts of the state he would have gotten the same percentages I got there and he would have won.  You obviously are not intelligent either.

Like your treacherous predecessor Graziano, you live in a unique area of the state where the people do not suffer the financial peaks and valleys suffered elsewhere in New York.  You are insulated from reality by the thousands of fat and comfortable state jobs living off the fat of the land.   You never suffer recessionary pressures.  You live and participate in the Albany petri dish of corruption and incompetence.   You read a newspaper (frightened by the Cuomo/Silver threat of intimidation) more interested in advancing the progressive elitist agenda than doing the right thing for the taxpayer.  Why?  Because you are one of the worst of the RINOs.  You get excited when in the presence of the three men in a room power brokers. You’re the loyal slob willing to kiss their rings to get into their favor for the nickel dime patronage and breadcrumbs they throw at you. 

I watched the smitten look on your face when at the Republican convention in Rochester the Reda, LaValle, Savino RINO boys hijacked the convention and denied Wendy Long the party endorsement by railroading the 2nd vote.  You just sat there on your fat ass. You said nothing as the terrible injustice was performed before your eyes. 

At the convention my assistant had the proxy of Melody Burns.  You intimidated and assaulted her with your finger in her chest yelling at her that you wanted her to vote for Bob Turner instead of Wendy Long.  I learned about it later or you would have met me at that time.   Need I remind you that 63% of the rank and file in the 2010 primary for Governor voted against the good old boys insular candidate Lazio and County chairs like you.  Wendy Long kicked the ass of her 2 opponents in this year’s primary. The writing is on the wall but it seems that the RINOs are still in denial.

You see Don, the days of you and the good old boys are coming to an end very quickly. If the best that Libous can do is to send a washed up politician like you after me it illustrates just how weakened and insecure he is.  He had an opportunity to change his tune but chose the easier and cowardly way.  If you and he can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, move out of state and let his committee on vacancies pick a good successor.  What happens when he gets indicted?  Does he have such little regard for his constituency and for that matter his family that he will put them through that nonsense. Whining and foolish letters like yours will get you nowhere.  You should work on getting yourself a life.

There’s more. 

From: Rob Simmons [mailto:rrsimmons@xxxxx.net] 
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 11:18 AM
To: Carl Paladino
Cc:donclarey@xxxxxx.com
Subject: Re: Carl Paladino to Donald Clarey

What is the value to the NY GOP of this sort of public lashing?

Robert R. “Rob” Simmons
Congressman, 2001-2007
Colonel, USAR, Retired
268 ———————
Stonington, CT 06378

Did Carl just let that one go? What do you think? 

Rob, the N.Y. GOP is in disarray. They’ve lost the trust of the people.  The rank and file are held captive by a bunch of self-interested, lazy and corrupted Albany establishment RINOs including a good number of Republican legislators and County Chairmen who would rather bathe with the Cuomo/Silver progressives who feed them an occasional breadcrumb. 

They seek to keep their patronage and campaign contributions to protect and fund their incumbency and live off the bone marrow of the taxpayers.  As a result the status quo in Albany is alive and well and there is no viable opposition to call out the progressives who seek to create a permanent democratic majority by having the most liberal social welfare programs known to mankind which invite every Tom, Dick and Harry to come to New York to lay on the backs of New York taxpayers.

The Cuomo/Silver cartel have perfected the art of illusion and theater.  It is not an oversight that there is absolutely no transparency in state government.  It’s part of the art form that protects the deceitful establishment and the incumbency of incompetent and dysfunctional elected officials.  The entitlement people coming to the state in droves are passing on their way in the exiting vibrant youth who can’t find a job and the taxpayers who can’t stand the tax burdens.   The status quo is killing business and jobs in New York with debilitating taxes and regulation. 

The NY GOP only has a faint pulse at best.  The State Party commands no respect and therefore cannot raise money to support statewide candidates.  It is more about hapless locomotion by an establishment group of unintelligent office holders, downstate county chairs and good old boys like Skelos, Maziarz, Libous, Clary, Reda, LaValle,  etc., etc., etc., or washed up greedy lobbyists like D’Amato.   They are all opportunistic narcissistic parasites intent on squeezing the last juice out of the grape rather than advancing the rank and file needs and values.  It’s not hard to connect up the dots.

Until we clean up the Republican party leadership the party will not grow into a viable alternative for New Yorkers.

Is there anything else you need to know Rob?

The whole thing takes petulant bullying to a new level. But I won’t now leave you with any sort of snarky analysis of how Don Carlxote is tilting at windmills throughout the state. Instead, I link to the “Breaking Point Blog”, which fisks all of Carl’s recent insults and analyzes it in a provocatively titled essay.  

In government, even a person identified as a political firebrand doesn’t approach a fraction of the divisiveness or resistance to compromise showcased in Paladino’s writings.  And this is true even in the current political climate where divisiveness and non-compromise is the order of the day, especially among Republicans. To Paladino, anyone on his side of the aisle who strays in the least measure from his vision for the party is a target for being branded, in his terminology, a RINO (Republican In Name Only).  And woe unto he who is marked by Paladino’s scarlet letters, for Carl Paladino speaks for the “grassroots/tea party” base of the Republican Party, and without them, as he threatens to Senator Libous, “your career as an elected official will end this year.”
 
Indeed, Paladino’s messages are full of intimations of a kind of political insight that extends far beyond the observational and into the prophetic.  “The Albany establishment is on its way out,” he writes without a trace of uncertainty.  “In a few years it will be gone.”  The man is so blindly assured of his viewpoints on everything that he has apparently convinced himself that he can tell the future.
 
But in view of the rest of his remarks in a number of letters, I’d say that that’s not just an outgrowth of his unquestioning convictions. Rather, it’s part and parcel of a severe messianic complex.  His letters are permeated with unrestrained anger, but they are also paradoxically peppered with slightly religious language.  Apart from painting himself as the sole arbiter of judgment as to one’s true allegiance to the Republican Party, which, incidentally, he formally joined only seven years ago, he also takes up the mantle of a priestly dispenser of political absolution.
The whole thing is worth a read. Now, why is it that this person is – at least as far as politics is concerned – now considered to be a well-funded paranoiac, but is still afforded some semblance of respect by WNY voters and media? 

Trucks Use Bridges

An expanded inspections plaza, moved farther down Front Park, will speed the inspections process and minimize truck and car idling at the Peace Bridge. Trucks, incidentally, use bridges, and advances in clean diesel technology in recent years, starting with the total introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel a few years ago, means that the trucks now are far cleaner than they were at any time in history. 

Andrew Cuomo is in a position whereby he has to act in the best interests of the state – not one certain activist group or neighborhood organization or city or county or region. He’s determined that speedier, more efficient inspections are important for everybody. 

The bridge isn’t going anywhere, and the status quo actually does more harm to people than it needs to. If you want asthma rates to decrease on the west side of Buffalo, I don’t know why you’d want to retain the current, antiquated inspection plaza and not want some sort of change. 

Romney: Cultural Warrior

Mitt Romney thinks that the Palestinian people are culturally inferior to the Israeli people because Israel economically outperforms the Palestinian territories. Romney writes

“During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy. But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?”

Well that’s an interesting assertion. It ignores the 64 year history of epic conflict in the territory formerly known as the Palestinian Mandate, not to mention millenia of ethnic and religious strife between people of different nationalities, and among the three major monotheistic faiths. To simply denigrate Palestinians as ethnically or culturally inferior to any other culture is, simply put, chauvinism. 

Germany is currently economically outperforming the United States, despite Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. By Romney’s logic, Germany’s culture is superior to America’s. 

tl;dr, Mitt Romney is a cheap chauvinist idiot. 

Tax Cuts For Thee, Tax Cuts For Me

There is an impasse brewing in Washington over the Bush-era, post-9/11 stimulus made up entirely of income tax cuts. 

This is the same stimulus plan that has been in effect throughout the current economic uncertainty, and the recent global economic meltdown that took place, and has done little to make sure wealth trickles down, or to create jobs. 

It’s becoming part of the NY-27 race, in particular. Republican Chris Collins paints himself as the small business everyman, and called on Representative Kathy Hochul (D) to vote to extend tax cuts even to the wealthiest Americans.  Collins claims millions of small businesses, who aren’t hiring now, would be forced to not hire people (what, like even worser?!) if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy aren’t extended. Essentially all of the $1 million+ earners in the country are not “small business owners”;  only about 2.5% of small businesses would be affected.  It would also expend the deficit by another trillion dollars, so it’s what we call “fiscally not particularly conservative”.

In fact, since Reaganomics and trickle down/supply-side economics became de rigeur,  wages haven’t stagnated for average Americans – they’e “plummeted”. Wealth hasn’t trickled down to anyone, unless maybe you own a Bentley or yacht dealership. 

No, we shouldn’t begrudge the rich their wealth. However they got it, they’re quite entitled to it. By the same token, we need to stop the hagiography about them being “job creators” without whom our civilization would crumble. Ayn Rand isn’t the treasury secretary. 

President Obama and the Democrats would like to put an end to the tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. What does that mean? 

What it means is that everyone gets to keep the Bush-era tax cut up to the first $250,000 of annual income – even notable job creators like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.  Here’s the average annual tax savings if the middle-income cuts are maintained, but the high-income cuts are abolished: 

Still a pretty good deal, right? Anyone else getting the idea that Collins’ argument is more about self-interest than policy?  The problem is that many genuine small businesses rely on the middle class to buy their goods and services – directly or indirectly. The best way for that to happen is for people to have money in their pockets and the confidence to spend it. Millionaires never, ever have a problem with either of those factors. As we see above, extending the middle-class tax cuts provide a significant benefit across the income spectrum.

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