Thursday, January 31, 2013

NY State casino expansion

(The state’s plan to site three casinos in Upstate America is “evolving,” top lawmakers including Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the press yesterday. The state may approve more than three casinos, but the decision among prospective bidders will be made by a non-partisan Gaming Commission. (TU/BN)) ********** The case against increasing casinos in NY is compelling. The experience in other states support the anti-casino case. Gov. Cuomo stipulates that any new casinos must bring jobs to the casino region; and must increase overall economic activity. Casinos, on the whole, don’t do that. The jobs are low wage, often temporary, and do not dramatically increase economic activity. Casinos do change the quality of life in their communities, negatively. Listen to Speaker Silver’s argument against a casino in NYC. It’s all about a casino being within walking distance of workers, who can gamble on their lunch hour, and lose the rent money. Silver makes this argument for his political base in Manhattan, and NYC, but he is willing to ignor the same argument when he supports up state casinos. Gambling is addictive, and the casino slots are built to give the illusion of success, victory, and big payouts to players. But for the state to generate significant revenue from casinos, the players have to lose, and most of them do.
he quasi-populist NYT Tom Friedman and new Sec. of State John Kerry **************** John Kerry has been confirmed as the new Sec. of State. Best of luck to him. The world, in many ways, is a mess; and very dangerous. The Muslim Middle-East is a mess, with Egypt disintegrating; Syria in civil war; Iraq on the verge of a renewed Sunni/Shiite civil war; and Iran as opaque as ever. Israel faces its’ most severe existential threat to its’ existence. China believes its’ authoritarian top-down one party, crony capitalist state is the future. And its’ latest moves has made Japan, and the Philippines nervous. And then there is Russia’s Putin. And the possible collapse of the European Union. Kerry will be very busy. Mr. Kerry is well liked in the Senate, but he is an aloof elitist. He also was a somewhat marginal player as Senate Foreign Affairs comt. chair. George Bush could have, and should have, been defeated in 2004. But Kerry’s elitism damped down the furor of the traditional Dem. party coalition. The NYT’s Tom Friedman wants Kerry to transform into a populist, circumventing the world’s leaders and dealing with the people in the street, so to speak. LOL. That will not happen. *********** Friedman:” So what’s a secretary of state to do? I’d suggest trying something radically new: creating the conditions for diplomacy where they do not now exist by going around leaders and directly to the people. And I’d start with Iran, Israel and Palestine. We live in an age of social networks in which every leader outside of North Korea today is now forced to engage in a two-way conversation with their citizens. There’s no more just top-down. People everywhere are finding their voices and leaders are terrified. We need to turn this to our advantage to gain leverage in diplomacy. Let’s break all the rules…”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

" Andrew Cuomo marched forth like Moses in his mind parting the sea of the second amendment….Bobby Jindal will come across a whole lot better than Mitt Romney. Stay Tuned!) A blogger up her in the Albany,NY Capital region *************** Bobby Jindal??? Gov. Bobby is attempting to “reform” the Louisiana tax system..but in a very regressive way. He is moving to eliminate the personal/business income tax, and replace with an expanded sales tax. Sales taxes are regressive, while income taxes can be progressive. Jindal is also a rather boring speaker. I don’t believe Gov. Cuomo believes he is Moses. The 2nd Amendment “does not protect an individual’s right to own firearms, and that the purpose of the amendment was purely to guarantee that the states could maintain their own militias…” And as one blogger has written, the 2ndA was written when muskets could shoot one bullet at a time. Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School; and has written much on the origins of the 2ndA. The amendment was to protect the states from having their own militias being abolished by the new federal government. It had nothing to do with individual gun owner rights.;cd0ffba3.1301d The NRA’s use of the 2ndA is a canard; a red herring to justify its’ nonsensical opposition to rational gun control. Captain Mark Kelly will be testifying this morning in Congress on sensible gun control legislation. Gabby may, or may not, be there. You can join their new website: Humorist Andy Borowitz doesn’t always score with his daily blog, but yesterday’s deserves 5 stars: “..In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, National Rifle Association C.E.O. Wayne LaPierre warned that the N.R.A. would vigorously oppose any legislation that “limits the sale, purchase, or ownership of politicians.” “Politicians pose no danger to the public if used correctly,” said Mr. LaPierre, who claims to have over two hundred politicians in his personal collection. “Everyone hears about the bad guys in Congress. Well, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a vote is a good guy with a vote. I’m proud to be the owner of many of those guys.” Mr. LaPierre’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Carol Foyler, a politician-control advocate who has spent the past twelve years lobbying for stricter limits on the sale of politicians. “Right now, a man like Wayne LaPierre can walk right into Congress and buy any politician he wants,” she said. “There’s no background check, no waiting period. And so hundreds of politicians are falling into the hands of people who are unstable and, quite frankly, dangerous.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hillary and Barack, the “60 Minutes” interview. More here and here. Clinton said she would have put Obama in her cabinet had she won the 2008 election. ************************ And what would Hillary had offered Barack in 2008? Nice words, but mostly pr fluff. Why did the POTUS agree to sit with Hillary on 60 minutes interview? Well, they may actually like each other. In addition, Hillary will be writing a book in the next 12 months, and Barack wants to keep her on board, on the reservation, hoping no negativity seeps into the book.
(U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer wants an apology from Beyonce for lip syncing at the inauguration. (NYP)) ************ Ah,fuhgeddaboudit, Sen. Chuck. (Brookynese for forget about it. There are actually four roadsigns of fuhgeddaboudit as one leaves Brooklyn: “The signs are at four locations: Gowanus Expressway approaching the Verazzano BQE approaching the Kosciuczko Bridge Belt Parkway near the Queens border, and Belt Parkway, ramp to the Verazzano” I’m sure the good Senator has seen the signs in his travels. It was Beyonce’s voice, from a studio recording the night before. It wasn’t as though she lip synced Streisand or Taylor Swift. If Sen. Chuck wants to worry about some social issue, he should worry about the First Lady’s new hairdo. But doesn’t it look marvelous, and gives her a younger look? Well, sure. But why did she go with this style? I sneak a look at the supermarket tabloids , and focus on the political related stories. Not that I believe them, of course, but they are often a good read. The latest Globe or Nat. Enquirer suggests that the First Lady*** now has a hair style replicating the attractive actress Kerry Washington. It is Kerry that had earlier juiced up Michelle’s jealous DNA. ** Jackie Kennedy hated the term First Lady, claiming it sounded like a race horse.
Gov. Jerry Brown and higher education. ************************ “… Last year, he told voters that a tax increase was the only way to avoid more years of drastic cuts. Now, with the tax increase approved and universities anticipating more money from the state for the first time in years, the second Governor Brown is a man eager to take an active role in shaping the University of California and California State University systems. Governor Brown holds a position on the board of trustees for both Cal State and UC. Since November, he has attended every meeting of both boards, asking about everything from dormitories to private donations and federal student loans. He is twisting arms on issues he has long held dear, like slashing executive pay and increasing teaching requirements for professors — ideas that have long been met with considerable resistance from academia. But Mr. Brown, himself a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, has never been a man to shrink from a debate….” From NYT this morning. *********** Gov. Jerry Brown apparently has “balanced” the perennially unbalanced Cal. state budget; and is very active on higher education issues. He is on the Trustee boards for Cal State and UCal. How old is Gov. “Moonbeam”? Why doesn’t he run for POTUS in 2016? If Brown can sit on the higher ed. Trustee boards, could our Gov. Cuomo do the same? Is Cuomo’s membership on the SUNY board prohibited by the state Constitution, or because of some other reason(s)? ********** Gov. Brown is 74; and would be 78 in ’016. Not likely he will run for POTUS. Although the 70ies are the new 50ies-60ies. If Brown were to enter the POTUS race, he could, in his inevitable elliptical way, tell the voters that age is just a number, and his number is unlisted. Some of us remember Brown’s foray into New York during the 1992 POTUS primary, battling Bill Clinton. Brown, in his best existential angst, began to bring Hillary into the race. That was when ol’ Bill lifted his fist to Mr. Moonbeam, and told him to lay off Hillary. Suppose ol’ Moonbeam were to run against Hillary in ’016? Would Bill raise both fists to Jerry?
A bipartisan group of senators reached a framework for an immigration overhaul that includes tougher border security and a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. (AP)) ****************** The NYT’s editorial board writes that “now we are talking” But the board also writes that “..There is the real possibility that this road to reform will be illusory, stacked with obstacles, detours, dead ends and quick exits….” I would agree with that. Sen. McCain, on CBS This Morning, told Charlie Rose and Nora O’Donnell that the boarder must be secure before a pathway to citizenship for those already here can proceed. When Rose, or was it Nora?, asked if this will take years (and years) to achieve, McCain pointed at Rose and O’Donnell declaring that the citizens of his state should have as much security as the building at NYC’s CBS studio. In short, McCain described drug smuggling, crime, murder as the norm on his Mexico-Arizona border. That is going to be the mantra of the SW GOPers. A pathway to citizenship is going to be rhetoric to gain the Hispanic vote in 2014-2016; but to gain citizenship one would have to be free of a crime history; pay fines and taxes; and then get in line (so to speak). In short, it sounds better than the right-wing “self-deporting” position; but not by much. Why not replicate our Jeffersonian history (as TJ purchased the then Louisiana territory), and annex, buy, or invade Mexico?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"..Rush Limbaugh had one question about Current TV's sale to Al Jazeera on Thursday: will female hosts Joy Behar and Jennifer Granholm have to wear burqas and veils now that the channel is owned by the Qatar-based news network? "Does this mean that Joy Behar and Jennifer Granholm are now going to have to wear burqas and veils over their faces?" Limbaugh wondered. "If they do it might help, actually, to raise audience levels. Burqas and veils on their faces—it could help! Never know." ****************** Who are ElRushbo's joke writers? He needs new ones!! It's unlikley that Al Jazeera will be keeping Behar and Granholm on as nighttime jibber jabbers. Time-Warner has already announced that the Al Jazeera and CurrentTV will not be part of their cable package in the future. The rumor is that Glenn Beck had some interest in CurrentTV purchase, but Al Gore wouldn't return his call. Could that be the hidden reason for ElRusbo's rant?
"Danny Glover has started a petition at MoveOn urging President Obama to nominate Paul Krugman for Secretary of the Treasury. " ****************** When I heard this, I fell to the floor, doubled up with spasms and gales of laughter. Good laughs are good for the soul, and the physical body. It's not that I don't agree with much of what Krugman writes. He talks liberal economic sanity to the powers that be..speaking truth to power. It is often the political naiveté.of the liberal community...the true believers that gets my funny bones a creaking. It's naive to believe that Barack could nominate a Treasury Sec. that is not vetted by Wall Street; and the Street would demand that Krugman shave off his beard before being seriously recommended. LOL. ************ The rumor is that Barack is going to nominate Chuck Hegal for Defense Sec by next week. Hegal was right about our mis-adventures in Iraq and Afghan. In fact, the current political situation in Iraq shows increased instability. Iraq is likely to evolve into a Hussain-type authoritarian system. How else do you keep the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kerds under one government?