Mari57's Blog

President Calderon was out of line…

May 20, 2010
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REMINDER TO THE US CONGRESS: You are ELECTED by and WORK for the American people, not the President of Mexico.

President Calderon, with all due respect, clean your own house before you come throw stones at ours. Your job is to take care of your people. We will take care of ours.

Surprised by the surge in unemployment claims???

April 15, 2010
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I have just one question: Who are the idiots that are surprised by this and where have they been living this past year? Surely not in the U.S…

Whoever you are and whatever rock you have been living under since 2009, welcome back to Earth.

Jobless claims in another surprise surge

Cuomo Will Recuse Himself From Paterson Investigations – NYT

March 11, 2010
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In a New York State of Mind

March 1, 2010
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There is a soap opera unfolding in New York State politics these days. Its origins date back to the turn of the 21st century, when then-Governor George Pataki (R-NY) was gearing up for reelection and one Andrew Cuomo, then-U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) was getting ready to challenge him on the democratic side.

At the time, Mr. Cuomo’s fortunes appeared to be pre-determined and a classic case of political legacy. His father is Mario M. Cuomo, governor of New York from 1983-1994 who became nationally known for delivering the legendary keynote speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. And his (Andrew) wife was Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The die was cast and the younger Cuomo had visions of the Presidency of the United States by way of Albany.

This is the way it was all supposed to go down:

  • Al Gore would become the 43rd President of the United States in 2000. Theoretically, this would then allow Sec. Cuomo to remain in his post as HUD secretary a while longer. It  would also ensure that Charlie King would remain at the helm of the New York HUD Regional Office as the Secretary’s Regional Representative. This was a key element of Mr. Cuomo’s gubernatorial plans.

(For those not familiar with HUD, this federal agency funds much more than just public housing. It also provides monies to states, cities and counties for all types of economic development including funding to provide communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is also under its purview. In addition, the department helps fund hospitals, assisted living facilities and multi-family housing developments. It should also be noted that New York State and specifically New York City are among the largest HUD grantees in the country.)

  • Mark Green (D-NY), then-Public Advocate of New York City, was supposed to be elected Mayor in 2001 replacing one Rudy Giuliani who was precluded from running for reelection by term limits. That would have translated into Mr. Green appointing a hand-picked New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner who presumably would be part of the larger Cuomo equation.
  • In 2002, Andrew M. Cuomo would then be elected the 54th Governor of the State of New York along with Charlie King as his Lieutenant Governor.

And the trifecta would be complete. What happened next can best be described in the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”Instead, George W. Bush became the 43rd President and Michael Bloomberg; a Democrat-turned-Republican became the Mayor of New York City. And in the blink of an eye, not only were Andrew Cuomo and Charlie King out of a job, they were out of luck.

In 2002, Cuomo ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York, his running mate – Charlie King. Cuomo withdrew his name from consideration when it became clear that he could not beat the party’s favored candidate, then- NY State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. Mr. McCall would go on to lose to the Republican incumbent, George Pataki.

And the rollercoaster ride continued for Mr. Cuomo. In 2003 he and his wife Kerry divorced. His personal life made for front page stories better suited for the National Enquirer. The nasty divorce battle was fertile tabloid fodder. And Andrew Cuomo’s once brilliant political future seemed all but doomed forever.

In spite of all this, some expected him to run for the democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2006. He opted instead to run for Attorney General of the State of New York. He ran a successful campaign ultimately replacing the state’s AG Eliot Spitzer. Mr. Spitzer had decided to run for Governor, his running mate – a state senator from Harlem by the name of David Paterson. Spitzer became New York’s 54th Governor. I think it is fair to say, that at the time Mr. Paterson had no idea what he was getting himself into.

We all know the rest of the story. Gov. Spitzer found himself on the other side of the law, now commonly referred to as the infamous “Client #9.” He was forced to resign a year into his first term amid torrid steamy accusations of sex, lies and tapes. And Lt. Governor Paterson, who by his own admission had some skeletons in his closet, became Governor Paterson.

In spite of the fact that his tenure had been mired by a weak economy, a dysfunctional legislature and accusations of all sorts, Governor Paterson was actively running for election this year until a couple of days ago, that is.

The latest scandal to hit the Paterson administration involves the sins of a close personal aide and allegations of tampering with criminal investigations on the part of the Governor involving the state police. This proved to be the fatal blow to the floundering Paterson campaign. Now the door was left wide open for an official investigation. Enter Andrew Cuomo, the current Attorney General of the State of New York.

It has long been widely speculated that Mr. Cuomo will seek the democratic nomination for Governor of New York in 2010. That is almost a certainty. Here is where I see a huge potential conflict of interest.

Attorney General Cuomo must and should investigate all these allegations of misconduct on the part of elected officials. That is within his job description. But how does he do this effectively when he potentially stands to benefit politically and personally from whatever he uncovers in this case?

Mr. Cuomo will be investigating the man he hopes to replace. Perception is reality. How does he do that objectively or fairly? How ethical would it be for him to conduct and/or oversee this investigation? This is the type of investigation that is certain to rise to the level of the AG at some point.

I see no possible way he can recuse himself from this and remain credible. If he bucks this down to one of the Deputy Attorneys General, it is a disservice to the people of New York. The people deserve the complete and uncompromised attention of their Attorney General on this one. If he continues involved and then runs for Governor, what does that say about him, his ethics and principles? If he resigns as AG to pursue the gubernatorial nomination, he leaves the State of New York without a high level leader at a time of crisis. Is that the type of person New Yorkers want as their next governor?

This situation is the test of true leadership. The people of New York State have been through more than enough since 2001. They deserve better. They deserve a decent Governor, a true leader who gives them his/her undivided attention and puts asides personal interest for the good of the people. The right thing to do is the never the easy thing to do.

In my opinion, for Mr. Cuomo the right thing to do is to put his personal political aspirations aside and pursue this investigation to the fullest. If it means waiting a bit longer to become governor, so be it. A great leader is a visionary, and Mr. Cuomo can exercise that vision right now. He has much to gain by putting the people of New York first, and a lot more to lose if he goes the other way. – You Can Call Him Al … But Al Won’t Call You Back

February 27, 2010
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Of taxes and men…

February 25, 2010
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Heads up Washington:

The tax pool is a finite number. Montgomery County in Maryland is experiencing first hand Gov. O’Malley’s short-sightedness  and as its result, what happens when you count your chickens before they are hatched. This is a classic text book case of  lack of vision and being penny wise and pound foolish.

The millionaire’s tax the Governor signed into law had the opposite effect of the one intended. Before making federal mandates with thought of funding them through taxes,  our federal elected officials in Washington, D.C. should look long and hard at what is happening next door in Maryland.

In a weak economy and unprecedented high unemployment just who does the White House and Congress believe is going to be paying the taxes to fund  health care reform?

If things continue the way they are, I shudder at the thought that “as Maryland goes, so goes the Nation.”

Montgomery sees huge decline in taxable income –

Health Care Reform Part Trois

February 25, 2010
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WARNING: The Health Care Summit can cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive after watching. Take only the recommended dose. Exposure to sunlight after this most unscintillating presentation is strongly suggested. If symptoms persist call your Senators and Congressional Representatives.

8-track tapes…rotary phones…global warming…

February 24, 2010
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Has anybody seen or heard from Al Gore lately? I think the reason he has been MIA is that he saw his shadow and went back inside. Six more weeks of winter …

Yesterday I heard the good news that the east coast of the U.S. is about to get walloped again with another massive snow storm. Looks like the New York metro area will get the brunt of Mother Nature’s fury this time. But Washington, D.C. will not be totally spared, the forecast right now is for anywhere from 2-8 inches.

We need more snow in the Capital City; we are starting to run out of the one from the last blizzard. How else can one ski the Capitol? Besides, this will be yet another opportunity for the D.C. government to completely screw up the snow removal process. You know what they say, practice makes perfect…And it’s an election year to boot, photos of huge piles of snow and impassable sidewalks always make for great campaign literature.

It is really not supposed to snow much in Washington, D.C., it is considered a southern city. Not that anyone could tell by the type of weather we have been experiencing lately. It seems like only yesterday I would receive emails and text message alerts from the D.C. Office of Emergency Management that read:

“Severe weather forecast for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area…1-2 inches of snow expected in the Capital City.”

I suspect I will not be receiving any messages like that ever again. That type of snow accumulation will probably be considered decoration going forward. Washington, D.C. is the new Buffalo…

My friends know I like to say that God has a sense of humor. He proved me right in December 2009 with the ultimate joke: how ironic was it that President Obama had to cut his trip to Copenhagen for the U.N. global warming talks short and return home early because D.C. was under a blizzard warning? Talk about an inconvenient truth!

Overall, things are not looking up for the global warming business.  49 out of 50 states snow-covered simultaneously at one point this month…back-to-back major snow storms in Washington, D.C…snow in Mobile, Atlanta and Jacksonville…and the federal government closed an unprecedented  four days in a row because D.C. looked more like a winter Olympics venue than the Capital of the United States. And then there’s the inclement weather in Europe and China.

Looks to me like the only place in the world experiencing global warming these days is located directly beneath Yvo de Boer’s seat. Mr. de Boer is the U.N. Global Warming Chief who just resigned. This is the man who was at the center of the United Nations’ Framework Convention for Climate Change and the brains behind the talks in Copenhagen last December. Congratulations on a great event.

He was right to resign, and not for the obvious reasons of the mounting questions about the legitimacy of global warming. This is the man who was instrumental in holding the climate change conference in Copenhagen – in December. A city where it gets fairly cold in the winter and the average high temperature for the month is a balmy 39 degrees. Who does that?   Poor Yvo, as luck would have it, Team Winter scored big right on cue just as the conference unfolded.

Timing is everything in life. It was so cold in Europe while the U.N. global warming talks were going on, that the Eurostar, the train that runs between England and France was damaged and service was halted leaving thousands stranded. The problem – the air in France was much colder than the air inside the tunnel and the electrical system froze. Then there was the matter of the unusual blizzard that hit the area as the conference was in full swing. So much for the global warming brand…

Here’s my advice for Mr. de Boer’s successor. Want to hold successful global warming talks? Go to Miami in the summer, preferably in late July or August when the temperature is anywhere from 95 to 100+ degrees. Take the participants and the press for a tour of the city… on a bus with no air conditioning… during rush hour. And then proclaim: “Global warming lives!!” They’ll sign anything you put in front of them just to get back to their hotel rooms and have a frozen drink. You’ll have your treaty.

As for Mr. Gore, the sooner he accepts that the climate change deal has pretty much run its course, the better. He can keep the Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize as long as he promises never to be heard from again. I’m feeling magnanimous; I’ll throw him a bone. Here’s a gig for him that I think can kill not two, but three birds with one stone.

A few days ago the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suggested that Punxsutawney Phil, the beloved groundhog, was being subjected to animal cruelty. They insist he is being traumatized by the lights and cameras that surround him once a year on February 2nd. How they know this, or who Phil confided in I’m not sure. I have never met any groundhog psychologists or therapists, but I digress.

PETA’s recommendation was that Phil be replaced with a robot. I have a better idea, replace him with Al Gore. It’s a win-win for everyone. The PETA folk will be happy because Phil can retire. Al will be happy because once in a while he gets to tell us spring is coming early. As for the rest of us – we only have to see him once a year for a couple of minutes. That’s what I call a win.

Healthcare Reform Part Deux

February 22, 2010
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The latest chapter in the health care reform debate saga brings to mind the old story about the man who asked God to save him but was not paying attention when help came along. It went something like this:

A man realizes his house is starting to flood and when the water is up to the first floor he begins to pray:

“Oh Lord, please do not let me drown, I have complete faith that you will save me.”

A few minutes later, a man in a row boat comes by and asks the man in the house to jump in. He responds:

“No thank you, I’ve been praying and I am sure God will come to save me.”

The water keeps rising; it’s now up to the second floor. The man once again lifts his heart in prayer:

“Oh Lord, please do not let me drown, I have complete faith that you will save me.”

A few minutes later, a small motor boat comes past the man’s second floor window. The person in the boat asks him to jump in, and once again the man declined saying:

“No thank you, I’ve been praying and I am sure God will come to save me.”

The water continued to rise quickly, and by now the man was standing on his roof, still holding on to his faith that God would save him. As he was becoming more and more desperate, a helicopter appears, drops a ladder and the rescue swimmer asked the man to climb on. Just as in the other two instances, the man declined stating:

“No thank you, I’ve been praying and I am sure God will come to save me.”

The man drowned.

When he got to heaven, he was very sad and asked God why He had abandoned him in his hour of need and not answered his prayers. God responded:

“What do you mean I abandoned you? I sent you a rowboat, a motor boat and a helicopter in answer to your prayers and you refused them!”

Much like the man in the story missed the obvious; in my opinion the Administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress   are missing the point on the health care reform issue. It’s not that the American people do not want reform; it’s the fact that we do not want this reform or the way that it is being rammed through.

In  this case, instead of a row boat, motor boat and helicopter, the answer came in the form of New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts. Those election results were a rather clear and to the point repudiation of the changes being implemented and the methodology being used to carry out that change. And what makes that message more powerful and poignant is that it came not from Republicans, but from the very Democrats and Independents who in 2008 had cast very blue votes. I believe the Administration has misread and misunderstood the mandate it believed it had.

And here we are, at the end of February and it seems as if after all that, Washington still does not get it. I heard the nuclear option being discussed today in relation to getting healthcare reform passed. Why hold a bi-partisan summit on the issue if three days before it’s supposed to take place the majority party seems to be basically saying: “we’ll pass it with or without you.”

Capitol Hill is in need of hearing aids; by the time they figure that out it will be November. They won’t need to bother then….

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