Saturday, September 18, 2010

What a Week in NYC!

This past week in New York will certainly reverberate for a while and if you had to try to describe it in one word, I think only one pronoun would suffice -- stormy.

As the saying goes, things come in twos. In this case, there were two big storms in New York last week.

Storm #1: the victory of Carl Paladino in the New York State Republican primary for governor. This man, a hardcore right-wing reactionary, is a real estate developer from upstate who shocked the GOP establishment by knocking Rick Lazio out of the race and winning the chance to face Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in this fall's governor's race. Paladino fancies himself an outsider, just an ordinary (multi-millionaire) citizen who's "mad as hell" with the dysfunction in Albany and is "not going to take it anymore." He vows to cut state spending by 20% and taxes by 10% in his first year as governor, all part of his plan to take a "baseball bat" to state government.

He's insane. And a total fraud. First of all, this supposed "outsider" actually made his fortune by getting lots of contracts with the state -- so it was government "spending" that's responsible for his current candidacy. And he's a racist and bizarre pervert, a man with a well-known habit of getting and forwarding racist and obscene emails (apparently he has the kinds of friends that like sending him jokes comparing President Obama to a monkey and of broads banging horses; and the would be governor apparently has even more friends who he believes would enjoy seeing this junk; "With friends like these ..."). And he believes that welfare recipients should be put in camps and taught hygiene. And he wants to use the power of eminent domain to stop the Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan. And he fathered a love child.

This guy is certifiable, totally insane, and he's unfit to be the governor. Want proof? Former Senator Al D'amato, the old boss of the New York State GOP who engineered the victory of Governor George Pataki in 1994, has said Paladino shouldn't be governor. And the Republican candidates for State Comptroller and Attorney General are refusing to endorse him. He's that bad. Andrew Cuomo should win in a walk -- but not be afraid to fight back hard against this guy.

Think how far the New York GOP has fallen. It used to produce great senators and governors like Theodore Roosevelt, Tom Dewey, Jacob Javits, Nelson Rockefeller -- even Al D'amato and Pataki were giants of the GOP. And now what do they offer this state? Carl Paladino. How sad.

Storm #2: this time it was a literal one -- specifically a TORNADO that ripped across Brooklyn and Queens. It happened on Thursday evening, around 5:30 PM, and tore up streets and felled trees that smashed into car and houses. It was quick and scary and has caused millions of dollars in damage. Fortunately the Parks Department, the police and firefighters, and the office of Emergency Management are on the case and working methodically to assess the damage and clean it up. Yes, that's right -- those same government employees that so many like to complain about are actually out there fixing the city after an unnaturally natural event hit the city so viciously. And they're working hard without complaint and without much glory (this isn't like cleaning up Ground Zero after all -- just an act of God). One person was killed which is tragic but fortunately there weren't a lot of injuries. Let's just hope this is the last tornado NYC will see in a while.

So that's the week that was, a stormy one in the literal and political environments of New York. And let's hope the damage they inflicted won't be too long lasting.

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