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The Weekender - January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011

Tags: The Weekender

Learning to Root for Elected Officials We Dislike

The Weekender column will attempt to provide insight into the way second homeowners perceive and navigate the waters of the Upper Hudson. However, one thing seems to unite many of the citizens in both of my communities, in New York City and Chatham. It is not a particularly good or constructive one. We root against elected government officials we dislike. We seem to forget that if they fail, as we seem to hope and relish when it occurs, we suffer. The objects of our scorn and impure thoughts are usually but not exclusively members of the opposite political party. True independents seem less prone, but not completely immune, from this syndrome, which has become endemic in federal, state and local politics. (more…)

The Weekender - January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011

Tags: The Weekender

I have heard it said both ways; that “patience is a virtue” and “evil is patient.” The reader will decide which platitude fits the author of this column. I first started thinking about the column 23 years ago, within weeks of an Aug. 6, 1987 closing on a modest “spec” house on Longview Drive, straddling the Chatham/Austerlitz border off Red Rock Road. I had done some wise and neighborly things at the closing. First, by overpaying a local lawyer to do it, despite the fact that both Jan, my wife, and I are lawyers who had done several New York home “closings” for friends and family for free. The second was to bring my adorable 6-year-old daughter, Sarah, to the closing so that the sellers, a couple at each other’s throats, would behave during the formalities. (more…)

Regular contributor to the Sunday "Perspectives" (Editorial) section of Hearst's Albany Times Union with op-eds on government, law and public policy. Read and comment at timesunion.com and on this website. "The Weekender" social commentary column appears on ccSCOOP.com, Columbia County's Home on the Web, and past columns are archived on this website under the Op-Ed button.
A book about the ground-breaking case that shook the business and legal worlds to their very cores, New York-based law firm Constantine & Partners sought to end a devastating credit monopoly that personally touched millions of consumers. Its efforts culminated in the largest federal antitrust settlement in U.S. history.
Journal of the Plague Year
The March 10, 2008 disclosure that Governor Eliot Spitzer patronized prostitutes shocked admirers around the world who had celebrated him as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" and a likely future president.  Ironically, the author's disillusionment with Spitzer had begun to disappear 15 hours earlier, when Spitzer confessed to him what others would soon learn in a media storm of unprecedented intensity.  Journal of the Plague Year is Constantine's intimate account of the 17 calamitous months preceding the March 2008 revelation and the futile 61 hour battle waged by the author and the governor's wife to persuade Spitzer not to resign, but to instead fulfill promises made to the voters who had elected him in a record landslide.

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