"The sins of our politics"
From Carter to Santorum, disdain for what America represents
When it comes to divisive and mean-spirited injection of religion into American politics, things have reached a new low — at least from the vantage point of an observer who has watched every presidential election since Eisenhower vs. Stevenson in 1952.
The lowest point in this Death Valley was reached late last month when Rick Santorum, the darling of evangelicals and social conservatives, told us that John F. Kennedy's landmark 1960 speech about his commitment to honor the Constitution's separation of church and state made him "want to throw up." Read More
"The sins of our politics"
Jimmy Carter began the nasty, divisive use of religion in modern American politics
When it comes to divisive and mean-spirited injection of religion into American politics, things have reached a new low — at least from the vantage point of this observer, who has watched every presidential election since the Eisenhower/Stevenson contest in 1952.
The lowest point in this Death Valley was reached last week when Republican candidate Rick Santorum, the darling of evangelicals and social conservatives, told us that John F. Kennedy’s landmark 1960 speech about his commitment to honor the Constitution’s separation of church and state made him “want to throw up.” Of course, Santorum had grossly distorted the meaning of both JFK’s promise and the Constitution by equating them with “say[ing] that people of faith have no role in the public square.” And Santorum’s lies and/or stupidity were merely the lowest and most recent in a race to the bottom among many of the Republican contenders in this election cycle, where daily we bear witness to polls measuring the suspicion of Mormons by Christian evangelicals and whether they would rather re-elect Barack Hussein Obama, whom they suspect is really Muslim, than elevate Mitt Romney, a proud and clearly professed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Read More
Ethics reform: Cuomo-style
Much skepticism has been expressed about the newly convened Joint Commission on Public Ethics, New York’s most recent attempt to establish a serious and independent agency to investigate and prosecute unethical conduct in state government. The skeptics were substantially validated last month by the appointment of longtime Andrew Cuomo retainer Ellen Biben and the manner of her selection. Read More
The State of the Union from 50,000 millimeters
The last The Weekender column critiqued Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address and criticized its centerpiece proposal for building the nation’s largest convention center on the site of the Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, Queens. Equal time should be accorded Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address. It was delivered Jan. 24 to Congress, leaders in the executive and judicial branches and as is becoming an annoying custom to a gaggle of guests singled out for praise and photo op while the president delivered the speech. Read More
"A loser at Aqueduct"
Cuomo looks to wrong place for a convention center
In every governor's State of the State address, there must be one idea, one project, that stands above all. The one that the public and press will remember when comparing the governor and his "vision thing" with what actually was accomplished.
Let the Chronicles of Planet New York forever reflect that on Jan. 4, 2012, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that the state's most vital need was to build the nation's largest convention center in Ozone Park, Queens, on the site of Aqueduct Racetrack. Read More
More than anything NY needs? A convention center in Ozone Park!
The State of the State address gives the governor the opportunity to survey New York and put forth priorities for the new year. While the substance of the governor’s intentions is contained in the annual budget speech, the State of State spotlights what President Bush 41 quizzically called “the vision thing.” It is the governor’s moment to rally support for the most important and loftiest objectives. And among a handful of projects the governor can mention in a speech of less than an hour, there must be one proclaimed first, implicitly the most important, which media will focus upon and remember when comparing the governor’s vision with what was accomplished. Read More
To cure the dysfunctional Congress — don’t call the doctors
Public approval of Congress stood at 11 percent in the most recent CBS and Gallup polls. The consistency of such highly negative opinions, Congress’ recent work product and the manner in which it has been done suggest the dismal ratings are well deserved. One candidate for president, the incumbent who has modest approval ratings of his own, yet four times as high as Congress, has clearly taken a page from Harry Truman and shrewdly decided to run against a “do nothing Congress.” Read More
Ron Paul: doctor heal thyself
The Weekender’s periodic analyses of the major candidates in the 2012 presidential primaries has me visiting the offices of the good Doctor Paul this week. While it is debatable whether Ron Paul actually is a “major” candidate, I have interpreted the adjective both expansively and idiosyncratically. As examples, I have disregarded Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, with the prediction that they would disappear. That happened to Cain. Actually also to Santorum and Bachmann, but they don’t seem to realize it. Read More
Thanks governor, I really needed that tax cut
Truth is stranger and generally more perverse than fiction. That’s why the reader knows that a tax cut for New Yorkers with an annual income in the range of $300,000 to $2 million is neither a nightmare nor the product of The Weekender’s fertile imagination, but fact. Correction, it is a nightmare, but one that actually became the law of our state in a signature performance by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Read More
Fifty reasons to spank your (big) banker
Last Saturday, Nov. 5, was International Bank Transfer Day in Chatham, on the Isle of Manhattan and throughout the world, at least according to the label. On or by that day people were urged to take their money out of big banks and establish accounts at the tens of thousands of credit unions and community banks spread across our nation. And in the four-week period preceding transfer day, some 650,000 Americans had done just that, a rate 1,400 percent greater than usual for switching accounts. Read More