Governor Cuomo Is Not A Friend Of Progressives

Progressives are finally waking up to the fact that Governor Cuomo is not our friend. Will he face a progressive challenger on the Working Families Party line?

The Big Guns Come Out for Klein

Have you seen this Bronx Democrat lately? We haven’t either.

David Nir at Daily Kos has decided to put this legislative race on the national map, calling Jeff Klein “The Biggest Douchebag Democrat in New York:”

[Klein] further insisted that his buddies in the GOP were “committed to seeing major pieces of progressive legislation pass the Senate”

…Here’s just a small sampling of the progressive priorities that mainstream Democrats are prepared to pass, but that Klein’s puppeteer, Skelos, has stymied in the Senate:

• The Women’s Equality Act, a 10-point plan that would, among other things, safeguard reproductive rights and strengthen equal-pay-for-equal-work laws

• Meaningful campaign finance reform

• A moratorium on fracking

• Paid family leave for medical emergencies or the birth of a child

• The state DREAM Act

And how about some of the stuff “Skleinos” has supported?
• A bill to increase the revenues of cigarette wholesalers

• Legislation to allow payday lenders to charge 200 percent interest—eight times the current limits

• A law requiring the governor to arbitrarily eliminate 1,000 regulations

• A resolution that would have defunded the state’s health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act

It’s a good, policy-detailed takedown of how Klein’s ego has stood in the way of much important progressive legislation in New York.  Go read the whole thing, as they say.  Jeff Klein burnishing his progressive bona fides at election time is about as sincere as when Joe Lieberman used to do it.

Kudos to Nir for shining the national spotlight on this race- it may well help Koppell tip the scales, should he jump into this race.  This is a great race for progressives to get involved in this cycle, and it gaining national profile only buttresses that further.

“Winning Mindset” Wins. Everybody Loses.

Conservatives love to ascribe laziness to large swaths of the population. They think the prudent thing to do is to give the lazy moochers a kick in the butt. A kick in the butt to do what? People who are unemployed are not lazy, contrary to a widespread conservative belief. The mistake, or rather the convenient excuse, of the libertarians/conservatives is that they apply their own abilities and their own career trajectory to all the others. They think “if I can do it, so can anyone.” And this is the fork in the road, this is the basis of all other aspects of their political philosophy: low-taxes on the rich, ripping of the safety net, worshipping of self-reliance, as if there are no children, single mothers, elderly and the disabled in this world – only white frat boys, stomping the ground in their bullpen, eager for a race. “Let the best one win!” they yell, knowing full well, even before the race started, that they are the best. Wouldn’t you want to participate in the race if you knew in advance that you’re going to win? And then, they attach philosophy to their own abilities. Then, after they won, they create a narrative that they won fair and square, missing the fact that their skill is the result of their current proximity to the trough, not the way they got there. This is the idea behind “Trading Places” – it doesn’t take a special pedigree to be a trader. All it takes is a platform and a nice suit. But still, they pontificate about their scrappy childhood and the bootstraps and hard work and risk-taking and wallow in their own narcissism, followed by a humble-brag “I’m just a regular guy” mandatory display of modesty. Is then there’s any surprise that people like Tom Perkins think only the winners should be allowed to vote? They think that it’s validated by them winning the race.

If you view society as a competitive construct, as many social Darwinists do, then it is a natural conclusion: The winner gets to claim the prize and to write rules and history books. Thus the pitting of citizens one against the other at the altar of “competitiveness” is a normal course of events. The suckers lost, too bad. That’s just life. And that would be fine, too, if only the winners knew moderation. Here, the winners would be wise to stop and take, or rather give the suckers, a breather. But the winning mindset and moderation do not go together. The game is in full swing, we can’t just stand up and leave. If we don’t take that last stack from the sucker at the table then someone else will. It’s just the cruel truth. Who can stop a train at full speed? We would rather just jump on the bandwagon.

And what or who can play the role of a moderating hand at this point? Where is that ‘invisible hand” that restores the balance, applies breaks to a runaway train? Where is the mitigating factor of supply and demand, the efficient markets, the equilibrium that we learned about in Econ 101? There’s no push and pull, no regression to the mean. The “pull” is nonexistent, or has been sidelined, or denied meaningful levers. The classic argument is that if the customers don’t like the product they will stop consuming it or go to another provider. But what if, at this point, the product that we’re talking about is a bare minimum of food, shelter and basic health care? Are those customers really in the position to dictate anything, to refuse to buy food, to refuse to pay rent? Where the hell are they gonna go, what the hell are they gonna eat?

The train won’t stop on its own. It can either crash into a wall or go off a cliff. The winners will be playing musical chairs till the very end, because they will always think to themselves: “I can get out just in time. I’m the winner.”

“Grand Slam?” More Like Leaving the Bases Loaded


It’s officially baseball season and Governor Cuomo just touted his budget signing as a “Grand Slam”

Unfortunately, it’s more like leaving the bases loaded:

Stranded on First: Campaign Finance Reform

Stranded on Second: The NY Dream Act

Stranded on Third: The Moreland Commission and any/all of its recommendations.

Striking out at bat:The will of New York Voters who year after year supply more votes for Senate Democrats than Senate Republicans yet are still left with a Republican Senate.

This is what happens when our Governor keeps the Senate Republicans in power- important legislation is left on base.

Strategic Voter Registration with Sheryl Crow

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a registration drive at the Sheryl Crow Concert at Jones Beach! Registering Long Island residents who like Sheryl Crow is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the Republican State Senate members on Long Island.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!