Archive | October, 2008

His Choice

29 Oct

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Buffalo News Endorsements So Far [UPDATED]

29 Oct

President:

Barack Obama (D) (article here)

If Americans want a future where our leaders respond to challenges with judgment and principle, rather than panic and rashness, they will elect Barack Obama president. We recommend they do so.

Our preference for Obama is not based only on matters of character, intelligence and calm. It also flows from his superior positions on such basic issues as war and peace, energy and environment, the economy and taxation, health care and justice.

Fundamentally, Obama does not want us to fear the future, the ever smaller, ever more complicated world, the problems we face and the choices we must make. He most certainly does not want us to be afraid of one another. And Obama does not even want us to be afraid of his rival candidate.

Congress:

NY-26: Alice Kryzan (D) (article here)

Kryzan is having no more of the Bush administration’s nonsense about the solution to every problem being another tax cut for the rich. And she resists the lure of cheap, and environmentally damaging, oil, turning instead to a new, green economy that will not only battle the trends toward climate change but also promise economic benefits to previously troubled areas such as Buffalo and the Great Lakes.

NY-27: Brian Higgins (D)

Higgins is vitally important on those local needs, and he is on the right side of the big issues. He is tired of the United States being played by all sides in the Iraq conflict and upset by what the conduct of the war on terror has done to American values. He favors reasonable regulation for the shattered financial markets and will not be a vote to continue the ruinous Bush tax cuts.

NY-28: Louise Slaughter (D)

As chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, she is in a good spot to see to the needs of all of Western New York. But, more than that, her position on the important issues facing the nation recommend her to the voters.

Slaughter is a strong voice for facing the threat of climate change through limits on greenhouse emissions, alternative energy sources and efficient autos and power plants. She supports a carefully managed withdrawal from Iraq and a restoration of the constitutional balances that have been upset by the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror. She seeks an end to the Bush tax code, which she rightly labels as a blatant redistribution of wealth — from the poor to the rich.

NY-29: Eric Massa (D)

Massa, a Democrat from Corning, favors a tax code that reserves its breaks for those who need them the most, has detailed ideas for a new regulatory system for the financial industry and regrets deeply the damage that has been done to the American military, American security, the American Constitution and American prestige by the misbegotten war in Iraq.

The News really honed in on the Bush-era’s tax cuts for the rich, and how that has practically become the Republican Party’s answer to everything.

State Assembly Continue reading

Channels 4 and 23 Back on TW Cable

29 Oct

Really? I had no idea. I had just gotten used to pretending that those channels simply didn’t exist anymore. I guess this means I can watch Survivor tomorrow and Amazing Race on Sunday, as well as the Bills game.

It’s about time, and just as I suspected, it happened before it could adversely affect November sweeps.

In the first full week of the standoff, Channel 4 averaged a 3.1 rating for the 6 p.m. newscast, meaning that 3.1 percent of the 637,000 TV households in the area were tuned in. That’s compared with the 9.2 percent of the households watching in the last full week Channel 4 was on cable.

Channel 4 registered a 4.6 rating at 11 p.m., compared with 11.9 the last full week on cable.

When Everything Else Has Been Hurled

29 Oct

The New Yorker’s piece begins:

Sometimes, when a political campaign has run out of ideas and senses that the prize is slipping through its fingers, it rolls up a sleeve and plunges an arm, shoulder deep, right down to the bottom of the barrel. The problem for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party is that the bottom was scraped clean long before it dropped out. Back when the polls were nip and tuck and the leaves had not yet begun to turn, Barack Obama had already been accused of betraying the troops, wanting to teach kindergartners all about sex, favoring infanticide, and being a friend of terrorists and terrorism. What was left? The anticlimactic answer came as the long Presidential march of 2008 staggered toward its final week: Senator Obama is a socialist.

Seriously, they accused him of wanting to teach kindergartners sex education, and that didn’t work. Socialism when all we’re talking about is adjustment of the tax brackets? That’s what we call a party that is completely out of ammo, and out of ideas.

The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent. The latter is what it would be under Obama’s proposal, what it was under President Clinton, and, for that matter, what it will be after 2010 if President Bush’s tax cuts expire on schedule

All the baggage that comes with the label “socialism” – expropriation of private property, proletarian revolution, red flags and riots in the streets – you, too can be Rosa Luxemburg if you support the aforementioned adjustment of tax brackets. Idiots.

Pigeons with Tentacles

28 Oct

Given this silly hobby of mine, Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly is my hero. I only wish I had his patience, investigative, and reporting skills, but if I did, I still couldn’t look into and write about the Steve Pigeon / Responsible New York controversy like he has.

First, I want to point out this post he did, examining information provided about Pigeon and RNY by Hoyt ally Jeremy Toth to the relevant District Attorneys. It’s become a somewhat-regular series now, “Chasing Pigeon”.

Here, Kelly reports about the Republican BOE Commissioner’s entry into the Pigeon chase. The upshot of all of this seems to be that Pigeon plays really, really fast and loose with NYS Election Law, and some of his nonsense is now getting some strict scrutiny now because of the opponents it’s affecting, and the vast sums at play.

Now, I am a firm believer in the notion that karma is a bitch. We can all remember when Bob McCarthy wrote up Jack Davis’ half-truths about Jon Powers’ War Kids Relief. In his curious, inexplicable hatred of Powers, Niagara Falls Reporter editor Mike Hudson vouched for McCarthy as a “fine reporter“.

Hudson also said McCarthy was “legit news media“, and therefore accurate until some other “legit news” source somehow reported differently.

To date, I have yet to see any non-biased “legit news” source rebut the charges made in McCarthy’s article about Hudson’s Pigeon connection, so I am concluding – based on Hudson’s own criteria with War Kids Relief – that it must be true. Hudson also vouched for McCarthy’s accuracy here, and here, even going so far as to praise McCarthy’s “fine piece of journalism”.

Yet now, all of a sudden, Hudson has reserved a special ire for McCarthy, criticizing the News’ political reporter for not doing a story about Golisano’s big donation to Niagara U. Artvoice asks,

I wonder why Hudson thinks a political reporter like McCarthy should write about a donation to a university? What was wrong with Jay Rey’s front-page, above-the-fold Buffalo News story on October 8? Was that insufficient coverage of the gift?

Heh.

We all know that a recent Bob McCarthy article accused the Niagara Falls Reporter of being a new addition to Pigeon’s payroll. Specifically, the charge was made that Pigeon and RNY paid not just for ads, but for editorial content. It’s all very Illuzziesque indeed. Evidently, the story doesn’t end there, and Artvoice picks it up:

At the shareholders meeting in which Battaglia was fired, Hudson acknowledged that Pigeon had in fact paid for an extra press run and expanded distribution of an edition sporting a cover story about Hoyt’s affairs with interns. (At least, that was the cover in Buffalo—the papers distributed in Niagara Falls that week had a Mayor Paul Dyster on the cover. Hudson claimed Pigeon had not paid for the extra expense for printing separate covers.) Responsible New York, the committee funded by Golisano and directed by Pigeon, supports Mesi and opposed Hoyt in his primary against Barbra Kavanaugh. So Pigeon’s motive in picking up the tab is clear.

I’m no professional newsman, but is it normal for a political operative of an unauthorized committee to buy a customized, extra run of a periodical?

Leave aside whatever petty cash Pigeon has thrown Hudson’s way for advertisements, extra papers, and extended distribution. There’s no crime there except against journalistic sensibilities.

But that provision of the election law suggests that Responsible New York should itemize and reports payouts over $10,000 by limited liability corporations like Landen Associates (a consulting firm controlled by Pigeon), which spent $93,103 of Golisano’s money on print ads in the last month alone. And what about New York Media Strategies (controlled by Pigeon associate Jack O’Donnell), which has spent $1,286,000 of Golisano’s money in the last month on TV advertising? Certainly some of those expenditures exceeded $10,000.

The law allows Responsible New York to file itemized breakdowns of its consultants’ spending on behalf of candidates after the election, but don’t count on that happening: This section of New York election law is routinely ignored. (A source at the local board of elections said Eliot Spitzer was the only candidate to have complied in recent years.) And Responsible New York did not file such reports after the September’s primary election, as the law requires.

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

More from Clarence Candidates’ Night

28 Oct

The Blogosphere Predicts

28 Oct

From PoliticsHome, which invited me to participate in its Online100 Panel over the past several weeks:

The panel predicts a 5% margin of victory to Obama in the overall voting, and an Electoral win for Obama at Obama 338, McCain 200

The PoliticsHome.com Online100 Panel, the daily poll of leading online voices in the United States, has issued its prediction of the Presidential Election result next week.

Each member of the panel was asked to predict which candidate will win, and by what percentage margin. The average prediction was then calculated at 5%. The panel was also given a list of each of the potential battleground states and asked to predict the winner. The majority winner for each state was taken as the result.

Well known names on the Online100 panel include Arianna Huffington, Karl Rove, Joe Klein, Joe Trippi, Gerard Baker, Mike Allen, Mark Halperin, Mark Blumenthal, Charles Johnson, Dana Milbank, Jonah Goldberg, John Fund, Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, Marc Ambinder and Andrew Sullivan. The survey is anonymous and PoliticsHome does not release individual results.

The Online100 panel consists of 100 leading online voices, weighted evenly between right-leaning, left-leaning and non-aligned, and contains a spectrum of voices from the online mainstream media, big national blogs, and statewide blogs. PoliticsHome launched in the United States in August in association with Pollster.com.

The Electoral Map: Blogosphere Predicts

The panel sees Obama winning the popular vote by a five percent margin, and it sees him coverting that margin into 338 electoral votes, 68 more than the needed 270, and 52 more than the 286 won by Bush in 2004.

The panel presented a list of 19 contested states and were asked to choose who would win on November 4th: “Toss up” or “don’t know” were not options.

The panel predicts Obama will win 11 out of 19 states still in play, with McCain prevailing in Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri and West Virginia. However, Obama sweeps the battleground states of Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico; five states carried by President Bush in 2004.

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WNY in Pictures

28 Oct

A new blog that will take your submissions – here.

Konst for Senate

28 Oct

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Fox News – Shrill & pwn3d

28 Oct

Evidently, O’Reilly has become the template even for “news” interviews:

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