Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gannett Earnings Conference Call Monday

Gannett Co., Inc., owner of the Democrat and Chronicle, will hold its fourth-quarter 2009 earnings conference call tomorrow, Monday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m.

You can listen to the conference call at the company's website, or you can call in to 1-888-293-6979 no later than 10 minutes to 10:00.   The confirmation code for the conference call is 4260300.   The company will release its fourth quarter earnings before the call.

The public can listen, but only invited financial analysts can ask questions.   So there will be no one to ask when they'll stop printing lies in Rochester.

That must wait for the stockholders' meeting.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ask and Tell

President Obama misled when he said "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" "... denies gay Americans the right to serve ..." in the armed forces.   It allows gays to do just that.   The President's call to repeal it is meeting resistance by many in both parties in Congress, and in the Pentagon.

I say, what the hell.   Let's just get it out there.   Tell, tell, tell.   Here we go, mission-ready:


Friday, January 29, 2010

Carla Palumbo to Join Assembly Race

Democratic Bloodbath in 131st A.D.?

City Council member Carla Palumbo will announce shortly her candidacy for the State Assembly seat being vacated by Susan John, according to our Democratic Party sources.

Ms. Palumbo, a former County Legislator. is said to be furious that neither Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle nor other party leaders even consulted her -- an obvious contender for the Assembly seat -- before lining up behind the candidacy of long-time Assembly employee Harry Bronson.

Councilwoman Palumbo was conspicuously absent from Bronson's announcement of his candidacy last Saturday.

This makes three contenders for the Democratic line:   Palumbo, Bronson and School Board Member Willa Powell.

Given Palumbo's long history of party loyalty and close political relationship with Mayor Duffy, it will be interesting to see whether party loyalists break for Team Palumbo or Team Bronson.


Big Plans for Kolb?

Ontario County Assemblyman Brian Kolb is being encouraged by Republican County Chairmen to run for U.S. Senate against the vulnerable Kirsten Gillenbrand, says the Albany Times-Union.   Currently, Long Island businessman Bruce Blakeman is the only Republican actively seeking the seat.

We have a good regard for Kolb, the Assembly Minority leader, but hadn't thought of him as a statewide candidate before now, except possibly for Lieutenant Governor.   Still, Kolb has risen quickly in the Assembly, from his initial election in a squeaker in 2000, to his selection last April as Minority Leader.   Hey, Al D'Amato was a Town Supervisor when he was elected to the U.S. Senate back in 1980.   Now, more than ever, apparently, Kolb is someone to watch.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Speaking Truth to Power

The splendid Justice Samuel Alito reacts to President Obama's mischaracterization, in his State of the Union address, of last week's affirmation of free speech by the Supreme Court.

The Left can't be seen to be attacking free speech directly, so the prevailing mantra seems to be that last week's Citizens United decision would let foreign corporations contribute to U.S election campaigns.   In reality, the Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, specifically declined to extend the ruling to foreign corporations.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Da Plane! Da Plane!

"Tattoo, my little friend, if it helps your re-election, stand here by me."

"I'll win, won't I, Mr. Roarke?"

"All things are possible on Fantasy Island."


But Don't They Know It's Not A Real News Organization?

Fox News is the most trusted name in television news, and the only television news outlet more trusted than distrusted.   This according to a poll released yesterday by Public Policy Polling.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Media Sidesteps the Real Point

Sure, South Carolina's Lt. Governor made a stupid comparison in making a point about welfare.   Stupid because it allowed the media to trample all over what looks like a smart point about welfare and responsibility -- a point the vast majority of Americans probably agree with.

The rule should be:   One baby on welfare.   After that, no birth control, no welfare.

Idiocracy - Opening Sequence - Funny bloopers R us


Let's Find Who Caused the Serial Killer's Death

... and give him a medal.

The whining about medical care for Shawcross is sickening.   In a society that cared about justice he would have been executed.


Rottenchester on the Free Speech Decision

Rottenchester, proprietor of The Fighting 29th, one of our recommended blogs, demonstrates again why he's one of the bloggers we admire most.

All of his work, in our opinion, deserves wide readership, and most recently Friday's entry analyzing last week's Supreme Court decision.   The comments and his responses also deserve attention.

The Fighting 29th has established itself as the prime resource for information and analysis about Congressional politics in New York's 29th District.   It consistently reflects careful attention to data, thorough research, objectivity in analysis, thoughtfulness, good judgment and insight.   We think so even when its author reaches conclusions very different from ours, which is a lot of the time.

Hats off to Rottenchester.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Sanitizing Harry Bronson

It's started already!

Saturday morning Harry Bronson announces his bid for the Assembly seat being vacated by Susan John.   Sunday morning, WXXI Radio news refers to him as "lawyer and business owner."

Last October we called out the Democrat and Chronicle for the same stunt:

What the paper carefully omits is Bronson's actual employment: staff member of the New York State Assembly.

That's what pays the mortgage at chateau Bronson.

This omission is deliberate. The D&C knows better than anyone that people are "fed up with Albany," so they're careful to suppress the connection, lest voters realize the same crowd that runs Albany will be running the County government if the Democrats take the County Legislature.
Now WXXI does the same.

Here go the local media again, trying to sanitize Bronson's total career immersion as part of the Albany political culture.   This is how the media signals who are its favored candidates.

Bronson's real job is as staffer on Susan John's Assembly Labor
Committee.   He'll try to distance himself from Albany, but for practical purposes, he's an incumbent.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

What. A. Week.

Scott Brown.  41.  Massachusetts.

Ms. Pelosi says she doesn't have votes to destroy the health care most Americans have, and are happy with.

Susan John, who achieved immortality as inspiration for this iconic political ad, says she'll leave the State Assembly when her current term ends.

Babydaddy John Edwards admits it.   The story mainstream media sedulously ignored.   Affair and offspring would have screamed from headlines, had Edwards an (R) after his name.   When does the National Enquirer get its Pulitzer?

Supreme Court:   "Where it says free speech, it means free speech."   (Note to Democrat & Chronicle:   opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, not "Arthur.")

Air America finally learns that the free market works.

A week ago we sat, as it were, on the launch pad.   This week it feels like we have ignition!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Read it First on Mustard Street!

This morning Harry Bronson announced his bid for State Assembly, as we told you yesterday he would.


Giving The Boss the Bad News


Friday, January 22, 2010

Bronson Going for Assembly

County Legislator Harry Bronson spoke this week with Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle about Bronson's plans to run for the Assembly seat being vacated by Susan John.   Announcement expected.

Bronson is Minority Leader of the Monroe County Legislature when David Gantt's not around.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Next Time, Have a Private School Teacher Write It

Too delicious for words, but the Rochester Teachers' Union's "Action Alert" for the Morelle protest, shown in our immediately preceding post, says this:

"He wants to get rid of the city school board, but yet he is not seeking to get rid of the Irondequoit school boards ..."


"What did he get from Bob Duffy that he has taken such an interest in supporting him ..."
For those if you educated in the City schools, we've italicized the grammatical errors.

Of course the City schools turn out semi-literates.

They're taught by semi-literates.


Morelle Campaign Stunt or the Real Deal?

Our Irondequoit correspondent tipped us off earlier today to this notice from the Teachers' Union, organizing a protest at Joe Morelle's office because he supports the Mayor's school plan.

(Click on images below for larger size.)

And here are photos of the protest, taken about 4:30 pm today:

Our question:   Is this for real?

Joe Morelle desperately needs to distance himself from Albany and the public employee unions to get on the right side of voters for the upcoming election.   The Assemblyman has been the unions' dependable servant his whole career.   How convenient that now, when Morelle faces what we think could be a difficult re-election campaign, suddenly the Teachers' Union makes a show of being upset with him.

Is this protest the real thing -- is the union really angry with Morelle?   Could be.   Or it could be the whole thing's a contrivance, cooked up by Morelle and the union, to improve his standing with voters.

David Gantt supports the Mayor's school plan, too.   But the union's not protesting him.

What do you think?


Litmus Test

The surest sign of merit in a policy proposal in New York is that the public employee unions oppose it.

We already knew Mayor Duffy's concept for leadership of Rochester's schools is wise, and the best hope for the system's victims, the schoolchildren.   Tuesday's protest at City Hall merely underscores it.

The schools establishment won't tolerate any change.   Every proposal for it implies criticism of the way the schools now work -- or, more accurately, don't work.

The Mayor addressed the protest squarely.   "I don't see anyone protesting a 39% or 40% graduation rate," he told WXXI radio.   Nor, he continued, did he see anyone protesting other obvious failures of the City school district.   And to WHAM-TV Duffy observed, "...[T]his is about a system that is funded as well as any system could be funded, about $23,000 per student, and is producing, at best, a 50% graduation rate."

Not everyone who sincerely wants the City to prosper supports the Mayor's concept.   But everybody does who cares whether the City prospers and understands what's necessary to make it happen.

A leader of lesser character could easily punt:   "Sure the schools are a mess.   Not My Department."   Instead, with wisdom and courage, Mayor Duffy is taking on the schools establishment and the unions that feed on it -- collectively, the most powerful and reactionary special interest in the State of New York.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Morelle's Next

We can defeat Joe Morelle this year.

And nobody knows it better than Joe Morelle.

The Assemblyman was already worried big-time after his party's humiliation in last November's election.   Now, on the same day, came the Republican earthquake in Massachusetts and Assemblywoman Susan John calling it quits.

1. An Orthodox Albany Democrat
2. His District Awakens
3. Motivated Republicans
4. Damaged Relations with Tom Cook
5. Discontent in His Own Party

1. An Orthodox Albany Democrat

A very bad thing to be this year.   And for his entire career in Albany, Joe Morelle's been joined at the hip to Speaker Sheldon Silver.  One of the most secure, entrenched members of Albany's Democratic Establishment, Morelle has been one of Silver's most loyal footsoldiers.   Morelle even sided with Silver when upstate and suburban Democrats, including David Koon, tried to take him out some years back.   Shelly first.   Upstate and district second.

Worried even before last November's Democratic debacle in Monroe County and, according to insiders, scared for his political life since, Morelle's been trying, lamely, to distance himself from his patron and field commander, Silver.   Morelle voted against last year's budget, for instance, with its massive new taxes and spending.  Something Little Joe never could have done without Shelly's permission.   He can posture, but he can't cut the cord.

For all the noise Morelle makes about jobs, taxes and the economy, he's an Orthodox Albany Democrat.   Never, ever going against the interests of public-employee unions or the core policy defects (loved by his party) that make New York the second-highest taxed place in the country and have sent its residents into mass exodus, to the sane states.

2. His District Awakens

Democrats got thumped last fall in Morelle's home base, Irondequoit.   Republicans didn't make a major effort there, and Morelle campaigned for and appeared in endorsement pieces for the Democratic Town Supervisor and Town Board members.   They lost.   Maybe Morelle's endorsement is part of the reason why.   Bottom line is that voters in Morelle's home turf are ready to turn the Democrats out.   And did.

3. Motivated Republicans

Republicans gave Morelle a pass in 2008, when fellow Assemblyman Bill Reilich became County GOP Chair, as a gesture of comity and cooperation.

Ever the class act, Morelle returned the compliment by coming hammer and tongs after Reilich in the 2008 campaign, in an especially nasty effort.   This year Republicans will repay the favor, with the wind at their back from the anti-Albany mood, the national anti-Democratic trend, the County Democratic meltdown last November, and the ouster of the Democratic Town government in Irondequoit.   As ye sow, so shall ye reap, Joe.

4. Damaged Relations with Tom Cook

As Democratic County Chair, Morelle had forged a working political relationship with County Conservative Chairman Tom Cook.   Cook is a man of high ethical sense, who honors the truth, and demands it.

Questioned in 2008 about the Democrats' vicious campaign against Assemblyman and County Republican Chair Reilich, Morelle told Cook he couldn't do anything about it.   It was all Shelly's doing, Morelle dissembled.   Speaker Silver was directing the campaign.   Then Cook found out, from Albany insiders in both parties, about Morelle brazenly boasting around Albany that he was going to beat Reilich and "take the Chairman out."

No more free pass for Morelle from the Conservatives.

5. Discontent in His Own Party

Local Democrats blame Morelle for their catastrophic loss in 2009.   A loss, say Dem insiders, that never should have happened, but did, because Morelle was asleep at the wheel.

Morelle lost what looked like a Democratic lock on taking over the County Legislature, thereby losing not only the legislature, but control of redistricting for the next 10 years.   He lost the Democratic line for a County Legislative seat, where his own candidate went down in the Democratic Primary -- to her Republican opponent.   He lost Supreme Court, County Court, Sheriff, Mendon and his home base of Irondequoit.   He didn't win for his party a single seriously contested race.

Local Dems are especially upset over Morelle's clumsy negative ad against Republican County Court candidate John DiMarco.   They blame it for turning the tide and letting DiMarco unseat incumbent Democratic Judge Bryan McCarthy.   Something almost unheard of, to defeat an incumbent judge.   Democrats complain they might have won something if Morelle had spent as much time on the campaign as he spends at 2Vine.

Little Joe knows all of the above.   We saw him at the popular Mayor's side at the recent press conference on control of City schools.   Look for Morelle to work hard to link himself ever more closely with the popular Duffy, while scrambling to conceal the umbilical cord back to Sheldon Silver.   Look for him to get Shelly's permission, once more, to vote against the State budget.

Susan John saw the writing on the wall from last November, and the political trends.   She wisely chose to step down rather than risk likely defeat.   Like John, Morelle also has an Assembly district with a big suburban component.   A suburb that just turned out the Democrats.

Joe Morelle's on the run.

Let's nail him.


Go, Team!

That seat, held for nearly half a century by Mr. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, will now be held for the next two years by a Republican who has said he supports waterboarding as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects, opposes a federal cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions and opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unless they leave the country.

-- New York Times


Will Dems Wake Up?

Or will they keep believing their own propaganda, like I hoped they would?

“There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”   --   Senator Evan Bayh


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let's Not Panic ...

Now remember:

The Tea Party mentality -- sorry, of course I mean tea-bagger mentality -- represents just a tiny lunatic fringe.   It's not the real voice of the people.

Hell, it's not a real anything.   It's not grassroots ... it's astroturf.   Town Hall protesters are just a handful of paid agents of insurance companies and Rush Limbaugh.   We can ignore them!   It's all a right-wing hoax, promoted by Fox "News."

Time to double down.   How do we bounce back after a humiliating rejection of our health care bill in a special election?   Easy.  We recover by ramming through the bill so hated that we lost Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts!  The obvious way to win back public trust.   To not pass it would mean disaster.

Our problem is that we didn't go far enough left.   We've been too timid.   Now we mean business.

How else to win this fall?


Have Scott Brown Give GOP Response to State of the Union Speech

From Gatewaypundit via Instapundit.

Especially if Democrats play games and don't seat him.


We Owe It All to the Massachusetts Legislature!

The American people owe a debt of thanks to the Massachusetts State Legislature.

Scott Brown was elected tonight because the overwhelmingly Democratic State Legislature scrapped gubernatorial appointment to fill vacant Senate seats and, over then-Governor Romney's veto, replaced it with a special election.

They did it so Republican Romney couldn't appoint a GOP Senator if Edward Kennedy died.

If they hadn't rigged the rules to their own advantage, Democratic Gov. Duval Patrick would have appointed Kennedy's replacement, and Massachusetts would still have a Democratic senator.


Associated Press Just Called it for Brown

53% Brown
46% Coakley


Coakley Just Called Brown to Concede

Just reported by Boston's WBZ news radio.


Monday, January 18, 2010

The News from Boston

For news of the Senate race I'm listening this evening to Boston's all-news station, WBZ, at 1030 AM.   You can hear it in Rochester at night.

What's interesting are the campaign ads.

Democrats must feel their backs to the wall.   They're resorting to their last refuge:   if Brown's elected, "women will lose their right to choose."   That's the only commercial by the Coakley campaign running on WBZ tonight.

Well what else is she going to say?   Vote for me and that way we can force through the Health Care Bill you hate?   Vote for me and we can stay the course on the high-cost bailouts?   This ad amounts to an acknowledgment by Democrats that the public doesn't support their health bill or their economic policy.   And no mention of the President whatsoever.

The AFSCME union is running a get-out-the-vote ad, never naming Coakley -- certainly because of some campaign finance law -- but saying "we need a Senator in the tradition of Ted Kennedy."   They had to include that, because the rest of what their ad says about the kind of Senator they want -- one who will "create jobs and make sure we have quality health care" -- would have most people thinking they're talking about Brown.

Brown's running an ad consisting of comments from "people in the street."   All with heavy Mass. accents.   One says he was brought up a Democrat, but the party today is not like it used to be, and he votes for the man, not the party.   Another a woman saying she doesn't want the government making healthcare decisions for her. Another person denouncing the spending in Washington, and believes Brown will help get taxes under control.   Another describes Brown as "a regular guy."   This ad seems like an effective effort to get ordinary voters to identify with the candidate.   The populist versus the elitist.

Also an ad featuring Brown's two daughters.   First, denouncing Coakley's negative campaigning against their father, then saying what he's for, and closing by saying he represents the "change we need," because we can't let the government continue "business as usual." Wow.   How the tables have turned in one year!   Scott Brown -- hope and change!


Still Dreaming

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

-- Martin Luther King
And today, on the day we honor Dr. King, I have a dream too.

It's to wipe from the face of the Earth legally-sanctioned racial preferences in America, and finally make Dr. King's dream a reality.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brown-Coakley Race: What the Mainstream Media Won't Report

Alonzo Rachel reports from Massachusetts.


Smart Sushi

As a hardcore sushi lover, I've been hoping for years that sushi restaurants would add a little something other than sushi to their menus.   Just one thing even -- a burger, a sandwich.   That way, we sushi fans get to have it once in a while, because our sushi-hating significant others would have something to eat.

Fellow sushi lovers, take note:   California Rollin', at its Charlotte location by the Ferry Terminal, has started offering buffalo chicken wings!

Why didn't the sushi places figure this out before now?   The person who's always hot and wants air conditioning invariably pairs off with the person who's always cold.   Sushi fanatics seem to find life-partners who can't bear the thought of the stuff.   You know how it works.   Part of The Great Unwritten Law.   I've always figured a sushi place could double its business by offering a ham sandwich.

Now the smart folks at California Rollin' have gone and done it in Charlotte, with chicken wings.   Don't know if they're doing it at their Village Gate location, but there it's never been a problem:   first stop across the courtyard at Salena's and pick up some burritos or enchiladas to go.  Then step over to California Rollin'.   Believe me, they're used to it.   And nothing goes better with that chorizo burrito than a nourishing pint of California Rollin's unique plum beer.

California Rollin'

Village Gate
274 North Goodman Street

Ferry Terminal
1000 North River St


Friday, January 15, 2010

Surely You Jest

When Mustard Street reported on new officers of the Monroe County Legislature, it left out one:   Carrie Andrews, Court Jester of the Lej.

At Tuesday's Legislature meeting, Andrews complained that the process for re-appointing Public Defender Timothy Donaher was no good, because Legislators did not have the opportunity to question him. Actually, Mr. Donaher was right there, to answer any questions the Legislators wanted to ask.  

The Jester herself had just one question:   Mr. Donaher, on January 9th of 2009 you made a donation to the campaign of Judge Edmund Calvaruso and this is a violation of Monroe County Law.  "What do you have to say for yourself, you law breaker," Andrews' smug look said, as she savored her "Gotcha!" moment.   She nailed him ...but good!

Public Defender Donaher answers that he hasn't made any campaign contributions.   Then a Democratic staffer tugs at Andrews' sleeve as she holds the floor, saying “Carrie that's not a contribution.”   What??  Not an illegal contribution??  Andrews turns red as she struggles to figure a way out.   Mr. Donaher, a true gentleman, throws her a life line, an escape route, and she sits down.

Funny thing.   The Democrats complained about the process because they couldn't ask Donaher questions.   But he was right there, up at the podium in front of all the legislators, to answer them.   Except for Andrews, no other Democrat had a single question for Mr. Donaher!

They must have been satisfied he was properly vetted.   But then, on party lines, they all vote against him.   Because, they say ... they couldn't ask him any questions!   Go figure!

The next day Mr. Donaher replies to the Legislature that the $35 payment Andrews asked about not only wasn't a contribution -- it wasn't even made by Donaher!   It was made to Donaher, from the Calvaruso campaign, to pay for a ticket to a colleague's retirement dinner that Mr. Donaher had put together.

Looks like Carrie Andrews' reading comprehension is on par with her comprehension of public policy.

I only have one question.   When will Timothy Donaher get an apology from Andrews, or at the very least a “thank you” for giving her an escape route in her moment of embarrassment?

Not to mention that he wasn't even looking down her blouse.   Not once!

Maybe that's why she doesn't like him.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

LaMarr Jackson Favorite for County Court Seat

Word now is that the Governor will appoint LaMarr Jackson, and not former County Court judge Bryan McCarthy, to the Monroe County Court vacancy caused by Judge Alex Renzi's election to Supreme Court.   McCarthy reportedly has withdrawn his name from consideration.   Jackson was defeated in her own bid for Supreme Court in last November's election.

If Jackson's getting the appointment, will the County Bar Association now release its candidate rating for her from last fall?   That's the one where the Bar Association surveys attorneys county-wide, to have them rate judicial candidates as "Highly Qualified," or "Qualified," or "Not Qualified."   The Bar Association mysteriously never released the rating of Jackson or the other Democratic candidate, Paloma Capanna.

Will our self-procaimed "watchdog" of a newspaper ask the Bar Association what happened to Jackson's rating, and why it was never released?   Don't hold your breath.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seduced and Abandoned

Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature soldiered on gamely tonight after Assemblyman David Gantt failed to show up to disrupt the meeting over re-appointment of Public Defender Tim Danaher.

Gantt was conspicuous at the Legislature's organizational meeting last week.   That signaled to many a likely reprise, tonight, of his disruption of a legislative meeting in 2008 because the Legislature wouldn't let Gantt control selection of the new Defender.

Democratic staff checked anxiously this afternoon to see if the Shame of Albany had signed up to speak at the public forum, but, alas, nothing.

Damage control was left to Legislator Carrie Andrews, who moved to send the nomination to a Committee meeting, in order to give Gantt another chance to create havoc.   Defeated on a party-line vote.

So what was the appearance last week all about?   Big Dave's just playing head games with The Man.


The Mayor is Right

To us it appears so self-evident we can scarcely believe there's a debate.   Can anyone, other than entrenched schools establishment interests like the current City School Board and the Teachers' Union, seriously doubt the wisdom of Mayor Duffy's proposal for direct City control of the schools?

When interim City School Superintendent William Cala departed two years ago he bequeathed to the district a 48-page report detailing what needed to be fixed.  Malik Evans, then as now the City School Board's President, responded:  “It wasn’t anything that I wasn’t aware of and nothing that hasn’t already been discussed with the new Superintendent.”

We said this:

Well, where have you been, Mr. Evans?   President of the School Board and aware of 48 pages worth of problems – and now you’re getting around to discussing them with the new Superintendent? Maybe the problem starts with the School Board itself!  

A 39% graduation rate and, of course, the highest per-capita school spending in Monroe County (and one of the highest statewide).   I once read a restaurant review that said, “The food’s bad, but expensive.”   Maybe the chef was Malik Evans.
And now, two years later, the City schools are as bad as ever, except we're supposed to celebrate that the graduation rate is all the way up to 50% -- a definition of failure almost anywhere else.

It's time to end this farce and give Mayor Duffy and his administration control of the City Schools.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Memo to President Adair

If David Gantt and his entourage show up to disrupt tomorrow night's meeting of the County Legislature, please show us that you're the opposite of your predecessor as President of the County Legislature, Wayne Zyra.

Return calls to the press if they ask about the appointment of the Public Defender.   Don't concede the entire public discussion to the disrupters, as your predecessor did, and to the people trying to hijack an appointment that is the legitimate, legal responsibility of the County Legislature and of no one else.   Zyra made a fool of himself hiding from the press for two months, letting the opposition define the issue without challenge, and letting down his side completely.

Don't pull a Zyra if the disrupters make trouble, scurrying from the room like a trapped rat.   Don't you have a public comment section of your meeting where anyone who wants to speak may?   That's the forum for anyone with criticism or comment.   But if anyone tries to disrupt the meeting, calmly have them removed and continue your meeting.   New York's Open Meetings Law creates the right to attend a public meeting.   It does not create a right to disrupt a public meeting.

And if Gantt and self-appointed "leaders" (of God-knows-what) who claim a role in the appointment of a Public Defender seek a meeting, before or after tomorrow's legislative session, for heaven's sake, meet with them.   Take their phone calls, or return them.   You have no reason to concede anything, but extend the courtesy of a meeting or a return phone call.   We're still not sure how much Zyra's cowardly stonewalling 2 years ago contributed to the disruption you had back then over the PD appointment.

We weren't happy about being driven to do a posting like this one about President Zyra.   We really don't want to have to do one about President Adair.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Is there any part of the contemporary Roman Catholic or Episcopal service more cringe-inducing than the "Peace," where you have to act all touchy-feely to people you don't even know?

A sixties-era affectation, part of the move to drive traditionally-minded people out of the church.   The kindergartenization of the liturgy.

Is there anybody other than regulation-issue liberal clergy who doesn't hate that shit?

Just asking.Leroy Yentuar


Saturday, January 9, 2010

This Week's Mail

Every now and then we post an interesting e-mail received during the week. Here's one we had yesterday, from a reader disappointed in County Legislator Carrie "It's all about my boobs" Andrews:

Classless Careless Carrie
At Monday night’s organizational meeting of the Monroe County Legislature, Jeff Adair was elected President of the Legislature.   I am not an Adair fan but he is no better or worse than any other Republican that they can put up for the job.  I was in favor of the Democratic Party moving their choice, something I feel should be done every cycle.  I believe that it is for the good of the People that we have choice.  As for myself, I am a person that respects family, which I consider the best and most important part of one’s life.  I love politics and my party but I would walk away in a second if it in any way hurt my family.  That is why I don’t get it.

Legislator Carrie Andrews moved Harry Bronson for President against Jeff Adair, and she did this in front of the entire Adair family.  I wonder what her possible future Sister-in-law thought, how about possible future Mother and Father-in-law?  Are these not people that one would try to embrace as opposed to embarrass themselves in front of?  How could Carrie attempt to undermine a member of their family and think nothing of breaking bread with them, she has no conscience.

The bosses are not happy that Carrie is in a relationship with Scott Adair.  They believe that it will cloud her judgment and make her less effective as a party leader.  Month after month she does her best to grill the administration and boyfriend CFO Scott Adair.  Why?  Because she is required to show that her party means more to her than the relationship.  Any of the other 12 legislators could have made the motion of Bronson for President and preserved Carrie in the Adair family eyes, but she would have none of that.  This meeting was the ultimate opportunity for Carrie to show that the Adair family means less to her than partisan politics, and that she did.

There was a point in time that I considered Carrie a friend, but no longer do I respect her enough to have that be true.  She has shown her true colors and poor priorities time and time again.  When Carrie spat upon the family of her significant other she spat on family values.  I am truly disappointed.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Community Decision

On Wednesday, Penfield's Town Board filled a vacancy among its members by appointing Robert Quinn to serve on the Board until the next election.

A former Congressional staffer, Quinn brings a unique experience on that basis alone.   He has served on the Town's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.   He's served on the Monroe County's Parks Advisory Committee.

Quinn's also a Republican, like the Supervisor and the other members of the Town Board.   No great surprise there.   The one-party Democratic City Council appoints Democrats to vacancies.   So does the all-Democratic Brighton Town Board.   Speaker Sheldon Silver didn’t pick a Republican for State Comptroller.   Governor Paterson didn’t pick a Republican for U.S. Senate.   And nobody really expects otherwise.   Or almost nobody.

Democrats in Monroe County often operate under the principle, "what's ours is ours; what's yours is up for grabs."   Appointments for Democratic-controlled entities to make are decisions for them and them alone.   Appointments to be made by Republican-controlled bodies are a different story.

We wrote recently about Democrats' attempt two years ago to hijack appointment of the Public Defender.   And heaven forbid that a Republican County government that creates and pays for a community college should have a say in choosing its president.

When Republican bodies have an appointment to make, we're told these must be bipartisan decisions.   Community decisions.   (A term whose meaning is always fuzzy, but the idea is that Republicans don't get to choose).  

But here's a community decision that's very clear:   two months ago, Penfield voters decisively rejected the Town Democratic Leader, Margaret Trevett, as candidate for Supervisor.   They also rejected independent candidate Steve Nazarian.   Trevett was held to 35% of the vote -- basically the core Democratic vote.   Nazarian got 15%.

So Ms. Trevettt and Mr. Nazarian share a unique distinction.   They're among the handful of Penfield residents whom the Town's voters have formally rejected for public office.   In their case, decisively.

And who do you suppose applied for the Town Board vacancy?   Then ran off complaining to the press when they didn't get it?

Ms. Trevett groused to the newspaper after failing to get the appointment:   "It's very sad, because he's got no other experience except working for a politician."   A mean-spirited denigration of Quinn's congressional experience  --  which is more relevant experience than Trevett offered.

Nazarian called the interview process "a charade" and "insincere."   Yet he took it seriously enough at the time, contacting a former Council member to solicit support and to lobby current members.

Whatever the political makeup of a Town Council, you wouldn't think it would look for the very people voters rejected, especially recently and especially by big margins, and appoint them.

Of course there are some gaps in new Councilman Quinn's experience.   He's never run a campaign as nasty and negative as Trevett's campaign for Supervisor last Fall.

And he's never embarrassed himself before the whole community, as a candidate for Supervisor who doesn't know when the Town budget comes to a vote.   Remember this?   --

Looks like Penfield's made some good community decisions lately.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

America Rising - November 2, 2010

This speaks for millions.   Very nicely done.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Circus Coming Back to Town

Nothing but bo-ring at the organizational meeting of the Monroe County Legislature last night.

EXCEPT ... in the front row of spectators ... flanked by a couple of big guys ... arms folded ... glaring straight ahead ... looking very baadAAASS ... Assemblyclown and street theater impressario David Gantt!


Because the Public Defender is appointed at the beginning of each 2-year Legislative cycle.   Sometimes at the organizational meeting.   But not last night.   Other times at the next meeting after that.

Remember what happened last time?

When Gantt tried to usurp the legal authority of the County government to appoint the Public Defender?

Apparently Gantt & Co. are ready to swing into action again.   Look for fun and games at the first regular meeting of the County Leg. next Tuesday, January 12.

Let nobody say the Clown Prince of Rochester Politics hasn't gotten down pat the tactics of disruptive street theater -- what the author Tom Wolfe called mau-mauing.   From Wolfe's Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers:

There were people ... who practically gave classes in mau-mauing.   There was one man called Chaser. Chaser would get his boys together and he would give them a briefing ... and he'd say:

"Now don't forget.   When you go downtown, y'all wear your ghetto rags ... see ... Don't go down there with your Italian silk jerseys on and your brown suede and green alligator shoes and your Harry Belafonte shirts looking like some supercool toothpick-noddin' fool ... you know ... Don't nobody give a damn how pretty you can look ... You wear your combat fatigues and your leather pieces and your shades ... your ghetto rags ... see ... And don't go down there with your hair all done up nice in your curly Afro like you're messing around.   You go down with your hair stickin' out and sittin' up!   Lookin' wild!   I want to see you down there looking like a bunch of wild n - - - - - s!"

.   .   .

Then Chaser would say, "Now when we get there, I want you to come down front and stare at the man and don't say nothing. You just glare.   No matter what he says.   He'll try to get you to agree with him.   He'll say, 'Ain't that right?' and 'You know what I mean?' and he wants you to say yes or nod your head ... see ... It's part of his psychological jiveass.   But you don't say nothing.   You just glare ... see ... Then some of the other brothers will get up on that stage behind him, like there's no more room or like they just gathering around.   Then you brothers up there behind him, you start letting him have it ... He starts thinking, 'Oh, good God!  Those bad cats are in front of me, they all around me, they behind me.   I'm surrounded.'   That shakes 'em up.

-- Tom Wolfe, Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers (1971)