Friday, December 28, 2012

When Guns are Outlawed . . .

So it turns out that William Spengler, the Webster murderer, was subject to gun control.

Convicted as a felon for killing his grandmother with a hammer (watch this page for our call for hammer control), Spengler was legally barred from owning firearms.

Yep, just ban guns and the killings go away.

Read More...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Unfortunate Bias from Jim Lawrence, D&C Editorial Editor

A recent post by Jim Lawrence, D&C Editorial Editor, shows clear bias against recent Senate appointee Tim Scott.

This is unfortunate, as others in leadership at the D&C are trying to build an environment for healthy discussions on race. How long will the D&C stay in a position of having the personal bias of a few in leadership discredit the objectives of the establishment?

Lawrence acknowledges Scott's appointment, as "the first African American Republican senator from the South since Reconstruction," as a "major breakthrough." He continues:

Yes, Scott is a conservative . . . For me that isn’t a problem. . . But what worries me is that Scott is of the Tea Party ilk, and as such, he’s not even open to dealing with people who see the world differently. It’s telling, for instance, that Scott has refused to join the Congressional Black Caucus.

Of course, hooking up with the CBC shouldn’t be a litmus test for black members of Congress, but someone with Scott’s conservative views should at least be at the table for discussions on issues affecting African Americans. In other words, this guy doesn’t sound like someone willing to work across the aisle.

Anyway, I’m going to do some more reading up on Rep. Scott. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he isn’t someone the South Carolina GOP decided to keep DeMint’s seat warm until a special election is held in two years while trying to reap any benefits from appearing to be, let’s just say, diversity-sensitive.”

Read More...

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Democratic Patronage Mill

Rachel Barnhart names the names, and tells the story the Democrat and Chronicle hasn't the integrity to print.

Update: This is the second time in recent days that Rachel Barnhart has pointed out this topic:

I’ve always felt ... [Maggie] Brooks was held to a higher standard in the press than Democratic officials. If the parking ticket scandal had happened to the county sheriff’s and not city police, it would have been tossed into her scandal pile. But something tells me Mayor Tom Richards won’t be dinged. Democrats are guilty of some of the very same things identified with Brooks’ administration, but they’re not raked over the coals to the same extent. (Anyone want a piece of downtown land for $1 to build luxury condos?)

Read More...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Battle Between Brooks and Slaughter

Seems to me that if Slaughter is so confident that she is the right person for the job, and she is confident that the polls that show her ahead are true, why is she going negative already? Slaughter, who I have interviewed during her last race while on the Board of Contributors at the D&C, struck me as out of touch and not understanding of issues facing folks from my generation. (Or most generations for that matter) She is an advocate for huge government and has yet to find a progressive idea that she doesn’t want to double down on. In her desperation to be politically relevant and to continue that $180k + income coming in she is going to try and use tactics that were less than successful for local Democrats before. Or, maybe, this is the year that Democrats don’t bother touting their own achievements and just try to say “that guy/gal is worse”. Obama certainly isn’t running on his record.

Read More...

Friday, September 14, 2012

DiNapoli's Office in Hush Money Payoff

The office of Democratic State Controller and former Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, crony of Shelly Silver and Joe Morelle, played an "extensive" role in putting together the secret hush money deal to pay off a victim of sexual predator and Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez.   Naturally, you'll never read about that in the Democrat and Chronicle, which is in hard-core story suppression mode.

That's the same Controller DiNapoli who Morelle and the Democratic organization are deploying to slime County government under Maggie Brooks.

Read More...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Justice for Me, Not for Thee

The Democrat and Chronicle's report on City employees' exemption from red-light camera fines today makes the headline on Drudge.   And it's not just the police.   All City of Rochester employees are exempt.   A red-light aristocracy!

What could illustrate better the bottomless sleaziness of the red-light camera racket?

This site has warned against the abusive money extortion racket represented by red-light cameras since their first consideration as a money making scheme by Rochester City Council.   "We're going to make a lot of money," the then-President of City Council exulted after an early presentation to the Council by one of the red-light camera companies.

Can a local government selectively enforce a law that applies to all?   We hope the answer is No. A suit challenging the practice would be a fine pro bono project for a civic minded attorney.

Until that happens, drivers should resist every possible way:   pleading not guilty, demanding a hearing, making the City go through every step.

Let's make enforcement of this disgrace as difficult and expensive as possible for the greedy and slovenly government that enacted it.


Prior entries on the City of Rochester's red-light racket:

"We're Going to Make a Lot of Money" - 2/3/2010

Ka-Ching:   To Collect and to Serve - 5/7/2010

The People Win One -- 7/30/2010

Red-Light Cameras:   A Primer -- 8/6/2010

Hypocrisy from City Hall
-- 9/29/2010

Read More...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Notes on Conventions

First, David Frum in The Daily Beast considering the standard-issue drivel about the Republican convention being "too white."

. . . why can't we just respect the fact that some of us have one set of beliefs - others have different beliefs - and let us all compete on voting day and may the best team win?   Why do you liberals always have to be dragging race into it?

What you want is a country where everybody looks different, and everybody thinks the same.  That's what you call diversity.  No thanks.  You work hard, you pay your way, you quit asking for handouts, and you're American enough for me - and you'll be up there on the podium with Bobby Jindal, Allen West, Herman Cain, and Nikki Haley as a leader of the one party in this country that isn't hung up on race.

Second, I think the following from Legal Insurrection, represents my take-away from the Democrats' convention.

Read More...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Democrats Cling Bitterly to Religion

Check out the video of the Democratic Convention considering an amendment to their platform to include reference to "God-given potential" and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol.

Clearly it didn't get the 2/3 vote needed. And it sounds like it may not even have won a simple majority. Convention Chairman Villaraigosa is visibly flummoxed that the delegates won't go along with the change, asking for the vote three times. Then suffering the embarrassment of declaring a voice vote that sounded even as between ayes and nayes as a 2/3 majority!

Read More...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ...

Recently we came across this account of a visit with Member of Congress Louise Slaughter:

At 82, she has beautiful skin and the spry and spunk of those 30 years her junior; walking towards the conference room, I had to practically run to keep up with her.

--Kellene Paul, Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Blog, 8/10/2012
Then this:
For crying out loud already get off Louise Slaughter’s age!   I just saw her at the Democrat’s [sic] Annual Family Picnic. This phenomenal woman has the energy of a teenager and the mental clarity of a 35 year old.

--Kellene Paul, Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Blog, 8/28/2012

Now, today, Mustard Street has received from a first-time correspondent the following account:
"Your wallet.   Now."   The mugger pushed me up against the wall, knife at my throat.   Worse than physical assault was terror of the unknown:   what might he do?

Strong men cowered at the alley's entrance, yards away.   "We can't help her now."   "No," stammered the other.   "We have our own safety to think of."

Senses dimming with despair, resigned, my focus narrowed to the rhythmic thrumming of an air conditioner in a window floors above:   ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.

And then, a rustling.   A gleam of light.   Brisk movement.   As if in one mighty stride, before me bounded Representative Louise Slaughter.   With that faint, fleeting smile playing about her lips, for a moment she faced my assailant, erect and motionless, biceps rippling.   With one nimble judo chop to the solar plexus she floored the attacker, his face contorted in a rictus of agony.

"EF'N YEW TRAH INNYTHANG WITH THIS WOMAN AGAYIN AH'LL SLAHCE YEW INTO HAWG BACON!," she bellowed at the twitching specimen of human tissue that moments before had been a fit and toned young man.

I hadn't even a moment to express my thanks.   Casting the curbside cowards a look of acerbic contempt, the supple octogenarian vaulted from the alley -- and into the record book of heroes.

Shaking, I returned to the office at Broad and Exchange to record this remarkable occurrence.

-- Lea Keenpull
We present the narrative as received.   Internal evidence suggests this communication could be the work of a writer at a different venue, perhaps seeking, for so extraordinary a story, a platform for publication with broader audience and greater credibility.   "Lea Keenpull" has about it the sound of a nom de plume, perhaps an anagram.   Nevertheless, we respect Ms. Keenpull's privacy and hope that she may provide additional work for consideration by our readers.

Read More...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grass Admits that It's Green

The New York Times's outgoing Public Editor admits:   Yep, we're biased.

Across the paper’s many departments . . . so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.
As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.
Now tell us something we don't know.

Read More...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Money Talks. [Something Else] Walks.

August 15

Democrat and Chronicle's lead editorial headline:

"Do More to Get a grip on Gun Violence"

August 16
Democrat and Chronicle advertising supplement for sporting goods store headlined   "First Shot," advertising 19 guns for sale -- at bargain prices! -- including semi-automatic rifle with 10-round magazine, and sundry boxes of ammo.
And nothing wrong with that, to be sure.   Just a reminder that the D&C is a business, run to earn profits for the corporation in Virginia that owns it.   Its editors' sole accountability is to that corporation, not to the residents of Rochester, Monroe County or western New York.   Remember that when its editors pontificate about how our community should be run.

Read More...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Slaughter: Part of Washington's Problem

Reading through the D&C's contributors' write-ups after the Slaughter interview something interesting appeared. Kellene Paul wrote, in part:

"...On the other hand, if a subject was broached that she felt unprepared to answer like the LDC’s (Local Development Corporations) that her opponent has been accused of misusing, she simply said she needed time to research it so she could give a more informed response. My mother calls that the “no fillers or fluff approach,” which means she does not use ready-made answers to pacify her audience.

In a political sea of venomous vipers, Louise is One Tough Cookie!"
Maggie Brooks' campaign manager subsequently pointed out that Louise apparently does have a stance on LDC's. He wrote:

What an embarrassing Louise Slaughter sycophant. Kellene - if you want to fawn over Mrs. Slaughter, that is your business, but at least do your homework.

Your claim is that Mrs. Slaughter "...felt unprepared to answer [questions] like the LDC's that her opponent has been accused of misusing....she does not use ready-made answers to pacify her audience."

Let's take a look at her website posting from June 1st:
"Maggie Brooks has driven Monroe County into $389 million worth of debt,” said Campaign Manager Liam Fitzsimmons. “Rather than tell local taxpayers the truth, Maggie Brooks has expanded the improper use of Local Development Corporations to hide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional debt and provide her campaign donors and political allies with jobs. Now, Maggie Brooks wants to bring this abysmal and self-serving record to Washington."

By your definition, without understanding an issue Mrs. Slaughter made an unabashedly nasty political attack. About as close to a "venomous viper" as I've seen in Washington.
To the Slaughter campaign:   Why is Louise tossing around nasty accusations if she hasn't researched the issue?   Her behavior is another example of what's wrong with Washington.

Link to D&C Article

Link to Slaughter's post

Read More...

D&C Editorial Board: Coordinate Your Lies!

From a Guest Contributor:

In the Democrat & Chronicle's ongoing effort to help Louise Slaughter win re-election, the paper's editorial folks need to coordinate their stories better.

Here are three posts on the paper's blog by three D&C editorial board members, each writing about the same event:   Slaughter's visit with the Editorial Board.

From Jim Lawrence's blog post:

"And while she was moving slower than usual, you would too if you’d broken you femur bone just six months ago. And that would likely be the case even if you weren’t 83 years old as she is."
From Jane Sutter's blog post:
"She’s using a couple of colorful canes and walking slower than she used to..."
From Kellene Paul's blog post:
"At 82, she has beautiful skin and the spry and spunk of those 30 years her junior; walking towards the conference room, I had to practically run to keep up with her."
Wow!   Usain Bolt, get out of the way!

I doubt this is simply two different opinions about the measure of walking speed as perceived by the naked eye.

Now, if the conspiracy theorists out there think Ms. Paul is a Slaughter campaign plant on the editorial board to get favorable coverage for the spunky octogenarian ... forget about it.   You'll find that theory in the dictionary, under the word "superfluous."

The D&C is a principal organ of the Slaughter campaign.   As we approach Labor Day, watch for its systematic sliming of Maggie Brooks to begin, coordinated with, or at least playing off of, strategically-timed manueverings of state-level Democratic politicians.  

But the D&C editorialists can avoid insulting the public's intelligence if they'll at least coordinate their lies with each other before deploying them at large.

Read More...

Friday, August 10, 2012

You Didn't Win That

Democrat and Chronicle editors object to the Monroe County Sheriff's office hiring deputies based on successful exam scores rather than the color of their skin.   To assure complete transparency, Sheriff O'Flynn's office publishes the results of these civil service exams.   This assures applicants and the public of fairness in hiring.

The editors prefer the City of Rochester's approach:   hiring on the basis of race, with test scores a closely-kept secret.   Scores must be secret, lest the gaping disparity between hiring and exam results become a public embarrassment.   This is the uniform practice among institutions that buy into the "diversity" racket.

What we liked about the editorial was its appearance during the Olympics.   It highlights a problem.

People of non-color comprise but a minority of the world population.   Yet athletes -- both non-white and white -- from majority-white countries win a disproportionately high number of Olympic gold medals.   As of this morning, such countries have won 153 gold medals.   Only 81 gold medals have been bagged by all other countries.   That includes gold medals won by Asian nations; without them, the number reduces to 23.   Twenty-three for the rest of the world entirely!

This reflects mostly the relative affluence among countries.   Wealthier nations tend to produce more medalists, of all ethnic backgrounds and ancestries.   More access to training, less time working and more time to practice, more sponsorships, etc.   Still, as with police hiring, we're focusing on outcomes among countries.

We must make Olympic gold medal awards more inclusive country-by-country and thus more representative of the world community (to paraphrase the D&C editors).   Therefore  .  .  .

Abby Wambach, please hand over the US soccer team's gold medal.   We'll give it to one of the countries you beat.

Michael Phelps, don't think you're taking those home.   Besides, isn't there a point where a person has enough gold medals?

Gabby Douglas, you get to keep yours.   So does Usain Bolt.   But the most sacred rule of "affirmative action" makes scores and track times top secret.   No one will know whether you won gold on merit, or because of the happenstance of the color of the skin you were born with.   Pity.

If the Olympic Committee puts its best foot forward to make results more inclusive, in four years the D&C editors -- wherever they're working after the paper stops publishing -- can applaud an Olympics whose winning countries look like the world.

Read More...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Great Insights into City Hall's Feelings on Diversity

Thank you to Christine Fien for pulling back the curtain a bit on City Hall's feelings on diversity in City News.

So the Mayor just wants to put a “face of color” on the new hires in the RPD and RFD to fool people in the city into believing that the RPD and RFD are “one of them”?

The Mayor is also quoted as saying, “I’ve got to get people in here who can qualify for these jobs and are prepared for them.”   “I suppose you could say that if I took some guy off the corner of Conkey and Clifford, he would know more about that neighborhood. But I can’t get him in to be a policeman in today’s environment. You have to have a whole bunch of things to qualify and, quite frankly, we need that, because we’re putting a lot of faith and confidence in these people.”

So what does that mean exactly Mayor Richards? You don't trust the people who live near Conkey and Clifford? Does it have to do with skin color, upbringing, or just being a part of that neighborhood? I can see why many people in the city have fear and animosity towards City Hall, as Lovely Warren indicated. City Hall openly admits they don't trust them. Seems like a mutual feeling.

What would be the reaction of a Republican spewed this garbage?

Read More...

Imagine If Sarah Palin Said This

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) told a recent gathering of the Women’s Political Committee that the spirits of suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul spoke to her at the White House.

Said Pelosi,"I swear this happened. . ."

But a left-wing Democrat said it, so complete silence from the palace-guard legacy media.

Read More...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Situation, Summarized

Read More...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Allegations of Pederasty Against Harry Reid

Reid says he got a call from somebody he can't name who told him something he can't verify that reflects badly on Mitt Romney.   But he is making it public anyway.   And that the burden's on Romney to disprove the charge.

Now come allegations, of similar character, that the cranky old Senator from Nevada is a pederast.   See, Harry?   Anybody can play this game!

Google "harry reid pederasty" for more.

Read More...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Republicans Are Too “Clubby:” “The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks!”

From Andy Rau's "City Blog" at the D&C:

On Sunday, the D&C’s editorial board issued their latest installment of “The blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Republicans!”

•   •   •  

Through the democratic process, the voters have installed a Republican majority in the county legislature, NOT a monopoly, as exists within the City of Rochester. The county legislators from the city districts mirror the political composition of the elected officials in Citygov: they are Democrats. Once again, this illustrates the urban-suburban split, with Republicans for the most part representing the suburbs and the Democrats Rochester. Once again, this is by the choice of the voters.

Admittedly, there have been some “swing districts, usually on the border of the city and the suburbs.” The 26th LD, for instance, has gone back and forth over the years between Republicans and Democrats, but I don’t recall the D&C applauding THAT fact.

And telling the Republican majority of the county legislature that they MUST cooperate with the Democratic minority for the betterment of “the Community of Monroe” ( that term again ) will fall on deaf ears simply because the voters who installed them like it that way. Just like in Rochester.

Unlike Citygov, there is at least debate in the county legislature.

Well worth reading in its entirety.

Read More...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman!

Today is the 100th birthday of the great man, who died in 2006.

"Higher taxes never reduce the deficit. Governments spend whatever they take in and then whatever they can get away with."

Read More...

Monday, July 30, 2012

D&C Criticizes County Legislature

Your piece over the weekend is laughable at best, Jim.   You had the ability to advocate for two minority voices to be added to City Council this past year with Andy Rau and myself and wrote us both off.   So much for your commitment to "diversity."   You complain about anything having to do with the Republicans at the county level but have no problem with continuing the mentality of managing problems in the city with a lack of a plan to solve them.   You and your fellow suburban-resident editorialists are part of the city's problem.

One example:   Maggie Brooks worked how many years to replace the blighted corner on Main St with Renaissance Square and the Democrats burned it down in City Hall.   How many more years will that corner sit looking the way it does today?

The D&C Editorial Page is a huge part of the problem with what goes on in the city, as a consistent enabler of dysfunction.   And the funniest part of it is that other than Max, no Democrat and Chronicle editorialist lives in the city.   You drive in, spout some garbage, and rush back out to the Republican run 'burbs.   If the Republicans are so bad, why don't you move to the city where the Dems control everything completely?

You exercise influence without responsibility, at least until the day in the forseeable future when you stop publishing.   You are accountable only to a corporate management and Board of Directors located in Virginia.   The majority in the County Legislature, and the members of City Council, whatever we think of their performance, are accountable to the actual residents of this community.

Read More...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And Another Thing ...


via Blonde Sagacity.

Read More...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cause and Effect

This morning I read Rachel Barnhart's report about the Onandaga County Executive's effort to rein in suburban sprawl, by encouraging new developments in places with existing infrastructure. In large measure this means cities and towns.

I've always been on-board with that idea. Give me a quality urban environment any day over a sterile subdivision, however grand the McMansions. In the city you use your car a lot less. And it depresses me to see another field or farm bulldozed into a housing tract.

But I know that many people, and judging from the way suburbs have spread since World War II, probably most, don't share my view or at least don't think it's practical.

It raises the issue of cause and effect.   Sprawl wasn't imposed by someone while the rest of us weren't looking.   It's happened because most people want it. To slow it down, there has to be a demand for housing in the cities. And there is, some. But not enough to do what the Onandaga Exec. wants to do.

This afternoon, I came across this observation by P.J. O'Rourke, courtesy of Instapundit, addressing directly cause-and-effect in connection with sprawl:

Cars didn’t shape our existence; cars let us escape with our lives. We’re way the heck out here in Valley Bottom Heights and Trout Antler Estates because we were at war with the cities. We fought rotten public schools, idiot municipal bureaucracies, corrupt political machines, rampant criminality and the pointy-headed busybodies. Cars gave us our dragoons and hussars, lent us speed and mobility, let us scout the terrain and probe the enemy’s lines. And thanks to our cars, when we lost the cities we weren’t forced to surrender, we were able to retreat.
That, I think, expresses the core issue.

Read More...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

People Don't Stop Killers. People With Guns Do.

Even editorialists at the Democrat and Chronicle, who on Second Amendment issues typically don't know their assault rifle from their elbow, acknowledge in today's paper that "New York, after all, has some of the most severe gun laws in the nation and its streets are hardly the safest."   Of course they don't even consider the possibility of cause-and-effect.

To remedy the deficiency, we commend to your attention these observations by writers with a closer understanding of human nature:

[E]very multiple-victim public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms.

and

People Don't Stop killers.   People With Guns Do.

Read More...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Am Building It

I took a few days to think about how I wanted to explain my feelings about the President's comments from this past weekend. He essentially told all small business owners that they wouldn't be able to do what they do had it not been for Government investment and they should give more.

At first I was completely insulted and angry being a small business owner myself. But after thinking about it for a few days I have come to the realization that Obama just doesn't get it. He has never run a company, never created a company and has never held a private sector job. While he is out trying to paint Romney as the "out of touch with the middle class candidate" he fails to see that he is the one that is out of touch.

I would like to suggest a different take on this for him. Government is not able to do what it does without the job creators. Where does he think all of the tax revenues come from that allows Government to spend? The economy isn't creating enough jobs to even keep up with the normal population increases and new folks entering the job market, let alone re-employ all of those who have lost jobs over the past four years and now and he is talking about asking more from the folks that he demonizes.

Who is really out of touch with the middle class?

Read More...

President Clueless


More at You Didn't Build That.

Read More...

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Four Year Horizon

Ronald Reagan once said that tyranny is only one generation away. It is now every 4 year Presidential election cycle away, and the economic implications are staggering. Why have other ostensibly free market societies never measured up to the titanic wealth-creating achievements of America? Why did America explode with economic success in the second half of the 20th century while at the same time bank-rolling the free world’s defense? Look no further than our Constitution’s guarantee of liberty. The parliamentary democracies do not offer a business or individual planning horizon longer than the term of the current government which in most cases is between 4 and 6 years. The prospect for a tyrannical regime ready to confiscate wealth and private property is always a possibility at the next election. Entrepreneurs must guard capital instead of investing it and not waste their personal investment in time, talent, and skill. Nations without the rock-solid foundation of institutionalized Liberty can and will steal the fruit of private enterprise.

The essential element that has given longevity to America’s spectacular ability to create wealth has been the multi-generational guarantee of a society free from tyranny and the confiscation of wealth and property. This guarantee was assured as long as respect was paid to that great gift, the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment, the culmination of the genius of Locke, Montesquieu, and Madison, the Constitution of the United States. Thank you, Constitution, for two hundred and twenty-five great years. May you rest in peace.

We now live in what Mark Levin, the great legal scholar, has termed “post-constitutional America”. The Supreme Court decision on health-care has conferred unrestrained confiscatory power on the federal government. Private property is now secured or imperiled one presidential election cycle at a time depending upon the inclination of the incumbent. We have become a nation whose ability to create wealth and happiness is subject to the same whims of electoral fancy as the unstable parliamentary democracies.

In post-constitutional America it is up to the people to affirm the notion that government derives its just powers from them and not from some leftist, faculty-lounge theoretician. With this court decision every city, county, and state, along with your body, has been nationalized. It is therefore essential to bring the national fight home to every level of government and insist on deference to individual liberty and private property rights. There is no more free-riding on the Constitution. Every judge, commissioner, mayor, council member, and soon your local death-panel appointee’s national political identity is now crucial to their ability to effectively represent you in compliance with our American traditions of Liberty. Insist on disclosure. It matters.

It may take another constitutional convention to restore long term institutionalized freedom to the nation. For the moment we must trust in Providence and carry the fight four years at a time.

Read More...

Fool Me Once, Shame on You

Fool me twice ...

Read More...

Random Notes

For weeks now I've been reading opinion pieces from lefty pundits, reaching new heights of hysteria as this week approached, proclaiming that 5-4 Supreme Court decisions are a catastrophe.   They undermine the "legitimacy" of the high Court, don'tcha know.   Now, all of a sudden, 5-4 decisions are just fine.   Wonder why?



While we're on the subject, why is the Court's "legitimacy" never an issue with the big decisions that liberals like:   banning prayers in schools, setting criminals free because a cop made a mistake, or Roe v. Wade?   Just asking.


Interestingly, yesterday's ruling upholding the Obamacare Tax is like an inverse Roe v. Wade.   Roe got the policy outcome right, by means of what even liberal legal academics admit (quietly) was a pathetic travesty of legal reasoning.   Chief Justice Roberts's opinion on the health law was mostly an exquisite piece of legal reasoning, my lawyer friends say, but it produced a monstrosity of a policy outcome.


Anyway, if this was what Roberts needs in order to be comfortable doing the right thing in future rulings, so be it.   We've got a big one coming up next year, giving the Court a chance to outlaw racism in college admissions by means of preferences given to members of favored ethnic groups.   The Court's likely to get that one right.   Justice Thomas famously put a "15¢" grocery sticker on his Yale diploma, to illustrate what he says is the stigma of a degree attained in the era of affirmative action.   He'll write a great decision.

Read More...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You Don't Need a Weatherman

... to see which way the wind blows.

Rep. Kathy Hochul won't attend the Democratic National Convention, to try to distance herself from President Obama.   Neither will some other vulnerable Democrats running for re-election this year.   But can they hide their support of the President's policies?

Read More...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bill Maher: Black Congressman's an "Ape"

But the Congressman's also a Republican.   So total mainstream media silence.   Natch.

Bet it won't even rate a thumbs-down in the hair-trigger race-conscious Democrat and Chronicle.

Read More...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New York: Open for Business?

Not yet, says The Buffalo News.

"We're still the second-highest in terms of the cost of doing business in the United States, second-highest in state and local tax burdens, and many publications rank us the worst for economic outlook. For all the positives that have been done in the last year, we really haven't done anything except hit the brakes on the runaway train."
This is not to detract from Governor Cuomo's heroic efforts, but rather to illustrate the magnitude of his task.

Read More...

Vindication for Roger Clemens

Good for the jury that acquitted Roger Clemens.   Who cares if sports figures ingest steroids, Mars bars or Jack Daniels?

More importantly, why should Congress care?   Why should the Department of Justice squander millions on prosecutions like this?



Update - 6/20/2012

The New York Sun:
  "It was really the government that was on trial, and what happened yesterday is that at the bottom of the 9th, the government struck out."

Read More...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sticks and Stones

Monroe County Legislators made a mistake last week in enacting a "cyberbullying" bill that appears clearly unconstitutional.   It's surprising they didn't recognize this before embarassing themselves.

The mistake was in criminalizing certain kinds of communications.   Our legal consultant, Algonquin Bonapart, Esq., explains it this way:   "This represents an attempted restraint on speech based on its content.   The textbook paradigm of legislation violating the First Amendment's speech clause.   First-year law school stuff."

This law will be overturned when challenged.   The legislators should have had legal advice when they considered it.   A Republican-majority body, like our county legislature, should stand against any restrictions on free speech.   In the marketplace of ideas, we win.   Which is why the Left often uses any trick available to suppress speech from our side -- from crying "racism" over something they disagree with, to intimidating sponsors of conservative radio hosts.   Republicans and conservatives shouldn't be creating precedents for suppressing speech.

You can sue for defamation, but in America you can't go to jail for it.   County legislators might have recalled the advice most of us received as children, when taunted by other kids:   Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.

Names can never hurt us.   But compromises on free speech can.

Read More...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bad Day at DNC Headquarters

Read More...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

If YOU Don't Know, the Answer is "No"

On Tuesday of this week I received a request to connect on Linkedin with someone I had not previously met.   Now, this does happen from time to time as people are looking to network more and more.   Especially with people like myself in the "Sales World".

This time I was a bit surprised to see that it was former Assemblyman David Koon.   I don't know David and have never met him.   I accepted the request and wrote a quick note asking why he reached out.   This is typically my response to those who I haven't met prior to connecting on Linkedin.

His response was "Just asking people if I should run for my old Assembly seat.   What do you think?"

As a former candidate I knew more than anything that I was going to run, no matter what anyone else had to say about it (other than my wife).   Especially someone I had never met from an opposing party that doesn't live in my district.

David, if you don't know, then the answer is probably "No."   But you don't have to take it from me.   I live in Morelle's district.

Read More...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Told You So!

"Don't be surprised to see now-County Court Judge Geraci, who is widely respected among lawyers and judges, as our next federal judge."

-- Mustard Street,   January 3, 2012



"The president announced Monday that he had nominated Monroe County Judge Frank Paul Geraci Jr. for the federal bench for the Western District of New York."

-- Wall Street Journal,   May 15, 2012

Our piece on the story behind it all is bumped, below.

Read More...

One Last Kiss-Off

Bumped from January 3, 2012

Last Spring, then-DA Mike Green antagonized the Democratic hierarchy by refusing to step down from office, to permit Chairman Joe Morelle's choice for DA, Judge Frank Geraci, to be apppointed to the vacancy and run in November as an incumbent.

For the Party the story ended happily.   Candidate Sandra Doorley won big and does not appear motivated to create political problems for Chairman Morelle and Party HQ.

Then came payback, with Morelle pulling the rug from under Green's nomination for federal judge.   It wasn't for the sake of vindictiveness alone.   Although public discussion has focused on City Court Judge Theresa Johnson as replacement nominee, an alternate possibility now being discussed is ... Judge Frank Geraci.   It would be one final kiss-off from Chairman Morelle to Green.

A cosmic, nearly mathematical, symmetry.   Green blocked Geraci from getting the DA job Morelle wanted Geraci to have.   Now Geraci would get what Green described as his "dream job."   Green loses the judgship and Chairman Morelle can advance the career of Geraci, something Green prevented last year.

Don't be surprised to see now-County Court Judge Geraci, who is widely respected among lawyers and judges, as our next federal judge.

One does not defy Chairman Morelle with impunity.

Read More...

Friday, May 11, 2012

No, it Wasn't, Rachel

One of the best local blogs is Rachel Barnhart's.   It's been on our blogroll since its first days.   A quality product from a smart and talented person.

It doesn't diminish our admiration to note that she got it profoundly wrong in saying "It Was Same-Sex Marriage" that brought down Sen. Jim Alesi; specifically, that Alesi's key role in enacting same-sex marriage in New York cost him the support of the local Republican Party.

Alesi lost local Republican support -- and just about every other source of support -- six months before he backed the marriage bill.   He lost it over his stupid and cowardly lawsuit against two constituents early in 2011.   He broke his leg while trespassing on their property.   He sued just days after the statute of limitations blocked them from filing any counter-suit, which is why we describe Alesi's conduct as cowardly.

The lawsuit represented at the time the most extreme, and most recent, example of inexplicably odd behavior by Sen. Alesi, as we noted.

As writers of generally conservative bent, let us at Mustard Street remind all of you, including Ms. Barnhart, of our comments contemporaneous with the news of Alesi's lawsuit:

"Alesi just signaled he's never running for anything again."   In Does Jim Alesi Have a Brain Tumor? -- January 22, 2011

Six months later, when news broke about Alesi backing same-sex marriage, we observed:

"Following the furor over Alesi's sleazy lawsuit earlier this year, everyone in the Monroe County political world except Alesi and the remaining members of his staff wrote him off for re-election. There no longer exists any relationship between the Senator and the Monroe County GOP."
Most of us who write for Mustard Street spend our fair share of time around people in, or in some way plugged into, local Republican circles.   In January 2011 opinion among them was uniform:   Alesi's done.

That was the point where local Republican Committees in the Senate district determined they wouldn't support him for renomination and wouldn't carry nominating petitions for him.   And it's not as if there were a debate about it, not even in Alesi's home committee in East Rochester.   Committee by committee, the consensus was uniform; this was months before Alesi stated his position on the marriage bill in June 2011.

In spite of it, Monroe County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich was willing to give Alesi a fair chance.   Within recent months, Reilich agreed that party headquarters would poll, to see if Alesi could compete in a general election.   If it showed him able to win, the County GOP organization would use the poll to try to bring its local committees back behind Alesi.

The poll result?   Maybe Alesi could beat Charles Manson in a general election this fall.   Maybe.

The poll revealed Alesi as politically dead, as dead and written off as proclaimed by every Republican committee member in the district in January 2011.

Half a year before Alesi backed same sex marriage.

Read More...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Senate & Assembly Candidates

Assemblyman Sean Hanna will be the Republican candidate for the State Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Jim Alesi.

Radio host and lawyer Bill Nojay will be the Republican candidate for the Assembly seat currently held by Hanna.

It has been reported that County Legislator Ted O'Brien will run as Democratic candidate for the Senate seat.

No announcement yet by the County Democratic Comittee as to its candidate for the Assembly seat currently held by Sean Hanna.

Read More...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama Comes Clean on Gay Marriage

Today, in an interview with ABC News.

Gutsy.   Didn't expect it until post-election -- win or lose.

Some hedging about "supporting the concept of states deciding the issue on their own."   I bet that part's still evolving until after the election.

Some silliness about finding wisdom on the subject through talks with "college Republicans."   Still, even though forced into it by his own side, he could have held out and kept up the deceit until after November.   Whatever you think about the issue, credit to him for coming clean now.

Read More...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Whitewashing Slaughter's Attendance Record

On Thursday we noted a New York Times story of that date on Rep. Louise Slaughter .   In the third paragraph of the original print and online versions, the Times noted that Slaughter "... had one of the worst attendance records in the House last year. . .”

By the next day, that line had magically vanished from the online version. (We'll post a screen shot of the original print article shortly.  See Update below.)

Last October, back before Slaughter had a credible opponent, the New York Times observed also that Slaughter had one of the worst attendance records in the House.   She was one of only 18 members to miss more than 10% of votes – meaning she missed more votes than about 95% of her House colleagues.

And last December the Buffalo News ran a story highlighting that Slaughter had missed, “. . . more than 2 1/2 times as many as the Buffalo area's three other House members missed combined.”

Just compare the Buffalo News story, which bore the headline, "In missed House votes, Slaughter tops area peers" , with the Rochester D&C's clumsy attempt over the weekend to camouflage Slaughter's neglect of her responsibilities.   Jill Terreri's May 5th story on Slaughter's election prospects buried the attendance information, and then only reported the raw data, without context or comparison.

Contrast with the lead sentence in the Buffalo News report: "Rep. Louise M. Slaughter has missed 83 votes on the floor of the House this year -- more than 2 1/2 times as many as the Buffalo area's three other House members missed combined."   Just as the D&C would report the story if Slaughter were a Republican.

 


 

Update
The political censors at the New York Times scrubbed their original online story, but not their Archive search.   Search the NYT with the terms "slaughter attendance" and you get this abstract (our screenshot), showing the original line, even though the link takes you to the scrubbed story.

Read More...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"One of the worst attendance records in the House last year"

That's today's New York Times, on Rep. Louise Slaughter.

Too bad Rochester doesn't have a local watchdog newspaper, to report news like this.   Instead we depend on an out-of-town paper.

So much for the hype about "giving it to us local."

Read More...

Friday, April 27, 2012

D&C Editor guilty of violating own terms and conditions

Looks like another Editor at the D&C is taking a stroll down Hypocrisy Lane.

As we have seen that both comments and posts have been disappearing lately from the D&C’s website, I have included screen shots at the bottom of this blog of both the bloggers profile and the text of the article in discussion.

Now the expected, if not cliche, question to ask would be “What if a white Republican were to criticize the grammar being used by a black member of the opposing party?" Especially a sitting member of Congress. I will let you all handle that in the comments yourselves.

What I would like to address is how I, along with others, were accused by both Karen Magnuson and Jim Lawrence yesterday of attacking Jim personally by bringing up the fact that his name is found in public records as to having tax issues with NYS. I am still waiting to hear from either of them how we are attacking Jim but they aren’t attacking the folks they reported on in their story. Something tells me I have a long wait ahead of me.

Now on to the hypocrisy! Kevin Frisch is listed on the D&C’s website as the “Digital Opinion Editor” since December 2011. He titled his article “Out of the mouths of Boobs”. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t calling someone a name a “personal attack” and with that against the D&C’s terms and conditions? Why no calls from Jim or Karen to have Kevin's post removed? He goes on to say “He’s a congressional representative. Allegedly.” FYI Kevin, There is no allegedly here. He was elected and will continue to be a congressional representative until he either leaves office or is voted out.

Kevin questions whether the comments made by Rep West are deserving of a response due to the improper grammar but was willing to offer one himself. So the answer according to you Kevin is yes.

Link to the article:





Read More...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is the D&C Silencing Comments to Protect Its Own?

Today the D&C posted a story discussing people in Monroe County that owe NYS back taxes titled “Top tax delinquents include local names”

One alert reader commented that if the reporter wanted to interview another local tax scofflaw they didn’t need to do much more than walk down the hall. As the alert reader pointed out, Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Page Editor Jim Lawrence is listed as having a judgement against him in the amount of $1530.58 with the plaintiff listed as “Commissioner of Taxation and Finance” filed on 11/18/2011. This is all public information that can be found at:  https://gov.propertyinfo.com/NY-Monroe/

Once this was brought to light the D&C quickly removed the comments pertaining to Jim Lawrence!

As many of you know I have had issues with the D&C removing individual comments and the ability to comment on certain stories even when people are not breaking their terms and conditions. I then posted a comment of my own which can be seen below. My comment was “So Jim Lawrence was called out for being a tax scofflaw in the comments and they have been removed. Either open up the dialogue or close it. This is garbage."

Within moments I received a direct message from Jim Lawrence via Facebook which can also be seen below. From Jim: “You continue to amaze me. First, my tax obligation has long been satisfied and the state's system simply hasn't gotten around to updating. (I have a letter attesting to that from the state) What disturbs me most is that you would participate in this kind of character assault on me and my family. I resent it!”

My response was simple “If you are clear then state so on the comments and don't delete the other ones. I said nothing other than you were called out and the comments disappeared. That makes you look more guilty than correcting the record.” I have received no response to that as of this post.

As can also be seen below, D&C Editor Karen Magnuson characterizes the comments about Jim as a "personal attack." Karen, where is the attack? If you have listed people the State indicates as owing money and Jim  owed the State money for the same reason, then either my comment is no attack on him, or you are attacking the other folks you're reporting about. Which is it?

This garbage with the D&C begging for the sunlight to shine in while demanding  the door be shut when the light shines into its own offices, revealing skeletons they'd rather conceal, is disgusting.  Is there no responsibility attached to being a “journalist”?

Lastly Jim, I hope we don’t hear any more rhetoric about people not paying their fair share.




Read More...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The "Occupation" Can End

Judge Evelyn Frazee did not grant an injunction to prevent the city from evicting the encampment.   Mayor Richards, we are waiting for our park back. Please make the correct decision soon and ask them to move along. Rochester is the last city in NY to have an "Occupation".   I understand you want more people downtown but I hope that this is not what you are talking about.

The big question now is:  Are the crows going to return?

Read More...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rottenchester Returns

One of the area's premier bloggers is back in business.   Rottenchester wound up his Fighting 29th blog months back, as New York's 29th congressional district headed toward redistricting oblivion.

Now he's back with Roc25, devoted to analysis and comment on the new Monroecentric 25th Congressional District.   It will be essential reading as the Maggie vs. Louise contest unfolds.

Thank you, Rottenchester.

Read More...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why Brooks Will Run for Congress

Maggie Brooks will run for Congress because there's no reason for her not to.

Run and she has a decent shot at winning.   Lose and she's exactly where she'd be, and no worse off, than if she didn't run:  finishing out her term as Monroe County Executive.

Term limits make this term her last.   So a loss in a congressional race can't tarnish chances for re-election, since there isn't going to be a re-election.

This seems abundantly obvious.

Read More...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us!

This week marks the fifth anniversary for Mustard Street.

I can't improve on Philbrick's sketch of our mission on past anniversaries:

  to focus on Rochester and vicinity;

  to present original analysis;

  to strive for good writing;

  to focus on ideas, expressing them clearly and with a sense of humor;

  to provide information that propagandists posing as journalists want to suppress;

  to expose intellectual dishonesty in policies, politicians and the media.
To all of our readers, thank you for reading Mustard Street.

Read More...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Democrat and Chronicle Paywall

Gannett Co., Inc. plans to place online content on all of its local newspapers behind a paywall in the immediate future.   This means we'll have to pay to read material from the Democrat and Chronicle online.

Gannett is a big, sophisticated corporation, so we have to think that it has a business model showing that paywalling its local papers will work, and ultimately make money for its stockholders.

Still, we have to wonder whether people will pay money to read about how terrible it is when indigent alcoholics who die in flophouses don't get a nice funeral for free.

Gasoline's at $4.00 and going up, crisis is brewing over Iran, the economy's still in the tank -- and this is the D&C's idea of what's important to its readers.

This morning's headline, "Sally Green to Get New Burial," -- about the twelfth story on the subject -- looked more like something out of The Onion than a real newspaper.

And The Onion isn't paywalled.

Read More...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back to the Blogosphere!

After taking a few months off after the campaign for City Council I find myself urged to get back to writing. The campaign didn’t end the way I would have hoped but it was an experience that I will never regret. So many new friendships and relationships created to my surprise. Plus the 10 pounds I lost walking to all of those doors didn’t hurt either!

What have I been up to you may ask? My wife and I have decided to go into business for ourselves and are in the process of opening a boutique in the City at the corner of Winton Rd and Blossom Rd. My wife, as many of you know, is from Thailand so we are focusing on importing women’s fashion accessories (Sterling silver, silk, handmade products, and a new line of handbags not available today in the US). Check it out at Fahsye.com or on Facebook by searching for “Fahsye”. And tell the ladies in your life!

What really urged me to get back to writing and will be part of the motivation going forward was this weeks passing of Andrew Breitbart. To say that I was a huge fan would be a stretch but I really enjoyed his work when I did catch him. 43 years old and already a huge success in the media industry. He was also a force behind so many other folks success in the industry as well, even those he completely disagreed with. Andrew picked up a torch and marched into the fight without anyone ever having to ask him. He was an inspiration to the younger generations and showed us how to use the tools of the day (social networking, blogs, twitter, etc) to fight the good fight.

So to Andrew, God bless! Know that your passion will continue on here on this earth.

Read More...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekender

Read More...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Alesi Enigma

Will there be a primary challenger to State Senator Jim Alesi?   So far, it's not sounding like it.

We think it likely that Senate Republican leaders will be leaning hard on the Monroe County Republican organization to give Alesi a pass, notwithstanding Alesi's lawsuit fiasco last year.   Their thinking has to be:   with a majority this slim, we have to protect every seat.   So Alesi's purchase of protection and support from Governor Cuomo, with his vote on the gay marriage bill, may have been superfluous.

Other questions remain, though.   Will local Republican committees pass petitions for Alesi?   Absent pressure from County GOP headquarters, many won't.   If so, it's not a problem for Alesi, who can hire petition-carriers to do the job the GOP grassroots won't do.

But can't any plausible Democratic candidate beat Alesi, after the damage the Senator did to himself in the lawsuit mess?

We think that's the big question.   And maybe that's where the deal he made with the Governor over gay marriage will make the difference.   If there's no Democratic opponent to Alesi, or one who's out on his or her own, without the support from Albany we'd expect for a legitimate Democratic challenge (such as Mary Wilmot's in 2010), we'll know that that was the deal made the day Alesi holed up with the Governor before becoming the first Republican senator to support the same-sex marriage bill.

Read More...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekender

Read More...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Remember Where You Read it First

Don't be surprised to see now-County Court Judge Geraci ... as our next federal judge.
-- Mustard Street, January 3


Judge Geraci Nominated For Federal Bench
-- News Reports, February 9
An admirable nomination and a gain for the Federal bench.   Good luck, Judge Geraci.

Read More...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Must Israel Act Before the Election?

Reading about Iran's obvious rush to develop a nuclear weapon, and understanding the implications for Israel, leads me to a prediction.

First, if there's going to be a strike against Iran's nuclear weapon facilities, it's going to have to be made by Israel, because the Obama Administration won't do it.   Nothing original in that one.   Second, they'll have to act before the American election in November.

The current administration has turned its back on two of America's most steadfast allies, Britain and Israel.   And especially Israel.   Prime Minister Netanyahu has to know that absent the pressures brought to bear by an imminent election, the current American administration would not aid in such a strike, would pressure Israel not to do it alone, and would pull the rug out from under Israel if it thought it could get away with it.

And it can get away with it after the election.   But not before.

Our country's foreign policy apparatus spews out claims that Iran is far from developing a deployable weapon.   In the most charitable characterization, these claims are overly optimistic, as the government of Israel understands only too clearly.

The Israeli government also knows that getting it wrong about when Iran will have the Bomb they want can mean anihilation of the State of Israel.

That's why I'm guessing that it realizes it will have to act before November.   Regardless of the timeline for Iran getting its weapon, Israel has to deal with the timeline to betrayal by the current American government.   Assuming the President's re-election, that timeline ends on November 6.

I knows our little blog focuses on local matters, but in my view there's a moral imperative linked up with the survival of the State of Israel.   In a time of open anti-Israeli and growing anti-Semitic sentiment among large parts of the chattering classes in America and Europe, each voice offering counterbalance must speak out, however modest each may be.

Read More...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mitt Muffs It

There's no better example of the reason why President Obama will beat Mitt Romney in November than Romney's disastrous gaffe about "not caring about the very poor."

I know, I know: it's taken out of context.   But that doesn't matter.

The comment shows that Romney is not rooted in the fundamental principles of the Republican Party.   Everyone who is knows exactly how to answer the question that Romney answered so ineptly.   It takes nothing more than saying what we know to be true:

The very poor are the people who need my party's policies the most.   They're the people whose lives our policies will improve more dramatically than any other group.   Because we give the very poor the best chance to not be poor anymore.   That's our goal.
Instead, we got "I don't care about the very poor."   We've seen before political tone-deafness like this, in President Bush the First -- the Bush of the tax cave-in and Justice Souter.

Here on Mustard Street we've noted more than once how your businessman/country-club Republican types often don't get politics and don't grasp political ideas.   Here it is all over again.

As for being taken out of context, are you kidding?   In the general election campaign Romney won't be able to say "Looks like rain today" without Obama's Palace Guard, the mainstream media, denouncing it as racist.   A campaign-worthy Republican candidate knows you don't say anything that requires the media to also report your next sentence in order to get your meaning clear.   They'll run with the fragment that puts a Republican in the worst light.

Rank-and-file Republicans are unenthusiastic about Romney because we understand that he doesn't get it.   Because he doesn't get it, he can't articulate it.

Republicans and conservatives win to the extent they clearly articulate their core values and ideas; Democrats and liberals win to the extent they succeed in concealing theirs.

There's more of this to come from Romney before Obama beats him.   Then God help us all.

Read More...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Larger Lessons from Kodak's Fall?

Kodak's example shows that nothing is forever.   Does that apply to methods of government, too?   These authors think so.

There is a positive correlation between an organization’s former dominance and its present inability to cope with 21st-century change   ...  "Industries that have had monopolies or highly profitable duopolies are the ones most likely to be completely gutted when a more powerful, more efficient system comes along.”   We need to hasten the inevitable arrival of that more efficient system on the doorstep of America’s most stubborn, foot-dragging, reactionary sector -— government at the local, state, and especially federal levels, and its officially authorized customer-hating agents, the Democrats and Republicans.

Read More...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekender

Read More...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Proposed Redistricting Maps

Information on the proposed new district lines announced yesterday for New York Senate and Assembly seats is available here.   It's the website of the ponderously named New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, known in Albany as LATFOR.

As a creation of the New York State Legislature, LATFOR presents information on the proposed new districts in the way that makes it as difficult and time-consuming as possible to get the essential, bottom line information most of us are looking for:   which incumbent has what district, and how is that district changing.

We'll start posting visuals showing all this data together, for each Rochester-area Senate and Assembly district.

Read More...

Redistricting

Here's the map of proposed State Senate districts for the next ten years.   More redistricting news today on Mustard Street.

Read More...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gannett Conference Call on Monday

Gannett Co., Inc., largest contributor to the Monroe County Democratic Party through in-kind services by its subsidiary, the Democrat and Chronicle, will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss earnings results next Monday, January 30 at 10:00 a.m..

Dial 1-800-967-7138 at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 10:00 a.m. start of the call.   Use confirmation code 9051644.

Or go to the company's website and use the webcast link.

You should call in, or link to the webcast, at least 10 minutes before the call start.

Unless you're on their list of financial analysts, call-in is listen-only.

The company will release its fourth-quarter 2011 financial results before the call.

A recording of the call will be available for two weeks, starting about two hours after the live session.   Dial 1-888-203-1112.   Confirmation code for replay is 9051644.   Or listen at the “Investor Relations” page at www.gannett.com.

Can Gannett, "never a standout in journalism performance," be a standout in financial performance?   Call in Monday and find out.

Read More...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekender

Read More...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Tips Pour In

Who has a better idea of what's going on in Monroe County's troubled District Attorney's office than anyone relying on traditional media?

Readers of the comments pouring in to Mustard Street, that's who.

More information in the last day in comment sections of the following posts:
Investigate the DA Scandal

Firings and Cars in the DA's Office

Transition Watch

Not Even Trying

Real Journalists in Rochester, After All

An Apartment on Water Street

Signs of Panic

Totally Non-Political

Read More...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Real Thatcher Legacy

Wasted admission money on The Iron Lady on Sunday.   A shaky fantasy parable about spending too much time at the office, featuring a character that happens to be named "Margaret Thatcher."   That and la Streep doing her Rich Little cabaret turn.   For a hint of the greatness of the real Mrs. T, check out this:

Read More...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Comments, Comments, Comments

Our readers have responded robustly with comments to many of our recent posts.   In case you've missed them, here are comments on the the items that have attracted the highest volume of reader responses in recent days.

The truth is out there.

Maybe not in every comment, but it's out there.   This blog exists to frustrate those media outlets that suppress it.

Investigate the DA Scandal

Transition Watch

Not Even Trying

Real Journalists in Rochester, After All

An Apartment on Water Street

Signs of Panic

Totally Non-Political

Read More...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Civility" is for Other People

Froma Harrop is president of the "Civility Project" of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.   She has called Tea Party critics of Obama's policies "terrorists" and compared them to "Al-Qaida bombers."   The Daily Show's John Oliver asks her about it.   Ms. Harrop is not amused.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Civil Disservice
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Read More...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekender

Read More...

Friday, January 13, 2012

County Legislature: Investigate the DA Scandal

Monroe County's outgoing District Attorney Mike Green is hired to head the Appeals Bureau in the DA's office.

Nothing wrong with that; maybe even a good idea.   Green's smooth lying about it in a press conference and subsequent lying to explain the original lie doesn't change that.

Yet he then states he's not doing the work for which taxpayers are paying him $110,000 per year, plus benefits.   It just happened to be an open slot in an organizational chart.   "I'm here for one purpose," Green told the press:   new DA Doorley gave him the job "to help with the transition."

The clock's running at nearly $4,000 per week, inclusive of benefits, for a job its holder admits he isn't doing.

After a few weeks, that's more than cigar-and-strippers money.

For unclear transition services that remain unstated.   Transition services the world would have thought unnecessary for a new DA with 20 years of experience in the office, most recently as second-in-command.

Democratic and Chronicle news editor Karen Magnuson, following standard procedure for news putting her side in a bad light, did the usual one-off story, then total silence.   Down the memory hole.   Our self-proclaimed "watchdogs" are off somewhere, maybe sniffing each others hindquarters as dogs will.

There's nobody left to stand up for taxpayers footing the bill, or to ask the questions on their behalf.   Except for our County Legislature.

Since no one else is acting, getting to the bottom of this scandal is as much a part of their job as keeping property tax rates flat.

County Legislators:   Ask District Attorney Doorley for the information.   If you're stonewalled, file Freedom of Information Law requests.   If that doesn't do it, form a special committee to investigate, using your subpoena power to dig out the truth.

Such action isn't necessary in situations where the whole weight of the media is cranking out stories day after day.   (Again, cigars come to mind, or a single incident of bad judgment at a Christmas Party by a competent and otherwise respected airport director).

Here, it's just you.

If you don't do it, apparently no one will.

Meanwhile, for taxpayers, the meter's running at four grand a week.

Read More...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Upstate Vote Fraud

Council members forged absentee ballots; cast them as votes.

Read More...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First They Came for the Cigarettes

... and I did not speak out
because I don't smoke.

Then they came for the trans-fats
and I did not speak out
because I don't eat junk food.

Then they came for the salt
and I did not speak out
because I don't like it.

Now they're coming for the booze
and they'll get it when they pry it
from my cold dead hand.



Update:   Mayor Bloomberg backs off, quickly.

Read More...

Firings and Cars in the DA's Office

  Another firing in the DA's office.   This time in the Homicide Bureau.

  Has Appeals Bureau Chief Mike Green, who's collecting the pay of appeals chief, but says he's not doing the work, turned in the County car he had as DA?

Sources in the Hall of Justice say, "Not yet."

Maybe another perk of office for a job you're not doing.



Update: A commenter tells us the car was turned in.

Read More...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Transition Watch

Since January 1, former District Attorney Mike Green has held the position of Appeals Bureau Chief in the DA's office, at $111,000 per year.   But not to actually do the Appeals Chief's job.   "I'm here for one purpose.   She asked me to help with the transition," Green told the press.

Thus, since January 1, the Transition has cost taxpayers $3,032.00.

Figure in benefits (most employers use 30-40% of salary) at 30%, and it comes to $3,942.00.

Will DA-in-Transition Sandra Doorley please describe the transitional services we taxpayers have received to date?

Read More...

Senator Brooks?

Glad the state GOP picked Rochester for its convention.   But why? Population distribution would mean more delegates from downstate -- NYC, Long Island, Westchester and the Hudson Valley counties.   That might give more reason to hold it further east and further south.

The convention's only business will be to nominate a candidate for U.S. Senate to face Sen. Gillibrand.

Is the convention in Rochester because there's a move afoot to make County Exec. Maggie Brooks the senate candidate?   Just wondering.

Read More...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Not Even Trying

An Airport Director needs more than management and administrative experience.   More than financial experience.   An Airport Director needs experience in these areas in airport operations.   So the Democrat and Chronicle's David Andreatta wrote Saturday.   Sounds reasonable.

Let's apply it to other public positions.

1. Office of District Attorney

Adam Bello, Executive Director of the Monroe County Democratic Party, and Democratic campaign manager in the recent election for DA, has just been appointed as Chief Administrator of the DA's Office.

Bello has no experience in operation of a prosecutor's office.

No material administration or management experience at all.   A Party Executive Director is a political strategist who runs campaigns.

By the D&C's "Airport Standard" he's utterly unqualified.

Moreover, why would experience like Bello's be relevant to an office supposed to be totally non-political?   The D&C hasn't asked that question, and won't.

A party chairman puts into the prosecutor's office one of his top political operatives.   The D&C remains stubbornly uninterested.

Instead, it tried to slip quietly past the issue.   It buried news of Bello's appointment in last Thursday's article about Mike Green staying in the DA's office.

Reporter Gary Craig's article described Bello as someone who had been "active with the county Democratic committee," rather than by his title, Executive Director of the Democratic Party.

If the Republican candidate had won and appointed his party's Executive Director -- can you imagine the hue and cry from this impersonation of a real newspaper?

2. Rochester Fire Commissioner

Mayor Duffy appointed Molly Clifford to be City Fire Commissioner.   She holds the job still.

Clifford's only discernable qualification?   She knows how to light a match.

But she was close to Duffy.   And served as his Campaign Manager.

She had been Chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

Yet can you remember any D&C story calling out her lack of credentials in anything more than a perfunctory manner?

Any story asking fire departments in, say, Florida, whether a Fire Commissioner needs fire department experience?  (As Andreatta asked a Florida airport officer about airport directors?)

Can you recall a D&C editorial saying the job requires someone with fire experience?

Just the opposite.   The Clifford appointment, a scandal anywhere else, exemplifies the D&C's "one-off" policy for news embarrrassing to its side.   One story, maybe two.   That way they can say they reported it.

Then that's it.   Nothing like the drum-beat of repitition of anything, however trivial, that it deems detrimental to the administration of Maggie Brooks.

3. Public Defender

The County Legislature, to its credit and in defiance of bullying, in 2008 selected Tim Donaher as the new Public Defender.

Experience as a criminal defense lawyer?   Check.

Experience specifically as a public defender?   Check.

Someone who met the D&C's "Airport Standard" many times over.

Yet the newspaper itself led the ugly partisan and divisive opposition to Danaher's appointment.   And isn't over it yet.

Our point isn't that reporters and editors at the D&C haven't applied to their own side a standard they've set for their targets.   From the dishonorable, one expects dishonorable conduct.

Our point is that they're not even trying, anymore, to conceal the double standard.

Didn't The New York Times call it, though?

Read More...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekender

Steve's out of town and didn't give us a cartoon for this week.   In his honor, we'll do a Music Weekender.   One I know Steve, our most senior contributor to Mustard Street, will appreciate.

Read More...