Saturday, February 25, 2012



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.


Saturday, February 11, 2012



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.


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.


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.