Thursday, September 28, 2017

New York State Of Mind - The Corruption Continues...

Just to catch you up on what's been happening in NY because I know you love to hear about it. Our Mayoral elections are a little over 5 weeks away and, since I know that Deblasio will be re-elected I won't bore you with the details. And our gubenatorial elections start soon for 2018, so we all have that to look forward to.

So let me fill you in on the ongoing happendings in our corrupt state. I don't know if you remember, but I used to keep a list of NY elected officials who have been arrested, indicted, convicted, and/or sentenced, jailed, etc. I gave up trying to keep up because the list has grown so long at 41 it looks like there aren't any elected officials NOT on the take. Ues, even though our current Gov. Cuomo swore that he would be heavy on ethics reform, he dropped that just as soon as the investigations got too close to his office.
but that's all water under the crumbling Brooklyn Bridge. But there are a few updates, so let me fast-forward to 2017:

[I won't bother to renumber from my original list]

1.1. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) convicted of being a complete and utter perve. He was sentenced this week to 21 months in jail for sexting with an underage girl with an additional 3 years of court supervision probation. [Just as an aside: I don't think Weiner will ever see the inside of jail cell.]

2.1. Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver (D) was arrested for multiple counts of bribery and corruption January 22, 2015. Case pending. UPDATE #1 - Sheldon Silver was convicted by a jury of his peers in a 5 week trial on all 7 counts on November 30, 2015 after 2 1/2 hours of deliberation over 3 days. He faces 130 years in jail. Appeal will be pending. UPDATE #2: Conviction overturned on Appeal on July 13, 2017.

3.1 Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) (and his son) was arrested for corruption on May 4, 2015. Case pending. UPDATE - trial is ongoing and should go to the jury in a matter of weeks. UPDATE #2: Convicted on all counts in 2016; UPDATE #3: Conviction overturned on appeal on September 25, 2017.

It seems that no matter what we do, they keep getting away with it. Oh, the Feds swear they'll retry Silver and Skelos, but why bother. Corruption wins and most likely, both, will be reelected at some point. They don't have to live by the law 'cause they make the law.

Just in case you have forgotten, here is the list though 2015:

State officials -
1. Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver (D) was arrested for multiple counts of bribery and corruption January 22, 2015. Case pending. UPDATE - Sheldon Silver was convicted by a jury of his peers in a 5 week trial on all 7 counts on November 30, 2015 after 2 1/2 hours of deliberation over 3 days. He faces 130 years in jail. Appeal will be pending.

2. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) (and his son) was arrested for corruption on May 4, 2015. Case pending. UPDATE - trial is ongoing and should go to the jury in a matter of weeks.

3. Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Malcolm Smith (D) was found guilty in federal court of conspiracy, wire fraud, bribery and extortion for trying to bribe a Republican Party official to let him onto the Republican ballot in the 2013 New York City mayoral race. (2014)

4. State Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa (D) sentenced to a year in jail for entering into a sham marriage in order to gain U.S. citizenship. (2014)

5. State Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. (D) convicted of bribery (2014)

6. State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (D) found guilty of bribery, conspiracy and other related charges. (2014)

7. State Assemblyman Nelson Castro (D) convicted of perjury (2013)

8. State Assemblyman Chris Ortloff (R) pleaded guilty to a felony charge of online enticement of minors for trying to have sex with a child after leaving his seat to become a member of the NYS Parole Board. He was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison (2010)

9. State Senator Shirley Huntley (D) convicted of mail fraud. She was sentenced to one year and a day in prison. (2013)

10. Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Pedro Espada Jr. (D) On May 14, 2012 a federal jury found Espada guilty of embezzling money from federally funded healthcare clinics, after 11 days of deliberation. (2012)

11. State Senator Vincent Leibell (R) found guilty of felony bribery, tax evasion, and obstruction of justice charges related to $43,000 in cash kickbacks he took from 2003 to 2006. (2012)

12. State Senator Nicholas Spano (R), convicted of federal income tax evasion. Spano pleaded guilty to the single felony. He was sentenced to 12 to 18 months in federal prison. (2012)

13. New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi (D), was convicted on charges surrounding a "pay to play" scheme regarding the New York State Pension Fund, and was sentenced to 1–4 years. (2011)

14. State Senator Carl Kruger (D) resigned his seat and pled guilty to charges of corruption and bribery. (2011)

15. State Senator Efrain Gonzalez Jr. (D) was convicted of fraud and embezzling $400,000 from the West Bronx Neighborhood Association Inc. and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison (2010)

15. State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello (R) pled guilty to costing the taxpayers $48,000 by making her staff carry out personal chores for her such as taking her shopping and picking up her dry cleaning. Her plea deal calls for 250 hours of community service at an Albany health clinic, $22,500 in restitution and a $5,000 fine. (2009)


16. Mayor of Mount Vernon Ernie Davis (D) was convicted on federal misdemeanor tax evasion. (2014)

17. New York City Councillor Dan Halloran (R) convicted of taking bribes and orchestrating payoffs. (2014)

18. New York City Councillor Larry Seabrook (D) On February 9, 2010, a federal grand jury indicted Seabrook on 13 counts of money laundering, extortion, and fraud. Seabrook was convicted on 9 charges (2012).

19. President of the New York City council Andrew Stein (D) was convicted of tax evasion regarding a Ponzi scheme (2010).


State Officials

20. State Representative Anthony Seminerio (D) pled guilty to taking large sums of money from hospitals through a consulting firm while still a member of the New York State Assembly. His appeal was never heard but his conviction was abated due to death. (2009)

21. Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo (R), was convicted by a federal jury of attempted extortion and attempted soliciting of a bribe for pressuring a lawyer to give $10,000 to his defense fund. (2009)

22. State Senator Efrain Gonzalez (D) was sentenced to 84 months (7 years) in prison, followed by two years supervised release, following pleading guilty to two conspiracy counts and two wire fraud counts. (2009)

23. Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Joseph Bruno (R) was convicted on two counts of wire fraud. (2009) Update: Exonerated of all charges on appeal (2014).

24. State Representative Brian McLaughlin (D) was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to ten years in prison for racketeering.(2009)

25. State Senator Hiram Monserrate (D), convicted of one count of misdemeanor assault, and acquitted of two counts of felony assault and one other count of misdemeanor assault. (2009)

26. State Representative Gloria Davis (D) was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation for bribery. (2003)

27. State Senator Guy Velella (R) was indicted for bribery and conspiracy for accepting at least $137,000 in exchange for steering public-works contracts to the paying parties.[179] He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count and received a year in jail. He served 182 days. (2002)


28. New York City Councillor Miguel Martinez (D) pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy two days later. Martinez admitted to stealing $106,000 that was for children's art programs and low-income housing.[181] Martinez was convicted on three felonies, and was sentenced to five years in prison. (2009)

And just one more thing about football:

We either stand in unity or kneel in supplication.

The End. That's all I have to say.

The floor is open...
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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Strange World

Ya know, the more I look at the world around us, the stranger is appears.

● The NFL protest movement was dead. It never got above about a 100 players. The owners largely disallowed it behind the scenes. The fans fought back. The open protestors were becoming increasingly desperate that no one supported them or cared what they had to say. And then Moron Trump decides to pick a fight with this nearly dead movement. So now hundreds of players have signed up. Some owners stood with the players. The league re-affirmed that whining about leftist crap is a right under their CBA. Gee, thanks Trump. BTW, Drudge somehow thinks Trump is winning, but as is so often the case, he doesn't know anything.

● Hillary continues to show just how out of touch and useless she is. Interestingly, her pollster blasted her this weekend, claiming she failed to run a competent campaign despite getting all the advice she needed to do so - an opinion which was already kind of obvious. Then George Clooney blasted her this week as a bad candidate who he realized just wasn't a good communicator and who failed to step up her game. I get that the pollster is trying to salvage his rep and Clooney is trying to convince his donor circle that they can trust him next time, but all of this really just shows that Hillary is incompetent and everyone on the left knew it too.

● Obamacare. Obamcare. Ug. A new plan appears to repeal Obamacare, and the usual suspects strike. Paul Rand declares that fate is in the stars and thus be he forbade from supporting this noxious potion lest ephemeral change be made. John McCain, true to character, immediately tries to destroy his allies and give aid and comfort and a little love to his enemies. Susan Collins of Maine says, "Oh, is it my turn to waffle? I do love waffling. I can support this... unless I can't." And now Ted Cruz joins the fun, "God ain't said this bill is perfect and I don't vote unless it's perfect." The GOP is simply incapable of doing anything, and these are your culprits. It's like a collection of mental patients.

● Maureen Dowd let slip this weekend the reason the media is piling on about "fake ads" on Facebook from Russian sources. At first, this seemed to be part of the anti-Trump attack, but Dowd let slip that this is actually an attack on Mark Zuckerberg to beat him up before he tries to run for President. Clearly, they fear him and they fear that he's on the right. Watch for more of this.

● The "far right" (read nationalist) party in German has made it into their parliament for the first time since Hitler. Not coincidentally, someone paid more than $6,000 for a pair of Hitler's underwear at auction. I suspect that all the German parties will mishandle this. The SPD (center left) seems to want to vanish until this issue is over.

● Long Duk Dong in North Korea seems incapable of rational thought. I'm thinking China snuffs him soon. Both China and Paper Tiger Putin have moved combat troops to the area.

● Every Democrat in California is now promising a single payer health plan even though it's impossible for rational people to see the problems with it.

Strange world.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cotton, Confederates, & Other Social Media Craziness...

Stuff like this just keeps happening.

So, in a Hobby Lobby somewhere in time and space devoid of rational thought, this happened. You must know Hobby Lobby by now. It's a giant craft supply chain store that carries pretty much any kind of stuff to make crafty stuff. So, amongst the crafty craft-making supplies, they sell stuff to make flower arrangments. And one of those flower arrangement making things were stalks of raw cotton. [Here's a LINK for this stupid story from the NY Post.] But just to recap, a woman got triggered 'cause cotton means slaves and stuff.

But what really brought my attention to this latest triggering outrage is this great video by Chris Prather, also know as Political Cowboy posted on Facebook in response...[never heard of him before, btw]

I agree with him. All of this faux outrage to inanimate objects is just getting old.

And then there's this...The Mayor of Dallas Mike Rawlings along with a group of other brainiacs decided it was time to remove a little known statue of Robert E. Lee that had been in some park in Dallas since the beginning of time and has now become offensive. It cost $450,000 to remove it that could have fed, clothed or housed live humans, but no. Let's waste money that the city doesn't have because it's going bankrupt to remove an inanimate hunk of marble that's only danger is that it might fall on someone.

But I have to give props to some brave soul, Ken Green, who decided to do an ancestry check on Mayor Rawlings' ancestors...yep, there were many slave owners and at least one who served in the Confederate Army. Mr. Green ended by calling on Mayor Rawlings to resign.

Note...Hugh Alexander Meador served in the confederate Army.
Hugh A. Meador b 1784 owned 4 slaves.
Jason Meador b 1734 owned 5 slaves
Jason Meador(the Mayor's 5th great grandfather) owned 8 slaves.
Guess Mayor Rawlings needs to fess up and resign.

And then this is just amusing...I thought you Sci-Fi fans would love this new product being hawked on social media for realz!

I wonder if they have it green?? AAAAAgh, Soylent Green is People!!!!!

Okay, I am done. Now is the time to commence with your commentarama-ing on anything you want...
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hey! Guess What Day It Is?

- Any Pirate who is worth his salt!

It's finally here. The best day of the, not Christmas or New Years Eve or even your birthday! It's a shame it's only one day a year 'cause you'd probably want it celebrate it EVERY day! Okay, everyone, get ready 'cause it is....INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! YEY!!!

So here is your task, if you choose to accept it..

First, there's the official Pirate Personality Test. Find out what kind of pirate you are...Find your inner pirate!

Next, you have to have a proper pirate name. I mean, what kind of pirate are you if you don't have a proper pirate name?! Think Blue Beard, Black Beard, and those pirates in Treasure Island with parrots and peg legs...Pirate Name Generator!

And if you get stuck for the proper pirate words, you can use the English to Pirate Translator!

So get your Avasts and Me-Hearties on. And the only rule today is there aaaaaarrrrrghn't no rules [which, of course, is perfect for us Commentarama-ians, right? Aaaargh.]

Enjoy! And as always, feel free to discuss other stuff too, but remember you have to write like a pirate...aaaaarrrgh!

And if you want to learn more about pirates, pirating, and other such pirate-related issues...A Pirate's Glossary Of Terms!

[Disclaimer: I am cheating today and am kinda' reposting this from 2014 with a few updates...but then that is exactly what a pirate would do, aaaarrrright?]
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Thursday, September 14, 2017


Hi everybody! Thanks for all your kind wishes and emails and the such. I appreciate them very much and I really do hope to be back at the blog soon. In the meantime, let me ask a question.

What the heck is Hillary doing? Wow.

1. She is casting blame at dozens of people who are so far out of the news cycle as to be forgotten. It's like old timer's day. "I remember when..."

2. She chose the day of the hurricane and the NFL opening day to launch her attack on Trump. Talk about drowning yourself in a wave of distraction. "Seriously, stop looking at the monster wave and listen to me!"

3. Her attacks have been pathetic. They've been along the line of "Here's what I would have said if I'd thought about it at the time." Pathetic.

4. And why announce that she's not ever going to be a candidate again and then put out this book? Is she relevant or not?

5. Finally, why attack the Electoral College today? That sounds like delayed, confused sour grapes. Too little... too late... too yesterday.

This has really been surreal to watch. Thoughts?
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Terms Of Our Surrender In New York

Today we held our NYC Primary for upcoming Mayoral elections. Sadly for us, it is only a matter of how much Mayor DeBlasio wins the nomination rather than "If". I surrender to the fact that NYC is doomed to have another 4 years of him.

The only possible positive is that we will get a brand spanking new City Council since all of the members are termed out. The general election in November is when we will find out if we'll be hosting more or less parades for terrorists who have bombed our city. Well, at least we will know that our Mayor will continue to be late for appointments, berate us for driving while not taking public transportation himself as he is driven 20 miles every morning to his Brooklyn gym to work out, and can always be found every afternoon napping with a "Do Not Disturb" edict to his staff. Oh, and the homeless population will continue to grow.

- This ought to amuse you. Michael Moore opened his one-person show "The Terms Of My Surrender" in Broadway's Belasco Theatre in August 10 (July 30 - Aug 10 previews) to much fanfare. He delighted his first week's audiences with bus trips to Trump Tower so everyone could protest and hot vendors for free eats! Ain't that great? Well, unfortunately after the bus trips stopped (and the free tickets to paper the house dried up), there is also no audience to listen to Mr. Moore rant about, well, everything you'd expect.

One of the real reasons for the low ticket sales doesn't take a genius to figure out. Most of the sales come from tourists. And with the non-Hamilton ticket prices averaging about $150 bucks a ticket, they want to be entertained, not preached to. [FYI - Ticket prices for "Hamilton" go for approximately $500-890]

Frankly,there should be a sign on either end of the block this show is on declaring "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Ironically or by design, the new British play "1984" is runing right next door at the Hudson Theatre which is literally causing audience members to faint, vomit, and scream at the actors from their seats. Of course, it could be the ticket prices too. I read the book, I don't need to see this.

- Oh, since she does live in NY and all, I must mention Hillary Clinton's new book "What Happened" released on Tuesday! If you have been keeping up, she has compiled a million and one reasons why she lost in November, though interestingly very few include Clinton herself. Here's a list from the NY Daily News (and they supported her):
1. Bernie Sanders, for attacks on the campaign trail that “caused lasting damage” to her run. The Vermont senator — who famously gave Clinton a huge break by saying he wouldn’t focus on her “damn emails” — “had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character.” “It was beyond frustrating that Bernie acted as if he had a monopoly on political purity,” she wrote.

2. “Bernie Bros” for “harassing my supporters online” with attacks that were “ugly and more than a little sexist.”

3. Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, who “wouldn’t be worth mentioning” had she not taken tens of thousands of votes in swing states that Trump won. There "were more than enough Stein voters to swing the result, just like Ralph Nader did in Florida and New Hampshire in 2000."

4. “Sexism and misogyny,” which led to the victory of a “flagrantly sexist candidate.”

5. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian hackers, for working “to influence our election and install a friendly puppet.”

6. Former President Barack Obama, for not giving a national television address about the Russian hacking so that “more Americans would have woken up.” Also, for telling her to go easy on Sanders, which made her feel like she was “in a straight jacket.”

7. Former Vice President Joe Biden, for saying the Democratic Party “did not talk about what it always stood for" after campaigning for her.

8. Former FBI Director James Comey, for turning her campaign “upside down” in its final days with his renewed email investigation. “Was this a bad joke?” she writes. “What the hell was Comey doing?”
9. Anthony Weiner, whose teenage sexting scandal led to Comey's new probe, and to his wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin yelling out, "This man is going to be the death of me!"

10. Clinton’s own statement about putting coal miners out of business, which Trump repeatedly used against her and she says was the campaign moment she “regret(s) the most.”

11. Her “basket of deplorables” statement about Trump’s supporters, which was “a political gift” to her opponent. People "misunderstood me to be criticizing all Trump voters."

12. Her use of a private email server as secretary of state, which she deems “dumb” in retrospect.

13. The ongoing scandal that erupted from her email use, which she deems “even dumber.”

14. The New York Times, for focusing on her emails in reporting that "affected the outcome of the election."

15. Her “traditional” presidential campaign, which was based on “carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions” that could not compete with Trump’s “reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans' anger and resentment."

16. The “godforsaken” Electoral College, which went to Trump even though Clinton crushed him in the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

17. Herself, for not realizing “how quickly the ground was shifting under our feet” in the national mood.

18. Hillary hate. "I have come to terms with the fact that a lot of people — millions and millions of people — decided they just didn’t like me,” Clinton writes — though she doesn’t understand the dislike. “What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I’m really asking . . . I’m at a loss.”
The list is just keeps growing and growing. The really good news is that, if you wait long 'til the end of the week, you may be able to get a "buy 5/get 5 free" deal just in time to pass out for Halloween to scare the kiddies! [Okay, that went too far...]


Addendum: This has nothing to do with the above, but it came across my Twitter feed late last night and I just have to share it with the group...

I just hope it's true because it's just genius! I love Poland!
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Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11/2001 Open Thread

It is hard to believe that 16 years have passed since the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack. I am not really big on reliving that day since I lived it it up-close and personal, but know that much progress has been made and the WTC is up and running like it use to be.

It's funny what one remembers, so let me share this one memory. It was a beautiful, cool morning on 9/11/2001 at around 7am. It was the first after a long, hot sweaty summer. It was one of those mornings that it was hard to get out of bed because it was just so cool and comfortable. Because the weather was so perfect that morning, the radio broadcaster on my local radio station said what would turn out to be these fateful words when giving the weather report:
"There is no other way to say's gonna be perfect day"
Tragically, it was not.

Feel free to post your thoughts or memories you may want to share. As always, feel free to change the subject.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. But now that Summer has official ended, and the kids are back in school, we need fresh topics to discuss.

Hmmm, anyone read any good books lately? I am reading "Burr" by Gore Vidal. I found it in the trash outside my building along with several other Vidal's books. Personally, I think people who throw books in the trash are evil, but in this case I am glad I found this stack. I have never read any of Vidal's novels and I must say, he is an wonderful writer. And
I have to add that, since everyone is obsessing over Alexander Hamilton the man and the musical, what a stroke of luck that fate stepped in with a free book about Aaron Burr.

Though it is an historical novel, Vidal paints a really interesting word-picture of the life and times of post-Revolution New York and our 3rd Vice President Aaron Burr. I knew very little about the man who shot Hamilton in a duel or Gore Vidal's writing, so I guess I will have to forgive the person who tossed these out. And for good measure, I took a little stroll to Trinity Church graveyard and paid my respects to Alexander Hamilton just in case he's still mad about the whole being shot dead and all.

So, that's all I've got. Does anyone have anything?

P.S. Here's hoping our dear leader Andrew is still on the mend!
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