News That Matters
"A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience." - John Updike
Good Thursday Morning,
Tomorrow is our weekly Things To Do Edition. If you or your organization has something going on you'd like announced, please make sure it's in by this afternoon or, post it all by yourself at the blog site.
It snowed. It rained. It iced. You've got to love this winter or you'll go crazy. But spring is just around the corner and if you're up early enough you'll hear the birds taking a few tentative practice-notes of their spring songs. Since the ground has been snow and ice covered for quite some time make sure your feeders are filled with high energy snacks for those guys.
Over at the blog, the Tilly Foster contract and Putnam Valley issues still take the lead in reads and yesterday 132 visitors stopped in to have a look. If you weren't one of those 132, you should be.
The Tilly Foster lease agreement is still in negotiations and thanks to your input the county has made some changes though they're not nearly enough to satisfy standard governmental protections and the AG's office will, I think, find it of interest if it passes through in anything close to its present form. At the last physical services committee meeting, Legislator Tony Hay mentioned that the public had deluged the county with comments and suggestions yet few, if any, made it into the latest version of that lease. If you wrote before you'll need to write again. If you haven't, it's time to do so. You can send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get more information on that contract here, here, here and here.
I've got the horse right here: County Finance Commissioner William Carlin reports that OTB revenues are down once again. From a high of $1.9 million taken in 2001 the county took in just about $518,000 in 2008 which was $139,000 less than in 2007.
New York State has lost a billion dollars in revenue due to the collapse of Wall Street firms and we're still not one inch closer to prosecuting those who ran their businesses into the ground, caused massive social and financial upheaval and engineered the largest transfer of wealth from the working classes to the rich in history and still took home $18.4 billion in bonuses. Admittedly, those bonuses were lower than in previous years as in 2007 bonuses amounted to $33 billion. The income disparity between rich and poor is greater than it has been since the 1920s and you know what financial conditions followed that. It's not a pretty picture no matter how you spin it unless you're a corporate recipient of taxpayer largess. Capitalism, American Style.
Vanity Fair has done it again. This time there's a deeply detailed oral history of the Bush administration which kept me occupied for the better part of an hour during yesterday's snow and ice storm. Get yourself a mug of tea and be prepared to be shocked, tickled and awed by what we just went through as a nation. There's a link to the article below the fold.
And now, the News:
By CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT
Washington, DC - Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today announced that he has helped establish the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) -- a new focused, action-based caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives committed to advancing a legislative agenda that will bring about dramatic progressive change in energy and environmental policy while helping to grow the economy. The group, which was founded by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) recently met with Assistant to the President Carol Browner to discuss energy and climate policy. Additionally, the SEEC has been working to strengthen green technology provisions in the economic recovery bill currently being debated in Congress.
By DENNIS OVERBYE
In the debate over how best to provide economic stimulus, put U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip, in the camp that thinks more tax cuts and less government spending is the way to go.
Last Update: 1/27 10:38 am
The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise of Iran. Global warming. Economic disaster. How did one two-term presidency go so wrong? A sweeping draft of history—distilled from scores of interviews—offers fresh insight into the roles of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other key players.
By Cullen Murphy and Todd S. Purdum February 2009