News That Matters
Good Tuesday Morning,
Impeach Obama! It didn't take long for the websites, bumper stickers and Facebook pages to start appearing. I mean, the guy has been President for what, a month and his standing in the polls, even among more conservative voters, continues to be pretty good.
But the Impeach Obama camp has a good deal of work ahead of them, at least at Facebook, where there are 95 Impeach Bush groups as opposed to only 2 Impeach Obama groups.
With shades of Patterson Crossing, the New Jersey Meadowlands is seeing the construction of a $2 billion mega project - Xanadu. The 4.8 million sq ft mega-mall-entertainment complex which will boast an indoor ski and snowboard mountain and an outdoor ferris wheel, claims to be 70% leased though NJ State officials question that number.
But Howard Davidovitz, a retail consultant said, “We’re going to close 220,000 retail stores this year. Who’s doing well? Family Dollar. Dollar Tree. Wal-Mart, McDonald’s. Netflix. Consumers have no money. This is the total opposite of what’s succeeding. It’s not viable in this market.” Cautious words when we think about a 30+ acre clearcut with unfinished or empty buildings right in our own backyard.
Latest into the fray for the Putnam County Sheriff's race is former Southeast Town judge Jim Borkowski. Counting everyone else in the race for that much coveted position, his entry brings the total to, what, Two dozen? Three dozen?
While reading his campaign website I see he, like others in the race this year, is also claiming a booming increase in crime, yet I'm still not convinced all is as stated. His campaign website says, "Last year, general crime rose an astonishing 26%. DWI's rose 34%." But I have to wonder, especially with the DWI's. The current Sheriff made a big deal last year about enforcing DWI laws and if those efforts caught an additional 34% of drunk drivers, does that mean that there are *more* people driving drunk or just better enforcement?
As this political season begins, and with each candidate running for Sheriff touting similar numbers as evidence of gloom and doom, keep an eye out for more of this semantic gymnastics exercise. I just hope you're all smart enough to wade through the bullshit. There's going to be a lot of it.
As reported here before, the Working Families Party has endorsed what they call Fair Share Tax Reform. The plan raises the state income tax rate for the wealthiest of New York's residents to bring our income tax structure in-line with that of other states. Right now in New York, the income tax rate is pretty much the same (6.85%) whether you earn $20k or $2000k a year. But it doesn't go far enough.
We really do need to go back to the 1972 progressive tax structure which could show an income tax decrease for many self-employed, blue-collar workers who are most affected by a weak economy and most importantly, are facing possible foreclosures on their homes for their inabilty to cover their proeprty taxes.
Many self-employed workers and small business owners are not part of the state's unemployment insurance program, do not carry health insurance and do not show up as being unemployed whenthe government counts. And when work dries up they are faced with the possibility of no income and no assistance from the State. Cutting their income tax rate while raising it just a small amount for the wealthiest among us would go a long way towards preserving the economic health and viability of our communities.
And now, the News:
The Town of Dover and the Dover Knolls Development Company make a Joint Application for Federal Stimulus dollars
February 22, 2009
Hefty price tag put on 400-acre property known as Banning Ranch.
Unemployed workers outraged over charges to inquire on benefits
The Associated Press
First, Arthur Santa-Maria called Bank of America to ask how to check the balance of his new unemployment benefits debit card. The bank charged him 50 cents.
Updated: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | By Robert Farley
By Christopher S. Rugaber
America's Municipal Meltdowns
Paul Stamets On The Vast, Intelligent Network Beneath Our Feet
by Derrick Jensen
For several years people from different places and backgrounds kept recommending the same oddly titled book to me: Paul Stamets’s Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press). Everyone told me it was one of the most mind-bending texts they’d ever read. With so many recommendations, I perversely hesitated to pick the book up, and when I finally did, I prepared myself to be disappointed.