Down on DC
The sweeping wins by the Republicans in the mid-term elections were not due to voters endorsing their party but rather to anger over unemployment numbers that seem stuck and a housing market bleeding value.
Moderates of both parties will now be as hard to find as teeth in chickens. Confronting radicals and reactionaries, President Obama is in for hard times. The business of government should be the general welfare of its people and security of the nation, but those will be pre-empted by political gamesmanship.
Rendering the situation more unlikely to find common ground is the declaration by Sen. Mitch McConnell that the Republican’s primary goal is to ensure that Obama is a one term president. Any hope for compromise seems a pipe dream.
Obama was initially compared to FDR. For his supporters there have been many disappointments. Yet in the open conflict that will officially begin with the gaveling of the next Congress, Obama should rely upon the tactics of FDR. In 1936 Roosevelt stated of the Republicans, “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred,” for standing up for the average American.
The Great Recession has wreaked havoc and displacement on thousands of ordinary Americans. As a nation we expect a government interested in restoring stability and employment. The reality following the election is self-interested political conniving, confirming that Washington seems to be a world onto itself.
Banks are to blame
Re “Law extends more legal rights to homeowners,” Oct. 28, multiple editions:
Very good. It’s about time banks give back to people, since they have killed the American Dream for so many.
Drinking, noise and sex
On Oct. 21 the Queens Chronicle printed an article entitled “St. John’s students react to residents/It’s not noise or illegal housing; students say they’re not wanted.”
They are right that they are not wanted by normal, law-abiding homeowners if they are drunk and noisy and violent. I write about what I know.
On 192nd Street in Fresh Meadows near 73rd Avenue, the neighbors complained about a house rented out to St. John’s students. The complaints were trash all over the street, cars parked on the lawn and across the sidewalk, loud parties and noisy actions during the night, like playing basketball at 11 p.m. Then there were drunken fights at the parties, urinating on lawns, sex acts on lawns and plain yelling. I heard this yelling on New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday.
The house is now empty, since the owner did not want to rent to college students again after the Department of Buildings found illegal construction and Sanitation gave out three citations. I understand that the inside of the house was trashed.
Then on Halloween Eve, Oct. 30, and early in the morning of Oct. 31, drunken, noisy students near another house rented out to St. John’s students started fighting, on 188th Street south of Union Turnpike. All neighborhood stores were closed and all houses quiet except for these students. A neighbor called the police and also took video of the students. The police came and the drunken students drove off in all directions. Several were arrested on various charges.
I trust that your readers know why homeowners don’t want certain students living near them unsupervised.
West Cunningham Park Civic Association
Wary of DiNapoli
You can judge a person’s characterby the company they keep. Did anyonenotice the smiling face of New York State Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver standing shoulder to shoulder withstate Comptroller Tom DiNapoli? Silver looked like the cat who swallowed the canary, as he watched DiNapoliaddressing loyal supporters at the Sheraton New York Hotel on election night. It reminded me of the puppet and the puppeteer. One wondershow much influencekingmaker Silver has over DiNapoli.
In a previous life, as a loyal member of the Assembly under Silver, DiNapoli voted year after year in favor of budgets that increased spending above the rate of inflation and allowed state debt to grow by billionsof dollars. In return, DiNapoli got to bring home his share of the bacon known as member item pork barrel spending. Many of his constituents don’t believethese treats are kosher.
As a result of his faithful allegiance to Silver, DiNapoli was selected by a joint session of all 212 members of the Legislature to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Comptroller Alan Hevesi (who just pleaded guilty to his crimes). Millions of registered voters were disenfranchised by this back-door maneuver.
Having served as an assemblymanfor 20 years, DiNapoli is clearly one ofAlbany’s insidercareer politicians. In his 2010 re-election efforthe refused to seriously criticize orcampaign against any of his benefactors, who are responsible for the fiscal mess we are in today. Democratic Party loyalty is more important than any allegiance to the taxpayerspicking up the tab. In return, Silver and many of his members actively supported DiNapoli. Many submitted letters to the editors of various Queens weekly newspapers urging voters to“vote DiNapoli for comptroller.”Most incumbent Democratic Assembly members, with their gerrymandered districts and feeble or non-existent Republican opponents, had plenty of time to campaign for him.
Can DiNapoli holdfellow Democrats like Silver, Governor-electCuomo and the next party leader in the Senate accountable for honest finances, along with avoiding waste, fraud and abuse? Will he speak up againstAlbany’sinfamous “three men in a room”negotiating the budget behind closed doors?
Time will tell if DiNapoli will be a true profile in courage or just another politician looking for his ticket to be punched for re-election in 2014.
Great Neck, LI
Don’t trust new ballots
Re “New voting way is A-OK with most area seniors,” Prime Times: 50 Plus section, Nov. 4:
Great title, only problem is the entire article points out how the new voting system is horrible.
Welcome to the 16th century, where each voter has their own piece of paper to scribble on. This “new” paper ballot system is a joke. It is specifically designed to have a large portion of voters require “help.” Then party hacks get to vote numerous times for their candidate under the guise of helping.
I know pushing down toggles was really difficult to do, so we came up with a nine-step antiquated paper system to improve the process. In 1996, I voted on a touch screen in North Carolina. Fourteen years ago I voted on a touch screen, but New York’s new and improved method is paper ballots covered in micro-print in 90 languages.
I don’t know why I get upset; it’s not like my vote counts anyway. I vote in an urban area in 21st-century America, which means my district will swing heavily liberal no matter who actually shows up to vote. I know I sound cynical, but really, what is the average time it takes for an ACORN agent to register one person in 20 districts, about 10 minutes?
Of course, they can’t possibly do that because they check identification at polling places — wait a minute, they don’t check identification. Ever wonder why?
Veterans keep us free
I’m a United States Navy Veteran who servedduring the Vietnam era and I have found myself reflecting upon Veterans Day. It is a time to remember all our veterans. We need to remember all those who gave their lives and the many who have lost limbs, hearing and sight. These veterans who have served our nation did so with pride and devotion to duty so that we might have the freedoms we enjoy today. We also need to salute our brave men and women who are serving now in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world as well.
This Veterans Day I find myself thinking about what is means to be an American. The answer is crystal clear, and that is the pride to live in a country that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and speak our minds — like we just did last week onElection Day.
Our system many not be perfect, but it is still the greatest in the world. These freedoms do not come without a price. They come with great personal sacrifice from those who leave family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good.
I hope there will be many flying the American flag in support of our men and women who are still serving. Also if you know any veterans, give them a call and say, “Thank you for keeping our nation strong and free.”
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Moving forward in Albany
(An open letter to my friends and neighbors)
I am grateful to each and every one of you who supported my campaign to restore fiscal sanity, common sense and accountability to our state government. I am exceedingly proud to have served as an advocate for these important priorities.
Congratulations to Assemblyman-elect Ed Braunstein.As Ed ran on a similar platform of getting our economy moving again, creating jobs, cleaning up Albany and getting our fiscal house in order, voters in the 26th Assembly District, no matter how you slice it, voted resoundingly to restore integrity and accountability to our government. They voted for independent redistricting, good government reforms, and pro-middle class, pro-growth and pro-jobs policies.
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo hasalso promised to clean up Albany. He has promised to get our fiscal house in order andhas said himselfthat government in New York is too big, ineffective and expensive.He has also explicitly promised to overhaul our more than 1,000 state agencies, authorities and commissions and reduce their number bytwenty percent. Perhaps most importantly, he has promised to make New York the jobs capital of the nation.
To say that he has his work cut out for him is an understatement. Couple this with the fact that every leading pundit agrees that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will likely thwart his every effort, and you start to realize what a difficult path the governor-elect has to walk.
Thankfully, Republican State Senator leader Dean Skelos has already pledged support for much of this agenda. That Senator Frank Padavan will not be joining his colleagues in January to meet these challenges is a loss. His experience and leadership will be sorely missed.
Our state is at a critical crossroads and people of good will have to wish our newly elected leaders success in meeting the many challenges we face. To my many friends and neighbors who supported me and voted for me on Nov. 2, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Former Republican candidate
26th Assembly District