Archive for andrew cuomo

Take Those Threats Seriously

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Nicole Sandler

Americans have really short memories. It was less than a year ago that the Republicans shut down the US government for 16 very long days. And now Mitch McConnell is threatening to do it again. I suggest we take those threats very seriously.

To refresh our country's collective memory loss:

FirstFederal employees were furloughed for a combined total of 6.6 million days, more than in any previous government shutdown. At its peak, about 850,000 individuals per day were furloughed. That number fell once most Department of Defense civilian employees were able to return to work as the Pentagon implemented the Pay Our Military Act.

Secondthe shutdown cost the Federal government billions of dollars. The payroll cost of furloughed employee salaries alone – that is, the lost productivity of furloughed workers – was $2.0 billion. Beyond this, the Federal government also incurred other direct costs as a result of the shutdown. Fees went uncollected; IRS enforcement and other program integrity measures were halted; and the Federal government had to pay additional interest on payments that were late because of the shutdown.

Thirdthe shutdown had significant negative effects on the economy. The Council of Economic Advisers has estimated that the combination of the shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship resulted in 120,000 fewer private sector jobs created during the first two weeks of October. And multiple surveys have shown that consumer and business confidence was badly damaged.

The report highlights some of the more direct impacts the shutdown had on the economy by shutting down government services.

For example:

  • Federal permitting and environmental and other reviews were halted, delaying job-creating transportation and energy projects.
  • Import and export licenses and applications were put on hold, negatively impacting trade.
  • Federal loans to small businesses, homeowners, and families in rural communities were put on hold.
  • Private-sector lending to individuals and small businesses was disrupted, because banks and lenders couldn’t access government income and Social Security Number verification services.
  • Travel and tourism was disrupted at national parks and monuments across the country, hurting the surrounding local economies.

Fourththe shutdown impacted millions of Americans who rely on critical programs and services halted by the shutdown.

For example:

  • Hundreds of patients were prevented from enrolling in clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Almost $4 billion in tax refunds were delayed.
  • Agencies from the Food and Drug Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency had to cancel health and safety inspections, while the National Transportation Safety Board was unable to investigate airplane accidents in a timely fashion.
  • Critical government-sponsored scientific research was put on hold. Notably, four of the five Nobel prize winning scientists who work for the Federal government were furloughed during the shutdown.

Fifththe shutdown could have a long-term impact on our ability to attract and retain the skilled and driven workforce that the Federal government needs. The shutdown followed a three-year pay freeze for Federal employees, cuts in training and support, and, for hundreds of thousands of workers, administrative furloughs earlier this year because of sequestration. These cuts will make it harder for the government to attract and retain the talent it needs to provide top level service to the American people.

To put it much more simply, it was really, truly awful.

And Americans, for a change, laid the blame (mostly) where it belonged: squarely at the feet of the GOP.

But those short memories were what the Rethuglicans were counting on, as Mitch McConnell seemingly has no qualms about threatening similar action again IF REPUBLICANS TAKE CONTROL OF THE SENATE! You'd think that would be impetus enough to keep anyone with even a modicum of sanity from voting for any member of that party.

But sadly, Mr. Predictor of Election Outcomes Better than Anyone Else himself, Nate Silver's latest pronouncement is "Republicans Remain Slightly Favored To Take Control Of The Senate".

I hope everyone will take a few minutes to read Dave Johnson's apocalyptic tome about what they are threatening to do (and will likely follow through on) should that unthinkable outcome become reality on Nov. 4: "GOP Vows to Dismantle  or Shut Down Government if They Win Senate." Dave joined me on the show this morning to explain why you should be afraid, very afraid, of that prospect (unlike the fake fears the GOP is always ginning up.)

In the first hour, Howie Klein was on with me, as he is each Monday morning, for The Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie. We talked about tomorrow's primaries in FloriDUH, Arizona and Oklahoma; about Andrew Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul and how truly conservative she is, the vote coming before the people of Scotland to decide on their independence, and more..

Tomorrow, we'll talk with Tom Risen of US News and World Report about his friend, the late James Foley. And the Gliberal Goddesses (GottaLaff, Amy Simon and myself) are back with more gliberal giddyness.... Radio or Not!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

I'm in a New York State of Mind

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

NicoleSandlerHeadshotw202h202

gov. mario cuomo

NY Governor Mario Cuomo, a very young Nicole Sandler,
and WMCA Program Director Jeanne Straus - circa 1984

 

I was born in New York City, and lived in Queens until my family moved to Florida on the day I finished 6th grade. After graduating from the University of South Florida, I moved back to New York, working in radio there for five years (until a relationship brought me to Los Angeles- a story for another day).

I love New York, and will always consider it, in some sense, home.

I also adored Governor Mario Cuomo. The picture above was taken in 1984 or 1985, when I produced a monthly statewide "Ask the Governor" radio show. (Another aside: always sitting next to me in the control room while I screened the phone calls was Cuomo aide Tim Russert!)

Gov. Cuomo was not only a really great governor for the state of New York, he was a genuinely nice, caring person. He always remembered my name and would even comment on a haircut or something else that made me realize he actually paid attention to me (unlike his opponent in his first gubernatorial primary, then-Mayor Ed Koch who, although I had met him numerous times, always introduced himself as if it was our first time meeting).

My life could be very different now had I accepted Gov. Cuomo's job offer back then. Unfortunately, he wanted me to work in his Albany press office. I may love New York, but it was New York City, not Albany where I wanted to remain, so I turned it down!

That said, to quote Howie Klein,

Don't ever mix Andrew Cuomo up with his dad.

Howie explained why in a post titled, "Andrew Cuomo -- The Richard M. Nixon of the Democratic Party?".

Over the past week or so, we've learned that the younger Cuomo is embroiled in an ethics scandal, nothing new for New York politics, but something he had promised to stamp out. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Thankfully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and her name is Zephyr Teachout,

Zephyr Teachout, a constitutional law professor and former national Director of the anti-corruption group the Sunlight Foundation, running as the progressive alternative to Cuomo.

I first spoke with Zephyr back in my Air America days, and was thrilled to see her name emerge in June as a potential Working Families Party challenger to Gov. Cuomo. We spoke back then, after politics got in the way, and she was still deciding whether or not to challenge Cuomo in a Democratic Party primary. Thankfully, she decided to do just that, and she chose a great running mate too!

Her selection for Lt. Governor, Tim Wu, is is a law professor at Columbia University and is most well-known for being the father of Net Neutrality. He's also the son of two immigrants.... Zephyr framed the differences between Hochul and Wu very succinctly: "In the Hochul-Wu contest, Hochul represents conservative and fear-based politics, and Wu represents progressive and democracy-based politics."

The primary is just a month away, so visit TeachoutWu.com and help if you can!

Today happens to be the 69th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. You'd think the world would learn from our mistakes...  It's worth remembering what we did on that day.

Sadly, as I discussed with Susie Madrak in the first hour of the show today, it won't take something as drastic as another atomic bomb to devastate life on the planet. We're killing ourselves a little bit more each day, as she tells us in this article about recent revelations of methane leaking from the Arctic.

Tomorrow, if we're still standing, I'll be back with a busy show- Congressman Alan Grayson, economist Stephanie Kelton, cultural HERstorian Amy Simon and the No-More-Bullshit man himself, Stephen Goldstein. Talk to you then, Radio or Not!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

CNN Poll: Hillary Clinton Steamrolls Dems; GOP Appears Rudderless Heading Into 2016

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sometimes it's easy to forget that the GOP is really, REALLY nuts and that people notice.

Hillary Clinton continues to be the Democrats' overwhelming top choice to run for president in 2016, according to a new survey. Republicans, meanwhile, have yet to coalesce around a favorite, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) all in the mix.

About 65 percent of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say they would most likely back Clinton for the presidential primary nomination, according to a CNN poll released Monday. Vice President Joe Biden, who recently traveled to Iowa, one of the early nominating states, only received 10 percent support for a presidential run. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mass., received 7 percent support, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received 6 percent and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley had just 2 percent.

(snip)

Christie leads the pack for the GOP, with 17 percent support among Republican and independents who lean Republican, followed by Ryan, the former vice presidential nominee, at 16 percent, Paul at 13 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent and Rubio at 9 percent.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had been making headlines for trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, received 7 percent support for the 2016 nomination. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the runner-up to eventual 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, received just 5 percent support.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: Obama speaks on Equal Pay Act on its 50th anniversary. Here's why we also need NY Women’s Equality Act.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Obama speaks on Equal Pay for Women

women pay wage gap

Today, as you can see by the video, President Obama commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

Dina Bakst wrote about that legislation and New York's own Women's Equality Act. Crossposted with permission from MomsRising.org:

Let’s play a game: take out a slip of paper and write your salary down, crumple it up, and trade papers with a co-worker of the opposite sex. This is what one New York woman did just a few years ago and she was shocked by the results–she found out she was receiving far less compensation than a male co-worker who was doing the same work as her.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), signed into law by President John F. Kennedy. As President Kennedy remarked when signing the law in 1963, ”Our economy today depends upon women in the labor force.” This is even truer today. Back in 1963, only a third of the workforce was made up of women, and now that figure is 50% of the workforce. And as a recent Pew Research study revealed, women are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40% of American families. Unfortunately, even though it’s been five decades since the EPA passed, there is still a pernicious wage gap that persists—women earn between 64 and 84 cents to a man’s dollar in New York State. The long-term economic consequences are simply devastating: women are twice as likely as men to live out old age in poverty.

Thankfully, the New York State Women’s Equality Act (WEA), introduced last week by Governor Cuomo, would work to eliminate this wage gap. The WEA would tighten exemptions in the law, which currently allow employers to cite nearly any factor other than sex—legitimate or otherwise—to justify pay differentials. The WEA would also prohibit employers from terminating or retaliating against employees for sharing wage information, allowing women to uncover discrimination early and enforce their rights under the law. Finally, the law would provide for increased damages, helping to deter illegal activity from happening in the first place and incentivize employers to treat women fairly.

Closing the wage gap also requires strengthening existing anti-discrimination laws and addressing other factors that contribute to its persistence. The Women’s Equality Act would provide for fair pay in other holistic ways. Pregnant women are routinely placed on unpaid leave–or even worse, fired from their jobs–when they request a modest accommodation to stay safely working. This results in wage hits in both the short- and long-term; when women are pushed out, they’re less likely to be hired back. The Women’s Equality Act would address this problem by strengthening legal protections for pregnant workers in New York State. In addition, the Act would make it explicitly illegal for employers to discriminate against parents, who are not only paid less (moms are paid 5% less, per child, than their childless counterparts, meaning that a mother of three is paid 15% less), but are also less likely to be hired or promoted at work.

But we need all 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act in order to effectively close the wage gap and promote equality in New York State. When a woman is empowered in different areas of her life, such as at work, feeling safe in the home, and her healthcare decisions, she will be better able to participate in the economy and earn what she deserves.

As President Kennedy said, the Equal Pay Act “is a first step. It affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelopes.” Let’s take the next step and pass the Women’s Equality Act this month. New York can be a leader for the entire nation so we don’t have to wait another half a century to be paid what we deserve.

Cross posted from A Better Balance’s blog.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: "Democrats cannot count on New York’s supposedly Democratic governor,” Andrew Cuomo

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

:

Chris Hayes on what Democratic voters nationwide should remember about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2016. (11/18/2012)

File under food for thought.

Chris Hayes:

“So what do we know that we didn’t know last week? We now know that Democrats cannot count on New York’s supposedly Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo as an ally and every Democratic primary voter in the entire country should know that too. We already knew that in the run up to the election, Andrew Cuomo, whose aspirations for national office are well-known, did essentially nothing to aid the Democratic Party in its quest to take back the the State Senate from Republicans.

“Despite the fact that he’s the leader of the Democratic Party in the state, and wishes someday to be the Democratic nominee for President, Cuomo has refused to intervene with Felder, saying he won’t insert himself into the controversy. And watching all this unfold, one can’t help but suspect Andrew Cuomo actually does not want a Democratic majority in the State Senate because a Republican majority gives him more of an opportunity to burnish his bipartisan compromiser bona fides before launching his presidential campaign. And much, much, much more insidiously, we suspect he doesn’t want a Democratic majority because said majority stands ready to pass a whole raft of incredibly important, ground-breaking progressive legislation, including public financing for elections, marijuana decriminalization, and a minimum wage hike, among others. The governor says he favors all those policies, but in this case, he sure is not acting like it. We’re almost entirely sure that very soon Andrew Cuomo will be coming before many of the people watching this show, asking for your support in a Democratic primary race to be the next president. You should remember this remarkably cynical display when he does.”

Salon:

And if Republicans get their majority, with the tacit support of Cuomo, the governor will have once again shown that he is not the progressive figure he will likely try to sell himself as if he runs for president. His tenure so far has been marked by flashy liberal victories on issues like gay marriage, along with a quietly conservative economic agenda: A property tax cap, total neglect of mass transit, and (partial) support for fracking. Even on economic issues where Cuomo has more liberal priorities, he rarely pushes his Republican friends particularly hard. (A Republican-controlled state Senate will almost certainly block a minimum wage increase Cuomo ostensibly supports.) There’s a reason, in other words, that the National Review loves him.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Andrew Cuomo Orders Staff Not to Speculate About 2016

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Sandra Lee is just kvelling with the possibilities.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "moved swiftly this weekend to halt an eruption of media speculation that he'll be a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 because of his victory in bringing gay marriage to New York," the New York Post reports.

"Cuomo ordered his staff not to discuss or even speculate on the possibility that he harbors presidential ambitions."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Anthony Weiner: The sequel

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Photo: Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The question I'm hearing from everyone is, after Anthony Weiner's resignation, then what? A special election? (Yes, a "special erection" joke crossed my mind, dammit. Bygones.)

Here's your answer, courtesy of Roll Call. The two Democrats who will be "pulling all the strings" are Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rep. Joe Crowley:

New York's unorthodox election laws give the governor unilateral authority to decide if and when a Congressional vacancy is filled. State statute also allows the county party chairman — in this case Crowley, who leads the Queens County Democratic Party — to control the nomination process.

Tom Connolly of the New York Board of Elections confirmed there would be no primary election when a vacancy occurs. And at the very earliest, he said, a special election could take place in about three months, in part because a recent legislative change requires 80 to 90 days for military ballots to be returned. [...]

Regardless of its timing, Democrats are expected to maintain their hold on Weiner's seat, which includes parts of Queens and Brooklyn.

Roll Call has more.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare