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!
Remember those old Fram auto filter TV ads -- "you can pay me now or you can pay me later?" Well, there's a bit of that philosophy in Gov. Rick Perry's latest goofball thinking.
Today Texas Republican Governor Rick "Oops" Perry is about to make another "Oops." He's going to commit an estimated $12 million a month to send the National Guard to his state's southern border. The question is why? What are they supposed to do? Will they take positions on the borderlines and mow down with their high powered rifles every man, woman and child who approaches the Texas border from Mexico?
The truth is that these immigrants are not sneaking over the border. They're crossing the border and immediately turning themselves in. They're actually seeking out border patrols and surrendering. They're announcing "Here I am. Please take me. Please!"
The unaccompanied kids are the big Republican talking point as they're protected more than the adults who cross into the US without proper documentation. This is thanks to a bill the Republican President, G.W. Bush signed into law in 2008. To be balanced and fair, most Democrats voted for this bill as well.
So should Texas, a state that's refused the Medicare expansion for its own poor yet legal residents, order body bags for the refugee children the National Guard is going to shoot? Of course not, because the Guard is not going to shoot anyone. What they are going to do is become a political charade. They will be armed baby sitters, child wranglers and guardians for the safety and welfare of the poor kids trying to escape death and torture in their own countries. They aren't coming here for holiday. They're flocking to America for safety and for their lives.
Point a gun at a kid who's made the harrowing, dangerous thousand-plus mile journey to America, threatening them that they'll be shot if they cross our border or be shot and killed after a thousand mile journey returning back home and there's no choice. They'll take the executioner's bullet right here and right now. That sure will make an interesting political election poster for Gov. Perry -- piles of dead kids on his border. Maybe he'll even stand in a big game hunter's pose with one leg up, resting it on a pile of dead children. Don't put anything past Tricky Rick.
The Texas boob governor has no plan other than trying to drum up publicity with this stunt. And for what? He's got zero chance at the GOP presidential nomination. And he's not running for re-election.
The answer, to the surprise of few, is ignorance. The governor's ignorance. He simply lacks a comprehensive and humanitarian plan. And instead of helping out the people of his state by accepting Medicare help for constituents, he's robbing them of tight money the Texans really need for more important matters.
Texas leads the nation in uninsured citizens. Medicare would take millions of uninsured and cover them, allowing hospitals to receive much needed funds to stay open. That $12 million per month could greatly raise the living conditions in the state. Perry is robbing his state's coffers of tight cash they need for so many other pressing issues -- for the unemployed, the uninsured, infrastructure, public safety, education, etc.
So Texas is about to burn $12 million a month while Gov. Nero Perry fiddles. Perry has a dream. It's just a dream. It's to move from soon-to-be ex-governor of Texas to larger pastures -- the White House. Well there's about as much chance of that happening as Michelle Bachmann winning a Nobel Prize in science. But while he wastes his state's money on a political fantasy, the good people of the Lone Star State starve and can't afford medical care which could save lives. Instead, in Rick's fantasy world, he's ordering the armed National Guard to his borders to keep kids out.
What's next for this moron? Bear traps, sarin gas and land mines?
What is it with boys and their toys? They just won't leave them alone sometimes. They have a fascination that they can't give up -- until they break them.
And NJ Governor Chris Christie may just have crossed that bridge too far.
Now comes another bridge scandal. No, really. Another bridge scandal. You just gotta love this guy, Christie. He doubles down when he thinks he can get away with something. He's determined to leave no bridge unturned.
Here's the latest from the Daily Beast:
The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Manhattan district attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Christie's office for lobbying the Port Authority to divert $1.8 billion away from a canceled rail-tunnel project and towards repairing the Pulaski Skyway bridge. Pulaski is a state bridge, outside of the Port Authority's purview. The Christie administration recast the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel (they're not connected) in order to justify using Port Authority funds. The move is under scrutiny for potentially defrauding bond holders. Under the Martin Act, prosecutors could bring felony charges without proving intent to defraud. The SEC could also take civil action.
What's it all mean? Fraud.
Christie, who boasted he could balance the state's budget in his reelection stump speeches, couldn't. So he diverted funds from a public source, the billion dollar rail-tunnel project. Christie cancelled the project which was already underway then took the unspent funds and used them for repairs that were not authorized. He did it by claiming the bridge was an access road.
A bridge became an access road? Okay, that's stretching it, but we'll move on.
He then claimed this "access road" connected to the Lincoln Tunnel. It does NOT lead or connect in any way, shape or form to the Lincoln Tunnel. That's like saying the Bridge over the River Kwai connected Burma with London.
So, just when you thought it was safe to return to New Jersey, think again. You may be following road signs from Trenton to New York City and end up in Pennsylvania thanks to Gov. Christie and his new road connection designations.
But if you want to speak to him, you better do it quickly. He may be moving his office to the New Jersey State Department of Corrections.
Looks like he's gonna have a bit more 'splainin' to do, Lucy.