Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stimu-LESS leaving little to show

New figures released by Gov. Paterson's stimulus overseers confirms what many critics have been saying about Albany's choices for the billions in windfall dollars that the state has been collecting from Washington.

There will be few long-term accomplishments from all that spending.

Paterson reports that the state is spending just 11% of $18 billion in stimulus on infrastructure projects, like roadwork and bridge construction--, that leave a lasting footprint on the state's physical and economic future.

Instead, most of the money is going to "county governments and schools," a category that includes Medicaid, followed closely by payments "Direct to Individuals" (think, $200 back-to-school welfare bonuses).

It's in that last category, of course, "Direct to Individuals," where New York City spent nearly a third of its $8 billion outlay, compared to just 9% for Tompkins County.

The city was at the top of the chart in the Medicaid-education category, at 40%.

Paterson and Albany's stimulus spending choices are a far cry from those of a bygone recovery led by another New Yorker, FDR, whose alphabet soup of stimulus agencies, like the Civilian Conservation Corps (featured in a new PBS "American Experience" documentary) and Works Project Administration (WPA), left an indelible mark on New York's and the nation's landscape and cities.

Many of those projects--the stately government buildings, national and state parks and campgrounds--are still in use today, 80 years later.

What will be the legacy of Paterson's stimulus choices, but deep deficits when the one-time stimulus runs out?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blood boiling video of Senate Democrats sitting through the Pledge of Allegiance

Prepare to feel your jaw drop and your blood boil.

Here’s shocking video of State Senate Democrats, including Darrel Aubertine, Dave Valesky, Bill Stachowski, Brian Foley and every other Democrat lawmaker, sitting through the Pledge of Allegiance in protest over their loss of power in Albany.

The video shows one Democrat, Brooklyn’s Martin Dilan, trying to join in reciting the Pledge, but he is immediately and forcefully pulled down by two fellow Democrats, Kevin Parker of Brooklyn and Ruth Hassell-Thompson of Westchester.

Not a single Democrat lawmaker stood during the Pledge, including Sens. Darrel Aubertine, Bill Stachowski, Dave Valesky and Brian Foley.

The Democrats’ protest was an outrageous mixing of common civics and politics.

But it shouldn’t be surprising, considering their refusal even to show up for nearly three weeks leading to today, when they locked themselves in the Chamber ahead of Republicans in a stunt reminiscent of the child’s game, “King of the Mountain.”