For Teachout and Wu on Sept. 9th

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You know the saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, Andrew Cuomo is hoping to fool us twice during Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary.  I, for one, still having a fairly healthy level of self-respect, plan to vote for Zephyr Teachout for Governor and Timothy Wu for Lieutenant Governor. Politicians, as a rule, bank on average citizens forgetting their campaign promises and state of the state priorities.  Cuomo has raised the bar considerably on this cynical expectation.  But if you have forgotten Cuomo’s campaign pledges, given your everyday family and work responsibilities, here’s a refresher: From his Inaugural Address, January 1, 2011: “Number two is going to be cleaning up Albany and restoring trust because Bob[1] is right, you have nothing without trust.  Any relationship is only as good as the level of trust and we have lost the trust. And we are not … Continue Reading…..

Michael Brown’s Death – What’s Next?

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Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address warned the US, that is, us, about the potential dangers of a “military-industrial” and by extension “congressional complex” having inordinate influence over our domestic and foreign policy.  Since the shooting death, August 9th, of unarmed Michael Brown, an 18-year old African-American man, by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, much has been learned about the pervasive militarization of our nation’s local police departments. Through the obscure “1033″ program, enacted by Congress in 1997, military-grade weaponry has been given directly to local police departments by the Defense Department or purchased with grants issued by the Department of Homeland Security.  “1033″ has made it possible for defense contractors, their lobbyists, and weak-kneed legislators to expand the production and profits of weapons manufacturers by the duplicitous justification that it provides a continued use for excess military equipment.  Consider this.  Well over $32 billion in equipment … Continue Reading…..

Hedge Fund Madness!

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July 2, 2014 Sen. Bernie Sanders 332 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Re: S. 268; “Carried Interest Loophole”; Regulation of Hedge Funds Dear Sen. Sanders: I am writing to you because you are a champion, fighting to change the disastrous course our country has taken.  You seek a more just, humane, and ultimately stronger union.  Though I know you are aware of the many areas our country significantly lags behind OECD[1] member nations, there are two areas where we hold the shameful distinction of leading all others: income inequality and social immobility.   Indeed, this has not been the land of opportunity for some time.   The playing field, as some have aptly put it, has been “rigged.”  And though you have been leading efforts to deal with the student loan crisis, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and raising the minimum wage, among others, there is one area … Continue Reading…..