The Friday Five The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Edition By Pete Herr

As I was reviewing the week in political news, it became apparent that there were some good things that happened, some bad, and in this week's edition, one really, really ugly. Here it is....


1. The Most Efficient Office Ever is a Government One

When one thinks of efficiency, because of the media and the small government activists, one seldom thinks of government. The truth is, there are a lot of efficiencies in government. This Slate article tells the story of the passport office in New York City that is incredibly customer-centric and has developed a system of getting people through the process quickly and efficiently. If you're an Erie County resident and visited the DMV, I'm sure you have noticed many of the same systems in place in the past 4-5 years. If you put politics aside for a minute (I know, not gonna happen)and stand Medicaid and SCHIP up next to private insurance, you'll see some real efficiency that translates to a real savings per patient versus private health insurance. However, no one on the other side of the health care debate will EVER admit that. It is after all, politics that is broken most of the time, not government.

2. Higher Court Upholds Soda Ban Ban

New York's outgoing Nanny-In-Chief took another legal kick in the cup when the First Department of the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division found unanimously that Bloomy's Big Gulp Ban was unconstitutional. No kidding? Hizzoner , while standing on a telephone book to see over his bully pulpit proclaims that 2000 persons have died of diabetes related causes since the court ordered a stay on the ban. He, of course, can't cite how many of those deaths are directly related to drinking gallons of soda at a time. I have some familial experience with diabetes and the truth is, that people have choices to make. They can manage their disease or they can ignore it, and the size of their soda isn't going to change things. The courts get "good" for upholding the stay on this.


3. Cuomo Has 3 Odd Bills To Sign

I'm not sure why the Governor has to sign a bill allowing traffic cameras in NYC. Seems like that should be a municipal decision, not a state one. And I am amused. Anyone tried to drive in New York City? Took me a couple hours to get about 10 blocks once. Speed was not an issue at all. Also in the Governor's pile of"to do's", a bill making it a felony for inmates to dump the contents of their toilet bowls on corrections officers. While our CO's deserve every protection in an already crappy job, is this really going to be a deterrent? I guess it should be a law, it just seems odd. And finally, we will have a law that allows students to wear sunscreen in school with only a parent's note, not a doctor' You needed a doctor's note to wear sunscreen in school?

4. Daddy's Little Girl

Like it or not, our kids become little tributes to us. They learn by watching us, and they emulate our actions....even if they are full grown adults. Susan Bruno, daughter of disgraced former NY Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, is accused of bilking NY taxpayers while she was not showing up to a job at the SUNY Research Foundation, a job for which her credentials were questionable at best. Not only was she a no show, she and her boss falsified records to say she was there. Well, apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


5. Weiner's Implosion

This goes in the "holy crap" column, but with a knowing smile and a nod. The Weiner campaign continues its downhill roll after he made public that he was still tweeting pictures of his namesake and other lewdities a year after he resigned from Congress. People are quitting, his tweety friends are doing appearances on Howard Stern and one former intern wrote a couple of pieces that sent his Communications Director on a rant that is actually hard to believe came from any professional. In an impressive display of potty mouth (this is not for people who don't like rough language) , Barbara Morgan unleashed a torrent of expletives on the ex-intern that made even me blush. On my list of the 10 jobs I would never want to do, 9 of them appeared on Mike Rowe's old show "Dirty Jobs" and the 10th is Communications Director for any Anthony Weiner campaign. I have to imagine tensions are running high and as the implosion continues it'll only get worse.

Enjoy the final month of summer, or with this weather, the first month of fall. See you next week.

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