Congress is in recess, New York government is in recess, and yet there are always silly things to report, even when no actual governing is going on.
1. Judge Stops Stop and Frisk
A federal judge ruled that New York's "Stop and Frisk" policy amounted to racial profiling, since 83% of all persons being stopped were minorities. An irritated Bloomy and company argued that it was OK because minorities commit more crimes. Not so fast, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin said in her 195 page decision, 90% of the people stopped are released without finding anything. Bloomy continues to take a beating in the courts as his signature policies like "Stop and Frisk" and his infamous ban on large soda fountain drinks are getting over turned in court. If you were willing to listen, Mr. Mayor, that might tell you something. Did you catch the part where the judge's decision was 195 pages long? I just read a best-seller that was shorter than that.
2. Silver a Frequent Flyer
Wait, Sheldon Silver racks up tons of frequent flyer miles? That headline wouldn't be news, except for two important details. First, the taxpayers of New York foot the bill for Silver to have a car at his disposal to drive the 150 miles from his home to Albany to do the people's business. Shelly, never one to be inconvenienced, would much rather fly on the people's dime. And, instead of the direct flight, Shelly flies either to Philly or to DC so that he can brag about how many frequent flyer miles he racks up in the process. (I wonder if he then uses those miles for government business.) For the record, if you are 307 miles (NYC to Philly to Albany) or 550 miles (NYC to Washington DC to Albany) it is going to take longer than the 150 mile drive where you don't have to go through security or change planes. Just another example of Speaker Silver putting himself before taxpayers.
3. Obama Hearts Buffalo
Confirmed rumors have it that the President will be visiting Buffalo again in the very near future. It's part of a couple day long bus tour to take his messages to the people. I think it's because he can't get enough of those Duff's wings in Buffalo. A couple of big questions loom. First, will his bus have a GPS to get around or will they use the map provided by MSNBC? Secondly, is he actually coming to New York State to cover up evidence that he is actually an Indonesian citizen? Serial nutjob and birther queen Orly Taitz claims that student loan documents proving that fact are actually hidden in a vault in Albany and not in Buffalo as she previously asserted.
4. Quit Clowning Around
A rodeo clown, who mocked the President during a bull riding event at the Missouri State Fair, has been banned for life from performing at the fair. So many things wrong with this. First, the outrage from the left. The dude is a jackass, other than that, why make a deal out of it. It just feeds the stupidity. Then the outrage on the right. "Well, you did it to Bush". It wasn't right then either. We've gotten to the point where neither side has respect for the president when it isn't their guy. We've become a nation of impetus brats, and rude ones at that. This is just silliness at its finest. The only thing sillier, that to feed the division, an elected official in Texas said to the jackass clown, C'mon down we love free speech and Obama haters down here. This whole story gets the Mountain out of the Molehill Award...that's not really an award, I just made it up.
5. And the winner is.....
On Wednesday, the first debate of candidates for Mayor of Buffalo took place. A few thoughts. The winner certainly wasn't incumbent Mayor Byron Brown. Both Democrat challenger Bernie Tolbert and Republican, but not really Republican, Sergio Rodriguez, fired up the audience as they pointed out the failings of Brown's Administration. The Mayor was visibly rattled at times when his less stellar moments were discussed and the crowd cheered. Rodriguez drew loud laughter from the crowd several times, as he bantered about crime stats. Former FBI guy Tobert also laid it on the Mayor, by pointing out that it was the Control Board that stabilized the city's abysmal credit rating and not the Mayor. For Brown's part, however, the man has a penchant for remembering statistics. He rattled off number after positive number after positive number without notes to help him. Sadly for Tolbert and Rodriguez there are 2 numbers that really play to the Mayor's favor. 8, as in the years he has been in office to build alliances and name recognition, and 1 million, as in the number of dollars he started this campaign with. Those are two big hills his challengers will have to climb, regardless of whether Brown is actually responsible for the improvements happening in and around Buffalo.
This is my final Friday Five column for PoliticsNY. I just want to take an opportunity to thank owner/editor Michael Caputo for giving me this vehicle through which to share my thoughts, and I want to thank the readers who actually paid attention to what I had to say. It's been a lot of fun. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter, where I imagine I'll still be shooting my mouth off.