The Friday Five The Late Edition By Peter Herr














Pokies, loopholes, asteroids, Weiners and Congress screwing something else up.

1. Prisons For Sale

In a perfect world you can keep all of state facilities going. As the economy in New York State evolves, things change. In this case what changes is that we close prisons, leaving them as large, hulking masses. Well, now you can own your very own. How about a sprawling 31 acres with 38 separate buildings. There's a gymnasium and a chapel, and it has on-site water and sewage-treatment systems. The price tag? A rock bottom $90,000. Who doesn't want to own their own prison? I'm sure that the reuse possibilities are endless......as is the razor wire that surrounds the joint.

2. Tourists Wanted

Early in the week, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was pleased that New York State budget prohibited local IDA's from providing tax breaks for retail projects. The rationale behind the ban is that jobs created are low paying, and generally the projects would be completed without government assistance . As usual, there was loopholes. So, the Onondaga County IDA director took advantage of one of the loopholes and declared the coming Costco a tourist attraction. Certainly there is a real tourist market for discount warehouses. SamHeads travel the country checking out the box book discounters. Hopefully the Syracuse area store will live up to the status and provide standard tourist fare with local art shows, ghost tours, and "My friend went to Costco and All I got Was This Lousy 55 Gallon Drum of Laundry Detergent" tee- shirts.

3. Moon Soon?

According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, the answer is nope. NASA's new mission is a human asteroid mission by 2025. Apparently, some of the Rocket men at NASA caught the 1998 Bruce Willis masterpiece "Armageddon" and decided that this would be a much cooler idea. That, and maybe that tiny little meteorite touchdown in Russia recently, and it got people thinking we might want to figure that out. The dinosaurs probably wished they had given it some thought too.

4. Snail Mail Fail

The US Postal Service has backed off on a plan to eliminate Saturday mail deliveries, saying Congress says no-no. That's the same Congress, by the way, that is doing its level best to actually sink the Post Office, by starving it of money. The irony is that the Post Office doesn't get money from the taxpayer, but they still need Congressional approval to make any changes. Congress, who must have the Post Office's best interest at heart. That's why they mandated that the Post Office pre-fund health benefits for retirees for a staggering 75 years. Know what that means? The post office is paying for retirement benefits for people they haven't even hired yet. And now, the Post Office comes up with a plan to save some decent coin and Congress hits the buzzer. Really, what other reasoning could there be other than the GOP wants to break the Postal union and sink the mail ship. So, for the foreseeable future you'll still get your bills and coupon packages on Saturdays. That is until there aren't any employees left to deliver. That's Congress for you. Always doing what's right.......for them.

5. Weiner Weturn?

Seriously, who doesn't love a good Weiner joke? Is it a joke that the disgraced former Congressman who tweeted a picture of his name sake to a 20 something college co-ed is considering a run for the Mayor of New York City? That remains to be seen. I just hope he's not being a dick about it and keeping us hanging. If this is just an impotent threat, it'll prove that he is just a pecker. Polls did show that people are willing to give Weinie a chance after his indiscretion. Americans do seem to have short memories when it comes to this stuff. Ask Bill Clinton.

The Masters is on this weekend, a 14 year old appears to be making the cut, and if he does, I may have to flatten the tires on his tricycle. Happy Friday, everyone.




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