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Ted Cruz, TEDx, and Tea Party

I hope Ted Cruz and all our other Canadian friends enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I hope my American brethren enjoyed being reminded what a genocidal monster / proud Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was. Here are some things. 

1. I posted something last week with specific questions, but although the article racked up 18 comments, no one answered them specifically, so I’ll try again

What do you think our regional priorities should be? How do we sell fundamental, deep regional political, social, educational, and economic change to a conservative and resistant population? How can we sell these big ideas while convincing people (a) that they aren’t going to “lose” while others “win”, and that these changes will benefit them, too?

2. Today is Buffalo TEDx day, and if you can’t be there, you can follow along here

3. The tea party shut down the government over Obamacare. Everything about it has been a disaster for the Republican Party. How many times have you heard these dummies denounce the size and scope of the federal government? How many times have you read how their pledgeholder Grover Norquist wants to shrink the federal government so he can drown it in its bathwater? Yet, when these guys get the government shutdown they want, they hold an unironic protest in Washington, throwing “Barrycades” at the White House? The shutdown and looming default fears have completely supplanted the problems people have had with the Obamacare signup website in the news. A deal is expected to be struck sometime today or tomorrow, and it will be a resounding defeat for Republicans in congress. It’s so bad that some are calling on Democrats to show mercy and help out. When the deal is struck, the government will reopen, the debt limit so our creditors are repaid, and there will be a deal to revisit and soften the harshness of the sequester. But at least Judicial Watch’s Larry Klayman will still try to arrest Obama in November, so that’s nice.

Remember: Brian Higgins opposed the government shutdown and wants the government to pay its debts. Chris Collins supported the government shutdown, and wanted to link defunding Obamacare with reopening government and raising the debt ceiling. He held the government hostage to ensure that average people would have a harder time obtaining affordable, quality health insurance, and maintaining the health care status quo. The government has lost billions of dollars during the shutdown, and small businesses would be devastated by the global shock a default would bring. Collins is simply irresponsible – bad for America and bad for New York.  

4. Ideas for what to do with Buffalo’s Outer Harbor are like assholes – everyone’s got one, and they all stink


  • Sean Danvers

    C’mon now, the very fact that Collins got elected to congress after totally failing as County Exec should be more than enough evidence that folks ’round here dont care about ethics or accountability. So long as they can feel like they are still living in 1964 they could care less.

    And in answer to your question, I think there are 2 options:
    1) There needs to be a better job bridging the gap between the city and the burbs in general, since suburbanites here, especially those who remember downtown being vibrant and alive, have a pretty deep-seeded bitterness about anything having to do with the city. Sure, they see progress and reinvention, but by and large its still viewed as a dangerous and logistically challenging place, worthy of only quick runs in and out as parking permits. More efforts need to be directed ant packging advancements as being good for the entire reigon, not just the city proper. Sorta like; “Think about what will happen to your home vaule if you AREN’T living next to a nationwide punchline”
    2) Continue to let the “conservative and resistant population” die off to non-impacting voter levels and move ahead with the programs. Ya can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  • mike raleigh

    1) Here is a start

    no new buildings. use the buildings we have first. we already have too many buildings.

    plant all open space with trees. whether we want forests or not, eventually we can cut the trees down and use the wood if we need the open space.

    everyone stop littering. less garbage on the streets and it requires very little effort.

    everyone ride bicycles on 25% of all trips. healthier people, less money spent on fuel.

    everyone starts a garden. everyone works, everyone takes care of some part of the land.

    these steps wont solve everything but they will go a long way towards a better community and they are just about as cheap of solutions as you can have.

  • Andrew Kulyk

    I just now read your link in number 4. Sorry I didn’t catch it when you first published it.

    Calling out the GBSEC principals as assholes is disrespectful and is just another shot across the bow from your perch in the current ECDems political divide.

    Say what you want about the waterfront stadium proposal (and I for one love the design but see all sorts of challenges as to the location as depicted), the fact of the matter is we have seven years as a community to figure out what we are going to do long term to keep the Buffalo Bills here forever. Thanks to the leadership of state officials and the County Executive, we got an incredibly favorable lease and some breathing space. Thanks to the GBSEC, we got this community moving along in terms of the public discussion that is so healthy and so necessary.

    I can say this, and this is coming from someone who has visited and attended games at all 31 NFL stadiums and countless more FBS college football venues … this will be the last lease at The Ralph. When San Francisco opens up their new stadium in 2014, we will have the dubious distinction of having the oldest and shabbiest stadium in the NFL. If we do not get a new stadium plan up and running in the next decade, the Buffalo Bills are gone. That building just can not sustain the revenue stream needed in today’s NFL. It’s that simple.

    Discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of this scenario is a good thing. Targeting respected businessmen as “assholes” because they took the initiative to present a bold visions is wrong.

    • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

      I didn’t call anyone an asshole. I channeled a joke, and criticized the IDEAS as being like assholes, not the people. ZELLNERECDEMSOMG notwithstanding. And next time click all the links.

    • UncleBluck

      With the looming lawsuits over concussion issues I would think hard before spending a billion dollars in any city for a new stadium as football may not even exists as a pro/college/high school/little league sport in 20 years

  • rhmaccallum

    “Regional priorities”
    Firstly we must accept that the primary reasons Buffalo was ever a major city, the advantage of the Erie canal and the advent of low cost hydropower at Niagara are both gone. Yes, we loose population just as all those other places lost their children to opportunities in Buffalo during our hayday.
    We need to stop living in Bruce Springsteen’s “Glorydays” We need to accept, and embrace that smaller is not necessarily a bad thing…and could be a very good thing, if managed within reality.
    Regionally we must front the fact that Buffalo IS the hub. Having a large urban center gives us many advantages and opportunities we would otherwise not have available. To realize that full potential Buffalo and the region must do two things. First, realize that suburbanites and outlanders.are not going to come here happily and in large numbers…unless they can drive, and park convienently.
    Secondly Buffalo has to do something about the east side, the ghetto. That is a complex problem which will take multifaceted ideas and actions to turn around. On part is selling suburbia that it is to their advantage to help in this. Another is to finally begin, with tax incentives and disincentives, zoning and commitment the real problem with sprawl and allowing this region to be politically controlled behind the scenes primarily by developers.
    Let’s face it. The scope and mass of sprawl is, in reality an effort by those of means to distance themselves not from the advantages of city life but fro the blight and concentration of poverty we have amassed on the east side. Sprawl is simply an escape…for those who can afford it.
    None of this is going to be easy, and it won’t be quick but we should remember…there are no problems, only solutions.

  • MichaelRCaputo

    You’re right Alan: Nobody should ever touch the Affordable Care Act. Ever. Forget that every law ever passed in the history of the United States is open for amendment by Congress under their Constitutional mandate. Ignore the fact that for two centuries bipartisan efforts have vastly improved well-intentioned but flawed laws. This law is different because President Obama is MAGICAL.

    • David A. Steele

      I am curious where your comment is coming from being that no one anywhere has ever said that The Affordable Care Act should never be changed. Not even Obama says that. Very few laws are perfect and all can benefit from positive change and reform. Alan has said he would scrap the whole thing for a single payer system. So, what exactly is your point?

      • MichaelRCaputo

        Really? Really? Okay, I’ll lay it out for you. The House is trying to change the law. The House effort is within their mandate. There is bipartisan support to make vital changes. These certainly aren’t the first negotiations tied to a Continuing Resolution or the debt limit. President Obama himself has done it. Still, the White House refuses, disingenuously pretending this is a first. Talking point-fed Dems are wringing their hands like this has never happened before. The theater is laughable. End. Of. Story.

      • jimd54

        What’s disingenuous is the notion Republicans are trying to be constructive. I sat through hours of c-span back in the ACA’s infancy. Nothing but obstruction from the get go except for one guy who suggested an idea to curb medicare fraud which the President embraced. Now after they have been taking a beating they just want to make “positive” changes. Bullshit.
        As a registered Republican since 1972 I wish people like you and your ilk would go away and let responsible adults move the political debate forward.

      • MichaelRCaputo

        With Republicans like you, who needs Democrats? You don’t know me or what I advocate so your vitriol is worth squat. While you have nothing better to do than watch CSPAN, I work this issue full time. So save your anonymous “responsible adult” namecalling and judgement for other spectators. Meanwhile, I’ll be in Washington changing the ACA so it doesn’t destroy our economy.

      • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

        ACA won’t have to destroy our economy. The Congressional Republicans have been diligently working on that.

      • Oswald Carnes

        It must be rough knowing you’re going to end up history’s laughingstock, just like every other teabagger goon.

      • UncleBluck

        You know Mike for a pretty bright guy it seems you just want parrot the usual Republican talking points. You can spend all the time you want in Washington but you will change nothing until you can change the will of the voters……and not just the far right…..and people around WNY know exactly what you advocate……don’t kid yourself

      • jimd54

        Dude, no way I was name calling. If I was name calling I’d call you a Carl Palladino snoid. But I wouldn’t do that because I believe in civil discourse on this site. Good luck in DC.

      • David Staba

        What mandate is that, Mike? The one Republicans somehow got from Obama winning two elections campaigning on this issue, or the one that resulted from GOP candidates receiving 1.4 million votes less than Democrats in the 2012 House races, yet retaining a majority thanks to gerrymandering? Is it even possible for Republicans to acknowledge that a Democratic president gets any sort of mandate from convincingly winning an election? And doesn’t both House and Senate GOP leadership pretty much punting on any significant changes to the ACA last week mean it’s time for a new rationale for this tantrum, along with some new talking points?

      • MichaelRCaputo

        Oh that’s cute. I love how blindly partisan Democrats think President Obama won reelection so handily. He didn’t. You know it. But feel free to fantasize. As for what mandate: the Constitution. The House has a mission, envision by the Framers, and they are following it. As for Ted Cruz and the original intent of this chapter: It was stupid, he’s a frightening man and I think House Republicans should pay for the spending they authorized. Having said that, when people like you gasp at business-as-usual in Washington it makes me chuckle. You must have just started paying attention.

      • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

        I don’t think what’s happening right now is usual, as evidenced by the fact that it’s the first shutdown in almost a generation.

        You know what they say about those who forget history. Here, a faction of Republicans was ACHING for this shutdown. BEGGING for it. Then they disingenuously demand that the “Barrycades” THEY EFFECTIVELY ERECTED come down.

      • David Staba

        My mistake. I forgot math, like science, has a liberal bias. I’ll have to remember that the only legitimate, meaningful elections are the ones won by Republicans. Impressive contortion, though, decrying Cruz as ‘frightening’ while cheerleading the shutdown he quarterbacked. Be careful not to pull a muscle. As for this being ‘business-as-usual,’ no Congress controlled by the zealots of one party has refused to pay the debt it incurred unless it gets its way since … the first Tea Party Congress in 2011. So you’re right, it is business-as-usual for these guys. I’m not sure what part of what I wrote constitutes a ‘gasp,’ or identifies me as ‘blindly partisan,’ but if such conclusion-jumping helps you rationalize finding yourself on the same side of any issue as the likes of Cruz and Bachmann, good for you. That’s gotta hurt.

      • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

        The House “effort” is within its mandate, but it has already failed about 40+ times, because of (a) Presidential veto and/or (b) Majority Democratic Senate. Shutting down the government and threatening default as a tactic to literally do harm to the country and her people in a temper tantrum over the horror of affordable health insurance is an interesting “reboot”.