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This Modern World: Primary Questions

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This Modern World: The Long, Long, Long Race for the White House

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NY-27 Candidate O’Donnell: S.C.O.P.E. is a Conservative Party Front

Budd Shroeder is the head of “Shooters Committee on Political Education“. SCOPE is chartered as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit issues advocacy organization. It states in its own “about” statement

While SCOPE role is focused primarily on the political process, it is an issues oriented organization.  It does not align itself with any political party nor does it endorse any candidates for elective office.  Our function is to counter assaults on the right of firearms ownership.  This entails providing legislators and executives with timely and accurate information to support sound decisions.

The notion that SCOPE is not aligned with any political party is utter and unadulterated nonsense. Here is what Congressional candidate for NY-27 JimO’Donnell – a pro-gun, anti-SAFE Act – Democrat found out, and has to say about SCOPE (emphases added): 

The Truth About S.C.O.P.E.’s Chairman:

Today a neighbor brought me SCOPE’s ratings and asked why it listed me as a B and my opponent was given an A+. After all, my opponent was “accidently” a founding member of one of the groups that helped write the SAFE Act, and I, unlike him, am one of the citizens who actually owns one of the guns made illegal. You would think on those facts alone, I would get an A and he would get an F. So why the discrepancy?

A few weeks ago Budd Schroeder, chairman of SCOPE came up to me and introduced himself. He came up to me on his own, and introduced himself and asked me not to be too hard on my opponent. “He may have made some mistakes, but you don’t want to dwell on them. Just be civil.” I had always planned on being civil, but I thought it was odd that the head of SCOPE would be asking this of me. A few days later, Budd introduced me to a SCOPE gathering as “a candidate for NY State Senate.” This was after he introduced my opponent as a close friend, whose son Budd taught to shoot his first gun.

Never mind Collins being “snookered” into being a founding member of a group that supported the SAFE Act, he has done absolutely nothing legislatively to promote 2nd Amendment rights. I, on the other hand, have written and shared with SCOPE legislation that would help their cause. So why give him a better grade than me? Because Budd is more interested in helping his friends than repealing the SAFE Act.

That’s not where it ends. I have been saying all along that the only way to repeal the SAFE Act in NY is to show all of the democrats who are opposed to it, which from going around this district, is a huge number. I brought this up to Budd and said he should try to reach out to those Democrats, this was his response:

“I have friends who are Democrats. Some close friends. I am a registered Conservative and like having friends on both sides of the aisle. I am also on the Executive Board of the Erie County Conservative Party. Been a Second Amendment activist for almost a half century. Some habits are hard to break and I don’t want to break this one. Thanks for checking in.
Budd”

By this comment, it is clear that Budd does not want to repeal the SAFE Act. It is the single greatest fundraiser for the Conservative Party ever. Budd doesn’t want that to end. I have sat through a few SCOPE meetings, unlike my opponent who received a higher grade than me, and during it I witnessed Budd and others offer flat screen TV’s to the groups who registered the most new people as Conservatives. That is the only goal Budd has, growing the Conservative Party and thereby growing his influence.

People opposed to the SAFE Act: Stop supporting this man – he is wasting your money.

Thanks for checking in.
Jim

I don’t even get what Schroeder’s response to O’Donnell is supposed to mean. Which “habit” is hard to break? Being a Conservative Fusion Party Shill?

The issue isn’t whether Schroeder showed undue and improper favoritism to Chris Collins. That’s pretty typical for a conservative front group, to prefer the Republican candidate over the Demonrat. Even nominal Democrats who are really Paladino Republicans like Johnny Destino have been the victims of SCOPE anti-Democrat animus.  SCOPE decided to “downgrade” Destino’s score because people supporting him are in favor of gun control. That’s simply pathological

In the meantime, SCOPE seems to have listened to O’Donnell and upgraded him from a B to an A, but Collins gets an A+. I mean, based on what, except party affiliation or Conservative Fusion Party endorsement? It’s all nonsense. For instance, in 2012, Brian Higgins received an A+ rating from SCOPE.  This year, he gets an F and Weppner Clownshoes gets an A+.  Ballotpedia says that Higgins supports an “absolute right to gun ownership”. That gets an F? 

What I want to hear more about is the TV giveaways for Conservative Fusion recruitment at SCOPE meetings. If true, it would likely be a clear and absolute violation of the group’s 501(c)(4) mandate to be a non-partisan issues advocacy group. As for the SAFE Act being a great fundraising tool for the Conservatives, well, of course it is. 

I sent a message to Mr. Schroeder asking him for his reaction, and received no reply. 


Tea Party Protests Grisanti Fundraiser

An exclusive image of the massive tea party protest of Mark Grisanti’s fundraiser, courtesy of @HeyRaChaCha on Twitter


Kathy “Purple Penguin” Weppner

Step 1: See what appears to be regurgitated, unvetted nonsense likely spreading rampant through the fascist blogosphere in order to assail the imminent destruction of ‘Murrka by n0bummer and the Alinskyite cadres. 

Step 2: Not being privy to the rampant dementia infecting the idiot fasict blogosphere, Google it and find who’s talking about it. 

Step 3: Be a curious and intelligent person, and try to get to the truth

Step 4: Find out that the whole fascist outrage is not only false, but damningly critical of an attempt to make kids feel comfortable in the classroom. In other words: based on evil. 

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Weppner and the Parenthetical Hitler

Hey, the candidates are replying to questionnaires. Let’s take a look! 

Kathy Weppner appears to be the only candidate vain enough to list “Patriot” as a qualification-slash-experience for public office.  That’s just breathtaking. I mean, Harvard Shmarvard. Being a “Patriot” is basically a silent pre-requisite for running for any public office in the U.S., like “sentient being” or “has central nervous system” or “skeleton”. 

Let’s compare the candidates’ “community involvement”, and watch Higgins mop the floor with Weppner’s “hey, I show up when people ask me to” slacktivism. 

Well, well, well. There are so many issues that the government should be addressing, and Higgins focuses on some key ones that fit neatly within a Congressional backbencher’s wheelhouse. But Weppner – she identifies the debt as “our top challenge”, and that if interest rates – that the Fed sets – go up, we won’t make the payments? The US has never defaulted, even in the 80s under Reagan’s debt and double-digit interest rates. People like Weppner who conflate public debt with family debt don’t really understand what they’re talking about. 

First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves…

…It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns morefrom its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.

Now, the fact that federal debt isn’t at all like a mortgage on America’s future doesn’t mean that the debt is harmless. Taxes must be levied to pay the interest, and you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to concede that taxes impose some cost on the economy, if nothing else by causing a diversion of resources away from productive activities into tax avoidance and evasion. But these costs are a lot less dramatic than the analogy with an overindebted family might suggest.

I don’t know what Congress is going to do about “leadership” in a “dangerous world”, but whatever. She’s running a chain-email campaign

Now, on to income inequality. If you haven’t, you should read Monday’s Krugman, and then look at this: 

Every time an increase in the minimum wage is proposed, the wealthy egotists who think themselves ‘job creators” and their minions whine about how the jobs will all be lost! They do this, of course, while simultaneously denigrating the jobs and their occupants as losers, slackers, teens, or all of the above.

But the loss of jobs doesn’t happen. At all. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be $10.90/hour.  Instead, the federal rate is $7.25. No one’s talking about making everyone earn the same – this isn’t some Stalinist march to the kolkhoz, but ensuring that people who work earn enough to live, and that we halt policies that disproportionately enrich the already rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. You know, to stop this

But note the rhetoric about how “immigrants…started with nothing, did anything, and ended up great! About that

So, on the one hand, immigrants do just great! But on the other hand, they’re all lawbreaking terrorist welfare queens who want to bankrupt the republic. 

See? It’s your own fault that we don’t know who’s funding campaigns. The word salad that Weppner sharts out here is utter nonsense. 

LOLWUT? First of all, I’d like someone to ask Weppner about the science of global climate change and see if she says the same thing. She completely fails to answer the question posed in any meaningful way, and just punts, adding that we like totally really need to be able to transport her phantom resources “based on science”. 

Common Core is not a federal program, isn’t administered or run from Washington, and was not a federal government initiative. Other than that, awesome!

So, on the one hand, she brings up a separation of powers issue that’s been pretty much resolved for some time – the Commander in Chief does not need a declaration of war to commit US troops. But the last time Congress declared war was World War 2, to combat, among others, Hitler – who appears here parenthetically.

We didn’t fight Hitler because of his crimes against humanity – we fought him because he declared war on the US on Pearl Harbor Day, and because the Nazis had overrun Europe and North Africa. Germany, Italy, and Japan were imposing militarist fascist totalitarian dictatorships all over the place, and we fought Nazi Germany because it had to be done. Weppner alludes to ISIS and its vicious reign of terror, but why isn’t the beheading and crucifixion of adults also a “crime against humanity” justifying American action? 

“Why do we deliver humanitarian food and shelter when humanity is threatened but we do not see the same need when life itself is threatened”.  What on Earth does that mean? We fought crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Kosovo in the last 20 years. What is she saying? 

She started her recent career as a caller to ultra-right-wing hate radio. She graduated from there to being a host on ultra-right-wing hate radio. Now, she feels entitled to a title, and in so doing is simply regurgitating nonsense she hears on ultra-right-wing hate radio. She’ll be lucky to hit 20% because the vast majority of WNY voters are not fascist idiots.


A Tuesday For the Books

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Eligible WNY Voter

Antoine Loses: Faith in Humanity Restored

Crystal Peoples-Stokes easily halted Antoine Thompson’s effort to go back to Albany, this time as an Assemblyman. That’s enough, Antoine. You had your chance and the power and prestige went to your head. There’s plenty of other ways to help the community – including, but not limited to, just getting a job and paying your taxes.

Tim Kennedy Wins Handily

Tim Kennedy also defeated Betty Jean Grant. This is, to me, a shame because Tim Kennedy is a sellout. He sold out the Democrats and his constituents when he cut a deal with Steve Pigeon and Chris Collins to hand over a Democratic legislature to the Republicans. He sold out to further his own political career – to replace Bill Stachowski in the state Senate. He out-spent Betty Jean by a huge margin, and she simply couldn’t raise the money to get the word out against someone who was, this time, ready for her.  Kennedy ran on legislation to strengthen child abuse laws, and securing some back-office jobs for our Bangalore-on-the-Lake. One thing is for sure – Betty Jean can go to sleep every night secure in the knowledge that she’s no sellout. 

Tea Party Finally Gets Grisanti

Oh, you tea party. You got a huge victory last night! You finally got rid of Mark Grisanti. Your disgust for him began when he voted for same-sex marriage – you still bring it up today. The SAFE Act vote mobilized you, because guns > gays for you; guns are your common denominator. Congratulations! I saw sponsored posts in my Facebook timeline from Rus Thompson’s extremist “Tea NY” and from former GOP challenger against Brian Higgins, Mike Madigan.  The visceral hatred that the right wing has for Grisanti finally manifested itself in an electoral victory – they got Kevin Stocker.  On the other side, we have Marc Panepinto, a Democratic activist and personal injury lawyer. The district in question is predominately Democratic and people with Italian surnames tend to do well in that district.

But here’s one possibility: Grisanti and Panepinto are both lawyers. Wouldn’t it be funny if Panepinto dropped out, Grisanti switched to the Democratic Party and was appointed to replace Panepinto on the Democratic ballot in November? Panepinto would have to run for Supreme Court somewhere – anywhere in the state. This is a thing that can happen. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the tea party spent all this time and effort just to expel Grisanti from the GOP and have him win in November as a Democrat? 

Teachout’s 35%

Cuomo and Hochul easily defeated Teachout and Wu, which is no surprise. What was a surprise was the fact that Teachout earned about 35% of the statewide vote with almost no money, very little name recognition, and a pretty short race. Hopefully a message was sent to the Governor’s mansion about the importance of fighting corruption. Or maybe not. Maybe we should shut up because of the Buffalo billion and other stuff, and just be satisfied with what we have. What difference does it make if the state is still run like it’s 1953? Shut up, you. 

Tea Party Didn’t Back Gia

Robert Ortt easily defeated on-again, off-again candidate Gia Arnold. Arnold’s entire campaign centered around getting rid of George Maziarz. Once Maziarz announced he wasn’t running again, he stole a ton of her thunder and she was stuck becoming a silly kid, talking about guns, guns, and guns, going so far as to wear a clip as a prop jewelry. In the end, Ortt was the serious and credible Republican guy, and he won handily. 

Mazurek Defeats Brandon

It should come as no surprise that the guy with the Polish name came out ahead in what was once Gabryszak’s Cheektowaga/Sloan district. 

Pegulas Buy Bills

All of this political nonsense was overshadowed by the palpable civic sign of relief when it was confirmed that the Pegula family had won the bidding war to buy the Bills. Not only is the uncertainty over the Bills staying in WNY over for the foreseeable future, but the team can now begin its second chapter in earnest. What amazing news. 

Shredd & Ragan Will Not Be Intimidated

I called in to Shredd & Ragan’s show on 103.3 WEDG Tuesday morning at 7am.  When they asked me something about guns and the SAFE Act, I accidentally said, “I don’t give a shit about guns”, forgetting in my uncaffeinated haze that I was on terrestrial radio and not a podcast. A thousand apologies for that. 

But what would you say if you knew that someone attempted to intimidate WEDG into not having me on the air? 

On Monday around lunchtime, I posted my standard September primary endorsement post, and noted at its conclusion that I’d be appearing on Shredd & Ragan’s show at 7am Tuesday morning. 

After my appearance on WEDG, I spoke with a few people who work behind the scenes for Shredd & Ragan’s show. It turns out that one particularly noxious politically connected individual had contacted the station about my upcoming appearance. This poor creature started out almost eerily polite, explaining that he or she was a friend of the show,  calling as a courtesy to advise them that – now, they’re not threatening anyone – but that I was “under investigation” by a “team of lawyers” and that WEDG – and anyone who gives me a “platform” might be held responsible if I said something slanderous. To say this is completely bizarre, outrageous,  and uncalled-for is an understatement. 

To their credit, the people at WEDG would not be intimidated into keeping me off the air, and directed this complainant to contact the station’s legal department if there were any further issues. 

I’m not altogether sure that the public figure who called the station wants to litigate his or her reputation, but empty threats and petty bullying will not intimidate me into shutting up. 


Zephyr Teachout Attempts to Greet Andrew Cuomo, Shake Hand

Her tenacity is met with a wall of staffers and bodyguards, and a governor who is quite deliberately snubbing her. 

Remember, Democrats: Vote Teachout/Hochul tomorrow!




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