This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to watertownwizards@yahoo.com THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Thursday, December 31, 2009

If you watched the above video here is a long form documentary on drugs you may find interesting


Here is what Lord Mayor Jeffery of Watertown wrote about the wind power pilot coming to the county leg Tuesday the 5th.

I oppose the PILOT being considered by the County Legislature and if fact believe the Leg should rescind its "standard PILOT" legislation that allows many such agreements to avoid individual votes. Clearly this places me at odds with others who are in local government.
My reasons are many.
-PILOTS....or payment in lieu of tax agreements....are not free money...They represent a shift of tax burden from those who pay to those who don't. There are many stated rationales for this...being a veteran...being a senior...living in a certain area....or in the case of business, "creating jobs."
Quite simply many Americans are tired of bailouts and subsidies and if a break is to be given it should go to all.
As for wind farms, they are already subsidized by the federal government and if they cannot make sense economically, then they need not exist.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

By the way, This is the guy the Jefferson County Republicans want for Governor

This story is about two months old

Erie County Executive Collins regrets comparing Sheldon Silver to Hitler, anti-Christ

Monday, October 26th 2009, 4:00 AM



An upstate Republican who's eying a run for governor has compared Shelly Silver, the Orthodox Jewish speaker of the state Assembly, with Adolf Hitler and the anti-Christ.

And now Erie County Executive Chris Collins says he's really, really sorry.

The slur came during a speech Saturday night to fellow Republicans in Buffalo, while slamming Albany's notorious "three men in a room" budget process - in which the governor and legislative leaders make deals in private.

Collins referenced famed French seer Nostradamus' prediction that there would be three anti-Christs before the Apocalypse.

He said it's generally accepted the first was Napoleon and the second Hitler.

He said he was "pretty sure" the third is Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, two attendees at the Erie County GOP's annual fall fund-raiser at the Adam's Mark Hotel said.

"No one clapped. No one cheered. No one laughed," said a Western New York Republican who was at the event. "I know I didn't. I thought it was a little harsh to be calling someone an anti-Christ."

Through his spokesman, Collins said he had made a "poor joke" and extended his "sincerest apologies" to Silver.



Read more:http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/10/26/2009-10-26_erie_county_executive_chris_collins_regrets_calling_sheldon_silver_antichrist_hi.html#ixzz0b7WFq2OD

Monday, December 28, 2009

Apparently Don Coon likes this guy--lotsaluck--Liz reported this.


The battle for the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nomination is on.

Fifteen Republican county chairs have signed a letter urging Erie County Executive Chris Collins to run for governor next year, citing his success at holding the fiscal line in Western New York and exhibiting "bold and committed leadership."

The chairs hail from - Albany, Erie, the Bronx, Allegany, Franklin, Livingston, Orleans, Rensselaer, Cattaraugus, Jefferson, Seneca, Onondaga, Genesee, Delaware and Cayuga.



Read more:http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/12/15-gop-chairs-seek-to-draft-co.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fblogs%2Fdailypolitics+%28Blogs%2FThe+Daily+Politics%29&utm_content=Twitter#ixzz0b1HCGYNF

Sunday, December 27, 2009

California Griz has a Christmas ditty for the tea-party types

MSM won't endorse this.


Just for the heck of it please remember that your old friendly JD blog dug into each of those online originated stories of which Greg spoke . Granted we originated only limited content but we tried to point you at the good stuff.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"An eye for an eye will make us all blind," Mahatma Ghandi

Each year for the past five or so this blogger has presented John and Yoko's 'Happy Christmas.'
Be aware--the pictures aren't pretty.

Friday, December 25, 2009

First hurdle for the Jeff Legislature Tuesday!

video

The voice over dude didn't get the island's name right. Its gah-lou guy. But I clearly heard the name Blankenbush. He got that one right.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is the man we voted for--is it the same man?

Why Dr. Dean (and JD as well) has grave reservations

Five Critical Flaws in the Senate Health Care Bill

The Senate bill would:

#1—Deny Americans the choice of a public option. In contrast, the House bill contains a national public option, the key to real competition, greater choice, and lower costs.

#2—Leave insurance unaffordable for some lower income and working people. Both bills require virtually all Americans to buy insurance. But even with the subsidies provided, some families could have to pay up to 20% of their income on health care expenses.

#3—Impose dangerous restrictions on women's reproductive health care. Unfortunately, both bills do this and the House provision is worse. Both versions would be a dangerous step and neither should be in the final bill.

#4—Tax American workers' health coverage to pay for reform. The Senate would pay for part of reform by taxing the hard-won benefits packages of some working Americans. The House, on the other hand, pays for reform with a small surcharge on only the really wealthy—a far better approach.

#5—Allow insurance companies to remain exempt from anti-trust laws. Under current law, insurance companies are actually exempt from laws designed to prevent monopolies and price-gouging. The House bill would fix this, but the Senate bill leaves it in place.

VISITS FOR THE RECENT WEEK

Average per Day ................ 212   This Week .................... 1,487    

Monday, December 21, 2009

This southerner is one of us.

Tim McGraw includes and celebrates every leading light south of the Mason Dixon line in this
emerging contemporary country classic. Truth be known Tim has even campaigned for progressives. He is a traditional southern musicmaker without some of those oldtime uncomfortable southern traditions. Times really have changed. And it happened in JD's lifetime.

Holy crap! We agree with John McCain.

This piece today from the Plattsburgh Press Republican has some stern implications for the Towns of Alexandria and Orleans right here in Jefferson County.

ALBANY — A small town battle over fewer than 70 ballots from November's election could decide if downstate New Yorkers, most of them Democrats, can vote from their weekend and vacation homes upstate, a Republican outpost that can be shaken by a few strategically placed voters.

In the town of Taghkanic, some 100 miles north of New York City, a handful of local elections — highway superintendent, town justice and two town council seats — are on hold until the courts decide whether final ballots can be counted. The winners are supposed to take office Jan. 1.

The community of about 1,100 people wasn't expecting the political battle that's landed on their front lawns. But it started years ago for state Republicans who have gradually watched the erosion of their traditional hold on upstate New York.

At issue is state election law that defines residence as the place "where a person maintains a fixed, permanent and principal home and to which he, wherever temporarily located, always intends to return."

Maybe Sampie has a chance next time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It isn't partyline at all but it is a truly great progressive newsletter. Try it

Mainstream stuff


Here is the latest newsletter from the NYS Democratic Party. You just can't get more mainstream than this. Click it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hey! I got a video from the White House

http://holiday.barackobama.com/?fname=Ted

Scamming the state retirement system and calling out Don Alexander



A big JD "hoo-ray" goes out to the WDT for an editorial today about the JCIDA and their methodology to get undeserving folks into the state retirement system.

It seems to JD and the Jefferson Leaning Left blog that there might be some culpable criminality here.

The JLL said this, "..the JCIDA has been listing the staff of other various economic development agencies as being employees of the Jefferson County Agency. That way, the JCIDA becomes an umbrella agency to funnel benefits to workers."

The last line from the Times editorial is, "The practice bears a thorough investigation by Mr. DiNapoli's office to determine its validity and accountability for any improper conduct."


The A-B-C Book Drive is in the Distribution Phase

This holiday season Assemblywoman Addie Russell joined forces with the Community and Church Program in St. Lawrence County and the Community Action Planning Council in Jefferson County to hold a book drive. The drive was titled ‘A-B-C Addie’s Books for Children.’ The goal was to try to put a book in every kid’s hands this holiday.

The Assemblywoman was publicized and promoted the book drive and the social service agencies are distributing the books. The collection phase concluded December 11th and the results were impressive. Over 1,500 new and gently used books for children were collected. One book dealer alone, Kalieghbug Books, in Morristown contributed over 200 new books. Thanks also go out not only to the sponsoring agencies but Salmon Run Mall in Watertown and Kinney Drugs in Canton where the collection boxes were located . The Jeff/Lewis Teacher’s Center also deserve thanks for laminating the posters promoting the book drive.

Addie Russell said, “I am very pleased that the ABC book drive frankly exceeded my expectations in its first year. Whether kids read themselves, or are read to, the joy of reading can be experienced by many kids this holiday season. We are starting early to expand the book collection next year. Once again our goal will be to get as many books in as many young hands as we are able.”

Sheri Wilcox of the Church and Community Organization in Canton said, “It was a joy seeing the faces of parents and guardians light up when we combined the gifting of food, toys, clothes and books. The families that we deal with really appreciated the books.”

Melinda Gault of the Community Action Planning Council said, “It isn’t common for an outreach agency like ours to partner with an elected official to reach a common goal. But I’m so pleased we were able to do that this year. Kids will benefit and that’s always our goal at CAPC.”



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen--Boys and Girls--Randy Newman

Liz Sez

Today's Q poll suggeststhat those argued against letting the gay marriage bill die on the Senate floor for fear it would be a setback for the movement may have been right.

New Yorkers are again split, 47-46, on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, which is down from 51-41 in support of the measure in a June 23 Q poll.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/12/the-gay-marriage-fallout-is-fe.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fblogs%2Fdailypolitics+%28Blogs%2FThe+Daily+Politics%29&utm_content=Twitter#ixzz0ZtjNbVRx

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Howard Dean, "Kill the Healthcare Bill!"

Breaking this early evening Dr. Howard Dean one of the longest and largest supporters of national healthcare legislation said in a Vermont Public Radio story that without the Public Option and/or the Early Medicare provision the bill should be killed. Click for it.

Inch by inch

Little by little the very intimate circle viewing JD grows. We appreciate each and every one of you.
Total ....................... 46,795                         Average per Day ................ 224                                                 This Week .................... 1,567             

IQ Time

A short while ago we put up a game and everybody seemed to like it--especially R. Wiley of the Jefferson's Leaning Left blog. Ok R. Here is an IQ test for you. Click here. You don't have to tell us your score. Mine was 8. Maybe the Mayor will post his.

Are corporations the same as people?

An interesting decision will be coming from the Supreme Court.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Capital H HYPOCRITE--Joe Lieberman last Sept. at an editorial board session

By now, everybody should realize that what Joe Lieberman says has nothing to do with principle -- it's all about exacting revenge on the Democratic Party base that voted him out of the party in 2006. Every single time he's flip-flopped on a position related to health care reform, he's done so in a fashion designed to cause maximal harm to Democratic Party leadership and the administration. The only kind of health care bill he wants to see pass is the kind of health care bill that will disappoint the Democratic Party base and depress Democratic turnout in 2010. Simply put, enabling Joe Lieberman is enabling a political opponent of the Democratic Party, and anyone who tries to make a deal with him is going to end up looking foolish in the end. At this point, it is increasingly apparent that the only option left is reconciliation. Joe Lieberman is leaving Democratic leadership no other choice. (a Daily Kos post today)
Here is Dennis Kucinich with a one minute speech on the House floor that you may not agree with but please watch it and think about it anyway. Thanks.

David Paterson is mounting a mini comeback

This from the Albany TU.

The new Siena poll finds the governor climbing up to a 36 percent favorability rating (with 53 percent unfavorable), which puts him back where he was in July — long before the Paterson campaign started rolling out a pricey ad campaign designed to bolster his chances for next year.

The governor’s greatest gain comes from voters who are not in his party: He gained 7 points among Republicans and 6 points with independents, but fell three points among Democrats. You can most likely lay that off on the fact that the master narrative of the past several months has been Paterson’s pitched battle with the Democrat-controlled Legislature, which he has cast as insufficiently fiscally responsible.

Paterson can also take solace from the fact that he’s now back to beating GOP candidate Rick Lazio in a hypothetical general election matchup, although the 42-40 win is within the margin of error. Not within the margin of error: Andrew Cuomo’s 68-22 hypothetical victory over Lazio, or the AG’s 67-23 victory over Paterson.

Paterson “is fighting gravity, and gravity is winning,” said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf in an interview this morning with Fred Dicker.

De-Merit badges

If you would like to give Walmart a de-merit badge for their sick leave policy click here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is our Gov 'over the top' on this or what? He wails about the lying legislature. Really.


Here is a pretty rare weekend posting from Liz this morning. (The pic is from her facebook page. Don't mess with Liz. She's tiny but taut.)

Gov. David Paterson was back on the radio this morning to continue his anti-Legislature campaign, and ratcheted up the rhetoric even further by accusing state lawmakers of lying to constituents about the state's fiscal mess.

Speaking on WABC-AM’s "Religion on the Line" with Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Deacon Kevin McCormack, the governor lit into legislators who claim he is overstating the severity of the crisis in an attempt to boost his own poll numbers.

"I can't believe that individuals would get up and - I don't use this term lightly - and lie to their own constituents to try to ingratiate themselves with the public when they go home when they know full well the crisis that we're facing," Paterson said.


"...These are people who would never manage their own money the way they're managing your money, the taxpayer. I've never heard of any legislator going bankrupt."

Paterson found kindred spirits in Potasnik and McCormack.

Potasnik told the governor: "I understand why you have security - to protect you from those people in Albany, in the Assembly and the Senate." The rabbi then accused the Legislature of doing a "disservice" to the people they represent by employing "dilatory tactics" when it comes to the budget deficit.

Paterson responded:

"Well, Rabbi, I think it's worse than what you describe. I think they do understand what's going on and continue to fail to uphold the oath of office that we all took to protect our constituents."

The governor later suggested that lawmakers are unwilling to cut the sacred cows of school aid and health care funding because they are "seduced by the competitive spirit" and "intimated" by their colleagues who "act all tough" and pledge to protect those sectors.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/12/paterson-to-legislature-youre.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fblogs%2Fdailypolitics+%28Blogs%2F
Here is absolutely pure citizen journalism. This citizen posted her amateur youtube shot at a
free health clinic in Kansas City to her blog. I think it says volumes. If you would like to do a citizen journalist video send it to Watertownwizards@yahoo.com We'll consider it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just before the weekly address here is a short report on the many Jefferson Dems that helped the Salvation Army by ringing bells at the Fort Drum Walmart today. The early afternoon shift (noon to 3) had Doris McLallen, Ted Ford and Mary Kiechle wailing away on the bells. The kids contributing are the greatest. Their faces just beamed. I'm not sure who came in to relieve at 3 but I'm guessing Sean Hennessey and Sandra Cole were among them.
Now, as promised, the Prez.

Memo from home office

Each week the unidentifiable, faceless ones at the Democratic State Office send out a newsletter.
Here is the approved manifesto. Click it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

R.I.P. PUBLIC HEALTH OPTION

Here is the lead story today from Huff Po.

The public health insurance option died on Thursday, December 10, 2009, after a months-long struggle with Senate parliamentary procedure. The time of death was recorded as 11:12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Its death had been rumored numerous times over the past year, but the public option repeatedly and defiantly battled back. The Senate's insistence on 60 votes, combined with President Obama's decision not to intervene on its behalf, eventually proved overwhelming.

The public option leaves behind a Medicare buy-in for people aged 55-64, an expansion of Medicaid, a quasi-public option for those under 300 percent of the poverty line and a collection of national private plans managed by the Office of Personnel Management.

The one remaining chance for the public option rested with the House somehow forcing its will on the Senate.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the final plug in a press briefing with reporters Thursday.

She had often said in the past that a health care bill without a public option simply wouldn't have the votes to pass the House. She was asked about that claim Thursday, in relation to the Senate compromise, and pointedly told reporters that any bill could pass as long as it met certain broad goals.

"Well, what I said -- it is a two‑part statement that quotes what the President has said. We believe, we in the House believe, that the public option is the best way to hold insurance companies honest -- to keep them honest and also to increase competition. If there is a better way, put it on the table. As soon as we see something in writing from the Senate, we will be able to make a judgment about that. But our standards are that we have affordability for the middle class, security for our seniors, closing the donut hole and sustaining the solvency of Medicare. Responsibility to our children, so not one dime is added to the deficit. And accountability of insurance companies. We will take a measure of that bill in those regards," Pelosi said.


So. Its over. We lose. (...and so do you.)

The antiwindies going commercial

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We could use a lot more Tedras


Gentleman Jude Seymour of the WDT reported today that Tedra Cobb the St. Lawrence County legislator who represents the Canton
area isn't going to run for the position again. Damn! She represents just about everything that JD believes. She offered this, “Over the course of almost eight years, I have become more and more committed to the idea that elected officials should serve for two purposes — to better the community and to further the issues of their constituents. I have tried to fulfill these purposes while in office, and next year, I will step aside for them as well,” Ms. Cobb said in a written release. “By stepping aside, someone new will have the opportunity to serve your interests and work toward the betterment of our community.”



A truly open forum

Thursday evening at Jefferson Community College Assemblywoman Addie Russell will host an OPEN FORUM. The forum is for anyone who cares to attend. It will be unmoderated and visitors may ask the Assemblywoman anything they wish. Starting time is 6PM and the ending time is unknown.

Next week on the 17th Assemblywoman Russell is planning a second forum at SUNY Canton.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bruno GUILTY


It is a dark day for the NY Senate. This blog agrees with the NY Public Interest Research Group.

The federal trial of the former Senate Majority Leader pulled back the curtain on Mr. Bruno’s shocking use of his public office for private gain, including using taxpayer resources to help build his business empire, relying on Senate staff for his private business dealings and using state offices to hold sales-pitch meetings. Through it all Mr. Bruno concealed his true business dealings from other lawmakers, voters and the general public. Some of his actions have been found illegal by a federal jury.

Regardless of the verdict, what is abundantly clear is that New York’s legislative ethics is rotten. How else could Senator Bruno think, correctly or otherwise, that he could deceive the public in the disclosure of his outside employment? Or run his private business out of his taxpayer-funded offices – all the while using the Senate’s professional staff to help him in his enterprise?

The system needs radical overhaul. Here are four steps:

1. New York State needs an independent ethics watchdog that is not beholden to the legislature or its leaders.
2. There must be clear guidelines prohibiting lawmakers’ use of taxpayer dollars to benefit their private business enterprises.
3. Disclosure requirements must require lawmakers to publicly report the names of business clients and provide sufficient detail on the identity of direct and indirect clients, the nature of the work, and compensation.
4. There must be a complete ban on lawmakers appearing before governmental entities—including the type of activities Senator Bruno engaged in, like matching up clients and government agencies.
5. Lawmakers must demonstrate that they can conduct their private business in a transparent and ethical manner, free from conflicts, or such income should be banned altogether.

Lastly, action must occur quickly. The Assembly has passed legislation that covers some of these topics, but so far the Senate has not acted. Negotiations must lead to a new law as quickly as possible to set a new ethical environment in Albany.

Here is a piece from Common Cause

"The lax atmosphere has not only been indicted but now convicted, and it just really underlies how no one up there has an idea of what’s right and what’s wrong," said Common Cause/NY Executive Director Susan Lerner.


"The Bruno verdict shows that there are no standards," she continued. "These people don’t know how to behave."

"The fact that Joe Bruno could say after being convicted for this kind of action that he thinks he did nothing wrong is just sad. He doesn’t get it, and his former colleagues don’t get it."



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/12/these-people-dont-know-how-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fblogs%2Fdailypolitics+%28Blogs%2FThe+Daily+Politics%29&utm_content=Twitter#ixzz0Z3PYxNSf