Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2 corrupt politicians switch parties in desperate attempt to avoid going to jail

2 extremely corrupt politicians, new york state senator pedro espada of bronx and new york state senator hiram monserrate of queens, have switched their allegiance from democrat to republican in order to avoid criminal prosecution. the 2 gentlemen were bribed into doing this by tom golisano, an insane billionaire from rochester who has run for governor many times and always lost badly, and who announced he was moving to florida a few weeks ago because he hates taxes. both of these men, who are now loyal to the republicans but claim to be democrats, are puerto rican-americans, and they are part of a group called the “gang of 3” that was publicly considering supporting the republicans in the state senate several months ago because they dislike the leader of the new york state senate democrats, senator malcolm smith of queens. the coup d’etat took place on monday, carried out by none other than republican state senator tom libous of binghamton, who happens to represent ME. he can go fuck himself. anyway, the new york state senate has gone from a 32-30 democratic majority to a 32-30 republican majority, but the 2 democrats who joined with the republicans, pedro espada and hiram monserrate, are both criminals who will probably end up in jail. the districts that those 2 democrats represent are VERY heavily democratic, in terms of the voters. neither of those 2 state senators have more than an ice cube’s chance in hell of surviving when they are up for re-election in 2010, if they manage to avoid going to jail before the next election. of course, new york state politics is famously the most corrupt in the nation. former illinois governor rod blagojevich was nowhere near as corrupt as a typical new york state senator. and tom libous of binghamton would not be the #2 ranking republican in the state senate unless he were highly corrupt, because to rise to the top ranks in this state, you need to be corrupt. joe bruno, the former republican state senate majority leader who ruled the state senate with an iron fist for many years, is now in jail, because he is one of the few corrupt politicians that actually got caught and had to pay for his crimes. he only left office last year. so now we have the corrupt joe-bruno-style state senate republicans, joined by 2 new LITERAL “partners in crime”, democrats pedro espada and hiram monserrate, in what basically amounts to a new majority coalition for the state senate, a bipartisan coalition of criminals who belong in jail. governor david paterson rightly condemned this, but david paterson himself was once the leader of the state senate democrats, just a few years ago. now some say that this coup was illegal, but i think that is silliness. politicans change parties all the time, and every so often it switches the majority in a legislative body. it happened in the united states senate in the spring of 2001, for instance, and that was perfectly legal. but this is new york. this is where tammany hall was. this is where the mafia crime families all had their headquarters, and still do. until recently, new york city had one of the highest crime rates in the nation. political corruption has always been standard practice in this state. now a coalition of corrupt politicians has conspired to overthrow the will of the people, who elected democrats to a majority in the state senate for the first time in 40 years, a remarkable feat given the gerrymandering of the state senate districts to heavily favor the republicans (which is part of the bipartisan package deal, along with gerrymandering of the state assembly districts to heavily favor the democrats). here is a huffington post article about what has happened, here is a daily kos post with more scandalous revelations, and for continuing coverage, follow the news at the albany project. there is even video footage somewhere on the internet of binghamton’s own tom libous carrying out the coup d’etat on the floor of the state senate. before he did this i actually thought tom libous wasn’t all that bad (although i still disliked him), and had actually been at an event where he spoke and after he gave a speech i actually clapped along with the other people, since it was an event to promote hiring people with disabilities and he didn’t really say anything i disagreed with in that speech. never again will i clap if i am at a tom libous speech, no matter what he says. he has proven himself to be a complete scumbag, albeit nowhere near as bad as these 2 former democrats from new york city who switched parties to try to avoid ending up in jail. given the fact that their districts are so full of loyal democrats, and the democratic party establishment is now 100% completely opposed to these 2 gentlemen, they have no chance of re-election, like i said. tom libous, on the other hand, will continue getting re-elected until he decides to retire, or until he gets so old that he dies. there is no way anybody could ever possibly defeat tom libous in an election for his state senate seat. typically some random nobody who happens to be a democrat decides to run against him, and easily wins the democratic nomination since nobody else wants the embarrassment of being creamed in a general election, and then the random nobody is creamed in the general election and never heard from again in the public media. most of these elections to the state legislature are such foregone conclusions that it is probably a waste of taxpayer money to even hold the elections in the first place, since it is always obvious that the incumbent wins no matter what. in these troubled times for the state budget, with our legislators abandoning any pretense of democracy in their mad and corrupt lust for more power, we might as well completely stop having elections to the state legislature, and just have the state democratic party chairman appoint every single member of the state assembly, and the state republican party chairman appoint every single member of the state senate, and call it a deal. it would not be much different from the current system; it would just be more obvious that the system is undemocratic. i encourage state attorney general andrew cuomo to prosecute as many state legislators as possible, gather as much evidence as possible, charge them with as many crimes as possible, and seek the maximum possible sentence for each of the state legislators that the attorney general can dig up some dirt on. hopefully the judges and juries will be unsympathetic to the state legislators and adopt an attitude of “lock ’em up and throw away the key”. it is time to put an end to the rampant corruption once and for all, and i doubt anyone can do this except possibly state attorney general andrew cuomo. then again, i have heard him referred to as a member of the “cuomo crime family”, referring to how his dad mario cuomo was governor and alleged misdeeds of an unspecified nature. but our state needs a knight in shining armor to purge the halls of power of those who have become corrupt and done illegal things while in office. we need our own version of gotham city’s district attorney harvey “twoface” dent, preferably without the twoface part. eliot spitzer was the real-life version of harvey dent, after being our knight in shining armor as attorney general but then getting caught in multiple scandals as governor and forced to resign after being found having sex with prostitutes. so perhaps instead of harvey dent, we should look for someone to be more like batman, the dark knight. i suppose governor paterson would do. after all, he is unpopular, just like batman is at the end of the movie the dark knight, and yet governor david paterson has continually done the right thing during his short career as governor, even when doing the right thing means that it will make him less popular. as for eliot spitzer, he has been rehabilitated by the media and is now on a new crusade to fix what is wrong with wall street, which will take forever because everything is wrong with wall street, and it is as corrupt as the state government if not more so. eliot spitzer will also take forever to do this because he is not state attorney general or governor, but a mere columnist who occasionally appears on television and has no actual power anymore, plus his reputation is permanently damaged by the prostitution scandal. it seems new york state might, for the time being, be in the unfortunate state of being dominated by billionaires like tom golisano and mike bloomberg. but hey, unlike tom golisano, at least mike bloomberg actually holds elected office. mike bloomberg also needs to be removed from office in the next election... the way he buys elections with his own money reminds me of italy’s current dictator, sergio berlusconi, who in turn reminds me of benito mussolini since both of them are right-wing italian dictators. of course italy is technically a democracy, but billionaire sergio berlusconi, completely corrupt and a criminal, owns all of the media outlets in that country, so everybody votes for him because the people on tv tell them to. corruption runs rampant on this planet, in pretty much every country, from the poorest nation to the most wealthy nation of all. typically corruption is actually the worst in very poor nations such as afghanistan or the nations of africa. in a wealthy state like new york in a democracy like the united states, it is possible for people to tackle and even defeat corruption, throwing the perpetrators in jail. the only problem is, most of the perpetrators are still out there, and are actually the people who are in charge of everything. if only the rule of law were applied, our laws were enforced, and both the wealthy and powerful and the poor and powerless were treated equally by our judicial system, according to our constitution. it seems much of government itself has, over the years, become a criminal conspiracy, violating many of the laws that that same government passed into law in the first place. by conspiracy, i am using the legal definition, of course, which means when 2 or more people secretly decide to commit illegal acts. under that definition, of course, virtually everything is a conspiracy, and in fact i and everyone else i know am part of multiple conspiracies. but, whatever... people in high public office ought to be held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens. my state senator tom libous spends plenty of taxpayer dollars campaigning for himself, and i bet most of it is probably legal, since people like him write all the laws. there are all sorts of local events that in the credits always thank tom libous and say they are sponsored by tom libous, such as summer musical festivals paid for by him. well not with his money, of course. with the taxpayer dollars of new york state, instead. and everyone who goes to a tom libous-sponsored event like one of his summer music festivals (such as my parents and i) gets plenty of pro-tom libous propaganda there, all taxpayer-funded. it is probably legal, too. this greatly saddens me. tom libous has much of the local populace brainwashed. i do not doubt that the other state legislators are all doing similar things. and as for the mayoral election this year in binghamton... don’t even get me started. i don’t even live inside city limits. but i do support the re-election of mayor matt ryan, although i doubt he will win again. the people of binghamton are very upset, and naturally, since he is mayor, people blame everything that is going wrong on him. i would suggest that the people of binghamton realize the state government is screwing us over, and the bread and circuses of tom libous such as the summer music festivals will not solve any of our underlying issues such as the local economy here that has been in the toilet for decades. an event where musicians perform to the general public for free that is organized and paid for by the government does not solve our economic troubles. such things are mere distractions to our problems, although they do have a positive effect on the mood of the populace, which might possibly make people more optimistic about things such as the economy. anyway, new york state government is so corrupt i fear it is beyond redemption. perhaps we should simply adopt anarchy as a form of government, as somalia did... just look at how well it turned out for them! now somalia is full of pirates, and pirates are awesome. i am joking of course; somalia is one of the poorest nations in the world and has incredibly high rates of violence, and is not a good role model for anybody. perhaps mussolini, who i mentioned earlier, would be a better role model: at least he was able to make the trains run on time, as everybody said. for that matter, how about stalin, who turned the soviet union from a poor agrarian society into an industrial behemoth and global nuclear-armed superpower? the downfall of the soviet union was caused by them finally having a decent human being as their dictator, once mikhail gorbachev took over in the early 80s. his incremental reforms from totalitarian towards a more free society resulted in the complete downfall of the entire soviet empire, and the overthrow of communist governments in all nations except for china, vietnam, laos, cuba, and north korea. in fact, one of the many communist governments to fall as a result of mikhail gorbachev being a pacifist was the last-ever government of somalia, and another was the government of afghanistan. look how well those countries are doing now. so, doing the right thing does not always yield good results, and doing the evil thing sometimes is much more effective. perhaps that in some way justifies the current state of affairs in new york state. by being evil, our government officials might actually be doing us a favor, in some perverse sense. it is true that most if not all of the formerly communist nations of central and eastern europe are now much better off as capitalist democracies than they were under soviet control. i do believe that capitalist democracies have been proven empirically to be better than any other system. after all, what communism replaced in russia was czarist dictatorship and economic feudalism, not democracy and capitalism. but i do not believe in the extreme form of unbridled, unregulated, free-market capitalism, but rather the more moderate type of capitalism practiced in western europe and scandinavia, which some people call socialism. and i do not believe in corrupt gerrymandered systems of “democracy” where the results of any given election are a fait accompli, but rather true representative democracy where the people in power actually represent their constituents, rather than acting out of their own selfish lust for power and corruptly serving their wealthy and powerful donors who make sure they get re-elected every time. of course, the united states congress is also full of representatives whose districts were gerrymandered, and the federal government has some problems of its own, but they all pale in comparison to the problems faced by new york state. in high school when i was a senior, i once spent a day “career shadowing” someone who worked for a state government program to bribe corporations to either create new jobs in new york state or not leave new york state. this person’s boss was bob moppert, the republican politician who on multiple occasions had lost congressional elections to the ultra-liberal democrat maurice hinchey, who is still binghamton’s righteous and noble congressman, perhaps the second-greatest congressman in all of america, second only to dennis kucinich. anyway, bob moppert was in charge of the local office of this state government agency, in charge of economic development for the southern tier, appointed to that position by former republican governor george pataki (who is a hungarian like my mom, george soros, nicolas sarkozy, and many other people). so bob moppert had this staff of people working for him, and i was sitting there at a meeting with his staff, where he called up the people who ran various corporations on the telephone, to talk to them about either creating jobs in this region of upstate new york, or just keeping the jobs they already provided here. it was obvious that he was dealing with a bunch of liars and crooks who just wanted free government money, and he knew that. i could see that he was frustrated with it. but he did his job and gave out corporate welfare to the fat cats anyway, doing exactly what this government program was supposed to do, except for the fact that the companies were only required to keep the jobs here for a certain amount of time (i think it was 3 years) and then they either immediately left the state, laying off everyone, or came back to the government, demanding and getting more money. in fact, it appeared that part of his job was to negotiate how much money to bribe each company not to leave the area. this government program was finally cut from the state budget this year, i believe. probably many businesses will leave town for good, which was going to happen anyway, and all this program did was bribe them to put off the inevitable. i do not believe that program should have even existed in the first place, because it is exactly the sort of corruption involving the government and corporations getting too closely intertwined that needs to be avoided at all costs. instead of spending taxpayer money on music festivals that hire cheap local musicians and charge no admission fee, all to improve the public image of certain state legislators, or spending it on pork barrel corrupt corporate welfare to bribe corporations not to lay off all their workers, i have a far better idea. stop wasting the fucking money on stupid crap in the first place, focus on important spending priorities, and lower state taxes to a reasonable level. that is the exact agenda that governor david paterson articulates in most of his speeches, but the recalcitrant state legislature is too corrupt and unaccountable to the people to give a damn about anybody except themselves, and so his opponents there, as well as special interest groups that benefit from the status quo, have been attacking him relentlessly, steadily driving his approval ratings lower and lower, because he is one of the few people trying to do the right thing. so, i propose having david paterson dissolve the state legislature and declare himself dictator of the state, and having him write all the laws from now on. that would immediately end all gridlock, and he could easily balance the state budget just by typing a few numbers in an excel spreadsheet, hitting print, and signing it into law. oh, and the governor would still be an elected position, so if the people don’t like what david paterson does, they could elect someone else next time there is an election (if there is ever another election once he is made dictator). to quote george w. bush, “if this were a dictatorship it’d be a heckuva lot easier.” maybe just a temporary dictatorship, for a month or something, and then after a month is over, the governor would go back to not being able to write his own laws, and the legislature would regain its powers again. under the current system of so-called “democracy”, what can we expect? the state of new york is headed towards financial ruin, nobody will have a job, and everyone will end up on welfare until the state goes bankrupt and all welfare programs are ended, along with all the state universities, community colleges, public radio stations, and all sorts of other things... everything except the police and prisons. ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is the direction in which we are headed, especially in areas like greater binghamton. i propose we tax the hell out of wealthy people. they all live down in the new york city area, and all that money could end up here, in the upstate region, and make the people here wealthy instead. all i am saying is, i want money. and so does everyone else. so do all the crooked politicians and special interest groups. and that is the problem, because so many of the crooked people get exactly what they want: money. which means less money for ordinary people like me. the republican party ought to do this nation a public service and dissolve itself, and have all republican politicians resign from office. then some third parties would come in to fill the vacuum caused by the final end of the republican party, and they would have fresh new ideas on how to improve things and win a lot of elections. the republicans are wrong about pretty much every issue, they are incapable of competent governance, and they are faith-based ideologues who are completely out of touch with reality. while they have the right to exist, that does not mean that it is right for them to continue existing in their present form, as the party of bigotry, hate, big business, fundamentalist wackos, and other extremists. they are dead wrong about pretty much everything and deserve to fade away into obscurity. and we need some third parties to shake things up and break the two-party stranglehold on our political system, to end all the cronyism and corruption that is so pervasive. i may be a registered democrat, but i vote the working families party line, because the working families party of new york state best reflects my values and who i support. yes, the politicians it supports are the democrats, but voting for that party sends a signal that i am pissed off with politics as usual and want change: not just any change, but POSITIVE change. just look at their statement on what the state senate did, or the rally they had against it. and if enough people voted for the working families party, it would become even bigger than the democrats or the republicans. that would be a very good thing. i am a registered democrat, though. after all, how else can i vote in democratic primaries, such as how i voted last year to help barack obama defeat hillary clinton? it should be obvious to everyone by now that hillary clinton is a centrist and barack obama is more progressive (or liberal, if you prefer). i have to be a registered democrat to be able to help people like barack obama get elected, and prevent the joe liebermans of the world from winning primaries (note to right-wingers: substitute "arlen specters" for "joe liebermans" and you will understand what i meant). anyway, to hell with binghamton, i am leaving this dump at the end of july, and going to europe. ok, ok, i come back from europe in late august, but i think i will be proving a point with my temporary absence, namely that binghamton sucks and that europe is way cooler. yeah, ok, the united states of america is still the greatest nation on earth, bla bla bla, but it sure as hell is nice to travel to other countries and get away from here for a bit. then when you get back it is a nice relief to find that people speak english and you can use dollars as money again. i have been told that my trip to europe will actually include a stay at a resort in croatia, of all places. that is sure to be interesting. apparently resorts in the former yugoslavia are much cheaper than resorts in wealthier nations. i hope nobody starts any wars in the countries i visit while i am there. that would suck. i know this girl who was visiting thailand about 2 or 3 years ago when it had a military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government. apparently it wasn’t really that big of a deal, life as usual continued for virtually everybody, and most people were pretty glad the military coup happened. i guess democracy isn’t as popular as it used to be. living in new york state, it is easy to see why.