I just saw this tweeted out and after reading it I'm incensed, but strangely slightly hopeful too. Is that possible?
The title makes it seem like there's an equivalency, but it's misleading (how many times are headlines cleverly manipulated to convey something different than the premise of the actual article?) .
What this piece in the National Journal does is lay out a pretty good litany that, as anyone who's been paying attention should know, Andrew Cuomo is a complete corporatist disaster.
In fact, I would say his record and stance on things is not much more than a continuation of another recent New York politician: the previous, infamous Protectorate of the Plutocrats/architect of the Khmer Rogue-style military invasion (sans the murder) and vicious wipeout of the world's favorite populist protest movement Occupy Wall St, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who actually managed to weasel himself into a third term (which increased the billionaire's personal wealth even more, while at the same time decimating the entire city by turning it into a pandemic of eyesores, with gleaming new banks on practically every corner of our neighborhoods, an assault of corporate franchises blowing out small businesses and the more obvious harrowing reminder of the Depression we're in as seen by the glut of unleased storefronts.
Both preen around as social reformists, but only as long as they can hand the place over to the their plutocrat masters (or in Mike's case, his friends and cohorts). Bloomberg has gutted NYC into a playground for the wealthy. Cuomo is keeping the same path in place. Being a social Democrat isn't enough to counterbalance being a corporate Democrat.
If we can't even get a .5% raise on the wealthiest's taxes to pay for pre-K (why are we always begging for crumbs?) then how in the hell are we ever to expect getting real progressive change, starting with Healthcare for All and free higher education? NYC once had such an education program in the 1970's. Included in their "vision" of education is the turning over of school keys to more of their crony capitalist buddies to be run like businesses.
There's an ever-present populist rage coursing through the conversations of most everybody in NYC (including the upper and upper middle class in NYC), but this disconnected Friend of the 1% plays deaf, dumb and blind. Put to a poll, overwhelming majorities would be in favor of levying massive taxes on the super wealthy, who continue to flout their gov't ransacked ransom money by buying up all the property and pricing all of us out our city. They'd also come out in huge numbers on the side of hitting Wall St with a way long overdue massive taxation of all financial transactions (especially given the latest scam of the lightning-fast computer-generated trading favored now). He apparently thinks otherwise, or more likely doesn't want to know when there's endless boatloads of dollars coming in and favors to repay for it.
On the ballot last November were two things I'll never forget: a decision to turn over a state land preserve to a mineral company, and the other to authorize casino gambling in NYC. Just what we need in NY, right? The city's being plundered left and right, hollowed by greedy interests, the social tapestry shredded, hospitals, arts and culture and affordable housing thrown to the curb, boutique shopping, high-end designer hotels and high-rise luxury condo living installed everywhere instead - and the best Cuomo can muster is we ought to bring in casinos to raise money, instead of taxing the wealthy? What a real schmuck this guy is.
Like Bloomberg, who remained almost comically out of touch with the 99% while hiding behind his "own private army" in the form of the Stop & Frisk/free license to beat & imprison protesters & journalists NYPD, Cuomo's pals (masters) include a couple of the most villainous 1%ers. Namely the Home Depot thug who compared the Pope's declaration against greed, corporatism and cronyism to be on par with Nazism, and the spoiled brat brothers of daddy's money fame Koch Bros:
Several Democrats who spoke privately to National Journal lamented that Cuomo accepted $87,000 in campaign contributions from David Koch and his wife during the 2010 cycle—more than double the $34,000 that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took. Cuomo has also accepted donations from John Catsimatidis, de Blasio's Republican opponent. And he earned praise and money from Home Depot cofounder Ken Langone, a major GOP donor who started the group Republicans for Cuomo. (Langone recently caught flak for comparing progressives to Nazis.)And, does it get anymore insidious than this, taking money away from defrauded homeowners to fill the State's coffers?
Then there's the simmering antipathy between Cuomo and the man who took his old job, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The two men have never been allies, but things have gotten more acrimonious as they fight over the $613 million that Schneiderman extracted from JPMorgan Chase in a mortgage-securities settlement. Schneiderman wanted to use the money to prevent foreclosures, while Cuomo saw the AG's move to direct the cash as a power grab, and insisted the money be put in the state's general fund.Everyday I wake up and there's not at least a general strike, a massive boycott, real civil disobedience in this city, this state, the world - I'm amazed.
We've got to hit the books, people. We have a proud history of dissent, populism, radical reformers, revolutionists, and activism. Well, you wouldn't know if you got your history from your high school social studies class. No, you need to be truly educated in order to do your civic duty, and that means reading and knowing your history, not watching tv. I graduated college, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't mean a thing. I hardly learned a thing through my mostly rote curriculum and tired teachers (there were a few professors/teachers who challenged the status quo and were inspiring but the majority were overburdened disciplinarians).
Are we really gaining the wisdom necessary to navigate a top heavy system of consumerism, unfettered capitalism and delusional self-interest? Are we honoring all those who sacrificed so much blood, sweat and tears for us? Some of our great philosophers, authors and politicians never even got through a formal education. To wit, our poet laureate and one of the greatest Presidents, Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln. The list goes on and on.
The air needs to be taken out of the status balloon, in order to make way for those speaking truth to power, the whistleblower, the intrepid journalist, the tireless activist, the honest and genuine working man and woman - the stories that aren't getting told. I'm tired of all the vapid, empty heads, sanctioned by our institutions and given vaunted places on tv, radio and newspapers, given a free pass to muddle the conversation with propaganda and corporate pr.
It's time for many of us here, to start speaking up and speaking out, to the best of our ability, in ways seemingly small and big, to anyone in our amidst, at our jobs, on street corners, on the subways, at the ballgame, at the backyard bbq. Don't be surprised to find that simmering populist rage in most everyone you encounter, to a person! Encourage people to be able to discern propaganda from truth, to listen to their better intuition when contemplating what bodes best for society, to take the long view that only comes with a familiarity and grasp of history. As George Carlin said about about the prevalence of American consumer culture, "garbage in, garbage out."
History when it comes down to it is just the telling of stories. And the wisest ones would say it's shaped primarily by the many nameless and voiceless throughout the ages, more than it is by the leaders and statesmen. I believe that is so. There are so many rich, illustrative stories all around us. This is where empathy forms, which is the true agent of change, and the ostensible reason for politics. We need to collect them, share with the world and recognize therein is where our true power lies.
My apologies to the cynics, because I can be that most of the time. Today stark injustice and depravity have instead riled up the deep reservoirs of my idealism.
New York State governor Andrew Cuomo is a very high ranking Democrat - when will the charade stop? The nightmare in which our democracy has been hijacked and replaced by an auction to the highest bidder must be ended.
How much more will it take?