State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

NY state Senate, serious about gov't transparency

Turns out that the New York state Senate is taking a genuine leadership role in using the Internet seriously to increase government accountability and transparency.

Specifically, they're showing citizens how the sausage is made, and how the Legislature really works,
starting to get citizens involved.

The Feds are taking a look, which means that we all benefit.

Check out this video for more, and take a look at their very impressive open data environment.

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Arnold’s excellent pig-and-pony show

Healthcare reform that started as a noble and needed legislation has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes ... California’s congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal that Sen. Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State.
— Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jan. 5, 2010



As divisions appear among conservatives about state sovereignty, it should be recalled that the Governator was the first to sense the positive charge and the awakening potential of state and regional identity long before the train left the station. Early on, Arnold challenged the feds on environmental issues and brought with him other original thinkers like Jodi Rell, governor of Connecticut.

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Good customer service from Georgia state employees

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Congress’s ‘Lost Weekend’: Rick Perry and Reagan lawyers — More state sovereignty initiatives on the way

The Nancy and Harry show suggests a mad adolescent rush, like in those classic Hollywood B-movies where the parents go out of town and the teens take over the house (read: the Senate) for the weekend. Or the drunken euphoria of Billy Wilder’s “The Lost Weekend.” Or “Animal House,” maybe, staring Barney Frank as John Belushi.

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Cordelia Ruth Tucker: Working-class hero — hard hats v. hippies

There was a time — before Starbucks, before Bill and Hillary, before the Rolling Stones — when liberals supported working-class people. No longer. But back then no one represented the strong and fearless heartbeat of American working people like West Virginia coal miners. They were the stuff of legend chronicled in folklore, bluegrass and folk music. In the ’50s we’d listen in pained silence for word about mine disasters, even way up here in New England. We shared in the lives of the miners. If they could find the strength to survive in the mines, we could survive on the surface. They were the canaries of our own desire. No longer, as the recent occurrence at Sundial, W.Va., makes clear.

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California pushing marijuana to kids

I was horrified to read this morning that it is increasingly commonplace in California to treat children diagnosed with deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with marijuana. With California’s pot industry pushing into the mainstream, experts say marijuana prescriptions for children are skyrocketing.

Truly, this is horrifying. First, marijuana produces many of the same effects in users — short-term memory problems and inattention — as those associated with ADHD. Get it? Pot actually causes many of the effects that you want a treatment for ADHD to alleviate.

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New England's self-esteem issue

Speaking of self-esteem issues, only an overweight career buffoon who proudly and conspicuously talks like a duck to display his endemic contempt for the world west of Boston would say that some of the people at the rally “appeared to have been the losers in the 'Are you smarter than Michele Bachmann?’ contest.”

Thinking we are really smart is part of the curse of being a non-Yankee in New England. Time has long passed us by, even the real Yankees. But also for us immigrants and outlanders who likewise wear the regimental tie although we bought it at Quincy Market. We have not been important since 1865. New York, the Empire State, conquered us when it conquered the South.

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The South has won

One key fact explains the present that has come to us in Tuesday’s election: A deeply conservative Republican explaining himself without apology has won the Old Dominion by 18 percent. Virginia is bright red. It will be this way in Texas, too, where the conservative, Rick Perry, is ahead of the moderate, Kay Bailey Hutchison, by 12 percent.

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Haley Barbour = adult supervision

In the fall and winter of 1998, I had the brief chance to work for Haley Barbour at his firm, Barbour, Griffith and Rogers (before Speaker-elect Denny Hastert asked me to return to Capitol Hill and serve as his spokesman).

Haley was the hardest-working, smartest, most capable person I have ever worked with.

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