A fascinating journey through the news today


Stupidity and malignant government are what I expect in the world today. But what I read in the March 21 Daily News had me thinking of the opening line of my favorite song, “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Now I’m no fan of tobacco. But smokers have few places to indulge nowadays. But there is a story about Councilman Peter Koo seeking to ban smoking while walking. The “logic” is that a person walking behind a smoker should not have to inhale second-hand smoke. How about not walking behind the smoker?

Then we read that the Legal Aid Society will have to file a lawsuit on behalf of NYCHA tenants because the housing authority will not voluntarily give them rent rebates for the days they had no heat. According to their spokeswoman, Jasmine Blake, “Every dollar spent on a rent abatement would be one less dollar for staff and repairs that we need to restore and maintain heat.”

So when the landlord is the city, tenants are held accountable for the landlord’s mistakes. Also, how much money is not being spent on staff and repairs due to mismanagement and/or corruption?

We also read that Cardinal Timothy Dolan thinks that giving a window allowing victims of childhood sexual assault to file lawsuits against their attackers when the statute of limitations has expired “would be toxic for us,” the Catholic Church. But covering up for pedophile priests was not toxic?

Now I know Rabbi Jesus was angered by the corruption of the priests of his time. So if there’s an afterlife and he’s observing this, I can imagine he’s not too pleased with Dolan’s position.

Further inside, I’m reminded of the good reasons I’ve never voted for Andrew Cuomo for governor. But numerous questions arise as to whether Cynthia Nixon will be any better.

She has voted for Cuomo. Why? He made it clear he would be tough on state workers in his first gubernatorial campaign. He then proceeded to use the threat of layoffs to extort a three-year wage freeze on state workers making less than $15 an hour.

He also got reduced pensions for new hires passed by the legislature.

But then again, Nixon is allied with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has given city workers nothing but real money pay cuts. Nixon, like de Blasio, talks about income inequality, but has not expressed support for giving government workers real raises.

Nixon attacks the Independent Democratic Conference, but ignores the Democratic leadership’s corruption and incompetence that led to the conference’s formation. As for her vow to drain the Albany cesspool, what about de Blasio’s cesspool?

But Cuomo’s side is no better. Christine Quinn complains she is a “qualified lesbian,” but the “unqualified lesbian” Nixon refused to support her run for mayor. Reality check. The public rejected Quinn because, as city council speaker, she was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s lap dog. I don’t care about which sex a candidate’s lovers are.

As for Cuomo’s dismissal of Nixon because she’s a B-list celebrity, does the name Ronald Reagan ring a bell? As for the latest A-list celebrity to endorse Cuomo, why would the musical giant Elton John make him the first politician he’s ever endorsed? Could it be that Cuomo’s negotiating stance with state union leaders was to sing the chorus of one of Elton’s B-sides, “Screw You/Screw You”?

On the editorial page is an excellent piece by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. He speaks on Mark Janus, the Illinois state employee who allows himself to be a stooge for corporations trying to destroy unions by eliminating the requirement that even non-members pay dues.

This is because non-members benefit from agreements negotiated by unions, and unions are required to defend non-members at disciplinary hearings.

Janus stated he does support collective bargaining. But he didn’t want to pay dues because the union endorsed Hillary Clinton. 

First, all political contributions are voluntary. Second, government would not accept people refusing to pay taxes because they don’t agree with the government’s policies. Third, corporations are not required to get 100 percent approval from stockholders to give to candidates.

Though if that was required, it would be a good way to reverse Citizens United.

Now supporting Hillary Clinton, who is no friend of working people, was obviously a bad choice. To say that Green Party candidate Jill Stein had no chance is dubious. If even most unions endorsed Stein, her views would get exposure, and they would come off favorably compared to those of the horrific major party candidates.

Then there’s The Riverdale Press Point of View from Stephen Budihas (re: “Supporting gun control advocates is not enough,” March 22), who equates Democratic candidates as automatically being “morally honorable.” 

In what alternate universe can that be said of Clinton, Cuomo and de Blasio?

Both major parties are against workers. But the Democrats are for the type of equality that will ensure that when slavery returns, the slaves will be of all colors.

Richard Warren