Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York and son of the insufferable Mario Cuomo who also held the high office from 1983 to 1994, just stepped in a pile of do-do that might have enough odor to derail his obvious presidential aspirations. Much like his father, Andrew knows he’s smarter than everyone else in the state, and he takes every opportunity to drill it into the minds of the lesser mortals under his tutelage. But Andrew is much shrewder than Mario the Magnificent; he is a cold-hearted calculator of the zeitgeist and molds his policies and persona to match. Although a Democrat in a heavily “blue” state, Andrew Cuomo has fashioned himself closer to the center, if not center-right, by capping property tax increases, setting up special tax enclaves for companies, pushing for casinos, busting teachers’ union balls, and talking tough on crime. Clearly the man is angling toward a shot in 2020 or 2024.
Noting that New York State is among the more egregious in the nation when it comes to political corruption (at least 26 state politicians have been indicted or run out of office for bad behavior since 1999), Andrew Cuomo set up an august commission to investigate and ferret out corruption. Named the Moreland Commission after Sherman Moreland, a legislator who in 1907 backed a law giving special investigative powers to the governor, Cuomo set up a body about a year ago that would be “totally independent“ and could “look at me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman.” About 6 months later, Andrew closed down the commission, making the dubious and lame observation that they no longer needed to investigate because they had successfully put the fear of god in New York’s politicians, rendering them all incapable of ever being corrupt from this time forward. Mission accomplished.
Now we know the real reason for the abrupt de-commissioning of the Morelanders – they we’re getting too close to Andrew and his charlatans. The Moreland Commission had issued a subpoena for some company records as part of an investigation into legislative shenanigans, unaware that the company, Buying Time, was also in the employ of Prince Andrew. When Cuomo’s top aide, Larry Schwartz heard about the subpoena he ordered the commission to back off. Sadly, they cowered like compliant doggies, instead of standing firm like an empowered group such as they should have done.
Faced with this untidy mess, Cuomo is now tap-dancing, declaring that the Moreland Commission was never chartered to look beyond the despised legislature to begin with. “It’s my commission. I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me,” claimed Cuomo, sounding a bit like the guy who oft repeated, “I am not a crook.”
Although Andrew Cuomo is a better governor than George Pataki was, which is not saying much, he is a dangerous fellow who lets his ambition get ahead of his appointed mission. Not unusual for a politician you might say, but it’s way past time that changed. For starters, strike Andrew Cuomo from the short list of “will-they-won’t-they” characters fawned over for their presidential timber.
I’m on hold. Don’t die yet
Another day, another botched execution. This time in Arizona where a cretinous murderer, Joseph Wood III, was injected with a proprietary concoction of lethal drugs that was supposed to kill him in under 15 minutes, but took nearly two hours to do the job. In fact, the execution dragged on so long, Wood’s lawyers actually had time to file an appeal to the Federal District Court to stop the spectacle, call Justice Anthony Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court for a favor, and take in a movie. Truly amazing.
I’m against capital punishment (error-prone, too expensive, not evenly applied, too often vengeful), but goddamn, if you’re gonna do it, do it right. Thousands of times a day, veterinarians around the country and the world put down animals in an effective, repeatable and humane way. What’s the fucking problem when it comes to humans? I believe that the states, in an attempt to appear thorough and responsible, over-complicate the process. Wood’s lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court to delay the execution until the state of Arizona revealed their secret sauce. The Court sided with Arizona on their wish to keep it under wraps. Why? Are they afraid another state will copy the formula and undercut them at Whole Foods?
Memo to states that still have capital punishment – consult the American Veterinary Medical Association before trying any more harebrained home-made elixirs. Otherwise you may come under pressure from the families of murder victims demanding implementation of new protocols. Richard Brown, brother-in-law of one of Wood’s murder victims asked, “why didn’t we give him Drano?” I suspect wardens in most states with capital punishment on the books would scratch their heads and mutter, “never thought of that, sounds good though.” Absent a better alternative they might just decide to give Drano a try.
What a PR coup that would be for S.C. Johnson Company.