A variety of politics and other stuff

Trump versus Ryan

Not content with fighting the women who have accused him, Donald Trump and company seem to be trying to take House Speaker Paul Ryan down with him. Trump, of course, cannot let any grievance go unanswered – just part of his “great temperament.”

Ryan’s offense, of course, is having the nerve of trying to hold on to Republican control of the House of Representatives by advising his members to look out for themselves – which in some cases means avoiding Trump like the plague. Trump prefers surrogates like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, who shoot from the hip without engaging the brain.

Ryan will likely hold on to his majority, but it will be considerably smaller than what they have had for the past two years. That will mean that the far-right Freedom Caucus will have more influence in the Republican conference. It will mean that Ryan will need to negotiate with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for “must-do” legislation.

After November 8th Trump will probably be forced into trying to resurrect his brand. The hotels, the banquet facilities, even Ivanka’s line of clothing have apparently all taken a hit. They cannot give away rooms at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington that he “officially” opened this week. Perhaps conversion to the Motel 6 chain would work.

With Trump otherwise occupied, the job of trying to take out Paul Ryan will fall to campaign CEO Steve Bannon and his Breitbart enterprise. Funny how Bannon’s business will likely thrive among those on the far right while Trump is left with the wreckage of his campaign.

Bannon’s goal of removing Paul Ryan as Speaker will fail for a very simple reason: the Republicans will not be able to find someone else to take the job. That’s how he got the job in the first place. So this will all work out great.

Is Ryan smarter than Trump?

The other Ryan – Rex. This one’s offense (pronounced differently than Paul’s) is unpredictable. The whole team is unpredictable. Who knows which team shows up from week-to-week?

The Buffalo News reported earlier this week that the Bills Head Coach seems to be settling into the idea, even though the 2016 season is not yet half over, that the Bills have no chance of catching New England for first place in the NFL Eastern Division.

Making the playoffs remains on the table, but Ryan understands the Bills face an uphill climb in trying to overtake the 6-1 New England Patriots for the AFC East crown. And that climb would become much more difficult if the Bills lose the game. … ”If you’re trying to chase it, then you’ve got to beat them. I mean, that’s as simple as that. You can think, ‘Well, you’ve still got a chance at the division.’ You really don’t. I mean, this team is pretty darned talented. … “The likelihood of catching them is probably not very high.”

At least Rex, unlike Donald, seems to understand the consequences of losing.

Small chance

The Amber Small/Chris Jacobs campaign is the one local election that has been keeping things interesting. There is lots of out-of-town involvement. But not from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ms. Small, with just a week and a half left in the campaign, could certainly use all the help she can get. But here is what the Governor had to say about this race when he was in town this week:

“I have not had a conversation in that race,’’ Cuomo said when asked about an endorsement in the Senate 60th race. “Yeah, you know it’s not as simple as saying ‘Democrat, Republican.’ You have to look at the person and you have to look at the person’s positions on issues and you have to look at the person’s background,’’ Cuomo said.

“It’s very important to me that we elect senators who understand fiscal discipline,’’ he said, adding he also wants to know the positions of Senate candidates on ethics law changes such as restricting outside income for lawmakers.

“And just because a person’s a Democrat or Republican, that doesn’t answer that for me. I work with Democrats. Obviously, I work with Republicans also. We’ve had a Republican Senate in this state for six years, and we’ve gotten great things done. So, really, it’s a case-by-case basis,’’ Cuomo said after an event at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Jacobs, the Erie County Clerk and a Republican, is a member of the Jacobs family from Buffalo’s Delaware North Cos., a group that has been major Cuomo donors over the years.

Cuomo earlier this week endorsed three Long Island Senate Democratic candidates and on Tuesday night appeared at a Senate Democratic campaign committee fundraiser in Manhattan.

 All of which might be interpreted as meaning that Cuomo considers Small’s background, interest in fiscal discipline and position on ethics reform to be lacking.

Cuomo observers have seen this show before. Even a Cuomo statement of support for Small, which might still come sometime between 5 pm on November 4th and midnight, November 7th, won’t mean much, absent the effort he has made for other Democratic Senate candidates. We can file away the election in the 60th District.

Steve Banko’s book

Vietnam hero, veterans’ spokesman, city and federal official, and word merchant par excellence Steve Banko had a book signing in South Buffalo this week. He recently published his novel, For No Good Reason. The book is a soldier’s story, 51ymum4z7yl__ac_us160_following the main character who came of age in the 1960’s. An incomplete college experience is followed by the hell of war and the demons that come later.

Those who know Steve are aware that he has been working on this novel for a few years now. So congrats, Steve!

The book is available at Amazon.com.

Gene Pigott – smart fellow, good guy

The Erie County Bar Association next week will honor Judge Eugene Pigott, who is aged-out retiring from the State bench at the end of 2016.

Like Steve Banko, Gene Pigott served in Vietnam. He also has had a distinguished career in private practice, as Erie County Attorney, and member of the judiciary. I worked with him for a while when we were both on the staff of the County Legislature.

For the past ten years Gene has served as an Associate Judge of the State Court of Appeals. He may be leaving the Court but I expect he will continue in his service to the community. Good luck, Gene!

2 thoughts on “A variety of politics and other stuff

  1. Who needs Cuomo’s endorsement anyway? Might be the kiss of death, but that’s not the point. The guy (yes, he is NO God or superior being like he thinks and he actually puts his pants on one leg at a time I would think) has no class. Don’t say anything for crying out loud if you want Chris in there because of the family connections. Fine. Or just endorse Chris. The statement is classless and pours cold water on someone with a bright future and Amber has a lot to offer, as opposed to more of the same in Chris.

    The more I see Cuomo the more I see a super Steve Pigeon. Always calculating and always coldhearted. The man is a jerk!

    If Chris really wants to reform Albany or politics in general, he should stand up against a system whereby people like Cuomo are treated like Gods or deities. But why would Chris do that when he’s treated the same for the better part of his life?

    A vote for Amber Small is a vote that opposes that kind of mindset!

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