Prescriptions and quackery from the Oval Office; where do the congressional candidates stand?

As we get closer to, but at least six feet away from, the June 23rd special election and Republican primary in the New York’s 27th District, we are being bombarded by commentary and medical advice emanating from the Oval Office.  The president who plays a doctor on TV just loves how much attention his every word gets.

Donald Trump and his medical advisors at Fox News spent weeks promoting a cure for the coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine. You can probably find a greatest hits re-wind somewhere on YouTube which has Trump, Pence, Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro, Carlson and the stars of Fox and Friends telling you about this wonder drug over and over and over again.  Sales of the drug spiked.  Until the drug promoters all, in sync, stopped pushing it. Continue reading

Running for office during a pandemic

Under the best of circumstances running for office is never an easy proposition. There is a campaign plan to develop, money to raise, volunteers to recruit and organize.  You might also need to spend some time on an issue platform.  So much to do, so little time.

The coronavirus pandemic that the country and the world are experiencing adds many more complications. Petitioning and door-to-door campaigning is out.  So are rallies and fundraising events.  For some campaigns TV advertising and social media advertising will serve as the main means of communicating with voters, along with some traditional snail mail. Continue reading

Budget issues loom about what spending to cut as revenues shrink for the state and localities

Among the crises facing this country as it battles the COVID19 crisis, one has not really seen the light of day yet, but that day is coming soon. Actually there will be many such days ahead.

A strong and surprisingly bi-partisan majority of the public as well as business leaders seems to be supportive of cautious actions to get businesses, schools and other organizations re-opened. At the end of the day it will be up to all of us, individually, to decide when we consider it is safe and appropriate to venture out even after public policy says it is okay.  Everyone wants to see the economy starting up as soon as possible; we just don’t know when “as soon as possible” will be. Continue reading

Make America Great Again

Now that Bernie Sanders has ended his campaign and endorsed Joe Biden I’ve been thinking about the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign as it shifts into high gear.

The campaign needs to lay out the full range of facts. And yes, there are lots and lots of facts – real, objective, poke-and-see-it facts that can be the easily established.  We need for those facts to serve as the basis for an honest discussion of what will get this country back on the right track.

Given that, I am suggesting that the bumper sticker version of the campaign be made as simple anBlue cap Make Great Againd understandable as possible. My suggestion is “Make America Great Again.” Continue reading

Some facts, observations and heard-on-the-streets

It is good to see most Western New Yorkers doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve with social distancing, staying close to home and generally taking proper care to help reduce the spread of the virus. There is plenty of good neighboring going on that hopefully will bring better times a little closer.

The personal tragedies of severe illness and death are difficult to bear, as is the uncertainty of it all. Most everyone will come to personally know someone who has been affected directly or through quarantine. Continue reading

ECC enrollment and financial updates

My continuing interest in the operations of Erie Community College, aka ECC or SUNY Erie, has generated some new information.

Public information about the school’s finances and operations has been greatly diminished in the past several months, so on February 4 I sent a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the College. They stalled on the response, but finally on March 13 answers arrived.  With the exception of one set of numbers, which concerned the number of students in the Spring 2020 semester, all of the information given me was obviously available to have been provided me as soon as February 5th. Continue reading