What's going on in Germantown?

Kay’s Blog 7-11-12

Kay’s Blog:

This is my first entry for this blog. Let’s se if I can get it off to a good start.

I have described myself as a political person throughout my adult life. Consequently, when I write about my life at all it tends to come back to a political context. Right now I am obsessed with the up-coming November election, and a lot of my time is spent on the internet checking on the evolving campaign, worrying about poll numbers, hunting news stories and opinion pieces that reinforce my beliefs. So, in one sense I am as blinkered as the FOX news devotee, but I certainly can’t avoid hearing the “other side’ of issues that come at me from all sources.

I have three large concerns about the fate of the country if the Republicans regain the presidency: One is the opportunity of a Republican majority to fill the next two appointments to the Supreme Court with extremely “conservative” Justices to the Supreme Court. I put “conservative” in quotes because the word has lost its definition. The more accurate word would be “radical”. The stance of the Court could be changed to a far-right authoritarianism for decades.

Second, I fear for the environment. The damage a Republican majority would do to our environmental regulatory system could be enormous and would be hard to restore to a level of effectiveness even if there were a dramatic surge of Democrats in 2014 or 2016. Irrevocable harm could be done to so many fragile eco-systems in a short time and the consequent suffering would be profound.

Third, I believe that if left to their agenda and without strong opposition (ultimately defensive filibusters, followed by a Democratic resurgence) the Republicans will institute a rash of economic de-regulation, which will be followed by a major crash that will plunge the country into economic disarray. Considering the degree of income disparity already present, the turmoil will bring us closer to the possibility of an authoritarian rule than ever before.

And that’s just three things I’m worried about! So when I express my concern about Fracking or about the Glass-Steagle Act—well, they’re just the symptoms of the overall disaster I feel may come. But now you know the underlying motivation for all the effort that keeps me busy doing the nuts & bolts of trying to keep our local political apparatus thriving and successful.

I worry about Germantown—mostly the state of the Schools right now, since other issues seem to be humming along. More about the schools later.

I worry about Columbia County, run mostly by fairly ossified brains in the Board of Supervisors who are the legislators for the County Government. The 21st Century is only a vision on the horizon for the political structure that these folks keep going, mostly to employ their relatives.

I worry about the State of New York, in spite of Governor Cuomo’s stated desire to bring New York back into the forefront of innovative legislation and economic success. His failure to bring about really meaningful ethics reform was disappointing. His broken promise to veto any redistricting that was not done fairly by an outside commission was not only disappointing but brought about the insurance that the Democrats would not be able to control the Senate, well, maybe forever.

Cuomo has by-passed the NY Senate in his low key effort to begin establishing the State Insurance Exchange, a task called for in the Affordable Care Act. However, in a state that has had decades of poor oversight and corrupt relationships with health care providers, we need to watch the agreements developed for the State Insurance Exchange very carefully. Conflicts of interest need to be strictly defined; advocates for consumers need to be well represented. More on this later.

But, really, I am basically a cheerful person, if not an optimist. And I always hope for the best! That’s why I work for the best outcome. I like practical solutions, can always consider compromises. But we do need to win this election in November!!

Kay 537-5404

July 11, 2012


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