Morning News: S-G and T-U

The Star-Gazette has posted its story on Eric Massa's meeting with their editorial board. The S-G also gave Massa a "hit" for scheduling his town meetings at times when people can attend. Massa got a "miss" last week for taking corporate donations.

Massa has an op-ed in today's Albany Times-Union. The topic is stimulus (what else could it be?).

Update: Thanks to reader Mike for pointing out that Massa will co-chair a group supporting HR 676.


Erie's letter also hit the Finger Lakes Times (Geneva). It is good to hear an alternative (positive) swing instead of what we are hearing on most news stations.

Thanks for the info.

It's probably a compliment that the T-U put it on their editorial page - Massa certainly doesn't represent many of their readers.

That Op-Ed is ridiculous (In my opinion of course)!

Fact 1 - Concerning the stimulus being the bigest tax cut in history. Well, it is acording to everything I read, but guess what, you live in NY, so you don't get a tax cut! Do the numbers! I'm married with 3 children, so they say my wife and I will get 800 bucks due to these tax cuts. Well, Governor Patterson just put in 88 new taxes. They say that will raise 4 Billion. There are about 19.5 Million New Yorkers, so those taxes will cost us 205 dollars per person. Per person, not ADULT. So my family is now on the hook from the state for 205 X 5 = 1025. So as a New Yorker, what does the Obama tax cut do for me, NOTHING as Patterson stole it. So why bother giving it to the people, just give it to Patterson? VOTES!

Fact 2 - I can't wait to see which 3-4 million jobs were 'saved', and the other 3-4 million which are created. So what is the time frame where I will be shown this 6-8 million job figure? Yes, hudred of leading economist like the plan, and I can find, hudreds of leading economists that don't like it. So big whoop!

Fact 3 - No earmarks. Can you hearing me laughing loud? Here is JUST a couple:
Specific location? The Senate stimulus contains $50 million for habitat restoration and other water needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. There is another $62 million for military projects in Guam.
Specific industry? The House bill includes an amendment authored by Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley setting aside $500 million for biofuel makers, which he says, would bring jobs home to Iowa.
Specific program? There’s $198 million to compensate Filipino World War II veterans for their service. Most don’t live in the United States.

Fact 4 - Transparency! So transparent no one no one even read the words! Kind of like the promise of letting people review bills for 5 days first. As for blocking golden parachutes, forget about it! The CEOs will get their money somehow, there are ways around it. It is only board members and stock holders that can hold CEO's responsible. Just like in sports, if they want to pay the big name player, they will.

The final two sentences ... The Usual Blame game! - Like robots, repeat the mantra "Bush did this", "The last 8 years", "Republicans were in charge". Sorry! people who do their research know that the housing issues caused most of these and Democratic Barney Frank, was in charge of that area and Republicans were blocked when they tried to get control of it!

Pres Bush dug the first two feet of the hole, and it appears he has given the shovel to Obama who is apparently all to willing to dig the next 4 feet and our economy is dead and our money devalued to the point of insignificance. The US will never be ruined militarily, it will be ruined financially.

Casey, there's really no way to have a discussion with you because every one of your comments contains a bunch of falsehoods.

Let's start with a simple one: you don't know what an earmark is. Hint: just because something you don't like is being funded doesn't mean that it's an "earmark". There are no earmarks in this bill.

Even Fox News won't say that Barney Frank caused the housing crisis by his lonesome. Fannie and Freddie didn't finance the 500K - $1 M homes that are empty in the Southeast and Southwest. Have you heard of Countrywide? Did Barney Frank make them fail?

There's a whole site set up to track the spending in the bill: It's an unprecedented level of transparency.

I don't mind having a good back-and-forth with commenters who disagree but have some grasp of the facts. But that's not what you're doing. You're just shoveling bullshit.

Of course not, because you don't have any facts to base your arguement on. All you can do is try to belittle people who don't agree with you and hope they go away.

"Earmark". Whatever! Call it Earmark, call it pork, most of those things are just wrong adn will not create many jobs. Prove me wrong! But they are 'earmarks', by definition, because they target a specific location, program, or industry. So you might want to better understand what an earmark is. But call it what you want, or don't want, why is "$198 million to compensate Filipino World War II veterans for their service. Most don’t live in the United States." in a stimulus bill?

I could care less what Fox thinks or says. Yes, thank you for reminding me about the special mortgages Senator Dodd received from Countrywide and how he promised to show us his mortgage papers months ago and hasn't yet. Excellent point! But you really want to know more? 9 minutes of your life:

Concerning transparency. Mr. Obama said he would put stuff on teh web for people to review and look at for 5 days. His first piece of legislation did not hold to that promise, nor did the 1419 stimulus bill that not only did the American people not see, most people who voted for it, didn't read it all.

I have facts, that are not BS, not in this world, not sure what world you are coming from. If any of my 'facts' or statements are wrong, then prove it. They are not and you can not.

Seriously! I am not here to shove things down peoples throats. But I will cower to know one. I feel I am very informed and enjoy good discussion, so lets discuss! ALL the points. For example, one website with categories at such a high level is not transparency. What category did they put the "There’s $198 million to compensate Filipino World War II veterans for their service. " into?

I'm done hosting your rants. Go somewhere else.

Is this not a public forum for people in the 29th Congressional District? I meet that criteria and I have a view! My mind is open, if you feel my view about something is in correct, then you have an opportunity to convince me. Instead, you ask me to go away. I fought for this country and I will not be silenced! I earned that right!

No, it isn't a public forum.

It is on the internet and it is obvious that you put it up for people to comment on things going on in the 29th district. You meant for it to be a public website. If you want it to be private, put it behind a firewall and use it as an intranet, or lock it down.

Although since you are a semantics kind of guy, I guess you could say it is semi-public, since you can decide what gets posted and what gets deleted.

Don't send Casey away. It is interesting to read the "back and forth" on this topic. I checked into some of what Casey mentioned and it seems that he has done his homework.

For instance, I looked up "earmark" on Wikipedia and it says "In US politics an earmark is a congressional provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects or that directs specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees.". Sounds like he is right on that one. If not, what is your definition of "earmark"?

I think Casey raises a lot of good questions. We don't have to agree on everything.

My issue with Casey isn't the content of his argument, it's the way he argues. Whenever I point out a specific fact where he's wrong, he just changes the subject. The Barney Frank example above is a good one. Barney Frank didn't create the mortgage crisis himself, and I used the example of Countrywide, which had nothing to do with the Freddie/Fannie expansion that people pin on Barney Frank. Casey took that as an opportunity to change the subject to Chris Dodd's mortgage. That's the way he argues: when you catch him telling a fib, he just changes the subject and filibusters on.

As for the specific point on earmarks, "earmark" has a technical meaning in the House and Senate, something that Wikipedia entry misses. In the House, for example, an earmark is an item inserted by a member during committee markup of the bill. The earmark is disclosed in the committee report that accompanies the bill.

That's what Massa meant by "earmark", and he was right. Here's the definition:

Casey listed a bunch of appropriations he doesn't like and called them "earmarks" just because it sounded like a bad name. He's made that point over and over and over in different guises. I fully acknowledge that there are many things in this bill that some of us would disagree with. The point I've made, is that spending $780 billion is ugly, and that the Republicans completely abdicated their place at the bargaining table by basically deciding that they weren't going to vote for the bill in any form.

Those are the two sides to the argument. Either you agree with me or you agree with Casey. Repeating the same stuff over and over doesn't convince either side. At that point, it's not an argument, it's just noisemaking.

Where was the discussion (argument)? You said my statements were full of falsehoods and they are not. You want clear and to the point? Even MSNBC said Earmarks:

I hate word games. Again, call it what you will, it is not ALL real stimulus.

Ok, sorry to put more than one thought here, but you did, so I feel I should have the right to respond. Just as the initial article had more than one point, so I addressed all the points.

You stated "Republicans completely abdicated their place at the bargaining table by basically deciding that they weren't going to vote for the bill in any form.". In my opinion, there are two things going on here. You have heard Nancy Pelosi's words in the past "Calm down with the threats, there is a new congress in town", and they have kept their word. The republicans open up the house to alternate bill submissions by the democrats when they were in charge. Pelosi and the Democrats shut out the Republicans as soon as they gained control. There is no bargaining with them once they are in control, which is a problem for ALL of us, because very few of us are totally left or totally right, but politicians seem to be. The evidence:

As for them signing on. The Dems don't really need them, so why do they care if they sign on? They care for one simple reason, they want them to sign on in case the plan doesn't work. They can then say, 'well they signed onto it'. If the democrats were confident about the bill being successful, they would NOT want the republicans to sign on, so they cold take full credit, but they know it won't work, and now they are stuck with full responsibility (minus 3 RINO's).

This looked like a good debate until you gave up and told Casey to go somewhere else. Did you run out of arguments? It sounds like your arguments contain a fair amount of falsehoods also. Your about as fair and balanced as O'Reily.

Feel free to point out falsehoods in my arguments. I'm willing to have a discussion with any commenter who's at least somewhat civil. If you want to call names, I'll just delete the comment (I did that to a couple here tonight, some posted by the same person under different names).

I'm not going to waste my time with someone who strings together 10 different points in one comment, then dances around when I point out that some number of those points are just factually inaccurate. I'm also not going to re-litigate the same stuff in the comments of each post.

I agree with your first statement, no problem there. I wish I knew who supported me twice. Thanks!!

"I'm not going to waste my time with someone who strings together 10 different points in one comment". Then why post things that have more than one idea in them? Why can your articles and you put more than one thought in a comment, but others have to be limited to one?

I have no problem with you not re-litigating if you don't feel like it. I guess these forums can work two ways. The first is people just post their thoughts on the article and others read them. Or, people post their comments and then a discussion begins. I have no problem with just posting my comments and not responding to others if that is how you want to run this. However, if someone hops on and tells me that everything I said is false, I will defend it. If someone proves me wrong, I will accept it, but to this point, people have just said I am wrong, they have not backed it up with any data, links, rational argument or anything.


I think it is important to have dialog with those that don't agree with us and hopefully work towards a place where the best of both sides can come up with solutions to the problems that we as taxpayers face along with the government and private industry faces. Personally, I feel that to reward the same groups that have mismanaged funds or their industry by giving them more is irresponsible. Why don't we bail out the households in America that need financial relief, directly. Give us all 100,000 to pay off debt, buy energy efficient cars or lower interest rate. That way we would get the economy moving in the right direction and give relief to the those who really need it and where it will make a positive difference.
Bernadette Glasgow

Since you've posted from the same IP address as Casey, either you're Casey's girlfriend/wife, or you're just Casey trying to manipulate the comments in this blog for your amusement.

Wrong Matt, she isn't my wife or my girlfriend. She is a very good friend, but Bernadettes' and my political views are very different, which made for great election time discussions. Don't be so paranoid, especially since you and I have more in common than you know, as we are both IT pro's and love hockey. But just as Bernadette and I differ on political views, so do you and I. Keep me honest and I will keep you honest.

I also find it very curious that you are a person who "likes his privacy" but require others to use an email address to post.

What's sad and disappointing to me is that Rottenchester(and unfortunately the majority of politicians in this country) look at politics like it's a union negotiation. At work, I deal with an unnecessary, good-for-nothing union and an employer who is full of spite and doesn't know how to treat it's employees.

At this very vital time in our nation's history, the Government should not be acting like a bunch of spiteful, immature little kids. Their decisions aren't really going to affect any of them, but they will affect all of us, and this one's going to hurt "all of us!" Americans deserve better than what We're getting!!

I hope you can keep this post of mine up for more than just a few hours!!

Al, when you're even halfway civil, I don't delete your comment.

I look at politics the way it is, not the way I wish it could be.

If you are not afraid of caseys remarkes you very well should be you in my view are as narrow minded as most news hounds who can see no deeper than the front page news, This so called stimulus is the biggest bunch of crap in american history. Mr. obama is nothing more than a democrat puppet for the most dangerous congress in american history. Beware your freedom is on the line. Duke only my view

Duke, you're entitled to your view, but if you just want to spout off, this isn't the place to do it.

Do you have a specific reason why the stimulus is the "biggest bunch of crap" in American history? Or are you just blowing off steam?

I don't understand why a forum that is posted on the web as a public site (No password was necessary) to cause and stir debate has a line like "...go somewhere else". If you have such a BIG political mind why don't you answer the guy with facts? You solicit thoughts but don't want any that might differ from your opinion? So, basically you are saying he is right, or smater than you, I don't know which. I wonder if this 'casey' has a website to discuss things, i'll bet he allows discession. Don't you think our countries forefathers argued things to a point of fisticufss - BECAUSE they has a passion? I think YOU just want people to argee with , not actually discuss and make any progress. So, why don't you "...go somewhere else!"

This blog has been around for 3 years. There have been thousands of comments. I've had many civil and fact-based exchanges with people who disagree. Here's a recent example:

"tiberius", the guy in that thread, is a regular poster at the most conservative blog in the area, Monroe Rising. We had a civil discussion, where we addressed each other's points, were brief and to the point, and stayed on topic.

That's all I want from Casey. But he won't do it. Here's the first example of Casey's out-of-control tactics:

In that thread, he tried to argue that the government has no business in interstate transportation. When the obvious counterexample, the Interstate Highway System, was presented, he just ignored it and kept on typing. He demonstrated that, right or wrong, he would just yak up a storm.

I did present some facts, above, and when one of the commenters drilled in on earmarks, I presented more facts. But, when presented with facts, Casey just ignores them and keeps on typing.

Combine that with him bringing in a bunch of people who have just called names (in capital letters), Casey's just not the kind of commenter I want at this blog. I want civil, reasonable, on-topic discussion in the comments. Casey doesn't. It's that simple.

This earmark question is an interesting one. Earmark and "pork"have connotations that remind me of "special interest," in that they are negative terms used by both sides to defame some action by the government, yet in essence they are integral to our system. In our system we can petition the government and we are able to hire lawyers and lobbyists to do that for us. We also vote for representatives who make our laws under the assumption that they will bring home the bacon for us in some form.

As Rotten has suggested, any law can be criticized on the basis that it isn't what we would have wanted. A handy rhetorical device is to label that item the product of a special interest or to call it pork. Obviously someone benefits from any piece of legislation or it wouldn't exist. When we can't win an argument against the other party's by labeling it then we need to move to the next level which is name calling, or suggesting that the other side doesn't have the same bona fides that we have, be it culture, education, government service, or simple adherence to the principles that make our country great (as we see them).

BTW, it's a shame that the Filipino money ended up in the stimulus bill. It's a shame that we reneged on our WWII commitment to those people, that we waited until most of them were dead before attempting to make it right by giving them a fraction of what they were promised (adjusting for inflation), and a shame that this watered down bill was not passed last November. But only a fifth of those who will get the money are American citizens, so the implication that it is pork is nonsensical. It was put into the stimulus bill because it would have hung around for another seventy years or so before it was passed on its merits.

Earmark and "pork"have connotations that remind me of "special interest," in that they are negative terms used by both sides to defame some action by the government, yet in essence they are integral to our system.

Agreed, and that's why I'm a stickler for using the term "earmark' to mean what Congress says it does, not some stretched-out definition used as a peg for a story.

Mr. Rotten-
Please do not believe everything that you read in the media. It is not true. The media has rescinded some of its reports at times and they can be easily misinterpreted. If you believe everything that the media tells you then you must be believe that all car salespeople are 100% honest as well.
I just have a few simple questions for you -
1. How do you think the Filipino payment will stimulate the economy?
2. Why do you feel the Filipino payment had to be included in the stimulus bill when the past 5 presidencies never address this payment?
3. As you have stated that this is not a public forum, then why did you buy this web address from and registered as a public domain and then start to solicit opinions on the internet? If that does not make this a public forum, then please give your definition on what a public forum is.

I hope in the future that you will a more open minded moderator who will not censor out other people and that will allow others to express their constitutional right of free speech on public forums or please make this a private forum where a user must have a username and password to access the site.

1/2 - As I said above, there are certainly a lot of appropriations in that bill that don't make a lot of sense.

3. Registering a domain name simply means that you're paying for the right to host a site with a certain name. My definition of a "public forum" is that anyone can say anything. This isn't such a place.

The owner of a site makes the rules. The biggest conservative blog in the Rochester area has stricter rules than mine: Monroe Rising requires their posters to register and then they approve every comment beforehand. So if that's "censorship", I guess it's bi-partisan.

Mr. Rotten-
So if an appropriation does not make sense and this bill was meant to stimulate the economy, then why should it be included if it does not meet the criteria of the purpose of the bill?
In regards to the public forum, you are basically stating that you agree with censorship and willing promote it then. Correct?
If this is not a public forum, then what is the purpose and value of your site?

Your comment to Casey "I'm done hosting your rants. Go somewhere else" is discriminatory and hostel. A comment such as this does two things; it makes you look small and adds credibility to his argument.

Brett, I said above and in other posts that there are a number of things in the bill that don't make sense. Feel free to click on the archives to the right to judge the purpose and value of this site for yourself, and if you don't understand what a blog is, you can always search Wikipedia.

South Bristol, I explained above why Casey got the hostile reception, and why I don't want him around unless he can stay on point and keep it relatively brief.

I find it most ironic that Team Massa have their shorts in a bunch because Mr. Massa's votes and/or stands are being questioned. It was okay for them to resort to these tactics when Randy Kuhl was Congressman but now that "their" choice occupies the seat, they can't take the heat. Perhaps Mr. Massa and his fellow travellers need to follow Harry Truman's advice: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

P.S. OBAMA stands for One Big Ass Mistake America.

There's been plenty of back-and-forth about Massa's stands in the comments on this blog for years. I put one recent example in the response to Tim, above.

It's generally good practice to read previous comments on a blog before adding your two cents. You also earn credibility by supporting your statements with facts or some consistent argument.

The fact that you responded so quickly says volumes about your dismissive attitude, especially when challenged.

Is this slow enough for you, or should I go slower?

It took you twelve minutes to come up with that one. Hardly a comeback.

So, too slow. Is this too fast, now?

Fascinating stuff here. As someone who tries to help run a strong blog at, I have to praise Rotten for holding to standards and for engaging people with whom he disagrees. Elmer is just one of many examples. Rotten has a track record for thoughtful, civil discussion.

Casey, I hope you'll read the post I wrote yesterday about this issue; it's right here:

The larger point, to me, is this: It's awfully easy to attack the government for spending a trillion dollars. But when it comes down to details, there wasn't a whole lot that Republicans disagreed with in this bill. They would have passed a monster stimulus bill if they had control of the White House and Congress, and it certainly would have contained funding for projects that disturbed you. This is how our federal government operates right now.


I wanted to be 'engaged' in discussion, but unfortunately after my first post I was told my statements were a bunch of falsehoods. 39 posts later that statement has not been backed up. After my second post I was told my rants weren't going to be hosted and I should go elsewhere. I was being civil and stating things how I saw them, if someone could prove me or 'educate' me differently they are welcome to try, but initially he did not.

I will take a look at your article when I get a chance, and respond, someplace.

As for this statement "They would have passed a monster stimulus bill if they had control of the White House and Congress". You can't say that. You can't assume what someone else would have done, or more importantly, how they would have done it. It's Pelosi's and Obamas bill now, they own it, if it works, their heros, if it doesn't, sucks to be them. Well actually it won't suck to be them, they are already set for life, it will suck to be rest of US.


See, this is where Rotten gets frustrated with you. You can't simply invent reality here.

Here are the facts: The GOP favored a massive stimulus bill that included tax cuts, spending for new infrastructure, and some other funding. When they met with the president, who invited them to share their ideas and concerns, they indicated that much of the bill was palatable, but they wanted some changes. Dems made some changes, but not enough to to satisfy the GOP, which is fine. There's nothing wrong with voting against a spending bill if you're not comfortable with where the money is going.

There IS something wrong with voting against that bill, watching it pass, then harping on the problem of rising deficits -- all when you would have passed a similar bill if you had power.

This is not a secret, Casey. Ron Paul and perhaps Jeff Flake were some of the only GOPers who favored little to no government action. So if you want to blame the Dems for the deficit, you're pointing the finger at the GOP as well. Fiscal conservatives should probably be outaged at the profligate spending of the GOP.

As I mentioned above (notice how Casey ignores it), Casey's first comment was not in this thread. It was here:

Readers can go through that thread and judge for themselves if I'm being unreasonable in my judgment that Casey can't keep his comments on-topic, of reasonable length, and focused. Readers can also judge whether it's my job to "educate" Casey about basic facts that everyone (but him) can agree upon, such as the precedent set by Congressional funding of the Interstate Highway System.

I've offered to Casey via email that if he can shorten his comments and be more focused, then he's welcome to comment here. I also offered to put his blog in the blogroll if he wants to start his own.

And this is where I get frustrated because we are all wasting our time trying to BLAME people. Dems blame Bush, Reps blame Carter, Clinton and now Obama. When what I wanted was an open discussion. O yea, I forget this isn't a public web site, even though it sure appears it was put up to be one to represent the people of the 29th.

This thread in and of itself is a testament of 'power' plays. I state my case. I provided links to evidence, and all I got was 'you don't know facts'. With absolutely no supporting evidence that I suposidly don't know the facts. None! (you can't assume what or HOW they would have done things, nor do I care!) Talk about not staying on topic and not keeping things brief! Rottenchester can't even stay in this thread! He points back to other threads, trying to prove that I don't know what I am talking about. A classic attempt to make someone insignificant so they can't be heard.

Well guess what! My posts are definitely not insignificant and neither are my views. I've have had a ton of emails and people stopping me at work telling me that Rottenchester is the one that is trying to squelch free speech and is censoring things here! And trust me it is from a vary diverse group of people. One guy from Pakistan, one guy from Turkey, one guy from Colorado, one from SC, a college friend who now lives in NYC, and about 20 other people from around here that live in the Rochester area. So apparently there are a lot of people who seem to see the same 'facts' that see. If we are wrong PROVE us wrong. Provide links, provide supporting evidence.

They all LOVE this discussion. The people who have just come to this country recently appreciate the differeing views and that we could talk about things because it moves us forward. They understand that by talking and discussing we both gain (EDUCATE!!!) each other on the others point of view! So this will be my last post on this insignificant blog (Notice no postings on the other entires after this one). Rottenchester had a chance here to make HIS blog an open dialogue between many diverse people and have many diverse ideas. He choose to squelch it by brushing off peoples views and thinking he is apparently the ONLY one that knows facts, even though he never presents them. So I'm done here, this can no continue to be a 'major' blog where his like minded friends can congregate and confirm each others collective thoughts.

PS: I don't have a blog! I am not a writer! I'm just a geeek and a retired vet that cares about his country and its direction and wants to move it beyond our continued back and forth between left and right. And I can tell you that if I did start something, itwould be a Forum, NOT a blog because I don't want to jsut put my view out there and then defend it, I want EVERYONES input! And maybe, through dicsussion we could start people 'thinking' and seeing eachother spoint of view.


Don't go. Let's talk about this.

First, you wrote, "It's Pelosi's and Obamas bill now, they own it."

Then, you wrote, "we are all wasting our time trying to BLAME people."

That's a pretty quick turnabout. Why did you change your mind? You were clearly interested in blaming Obama and Pelosi for the bill.

Essentially -- I think -- you agree with my point that there isn't much difference between Rs and Ds on the stimulus package. Almost no one was arguing for doing nothing and allowing the market to work itself out, if painfully. The GOP wanted their own monster package, and again, that's no secret -- they've been openly advocating for their wants for weeks now. If you weren't aware that the GOP also favored a monster stimulus bill, well, now you know.

I think the best point you made above was the one in which you pointed out that Obama did not allow five days of public inspection. He promised during the campaign to allow a bill five days of sunlight before he signed it. I suppose he'll point to urgency for the rapid signing in this case, but it goes against what he told voters.