DSA drives Dems nuts

The Me and Mario program had its first singular show last Friday with Mario Catalano manning the studio at WGHQ and my resting in bed after medical treatment. I must say the old boy (nine days older than Me) did a swell job. But the show isn’t about us, nor should it be, but current events and some of the stories and characters we showcase.

This was the second show after the election, which gave us some perspective on the results from the Nov. 2 ballot.

The big news – and quite frankly, I’m getting tired of reporting it – was legislature candidate Phil Erner’s crushing defeat of soon-to-be former legislature chairman Dave Donaldson. Donaldson, capping a 28-year career in the legislature, didn’t even beat Republican candidate Suzanne Timbrouck. Beaten by a Republican! That one had to sting.

What lingers in the minds and hearts of local Democrats is that the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are by no means a one and done outfit. Coming only days after Erner’s triumph, a DSA member from Esopus, who claimed to have engineered Erner’s successful run in the June primary against Donaldson and in the general, announced she will be taking on the virtually impregnable assemblyman Kevin Cahill in next June’s Democratic primary.

Cahill, I am told from a reliable source (Cahill), unlike the out of touch Donaldson, is girding his loins for battle. He will not take this challenge lightly. “I like a good challenge,” he said, which means he considers this a good challenge.

They all do. Republicans? Who cares?

Democrats wake up screaming in the night, “DSA!” DSA! Good God Almighty, DSA!” No one is safe. Look for a stampede to the left.

How strange. Democrats own county and city government, and three out of four county-wide offices and they’re worried sick that some far-left zealots will somehow take it all away?

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HEADLINES – Former late night TV host Jay Leno used to do a segment on goofy headlines in American newspapers. Read with a straight face, as they no doubt written, many were downright hilarious, like: “Cops say man shot four times in the back; Foul play suspected.”

Here’s a few from this month’s Daily Freeman:

“Transcripts show Cuomo as defiant” (accompanied with a photo of an obviously defiant Cuomo.) “Defiant Cuomo? Really? Who knew?

Next up: “UCAT getting $8 million in federal aid.” Announced by senator Chuck Schumer, it was but another opportunity for our senior senator to crow over pork. Obviously forewarned, county exec Ryan jumped on the band wagon, declaring the $8 million federal infusion (which may not arrive until next year, if not the year after) would help “sustain” the county’s public transportation system. “

Sustain?” The 2021 county budget appropriated $6.7 million for public transit.

 In a conversation about buses with a former city official, “Why do you guys buy huge buses that nobody rides on? Why not smaller busses?”

“Who gives a crap,” he said. “The feds pay for most of it.”

And finally:

“Budget hearing draws just two speakers” (One of them a town supervisor.)

It’s part of the annual budget shell game, folks. People don’t come to public hearings about things they don’t understand or haven’t been properly informed about. Some might testify if they have a pet project, they’d like funding restored or enhanced. That only two attended could suggest that the executive’s bloated 2022 county budget, resting firmly on some $34 million of federal stimulus funding, may actually be all things to all people.

Two more virtual hearings are scheduled before the full legislature votes on the budget next month.

Should as many as six interested souls attend either one, look for the blazing headline: “Budget attendance triples.”

And finally, sometimes when I read obituaries, I wish I had known the person. There have been a lot of interesting characters walking among us.  Since most are written (and paid for) by survivor, as opposed to the old days when funeral directors or reporters did it, some of the modern ones can be quite interesting.

Take the obit for Regina Connelly of Ulster Park who passed away this month at 73. Regina led a full life. She and her husband had three children and 13 grandchildren. She worked in the medical field, helping others, for over 30 years. Mr. Connelly died in 2009; Gracie the poodle and Regina’s partner Carole Zubee survive.

Other than the lovely photograph of Regina, what caught my eye in the obituary memorable was the mention of caregivers, including “Kameron ‘The Babe’ Goodheart.” A beloved caretaker named “The Babe?” How do you beat that?

In response to numerous inquiries of “How ya feelin?”, I had occasion to access the public health care system last week. It was something of a mixed bag. Doctors, nurses and staff at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany were wonderfui. Covid-19 testing and reporting much less so. All I can say is that the people who administer the tests and those who are supposed to report results to doctors and patients (like me) in a timely manner had better get their acts together or people will die.

As for caregivers, other than my wife, there were no “babes” on my team, just Phyllis and my two sons, Robbie and David. Young men now, they stepped up and got me a “walk-in” Covid test in Albany just 15 minutes before the hospital deadline for submission. It was something out of the Perils of Pauline. (See TCM.)

All’s well that ends well, in my case, even better. I loved that trio of caregivers dearly before my illness, now even more so.