Monday, February 05, 2007

Is It Getting Warm In Here, Or Is It Just Me?

Of Ground Hogs And The Climate Of Change

Malverne Mel didn't see his shadow on Ground Hog day, so spring is just around the corner, we suppose.

Competing interests among those fury rodents aside -- the ferrets of the Red states versus the hamsters of the Blue -- it sure is cooooooooold outside, isn't it?

Still, there is no denying that our planet is getting warmer, the ice-caps growing smaller, the tides rising higher, with the latest reports confirming that man is having a serious -- and delitorious -- impact upon the progression of global warming.

No denying, except on the part of the White House -- where there's enough hot air to melt all the ice in the Arctic. No pressure to put caps on the emission of greenhouse gases. No interest in enforcing existing provisions of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, let alone tightening the standards.

In fact, there is nothing coming out of the White House other than misleading information and the fudging of documentation, downplaying climate change, and echoing what Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, has characterized as a hoax. [Just what you'd expect from someone in the hip pocket of oil companies and captains of industry whose profits are made through the proliferation of hydrocarbons.]

There is "no convincing scientific evidence" that human activity is causing global warming, declared Inhofe. "We all know the Weather Channel would like to have people afraid all the time."

Funny, but we thought it was Bush, Cheney and Company that wanted to keep us "afraid all the time." Hmmm. . .

Oh well, on to things we have just a bit more control over.

How about melting that iceberg in frigid Albany we've come to know as the Republican-controlled State Senate.

Tomorrow, in the 7th SD, Democrat Craig Johnson squares off against Republican Maureen O'Connell, in an epic (having nothing to do with prescription drugs for the eldery) battle to wrestle control from the party that has held the reigns since most of us can remember, keeping all Long Islanders in the deep freeze.

O'Counell, the Nassau County Clerk, holds herself out as a reformer.

That's a real tough pill to swallow, given that Maureen has an undeniably abysmal track record in Albany -- as an Assemblywoman -- that speaks of anything but reform.

From taxes to women's rights, stem cell research to school funding, O'Connell voted lock-step with the GOP majority, wholely out of step with the interests of Long Islanders.

Now, O'Connell says she's going to Albany to "reform" the way the Senate does business. Exactly what is a "reformed" Republican? Hmmm. A Democrat, perhaps?

Yup, Maureen is going to change the way our State Senate has done business under Joe Bruno. She'll buck the leadership, all right.

Sure, Long Island's Republican delegation is now heard to complain that Governor Spitzer's proposed budget short-changes Long Island school districts, and gives upstaters greater tax relief than it offers to residents of Nassau County.

In many respects, they're absolutely right.

So we have to ask, where has our Republican delegation -- particularly our Republican State Senators -- been for the last twelve years or more, when they've held an icy grip on the Senate, and, as if by design, short-changed Long Island's school districts and treated property tax shock with "take two rebate checks, and call us in the morning?"

No one would say, at least with a straight face, that Craig Johnson isn't going to be a staunch ally of Eliot Spitzer in the Governor's quest to reform the ways of a wayward Albany. And yet, no one can deny that Craig will be an independent Democrat in the State Senate, standing up both to the leadership and the chief executive -- as he's done during his stint in the County Legislature -- on the issues, and for Long Islanders.

Maureen O'Connell, on the other hand, has never demonstrated the slightest movement toward independent thought, let alone independent action -- unless you can count the omission of the word "Republican" from her campaign ads and lawn signs. [Even that, we all know, was orchestrated by the GOP leadership, who themselves realize that "Republican" in state and national politics, has become a four-letter word.]

She is as beholden to the old ways of Joe Mondello and the tired ways of Joe Bruno, as George Bush is to staying a failed course on everything from Iraq to the environment.

We could, no doubt, debate the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming ad nauseum -- and rather than debating practical and necessary solutions, we probably will.

There can be no debate, however, that sending Maureen O'Connell back to Albany would have a most chilling effect on much needed reform, keeping the State Senate frozen in time, and Long Islanders still blue in the face.

On Tuesday, February 6th, ELECT CRAIG JOHNSON to the State Senate, and start a little global warming of your own under the butts of our elected officials.

Just maybe, if we try hard enough, we can effect some climate changes up in Albany!

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