Category Archives: Election ’08

UPDATE: On being over…

Last June, I made note of a statement by Rem Koolhaas…

Famous Architect Rem Koolhaas is disappointed with American cities:

“Don’t tell anyone… but the 20th-century city is over. It has nothing new to teach us anymore. Our job is simply to maintain it.”

Today: Unfinished 40-story Beijing hotel designed by Koolhaas goes up in flames in a mere 20 minutes:

Yo, Rem! Maybe the 20th century city could teach you something about not designing perfect firetraps. (What the heck did they use for the framework, magnesium?)

(Rest of original post below the flip)

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A historic night

No, not that other history. (You can read about that anywhere…go and read about it now, then come back here.)

So the Dems — with a no doubt huge assist from Obama-related turnout — have taken the state senate. (That’s what it takes to dislodge two ancient senators — the biggest freaking turnout in recent memory.) The first thing I’ll say is that if Paterson is smart, which he is, he will continue on his current course of being the budgetary prophet of doom. He won’t even have to alter course in order to have conservatives loving him. The danger of course is that Albany Dems can’t afford to be arrogant… and Malcolm Smith’s quote makes me wonder if they understand that:

After 40 years in the wilderness, we are now in charge of the New York State Senate.

‘Wilderness’? Come again? I guess they’re salivating over the prospect of getting the fancy offices now…

This has to be a bittersweet moment for Paterson. I think all he ever wanted was to become Senate Majority Leader. And a bit of a problematic moment too, as the old saying goes about keeping an eye on one’s enemies but needing to really watch one’s friends. Paterson suddenly now has friends with louder voices. (And Chuck Schumer’s hand has now strengthened, which means that one of his very good friends now has a very very loud voice.) If there ever was a time for the executive branch in New York to differentiate itself from the legislative, and dump “three men in a room” in a healthy separation-of-powers way, it’s now.

Uh, maybe we should just spike all that.

Check out The Albany Project for all of the very latest.

Other people’s blogs: Politics edition

Much of the year I pretend that there is no politicking going on at other people’s blogs, that it is just Upstate Uber Alles and that political parties and candidates are irrelevant. Now with just a little more than a week to go before the Big Night, it’s time to rip away this veneer of civility.

Rome, NY Sucks defends Sarah Palin and links to a new movement called I Am Joe.

BuffaloPundit is 100% behind Barack Obama and tells you why.

Phil at Still Racing in the Street on Obama’s organizational fighting force of extraordinary magnitude.

Gen X at 40 is apparently only 40% behind Obama, but because he’s Canadian I think that works out to 35% in U.S. percentage points.

My vote for Political Blog Post Title of the Year comes from The Albany Project, on the subject of campaign funding inequities in NY-25: Sweet Sweetland’s Broke-Ass Song.

As for myself, I have a confession to make… even though I’m on the other team, I think David Renzi’s Darrel “I Did It” Aubertine ad is going to go down as a classic. I have no idea what if any difference it will make in the outcome of the race, but if Republican strategists had any imagination at all, they’d be remixing it like the Dean scream. Now, it appears Renzi has got some problems of his own when it comes to improper benefits, but they apparently don’t have him on camera saying “I did it.”

I’m also finding the Post-Standard’s political endorsements to be arbitrary in the extreme: Joan Christensen should be thrown out, but Bill Magnarelli deserves re-election. While Joan Christensen is not doing enough about reform, Magnarelli on the other hand is not doing enough about reform. Oh.

Is Howie Hawkins a loser?

Apologies for the provocative title. “Loser” is a derogatory term that implies bad things about a human being, none of which I would ever think to apply to someone I don’t know personally, especially not someone like Hawkins who is dedicated to providing alternative ideas and points of view at election time. However, it is true that Hawkins is a perennial also-ran candidate; and it is true that Maxwell School professor Bob McClure recently was quoted in the Post-Standard about one of the upcoming Maffei-Sweetland debates:

“Our objective – Channel 5’s and Maxwell’s – is to provide voters with the kind of information, and in as much depth or detail as possible, to allow them to evaluate the two candidates, one of which will be their congressman,” McClure explained. Hawkins – who has been on the ballot in 13 prior elections without winning – has no chance of being elected, McClure said.

In the “Let’s Play Democracy” game of what passes for public debate these days, the people putting on the democracy events of course have the right to set their own rules. There are plenty of other public forums in the community for a minor candidate to get their views aired. But McClure’s comment is a new and naked admission that the electorate no longer has time to invite “political losers” into the public square, even if they do get on the ballot. And America doesn’t like losers, so perhaps those who have passed their “sell-by” date need not apply?

Should Hawkins get to join the debate? Or would his presence be a waste of the public’s time at this point? I’m not sure how to answer this myself… as the last debate I attended at Maxwell (Valesky vs. Hoffman vs. Dadey — who claimed to be invited only at 11 a.m. the day of) turned into a “forum” where only Valesky managed to show up. Fun and games.