Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pres in My Neck of the Woods

Yesterday's big local story was President Obama's appearance at the Tappan Zee Bridge to discuss the need for spending billions of dollars to repair our crumbling infrastructure. I've discussed the Tappan Zee before. While I applaud the new bridge construction, I maintain that the proposed new bridge is, basically, crippleware because it will lack a light rail component. Back in 2011, I wrote:

The very idea of nickel-and-diming infrastructure projects until they are "built broken" is asinine. The whole disposable culture has got to end. Remember when things were built to last, and one paid a fairly high price for durable goods? Now, we buy cheap crap that we have to continually replace, which is wasteful and stupid. It's wasteful and stupid when such items as shoes, clothing, and small appliances are concerned, it's tragic and suicidal when major infrastructure is concerned.

Here's the video of the president's speech, which took place in an area I know very well, the beautiful Tarrytown waterfront:

In the opening to his Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving described Tarrytown in terms which would be accurate today:

In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic.

While Tarrytown is a lovely place in which to... uh... tarry, the I-287 corridor, with the Tappan Zee Bridge bottleneck, is not the place to do so. I imagine the president's visit snarled traffic even more than is typical for the already congested area, but his theme of improving infrastructure and creating jobs is one of importance. I don't know how long he tarried in the area, but I sincerely hope he made a side trip to Lefteris Gyro, my favorite restaurant in the area.

I also appreciate his shout-out to the NY congressional delegation- I am a huge fan of Nita Lowey, a former representative of mine, and Eliot Engel, my current rep. I was glad that he excoriated congress as a whole, however. Hopefully, the president will campaign for Democratic congressional candidates in the crucial upcoming mid-term election.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If you check this blog, you will find that the current head of the DCCC is doing exactly what Rahm Emanuel did:

Recruiting right-wing Dems and outright goopers and ignoring winnable districts with GOP incumbents.

The DLC types are going to blow 2014 just like they blew 2010. And just like in 2010, the Left will be blamed for not clapping loudly enough.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And look here...a new post.

mikey said...

Once again, it really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the GOP holds the majority in one or both houses. Just holding the House allows them to prevent any legislation from passing, and even if they win a Senate majority they'll never come close to being able to override a Presidential veto.

Divided government only works when the parties are not aligned with ideologies. As soon as the parties represent ideologies rather than political coalitions, divided government all looks the same - it's what we have now. And with the Republican lock on the House and the Democratic demographic advantage in the White House, divided government is what we're going to see.

The only thing that will allow legislative action is something catastrophic. So, along with Bouffant, I'm rooting for the great big-ass earthquake...