I just noticed I have a recurring cartoon digging theme going on here. Must be some type of primal yearning for summer’s unfrozen soil. I’ll attempt to move on for tomorrow’s cartoon. But no promises.
It’s not fair to hand over our debts to future generations. Leaving them our toxic waste is entirely appropriate, however.
Now here’s a nice simple subject…
Newly minted Westchester Count Executive, Rob Astorino, inherited an ongoing Federal lawsuit which was hauling the county over the coals for taking tens of millions in federal money to be used to build fair (integrated) housing when it instead built only affordable housing in poorer districts, which according to the suit served to perpetuate the county’s pronounced racial/economic segregation. Taking Federal money and using it differently than the law intended is a violation of The False Claims Act. A lot of the wealthier towns just said “no thanks” to the strings-attached money, and cited zoning regs as a cover for not wanting to allow integrated housing. Citing a “lack of authority” the Astorino administration is very reluctant to go back and tell the towns what they have to do to settle the federal suit. His action proposal was rejected as being non-specific and detail-less. Philosophically opposed to the federal order, a conciliatory Astorino has said he would prefer to use the “carrot approach” to enforce compliance. Meanwhile the Feds are standing over him with a stick.
The three strikes law was recently criticized in a speech by Justice Kennedy at Pepperdine Law School for being unfair. Ironically he cast the deciding vote in 2003 when the law was upheld by The Supreme Court. This issue is particularly poignant in NY, as the state is also saddled with the equally judicially restrictive Rockefeller laws, which, like “three strikes” is a useless feel-good measure for politicians who want to appear tough on crime to constituents. Three strikes removes a valuable sentencing tool from judges and puts away petty, non-violent offenders for life, which clogs our jails, costs taxpayers an unnecessary fortune and completely ignores the root cause of the crimes in question.
Q: Extra points for guessing who was the main special interest political backer of “three-strikes.”
A: Correctional officers union.
NBC does the right thing
Thought readers of my blog might be interested in an irritating habit that NBC commentator David Gregory has picked up. Apparently he has started mentioning editorial cartoons on Meet The Press, which is fine – except he fails to credit the cartoonists, which strikes me as overwhelmingly unprofessional. And instead of “oh man, we just liked the cartoons – sorry we’ll insert the artists names into David’s teleprompter from now on,” NBC’s official comment is “no comment”
I remember when Sam Donaldson mentioned a few of my cartoons on air some years ago, and he went to great lengths to ensure I was credited. I bumped into him at an event we were both attending and I was able to thank him for the attribution. He said (and I’m paraphrasing because it was a few years ago) “I’m a big fan and am happy to be able to share you with the viewers.” Classy guy, who needs to call David Gregory and NBC to explain what that means.