Monday, December 29, 2008

Treasure, And Choose, Life Always

The God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness our Founding Fathers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence does not exist in New York. It vanished.

Every year in the Empire State there are over 100,000 children deprived of the chance to experience fulfilling lives; to aspire to greatness, or even possess a fleeting sense of hope.

No one knows their names. They're forever invisible. Their souls are in repose.

Because they were aborted.

Abortion is a subject that makes people deeply uncomfortable. It's too often off-limits, and should never be that way. We need to talk about it more. Especially when we have the numbers.

The most recent state Department of Health (DOH) statistics document the tragedy of abortion. The numbers are gruesome. No New Yorker barely knows it, and the majority of our citizens seemingly do not care about the stark reality of lives never lived.

In 2006, there were 121,178 abortions in New York according to DOH, which includes:

* 29,186 women with one previous abortion;
* 16,815 women with 2 previous abortions;
* 8,068 women with 3 previous abortions;
* 3,804 women with 4 previous abortions; and
* 3,803 women with 5 or more previous abortions.

It doesn't improve from the gruesomeness, with:

* 47,071 abortions paid for by taxpayers through Medicaid;
* 13,778 abortions with a gestation period greater than 13 weeks;
* 65,704 abortions for women aged 20-29; and
* 28,722 abortions for women aged 30-39.

These numbers should break your heart in half if you have the capacity to have a heart. Each number has a story. A story that is either poignant, frightening, or unimaginable for the victim, her family and friends.

Abortion statistics are never reported. Not in a paper, local television news, national television news or talk radio. They should be.

Despite the powerful National Abortion Rights Action League and the National Organization for Women asserting that abortion is not a form a birth control, the multiple abortion numbers transform the claim into pure fiction. Yet, that fact does not matter to our elected officials.

Not one politician in New York held a news conference to celebrate the 121,178 abortions that happened here in 2006. For good reason. What would be said? Damn, we missed our 140,000 goal?

Our elected officials will never call attention to these DOH numbers. And every single one of them knows why. They understand abortion is the taking of a human life. But cravenly refuse to admit it.

If abortion is such a sacred right why don't abortion doctors speak on behalf on those we cast our ballots for? Did Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Governor David Paterson ever invite an abortionist to a campaign rally or news conference during their careers to hail the precious right to an abortion? Of course not.

There were 83,226 abortions in Mayor Bloomberg's city in 2006. We didn't hear one word - not a peep - from this man who revels in lecturing his constituents about how to live healthy lives.

Immense psychological repercussions are common for women who undergo an abortion. Yet this Napoleonic mayor deigns to condescend to us about smoking and transfat at fast food restaurants. His priorities about how to live a healthy life are backward.

The Bloombergs, Patersons and others that support this "procedure" can't even bring themselves to use the word abortion. It's called "reproductive rights" or "choice."

We all deserve to make choices in life. The DOH website lists the choices New York's moms and dads made in 2006 for "most popular birth names by sex." It's on the same statistics table as abortion, and the bureaucrats at DOH likely never noticed the contradiction.

Michael and Matthew are the most popular boys names with Emily and Isabella the most popular girls names. They are beautiful names, and when the 2007 statistics come out thousands of Michaels, Matthews, Emilys and Isabellas will never be placed in a baby stroller because of the culture of abortion.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Super Bowl Of Cliches

2009 NFL Playoff Game: New York Jets v. New England Patriots

New York Jets Pre-game Locker Room

Coach Eric Mangini: Today we have to bring our A-game and play like we're capable of playing. Everyone counted us out before the start of the season. No one gave us a chance two weeks ago. But we don't play these games on paper, and if we come together as a team, we'll find a way to win. Just go out there and have fun.

New England Patriots Pre-game Locker Room

Coach Bill Belichick: Winning is everything.

Game Time Booth with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

The Jets came out of the locker room all fired up, Jim. Yes, they're loaded for bear today, Phil. And it's obvious there's no love lost between these two teams.

This is always a tough place to play, Jim. Intangibles will be the key. The team that plays ball-control offense and doesn't turn it over will win. The Patriots have to contain Thomas Jones. He's a real throwback. And the Jets have to stop the big play by Randy Moss. He can put the Patriots on his shoulders and carry them.

First Half Game Call

Favre and the Jets are playing with a short field at the Patriot 45. Favre hands off to Jones, he's got some room, and shakes off several would-be tacklers and rumbles down the sidelines for 40 yards. You could have driven a truck through that hole.

At the five, Favre hands off to Jones and New York draws first blood on a textbook play. Jones was in a zone on that drive. You can't teach that. The extra point splits the uprights, 7-0 Jets.

The Patriots go three and out.

Favre is marching the Jets down the field. Favre is audibilizing. Mangold snaps it. Favre has all day back there, Favre has an eternity. He airs it out to Laveranues Coles. A circus catch by the cat-quick Coles, and he turns on the after-burners. Touchdown Jets. That was vintage Brett Favre.

Favre will be buying dinner for his whole offensive line after this game if the Jets win. He's playing like a little kid out there. Jets tack on the extra point, it's 14-0. The Jets are clicking on all cylinders.

You can feel the momentum swinging. New England is playing physical football. The crowd is becoming a factor.

Matt Cassel has New England knocking on the door at the Jet 16. This is their deepest penetration yet.

Cassel is directing traffic. He throws a strike right on the numbers to Moss for a touchdown. That was a timing pattern. You can't say enough about Moss; he's got ice-water in his veins. And so New England answers back, with the extra point good, 14-7 Jets.

Favre has happy feet, he's flushed out of the pocket, and throws into double coverage and it's picked off by Mike Vrabel. He's always around the football. That was an ill-advised pass by Favre.

But there's a late flag. A flag usually means holding. The officials can call holding on every play. But it's offensive pass interference on the Jets, and the players have choice words for each other.

The Patriots take over. Cassel has his game face on. He checks off his receivers, and he finds Moss all alone in the end zone. They diagrammed that perfectly. Cassel has a swagger about him now.

The Patriots line up for the extra point. Missed wide right. That one could come back to haunt them, and it's 14-13 Jets.

Halftime interview by ESPN's Erin Andrews with Belichick

Andrews: Coach, what adjustments do you need to make in the second half?

Belichick: Well, we've still got plenty of football left. We have to go out there and execute.

Andrews: Thanks, coach.

Halftime interview by ESPN's Erin Andrews with Mangini

Andrews: Coach, what did you tell your players in the locker room?

Mangini: That we have to step up and make plays. We need to play within ourselves.

Andrews: Good luck, coach.

Second Half Game Call

The Patriots are trying to stave off elimination, down 14-13.

Cassel comes set at the Jet 45. Three-step drop, and he hits Wes Welker with a pinpoint pass at the 34. They pay him to make those catches. Welker is the consummate team player. And that looked like a missed assignment for Jet DB Ty Law.

The Patriots can't afford to get lackadaisical now. Cassel drops back, he scrambles, and he's sacked for a 15 yard loss by the rookie Vernon Gholston out of Ohio State. He's some kind of player.

Cassel really got his bell rung there, and he's slow getting up. Cassel is up, but he's walking gingerly. He's going to feel that one in the morning. The Patriots are looking at fourth down and forever now, and have to punt.

Farve takes the snap from Mangold, and dumps it off to Dustin Keller. Keller bulls his way for extra yardage, and is taken down just shy of the Patriot 29 for a 20 yard gain. That was a real heads-up play by the former boilermaker Keller.

The Jets have to remember what got them here, and take care of the football.

Favre, the ultimate gunslinger, is changing the play at the line of scrimmage. Play-action fake, Favre has all kinds of time, and guns it to Jerricho Cotchery for a first down at the Patriot 9 yard line. That throw was right on the money. Cotchery came to play today. The North Carolina State product has a great feel for the game.

Favre hands off to Leon Washington and he runs to daylight for a score. No one even laid a glove on him. He's the Jets' spark plug. The scrappy Washington is finally coming into his own. Feely puts it through and its 21-13 Jets. That took the crowd right out of the game.

This is gut-check time for the Patriots. They're still very much alive with a buck-40 left in regulation.

Cassel hands off to Kevin Faulk and he's stuffed for a 3-yard loss by Kris Jenkins at the Patriot 47. Jenkins has been a beast out there.

The Patriots are playing with a great sense of urgency. Third and 13. Cassel is in the shotgun. He drops and hits Welker for a fifteen yard gain and he steps out of bounds at the Jet 38. He ran out of real estate.

These two teams are fighting tooth and nail. With 14 seconds left in the game, it's decision time for the Patriots.

Cassel takes the snap. Cassel has a man open downfield, Moss has a step on the defender and it's caught at the Jet 2 yard line. He's having a monster game. Cassel and Moss are on the same page now.

The Patriots are not going away with their backs against the wall. The crowd is going wild. You can feel the electricity.

The Patriots can't cough it up here. They pin their hopes on Cassel. Five seconds to go. Cassel drops. He's sacked by Gholston, the one-man wrecking crew. It's over. Jets win 21-13.

Favre has silenced all the critics. He has a new lease on life.

New York Jets Post-game Locker Room

Andrews: Brett, talk about the game.

Favre: We made a statement here today. It was a total team effort, and we knew what we had to do and went out and did it. We gave it 110 percent.

Andrews: Thanks, Brett.

New England Patriots Post-game Locker Room

Andrews: I'm here with Coach Belichick. Coach, what went wrong today?

Belichick: We came out flat, and they smelled the jugular. They made the big plays, and we didn't. The ball just didn't bounce our way. We can still hold our heads high though. We left it all out on the field.

Andrews: Thanks, coach.

Post-game booth with Nantz and Simms

Phil, these two teams went at it like a couple heavyweights. They played a full 60 minutes. Yes they did, Jim, and the Jets served notice that they finally learned how to win.

The game was a lot closer than the final score indicates, Phil. True, Jim, and the Jets made the athletic plays when they had to, and the game was won in the trenches.

There were no losers in this game, Phil. Both teams played their hearts out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

PROVOCATIONS: Paterson's Budget From Hell

Gov. David A. Paterson has demonstrated why questioning his largely uneventful career before he assumed office and his bizarre behavior after taking office were legitimate concerns.

Unveiling a $121 billion budget, Gov. Paterson again made the Empire State a national laughingstock by proposing $4 billion in 137 gratuitous fees on everything from iPods to soft drinks to inexpensive clothes to movie tickets to cigars. He gleefully launched a fee assault on our wallets and everyday lives.

Most disturbingly, after issuing warnings for months on the desperate need to cut spending, what did Gov. Paterson do? Sell out, and increase spending. He lost his nerve by following a typical politician's penchant for placing hypocrisy over principle.

The critical barometer for spending is the "state funds" section of the budget. Gov. Paterson's spending increase is one percent, and one percent too much. With the looming multi-billion deficits we face, a cut of at least five percent was required.

The so-called "cuts" to school aid, Medicaid and hospitals are minor, despite the predictable whaling and whining of Albany's entrenched special interests. In addition, our 200,000-member bloated state workforce drains state coffers with gold-plated benefits not provided in other states, and Paterson proposed eliminating a grand total of . . . 520 positions.

What Gov. Paterson continued was nothing more than the failed Cuomo-Pataki-Spitzer model that created the financial nightmare we're living in today.

It's an abdication of leadership from Gov. Paterson. His budgetary decisions display a woeful unpreparedness to lead 19 million New Yorkers through our daunting fiscal crisis. Perhaps the only success he achieved was alienating political and ideological constituencies critical to long-term fiscal sanity.

Blame it on Eliot Spitzer. Yes, client 9 has been gone nine months, and he's still wreaking havoc.

Shortly before Gov. Paterson assumed office last March in the wake of Spitzer's downfall, his responsibilities as Lieutenant Governor were few. He was virtually ignored for 14 months.

In Albany circles the sole reason for why Spitzer picked Paterson is well-known, and now we're paying the price with a budget devoid of innovation and new ideas. It's the truth that dare speak only behind closed doors.

In 2005, Leecia Eve, the daughter of former Assemblyman Arthur Eve of Buffalo, announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. Ms. Eve is black. She had the support of nearly every influential black New York elected official, from Rep. Charles Rangel to former Mayor David Dinkins. Even Gov. Paterson's father Basil supported Ms. Eve.

Yet, then-Attorney General Spitzer created a massive political problem for himself by rejecting Ms. Eve's candidacy. "The Smartest Man In The World," as Rangel mockingly described him, needed to mend fences with angry Democrats in the minority community. He knew he had to select an African-American to be his running mate to calm the storm.

Where to look? Why, in the New York State Senate where Paterson was serving as the sleepy Minority Leader for three years supporting absurd legislation such as limiting the number of bullets police officers can carry in their weapons and voting rights for non-citizens.

Before he was elected to the Senate, Paterson worked in the Queens District Attorney's office, which is notable because he lied about being a "prosecutor" in his official biography (he never passed the bar exam). But his influential father plucked him out of the DA's office and he was easily elected in a 1985 special election.

Spitzer knew exactly what he was doing. Every Governor wants a Lieutenant Governor who dutifully says nothing and stays out of sight. He could count on Paterson to fill the role.

Paterson was picked by Spitzer for raw political reasons. Now this poor, politically-correct decision has manifested itself in a destructive budget blueprint that will further drive more jobs and residents out of the state for good.

It shouldn't come as a surprise.

The budget Gov. Paterson announced is a mere extension of the incompetent decision-making he exhibited days after taking office. He stunned New Yorkers with lurid confessions of drug use and adultery, and media reports detailed his delight in spending campaign funds on personal desires such as hotel rooms, suits and travels out-of-state.

When a public official is an accident of history there are unintended consequences. For nine months we've experienced the unintended consequences of David A. Paterson as New York's 56th Governor, and our future looks bleaker than ever.

Keystone Security At The Capitol and LOB

Text of the e-mail read by Fred Dicker on his show yesterday:

I hope you keep blasting the State Police for their bumbling behavior. They deserve it.

Never once in the five years I worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional staffer did I walk through a House or Senate office building security entrance and experience the head-shaking unprofessionalism that goes on at the Capitol and the LOB entrances. And I'm talking about situations with major security concerns, such as President Reagan lying in state or the State of the Union.

A couple weeks ago I entered the State Street side of the Capitol and put my Blackberry and keys in the basket. The dimwit State Police officer says to me: "where's your wallet?" Where's my wallet? I don't carry a wallet, I told her. What a stupid question. Like I would have an M-16 in it even if I did carry a wallet. Plus, having gone through security entrances in D.C. thousands of times, I know what must go in the basket to make their jobs easier. She was so obnoxious.

Another time I entered the LOB and put my stuff in the basket and proceeded to walk through. I put my left hand in my pocket looking for my ATM card and the State Police officer bellows "take your hand out of your pocket!" This was after I had already walked through the metal detector. The guy acted like some wanna-be Albany Rambo.

These officers need simple common decency lessons.

The podcast can be heard here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scamming Schenectady

Chichester's Op-Ed in today's Sunday Gazette: Super Steel Took Millions, Then Abandoned County.

The Gang of Three Stooges

Gina: You will show me The Stooges?

Jerry: I will show you The Stooges.

New Yorkers don't need Jerry Seinfeld to help them identify the state legislature's Three Stooges. They are Pedro Espada, Carl Kruger and Ruben Diaz.

Known as The Gang of Three, these Democrats have refused to vote for Senator Malcolm Smith as the incoming Majority Leader even though their party won control of the Senate on Election Day for the first time in over 40 years.

For New Yorkers who have never heard of this legislative Gang of Three Stooges, here's the shorthand on their tainted reputations. Among Democrats.

* Senator-elect Pedro Espada is a con artist, a bumbling phony and suffers from delusions of grandeur.

* Senator Carl Kruger is a forgettable legislator with a history of cutting deals that satisfy his Lyndon Johnson-like narcissism.

* Senator Ruben Diaz, a leading Democratic opponent of gay marriage and abortion, is so utterly clueless he doesn't understand why he's in a party that despises his position on those issues.

The Gang of Three Stooges are hustlers. Minus the eye-pokes, ear pulling and smacks in the face.

Even by sleazy Albany deal-making standards, the Gang of Three Stooges are brazen. They should be joyous about the end of the 43-year long reign of Senate Republicans. They're not. What each Stooge cares about is: what's in it for me?

We now know the deal they negotiated with Smith last week collapsed because of its absurdity. Stooge Espada as a Potemkin Majority Leader, Stooge Kruger as Senate Finance Committee Chairman and Stooge Diaz extracting a promise not to bring gay marriage to the floor for a vote (which wouldn't pass if there was a vote).

These are duly elected New York State Senators and they behave like infantile 8th graders angling for the class presidency. Unfortunately, we don't have the power to recall state legislators in our Empire State. If there is ever a campaign mounted for recall legislation, Espada, Kruger and Diaz should be the poster boys for it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

16-year-old Chichester's Letter On "The Vault"

What a thrill to be in Sports Illustrated, my favorite magazine Mom and Dad gave me a subscription to years before being in high school. Even if it's only two sentences.

(And the first experience with an editor's knife).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NYSUT's RFK Political Indoctrination, Cont.

The New York State United Teachers held an event at the Robert F. Kennedy High School in Queens today to unveil three lesson plans on the life of the late former Senator and Attorney General.

“What we’re trying to do is connect the lesson plans with the vision of social justice,” said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi.

These fraudulent lesson plans were first brought to the wide attention of New Yorkers in my Daily News op-ed on Sunday.

The lessons plans, which can be read here, are a lie. They purposely ignore the inconvenient, complete truth about Kennedy's career.

One of the worst things a teacher can do is distort history. But that's exactly what NYSUT is perpetrating. They're exerting political pressure on our Empire State principals, superintendents and teachers to adopt lesson plans that are a comic book chronicle of RFK's life.

New York's public school students won't be learning about Kennedy's direct involvement in the wiretapping of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Or how he served as counsel to United States Senator Joe McCarthy. The man is so thoroughly reviled "McCarthyism" is today a catch-all attack word in response to smears, real and perceived.

In addition, he was widely viewed as an unprincipled opportunist by his fellow Democrats when he joined the 1968 presidential race only after Senator Eugene McCarthy exposed President Lyndon Johnson's weakness in the New Hampshire primary.

Historical facts don't matter to NYSUT. The union's lesson plans about Kennedy read like Soviet-style manuals circa 1938.

What is important to New York's largest teachers union is assisting the Kennedy family's obsession with glorifying itself. The union states these lesson plans began "with a phone call to Iannuzzi from Kerry Kennedy, the seventh of RFK's 11 children."

Thanks to Iannuzzi, Kerry Kennedy imposed a Pravda-like version of her father on the public school children of New York. It's a disgrace.

What would happen if NYSUT sent three lesson plans to Empire State teachers celebrating - and fictionalizing - the life of President Ronald Reagan? That left out the Iran-Contra scandal, for example? There would be an outcry from the same people canonizing Kennedy.

Lesson plans should be left to local school districts. NYSUT has thoroughly politicized our public schools, and Iannuzzi should be ashamed of himself for helping to lead such an outrageous assault on the truth.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Shameless Kennedy Opportunist

The New York Post and Associated Press report Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has approached Governor David A. Paterson for appointment to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Via a phone call.

What has Mrs. Schlossberg ever achieved in her life to merit serving as a United States Senator?

The 51-year-old interned with her Uncle Edward Kennedy in the U.S. Senate, worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wrote two forgettable books and serves on boards and foundations.

Wow. That's impressive.

Mrs. Schlossberg's resume is so flimsy it insults flimsy.

It's no secret what Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's occupation has been for years: Being John F. Kennedy's daughter. She's a typical professional Kennedy.

A professional Kennedy lives off the family name. A professional Kennedy doesn't have a real job. A professional Kennedy believes in entitlement without accomplishment. And eventually the professional Kennedy demands public office.

Edward J. McCormack Jr. understood it. He was Ted Kennedy's 1962 Democratic primary opponent, and during debate said:

"If your name was simply Edward Moore instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke."

Well, Caroline, if your name was simply Caroline Schlossberg instead of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, your candidacy would be a joke.

What has Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg ever done for upstate New York? She probably can't locate Massena on a state map. Or pronounce Coxsackie correctly.

How many times has she been to Albany for a true public service purpose? Or shown concern for the plight of Schenectady, Buffalo and Utica? I can't recall. Her record in that regard is likely barren.

She's also never been elected to any office. However woefully wrong they are on the issues, at least Rep. Carolyn Maloney and other Democratic contenders for the post have served New York for years. They've presented themselves to the people for office. No matter who you are that's always admirable.

New York doesn't need another famous name waltzing into office for reasons of ego. We already had it with Hillary Clinton, and she could hardly wait to abandon New York. But at least she was elected.

Senior elected Democrats hoping to serve out Senator Clinton's term have to be enraged today. Here comes unelected Caroline with an inside job phone call to Governor Paterson.

Go away, Caroline. Stick to being a professional Kennedy. That's what you're good at.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Governor David A. Paterson must certainly understand his amiable personality has failed to convince the state legislature that New York faces its worst financial meltdown since the 1970's. Nearly all our 212 legislators suffer from indifference. Crisis? What crisis?

State legislators don't care about the reality of what we're up against, are too petrified of their union bosses, or both. Now that their leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, have arrogantly refused to provide Governor Paterson with one single idea for spending reductions to close next year's $12.5 billion deficit, they have forced him to the brink of dire decision-making.

Skelos, deservedly, will soon inherent the mantle of irrelevance now that his Senate Republicans lost their majority. But the problem is his successor, Queens Democrat Malcolm Smith, is not an improvement. In fact, Smith will lead a 32-member Democratic majority in opposition to spending controls with a greater ferocity than Albany's feckless Republicans.

Silver is even more of a challenge for Governor Paterson than Smith. He will go down in history as one of the most cunning and calculating legislative leaders Albany has ever witnessed. Entering his 15th year as Speaker, this man always seems to get what he wants.

There is only one way for Governor Paterson to handle the legislature for at least the next two months: Unilaterally. New York's constitution provides the governor with a series of executive powers state legislators have no authority whatsoever to stop.

State legislators have pet bills that barely receive media attention. Many are yawn-inducing. But not to them. They revel in promoting these little bills in their newsletters, public appearances, weekly newspapers, websites and elsewhere.

Governor Paterson should inform Speaker Silver and incoming Majority Leader Smith he's not signing one bill that does not directly address our state fiscal emergency. Every single one will be vetoed if it's sent.

State legislators relish access, and no where is it more evident in their pursuit of patronage. They love securing posts in the executive branch for supporters, campaign donors, friends and family members. It makes them look good at home.

Governor Paterson's Appointments Secretary, the patronage chief, knows all the precise details of the jobs state legislators covet for their benefactors. He should impose a moratorium on every one.

If halting patronage and bill signings is not enough to break chronic legislative inattention, there is always their precious pork-barrel projects to target. Governor Paterson can order top advisers to delay checks for the tens of millions that comprise this vote-buying slush fund. Assert no group gets one penny until the governor is satisfied he's receiving real cooperation from the legislature.

There is also The Nuclear Option. Governor Paterson can begin laying off state employees.

If he moves forward with layoffs the Public Employees Federation, Civil Service Employees Association and 1199, the bloated New York City hospital union, will be forced to negotiate in good faith. And it may finally make them consider reform to their Cadillac-style pension and health care costs that are bankrupting the state.

Such a hardball tactic should convince the union leadership to avoid launching their predictable radio and television commercials calling for tax hikes and other policies that have helped land our Empire State in this abyss. Once their members are looking for new employment, they'll consider playing nice with a man who leads 19 million people.

The governor himself also needs self-inspection. While his language is bold in warning New Yorkers we are living in a budgetary nightmare, Governor Paterson's behavior can be curious. He's jetted off to California and overseas recently for conferences that have nothing to do with the business of Albany. This is needless out-of-state socializing, and must stop.

In addition, Governor Paterson hesitates to use the bully pulpit. He has shown flashes of understanding how this immense communication tool succeeds. If he uses it correctly, it will work.

For example, when the unions inevitably object to reductions in health care spending Governor Paterson has the hard facts on his side. In 2005, a New York Times investigation found that as much as 40 percent of our $45 billion annual Medicaid budget encompasses fraud, mismanagement, abuse, as well as the incompetent interference of state legislators.

It's merely one fact, in an arsenal of facts, which have driven jobs and people out of New York. Especially upstate. Governor Paterson can relentlessly cite each one as he continues to confront the legislature.

The truth is the budget has to be cut. Massively. That simple. Yet we have 212 dithering state legislators who have conclusively demonstrated their only solution is to run away from reality.

Governor Paterson must wield the power he has at his disposal. It's time.

Teacher Throws Eraser At Chichester

A former teacher is very upset with the Sunday Gazette Op-Ed on the New York State United Hustlers Teachers.