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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coming Out

Members of the NYRA Board of Trustees met privately and directly with Governor Cuomo on Wednesday to discuss reforms to the racing association.   The governor was reported to have expressed doubt that the state could indeed take the franchise away; that despite the language in the franchise agreement that would allow the Franchise Oversight Board to recommend such a termination in the event of material or non-material violations; unspecified violations to be sure, but ones that a determined person could certainly frame NYRA's recent transgression as qualifying for.  So perhaps the meeting with the trustees and his comments represent a slight softening in Cuomo's position.  Still, he kept up the harsh, and misleading, rhetoric. 

"It seems like there is a never-ending list of the problems at NYRA. It’s not one incident. It’s an incident every couple of months for the past 10 years. []
Well, I'd say that's more than a just a bit of an exaggeration.  It's a bunch of crap, in fact.  But in any event, the governor surely has other priorities; his latest involving taking the lead on increasing protections for disabled people, directly or indirectly under state care, from the kind of abuses that have been reported upon, by the NY Times in particular, over recent years.  (You see, the Times can have an influence, both good and really really bad, over matters that are, let's face it and with all due respect to the humans involved, far more profound than dead racehorses, when it's not wasting front page space on Joe Drape's various agendas.)  For Cuomo, it's the latest dance in his meticulously choreographed journey towards the presidential election of 2016.  His term in office will be a ready made marathon campaign infomercial by the time he's done with us, the citizens of New York who, along with the once powerful legislative leaders who are merely along for the ride, are just supporting players in his personal saga.  Here's the governor delivering balanced budgets on time; there he goes taking on unions and special interests; here he is making the tax code fairer without inordinately picking on the wealthy; protecting the most vulnerable around us; promoting gay marriage.

And,regarding the latter, it's apparently just a coincidence of timing that President Obama's coming out on the right side of that issue immediately followed his trip to Albany.  In any event, as a man with clear presidential ambitions, Cuomo can now claim that he led the way on an issue which won't be quite so controversial by the time he's running to succeed either Obama or that flip-flopping bully who now hilariously claims credit for saving the auto industry.  By then, gay marriage will be well on its way to becoming one of those anachronistic civil rights issues that people will wonder what too so long, and what the big deal was.

By the way, did you catch the governor behind the presidential lectern up in Albany the other day?

Looks right at home, doesn't he?

 - Quite obviously I didn't have much to say about the Derby.  Most of that is due to time constraints I've alluded to from time to time, including the project I'm working on outside of my full-time job; one that I think you guys will think is really cool once I get to tell you more.  And, oh yeah, also the matter of my beloved Rangers' now quite-imperiled run at the Stanley Cup.  But a lot of it too reflected my weariness with the hype and buildup that goes on for far too long.  The Kentucky Derby is one of America's greatest spectacles, still, and to be sure.  Saturday had the usual special glow, I had a great time drinking mint juleps at a party at a friend's house, and pissed away a mere $20 on Creative Cause (one of the handful of horses who ran decently).  However, the Derby has become, and quite quickly, almost overnight in relative terms, far more spectacle as opposed to a horse race of any sporting or historical significance.  I would think that those people who spent months - months! - obsessing over top ten lists, Haskin columns, the occasional times the horses actually raced, all the rumors and innuendos, workout reports, didn't quite get the bang for their buck.  Well, if you had the winner you did to be sure.  But, when a race goes the first half in 45.1, the last half in 52 flat, and only one horse can even come close to passing the leader, that race kinda sucks.  And, when I'll Have Another fades into the kind of insignificance that other recent Derby winners have, the 2012 Derby itself will be further diminished  I greatly appreciate those who wrote to express their disappointment at the lack of posting.  But in truth, I really couldn't possibly have added anything to the trove of information already available online from great sites like Hello Race Fans.  Well, except maybe using my selection as another horse for you to throw out.


dana said...

Thanks for the Hello Race Fans shout!

jk said...

It is a never ending list of problems at NYRA, many of them caused by the NY State Government who now cries foul. Of course the focus will be on NYRA's self inflicted wounds, not the Government inflicted wounds.

I am not a lawyer but I think it would be tough for the state to revoke NYRA's license so soon after taking NYRA's land. Cuomo can accomplish the same goals by putting in his own management team, no need to have a court battle over revoking NYRA's license.

Mutaman said...

Good to read some writing from you. Its about time!

August Song said...

It's too bad, if you had only listened to Calvin, you could have cleaned up in the Derby. Look at his analysis. His horses ONLY finished second, first, third, fourth, and fifth. Truly an amazing handicapping feat, bar none.

Anonymous said...

How'd you like to get stuck on an elevator with someone who subscribes to the NYT's and voted for Obama and Cuomo?
What a nightmare that would be.

As incompetent as the NYRA and NYRB are it's pale in comparison with all the corruption of the Democrat party the last few years.Spitzer,Weiner,etc.

We'll put up our losers against your losers any day of the week.

August Song said...

We will see if Cuomo ever makes it to run for the United States Presidency. His handling, or to be more precise, his non-handling of the corrupt politicians involved and caught red-handed in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group scam will come back to bite Cuomo in his ass. Cuomo was the New York Attorney General when the fiasco went down. He's the governor now. What did do following the report issued by the Chief Investigator, Joseph Fitch, who was appalled that the politicians involved, namely Paterson, Sampson, Silver, and Smith, had forsaken their sworn oath, and cost the citizens and the state millions of dollars? Cuomo did nothing, except appoint Paterson to the MTA Board. Cuomo is no better than the political crooks he has aided and abetted. Cuomo's dereliction of duty, and protecting the political misfits of his party, will do greatly to insure that the White House will never be occupied by him.

steve in nc said...

Nice to be able to read you again, Alan. Hope all's OK. I agree with you that mostly, the Derby's all spectacle and not such an interesting race for handicappers, or even for spotting the sport's stars.

I don't follow NY politics anymore. But I will say this in response to the poster talking about whom to get stuck with in an elevator: this issue is how to keep the elevators functioning.

The Dems have tended to be corrupt/ineffective enough that probably there are phantom elevator inspections, just as cranes were crashing due to lax enforcement. They sometimes look like they haven't learned a thing since Tammany Hall.

The Republicans argue that regulations and inspections are socialist big government infringement on freedom. They sound like they haven't learned a thing from the Great Chicago Fire or Upton Sinclair.

Time for some new parties, don't ya think?