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Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1, 2011: The Year Ahead

Some things I'd like to see in 2011.

President Barack Obama
For 2011 I'd like to the President continue to work as hard (and as effectively) as he did at the end of 2010. I don't agree with everything that was done in December policy-wise, but I do appreciate the fact that, basically, "crap got done".  America is a slightly center-right country, especially when you consider fiscal issues, not an ideologically pure right or left nation.  Yes, he should continue to fight the good fight when it comes to those social issues that are important to his core constituency, but there is a real crisis in this country when it comes to enormous deficits...deficits that are being bankrolled by the Chinese...that needs to be addressed over the next few years.  Politics is the art of compromise, and we need the equivalent of Rembrandt in the White House in 2011.

Scranton City Council President Janet Evans
For 2011 I'd like to see Mrs Evans check her personal ambition and instead channel that energy towards actually governing in an effective manner for the taxpayers of Scranton.  Talk to and work with the Mayor.  Don't put my interests (as a taxpayer) subordinate to the interests of unionized city employees.  Realize that city council speakers just speak for themselves, not for the vast majority of Scranton's residents.

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty
For 2011 I'd like to see Mayor Doherty focus on being Mayor of Scranton.  I hope he eschews other political ambitions and campaigns for the next few years.  I'd like him to do his part to work with the members of Scranton City Council with whom he typically disagrees.  He needs to set the positive example for cooperation, even as some may be more interested in conflict for sake of furthering their own political ambitions.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett
For 2011 I'd like Governor elect Tom Corbett to take off the politically tinged glasses and face reality.  That will probably happen anyway, but it's still worth mentioning because it's my concerted opinion that Mr Corbett rode a wave of fairy tales to victory.  Fairy Tales?  How about the one where you can cut taxes, kneel to the oil and gas industry and not make tough spending decisions?  Yes, there are ways to reduce spending in State government, but given the governor's seeming inflexibility when it comes to revenue, the math simply doesn't work.

Representative Barney Frank
For 2011, I don't want Representative Frank to change at all.  Not a bit.  See this video.

What?  You can't "catch" homosexuality from shower spray?  Damn, and I've been washing myself down with benzine after taking gym showers all these years for nothing?

Okay, I am just kidding...about the benzine part.

Quitter Sarah Palin
For 2011 I wish the half-term governor of Alaska continued success as a reality-TV star.  Stick with that Sarah...and just that...and the world will be a better place.

Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner
For 2011 I'd like to see the tan-man spend less time clowning to the base and more time working with the President.  As I alluded to under the President, America is not an ideologically far-right country, which means that extremists of both sides of the isle need to realize that they don't have a mandate to force through agendas that look good for campaign fund raising but make for bad overall policy.  For example, the notion of repealing Health Care Reform makes for nice fund-raising fodder, but replace it with what?  A "market-based" system?  Wait, we've had a "market-based" system in this country since freak'n World War 2 and health care costs has risen something like 12% per year every year.  The free market is great at producing better, cheaper toasters, but it stinks when it comes to complex economic models such as what exists for the delivery of health care.  Less ideology Mr Speaker and more actual pubic (as in entire public) service.

The Editors of The Scranton Times
For 2011 I'd like to see the powers-that-be at Shamrock Communications actually, really and truly work to create a regional newspaper for NEPA.  Physically it takes me about 20 minutes to get to Wyoming (Pennsylvania), but in terms of news coverage it might as well be Wyoming (the state).  Yes, we now see the odd story in the Scranton Times about a fire somewhere in "the Heights", but that's about it.  How about one newspaper that comprehensively covers the news in both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre?  We talk about the need to present a united front on things like economic development, but yet the media doesn't seem to do much to help facilitate that very concept.

For Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien
For 2011 I'd like to note that I am fine with Mr O'Brien running for re-election as Lackwanna County Commissioner.  Fine indeed with it.  But while holding this office I'd like to see him focus on this office.  As I noted under Mayor Doherty, no more politically higher office distractions.  If Mr O'Brien has an eye on a congressional seat, then let him quit the county payroll, get a full-time legal gig and then campaign on the law firm's dime, not mine.

Miscellaneous, personal & insider shout-outs:

  • Gort42...for 2011 please return.  The local blog-o-sphere is just not the same.
  • Mr Borthwick...for 2011 I'd like to see the "observations" continue, as they fit nicely into my attention span (namely short).
  • Mr Owens, Mr Ballmer, Mr Cordani, Mr Strangfeld, Mr Immelt, Mr Palmisano, etc....for 2011 how about fewer jobs in Asia and more in the United States?
  • Mr Clapton...for 2011 I'd like to see a tour, with a stop within, say, 200 miles of Scranton.
  • Ms Rivers...for 2011 don't change a thing (well with one exception).
  • Mr Palumbo...for 2011 how about adding a comment button?  Come on, I can't believe that the suits would have a problem with that!
  • Ms Marshall...for 2011 how about cashing those co-pay checks a bit quicker?
  • Ms Carey...for 2011 continue to call'm like you see'm ("chicken $hit" and all).
  • Mr Willett...for 2011 (at least for January & February) I'd like to you repeat over and over again the following mantra "Steve is a very valuable employee who deserves a large bonus".
  • Ms Albert (the oldest)...for 2011 I'd like to see gainful employment, of the full-time sort.  It would be nice (but not required) if that employment were not on, say, Pluto.
  • Ms Albert (the middle)...for 2011 I wish you continued success in all your studies, but don't let intelligence though get in the way of hard work. 
  • Ms Albert (the youngest)...for 2011 I wish you satisfaction at a job well done as you graduate.  
  • Ms Albert (my mom)...for 2011 I wish you good health and good spirits.
  • Mr Albert (my oldest brother)...for 2011 I wish you a job...with benefits no less.


Tom Borthwick said...

Don't worry, I have you covered. :o)

Stephen Albert said...

This is why you are NEPA's favorite blogger Tom...