The Instant

Just Say No

Clinton Suggested

That Obama Resist

Threats of Default


August 4, 2011 - Journalism is habitually critical of government officials and bureaucracy. Most people, when polled objectively, tell us that they hold public officials in modest regard. Traditionally, legislators rank substantially lower in public esteem than executives. Notwithstanding those sentiments, however, voters usually re-elect their local representatives, unless the public mood shifts substantially, as it did in 2010.

The popularity of the President, a governor or a mayor will vary during his term according to the course of events, and the way that elected officials respond to the challenges of the day. Governor Cuomo rose after his first six months as a result of his success in dealing with the legislature. President Obama, on the other hand, has lost public esteem in the wake of the dispute over the national debt ceiling, even though he acted responsibly on that difficult issue.

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StarQuest's articles 1-772
The Ultimate
The Penultimate
The Antepenultimate
The Pre-Antepenultimate

Beware the Gerrymander

Common Cause Drawing Lines

For Legislative Redistricting,

LATFOR Holding Hearings


August 3, 2011 - Writing a blog has many satisfactions. One can share information and opinions with thousands of people who have elected to receive them. One can affect the public's view of issues. On some occasions, one can publish material previously unknown or unconnected to the larger universe of public policy issues.

A blog also has its frustrations. The blogger can draw conclusions and make proposals, in a loud or soft voice, but there is no assurance that anyone will do what he recommends. In most cases, there is a reason that officials will not do what you suggest. The most common reason is their own self-interest.

Suffer Little Children

Mattingly Leaves ACS

Presided Over Tragedies

But Reformed the Agency.

Judge Richter Is Successor.


July 27, 2011 - John B. Mattingly is retiring as Commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) after seven years in the trenches. At the age of 66, he will return to the child welfare foundation he headed in Baltimore.

His departure is in striking contrast to Jay Walder's jumping ship after 21 months at the MTA to take a far more lucrative positionrunning a railroad in the Orient. Yet Walder may have performed a service by his surprise exit. His manner had alienated many of the people he had to deal with, and the financial chasm between receipts and expenditures had only widened, although through no fault of Walder's.

Jaybird Flies

Jay Walder Is Not Casey Jones,

Jumps From NYC to Hong Kong

Because MTA Nears Fiscal Crash


July 22, 2011 - Jay Walder is no Casey Jones.

Unlike the iconic railroad engineer, who kept his hand on the throttle while his train plunged down curving tracks to disaster, and by doing so saved the lives of many people, the MTA chief Jay Walder did not even complete two years at the helm of the transit authority before he jumped ship for a more secure and lucrative berth in a private, profitable transit system.

Four Wheels Bad

Bridge Tolls Ended A Century Ago Today,

Now Tax Raisers Would Reimpose Them,

Because MTA Overspends Consistently


July 19, 2011 - Today, we are told, is the one hundredth anniversary of the removal of tolls from the East River bridges, which at the time ranged from one to ten cents.

One would think that such an occasion would be a day of celebration, people rejoicing at the freedom to travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens and to return without stopping to pay a toll to a troll. A bridge is a street over water was the prevailing philosophy when the city was young and growing.


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