On November 10, 2016, Donald J. Trump tweeted: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Trump and his surrogates have continued to respond to massive protests around the country by labeling everyone in disagreement with his policies as “professional, paid protesters.” Considering his words, I have decided to address this serious issue in the light it deserves. By now, I’ve gotten rich. First, there was the Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, for which I was paid a small fortune to go out, walkRead More →

There is much to digest from the budget which was released from the Trump White House this week. We thought it might be helpful to share some specifics on how this proposed budget could affect people in Cortland County, one bite at a time. For tonight, we’d like you to chew on this:  Trump’s budget completely eliminates the $32 billion earmarked for the Community Development Block Grant. Meals on Wheels is one program that would lose 100% of its federal funding due to this cut. Meals on Wheels is a program that provides food to home-bound individuals age 60 and over, and some younger individuals with disabilities and otherRead More →

Dear House Speaker Paul Ryan, I was visiting my almost 93 year old mother in the hospital last week and I wondered, why you hate her so much? Sure, she’s frail and confused, and looking at her now it’s easy to miss the dynamic woman she used to be. Her age and all the American history she’s lived through, though, should tell you something about the woman she was and still is.  It should tell you something about why you and all Americans should care for people like my mother. My mother was eighteen years old when World War II broke out. She accepted myRead More →

  Discovery of and detailed reporting on Trump business partnership with corrupt Mammadov family with direct ties to Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Baku hotel disaster “deal”).           Although Trump pulled out of the deal before taking office (under advisement), the $35 million project had been in the works since 2008.   Trump memorandum to kill the mandatory disclosure of how much chief executives are paid compared with other employees. [New York Times]   “Ajit Pai, a Republican whom Mr. Trump recently named as the F.C.C. chairman, has also made clear that he intends to push to roll back or abandon several other major rules, including theRead More →

CORTLAND, NY (March 1, 2017) Over 170 people participated Saturday in a town hall meeting in Cortland hosted by Indivisible Cortland County (ICC). Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22) was invited to the town hall but declined to attend. ICC representative Lisa Hoeschele contacted Tenney’s office earlier in February inviting Tenney (R) to Saturday’s town hall. Samantha LeMarca, Tenney’s scheduler, informed Hoeschele that the Congresswoman would be out of the country for the week. However, Tenney on Saturday was in Binghamton meeting with constituents in small groups by appointment only. LeMarca had indicated to Hoeschele that Tenney’s office would provide a few dates on which to scheduleRead More →

  The assertion that people protesting White House policies are paid agitators would be amusing if it were not ludicrous and insulting. Someone is paying us to cleanse and breathe life back into our own democracy? Who would that be exactly? And if we were being paid, would women then, in keeping with tradition, be underpaid? And will we all get tax forms next year indicating just how much we are being paid to carry out our responsibilities as citizens? And will we, like the guy the Electoral College tells us is the president, be able to hide financial records, including tax returns, from eachRead More →

  Before the election, I received a phone call requesting I take a survey. It only took a couple questions before I realized the caller was a conservative, possibly even a Tea Partier, looking for confirmation that I believed taxes were a burden from which I needed relief. I felt like I was being painted into a corner. The choices of responses already presumed agreement, offering no option for looking at the question a different way. In frustration I told the caller that their survey was designed to lead to a presupposed view or conclusion, that they weren’t really interested in my opinion, that IRead More →

  A young man, who had emigrated from India, stood up hesitantly, then fearlessly asked the famous author on the stage, “Could you please share some of your experiences and offer advice as to how to transition between Indian and American cultures?” Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri, who goes by Jhumpa, smiled at the questioner and her audience before stating that she had grown up American and her experiences of navigating cultures could be found in her stories and writings. From a hospitably crowded pew in Hendricks Chapel on a cold night on the Syracuse University campus, I thought about the “other America,” the one disparaged forRead More →

Dear Representative Tenney, I had to laugh when I heard your interview about “paid people” who are targeting your seat and the organization Indivisible, who has “set up offices,” in your district with the “primary purpose (of) retake(ing) the house on the Democratic side.” I’m a long time resident of the 22nd district, a member of Indivisible and I wish someone were paying me for being a responsible citizen. Certainly, in these times caring about our fellow Americans and their well-being; standing for the rights and opportunities of all people; and protecting our Constitution feels like a full-time job. But these are not the tasksRead More →