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Two [more] places reform is long overdue

   Today's Buffalo News editorials call for reform. But nobody's holding their breath.

- Too long a flight - Buffalo News Editorial
   Most people understand that government works slowly. The structure of our federal government was designed to encourage deliberation and, for the most part, it succeeds wildly -- at least in terms of the time Dotlogo it takes to get anything done. But 15 years?
   That's how long the Department of Transportation has been working on the urgent task of updating flight and duty regulations for pilots. Had it done the work more expeditiously -- say, in just 10 years -- perhaps Flight 3407 wouldn't have crashed in Clarence Center last year.
   But since the DOT didn't, and since 50 people lost their lives in the February 2009 crash, shouldn't that light a fire underneath the public servants charged with rewriting rules on pilot fatigue? Yes, it should, but that's not happening, either.
   Congressional Democrats and Republicans, alike, are demanding action from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, whose lame response to their prodding was straight out of the government handbook: "Safety is our number one priority and addressing pilot fatigue is a crucial step toward making our skies safer. This rule is under review and we're working as quickly as possible to put forth a proposal."
   Right. The check is in the mail. ...

- Creating the ‘new’ Democrats - Buffalo News Editorial
   The New York State Democratic Party is busy trying to change its tarnished—and competely accurate—image as a corrupt organization in the pocket of special interests. So it proclaimed during its nominating convention recently in Rye Brook and, indeed, it may have made a good start on that project by anointing Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo as its candidate for governor this year.
   But a change of governor will not, on its own, repair a broken culture. And judging by the comments of Speaker Sheldon Silver, Cuomo’s most earnest efforts are likely to be met by nothing better than indifference in the State Assembly. If the Democratic Party—not just Cuomo—is serious about transforming itself into an organization devoted to the needs of some of the nation’s most poorly served constituents, there are some marks they’ll need to hit—some tests of intent. Here are some measures of the party’s commitment to change: ...

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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