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Our U.S. Senators, present and prospective

The Tom Precious interview with Caroline Kennedy included this doozy, when the Park Avenue Princess was asked about upstate New York:

“I do remember going with my Uncle Bobby (Kennedy) and I have friends who live not far north of the city, not far upstate. My daughter went to camp in the Adirondacks. So, it’s more vacationing. And I have, of course, friends who have moved from upstate down to the city.”

Oh, well, I guess it could have been worse. I mean, she could have said, "I have friends who are upstaters," or "I would have no problem if my son or daughter married an upstater."

About the most curious reason I've heard from people who support Kennedy's appointment to the Senate is "at least she's not a professional politician." I understand the sentiment on one hand, given the state of our state.

But, look, it's not a bad thing to be up to speed on the issues, or to have knowledge of the state beyond the Manhattan skyline, or to know more about what it takes to pass a bill than what's taught in a high school civics class.

Caroline makes the case that her family has a history of public service. She is correct.

But her father, her uncles, her cousins like RFK Jr., began making their marks in their 20s and 30s. Caroline has spend her adult life living a "I want to be alone" existence just like her mama. That hardly prepares her for the U.S. Senate.

As for our senior U.S. senator, Chuck "Where's the Microphone?" Schumer, the New York Times did a revealing takeout on him a couple of weekends ago. The upshot of the story: Schumer has taken tons of money from Wall Street interests in exchange for doing their bidding in the Senate.

Reported The Times:

He has embraced the industry’s free-market, deregulatory agenda more than almost any other Democrat in Congress, even backing some measures now blamed for contributing to the financial crisis.

Other lawmakers took the lead on efforts like deregulating the complicated financial instruments called derivatives, which are widely seen as catalysts to the crisis.

But Mr. Schumer, a member of the Banking and Finance Committees, repeatedly took other steps to protect industry players from government oversight and tougher rules, a review of his record shows. Over the years, he has also helped save financial institutions billions of dollars in higher taxes or fees.

He succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations’ balance sheets more transparent.

I came away from the story thinking this guy is about as responsible as anyone in Washington for the mess Wall Street has put the nation's economy in.

Someone tell us, who are the Republicans talking about running for the Senate? One seat, either seat, doesn't much matter.   


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