We the People: Real leaders find or build a unity of purpose to build for the future

We don’t have real leaders who are willing to face the challenges in front of the nation today. We need some to come forward to tackle our important issues. Right wing Senator Ted Cruz from Texas is a politician who is incapable of effective leadership and who wasted more than 21 hours of the Senate’s time filibustering a bill to fund the U.S. government because it funded the Affordable Healthcare Act. He read from the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham” but this brought no smiles to the faces of Senators including fellow Republicans. He was merely currying favor with the most conservative elements of his party in order to promote himself.This was not even a debate since the outcome on the interim bill to fund government spending was already determined. The Windstorm from Waco looks like comedian Bill Murray but Mr. Murray would have done a much better job representing the Lone Star State than Cruz.This is a perfect example of dysfunctional Washington, D.C. Our representatives do whatever they want or what they are told to do by campaign contributors. Grandstanding is no substitute for governing and one day these politicians will have to answer to the public instead of well-heeled contributors and lobbyists.

Albany is far from delivering the government that the people of New York deserve. The powerful and influential chief of a major religious philanthropic group who earned more than $400,000 annually has been accused of stealing between $1 million and $5 million from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Bill Rapfogel surrendered himself on charges of stealing from the charity he administered for more than 20 years. Investigators claim he used an elaborate kickback scheme with insurance policies paid for by the charity to lead a comfortable lifestyle and to provide his son with $100,000 cash to buy a home. Investigators found $400,000 in cash hidden in his upstate home and in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his wife Judy Rapfogel, chief of staff, to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Many people believe that there is no way that Rapfogel’s wife could have remained ignorant of the alleged embezzlement.

The real question is how involved was the powerful Speaker with Bill Rapfogel and his scheme to rip off the Metropolitan Council. The charity made major political donations over the past 20 years and so did the Rapfogels. The Speaker is able to push for grants of tax payer money to selected nonprofit organizations such as the Metropolitan Council. Politicians including Speaker Silver receive campaign contributions from friends and supporters of these charities in return. We need new policies and personnel in Albany to make positive changes for the future.

There was a shooting near East New York that put left bullet holes in parked school buses. Thankfully no one was hurt but one has to wonder what the NRA or its minions will propose as a solution. We must realize that enhanced background checks for gun buyers and an improved national system of gun regulation is off the table but where does that leave the public? It is a fact that people under psychiatric care and with criminal records purchase firearms legally in this nation. Perhaps the NRA will provide a grant for education and a donation of weapons to arm school bus matrons and students so they have a chance to defend themselves in the face of attacks from armed-to-the-teeth homicidal maniacs. Senator Cruz can use his oratory skills to meet the challenge of passing a school gun education program or a “gun in every backpack” campaign.

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