Community Palette

Fire Chris Cuomo. Why?

August 22, 2021

I have seen the calls for Chris Cuomo to be fired from CNN for talking with his brother Andrew. For actually giving Andrew some advice, good or bad we don’t know. The reasoning is journalists shouldn’t be giving advice to politicians. Well it may be unfortunate but reality is if we fired every journalist who ever gave their opinions to the politicians they know and cover there wouldn’t be many left. In the spirit of openness I knew Mario Cuomo, having worked for him in his losing campaign for Mayor against Ed Koch. That was the first time I met Andrew Cuomo; he was nineteen and an arrogant kid. I have never met Chris. 

Margaret Sullivan in her Washington Post columnAlbany’s newspaper has covered Gov. Cuomo’s sexual misconduct admirably. Chris Cuomo and CNN have blown it’ suggests CNN has to fire Cuomo. I don’t think they blew it I think she is the one who blew it. Suggesting real journalists in a newspaper reporting on a story are in any way analogous to CNN, whose anchors/pundits aren’t really journalists or reporters, rather they are mostly entertainers.  Sullivan should know better than to compare the two. Yet we can leave that discussion alone for now. 

Chris Cuomo is an incredibly intelligent and talented guy who  trained as a lawyer. He may have practiced journalism before but today he is much more entertainer than journalist. He got really famous for wearing tight t-shirts over a buff body when covering a hurricane. He is witty and acerbic. This isn’t an ad-homonym attack on Cuomo since I rarely watch cable channels for the news. Anyone who thinks FOX reports the news should stop reading now. 

Cuomo is just better at what he does than many of the other anchors on cable news networks all of whom are entertainers. No one could successfully produce twenty-four hours of  ‘news’ and expect people to watch if they weren’t entertaining their audience. 

Real journalists are supposed to give us the news/facts without inserting their own opinion or slanting the story. There isn’t an anchor/personality on FOX, MSNBC, CNN or other so-called cable news networks whose personal views aren’t known and those views are infused in every show and story they do. Then to make matters worse they invite a trove of panelists too give us their personal views of a story; often having no relationship to the facts.  

So I would question why CNN would fire Cuomo or ask him to resign because he happens to be the brother of a Governor who has done something very wrong. CNN might want to ask Chris to stop talking about his brother and not invite him back on the show. But then I would bet  most of Chris Cuomo’s viewers would want to see them together  and have Chris question his brother on how he could claim “he didn’t know what the line was that shouldn’t be crossed” when it came to harassment of women in his office. CNN of course is looking at the fact as reported ‘Cuomo Prime Time’, is the most watched program on their network.

In my opinion the only time you can trust what you are hearing or seeing as news or fact on a cable channel is when they cover something live. Even then they make an effort to screw it up by trying to explain to you what you just saw as if you are an imbecile and didn’t see it for yourself. They then add spice by having a few  panelists to interpret it in a myriad of different ways. You know in advance how each panelist will see it as they are brought on with the goal of having them argue with each other to entertain the viewer and keep you watching. Sort of like watching “The View” but at least that show is clearly labeled entertainment. You know when  Whoopi Goldberg and Meghan McCain argue it’s for your enjoyment. Thankfully they are getting rid of McCain as she wasn’t bright enough to keep up her side of the argument. The point being cable news can be better compared to ‘The View’ than to the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times or even the Albany Times Union.

Now as I admitted I don’t watch cable news on a regular basis and haven’t for years except for live events. However I did occasionally watch Cuomo and his brother spar during the pandemic; it was kind of entertaining during really difficult times. 


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Anti-Vaxxers Screw Themselves and Us

August 10, 2021

It has been suggested if the current Republican Party and today’s FOX news were around when vaccinations for smallpox and polio were developed, we would still be fighting those diseases.  There have always been anti-vaxxers and you can read about them in The American Historian.  The column suggests vaccine resistance over the years was rooted in social movements more than anti-vaccine movements. Yet government took control an example being demanding all children get vaccinated in order to attend school. 

President Biden is finally moving in that direction announcing a vaccine mandate for federal workers. The Washington Post in a column by Eli Rosenberg reported some unions object and want to bargain over it and one, The Federal Law Enforcement Association, attacked the mandate saying; “requiring vaccinations represents an infringement on ‘civil rights’”. Not taking the vaccine represents an infringement on my right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit happiness’. Your members not taking the vaccine puts my life and other lives in danger. Get over yourselves; take the damn vaccine!

Proclaiming your ‘individuality’ is fine if it doesn’t threaten the lives of everyone around you. Anyone with Covid impacts everyone in the community. A person who gets ill when they could have prevented that with a safe free vaccination, then passes it on to others, must be held responsible. 

Government should do more and follow our European allies and develop a national vaccine passport so responsible people can easily prove they have been vaccinated. In this way when businesses mandate vaccinations for their employees, and they are, people will have an easy way to prove their compliance. California and New York have begun to demand this of their employees. Bars and restaurants in San Francisco and some LGBTQ bars and theaters in DC now will ask for proof of vaccination to enter. The same should happen everywhere and include restaurants,  sports venues, concert venues, airlines, and cruise ships. New York City is the first city to formally move in this direction. All should require proof of vaccination for entrance. If that doesn’t happen we will find ourselves not only back to wearing masks but more. If you choose not to be vaccinated stay home. 

All healthcare facilities; doctors’ offices, urgent care facilities, and hospitals are beginning to  demand employees be vaccinated. No one should have to be seen by a provider who could have covid and possibly pass it on to them. Healthcare costs should not go up because some people think they have the right to not take a fully tested vaccine to prevent their own and other people’s illness. 

It’s time to throw out politicians like Ron DeSantis, the incredibly stupid Governor of Florida, who believes it’s appropriate to force cruise ships to accept unvaccinated passengers. In doing so he is responsible for putting at risk responsible people who have been vaccinated and want to travel safely.  In the last day a federal judge ruled he cannot do this.

Countries around the world are now requiring visitors from the United States to show proof of vaccination to enter. This supports the need for President Biden to act NOW and have the government develop a national vaccine document. It’s not about politics, it’s not a Democrat or Republican thing; it is about protecting people’s health.

If you continue to believe the virus is a ‘hoax’ or want to proclaim your individuality or ‘freedom’; you are a moron.  Stay home and only associate with others who are as dumb as you are. If you get sick or die from what you believe is a ‘hoax’ don’t expect others to pay for your healthcare or show compassion. What the rest of us ask of you is simple; don’t put our lives in danger because of your stupidity. 

Recently there has been a slight change in tone from FOX news personalities like Sean Hannity and Republican members of Congress like anti-LGBTQ Steve Scalise (R- LA) and ‘Moscow’ Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who are now suggesting vaccination. Apparently they woke up and realized it’s their own viewers and voters getting sick and dying after listening to months of their lies and stupidity. The lies they spread surely make them collaborators in the deaths of thousands.

I am very aware there are those who cannot yet get the vaccine. Children under twelve, those with certain health conditions, and those in poor countries who don’t have access to it. We must all do everything we can to make it available around the world for those who can take it and ensure we don’t put those who can’t in danger. 

It is past time to tell all those who would put the rest of us at risk for serious illness and even death we will no longer cater to their shallowness. We will not be held hostage to a disease because they are either dumb, inconsiderate, or worse.  


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DC and Rehoboth Beach Just Got Better With New Ice Cream Outlets

July 18, 2021

My two favorite coffee shops now both have started serving ice cream. Java House, on 17th and Q Street NW, in DC is serving Gelato. The Coffee Mill in Rehoboth Beach has opened a sister store, The Mill Creamery, ten steps across the courtyard serving local Hopkins Creamery ice cream. Both are welcoming and a place to meet friends. I start my days with coffee at 7:00am and have been going to both places for over twenty years.

(Photo by: Peter Rosenstein)

The Java House is where my morning coffee group meets; it’s like a second family. During the pandemic when we didn’t meet in person, we had a zoom call seven days a week at 8:00am. It was a lifesaver for those like me who live alone. It didn’t matter where people quarantined, they could join in. Now DC is open again and we are back at Java meeting in person. 

Over the past year Payam Yazdani has made some changes at Java.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the welcome everyone gets from Yiftusera (Bebe) Ashagre. For over twenty years Bebe has been there Monday to Friday morning serving coffee, bagels, muffins or eggs prepared by Norma. Bebe knows us well and if she sees us coming down the block our coffee is on the counter waiting. She has celebrated holidays, birthdays and marriages with our group.

There are some new additions to Java. There is now an awning over the entire patio which can be enclosed with drop panels and additional tables with bright red umbrellas on the street. The biggest change is Java now serves Gelato. Beginning at noon there is a wide selection of flavors and it’s been a big hit with everyone. Try the Espresso Shake – espresso and ice cream blended or the Affogato which is ice cream with a shot of espresso poured on top. You won’t regret it.

At my second home in Rehoboth Beach my morning favorite is The Coffee Mill in the Rehoboth Mews between Baltimore and Rehoboth Avenues. Owners Mel Damascena and Bob Cartwright welcome me at 7:00am every morning I am at the beach. I let friends know when I am coming and they know that is where they can find me every morning. During the pandemic inside seating was closed but now it is once again open so rain or shine it’s the place for morning coffee, pastries, and breakfast at the beach. 

(Photo by: Peter Rosenstein)

July 4th weekend Mel and Bob opened The Mill Creamery right across the courtyard from The Coffee Mill. They are serving the delicious local Hopkins creamery ice cream and it’s been a hit with both locals and visitors from the day they opened. They have these great round glass ice cream tables and colorful chairs for seating inside and even moved some outside. A group of friendly local youngsters serve you.  The great thing with Mill Creamery being right across from the Coffee Mill is on rainy mornings they will open it for more seating and you can enjoy your coffee and breakfast staying dry while thinking about the ice cream you will come back for later in the day. 

As I always say; Everything is better with a little ice cream!


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