Friday, May 8, 2009

Legalizing Pay to Play

Statue of Liberty crown to reopen July 4 Interior Secretary Salazar said on the Today show that the Statue of Liberty's crown will reopen July 4 for the first time since Sept.
Legalizing Pay to Play
When is a job not a benefit? Ask the Conflict of Interest Board

Nobody Asked Me, But ...
The City's Conflict of Interest Board will let anyone in power get around what might be considered ethical and fair. In a good example of double speak, they ruled that council members can keep dishing pork to nonprofits that employ their relatives as long as family members do not benefit directly. When is a job not a benefit? Everyone knows that the non profits get the money for hiring whomever the councilmember wants, for collecting petitions or buying off political opposition. Everyone that is, except the Conflict of Interest Board COUNCIL-KIN GROUPS BOOSTED . . . The NYP keeps up its war on the UFT and pro charter schools agenda. This time they put their money where their mouth is $5.5M NEWS CORP. GIFT TO HARLEM CHARTER * READING SCORES IN BIG JUMP * TEACH UNIONS A $6.6M LOBBY. Look out puppet master Randy, Brooks at the Times just made Charter School a real winner The Harlem Miracle and yesterday you lost Obama Offers DC Voucher Program Extension for Existing Students, Washington Post . . . You make it, it breaks, you fix it N.Y.’s Junior Senator Gains a Defender: The Senior Senator . . . HILLARY DONOR ADMITS SCAM Besides Hillary, those who received campaign contributions from Hsu are: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Council member John Liu, City Comptroller William Thompson and Representative Anthony Weiner. Comptroller candidate John Liu told the NY Times that he last spoke to Hsu "a few months ago at a gathering of Asian-American Clinton supporters": "He actually told me he doesn’t get involved in municipal elections the first time I met him, but then he went ahead and gave to my campaign, and others." How interconnected is Democratic fund rasing and pension Clinton fund-raiser pleads guilty in $20M Ponzi . . . NYT Editorial ask for politicians to intervene to end a dispute over the construction at the former World Trade Center, or the Sept. 11 memorial and other projects could be delayed. Why would you want pols who have proven they cannot do their jobs to fix what they broke? Ground Zero Saga Continues . . . Pay to Play happens with big guys more often than pols, but you never see a real life Wall Street "Gordon Gecko" get knocked out, except in a movie New York Fed Chairman, With Ties to Goldman, Resigns . . . Chicago Pol Obama is not of friend of New York Obama's budget proposes pulling funds for NYPD anti-nuclear terror program Is Obama trying to send a message to NY pols? Dinner Dish: Love for 'the Chicago mafia' at Creative Coalition dinner by meeting with the City's Odd Couple, the billionare mayor and a person who can no longer be explained to thinking adults. DN Editorial says: Sharpton arrives A New Yorker waking after two decades in a coma would have been shocked. There was the Rev. Al Sharpton outside the White House after being welcomed into the Oval Office by the President of the United States. . . Is NY losing it? Burnett: D.C.'s the new NYC . . . After some phone calls White House backtracks on Obama's neutrality in mayoral contest . . . Not enough for Hank Morris and how many others? The enforcers of Organized Crime Politics get more then their fees and it is recession proof Special interests a 'growth industry' in New York; record $173.9M spent on lobbying, report.

On the Road to City Hall BAM GIVES BLOOMY A BIG BOOST 'ENDORSES' MIKE'S ED. SUCCESS *** Anthony Weiner and Ben Affleck's Forbidden Love *** Unlikely trio at the White House Michael Bloomberg, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich meet with Obama to talk about education *** At a recent fundraiser for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer declared there would be no primary against her *** Bloomberg's Not-So-Long Road Back to the G.O.P. *** Kevin Sheekey, at the White House, No tie *** Alex Zablocki, candidate for public advocate, was endorsed by the Manhattan County Republican Committee *** Bloomberg Surrounds Himself With Democrats *** Rev. Floyd Flake, one of the most influential black ministers in the city, endorsed Michael Bloomberg. So did Representative Barbara Clark, the leader of the state Black, Puerto Rican and Latino caucus.

City's Economic Melt Down PRICE SLASH HITS BRIDGE CONDOS *** RENTERS PAY & CAN'T STAY Nearly 600 tenants a month are getting slapped with eviction notices in the city after their landlords default on their mortgages *** BAM'S $17B CUTS COULD BE NUCLEAR DISASTER FOR APPLE *** MANHATTAN BIZ RENTS FALL 11% *** USPS mulls cost-cutting plan to sort letters in E. New York *** Recession Slows or Halts Projects Throughout Region.

The City KERREY QUITS NEW SCHOOL PREXY POST *** Achievement Gap Shrinks Among City Students *** New School President Kerrey To Step Down In 2011 *** Queens recruiting center offering citizenship for enlistment From the Queens Courier *** Brooklyn Speaks Out Against Fireworks Move *** Statue of Liberty’s Crown to Reopen July 4 *** More New York Students Meet State Standards in English *** The New School’s Kerrey Is to Step Down in 2011 *** M.T.A. Chief Resigns in Management Shake-Up *** The Harlem Miracle
An inner-city school eliminated the white-black achievement gap by establishing a rigorous no excuses standard for learning, Brooks *** Tourism bureau gets gay pride *** Gonzalez: Test numbers hide achievement gap of poor students *** Major gain on state English test scores *** DN Editorial: Keep mayoral control Read 'em and cheer - this year's test results are in, and city kids scored big in reading and writing *** Stadium mementos will fetch city $11.5M *** Assemblyman Richard Brodsky's crusade against public giveaways to the New York Yankees. *** Gun control as mainstream issue in the metro area *** EPA Reveals Gowanus Cleanup Could Cost $300 to $400 Million *** Rating the Water Rate Increase *** An electrical fire at the Deutsche Bank building has delayed its dismantling yet again *** The Brooklyn Paper accuses the "political establishment" of wanting a "secluded waterfront paradise for luxury tenants, built by hand-picked development cronies" of the governor and the mayor, and not a "real" Brooklyn Bridge Park *** 4,000 Line Up at Brooklyn Job Fair *** Wynn interested in New York after all *** Groundbreaking at Imagination Playground *** Deutsche demo pushed to 2010 *** Donnell donnybrook leaves library-goers growling *** Silver Cracks the Leadership Whip at World Trade Center; Bloomberg Calls a Summit.

Pay to Play
HILLARY DONOR ADMITS SCAM A major fund-raiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed presidential bid pleaded guilty yesterday to fleecing investors in a $60 million Ponzi scheme *** Norman Hsu Admits Some Fraud, But Not All *** Democratic Fund-Raiser Is Guilty in Ponzi Scheme *** Calif pension fund chief quits, cites New York scandal *** Chairman of N.Y. Fed Quits Amid Questions *** Other firms, other disclosures in pension probe *** Despite meltdown, lobbying a growth industry in NY *** TEACH UNIONS A $6.6M LOBBY *** Hillary Clinton's fundraiser, Norman Hsu, pleaded guilty to swindling investors out of $20 million, but not to making campaign contributions in other people's names *** Elliott Broidy, (remember him?), a member of the LA Fire and Police Pensions Board, stepped down in connection with the ongoing Cuomo/SEC pensions fund probe *** Ex-State Senator Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case *** It's time to end the pay-for-play pension deals.

Albany MTA BOSS QUITS TAKES 350G ON WAY OUT THE DOOR *** MTA Head Elliot Sander Announces Resignation *** MTA Chief Executive Elliot Sander Resigns *** M.T.A. Chief Resigns After Fare Deal *** DAVE'S DALAI DISS NYP Ed *** CUOMO EYES DEBT FIXERS *** An Inquiry Into Firms That Offer to Cut Debt *** Spitzers make their post-prostitution scandal debut *** The state DMV is receiving complaints about non-sticky inspection and registration stickers *** The MTA overhaul begins, starting with the resignation of Executive Director Lee Sander. Paterson aide Marc Shaw is the reported frontrunner to replace Sander. Or current MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger *** The Senate passes a bill that gives rights to tenants when their landlords’ properties foreclose. They wait for action in the Assembly *** Andrew Cuomo's next target: debt settlement companies *** Albany Amok: Whose Bailout Is This, Anyway? The Three Men in a Room model of government in Albany left much to be desired. It was characterized by partisan gridlock and opacity *** Trend setter: Michelle Paterson says, “Please. I planned this idea long before Mrs. Obama even got into gardening.” *** Reins of the MTA: Does Shaw return? *** The Senate Democrats' new Website lets members of the public comment on legislation *** Silver Backs Three Ground Zero Towers *** MTA: The blowback on Shaw, and other alternatives *** Silver backs mayor’s school control *** ‘Fed up’ with delays, Silver says build 3rd W.T.C. tower & share the risk

President Obama Obama to unemployed: More help is on the way *** Analysis: Obama charts active role in Mideast *** Analysis: Slow recovery no help for Obama's plans *** Obama touts $17 billion 'lot of money' budget cuts *** OBAMA BETS IT ALL ON RED... *** Obama Plans to Drop a Fighter Jet Engine From Military Budget *** The President’s Name Trips Up a Would-Be Voice of the News *** Obama's budget cuts funding for abstinence-only sex ed *** Reporters have a Jones for NSC profiles *** 5 ways W.H. made tests less stressful *** Playbook: Crisis easing? *** Gibbs mocks NBC, General Electric *** Obama to Unveil Plan to Help Jobless *** Budget Plan Unveiled Obama unveiled a $3.6 trillion budget that includes programs ranging from housing to policing but little deficit-cutting *** Stress Tested: Has Geithner's Bank Confidence Game Worked? *** MediaNetwork Execs "Seething Behind The Scenes" Over Obama Press Conferences *** The Obama Lexicon - David Harsanyi, Denver Post *** Administration Expects Fight over Proposed Cuts - Los Angeles Times *** Obama's Remarks After Meeting w/Karzai & Zardari - Barack Obama *** White House Official Resigns Over Flyover *** Obama to Visit Egypt, Germany, France *** 'Virtual Fence' Effort Resumes

Congress & GOP CIA docs unclear on Pelosi interrogation briefings *** Future of Guantanamo dominates war spending debate *** Dems Assail Obama's Hit List Lawmakers vow to protect the pet programs Obama's plan trims or eliminate to save $17B *** Lopsided Court Fight Shapes Up Conservative groups prepare for underdog role in Supreme Court nomination process *** Memo: Pelosi Knew About Use of Harsh Tactics *** Lawmakers Balk at Guantanamo Detainees in U.S. *** N.Y.’s Junior Senator Gains a Defender: The Senior Senator *** The Climate Debate Heats Up A stalled clean energy bill needs to be revised, and quickly, if there is a chance for comprehensive climate change legislation to be passed by this Congress, NYT Ed *** Taxing Those With Insurance to Pay for Those Without *** GOP base rips Cantor's new group *** Committee OKs $96.7B wartime bill *** 40 Hill briefings on interrogations *** Coburn: W.H. cuts 'serious first step' *** Cheney to GOP: Mistake to moderate *** No seniority guarantees for Specter *** Ridge won't say if he'll vote for Toomey *** Critics: Specter site for campaign cash *** The Huddle: What did Pelosi know? *** Sessions open-minded on gay justice *** Hatch: Sotomayor has 'a problem' *** Cost of jailing aliens draws fight *** CIA Says It Briefed Top Lawmakers Congressional leaders were briefed in detail about techniques used in the CIA's interrogation program, according to a new document *** Pelosi Briefed in Sept. '02 - Rick Klein, The Note *** Gallup: Age Demographics Show Strong Democratic Advantages.

Wall Street Mess Banks' 'stress test' lift cloud of uncertainty *** SEARED CERBERUS HURTIN' OWNER SEEKS MORE RE$CUE FOR GMAC *** BOFA STILL HAS $34B WORTH OF STRESS *** AIG REPORTS SMALLER LOSS *** FRIEDMAN FRIED AS CHAIRMAN OF NY FED *** CABLE SPLITTERS DOLANS AGAIN TALKING SPIN-OFF -- THIS TIME, IT'S MSG *** The Stress-Test Results Are Out: What Now? *** Hedge-Funder Pens Anti-Obama Manifesto *** Bankers Must Convince People They're Not Morons *** U.S. to Wind Down Aid For Some Major Banks *** GM to Build More Cars Overseas *** TOYOTA posts first loss, sees worse ahead... *** Stress Tests Results Split Financial Landscape *** Ailing Banks Need $75 Billion, U.S. Says *** Cablevision to Explore Spinoff of the Garden *** Stressing the Positive Washington has made a decision to muddle through the financial crisis, hoping that the banks can earn their way back to health *** Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, but Pace of Losses Is Easing *** Ailing Banks Need $75 Billion, U.S. Says *** Stress Tests Results Split Financial Landscape *** GMAC, Among the Weakest, Seems in Line for a Bailout *** G.M., Leaking Cash, Faces Bigger Chance of Bankruptcy *** Trustee Sues Madoff Hedge Fund Investor *** A.I.G., Still Troubled, Narrows Its Loss *** The Internet’s Role in Gaming the Markets *** U.S. Retailers See Signs of Easing in Sales Slowdown *** In Strategy Shift, G.E. Plans Lower-Cost Health Products *** Morgan Stanley offers $3.5B in stock *** Madoff trustee sues Ezra Merkin *** Chair of Federal Reserve Bank of NY quits *** 'Stress tests' find 10 big banks need $75B mor... *** Weight Watchers 1Q profits slim down *** Madoff's pal is sued over Ponzi plunder *** How the Stress Tests Stopped the Bleeding *** Treasury to Boost Fannie Backing *** McDonald's Shrugs Off Recession *** Chrysler Bankruptcy Exposes Dirty Politics - Declan McCullagh, CBS News *** What do the Stress Tests Mean? - Washington Post *** Lessons of the Financial Crisis for Banking Supervision - Ben Bernanke *** Treasury's Rosy Scenario - William Greider, The Nation *** Fannie Mae's Need for Aid Grows

International Russia, US strike conciliatory tones after talks *** Analysis: US regrets, discord on Afghan airstrike *** Pakistan Signals Army Offensive *** N. Korean Criticism of U.S. Has Familiar Ring *** Pope Heads to Mideast on 'Pilgrimage of Peace' *** Cleaning bill leaves new stain on Britain's Brown; Ministers embarrassed by publication of expense claims... *** Pakistan Fight Said to Cause ‘Massive Displacement’ *** Iraqi Forces: Rebuilt and Stronger, but Still Stumbling *** Is France Losing the War of the Rosés? *** Canadian Governments Tell Union to Offer More Concessions to G.M. *** Wendy’s/Arby’s Posts $10.9 Million Loss *** DuPont to Trim 2,000 More Jobs as Profit Falls *** Sara Lee Reports 22% Decline in Profit *** U.S. to Appoint Top General to Kabul *** North Korea Says U.S. Policy Is Hostile *** Mideast Tour to Test Pope's Diplomacy *** Five Things the Pope Must Do on His Mideast Visit *** The Hamas 'Peace' Gambit - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post *** Are the US and Israel Headed for a Collision? - Michael Hirsh, Newsweek *** Gordon Brown's Free Fall - Ian Bremmer, Wall Street Journal *** Hamas Claims U.S. and Europe are Reaching Out

Media EMI, WARNER DUKE IT OUT *** BLACK EYE FOR CBS EARNINGS *** HITWISE: ONLINE NEWS RACE: YAHOO! OVER MSNBC; CNN OVER GOOGLE OVER DRUDGE... MORE... *** PBS to Shorten Time Commitments for Sponsorships *** Battered by Ad Decline, CBS Posts Quarterly Loss *** Sirius XM Radio Posts $236 Million Quarterly Loss *** DirecTV 1Q Profit Falls 46 Percent on Promotions *** CBS lost $55M in 1Q *** Boston Globe Union Hosts Emotional Meeting Over Concessions: "Unconscionable," "Reprehensible" *** WATCH OUT, NYT! Financial Times Circulation Drops Following Price Hike *** Newark Star-Ledger Slashes Employee Salaries, Cuts Benefits *** San Francisco Chronicle Layoffs Begin *** Murdoch Will Change the Web—If He Can Find It *** Apple Without Steve Jobs Means Twitter *** The fourth annual Brooklyn Blogfest, the plethora of candidates, and why we need more journalism *** Is New York Times Co. Headed to Bankruptcy? *** More budget cuts at the Star Ledger and San Francisco Chronicle. [E&P, HP] *** Will Newser End Without Newspapers? *** Google May Add Twitter-like Features

People and Places KIEFER RUNS OUT OF BAUER MEEKLY SURRENDERS TO COPS *** Manny Ramirez Tests Positive For Banned Substances *** Martha Graham Dance Company Looks Back, Forward *** Phelps Jumps Back in Pool *** Free Chicken Freakout Day 2: KFC RUNNING OUT of Stock *** Elizabeth: victim or co-conspirator? *** Red Sox Great DiMaggio Dies at 92 *** The Selfishness of John Edwards - Matt Mackowiak, Chicago Tribune