Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who's Afraid of Steve Rattner? Everyone?

Who's Afraid of Steve Rattner?

From Gawker:
If there's anyone who'd want to take Steve Rattner—the media-savvy financier-cum-auto-czar who is embroiled in a pay-to-play pension scandal—down a notch, it would be fearless Wall Street bulldog Eliot Spitzer, right? Wrong. MSNBC's Morning Joe had the disgraced former New York governor on this week to talk tough about all those Wall Street scoundrels and tell us how he'd be dragging them all to the Tombs by their starched collars right now if only he hadn't banged that hooker. But Spitzer dropped his Top Cop pose when Scarborough brought up Rattner, the extremely well-connected former New York Times Reporter and friend of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. whose former investment firm is under investigation by New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo for paying off middlemen in order to get state pension money.

"Every time I say Steve Rattner's name and ask why he's still working in any capacity while this investigation is going on, everybody looks down around the table," Scarborough told Spitzer. "Everybody's scared of him. And why is it that it looks like he and his firm was involved in a scheme that you would have busted up... and it seems like they're going after everybody but Steve Rattner?" Instead of tapping into his legendary righteous indignation when it comes to Wall Street excess, Spitzer told an incredulous Scarborough that Rattner is "a very nice" and "extremely smart guy who appears to be doing a very good job" and who most certainly did not commit an "illegal abuse of power." Of course not! How could the vice chair of Spitzer's 48th birthday party [pdf] be guilty of such shenanigans? Of the man who contributed $50,000 to Spitzer's campaign in 2006. (Dick Grasso should have kicked in). No Joe, no one will go after Rattner. He knows everybody. Steven Rattner Campaign Contributions and Donations -- Huffington Post

More Spitzer Crap ‘My Time Is Precious’: Spitzer Sets the Tone During Inquiry on Leaks *** Spitzer rips Paterson's administration as unethical over Troopergate e-mails *** Hsu gave Spitzer $52,000 Ex-Fundraiser Hsu Is Guilty in Campaign-Finance Case

Nobody Asked Me, But . . . In no other business except politics can you rob a bank and then get away with it by promising never to do it again. Before we get to the anti-corruption principles, what about the corruption that is in there now? NY will always be a corrupt town as long as the press allows all past actions to be buried. The press did it after they uncovered several fake non profit groups in the city budget to fund additional member items for councilmembers, and to help the mayor pass the extension to term limits. Will they do it again on the pensiongate matter, to protect the politically connected people involved in stealing pension funds? They are starting to now: CITY EYES ANDY PENSION IDEA. After the Koch administration's parking scandal, term limits and public funded city campaigns were put into place to avoid any more corruption. Today there is no public outrage and the press allows the elected officials and even those running for the office - where the corruption takes place - to get away without being forced to comment on the issue. . . Does anyone really believe any of the budget numbers coming out of dysfunctional Albany? Less than a month since the state's financial plan was released and General Fund revenues are already off nearly a quarter of a billion dollars (around 5% down)," according to the State Comptroller DiNapoli STATE BUDGET IS ALREADY BU$TED, Albany’s April Revenue Fell 44% From 2008 . . . Times Square is no longer the crossroads of the world, it is a mall BROADWAY IS NO WAY, It's foot-traffic only on Great White Way . . . The NYP supports Smith plan that seems to keep mayoral control of schools in essentially its current form . . . . . . Next time a main stream media reporter puts down bloggers just say MAUREEN'S TIMES COLUMN HAS GOTTEN TOO DOWDY. More "when in trouble secure your base". Journalists act more and more like pols. Dowd' s Column today Cheney Grabs a Third Term . . . How come Hillary Clinton does not have to answer for her comments to Hsu which were played for the Hsu jury before they convicted him of violating campaign finance laws? Clinton taped comments to Hsu: "What am I going to do with you, Norman? You are working so hard for me that I just don't know what to say any more. I've never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective and really just having greater success supporting someone than you. ... Everywhere I go, you're there. If you're not, you're sending someone to be part of my events. You know, we're going to win this campaign, Norman, because you're single handedly going to make that happen." JURY LACES HSU FOR POL $CAM . . . .The NYT is right Bloomberg Navigates the Politics of a Health Scare. Last night on NY1 Thompson campaign manager attacked Bloomberg for mishandling the H1N1 flu. Thompson, Avella unhappy with City's swine flu response, Death Of Queens Toddler Not H1N1-Related, Tests Show, Swine flu panic spreads in NYC, Gonzalez: What will it take to close the schools?, The Politics Of Swine Flu By the way, the reporter on NY1 did not ask the Thompson representative one question about pensiongate. . . Even more dysfunctional than Albany are the city's remaining political clubs which are mostly going to keep helping incumbents win reelection. They operate with only a handful of members who represent only their own members interests. It's unreal how the blogs and campaigns report their endorsements as major events. Only 36 members voted to endorse a comptroller candidate this past week over at the Tilden Club. . . Tom Golisano pens a goodbye letter to New York. . . The U.S. paid military contractor KBR bonuses even after it determined the company had installed faulty electrical work. . . The DN blog lets Comptroller candidate John Liu talk about how he is going to be a substitute teacher to help out during the flu teacher shortage, without asking him a question on the city's pay to play pension system. A NY1 report last night also failed to ask a single question about the pension system to Comptroller Thompson's campaign manager. True News is asking the following question to the comptroller candidates. NY1 even sent a reporter to the school to the school to film Liu teaching: The Silence of the Lions: What the Comptroller Candidates Don't Want You to Know.

Issues Not Discussed
in the Mayoral Campaign
SCHOOLS FACE 5% CUT *** 'CRIME SURGE' COMBAT *** Village crime rate highlights NYPD cuts *** Albany’s April Revenue Fell 44% From 2008 *** Cuts might push cops into offices and off the streets *** Board of Elections to end budget year down $11.5 million *** Spitzer: How did public service lose this peach of a guy? *** Report: $1.1 Billion Budget Gap for N.Y.C. for 2010

Pay to Play WATCHDOG'S SCANDAL CURE *** JURY LACES HSU FOR POL $CAM *** CUOMO CLIPS 3 MERKIN HEDGE FUNDS *** Former Democratic Fund-Raiser Broke the Law Raising Money, Jury Finds *** Longtime fundraiser linked to Hil convicted of corruption *** Former Paterson aide Bill Cunningham may face an ethical minefield in his new job representing North Shore - LIJ Health System, which seeks $200 million in stimulus cash *** Paterson: Commissioners Were 'Brazen' to Defy Order to Resign *** Ex-Labor Leader Sentenced to 10 Years Brian M. McLaughlin, who is also a former assemblyman from Queens, pleaded guilty in March 2008 to racketeering charges.

On the Road to City Hall Election Day Registration Sought *** Field Narrows As Gillibrand Challengers Back Down *** Bloomberg Navigates the Politics of a Health Scare *** Democrat Abandons Effort to Challenge Gillibrand in Primary *** NY1 Poll Weiner could make Democratic Primary dead heat *** Welcome to Camp Bloomberg the players *** And now, Manhattan BP folds Senate prospects *** Cityfile runs the some of the salary numbers from Jason Horowitz’s "Camp Bloomberg" story.

The City SWINE OF THE TIMES FLU PANIC EMPTIES SCHOOLS AND FILLS ERS *** 'CRIME SURGE' COMBAT KELLY BATTLES DOWNTOWN ASSAULT WAVE *** SCHOOLS FACE 5% CUT Principals were told yesterday to brace for budget cuts of nearly 5 percent, on average, that will likely knock out hundreds of Saturday, after-school and other vital educational programs *** BROADWAY IS NO WAY SUNDAY MARKS END OF THE ROAD FOR CARS *** APPLE'S VICIOUS CYCLES BICYCLE SCOFFLAWS *** WASHINGTON SQUARE DANCE The hideous construction fences came down yesterday, and Washington Square park sprung back to life. New Yorkers streamed back into the famed meeting places for street musicians, loiterers, and *** DRAMATIC RESCUE ON THE HUDSON *** SEX FIEND ON LOOSE IN BX. *** UNION SQ. GETS MEX EATERY *** Amanda opposed to project near High Line From the Villager *** Two shuttered Queens hospitals are on the auction block - and could fetch more than $40 million, Queens News has learned.*** Hospital properties to be auctioned off From the Daily News *** Fleet Week's sails trimmed by economy *** Civic groups back Port Authority in WTC battle *** Death Of Queens Toddler Not H1N1-Related, Tests Show *** Groups Seek to Stop Public Financing of New Towers at Ground Zero *** School Budgets to Be Cut by 5 Percent Next Year *** In a Switch, City Tells Schools to Monitor On-Campus Military Recruiting *** Parts of Broadway to Close to Traffic *** Work Resumes on International Gem Tower in Diamond District *** Silverstein, Officials Talk Trade Center *** City Council to fast-track bill to lift residency requirements for thousands *** Group's study blasts city for park construction lags

Albany STATE BUDGET IS ALREADY BU$TED *** WATER BOTTLERS BATTLE DEPOSIT BILL *** GOP VOWS TO BOOST MAYORAL CONTROL *** STATE SENATE APPROVES PERV E-LERT BILL *** CHARTER CRITICS FLIP-FLOP *** STATE RIPS CITY'S EDUCATION DEALS *** New York's state? 'Perilous,' says Gov. in address *** Albany’s April Revenue Fell 44% From 2008 *** Suing to Stop Bottled Water From Getting a Deposit Fee *** Mayoral control of schools hinges on state Senate GOP *** High court to rule on barriers OKd for Indian Point *** New York politicians push for ethnic options on the census *** The Post offered a "rousing round of applause" for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, saying he is "showing early signs of leadership" in the mayoral control battle *** Yahoo!, getting subsidized power, will move a data center to western New York *** TN Update *** Paterson Thinks the Budget Deficit Will Grow by $3 Billion

President Obama O UNVEILS EMISSION STRATEGY *** POLS: PROBE FAA ENFORCERS *** BIBI GIVES O AN IRAN OPENING Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel won't attack Iran before the end of the year, according to Israeli media reports *** AP sources: White House mulls regulatory panel *** Activists seek Justice Dept. probe of insurers *** Obama touts plan for cleaner, more efficient cars *** Analysis: Obama brings foes together for auto deal *** NEW PARTS DEPT. OBAMA'S LOOKING TO BECOME MR. GOODWRENCH *** U.S. Eyes Financial Watchdog *** Volcker's Role Is a Gray Area *** Why Obama Is Punting on Gay Issues *** Obama gives Iran until end of year on nuke talks... *** In U.S., Steps Toward Industrial Policy in Autos *** Obama: Fuel Rules Give 'Certainty' *** Obama's biggest critic: Krauthammer *** Disk drive with Clinton data disappears *** Remembering the War Room *** Obama considers creating a consumer agency *** The new Interior Secretary says the Bush administration left a “mess.” *** Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner beefs up his staff at the Treasury *** With Obama in Lead, Detroit Charts New Course - Broder & Maynard, NYT *** Obama Skipped Thorny Abortion Details - Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune *** Opening Bids From Bibi and Barack - Washington Post *** Pelosi and the Truth - Chicago Tribune

Congress and GOP GOP TAKES ON 'CELEB' PREZ *** Senate passes credit card overhaul bill *** Senator: More oversight needed at pension agency *** Lawmakers flood House with pet highway projects *** Officials headed to Hill to talk border security *** SENATE PLAYS 'RIGHTS' CARD *** Senate Demands Plan for Guantanamo Bay Closing *** Democrats Defending Pelosi *** Little New in Immigration Policy *** Democrats in Senate Block Money to Close Guantánamo *** Advocates of Gun Rights Are Poised for a Victory *** Dealing Consumers a New Hand in Credit Cards *** Consumers Are Dealt a New Hand in Credit Cards *** Opinion: GOP's Health-Care Alternative *** To fight bill, GOP turns on business *** Dems bolt on Gitmo: No plan, no funds *** Kaine to Pawlenty: Drop Coleman *** Ethics issues may not hurt Murtha *** Reid: Kennedy's cancer in remission *** Climate lobbying dominated by 10 firms *** Palin: Steele 'bold and courageous' *** Rep. Price emerging as GOP's bulldog *** Obey challenges CIA record *** Time for the GOP to become green *** Reid's hurting back home *** PoliticsWATCH: Barney Frank Faces Off Against Michele Bachmann Over ACORN Funding ***Self Inflicted Wounds Got Pelosi Into CIA Mess - Jay Newton-Small, Time *** The Case For Nancy Pelosi - Robert Shrum, The Week *** Dear Speaker: You Need a Do-Over - Mark Penn, Politico *** Steele Stays in Trouble - Dana Milbank, Washington Post *** K Street Told to Hold Fire on Health Care

Wall Street Mess MGM MIRAGE MAY PULL CASINO SALE *** Noels Targeted As Madoff Accomplices in Suit *** Chrysler dealers file objection to sale *** Ezra Merkin steps down from Madoff-tainted funds *** Plus: Madoff victims’ payouts: $61M and counting ***
ALSO: Trustee sues Conn. fund in Madoff case *** S.E.C. to Propose Change in Election of Boards *** Hedge Fund Manager Who Invested Heavily With Madoff Agrees to Cede Control *** 2 Firms Accused of Fraud in Debt Settlement *** H.P. Lowers Its Forecast, Cutting Jobs as Profit Falls *** Chrysler Revamp Plan Could Block Lawsuits From Current Vehicle Owners *** Drop in Building of Apartments Drags Down Housing Starts *** A.I.G.’s Offering May Be Tough Sell *** 'Terrorizing' Bankers in Foreclosure Fight *** Officials Weigh One Mortgage Regulator *** Bank of America Raises $13.5 Billion *** Bank of America Raises $13.5 Billion *** BJ's Wholesale Profit Rises 41% *** Wall Street waits for pay restrictions *** Capitalism and the Cheating Ethic - Steven Malanga, RealClearMarkets *** Bankrupt Companies Making 39 MPG Autos. Are We Nuts? - WSJ

National Surviving Somali indicted on piracy charges *** San Francisco to impose cigarette butt tax... *** In California, a Vote On Budget-Balancing Measures *** News Analysis: As Political Winds Shift, Detroit Charts New Course *** The Earth Wins One New emissions standards will put America back on the road toward energy independence. But the biggest winner could be the atmosphere, NYT Ed *** Vermont Acts to Make Drug Makers’ Gifts Public *** The New Approach to Gangs Includes a Test *** Californians Reject Budget Measures *** Schwarzenegger's Third Budget Reform Attempt Flops *** WATCH: Heroic, 25-Million-Dollar Gay Aviator Discusses Being Booted From Air Force *** 5 Years Later: Gay Marriage in Mass. - Maggie Gallagher, Universal Press *** A California Election Open to Interpretation - Los Angeles Times

International Electrician: Contractor did faulty wiring in Iraq *** Swine flu outbreak reveals military plans, gaps *** Low Oil Prices Hurt Iraqi Forces *** Ahmadinejad accused of trying to buy votes in Iran... *** Arms Sent by U.S. May Be Falling Into Taliban Hands *** Iran Says it Test-Fired New Long-Range Missile *** Japan’s G.D.P. Shrinks at Record Pace *** In Britain, Scandal Flows From Modest Request *** Charter Companies Flying to Cuba Thrive *** Biden Warns Bosnians About ‘Old Patterns’ *** Somali Suspect Is Indicted on Piracy Charges *** In Japan, Secure Jobs Have a Cost *** Despite Energy Reserves, Norway Slips Into Recession *** Google Threatened With Sanctions Over Photo Mapping Service in Germany *** Iran Says It Test-Fired New Missile *** Opinion: Another Korean Nuke Test *** U.K. Scandal Spurs Historic Departure *** Iran Tests Missile, Says It's Within Israel's Range *** Netanyahu ready to 'reignite' peace talks *** Experts: Iran could produce nuke device in 1-3 years *** John Bolton suggests that Iran will soon conduct nuclear tests *** Obama Upping the Ante on Israel - David Ignatius, Washington Post

Media and New Tech Times' Food Reviews Meaningless *** NFL NETWORK COMPLETES PASS WITH COMCAST PACT *** TRUMP'S MAGAZINE CLOSED BINN'S NICHE MEDIA TELLS THE DONALD TO LEAVE BOARDROOM *** MAUREEN'S TIMES COLUMN HAS GOTTEN TOO DOWDY EVEN as you read this, you can be sure that dozens, if not hundreds, of bloggers are scouring through everything New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has written to see if Sunday was the first *** How Your Trend-Story Sausage Gets Made *** NFL inks broadcast deals with CBS, FOX *** CNN Anderson Cooper Says 'Teabagging' Comment Was 'Stupid, Silly'... *** Jimmy Kimmel Demolishes ABC's Upfronts... *** OFF WITH HER WEB! City sends cease and desist order after exposé on council members... *** TV Advertisers Are Offered Closer Ties With Content *** Rush challenges MSNBC *** ZUCKER REVEALS: NBC Wanted Oprah At 8PM! *** Bill Keller: Google Is New York Times' "Frenemy" *** Associated Press Quietly Offering Buyouts *** Newspapers: Less Liked Than Airlines? *** Yahoo makes changes in battle with Google *** Arizona's Tucson Citizen won't resume publication *** Philly newspapers can use cash during bankruptcy *** Television, like newspapers, feel pain of the recession

People and Places LET MY SURROGATE BE: SARAH Sarah Jessica Parker says a media frenzy is jeopardizing the health and safety of a surrogate who's carrying twins for she and her husband Matthew Broderick *** AMAZING INSIGHTS INTO BEGINNING OF MAN SIGNIFICANT new fossils don't turn up every day -- but when they do, tremendous insight into our evolutionary past can result *** Al Roker Wouldn't Do Dancing With the Stars *** Missing link found? 47-million-year-old fossil unveiled *** AP: Blago's Wife To Accept Role On Reality Show In Costa Rican Jungle *** Prosecutor: Sentence Phil Spector for 19 years to life