Friday, February 25, 2011

Will Health Care Fat Cats Use Cuomo Friend to Kill Medicaid Cuts and Ethics Reforms?

Special Interests Will Use Every Advantage To Trip Up Cuomo

Gov. Cuomo’s Friend The governor’s close ties with Jeffrey Sachs are raising questions about his commitment to ethics reform. He must also ensure that his good friend does not get — or appear to get — special treatment.(NYT) * Gov. Cuomo must be completely open, transparent about his dealings with consultant pal Jeffrey Sachs * Cuomo said he’s following the law in regards to his friend, health care adviser and Medicaid redesign team member (who wasn’t present at yesterday’s vote) Jeffrey Sachs


True News PM News Update
All the News Since the Morning Papers

 The New Terminator Gov

 Cuomo: We’ll have people’s budget, one way or another * Gov. Cuomo To Lawmakers On His Budget Plan: You'll Eat It And You'll Like It... Or Else * Deal or No Deal, Cuomo Plans To Move Forward With Budget Gannett Albany)

Spitzer is used to dealing with new female hosts

 Internal Memo Confirms Kathleen Parker Is Out At CNN Mediaite) * Kathleen Parker no longer parked next to Eliot Spitzer at CNN  (DN)


The (Ex) Voice of the Village - Wayne Barrett


Breaking News  Mayor Bloomberg Weighs In On Columbia ROTC Debate * * Voodoo candles used in sex ceremony sparked deadly Brooklyn blaze, sources say * * Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a shot at Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.* Housing Works accused the Cuomo administration of ambushing its own Medicaid redesign team with last-minute recommendations and then pushing – successfully – for swift passage.* Amid Cuomo’s Medicaid Cuts, Health Care Workers’ Union Shapes a Victory (NYT) * Lawmakers Admit Newest Smoking Ban Is Hard To Enforce (NY1)

The Cuomo Medicaid Plan
Medicaid spending at eight percent reduction from the previous year

Either there will be an agreement, or it will be "done through a different mechanism" w/out Legislature leaders, Cuomo says (CH)

Foregoing a planned second day of discussion, Gov. Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team  beat its deadline by a week and approved a slate of 79 proposals designed to save $2.3 billion in the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Cuomo struck a deal on Medicaid with the hospital industry that scales back his goals for cost-cutting but gives his health commissioner significant leeway to regulate future growth. * New York Medicaid Panel Backs Cuts (NYT) * Cuomo in Medicaid Deal(WSJ) * Medicaid Redesign Team Discusses Planned Cuts (NY1) * The Medicaid team’s recommendations will be submitted as part of Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendments.* Redesigning Medicaid: “This certainly resulted in pain, but it was shared pain,” said 1199 SEIU boss George Gresham. (New York Post) *Gov and health bigs forge Medicaid deal (NYP) * Medicaid Push Back Begins (YNN)The Fred And Andrew Show (YNN)

Silver Moves His Members Slowly Towards Reforms

Senate Dems and Independent 4 on Board for Redistricting

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver discreetly submits Cuomo's plan for legislative redistricting (DN) * Editorial: Cuomo must change law that saddles schools with last in, first out teacher layoffs (DN Ed) * Editorial: Teachers union chief Michael Mulgrew's free-spending ways make him a Knucklehead (DN Ed) * Pol introduces bill to end seniority layoffs, axe teachers with poor grades, other infractions (DN) * Getting Rid of Teachers Easier Under New Bill(WSJ)  * * Eighty-five percent of New Yorkers oppose the seniority-based layoff rule for teachers and think they should keep or lose their jobs based on merit. * The Post and DN call on Cuomo to get rid of LIFO. * The governor expressed support for a merit-based system. * LIFO: 7,100 teachers eligible for layoffs under GOP bill in State Senate. ( * Redistricting: “We can’t have another round of elections approach where incumbent legislators…pick their voters.” (Albany Times-Union) *  It's $7M 'fire' in the hole Soaring costs of bouncing bad teachers(NYP) * American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten concedes that sometimes, teachers' efficiency (or lack thereof) should be a factor in dismissals.


Wisconsin's Budget Battle Effect New York

Is the mess in Wisconsin making NY labor leader nervous enough to strike a deal with Cuomo? * Public union battles spread across U.S. (Political Ticker)


On National Science Tests, City’s Students Fall Short (NYT) Just 13% of eighth-graders were deemed proficient in science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress - a smaller percentage than the performance of all public school students in the 17 large cities that participated nationwide.* Report: NYC Student Science Proficiency Below Nation (WCBS)

Wasn't education and economy the rational for Bloomberg as mayor? Did not work out. NYC students score below state and national averages on US-wide science exam (Twitter)


City Begging for $$$

City on the Prowl for Cash New York City is looking for deals with the private sector that will help it squeeze more cash out of assets like real estate and parking lots and meters.  The move is part of a push led by Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith that seeks to cut costs and increase revenue by changing how the city manages everything from treated sewage to the lights in schools.(WSJ) *  Paychecks Fatten in Manhattan(WSJ)


The Low Bid Pubic Construction Game 

Not only has the cost of the lower Manhattan transit up gone up over 50% (like most public construction do) but the original Santiago Calatrava has been cut back also. Trade Center Transit Hub’s Cost Now Over $3.4 Billion The initial proposal estimated the cost at $2.2 billion.(NYT) * Port Authority Reports Increase In WTC Transit Hub Costs (NY1) * WTC is off the 'rail$' (NYP)


Tax Break for the Rich

City Subsidizes luxury Developer

Tax breaks on real estate deals for people like A-Rod cost city 900M a year  Almost no property taxes on 6 million dollar purchase. *  A-Rod gets grand slam tax break on new condo (WABC)

Why not hook the on and off light into the meter and go after the drivers who keep turning them on and off?

Taxi Panel Focuses on Destination Discrimination (NYT) * Push to $top 'drive-by' cabbiesNYP) * Stiffer Penalties For 'Drive-By' Cabbies (Fox 5) * More Cabbies Refusing Outer Borough Fares (WNBC)


More MTA Corruption

Selling Jobs

MTA probes human resources staffer in bribes-for-transit work scam Ronica Ganesh is accused of asking for $1,000 from applicants to get them entry-level jobs with the MTA. (DN) *

Tammany Hall Parking Again?

Tammany Hall leader Carmine De Sapio steered valuable city contracts for streetlights and parking meters to the Broadway Maintenance Corporation, a company that according to the State Investigation Commission cheated taxpayers out of millions of dollars.

Meters may go private * Mayor Bloomberg: Public-Private Partnerships Don't Extend To A Fire Sale On City Holdings


Jon Stewart Recaps Obama’s Shifting Position On Defense Of Marriage Act


After the Fall 

Ex State Senator Hiram Monserrate drops bid to lower child support payments to autistic son (DN)

Exchange Student Terrorist?

Feds nab Saudi man who took aim at Big Apple, George W. Bush (NYP) * Saudi college student accused of plotting bomb attacks on NYC (DN) * Terror Suspect May Have Had NYC As Target (NY1)* News Wrap: Saudi Arabian College Student Charged in Texas Bomb Plot (PBS) * Prosecutors: TX terror suspect targeted NYC (WABC) * "CIA spy" Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report - Yahoo! News * Texas Student Appears In Court On Terrorism Charges (NY1)

Burning Books . . .  Free Speech Vs Politically Correct

Pols say selling 'sexist' Queens statue on craigslist would be a civic virtue (DN)


 Antiabortion Ad Is Removed(WSJ) * Mom furious over shocking sign comparing abortion among black women to genocide (DN) * Crews Dismantle Controversial SoHo Billboard (NY1)


Media and New Tech   

CBS Ends 'Two and a Half Men' (WSJ) * The Eleven Most Inexplicable Quotes From Yesterday's Charlie Sheen's Radio Meltdown * News Outlet Abandoning Website For 'Facebook-Only' (Huff Post) * Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, Urged Employee to Lie, Records Show(NYT)*   Eliot Spitzer is reportedly telling friends his co-host, Kathleen Parker, will be gone “within a week.” * Report: Eliot Spitzer Telling Friends Co-Host Kathleen Parker “Will Be Gone Within A Week” * Google mulling launch of YouTube subscription movie streaming service similar to Netflix & Amazon * Listen to Charlie Sheen's latest rant for a good dose of crazy: The Daily Beast) *Print Editions of Mediaweek and Brandweek Might End in April



Mayor Rahm Signs Off

Whoever the fake Rahm Emanuel was, he is tweeting no more. The tweeter joked that he had entered "a time vortex" after Emanuel's victory and signed off. (AP)


Winners & Losers, Feb. 25 edition (City Hall News)


White House Takes Lobbyists Off The Record...Non-disclosure agreements, off-site meetings (The Daily Beast)





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 NYT Sunday Mag: Chris Christie Is ‘Truth-Teller,’ ‘Demagogue,’ Or ‘Maybe Even A Little Of Both’ 
Ronald Reagan had his ‘welfare queens,’ Rudy Giuliani had his criminals and ‘squeegee men,’ and now Chris Christie has his sprawling and powerful public-sector unions – teachers, cops and firefighters who Christie says are driving up local taxes beyond what the citizenry can afford, while also demanding the kind of lifetime security that most private-sector workers have already lost. “It may just be that Christie has stumbled onto the public-policy issue of our time, which is how to bring the exploding costs of the public workforce in line with reality. … Then again, he may simply be the latest in a long line of politicians to give an uneasy public the scapegoat it demandsWis. Assembly Passes Bill Taking Away Union Rights

Wilpon's Final Days

Picard crusades against the Wilpon/Katz Family charitable foundations while he moves to settle with Hadassah * Republicans question top SEC attorney on Madoff tiesHow the Madoff Mess Affects the New York Mets Going Forward‎* Major League Baseball made a short-term, $25 million loan in November to the owners of the New York Mets in order to shore up the team's liquidity, the Daily News has learned. Fred and Jeff Wilpon and their partner, Saul Katz, are fighting a massive lawsuit by the trustee representing the victims of Bernie Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme, and have said they are seeking an investor to purchase 20% to 25% of the team, valued last year by Forbes at $838 million. (NYDN)

U.K., France Seek Libya Sanctions(WSJ)

U.S. Pulling Back in Afghan Valley It Called Vital