Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moynihan: Defining Deviancey Down Defines Albany, City Hall and NY Politics

Our Falling Moral Compass

In 1993, a man from the greatest generation who were  not afraid to say what they believed, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan published one of the most important pieces of social theory entitled "Defining Deviancy Down." Moynihan believed that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" The basic idea is that we had moved the bar for what we, as a culture and political behavior, defined as acceptable, down. Moynihan believed “we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”  Moynihan would not be shocked by the fact that voters have continue to reelect their Albany and City Council legislatures despite the dysfunctionalism and corruption that has destroyed the economy of the state and sent dozens of elected officials to jail. 

This Weeks Daily News Investigation of the City Council Confirms that Moynihan's Defining Deviancy Down Theory Has Become A Reality in New York

From Today's Daily News Editorial:  
"In a startling investigative series that started Sunday, Daily News reporters are revealing that too many Council members have been playing fast and loose with the law, from ducking criminal complaints to residing outside their districts to finagling their way into subsidized housing." Miscreants abound on New York's City Council, a hard-hitting Daily News series shows

City Council members are lying either about their taxes or residencies, and neither is acceptable Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Port Washington, I mean Queens) and Fernando Cabrera (D-Westchester, I mean Bronx) have been the subject of controversies over where they actually live. Both solemnly swore they live in their districts. Both continued getting tax breaks by claiming a "primary residence" outside their districts. Which means they are either tax cheats or residence cheats. (DN) * New York Councilman Skipped Court Since 1996  (village Voice)


Both the Queens and Bronx DAs Can Bring Cases Against the Two Councilman Who Lied About Where They Live

With all the criminal corruption cases that have put elected officials coming from the feds don't expect the local DA's who count on the corrupt politicians and their corrupt county machines to back them in their  reelected campaigns every four years, to go after councilmen who lied about their residency.  The Bronx DA when her first ran needed the help of the Bronx Democratic Machine lawyers to surrive his own residency case. * Scandals: Editors want Attorney General Schneiderman to probe Council members who got tax breaks for "primary residence" dwellings outside their district. [Daily News]


In the 60's Our Leaders Talked of Moral Leadership. Today Our Leaders Protect Their Elected Gang Members, Until They are Locked Up, Then Its Total Silence

Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Chris Quinn Push Back Against Daily News Investigations (DN)

 Bloomberg who appoints the head of the city's Department of Investigation and controls their budget can use that agency to clean up the council.  unThe outlook for a council clean up does not look to promising since DOI has been sitting on the council slush fund investigation for three years. 

Newspaper Stories from 2008: Lawyers for Council Seen as a Departure (The Sun) * CITY TO PAY FOR COUNCIL'S LAWYERS - New York Post  * Common Cause Blog :: Slush Fund Follies in New York  * wcbstv.com - NYC Taxpayers Petition For Slush Fund Inquiry  * Lobbyists' Role in Council Slush Fund Scandal Probed - June 20 ...  * BLOOMBERG HAS HIS OWN SLUSH FUND - New York Post* Phony Allocations by City Council Reported - New York Times  * New York’s Slush Addiction - New York Times - EditorialSLUSH-FUND SHENANIGANS - NY Post Editorial  * QUINN: SLUSH FUND HELPED ME - New York Post

 On April 28, 2011 the Council Slush Fund Investigation Enters Its Forth Year

Its 1058 Days Since the City Council Hired Lawyers To Defend Themselves From Member Items Slush Fund Crime

* Entire City Council That Was In Office On April 28, 2009

 "Politicians in New York City and Albany really enjoy giving away the public’s money and making it seem like their own largess. As the latest news out of the New York City Council attests, these grants are, at best, a political trick intended to buy voter loyalty. At worst, they have led to outright theft." (April 29, 2008, NYT Editorial)


  Carl Kruger is Defining Deviancy Down Poster Boy

Kruger crony thrown off B'klyn skyscraper plan  Aaron Malinsky's PA Associates had been removed as a partner in City Point, a mixed-use project slated to rise as high as 65 stories at the city-owned former Albee Square Mall site in Downtown Brooklyn.(NYP)





 Where is the Professional Outrage From Journalist, Has the Profession Lost Its Professional Pride?

Probation for fotog-attack pol (NYP)Parker gets a pass NYP editorial said the three years probation was a slap on the wrist -- and not nearly enough to deter this raging poster-person for Albany dysfunction.* Probation for State Senator (NYT) * Sen. Parker Dodges Jail(WSJ) * Brooklyn Lawmaker Gets Probation for Scuffle With Journalist (WSJ)* The Post dubs Sen. Kevin Parker “Sen. Ticking Time Bomb” and says he got a “pass” in receiving no jail time for attacking one of the tab’s photogs.* “My constituents understand my passion, and I’ll continue to advocate for them zealously,” Parker said.* Gatemouth takes apart the Kevin Parker situation. (R8) * The Monserrate ‘Precedent’ (YNN)


To Define Deviancy Down You Need To Dumb Down the Public - Mission Accomplished

Americans made a pretty poor showing when asked to take test immigrants must pass to become citizens (DN Ed) A layperson asked one of the Founding Fathers - we totally forget who - what kind of government our young country was. His answer: "A republic, if you can keep it." A modern rephrasing of that brilliant reply: We've got government of, by and for the people - but lots of the people don't seem to know or care.

NEWSWEEK gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship Test—38 percent failed. The country's future is imperiled by our ignorance. In this week’s issue, Andrew Romano looks at the risks involved in America’s ignorance. 


  100 Years Afteer the Triangle Fire People Still Have to Die Before Pols Go After A Special Interest like Bus Owners

Police in bus swoop Dozens of buses and drivers were yanked off the road after surprise weekend safety inspections found a shocking number of violations (NYP) * It's past time to ensure booming discount bus business doesn't ignore safety in rush for quick buck (DN Ed) * Tour Bus Inspection Sweep Yields Multiple Violations (NY1)


 Local TV News Has abandoned Its 1927 FCC Mission to Keep the Public Informed

Happy talk local news has been around for decades but the local TV news stations always had experienced political reporters who knew how to go beyond the spin to give the public a realist view of what their government was up to.  Some have directly blamed today epidemic of political corruption on the TV news media which have put good looking people in change of reporting who can do little more than read the fake spins of pols or their consultants.  In fact local TV has become the enables of the dysfunctional political system.  Raking in millions in TV ads by the special interests like The Committee to Save New York while keeping the public poorly informed on the real causes of the economic melt down of New York which will lower the quality of lives of all New Yorkers if not kill them with poor health care or depression from joblessness.  The media has not even explain the severer level of the cuts coming this year. 

These Budget Cuts Will Change Our Life

The budget clock is ticking louder every day. Education aid – how much of the governor’s proposed cuts to restore, where to get the money and who will receive it – remains a big sticking point, although a number of simmering policy issues are also problematic, including the creation of economic development councils.  Budget Director Cites "Uncertainty" At Council Hearing (NY1) *City Is Planning Major Cuts in the Construction of Schools (NYT)  City plans to build 26 schools, down from 56. * New York’s Prisons Fall Short, Again A new study suggests that prisons are failing to provide adequate drug treatment for the tens of thousands of inmates who need it. (NYT Ed) * Budget cuts to human services programs are becoming a focus for advocates and lawmakers in the final days of negotiations.* The CEO of Covenant House International questions Cuomo’s proposed cuts and structural changes to funding programs for runaway and at-risk youths.* State Budget: Should Cuomo control $130 million in economic development funds? If so, it's "another diminution of legislative prerogative."State Budget: Forcing legislature to pass budget piecemeal could hurt governor's relationship with legislature; passing bad budget would be worse. * Kevin Parker: GOP colleague says chamber should consider removing him. * Till now, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders have professed they've been making great progress toward adopting an on-time state budget. If so, the next few days will be crucial to proving them right. (Newsday) * Money for public schools and hospitals has dominated the headlines and involves far more powerful special-interest groups, but in recent weeks, advocates, including some legislators, have mounted a growing pushback on proposed cuts to human service programs in the state budget. (BN) * Carl McCall Touts Cuomo's Business-Friendly Budget (NYO)  * * Bloomberg Hits Airwaves With Budget Ad (YNN) * Cuomo The Budget Realist: ‘Whatever It Takes’(YNN)* State Budget: Living wage is in there.

Koch Bridge: In committee, Van Bramer is only opposition vote.

A Drop in the Bucket Fix to A Big Coming Problem in Affordable Housing

Deal on Stalled Condo Project Is First Under a City Program A lot at 382 Lefferts Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens where 20 condominium units were once planned is to become 46 apartments for moderate-income households instead. (NYT)


 Education Incompetence Again

 City botches fed school funds A $20 million intervention program meant to launch last September at 11 struggling city high schools failed to get off the ground until last month -- producing shortages in staffing, resources and support for a full five months, blistering state Education Department reports show.(NYP)



 Repercussions of Fresh Kills' Dump Lives On

Ten years ago today, the last barge of garbage was delivered to Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. The closure of the dump was a watershed moment for Staten Islanders, who had lived with its odor and stigma for 54 years. But the repercussions of Fresh Kills' closure are still being felt by the rest of the city and its sanitation department. (WNYC)



Take That You Parking Ticket Bum

Go Online, Not Downtown, to Fight a Parking Ticket (NYP) * More Ticket Spats Go Online(WSJ) * Now fight your parking ticket online from home (DN)



 Law and Order  Mommy and Clyde(NYP) * Bronx mom, 11-year-old son busted as pickpocket duo (DN)  *  Shock at parole in ’93 Tux King kidnap (NYP * Judge OKs 'gun moll' church bail (NYP)Fateful 'fourth' for cops 'Return trip' spurs new rape-case charges * New Charges Against 2 Officers in Village Rape CaseCops kill knife nut in Bronx (NYP) *Police Kill Armed Man *Harrowing Details Emerge in Beating of 18-Month-Old (NYT) * Tot Abuse May Have Included Use of Bat  * Mom, 11-year-old son busted as pickpocket duo (DN) * Three indicted for murder after allegedly chasing HS senior to his death (DN)Take that, Miley! State Senate approves bill to ban sale of salvia in New York (DN) * Teen chased into traffic and killed by two cars, after thugs try to steal his $600 coat (DN)* Eddy Coello taken into custody for the strangulation death of estranged wife *

CBS News named top media website based on web performance, followed by Yahoo News & NY Times )Iwantmedia.com) 






Jon Stewart Pitches US Hypocrisy in ‘Freedom Packages’ Infomercial




Cover of The New Yorker Captures Japan Tragedy

Cuomo: NRC Will Make Indian Point ‘Top Priority’(YNN)

Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning (NYT) * Operators of Indian Point Say Changes Are Likely (NYT) * LG Bob Duffy and Director of State Operations Howard Glaser are scheduled to meet with Obama administration officials on Indian Point in Washington, D.C. today. Riverkeeper has some suggestions for topics of discussion. * Nuclear: Indian Point official "reassured the legislators that Indian Point had been designed to withstand an earthquake much stronger than any on record in the region, though not one as powerful as the quake that rocked Japan." * (NY1)* Officials Consider Increasing Indian Point Evacuation Zone To 50 Miles To Include NYC (WPIX)