Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The most incredible threat to our constitutional system: The Super Congress or Star Chamber

Sausage Factory
Pols all 'look like idiots' during debt crisis, but President Obama takes biggest hit of them all(NYDN)
Obama: "Shouldn't take economic disaster to get folks in this town to do their jobs.'

Debt Bill Is Signed, Ending a Fractious Battle(NYT)

Senate Passes Debt Plan to Avert Default

74 to 26  How the House Voted

One small step(NYP Ed) * House Passes Deal to Avert Debt Crisis(NYT) * Bill Is Likely to Clear Senate on Tuesday(NYT) * Uneasy House Passes Debt-Ceiling Deal(WSJ) * Both Parties Find Fault in Bill(WSJ) * Promise, False Starts Paved Road to Deal(WSJ)  * Debt: Rep. Grimm, reluctantly, votes for the deal. “No American should be dancing in the street over this.” [Tom Wrobleski / SI Advance] * Debt: Reps. Engel and Nadler vote no. *  Giffords Returns, as Does Unity, Briefly(NYT) * Pentagon Faces Possibility of Billions in Cuts(NYT) * Here’s how they voted in the House.* Only two members of the NYC delegation supported the bill.* Why the debt ceiling deal really sucks (Mother Jones) * The Final Tally: How New York Voted(NYO)

More Hospital Closings

How Will NY Be Hurt By Fed Cuts 

Debt deal impact: New York City could lose billions in federal aid From health care to security and transportation, the debt ceiling deal threatens long-term pain for New York City, which stands to lose billions in federal aid. (NYDN)


Another Sonny Liston Dive?

Democrats Take a Dive

By Matt Taibbi: "The Democrats aren't failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there's political hay to be made moving to the right. They're doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I've said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television. For evidence, all you have to do is look at this latest fiasco." "The Republicans in this debt debate fought like wolves or alley thugs, biting and scratching and using blades and rocks and shards of glass and every weapon they could reach. "The Democrats, despite sitting in the White House, the most awesome repository of political power on the planet, didn't fight at all. They made a show of a tussle for a good long time -- as fixed fights go, you don't see many that last into the 11th and 12th rounds, like this one did -- but at the final hour, they let out a whimper and took a dive."

Ben Smith (Twitter)


Jon Stewart Slaps Down Obama For Debt Deal: ‘You’re Not Pinning This Turd On Us’

Paul Krugman Slams Obama, Argues With George Will(Huff Post)


Colbert: GOP’s Debt Victory Should Have Also Included ‘Making Obama Eat A Bug’





SS Bloomberg Sinking

NY1/YNN/Marist: Bloomberg Approval At 39%(YNN)










NYP: DiNapoli and Liu Junior High School Research Paper

 DN says the report released Sunday by DiNapoli and Liu was more like a junior high school research paper than a serious examination of the state of mass transit

State Controller DiNapoli and City Controller Liu take aim with peashooters at the MTA


NY'S Pension Funds A Bank for Developers 

The state pension fund is investing more than $1 billion in real estate. 




With the Hipsters Taking Over Williamsburg the Brooklyn Dem Leader Struggles to Preserve his Voting Base

 Lopez and other community leaders held a private meeting last month with the State Liquor Authority and demanded that he regulate the “oversaturation and proliferation” of new bars and liquor-serving restaurants in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.  The only thing holding Vito's vote together is the millions in member items he recieves from the city and state for his Bushwick Senior Citizen Non Profit.Vito Lopez seeks to curb the bar fun in Williamsburg(Brooklyn Paper)
Nonprofits Cashing In on the Disabled
Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled New York spends $10 billion a year caring for the disabled, more than half of which goes to private providers, with little oversight on their spending. (NYT) * New York spends more than any other state caring for the developmentally disabled – $10 billion this year, which is roughly 20 cents of every dollar spent nationally. More than half of that goes to line the pockets of private providers with little oversight.
Only 20 from NYC Dept. of Health assigned to monitoring street vendors

Mike & Health Dept. in food-cart feud  Health Department -- which is marking the first anniversary of the restaurant-scoring system -- says it's not ready to tackle mobile eats vendors just yet.(NYP)* Marking a Year of Letter Grades for City Restaurants(NYT)*  Bloomberg: Food Trucks, Carts Should Get Grades To(WSJ)* Bloomberg Praises Restaurant Inspection Grades After First Year(NY1) * Bloomberg wants to expand NYC’s restaurant grading system to food carts.

You Talking to Me About Brooklyn 

Foul hack goes nuts on riders

A berserk cabby threatened to assault his two fares after they demanded the most horrifying thing possible -- a ride to Brooklyn. "Get the f - -k out! I'll break your face!" the out-of-control yellow-cab driver screamed during the profanity-laced meltdown, which one of the passengers recorded and sent to Gothamist.com.
Queens Democrats came away from a meeting with Korean and Chinese livery and taxi drivers last Friday with concerns about how Bloomberg's outer-borough taxi plan will affect those drivers. Assemblywoman Grace Meng said she felt drivers of Asian descent were left out of the negotiating process. "It's important that this group, working all over the city but particularly in Flushing, Chinatown, Midwood and Sunset Park, have a voice in the making of policies that impact their businesses," Meng said. The bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not said whether he will sign, would allow outer-borough New Yorkers to hail livery cabs on the street.

Boyland Meltdown Continues
State Assemblyman William Boyland (D-Brooklyn) drove past a prayer vigil for Kira Goddard, 13 a little girl mowed down by an out-of-control SUV, Sunday night, honked his car horn, and waved toward mourners without stopping and paying respect.

Will the Vito Progressive Puppet Start by Reforming the Democratic Party? 
Steve Levin joins the Council’s Progressive Caucus(Brooklyn Political Blog)

Education: Corrupt Principal; Elite HS Myth and Test Cheating by Educators

Cheat heat for U-Haul principal A Brooklyn principal who recklessly sent students on a long trip for furniture in a U-Haul truck is also being probed over claims of Regents cheating at her school,(NYP)*  'Myth' of the elite city HS's(NYP) * Testing 'Integrity' Reviewed(WSJ) * State education officials are tackling cheating – by educators, not students – on standardized tests.* Staten Island Parents: Charter School Recruits Handicap Kids but Doesn't Provide for Special Needs (NY Daily News)* Most New York City Teachers 'Satisfactory'(NYT)


Paper Weights And Payback, As Board of Elections Preps for Petition Challenges (CHN)


Godzilla Silver

 Paul Newell, who ran against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2008 and is now being challenged by Silver ally Jeff Galloway for Democratic district leader, is raising money off a story from Sunday's New York Post that found three dead people on his opponent's petitions. "The details of this scandal aside, it highlights how committed the machine is to silencing independent voices," Newell emailed supporters Monday. "Please consider donating $25, $50 or $100 right now to help fight corrupt politics in New York. "

Slush Fund Weprin?
Weprin spox says Turner "lying" about Weprin slush fund scandal role to distract voters from "extremist" plan to cut Medicare, Soc Sec. Turner Revives Council ‘Slush Fund’ Scandal To Attack Weprin (Updated) *  Sen. Diane Savino accused Assemblyman David Weprin of pandering and tore up a contribution check to him following his comments supporting an investigation into whether the Senate violated any rules by approving gay marriage.

Who Are the Two People?
When Perez asked Weprin about who dropped the ball, Weprin responded noncommittally. These “fictitious groups,” Weprin said, never came before his committee or the Council as a whole – it was merely the work of a “couple of staff people.” “I wouldn’t place blame on any one person. You could place blame everywhere, you could place blame nowhere.”

The City is Still Paying for Lawyers to Represent Weprin in the 3 year Old Federal Investigation of the Slush Fund Scandal

What Ever Happen to the City Council Slush Fund Investigation?(True News) * NY-9: “[T]he former congressman’s staff still goes to work every day. Pictures of him remain hung on the wall, if a bit askew.” [Colby Hamilton / WNYC]


Chris Quinn and the Slow Motion Return of the Slush Fund Scandal (Village Voice)


Escape From New York
Report: NY lost 1.6 million people to other states from 2000 – 2010 (Gannett Albany)

 Does the FDNY Have A White Problem?

FDNY ignores criminal pasts of white hires, ex-official says(NYDN) * FDNY Discrimination Trial Begins(NY1) * FDNY Hiring: “Tow struggled to explain how a white firefighter candidate who had earlier been entangled in a domestic incident involving a weapon was hired, while a minority candidate who was arrested for “pushing” his wife was not.” * White firefighter candidates with criminal records got hired at the FDNY

 Suspected white-supremacist principal investigated(NYDN)


What Other Neighborhood Has A Sign Problem Like Flushing?

In Neighborhood That’s Diverse, a Push for Signs to Be Less So(NYT)



Brooklyn Bridge Park Expands 

Housing Deal Ensures Park in Brooklyn Will Expand(NYT) * After months of deadlock, a deal has been reached that will allow private housing to be built at Brooklyn Bridge Park.



Apple Brooklyn?

Brooklyn Readies More Retail Downtown Brooklyn is about to get a major boost, as the city will soon choose a developer to transform the first two floors of the Brooklyn Municipal Building into one of the borough's most prominent retail spaces.(WSJ)


Work Stoppage at WTC(WSJ)







Police Arrest LI News Photographer(NBC)





Brooklyn Islanders?

 Coliseum: Nassau County voters reject borrowing plan; less than 10% voter participation.*  With 82 percent of the ballots counted late last night, the vote was about 57 percent to 43 percent against borrowing the $400 million needed to overhaul the coliseum.* A “hard midterm defeat” for Mangano, says Dan Janison.


Bloomberg Plugged In

Adding a Volt of Energy to the Patrol (NYT)


Europe wary of creation of 'mega exchange,' through merger …(SI Advance)





Council Bill Would Curb Assistance by Rikers to Immigration Officials(NYT) “I could pass this bill and override a veto,” said Quinn about her proposed bill to stop Rikers from giving immigration info about prisoners to the feds.

Brave pair chases down Bronx 'thief'(NYP)

 Law and Order

'Killer' millionaire mom's blood sample missing(NYP) * Mom's untested blood sample lost in son's NY death(WABC)* Lawyer for millionaire on trial for killing son rips prosecution for lost evidence (NYDN) * Evidence Lost in Murder Case(NYT) * Men Robbed ATM Using Dunkin' Donuts Cards, Officials Say(NYT) * Range Rover that killed girl was bought with $1.3M payout from dubious lawsuit(NYDN) * Cuomo signed a new law that prevents those convicted of domestic violence from purchasing firearms. * It’s National Night Out tonight. * Surveillance released in Bronx motel robbery(WABC)* Police release sketch of murdered woman(WABC)* With Money Tight, Will State Finally Overhaul Its Public Defender System? (Gotham Gazette) * Bronx Store Clerks Foil Robbery, Witnesses Wonder Why(NY Mag)


Phone-hacking scandal: Key figure at News International arrested (Guardian UK) * Frank Rich: Murdoch 'Thuggery' Hurting America (VIDEO)(Huff Post)



Report: Kelsey Grammer Mulling Run for Mayor Or How to Get Publicity For Your New TV Series (Bayside Patch)



 Chinese News Agency Takes on Times Square(WSJ)