Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Will NY Remain the Financial Capital of the World?

While the NYT Speculates on New York's Loss of Wall Street

It is Time to See How This Generation of the City's Leaders is No Match to the One That Built the Worlds Financial Capital Right Here
Bye-Bye to the Big Board?(NYT Ed) Regulators must answer whether the proposed sale of the New York Stock Exchange can be regulated in a way that protects the public interest. The question that the Times is has not asked is the current generation of New York financal leaders smart enought to keep NY as the financial capital.  We know the NY pols and media are clueless about how modern capitalism works. The fact that the city's is losing it financial tax base will not even be an issue in the 2013 mayor's race.* Wall Street This Week Is Basically a Bunch of Robots (NY Mag)

Banking and Politics
As Old As the Republic

Banking and politics have always been joined a the hip. The proposed 50 billion bailout fund will strengthen that connection. Wall Street likes that part of the reform package, because the government grantee will make it easier for them to borrow money and make deals. Congress like it because the more control it has will no doubt lead to more senators like Dodd getting special treatment from banks like countrywide.

It is important to understand that the intimate relationship between politics and banking policy is not new, nor is its economic influence now unique. Since the nation's beginnings banking regulations have been intimately connected to politics, and the politics of banking is a high stakes game not well understood by the public. It is clearly not understood by today's New York elected officials who sat like pawns watching Obama propose changes which will result in less financial jobs and taxes for local government.

A review of New York's economic history and banking policy from 1784 to the Civil War clearly shows that banks and banking policy were central to the state's economic development (and closely entwined with politics). It also shows that strong armed politics by elected officials and Tammany Hall in the early days of American resulted in New York becoming the banking capital of the world.
Banking and Politics Continues

The Judges of Judges Are Corrupt Also The DN says ruling on Bx judge sends a "horrid" message: "Short of taking a bribe in a paper bag, anything goes."
Bronx Surrogate Judge Lee Holzman keeps his job despite breaking the rules(NYDN Ed) State Commission on Judicial Conduct goes way too easy on a rotten judgeIn one of the worst rulings in its history, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct decreed that a judge may stay on the bench despite giving a pass to a lawyer friend who’d grabbed hundreds of thousand of dollars in excessive fees from the estates of the dead. When Holzman’s counsel, Michael Lippman, got caught taking far larger amounts than he was entitled to, Holzman kept him on the job. That way, Lippman was supposed to earn more fees so he could repay the filched funds.Despite citing all these facts, the panel painted Holzman, incredibly, as a misguided soul who clumsily set out to make whole the estates damaged by Lippman. Thus, he will leave his judgeship under his own power, setting a precedent that casual malfeasance will be tolerated.
In 1995 State Commission on Judicial Conduct Let Another Corrupt Surrogate Court Judge Retire
"In the absence of mitigating circumstances," they said, "removal would be appropriate for such conduct."
But the commission said there were mitigating circumsrtances, like the 68-year-old Surrogate's age and his experience on the bench, the finding that his misconduct "was not motivated by selfish interests" and the belief that he "has been forthcoming, cooperative and contrite" before the commission.Panel Censures Brooklyn Judge for Lying - New York Times

Corrupt Surrogate Court Groundhog Day
Shocking the Bronx Surrogate Court is Being Investigated
In the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia called Surrogate's Court "the most expensive undertaking establishment in the world." He believed it was control of the Surrogate's Court of New York County, more than any other factor, that kept the Tammany Hall political machine alive through the lean years when he deprived it of city jobs and President Franklin Roosevelt denied it federal jobs. More on Corruption and the Surrogate Court (True News) * Surrogate's Court And Why It Should Go (True News)

The Surrogate Court is A Political Toll Booth Exacting Tribute From Widows and Orphans - Robert Kennedy
Brooklyn City bookkeeper in 600G ‘scam’(NYP) A bookkeeper stole more than $600,000 in taxpayer money by creating a phony check from the Brooklyn municipal office that handles the estates of people who die without wills or next of kin, court papers allege.

Queens  A Court, Not Votes, Sustains a Political Machine in Queens (NYT, 11/28/11) *Were Have All the Journalist Gone After Newfield (True News, 7/14/11)) Not since the death or old school investigative report Jack Newfield in 2004 has any reporter in New York covered how the corrupt Queens Democratic Machine use the courts as there personal bank.

Staten Island Expose Corrupt Courts: Cover-Up Continues in Surrogate's Court 

Brooklyn Lawyer makes millions with no details on fees - New York Daily NewsIs ex-Surrogate Judge Michael Feinberg of New York a degenerate crook?

The Courts Keep the Machine in Business and add cost to doing business in New York Conn. Newspapers Fighting Plan for Online Notices From True NewsLegal Ads Help Keep the Political Machines in Power * Legal Ads Help Keep the Political Machines in Power(True News)

NYC Murders Down 18.5%
"The number of homicides in the city this year is set to plunge to the lowest figure since recordkeeping began." SI.. plummeting from 16 in 2011 to 9 this year, a nearly 44% decrease."
NYC murders down 18.5% from last year(NYDN) *
NYPD Reports Record Low Murder Numbers In NYC(NY1)
Murder-rate plunge(NYP)
Homicides Down for 2012(WSJ) NYC to record lowest number of murders in 50 years; shootings lowest in 20 years 

Gun Fight
Legal Curbs Are Said to Hamper A.T.F. in Gun Inquiries(NYT) * New Jersey Mayor Defends Decision to Arm School Security (WSJ) * A Bushmaster Helped Firefighter Slayer to ‘Do What I Like Doing Best, Killing People’ [Updated](NY Mag) * Tom King, head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said members of his group would begin calling state lawmakers to urge against further gun controls once the holiday is over. (DN)* NBC’s David Gregory Displays 30-Round Magazine On TV, Matter Is ‘Under Investigation’ By Police * The gun industry, including the NRA, contributed $121,900 to state legislative campaigns over the past two years. Most of that cash went to the Senate Republicans.* The industry has also contributed to the state Conservative Party.* NYC’s pension funds own nearly $18 million in firearms-related stock, and divesting of that is no easy task.* Frank Luntz: NRA not listening to public --(Politico)The gun lobby has neutered the ATF and any ability to register and trace deadly weapons(NYT) * Newpaper Publishes Names and Address of All Gun Permit Holders, Sparks Controversy | The Nation * NY's biggest gun lobby takes aim at gun control push * Barbara Boxer believes the National Guard should be deployed to America's schools * Journalism Gets David Gregory in Hot Water With D.C. Police(NY Mag) * Philadelphia Mayor: NRA Armed Guard Proposal A 'Completely Dumbass Idea'(Huff Post) * Anger Over Map With Gun Permit Holders’ Names(NYT)

NYP Worries That the Stop and Frisk Program Will Be Ended
 Cuffing the cops, again(NYP) At the moment, the NYPD faces three (yep: three) major lawsuits and a mountain of legislation all aimed at deep-sixing its wildly successful stop-and-frisk program. And even if the council or judges don’t appoint themselves police commissioner, there’s still trouble ahead: The winner of next year’s mayoral race might well order cops to stand down — ceding the streets to the thugs. Murder *drop* proves we need stop & frisk(NYDN Ed)

Campaign 2013 Departing MTA Chairman and potential 2013 NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota: “My best quality is that I talk to everyone. My worst quality is that I talk to everyone.” Michael Powell says Lhota should “guard against the optimism vapors,” noting another popular ex-MTA chief (Richard Ravitch) fared terribly in his mayoral run. (He’s also looking forward to the entertainment value of Lhota’s “unzipped lip”) * Almost $2.4 million has been spent on the 46th Senate District race to date, making it the most expensive election in the Capital Region this year. Both sides say the cost was worth it.*
Newly-minted Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has her work cut out for her. Her strategy in dealing with IDC leader Jeff Klein, whom she still hopes might return to the Democratic fold, is “to listen.”*
Dan Janison says it’s wrong to label 2013 an “off” year in NY politics.

BOE Needs to Hire the Count
Fifty days after Nov. 6, the NYC Board of Elections is STILL counting votes. Bill Hammond 
Media Continues the Black-Out of the BOE Count Scandal A bunch of no-counts(NYDN Ed)
BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence(True News)Florida got lots of flack for being totally useless during the 2012 presidential election—it took them so long to count votes that by the time President Obama was handed those once-legendary 31 electoral points on November 10th we forgot for a blessed moment that the Sunshine State was still part of the Union—but it turns out New York City's Board of Elections isn't anything to boast about, either. Votes in Manhattan and Brooklyn are still being counted, and the rest of the boroughs' ballot counts were finalized just last week. Democracy! To be fair, the BOE didn't miss its deadline by too much, since they apparently had until December 6th (a full two months!) to finish up all that counting. But the counting wasn't the only problem: voters in both the presidential and primary elections this year had to cope with long lines, erroneous poll site information, broken machines and eensy-weensy ballot type. The BOE was asked to address some of these concerns at a City Council hearing before and after the presidential election, but it appears they still have some work to do before next year's much-anticipated mayoral showdown.  On the bright side, though, now we can still hold out hope that the electoral college will hand New York State to Jimmy McMillan.

Now Boyland Will Have To Use His Campaign Funds to Defend Himself the Government Tit Has Dried Up for Him
‘Poor me’ pol is denied legal aid  (NYP) Taxpayers just received a holiday gift from a federal judge, while an embattled city politician was left with a lump of coal. Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. (D-Brooklyn) had been asking for taxpayers to pick up the tab for his legal defense. “Anybody who owns property valued at $460,000 and who is receiving the salary of an assemblyman and who is receiving $960 a month in rental income is capable of financing his defense,” the judge said from the bench.

With the veto, Cuomo prevented the reanimation of, in the classic words of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, “the only bookie joint in the city to lose money.”
OTB, still dead(NYP Ed) Gov. Cuomo last week shot down another effort to resurrect New York City’s patronage-mill, money-pit Off-Track Betting operation.
Only in that broader context should consideration be given to OTB returning to the city.
And if that does occur, it must be a completely new product. That means no preferential treatment for former OTB employees or — especially — managers who are tainted by the old ways.

Even if hydrofracking is approved in New York, there might not be a sudden rush of drilling. (AP) * New fracking regulations are expected to be released at the end of February

Storm Exposes Fragility of Mental Health System in City(NYT) The odds of securing mental health treatment in a crisis in New York City have worsened significantly since Hurricane Sandy knocked out hospitals and disrupted outpatient services.

Glick Left EDC Meeting Because She Refused to Sign A Secret Government Agreement
NYC Economic Development Corporation Demands Secrecy Pacts With Public Officials And Their Staff In her holiday newsletter, Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick reveals that the New York City Economic Development Corporation asked her office to leave the Civic Center Taskforce, because the Hon. Assemblymember and her staff refused to sign "secrecy pacts."


M.T.A. Challenges the City Over Billboard Restrictions(NYT)
The city wants to remove 12 billboards in a fight against visual pollution, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says revenue from its signs helps subsidize commuter fares.

Payback is A Fine Time for Vendors
New York City officials will give cash to street vendors who say they were over-ticketed. (NYP)After a lengthy court battle, the Bloomberg administration has agreed to repay a total of nearly $230,000 to the vendors, who were overcharged for summonses going back as far as 2006.

Odd Couple Would Be Evicted Today

Nowadays, ‘Odd Couple’ Would Have to Be Rich Couple, Too(NYT) The characters played by Jack Klugman, who died at age 90, and Tony Randall shared a fictional apartment in real, very expensive Manhattan *
"Odd Couple" fans visit 1049 Park Ave. to pay tribute to Jack Klugman & Oscar Madison.


Bowery Flophouses Transformed Into A Hip Neighborhood
$wells take Bowery(NYP) If you need final confirmation that the gritty, old industrial-era Bowery was being swept away for good, consider this just-completed deal: Acadia Realty Trust has snatched up four-story 210 Bowery for $7.5 million. The purchase price sounds puny until you realize it set a record for the street of $815 per square foot.



(Dowd,NYT)Death takes no holiday. Why doesn’t God stop such heartbreaking evils?

Love eternal: Conn. teacher killed in Newtown buried with engagement ring(NYP) * A Heavy-Hearted Holiday in Newtown(WSJ) * Community Devastated by Sandy Celebrates Christmas(NBC)

Sandy Holiday Update
U.S. Senate Democrats have quietly amended a storm relief bill to direct more funds to the Gulf Coast, hoping it will become easier to pass. (DN)
Sandy-struck Staten Island family gets ornaments from White House — 1000s still powerless(NYP) * Picture-perfect! Good Sam restores SI couple's Sandy-damaged photos(NYP) 

Whale Beached in Breezy Point, Queens(NBC)

A New Owner and, Many Hope, a New Lease on Life(NYT) For one housing project the storm isn't over “: Coming Back: Ocean Village Gets New Owner, & New less on Life * Catholic Schools Open Doors to Storm-Tossed Students(NYT) Over 200 public school students from the Rockaways were absorbed by Roman Catholic schools in Brooklyn after the storm, offering some semblance of normalcy and, so far, free tuition. * Another Side of Sandy Toll Felt in Taxis(WSJ) Taxi trips from New York City to Jersey City and Hoboken have shot up since superstorm Sandy crippled the train service that connects the two New Jersey cities to Manhattan. * Despite Devastation, SIers Try To Have A Merry Christmas(NY1) * Moreland Commission To Hear More Testimony On Performance Of Utility Companies  * Christmas After Sandy: In Red Hook, Brooklyn, people attended Christmas Mass at Visitation Church,... *Whale Beached in Breezy Point, Queens(NBC) * Video: A Red Hook Church Rebounds After Hurricane(NYT) * People Hit Hard By Sandy Brace For Winter Storm  * Nursing Home Evacuees Still In A Grim Limbo(Huff Post) * NY1 For You: City Official Gives Advice To Residents Stuck In Cold * NY1 Online: Leaders Discuss Charity Challenges In Sandy's Wake


After Storm, Moving to Update a Mall at the South Street Seaport(NYT)

[image]Neighborhood Boost Seen From the Lowline (WSJ)The backers of the Lowline underground park on the Lower East Side have embarked on a new strategy in an effort to generate more momentum for the idea. 

Creedmoor tweeding project revision(Queens Crap)

From the Queens Chronicle: The Indian Cultural and Community Center has revamped plans for building senior housing on the campus of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. The project has been embroiled in controversy since it was first proposed. Now that the group wants to add an extra 17 apartments to the mix has civic leaders and at least one elected official furious. “The ICCC continues to amaze me,” state Sen Tony Avella (D-Bayside) told the Chronicle Wednesday. “There are two open investigations. The community and elected officials are dead set against this plan, so why the ICCC continues to pursue this is beyond me.”

First Of Its Kind Museum Of Mathematics Open In Flatiron (WCBS)

Tonight, President Obama will depart his native Hawaii, where he traveled for his annual family Christmas trip, and return to Washington to resume trying to get a fiscal cliff deal before Jan. 1. The First Lady and the “first daughters” will remain on the island.* U.S. Will Hit Debt Limit on Monday, Geithner Warns(NYT)

Obama to Leave Vacation to Continue Work on Fiscal Deal(NYT) * Budget Talks Cloud Outlook(WSJ) * Lawmakers probably could enact a compromise quickly and easily if GOP House Speaker John Boehner let Democrats provide most of the votes.* The 10 best viral political videos of 2012 (Politico) * Starbucks using cups to push for fiscal cliff deal(Wash Post) * Senators Returning With Little Urgency as Fiscal Clock Ticks (NYT)
* House GOP leaders say they won't bring House back into session until Senate passes legislation to avert fiscal cliff
* What exactly happens if we go off the fiscal cliff?(CNBC)
* With 5 Days Left and No Clear Fiscal Path, Senators Head Back(NYT)

Tom Friedman: ‘Hagel Is Out of the Mainstream’(NYT)
*How Dick Armey failed in his bid to seize control of tea party booster Freedomworks. (WP) 
Budget Debate: A Washington Mess - Richard Cohen, Washington Post
Democrats Can't Avoid Blame - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary
How Obama Can Beat the GOP Fanatics - Robert Reich, Business Insider
Journalists Rush to Take Sides in Gun Debate - Byron York, DC Examiner
NRA, LaPierre Selling Snake Oil - DeWayne Wickham, USA Today
Millions of Americans Face ObamaCare Tax Hikes - Sally Pipes, Forbes
A Cleared Bill of Health - Paul Waldman, The American Prospect
Health Law Has Calif. Officials Questioning Cost - Anthony York, LA Times
Give Chuck Hagel a Chance - Thomas Friedman, New York Times
The Multiple Distortions of Wind Subsidies - Phil Gramm, Wall St. Journal
Can Labor Make a Comeback in 2013? - Harold Meyerson, Am Prospect
Unions, Politicians Pact Makes Us Less Safe - Amity Shlaes, Bloomberg
Europe Faces a Difficult Year Ahead - Desmond Lachman, RealClearMarkets
Middle East, North Africa on the Brink - Christopher Dickey, Daily Beast
Free Speech and the Rioter's Veto - Jacob Sullum, Reason
A Gift That We Can All Give - Maureen Dowd, New York Times
The Top Political Moments of 2012 - RealClearPolitics

Hard Newtown Questions - Wall Street Journal
Gun Lobby, Don't Change the Subject - USA Today
Americans Were Duped by Obama - Investor's Business Daily
John Kerry's a Solid Pick for State - Tampa Bay Times
Inside Dick Armey's failed FreedomWorks coup(Wash Post) 
Shining a light on dark money (NYDN)
Secrecy and democracy don’t mix By  
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.A Political Maverick Moves On to Greater Questions(NYT) As Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut prepares to leave the Senate, he might find himself in the middle of a debate over the role of bipartisanship.* Barney Frank: ‘I’m tired’ (Politico)

Amazing that so many don't understand that Presidential election turnout is almost always completely different than other years

Law and Order
Good Sam helps reunite girl, 7, with stolen dog(NYP)

Livery hack gropes rider(NYP) * A Onetime Drug Dealer, Working to Prevent Gun Violence(NYT)

NYU student stole an Apple a day: cops(NYP)

‘Killing people is what I like best’: Firefighter-slay lunatic's suicide screed(NYP) * Gunman Who Killed 2 Firefighters Left Chilling Note(NYT)

Son hears via police radio of dad death(NYP)

Cross-dressing bank robber kills friend and hides him in his closet: cops(NYP)
Man charged with murder, hiding body in closet for week(NYDN)
DA: man killed friend, hid body in closet(WABC)

A man was stabbed several times on the late Christmas night

Man Indicted For Allegedly Throwing Bleach At Rabbi: An indictment was handed up Wednesday against a Brooklyn man... 

For Fire Victims in Upstate Ambush, a Chance to Grieve and Survey the Destruction(NYT)