Saturday, February 27, 2010

New York State of Mind

Snow, snow and more snow...City Hall this morning.

I love it when it snows in New York City. Up to 20 inches of snow was reported in Central Park yesterday and it was just beautiful. Well, beautiful until the city grime started to blend with the mounds of snow. The phrase "pure as the driven snow" means something entirely different in Manhattan than in the rest of the world. 'Cause once it's been driven over a few times, the only thing that's pure is the schmutz! However for that first hour or so, it's like a giant pastry chef sprinkled powdered sugar all over the city and made the biggest confection in the world. It's downright magical.

Anyway, on to other news -

Sports - New Jersey Nets have won 5 out of 57 games this season. They are on track to have THE worst season in professional basketball history. Go Team!!

Local - Former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik was sentence this week to four years in Federal prison for eight counts of corruption, conspiracy, and tax fraud. The judge actually gave him a harsher sentence than was recommended because some of his crimes were committed while he was "the chief law enforcement officer for the biggest and grandest city this nation has." Kerik has fallen a long way since his stellar performance along side Mayor Guiliani in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Very sad.

State - Well, it's official. Governor David Patterson had THE shortest gubernatorial campaign in history. On Wednesday, he formally announced that he was running for Governor and on Friday, he formally announced that he was dropping out amid great pressure from his own party. In all fairness, with what he had to work with, he has done a pretty decent job. He was thrust into the hotseat by Client #9 Elliot Spitzer and inherited a multi-billion dollar deficit and a recalcitrant Legislature. As one of his first acts, he had to appoint a replacement for Hillary Clinton. Admiringly, he went against Obama's wishes by appointing Kirsten Gillibrand rather than President Obama's patronage appointee, Caroline Kennedy. An act that caused President Obama to shortly after publically request that Patterson not make a run for Governor. Even though Obama was publically chastised for interfering in New York state business by Charlie Rangel [we'll get to him in a minute], he got the revenge he wanted. Now the Democrats' heir-apparent Andrew Cuomo has a clear field for the race for Governor.

Federal - Finally some movement in the ongoing investigations into Charles Rangel's alleged ethics violations. The House Ethics committee decided on Thursday that Rangel knew or should have known that he accepted corporate gifts in the form of Caribbean trips in violation of House ethics rules. Of course he denies any wrong doing and refuses to step aside (or down) as Chairman of the House Ways and Means committe claiming that "his staff never told him about [any] corporate sponsors." Yes, Charlie used the old "When in trouble, blame the incompetant assistant" ploy. The Ethics committee stopped short of recommending any punishment, but then they still have to complete the numerous investigations on Rangel's other alleged violations reported on earlier posts.

Even though Rangel refuses to step aside, the good news is now Democratic members of the House are requesting (dare I say, demanding) that he step aside or resign his Chairmanship until the investigations are completed. Speaker Pelosi continues to side-step the issue, but then, maybe she thinks they are over. In the Fall of 2008, she stated emphatically that these investigations would be completed by January 2009. I predict [or wishfully think] that Charlie may do a Evan Bayh and "decide" to not run for re-election this November for the good of the nation.

One more parting shot -

For those of you who may not know, today marked the first anniversary of the Tea Party demonstrations and we marked it with, you guessed it, a demonstration!


Anonymous said...

(sigh) Snow. And this Florida boy is moving up there next month! I still need to pick up some winter clothing. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The writing's been on the wall for the Patterson thing. He's been on the edge for so long now that the slightest new incident was going to topple him.

I'm not entirely sure what he did -- something about naked people being slammed into mirrors is all I've heard, but it was only a matter of time.

As for Rangel, I still think they're going to have to take him out of the House feet first. . . and even then, he'll probably hand the seat to a relative as his dying act. Ug.

In any event, interesting times in New York!

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Any news on the Republicans running for Senate. . . if any?

Unknown said...

Bev: Your crooked politicians are a lot like our crooked politicians, but you just have so many more than we do. LOL

I'm sorry to hear that Bernie Kerik was found guilty. He did a great service to the City of New York, but nobody is above the law, and even great men have flaws.

At least Patterson got into the race, even if only for a few short days. Our resident cuckoo, Jerry Brown, is leading in all the polls for Governor of California, and he still hasn't formally announced that he's running.

As for Rangel, the last time you had such a notorious crook, ethics-mangler and tax-dodger was Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. They censured him, removed him from office, and at the next election, his constituents re-elected him. New York City definitely does things in a big way.

That picture was beautiful. I miss snow. We have to travel out of the Bay Area to see the real thing.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott, it is usually at least sweater weather until June 15th and after September 15th. It is possible that we could have snow sometime in March too. Yes warm clothes (coat, gloves, hat, and good boots) are a must. Now's a good time to get them. Lots of sales!

Andrew - My understanding is that Patterson's long time assistant has a problem with women in the attempted rape department. There has been a big cover up and Patterson has been accused of personally calling on the victim to get her to drop charges. Patterson swears she called him for a deal. This isn't the first time for one of Patterson's appointees. He had another who couldn't pay his taxes because of some obsessive-compulsive disorder that kept him from filing. I'm not paranoid or anything, but I think it's funny how the press came out with this just at exactly the same time as he was announcing his campaign. Truly Obama did not want him to run. The press was actually calling for him to resign immediately. It was definitely "pile on Patterson" week.

You're probably right about Rangel, but a girl can dream can't she?

StanH said...

Well Bev, life in the big city! Your description in an earlier post of NYC, while it’s snowing, it looks like the inside of a snow globe, is what you’d imagine.

That’s to bad about Kerik.

Peterson politically has been a dead man walking for some time.

Rangel, will never leave, and his constituency could care less.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, LawHawk. You know who ran against and beat that crooked Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.? Charlie Rangel. You know who may run against him this year? Adam Clayton Powell, the 3rd! Now that is truly "what goes around comes around"! Though I hear that ACP, the 3rd may have some ethics issues himself which may keep him from running.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, there are still no clear candidates to run against Gillibrand or Schumer. I was speaking to some of the people at the Tea Party this morning and one guy mentioned Larry Kudlow. I don't anything about him yet.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - I love snow! I forgot about the snow globe image! Thanks for reminding me. The snow was really great on Friday. At one point the sun was shining on one side of our building and snowing on the other side. It was cool!

Unknown said...

Bev: Good Lord! I'm not sure if that's a political matter or a gang war. It gives all new meaning to the words "generation[s] of vipers." Poor little San Francisco can't come up with anything even close to that.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Larry Kudlow is a former Reagan official and he has his own show on CNBC. I can't stand him as an announcer because he won't shut up -- he talks over all of his guests and he doesn't listen to a word they say. But he is a very smart guy.

In terms of politics, he's generally a free market guy, but he is very pro-Big Business. I kind of doubt he would fit the Tea Party mold, but he would easily be an improvement over any Democrat. Honestly, he sounds about as far right as New York is ever likely to get.

Tennessee Jed said...

well Bev, I have to admit snow seems foreign to me right now although I spent a night in Medford, New jersey before my return to east Tennessee. We only had flurries here, but it still is too cold to golf.

Patterson and Rangle, amusing though they might be sem to me to be the worst government has to offer. As for the Nets, the NBA seems to have an appeal anymore on par with the W.W.E. I am so glad you are there to report on it all cause it would drive me bonkers. Bless you! Any chance the Republicans could capture the statehouse?

BevfromNYC said...

Tenn - Our Legislature stands at pretty much 50-50 right now. And for the first time in years, the Democrats are in charge. Though they just kicked one Democrat out of the Senate 'cause he was convicted of assault (Hiram Monserrate). Though he switched to the Republican Party right before his conviction to give the Republicans the majority so that they wouldn't have to pass a Gay Marriage Law, but then he went back to the Democrats again. Oh, and the entire state legislature went on strike this summer and refused to go to Albany for 2 months. They are useless and crazy. Not a good combination for a state government. It's so crazy that I forget to add them in to my posts because no one would believe me anyway...

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, LawHawk, will you be observing "Cuss Free Week" next week or will you have to go to Cussing jail? Or better yet, are they going to have giant jars around California where you have to pay a quarter to the "Cuss Jar" for everytime you say a bad word? If it's anything like NYC, the state could raise a billion dollars in quarters in one day!

AndrewPrice said...

Cuss free week sounds like communism to me! And that makes me want to swear. . .

Writer X said...

Is it possible to get Charlie Rangel a vocal chord transplant? That man should be in prison.

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