Sunday, August 31, 2014



***   MSM  IGNORES ALL OF IT   ***

Feds DENY watchdog group's claim that the terror group is operating in Juarez; and that there are plans for “imminent” car-bomb attacks on US targets

Three online reports warned Friday of ISIS involvement south of the border, including one from Judicial Watch that also cited 'imminent' car-bomb attacks  —  The Department of Homeland Security and the White House quickly denied that they have any information about ISIS gathering an attack force in Mexico

Judicial Watch quickly responded that all the Fed’s remarks were not a direct or effective denial  of that group’s report  —   also that “ [The Obama Administration] would have an interest in minimizing, downplaying and withholding the information to distract from "the disaster on the border and the national security threat there.”

Oddest statement of the day was by Obama’s Press Secretary and Chief Spokesman Josh Earnest, who told reporters on Friday that America's border crisis is over “for now”  —   What is even odder, the White House announcement of the end of a “Humanitarian Crisis” on the U.S.  Southern Border was not deemed to be big news by the Mainstream Media.

Not very long after the story of ISIS operations just south-of-the-border, down Mexico way began making the rounds yesterday, this appeared in the Daily Mail: “The Department of Homeland Security quickly denied claims on Friday from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has militants stationed in Juarez, Mexico who plan an 'imminent' attack against the United States. ***  A DHS spokesman was bewildered, telling MailOnline that 'we are aware of absolutely nothing credible to substantiate this claim' made by Judicial Watch, a center-right group....” (See “ISIS in Mexico? Feds DENY watchdog group's claim that the terror group is operating in Juarez and plans 'imminent' car-bomb attacks on US targets” by  David Martosko ( US political editor for mailonline), 8/29/14 []  [@MailOnline on Twitter/ | DailyMail on Facebook]). That article in the Daily Mail, also specifically quoted the DHS spokesman, as follows: “‘In Mexico?’ the official said on the phone. ‘I haven't seen that at all.’”

In response to the denials by various officials in the Obama Administration, the president  of the watchdog group Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton. Whose group broke the original story about the ISIS-Juarez connection, said in an interview that his group’s sources were “golden” and called the any of the government's insistence to the contrary to be “so dishonest.”  Fitton told the MailOnline that “It's a non-denial denial....” he told MailOnline.  Specifically quoting Homeland Security Secretary  Johnson's use of words like “credible” and “specific,” Fitton said, 'You could drive a truck bomb through that loophole....” Adding, “DHS has not denied our story.”

Fitton also explained why the Obama Administration might be motivated to dissemble about the Judicial Watch’s ISIS-Juarez report, saying, “'I can't say who in Washington knows about this.... But to be sure, this is exactly the type of information that this administration would have an interest in minimizing, downplaying and withholding, to distract from the disaster on the border and the national security threat there.”


The Daily Mail report ended with a bizarre and under-reported claim by Obama’s Press Secretary and Chief Spokesman Josh Earnest, who told reporters on Friday that inexplicably America's border crisis is over “for now.” Glenn Beck's The Blaze gave the announcement somewhat more coverage -- clearly Josh Earnest was talking about the so-called "humanitarian crisis" of  "unaccompanied minors" that had flooded our southern boundary with Mexico, largely along the Texas-Mexico Border ( See "White House spokesman says border crisis over ‘for now’" by Peter Kasperawicz, 8/29/14,  The Blaze/ The Furnace []). Internet searches disclose that, thus far, these remarks by the President's Press Secretary have not received significant  coverage by the mainstream press of other major media outlets.

Friday, August 29, 2014

FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Mention of Possible Islamist Terrorism — Meanwhile ISIS is operating in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, directly across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas

A very recent FBI internal report labels white supremacists, black separatists, militias, abortion extremists as the main U.S. domestic extremists  —  it doesn’t mention any Homeland Islamist threat

Meanwhile, ISIS ( the militant group know as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria ) has  already set up operations just across the wide-open U.S.– Mexico Border in Juarez

Everything has collapsed on the U.S. southern border during President Obama's watch

A copy of the unclassified, 60-page National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism, dated Aug. 14, was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. It warns that the threat of domestic -origin extremism was moderate in 2013 and will remain so for this year.

According to Free Beacon, “The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans. ***
Instead, the internal FBI intelligence report concluded in its 2013 assessment published this month that the threat to U.S. internal security from extremists is limited to attacks and activities by eight types of domestic extremist movements—none motivated by radical Islam. ***
They include anti-government militia groups and white supremacy extremists, along with “sovereign citizen” nationalists, and anarchists. Other domestic threat groups outlined by the FBI assessment include violent animal rights and environmentalist extremists, black separatists, anti- and pro-abortion activists, and Puerto Rican nationalists....”  (See “FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism” by Bill Gertz, 8/29/14, Washington Free Beacon [FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism
Internal report labels white supremacists, black separatists, militias, abortion extremists main domestic extremists]).

Among several critics of the FBI report, The Washington Free Beacon quoted Patrick Poole, a domestic terrorism expert, who was extremely critical of the report’s omission of U.S. Islamist extremism, blaming “politically correct” policies at the FBI for the problem, as follows: “At the same time we have senior members of the Obama administration openly saying that it’s not a question of if but when we have a terror attack targeting the United States by ISIL, we have the FBI putting on blinders to make sure they don’t see that threat....  These politically correct policies have already allowed Americans to be killed at Fort Hood and in Boston.”

The perpetrators of those two terrorist events had been reported to the FBI by intelligence sources prior to each those events and the FBI passed on taking a more active role until after the events.


Top terrorist-watcher Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, highlights the findings of a Judicial Watch Report, as follows:  For those of us who’ve been raising alarms about both the jihadist threat and the national-security vulnerability created by the Obama administration’s non-enforcement of the immigration laws, this is not a surprise — particularly less than two weeks before September 11. But it is nonetheless jarring to read. Judicial Watch has just put out this statement: ‘Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.’ ” (See “Judicial Watch: Feds’ Bulletin Describes Threat of Imminent Terrorist Attack on Southern Border” by Andrew C. McCarthy, 8/29/14, National Review/ The Corner []).

The whole of the National Review- Andrew McCarthy- Judicial Watch report describes a truly disturbing reality along the U.S.– Mexico Border in parts of Texas.  This includes the current reality –  “that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re ‘too dangerous’ and patrolling them could result in an ‘international incident’ of cross border shooting....”

In the meantime, let’s not forget the now-infamous words of the Obama Administration’s first Homeland Security Secretary and full-time flak, Janet Napolitano, describing the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”  Well, if that was true when Secretary Janet said it, we can use it as a premise for a very simple  conclusion  >>>  everything has collapsed on the Southern Border of the United States during Obama’s watch.

It’s Been a Few Bad Days for Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Post Editorial Slams Cuomo’s TV Spot Against GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino

Local Dem Candidates in heavy voting Brooklyn district all oppose Cuomo in the Democrat Primary, two-of-three endorse Zephyr, while the third says she is looking into a Teachout endorsement

Today, the Editors at the New York Post lashed out at Governor Cuomo with this:  “...[W]hy is the governor’s campaign going with an ad that’s sleazy even by the low standards of New York?   ***   Earlier this week, The Post’s Fredric U. Dicker reported the Cuomo campaign has begun airing a commercial that opens with this line: “The Rob Astorino story: racketeering, conspiracy, fraud.”  ***   It goes on to accuse him of “conspiring with a family and accomplices to rig his election through election fraud.” ***  Sounds awful. So what’s this “racketeering” all about? Turns out it’s based on a civil lawsuit that’s been filed against Astorino. ***   What the Cuomo ad leaves out, however, is that this suit was filed by Astorino’s longtime political foe, the head of the Westchester branch of the Independence Party. Which has endorsed Cuomo....”(See “The Cuomo Fraud Racket” by NY Post Editorial Board, 8/28/14, NY Post/ Opinion/Editorial []).

This sort of thing poses a long term threat to the Governor’s bid for re-election, because it contributes to the narrative that Cuomo is comfortable with tawdry tactics and big-money bullying.  Both of those things are viewed widely as part of the culture of corruption that Cuomo has allowed to flourish during his first term as governor.


According to a report by Will Bredderman in the New York Observer, “All three candidates [Jo Anne Simon, Pete Sikora and Doug Biviano] vying to replace retiring Brooklyn Assemblywoman Joan Millman [D - 52nd A.D.] blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a debate last night–with two saying outright they supported his long-shot Democratic primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, and a third saying she was undecided.... [but] watching Zephyr Teachout’s campaign very closely....” ( See “No Love for Cuomo in Race for Millman Seat” by Will Bredderman, 8/28/14, NY Observer/ []). Strangely, even though these candidates had some good words for Cuomo and his first term as governor, none could bring themselves to endorse his re-election.

As a practical matter, the 52nd A.D. has a deep streak of good-government reform idealism as part of its political DNA – being one of the first assembly districts in Brooklyn to elect a reform-minded Independent Democrat to the NYS Assembly. It might well be a bell-weather of what is going on in Brooklyn’s two or three ADs with the heaviest vote in the upcoming Democratic Primary.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Local Democrat Activist Says On Fox News Program that President Obama’s Problem is that Obama Doesn’t have the “Best and the Brightest” Around Him

Speaking on today’s Fox News’ “Outnumbered” program, Democrat Arthur Aidala says President Obama’s problem is that he doesn’t have the best and the brightest advisers working for him....

In the past we have mentioned the local political operator, Arthur Aidala, in connection with his activities on behalf of former DA Charles “Joe” Hynes, as well as some of his connections to Republican-Conservative State Senator Martin Golden ( Remember, Part 2 of the Golden-Aidala Connections post is yet to come).

Today, Mr. Aidala went off on the President Obama’s foreign policy, but he excused the President, somewhat, by explaining that President Obama might not be receiving the best advice. According to Aidala, that is because Obama has not surrounded himself with the “best and the brightest” in the way of advisers.

Later in the program, Aidala went back to the "best and brightest" theme; and he said that, as between Republicans and Democrats, he can't say who has the lead in that. He also said that if Obama fails in his duty to defend the U.S. he will be the worst president in history.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Israel plans an “Unprecedented...” invasion of Staten Island from Brooklyn

The top command operative from an undisclosed command post located outside both Brooklyn and/or Staten Island says that “the field operation...will be the most aggressive... in history....”

Some of those specifically targeted expect that parts of Staten Island will be treated like Gaza City by the strike group headed by Israel

One of my top Baker Street Irregulars sent me an Email with this subject line: “Observer: Israel's Plan to Invade Staten Island?”  —   together with the NY Observer link below.

It turns out that according to Ross Barkan, writing in and for the N.Y. Observer, “If the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has its way, the field operation built to unseat Congressman Michael Grimm will be the most aggressive and sophisticated in the city’s congressional history. ***   Congressman Steve Israel, a Long Island Democrat and chair of the DCCC, is promising an unprecedented effort to drive out Mr. Grimm, a Republican, and elect his Democratic rival, former Councilman Domenic Recchia.” by Ross Barkan, 8/26/14, NY Oberver/News []
[@newyorkobserver on Twitter] [newyorkobserver on Facebook]).

The way Steve Israel tells it, it looks like when the DCCC is finished with Grimm, he will be worse off than parts of Gaza after the IDF did its number.


Congressman Israel glossed over the Achilles Heel of the whole DCCC-Recchia strategy, with little more than a lick and a promise. According to Ross Barkan, Congressman  Israel said. “In this kind of district, Domenic [Recchia] has to obviously continue to do well in Brooklyn, he’s got to cut into Grimm support in Staten Island which he’s already doing and the polls tell us that.... And he’s got to be an aggressive candidate.”

What is not yet clear is whether Staten Islanders feel negatively about the Republican brand generally and/or Grimm in particular.  In 2013, Mayor de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, lost the Staten Island to a weak Republican contender for mayor. Picking up on that, some of the Staten Island GOP is blasting Recchia for his ties to de Blasio, a former City Council colleague, and the rest of the NYC Democratic establishment. Generally, off-Staten Island Democrats are not particularly popular there, but Mr. Israel said the outcome of prior elections would have little bearing on the contest this fall.

The NY Observer report ended with this response to Steve Israel’s comments from Grimm’s Campaign: “Like Recchia, Washington liberals don’t know the first thing about Staten Island. Recchia lives in Brooklyn, voted to add more tolls, raised our property taxes, voted himself a third term in office, and serves as the Mayor’s ultra-progressive puppet....  All the Manhattan liberals in the world will not be able to overcome Recchia’s shameful 12-year voting record in the City Council, which is probably why he was afraid to mention it in his own commercial – obviously trying to fool Staten Islanders.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Astorino and Teachout Outflank Governor Cuomo — Look forward to Astorino-Teachout Debate in week before Democratic Primary

The Albany TU’s “Capitol Confidential” reports  —   “It’s officially on. ***  Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will debate Democrat Zephyr Teachout Sept. 4 on WNYC’s 'The Brian Lehrer Show,' Lehrer’s show announced on Twitter Monday morning.”

The abbreviated TU report gives this background: “The news comes less than a week after the Astorino camp questioned if Cuomo’s silence on if he’ll debate Teachout and Astorino is because his legal team has advised him against debating or if it’s because he’s just acting like a ‘total jerk.’ ***  Astorino said Wednesday that he’d be willing to debate Teachout, an opportunity she welcomed.” (See “Astorino, Teachout to debate before Dem primary” by Matthew Hamilton, 8/25/14, Albany Times Union/ Capitol Confidential []).

Of course Zephyr Teachout is far from certain to face Republican Rob Astorino as the Democratic candidate in the general election.. First, she’ll have to defeat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary on September 9th.  However both the Teachout and Astorino campaigns are thinking strategically in scheduling their inter-party debate before the primary.

FEATURE UPDATE: THE “GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE” EDITION — LongtIme NYPD critic, Leonard Levitt speaks out on Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY cases

Look at Leonard Levitt’s post, "No Due Process for Some,” (cited below) for a more historically authoritative and perhaps a slightly less edgy version of my post below (See "Obama and Holder Justice Department faces a high bar charging Ferguson Police Officer Wilson ...  ask Congressman Michael Grimm" by Galewyn Massey, 8/23/14, below on this blog)

Today’s Leonard Levitt post on his web page, “NYPD Confidential,” opens like this: “All the racial rhetoric over Eric Garner and Michael Brown ignores the presumption of innocence of the two cops involved in their deaths. ***  Not that you might expect to hear much about that from the Rev. Al Sharpton — but what about our so-called political leaders? ***   Attorney General Eric Holder flew out to Ferguson, Missouri, last week, ostensibly to monitor the investigation into the shooting of Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson. While Sharpton and others have called for Wilson’s head on a platter, Holder remains quiet about the possibility that the officer might have been justified in the shooting.”  For the rest of what Mr. Levitt had to say about these things ...  (See “No Due Process for Some” by Leonard Levitt, 8/25/14, NYPD Confidential []).

Leonard Levitt is an author (“N.Y.P.D. Confidential: Power and Corruption in the Country’s Greatest Police Force” [Thomas Dunne Books]), and former Newsday columnist and reporter, who has long been considered a stern critic of the NYPD and its brass.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In shocker — NYS NOW rejects Governor Andrew Cuomo and endorses Zephyr Teachout for Governor in Democratic Primary

Will an avalanche of women’s groups, like NARAL, Pro-Choice New York and NYC'S NOW,  soon follow by getting on board Zephyr Teachout’s bandwagon ?

NOW’s New York State Chapter President Zenaida Mendez said,  “The Governor’s so-called Women’s Equality line won’t fool anyone....  The Governor doomed the Women’s Equality Act when he supported the Republican State Senate.”

According to a report on the Albany Times Union’s blog, Capitol Confidential,  “The state chapter of the National Organization for Women has endorsed Zephyr Teachout’s Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo....” (See “State NOW chapter endorses Teachout”
by Casey Seiler, 8/24/14, Albany Times Union []).

The Times Union report by Casey Seiler also indicated that,  “The pick was made Saturday and announced Sunday by Teachout’s campaign....”;  and that “...  Teachout’s campaign said the endorsement ‘comes despite an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying effort by the Governor and his staff to influence board members and fight for the endorsement’.”

In making her endorsement of Zephyr Teachout, the NYS NOW leader, Zenaida Mendez, is reported to have said the following: “Zephyr Teachout is a dynamic woman with an inspiring, compelling vision that will shake up Albany and the old boys club that runs this state for the benefit of the few. The National Organization for Women is proud to be part of this historic effort to elect the first woman Governor in New York State history....”

According to the release by her campaign, Teachout graciously accepted the NOW endorsement with these words: “As a life-long, proud feminist, this means so much to me. NOW paved the way so many great women leaders. Because of NOW, I have the opportunity to share my vision of a New York that works for all of us, not just the Governor’s old boys club of campaign donors. I hope my candidacy can inspire other young women, the way NOW inspired me....”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Obama and Holder Justice Department faces a high bar charging Ferguson Police Officer Wilson in death of Michael Brown if a local grand jury sees a “righteous kill” — But what will happen if Obama and Holder don’t see it that way ? — Locally, we can ask Congressman Michael Grimm

If the St. Louis County grand jury does not indict Officer Wilson, where is the proper federal jurisdiction in this case  —  even given the premature investigations and commentary in this case by high federal “authorities,” like Holder and Obama ?

In spite of the cynical and patently biased remarks by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in connection with the shooting of a physically threatening suspect, who allegedly attacked a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. —  the racially insensitive chief executive of this country and his even more inflammatory chief law enforcement officer might have their hands tied by the law  —  if not, it’s up to The Tea Party and other Republicans in Congress to tie them up quickly

If Obama and Holder are foolish enough to say, “Jurisdiction? We don’t need no stinkin’ jurisdiction !”  —   Congress needs to push back, quickly investigate the matter and defund Holder, IMMEDIATELY —  Just like Governors Perry and Walker have done at a state level to the [mad] dog Democrats in their home states

IMPEACHMENT of both Holder and Obama must be on the table  —  And damn the consultants, damn Boehner and damn Grimm if they don’t do it !

According to the Chicago Tribune, “...U.S. government prosecutors investigating the fatal police shooting of a black teenager that sparked a Missouri city's nights of rage face an uphill fight delivering the swift or sweeping results demanded by rights activists.... ***  What makes it difficult for the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute local police for criminal civil rights violations, even when a death results, is the high bar of proving an officer's intent to violate civil rights.... *** ‘The government has to show that the police officer acted with specific intent to use more force than was reasonably necessary under the circumstances. You can't prosecute a police officer for making a mistake or even for a lack of judgment,’ said William Yeomans, a former acting head of the Civil Rights Division.” (See  “U.S. government faces high bar charging cop in Ferguson death” by  Julia Edwards & David Ingram, 8/21/14, Chicago Tribune/ Reuters []).  However, the Chi-Tribune writers, Julian Edwards and David Ingram also noted this:  “Protesters have called for the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson since the killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson on Aug. 9. Defenders of the white officer say he acted lawfully to defend himself during a confrontation with Brown. ***  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder answered calls for an independent investigation this week, putting some 40 FBI agents along with prosecutors in his Justice Department's Civil Rights Division on the case despite the legal challenges....”  The piece by Messrs. Edwards and Ingram also gives a lengthy catalogue of federal civil rights cases brought against police officers to demonstrate how difficult it is to get such charges off the ground and to stand up throughout the whole process.


Given their prior mutually supporting history of lawlessness and a complete lack of respect for any limitations on their powers in other matters, right thinking Americans would be very wise to be openly vigilant of both Obama and Holder concerning their handling of all matters coming out of Ferguson, Missouri.

Good active Republicans need to tell their congressional representatives that a proper exercise of their duties to defend the U.S. Constitution means several things: quick congressional oversight of any apparent improper acts by the executive; immediate wielding of their power over the purse; and, if apparent “high crimes and misdemeanors” have occurred, empaneling a Select House Impeachment Committee. That’s how to yank the leash on a pair of ruthless cynics like Obama and Holder.

Certain elected Republicans, like the Brooklyn-Staten Island Republican-Conservative Representative Michael Grimm and the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, seem have no stomach for that. They are listening to their paid consultants, who haven’t been elected by anybody; and are who actually paid by the big donors to the GOP that have vested interests in keeping things the way that they are between Obama and the Congress. If Holder and Obama, again act improperly in carrying out their official duties, and if our elected congressional representatives do not act decisively and with determination to carry out their constitutional oaths and duties, THEN DAMN THEM ALL AND THE DEVIL TAKE THE HINDMOST “be they the’rs or ’urs” ! ! !

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tempests, Teapots, Teacups, The Brooklyn GOP, Hayon, Akselrod, Pinkus, Davidson, Berardelli, Gallo, Eaton and “a cast of hundreds”

When factions within factions within factions in the Brooklyn GOP fight things out in public, how can anybody take any of this seriously ? Seriously, I mean SERIOUSLY ! ! !

In spite of several Emails and links sent to me in Margaretaville, Florida, I stayed focused on my quest for a lost shaker of salt, figuring all of this  would blow over. Well, I’m back in Brooklyn, so I am now I’m getting phone calls from y/k/w, who says things are worse than ever. Why am I not surprised ?

This is all about a fight over an opportunity to ballot on the GOP line in one of the Southwest Brooklyn assembly districts on behalf of Democrat Ben Akselrod.  It seems like the local Republican organization is fighting to keep its line blank rather than allow a hostile takeover by a rump group of Republicans that want to get the line for Akselrod as he pursues his multi-year fight with Steven Cymbrowitz.

Once again, Joseph Hayon has leveled charges of anti-Semitism against Kings County GOP Law Chairman Gene Berardelli. This time, it’s all about whether Berardelli would consent to an adjournment of a hearing at the Board of Elections so that it would not interfere with the celebration of a minor Jewish holy day by his very observant Orthodox Jewish opponents.

All of that is passed, and the adjournment was granted by the BOI.  Gene said he consented to the adjournment ( he even broadcast and Email about it), Joseph says that isn’t so and the tape of the proceedings prove that Berardelli is lying. Now, Gene and the rest of the crowd at Brooklyn GOP [blog-talk] Radio are referring to Hayon as a Brooklyn GOP Orthodox Jewish “Al Sharpton” during a recent Brooklyn GOP Radio program.  All of this has entangled people like Craig Eaton, Russell Gallo, Diana Sepulveda, Boris Pinkus, Grigory Davidson, Marcus Nussbaum, Lucretia Regins-Potter and a few others.  Hayon now maintains that Craig Eaton no longer has support of over 300 County Committee delegates that voted for him at the last GOP County Convention, and he can’t get them back unless Gene Berardelli is removed as the County Law Chairman.

How thin can you slice the factions of the Brooklyn GOP for them to be thin enough to be having a fight like this one ?  This is too small even to be referred to as a “Tempest in a Teapot”;  furthermore, I doubt that all of this might succeed in making a noticeable ripple across a full cup of tea. Nonetheless, all these guys seem to want to “have at it” –  so who am I to say, “Nay!”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kassar’s Common Sense – “Unintended consequences” – See’s Cuomo’s Court Case against Teachout as exposing governor's “Achilles Heel”

Do some interesting moves by unions against Governor Andrew Cuomo signal problems in the 2014 Democratic Primary

Rare agreement with Conservative Party Chairman rates a mention  –  But whereas Kassar missed a chance to predict an upset of Andrew Cuomo by Zephyr Teachout   –  I do make that prediction !  

Here’s what Kassar had to say Cuomo and Teachout in this week’s Home Reporter column: “Although I doubt it will make much of a difference in the outcome of the Democratic primary for governor, I found the Public Employees Federation’s (PEF) endorsement of Zephyr Teachout  interesting, not that I ever expected them to endorse Cuomo who has had a testy relationship with the union – the second largest public employee union in the state. ***   I simply assumed they would do what was done by another large public employee union – New York State United Teachers – and endorse no one.  The PEF endorsement really sticks it to Cuomo with no mixed message involved. ***   Teachout’s campaign seems likely to become the magnet for many prime Democratic voters in September who are looking for a vehicle to send a message to Cuomo.  The governor’s camp must have been concerned about this potential, as it has mounted an exceptionally expensive campaign court action to knock her off the ballot based on a residency issue. ***   A Supreme Court judge ruled against Cuomo, but by then the damage was done and an apparent Achilles heel shown to the public. It will be interesting to see how well Teachout does in September.” (See “Common Sense: Unintended consequences” by Jerry Kassar, 8/18/14, Home Reporter/ Spectator []).

With one notable exception, I couldn’t have said it better....   However, where Kassar concluded at his opening (always a bad place for a conclusion) that: “Although I doubt it will make much of a difference in the outcome of the Democratic primary for governor...”;  I think that there is a real, and dare I say it a SURREAL, chance that Zephyr Teachout will upset the incumbent Democratic Governor.

Then again, maybe Mr. Kassar didn’t get a chance to see a long feature article in a magazine that influential liberal Democrats (and a few remaining liberal Republicans) in New York do read, “The New Yorker.”  If so, he would have been able to see the long article about corruption and  Ms. Teachout’s being perhaps the last gasp of a broad view of anti-corruption in New York State and the nation ( See “The Crooked and the Dead - Does the Constitution protect corruption?” by Jill Lepore, Issue of  8/25/14, The New Yorker/ American Chronicles []).  Of course, Ms. Lepore’s favorable treatment of Zephyr Teachout, and obvious hostility to Buckley v. Valeo,  might have been philosophically and historically anathema to Jarry Kassar –  but, that’s OK.  Don’t forget it’s not the Jerry Kassar’s of this world that actually vote in Democrat Party primaries.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

With tensions and confrontations on the upswing in Ferguson, Missouri --- National media attention will swing to Staten Island on Saturday

Thousands expected to participate

Civil-Rights Leaders Linking  Two Deaths  --  Eric Garner's in Staten Island and Michael Brown's in Ferguson --  Staten Island rally to protest "homicide" of man in police custody will now include issue of black youth killed by police in Ferguson, Mo.  --  Michael Brown's family might attend event in Staten Island

Congressman Grimm Opposes Demonstration --  Says it's an attempt to portray Staten Island as racist 

According to Marcia Gay, writing for the Wall Street Journal,  "A Staten Island rally for a man who died in an apparent police chokehold will include protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri, march organizers said, as civil-rights leaders have begun linking the two deaths.  ***   A spokeswoman for the Rev. Al Sharpton said the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed Aug. 9 by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, is considering attending the rally [this coming] Saturday, which originally was planned to focus on the issues surrounding Eric Garner's death on Staten Island. Mr. Brown's family's presence will depend on the timing of his funeral, which is contingent on the completion of several autopsies, the spokeswoman said...." (See "N.Y. Rally to Include Protests Over Shooting in Ferguson, Mo." by Marcia Gay, 8/17/14,  Wall Street Journal []).

Ms. Gay's article also  included a critique of police policies and practices by Civil rights leaders such as the Revs. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. They have said both deaths are tied by a combustible alchemy of race, a focus on low-level crime and the excessive use of force by the police.  "Both of them were victims of this aggressive policing of low-level crime," Mr. Sharpton said [this past] Saturday of Messrs. Garner and Brown.  "There's a pattern here. And the pattern is a predisposition toward disproportionate force, toward violence, on black men," Mr. Jackson said in a telephone interview from Ferguson.   "Other march organizers say anger over the death of Mr. Brown will be as visceral a presence at the rally as that of Mr. Garner's. Hundreds of people filled New York's streets last week to protest Mr. Brown's death in mostly peaceful demonstrations that resulted in a few arrests. Several thousand are expected Saturday."

Mayor DeBlazio has called upon the protesters to demonstrate peacefully (See "Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for peaceful protest as Rev. Sharpton's Staten Island march over Eric Garner's death nears" by Eddie DAnna, 8/18/14, SI Advance/ []).

Local Conservative-Republican officials  initially opposed  the proposed demonstration when Rev. Sharpton had wanted to march over the Verrazano Bridge;  but now, several of those Staten Island elected officials oppose the march completely.  For example, U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a Conservative-Republican, said the event will give credibility to an "all too convenient stereotype that Staten Island is racist."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is the Ferguson, Missouri mess a mere verbal reminder of Plessy v. Ferguson --- or is it a 2014 version of same thing happening all over again

Remember in 1954 when nine wacky white  guys said let's overturn Plessy v. Ferguson, start all over and  get it right this time ?   How's that been workin' lately ?

How is it that in 2014,  a mostly white police force, enforces the law in a mostly black Ferguson, Missouri  ? 

At 11 O'clock on Sunday mornings, what are the most segregated places in America  ---   at least a few people think it  might well be most   of its Christian Churches

People might have forgotten that Missouri was part of de jure segregated America in 1954, so was the place where I now am writing this nugget, central Florida.  hat and a few other things made me think of rhetorically linking the whole Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri with the much despised late 19th Century Plessy v. Ferguson Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. So far the only similar linkage of sorts was only done by what looks like a bunch of left wing bomb-throwers (See "Fight to stop police terror - justice for Michael Brown!" by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, 8/12/14, Fight Back! News []).

In 1954  Kansas was a little more complicated place than Missouri (historically possibly due to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the holding of Supreme Court in the Dred Scott v. Sanford), some counties and school districts  were segregated and some weren't. Perhaps coincidentally in 1954, it was the state where the still kind of new President Eisenhower (who had recently appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice) was born, and by some kind of geometrics, Kansas was also the geographical center of the United States. The city of Topeka, Kansas is in Shawnee County in the North East quadrant of the state.  In a short sound-bitten sort of way, it was a great place for a race case.  And, oh what a race case it was -- Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. [citations omitted] --  it was a major victory of the civil rights movement  that overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which had allowed state-sponsored segregation in public education.

The Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision was handed down on May 17, 1954 and stood for the proposition that "[racially] separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." As a result, de jure racial segregation in public schools was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. According to some observers, this ruling paved the way for integration of public schools and gave impetus to other aspects of the civil rights movement.  The U.S. High Court saw it as a necessary step to continue or even restart the march toward racial justice and the elimination of all taint of slavery ninety years after the ending of all chattel slavery for the descendants of all those Africans enslaved in Africa and involuntarily imported into America,as well as the generations born into slavery in the United States. More than anything else, Brown v. Board of Ed. should have relegated Plessy v. Ferguson to the dust bin of history. But did it ?

It's been sixty years since the Supreme Court decided the Brown case that arguably was the beginning of the end of de jure racial segregation.  So how has the racial justice and the elimination of the taint of slavery thing been going in America ?

How is it that a mostly white police force, enforces the law in a mostly black Ferguson, Missouri? Even under something like Plessy v. Ferguson,  all-white cops with guns [and then armored cars, APCs and other heavy weapons] against all-black "suspects" or "non-suspects" [and then demonstrators] without guns would certainly appear to be separate but not very equal.  But what do I know, maybe one side having the guns and heavy military style equipment; versus the other side with the streets and strip malls, and the favorable coverage in the media is how some people might define "separate but equal" in 2014.

What everybody seems to agree on is that what's gone on and is going on in Ferguson, Missouri isn't where America should be at this time.  Beyond that, it gets very fuzzy, very fast.

OK then, are places like Missouri and Kansas so very different from Brooklyn ?  How about Staten Island ?

The current racial State of the Union in the "post-Brown v. Board of Ed." --  "post-Civil Rights era" America of 2014 is an uncomfortable largely de facto racially segregated American with some notable exceptions. The cusps and fault lines go through areas like Ferguson, Missouri (and maybe even parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, too).

Today my priest here in central Florida gave a homily about "outsiders" and "other people" based on Jesus' tough, dare I say harsh, treatment of an annoying Canaanite woman.  Relax, due to the woman's persistence and Jesus' intent to use her as a teaching tool, it all turned out OK, with Jesus extolling, as a woman of great faith and persistance, the annoying "outsider" to the community he was primarily  addressing.  The priest then GENTLY tied it all to what is going on in  Ferguson, Missouri.  Then the priest asked the congregants to look around and asked " What do you see -- this is typical of churches all across America."  The congregation looked around and saw  about 90-95% white people with a smatering of darker looking people, but only a couple or a few that were recognizably black or brown  African-Americans.  He pointed out that there are corresponding congregations of various denominations both nearby and around the country that are equally Black or Latino.  Then he said,  "At the hours between ten and one on Sunday, the most segregated places in the country are its churches.  There is no law that makes it that way, so why is it like that ?   I know some of you will talk to me later and say that's the way the people want it.  But don't come up and say anything like that, unless you can also answer this:  'How Christian is that ?' "

Before anybody says that this is just some crazy Floridian priest,  let me point out that  he's originally from Bensonhurst and is a graduate of Xaverian H.S. in Bay Ridge....

Let's revisit all of this in an analysis of the "them against us" politics involved in Staten Island --- after the "Sharpton march" on Staten Island related to the "homicide"  of Eric Garner while in police custody.  (btw, the "Fight back! News" article cited above was none to happy about the handling of the  Eric Garner case either.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Democrats are creating the new perfect storm to re-elect Michael Grimm to Congress, after the early-2014 perfect storm to throw the bum out

New York's leading minorities' congresspeople calling for Holder to investigate Staten Island police homicide case helps make the Grimm-Recchia contest into an "Us-against-Them" election  ---  Clearly, Grimm just loves it

Staten Island Republican-Conservatives jump on bandwagon of defending DA Donovan 

For Grimm it's better to be lucky than smart, or honest, or well-funded, or un-indicted

According to Will Bredderman in the New York Observer, "Republican Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm lashed out at six Democratic colleagues who called for United States Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a federal investigation into the homicide of Eric Garner–which has so far been in the hands of the borough’s GOP District Attorney Daniel Donovan. ***    Just hours after Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks–who wrote a missive to Mr. Holder along with Congressmen Charles Rangel and Jose Serrano, and Congresswomen Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez–argued that Mr. Donovan’s institutional relationship with the police department compromises his ability to investigate the officers involved in Mr. Garner’s death, Mr. Grimm responded with a sharp defense of his fellow Republican and Staten Islander...." (See "Grimm Defends Donovan, Blasts Colleagues in Scathing Statement" by Will Bredderman, 8/14/14, NY Observer [][ see also: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).

Bredderman also noted that Grimm is not the first Staten Island elected official to come to Staten Island DA Dan Donovan’s defense, pointing out that Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio did an editorial in the New York Post urging that  the case  be left in the hands of the Staten Island DA.  Writing in the New York Post, Republican-Conservative Ignizzio also stated that race is the motivating factor for those arguing otherwise --   “Last week, the Rev. Al Sharpton took Police Commissioner William Bratton to task for suggesting that race was not a factor in the Eric Garner incident...  Yet one has to ask if race is a factor in Sharpton and others’ attempts to remove this case from its rightful jurisdiction. Because I can’t find any other justification for taking it out of the hands of Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan....”  (See also "Leave it to the DA: No reason to hand Garner case to feds"  by Vincent M. Ignizio, 8/6/14, NY Post/ Opinion []). Nor is Grimm the most recent Republican-Conservative to speak out on the issue of backing the Staten Island to fully investigate the Eric Garner Case ( See "Staten Island BP: ‘Not One Iota of a Reason’ to Question Daniel Donovan" by Jillian Jorgensen, 8/15/14, NY Observer [][ see also: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).

Contemporary Democrats will be contemporary Democrats and  21st Century Conservative-Republicans will be like Twentieth Century Republican-Conservatives, and Congressman Michael Grimm is starting to look lucky because his Democrat opponents can't help themselves.

Thursday, August 14, 2014



Usually I do these "BACKFILL" notes as comments to existing posts  ---  BUT, THIS ONE IS A LITTLE ZIPPY  ---  So, it rates a post all its own

According to the folks (or at least one of them) at the broadsheet Post that comes out of D.C., "The New York Times basically ended the political career of Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) in recent weeks, publishing a story about academic plagiarism that caused Walsh to drop his 2014 campaign on Thursday.  ***   When it comes to their very own Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), though, another Times blockbuster hasn't really moved the needle -- at least with voters...." (See "Andrew Cuomo is bulletproof" by Aaron Blake, 8/11/14, Washington Post/ The Fix []).  Mr. Blake's piece goes on to say that  "The shuttering of the Moreland Commission led to a very tough editorial from the Times editorial board: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran for office four years ago promising first and foremost to clean up Albany. Not only has he not done that, but now he is looking as bad as the forces he likes to attack." He has also been hounded by a political press that is unhappy with the answers (or lack thereof) that they're getting, and the situation has even earned the attention of the local U.S. attorney, Preet Bharara.  ***   But you know whose attention the situation hasn't earned? The people."


According to Aaron Blake here is why the needle hasn't moved in a direction against Governor Cuomo:   "The reason: Very few New Yorkers are even tuning in to the Moreland Commission news."

He is also a little more analytic than that, as shown by this: "Cuomo's biggest ally in this situation is the sheer complexity of the Moreland Commission story. While Walsh's plagiarism was cut-and-dry, and neighboring Gov. Chris Christie's (R) bridge scandal was pretty easy to grasp, the Moreland Commission is still quite hard to penetrate -- for voters and journalists alike."


Good title, though.....

"Cuomo is hardly out of the woods -- even in Christie's situation, his decline in the polls was slow at first -- but at least for the 2014 election, he doesn't appear to be paying much of a price and still looks to be a lock for reelection. And, as with Christie, Cuomo's already-good reputation seems to be buoying him in what otherwise could be some very trying times.  ***   That doesn't mean he doesn't have problems, both when it comes to Bharara and a potential future presidential campaign. But for now, the sheer complexity of the Moreland Commission story is Cuomo's best friend."

Now , all you New Yorkers, how about a rousing chorus,  "Hail to the Redskins...."

Brooklyn DA Thompson Uncovering Orthodox Jewish Sex Cases that Hynes had kept under wraps for years

Jewish Voice says:  "This singling out of the bad seeds of only the Orthodox Jewish community seems to contradict promises made to Assemblyman Dov Hikind...  While Hynes was in office, these names and cases were kept private as a courtesy to the Orthodox Jewish community, and now that he is gone it’s open season...."

The Brooklyn Independent Republican Fountainhead takes this opportunity to ask:  When will  a policy of openness be applied to the HANDLING of sex-related cases involving the R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn ?

Is the honeymoon over between Brooklyn's new DA and some of those who supported him in the Orthodox Jewish Community ?  According to the Jewish Voice, "After years of many messy cases staying neatly tucked away out of the public spot light during Charles Hynes’ stint as Brooklyn District Attorney, his predecessor now DA Kenneth Thompson has flung it all on stage. ***  This singling out of the bad seeds of only the Orthodox Jewish community seems to contradict promises made to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whom [sic] had so graciously endorsed Thomson during his candidacy, under the impression that the new DA would treat everyone equal. ***   At the request of the New York Post, Thompson’s staff released the names of 20 defendants in cases in which suspects and/or victims are Orthodox Jews. While Hynes was in office, these names and cases were kept private as a courtesy to the Orthodox Jewish community..."  (See "Brooklyn DA Exposes Orthodox Sex-Offender Cases" by Charles Bernstein, 8/13/14, The Jewish Voice []).

Although this might be an early indicator that the Thompson-run DA's Office is not properly sensistive and attuned to some of the impulses and traditions in the Orthodox Jewish Community,  the public handling of sex offense cases, which criminal prosecution of such crimes clearly is,  of necessity has to be >>>  PUBLIC.

Whether sensible accommodations by the new prosecuting team can be  achieved so as to entertain  certain community notions of of solidarity in the face of a perceived scandal, together with the victims' notions of  embarrassment, "shame" and their rights to privacy remains an open question.

At this particular moment I have to wonder whether and/or when the same level of openness will be applied to similar cases involving the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn ---  and not limited to those where prosecutions have been completed or even undertaken. As a start, DA Thompson should make public any agreements between the DA's Office and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn that might have  existed concerning the HANDLING  of sex-related cases during the regime of DA Hynes; and whether those agreements remain in full force and effect now that Mr. Thompson has become the DA.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Will the Hynes Grand Jury mean problems for Governor Cuomo and local Republicans like Y/K/W ?


Will Grand Jury testimony about Hynes and his staff's involvement in misusing government property and funds for political activities embroil  State Senator Martin Golden and/or members of his staff ?

According to a report in today's New York Daily News,  "The state's top lawman has empaneled a grand jury to probe possible criminal charges against former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and some of his office staff, the Daily News has learned. ***  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has convened the grand jury in Brooklyn Supreme Court, according to two sources familiar with the investigation...." (See "Grand jury to probe former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes" by Reuven Blau, 8/13/14, NY Daily News [] [the article had a subheading:  "...New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has convened the panel in Brooklyn Supreme Court on allegations Hynes misappropriated public funds..."]).

The key phrase in the News' report that might be problematic for State Senator Golden and some members of his staff is the following:  "... and some of [Hynes'] office staff, the Daily News has learned...."  Don't forget how active Marty Golden and his Chief of Staff Jerry Kassar's Brooklyn Conservative Party  were with Hynes' general election campaign in 2013.  It's Hynes' 2013 campaign that is largely the focus of the multiple misuse of funds and public property investigations now under way.

Similar problems stemming from AG Schneiderman's Grand Jury probe of former Brooklyn DA Hynes  may be in the offing for Governor Cuomo, as well.  Remember, Hynes had some embarrassing Emails that connected him to Mario Cuomo, and some of former Governor Cuomo's cronies; and both Hynes and Andrew Cuomo used those people as part of their think tanks (  the question also now needs to be asked, "What were they thinking ?).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Astorino has a chance only to the extent Teachout has a chance --- both are looking forward to an anything-can-happen scenario in 2014

Republican Candidate for Governor needs a perfect storm  --  sort of like James Buckley in 1970 or D'Amato in 1980

Will a Zephyr Teachout primary against Governor Andrew Cuomo be something to talk about for a generation

Governor's Attorney, Martin Connor, promises an appeal of Brooklyn Supreme Court ruling putting Teachout on the Democrat Primary line for Governor against Cuomo

In this year of the Tea Party primary take out of Eric Cantor, in a completely different state where a massive liberal independent-minded city vote can swing a primary and/or a general election, and where incumbents have lost primaries in the past: John Lindsay to John Marchi;  Jacob Javits to Alphonse D'Amato; Paul O'Dwyer to Carol Bellamy; Emanuel Cellar to Elizabeth Holtzman, and Stanley Steingut to Helene Weinstein. Also it is where third parties have elected citywide and statewide officials. Given all that, the portends are there for an anything-can-happen year in New York State.

According to the New York Times, even though Zephyr Teachout has made it onto the ballot, she is unlikely to win in the Democratic Primary, because her political appeal is largely to unsatisfied liberal voters in the primary (See "Cuomo Primary Opponent Can Run, a State Judge Rules" by Thomas Kaplan, 8/11/14, NY Times []). The Times' analysis is simple and apparent.  "Although her candidacy has generated some interest among liberal activists, Ms. Teachout is not well known across the state. As of last week, she had $181,000 in her campaign account; Mr. Cuomo had $32 million."  However, even Timesman Thomas Kaplan notes  that "a strong showing in the primary by Ms. Teachout, a law professor who is appealing to liberals who have been vocal about their frustration with Mr. Cuomo on a variety of issues, could prove embarrassing to the governor."

Another matter reported-on in Mr. Kaplan's piece involves the still pending case between Governor Cuomo and challenger Zephyr Teachout.  According to Kaplan's report on the court case, "A lawyer for Mr. Cuomo’s campaign, Martin E. Connor, said on Monday that the governor’s team would appeal the ruling...."

A local Brooklyn Democrat wag sees it all completely different.  The Democratic Primary voters are all going to be dissatisfied about something.  That's not a group that is likely to vote for any incumbent, but with the Moreland scandals likely to be still in the news, there will be a bigger and bigger anti-Cuomo vote. Ask yourself this, he said, "Who do you know who wants to vote for Andrew Cuomo ?"

The same Times reporter cited above, also thinks very little of the chances of Repubican Rob Astorino (See "Despite Criticism, Cuomo Holds Wide Lead Over Republican Challenger, Poll Finds" by Thomas Kaplan, 8/11/14, NY Times [ rref=nyregion&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&pgtype=article]).  Based upon  recent polling reported in the Times,  "Mr. Cuomo was viewed favorably by 57 percent of likely voters, the poll found, and 58  percent said they would vote to re-elect him, compared with 26 percent for his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive."

In the off chance that Ms. Teachout wins the primary and becomes the nominee of the Democrats for Governor, we would be faced with a statewide three-way race like Buckley-Goodell-Ottinger in 1970 or D'Amato-Javits-Holtzman in  1980.  Both of those races involved two progressive-liberals  against a lone conservative candidate. If the 2014 general election pits Astorino against Teachout, and Cuomo running on a few third party lines, the same kind of dynamic would be in play.

If Teachout were to win her Democratic Primary against the incumbent. Andrew Cuomo, she would be in and to this generation what earlier notable Democrat women  had been ---  Brooklyn-based women progressives, people like Liz Holtzman, Carol Bellamy and Helene Weinstein, each of whom defeated older-line entrenched Democrat male leaders.

Oddly, conservative Republican Rob Astorino's best hope for an upset in November rests upon the success or failure of a liberal-progressive woman Democrat, like Zephyr Teachout.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Preet Bharara's Moreland Investigations are Mushrooming

Wall Street Journal indicates U.S. Attorney might be bringing cases that Moreland Commission failed to refer to state prosecutors

WSJ says Federal investigators are exploring whether they can take up cases of officials the Moreland Commission were looking into

WSJ also says Federal prosecutors are interested if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his staff directed the Moreland Commission not to refer cases to various district attorneys for prosecution

According to the Wall Street Journal,  "Federal prosecutors are examining whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his staff directed an anticorruption commission to not refer cases to district attorneys for prosecution, according to people familiar with the matter.  ***   The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, formed by Mr. Cuomo in 2013, turned up evidence of potentially criminal wrongdoing by from six to 12 lawmakers, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a commissioner and people familiar with the matter.  ***   Before being shut down by the governor in March, the panel made some criminal referrals and sent investigative files to the U.S. attorney for the Northern District and the state attorney general.  ***   Now, prosecutors are looking closely at whether anyone in the administration encouraged the commission to avoid referring cases to Albany District Attorney David Soares ..." (See "Federal Investigation Looks at Cuomo and Moreland Commission Referrals" by Erica Orden & Christopher M. Matthews, 8/7/14, Wall Street Journal []).

The WSJ report goes on to state that "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's prosecutors are now conducting a three-tiered investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.  ***   First, they are exploring whether they can take up cases the Moreland Commission was investigating.  ***   Second, they are investigating whether the Cuomo administration interfered in the commission's work, and why the commission was disbanded.  ***  Finally, prosecutors have indicated they want to know whether the governor's office pressured several commissioners to issue statements in recent weeks disputing the notion the administration had interfered in its investigations, these people said."

The WSJ article ends with a bit of a whimper:  "[A]ccording to a person briefed on the investigation, if U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office "brings one case that the Moreland Commission failed to refer for prosecution, the investigation will be worth it..." But, I'm sure that is just the soft sell indicating a rather confident investigator-prosecutor.

I'm expect that if the Feds bring one case, there will be more than one.  At any rate, none of what the WSJ had to say is good news for Governor Cuomo or several members of the New York State Senate.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


When it comes to the 11th Congressional District and Al Sharpton, all Recchia has to know is this:  He's against Sharpton !    Not difficult -- Simple !

Domenic Recchia didn't catch this one on the fly, let's see if he gets it on one, two or three bounces...

According to a late-breaking story by Azi Paybarah on the blog, Capital,  "Democratic congressional candidate Domenic Recchia said he’s not yet taking a position on Al Sharpton's planned August 23 march across Verrazano Bridge, which critics warn may “paralyze” Staten Island, where a majority of voters in the 11th congressional district live...."  ( See "Recchia handles Sharpton march gingerly" by Azi Paybarah, 8/7/14, Capital New York []).

Recchia's opponent, Congressman Michael Grimm, was quicker to stand up to Sharpton's "Mau Mauing..."   "The Man."   Kudos to Grimm for that.

Isn't this  Sharpton stuff just getting so old.  Domenic Recchia doesn't deserve to go to the U.S. Congress if all he is going to be is some "flak catcher" to the Al Sharptons of this world.  Twenty-fifth anniversary of Yusef Hawkins - A March over the Verrazano Bridge  --  What an OUTRAGEOUS SLANDER on Italian-Americans in Brooklyn and Staten Island.  If Recchia stands-by for this without standing up for the people of the district he's running in, I think he's done.

As people who check out this blog know, I have no love for the incumbent GOP-Conservative Party Congressman; but so far, Grimm said more right things about this Sharpton March than Recchia.

Monday, August 4, 2014

GOP Congressional Candidate Bruce Blakeman needs to Tie former Brooklyn ADA Kathleen Rice into more than Nassau DA's problems as Moreland Commission Co-chair "Assisting" Investigators

Blakeman needs to look into whether Kathleen Rice is a bridge between some or all of the Hynes Scandals and  Cuomo's Moreland Commission Scandal

With just a little digging, Blakeman can show  >>>   that not long before the 2013 election, the now-discredited Hynes was telling insiders in his campaign that fellow DA Kathleen Rice was a "Good Friend of this Office"  >>>  that Kathleen Rice was broken-in as a Brooklyn ADA by former Brooklyn Senior ADA Michael Vecchione with all his baggage   >>>   that Rice was pushed in her run for Nassau DA by former Brooklyn ADA and Nassau OTB CEO Dino Amoroso, who also saw to it that  her name was scrubbed from problem files in the Brooklyn DA's Office

It has been widely reported that former Moreland Commission Co-chair,  current Democratic Congressional Candidate and Nassau DA  Kathleen Rice is a lynchpin and keystone character in the investigation(s) of Governor Cuomo's alleged "Interference" with "His" Moreland Commission.   Rice's Republican opponent Bruce Blakeman has attempted to have Rice lay bare her involvement with the Moreland Commission.  Although he needs to look  closely at all of that, he has to widen his search into other areas where Rice might have been connected with other scandalous  goings-on   ---   most notably, those involving the recent scandals surrounding Rice's former boss, former Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes.

"Democratic congressional candidate Kathleen Rice’s campaign issued a statement Sunday rejecting her Republican opponent’s claims that she 'hand picked' an email released to The New York Times involving her work on the troubled Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. ***  'In her role as a contributor to the integrity of the federal probe, Ms. Rice has not and will not be releasing such information [to the media],'  Rice campaign spokesman Eric Phillips said in a news release Sunday...." (See "4th C.D.: Blakeman, Rice in new exchange over her Moreland role" by Laura Figueroa, 8/3/14, Newsday  []).  The Blakeman campaign renewed its call, first made last  Thursday, that Rice release all of her Moreland Commission emails to show that one of her emails that had appeared in the NY Times was not selectively released. According to Laura Figueroa's account in Newsday,  "Blakeman campaign spokesman Matt Coleman on Sunday declined to specify why the campaign believed Rice had provided the email in question to the New York Times. ***  Coleman said:  'If Ms. Rice has nothing to hide, why is she refusing to release all her Moreland communications?' ”  In the same Newsday report, "Rice’s campaign has said she is not releasing emails because it would 'deeply compromise an ongoing federal investigation that she is assisting,' referring to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe into Cuomo’s abrupt disbanding of the commission in March."

A  report covering much of the same material appeared in today's Daily News, but it used a slightly different quote by Kathleen Rice's spokesperson that expressed thoughts similar to those above thus: "Rice’s spokesman, Eric Phillips, confirmed she was providing assistance to federal investigators but would not comment on his boss’ role. 'Consistent with her interest and responsibility in helping to preserve the integrity of the ongoing federal inquiry, District Attorney Rice is declining to comment publicly at this time,' Phillips said...." (See "Moreland Commission co-chair Kathleen Rice is 'assisting' feds with probe"  by Kenneth Lovett, 8/4/14, Daily News []).

Frankly, Eric Phillips is pedalling a load of crap, it doesn't matter whether it's to Newsday, the Daily News or any other media outlet.  Blakeman and his people are really onto something.  The voluntary  release of all of  Moreland Commission Co-chairperson Rice's emails about the activities of the Moreland Commission shouldn't compromise anything, except possibly for some cooperation deal that Kathleen Rice might have worked out with the Federal prosecutors.  You know how that works, often a more guilty smaller fish gets a good deal to help out in catching  a  bigger fish ( just picture Kathleen Rice in a low budget knockoff of  "American Hustle" [I know she's no Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence]).


Right now,  it would appear that Rice's most newsworthy actvity is as a cooperating witness with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigations into Governor Cuomo's alleged "interference" with the most recent version of the Moreland Commission, while at the same time running in Nassau County for the seat being vacated by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy.  Rice's opponent, Bruce Blakeman, may have an opportunity to take advantage of some problems that might crop up regarding who Kathleen Rice actually is and who have pushed some of her  key career moves.

Blakeman needs to bring out that Kathleen Rice's apparently  successful career is not the result of a combination of luck and talent, but is instead the result of the heavy use of helpful connections and putting herself  in the right place at the right time.  Blakeman needs to say something like this right away: "What else would you expect from someone who can say this about herself, 'Obviously I’m very ambitious, but I don’t think ambition should have a negative connotation....' ”   (See "Nassau County Prosecutor’s Decision to Seek House Seat Is Rooted in Family" by Joseph Berger, 3/20/14, NY Times {]).  Blakeman and his team only have to show that any assistance Rice is giving to those investigating the recent Moreland Commission fiasco is the product of just another piece of that ambition.

Of course it wouldn't hurt if Blakeman  followed-up with some of  the dirt he can dig up on Kathleen Rice's days at the Brooklyn DA's office.  Here are a few clumps he can start with.


In spite of being held up by former Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes " a good friend of this office,"  some who worked with her there say that Kathleen Rice was not well-liked at the Brooklyn  DA's Office.  Nonetheless,  she did get the opportunity to prosecute some big felony homicide cases.  But, even that was not without some controversy.


First,  like most female ADAs who rose to the top among the trial attorneys in the office, Rice had to align herself with Michael Vecchione. That meant she had to be broken-in and even indoctrinated in Vecchione's preferred methods, practices and procedures.  In short, Kathleen Rice had to become one of Vecchione's groupies.   That would not have been unusual; during the late 90's early 2000's that was important for any on-the-rise female ADA who wanted to have a chance to try big cases.  To the extent Kathleen Rice subjected herself to all or most the corrupting influences of Michael  Vecchione's mentorship, she was unexceptional.


Of course that kind of background can be problematic for any prosecutor, sespecally one who is the Nassau County DA running for the U.S. Congress.  For example,  even an early puff piece in th New York Times had to point out that , "She worked on some cases with Louis J. Scarcella, the detective whose work in 50 convictions is being reviewed for possible error or misconduct, though as far as she knows not in her cases...." (See by 3/20/14, NY Times article by Joseph Berger, cited above).  Maybe, what Rice was  actually talking about  should have been reported like this: "... though as far as she knows not on any cases that her name is still on."  You see, one of my sources that  worked on many of the problem files in the Brooklyn DA's office has indicated that Kathleen Rice's name had been scrubbed from some of the significant problem cases; most likely by, or as directed, by Dino Amoroso, one of Kathleen Rice's more significant personal patrons.

The interactions between Rice and Amoroso are especially interesting in many ways, but start with these two. Rice has reciprocated favors to Amoroso in her current position as Nassau DA  ---  like why wasn't  the Teresa Butler -- OTB case pursued as a criminal matter against Amoroso and others?  Maybe an even more interesting question about the current interaction between Rice and Amoroso is this  ---  how does Rice's current assistance of the investigations into Andrew Cuomo go down with such a close-in retainer of Mario Cuomo as Dino Amoroso ?



Saturday, August 2, 2014

Is there anybody in the New York State Senate Republican leadership that has any common sense at all ?

State Senator Carl Marcellino, who chairs the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, says that there is  a possibility of a probe into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the Moreland Commission

BUT THEN  --  Marcellino added that it’s likely that his committee will wait until a federal prosecutor’s investigations involving the Moreland Commission have been  "resolved"

All Marcellino's talk about " batting around" the idea of another Moreland investigation by a GOP-led  State Senate Committee shows that somebody has bats in their belfry


Talking to reporters at the Gannett Albany Bureau,  State Senator Carl L. Marcellino said his committee will most likely examine the governor's handling of the Moreland Commission and issue recommendations on how to improve the Moreland Act, a 1907 law Cuomo used to create the now-defunct Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, but only after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s work is complete ( See "Senate Investigations Chairman on Cuomo probe: 'We’ve batted it around' ” by Jon Campbell,  7/31/14, lohud blogs/ Politics on the Hudson []).

According to the Gannet story by Jon Campbell,  "Marcellino, a Nassau County Republican, acknowledged having discussions with Senate staff members over the possibility of launching its own probe now, as Cuomo continues to face questions about claims his office temporarily curtailed subpoenas from the Moreland Commission to his allies.  Here's how Jon Campbell quoted State Senator Marcellino:  "Yeah, we’ve batted it around to see if there was something there we could help with or get involved with....   But right now, you’ve got the U.S. Attorney doing his thing and subpoenaing everybody under the sun and making his investigation, and frankly we’ve looked at it and we don’t see anything that we would be doing that would add to that or wouldn’t inhibit or interfere with it. We don’t want to do that.”    -- A little circular and very pointless, don't you think !

Interestingly, one other reporter picked up this story and tweaked it slightly like this:  " Carl Marcellino, a Long Island Republican who chairs the State Senate's investigations committee, rather than pouncing [on Governor Cuomo], says he is still batting around the idea of a probe...." (See "Moreland mess erodes Cuomo’s fear factor" by Jimmy Vielkind, 8/1/14,  Capital  [] with a link to the Gannet report by Jon Campbell cited above).  Jimmy V knows the goings-on in Albany pretty well, so when he says  "...Marcellino... is still batting around the idea of a probe...."  it means the reporter remembers that this stuff has been batted around by the Chairman of the State Senate's Investigations and Government Operations Committee before or possibly earlier during the current brouhaha.