Friday, October 31, 2014

Staten Island Advance has some sort of meltdown after editorial endorsement of Grimm over Recchia

An odd article in the Advance sums up the Michael Grimm – Domenic Recchia race for Congress in Staten Island [and in Western Brooklyn]

—   BASICALLY, HOLD YOUR NOSE  —   IT STINKS  —   Yet, somehow, the editorial writers decided to recommend a vote for Grimm anyway

Maybe, the editorial folks at the Advance and were embarrassed that they actually endorsed one of these candidates and this was their guilty squirmy dance

You see, the Advance did do an "Editorial" endorsing Congressman Michael Grimm for re-election [see it discussed below]   —   Then, Brian J. Laline of the Advance did an odd Apologia for that editorial [see that discussed below, as well]  —  It's all a bit strange

Some people will see this post and say that I buried the lead.  Maybe, they are right. However as far as I’m concerned, it’s the Staten Island Advance that made themselves the main story by endorsing either one of these two jokers ( Sorry for the comparative slander on all other “jokers” of whatever description).


Frankly, in a bit of a surprise, the Staten Island Advance endorsed Michael Grimm for re-election, even though the Advance has said several times in editorials that the 11th District deserves better than Grimm and that he is a “sometimes hot-headed Republican incumbent who is facing a 20-count federal indictment.... [and s]tories about Mr. Grimm's extra-curricaular activities are numerous....” ( See “For Congress: Advance endorses Michael Grimm (editorial)” by Staten Island Advance Editorial [Dept.], 10/30/14. SI Advance/ []).

The Staten Island Advance made this editorial decision in spite of myriad stated reasons mitigating against endorsing him, because “Mr. Grimm is still the best practical choice for Staten Island....”  In other words, it's pure pro-Staten Island parochialism and pandering to its Staten Island readership (All Brooklynites in the 11th CD, including Brooklyn Republicans, please take note of that). Given all that they said, if this paper’s editors had any integrity, they would have withheld any endorsement for this congressional seat.


About an hour after the folks at the Advance made their endorsement of Grimm, they put up another rather odd article about the race for the congressional seat for the 11th CD. As I mentioned above in one of my sub-headlines, maybe the editorial folks at the Advance and were embarrassed that they actually endorsed one of these candidates and this was their guilty squirmy dance (See “Countdown to Election Day: In Grimm-Recchia race, voters face difficult choice” by Brian J. Laline, 10/30/14, SI Advance/ [] [] ).

This gives you a good taste of what Mr. Laline had to say, “... Election Day looms and our next congressman will be chosen, no matter how low voter turnout. It's a race with a national spotlight shining on it. No matter who wins, we will be the darling of stand-up comics across America. ***  You know the choice: An indicted congressman, or a Democratic challenger who has a lot of trouble making himself understood.....”  If that weren’t bad enough, right nearby is this bold-faced caption for a photo from the Grimm-Recchia debate: “...Grimm will step down 'if unable to serve' ”


“The editorial team at Staten Island's main news source -- the Advance and -- faces the same dilemma [as the voters]. It has been suggested we don't endorse either man for Congress, or we encourage a write-in campaign. ***  I don't for a second think Staten Islanders hang on our every word and vote the way the newspaper endorses. But I do think it's important for the editorial team to share its thoughts after analyzing the race.  We try to see through the incessant silly mailings, ads, stupid TV commercials and meaningless jabs in a race where critical issues have been an afterthought. So today, we offer our thoughts in the campaign for Congress in an editorial.  I have no doubt we will face intense criticism from many. If nothing else, there is passion in this race. ***   Of course, we wish Mr. Grimm did not have a 20-count-indictment floating over his head. We wish Mr. Recchia conducted a more intelligent campaign. ***  But this is the hand Staten Island has been dealt. A decision must be made. Make it.  Even if you are holding your nose while you do.”  [I have to ask    Were these last few instructions to the voters or to the Advance's writers themselves, or maybe both ?]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 Brooklyn GOP Election Roundup — The NYS Assembly Races Edition

For most of us Brooklyn GOPers, this isn’t our first election rodeo   —   But, for many of us, it might be our last roundup  —   Here’s one of the reasons why  —   The quantity and quality of the 2014 GOP County-wide Assembly slate...

Things aren’t yet as bad as they seem to be in Queens, where the GOP is running their Assembly slate boiler as stone cold iron with not even a warm cinder in the pit  —  But don't be smug, Brooklyn is getting close to that too...

Other than the Assembly Member shared with Staten Island, Nicole Malliotakis, the Brooklyn GOP doesn’t seem to have a single Assembly Candidate running in 2014 with any real shot at winning a seat in the Assembly

It was very difficult for me to even get the simplest information on some of these Assembly races. Most of the candidates had no websites, and the local press gave them little or no coverage whatsoever.

2014 Brooklyn Republican Assembly Candidates and some of their Democrat Opponents

In the 42nd Assembly District, Republican Matthew G. Williams is running against Democrat Rodneyse Bichotte.  This Republican candidate stands no chance, because the chances of any real campaign were undermined by the Brooklyn Conservative Party’s running its own candidate in this district.

In the 44th Assembly District, long time liberal Democrat James Brennan is being challenged by a Republican-Conservative candidate Mikhail [Mike] Yusupov. Maybe Mr. MY can get some votes in a part of the 44th where he might have some ethnic or religious appeal, against a long-term incumbent Jim Brennan, who is strong in most of the areas surrounding Prospect Park.

The 45th Assembly District features Steven Cymbrowitz, the incumbent Democrat, again being challenged in the general election by Ben Akselrod, a Democrat that ran against Cymbrowitz in the Primary. This time Mr. Akselrod is running as the GOP candidate because he won an OTB write-in primary for the REpublican line, being designated by the GOP voters to be their candidate. Although Akselrod is not receiving much support from the Brooklyn GOP Organization and is being hurt by a nominal Conservative on the ballot, he obviously has some Republican activists like social conservative Joseph Hayon working for him. His total Republican effort now includes the endorsement from former GOP Congressman Ted Turner, who represented a large part of the current 45th AD.

In the 46th AD, the Republican-Conservative candidate Stamatis Lilikakis came out of the GOP primary with much fanfare. That was heightened to some extent when Lilikakis picked up the endorsement of the LaGuardia Republican Club and its leadership. Nonetheless, it looks like another long-time Democrat incumbent, Alec Brook-Krasny, will cruise to another easy victory, since his power base in Coney Island and Brighton Beach outvotes any of the Republicans in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Lilakakis  has received the endorsement of former State Senator David Storobin – who claims to have received a majority of the vote in the portion of a City Council District that overlaps with the 46th AD, let’s see how Lilikakis does in those EDs.

The 47th AD pits Republican-Conservative Joseph Baranello against the venerable William Colton.  There might be some GOP action in this race, because the 47th AD is one of the few districts with an active GOP organization in place.

The 48th AD is  vverrr-dy-indtherreztigg.  It’s not easy to tell who is wearing what hat(s) in this district, they all look so much alike. Nachman Caller is the nominal Republican and Dov Hikind is the Democrat-Conservative. Even though Caller is the GOP State Committeeman in the 48th AD, one would have to look long and hard to find anything “Republican” about his leadership. Nachman Caller was recently called out for trying to push some swag endorsements from Rabbis that later said they didn’t endorse him ( See “Caller Campaign Desperately Resorting to Lies” by Josh Fallik, 10/29/14, Community Voice NY []).  Like I said, “Vverrr-dy-indtherreztigg !”

The new 49th AD looks like this: two round-eyes, Peter J. Abbate Jr. is running against Henry Lallave, in this Brooklyn Assembly District designed to be a Dim Sum for a certain growing community.  End this Open-Door Colonialism ASAP  —   Evan a Chi-Com could win in this district if he or she ran; the GOP should run a “Boxer Rebel” for crying out loud !  Henry Lallave... is that the future of the GOP in this district ?

There’s something new going on in the 50th AD.  A relatively young and new to Brooklyn GOP candidate, like Bill Davidson, is taking on an old warhorse Democrat, like Joe Lentol. Davidson’s small but feisty campaign might make a few waves on Election Day, let’s wait and see.

In the 52nd AD, John A. Jasilli, a lawyer, who has run as a GOP candidate for Brooklyn DA and Borough President in bygone days, is trying his hand at taking on Jo Anne Simon in a locked-in progressive Democrat Assembly District with an open seat. The wild card in this race could be Pete Sikora, who lost to Simon in the Democrat Primary but is still in the race on the Working Families line.

In the 54th AD,  Khorshed A. Chowdhury is on the GOP line against Democrat Eric Martin Dilan, the son of State Senator Martin Malave Dilan.   According to a report in,  Board of Elections campaign finance disclosures showed that Chowdhury has an “inactive” campaign ( See “Williamsburg State Senator Defeats Progressive Challenger in Primary” by Serena Dai 9/10/14, []). We all know how that works.

To Berneda Jackson and  Gamsey Lee Alston, running in the 55th and 56th ADs respectively:  good luck, hold out as long as you can  —   help is very likely NOT on the way.

Jeff Ferretti is running his own little campaign in the 59th AD against Democrat Roxanne Persaud.  —   Jeffrey Ferretti is in his first run for public office –  Assemblyman – on both the Republican and Conservative lines in the 59th AD in Brooklyn.  Mr Ferretti has been a small businessman and entrepreneur, as the principal of National Brokerage for past 35 years. Some say that Ferretti is a natural for the position of Member of the Assembly from Brooklyn – 59.   —   Thanks for the effort, Jeff.  There still should be a decent GOP vote in this district; let's see if it comes out for Mr. Ferretti.

And, then there is Leroy Bates, the GOP candidate in the 60th AD against Charles Barron the Democrat  —  at least the Bates folks filled the GOP line in a district that very much needed a Republican opponent to the incumbent Democrat bomb-thrower Mr. Barron.

In the 64th AD Democrat Mary Beth Melendez is in an uphill fight against the only GOP incumbent Member of the Assembly with any connection to Brooklyn, Nicole Malliotakis. With the trends and winds of the 2014 campaign season, it doesn’t look like Nicole will not have a tough time this time.

No repeat of 2010 results are expected in 2014 Assembly races

All in all, with national trends favoring the GOP, the local disorganization caused by a certain Republican-Conservative State Senator in Brooklyn, along with his supporters and paid staff, has completely paralyzed the Republican Party in Kings County.  Instead of a repeat of the 2010 experience when there were similar national trends, the Brooklyn GOP will be lucky to match the lower numbers obtained by their Assembly candidates in 2012. Nonetheless, several of this year’s Assembly candidates were affiliated with the Golden oriented “Republicans for Change” in 2013  —   it will be interesting to see how they do compared to all the rest on Election Day 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014




Rabbi Pinto story getting new legs

It was exactly a month ago that the New York Post published a lengthy article about Michael Grimm’s possible involvement in a shakedown of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, an Orthodox Jewish mystic (See “Israeli official pressured rabbi to protect Michael Grimm: sources” by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 9/28/14, NY Post/ Metro []).  The E-mails from Michael Grimm that came out in a Post exclusive by the same reporters this past Sunday, give it all new life. That’s because the Grimm E-mails, if they are legit, are in the nature of a smoking gun (See my take on the Sunday Post story in my 10/26/14 post below, “Latest 2014 Bombshell Against...Grimm — 2010 Email ... Seeking IIlegal Congressional Campaign Funds ...”).

According to the month-old report in the Post. “A top official in Israel tried to intimidate the rabbi who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation told The Post. ***  The FBI is investigating allegations by Orthodox mystic Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who testified against Grimm in 2010. ***   In 2011, then-Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, a follower of the rabbi, visited Pinto at his home in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel and told him that if he continued to cooperate with the FBI, ‘you’re going to have a disaster in Israel,’ a source told The Post. ‘In Israel they’re going to ruin you.” ***   “The rabbi started off as a victim and did the right thing by seeking out law enforcement, and now has been victimized once again,’ said Arthur Aidala, Pinto’s Manhattan lawyer. He has been joined by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is a follower and longtime friend of the rabbi. ***   It is unclear whether Grimm was directly involved, but Pinto’s supporters believe he exerted his own pressure on Israeli power brokers fearful of losing the Republican congressman as a supporter.”   This article also goes on to state in some detail the inter-relatedness of the legal problems of Rabbi Pinto, Ofer Biton and Ronn Torossian, and Congressman Grimm.

Various increments and versions of this story have plagued Grimm for several years; but now, with what looks like soliciting E-mails from Grimm, the Congressman appears to be directly involved in the plot(s) to some extent. This couldn’t happen at a worse time for Grimm’s re-election campaign.

Obviously, Grimm’s people don’t really want to address any of that between now and the election. So don’t be surprised if the Grimm folks come up with a significant smokescreen  —   possibly it could involve some questionable quid pro quo story about Domenic Recchia’s fund raising and his backing for a controversial development for a controversial developer in Brighton Beach.

Recchia’s ties to Brighton Beach Office Project

An Orthodox Jewish outside-in-sider antagonist of one of the Brighton Beach crowd’s more notorious slumlords and real estate developers has given a chapter ’n’ verse briefing to one of Grimm’s staffers, W[L]M.  It’s all about Domenic Recchia’s connections and dealings with and for Sam Schpelfogel, a widely known and quite controversial character in several communities in southern Brooklyn, including some parts of Domenic Recchia’s City Council District. The whole story probably overlaps with several other Democrats like Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, former State Senator Carl Kruger, former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and even Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; but this particular item is about the re-development of a synagogue site into and office building back in 2001, or so.

At the time there was significant opposition to wiping out all vestiges of an historic synagogue on the corner of Coney Island and Brighton Beach Avenues that Sam Schpelfogel wanted to re-zone and redevelop as office space.  So Councilman Domenic Recchia’s support and testimony at various hearings was a key element in getting the zoning changed so that a new office plaza could be built at 3044 Coney Island Avenue.

Of course there’s the rest of the story that goes something like this: a long time antagonist of Sam Schlepfogel says that Mr. SS is a notorious cad to the tenants of Brighton Beach and surrounding areas. Not only is he hooked-up big time with the local Democrats, including downtown at the courts, Sam has been known to throw his significant weight around with more physical consequences, some of which even having to be dealt-with by the authorities. However, Mr. Schpelfogel, usually acting through others, has shown his generosity to many, including Mr. Recchia over the years; and that generosity has resulted in generally fine treatment for Mr. S and whatever he might be up to.

All of that and a file of newspaper clippings was brought to Grimm’s guy W[L]M yesterday.  Interestingly, W[L]M told Schpelfogel’s antagonist that the Grimm folks had done some research on all of it already.  Funny how that works.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Citizen’s Union Endorses Marty Golden over Jamie Kemmerer  —   Now, THAT’S NEWS

CU endorsement of Golden based on faint praise and benefit of the doubt

Man bights “watchdog” story  —   Local press bashes “... the century-old, corruption-combating, good-government group...” for ignoring the obvious about State Senator Golden  —   But stops short of saying “The Fix Was In !”

CU Executive Director Dick Dadey says  “...‘It’s fairness in our democracy to not judge people simply because they’re under investigation.’...”  —   But Golden simply isn't under investigation...  He has a public paper trail of spending in his family's business... and voting tax-breaks for big donors

This is a very important endorsement for State Senator Martin Golden, because his Democratic opponent Jamie Kemmerer has made such a big issue about the long term incumbent Republican-Conservative  State Senator’s apparent corruption in handling various matters connected to his office. Virtually Kemmerer’s entire campaign focused on the close inter-relationship of Golden’s fund raising and spending at the Golden family business, The Bay Ridge Manor; and special legislative favors to big contributors to Golden’s fund raising efforts.

Here is what the Citizens Union had to say about State Senator Golden:  “‘[Golden] is a constructive partner in our efforts to create more readable ballots so people are less confused... He’s genuinely interested in seeing that voters know how to cast their ballots in the correct way, and that’s an important reform.’...”  When questions were raised about the recent news of an investigation of Golden’s campaign financing, Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey, said,  “It would be irresponsible to make a decision based on a report of an investigation....  It’s fairness in our democracy to not judge people simply because they’re under investigation....”

If anyone had the slightest critical insight into these matters, as the Citizens Union and its staff certainly should have, one would wonder how any endorsement could have been given under these circumstances.  First, one of the weakest “good government” citations ever given by the group; and second, a “benefit of the doubt” standard that simply has no application to public officials. Nobody ever said that elected officials had to be treated like “people,” certainly not like “ordinary people”; of course,  unless you count corrupt officials after they have been caught.  In fact, in something like this, the U.S. Supreme Court has specifically said that all notable and newsworthy people are quite open to negative inferences, remarks, criticisms and critical commentary. Using its own standards CU should have done exactly that; and clearly they didn’t with respect to State Senator Golden.

I am not the only one to be shocked at what the Citizens Union did.  It was as if they went into Casablanca and did  not find any gambling going on at the front of Rick’s CafĂ© American, and then concluded that Captain Renault was mistaken about any gambling on the premises as he cleared out the crowd from Rick’s large back room, while folding up his own “winnings.”   The coverage of the CU endorsement of Golden in the Brooklyn Paper by Max Jaeger used this as its lead: “A political-corruption watchdog group has endorsed the campaign of a Brooklyn politician under investigation for corruption” ( See “Golden boy: Government watchdog endorses Ridge incumbent” by Max Jaeger, 10/27/14 []).

Reporter Jaeger dug into the CU information in support of its endorsement and found this: “Citizens Union asks candidates seeking its endorsement to complete a questionnaire stating their campaign goals and positions on reform-minded issues. Both Golden and challenger Jamie Kemmerer filled out the forms....  In one section, Golden said he supports ‘stricter requirements on the use of campaign contributions for non-campaign related activity, such as personal use.’...”

According to the Brooklyn Paper, “Golden has contended that all of his campaign spending has been aboveboard and perfectly legal....”; but its reporter Max Jaeger also noted that “Critics have attacked Golden for spending campaign cash on fund-raisers and constituent services events at the Bay Ridge Manor, which Golden sold to his brother before taking office....”   With respect to those kinds of expenditures, Jaeger also pointed out that “The state board of elections handbook states that campaign cash can be used to ‘better serve constituents or better serve the office.’ Examples include ‘district office renovations, supplies, renovations, and telephones,’ the handbook states.”

Max Jaeger and the Brooklyn Paper pulled up short of saying Marty Golden’s answers to the Citizens Union questionnaire were bogus, but they did lead the reader to make that conclusion on their own.  They even went a long way toward leaving any discerning reader wondering if there even might be more wrong about the whole CU endorsement of Golden than was discussed in their article.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Latest 2014 Bombshell Against Congressman Michael Grimm — 2010 Email to Israeli Rabbi Seeking IIlegal Congressional Campaign Funds for 2010 Race

Grimm spokesperson  —   “... [T]hese baseless accusations ... [are] part of a smear campaign... that does not warrant a response..." 

Would NOT be the ONLY Federal Case coming out of Grimm’s 2010 fund raising    prior case ended in guilty plea by Grimm's  once upon a time "girlfriend"

According to a New York Post “Esclusive” report, in 2010 Michael Grimm was so desperate to raise money in the weeks before his first run for Congress, that he e-mailed an ally in a bold bid to score a bundle of large, and probably illegal, donations. In that e-mail, Grimm asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions was $2,400 (See “Grimm ‘funneled’ illegal campaign cash through rabbi" by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 10/26/14, NY Post/ Exclusive []).


The Republican-Conservative candidate for Congress in Staten Island and Western Brooklyn, Michael Grimm, allegedly e-mailed a rabbi in Israel, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who is at the center of the FBI's investigation of the congressman's fund raising, and requested as series of large donations exceeding the legal limit during his first run for Congress in 2010.

Also according to the Post account, Grimm e-mailed the Israeli Rabbi’s organization asking for $10,000 donations from six people in the weeks before his first run for Congress (the legal limit for such individual contributions in a race for the U.S. Congress is $2,400).

The Post reporters say that Grimm wrote in an Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail  to Pinto's organization: "We have very little time, as I need to start collecting checks as soon as today or tomorrow....  I think that if the Rabbi calls the six people and asks them to each write one check for the $10,000, then we can finish this in the next few days."  In the e-mail, which the Post claims to have seen, Michael Grimm wrote that he needed a total of $190,000 to buy two weeks of television commercials and to pay for direct-mail solicitations.

Ultimately the money was given, according to the Post report, giving as its source, someone familiar with an ongoing federal probe of the congressman and his fund raising. It was also noted by the Post that none of Grimm's campaign fillings for the time period showed the alleged $10,000 contributions.

A spokesman for Grimm denied the allegations.

"The incredulous source of these baseless accusations has proven over four years to be nothing more than part of a smear campaign that does not warrant a response," a Grimm spokesperson told the NY Post, when asked for a comment.


The Staten Island Advance picked up on the Post story and ran with it virtually unchanged (See  “Report: Rep. Michael Grimm e-mailed rabbi asking for illegal donations during 2010 campaign” Ryan Lavis, 10/26/14, SI Advance/ []).


This was not the only aspect of Grimm’s 2010 fund raising that has run afoul of Federal Investigators. Diana Durand, often referred to as “a former girlfriend of Grimm’s,” pleaded guilty earlier this year to recruiting straw donors to give money to Grimm’s 2010 campaign and that of another congressman. However, Grimm was not charged in the Durand case.


Almost as a coda to their story in the Sunday Edition, the NY Post reporters, Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, included this morsel about Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto: “Pinto, an Orthodox mystic who lives in Manhattan and Israel, prompted the federal investigation against Grimm. The rabbi reported to federal authorities in 2010 that he was the victim of an alleged extortion scheme by two members of his inner circle, Israeli businessman Ofer Biton and p.r. executive Ronn Torossian. ***   Grimm, at the time, had become a follower of the rabbi, even though he is not Jewish and speaks no Hebrew. Pinto does not speak English.”   Closing with this: “Pinto, through a spokesman, would not comment.”

The case of Kaci Hickox — She tests “negative” for the disease and still sees herself as an “Ebola victim”

New Jersey nurse’s complaints about her individual treatment are OK  —   Her attacks on the policies announced by New York and New Jersey are off-base  —   If she keeps it up, she’ll need to be picked-off about it

Governors Cuomo and Christie were not uniformed or irrational in deciding to quarantine certain medical personnel that treated Ebola patients in hot zones

CNN’s written coverage of its interview with Kaci Hickox leads with this:  “Kaci Hickox, a nurse placed under mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, went on CNN on Sunday and criticized the "knee-jerk reaction by politicians" to Ebola, saying "to quarantine someone without a better plan in place, without more forethought, is just preposterous....” (See “Quarantined nurse to CNN: 'My basic human rights' are being violated" by John Bonifield and Josh Levs, CNN, 10/26/14 [w/ video link of interview][]).  As an American Ms. Hickox has every right to express herself; and even I understand her annoyance, especially since she is a professional with some epidemiological expertise. She also raises some good points about the shortcomings of her confinement under quarantine  However, her complaints as stated to CNN are still a rant against the lawful exercise of the police powers of the States of New York and New Jersey by Governors Christie and Cuomo.

Those that are familiar with all that I have written about both of them would probably know that I am a fan of neither Governor Andrew C. of New York or Governor Chris C. of New Jersey. However, I do support their decisions and subsequent executive orders mandating additional quarantine for certain medical personnel that have been in contact with Ebola patients. No matter how critical anybody might be of their decision(s) [and I have some criticisms, as well], it can’t be fairly said that their thought processes and actions were completely irrational, and/or arbitrary and capricious, and/or completely uninformed by medical experts. Whether the decision is fundamentally “political” or “medical” is not really relevant.

Kaci Hickox has had a bad time of it.  She is also probably very generous, even altruistic, as a person and as a medical professional. Under such circumstances, I’ll cut her some slack  — and let her vent, even if it’s to the national media. However, if she persists in her screeds and tantrums  against a tough regimen of isolation of medical professionals that have treated Ebola patients, then it will be necessary to call her out in very stark terms.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Salag-Ebola Mechick-Ebola Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo — Put 'em together and what have you got — Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo

Too bad there is no Disney-style “Magic Song” to get us out of this Ebola mess

No, just like in Dallas, the plan is really more of the same   —   "We want to state at the outset there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed...."  —   Almost exactly like President Ebola Obama said several weeks ago  —   “... the likelihood of [Craig Spencer, M.D.] spreading the virus is low....” 

Can any of the authorities now talking about New York answer these questions:  Why, was there any likelihood that Craig Spencer, M.D., might spread the Ebola virus at all ?   Why wasn’t  he in quarantine for a full 21 days ?

It looks like we have learned very little from the Dallas Ebola fiasco

The CCN report on the most recent “Ebola Incident” seems to have a title that seems a little incredulous about the cover story that is being put out by the New City and Federal authorities (See  “N.Y. doctor positive for Ebola had no symptoms until Thursday, officials say” by Ray Sanchez & Shimon Prokupecz, 10/23/14, CNN/ Health []). According to CNN, “A Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York from West Africa has tested positive for the Ebola virus, becoming the first diagnosed case in the city, authorities said late Thursday. ***   The doctor, identified as Craig Spencer, 33, came back from treating Ebola patients in Guinea October 17 and developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Thursday. He is in isolation and being treated at New York's Bellevue Hospital, one of the eight hospitals statewide that Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated earlier this month as part of an Ebola preparedness plan. ***   Spencer, who is hospitalized in intensive care, went for a jog, may have gone to a restaurant, traveled the city's vast subway system and went bowling before feeling ill, but authorities stressed that the likelihood of him spreading the virus was low. *** ‘We want to state at the outset there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters late Thursday.”


This healthcare cowboy, Craig Spencer, a doctor without discernible boundaries or conscience, who obviously cared more about the poor natives of West Africa than his own neighbors, was so on top of things that he caught the Ebola himself; who then self-monitored his condition, because he knew that he had been in close contact with Ebola patients; but he didn’t think he had the disease, even though he did have some symptoms; such that he “limited his contact” in the days immediately before being diagnosed to restaurants, bowling alleys and subways; before realizing he had all of the symptoms and needed immediate special treatment (only a bit of a run-on sentence could give the story of this joker, Craig Spencer, M.D., the full flavor of the moment).

“...[A]uthorities stressed that the likelihood of him spreading the virus was low....”  —  Are these people nuts ?   Why, was there any likelihood that Craig Spencer, M.D., might spread the Ebola virus at all ?  Why wasn’t this sociopath in quarantine for at least twenty-one (21) days after his arrival back on our shores ?   Why didn’t the CDC and NIH have protocols in place to mandate that ?   Why weren’t Doctors Frankenstein Fauci and Faust Frieden on top of the possibility  of a returning health worker bringing the disease back with him, didn't that happen enough already to notice the possibility ?  Needless to say, I wouldn’t expect longtime Democrat political hack Ron Klain, "The National Ebola Czar," to be on top of this  —   because he has decided to hit the deck doing a slow crawl, which seems just fine with his boss Barack Hussein Ebola, full-time Democratic fund raiser and part-time President of the United States.

This really bears repeating  —  "We want to state at the outset there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed...."  —   again, that was what Mayor “Wilhelm” de Blasio told reporters late Thursday, according to CNN.  Of course not, Mayor, why would we be alarmed when even the emergency press conference was more than a half hour late, and that this gathering of “authorities” thought that your words would help to reassure anybody ?

Governor Cuomo spoke and sounded serious delivering his own very sick joke to the people of New York

Mayor de Blasio and the other “authorities”  “...were joined by Gov. Cuomo at a news conference to allay concerns about the spread of the virus, especially via public transportation. ***   ‘We are as ready as one could be for this circumstance,’ Cuomo said, adding that the situation in his state is different than what happened in Texas, where a man from Liberia was diagnosed with Ebola and two health care workers who treated him later contracted the virus. ***   ‘We had the advantage of learning from the Dallas experience,’ Cuomo said.”

Governor Cuomo must have missed the part where after the Dallas experience, it was pretty much decided that heath care workers that have treated Ebola patients shouldn’t be traveling around with the general population like one of the infected nurses did – oh, and like Craig Spencer, M.D., just did all around New York City.

Oh, oh, oh !   And didn’t Nancy Snyderman, M.D., and television journalist, have a similar “problem” with her self-monitoring regimen along the same lines as Craig Spencer, M.D. ?  Didn’t anybody from the gathered authorities learn anything from that, either.

I almost think that I’d be more comfortable if I knew the folks at Disney were in charge of all of this

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What’s going on with Preet Bharara’s Moreland Commission investigation(s) ?

Three papers each give a slightly different take on the same interview with Federal Prosecutor

Bharara has again given assurances that his office is pursuing a number of leads after federal authorities took over the Moreland Commission’s files  —   Said the US Attorney,  “We have the files, we have some of the smartest people in law enforcement continuing what was begun and that’s what we care about....”

When asked when his Moreland Commission probe might be finished, the U.S. Attorney answered  —   “You’re assuming there’s one investigation...”

Earlier today one of my most regular Baker Street Irregulars asked if I had seen or heard anything about U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara shutting down his Moreland Commission investigation. Since that would be real news, I hung up and went over to my trusty Dell and cranked it up (I know, on a comment that I made a little while ago, I said that I had no phone – well, you’ll figure it out....).  As is often the case with my contributing friend, he had the story “bass ackwards.”  One of the first items on my "little search engine that could" was an article in the Buffalo News entitled, “U.S. Attorney talks about shuttered Moreland Commission ahead of debate.”  With a title like that, of course there could be some confusion, but the text was clear that Preet Bharara was pushing forward with all due and deliberate speed.

The Buffalo News article

Here’s a couple of tasty tid-bits from that article:  “...Asked on the Capitol Pressroom public radio show what voters should think about his office’s ongoing Moreland commission probe, Bharara responded: ‘I don’t presume to tell the voters what they should or should not think.’ ***   If the governor, in advance of Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate in Buffalo, was hoping for Bharara to publicly clear his administration, it did not come during the interview. ***   Nor did Bharara take the opportunity to beat back a Republican Party ad, which says Cuomo is under federal investigation for “witness tampering (and) obstruction of justice” for the way in which the Moreland panel was closed....”; and this: “...‘You’re assuming there’s one investigation,’ Bharara said when asked when the probe might be finished. ***   ‘He gave no timetable for the work of his office, which he said is being handled by some of the smartest people in law enforcement.’ ***   Bharara declined to answer when asked if a political bargain can be a federal crime.”  (See “U.S. Attorney talks about shuttered Moreland Commission ahead of debate” by Tom Precious, 10/22/14, The Buffalo News []).

NY Post highlighted U.S. Attorney’s knock on Governor Cuomo, but buried a similar remark about the NYS Legislature  

Here’s what the Post reported US Attorney Bharara’s  having to say about the Governor and his Moreland Commission: “U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara took an indirect swipe at Gov. Cuomo Wednesday, telling a radio interviewer that it takes independence and longevity by investigators to root out corruption – two things Cuomo’s ethics commission lacked. ***   ‘If you want to solve any problem, a corruption problem or anything else, and you decide to employ an investigative body, the only way the body will get to the root of the problem… is if it has independence....  Independence is an incredibly important thing and it is also is true that longevity of a prosecutor’s office matters also. When you’re trying to solve a problem you need some amount of longevity.’...”    Bharara said all of that on Albany’s “Capital Pressroom” according to the NY Post ( See “Preet Bharara takes swipe at Cuomo” by Aaron Short, 10/22/14, NY Post []).

It should be noted that the text of the NY Post article also contained  this passage about the legislature: “Bharara chided the legislature for not taking any action to clean up its ‘entrenched’ culture of corruption and said a prosecutor by himself  ‘won’t solve the problem.’...  ‘When you talk about corruption in Albany there has not been historically enough policing and there has not been enough self-policing,’  he said. ‘I’m not aware of any effort among the legislature.’ ”

Newsday’s coverage

A third paper, Newsday, had its own take on all of that. Its lead went like this: “U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday he has several active investigations in Albany, or, as he called the state capital, a place that sometimes looks like ‘the intersection of ambition and greed.’ ***  The comments came hours before the only televised debate in the governor's race. Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faced opponents, including Republican Rob Astorino, who has said Albany has become more corrupt under the current administration. ***   The prosecutor, based in Manhattan, said state government continues to poorly police itself; allows big campaign contributions with few restrictions, which can lead to corruption; and hasn't limited outside jobs by lawmakers, which can lead to conflicts of interest. ***   ‘You have a recipe for what we have in New York, which is a little bit of a corruption disaster,’ Bharara said on public radio's ‘Capital Pressroom.’... ” (See “Bharara says his office running investigations in Albany” by Michael Gormley, 10/22/14,
Newsday []).

Congressman Peter King calls for honesty in confronting Islamic Terrorism — And checking for it wherever it might be festering

King says:  U.S. and local law enforcement need to focus on radical activities at mosques  —   President Obama has failed to set the proper tone for necessary and proper defense of the U.S. homeland against terrorists by mis-characterizing a pattern of activities as individual acts

CNN  —  Later report indicates Ottawa shooting suspect had ties to Jihadists 

Attacks at Canadian Parliament on same day as an intruder gets stopped near the White House

Sometimes Congressman Peter King sounds like a “Johnny One Note” on the threat of Islamic Extremist Terrorists, but in the wake of the attacks in Ottowa on the guards at the War Memorial and at the Parliament building, and after yet another intrusion onto the White House grounds, maybe Pete King’s rants rate reasonable and  rare reflection.

Congressman Peter King issues warning about Muslim extremists and mosques

“When you see a person who is a Muslim convert carrying out an attack two or three days after another similar type of attack, after ISIS [has] called upon individual Muslims to carry out these attacks, then we have to realize that this is a real issue and not something we can hide under this cover of political correctness,” King said, referring to two deadly attacks on Canadian soldiers this week by separate homegrown Canadian jihadists. ***   ‘Anyone who thinks this is a coincidence is crazy,’ he added. ***   On Wednesday, Canada native Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, believed to have been ‘radicalized,’ gunned down an unarmed ceremonial guard standing watch at the Ottawa War Memorial before firing his way through the parliament. And on Monday, another purported jihadist, Martin Couture Rouleau, ran down two soldiers near Montreal, killing one of them....” (See “Rep. Peter King: Forget PC 'Morons,' Call Terrorists What They Are” by Melissa Clyne, 10/22/14, Newsmax []).

King says surveillance needed at mosques in the U.S.

Congressman King went on to tell Newsmax that,  “We can have all of the technology in the world, but we have to find out what's happening on the ground in these Muslim communities.... What the NYPD used to do, but those morons at the New York Times Editorial Board and the American Civil Liberties Union went after them. We have to find out what people are thinking and what's going on in the mosques, which often are incubators of this type of terrorism. We have to go all out with surveillance and be quick to call it terrorism.”

King wants increased electronic surveillance, because of porous borders

The Newsmax report of Congressman King’s remarks also reached the subject of electronic surveillance, which had became very controversial since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents about phone and Internet surveillance. According to the congressman, it is also essential to stopping terrorist attacks before they happen; and this is especially vital in order to effectively monitor the United States’ porous northern and southern borders. This is some of what Congressman King did say about electronic surveillance, “I strongly believe without in any way violating the Constitution we can have effective security...  It's very appropriate for police to monitor local organizations and look through their sources to find out who in communities can be dangerous or have terror leanings. Electronic surveillance should be done with court supervision, but in many ways it's the only way to find out what's happening.”

Canadian shooter had "connections" to Jihadists

According to a mid-afternoon CNN report on Thursday, “The suspect in Wednesday's shootings in Ottawa had ‘connections’ to jihadists in Canada who shared a radical Islamist ideology, including at least one who went overseas to fight in Syria, multiple U.S. sources told CNN on Thursday. ***   The gunman was Quebec native Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a convert to Islam, U.S. officials said. ***   Zehaf-Bibeau was connected to Hasibullah Yusufzai through social media, according to a U.S. counterterrorism source. Yusufzai is wanted by Canadian authorities for traveling overseas to fight alongside Islamist fighters in Syria, The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, reported....” (See “Sources: Ottawa shooting suspect had ties to jihadists” by Jason Hanna, 10/23/14,  CNN [ with video link] []).

Synchronicity  —  the attack on the Canadian Parliament, along with another invasion of the White House grounds in Washington

Yesterday’s incident at the White House appears to be unrelated to the terrorist acts in Canada. According to the Secret Service, Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, was unarmed when he was arrested on the White House grounds after being confronted by Secret Service dogs that stopped and attacked him after he jumped over the fence ( See “Maryland man charged after jumping White House fence, dogs cleared for duty” by Susan Heavy (Reporting by Curtis Skinner & Jeff Mason; editing by Bill Trott), 10/23/14, Reuters []).  Also according to the report, surveillance ideo showed the intruder punching one of the dogs and Secret Service agents surrounding him on the north lawn of the White House.

Whether or not this White House intrusion is otherwise connected to the events in Ottowa, Canada, or it isn’t, the event did occur on the same day; and it contributed to a heightened level of alert and anxiety in Washington, D.C.  It does rate a closer look.

According to Reuter’s report, “The White House was locked down for almost two hours after the incident on Wednesday, the same day a gunman attacked Canada's parliament in Ottawa....” This was about a month after another intruder penetrated several layers of White House security, actually entered the Executive Mansion and traversed several internal checkpoints. The most recent intruder was stopped shortly after entering the grounds. However, but according to a family member, the suspect Dominic Adesanya is mentally disturbed, and this was not his first incident at the White House. On a previous occasion, he had been stopped at the W.H. gate after asking to see the President.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More threats for Congressman Grimm’s re-election than Recchia’s lackluster campaign to date — Many Brooklyn Republicans openly will oppose Grimm’s re-election before Election Day

With only two weeks until Election Day  —  Several Brooklyn Republicans are putting the squeeze on Michael Grimm  —   Many in the Brooklyn GOP are not impressed that Grimm is the Republican-Conservative Candidate for Congress from Staten Island and West Brooklyn

Brooklyn Republican social conservative activist  Joseph Hayon just sent an “Open Letter” to Congressman Grimm, Brooklyn GOP Chairman Eaton and others demanding that Congressman Grimm adopt specific positions, make public commitments and issue a particular statement of support for the "Marriage Amendment"  —  as a necessary condition for support in 2014  —   AND TO AVOID OPEN OPPOSITION TO GRIMM’S RE-ELECTION

Brooklyn Republican Party Secretary Russell Gallo, normally an opponent and antagonist to Mr. Hayon inside the Brooklyn GOP,  made a similarly hostile gesture against the hard-pressed GOP Congressman

Grimm’s almost invisible Brooklyn campaign is largely being run by Brooklyn Conservative Party, Grimm’s few Brooklyn GOP staffers and some of State Senator Marty Golden’s loyalists  [And, yes, there is a lot of overlap there]

Politically, as far as the Republican Party is concerned, it’s usually Staten Island that is caught up in some kind of xenophobic fugue.  This time around,  it’s the Brooklyn GOP’s turn to push back with some intense parochialism of their own; and GOP Congressman Michael Grimm and his 2014 campaign for re-election are right in the middle of that.

Ole Sarge Gallo giving new meaning to  “Behind Enemy Lines...” ?

It has been previously reported on this blog that Russell Gallo had published a “selfie” type photo of himself and the Democratic Party candidate for Congress from the 11th C.D.,  Domenic Recchia.  Picture of Gallo and Recchia was first put up on Twitter by Mr. Gallo and then picked up and re-published on a conservative Republican oriented blog run by Russell Gallo and Gene Berardelli (See my 10/21/14 comment “UPDATE & BACKFILL: THE “SOMEBODY HAS SOME WELL-PETRIFIED, ROCK-HARD WOOD GOING FOR CONGRESSMAN MICHAEL GRIMM” EDITION” to my 10/19/14 post, “The Daily News Editorial  —   ...what the News thinks about Domenic Recchia as a candidate” [comment and post both below on this blog]). Whether that is the limit of what Mr. Gallo intends to do vis a vis Grimm remains to be seen. Lately, Gallo has been working for other GOP candidates in Staten Island and other parts of Congressman Grimm’s district  —  but definitely not FOR Congressman Grimm.

Another precinct heard from...

I have just received an “Open Letter” by Email from Brooklyn social conservative activist Joseph Hayon and former Brooklyn Tea party President, who is currently an appointed “Executive Member” and elected County Committee Member of the Kings County Republican Party. In that letter, Mr. Hayon strongly conditioned his support for Congressman Grimm’s re-election on Grimm’s adopting specific social conservative positions AND making open statements to that effect. The principal item for which Mr. Hayon demands Grimm’s immediate attention and action is that the Congressman quickly announce his support for “ The Marriage Amendment.”

Mr. Hayon’s letter starts off like this:
“Dear Congressman, ***   I am your constituent for the last two years.  I am a member of the Kings County Republican Committee since 2009.  I am active in supporting all types of candidates and while I may not bring much to the table, I bring more than 2 votes. ***  When I called your office many times, no one ever returned my call.  You[ ] voted to diminish the rights of our religious freedom by supporting ENDA....”

And so it goes  —   from there, Hayon gave a detailed list of grievances against Congressman Grimm and urged that if necessary Grimm change his heart; and more important, that Grimm change his posture on specific items before the Congress of the United States. Mr. Hayon also noted that he had not yet voiced any active opposition to the Congressman, even after so many had already “... thrown Grimm under the bus...”  However, Hayon was equally clear that all of that was about to change presently.

Hayon’s Email made it clear that if Grimm did not quickly and formally comply with his demand, Hayon would actively oppose Grimm, although he also made it clear that he would not be endorsing Domenic Recchia, a Democrat and a long-time supporter of the liberal social agenda.

This blog had been informed previously that Joseph Hayon has been in contact with insurgent Republican Richard Bell, who is mounting a write-in  campaign for the 11th C.D. seat as a protest against the re-election of incumbent Congressman and current GOP candidate Grimm. Mr. Bell has reassured Hayon that he strongly supports the family values and other social conservative positions that are at the root of Hayon’s problems in supporting Congressman Grimm, including support of adding a “Marriage Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.

The Joseph Hayon “Open Letter” was formally sent to Congressman Grimm through his campaign website's “Contact Us” system and procedure. Various others, including yours truly, the Kings County Republican Chairman Craig Eaton and local papers and columnists were cc’d through normal Email systems and procedures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

State Senator Martin Golden’s Chief of Staff, Jerry Kassar, covers the Dyker Heights Civic Debate — WITH BASELESS INSULTS FOR RECCHIA — AND WITH A WET BLANKET FOR EVERYBODY ELSE

As a calumniating columnist, Conservative “Common[s]ense” crusader Kassar clearly owes Domenic Recchia an apology for the baseless charges in this week’s Home Reporter Kassar column

A debate where Grimm, the cheese, stood alone, and the rest had their say  —  but according to Kassar communicated without using any words

AND  —   About “Proposal #3"  —  This is the way the world ends....  Not with a bang but a whimper 

Kassar used about two-thirds to three-quarters of his column this week to talk/write about the Dyker Heights Civic Association debate. Unfortunately, he used up about half of his time/space, giving an over-edited history of the Dyker civic group and/or telling everybody where Domenic Recchia was instead of being at the great historically  institutionalized debate or forum ( See “Common Sense: Debating the debate” by Jerry Kassar, 10/20/14, Home Reporter/ Sunset News []).

Recchia belled the cat of the Dyker Heights Civic Association  —  Kassar, and Vella Marrone didn't like that, so Kassar insulted Recchia 

In fact, passing-up on this debate, and telling the world why, was probably one of Domenic Recchia’s highest and best moments from this campaign.  It’s about time that somebody belled-the-cat of the Dyker Heights Civic Association and its president, Fran Vella Marrone. This group has long been a pawn of the Conservatives and  Ms. Vella Marrone.  Long gone are the days that the real backbone of Dyker Heights, or more accurately an older inner circle of movers and shakers in that neighborhood, have had anything to do with that group. Lately, it’s been an outpost of a Bay Ridge-based crypto-fascist cabal of two Irish-American sort of guys, who would be as uncomfortable a fit in any legitimate political party, as they would be if they lived in Dyker Heights ( a place that I am sure they joke about, especially during the holidays over toddies).

The proof of all that is in the two paragraphs of a very selective history of the Dyker Heights Civic Association recounted by Mr. Kassar, as one of the false premises of his argument against Mr. Recchia and in defense of  Fran Vella Marrone’s debate. The other false premise propounded by  Kassar is that Recchia somehow “issued an insulting denouncement of the group”; and that somehow such “denouncement” was not justified.  This “denouncement” must have been something so terrible that Jerry Kassar didn’t mention what it was, or even suggest anything that might give us any idea of what it was that so bothered the Democratic Candidate for Congress.

Given all of that, basically what Kassar did is nothing but slam Domenic Recchia, because he had the temerity to complain that the person running the debate had a conflict of interest, because she worked on the staff of Recchia’s opponent, Michael Grimm. And rather than switch moderators for the debate, Kassar, Marrone and company chose to wrongly charge Recchia with ducking the debate. By all that is right and fair, Kassar & Co. owe Recchia an apology for their original intransigence and false accusation; and Kassar owes the Democrat contender a second and stronger apology for turning that slander into a libel in his column.

Another thing that is clear about this psuedo-conservative propagandist’s column is that he didn’t want you to know what any of those who did participate in the debate or forum actually said. Even though there were multiple participants, Marty Golden, Jamie Kemmerer, Alec Brook-Krasny, Stamatis Lilikakis and Michael Grimm, not one of them is quoted.


As his final insult to anybody that reads his column, Kassar made his three paragraph long comment about “Proposal #3" on this year’s ballot without making any solid recommendation about it. Basically, Kassar said the proposal involved allowing the State to incur a $2 billion bond debt to fund school technology; and that those who favored it wanted to spend the money, while those who opposed it didn’t want to borrow the money.  (Now, YOU TELL ME !  HOW HELPFUL IS THAT ?).

All in all, the discussion of ballot “Proposal #3” was a non-memorable end to a column that would be better off forgotten, except for the apology Mr. Kassar owes to Mr. Recchia.

“Fiery talk on Rep. Michael Grimm's legal woes, Domenic Recchia's intellectual firepower...” at Staten Island Advance Debate

DUAL COVERAGE IN THE ADVANCE INCLUDES THIS:  “You asked, they answered: Rep. Michael Grimm, Domenic Recchia debate over guns, affordable housing, Grimm's indictment” 

At debate, Congressman Grimm says trading his congressional seat in a plea deal would be in his best interest

Recchia was generally evasive on most issues, but says that Grimm’s legal problems will interfere with Grimm’s  representation of the district   

Grimm gets snarky with a remark about Al Sharpton

Staten Island Advance reporter Tom Wrobleski says that “It's been a highly charged campaign, and it was a highly charged encounter when Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and Democratic challenger Domenic M. Recchia Jr. met with members of the Advance Editorial Board in a 90-minute exchange of charges and counter-charges on Monday in the Advance's Grasmere offices....” (See “Fiery talk on Rep. Michael Grimm's legal woes, Domenic Recchia's intellectual firepower [w/ video link &  photos]” by By Tom Wrobleski, 10/20/14, SI Advance/ [][ Follow on Twitter]).

Among the top issues discussed in the Wrobleski article in the Advance were questions about Grimm's federal indictment, and whether Recchia has the intellectual firepower for the job of congressman. It was also notable that the Democratic party candidate would not take a stand on the affordable housing plan advocated by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, or comment at length on the case of Eric Garner, the Islander who died in NYPD custody.

Grimm's indictment

Congressman Grimm was pressed on his indictment, and he argued that he was entitled to a constitutional presumption of innocence; and he actually said “I don't know why I would be treated any differently than anyone else.”  He also pointed out that Recchia backed former Brooklyn Assemblyman Clarence Norman, the onetime Democratic Party chairman, when he was indicted and that it was hypocritical of Recchia to make Grimm's indictment an issue.

Grimm: giving up seat in plea deal in his best interest

Grimm says that giving-up Congress would be in his best interest, but he stays and puts up with everything because of his “LOVE” for the district and the people that he has served so much

The most important piece in Tom Wrobleski’s article went like this: “...Some have speculated that Grimm wants to win so he can the House seat as a bargaining chip with prosecutors to avoid jail time should he be found guilty. ***  Untrue, Grimm said. ***  "If that's what I was going to do, I would have already done that," Grimm said. "I would have stepped down and cut a deal, which is what a lot of people said I should do, which would have been in my best interest...."

Grimm went on to say that he’s putting up with the indictment, and all the commentary, and all the questions about it because of his love for the district and  “and the people I work for so much...”

At his best, Recchia seemed evasive

According to Tom Wrobleski’s report, “When asked whether he supported building affordable housing in middle-class neighborhoods, Recchia [was quoted as follows:]  ‘What do you mean by affordable housing?  I don't know what you mean by affordable housing....’   Shortly later, when asked point-blank whether he supported de Blasio's affordable housing plan, Recchia then went on to say, "I'm just here, I'm running for Congress [in] my district. This is not about Bill de Blasio. I'm just here focused on this district and what's best for this district, and I want to work with the people and see what's best for this district."

As to questions about the Eric Garner case, this is how Wrobleski reported Recchia’s responses: “Recchia also did not delve deeply into the Garner case, which has been a flashpoint on the Island for months. ***   ‘Out of respect to the Garner family and the NYPD, I reserve judgment on taking a position until District Attorney Dan Donovan finishes his investigation," Recchia said. "There's always room to improve community relationships, and working closer with the communities and the police officers.’  ***  When asked whether he would respect whatever decision the grand jury makes in the case, and whether he had any impressions of his own based on the Garner video, Recchia said. ‘I'm reserving judgment. There's an investigation going on. We don't have all the facts. We don't see all the evidence. We're just going to see what happens.’...”

Tom Wrobleski’s report ended with this: “Grimm was quick to say that de Blasio was wrong to bring the Rev. Al Sharpton into the Garner issue.”  That seemed like a real odd thing for Grimm to say; and it was a very odd place for the SI Advance and its editors to end the article.

Second Article in the Advance

For a somewhat different take on the Grimm-Recchia grilling at/by the Staten Island Advance,  or if Tom Wrobleski just isn't your cup of tea, there was also coverage by Rachel Shapiro (See “You asked, they answered: Rep. Michael Grimm, Domenic Recchia debate over guns, affordable housing, Grimm's indictment” by Rachel Shapiro, 10/20/14, SI Advance/ [] [  Email the author | Follow on Twitter] [w/ video link &  photos]). For example, Rachel Shapiro’s article led off with this passage about guns and gun violence: “Asked what specific steps Congress can take to reduce gun violence in America, Recchia said Congress should pass a bill that includes more background checks and stop gun trafficking.  ***   ‘You don't need an Uzi machine gun to go hunting but the gun trafficking is a big issue,’ he said.  ***   Grimm agreed there should be universal background checks but ‘I think what's missing in the debate is a much more holistic approach.’ ***   The congressman said it needs to be studied what makes shooters so violent, considering behavior more than the gun itself....”

It should be noted that in less than a full day after the Staten Island Advance Grimm-Recchia Debate, well more than two hundred (200) comments had been submitted in response to the articles by Wrobleski and Shapiro. Some of these comments are real eye-openers, others not so much.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Daily News Editorial — “Train Recchia” — A better headline choice might have been “Train Wreck-ia” — It’s just as funny and a lot clearer about what the News thinks about Domenic Recchia as a candidate

Any major editorial that incorporates “...national laughingstock...” in connection with anybody running for congress or even dog catcher usually means very bad prospects are in store for that campaign and that office seeker

Getting featured in the “Daily News” and on the “Daily Show” in less than a week for a local Brooklyn pol must be akin to some kind of new land speed record  —   but when it’s done by somebody like Wile E. Coyote, with an Acme jet pack on roller skates, everybody knows what comes next

Whatever window there might have been for Domenic Recchia’s and the Democrat’s bid to unseat Michael Grimm as the Staten Island and West Brooklyn congressman, it is closing so fast that I think I hear it slamming down as I tickle these keys

Usually, I like to pull some of the better quotes out of a piece of writing that rates a prominent place in a post on this blog, but this News editorial should be digested whole; so pretend you’re a python and take it in whole (See “Train Recchia  –  The Dem contender for Michael Grimm's congressional seat makes a dim impression” by the Editorial Board/ “Editorials,” 10/19/14, NY Daily News

My first thought was "...train Recchia to do what ?"; but that wasn't what the people at the News meant at all.  The Daily News Editorial was more like everybody on the “Dancing With the Stars” panel giving 4s and 5s in the later rounds of DWTS, except for Len, who gives a “3,” but says what a nice chap that star seemed to be and that he gave it his all.

On the other hand, one has to doubt that an ENDORSEMENT of Michael Grimm is likely to come any time soon from the News folks. After all, the News’ editorialists did express a wish that there would have been an eligible 10th grader to take on the Congressman.

The headline and sub-headings above pretty much tell the tale  —   And I’m pretty sure that you get it all....  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just askin' these few Ebola questions ?

How many "Cabinet Meetings" have been held concerning the "Ebola Outbreak" ?

Why does President Obama keep calling "Cabinet Meetings" about Ebola if a "serious" "Ebola Outbreak" is not  "likely" ?

How many Ebola patients have there been in the United States ?

How many medical personnel have been involved in the treatment of Ebola patients  in the United States ?

How many days was it before a complete list of medical personnel was maintained of those medical personnel that came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital [This could be a trick question] ?

Is President Obama trying to keep the nation calm and reassured, or is he trying to come  up with a new "Obama crisis" that can't be wasted ?

If there is no further spread of Ebola in the United States,  how much do you think that the United States will spend on Ebola in 2014-2015 ?


If you answered any of the questions about Ebola above, what  makes you think that you knew enough to do so ? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

REVIEW: “Behind Enemy Lines...” — Berardelli and Gallo Did It Live ! — In the road; and they scared the horses

Bill O’Reilly got it right about this show from the get-go  —   This is “...1@*$^)’?’0*-Z>XW+=-@!#..”

Gay marriage  —   infighting among conservatives   —   not pretty   —   not informative  — unconvincing either way

Iraq  WMD “expose” by New York Times   —   secret casualties; WH & DOD coverup during Bush II years, etc. —   embarrassment to prior administrations  —   Gallo says U.S. government and American political class don’t trust the American people and treat them like children

Ebola   —   Racism  —   Jesse ... Jackson  —  The Lie of the Week  —  The Buffoon of the Week  —   And so much more


No matter how hard I try, I just don’t get it....  any of it...

Somehow, when Gene Berardelli and Russell Gallo get together, they channel their internal Leopold and Loeb, Richard Hickcock and Perry Edward Smith,  and/or Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (omg, I just pictured Gene with bright red lipstick, in a dress and wearing a flapper hat).  In any case, the two of them together achive some level of a "critical mass" with explosive consequences and some very deadly fallout.

The Gay Marriage Debate !  WTF !

First and foremost, how did Amanda Kohut allow herself to get coopted into doing this debate “on air” ?  Given that this was a rerun of something similar that happened before the show went “on air”  —  I guess she has nobody to blame but herself. 

For all sides the issue of gay marriage remains a hot-button issue; even the Supreme Court doesn’t want to touch it, in these times.  If it can be debated at all, gay marriage, yeah or nay,  must be done in a very restrained, respectful and rational way to be of any use to anybody.  How this went down between Gallo and Kohut was none of that; and, needless to say Gene B’s lobbing snowballs from the sidelines was in no way a moderating or rationalizing influence.

Bottom line, this segment was not pretty,  not informative, and not convincing either way. ...Other than to convince me that this show should not be done live, so Gene or somebody else can completely edit-out stuff like this.

The NY Times  —   WMD  in Iraq report 

Actually, this segment was not as bad as the rest of the show. To some that might be a special sort of damnation to the highest level of hell; and to others, damning with faint praise; but to most it just is what it is....  It came down to this:  Maybe, "W" Bush was right, maybe not. There was a government cover-up of the WMD that were found in Iraq after Sadam H. was removed by George W.B.; but that still leaves us to ask why.  Gallo says the government doesn't trust the people and treats them like children.

The “Big Lie” of the week  —  The Obama Administration’s and the CDC’s handling of the whole Ebola thing

They started out the discussion by bringing up Jesse Jackson’s charges of racism in the handling of the case of the lone deceased Ebola patient in America, Thomas Eric Duncan. With that as a starting point, one can imagine how the discussion eventuated.

The whine team of B&G basically said tha CDC and the Obama administration are lying about everything concerning Ebola, starting with whether they even know how this dread-disease is spread. Even if close contact with bodily fluids is a necessary element of the transmission of the disease, the protocols and practices being followed by the CDC and NIH are falsely citing past experience with diseases like AIDS and other diseases previously treated in the USA.  None of that was Ebola, and nobody can really say that Ebola is very much like any of them.

The boys from Brooklyn pretty much agree that the CDC has pretty much shown that it is just an organ of the Democrat Party leftist communist agenda. And going on to say that part of that agenda is blaming the Republicans with charges of phantom budget cuts.

If they had left Jesse Jackson out of it, and didn’t sound so rabid in what they had to say, Berardelli and Gallo could have been given partial credit on this segment  —  for presenting the extreme right wing Republican position in the Ebola debate in a free wheeling and stormy screed.

Purple Penguins  —   “The Teachable Moment”

“Listen up, we’re fighting enemies around this world [naming them specifically and graphically] these people are evil... brutal if we ever have to fight any of them ... we are emasculating our young boys ...  What’s wrong with you sick idiot liberals ? haired latte-drinking she-males [aren’t going to be there to protect you]"  —   that pretty much covers what Ole Sarge Russell G. had to say about some Nebraska school district’s trying to eliminate the terms  “boys” and  “girls” ...   Plus “Purple Penguins” sounds kinda “gay” to Mr. Gallo.

btw, little did I suspect that all of it was a segue to the Mayor of Houston segment [See Buffoon of the Week below].

Democrat Congressional Candidate Domenic Recchia, nominated as a BOTW

This was the only part of the show that got passing marks, as far as I am concerned.... [yes, it basically agreed with some things that I wrote in one of my posts]....

In presenting the nomination of  Domenic Recchia as Buffoon of the week,  Gene Berardelli also presented this argument:  Given Congressman Michael Grimm has all his problems, how can this guy, Domenic Recchia, still be behind by 4% ?   Plus, when even Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” pokes fun at the Democrat in a race, you know that guy has a real problem.

Winner of  “The Buffoon of the Week”  —   Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Basically, the show finished it’s thematically anti-gay agenda by awarding their weekly booby prize to the “radical lesbian” Mayor of Houston, Texas  —  Annise Parker  —  for her attempt “to bully [Christian] pastors off of their bully pulpit.”  At issue was the Houston mayor’s attempt to use the courts to subpoena the sermons that had been delivered by several clergymen to their congregations in several churches in Houston that were suspected of political advocacy.

I’m sure that there are several juicy items that I have left out  —   but I’m not going to go back and check; listening to this once was more than enough for me.

Like I said at the beginning of this “REVIEW”  —   “No matter how hard I try, I just don’t get it....  any of it.”   BUT, if what I wrote about in this post above seems like your cup of Rosie, then have at it, at the following links: “This Week, We Did It Live, by Gene Beradelli, 10/17/14, Behind Enemy Lines – Blogging From Within []; or “WAAR Radio – Behind Enemy Lines - We’re Doing it Live !” [].

Friday, October 17, 2014

Marty Golden: the 2014 campaign and the creeping loss of control of the message because of social media

The old methods of keeping the lid on things is being pried open  —   Coverage of Recchia’s flap about recent Dyker Heights Civic Association “forum” or “debate” shows how Marty Golden Insider Fran Vella Marrone functions as a Golden-Grimm gatekeeper, while posing as neutral “Moderator”

Increasingly, blogs and the social media are chiming-in about Golden  —  And whether it’s a “drip, drip, drip” or a flood  —   the impact of social media on Golden’s little world is on the rise

After the first debate at OLA conducted by the BRCC, there has been almost no news about any of the later debates and forums.  That’s probably part of the Golden team’s game plan.

One of the ways that Golden and his team of handlers have enabled the Brooklyn State Senator to hold onto his seat in the New York State Senate so tenaciously, is that they have largely  controlled the media and the message that gets out about Marty (See this and past blogs’ posts about things like the “Un-Pulitzers” for the Brooklyn Eagle and Home Reporter).

A few days ago, there was a “forum” or a  “debate” conducted at the Dyker Heights Civic Association. One of the more significant issues coming out of that “forum” or “debate” was the participation of Fran Vella Marrone, one of State Senator Martin Golden’s long-time insiders, and now on Michael Grimm’s staff, who was acting as the “MODERATOR” of the event (See “Michael Grimm Claims He’ll Serve on Congressional Committee Again” by Will Bredderman, 10/15/14, NY Observer [], see also [@newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).

‘[Domenic Recchia] decided not to attend the event, pointing out that the debate moderator and president of the civic group, Fran Vella-Marrone, works in Mr. Grimm’s Brooklyn office. ***  For her part, Ms. Vella-Marrone pointed out that the Dyker Civic debates pre-date her birth, and that her involvement in the organization pre-dates her work for Mr. Grimm. She pointed out that local Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile has participated in the debates for more than a decade. *** ‘Councilman Gentile, he’s the one that’s debated here more times than anybody else. I think he and anyone else would say that I’m absolutely 100 percent fair, and that when I’m up here I’m president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association and that’s all,’ Ms. Vella-Marrone told the crowd.”  However, Councilman Gentile made this observation in the Observer article, “ ‘I have had many sessions here, debates here, and during the debates she has given me equal time. I don’t know what happened with the discussions this time around, I haven’t had a chance to ask, but the fact is her boss is running should be a concern to those who have not experienced this before, have not experienced this process before,’ Mr. Gentile said, noting that a large number of active local Republicans were in the crowd. ‘This is a rally for Michael Grimm.’...”

Another media outlet put its coverage of the flap this way, “ Recchia’s camp stated the refusal to attend the debate [was] due to the fact the person who is running the debate is President [of the Dyker Heights Civic Association] Frances Vella-Marrone, a staffer to Congressman Michael Grimm, and that the event will be a Republican get together. Recchia camp said there are four more other debates and he is ready to match the record of Grimm’s record of failed and embarrassing leadership....”  And also covering Grimm’s response, thus:  “Speaking to reporters following the debate, Grimm was asked if it was fair to have a debate hosted by one of his staffers. ‘It is absolutely fair,’ he stated.  ‘I went to a debate in a senior center that was very left leaning and the person who was in charge of the debate would protest his office regular, but I showed up so he is a coward.’...” [sic]  (See “NY11 – Grimm Focuses On Obama, De Blasio As Recchia Skips Out On Another Debate” by Mona Salama, 10/15/14,  J*P Updates []).

Interestingly, two reporters that did cover the “forum” or “debate” had next to nothing to say about the fact that State Senate Candidates Jamie Kemmerer and Marty Golden were present and participated. When one is repeatedly confronted by the fact that the dogs almost never bark when it would be bad for State Senator Golden, one has to ask what kind of watchdogs can they be ?  This blog and others have pointed out that several stories that were bad for State Senator Golden over the years appear to have been spiked. Also, that columns like Jerry Kassar’s consistently tout his boss’s “accomplishments,” but never mentions the inconsistencies, gaffs and other bad stuff.

Even though Golden and his sycophants are probably quite content with all that (except maybe the photo with Mayor DeBlasio at their “private” meeting at the Bridgeview Diner), those older methods of information and message control are no longer as effective, because of blogs and other social media.

Blogs like this one; the “Golden Watcher” []; “Bay Ridge Journal -- The View From My Block” []; and others that are similarly independent have all put out multiple posts that have been critical of State Senator Golden ( in fact, “Bay Ridge Journal...” posted one by Kip today [ Friday, October 17, 2014]).

There are other outlets of/for/in/on social media that have a significant following, and they have carried individual but significantly negative commentary about the Republican-Conservative State Senator from Bay Ridge (See e.g. “Twelve Reasons Why I Won’t Vote for Marty Golden for Senator of Bay Ridge…..” by The Queen, 10/17/14, Queen of the Click []).

The combined effect of these aspects of social media, have eroded the ability of Golden’s handlers to control the news and/or many particulars of bigger news stories that have been adverse to their boss, the State Senator. That might or might not have the effect of bumping up by several points Jamie Kemmerer’s numbers in his lightly funded campaign this year. However, to focus on that would miss a bigger point. Regardless of the result in 2014, the trend of more open discussion of what office holders, like Marty Golden, are really up to will continue both on the blogs and across the rest of social media. Control of both the message and the medium by any crew of insiders is becoming an impossibility.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Below the Radar: Assembly Race in North Brooklyn pits the GOP’s Bill Davidson against long-time incumbent Democrat Joseph Lentol

TO START OFF:  Bill Davidson is the GOP Candidate in the 50th A.D. in Greenpoint and parts of Williamsburg Brooklyn, where he is challenging the ages old Democratic machine that is responsible for incredibly high state and city taxes, and the encroachment of government into our everyday lives, such as the educational establishment’s imposition of the so-called “Common Core Curriculum”

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Davidson is a libertarian Republican, who would like to formally change the NYS laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana   

FURTHERMORE: Bill Davidson is a well-educated very experienced individual, who has been working in a very competitive technical industry, as well as being an up and coming community spokesman for the GOP in North Brooklyn

Bill is a 30-year old Bio-pharmaceutical Logistics Coordinator for a shipping company, called Worldnet International, that operates in Queens, in the vicinity of JFK International Airport. He has been in the logistics industry for over six years. Prior to that Bill Davidson went to the University of New Hampshire, earning a Baccalaureate in History with a minor in Art History. He has also completed several credits towards his Masters Degree from UNH and other schools.

Mr. Davidson has also become the recognized community voice for the Brooklyn Republican  Party in many parts or the 50th A.D. in Northern Brooklyn.


Life-long Republican active for a variety of GOP candidates over the years

Bill Davidson has been active in Republican Party politics since 1994 [that’s right, since he was 10 –  you do the math].  Over the years, he worked on a variety of GOP campaigns.  These included the campaigns of John Flanagan for the NYS Senate and Rick Lazio for Congress, both on Long Island. In 2008, Bill worked as the County Campaign Manager for Rudy Giuliani’s run for the GOP nomination for President of the United States in Los Angeles, California. And in 2012, Bill Davidson was active in the presidential campaign of the libertarian Republican Ron Paul.

Republican District Leader in the 50th A.D.

Since last year, Bill Davidson has been the Republican State Committeeman and GOP District Leader of the 50th Assembly District, running unopposed in 2013 and serving in the position since September 2013. Not being content with his selection as the Republican leader in the 50th AD, Bill took his fight to the Democrats and made a last second run for Borough President of Brooklyn, mounting a small word of mouth write-in campaign in the General Election.

Came in right behind B.P. Marty Markowitz in 2013 voting

According to Bill Davidson, “My run for the Borough Presidency went surprisingly better than I had anticipated....   So I came in 4th overall [right behind the then-sitting Borough. President  Marty Markowitz]....   I honestly can’t thank those who wrote in my name enough....”


In many ways Bill Davidson is a cross between a contemporary “Libertarian” and a traditional Republican.  He brings all of that into his very uphill campaign against the very-well entrenched Joseph Lentol, who is running on the Democratic Party line.   Bill Davidson says that “I stand for: the traditional Republican position in favor of lower taxes; the conservative Republican small government position opposed to the “Common Core Curriculum” in our local schools, and the libertarian and populist position of legalizing marijuana.


The way William S. Davidson, the “Young Republican” GOP candidate for Assembly in the 50th Assembly District, has put it, “I think that everybody will better off if I run my campaign four-square, out front and sticking to the libertarian issues I believe in.”

The people of the 50th Assembly District can’t afford to have both a Cuomo in the Governor’s mansion and an Old Line Democrat in the State Assembly representing them. After forty (40) years of service it’s time for Joe Lentol to move into a well-deserved retirement.  There is little doubt that Joe Lentol has dedicated his life to the people of Greenpoint and Williamsburg; but forty (40) years of the very same representation is not politically healthy for any district, state or country.

It is time for a change.


“People ask me why I support marijuana legalization. ***  I support legalization because it makes sense....   In the end I believe legalization is more beneficial than harmful.... So far, the actual data shows that there’s aren’t any  “victims” of the “crimes” of possession and use of marijuana.

“Also if a legal industry is established, imagine what New York could raise in revenue.  This revenue can greatly aid in relieving the New York’s debt; and it can also ease many of the tax burdens on the middle class ( and even the poor) who pay the biggest parts of their incomes on other regressive taxes.  In addition to generating much needed revenue for necessary public initiatives, I believe that legalization of pot will cut down on many categories of New York State’s expenditures. Almost as important as all the rest, police and other law enforcement agencies  will be able to refocus their watchfulness and be freed up from all the junk busts which will keep them from fighting more serious crimes.  Add to that: Court costs going down with the lessening volume of low-end, pot-related drug crimes; and jails being less overcrowded with marijuana offenders which will lessen expenses associated with incarceration for marijuana offenses.”


“If elected, the people of the 50th Assembly District will have fresh and young representation in Albany and here in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.  This is very much needed in and for a district that is getting younger every day.  I believe that, if I’m elected, the people of my district will have a better shot at a higher quality of living, with lower taxes; and our school age citizens will greatly benefit by an end to the Common Core Curriculum. It is my sincerest hope, that with my election and strong representation with fresh ideas and a fresh outlook, the people will be able to relax and enjoy themselves instead of having to worry about living paycheck to paycheck, with the police looking over their shoulder to see how they are relaxing.”


On the fund raising front, Bill D. said this: “I’ve had two fund raisers and those did as well as I expected.... [ and posters and palm cards have been purchased with those funds].  Once again, I can’t thank everyone enough for those who donated....”

As most of you know, a small and independent Republican campaign in Brooklyn, like Bill Davidson’s, can always use some $$$$$. So if you can throw a couple of spendolas his way  ( Checks should be made payable to "Friends of Davidson,"  c/o Nancy Marks, Treasurer, PO Box 677, Shirley, New York 11967).

Also visit Bill Davidson on Facebook:
Bill Davidson for New York Assembly 2014