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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’

GOP Choice: Dirty Suit with Full Pockets v. Reliable Republican

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

GOP voters have a tough choice to make of which candidate they’d put up as a against the eventual Democratic nominee for Mayor of New York City. On the one hand, Joe Lhota has the experience and the temperament to serve as mayor on day one, but in a City whose Republican voters are outnumbered by a 6-1 ratio, the Republican needs a chest full of coins to at the very least get out his message to voters.

On the other hand, John Catsimatidis has the money to wage a campaign against the Democratic nominee for mayor and has brilliant ideas on how to keep the city safe and move it forward. There’s one hurdle though, voters don’t seem to take him seriously.

In an interview with the WSJ, Dan Isaacs, chairman of the New York Republican County Committee, admitted that Mr. Catsimatidis is “not your conventional candidate” in terms of his “mannerisms and appearance.”

As an example, the WSJ reporter points out an appearance by Mr. Catsimatidis last Monday, where the candidate wore a dark suit with a large, eye-catching stain.

“Yeah, he’s got a dirty suit and maybe he’s got a stain on his tie or his shirt. But you know what? He’s real,” Mr. Isaacs said. “And I’d rather have a guy like that than someone who’s perfectly coiffed and is full of bull—. And that ain’t John. John calls it like he sees it. He’s honest.”

At his campaign launch on the steps of City Hall, Mr. Catsimatidis pointed to his suit as an example he’s not a Michael Bloomberg billionaire. “I’m not wearing $5,000 suits,” he said. He didn’t even shy away from showing it off, when Hunter Walker from Politicker (now TPM) came close to see what make the suit was.

“I think it was $99 at Joseph A. Banks,” he said. “So, I’m not wearing a $5,000 suit and this is what I wear every day.”

Mr. Catsimatidis is currently trailing Mr. Lhota in the GOP primary by a 6-11 point margin, but has managed to turn the race into a horse race.

Speaking to the WSJ, Mr. Catsimatidis said he’s willing to spend whatever it takes to win City Hall. “Money is not an object. It’s getting the message across to everybody,” he said, estimating he will ultimately spend about $8 million on the primary and, presuming he wins, as much as $19 million in the November general election.

As of early August, he’d spent about $4 million on his campaign, roughly 2.5 times the amount spent by Joe Lhota. Campaign finance records show Mr. Lhota with roughly $1.7 million cash on hand.

Bill Cunningham, a former communications director for billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg who helped steer Mr. Bloomberg to victory in 2001, told the WSJ that Mr. Catsimatidis faces an uphill battle in the primaries since primary voters tend to be more conservative.

“He’s running against a lifelong Republican,” Mr. Cunningham said. “On resume, and temperament and experience, [voters] may look at Catsimatidis and say, ‘He has wonderful experience in the business world but Lhota has much more experience in government and politics.’”

In order to counter that impression, Mr. Catsimatidis has argued on the campaign trail that Mr. Lhota is mean-spirited and has a bad record of raising taxes, by pointing out that as MTA head Mr. Lhota raised toll prices that ultimately hurt New Yorkers who struggle to make ends meet.

A Cup of Soda in Hell

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The great theme of every overrated writer in the past twenty years has been the interconnectedness of things. Butterflies flap their wings in China and famine kicks off in Africa. A man gets on a plane in Sydney and another man jumps off a balcony in Paris.

You can get your interconnectedness fix from Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column as he marvels at the flattening of the world or any one of an endless number of fictional tomes in which strangers from around the world collide and influence each other’s lives.

The interconnectedness of things is not just the theme of the next TED talk you’ll watch or the next Wired article you’ll read. It’s the theme of policy as well. Pull one string and everything changes. Policy is no longer about making things happen by doing them, it’s about finding the precursor to them and doing that and when that doesn’t work, finding the precursor to that.

The growth of government means that everything is interconnected and instead of trying to cut the cost of health care by trimming back the bureaucracy, you ban sodas to fight obesity in the hopes of eventually cutting the cost of health care. It’s the sort of thing that sounds smart when it’s made into the theme of a book that discusses how connected everything else is to everything.

It’s stupid in real life, but who pays attention to real anyway?

Public policy is wired into the next great insight into interconnectedness and the one after that. Doing things to do them is stupid. It’s the sort of thing that Bush, poor dumb ape man, would do. The smart set, the Obama set, do the things that they don’t want to do to do the things that they want to do. It’s the sort of thing that sounds stupid if you try to explain it to a cab driver, but sounds like absolute genius when explained to an audience consisting of dot com people and people who wish they were dot com people.

And sometimes it even works. Most of the time though it makes things confusing and miserable.

The opening premise of interconnectedness theory is that trying to do what you want to do is futile. You don’t make a hurricane by turning on a fan and aiming it as a cloud, you do it by getting on a plane to China and then irritating a butterfly so that it flaps its wings. And then the hurricane comes or it doesn’t.  But while you’re there you’ll probably meet a monk or a street urchin who will go you a deeper insight into life or steal your wallet which will inspire you to write the next bestselling book about how everything in life is really connected to everything else.

Wars? Naturally we don’t do them. Only dumb brute apes think that you win a war by killing the enemy. That’s a positively medieval point of view. Even Bush knew better than that. No, you win a war by dealing with the root causes of the war. You find all the links to all the events, you win over the natives with candy bars and briefcases full of infrastructure money and then it all converges together and the war is over. Or it’s not. But either way you write a book about it.

Interconnectedness is the search for causes. It’s never a mismanagement problem, because that’s not a revelation.

Tell Mayor Bloomberg that health care costs are high because it takes four administrators to a doctor to get a patient through the system and he’ll look bored. That’s obvious. Tell him that recreating every new government building so that visitors are forced to use the stairs and those cold black marbles in his head will come awake.

Tell Obama that we’re losing the war because we’re not killing the enemy and he’ll hand you a pen and excuse himself, but tell him that the war is being lost because we need to get more Muslims into space and he’ll hand you a czarship.

We are becoming a subtle and stupid society, obsessed with nuance and a mystical search for the hidden social engines of life. And while that may seem advanced when you’re reading through the latest New York Times bestseller that explains how fishermen in Southeast Asia are influenced by sales of cotton candy in Michigan and the price of coffee in Brazil, it’s actually quite debilitating.

OECD Raises Israel Economic Growth Estimate

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) raised its 2012 economic growth estimate for Israel to 3.2 percent, up from its November estimate of 2.9 percent.  The group reduced its estimate for 2013, down to 3.6 percent from 4.7 percent.  According to a report in Bloomberg business news, Israel’s economy expanded 4.7 percent in 2011.

The OECD recommended Israel not further lower its hefty gas tax, and should not cut personal income tax.

A First Since Hamas Rule: Gaza Has A Waitress

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

For the first time in Gaza, since Hamas seized control in 2007, a woman has been allowed to work as a waitress in a restaurant, serving men food and drinks. Ranad al-Ghozz, 24, from Gaza City recently made local media headlines in Gaza, when she began working at the coastal A-Salam restaurant last month.

The majority of Gaza women cannot be found in the workplace as traditional norms are against women working out of the house. If women do work, it is in the public sector specializing in education and health fields.

Hamas, the religious Palestinian Sunni Islamic political party rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood, basing its governance upon Islamic fundamentalism, has passed laws that curb women’s status and rights since its takeover of Gaza. Women are not allowed to ride motor scooters and hairdressers for women are banned in Gaza.

Twenty-year-old Asmahan Nasser also works as a waitress at the upscale Al-Deira hotel, where she must wear a hijab uniform. According to a report in Haaretz, Nasser says she must deal not only with disapproving male patrons, but also disapproving women as well. In one incident, a woman patron left in protest of the hotel’s employment of a waitress and refused to allow Nasser to bring her coffee.

Al-Ghozz says she ignores comments made by patrons critical of her status as a woman worker. She began working in waitressing when her father fell ill in order to help her family. “But from the start I enjoyed the work, and I decided on my own volition to continue in this profession,” she said. She previously worked at a restaurant where she was allowed to serve only women.

In the past, Hamas’s Islamic Endowment Ministry has deployed a special committee known as the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to enforce Muslim codes of behavior. Members preach at public places to warn of the dangers of immodest dress, card playing and dating. In 2009, Bloomberg reported that Hamas legislator Yunis Al-Astal, explained that Hamas especially targets young people “to be more correctly Islamic.”

According to an article in Beirut’s Al Akhbar, the Islamic dress code of veil or hijab is imposed on Gaza’s women who are considered weak, both in class and gender. The author Doha Shams, writes that “in plush neighborhoods, where the wealthy live, only religious women need to wear the hijab.”

Furthermore, Even Christians female students attending Gaza’s Islamic University must cover their heads and wear the “jelbab” a full-length gown. Those who do not comply can face hostile consequences.

It remains to be seen if Hamas will attempt to stop the small number of female professionals working in non-traditional fields such as restaurants.

Israeli Startup Wins NYC Big Apps 3.0 Award

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

YooGuide, an Israeli startup, has won “The Investors Choice Application” award at the NYC Big Apps 3.0 competition for its app, The Funday Genie.

Funday Genie received top marks out of 96 applicants and received an award from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Funday Genie is a day planner which recommends restaurants, shows, events and exhibits taking place that day, allowing the user to find appropriate entertainment based on various categories and factors.  It also gives instructions about reaching destinations, and takes into account the day’s weather report.

The event, hosted by City Hall, aimed to “foster new technology that improves the quality of life of New York’s residents and visitors.”

Mayor Bloomberg to the Homeless: No Cholent for You!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Former pro-Soviet Jewry activist and local Upper West Side all around tzadik Glenn Richter has been collecting food from the Ohav Zedek synagogue and similar institutions and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently, when he attempted to bring a traditional Shabbat cholent leftovers from a shul kiddush, he was refused on account of the Bloomberg administration’s decree against giving too much  salt, fat and fiber to the homeless.

And the same goes for… bagels! How can you outlaw leftover bagels — in New York?

Richter told CBS News: “My father lived to 97; my grandfather lived to 97, and they all enjoyed it and somehow we’re being told that this is no good… I think there is a degree of management that becomes micromanagement and when you cross that line simply what you’re doing is wrong.”

Such a gentle soul. I would think the mayor needed to be told the homeless’ chief source of suffering is not too much salt, but too little home. Are you kidding me?

But, according to CBS News, Mayor Bloomberg, a salt-aholic himself, was unapologetic.

“For the things that we run because of all sorts of safety reasons, we just have a policy it is my understanding of not taking donations,” Bloomberg said.

If Bloomberg doesn’t run for a fourth term (you know he’s at least thinking about it), New Yorkers should vote for a new mayor who cares a little less. Or how about one term with no mayor at all? Could only improve things.

 

Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman Announces He Will Not Run For Reelection

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Congressman Gary Ackerman, a long-serving Jewish member of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced that he will not seek re-election in November 2012.

Ackerman, 69, represented New York’s 5th Congressional District for 29 years on the democratic ticket, and leaves as the ranking democrat on the Middle East subcommittee. He was indeed active in promoting US-Israeli ties, and in encouraging peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. Although supportive of AIPAC, he irked many when he accepted the endorsement of the left-wing Israel lobbyist group J-Street. Ackerman later publicly distanced himself from J-Street after its “public call for the Obama Administration to not veto a prospective UN Security Council resolution” that condemned Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria. In the same missive he ended his brief friendship with the group: “I’ve come to the conclusion that J-Street is not an organization with which I wish to be associated.”

Ackerman was most recently involved in the successful efforts to free Israeli-American citizen Ilan Grapel from prison in Egypt on spy charges. Grapel is a constituent of Ackerman’s.

“During my years in Congress, it has been my pleasure to address the needs of thousands of individual constituents and to influence domestic and global policy while serving on the Financial and Foreign Affairs Committees in the House,” Ackerman said in a statement. “I am most thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve my country and my community.”

President Barack Obama released a statement, thanking Ackerman for being “a leader in the fight to pass Wall Street reform and helped strengthen the bonds between the United States and our allies, particularly Israel.”

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman told Bloomberg that he will seek the Democratic nomination.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/democratic-rep-gary-ackerman-announces-he-will-not-run-for-reelection/2012/03/19/

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