The Gateway (Billyburg Bubbe Meitzeh Edition)

Whatever Dave Seifman’s flaws, he knows the City Hall beat.

But Seifman doesn’t know bupkes about the Satmar.

The premise of Seifman's article is that the political battles among factions of the Satmar Hasidic community all stem from Vito Lopez, and now that Lopez is gone (itself a questionable assertion), they can kiss, make up and dance the hora together.

Sorry, but though Lopez did give the Satmar more opportunities to fight among themselves, by giving them more races to fight about, this feud is not about Lopez.

Whether you characterize the war for the hearts and minds of the Satmar as being about theology or about cults of personality, you cannot call it about politics, except collaterally.

In their efforts to show their strength to both their community and to the pols (and to serve their largely impoverished constituencies) both sides in the Satmar wars have battled to show their clout, and except in races where that meant backing someone gay (Ken Diamondstone--but see, Sean Patrick Maloney), crazy and broke (Kevin Powell) or anti-Semitic (Charles Barron), the sides invariably backed different candidates.

The alliance with Lopez was the Zali way of delivering resources for their community, and it worked. But the absence of Lopez will just mean finding others to deliver, and thanking those (like Steve Levin) who still deliver for them.

It seems unlikely that the absence of Lopez is going to make the Aronis stop backing Lincoln Restler (though they are admittedly a bit less loyal to their friends). He's been with them again and again on their issues.

As David Niederman noted: "Vito, what does he have to do with the two sides?...We don’t work on political decisions. We work on meat and potatoes.”

The truth is, virtually the only matter which brings both sides together these days is the feeling of being beleaguered by all the (sometimes justified, sometimes wrongheaded, and sometimes insensitive) comments about the Satmar community's response to child sex abuse.

Although the recent case involved a prominent Aroni, every Zali who has spoken to me about this matter seems to feel personally under attack, sometimes nearly to the point of tears.

But that is about their intertwined religion and cultural--important matters where these groups differ only by millimeters.

Lopez and Restler--that's just politics. The players might change, but the differing interests of the Aronis and Zalis remain the same no matter which outsider each group is backing this week.




Lame Schmuck Department:

David Storobin (on Facebook 11/4/11): Every business owner comes to a point when he realizes that certain expenses are wasteful and need to be cut, but the government can never admit that anything is ever wasteful. Every program becomes holy and if any program is cut, leftist radicals tell us that the elderly will starve and children will die. Cut the waste…

David Storobin puts our money where his mouth is by making sure our money isn't wasted on children and the elderly, but instead spent on something holy: His Chief of Staff, Pinny Ringel.




The News Channels Gatemouth (Part 6532):

I'm glad someone in the press finally notice the Bloomberg/Nappie Connection, because I burned myself out screaming about it hin 2006 and 9 2009 (and that’s just a sample).




The News Channels Gatemouth  (Part 6533):

Gatemouth on the late certification of election results (12/11/12): What's the story guys?

The News (12/17/12): Any time now, guys?


The man who got rich selling milk which expires tomorrow dodges a bullet as he missed being named the week's biggest douchebag when Mike Huckabee blamed the Sandy Hook massacre on the lack of school prayer.

But Catsimatidis’ comment comparing taxing the rich to Nazism merits at least a dishonorable mention.




Flipping the channels, I heard David Brooks say the following:

"We’ve had enough of these cases to get a profile of typically what they’re like. They tend to be intelligent. They tend to have an extremely high estimation of their own significance. Something happens to them that damages that estimation. They feel they’re not being recognized by the world at large and they decide they’re going to do something to make the world recognize them. And so they go out and do these terrible things. And at the moment they’re doing them, this is the happiest moment of their life. They feel the world is uncontrolled and then suddenly they are in their-- they are in control. And they are the hero in their own life story."

After that, he said a few things which made it clear he was talking about the Sandy Hook killer (who shall not get a name check in the parts even if he turns out to be related to a GOP State Senator), but until then, I thought he was describing Republican members of the US House of Representatives.

Boy did I feel stupid. I should have known the second he said that they tended to be intelligent.




What "Right to Work" actually means.