The Gateway (Citizens Union Disgraces Itself Edition)

As I reported last month, the proposed City Council redistricting plan, whatever its other flaws, takes the laudable steps of uniting the previously divided community of Park Slope and the Hasidic community of Greater Williamsburg, while making stronger the endangered black majority in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill/Prospect Heights district.

While one would have thought that uniting coherent communities while protecting minority empowerment was a primary goal of "Good Government" groups, Common Cause objected with incoherent arguments which had almost no basis in objective reality (but were in the interest of the right sort of people’s political ambitions)

Now, Citizens Union shames itself as well.

In an almost stunning display of frankness, CU admits that the Redistricting Commission proposal for District 33 unites coherent communities, but objects nonetheless on the ground that politics is in the end of more importance than neutral, consistently applied redistricting principles.

"Revised District 33 would include less of Brownstone Brooklyn, with more included in District 39. While Citizens Union recognizes that District 39 would now include all of Park Slope, uniting this community of interest, as well as uniting the Hasidic community, we would like to raise to the Commission concerns voiced by neighborhood groups that District 33 would be less competitive for potential candidates."

In other words, “preserving coherent communities and minority representation are nice, but by no means as important as ensuring the election of Lincoln Restler.”

This is stunning admission that real "good government" concerns mean nothing to CU when compared to its desire not to offend the sort of people who play squash with Dick Dadey at the Heights Casino.

Truthfully, when CU starts admitting that neutral principles equally applied mean nothing when they might negatively impact the political ambitions of the right sort of people, then one must ask “is there really any difference between is between Dick Dadey and Vito Lopez?”




Good analysis by Orthodox Pundit on the Williamsburg vote for President.

Extraordinary Money Point:

"In a phenomenon - that may be news to outsiders but not community observers - the presidential elections drew half the number of Hasidic voters that turned out for the recent obscure district leader contest. 1,708 voters pulled the levers on Heyward St. for both presidential candidates combined, versus 3,409 votes that the 2 district leader candidates netted. The NYT marveled after the DL race that the "members of the Satmar Hasidic community loyal to Mr. Lopez streamed to their polling places in numbers that made it seem as if the election would determine the nation’s president rather than the low-profile position of the district leader of a few Brooklyn neighborhoods." This was a huge understatement..."!/2013/01/williamsburgs-romney-vote.html




A doctor friend who happens to be an Orthodox Jew writes:

“Now 12 cases of herpes associated with MBP (metzitzah b'peh) in NYC. That isn't many, but two of the infants DIED.”

Query: Is there even one mayoral candidate with the integrity to endorse Bloomberg's plan for dealing with this problem?




Philadelphia Story Department:

Mayor Rendell?!?

Give Fast Eddie Cox credit; unlike Bloomie, at least Cox's proposed carpetbagger Mayors live in the state.

RENDELL: The mayor believes he is special.




The perils of non-partisan, first past the post elections without run-offs.




Karin Camara makes the best possible case for member items. In theory, I think he's absolutely right.

The problem is the disgraceful state of the actual practice. No one should dare make this proposal until they have a list of safeguards in hand to ensure members items are distributed equitably and spent transparently.




Calling someone "the class of John Sampson's operation" maybe the definition of "damning with faint praise" (or maybe "praising with faint damn") but Paul Rivera would class up any Dem's operation, including the Governor's.




Chait basically sums up my opinion of the Hagel nomination. Short of nominating a drunkard for Defense (google "John Tower" “beverage alcohol”), a President is pretty much entitled to the cabinet s/he wants. That being said, the nomination is virtually unfathomable.

With all the fights the President can't avoid (e.g., debt ceiling, sequester) or doesn't want to avoid (e.g., immigration reform), why take on a fight he can avoid?

Surely, there are equally qualified people with a less of a paper trail--the President will ultimately determine Iran policy no matter who runs Defense--although it would be easier to convince Iran we meant business (and thereby avoid actually doing anything) by having someone there whose statements were more like the President's.

Add to this the fact that many Democrats and some liberal interest groups are unhappy with this nomination. And, as a strong supporter of a two-state solution, I have to wonder how the Hagel nomination helps achieve this goal rather than making it more difficult.

With sequester and the debt ceiling (a very tough sell, because the public doesn't get it) having the potential to plunge us into a recession--diverting the bully pulpit means more concessions---and those are the must win fights.

There are probably half a dozen people just as competent who will not suck the air from those battles.

So, along with Chait, I have to wonder "why?"

Goldberg thinks AIPAC will probably take a dive:




Pro-LGTB gun nut disinvited by right wingers for saying "in my ideal world, happily married gay couples would have closets full of assault weapons."

And they weren't objecting to his stance on assault weapons.




This piece poses the musical question "Why are there so few African-Americans in Metal?"

I always thought it was because black people had good taste in music.