The Gateway (Gaza Strip Tease & Denial Edition)

I was not going to mourn the end of Hostess, but then I remembered the ecstasy of touring the Wonder Bread Factory in Paterson, NJ, when I attended the Barnert Temple Nursery School in 1962-63. Life never smelled as good as that factory, and at the end they gave us each a freshly baked mini-loaf.

Believe me, Wonder Bread was never as good from the store.

Not much of a column, but a priceless opening:

"I was recently reading the "Error 503 Blog" when it was interrupted by something called Room 8 - Gatemouth. This Gatemouth blogger or "Error 503 Blog Interrupter" was discussing a flap over Simcha" http://galewynmassey.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-simcha-felder-thing-with-dean.html

 

 

 

Disenrolling Felder (Part Two): An Election Law expert reports that efforts to punish Simcha Felder by throwing him out of the Party were even more futile than I initially report.

At one time, the law said if one was dis-enrolled he/she could not re-enroll in that party for five years. But Kathleen O'Keefe, the Assembly election counsel, inadvertently eliminated that provision in doing Help America Vote Act (HAVA) compliance. So, now if you dis-enroll someone they can merely re-enroll immediately.

 

 

 

"I'm Leader and I Know It" Department:

Kevin Parker wants to be the Senate Democratic Leader.

This is really a plot by John Sampson to illustrate that things could always be worse.

Bring Back Mindy! http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2012/11/state-sen-kevin-parker-wants-to-be-dem-leader-sources

Alternative theory: Parker is doing it as a favor to the Governor, to deflect the criticisms Andrew’s received for the likes of Chris Hayes.   

 

 

Is the Council Reapportionment being manipulated to help Vito Lopez?

Although it is a bit shocking that Chris Quinn, who called for Lopez's ouster from the day his scandal first broke (when it was not yet apparent whether Vito would ride out the storm) would do anything for Lopez, the favor being talked of here is not a huge one. Lopez's doesn't really live at his "residence," so moving, which, in any event could occur after the primary, is hardly a major hassle for him. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/quinn_poised_for_vito_vote_boost_wnKctCZ75kyVe190DjTHmK?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local

 

 

 

Quinn: I will campaign day and night to keep this serial sexual harrasser from entering the City Council,

On opinion and belief Lopez has already entered at least one member of the Council already. http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/11/6621896/christine-quinn-will-campaign-day-and-night-keep-vito-lopez-city-co

 

 

 

Great Minds Post Alike Department (From Facebook):

Lincoln Restler (6 hours ago near Brooklyn):
at long last, heat and power have been restored to each every NYCHA building.

Stephen Levin (about an hour ago near Maspeth via mobile):
Got word earlier today that, after 20 days, power, heat, and hot water were restored to all NYCHA buildings that lost services due to Sandy.

Azi: "It's the first time in 35 years that a sitting Manhattan borough president is running for something other than mayor,"

WRONG!

35 years ago, Percy Sutton ran for mayor (he lost).

However, 28 years ago Andy Stein ran for Congress (and lost), and 27 years ago he ran for City Council President (and won).

Please note, all this trivia probably is of more consequence than the fact Scott Stringer is no longer running for Mayor. http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/11/6611337/stringer-steps-and-mayoral-field-adjusts-respectfully?--bucket-headline

 

 

Headline I thought I'd never see:

Charlie Crist denies rumor that he is dating a woman.

Where is EnWhySeaWonk when you need him? http://www.examiner.com/article/jill-kelley-s-twin-sister-charlie-crist-denies-dating-rumor

 

 

Most Misguided Line from a well-intentioned Editorial:

"Even the much-maligned Electoral College can be reformed to increase voter participation. States need not employ a winner-takes-all approach but instead follow Maine and Nebraska and apportion their votes to reflect if not exactly mirror the popular vote. Scrapping the Electoral College will take a constitutional amendment, an arduous path, whereas states can, on their own, change the way they choose electors; Nebraska just did so in 1996."

The Forward is right that we can change reform the Presidential Election process without a constitutional amendment, but their suggestion is worse than the present system. Adopting a Maine/Nebraska style "reform" would make things worse, not better. There are many reasons for this, but the most striking is how outrageously the Presidential election could be made a forgone conclusion by gerrymandering.

If this system were adopted nationwide Mitt Romney would have won the election for the same reason Republicans hold the Congress have recieved half a million less votes. Under this plan, Romney would have taken the lion's share of the electoral votes in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Nebraska example is telling. After the new Congressional lines were adopted there, Democrats did not even bother to try win the new seat's electoral votes this time around.

There is a way to actually "reform" how we elect the President which does not require a constitutional amendment. It is called the "National Popular Vote" (NPV) Plan.

apportion their votes to reflect if not exactly mirror the popular vote. Scrapping the Electoral College will take a constitutional amendment, an arduous path, whereas states can, on their own, change the way they choose electors; Nebraska just did so in 1996."

The Forward is right that we can change reform the Presidential Election process without a constitutional amendment, but their suggestion of a Maine/Nebraska style "reform" would make things worse, not better.

There are many reasons for this, but the most striking is how outrageously the Presidential election could be made a forgone conclusion by gerrymandering.

If this system were adopted nationwide, Mitt Romney would have won the election for the same reason Republicans hold the Congress despite having received half a million fewer votes.

Under this plan, Romney would have taken the lion's share of the electoral votes in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Nebraska example is telling. After the new Congressional lines were adopted there, Democrats did not even bother to try to win the new seat's electoral votes this time around.

There is a way to actually "reform" how we elect the President which does not require a constitutional amendment. It is called the "National Popular Vote" (NPV) Plan. http://forward.com/articles/166054/how-to-fix-the-vote/

 

 

The Smartest Man In America: The backing Mr. Obama received from gay voters...has a claim on having been decisive. Mitt Romney and Mr. Obama won roughly an equal share of votes among straight voters nationwide, exit polls showed. And, a And, a study argues, Mr. Romney appears to have won a narrow victory among straight voters in the swing states of Ohio and Florida...Mr. Obama’s more than three-to-one edge in exit polls among the 5 percent of voters who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual was more than enough to give him the ultimate advantage,

The Smuggest Man in America (1/27/12): Recently the Log-Cabin Republicans (gays) rewarded Obama’s risqué gambit with an endorsement for Mitt Romney. This act only solidified what I have always felt: that gays are the most narcissistic of any demographic group in US society. It must have been an “E tu Brute” moment for Obama.

Humble Pie Time, anyone? udy argues, Mr. Romney appears to have won a narrow victory among straight voters in the swing states of Ohio and Florida...Mr. Obama’s more than three-to-one edge in exit polls among the 5 percent of voters who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual was more than enough to give him the ultimate advantage,"

The Most Self Possessed Man In America (1/27/12
http://www.r8ny.com/blog/rock_hackshaw/this_is_what_the_talking_and_writing_heads_of_mainstream_media_wouldn_t_tell_you_about_the_upcoming_president): "Recently the Log-Cabin Republicans (gays) rewarded Obama’s risqué gambit with an endorsement for Mitt Romney. This act only solidified what I have always felt: that gays are the most narcissistic of any demographic group in US society. It must have been an “E tu Brute” moment for Obama."

Humble Pie Time, anyone?

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/us/politics/gay-vote-seen-as-crucial-in-obamas-victory.html?hp&_r=0

 

 

Goldberg expounds on Gaza, calling them as he sees 'em.

Faves:

"Israel is being judged  harshly. Yes, I know that probably 300 people have been murdered in Syria since this Gaza affair started, and no one cares.  An acquaintance of mine, a Syrian living in t, wrote me in frustration about this last night. "We get very little interest from the international press compared to the Palestinians. What should we do to get more attention?

My advice is to get killed by Jews. Always works."

"Barack Obama hasn't turned against Israel. This is a big surprise to everyone who has not paid attention for the last four years, or who had decided, for nakedly partisan reasons, to paint him as a Jew-hater."

"Israel's media campaign...is disgraceful....people are most influenced by their enemies. In this case, the braggadocio of the IDF is beginning to resemble the braying of various Palestinian terror outfits over the years. All death is tragic, even the deaths of your enemies."

"I'll be asking the same question over and over again the coming days: What is Israel's long-term strategy? Short-term, I understand: No state can agree to have its civilians rocketed. But long-term, do Israeli leaders believe that they possess a military solution to their political problem in Gaza?"

Beirut, wrote me in frustration about this last night. "We get very little interest from the international press compared to the Palestinians. What should we do to get more attention?”

My advice is to get killed by Jews. Always works."

"Barack Obama hasn't turned against Israel. This is a big surprise to everyone who has not paid attention for the last four years, or who had decided, for nakedly partisan reasons, to paint him as a Jew-hater."

"Israel's media campaign...is disgraceful....people are most influenced by their enemies. In this case, the braggadocio of the IDF is beginning to resemble the braying of various Palestinian terror outfits over the years. All death is tragic, even the deaths of your enemies."

"I'll be asking the same question over and over again the coming days: What is Israel's long-term strategy? Short-term, I understand: No state can agree to have its civilians rocketed. But long-term, do Israeli leaders believe that they possess a military solution to their political problem in Gaza?" http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/the-iron-dome-press-bias-and-israels-lack-of-strategic-thinking/265360/

 

 

 

More Goldberg: A ground invasion of Gaza is a bad idea. The temptations are many -- Gaza is controlled by an anti-Semitic Muslim fundamentalist organization committed to Israel's destruction, and it obviously harbors many men who are actively plotting ways to kill Jews. But there is no military solution to Israel's political problem in Gaza, short of some sort of World War II-style Tokyo campaign, or Putin-style Chechnya campaign (or, for that matter, an Aleppo-style Assad campaign)....

 ... If someone could plausibly make the argument that a ground invasion represents a long-term solution that both avoid large numbers of casualties and enhances Israel's international position, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, perhaps Israel should contemplate actually moving the Palestinians down the road of political independence on the West Bank, under moderate, far-seeing leadership. This might convince the people of Gaza that Hamas does nothing for them. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/against-a-ground-invasion-of-gaza/265383/

 

 

 

Walter Russell Mead: Israel’s fiercer critics attack it for fighting unjust wars against the Palestinians. For some, Zionism itself is an illegitimate idea and a state that has no right to exist has no right to defend itself. Anything it does to defend itself is a crime. This is how Hamas and many others think...

...For others, Israel may have a right to exist, but its occupation of the West Bank and other crimes against the Palestinians have deprived it of a just grounds for war when Palestinians attack it. People in this camp attack any use of force by Israel as lacking jus ad bellum, basically because they think Israel has forfeited its jus by its occupation and settlement policy...

 ...But more moderate critics of Israel (including many Israelis) focus on jus in bello, and in particular they look at the question of proportionality. When the Palestinians flick a handful of fairly crude rockets at random across Israel, these critics say, Israel has a right to a kind of pinprick response: tit for tat. But it isn’t entitled to bring the full power of its industrial grade air force and its mighty ground forces into an operation designed to crush Hamas at the cost of hundreds of civilian casualties....

...Americans are sorry about the loss of life, but it inspires them to hate and loathe Hamas more, rather than to be mad at Israel. They blame the irresponsible dolts who started the war for all the consequences of the war and they admire Israel’s strength and its resolve for dealing with the appalling blood lust of the unhinged loons who start a war they can’t win, and then cower behind the corpses of the children their foolishness has killed...

 ... a great many Americans see nothing but common sense at work. These Americans aren’t mad about ‘disproportionate’ Israeli violence in Gaza because they don’t really accept the concept of proportionality in war. They think that if you have jus ad bellum, and rocket strikes from Gaza are definitely that, you get something close to a blank check when it comes to jus in bello. America, Israel, Gaza, the World | Via Meadia blogs.the-american-interest.com

 

 

 

AZI PAYBARAH: according to internal @NYCCouncil email, @ChrisCQuinn is having press conference Tues "in support of #Israel's right to self-defense

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JON REZNICK: if even one of the boros were within rocket range, i would understand this. otherwise, yeah, it's asking to backfire.

GATE: Yeah, she risks losing the support of every Muslim in NYC willing to vote for a lesbian. I hear they are both outraged.

REZNICK:  i actually think the positioning on this issue is generational rather than ethnic or nationalist.

GATE: My real point is it probably loses her no votes. I bet every mayoral candidate will make a statement substantially the same. Which one do you think will not?

REZNICK: While I hesitate ever to speculate on whether one thing or not costs votes (or wins them), I happen to think involving Israel and international politics in the NYC Mayoral race is a little overblown, entails unneeded political risk, and will hurt her with younger voters with whom her appeal as a gay woman might resonate in particular.

A better strategy would be for her not to seek attention (and invite risk) on this issue at all, because I am not sure which votes it wins her anyway.

GATE: If she waited, it would be only a matter of hours before both DeBlasio and Thompson issued statements strongly supporting Israel, if they haven’t already. She does not want to be conspicuous in her absence, and being conspicuous is the real danger, because once every one does the same thing, it pretty much leaves the table. Anyway, I think it's not much of an issue because as Walter Mead noted "if you have jus ad bellum, and rocket strikes from Gaza are definitely that, you get something close to a blank check when it comes to jus in bello." Of course, there are also stupid lefties who think that the fact that Jews no longer occupy Gaza but still live in Tel Aviv is jus ad bellum enough for Hamas. Poetic justice for such folks would be if they had to live in a nation where Hamas was in charge of social issues.

REZNICK: Then why isn't the press conference for sooner than Tuesday? Why not just issue a release? Why be seen grandstanding on this, when New York City Council is not even a party to this, let alone the Mayor's Office (unless you're Ed Koch or are generally willing to take a rock to the head)

GATE: Seems to me that the same sort of folks getting outraged about foreign policy hijacking NYC campaigns were introducing anti-war resos at the city council a few years ago. I admire anyone who announces they will oppose all such resos regardless of whose ox is being gored, but I've never seen anyone willing to do so, and I will note that, in recent years, such resos have come predominantly from the left. I will consider outrage expressed over this to be sincere when I stop hearing people condemned for voting against the City Council reso on the Iraq invasion because they thought it was none of the council's business.

GAIL ROBINSON: This all seems so predictable and does anyone really care what Quinn -- or Thomson or DeBlasio-- says on this?

GATE: Jon seems to care, or he wouldn't have posted

REZNICK: i don't think any of your answers are really talking to me though, Gate. it is not something any of them should be speaking to right away. or at all. or hosting pressers on. etc. ultimately, it is too early in the 2013 race to begin transacting with the Jewish community. by being speaker, Quinn already has an ace in the hole when it comes to delivering public goods.

it just makes bad political sense for her to jump on this, and in this way. my feeling is that most people have to shut up about the middle east. i'm not a peacenik though.

GATE: Sadly, for Quinn, her transactions will probably be even less useful to her among the Orthodox than those of David Weprin and Lew Fidler. This is more geared at UWSiders. Domestic Partner’s anti-Bibi, Labor Zionist family are talking and worrying about nothing else. By contrast, when I had a plate of Red Beans this morning at Hadramout Yemenite restaurant on Atlantic Ave, they had on a soccer game. ---Hamas played a deadly game against people whose entire history is based on a belief that proportionate response is suicidal. The world clucks its tongue in pro forma response, but is yawning. And yes, while I sympathize with the Israelis, I would be more impressed if Quinn, any of her rivals, or even one NYC member of Congress said something instead about Syria.

It is also about meeting the demands of her members, who I'm sure this welled up from; which might account for the date as well.

REZNICK: haha too bad such an important thing had to wait :p

GATE: We are arguing over whether this is good politics, but clearly politics is what it is

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