The Gateway (Sydenhamming It Up Edition)

Barrett, arguably the harshest critic while Koch was happening, gives both the man and the truth its due.

The biggest problem with Koch?

His closing of Harlem's Sydenham Hospital, (something never appreciated by any neighborhood) was a perfectly defensible step during a fiscal crisis, but one which needed, especially in the light of other cuts (and the times) to be handled with a masterful sensitivity.

Instead, at Koch's appearance at the Inner Circle show, he donned an Afro-wig and made jokes about it giving him the sudden urge to open hospitals.

Charlie Rangel walked out.

The NY Times as a source of bad history (Part One):

"What followed was a series of disclosures, indictments and convictions for bribery, extortion, perjury and conspiracy that touched various city agencies. Much of the skulduggery centered on the Transportation Department and the Parking Violations Bureau. Stanley M. Friedman and Meade H. Esposito — the Democratic bosses in the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively, and Koch supporters — were convicted. Mr. Friedman went to prison, and Mr. Esposito, who was in ill health, received a suspended two-year sentence and a fine. "

Sorry, but according to The New York Tines on 9/4/93:

"Mr. Esposito retired as Brooklyn Democratic leader in late 1983, but remained one of the state's most powerful behind-the-scenes politicians until his indictment and conviction in 1987 for having given an illegal gratuity to another one-time power broker, former Representative Mario Biaggi of the Bronx. He was given a suspended two-year prison term and fined $500,000."

Parking had nothing to do with it. But, why should that matter? After all, they were all corrupt hacks, and as “reformers” often like to remind me, being a stickler for the truth is just not being useful.

The NY Times as a source of Bad History (Part Two) [AKA: The Times Reports and Gatemouth Corrects]:

Sometime after I posted about this article on Facebook, this was added to its end:

Correction: February 2, 2013  

A previous version of this article incorrectly described Bella S. Abzug. She was a politician, but never Manhattan borough president.

Thank goodness, I was afraid that a few years from now, I'd still be feebly arguing that Bella had held only one elected job (Congress) and be confronted with this link from America's paper of record.

The most important thing Tomasky does here is remind us that the guy who beat Carmine DeSapio was named Jim Lannigan.

Ed Koch was the guy who nearly botched stopping Carmine's comeback attempt

By recalling Ed Koch’s the laugh-gets-stuck-in-your-throat quip about the “five  foot four Puerto Rican with a gun,” Jim Sleeper reminds us that, in the days before cell phone cameras, email, YouTube, etc,  a white politician could make an offensive ethnic remark in front of an all-white outer-borough audience and get away with it.

Back in the 80s, I more than once witnessed then Congressman Chuck Schumer openly bragging to all-white audiences about his successful efforts to keep Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses from what was then called "tipping" (that means he was claiming that he kept out enough black people so as not to be excessive in the eyes of the neighborhood).

These days, you could not say something like that without it being recorded.

These days, you would be hard-pressed to even find an all-white outer-borough audience.

An informed source tells me that Sidique Wai, who managed all of 3% of the vote the last time he managed to actually get on the ballot in a local race, will this year manage to qualify a citywide petition for Public Advocate.

My source tells me that Wai, a (literally) African-American from Tish James' Council District will qualify because he will have the money to hire professional petition gathers and an experienced election lawyer, and that he will have the money because Bloomberg associates will be financing his campaign in order to help Bloomberg favorite Dan Squadron by taking black votes from James and Islamic South Asian votes from Reshma Saujani.

After I commented about Sal Albanese trying to make political hay out of his early endorsement of Barack Obama, by noting his 2002 endorsement of right wing Republican Marty Golden against an incumbent Democratic State Senator, the schmuck who persists in saying that Albanese’s support for a right-wing reactionary doesn’t matter, because it had no impact, made one of his periodic appearances:

Anon: The obsession you have with the Albanese endorsement of Golden is a bit over the top. As I pointed out in earlier posts, it was hardly a factor in the race. Golden, who was clearly a more effective legislator, with lines drawn for him, beat Gentile by ten points. Gentile barely won two ADs and got trounced in the others.

Gate: Nonsense.

Sal says we should vote for him because he endorsed Obama. Whether he was trying to imply he had better judgment than his rivals or was more progressive, it is he who has now put his endorsement history into issue.

Whether that endorsement made a difference is irrelevant. Are you saying that one cannot discuss an endorsement if it made no difference? If so, then you should tell Sal to stop mentioning Obama. but if he keeps mentioning it, I have the right to introduce evidence which indicates his endorsements indicates he has horrible judgment and that he is a reactionary, or a hack.

The Golden endorsement is surely evidence of all that. If it wasn't you'd not keep whining every time I bring it up. In fact, your whining only proves that it is relevant.

Further, I'm getting sick of Sal and the three people who are backing him telling me that what he did in 2002 is irrelevant.

If 2002 is irrelevant, then 1982-1997 must be irrelevant as well, for they are even further back in time. And if that is true, then Sal is only some small time lawyer with a bloated ego and delusions of grandeur who has no rationale for his citywide ego trip.

You get your choice. Either 2002 is relevant, or Sal is Ceceilia Berkowitz.

Anon: What exactly did his endorsement mean for Golden? How many votes?

Golden beat Gentile in every way possible. He had more money, he ran a better campaign, Bruno fixed the lines and he won when it mattered? The results would have been no different with or without Sal.

Shean:  Leaving aside the idiotic idea that no one is responsible for his actions unless he alone determines the outcome, it may be worth noting the obvious fact that Albanese endorsed Golden before the 2002 election, i.e., without the benefit of hindsight.

The outcome was by no means a foregone conclusion. In 1998, after holding the seat for one term, Gentile received 55% against Christopher Mega, a former Senator who had previously been elected from the same district. In 2000 he received 62% against Robert DiCarlo, another former Senator previously elected from the same district (and Gentile's immediate predecessor). (These figures exclude two minor party candidates, neither of whom received as many as 500 votes in either election.)

Although the district had been substantially redrawn in 2002, eliminating the Staten Island part, Gentile had previously defeated both Mega and DiCarlo in the Brooklyn part alone. He had shown considerable strength against the former incumbents in Bay Ridge, especially against DiCarlo in 2000. Bay Ridge was the area where Golden was most well known. It was also an area where Albanese's endorsement was likely to be helpful.

Albanese did not endorse Golden because he thought it would not make a difference, but because they both hoped it would.

I swear that Gary Schlesinger of the Aroni Satmar pork sluice which calls itself UJCares is a secret fan of Talking Heads.

Schlesinger’s testimony that the proposed Council redistricting would turn a “brownstone district into a Jewish ghetto” recalls nothing so much as "Life During Wartime" ("Lived in a brownstone, I lived in the ghetto, I've lived all over this town")

Of course, the most likely explanation is that some hipster from Williamsburg wrote it for him, knowing he'd never catch the reference.




Can someone please explain to me how lefty hero Mona Davids' racially charged anti-birth control rhetoric from that of Herman Cain by even one iota? ufuBW20ps7nvZI?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local



Given Jeffrey Goldberg's surprising and important and influentail early support for Hagel being nominated ["Maybe, at this point, what we need are American officials who will speak with disconcerting bluntness to Israel about the choices it is making. If the Jewish Home party becomes a key part of Netanyahu's right-wing ruling coalition, you can be assured that there will not compromise coming in the foreseeable future (it's almost impossible to foresee compromise now.) Maybe the time has come to redefine the term "pro-Israel" to include, in addition to providing support against Iran (a noble cause); help with the Iron Dome system (also a noble cause); and support to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge (ditto), the straightest of straight talk about Israel's self-destructive policies on the West Bank. Maybe Hagel, who is not bound to old models, could be useful in this regard."] that he should feel compelled to write this speaks volumes.


Chait, an even more pro-Obama liberal Zionist joins the gangbang ["The liberal defense of Hagel has been dominated from the outset by enemy-of-my-enemy thinking. But while becoming the target of Bill Kristol’s smear machine may qualify you for sympathy, it does not inherently qualify you for a cabinet post. Hagel is not an anti-Semite. But there are plenty of non-anti-Semites out there who can make it through a confirmation hearing without suffering total public humiliation.”]


I never thought this nomination was worth the blood and treasure it would cost to get confirmed, but even I did not expect Hagel to come to the table and sound like a high schooler trying to wing an oral report he had not prepared for.




Since I have no use for Netanyahu and no use for expansion of West Bank settlement activity, I think I can be pretty unbiased in evaluating this cartoon.

1) Netanyahu really doesn't have a big nose and he really isn't fat and bald. Those distortions of his image change it in a manner which conjures up the classic anti-Semitism of a Streicher cartoon.

2) Jews and blood, a classic anti-Semitic image, and one to be used carefully, if at all, and generally not in conjunction with bald fat big-nosed Jews.

3) The wall as the object of disdain.

Irony alert: The real Israeli supporters of a two-state solution generally favor a wall. A wall gives the lie to the idea that a "Greater Israel" can ever be a viable solution. Leading one to the conclusion that the cartoonist probably favors a one state solution, meaning the eventual disappearance of the world's only Jewish state.

In other words, highly suspicious, and probably creating a rebuttable presumption of anti-Semitism.

And, perhaps nearly as bad, giving Bibi a moral high ground he does not deserve.




NYC Karma:

Woke up Friday morning to learn that an old political mentor had died

No, Ed Koch was not my mentor (unless you think Gatemouth is a pseudonym for Jerry Skurnik). I’m talking about former Bergen County Freeholder Allen Sklar (no, not the lawyer who ran against Lena Cymbrowitz and Mike Nelson; that’s Alan Sclar) the man who got me my first patronage job back in 76 (and, yes I know he looked like Ed Rogowsky; he talked like him too).

Struck dumb by the news, I pondered whether to take off from work and head to NJ for the funeral.

Then, Domestic Partner walked in, having just dropped Dybbuk off for his ride:

Domestic Partner: Sunshine, when it comes to political history, you may think you have a flawless photographic memory, but I wished you’d apply it instead for something useful, like remembering when to move the car for alternate side parking.

And I knew Hashem had sent me a signal.