I have been so focused on work and the election that I missed all of this until Joy started filling me in today. But she has been on it and is even teaching some of the self-defense classes I mention below. I will use her words here.
Room 8 has recently seen some fools (now no longer with front page priviliges) spouting Holocaust denial bullshit. These ignorant fools claim the gas chambers didn’t exist and the mass murder committed by the Nazis never happened.
I refuse to engage Nazi apologists, but I do want to remind people that Holocaust denial ignores a huge volume of eyewitness accounts and even archaeological evidence demonstrating that YES, the Nazis DID commit mass murder, including using gas chambers.
My friend from the Independent Neighborhood Democrats has been
Before I start, why does the Topic pull down on Room8 have "Brooklyn" but not "Bronx?" Seems like a big oversight. Now on to the diary...
To me one of the top races this year is the primary challenge to one of the number one most dysfunctional people in Albany now that Hiram Monserrate has been ousted: corrupt and reactionary Bronx hack Pedro Espada, jr. Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter has stepped up to the plate to try and get rid of Espada. Already Desiree Hunter has gotten the endorsements of Democracy for NYC, Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, and Stonewall Democrats.
In the race to replace Alan Fleishman as the male district leader in the 52nd Assembly district in Brooklyn, Chris Owens just picked up an unexpected and impressive endorsement. From Chris Owens' campaign:
The race to replace Alan Fleishman as male district leader for the 52nd Assembly District is starting to shape up. Chris Owens can now be considered the front runner as a second major reform club has endorsed him. From Chris Owens' campaign:
On Thursday, June 3, community activist Chris Owens was endorsed for the position of Democratic State Committee member from Brooklyn’s 52nd Assembly District by Brooklyn's lesbian and gay political voice, the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn ("LID"). LID is considered one of New York City's most progressive political organizations.
I'd like to continue my focus on challenging incumbents in the state senate with the hope of improving the awful situation in Albany.
Probably the four worst Democrats in the NY State Senate were Hiram Monserrate (now thankfully ousted and soundly defeated), Pedro Espada, jr., Ruben Diaz, Sr., and Carl Kruger. These are the four traitors who threw control of the State Senate to the Republicans in a cynical power play that derailed reform in Albany. Furthermore Cal Kruger has actively campaigned for Republican Marty Golden (one of my other targets) in exchange for political favors.
Since my post on CBID endorsements got SO much attention, I thought it a good idea to post some of the challenges to incumbents I am supporting this year. Many were chastizing me for being too focused on incumbents. Happens that CBID was mostly endorsing incumbents I consider good folks and have no qualms about supporting. But I certainly do support challenges to incumbents, both in primaries and in the general election, in some cases. I want to start with a challenge to obstructionist Republican Marty Golden in Brooklyn.
Last night was the second of three endorsement meetings being held by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats. I was working late, so I am relying on my wife's observations and the questionnaires the candidate had to fill out to be considered for a CBID endorsement (these are excellent resources and can be found at the CBID website for anyone who wants more info on the candidates) as well as my own previous experience with the some of the candidates. I urge everyone to check out these questionnaires.
Three candidates turned in questionnaires for the 12th Congressional Seat: incumbent Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, as well as two unknowns, Bruce Hirschfeld and George Martinez. Both Bruce and George seem to be running based on the fact that they AREN'T the incumbent while Nydia is running on her extremely impressive record as both a Congresswoman and as one of corrupt Party Boss Vito Lopez's biggest opponents. As far as I can tell neither Bruce nor George has anything that would indicate they have even a remote chance of beating one of Brooklyn's most popular and active Congressional Representatives. I know Nydia and have always found her to be one of the most progressive and enthusiastic representatives and her willingness to stand up to the Brooklyn political machine makes her an especially valuable politician. Nydia Velasquez's voting record is impeccable. Needless to say, CBID endorsed Nydia. Not having met or heard George or Bruce personally I can't say much about them, but their campaign lit and their answers to the CBID questionnaire are not very impressive. Given the fact that I have always been quite happy with Nydia Velasquez in Congress, I heartily endorse her.
I completely didn't see this coming. Barak Obama has just won the Nobel Peace Prize. From Salon.com:
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
The September 29th runoff for NYC Comptroller pits John Liu, with a degree in mathematical physics and extensive financial experience, against David Yassky, a lawyer and career politician with no financial experience, whose financial abilities are so challeneged that in 2006 he threw $15,000 of taxpayer money to a fake non-profit that did nothing but pay salaries to a former City Councilman's family...after that former City Councilman endorsed Yassky, of course. Yassky also made the same kind of corrupt deal with a Ratner front organization, exchanging an endorsement for taxpayer funding. And, of course, there is the fact that Yassky endorsed Sampson for Brooklyn DA four years ago even though Sampson's primary reason for running was to get machine boss Clarence Norman off the hook (Clarenace Norman is now in prison, of course, despite Sampson and Yassky's efforts). And remember that Yassky also voted to overturn term limits that the voters had approved TWICE, while John Liu voted to support the will of the voters.
I have argued for some time that the right wing use of hate speech to stir up its base into a frothy tizzy has led to an increase in intolerance and hate crimes in America. Almost the entire Bush Administration saw a constant rise in hate crimes, most particularly anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-immigrant hate crimes. There have been attacks at a Holocaust museum and at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. In Indiana, a prominent Republican told a group of Jews that their opinion on the recitation of Christian prayers at legislative sessions didn't matter because they only made up 2% of the population. There have even occastionally been what can only be described as pogroms here and there. There have even been hate crimes right in our subways, even as violent crime has overall been declining in NYC. I believe the blame for this increase in hate crimes is not just the continuing effects of Bush's Republican economic collapse. It is also thanks to the violent, intolerant rhetoric of people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. [UPDATE AT BOTTOM]
Here is a sampling of people who have endorsed Mark Green for Public Advocate of NYC with statements:
Some time back, the blogger going by the name of "Chaim Yankel" wrote an article called "My Brad Lander Problem...and Israel's." In this diary he outlined a strongly anti-Israel stand Brad Lander took some time back and made it the central focus of his opposition to Lander.
This issue is NOT the main reason I oppose Brad Lander. Although I do disagree with him on this issue (I am solidly pro-Israel though also sympathetic to the Palestinians, so Brad's anti-Israel stand is not my cup of kosher wine), this is not so important to me when it comes to city council. Furthermore, though Chaim Yankel saw Brad's anti-Israel position so unacceptable he called it "extremist," I consider it wrong, but within the range of mainstream.
Next to the 39th City Council district, the 33rd district is also among the most closely contested races in the city. I personally know all the candidates in the 39th. In the 33rd I know some very well, have met another, and with one, Isaac Abraham, have only heard him speak, not actually met him. I want to discuss this race based on my own experiences with the candidates. This race is a critical one in the fight against corruption in Brooklyn, as outlined in the Village Voice. Brooklyn Party Boss Vito Lopez is trying hard to take this seat and reformers are divided. Here's what the Village Voice has to say about this race: