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Three Blind Comptrollers

Three blind Comptrollers.
Three blind Comptrollers.
See how they run.
See how they run.
They all ran after CALLAGHAN'S wife
Who cut off their........with the DRIVERS knife.
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As three blind Comptrollers?

L Magazine's new history columns (from a licensed NYC guide!)

L Magazine is offering new history columns from Matt Levy, "a licensed NYC tour guide." We all know how good those "licensed NYC tour guides" are, so let's look at this one.

The first statement from his first column is total lunacy:

"New York City, no stranger to superlatives, has countless reasons to boast of its pedigreed past; our list of firsts is long and lustrous. We lay claim to the first mixed drink, a Martini, which was handed to a happy client at Pieter Laurenzen Kock’s tavern at 1 Broadway. There is no recorded proof of who served the delicious drink (probably Pieter) or to whom, but we are sure it was shaken before 1664 when all this was still Nieuw Amsterdam. But it wasn’t called a Martini back then, wasn’t even called a cocktail – that word was invented here too, slightly outside of the city, in Betsy Flanagan’s tavern on the post road between Tarrytown and White Plains. General George Washington’s troops provided the gin and the French fighting for our Revolution brought the vermouth. Betsy herself mixed it up with a feather from the tail of pet red rooster in July of 1781. The tale is a bit apocryphal, but that’s how Betsy and George would have wanted it."

And the election goes to...

A friend of mine emailed me his predictions today for Tuesday's national election; this inspired me to do the same, but also including New York races. He wrote:
All right. I will now make my predictions:

We will gain 7 or 8 gubernatorial seats (and gain a similar number of state legislatures (giving us 29 state legislatures, minimum)

We will gain 28-31 house seats

LunchBox: Upping The State

On LunchBox today, host Adam Green on: Jack Davis, Rep John Sweeney and Isaiah Thomas...

Is it all over for "Public Advocate"?

Will the position of "Public Advocate" finally be eliminated? The recent compensation commission glossed over this. How do you increase the salary of a position that, well, doesn't do much? (The same applies to borough presidents.) If you're the compensation commission, you just simply ignore these minor facts, look at the current salaries, and raise them all proportionately.

In today's NY Post is "Betsy's Car $$: Scramble to Pay Auto Bills." The Public Advocate position is just about done.


Strangest Election

Every year, we hear a lot of hyperbole about elections - “This is the most important election of our lifetime”, “X’s campaign is the worst I’ve ever seen”, “Y’s ads are the nastiest of all time”, etc.

But I think I can say without fear of contradiction that this year’s election for Civil Court Judge in 7th District in Manhattan is the strangest in memory.

The 7th District boundaries are basically 110th Street west of 8th Avenue to the upper tip of Manhattan.

This year, 2 Civil Court judges are to be elected. As is most judicial races, the winners here are inevitably chosen in the Democratic Primary. However, that’s not what’s happening here. For one of the two positions, there is a Democratic candidate – Rita Mella, who is presently the Law Clerk to Brooklyn Surrogate Margarita Lopez Torres. But for reasons that are both too complicated and murky, there is no Democratic candidate for the other slot. And for reasons that are simple (they assumed there would be a full slate of Democratic candidates, there are no Republican, Independence, Conservative or Working Families Party candidates either.

What I Would Do: A Summary In Principle

After several months of posting data and complaints, I have spent the last month detailing what I would do at the state level if it were up to me. Now that I’m on record, the reader will have some appreciation of my perspective as I attempt to judge the policies of the next administration in Albany. I really won’t know what they have done until the data comes in some years later, since you cannot go by what they say, but I’ll try my best. My point of view, however, isn’t just a collection of initiatives, or even root-and-branch overhauls, such as I have written about thus far. It is a set of policies and priorities the spring directly from fundamental principles. Do expect any of my specific suggestions to be enacted next year? No. But I am hoping that state government will move closer to the operating principles I would like to see, and farther from those that have been in effect in recent decades. As a summary, I’ll plagiarize what I wrote when I was a candidate for (or rather against) state --legislature as to what those principles theirs and mine -- are.

A Benign Parade

I never went to the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade as a kid (i.e., childhood through my early 20s), it was only after returning from grad school out of state that I started attending. That was towards the end of Rudy's reign and the parades tended to feature some great commentary on politics in the city and nationally. The tip of the iceberg were huge papier-mache heads of the relevant people of the day made to look very gruesome and scary. [Room 8 is experiencing technical difficulties, if there are spacing issues, it's not my fault.]

Hi, this is Robert DiNero...

I got the following robo-call last night, which I found amusing. It just seems like overkill to get celebrities to do recordings when the election is in the bag:

Hi this is Robert DiNero. I'm calling on behalf of Senator Hillary Clinton and her campaign for the Senate.

Hillary has fought hard to keep New York safe and secure. She's secured $20 billion for New York after 9/11. She fought Homeland Security's 40% cut to New York in anti-terror funding. Took on the Bush Administration  to keep a company owned by a foreign government from managing our ports.

Open Call For Video Stars & Starlets

Want to turn up the amperage on your broadcast journalism career? If not, know someone who does?

Room Eight seeks a more straightlaced - albeit, still edgy - Adam Green-type to deliver a daily dose of nightly news on the site. It's a committment.

So, show us what you've got. Send us a link to your 3-5 minute video newscast on New York politics (via YouTube, Google Video, etc.) to editors (at) r8ny (dot) com.

As for the pay ... virtually nonexistent, for starters! But the exposure ... tremendous! Or, at least a whole hell of a lot more than what you're getting now.

LunchBox: Oy Vey!

On LunchBox today, host Adam Green on: Rep John Sweeney, John Faso, Alan Hevesi, Jim McGreevey, John Kerry, robots and more...

Rudy's Newest Friend

In the past, I have posted some comments questioning how pro-choice, pro-Gay, anti-gun Republican Rudy Giuliani could campaign for various right-wing Republicans around the country.

But now, I found one who Rudy probably felt very comfortable campaigning with.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared at an event for Rep. Jim Gibbons, the Republican candidate, while on the other side, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark stumped for state Sen. Dina Titus.

Giuliani spoke to Gibbons' supporters only for about two and a half minutes before being whisked away to a private fundraiser. He urged them to do everything possible to get their candidate elected.

Where’s the tsunami? But Democrats near control of the House

Results in key House races: Reuters poll WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats lead Republicans in 12 of 15 key races in the November 7 election to decide which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives.

What I Would Do About Energy

Given that all energy sources have environmental impacts and risks, people have to accept that while none is perfect some are better than others. Natural gas, solar power, wind and (waste disposal aside) nuclear are less damaging and less risky than coal, with its massive environmental impact, and oil, with its significant impact and politically uncertain sources of supply. And with hostility to the United States in the world, hostility to the Northeast in the United States, and hostility to New York City (and, by connection, the rest of Long Island) in the Northeast, Downstate would be wise to meet its own energy needs to the extent possible, and to diversify sources of supply otherwise, even at a somewhat higher cost (which would also encourage conservation) and despite some impact and risk. For New York City, relying on Upstate New York for additional electric power is a bit like relying on countries where Osama Bin Laden is popular for oil.

Browbeaten, Intimidated and Humiliated Into Not Betraying Its Principles, WFP Finally Does The Right Thing In Suffolk


On October 28, 2006, in an article dissing the Working Families Party, I wrote:

“In the Senate Dem’s number two targeted race, against Republican Caeser Trunzo, WFP took sides in the Democratic endorsing the thoroughly decent David Ochoa against the thoroughly decent Jimmy Dahroug, who won the primary. As of this morning, WFP’s website still indicates support for Ochoa, whose presence in the race only helps Trunzo, and WFP has billboards all over Suffolk urging a straight vote on its line to ‘send a message’, which, I assume is ‘Joe Bruno, you owe us big’”