Fun at the Board of Elections Website:
Now anyone who has ever been down to the Board knows there is no fun going on there. They are the most incompetent civil servants around, and they cannot help you with anything. I have had computers crash on me, waited hours to get a simple look at filed petitions, and even had to register to vote three times, once in person, because they messed it up so often. You would think they would at least have voter registration down, but they don’t. The Board may be the 8th circle of hell!
Luckily, the voters of New York have not lost their sense of humor.
On LunchBox today, host Adam Green on: Columbia University, John Faso, Eliot Spitzer, Rep Peter King, Alan Hevesi, Rep John Sweeney, Sen Hillary Clinton, former Rep Mark Foley and more...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: a statistical artifact…where studies on the remaining population are fallaciously compared with the historic average despite the survivors having unusual properties. Mostly, the unusual property in question is a track record of success.
It is a mantra among conservative commentators, when pushing privatization and other business provision of public services, that private businesses are more efficient than government agencies. Let’s leave aside the fact that, based on my experience with the matter, one of the things private businesses do efficiently is rip off the taxpayer. The presumption of private sector superiority is based on survivorship bias. Certainly Enron, and the hundreds of thousands of other private companies that go out of business each year, are not more efficient and competent than the typical public agency. While some such companies can do a lot of damage prior to bankruptcy, however, eventually that damage ends, leaving more efficient and competent businesses as the predominant type operating at any one time. Private sector efficiency, therefore, is not a result of inherent competence, but of trial and error. In the public sector, and in certain private industries that rely on public funds, on the other hand, organizations and their employees are presumed to have a right to their current situation, regardless of the value they produce for others. Since most of the services and benefits produced by the public sector are necessities, rather than mere wants, the least competent and efficient organizations grow, using more resources over time, in an attempt to get the necessary work done.
Is Apple's Fifth Avenue store offensive to Muslims?
One web site (altmuslim.com) says "no." It's stated that this week's internet controvery started with the usual unknown sources. It was reported that alcohol is served at the "Apple Mecca" store, something that's obviously not true.
While this "controversy" has appeared to have died down, the store's designer surely must have had Mecca's Ka'ba somewhere in mind--the image is world-famous. People have been calling the Fifth Avenue store "Apple Mecca" since at least April, before it was even opened.
Adam Green returns tomorrow with an all new LunchBox.
So today, just a quick look back at a classic moment in Vice Presidential politics; one involving a Pirro donor, no less.
In reading and hearing some New York City sportswriters call for the firing of Joe Torre, I’m reminded of how too many political writers write about the people who run political campaigns the same way.
Just as baseball writers and fans were quick to brand Torre a loser despite his overall record (one Daily News writer said if Torre was re-hired the Yankees were telling their fan to settle for mediocrity – after a 97 win season!), too many political reporters and folks who comment on blogs consider anyone involved with a winning campaign a genius and anyone in a losing one an idiot.
This article wraps up my journey through this year’s NYC primary results (see also here, here, and here ), which were recently posted on the Board Elections’ website. There will be a summary of my the post-primary observations not made in previous articles, as well as some other things I’ve gleaned from other info recently posted by the Board. (I’ll admit this series would probably have been far more extensive if John Mollenkopf’s maps of the 11th CD race hadn’t convinced me of the futility of trying to give informed analysis with limited resources). But first:
I was just watching this on Fox News. The Fox News reporter (Sheppard?) explained "that's what we New Yorkers call the East River." He then explained that further down is the 59th Street Bridge that "takes people to the borough of Brooklyn."
The Queensboro Bridge connects people from Manhattan to Brooklyn?
Just another day in NYC.
Adam Green returns on Friday with an all new LunchBox. In the mean time, we give you some hilarious clips from last night's Daily Show.
As I wrote here whether the government is hiring public employees or companies, it faces what I call the “dilemma of discretion.” Allow public sector managers to hire and fire whoever they please, and the government runs the risk of having their brother-in-law – or the brother-in-law of a politico who is in a position to threaten them – hired, and good employees fired. But bind those managers with all kinds of rules, to hire those who score highest on a civil service test and only fire an employee after a complicated series of steps, and you create a legalistic playground for those who seek to get paid to do a job without actually doing it. The civil service system and bidding rules, by making personnel and contractor arrangements non-voluntary, eliminate reciprocity in the employment and contracting relationship. Once a test is passed or a contract is won, the employee or contractor owes as little as he can get away with. Management often seeks to do as little as possible for the employees in turn. The result is ongoing, petty conflict over rules, a poisonous work atmosphere, and low productivity and quality – the government is a lousy place to work, and many firms refuse to do business with it.
I had an odd experience at work on Friday. After talking to a member of the administrative staff about a project, we started chatting about current events. We got on the subject of politics, which, naturally, led to the whole Foley congressional page story. During the conversation I mentioned that there are Southern Christians who won't like this scandal and the GOP cover-up and that some of them will stay home on election day, which will be good for the Democrats.
This is the third part of my trawl through the Primary results just posted on the NYC Board of Elections website. I finished this piece before I learned of John Mollenkopf’s more detailed Election District by Election District (ED) analysis of some of the same races, which puts mine to shame. However, I think the points I raise are still worthy of discussion, so I’m posting this rather than trashing it.
The object of this series is to examine shibboleths concerning the results which have arisen since the September 12th primary. For example, it has been reported, in the Brooklyn Paper, and in several blogs, that in the 25th Senate District challenger Ken Diamondstone beat incumbent Martin Connor in the district’s Brooklyn portion, and, in fact it’s been reported that Diamondstone has publicly taunted Connor over this (I’m sure Connor’s crying all the way to Albany). It’s a great story. But it’s not true. In actuality, Connor carried Brooklyn 3864 to 3,806, with two write-in votes going to Tracy Boyland.
[My e-mail to the Citizens Union came back with the following. Just in case that organization didn't receive it--Dick Dadey didn't respond when I'd e-mailed him before--I'll post it here.--Barry Popik]
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