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Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9

New Documentary Film by the Only Pundit in America to Predict that Trump Would Win the Presidency in 2016

September 21, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

michael moore's new movie fahrenheit11/9When Michael Moore talks, I tend to listen.

Why?

Because he's the only national pundit in America who predicted Trump would win the presidency in 2016.

In a July 2016 editorial, independent filmmaker Michael Moore explained the contributing psychological and cultural factors upon which his predictions for a Trump victory were based. The tenets for much of his underlying cultural analysis, still hold true today, and is explored more fully in his new film.

 

Moore, a Working Class Journalist, Probes the Psychology of Trump, Trump's Followers, and the Mainstream Media Folks

Michael Moore is sometimes typecast as a liberal, but his working class credentials have never been challenged. The liberal label may have arisen because one of his earlier films, Roger & Me, called out the CEO of General Motors for exporting American jobs, thus shafting of the American working class, of which Moore was a member back in the 1990's. Another of Moore's films, Fahrenheit 9/11, attacked George W. Bush and the American corporate media for their inept response to the 911 attacks.

But Moore shows little tolerance for liberals too, as he believes those in charge of the liberal media and political apparatus are also living in insulated seclusion from the rest of us. He brought this point home in the DemocracyNow.org interview, by talking about mundane TV shows watched by Trump supporters, that are not watched by the people delivering the corporate news. He uses the TV shows people watch, as a proxy for the cultural disconnect. He then meandered into the importance of the TV show The Apprentice, in creating Donald Trump.

Moore doesn't work for a corporation, nor is he sponsored by big money, so he seems about as independent these days, as we're going to get.

 

Moore Produces Documentary Films to Inform

Michael Moore dresses like a guy who came in off the street. He seems to forgo the celebrity narcissism of TV news in favor of spending his time gathering, thinking about, and processing the information he collects. By contrast, Rupert Murdoch's pretty boys of Fox News, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, exhibit an almost feminine broadcast appearance. This leads me to wonder whether these two Murdochian knuckleheads spend more time in makeup and primping themselves in front of the mirror - than they spend time trying to make sure they have their facts straight.

This comparison is a metaphor for where we are today in terms of news and politics. The news of today seems more like a celebrity shock jock ratings contest, rather than what it should be - a contest to become the most trustworthy, research driven, investigative, fact finding, fact checking information source available. Similarly the politicians in government today seem more interested in playing parts in politically polarized public theater performances, like the Donald did throughout the 2016 campaign, than in devising and negotiating public policy for the good of the people.

As for Moore, he seems a bit old school, like one of the American newsmen of the past - interested in afflicting the comfortable, and in comforting the afflicted.

 

DemocracyNow.Org Interviews Moore about Fahrenheit 11/9

On Friday afternoon I tuned in to DemocracyNow.org and found Michael Moore, in all his splendiforous unorthodoxy, talking about his new movie: Fahrenheit 11/9. As previously mentioned, in 2004 Moore created a film Fahrenheit 9/11 about George W. Bush - so the title for this new film, Fahrenheit 11/9, flips the digits of the numerical date, to reflect the day after the Trump election victory on November 9th [11/9] 2016.

The news analysis and insight that Michael Moore delivers may not be all encompassing [nothing ever is], but based on his DemocracyNow.org interview, the new film seems to provide a fresh, insightful perspective. Moore seems to probe beyond the superficial, into the psychology of Donald Trump, who over the past couple of decades Moore has personally encountered multiple times on the talk show circuit. Moore also probes the mass psychological and cultural yearnings of Trump's American supporters, and makes shocking analogies to other nations and other periods in history. Moore intimated in the interview that he's warning people how fragile a government with a just and fair democratic system really is.

Will Michael Moore's new movie, Fahrenheit 11/9, wake up Americans to the seduction of the Trump Administration? Or will Moore fail to create awareness, like he failed in July of 2016, when he warned the American populace that they should take the Trump campaign more seriously, because Donald J. Trump was going to win in November of 2016?

You can view the Moore interview about his new movie, Fahrenheit 11/9, on DemocracyNow.org. Moore's documentary film opened in thousands of theaters across the nation on Friday, September 21, 2018.


No IDC NY Wins Big & Cuomo Buys Back In

No IDC NY Supported Candidates Won Six of Nine Senate Contests & Cuomo's Donors Spent $21 per Vote

2018 democratic primary in nyc nys elections voting booth photosSeptember 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYS Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Andrew Cuomo and his wealthy corporate backers appear to have won him a third term as NYS Governor. The win reportedly cost them over $21 million – thus reducing the the return on their political investment by requiring a significant upfront payment.

But you needn’t worry about Cuomo or his wealthy corporate backers, as campaign contributions are reportedly very good investments, providing returns that range from modest to excessive. Do a search for studies conducted in 2004 by Harvard University, and in 2017 by Kellogg Graduate Business School at Northwestern for greater detail.

The photo at right shows voters on Thursday evening, September 13th, signing in to cast their votes.

 

Cuomo Defeats Nixon - Voting Interest Nearly Triples vs 2014

governor andrew cuomo nys governor photoWith 99% of the precincts reporting, Andrew Cuomo won 975,552 votes to Cynthia Nixon’s 511,585 votes – that’s 65.6% for Cuomo and 34.4% for Nixon. Nixon won many of the counties surrounding Albany, Tompkins County and Lewis County near Syracuse.

Cuomo won the rest of the state, but won by smaller margins in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while winning by wider margins in the other boroughs. Please note that the September 13, 2018 election totals and percentages shown in this story were reported by the New York Times this morning. The contextual and historical figures and percentages were reported by a multitude of other generally reliable sources.

In the photo at right is Andrew Cuomo marching in the June LGBT parade in the West Village of Manhattan in a prior year.

Had Cuomo only won as many votes as he'd secured in the 2014 primary against Zephyr Teachout, Nixon would have trounced him. In 2014 Andrew Cuomo received 327,150 votes to Zephyr Teachout's tally of 180,336 votes, with the percentages reflecting about the same as this year [64% / 36%] - but the ad spending by the Cuomo campaign was up significantly and so were the vote tallies on both sides. Thus in 2018, almost three times as many voters showed up at the polls during the primary election, but as you will see below - that's still only about 10% of the total potential electorate.

Cuomo Outspends Nixon by 8:1 - Pays $21 per Vote

Andrew Cuomo’s campaign reportedly spent over $21 million this year, versus Cynthia Nixon’s $2.5 million. Thus Cuomo outspent Nixon by over eight to one. And Cuomo's campaign spending in the primary of 2014 was reportedly under $10 million, thus translating into a doubling of what corporations and wealthy donors must pay to keep Cuomo in office.

 

Campaign Contributions by the Rich Few, Beat the Multitude of Small Contributions of the Middle and Working Classes

cynthia nixon campaigning with jumaane williams in nyc nys 2018Nixon reportedly received donations from 43,000 individual contributors [reportedly a state record], while Cuomo received donations from well under 4,000 contributors. This is why campaign finance reform will never happen with the same people in office [regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans] – because while the system may not be working for the people, it is certainly working for the pols and their donors.

The way things work today - pols appear to receive campaign contributions from corporate / wealthy donors who appear to essentially ‘buy’ the office. And then the corporate / wealthy donors appear to be able to pass or block legislation with the help of the pols they supported. As for the government by the people and for the people – well that only happens if the people pay attention to what’s going on, get involved in the political process, and show up to vote.

A quote that was attributed to Jefferson, appears to have originated from Reagan, seems appropriate here: A people that believes they may be ignorant and free, believes in something that never was and never will be.

In the photo at right are Jumaane Williams, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Cynthia Nixon, candidate for Governor at a June rent rally on the steps of the NYC Public Library on 5th Avenue just south of 42nd Street.

The Real News is How Few People Give a Damn

Approximately 1.5 million New Yorkers showed up to vote yesterday – in a state with a population of nearly 20 million. In the 2016 census report, 15.7 million New Yorkers were eligible voting age citizens – so about 10% of the potential electorate decided this electoral primary outcome. Honestly it’s shameful, especially when you take note of the fact that people in Russia and China are literally risking their lives / freedom to enable people participation in the process of choosing those who make the laws, establish and enforce public policy and control the government apparatus.

Here a quote from Jesus Christ seems appropriate: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

NYS Lieutenant Governor Race - Hochul Defeats Williams - Upstate Beats NYC

The Lieutenant Governor’s race was closer, as Jumaane Williams put in a solid performance winning 640,530 votes to Kathy Hochul’s 731,459 votes. Hochul won 53.3% of the vote to Jumaane Williams’s 46.7% of the vote. Williams won big in Brooklyn [his home], Manhattan, Columbia and Tompkins Counties, losing the rest of the state.

What I found surprising here, is that the Bronx which is mostly Latin and African American, went for Hochul instead of Williams who is an African American. I surmised that this was likely made possible through the efforts of the establishment Democratic party apparatus, which is controlled by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

 

NYS Attorney General Race - James Defeats Teachout & Maloney who Split the Upstate White Vote

letitia james attorney general candidate 2018 photoLetitia James won the Attorney General position, beating out Zephyr Teachout and Sean Patrick Maloney. James received 578,412 votes to Teachout’s 441,567 votes and Maloney’s 356,602 votes. The percentages were James with 41.6%, Teachout with 31% and Maloney with 25% of the vote. James won all of the boroughs of New York City, the two counties on Long Island, as well as Westchester and Rockland counties [the latter two counties are suburban outreaches of NYC].

Teachout won most of the eastern part of the state running from north of Westchester to the Canadian border – including most of the counties around Albany, while Maloney won most of the western part of the state, and a couple of counties just north of Westchester. Teachout and Maloney appear to have split the upstate White vote.

In the photo at right, Letitia James, candidate for NYS Attorney General at a community function in Queens, earlier this year.

 

No IDC NY Candidates Trounce Most of the Former IDC Members

zephyr teachout candidate for attorney general photo w/ alexandria ocasio-cortez astoria queens bronx nyc teachout photo ocasio photoOne of the big issues to be decided during this primary season was the fate of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, thereby giving the Republicans majority control of the NYS Senate. Eight of the senators became members of the Independent Democratic Caucus [IDC] which was founded by Bronx NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein, only a year or two into Cuomo’s first term. The creation of the IDC was said to be with the tacit approval of Andrew Cuomo, so that the NYS Governor could prevent the Democratic agenda from becoming too progressive.

Prior to the beginning of the 2018 primary season, an all-volunteer group formed, calling themselves the No IDC NY. The No IDC NY set as its mission, to dislodge those Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans. The No IDC NY effort proved fairly successful, as six of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, were defeated. The following is a short tally of those races.

In the photo at right, Zephyr Teachout endorsing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just as Teachout was making her candidacy for the office of NYS Attorney General known.

 

Queens NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Queens. No IDC NY supported candidate John Liu defeated incumbent Tony Avella in Queens with 53% to 47% of the vote. No IDC NY supported candidate Jessica Ramos trounced incumbent Jose Peralta with 55% to 45% of the vote.

Manhattan NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Manhattan. No IDC NY supported candidate Robert Jackson handily defeated incumbent Marisol Alcantera in the Washington Heights / Inwood area with 56% versus 39% of the vote.

Bronx NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in the Bronx. No IDC NY supported candidate Alessandra Biaggi decisively defeated the IDC Founder incumbent Jeffrey Klein winning 54% of the vote to Klein’s 46%.

Brooklyn & Staten Island NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Brooklyn & Staten Island. No IDC NY supported candidate Zellnor Myrie defeated incumbent Jesse Hamilton 54% to 46%. But both incumbent Diane Savino of Staten Island and incumbent Simcha Felder of Brooklyn handily defeated their No IDC NY supported challengers. Incumbent Savino won 67% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Jasmine Robinson’s 21% of the vote and incumbent Simcha Felder won 66% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Blake Morris’s 34% of the vote.

Upstate NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Upstate NY. No IDC NY supported candidate Rachel May won 52% of the vote to incumbent David Valesky’s 48%. But incumbent David Carlucci held onto his seat with 54% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Julie Goldberg’s 46%.


Election Day Thursday 9/13 - Please Vote

September 12, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Politics & Government / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

The New York State federal offices (Congress) primary election is tomorrow, Thursday September 13th.

The polling booths will be open from 6 am to 9 pm Thursday.

To find your poll location click on the graphic at right.

Once on the website, input your address, and then click the icon to the right of it to get the results of the search. You have to look for the super-tiny icon near the lower right corner of the screen.

Remember that if you really want things to change, then you can't keep electing the same representatives.


Has the Democratic Party Tried to Cheat the Voters … Again?

Democratic Machine Releases Direct Mail Ad, Falsely Attacking Cuomo's Challenger

September 11, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Another Democratic Machine Big Lie?

democratic party attack ad nixon september 2018Over the weekend, the NYS Democratic Party Committee, sent out a mailer which falsely claims that,

“… inexperienced Cynthia Nixon. Who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities.”

The claim in this Democratic Party mailer is akin to Hitler’s Big Lie. Hitler’s Big Lie, according to Wikipedia is,

“… [Hitler’s] 1925 book Mein Kampf, [talks] about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

It’s a big lie because Cynthia Nixon is a mother to three Jewish children with whom she attends a local synagogue.

Andrew Cuomo’s Propagandistic Rationale?

cuomo nixon debate hofstra aug 2018Governor Andrew Cuomo, when queried about who was behind this ‘dirty politics’ mailer replied on Sunday in Manhattan,

“I didn’t know about the mailer. I haven’t seen the mailer.”

The New York Times wasn’t buying it. After having endorsed Cuomo less than a week earlier, on September 4th, the Times Editorial Board in a September 9th opinion said the following,

“Sorry, Mr. Cuomo, but that strains credulity.”

They went on to note that,

“Mr. Cuomo dominates the state Democratic Party. It acts ethically or abominably at his direction, or at the very least, with his campaign’s blessing.”

Byron Brown – NYS Democratic Party Chair & Cuomo Ally

It’s worth noting that the new Chair of the New York State Democratic [Party] Committee is Byron Brown. Brown was appointed to the post on May 23, 2016, and is a Cuomo political confidant. So it would seem Cuomo’s ignorance of the mailer is either extreme incompetence – or more likely – an outright lie. Let’s briefly examine the facts.

Democratic Party Chair Byron Brown was born and raised in Queens in the 1950’s, as was Andrew Cuomo. Brown went on to become the Mayor of Buffalo from 2005 – 2017, and as early as 2006, when Andrew Cuomo began campaigning for NYS Attorney General, Byron Brown was described in a November 23, 2006 New York Times report as a “political confidant” of Andrew Cuomo’s.

A May 30, 2006 report in the Buffalo News states that Byron,

"... seconded Cuomo's nomination [for NYS Attorney General] at the convention on May 30, 2006."

The Clinton Connections & Clinton-Style Shenanigans?

cuomo nixon debate hofstra aug 2018African American Byron Brown, who as mentioned above is a Cuomo political confidant, broke with a political organization which had endorsed Barack Obama - in order to support Hillary Clinton’s first bid to become president in 2008.

This makes more sense when one understands Byron's connection to Andrew Cuomo and that Cuomo was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] during former president Bill Clinton’s second term [1996 - 2000]. The Clintons and Cuomo appear to have been allies ever since.

In fact, in 2002, Andrew Cuomo dropped out of the Senate race and endorsed Hillary Clinton in her bid for the U.S. Senate in the state of New York. Cuomo also endorsed Hillary's first bid for president in 2008, and again endorsed her in her second bid for president in 2016.

Thus when I heard about the Democratic Party misleading attack mailer against Nixon, I couldn’t help but think back to Hillary's second bid for president in the campaign of 2016, and the role played by the Democratic party - in selecting Hillary – before electing Hillary.

Campaign 2016 - Clintons Take Control of the Democratic Party Prior to an Electoral Outcome

In July of 2016, political commentator Donna Brazile stepped in as the temporary Democratic Party Chairwoman, following the resignation of the Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Wasserman Schultz stepped down in disgrace following the release of DNC emails implicating Schultz and Clinton of conspiring to thwart the insurgent campaign of Independent Bernie Sanders.

A November 2, 2017 report in Newsweek tells us that Brazile,

“… discovered an August 2015 agreement between the national committee and Clinton’s campaign and fundraising arm that gave Clinton “control (of) the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised” in exchange for taking care of the massive debt leftover from President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.”

A candidate normally doesn’t assume control of the party until AFTER the primaries, in order to let voters weigh in to help make the choice. The Newsweek report goes on to tell us that Brazile said,

“It wasn't illegal, but it sure looked unethical."

Big Lies & Propagandistic Reasons – When Will Truth Win Out?

abraham lincoln cooper union let us hope that right makes mightI am again reminded of another of Hitler’s famous warped, but insightful, quotes about politics and the truth. When planning the invasion of Poland in 1939, Hitler the politician, propagandist and dictator said,

"I shall give a propagandist reason for starting the war. Never mind whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war it is not right that matters, but victory."

Is Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Party applying Hitler’s axiom to the political battlefield?

 

Isn't it Time We Start Flushing the System of Political Deceit?

Hitler’s statement is a far cry from what American presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln said in his Cooper Union Address on February 27, 1860, as he contemplated the issue of slavery when he said,

“Let's have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Nixon is running behind in the polls by a margin of 2:1 or nearly 3:1, depending on which poll you choose. But only 25% of the people who vote in the general election, show up to vote at the polls during the primary, so if half or more of Nixon supporters show up at the polls, they could potentially deliver a stunning upset.

Cuomo, fully aware of the foul mood of the electorate, has been taking no chances. Cuomo has spent over $20 million on campaign ads so far this year according to a September 11, 2018 Politico report.

All of the political races are important this year. I hope you will do your civic duty on Thursday, September 13, 2018 and vote.

And that the words of Lincoln will prevail, and that right will make might.


PART II. Is Donald Trump a Hostage of the Russian Czar Putin?

Continuation from Section I of - Trump Presidency

Is the Donald a Hostage of Russian Murderers, Capitalists & Thieves?

Is the Trump & 'Bambino' Family so Criminally or Financially Compromised, that They are Betraying America?

Updated September 3 - August 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. Continued. For PART I - click here BENEDICT DONALD: TRUMP BETRAYAL OF AMERICA & DEMOCRACY

WORK IN PROGRESS - CONSIDER EVERYTHING BELOW AN OPINION, HEARSAY OR RUMOR UNTIL I CAN FINISH FACT CHECKING & EDITING

Section II - Trump Presidency

Is the Don a Cheap Flim Flammin' Con & America's First Mob President?

In Part I I showed that there were about a dozen or so contacts made between what appears the Trump & 'Bambino' Crime Family, Trump close associates and top Trump Campaign officials during the Trump presidential campaign of 2016. There were eight in that report and I have yet to add to the list: 1) Trump lawyer / fixer Michael Cohen's two trips to the Czech Republic where he reportedly met with Putin associates, one of the alleged airplane hangar meets on October 30, 2016 at a Las Vegas hangar controlled by one of Trump's biggest campaign donors, Sheldon Adelson during which time both Trump's and Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev's planes were there at the same time which they said was 'coincidence'. They were also claimed to 'coincidence' in Charlotte, NC on 11/4/18 in same hangar.

I went on to show how Donald Trump then began passing legislation which stole $1.5 trillion or more from America's children, by borrowing money through the federal government to by paid by them to pay for a huge tax cut favoring the wealthy. I also noted that there were numerous deregulatory efforts Trump has made to hurt the environment, safety standards and universal healthcare that prior generations fought hard to enact, and that he has weakened America's position in the world through attempts to cripple the NATO alliance, destroy trade deals with the free democracies of the world, and has significantly reduced America's sphere of influence by undermining the free press and democratic processes in nations around the world.

Putin, the Russian Mob & the Russian Oligarchs aka Kleptocrats?

I then went on to talk about how Russia evolved / devolved following the Fall of the Berlin Wall into a struggling democracy that soon became what appears to have been a kleptocracy, where many - perhaps all - Russian Oligarchs bought protection for themselves as they consolidated their grip on what once were the Russian 'peoples' assets which included large natural resources companies and financial / banking entities.

When Putin came to power in 2000, following Yeltsin's fall, Putin attempted to reign in the free-wheeling, free-stealing kleptocrats, by turning the tables on them so that instead of them buying protection from independents, they had to rely on the Russian state - aka Vladimir Putin. The deal seemed to be that many of the Russian Oligarchs could keep a good part of their ill-gotten gains, but on the condition that when Putin called them into service for Russia - he expected them to comply. Putin was also reported to have good relations with the Russian mob, which is reported at least at one point to have had 300,000 people in its employ, including in America in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn and in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the key players died in 2009.

What I didn't yet include was that the Russian mob in the 1990's got involved in pump and run stock schemes during the internet stock bubble, and that one of those convicted in connection with one of the schemes, later became a Trump Soho associate or possibly partner. It is at this point that Felix Sater and the now defunct Bayrock enter, buying and selling apartments to the Russians and other seeming kleptocrats from places like Kazakstan where the BTA Bank loaned money to what appeared to be shell corporations which bought Trump Soho apartments.

Putin Betrayal of Russian Revolution Ideals? Crime syndicated continues.

Oligarchs pay for protection. Putin changes it where they get to keep the cash for protection, but they report to / through him.

Russian mob had been scamming Wall Street in 1990's. Pump n/ dump. Trump seemed to do the same w/ casinos.

Trump Soho: Shill Ivanka & Don Jr. Pumping Up Trump Organization Condos?

There was a lawsuit accusing Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. of hyping the sold status of Trump Soho far beyond the reality in order to facilitate sales, but the Manhattan District Attorney's office of Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to prosecute and there was a campaign contribution of $10,000 alleged to have been made by Trump law firm Kasowitz. Both deny quid pro quo wrongdoing. How many times do we hear about these 'coincidences'?

The Oligarch Envelope Around the Seemingly Corrupt Trump Administration

I then described some of the oligarchs, but have yet to add some of the key players like Blavatnik, Fridman, Aven and Khan [Alfi Bank & Access Techno] - some or all of whom appear to have been indirect intermediaries between Putin's Russia and Don the Con's Administration.

Russian Oligarch Blavatnik reportedly was either planning or did go into business w/ Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a Hollywood deal.

Fridman's Access Technologies donated over $1 million to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whose wife, Elaine Chao the Transportation Secretary, was once on Murdoch's Fox Fake News board.

Robert Mercer became a hedge fund billionaire, bought into Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica and National Enquirer where he allegedly bought negative Trump stories to keep from the public. His yacht also spotted next to Rybolovlev's in Palm Beach in late 2016? need to confirm dates / location.

The Trump Family & Many People in the Administration Appear to be Financially Compromised by Virtue of Payments from Russians

The next and last section of Part I is a short description of many of the Trump family members, friends including the Murdochs, campaign officials and Trump Administration players - many of whom appear to have been compromised by the Russians through the use of mob-like payments, which seem to include some measure of Godfather-like loyalty. A loyalty promise that FBI Director Jame Comey and Jeff Sessions refused to make.

Former FBI Director James Comey & Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions Keep Their Promise to the American People

These two men swore loyalty to the rule of law and the United States Constitution and the American People - which at present both men appear to have kept.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report about whether a financially compromised president who appears a hostage of the Russian mob-like kleptocrats who appear to be possible murderers and thieves of the Russian people's wealth.



Jeff Klein's IDC: Republicans Running as Dems?

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with Republicans which Enables Republicans to Control the NYS Senate

Updated September 7, 2018 / March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

IDC independent democratic caucus NOIDCNY no independent democratic caucus bronx brooklyn manhattan queensThere's an NYS State primary election this month. The primaries will be held on Thursday, September 13th; instead of on Tuesday, September 11th, in recognition of 911. And the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

As in any year, the elections are important, but perhaps made more so this year, by what appears to be the anarchistic destruction and disrespect, for our government institutions and processes, by Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump Republicans: Debt Bomb Deficits Levied on America's Children to Enrich the Richest?

The Donald passed a stimulus tax bill that is expected to increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and there are some pundits who put the figure higher. He and the Republicans passed this budget busting stimulus tax bill, while the economy was operating at levels considered above a full employment economy [5% unemployment is considered standard / normal] and at a time when wages were rising over 2%.

Inflation above 2% is considered to be detrimental to economic stability by the Federal Reserve, so stimulating the economy while it's at full employment with rising wages is about the opposite of what makes sense, especially when you consider the funding for it is coming from America's children and most of the benefits for it are going to the wealthiest people on the planet. We posted a report analyzing the Trump Tax Reform Bill slightly before it was finalized, which includes a lot of facts and figures to help provide context to better understand what was in the bill they passed.

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with NYS Senate Republicans & Gives Them Control

In 2010 / 2011 NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein broke away from the Democratic Party and formed the Independent Democratic Caucus which aligns with the Republican Party, thereby giving them control of the NYS Senate. The effect of this is that bills passed by the Democratic controlled NYS Assembly are indefinitely tabled, or in lay man's terms pretty much killed, in the Republican-controlled NYS Senate. The Republicans control the NYS Senate, because eight NYS senators who run as Democrats [IDC Independent Democratic Caucus], either vote with or kill bills with the Republicans.

Democratic NYS Assembly Bills Effectively Killed by IDC

According to the Democratic Senate Conference, the Republican controlled NYS Senate - with the help of their Republicans running as Democrats allies - have effectively killed one education bill providing full day kindergarten funding, three wage / leave bills, four voting rights bills including the allowance of early voting, four immigration bills including one related to the DREAM Act, four housing bills including several pertaining to NYC rent laws that help renters, three criminal justice bills including creation of correctional ombudsman and sealing of marijuana possession records [as marijuana is rapidly being legalized in states across the country], one related to LGBTQ issues, and six regarding healthcare, several of which pertain to women's reproductive rights.

The IDC Deception: REPUBLICANS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS?

The net effect of this is that Democrats are, in a sense, cheated or tricked out of their majority by what appears to be Republicans running as Democrats. The Independent Democratic Caucus or IDC includes Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx, who founded the IDC, David Valesky of Oneida and Madison Counties in upstate New York, David Carlucci of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Diane Savino of Staten Island / Brooklyn, Tony Avella of Queens, Jose Peralta of Queens, Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, and Marisol Alcantera of Washington Heights / Manhattan. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn also runs as a Democrat and caucuses with the Republicans.

The following is a list of challengers, eight of which I obtained off the NoIDCNY.org website. For some reason Blake Morris - Simcha Felder's challenger - was not included on their website. I have just contacted them to find out why.

  • Jessica Ramos is challenging Jose Peralta in District 13 in Queens.
  • John Liu is challenging Tony Avella* in District 11 in Queens.
  • Robert Jackson is challenging Marisol Alcantera in District 31 in Washington Heights / Inwood / Manhattan.
  • Alessandra Biaggi is challenging Jeff Klein in District 34 in the Bronx.
  • Zellnor Myrie is challenging Jesse Hamilton in District 20 in Brooklyn.
  • Blake Morris is challenging Simcha Felder in District 17 in Brooklyn.
  • Jasmine Robinson is challenging Diane Savino in District 23 in Brooklyn / Staten Island.
  • Julie Goldberg is challenging David Carlucci in District 38 in nearby upstate New York.
  • Rachel May is challenging David Valesky in District 53 in upstate New York.

* A Word About NYS Senator Tony Avella as He Appears to be a Real Independent

Of all of the IDC candidates listed above, NYS Senator Tony Avella deserves special consideration. NYS Senator Avella CHALLENGED Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens Country Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley when both of these men, and many in their parties, supported real estate developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz took a position that appeared somewhere between supportive of the developments to - at best - indifferent.

NYS Senator Avella advocated on behalf of the community to thwart billionaire and mega millionaire real estate developers from grabbing Queens parkland - AND WON. In doing this, NYS Senator Tony Avella, appears to be more like a Maverick or Independent, resembling legislators like deceased U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat), both of whom have charted their own path through party-dominated politics.

Avella is an important independent voice in the Queens, NYC and NYS community, which the Democrats in his district will have to decide whether or not to keep.


Is Donald Trump a Hostage of Russian Murderers, Capitalists & Thieves?

Is the Trump & Bambino Crime Family so Criminal or Financially Compromised, that They are Betraying America?

Updated August 27 - August 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The first part of this report will show you some of the many known Trump family ‘social’ interactions with key Russian Oligarchs [Kleptocrats?] close to Putin, and of the Trump campaign officials and consultants known meetings with Czarist President Vladimir Putin’s government officials.

Do Americans really think all of the following interactions were just coincidence? Just a couple of billionaire women and campaign officials just have a little old fashioned czarist fun?

Part I: Trump Family & Campaign Russian Interactions 2016

I can’t help wonder whether Ivanka Trump and her Russian-Oligarch-loving friend Wendi Deng Murdoch [Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife rumored in March of 2016 to be Putin's girlfriend (denied much later by Deng)], weren’t conduits through which information passed between then candidate Donald J. Trump and Russian czarist President, Vladimir Putin?

Why hasn’t the FBI called them in for interrogations about what they may know, based on their numerous interactions with the Oligarchs throughout the presidential campaign season of 2016?

Why haven't they called in billionaire propagandist Rupert Murdoch who controls Fox Fake New, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post - all of which unabashedly promoted the Trump candidacy with distorted, and at times false news reporting, as well as the suppression of stories relevant to the election? Murdoch was reported to speak somewhere between daily and weekly to Trump, following the election, as was his surrogate pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity. Both had business with the federal government and - as far as I know - neither has registered as a lobbyist, even though both men appear to have profited handsomely since the election of Trump as a result of Trump policies, FCC rules changes and for Hannity a new multi-million loan agreement with far more generous terms.

Trump Family & Campaign Officials Hold Nearly a Dozen Meetings with Russians Close to Putin Throughout 2016

On March 2, 2016 Rupert Murdoch, who controls two of America’s six largest media content companies, tweeted that the GOP “would be mad not to unify” around Trump, if he’s the Republican nominee. Murdoch controls the Fox News, WSJ & NY Post propaganda machine that catapulted Trump into the Oval Office in November 2016, along with the help of the Russians.

Some of Known 2016 Interactions of Trump Family & Campaign w/ Putin's Russia

1. In March [NEED TO VERIFY THAT IT WAS 2016 & THAT IT WAS RYBOLOVLEV'S or another Oligarch's] yacht was spotted in same harbor / next to Bob Mercer, a Trump friend. Bob Mercer, publisher of the National Enquirer, was recently given immunity. Mercer had bought and sat on a story damaging to Trump regarding an alleged extra marital affair. Did Mercer, who reportedly had a stake in Cambridge Analytica, meet with Rybolovlev on behalf of Trump?

Are Ivanka Trump & Wendi Deng Murdoch Shills for Billionaires / Oligarchs?

2.a. Less than a month later, on March 31, 2016 US Weekly, a gossip magazine, reported that the former wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was dating Vladimir Putin. Two days later, on April 2, 2016 Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was seen on a boat associated with the yacht of Roman Abramovich, a Russian Oligarch considered among Putin’s closest ‘friends’. Abramovich's wife, introduced to Ivanka years earlier by Deng, is reported to be a friend of Ivanka's.

2.b. A month later, on May 2, 2016, Wendi Deng Murdoch was seen at the Met Gala along with her close friend Ivanka Trump. Wendi Deng Murdoch was, at the time, rumored to be Putin’s girlfriend, and she had named Ivanka Trump as the trustee for Wendi Deng Murdoch’s children's $300 million trust, which was reported in 2015 to hold numerous shares in Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Ivanka served as a trustee for Deng until December of 2016 when she stepped down.

In 2014, following the Murdoch’s divorce, Rupert Murdoch reportedly accused his ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch of being a Chinese spy. This appears to have been corroborated by U.S. Intelligence, which warned Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner that Deng was a spy, following Trump’s Electoral College victory in December of 2016.

3. In May of 2016 Roger Stone, a long time friend of Donald Trump [attended two of three weddings], who had worked for him on prior occasions, met with a Russian who offerred him dirt on Clinton. Stone initially denied the meeting took place, before admitting it. According to Wikipedia, two Stone associates claim he collaborated with Julian Assange of Wiki Leaks to release dirt on Clinton. In August of 2015, Roger Stone stepped down from his official role in the Trump campaign.

4. On June 9, 2016 Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner met with a Russian spy, Natalai Veselnetskya, at Trump Tower in Manhattan to get dirt on Clinton. At first Donald Trump Jr. lied to Americans about the real purpose of the meeting claiming it was about adoption, before admitting it was to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton.

The Trump / Murdoch Mob? The Donald Publicly Invites Russian Interference

Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, waited until July 25, 2016 – nearly four months after the reports broke – to deny that she was dating Vladimir Putin.

On July 27, 2016, two days after Wendi Deng Murdoch’s denial of a relationship with Putin [she was reportedly never seen with him, but seen on Russian Oligarch yacht(s)], Trump publicly invited Russia to hack and release Clinton’s emails, when he stated the following at a nationally televised press conference in Florida.

“I will tell you this: Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Did he mean they will be rewarded by the propaganda press of unrelenting Trump supporter, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch, or by the entire American press?

The Trump Family & Campaign Meetings with Russia Continue

5. In July 2016, Carter Page, a financial and oil man, who spent years in Russia and was reportedly sympathetic to Russia, traveled to Moscow to give a speech. He met with a former cabinet member of ex-president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. Page initially denied this meeting took place and later his 'memory came back to him'. Page was the Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor from March 21, 2016 until September 2016, when it was disclosed that Page had allegedly met with at least one U.S. sanctioned Russian Oligarch, Igor Sechin of Russian conglomerate Rosneft.

6. On August 14, 2016 Wendi Deng Murdoch, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner vacationed together in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Likely not coincidently, Russian Oligarch, Rybolovlev’s yacht was reportedly moored there at the same time, and his private plane was reported to have landed there too.

Seven years earlier, following the real estate bubble crash in 2008 / 2009, Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev paid Donald Trump $95 million for a house Trump had purchased for $41 million only four years earlier. Rybolovlev, a member of Putin’s inner circle, eventually demolished the home, leading people to question whether Rybolovlev had financially bailed Trump out during the real estate and stock market crash of 2008. At the time Trump was again allegedly in serious financial straits, following a string of six bankruptcies that began in the 1990's and bled into the 2000's.

Around that same time in 2008, while the American real estate bubble was bursting, Elena Baronoff, a former Russian ‘attaché of cultural affairs’ [spy?], began helping Trump sell property in Sunny Isle, Florida. She sold nearly $100 million of Trump real estate to Russians, reportedly at top dollar [inflated?] prices, which led some pundits to question whether the Trump's were laundering money via real estate sales. In 2007 Ivanka got her start with her father's company, also working on a project in Panama, which reportedly was suspected of laundering what was believed to be Russian and drug cartel money.

Trump sales agent Baronoff reportedly contracted leukemia in 2014 and conveniently died in 2015, right around the time Donald Trump began testing the waters for his presidential candidacy.

7. On September 12, 2016 Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch and Oligarch Abramovich’s wife Dasha Zhukova were photographed attending the U.S. Open together. One report credits Wendi Deng Murdoch with introducing Ivanka Trump to Dasha Zhukova, billionaire Russian Oligarch Abramovich’s wife, and there are reports that the two have been friendly for nearly a decade.

Was the Murdoch Propaganda Machine Colluding with Russia & Trump?

Murdoch's WSJ was reported to have held a story in the fall of 2016 about the Donald and his mob connected past - allegedly for editorial reasons. But if I recall correctly, the WSJ Editor, Paul Gigot, also said something along the lines of holding it to stave off a Clinton victory. I NEED TO VERIFY THIS.

Eleven days prior to the election, on October 28, 2016, the case involving Clinton’s emails was reopened, because some of them were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had issued related reports about them a couple of months earlier, and Murdoch Fox News regular Rudy Giuliani [now Trump’s lawyer] foreshadowed the timely release of the news - that there were more Clinton emails - on Fox News. Giuliani is reportedly paid over a half million dollars to be a paid contributor on Fox Fake News.

Within days the FBI had sifted through them, informing the public that there wasn’t anything new.

7. Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev was tracked to North Carolina by the Daily Kos, just five days before election day 2016 at the same airport where candidate Donald Trump had landed only 20 minutes earlier to make a campaign stop. Rybolovlev reportedly paid $95 million to Trump for a mansion he demolished, and for which Trump had paid $45 million only four years earlier. It was reported to be worth about $25 - $30 million less at the time.

I found it interesting that Rybolovlev's battery company in America was reported to build batteries in what look like storage containers, and upper management is mostly comprised of ex-Russian government people [agents?]. Rybolovlev recently closed down the company and Russia is reportedly withdrawing money from America, as Mueller probe gets closer to closing in on Trump. I can't help wonder whether the Russians were planning to use these 'batteries in containers' to ship other things - like say weapons technology, people, drugs - in and out of our country?

666. On November 8, 2016, Devilish Donald Trump was elected president. Numerous Oligarchs planned to attend Trump’s Inauguration. Even Putin was rumored to be planning to attend.

Going into the voting booths, most Americans were not fully aware of Trump’s mobster ties dating back into the 20th century, nor even remotely aware of all of the ties Trump has had with what appears Russian-like mobsters over the past 20 to 30 years.

The Inauguration of Benedict Donald - J. Trump

Several Oligarchs showed at Trump's Inauguration [and helped fund it?] including Vekselberg and Maskevitch. Reports said they were expecting great things during the Trump years. Are / were they expecting to convert American democracy into a Putin kleptocracy, Russian style?

PRIME COLLUSION PARTICIPANTS? Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch & Sean Hannity

Is Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of the powerful, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch who controls the Fox Fake News propaganda machine above the law? Is the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump Kushner, who appears to be a shill for the Trump Organization above the law?

Is Rupert Murdoch, whose WSJ buried a negative Trump story before election above the law? Is pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity, who Michael Cohen advised on real estate & who famously ordered Trump to fire ALL U.S. Attorneys - which Trump did the next day - immune from questioning? Murdoch's Fox Fake News & Hannity went on to do a very sympathetic, propagandistic interview with Assange in captivity in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the election. Both men have, during the Trump presidency, been reported to be in constant contact with Trump [daily to weekly phone calls].

CLICK here to read the rest of our report about whether a financially compromised president who appears a hostage of the Russian mob-like kleptocrats who appear to be possible murderers and thieves of the Russian people's wealth.


What I Found: Unite The Right Rally in D.C.

Media Reality Distortion - How Out of Whack is America's News / Information System?

August 13, 2018 / Government, Media & Politics USA / Washington, D.C. / Gotham Buzz NYC.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeJust over a week ago, I made the decision to travel down to Washington, D.C. to cover the Unite The Right Rally scheduled Sunday, August 12th, on the anniversary of the same rally organized by the same group in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is located about 100 miles south / mostly west of Washington, D.C.

In the rally a year ago, White Supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis participated in the rally and it became violent. One person was killed in the event when an alleged neo-Nazi drove his car through the crowd, and two officers monitoring the event in a helicopter died, when the aircraft crashed [I believe it was an accident]. And somewhere between 19 and 34 people were injured in clashes between the Unite The Right rally participants and Antifa along with other counter protesters.

The D.C. event was scheduled in D.C. because Jason Kessler, the Unite The Right Founder, couldn’t get a permit in Charlottesville for the first year anniversary of the Unite The Right event. After some skirmishing over the permitting with the local Washington, D.C. authorities, Kessler prevailed and was given a permit to hold a march and rally ending in Lafayette Park, just south of the White House.

At one point there were discussions about arranging separate public transit buses for the Unite The Right rally members from their staging area a several miles west of the White House, to the march starting point at Foggy Bottom Metro Station. But the D.C. public transit union resisted, as the majority of their members are African Americans, and the union reportedly opined that they didn’t want to do anything to facilitate the Unite The Right rally.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeMeanwhile there were somewhere between a half dozen and dozen counter protester groups that organized to protest the Unite The Right rally. Several of them also sought and received permits.

On Friday Christian and Jewish groups joined forces for an interfaith teach-in and interfaith vigil. This was according to The DCist, which I found to be the best source of information regarding planning / preparing to cover the event on Sunday. The DCist also noted that Black Lives Matter DC in collaboration with several other activist groups held a workshop at an Episcopalian Church.

On Saturday, a Presbyterian Church held a prayer service at Foggy Bottom Station in advance of the rally, where they prayed and chalked some of the sidewalk where the Unite The Right marchers would begin on Sunday.

On Sunday a counter protest, Shut It Down DC, organized a permitted counter protest in Freedom Plaza a few blocks east of Lafayette Park, from where they would march to Lafayette Park beginning at 3 pm. The DCist reported that the Shut It Down DC group included the D.C. Antifascist collective, Hoods4Justice, March for Racial Justice, and others.

Black Lives Matter DC organized to meet a couple of blocks north of Lafayette Park, and would then march south to the park. A group from NYC began their march on August 3rd to D.C. where they planned an event at the MLK monument from 12 noon to 4 pm on Sunday [#AgapeMarch]. And a group, The Real White People’s Rally, led by a local tour guide, Tim Krepp, was scheduled to counter protest at Lafayette Park from 1 to 4 pm.

The DCist also mentioned about a half dozen other counter protest group events, but for the most part those noted above, were the ones most relevant to my planned coverage.

I headed down to D.C. a bit anxious, given the violent skirmishes that occurred at the rally a year ago in Charlottesville, and the following instructions on the unitetherightrally.com website.

Do NOT bring these items:
-Guns
-Pepper spray, clubs, knives or other weapons
-Shields
-Non-approved flags

ALWAYS Be aware of your surroundings. Do not talk to the media.
Do not engage in any fighting.
ALWAYS be a good representative for our cause.

My thoughts were that if you have to provide instructions like these to the people you expect at your rally – there’s a good likelihood that some of the unwanted weapons will be there. I had read that last year people brought guns to the rally in Charlottesville – but I also reasoned that in Washington, D.C. the gun laws are likely far less permissive than in Charlottesville, Virginia. And there were reports that the D.C. police were preparing for the worst.

Anyhow, I arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Sunday afternoon at about 3 pm. It was hot, humid and rain was in the forecast for later in the afternoon. I took the Metro subway from Union Station to the Metro Center stop, which was only a few blocks away from Freedom Plaza. Once on the street, as I began to get my bearings, I asked a young woman if she could tell me in which direction Freedom Plaza was. She was also headed to the counter protest, so we walked over there together. Ironically, her name was Hope.

CLICK here to read the rest of my report about covering the Unite The Right Rally in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 2018. COMING THIS WEEKEND 8/18 - 19/18. The story has become something bigger than I first envisioned. It's in a rough draft which I hope to finish, edit and add photos to this weekend.


Decisive Victory for Ocasio & Progressives

Democratic Party Insider Joe Crowley Loses in Stunning Defeat

June 27, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

alexandria ocasio cortez photo campaign posterCongressman Joseph Crowley suffered an astonishing defeat Tuesday, when Alexandria Ocasio - Cortez defeated him in the 14th district NYS primary for U.S. Congress. According to Vox, with 97% of the precincts reporting, Ocasio-Cortez had received 15,897 or 57% of the vote, while Crowley had received 11,761 or 42% of the vote.

Crowley, age 56, inherited his office and the Queens Democratic Party Chairmanship from Thomas Manton in 1999. Crowley has spent the last two decades in Washington, D.C. rising to the top levels of the Democratic party leadership, considered by many to be one of the top contenders to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the House Democratic Leader.

Ocasio-Cortez is a youthful 28 years old, the daughter of a Bronx native and Puerto Rican mother. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Economics and International Relations. Since then she has worked at a Bronx start up and in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign of 2016.

Crowley reportedly had a campaign budget of $1.5 million versus $0.3 million for Ocasio-Cortez, raised via small and online donations.

 

Crowley, Pelosi, Schumer & the Democratic Party of Appeasement

Alexandria ran a spirited campaign, tapping into some of the energy and frustration of an increasingly rigged system, which Donald Trump has been hyper rigging since he took office in 2017.

The Donald tweeted that Joe lost because he opposed President Donald. But as oftentimes seems the case with Trump tweets - the reality is quite the opposite. The electorate that supported Ocasio-Cortez are more likely to view Crowley, Pelosi and Schumer as leaders of a Democratic Party of Appeasement who need to be replaced by people who will vigorously fight for the democratic principles upon which this nation was founded. Pelosi, Schumer and Crowley are seen as wet noodle leaders of the opposition - telling their supporters to hush up about any possibility of impeaching Trump.

Appeasers Say Don't Talk About Trump Impeachment ...

Some pundits believe that Trump is exactly the type of president for which the process of impeachment was included in the U.S. Constitution, as he appears to have colluded with a hostile foreign power to win the election, appears to be in numerous violations of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution and is aligning the U.S. with dictators while undermining democracies around the globe with disruptive breaks in our military and economic alliances.

The party of appeasement references British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 when Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement. The Munich Agreement basically ceded the German speaking segment of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Adolph Hitler. Emboldened by Chamberlain's lack of courage to stand up to him, Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and WWII began.

Bernie Sanders championed the "government by the people for the people" wing of the Democratic party in 2016 and Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams and the NYS Senate IDC challengers are running as the voice of this segment of the electorate in the NYS September 13th primaries.

 

Trump Aligns with Dictators Around the World, While Undermining Democracies

congressman joe crowley photo campaign posterTrump has been aligning the U.S. with leaders of totalitarian states and dictators around the world including Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, President Xi Jinping of China and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Trump has been undermining our historical allies - comprised of the real democracies around the world - such as Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and most, if not all, of the rest of Europe and most of Latin America.

Left unchecked, this policy of appeasement by the Democratic and Republican parties could, over the long haul, result in the loss of democracy on the planet. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Joseph Crowley are all seen as the appeasers - and last night Crowley as one of them - took a big loss.

 

Crowley's Congressional District Changed from the 7th to the 14th in 2013

In 2013 the congressional district that Joe Crowley had historically run in [7th District] changed. The 7th district covered the northern and western rim of Queens. Since 2013 Crowley has been running in the 14th congressional district which covers the northern rim of Queens and the southeastern part of the Bronx. The changed district resulted in changes to the demographic composition of the electorate by increasing the Hispanic representation in the district. Also, by including the Bronx in the district, it included an area where the electorate had little familiarity with Crowley.

All of the above likely contributed to Crowley's loss. Joseph Crowley was a gracious loser, complimenting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her well run and hard fought campaign.

 

Is Nixon the One for NYS?

Cynthia Nixon & Jumaane Williams Support Real Rent Reform

June 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC & NYS Politics / Gotham Buzz NYC.

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosOn Thursday afternoon I headed to the NY Public Library at Bryant Park to attend a Rent Reform Rally organized by RealRentReform.org. I had heard that Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, candidates for NYS Governor and NYS Lieutenant Governor, respectively, were to speak at the event - so given the relevance of rent reform and the growing interest in the challengers to the status quo ... I decided to go.

As I emerged from the subway, I wasn't disappointed. There were a thousand plus protesters gathered on the steps of the central library along Fifth Avenue, just south of 42nd Street, gathered to make their voices heard. What struck me as I surveyed the crowd was the cross sectional nature of the people who had gathered. From the young student activists, to the elderly handing out pamphlets, to people of all colors ranging from black to white.

I shot some photos and talked to some of the organizers and attendees to find out what they had come to say. Essentially they were disappointed with Governor Andrew Cuomo's inaction on strengthening rent regulations - which struck me as comparable to the inaction on housing and the rapid rise in homelessness in NYC as happened under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal

NYC Mayor de Blasio helped arrest the rising tide of homelessness in NYC by his actions since taking office in 2014, but there was plenty more to be done, and the Governor and the State of New York hold many of the cards. One of the complaints I heard was that the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal [DHCR] budget had been cut since Cuomo took office, and that there were only eleven lawyers to help tenants avoid evictions and unfair landlord and developer actions statewide.

 

Cuomo Decreases DHCR Staff While 'Appearing' to Increase Real Estate Development Incentives

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosI went online and looked up the budget for the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal budget where the agency staff portion of the budget between 2011 and 2017 had been cut from $745 million to $682 million, which is a net reduction of 8.5%. The funds being allocated to the development of housing looked like it had increased substantially [+715%] from $314 million in 2011 & 2012, to $2,245 billion in 2018. But - as I found out - this multi-billion dollar increase is misleading ... so please spend a bit more time and keep on reading.

The 'added billions' goes toward categories entitled State Operations, Aid to Localities and Capital Projects. All of the increase went into a category entitled Capital Projects, which was comprised of two subcategories - Infrastructure Investments and a Housing Program Fund. But the budget increase was saddled with an MOU. The funds were allocated to incent and aid real estate developers to build affordable housing. The net result is that it looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo has cut DHCR agency staff who help residents stay in their homes, while 'appearing' to increase the state money to aid real estate developers to build affordable housing.

Governor Cuomo added $2 billion to the DHCR budget in 2016 referencing a Memo of Understanding [MOU]. While Cuomo claimed to commit $2 billion to building 20,000 new affordable housing units, he saddled the budget increase with a legislative tactic - the MOU. I was told - and the DHCR budget appears to confirm - that most of this money remains unspent and appears to be a revolving budget item that allows Cuomo to claim he's making the investment in affordable housing while not actually going through with it. Real Rent Reformers at the Rally last Thursday alleged that this is a part of a revolving budget game by Governor Cuomo, while the NYS affordable housing shortage continues.

This reminds me of another game allegedly played by Governor Cuomo, which was the use of the now disbanded 'Independent Democratic Caucus' [IDC], which Governor Cuomo is reported to have supported. The IDC was comprised of NYS Senate Democrats who caucused with the Republicans - thus essentially making them Republicans running as Democrats. I did a story earlier outlining this subterfuge which you can view by clicking the link.

 

NYS Losing Affordable Housing Stock?

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAnother protester complaint was that somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 affordable homes have been lost during Andrew Cuomo's two terms as Governor and that he has turned a blind eye to landlords and developers cashing in on his inaction. Cuomo's DHCR staff budget cuts would seem to support this allegation, as does Cuomo's inaction on closing loopholes used by developers and landlords to convert rent stabilized apartments to market rate housing stock.

One protester told me that homelessness has risen 36% since Cuomo took office. As of this writing I haven't had time to totally verify this claim - which I hope to do between now and when the primary season ends on election day Thursday, September 13th, 2018 [the election date was moved because Tuesday is 9/11]. But I did find that, at least directionally, these claims are correct.

An example of the growing statewide housing crisis is that in the school year 2012 - 2013, a bit less than halfway through the eight years Andrew Cuomo has been governor, New York had the third highest percentage of homeless students in the U.S. [source: Institute for Children Poverty & Homelessness - aka ICP]. I had thought that homelessness was largely a New York City problem, but as you can see by the map / chart the ICPH published - the problem is statewide.

 

Jumaane Williams & Cynthia Nixon Running for NYS

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAfter speaking to the protesters a number of people rose to speak. Among them was Jumaane Williams, the NYC Councilmember of the 45th district in Brooklyn. He's challenging NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul who he said was party to NYS Governor Cuomo's inaction.

The following is a video primarily of NYS Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon speaking at the rally. It was the first time I had seen her look like a real contender for the governorship since she announced her intention to run on March 19, 2018. Nixon talked first about rent regulations and one of her own personal experiences, and then she went on to mention other issues that separate her and Jumaane from Cuomo and Hochul.

This is just the beginning of our NYS state elections coverage 2018. I still have a fair amount of research to do to become more familiar with the state's role in so much of what affects us in NYC including affordable housing, the MTA, NYC public education and possibly corruption.

 

Petitions to Help Challengers get on the NYS Ballot

Nixon and Jumaane have about three weeks left to obtain the required signatures to get on the ballot. If you want to help them you can by copying & pasting this link into your browser for Cynthia Nixon for Governor and for Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor

https://cynthiafornewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cynthia-Jumaane-Petition.pdf


The Ridiculous & Scary Presidency of Benedict Donald

The Ridiculous & Scary Presidency of Benedict Donald

If Trump is so Innocent, Why is his Legal Team Spending so Much Effort on Asserting he can Pardon Himself?

trump photo sean hannity photoJune 4, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This would be funny, if it wasn't so real.

While Trump loudly and continuously proclaims his innocence, both he and his legal team are aggressively claiming that the president is above the law and can self pardon. These actions and concurrent narratives don't seem very innocent to me.

Is this a Shakespearean comedy of errors by fools?

Do They Think Americans Are Morons?

Is Democratic Rule of Law being Ceded to Billionaire Oligarchs?

Rudy Giuliani, once a lawyer who prosecuted the mob, seems to have sold out by becoming a lawyer who now represents mob-like characters, including Donald J. Trump and Turkish Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab.

giuliani photo rupert murdoch photosNot long after Trump began his career in the real estate business in the 1970's, Trump is believed to have associated with the mob, doing business with them on deals relating to the construction of Trump Tower, and in developing casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump reportedly admitted he was friendly with mobsters and I've seen photos of Trump with some. Trump has also sold in the neighborhood of a hundred million dollars or more in real estate to Russians, including an Oligarch, according to Haaretz, an Israeli English language publication. The Oligarchs are considered to be the Russian equivalent to what was the American mob by some. Click here for a brief and likely very incomplete accounting of some of what seem like Trump's nefarious dealings - Donald Trump & the Art of the Steal.

Rudy Giuliani was also hired by Reza Zarrab's defense lawyers - not to plead their case as their attorney - but to do something else, possibly akin to what Trump fixer Michael Cohen does. Giuliani was a staunch candidate Trump supporter in 2016, an unofficial Trump security adviser in 2017, and most recently became a member of the Trump legal team. According to an April 3, 2017 Seattle Times report,

"[Guiliani and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey] were hired by Zarrab's defense. But oddly, neither is involved in pleading the case in U.S. District Court, leading prosecutors to wonder if the defense is trying to circumvent the regular judicial process by going above prosecutors' heads. ... He [Zarrab] and several others are accused of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, using a network of companies to mask the true nature of transactions and defraud multiple banks. Prosecutors say they processed hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran and claim to have thousands of pages of bank, email and phone records to prove it. Zarrab pleaded not guilty."

To make a long story short, Trump subsequently fired Preet Bahara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was prosecuting the Zarrab case [and also prosecuting a couple of cases against a company controlled by Trump propagandist billionaire Rupert Murdoch - see link below]. At the time it was believed that Marc Mukasey, Michael Mukasey's son, would replace Bahara. Instead Trump left the position vacant for about a half year, before a New York judge appointed a temporary replacement. The position may not have been filled to avoid the appearance of what it really may have been ... another example of Trump obstruction of justice.

Democracy Destroying Don: Trump Claims He's Above the Law

On Saturday, June 2, 2018 the NYT published a story that included the following,

"In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter -- sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times -- contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia's election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon."

According to a June 2, 2018 report by The Hill quoting Nick Akerman, the Assistant Watergate Prosecutor,

"First of all, the whole idea that he [Trump] can't be charged with obstruction of justice -- the last time that ever happened in this country is when we were ruled by King George ... That's what the whole rule of law is about. The president has to faithfully execute the laws." [Akerman told MSNBC]

Axis of Evil: Trump, Giuliani & Rupert Murdoch's Media

Rudy Giuliani began doing rounds on the media circuit, most notably, Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine outlets including Fox News, where he appeared to assert that the president of the United States is above the law. To become better acquainted with what seems to be in it for Rupert Murdoch - who controls Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Barron's, Market Watch, WWOR-TV, Fox 5 and Harper Collins Books - in exchange for his unapologetic propagandistic support of Trump - click the link above.

Trump Corruption Makes the Clintons Look Like Amateurs?

trump white house for sale trump selling out america trump the great greatest american selloutDuring the 2016 campaign Benedict Donald repeatedly labeled Hillary Clinton as Crooked Hillary. That resonated with the American people because the Clinton's appear to have a history of questionable political maneuvering and the billion dollar Clinton Foundation oftentimes seems self-serving.

But in the one and a half years since Trump took office, he's managed to make the Clintons look like small potato amateurs, and you're hearing that from someone who is no fan of the Clintons.

Not Serving the Nation but Criminals Serving Themselves?

Taxpayers Spend Added $60 Million on Trump's Golf Game & Family Travels. In 2017 the U.S. Secret Service budget had to be increased $60 million to keep apace with the Trump family travels. A good portion of that spending appears to be to provide protection for Trump's 100 days of golf which he did in his first 408 days in office.

D.C. Swamp Now a Trump-sized Cess Pool

Middle East Wars: American Foreign Policy & Security For Sale?

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trash

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, secured a $30 million investment from an Israeli finance company, Menora Mivtachim shortly after Kushner accompanied Trump on a trip to Israel in May of 2017. In December 2017 the U.S. Embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem following receipt of the investment.

A March 22, 2018 report by MSNBC states that The Intercept noted that the Saudi Royal Prince said he had Jared Kushner "in his pocket". Kushner, who has national security clearance, is reportedly an avid reader of Trump's daily security briefing.

U.S. to Pay For Murdoch Cheney Prince Black Ops?

Blackwater / Academi, Erik Prince, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch & Syria - You Know This Can't be Good

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trashAccording to a May 3, 2018 report in the NYT, the U.S. has quietly deployed Special Forces to Yemen, in what appears to be an escalation of help to the Saudi government's involvement in the Yemeni Civil War. The Trump Administration says America is providing refueling, logistics and intel sharing help and the Trump Administration never lies - do they? According to reports in the NYT in 2011 and in 2015 the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis have hired Blackwater [now called Academi] mercenaries and there have been reports of countless civilian casualties in Yemen and torture prisons either in Yemen, or elsewhere in the Middle East, or both.

Betsy De Vos' brother, Blackwater billionaire & Founder Erik Prince, is interested in going to the mercernaries-for-hire business again in the Middle East. According to an April 18, 2018 report in the WSJ,

"... the Trump administration is seeking to assemble an Arab force to replace the US military contingent in Syria and help stabilise the north-eastern part of the country ... [and that Erik Prince] has been informally contacted by Arab officials about the prospect."

It's worth mentioning that Rupert Murdoch, the global billionaire propagandist, went into business with former VP Dick Cheney through Genie Energy which bought energy rights from Israel in 2013 in the illegally-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. In 2007, on Cheney's watch, Erik Prince's Blackwater allegedly murdered dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians - of which the most notable incident was the Nisour Square Massacre. And Erik Prince is also suspected of attempting to establish a back channel for Trump / Putin in the Seychelles [islands off the coast of Africa] in December of 2016.

It seems like the gang is back in town and American's reputation and government taxed money may be used again by these millionaires and billionaires to further enrich themselves. This time it seems they will make themselves even more fabulously rich on the stolen energy rights of the Syrian people, using the American taxpayer Defense budget to pay for it. An effort to defund some of these operations in March / April 2018 was stopped by one of Rupert Murdoch's many puppets, Senate Majority 'Leader' Mitch McConnell [his wife Elaine Chao was previously on Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Board].

Banking Deregulation For Sale?

Kushner also secured a half billion dollars in loans during Trump's first year as U.S. President. After multiple meetings at the White House in Spring of 2017, Citibank made a $325 million loan to Kushner. In November 2017 Apollo Global Management made a $184 million loan to Kushner. The loan they made to Kushner was reportedly triple the size of the average property loan in their portfolio. Apollo's slogan is "We take many paths to value."

In March 2018, Mouse McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate had passed a bank deregulation bill that pulls back the bank reforms made after a bank bailout and economic recovery that cost the American taxpayer over $4 TRILLION DOLLARS. In May 2018 Trump and the Republican Congress, led by Paul Ryan, passed a similar banking deregulation bill.

Chinese Trade Deals & American Security For Sale?

A May 23, 2018 report on Bloomberg states,

"Press reports in early May centered on $500 million in expected loans [to a Trump Partnership in Malaysian tycoon developer Hary Tanoesoedibjo] from a Chinese state-owned institution. This was particularly piquant because of Trump's unexpected announcement on May 13, via Twitter, that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give the Chinese phone maker ZTE Corp., which has been cut off from U.S. suppliers for violating sanctions against trading with Iran and North Korea, "a way to get back into business, fast." That produced accusations that Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo with Xi."

  • CLICK here to continue reading our report about the Ridiculous Presidency of Benedict Donald including the alleged sale of access to Russian Oligarchs, sale of U.S. federal land and mineral rights, potential corruption at Betsy De Vos' Department of Education, 187 former lobbysists working in the swamp-turned-cesspool, Melania's friend's multi-million dollar windfall, taxpayer funded federal government luxury, possibly a Cabinet member's Mile High Club enrollment on a U.S. Air Force jet and the Trump $1.5 trillion robbery of America's children.


NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

NYCCM Helen Rosenthal Hosts Housing Clinic to Inform Renters of Their Rights

manhattan things to do nycMay 29, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Wednesday, May 25th I went to the Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue at 88th Street to attend a housing clinic designed to inform renters of their rights.

***The following introduction is based on prior research done by me, and was not information provided at the housing clinic. I'll let you know when I segue out of my preamble and into the housing clinic.***

Over the past decade landlords appear to have become increasingly aggressive in trying to wriggle out of NYC and NYS rent stabilization regulations, that govern the rental payments under which about two million New Yorkers live.

It is my understanding that the government contributed land and / or financing to build or repair the buildings governed by NYC / NYS rent stabilization laws in exchange for the pricing rights on rent stabilized units. Many of the new landlords who have acquired rent stablized buildings, may possibly be in violation of approaching their business contract(s) in good faith, as the definition of good faith according to Wikipedia is:

"In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract. It is implied in every contract in order to reinforce the express covenants or promises of the contract. A lawsuit (or a cause of action) based upon the breach of the covenant may arise when one party to the contract attempts to claim the benefit of a technical excuse for breaching the contract, or when he or she uses specific contractual terms in isolation in order to refuse to perform his or her contractual obligations, despite the general circumstances and understandings between the parties. When a court or triar or fact interprets a contract, there is always an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" in every written agreement."

What is at stake, throughout the city, is literally hundreds of millions and more likely billions of dollars in - rental benefits or rental income streams - depending on which side of the struggle you're on. The landlords appear to be trying - using the torturtous side effects of construction including noise, health risk dust [inhalation], privacy loss and apartment functional loss - to wrest away the billions of dollars of rental pricing rights benefits from tenants to be pocketed by the landlords themselves. Given the high dollar value of what's at stake - including people's homes - this seems like attempted grand larceny, especially in cases where landlords are breaking the law to achieve their goals.

This will be continued at a later date. Including the segue into the information provided by the Housing Clinic to inform tenants of their rights.

Tenants' Rights March & Rally - June 14th Midtown at 4.30 pm

P.S. There's a March & Rally scheduled for June 14th, beginning at 4.30 pm, at the NY Public Library at 5th Avenue and 40th Street. They plan to march to Governor Cuomo's office at 3rd Avenue and East 41st Street. For details contact info@realrentreform.org or call 212.979.6958. All but one of the No IDC NY senatorial candidates have been invited to participate, and there's a possibility that NYS gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be there too - as this seems to coincide with her reasons for challenging Governor Cuomo.


Things To Do NYC - This Weekend

5 Boro Bike Ride, Bike Expo NY Brooklyn, Frieze Art Fair Randall's Island & Jane's Walks

manhattan things to do nyc May 3, 2018 / NYC Things To Do /NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 80's Friday, low 70's Saturday, and low 60's on Sunday, while the temperature lows will be around 70 in Friday, dropping to about 60 for the rest of the weekend. There's some rain in the weekend forecast with a 10% chance Friday, 0% Saturday & 70% Sunday. The rain is expected to begin very early Sunday [may slip into late Saturday so beware] and will continue through the day - but it's less than a quarter inch - so I wouldn't cancel anything. Winds will be around 20 mph Friday, descending to 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be about 50% Friday, 40% Saturday and 70% on Sunday. Click for NYC Weather.

The photo at right shows a man admiring a artwork at the Frieze Art Fair on Randall's Island in 2014. He seems to resemble one of the characters in the picture. The Frieze Art Fair has returned - see details below.

Bronx

Janes Walk along the Grand Concourse begins at 11 am beginning from the Bronx Museum. Click for Bronx things to do.

Brooklyn

Bike Expo New York at Pier 12 in Red Hook on Friday from 10 am - 8 pm & Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm. Click for Brooklyn things to do.

Manhattan

5 Boro Bike Ride takes off in waves from downtown Manhattan on Sunday between 7.30 - 9.20 am streaming through all five boroughs. Click for Manhattan things to do.

Queens

The Frieze Art Fair began on Randall's Island on Wednesday and continues through the weekend beginning 11 am - 7 pm, but closing an hour earlier on Sunday at 6 pm. Click for Queens things to do.

Staten Island

The 5 Boro Bike Ride ends in the Fort Wadsworth & St. George neighborhoods in Staten Island beginning about noon through the afternoon. Click for Staten Island things to do.


5 Boro Bike Ride 2018 - Bike New York | 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nyc 5 borough bike ride queens 5 boro bike ride manhattan 5 boro bike ride brooklyn 5 boro bike ride bronx 5 boro bike ride brooklyn new york expo brooklyn nyc
5 Boro Bike Ride 2018 - Bike New York

5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

Bike New York Organizes NYC Bike Ride & Bike Expo New York

April 30, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Brooklyn Neighborhoods / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This story includes information about the upcoming 5 Boro Bike Ride on Sunday, as well as the Bike Expo New York which precedes it on Friday & Saturday in Red Hook. As of this report, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and the chances of rain appear slim. But bear in mind that the forecast probability of 20% chance of rain last Friday, turned into rain on Saturday evening, so check the weather as we get closer in.

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

Since 1977, every first Sunday of May, Bike New York has organized and promoted the 5 Boro Bike Ride. The ride begins in lower Manhattan, sweeps northward across the Harlem River Bridge to the Bronx, circles back across the Third Avenue Bridge to Manhattan, where it begins its southward trek crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, heading south to Brooklyn after a quick stop north to Astoria Park, and then comes down past the Brooklyn Navy Yards, continuing southward along the west side of 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycBrooklyn, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where it crosses over to the Fort Wadsworth neighborhood in Staten Island before terminating in the St. George neighborhood at the Staten Island Ferry.

 

Proceeds from Non-Profit New York Bike Ride go Toward Sustainable Transportation Efforts

The now famous bike ride was capped at 32,000 riders I believe sometime in the 1990’s, where it still stands today. One report noted that the 5 Boro Bike ride is one of – if not the largest - non-profit bike rides in the nation. The proceeds go to Bike New York programs which are designed to teach people about sustainable transportation, most notably bicycle riding and bike maintenance and safety. Another report noted that the NYPD had considered [don’t know the outcome] charging the organization $1 million for erecting, maintaining and terminating road closures during the New York 40 mile family-friendly bike ride.

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

Bike New York has offices in all five NYC boroughs. In 2015 their cyclist safety and bike maintenance programs reached 15,000 New Yorkers. And they are the organizers of the Bike Expo New York being held at Pier 12 in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday [see details in rest of this story].



IDC Challengers' Rallies Sunday

Challenging Republicans Posing as NYS Senate Democrats?

April 28, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc politics nyc government no idc rallies tru blue rallies nycI just received an email notifying me of simultaneous rallies which will be held by IDC [Independent Democratic Caucus] member CHALLENGERS within the NYC Metro area. The members of the IDC, who these challengers are rallying against, have been caucusing with the Republicans since 2010 / 2011. By caucusing with the Republicans, the IDC Democrats have provided Republicans with a majority in the NYS Senate. Thus the IDC members appear to be Republicans running as Democrats on the Democratic ticket.

The IDC CHALLENGER rallies are intended to inform the electorate as to how their IDC electeds have been (mis?) representing them - as well as how the challengers would like to represent them - should they be given the chance.

"In an unprecedented show of strength and unity following the release of their joint statement about their agenda, the candidates will set forth their visions for their districts and will enlist those present at the rallies in registering voters, canvassing, and the like in preparation for the Thursday, September 13, 2018 primary election."

"The rallies will explain the need to replace the former IDC members with true blue Democrats whom we can trust not to turn their backs on the people who elected them. The IDC may have rejoined the Democrats for now, but they've been willing to ally themselves with the GOP since 2011 - and they've claimed to return to the Democratic fold before. The damage is done and we will not forget. New York deserves REAL Democrats who stand for progressive values, not Trump Democrats."

SUNDAY Rally Details:

  • Blue Wave Rally for Jessica Ramos, April 29, 2 PM, 31-04 Ditmar Blvd., Intersection at 31st Street Astoria, Queens.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Alessandra Biaggi, April 29, 2-3 PM, Memorial Grove in Van Cortland Park, Bronx. Memorial Grove is located in Van Cortlandt Park, near West 246 Street between Broadway and the Van Cortlandt Mansion - see map above.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Robert Jackson, April 29, 1:30-2:30 PM, at Bennett Park, W 183rd St & Fort Washington Avenue, Manhattan.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Rachel May, April 29, 2-3 PM, State Office Building, 301 East Washington Street, Syracuse.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Zellnor Myrie, April 29, 2-3 PM, at the Prospect Park subway stop, on Lincoln Avenue between Flatbush and Ocean Avenues, Brooklyn.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Jasmine Robinson, April 29, 2-3 PM, at Tappen Park, Staten Island (near the Stapleton SIR stop).
  • Blue Wave Rally to Make NY True Blue in SD38, April 29, 2-3, at 20 South Main Street, New City, NY
  • Blue Wave Rally to Make NY True Blue in SD21, April 29, 2-3 PM, Bell Boulevard at 73rd Avenue, Oakland Gardens, Queens

Press contacts:

  • Rise and Resist: Claire Ullman, 917-679-7120
  • True Blue NY: Lisa DellAquila, co-leader, 917-991-0605
  • Jackson campaign: Harris Doran, 917-797-6180
  • Myrie campaign: Andre Richardson (campaign manager), 201-892-5829, andrerichardson@gmail.com
  • Robinson campaign: Jane Nixon Willis, 914-584-2833; improvised3@gmail.com
  • Ramos campaign: Monica Klein, 917-565-0715, monica@seneca-strategies.com
  • Biaggi campaign: Dominique Shuminova, Deputy Campaign Manager, 917-821-7700
  • Avella protest: Judy Kirschner from Rise and Resist, 917-270-2705
  • Carlucci protest: John Gromada from Rockland Citizens Action, (845) 323-9896

Scroll down for related story or click here for the full story about the Independent Democratic Caucus & members.


NY Real Estate Expo

NYC Professionals Discuss Manhattan & NYC Metro Real Estate

April 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Manhattan Real Estate NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

manhattan real estate manhattan nyc real estateI attended the 10th annual NY Real Estate Expo at the New York Hilton last week. The event was well attended by hundreds of real estate, development and financial professionals from the NYC and metro area. Anthony Kazazis, Director of the event, had organized a series of panels to discuss key aspects affecting the real estate market ranging from software platforms, to financing, to NYC real estate market assessments.

Generally the mood was upbeat, but not without some concern about the future, given changes in the tax laws, foreign interest in NYC investment, interest rates forecasts and technological challenges facing the industry. But, I thought, that is why everyone is here. To find out what's going on so they can navigate the market changes - rather than be surprised by them.

While I had intended to stay only a short while, I found the topics and panelists too interesting to leave, so I stayed most of the day. I started with a discussion of a new information technology platform called Blockchain, which is intended to serve as an information clearing house, and it includes some artificial intelligence capability. I then found my way into a discussion about New York City versus Silicon Valley with respect to attracting large technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google. And I ended my visit after listening in on a discussion by NYC and metro area realtors discuss the residential real estate market in Manhattan and outer boroughs.

Sound like an interesting NYC real estate conference? It was. In the photo above you can see the audience at the well attended panel discussions at the NY Real Estate Expo this year.

I'll have more on this later in the week.


nyc arts nyc culture nyc sports nyc parks nyc


How We Hear @ Rough Draft Theater Festival

New Play Explores the Changing Nature of our Political Dialogue

reynaldo piniella nyc actor photo lindsay tanner actress nyc photo rough draft festival laguardia performing arts center lic queensApril 9, 2018 / Long Island City Neighborhood LIC / LaGuardia Performing Arts Center / Experimental Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I had an opportunity to watch one of the new plays performed at the 5th Rough Draft Festival at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in LIC. The play was entitled How We Hear by Emily Lyon.

It was an exploratory exposition of what how the American national dialogue has changed over the past century and a half [158 years] and it was as much an experience, as it was a performance.

What Lyon did with the next hour and half of our time was an interesting journey through selected excerpts of our national debate. But even more importantly, Lyon took us on an exploratory journey - including some real time processing - of how new forms of mass media, with the incredible proliferation of information venues and access, impacts our ability to have a honest dialogue about important issues facing our society in a way that everyday Americans are able to process.

Lincoln Douglas Debates @ LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

I arrived shortly before the performance began and found a seat not far from the stage. The performance was given a short introduction by Handan Ozbilgin, the Rough Draft Festival Director and shortly thereafter, one of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 [August 21 – October 15] began. The debates were the first ever between two Senate candidates vying to for a U.S. Senate seat [Illinois]. They became an instant sensation, and became the forerunner of the platform upon which Lincoln would run for president in 1860. It’s worth noting that at the time the Senators were elected by state legislatures – not by a direct tally of state citizens’ votes.

 

How We Hear by Emily Lyon @ Rough Draft Festival

emily lyon playwright lpac rough draft festival 2018While Triney Sandoval, the Hispanic man who played Douglas, didn’t resemble Stephen Douglas facially, he was an actor and orator of the first degree, and comported himself as one might imagine Douglas. His elocution and diction were very precise, cadenced and reminiscent of an earlier age. And his Hispanic heritage, in what was – over a century and a half ago – an Anglicized age, seemed purposeful in adding an ethnic layer and some complexity, to what was possibly a simpler time.

Sandoval, as Douglas, talked about the Lecompton Constitution, which was one of the hot issues of the time. The Lecompton Constitution which was a competing, pro-slavery, constitution for the state of Kansas induction into the United States, which also explicitly stated that only white males would have the right to vote.

Ironically, Stephen Douglas, a Democrat, helped the Republicans defeat the pro-slavery constitution by aligning with the other northern Democrats who were against it. The southern Democrats were supportive of it.

 

States Rights Vs Human Rights: Early American Hypocrisy or Dialectic?

laguardia performing arts center rough draft festival licSandoval, as Douglas, then went on to accuse Lincoln and the Republican Party of that time of being a northern political party – not a national political party like the Democrats were. Douglas then cited excerpts from speeches made by Lincoln which seemed at odds with each other, where it appeared Lincoln appealed to the anti-slavery sentiment while giving speeches in northern cities like Chicago while appealing to the racial prejudice of the south, while in southern Illinois cities like Charleston [which is about the same latitude as St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City] by stating that he did not support allowing Black men to become whites equals, citing they weren’t fit for the role of jurors and what not.

Stephen Douglas was a Democrat, but he wasn’t pro-slavery per se. He was for the rights of states to decide for themselves what institutions to create and how they should conduct their business. He noted that all of the Founding Fathers had kept their slaves through the Revolutionary War. And Douglas reminded voters of Lincoln’s speech in 1858 in Springfield, Illinois where he said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And that one day the United States would either be all slave or all free.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Rough Draft Festival performance of How We Hear.


nyc arts nyc culture nyc sports nyc parks nyc


Spring Has Arrived

The Trees are Blooming and Warmer Weather is on its Way

historic richmond town staten island nycApril 17, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This weeks our deciduous trees have begun budding and flowering. We can see the bright pea green buds and the white tree blossoms popping out everywhere. This unique period of springtime lasts only a week or two, so enjoy the majestic beauty while it lasts.

The photo to your right shows what is a very ordinary view of a back wall of apartment windows in NYC, as it comes alive with nature's beauty. The budding trees add oxygen during the day and carbon during the night to our atmosphere. And provide shelter from the hot sun during the summer and some privacy between neighbors as well.

So enjoy these magical week(s) as nature blossoms and our deciduous trees awake from their wintry slumber.


nyc arts nyc culture nyc sports nyc parks nyc


The Past Comes Alive: Historic Richmond Town

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island Preserves a Bit of America's Colonial & 19th Century Past

historic richmond town staten island nycMarch 2018 / Historic Richmond Town Neighborhood / Staten Island Culture & History / Gothm Buzz NYC.

Earlier this month I visited Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. I got off the train at Oakwood Heights and along with a visiting South Korean visitor, ubered the half to one mile inland to visit historic Richmond Town.

We were dropped off in a large parking lot adjacent to the main building, which turned out to be the rear of the site, and walked in. It was less than two hours before closing time and on this cold March day, things were pretty quiet.

In the museum gift shop we Lou Maira who manages it. The visiting South Korean took off on his own, while I struck up a conversation with Lou. He told me that we were in the Court House, which was the County Seat for Staten Island in 1837. The Court House also served as the prison. He told me that this late in the day, on the off season, wasn't really the optimal time to see the place, but he accommodated my unscheduled inquisitiveness anyhow.

 

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island lies on 100 Acres of Colonial & 19th Century History

historic richmond town staten island historic richmond town nyc colonial history nysLou told me that there were 15 buildings in Historic Richmond Town. He informed me that tours are given regularly by knowledgeable guides and that they take about an hour and fifteen minutes. The whole town lies on about one hundred acres. At some point in the conversation, one of the tour guides whose name I apparently didn't write down [please send it to me if you read this], joined us, and we continued conversing about Historic Richmond Town. In the photo at right is one of the tour guides of Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island.

Guyon Tavern in Historic Richmond Town

One of the buildings is Guyon Tavern, which may be found about a block and a half away on Richmond Road. The Court House lies at the top of a small hill where Center Street and Court Place meet. Guyon Tavern hosts tavern nights in March and April, where a thirsty 19th century American could and still can get a bottle of ale.

Historic Richmond Town - Things To Do on Staten Island

Historic Richmond Town also hosts other events. In the May / June timeframe there's a program entitled On Court, which I was told is a fairly large festival that includes live entertainment, beer and wine and food. And in September there's a pretty huge festival, it's Historic Richmond Town's signature event, called the County Fair.

The houses in Historic Richmond Town range in dates from the 1600's, 1700's and into the 1800's. The houses built in the 1700's date back to the time of the American Revolutionary War.

I'll add more to this, including more photos, at a later date. But suffice it to say it's worth at least one visit and likely many more. You can find out more about it and their events at http://www.historicrichmondtown.org


NYC Crime Continues To Drop, Breaking Records

Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Discuss City Safety & Ongoing Improvements

February 7, 2017 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Government / Gotham Buzz NYC.

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeThis just came in on the heels of our coverage of the Public Safety discussion below. Mayor de Blasio and NY Police Commissioner O'Neill spoke in the Bronx regarding ongoing efforts and results in improving safety in the city. The following are some of the crime statistics noted in their meeting taken directly out of a press release sent by them.

 
Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. As you’ve heard, we have begun a strong start to 2017 in terms of overall crime reduction. Strategies that have been put in place to address repeat offenders, illegal gun possession and gangs are having the desired effect. We’re building on the momentum of the last few years.

  • So, some of the highlights for crime statistics from this January – overall index crime is down 0.2 percent for the month of January. When you carry it over to this morning, we are now down 2.7 percent in overall index crime in New York City.
  • To note – with the overall index crime, January marks the tenth consecutive month of reduced index crime. That’s the momentum we’ve been talking about. Currently, four out of five boroughs in New York City – all but Queens – are down to start the year.
  • Homicides – we recorded 20 homicides in January. That’s down two from 22. That 20, as the Mayor alluded to, is the lowest January that we have ever recorded going back a minimum into the 1960s.
  • Shooting incidents – down 1.7 percent in January. Last January we hit the modern mark with 59 shooting incidents. We came in with 58 this January.
  • Talking about momentum again – nine of the last 13 months we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents. Nine of the last 13.
  • Three months in a row we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents in New York City. We have now, when you look at New York City as a whole, we now have 24-hour periods where we do not record a shooting incident in New York City. That kind of thinking was impossible in the not too distant past.
  • This is the new normal. We want to build on it and we feel that we will build on it but there’s still plenty of work to do.
  • Stabbings and slashings for January – down 7.2 percent.
  • Robberies – down 7.5 percent. Lowest January robbery number we’ve seen.
  • Felony assaults in New York City – down 5.4 percent.
  • Burglaries tied the lowest mark set last year.
  • Transit crime – down 1.4 percent.
  • And housing crime – not to be outdone – down 1.9 percent.
  • Clearly, a wide breath of crime across New York City – property and violent crime, down.
     
    But there is, I alluded to, there is still work to do – three categories we saw increases in January.
  • Rape was up 8.9 percent.
  • Grand larceny, specifically, credit card related skimming and forging of checks – those two drove grand larcenies. And grand larceny was up for the month of January 4.7 percent.
  • And lastly, rounding out the crime totals – stolen vehicles which we have seen drop to unprecedented lows saw an increase of ten cars for January. So, that’s 480 versus 470 – a two percent increase.

Commissioner O’Neill: Okay, thanks, Dermot. We’ll take your questions.
 
Question: Do you think it’s possible, really to keep driving crime down further at this point? And how could you achieve that?

O'Neill's response was yes, with some added context.


nyc politics nyc government new york city


Jeff Klein's IDC: Republicans Running as Dems?

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with Republicans which Enables Republicans to Control the NYS Senate

March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

IDC independent democratic caucus NOIDCNY no independent democratic caucus bronx brooklyn manhattan queensThere's an NYS State and Federal election this year. The primaries will be held on Thursday, September 13th; instead of on Tuesday, September 11th, in recognition of 911. And the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

As in any year, the elections are important, but perhaps made more so this year, by what appears to be the anarchistic destruction and disrespect, for our government institutions and processes, by Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump Republicans: Debt Bomb Deficits Levied on America's Children to Enrich the Richest?

The Donald passed a stimulus tax bill that is expected to increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and there are some pundits who put the figure higher. He and the Republicans passed this budget busting stimulus tax bill, while the economy was operating at levels considered above a full employment economy [5% unemployment is considered standard / normal] and at a time when wages were rising over 2%.

Inflation above 2% is considered to be detrimental to economic stability by the Federal Reserve, so stimulating the economy while it's at full employment with rising wages is about the opposite of what makes sense, especially when you consider the funding for it is coming from America's children and most of the benefits for it are going to the wealthiest people on the planet. We posted a report analyzing the Trump Tax Reform Bill slightly before it was finalized, which includes a lot of facts and figures to help provide context to better understand what was in the bill they passed.

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with NYS Senate Republicans & Gives Them Control

In 2010 / 2011 NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein broke away from the Democratic Party and formed the Independent Democratic Caucus which aligns with the Republican Party, thereby giving them control of the NYS Senate. The effect of this is that bills passed by the Democratic controlled NYS Assembly are indefinitely tabled, or in lay man's terms pretty much killed, in the Republican-controlled NYS Senate. The Republicans control the NYS Senate, because eight NYS senators who run as Democrats [IDC Independent Democratic Caucus], either vote with or kill bills with the Republicans.

Democratic NYS Assembly Bills Effectively Killed by IDC

According to the Democratic Senate Conference, the Republican controlled NYS Senate - with the help of their Republicans running as Democrats allies - have effectively killed one education bill providing full day kindergarten funding, three wage / leave bills, four voting rights bills including the allowance of early voting, four immigration bills including one related to the DREAM Act, four housing bills including several pertaining to NYC rent laws that help renters, three criminal justice bills including creation of correctional ombudsman and sealing of marijuana possession records [as marijuana is rapidly being legalized in states across the country], one related to LGBTQ issues, and six regarding healthcare, several of which pertain to women's reproductive rights.

The IDC Deception: Republicans Running as Democrats?

The net effect of this is that Democrats are, in a sense, cheated or tricked out of their majority by what appears to be Republicans running as Democrats. The Independent Democratic Caucus or IDC includes Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx, who founded the IDC, David Valesky of Oneida and Madison Counties in upstate New York, David Carlucci of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Diane Savino of Staten Island / Brooklyn, Tony Avella of Queens, Jose Peralta of Queens, Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, and Marisol Alcantera of Washington Heights / Manhattan. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn also runs as a Democrat and caucuses with the Republicans.


Trump Tax Plan - Super Rich Bilk Billions from America's Babies | trump tax plan rich bilk billions from americas babies trump tax plan ripoff of the middle class super rich hog fest on trump tax plan demon donalds derelict tax plan screws the middle class bankrupts nation
Trump Tax Plan - Super Rich Bilk Billions from America's Babies

Trump Tax Plan: A Morally Bankrupt President’s Gift?

Are Billionaires Trump & Murdoch Bilking America’s Unborn Babies?

Updated 12/26/17 _ December 19, 2017 / New York City Neighborhoods / New York City Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Like many of you, I have been watching the Trump Tax plan make its way through Congress. While Trump and his cohorts were whipping together the tax package, I was doing research on the possible implications of some of their tax policy proposals.

According to an October 20, 2017 PolitiFact report [based on the plan at that time, which has since been modified],

"... in the first year of changes, the top 1 percent are projected to draw a little over half the tax savings. The threshold of 80 percent going to the top 1 percent is projected for the tenth year."

While directionally this statement is likely to hold [meaning the plan is biased toward the rich], the exact numbers as to how biased the Trump Tax Plan will be for the wealthy - based on the final bill - remains to be calculated.

In this report we look at a number of tax cuts included in the final bill including repatriation of overseas profits, reduction of the estate tax, reduction of the corporate tax and the blue vs red state tax increase. We include a review questioning why the Trump Administration is pushing this deficit expanding / debt increasing fiscal stimulus package - when we're in a full employment economy with rising wages. We also include how the Trump Tax Cut Plan has been treated propagandistically by Rupert Murdoch's media outlets, as he appears to personally and corporately benefit immensely from the tax cuts.

 

But before we begin, we take you on a quick review at some key characteristics and prior dealings of the man behind the plan – Donald J. Trump.

 

I. Character & The Art of the Deal - Or Steal?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksIn Donald Trump’s book The Art of the Deal, he says,

"You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on …”

Is the Trump Tax Plan a Tax Boondoggle for Billionaires?

Based on recent polls regarding the Trump Tax Plan, it appears the American people are of the opinion that this a very bad deal for them and their children. Perhaps this is why the Donald appears to be rushing through what appears to be one of the greatest tax billionaire boondoggles in modern history, while telling the public that this tax plan isn’t good for him ... or his super rich family and friends.

 

Always Pay Attention to a Person's Integrity or Lack Thereof

To listen to the Donald, you’d think he has always been a champion, if not a living martyr, of the middle and working classes of America. But the facts don’t always square with the Donald’s narratives. And the Donald, seems never to admit blame. That’s why he has continually lashed out at the media who inform the public about him – calling all, but Rupert Murdoch’s vast mass manipulation media [Fox News, Wall Street Journal & NY Post], Fake News. Trump and Murdoch live in the Bizarro World, where so much of what they say appears to be the truth turned upside down.

In the graphic at right, I modified Rupert Murdoch's Fox News website front page celebrating the passage of Trump Tax Plan - in which it appears that the bulk of the breaks will go to the super-rich, including the multi-billionaire Murdoch, who is a global propagandist and powerful Trump supporter. I call this Murdoch's propaganda payout and it appears to be HUGE.trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucks

Law and Crime, a web magazine funded in part by A & E Network, states in a February 16, 2016 report that Trump was named in at least 169 Federal Lawsuits. They went on to say that,

The federal lawsuits that we reviewed date back to 1983 and involve everything from business disputes, antitrust claims and, more recently, accusations that Trump’s campaign statements are discriminatory against minorities. Some of the cases have been resolved, some were dismissed as frivolous, and others were privately settled. He’s been sued by celebrities, personal assistants, prisoners, people in mental hospitals, unions, and wealthy businessmen. Of course, Donald Trump has also done his fair share of suing as well.”

 

Slippery Donald – A Sales Promoter Who Must be Watched Carefully

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksWatching Trump promote and sell his tax plan to the American public reminded me of a report about how the Donald sold a Palm Beach mansion - Maison de L’Amitie at 515 North Country Road - to Russian Oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2009. In a July 28, 2016 story in Politico, reporter Jose Lambiet says of the deal,

 

“This is what he [Trump] does with everything. He puts a little veneer on things and he doubles the price, and people buy it,” … “He’s [Trump] all smoke and mirrors—and that house was the proof.”

 

Dmitry, the Russian Oligarch, paid $95 million for what Trump had paid only $41 million just four years earlier. Dmitry is now reportedly planning to demolish the mansion.

The question is whether the Donald snuck one by the Russian Oligarch, or whether the Donald is in cahoots with the Russian Oligarchs, and this was an indication of such?

The graphic / photo at right shows Trump standing in front of the Maison de L'Amitie. In the lower left I added his claim that he wouldn't benefit from the Trump Tax Plan as reported by NBC News on November 29, 2017; while in the lower right is a December 22, 2017 New York Times analysis indicating that the Trump Tax Cuts might enable him to take advantage of $11 million in tax breaks.

 

II. Trump & The Russian Oligarchs

Are These Birds of a Feather Flocking Together?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksA July 13, 2017 report by the New Republic informs us that,

“In 2015, the Taj Mahal [controlled by Donald J. Trump] was fined $10 million—the highest penalty ever levied by the feds against a casino [in years] - and [they] admitted to having “willfully violated” anti-money-laundering regulations.”

The report references the book, Red Mafiya, about the rise of the Russian mob in America, by investigative reporter Robert I. Friedman. It appears that the laundered money came from the Russian mob, and further in the story we learn a bit more about what appear to be the Donald’s shadowy business dealings with Russia.

“In April 2013, a little more than two years before Trump rode the escalator to the ground floor of Trump Tower to kick off his presidential campaign, police burst into Unit 63A of the high-rise and rounded up 29 suspects in two gambling rings. The operation, which prosecutors called “the world’s largest sports book,” was run out of condos in TrumpTower—including the entire fifty-first floor of the building. In addition, unit 63A—acondo directly below one owned by Trump—served as the headquarters for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” that trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksmoved an estimated $100 million outof the former Soviet Union, through shell companies in Cyprus, and into investments in the United States. The entire operation, prosecutors say, was working under the protection of Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, whom the FBI identified as a top Russian vor closely allied with Semion Mogilevich. In a single two-month stretch, according to the federal indictment, the money launderers paid Tokhtakhounov $10 million.

Tokhtakhounov, who had been indicted a decade earlier for conspiring to fix the ice-skating competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics, was the only suspect to elude arrest. For the next seven months, the Russian crime boss fell off the radar of Interpol, which had issued a red alert. Then, in November 2013, he suddenly appeared live on international television—sitting in the audience at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Tokhtakhounov was in the VIP section, just a few seats away from the pageant owner, Donald Trump.

After the pageant, Trump bragged about all the powerful Russians who had turned out that night, just to see him. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” he told Real Estate Weekly.”

 

A Tax Plan for the new American Oligarchs?

The U.S. has a Full Employment Economy & Wages are Rising

So Why is Trump Promoting Fiscal Stimulus in a Full Employment Economy?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksOver the past few years the economy has been steadily adding new jobs, and wages have been rising. The unemployment rate is 4.1%, which means the U.S. is operating in a full employment economy. A full employment economy is defined as one where everyone who wants a job, has one, except those who are in transition. Normal transitioning is generally estimated at 5% of those who are employed. These transitioning unemployed workers are those workers who are making the change from school to jobs or vice versa, switching jobs or careers, moving from one locale to another, or making other relevant job or life changes such as illnesses etc..

 

So given we’re in a full employment economy where wages are rising, why are we incurring over $1 trillion in new debt to give the richest people in the nation / world tax breaks? The new jobs, higher wages argument seems deceptive as it just doesn’t seem to apply here.

 

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg Says "This Tax Bill is a Trillion Dollar Blunder"

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksFormer Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote an editorial dated December 15, 2017 on Bloomberg.com entitled "This Tax Bill is a Trillion Dollar Blunder".

In the editorial Bloomberg cites his rationale, including an anecdotal poll taken by Trump Economic Adviser Gary Cohn who on November 14, 2017 asked CEO's to raise their hands if they planned any additional hiring. In the video of the event I saw only two hands raised, and the moderator goes on to ask, 'Why weren't more hands raised?'. Go to YouTube.com and type in the search 'gary cohn asks ceos to raise hands' to see the video for yourself. The answer is that the top CEO's are sitting on trillions in cash, so a tax break isn't going to change the investment landscape for them with respect to adding jobs.

Bloomberg concluded his editorial with the following statement.

"The tax bill is an economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future."

It’s also important to note that since the lows following the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009, wages have been going up between two and four percent, as measured on a quarterly basis.



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Upper East Side French Restaurants – Café D’Alsace

Casual Dining at French Restaurant on the Upper East Side

manhattan things to do nycMay 7, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Upper East Side Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was a warm pleasant May afternoon as I strolled into the Café D’Alsace on the Upper East Side. We’d planned to dine elsewhere, but the outdoor seating looked so inviting that we decided for a change of plans.

 

Formerly Elaine's Restaurant on the Upper East Side

The Café D’Alsace is located in what was once a kind of well known Upper East Side restaurant of the 1980’s and 1990’s – Elaines. Café D’Alsace is located at the corner of 88th and Second Avenue, just two blocks from the 86th Street stop off the Q line and the Second Avenue stop off the 86th Street crosstown bus – so it’s a fairly convenient location to meet friends.

Today I was meeting a retired graphic artist, who spends his time managing some of his and his wife’s business interests and their teenage kids’ busy schedules. We took a spot outside to enjoy one of the first really nice days of 2018. The waiter appeared promptly and we began perusing the menu.

 

Cafe D'Alsace French Restaurant on the Upper East Side Manhattan

manhattan things to do nycThey included a prix fixe menu, offering three courses for $29. It included their Merguez Shakshuka, which I found to be of great interest. Nonetheless I began surveying the rest of the menu, adding up a combination or two of the other entrees, before I decided to give the Merguez Shakshuka a royal try. I also received the Soup of the Day, which was potato leek, and for dessert I went with the Molten Hazelnut Chocolate Gateaux. My dining companion wasn’t in a very venturesome spirit today, and he settled on the Burger D’Alsace, preceded by the Winter Salad.

The conversation turned to some of the business ventures in which the artist and his wife are involved. It seems things are going reasonably well at the moment, and based on the conversation, it seemed they were expected to continue.

I have the rest of the story written, but I need to convert it to web format and add photos which I'll do Tuesday. Stay tuned.


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Brooklyn Farmers Markets & Street Fairs

Also Staten Island Farmers Markets & Street Fairs

street fairs brooklyn nycApril 24, 2018 / Staten Island Famers Markets / Brooklyn Farmers Markets / Brooklyn Street Fairs / Staten Island St Fairs / Gotham Buzz NYC.

A few Staten Island & Brooklyn farmers markets might be open year round, but most of them are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Staten Island & Brooklyn farmers markets will begin opening in the Spring of 2018, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July of 2018. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in Brooklyn and here for the farmers markets in Staten Island.

Staten Island & Brooklyn street fairs, on the other hand, are entirely seasonal. Some of them hit the streets as early as April 2018. The number of Staten Island & Brooklyn street fairs rises during the late spring and continues through the dog days of summer [July / August], including into the late part of the Fall. By the end of November the Staten Island & Brooklyn street fairs go on hiatus, with a few returning as early as April. Click here to view a full schedule of the Brooklyn street fairs and also Staten Island street fairs.


Click here for Brooklyn tile stores.


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Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project

First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin

April 24, 2017 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate / Gotham Buzz NYC.

laguardia airport construction redesign LGAI attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.

The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.

Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.


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Has The Pulitzer Prize Committee - Like the Corporate Media - Lost its Way?

pulitzer prizes pulitzer prize awards pulitzer putz awards columbia university school of journalism nycUpdated February 21, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Government & Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The following is an open letter that I sent to the Pultizer Prize Committee on January 25th, 2018 along with a journalistic series I had written in 2017 and sent to them in 2018 entitled Rupert Murdoch and the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press. The series, which you can view by clicking the link, tells the story about how multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch appears to use his media outlets as propaganda machines in order to promote pols who will grant him favorable tax legislation, favorable executive rulings and favorable industry regulatory legislation.

Murdoch also appears to be able to manipulate the course of governments and public policy. He appears to have done exactly this in the case of the Iraq War, whereby Murdoch appears to have sent three English-speaking democracies to war - not only for oil - but for his cable network TV ratings too. In Britain in 2016, regarding the Brexit referendum, Murdoch appears to have hijacked public policy in his favor - not the nation's - by pushing through a seismic policy change that enables Murdoch to have greater autonomy over how he conducts his multi-national media business - free from any meaningful government interference - and the Brexit referendum vote also gave Murdoch a huge purchase price discount, because of a devalued British currency.

While the Corporate Media obsesses over the Russian Collusion Investigation - they are distracted from putting in the spotlight what appears to be the REAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION STORY - which is Rupert Murdoch's election meddling to further empower and enrich himself at the expense of the republic and its institutions.

In Trump's first year, Murdoch was the recipient of numerous tax breaks, and breath-taking deregulatory actions in Murdoch's industry via FCC Rulings and telecommunications legislative changes. All of this has received scant news coverage, as the Pulitzer Prize Award winning corporate media, were too busy covering Donald Trump's Tweet distractions. By giving preferential treatment to Trump's tweets, which the American public is able to directly access on their own, the corporate media has failed the American public by regurgitating and hence amplifying the President's shock jock statements - instead of doing their job of providing the American public with context-based news reports about the important issues of the day.


Queens Library Corruption Scandal: Starring Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer & Queens President Melinda Katz? | Queens Library 'Scandal' by Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer & Queens Borough President Melinda Katz?
Queens Library Corruption Scandal: Starring Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer & Queens President Melinda Katz?

Queens Library: Controversy & Takeover

Queens Boro President Katz's Controversial Queens Library 'Reform Bill' & NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's Lawsuit Against the Award Winning Queens Library Resulted in Taxpayers Paying Million$? for What?



The graphic at right was created by Sunnyside artist and jazz drummer Paul Maringelli.This section is dedicated to an important and evolving story happening within the borough of Queens regarding a change to the governance of the Queens Public Library system. Government officials with the help of the NY Daily News appeared to wrest away control of the library from the quasi-independent board of trustees set up by Andrew Carnegie in the early 20th century. Andrew Carnegie donated the funds to build public libraries in New York City and throughout the U.S. and the independent board structure was meant to keep the libraries independent of government control.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer in tandem with the NY Daily News relentlessly attacked the award winning Queens Library President Thomas Galante and the Queens Library Board using allegations and innuendo in what appeared to be a publicity hanging. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz then pushed through legislation changing the Queens Library charter, which wrested control away from the independent board, and gave it to her and the Mayor. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law with the near unanimous vote from both NYS legislative bodies.

It appears it was a power grab by Katz with Stringer's help, as the allegations did not result in any court actions and the Queens Library subsequently suffered a multi-million dollar lawsuit loss [we heard but could not confirm that it cost $7 million] regarding the Queens Library President's termination [settled out of court - probably so it wouldn't be scrutinized by the public or the press]. Most of the other local press was guilty of following the NY Daily News narrative which appeared to be guided by the then Publisher, billionaire and real estate developer Mortimer Zuckerman. We carved out our own narrative as what the NY Daily News was reporting didn't seem to be supported by what we knew about the Queens Library and its award winning president.

Click here to read our coverage of the Queens Library corruption scandal starring NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz & Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News or click here for Queens Public Library program and other announcements at the Queens Public Library website.



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Bronx St Patrick's Day Parade in Throgs Neck

20th Annual St Patrick's Day Parade in Throgs Neck, Bronx

bronx st pats parade throgs neck st patricks day parade photos bronx st pats parade throgs neck photosMarch 12, 2018 / Throgs Neck Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On Sunday I made my way north into a southeastern neighborhood in the Bronx, to attend the 20th annual St Patrick's Day in Throgs Neck. It's worth mentioning that the Throgs Neck neighborhood is also known as Throggs Neck, and apparently while the double g is the correct name and only spelling of the bridge [Throggs Neck Bridge], the Throgs Neck neighborhood uses both spellings.

It was a chilly Sunday morning, following the switch to Daylight Savings Time, so I began the day running a bit behind schedule, made worse by repair work being done along the #7 subway line in Queens.

The photo to your right shows folks milling along East Tremont where there's an Throgs Neck St Patrick's Day Parade after parade party.

 

Public Transit Between Flushing Queens & Throgs Neck Bronx

bronx st pats parade throgs neck st patricks day parade photos bronx st pats parade throgs neck photosIn the downtown section of the Flushing neighborhood of Queens I had planned to take the 44 SBS bus, but was [wrongly] advised to wait for the Q50. The Q50 came far less frequently, but it did get me there. That said, it's worth noting that the 44 SBS would have been faster, because four of them passed me while I was waiting for the Q50.

 

I departed the bus just off the Hutchison River Parkway at Lafayette Street and started walking east passing St Raymond's Cemetery. St. Raymond's Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the city and associated with St. Raymond's Schools [one for Boys and another for girls] in Parkchester. Click here to see an earlier report we did regarding St. Raymond's Schools in nearby Parkchester, which is only a neighborhood [Schuylerville] away.

 


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