Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

GOP sees signs of life in Northeast

March 24, 2009

In the Republican graveyard of the Northeast, the region where the party all but ceased to compete over the past decade, there are signs of GOP life in places that as recently as November seemed to have none.

By Josh Kraushaa
Politico

In Connecticut, there is an unexpected opportunity to unseat veteran Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in 2010. In New Jersey, incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) trails his Republican challenger in the polls. Several House races seem promising in neighboring New York, where Democratic Gov. David Paterson’s bungling of a recent Senate appointment has jeopardized both his seat and the one now held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

It’s not exactly a rebirth, but the combination of some self-inflicted Democratic wounds, the economic downturn and the departure of President George W. Bush has shell-shocked Northeastern Republicans cautiously optimistic about their fortunes in 2010.

“To predict there is now a groundswell of support for Republicans is a little pretentious,” said former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who lost a reelection bid in 2006. “But clearly the traditional voter in the Northeast is looking more closely at Republicans with Bush and the war in Iraq not on the front burner anymore. Now the Democrats have their scandals, they have their problems, and the American people are looking back and thinking we need to balance things out.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/po
litico/20090324/pl_politico/20394

Plan to cut mortgage interest deduction stirs opposition

March 14, 2009
Obama’s proposed budget would reduce the tax break for households earning more than $250,000. Some see the plan as targeting real-estate rich states like California and New York.
By Peter Y. Hong
Los Angeles Times
March 14, 2009
The Obama administration’s budget threatens to cut a benefit many Americans view as practically a right — the mortgage interest tax deduction — and powerful real estate interests are fighting back.

The move would affect only households earning $250,000 or more, but opponents say it could prolong the housing crisis by slowing already torpid home sales and deal another blow to home values ravaged by the market crash.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-de
duct14-2009mar14,0,6494844.story

Governors Gone Wild: Paterson Cancels Swiss Ski Trip, Blago On TV, Arnold Stands Tall

January 27, 2009

Just think for a moment about the three U.S. Governors most seen in the nationl media.

Governor Paterson of New York just passed up an opportunity to appoint Caroline Kennedy to the U.S. Senate, choosing instead a relative unknown House member supported by the NRA, Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

Paterson also just cancelled a trip funded by the taxpayers to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Perhaps it would be a better idea to go at another time,” Paterson said.  Or maybe never….

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is all over TV, apparently fighting to keep his hair from getting mussed in prison.  His impeachment trial opened monday in Illinois but that is just an opening: there is sure to be a criminal trial.

Blago also caused his Demoicratic Party some heartburn during his dramatic naming of a former Illinois notable to fill the vacant Senate seat of barack Obama.

Blagojevich
AP

In California, Arnold stands tall like a Redwood.

Governor Schwarzenegger has warned that the Golden State is on the brink of insolvency; yet he seems to be working like a dog and in a bipartisan way to make things better….

Related:
 Oprah, Britney, China, ‘If U Seek Amy’ and What Next Rod Blagojevich?

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From Reuters:
.
“The prophets of doom and gloom are just not looking at the reality of California,” said Jerry Nickelsburg, senior economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

“The government has created kind of a mess and that’s a problem to be solved, but the negatives are actually fairly small. I think you can expect a lot of good out of California,” he said.

The typically upbeat Schwarzenegger made international headlines this month when, instead of delivering his usual cheery “state of the state” speech, he issued a short, bleak message about California’s roughly $1.5 trillion economy.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090
126/us_nm/us_california_crisis_1

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BY KENNETH LOVETT IN ALBANY AND GLENN BLAIN IN HYDE PARK
NY  DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A beleaguered Gov. Paterson pulled out of his Switzerland trip Monday as a new poll showed his once-huge lead over Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has virtually disappeared.

Paterson was planning to leave Thursday to attend and speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but said he decided to stay to concentrate on the state budget.

“Because of the deficit reduction and the desire to get it moving as soon as possible … perhaps it would be a better idea to go at another time … and stay right here with the leaders of the Legislature and work on the budget,” Paterson told reporters in Hyde Park, Dutchess County.

Some critics felt he should forgo the taxpayer-funded trip and stay in New York to deal with the $15.8 billion budget deficit.

Read the rest:
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/200
9/01/26/2009-01-26_governor_paterson_
cancels_trip_to_davos_.html

When a Terrorist Gets Free After Prison

January 24, 2009

In 1973, a young terrorist named Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary entered the United States and quickly began plotting an audacious attack in New York City.

He built three powerful bombs — bombs powerful enough to kill, maim and destroy — and put them in rental cars scattered around town, near Israeli targets.

By ADAM GOLDMAN and RANDY HERSCHAFT, Associated Press Writers

Related:
Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

This photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Khalid Duhham ... 
This photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary in 2007. Al-Jawary is in federal custody, convicted of building a trio of powerful bombs that were part of a 1973 plot to destroy Israeli targets in New York. Al-Jawary’s bombs never detonated and he wasn’t brought to justice until two decades later after fleeing the country. On Feb. 19, Al-Jawary, 63, will be released.(AP Photo)

The plot failed. The explosive devices did not detonate, and Al-Jawary fled the country, escaping prosecution for nearly two decades — until he was convicted of terrorism charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to 30 years in federal penitentiary.

But his time is up.

In less than a month, the 63-year-old Al-Jawary is expected to be released. He will likely be deported; where to is anybody’s guess. The shadowy figure had so many aliases it’s almost impossible to know which country is his true homeland.

Al-Jawary has never admitted his dark past or offered up tidbits in exchange for his release. Much of Al-Jawary’s life remains a mystery — even to the dogged FBI case agent who tracked him down.

But an Associated Press investigation — based on recently declassified documents, extensive court records, CIA investigative notes and interviews with former intelligence officials — reveals publicly for the first time Al-Jawary’s deep involvement in terrorism beyond the plot that led to his conviction.

Related:
Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/a
p_on_re_us/mystery_terrorist

Should Illinois and New York Voters Be Pleased With Their Governor’s Appointments to the U.S. Senate?

January 24, 2009

Spare us the circus.  States should elect their U.S. Senators….

Two Governors recently made single-man selections of United States Senators — a practice voters should no longer tolerate.

Governors have the power to appoint “interim” Senators in cases such as when a seated and elected Senator’s dies.  But in each of these cases, there seems to have been ample time and reason to hold special elections to allow the people to decide who they wanted representing them in the United States Senate….

Related:
Burris Caper Highlights Bad Thinking of Congressional Democrats, Harry Reid

 Rethink Practice of Governors Filling Vacant U.S. Senate Seats

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By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

The departure of four Democratic senators this year has cast a new — and at times, unflattering — light on governors and their power to fill Senate vacancies.

While governors must call a special election to replace members of the House who resign or die before their term is up, 38 states allow governors the sole power to appoint an interim senator, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Just nine states require a special election to fill a Senate vacancy. In three other states — Hawaii, Utah and Wyoming — governors must select a candidate from a list of prospective appointees submitted by representatives of the departing incumbent’s political party.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich makes a statement at a news conference ... 
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich makes a statement at a news conference Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 in Chicago, as the Illinois Senate prepares for a trial that could remove him from office.The two term Governor was impeached by the Illinois House on a wide array of offenses including criminal corruption and wasting taxpayers money. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Choosing a new senator has led to considerable drama for the four governors tasked with doing so this year. All have weathered some level of opprobrium for their choices or for how they handled the selection, with one — Rod Blagojevich of Illinois — facing criminal charges for trying to barter President Barack Obama‘s former seat for cash and favors.

“Politically, the choices made by the governors so far have been pretty odd,” said Seth Masket, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Denver.

Most recently, New York Gov. David Paterson engaged in a messy, drawn-out effort to name a replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state. The process was largely dominated by a high-profile lobbying campaign by Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy hoping to win the nod.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/a
p_on_el_se/appointing_senators

New York Gov. David Paterson, seen here in 2008, has chosen ... 
New York Gov. David Paterson, seen here in 2008, has chosen state congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, a relative unknown on the political scene, to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, US media said Friday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Chris Hondros)

NY Gov’s Pick For Senate Causes Liberals To Howl

January 23, 2009

Gov. Paterson, defying the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, has chosen little-known, NRA-backed, upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York’s junior senator, it was learned last night.

New York Post

The surprising – and, for many Democrats shocking – decision to pick the conservative Gillibrand, 42, from Hudson in Columbia County, was disclosed by the governor in calls to party officials and some members of the state’s congressional delegation, many of whom said they were unhappy with the selection, sources said.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01232009/news/politics/
dave_picks_gillibrand_as_liberal_dems_ho_151502.htm

The governor of New York has chosen state congresswoman Kirsten ... 
The governor of New York has chosen state congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, a relative unknown on the political scene, pictured here in 2007, to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, US media said Friday.(AFP/File/Mannie Garcia)

New York’s New Senator: Not Kennedy

January 23, 2009

Democratic congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is the New York governor‘s pick to fill Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s vacate Senate seat.

An aide to the governor tells The Associated Press that the 42-year-old Gillibrand will be named by Gov. David Paterson on Friday. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer

Gillibrand (JIL’-uh-brand) was a dark horse, lacking the name recognition of Caroline Kennedy, who withdrew her candidacy, or even the seniority of other New York representatives vying for the job.

But she is a proven vote-getter in her sprawling eastern New York district. She picked off an entrenched Republican incumbent in 2006 and cruised to re-election last year.

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Gov. David A. Paterson has selected Representative Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old congresswoman from upstate who is known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a person who spoke to the governor early Friday.

The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/2
4/nyregion/24senator.html?_r=1&hp

Related:
Caroline Kennedy “Mired In Tax Trouble, Empoloyee Problem and Marriage”
.
 Caroline Kennedy Quits Senate Bid; Any Blind Man Could See She was Wrong….
.
 It’s Caroline Kennedy’s Sense of Entitlement or U.S. House of Lords?

Caroline Kennedy Quits Senate Bid; Any Blind Man Could See She was Wrong….

January 22, 2009

Caroline Kennedy announced early Thursday that she was withdrawing from consideration for the vacant Senate seat in New York, startling the state’s political world after weeks in which she was considered a top contender for the post.

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and DANNY HAKIM
The New York Times

Ms. Kennedy on Wednesday called Gov. David A. Paterson, who will choose a successor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, to inform him that she was no longer interested.

“I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate,” Ms. Kennedy said in a statement released by her public relations firm.

Ms. Kennedy did not elaborate, but a person who spoke to her suggested that her concerns about the health of her uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who suffers from brain cancer and was hospitalized after a seizure on Tuesday, contributed to her decision.

Ms. Kennedy believed that the job was hers if she would accept it, the person said, but aides to Mr. Paterson would not comment on whether that was true.

Her decision appeared to catch the governor off guard, throwing the Paterson administration into confusion and setting off conflicting news media reports. After frantic talks between the governor’s operation and Ms. Kennedy’s camp Wednesday evening, Ms. Kennedy appeared to waver on whether to withdraw, and was preparing a statement reasserting her interest in the job. But just after midnight, she decided to make clear she was taking her name out of consideration and released the statement saying so.

Ms. Kennedy declined to be interviewed.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/ny
region/22caroline.html?_r=1&hp

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Fare the well, Queen Caroline. Or, as us serfs like to put it: DLTDHYOTWO*!

*That’s “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out” for those who do not rub elbows with the commoners.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/21/fare-thee-well-queen-caroline/

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CBS News said overnight that Governor Patterson of New York was preparing to name someone else to the vacant seat of Hillary Clinton so Caroline Kennedy withdrew her name.  There was also talk that Carolie felt compelled to spend more time with family, especialy her uncle Ted….

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The New York Post said, “State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has polled higher than Kennedy in public-opinion surveys, was seen as rising on the list of possible replacements.”
Kennedy’s decision caught even some close to her by surprise, and there were conflicting versions last night of what transpired.

Sources close to Kennedy said she had decided to bow out for “personal” reasons.

But others said she made her move after it became clear Paterson wasn’t going to pick her for the seat.

Caroline “Certain” To Be New York Senator

January 19, 2009

“The next New York Senator is certain to be Caroline Kennedy…..This stuff with Paterson saying he’s looking at other people is a crock….”

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By Fred Dicker
The New York Post

DESPITE claims that he’s still undecided, Gov. Paterson is “certain” to pick Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the US Senate, several unhappy contenders for the job have told friends and associates in recent days.

The contenders based their conclusion on the view that Paterson, after nearly two months of indecision, would “greatly embarrass” and “entirely humiliate” Kennedy, anger her prominent political family and even offend President-elect Barack Obama by picking someone other than President John F. Kennedy’s daughter.

As for the governor’s claim to be weighing a last-minute finalist, the contenders agree with a close Paterson friend who said, “It’s clear David is just trying to play mind games with the press.”

Some of the contenders warned, however, that the unelected Paterson, who must face the voters next year, could face a serious backlash from Democratic activists by choosing Kennedy, whose standing with the public, and with Democrats in particular, has been sliding in recent weeks.

US Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan, a would-be Clinton replacement who is backed by several women’s organizations, was the most publicly adamant in saying the fix was in, citing a scenario – first outlined in last week’s Village Voice – under which Paterson, in a deal with Mayor Bloomberg, a Kennedy friend, selects Kennedy in exchange for help for his own election bid next year.

Another potential candidate told The Post that he was convinced that Kennedy would get the job because Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, – who polls show is the public’s favorite to succeed Clinton – failed to line up the right replacement at the AG’s office.

“Andrew just couldn’t assure the governor that he could arrange for [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver to provide an acceptable successor,” said the contender.

A third potential candidate claimed that Paterson’s repeated contention – told to the media in private – that there is no front-runner is “baloney.”

“It’s been a done deal from the start,” said the would-be candidate.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01192009/n
ews/columnists/caroline_the_certain_
pick_for_dave__riva_150822.htm

Plane’s Recorders Support Hero Pilot’s Account; He’s Ready for Inauguration

January 19, 2009

The black boxes recovered from the US Airways jetliner that safely splashed down in the Hudson River last week captured thumping sounds, the sudden loss of engine power and the pilot’s calm mayday request, evidence that seems to back up the crew’s account of hitting a flock of birds shortly after take off.

The pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, credited with helping save the lives of all 155 people aboard, reports that the plane has hit birds and lost both engines shortly after investigators heard “the sound of thumps and a rapid decrease in engine sounds,” National Transportation Safety Board member Kitty Higgins said.

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer

Sullenberger then discussed alternate landings at New Jersey airports before deciding to attempt a river landing, she said. Ninety seconds before ditching the plane, he told passengers to “brace for impact” and informs controllers “they will be in the Hudson River,” Higgins said.

The dispatches on the cockpit voice recorder were described as “a very calm, collected exercise,” Robert Benzon, a veteran safety board investigator, said Sunday.

Said Higgins: “It was very matter of fact.”

In Washington, D.C., safety board spokesman Peter Knudson said preliminary indications from radar data of the plane’s take off Thursday from LaGuardia Airport “did not show any targets” that might be birds. But investigators will keep looking, he said.

“We are going to go and get all the electronic data necessary to get a complete picture of what was on his screen. It’s possible there was more being displayed than we initially understood. We just don’t know definitively at this point — we don’t know exactly what was shown on that radar screen,” Knudson said.

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, ... 
US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III.  He’s headed to Washington DC for Barack Obama’s inauguration….

Sullenberger, who has so far not publicly talked about the crash, has been invited to attend President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, according to the mayor of his hometown, Danville, Calif. An Obama aide said Sunday evening the family had been invited, speaking on condition of anonymity because details were still being worked out.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
9/ap_on_re_us/plane_splashdown

Rescue crews secure the US Airways A320 after it crashed into ...

Related:
Pilot was a ‘hero,’ but are more coming along for airlines to hire?
.
 “Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having
.
Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”
.
 Miracle Landing After Both Engines Died Simultaneously — NTSB

A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways ... 
A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways Airbus A320 that made an emergency landing Thursday in the Hudson River as the plane sits on a barge after being lifted out of the river in New York, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)