Archive | November, 2013

New Jersey and Connecticut poaching NYC (already?)

20 Nov

Chris Christie

Across the NY Post and CBS, news websites — our two neighboring states of NJ and Connecticut seem to be salivating. Preparing

They’re set on capitalizing on NYC’s electing a new Mayor that seems less “business friendly” (as per his disdain for keeping 2,000 jobs from moving to NJ, considering his rhetoric regarding Fresh Direct being kept in the Bronx by Mayor Bloomberg). The ‘progressive’ talk of taxing the rich and the mass-appeal of free “universal pre-school” paid for by increasing taxes — has alerted New Yorkers that new taxes of all sorts may be just on the horizon?

Clearly, the offices of our neighboring Mayors and Governors in CT and NJ were watching. However, here… after a day of this from Chris Christie and a week of TV commercials by CT’s Governor — there’s NO RESPONSE prepared in defense (or offense) from either Mario Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, nor Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio. We may be seeing a renewed war on NYC businesses, whether NYC wants to fight or not.

_____

New York Post:

“You see taxes being increased there,” Christie said. “You have a new mayor in New York who is aggressively talking about increasing taxes in New York City. While I feel badly for New Yorkers, come to New Jersey.

Christie is not the only politician encouraging New Yorkers to move out of state.

Tom Foley, the GOP candidate for governor in Connecticut, released ads this week encouraging New Yorkers to move to Connecticut.

“Enjoy one more year in your city and then come join us in Connecticut,” Foley says in a TV spot.

_____

New Jersey and Connecticut have grown rich on the back of the economic engine that’s New York City — and built overall per capita income to the USA’s highest levels. Because essentially, they are mainland suburbs of NYC. For the most part they have drawn NYC businesses away by promising more space, less taxes and easier transportation costs (for goods and workers). There’s less “crime” and “better schools” — a euphemism that speaks to people seeking homogenous neighborhoods and towns. When COOs and CEOs and Owners move, they bring their offices/business with them — so that they need not ride in cars stuck in traffic (especially over bridges/tunnels) and in commuter trains. For 20-25 years, NJ has also targeted Seniors and retirees to “over 55 communities” — many sell homes, build a bank account and spend on goods/services in the NJ economy. NYC of late, mostly seems to focus on the young, new professional (bike lanes, Silicon Alley business incubators, etc.) and seems not to discourage turn-over (which means Real Estate revenues/taxes raised).

(Last time this effort was reported in the media — was directly after 9-11 attacks when they urged businesses to install back-office and digital files away from the ‘danger’ of NYC terrorist attacks). No matter how it feels from NYC’s perspective, it happens. Wealth leaves. Wall St. back-office and trading firms have jumped across the Hudson River. Look at how Jersey City has grown a SKYLINE since 9-11-2001.

Let’s hope its not a mass migration — and that the Mayor-Elect has some answers.

# # #

Advertisements

President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address – 150 years ago, today

19 Nov

In the words of President Lincoln:
“It’s altogether fitting that we do this.”

150ann-logo

(click for official Gettysburg website)

Today at the site of the Gettysburg battlefield some of America will reflect on Civil War sacrifices that were of utmost importance to American history.

President Lincoln travelled to the site, six months after the horrific fighting to speak of the honor of BOTH the soldiers lost to North and South armies. His brief but watershed speech named the Gettysburg Address is one of the most important in USA history. Today’s events will be broadcast live to over 70,000 colleges and universities, K-12 schools, public libraries, and museums. Hopefully, it will be “covered” by our media, or even mentioned in passing by NYC school teachers.

America was still a young nation, and a experiment apart from monarchy. Many were living enslaved for generations, and 1863 was merely 5-6 years apart from the Dred Scott decision that ensured by law that those enslaved were not U.S. citizens – but property. No matter how we learn from the Civil War, and understand its onset and reasons and States’ Rights et. al. — what cannot be extracted from its role in American history is President Lincoln. He’s born from the Abolitionists, and from a then young Republican Party that was set on ending Slavery. It was Brooklyn’s Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights that brings Lincoln to New York (he was set to speak at Plymouth Church, when weather necessitated the change of venue to Cooper Union). As we express in local meetings of BRC, there’s a reason why Beecher’s statue stands facing Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Although our President Obama had famously used Springfield, Illinois for candidacy-launching public events, and the “Lincoln bible” for two inauguration ceremonies (2009, 2012) — this White House has for the most part overlooked the significance of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln presidency, Lincoln’s 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. (All might have been unifying, teaching moments after extremely divisive tactics of the Obama election year campaigns.) It’s no surprise it follows, that President Obama today would neglect to make an appointment to read the Address or participate at today’s ceremony.. even by Skype? Or, to restore and update Americans and millions of school-children nationwide how “those here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

_______________

The Gettysburg Address, as delivered Nov. 19, 1863:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

# # #

ADDENDUM:

The White House released a 272-word statement by President Obama after 8 pm on their website. (Presumably, although its been Valerie Jarret that’s done this late-day fixing before for major national moments overlooked by the WH team – like adding a press release on the WH website in the late-day/evening of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination earless this year). Pres. Obama writes longhand here, guess to “prove” these are his thoughts? about how he reflects on Lincoln, late nights.. when Michelle and the kids are sleeping etc. etc. And the WH ‘tweeted’ that he may have gone to Gettysburg today.. but he was working on the ObamaCare website fix. (Sure he was.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/19/barack-obama-gettysburg-address_n_4305615.html

Bill DeBlasio Wins in a Landslide.

5 Nov

“He will lead this city with courage, empathy and vision…” — says the new First Lady-to be in introducing her husband, Bill DeBlasio for his acceptance speech. We hope so, too. Because the election is over.

He’s been a politician for decades. Now, he’s our Mayor.

Mr. DeBlasio’s first words: “All of our work is really just beginning… and we have no illusions about the work that’s ahead. Tackling inequality is never easy. It won’t be solved overnight. But make it clear that the people of this City has chosen a Progressive path.” Yes, it certainly has, no matter what pundits say about the Bloomberg Backlash for that 3rd term that put DeBlasio in citywide office 4 years ago and helped him now in a tidal wave.

And sure.. yes as well, after 5 years we have a U.S. President that’s been a non-stop Campaigner-in-Chief. But this is NYC – and criticism can come within seconds. A Mayor DeBlasio could be every bit the teleprompter office-holder we see in D.C.  But, he’s got a chance to unite now – and calm the rhetoric that got him elected. Clean slate. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope we have a Mayor like the one anticipated by a cheerleading NY-1 commentator, this evening — “he’s going to accomplish so much.”

Bill himself says tonight, that “the stakes are so high for every New Yorker”.

Onward to 2014. Good Luck, Mayor-Elect DeBlasio.

# # #

Worst press endorsement in U.S. history? NY Daily News puts tail between its legs.

3 Nov

UFTDeblasioToday, the NY Daily News endorsed for NYC Mayor — the candidate without the managerial experience to be the City’s chief executive. Strangely, its written almost as if they didn’t really want to endorse him — but figured most of their readers are Democrats, union members, etc. — and just was playing to their audience? Read the endorsement yourself, which is as far from the cliche of “a ringing endorsement” as any, ever before. These are DIRECT QUOTES unless they edit vs. their printed version:

“We do so with worrying reservations”

“an often unrealistic platform”

“Republican rival Joe Lhota is a highly accomplished man.”

“he (DeBlasio) displayed a frightening ideological bent”

“with campaign rhetoric that ran counter to the best interests of the Office he will occupy”

“He will have to do a lot better to avoid becoming the Mayor who brought back murder” (!)

“hasn’t a prayer of succeeding on those scores”

“DeBlasio offered few realistic ideas for raising achievement” (on Education)

“although lacking management experience”

“willing to reverse course to suit political needs” 

“endorsement extended with trepidation”

Moreover, the real DeBlasio is hardly mentioned in this summary, as the NY Daily News does its readership a great disservice. Our guess its because he’s got the UFT and many other unions behind him, and that’s why no mention — or attention was paid to the many contracts due (and DeBlasio’s/Democrats reportedly signed a letter promising them goodies ahead of negotiations? like retro-pay maybe? who knows what back-door promises are being made?). The candidate that will say anything to get elected — isn’t grilled on what he’s been saying. But, all this is nothing new as there’s a public record — albeit also ignored. We’ve already seen how his constituents respond to the sticker-shock of the elected official vs. the one that campaigns — just isn’t news, to the NY Daily News.  In Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens Democrats wondered about his actions amid the Gowanus canal/Superfund discussions & special offers for $1 in property/zoning variances, Bruce Ratner paid for his 50th birthday party (!) — and “low income housing” is yet to be built, or even ground broken associated with the Barclay’s Center.

Can anyone actually “name 3 things” he’s done as Public Advocate? — although he’s celebrated his own joining the fight to save LICH/Long Island College Hospital on July 10th, 2013 (!!) when he was polling at 7% in the Democratic Primary. Brooklyn residents sent 10,000s of letters, voicemails, emails, protesting in the streets and at meetings for years — without getting the attention of the Public Advocate’s office vs. Gov. Cuomo/SUNY’s motives. Again, as BRC mentioned many times since — he’s YET to hold Gov. Cuomo’s feet to this issue, as he holds his hand (for mutual promotion/photo opportunities).

This is what the Daily News finds heroic?

The candidate that went to Nicaragua to help Sandinista rebels in his 20s (by the way, who paid for the trip?) and Cuba for his honeymoon. Despite published articles that show DeBlasio owns 2 million-dollar homes, didn’t report income for years, and charges market-rates for rents — it doesn’t expose his “tale of two cities” rhetoric.  endless duplicities in his character that demonstrate he’s a say anything/do nothing politician. Says one thing, does another. Two faces? Typical politician? Isn’t this exactly what most people abhor in politicians, elected “leaders” and bureaucrats?

“Trepidation”? At least in this Economy, talk is still cheap.

Let’s get a man that can lead this City in there… vote for Joe Lhota. 

# # #