Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sweet Caroline For Senator 22, Where It Began?

That's Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and there are rumors of an affair with him and Sweet Caroline
A post today at, the media gossip website, repeats the rumor it first published several months ago -- that Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. may be romantically involved with Caroline Kennedy -- and argues that it's "a mostly legitimate question to ask."
It isn't.
Today's Gawker post by Alex Pareene reports that the Times City Room blog rebuffed a request from "this guy" who attempted to post the following comment on its website:
Will the Times report on the public gossip that CKS is having an extramarital affair with the publisher of the Times? It's very relevant that someone who wants one of the highest political offices in the state is in a romantic relationship with the publisher of the most influential newspaper in the state. Since Paterson had to answer questions about his marriage, it doesn't seem out of bounds to ask CKS about hers.
The Times blog sent the request back with this response:
please don't repost comments; we don't report stuff like this, regardless of people involved. Paterson called a news conference.
A brusque and too-general answer, but the Times was right not to post the question. Rumors of a romantic relationship between Sulzberger and Kennedy don't fall under the umbrella of the public's right to know.
Pareene concluded his post by saying: "The Times certainly does report on the sexual lives of public figures, all the damn time, from Giuliani to Spitzer to Paterson. But reporting on the Sulzbergers not so much."
What is Pareene talking about? The Times wasn't covering the sex lives of those men; it was covering their public statements, their political activities, or their possible violation of laws.
The Times's coverage of the Spitzer scandal grew out of a criminal investigation related to sex, not the act itself. Paterson raised the matter of his sexual indiscretions on his own; the Times only reported on his statements, it didn't investigate his private life. The Times's interest in Giuliani's personal life only extended to how it affected his political career, or issues of favoritism.
And does Pareene really think it appropriate, or logical, that the Times report on its publisher's sex life? Does Gawker cover Nick Denton's sex life? Come on.
Gawker has been subtly peddling the unsubstantiated Kennedy-Sulzberger rumor since last spring. The smear campaign began with this blind item by Nick Denton on May 21:
Which recently separated newspaper publisher has been seen regularly in the company of a woman from an even more famous dynasty? They're longstanding friends; she's still married; and she's too preoccupied with an illness in the family to think about the future. But that hasn't stopped the speculation. (Okay, so the newly separated newspaper publisher is pretty obvious: the New York Times' moose-loving Arthur Sulzberger. But the identity of his supposed lover is a surprise.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Caroline For Senator 21, The More You Know

Sweet Caroline For Senator 21, From The King, You Know

New lyrics, you know
You know
Where it began
I can't begin to knowin'
You know
But then I know it's growing strong
You know
Was in the spring
You know
And spring became the summer
You know
Who'd have believed you'd come along
You know
Hands, touchin' hands
You know
Reachin' out
You know
Touchin' me
You know
Touchin' you
You know
Sweet Caroline
You know
Good times never seemed so good
You know
I've been inclined
You know
To believe they never would
You know
But now I
You know
Look at the night
You know
And it don't seem so lonely
You know
We fill it up with only two
You know
And when I hurt
You know
Hurtin' runs off my shoulders
You know
How can I hurt when holding you
You know
Warm, touchin' warm
You know
Reachin' out
You know
Touchin' me
You know
Touchin' you
You know
Sweet Caroline
You know
Good times never seemed so good
You know
I've been inclined
You know
To believe they never would
You know
Oh, no, no
You know
Sweet Caroline
You know
Good times never seemed so good
You know
I've been inclined
You know
To believe they never would
You know
Sweet Caroline
You know

Sweet Caroline For Senator 20, You Know

What You Know

this actually makes more sense than the Jackie you know videos
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
don’t you know I got
key by the three when I chirp shawty chirp back
Louis nap sack
where I holding all the work at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
I know all about that
Loaded 44s on the low where the cheese at
Fresh off the jet to the Jects where the G’s at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
Hey what you know about that?
Hey I know all about that
See me in ya city sitting pretty know I'm shining dawg
Riding with a couple Latin brawds and a china doll
And you know how we ball
Riding in shiny cars
Walk in designer malls
Buy everything we saw
You know about me dogg
Don’t talk about me dogg
And if you doubt me dogg
You better out me dogg
I'm throwed off slightly bro
Don’t wanna fight me bro
I'm fast as lightning bro ya better use ya Nike’s bro
Know you don’t like me cause
Yo bitch most likely does
She see me on them dubs
In front of every club
I be on dro I’m buzzed
Give every ho a hug
Niggaz don’t show me mugs
Cause you don’t know me cause
don’t you know I got
key by the three when I chirp shawty chirp back
Louis nap sack
where I holding all the work at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
I know all about that
Loaded 44s on the low where the cheese at
Fresh off the jet to the Jects where the G’s at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
Hey what you know about that?
Hey I know all about that
Candy on the '64
Leather guts and fish bowl
50 on the pinky ring just to make my fist glow
Ya bitches get low
Because I get dough
So what? I'm rich ho
I still pull a-kick-do' (kick ya door down)
What you talking shit fo’?
gotta run and hit fo’?
Got you a yelling and I thought you put out a gun hit fo
But you’s a scary dude
Believed by very few
Just keep it very cool
Or we will bury you
See all that attitude’s, unnecessary dude
You never carry tools not even square, he cube
You got these people fooled, who see you on the tube
Whatever try the crew, they’ll see you on the news
don’t you know I got
key by the three when I chirp shawty chirp back
Louis nap sack
where I holding all the work at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
I know all about that
Loaded 44s on the low where the cheese at
Fresh off the jet to the Jects where the G’s at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
Hey what you know about that?
Hey I know all about that
Fresh off the jet to the block
Burn a rubber with the top popped
My partner bustin' shots, I tell em' stop, he'll make the block hot
Ya label got got
Cause you are not hot
I got the top spot
And it will not stop
A video or not that will bust it to the glock stop
Drag ya out that Bentley Coupe and take it to the chop shop
Partner, we got ya'll
If it may pop off
I’ll answer the question “Will I get ya block knocked off?”
And what it is bro
Look I will kill bro
I’m in your hood, if you a gangsta what you hid for?
Somebody better get bro for he get sent for
You say you wanna squash it what you still talking shit for?
don’t you know I got
key by the three when I chirp shawty chirp back
Louis nap sack
where I holding all the work at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
I know all about that
Loaded 44s on the low where the cheese at
Fresh off the jet to the Jects where the G’s at
What you know about that?
What you know about that?
Hey what you know about that?
Hey I know all about that

Sweet Caroline For Senator 19

You know, that could be the title of her next book of poetry compilations

Sweet Caroline For Senator 18

Forty six you knows in five minutes. You know that's pretty amazing. It's not what you know that makes one a good leader but who you know, you know.
an excerpt from the times uk
Caroline Kennedy’s quest to enter the US Senate has suffered a self-inflicted blow in a series of interviews in which she can only be described as . . . um . . . excruciatingly, you know, unerudite.
During a series of meetings with the New York press, one of which was recorded and is now being admired on YouTube in all its ineloquent awkwardness, the daughter of President Kennedy was vague, unconvincing and displayed a potentially ruinous verbal tic.
In one sequence, lasting 2 minutes and 27 seconds, Ms Kennedy, 51, revealed that she had inherited none of the eloquence, energy or charisma associated with other members of America’s foremost political dynasty: she used the phrase “you know” no fewer than 30 times.
Asked to justify her candidacy – after days spent with handlers advising her on how to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant New York Senate seat – she began in a dull monotone: “Um, this is a fairly unique moment both in our, you know, in our country’s history, and, and in, in, you know, my own life, and um, you know, we are facing, you know, unbelievable challenges, our economy, you know, healthcare, people are losing their jobs here in New York obviously um, arh, you know. . . ”
Yesterday The New York Times, which published the interview with Ms Kennedy on Sunday – calling her forceful, but vague and largely undefined – released the full 8,500-word transcript of the encounter, revealing a verbal landscape knee-deep in “you knows”. She used the phrase a grand total of 144 times.
The jeers now pouring into the blogosphere and on to websites demonstrate how unforgiving the modern media, with their new technologies, can be. Just a few years ago Ms Kennedy’s interviews would have appeared only in newspapers, with her verbal tic edited out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sweet Caroline For Senator 17

Caroline shows her unsweet side, from nymagazine
Caroline Kennedy's adoption of the Sarah Palin handbook continues apace. This weekend the would-be senator gave interviews to NY1 and the Times, in which she refused to answer questions with any degree of detail and, in the latter, made clear her disdain for the "media elite," specifically the reporters Nicholas Confessore and David Halbfinger:
“Have you guys ever thought about writing for, like, a woman’s magazine or something?” she asked the reporters. “I thought you were the crack political team.
Ouch! We're not sure whom we feel more sympathy/outrage for here: Confessore and Halbfinger for getting their balls shot off or the women's magazines that got hit with the shrapnel.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 16

The Times interview with Caroline Kennedy
The education section below. NYC Public Education Hero Patrick Sullivan's comment
Here's a highlight -- Kennedy criticizes the attention given to NAEP scores: "There’s too much reliance on these, you know, NAPE tests." Didn't take long to trot out those DOE talking points.

NC: How much of that job in the city schools involved going to schools? Did you do a lot of on-site stuff?
CK: I do a lot of on-site visits, you know, I think the job was
really to connect these schools with the broader city communities, so
that involved both working with the business community, training — to
train, you know, set up the Leadership Academy to train new principals.
So that involved going to meet with business leaders, it also involved
many trips to meet the new principals and the schools that they would
be working in. When it’s an arts curriculum that we put together, we
had the cultural community come in and work with the Department of
Education, you know, that’s trips to the schools where the arts
education is being delivered or not delivered, and we did a census,
basically, on what kind of arts were going on, how many kids are
exposed to how many disciplines of art throughout the city, so that
requires a lot of time, too.
NC: How many schools would you say you’ve visited over the course of that work?
CK: I can get you that number because they have a track of it, the Department of Education.
NC: There have been some discrepancies in the reporting on your job
there, which grants you were involved in, like the Gates grant. Some
people say that you brought that one in, or, I think Joel Klein said you brought that one in; some former employees of the fund said,
actually that grant was pretty much already in the works. Do you feel
like maybe the people who are fans of yours have been trying to bolster
you perhaps a little too much, and maybe giving you too much credit for
the fund-raising?
CK: Well, the Fund for Public Schools was started in the 80s, and
it really functioned as a sort of a pass-through for specific school
donations over a certain amount. And it brought in about an average of
$2 million a year, with more after 9/11 that was mostly intended for
the Lower Manhattan schools. So when we kind of relaunched it and
revitalized it, you know, now we've raised $238 million since then. So
I think that, whether it's the Leadership Academy, the Gates grant that
you're speaking of, you know, went to many of the partner organizations
who are developing, starting small high schools. But I think that,
right at the end there, I played an important role. So I'm not claiming
all the credit for the setup, for the planning those are planning
grants for 51 small high schools I mean $51 million for small high
schools. So this work had been going on for a long time. But there was
still a pretty a skepticism about private funds going to public
education, how they were used, and whether there were results. And what
we really focused on, what I really focused on, was trying to target
those funds to initiatives that would have an impact across the whole
system. Because there are a lot of organizations that either work in
individual schools, do partnerships, do, you know, arts education
services, many other kinds of CBOs and faith-based organizations that
work across the system. But there isn't anybody else who’s targeting
the whole system, so that was kind of an issue we defined for
ourselves, and I think that's why it's been effective.
NC: So your precise role in the Gates grant was what? You came in at the end...
CK: It coincided with the time that I came into the department, and I think it was important to Bill Gates that I was there.
DH: What do you mean? I don't get it. Just that you were there physically? Or just that you had arrived?
CK: Well I don't know, you gotta ask him. But I think I, um —
DH: Do you deserve the credit that people are giving you for having helped to bring it in?
CK: Some of the credit, yeah.
DH: Can you talk about — given your work for the city schools, your
support for the schools, we have to ask, though there’s nothing wrong
with the choice, why you chose to send your own children to private
school? What was it about, why exactly did you decide to keep them out
of the public schools and go to the schools that they did?
CK: Well, they were already in school, and they were in middle school, I think, and in high school when I joined — yeah, so —
DH: When you started to work, yeah. But at the point that you decided to send them to private school, why? What was the reason?
CK: Why? Well, I think that I made a decision that was best for our
family, and I think that everybody should have, obviously, excellent
choices, and that's — I want every kid to have the same kind of
opportunities that my kids have. So I didn't obviously want to move
them for my own purposes, because they were on their path.
NC: So you never considered public school for them from the beginning?
CK: I think that, for us, for our family, the schools that we chose were probably the right ones.
NC: What about an issue that's very important in public schools, and
you’ve been involved in: teacher tenure. Are you familiar with Michelle
Rhee’s proposal to trade tenure for more money, essentially. Do you
think that New York City should have a system, for instance, where, or
even nationally, we should have a system where teachers should have the
chance to give up tenure in exchange for a lot more money? Is that a
policy you would support?
CK: I think that the whole issue of teacher training, teacher
support, teacher compensation, attracting and recruiting — I mean,
there are so many people that are looking to become teachers, and for
the very best reasons. But I think that what we see is that it’s a
really tough job, and that we don’t support teachers, we don’t support
the good ones, in a way that so many leave before five years are up. So
I think that we need to do an across-the-board work on the teaching
NC: Is that a good idea, though, that one idea?
CK: Well I think it's important to raise these issues. I don’t —
that's a really controversial idea, and I don’t think standing alone,
you know — Washington, D.C., is a separate thing. I mean, New York City
has a million — 1.1 million kids, 90,000 teachers; Washington, D.C., is
a really, really small system. So I don't think it is a
one-size-fits-all. But I think it's a national priority to support
teachers and do a better job of training and certifying —
NC: But really, this is a single important issue, I mean, it would
be good to hear your stance on it. Do you think that can work? Do you
think that —
CK: I think it has to be done, you know, collaboratively with the
teachers and with the union. I think here the school-wide bonuses that
we gave, here, that we've done with the union and the city — I mean,
that is, I think, a good model. There've been — Arne Duncan,
the new Secretary of Education, incoming, has worked with the union and
I think that the reform efforts that they've made over time will yield
benefits in terms of student achievements. So if you just pick out the
most controversial one as a stand-alone thing, you know, I don't think
that’s really the way to go about this. I think if people can vote
it’ll be really interesting to see what happens. I think there's a lot
of experimentation going on around the country that we should pay
attention to. But here, I think these bonuses that are shared
schoolwide give everyone in the leadership team incentive in the school
to work together to raise the kids’, you know, achievement, and I think
that's going to be an interesting thing to see how that works. And the
schools, you know, have almost all signed up for it.
NC: So you're not going to answer about teacher tenure?
CK: About that specific proposal?
NC: Yeah. That's a big one. That could become a national issue, that could become —
CK: Yeah, it could be, so I want to watch — I haven't talked to her
about it, and I know what the concept is, and I think it's really
interesting. As I said, I think my initial approach would be to work
with, talk to everybody involved with that and see how that is going
down. And I think there's a lot going on in Washington, D.C., that's
going to play into that.
NC: Do you think test scores should be a part of tenure decisions? Does that make sense to you in as one aspect —
CK: You know, I think there's also a lot of problems with test
scores, and so, you know, I think we need to give the schools the
flexibility. There's too much reliance on these, you know, NAPE tests.
But No Child Left Behind is going to come up, right, for reauthorization in the next couple of
years and that is an area that I feel I would bring a lot, and that's
an issue and a set of issues that, you know, were I lucky enough to be
selected that we could discuss, you know, in more detail, but that's
something, an area that I have a lot of thoughts about.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 15

Sweet Caroline For Senator 14

from the Syracuse Post Standard
"I just wanted to say, as some of you may have heard, I've told Gov. Paterson that I'd be honored to be considered for the position of United States senator. I wanted to come upstate and meet with Mayor Driscoll and others to tell them about my experience and also to learn more about how Washington can help these communities," Kennedy told reporters. "There's a lot of good people, candidates, that the governor is considering. He's laid out a process. I'm proud to be in that process."
"What do you say to New Yorkers who think you're not qualified?" a newspaper reporter asked.
She ignored the question and started to leave.
"Are you ready for this, Ms. Kennedy? You're not going to answer questions at all?" reporters yelled.
"Where are you heading next?" a television reporter asked.
"To the car," Kennedy said.
"What do you say to New Yorkers who think you're not ready or qualified for this job?"
"Have you ever been to Syracuse before?"
"Hopefully I can come back and answer all your questions," Kennedy said as reporters followed her outside.
"What do you think your greatest qualification is to be senator?" a reporter persisted.
"You're seeking public office and you don't want to answer questions from reporters, Ma'am? When can we expect you to answer questions?" another reporter asked as Kennedy got into the passenger seat of a black GMC Denali.
She closed the vehicle's door and it pulled away.
This exchange took place just after Kennedy met with Driscoll for about half-an-hour.
After the meeting, Driscoll said he talked to Kennedy about the need for high-speed, uninterrupted rail service linking Upstate cities, about the environmental and green movements in Central New York and about the challenges facing downtown Syracuse.
The mayor said he got the sense she was "well-read" and was aware of those issues, but said, "I can't say if I got any sense one way or the other" about her her knowledge of Upstate New York.
He said that Kennedy did not say if she had ever been to Syracuse before.
Kennedy left City Hall at 11:55 a.m. to head to meetings in Rochester and Buffalo.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet Caroline For Senator 13

from Michael Goodwin in the daily news
Say goodnight, Caroline: How JFK's daughter flubbed the audition to become the next Senator Kennedy
In the beginning, just three long weeks ago, the idea of Caroline Kennedy being a United States senator had a certain ring to it. The Camelot myth still has shelf life and a merger with the historic Obama presidency provided an intriguing story line.
Kennedy would replace Hillary Clinton, one leading lady following another on a stage where name recognition often substitutes for merit. The narrative was tailor-made for the fever chambers of celebrity-obsessed media and the bandwagon quickly picked up speed.
Some top Democrats were certain Gov. Paterson, a close-to-the vest electorate of one, would find Kennedy irresistible now and as a running mate in two years. All others were chopped liver next to her sudden star power.
But a strange thing is happening on the way to the coronation. The wheels of the bandwagon are coming off. Fantasy is giving way to inescapable truth.
That truth is that Kennedy is not ready for the job and doesn't deserve it. Somebody who loves her should tell her.
Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure. Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name.
Her handlers and family enablers insist she feels no entitlement to the Senate job, yet there is no other possible reason to give it to her. Her name is the sole reason she even dares go for it. Camelot must be Gaelic for chutzpah.
New York can do better.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 12

An excerpt From the third state review, along with the image above
Princess Brat, Caroline Kennedy wants to be Senator her steady's paper reported last week. Her steady, you understand, not her husband.
Ah, Caroline. At least Neil Diamond thought you were sweet.
Caroline Kennedy's never done a damn thing in her life to warrant her being appointed to the US Senate. Should she be elected, that's New York's problem. But let's not pretend that her life demonstrates any leadership or, for that mater, anything to be proud of.
In fact "whore" probably best describes Caroline.
We're not talking about, "Caroline sleeps around!" We're talking about the fact that the woman has no ethics and no standards. She wants the whole world to 'back off' and 'give her space' for her tragedies. But she'll be damned if she'll ever do the same for anyone else.
As the little intern Whore for The New York Daily News whose press career was going nowhere and desperate to get some sort of attention, Caroline decided to invite herself to Graceland for Elvis Presley's funeral. As the daughter of a famous president (slain while in office), she figured (rightly) that her visit would be seen as some sort of Lisa-Marie-I-lost-my-father-when-I-was-a-child-too-I-can-relate sort of thing. A "My father was a president and your father was the King" moment.
But the little s**t wasn't there for that. She was there on assignment.

Like Maria Said Paz talks about a hatchet job Caroline did on Bill Clinton a while ago for Newsweek
an excerpt:
As impeachment clouds gathered in the 90s, Caroline took to Newsweek to call out Bill Clinton for his sexual affairs. That column was greeted with rejoicing in the press (which wanted Clinton impeached and out of office, check USA Today's front page editorial on the topic if you ever doubt it) but it was shocking to anyone who knew her.
She's calling out Bill Clinton for a private matter, for a private sexual matter.
The same Caroline who will not comment publicly about her father's affairs and a pox on anyone who brings it up to her (press or aquaintence). That's private, she will insist. That's not to be spoken of.
If that's her zone of privacy, then she should certainly respect it for others. But she doesn't. She's gossipy, she's rude and she's lived a very pampered life.
As those of us who can remember her carrying on (I'm being kind) with a certain magazine publisher who was not divorced, that Newsweek column was twice as offensive. There she was, a young adult, on the arm of a married man at this theater outing or that.
That couldn't be questioned. That couldn't be commented on. Unless she was giggling about the wife. (The wife stayed in the picture long after Caroline moved on. The couple would divorce decades later.)
You might want to argue, "Well that was sexual hormones."

Sweet Caroline For Senator 11

From Howie Carr in the Boston Herald, Profiles in Chutzpah
See, JFK’s only surviving child wants Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate, although she has absolutely no qualifications for the position other than her last name, which by the way used to be Schlossberg until last summer.
Now all these dreadful, sweaty Albany and D.C. parvenus who actually had to run for political office are complaining about Ms. Kennedy’s ever-so-Kennedy-esque attempt to cut in line ahead of them. So Caroline grants - or should I say, grahhhhnts - an interview to the Associated Press, and she has the audacity to play the victim card. To get the Senate seat, she says, “I have to work twice as hard as anybody else.”
Huh? You’ve never worked a day in your life, honey. Your pampered-poodle existence makes Uncle Teddy look like a working-class hero. Poor Uncle Teddy is worth a mere $103.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Caroline’s gotta be good for at least three times that.
“I am an unconventional choice.”
No, Caroline, you are about as conventional as it gets. You’re operating under the oldest rule in the book, the golden rule. He (or she) who has the gold, rules.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sweet Caroline

The new lyrics
Carefully planned
And then started growing
And continued growing strong
It was in the fall
And fall became the winter
It was certain you'd come along
Scams, royal scams
Reachin' out
Fooling me
Fooling you
Elite Caroline
She knew she always could
She was inclined
To rule as elitists always should
But now I
Look at our plight
And it don't seem so rosey
Power goes to only few
And when I hurt
Hurtin' runs off their shoulders
How can they hurt when they're far removed from you
Wrong, very wrong
Branching out
Fooling me
Fooling you
Elite Caroline
She knew she always could
She was inclined
To rule as elitists always should
Oh, no, no
Elite Caroline
She knew she always could
She was inclined
To rule as elitists always should

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The NYC Royal Family

from the village voice
One Stop Shopping Trip, Posted by Tom Robbins at 9:25 AM, December 16, 2008
Hiring a top political consultant is a little like hiring a literary agent: If your book is half-way decent you can count on some favorable and helpful blurbs for the book jacket from the agent's other well-known clients.
This logrolling approach appears to be working nicely for Caroline Kennedy. Word came yesterday that Kennedy -- who is famous and beloved, but completely untested, political-wise -- has decided to make a serious bid for Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat. She proved it by retaining Knickerbocker SKD, headed by wunderkind consultant Josh Isay, and making dozens of calls to New York pols and powerbrokers.
Presto, favorable blurbs for Kennedy start rolling in from folks who happen to be other Knickerbocker clients:
-- Al Sharpton (holds a double Knickerbocker; both himself and his National Action Network listed as clients): An e-mail blast from the Rev yesterday stated that Kennedy's educational involvement and books she's written "more than qualifies her to be senator." -- Mayor Mike Bloomberg (a big Knick man; Isay helped him with reelection campaign, term-limits fight): Kennedy is "hard-working, honest . . understands the issues... can do anything." -- Council Speaker Christine Quinn (Knicks on board as her campaign consultant): "Exciting...she could continue her work around public education."
-- Senator Chuck Schumer (Isay mentor and big Knick man): "I've talked to Caroline Kennedy and she's clearly interested."
-- Buffalo mayor Byron Brown (Knick man and potential key upstate backer): Agreed to give Kennedy a tour "and lay of the land" in ailing upstate
Can Benjamin Netanyahu be far behind?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Two Faces Of Mike 3

from Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice
..The hypocrisy of Bloomberg's fusillade at Burress doesn't end there, though. Jim Dwyer has already pointed out in the Times that, though the mayor declared that Burress should do the full three-and-a-half-year sentence required under a gun possession law the mayor championed, ninety percent of the ordinary folks charged under that statute bargain it down and serve far less time. And what could be more hypocritical than the contrast of Bloomberg's Burress blasts and his announced intention to attend a party celebrating Staten Island's most famous DUI, Congressman Vito Fossella.
Bloomberg went so far as to taunt the press that criticized his Burress comments, declaring on his radio show: "Let the sports reporters who don't like this interview the parents of the 14-year-old kid," Mario Smith, who was shot by an illegal gun last week. Well, guess what, Mayor Mike, more than 2,000 kids each year, 14 and younger, die at the hands of a drunk driver. Maybe Bloomberg should talk to the parents of one of them.
On the eve of Fossella's sentencing in the DUI case, Bloomberg's spokesman explained that the mayor was attending his party because Fossella, who is still a power in Staten Island, "has been a supporter and ally." City Councilman Vincent Ignizio, the former GOP chair on the island, observed: "The mayor's doing the right thing by a friend, as well as obviously setting his sights on his re-election."
Fossella lost his House seat when it was revealed that he was arrested on his way to visiting a second family, including mistress and child, that he harbored in Virginia. When the bust was announced in May, Bloomberg said: "Thank God nobody was hurt and, you know, I'll let that go through the courts." The mayor said "hopefully he'll work this out." His comments on Burress -- who hurt no one but himself -- were a world apart. "You carry a loaded gun, you go the slammer for three and a half years," he declared, slamming the Giants and the hospital and everyone but the pigskin itself.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Did Barry Manilow Rick Roll Himself?

from overthinkingit 12/05/08

Does Barry Manilow even know of the Rickroll? If so, he didn’t let on in this Billboard interview:

Among the most novel efforts on “Eighties” is RickAstley’s 1988 No. 1 “Never Gonna Give You Up.” “It has the catchiestlittle melody, with production from Stock, Aiken and Waterman. How doyou compete with that?” asks Manilow, who called on producer MichaelLloyd (the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack) for assistance. “I think it’sgoing to stand out on the album.”

The article singles out “Never Gonna Give You Up” for its “novelty,”but Manilow is talking about how he’s going to make his own arrangementstand out from original. Is he playing dumb? Is he ignorantly standingby while his puppet masters at the record company exploit him to cashin on the Rickrolling Internet joke?

No one can be certain, but it’s not entirely out of the realm ofpossibility that Manilow chose this song unironically and outside ofthe Rickrolling context. Rickrolling, after all, is far less well knownthan one might at first think. In an informal polling of several of mycoworkers, all in their 20’s and 30’s, less than 1/3 knew what aRickroll was, but most knew of “Never Gonna Give You Up” just as a fun80’s song. In other words, they liked it unironically.

So, really, how well known is the Rickroll? For all the hype, I think it’s merely a minor Intenet meme.

I agree with overthinkingit. On two college tours I mentioned rick rolling to the student guides and neither knew what I was talking about

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama's "Way To Go, Brownie!" Moment?

From Greg Palast
Has Barack Obama forgotten, "Way-to-go, Brownie"? Michael Brown was that guy from the Arabian Horse Association appointed by George Bush to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Brownie, not knowing the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain from the south end of a horse, let New Orleans drown. Bush's response was to give his buddy Brownie a "way to go!" thumbs up.
We thought Obama would go a very different way. You'd think the studious Senator from Illinois would avoid repeating the Bush regime's horror show of unqualified appointments, of picking politicos over professionals.
But here we go again. Trial balloons lofted in the Washington Post suggest President-elect Obama is about to select Joel Klein as Secretary of Education. If not Klein, then draft-choice number two is Arne Duncan, Obama's backyard basketball buddy in Chicago. Say it ain't so, President O.
Let's begin with Joel Klein. Klein is a top notch anti-trust lawyer. What he isn't is an educator. Klein is as qualified to run the Department of Education as Dick Cheney is to dance in Swan Lake. While I've never seen Cheney in a tutu, I have seen Klein fumble about the stage as Chancellor of the New York City school system.
Klein, who lacks even six minutes experience in the field, was handed management of New York's schools by that political Jack-in-the-Box, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire mayor is one of those businessmen-turned-politicians who think lawyers and speculators can make school districts operate like businesses.
Klein has indeed run city schools like a business - if the business is General Motors. Klein has flopped. Half the city's kids don't graduate.
Klein is out of control. Not knowing a damn thing about education, rather than rely on those who actually work in the field (only two of his two dozen deputies have degrees in education), Klein pays high-priced consultants to tell him what to do. He's blown a third of a billion dollars on consultant "accountability" projects plus $80 million for an IBM computer data storage system that doesn't work.
What the heck was the $80 million junk computer software for? Testing. Klein is test crazy. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker George Bush's idea that testing students can replace teaching them. The madly expensive testing program and consultant-fee spree are paid for by yanking teachers from the classroom.
Ironically, though not surprisingly, test scores under Klein have flat-lined. Scores would have fallen lower, notes author Jane Hirschmann, but Klein "moved the cut line," that is, lowered the level requ
Nevertheless, media poobahs have fallen in love with Klein, especially Republican pundits. The New York Times' David Brooks is championing Klein, hoping that media hype for Klein will push Obama to keep Bush schools policies in place, trumping the electorate's choice for change.
Brooks and other Republicans (hey, didn't those guys lose?) are pushing Klein as a way for Obama to prove he can reach across the aisle to Republicans like Bloomberg. (Oh yes, Bloomberg's no longer in the GOP, having jumped from the party this year when the brand name went sour.)
Choosing Klein, says Brooks, would display Obama's independence from the teacher's union. But after years of Bush kicking teachers in the teeth, appointing a Bush acolyte like Klein would not indicate independence from teachers but their betrayal.
Hoops versus Hope
The anti-union establishment has a second stringer on the bench waiting in case Klein is nixed: Arne Duncan. Duncan, another lawyer playing at education, was appointed by Chicago's Boss Daley to head that city's train-wreck of a school system. Think of Duncan as "Klein Lite."
What's Duncan's connection to the President-elect? Duncan was once captain of Harvard's basketball team and still plays backyard round-ball with his Hyde Park neighbor Obama.
But Michelle has put a limit on their friendship: Obama was one of the only state senators from Chicago to refuse to send his children into Duncan's public schools. My information is that the Obamas sent their daughters to the elite Laboratory School where Klein-Duncan teach-to-the-test pedagogy is dismissed as damaging and nutty.
Mr. Obama, if you can't trust your kids to Arne Duncan, why hand him ours?
Lawyer Duncan is proud to have raised test scores by firing every teacher in low-scoring schools. Which schools? There's Collins High in the Lawndale ghetto with children from homeless shelters and drug-poisoned 'hoods. They don't do well on tests. So Chicago fired all the teachers. They brought in new ones - then fired all of them too: the teachers' reward for volunteering to work in a poor neighborhood.
It's no coincidence that the nation's worst school systems are run by non-experts like Klein and Duncan.
Obama certainly knows this. I know he knows because he's chosen, as head of his Education Department transition team, one of the most highly respected educators in the United States: Professor Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University.
So here we have the ludicrous scene of the President-elect asking this recognized authority, Dr. Darling-Hammond, to vet the qualifications of amateurs Klein and Duncan. It's as if Obama were to ask Michael Jordan, "Say, you wouldn't happen to know anyone who can play basketball, would you?"
Classroom Class War
It's not just Klein's and Duncan's empty credentials which scare me: it's the ill philosophy behind the Bush-brand education theories they promote. "Teach-to-the-test" (which goes under such pre-packaged teaching brands as "Success for All") forces teachers to limit classroom time to pounding in rote low-end skills, easily measured on standardized tests. The transparent purpose is to create the future class of worker-drones. Add in some computer training and - voila! - millions trained on the cheap to function, not think. Analytical thinking skills, creative skills, questioning skills will be left to the privileged at the Laboratory School and Phillips Andover Academy.
We hope for better from the daddy of Sasha and Malia.
Educationally, the world is swamping us. The economic and social levees are bursting. We cannot afford another Way-to-go Brownie in charge of rescuing our children.

Keep It Going Nowhere

Here's a good reason why Caroline Kennedy should not be a Senator. She's a big cheerleader for the Keep It Going Initiative which has blanketed the subways with pro-Klein propaganda. I added a rejoinder to the ad.
A Message From Caroline Kennedy: Over the past five years, tremendous changes have taken place in our city’s public schools. But in order to make a lasting difference, I hope that all New Yorkers will make this commitment to the schools their own. Today, opportunities to create real and permanent change in our schools are enormous, and there is a growing sense of momentum around school reform. Together, we can support the effort to transform each one of our schools into the vibrant centers of learning that our students need and deserve......blah, blah, blah

There's more of these responses over at pissedoffteacher

Mike Trips Up Plaxico

I'm sure Mike's yellow bellied too. an excerpt From Dave Zirin at Edge of Sports
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week: all Plaxico, all the time. There's nothing like an NFL player shooting a hole in his own leg in a packed nightclub to become our latest walking, talking weapon of mass distraction. Why ponder the global economic meltdown, two wars, and rising unemployment, when millionaire black athletes like Plaxico Burress walk among us... with guns?
Don't think that this is a defense of the New York Giants star wide receiver. Having a loaded gun in your pants, with no safety, in a crowded club, is about as smart as using a toaster as a bathtub toy. In fact, shooting yourself in the leg is really one of more preferable outcomes. Now Burress faces three and a half years in prison for carrying a loaded h
Right on cue, the moralists are slithering onto their soapboxes to hiss at the latest athletic bogeyman. Hypocrisy reigns supreme.

I met Dave last night. Great guy, buy his book, "A People's History of Sports in the United States: From Bull-Baiting to Barry"

Data Zilla Used To Close Schools

an excerpt from ednotes online
There’s been a lot of focus on the “D” grade the school received on the school report card, another bogus attempt to create a phony accountability system by Klein, where everyone is accountable but him. These grades are 85% test-driven and ignore so many other factors. Leonie Haimson suggested we focus less on the grade and explore the more reliable state accountability status of PS 225 and compare it to other schools that are not closing down. “We simply have no idea why DOE chooses certain schools to close and others to keep open,” she said. “If there is a problem with the principal the DOE can remove him and put another in place without closing the school.” People who want the school to stay open can do this and make their case to the public. But with a union that goes along and gets along, teachers are left to the wolves. Imagine if there was a real union out there that made a big issue of this! Nah, not in this universe.

He Lies And He's Ugly Too

Check out the latest report from the Australian organization Save Our Schools. Here is an excerpt from Klein Lied to the National Press Club:
New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, was exposed as a dissembler at his National Press Club address in Canberra last week. Under forensic questioning from The Canberra Times’ education reporter, Emma Macdonald, Klein resorted to lies and deceptions to justify his claims of increases in student achievement in New York City schools.
Macdonald challenged Klein on his claims by citing national reading and mathematics assessments which show that there has been no improvement in student achievement in NYC since 2003, except for 4th grade mathematics. She questioned him on whether the grades given to schools in this year’s school progress reports had been manipulated by reducing the cut-off scores to achieve an A or B.
Klein denied both charges. He said that Macdonald was wrong on both facts. His response was to falsely assert that the cut-off scores for school grades had not been reduced, falsely claim that New York State tests were a better measure of student achievement than the independent national assessments, and to selectively cite evidence about the success of African-American students.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Two Faces Of Mike 2

An excerpt from the nycpublicschoolparentsblog
While the administration wants to cut way back on school construction, it also plans to spend $3 billion in capital funds to redevelop contaminated land in Willet’s point, $440 million to reopen and expand the Brooklyn house of detention, and $1 billion to build a 35-acre police academy in Queens.
The cost of the latter two projects alone if invested in schools instead could double the number of new seats in the proposed new capital plan to 50,000.
So what has the Bloomberg administration focused on instead of schools? The city has been busy negotiating itself free food and a free suite at Yankee stadium: According to the Daily News:
The Yankees got the city to write a letter to the IRS so they could obtain $942 million in tax-free bonds. The team plans to request $366 million more, saving them a total of $247 million in lower borrowing costs. In return, Bloomberg's team wanted a free luxury suite and the right to buy at cost 180 of the best seats to all home games, including post-season, the e-mails show.
The NY Times puts it this way:
The Bloomberg administration was so intent on obtaining a free luxury suite for its own use at the new Yankee Stadium, newly released e-mail messages show, that the mayor’s aides pushed for a larger suite and free food, and eventually gave the Yankees 250 additional parking spaces in exchange.

The Two Faces Of Mike

from the bleacher reports
Is there really a genuine reason why New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg had to get in front of the television cameras about Plaxico Burress' accidental gunshot incident?
He's let everyone have a mayoral tongue-lashing—Burress, the New York Giants front office, the National Football League, the hospital, the doctors and nurses that treated Burress' injury, the guy selling roasted nuts in front of City Hall—just about anyone within arm's reach.
Where were Bloomberg and his soap box when his Wall Street pals and cronies were shafting and bankrupting America with their bad mortgage-backed securities?
Bloomberg got in front of the TV cameras to score political brownie points. Nothing speaks louder to John Q. Citizen walking the mean city streets than the big, bad mayor standing up to one of the many out-of-control and spoiled athletes that all the denizens happen to adore.
Burress needs to be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law." Burress is "a sports hero." Burress is "both a public figure and a role model."
"If we don't prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, I don't know who on Earth we would," Bloomberg said.
"It makes a sham, a mockery of the law. And it's pretty hard to argue the guy didn't have a gun and that it wasn't loaded. You've got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there."
Mayor, can we wait for all of the facts to come out before you speak your piece, less than 24 hours after the incident? A little more than 72 hours afterwards, we still don't know all the details.
What's wrong with doing the mayoral thing and calling for reason and for citizens to not hastily rush to judgment?
The New York Giants and the NFL are working with the proper authorities and conducting a fact-finding investigation. Meanwhile, the mayor's office is playing ringleader to the media circus (which of course, includes the mayor's very own Bloomberg media company).
Today, after a moment to reflect, he is not contrite at all. In fact, he's quoted as saying, "I don’t have nothing to apologize for. The law is the law."
The mayor is obviously right about that, and no one deserves special treatment. Still, Burress will have his day in court. This shouldn't be played out on television without all the facts.
Last I heard, people aren't formally tried in the court of public opinion.
Investigators need to do their jobs and not feel pressure from the mayor's office to draw conclusions as they investigate. This isn't just harmless tough-talk from Bloomberg; his verbosity could actually jeopardize the case against Burress.


Corporate graft, as usual, gets a bye. From ednotesonline

Crocodile Klein-Dee 5

an excerpt from an article in Australia's The Age
The only qualification that Murdoch has to judge our schools is that he owns about 70 per cent of capital city daily newspaper circulation. When billionaire media magnates speak, the rest of us listen.
The same cannot be said for the other American citizen, New York schools chancellor Joel Klein, who Gillard has brought to Australia, "impressed" by his education reforms, especially school league tables, which had produced "remarkable outcomes".
Rubbish. Internet comments on the test results show the improvement in school performance measurement comes from manipulating the tests by prepping students. Klein also makes claims about the results that cannot be supported by any fair analysis. Statisticians [Eduwonkette] who have examined the results say they can be explained by random error.
Klein, a corporate lawyer and political apparatchik, is here to spruik the virtues of Gillard's wacky plan to publish a rating system for schools. Critics point out that the system, based on experience in Britain and the US, "names and shames" poorly performing schools whose output is predictable based on socio-economic background and lack of funding.
The scheme's great political virtue is that it allows governments without any real commitment to raising the standard of poorer schools to appear to be doing something.

Crocodile Klein-Dee 4

Comments made on the the nycpublicschoolparentsblog
smithsan said...
Klein has employed a huge public relations staff to spin his policies in the media and counter criticism. He apparently has more PR staff than education policy advisors in his office. One of their key functions is to spread misinformation about the success of his policies.
NYC Educator said...While they are not at all effective at improving schools, Tweed excels at PR. One wonders whether, if they were to put their abilities to work toward reasonable class sizes and decent facilities for kids, rather than PR here and in Australia, they could actually accomplish something worthwhile.
It appears, though, as long as the PR is in place, nothing else matters.

Crocodile Klein-Dee 3

More excerpts from the nycpublicschoolparentsblog
Angelo Gavrielatos, of the Australian Education Union, said the US performed 29th in science and 35th in mathematics in OECD assessments. "The New York model is not one Australia should emulate."
ABC News: AEU (Australian teacher union) president Angelo Gavrielatos says it would be counter-productive to take New York as an example. "We shouldn't be looking at importing flawed ideas from overseas. Let's look at importing successful ideas from overseas," he said.
"Australia getting advice from the US on how to do education is like Ian Thorpe getting advice from Eric the Eel." He was referring to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, when a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea took almost two minutes to swim the 100-metres freestyle.
Canberra Times : The federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, claims that reforms such as reporting individual school results are ''working'' and have produced ''remarkable outcomes''. She says that there has been continual improvement in student achievement in New York City under Klein.
These assertions are refuted by test results in reading and mathematics. National tests show that average student achievement in New York City schools has stagnated while state tests show a mixture of increases and declines, with no consistent pattern of improvement.
The National Assessment of Education Progress tests conducted by the US Department of Education show no statistically significant change in average student scores for reading in grades 4 and 8 between 2003 and 2007 in New York City. They show a small improvement in Grade 4 mathematics but no improvement in Grade 8.
They also show that there was no improvement in average reading scores for low income, black and hispanic students in either Grade 4 or 8. There were small improvements in average mathematics scores in Grade 4 for low income, black and hispanic students. In Grade 8 mathematics, there was no improvement for black and hispanic students, but a slight improvement for low income students.

Crocodile Klein-Dee 2

More excerpts from the nycpublicschoolparentsblog
The Australian media continue their refreshingly skeptical coverage of Joel Klein’s promotion of his educational policies during his visit down-under.
Expose bad schools, says US educator (Sydney Morning Herald)
The Education Minister, Julia Gillard, is pushing for states and territories to adopt a similar system of transparency in Australia. On Monday she softened the blow for disadvantaged schools by announcing $500 million in funding to help them to entice good teachers.
But the woman Mr Klein described today as "a bold and fearless leader" should be warned. The US model has come under attack for its narrow measure of what made a school good.
A 2006 study by the US Centre on Education Policy showed that so much emphasis was being put on reading and maths that it caused a decline in teaching of history, science and the arts.
A similar model in Australia could leave little incentive for schools to improve teaching in subjects other than the "basics" measured. Sport, music, art and foreign languages could suffer as schools sweat to meet indicators.

Crocodile Klein-Dee 1

an excerpt from the nycpublicschoolparentsblog
From the Melbourne Age: [In NYC] Students are required to sit standardised tests, schools get an annual report card grading them from A-D and F ...Schools that need help get resources to improve but if they fail to lift their game, they are closed or restructured — and more than 70 have been shut.
His critics argue that the measures are too punitive, that he relies too heavily on standardised testing and that the improvements to his students' results are not significant.
"The only independent check on student achievement in New York City shows a completely different picture from that claimed by Klein," said Save our Schools convener Trevor Cobbold. "The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress administered by the US Department of Education shows that student achievement in New York City has stagnated since 2003. The achievement gaps between blacks and whites, between Hispanics and whites and between low and high-income students are as large as they were when Klein began to overhaul the system."
Sydney Morning Herald : While Mr Klein says student scores have vastly improved under his watch, analysis by Diane Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, shows the scores have been mainly flat or declining.
A former Productivity Commission economist, Trevor Cobbold, the convener of Save Our Schools, said reported improvements in New York schools had been artificially inflated and lacked credibility. "The results of the national assessment of education progress administered by the US Department of Education show the student achievement in New York City has stagnated since 2003," he said. "Adopting such a model in Australia would lead to inaccurate and misleading comparisons of school performance."

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Know A Place

Every day when the work is behind you
And the shop and the store put the lock on the door
Just get away where your worries won't find you
If you like, well I'll tell you more
Don't let the day get the better of you
When the evening comes there's so much to do
You better put on your best and wear a smile
Just come along with me awhile, cuz I tell you
I know a place where the music is fine
And the lights are always low
I know a place where we can go
At the door there's a man who will greet you
Then you go downstairs to some tables and chairs
Soon I'm sure you'll be tappin' your feet
Because the beat is the greatest there
All around there are girls and boys
It's a swingin' place, a cellar full of noise
It's got an atmosphere of its own somehow
You gotta come along right now cuz I tell you
I know a place where the music is fine
And the lights are always low
I know a place where we can go
Well, all around there are girls and boys
It's a swingin' place, a cellar full of noise
It's got an atmosphere of its own somehow
You gotta come along right now cuz I tell you
I know a place where the music is fine
And the lights are always low
I know a place where we can go