Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gillibrand Is Really D'Mato Brand

From Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice
An excerpt:
Gillibrand and Paterson - The D'Amato Connection
The pudgy papa awaiting his hug and kiss when 42-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand walked toward the podium at her senatorial debut last week was Alphonse D'Amato, still the most powerful Republican in New York, a full decade after he lost his senate seat to the bookend on the other side of the podium, Senator Chuck "Brady Bill" Schumer.
Gillibrand barely acknowledged Democratic Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, who she passed before greeting D'Amato for several minutes. Even Schumer, who has taken to calling D'Amato on his wedding anniversary in recent years, planted himself in front of the high-priced lobbyist for an extended chat before moving on.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pick Yourself Up 2

A collage of Sylvia McNair/Andre Previn, Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole and the Royal Grammar School Big Band

Pick Yourself Up

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

From the North Valley Beacon:

Pick yourself up: Obama sets the theme from the Great American Song Book
In an inauguration that paid special homage to Abraham Lincoln and his legacy in defining America, Barack Obama also reached into the Great American Song Book for a number from the Great Depression. He outlined the strenuous work, the diligence, and the courage it has taken from the many who built America over the last three centuries, saying it was not a task for the faint-hearted. In facing our current massive problems, he said, “Starting to day, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America.”
He was quoting from a song by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields that was written for 1936 Depression-era film “Swing Time.” The song is a dance number performed by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers., a song of lilting lyrics and chord changes, a favorite of jazz musicians. It has been recorded by Anita O’Day, Nat King Cole, his daughter Natalie, Diana Krall, to name a few. I especially recall the George Shearing Quintet version that bolstered the spirits and resolve of us students when I was a college undergraduate.
Nothing's impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.
Don't lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.
Work like a soul inspired
'Til the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again.
So take a deep breath;
Pick yourself up;
Dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Caroline For Senator 38, Lessons Learned

Sweet Caroline For Senator 37 Gets Her Butt Kicked

Nanny Fran was her challenger from the beginning. Who would have thought that the Nanny issue was part of what did her in?
Caroline Kennedy’s decision to withdraw her bid for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat was due to tax and nanny problems -- and possibly even a potential issue surrounding her marriage, sources told New York newspapers today.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweet Caroline No More For Senator

a h/t to the village voice for inspiration
Caroline Kennedy has retrieved her tiara from the ring. She's no longer a candidate for appointment to the U.S. Senate.Amid all signs that the princess's coach was rapidly turning into a pumpkin, one of her minions issued an e-mail just after midnight saying she was withdrawing for "personal reasons."
The New York media will be all over this like beans on rice, especially because the "personal reasons" supposedly include the deteriorating health of Uncle Ted Kennedy — and that explanation is ludicrous.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 36

Sweet Caroline For Senator 35

Clarification: Governor Patterson is referring here to Mike and Joel

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm A Born Again American

from Norman Lear's great initiative
Born Again American
is committed to the rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism. It is an initiative of Declare Yourself, a national non-partisan, non-profit (501(c)3) organization dedicated to increasing young voter participation and civic involvement. Declare Yourself’s on-line voter registration tool has been used by almost four million people since 2004. Declare Yourself grew out of the 2003’s Declaration of Independence Road Trip that toured an original 1776 copy of the Declaration to schools, town halls, and other locations all over the country.

Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the same
I thought I knew the rules of the game

I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer stands
I’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of Rights
My creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow I have remained
I hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

JFK's Inauguration Ball From Life Magazine

Inaugural Ball

JFK's Inauguration Parade From Life Magazine

Inaugural Parade2

JFK's Inauguration From Life Magazine

Inauguration 2 Jfk

Sweet Caroline For Senator 34

Despite Caroline's latest screw up, it appears she is a certainty to be Paterson's choice. As Mr. Dicker states it would be political suicide if he didn't.
an excerpt: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.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Department of Education's Bridge To Nowhere

ednotes online is reporting on another new reorganization at nyc's department of education.
As we reported yesterday (Yet Another Reorganization From Tweed) Tweed has instituted another reorganization of technology. Now we are getting a clue as to what's behind it all. It is all about ARIS. About a week ago, some members of Office of Instructional Technology were "observed" by officials of the Office of Accountability giving an ARIS workshop for teachers. Soon after, the Office of Instructional Technology was folded into James Leibman's Office of Accountability. Was their workshop an audition for their being chewed up by HAL - er - ARIS?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sweet Caroline For Senator 33

Mike's still plugging away for Caroline's Senate bid

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Caroline For Senator 32

Another excerpt from Wayne Barrett on Geppetto Bloomberg
Bloomberg's strategy: to box Paterson in again, just as he did on term limits, by offering up an irresistible choice. Kennedy's selection would subsequently link the mayor to the ultimate Democratic family just as Bloomberg was launching his own re-election effort. While the campaign operatives who advise both Bloomberg and Kennedy have been arguing publicly that Caroline would be an asset for the city in securing aid from Obama, her greater value to Bloomberg would be to get Obama to sit on his hands in the 2009 election.
Paterson's acquiescence on term limits convinced the Bloomberg camp to use Kennedy to seal their growing alliance with the governor as well. Initially, Kennedy's candidacy rapidly gained traction, but when a backlash of negative media swelled in late December, a chagrined Bloomberg complained at one press conference that things had gotten "out of control," which was his way of saying that things had gotten out of his control. A panicky Bloomberg said Paterson should make a decision immediately, which was contrary to the single public promise the governor had repeatedly made: He wouldn't select a new senator until the old one was confirmed as secretary of state.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 31

A great article by Wayne Barrett in this week's Village Voice reveals all the machinations behind Sweet Caroline's push for the senatorial nod. An excerpt:
When I see Caroline Kennedy, I think Mike Bloomberg. In the contest for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, Kennedy is to Bloomberg what the City Council was to the mayor in his term limits battle—a partner in the spoils, yes, but, ultimately, little more than a pawn in his power grab.
If David Paterson makes Kennedy a senator despite her stumbling performance, spare résumé, and nose-diving poll numbers, credit should go to Bloomberg, an ally the unelected governor does not want to displease before his own probable race against Rudy Giuliani next year.
A Kennedy selection, should it happen, would become the prelude to a more formal alliance, or at least a non-aggression pact, between Bloomberg and Paterson that will carry through the 2009 mayoral election and the 2010 gubernatorial and senatorial races. Since Paterson, like most governors, is the leader of his state party, such a coalition would undercut any serious challenge this year to Bloomberg, a registered Independent.

Sweet Caroline For Senator 30

Evidently polls now show that Caroline's popularity has waned

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mayor Mike Advises Obama On Job Creation

an excerpt from Leonie Haimson at the nyc public school parents blog
DOE administrators: high salaries and how many there are!
Philissa at Gotham Schools, bless her heart, has posted an excel file with all the salaries of DOE administrators, derived from a searchable database of employees on,. I counted 22 DOE administrators who earned at least $180,000 as of last June – most of whom I have never heard of; and 74 who made $150,000 or over. What’s most interesting is how many administrators there are – including hourly workers: 11,796! More than 10,800 are listed with annual salaries.

Mike Loses A Bet

Mike, whose favorite sport is watching horse shows, had to be reminded by Kevin Sheekey about the difference between basketball and football. Mike still managed a plug for Caroline and Israel.
Bloomberg and Philly Mayor Bet on Giants vs. Eagles
Are you ready for some... cheesecake?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter placed the friendly bet on the outcome of Sunday's National Football Conference divisional playoff game.
If the Giants win, Mayor Nutter will send five cheesesteaks from popular shops across Philadelphia. If the Eagles win, Mayor Bloomberg will send a giant, New York-style cheesecake from Manhattan's Carnegie Deli.
As for the football game, the winner will advance to the NFC Championship game.
Bloomberg and Nutter made their wager on Friday.
The game will be played at Giants Stadium and air only on Fox. Check your local listings for the time.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sweet Caroline For Senator 29

from nyceducator on Caroline's bogus education qualifications
In fact, Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice suggests she was not precisely as accountable as unionized teachers are expected to be:
For months after she started, even some high-level education officials said they were not quite sure what she did. In an interview about eight months into her tenure, she would not say how often she worked at the department headquarters or how many hours she spent on the job, saying only, 'I put in as much time as I can.'"
Can you imagine what your supervisors would have to say if you reported with that attitude? I doubt you'd make teacher of the month anytime in the near future. And it appears her best buddies, Mike Bloomberg and Joel Klein, are juking her stats just as they do standardized test grades and dropout rates:
Klein "credited her with bringing in a $51 million gift from Bill Gates's foundation," according to a Times piece yesterday, but a top former Klein aide told the Voice that the Gates grant "was totally put together" by Michele Cahill, senior counsel to Klein who came to DOE from the Carnegie Corporation and has returned there. Though Klein has praised Kennedy in the past for raising $65 million for an entirely different initiative--the Leadership Academy--he's never attributed this Gates grant to her, the largest ever for the school system.
So here, in the era of accountability, is yet another poser who's accomplished nothing and trumpeting her alleged qualifications. Very Michelle Rhee of her. And what does she say about education?
Ms. Kennedy would not say, for example, whether she supported proposals to abolish tenure for teachers and offer them merit pay instead.
To sum up, she said absolutely nothing. Frankly, I'm unimpressed by people who claim to have expertise on public schools but refuse to send their kids to them--people like Mike Bloomberg, Joel Klein, and Caroline Kennedy. And while Ms. Kennedy has eluded that she'd support a Democrat for Mayor, there's no law saying Mayor Mike couldn't run as a Democrat (If there were, he'd ignore it, just as he ignored two referendums on term limits). Has she got any disagreements with Mayor Bloomberg's policies? According to the NY Times:
But when asked how she might differ with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg or with Governor Paterson, who has sole authority to make the Senate appointment, she demurred.
“I’m not going to talk about my disagreements with him,” she said. “You’ll find out over time.”
In other words, "Trust me."
But how on earth can we trust anyone who asks us to do such a thing?

Sweet Caroline For Senator 28

from andy borowitz
Caroline Places Phone Call to Magazine’s Editor
Caroline Kennedy would like to be considered Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2009 and has let the magazine's editor know of her interest in the honor, aides to Ms. Kennedy confirmed today.
While some observers considered Ms. Kennedy's bid to be premature, especially since 2009 has not officially begun, aides to the New York senatorial aspirant said that it reflected her view that 2009 will be a very big year for her.
"I think Caroline's calling Time magazine and asking to be put on the cover shows just what a tireless worker she is," said cousin Kerry Kennedy. "When she really wants something, she's not afraid to roll up her sleeves and make a phone call."
Her cousin said that having witnessed Caroline's work ethic, she has no doubt that she is deserving of Time's highest honor: "I can't tell you how many times she's gotten the wrong number, been put on hold, or had calls dropped altogether."
In addition to the Person of the Year honors, Kerry Kennedy said that Caroline had also expressed an interest in next year's Nobel Peace Prize.
"That's a call she hasn't made yet," Ms. Kennedy said. "She has to figure out the time difference in Oslo."

Sweet Caroline For Senator 27 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Sweet Fran For Senator 2 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Sweet Fran For Senator

Sweet Caroline For Senator 26

from james and tim's flickr stream

Sweet Caroline For Senator 25

Sweet Caroline For Senator 24

Sweet Caroline For Senator 23

From flickr user Sybil Star