The Gateway (April 2014 Edition)

APRIL 1, 2014

All those really excited about this raise their hands.


Chait on conservative critics of Obamacare:

" I used to go on Twitter and ask conservatives to lay out what the criteria for Obamacare working as intended would look like. I never got a satisfactory response. You don’t take your barbecue reviews from people who think meat is murder."


If he can't make it there, he can't make it anywhere…


Was the watch waterproof?



Can an April Fool's joke cross the line? Eleven year old Dybbuk called Domestic Partner yesterday at work and told her Leonard Cohen had died.


Yep, The Port Authority has a crumbling business model: Tammany Hall and the Tweed Courthouse.


I know it's supposed to be a joke, but seriously, 1) most men accept realistic standards of beauty on a daily basis, because we prefer mating to not doing so; 2) I don't think the woman in the picture would have much trouble getting a date-–the only thing most men like better than large breasted women in their underwear is large breasted women without their underwear.,35685/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview%3A1%3ADefault&recirc=masculinity


I trust Levin on the Domino site; he went to Brown, so he can combine math with semiotics–plus he plays bass, which is all about math; besides the Walentas guys are really annoying with those sweaters they wear.


Well, now Kevin Powell will be able to find a job.


Impeachment? Make my day.

In fact, please try it before the midterms. Last time the GOP tried it, the Dems picked up seats in a second term midterm, which is usually close to impossible. Please, please do it–i luv it when right wingers give themselves self inflicted wounds!.


 I more or less suggested suggested trading Pollard for Peace  years ago.



I have no doubt that Avigdor Lieberman is both racist and a quasi-fascist authoritarian, but I am puzzled by the left/liberal ire over his discussion of transferring some Israeli-Arab towns to a future Palestinian state.

Query: under every two state plan I've heard–adjustments to the 1967 borders to accommodate the absorption into Israel of the major settlement blocs was to be accomplished by trades of Israel territory–what did everyone think that meant?



I generally find boycotts distasteful and I find what happened here to Brendan Eich to be somewhat distressing, but it is an exercise of free speech to demand the resignation and a perfectly rational free market result for a company to acquiesce. Adam Smith had been vindicated! Conservatives should be elated.


The Mayor may have donned a Mets yarmulke, but i bet he' still wearing red sox.



It took me until paragraph seven to find an outrageous whopper in CHN's story about the battle for the State Senate:

“The arithmetic gets more complicated when Sens. Malcolm Smith and John Sampson are added to the equation. While technicallyDemocrats who vote with the minority conference, both men are under indictment.”

In actuality Smith did not "vote with the Minority Conference"–he was an IDC member, who voted with the GOP, and attempted to become their candidate for Mayor.


I've been pretty harsh on Micah Kellner, but, unlike many miscreants, no one has ever even hinted there is anything even remotely unseemly about his member items (beyond the fact that they are member items). 

Does the press not understand that once a member leave for any reason, including death, their party leaders for the departed members have invariably cut off their unpaid members items (since in their minds there's no point in rewarding a member who is no longer there)? 

There is probably no better illustration of the fact that all member items, good or bad, are little more than a political payoff and that while there may be a public policy rationale for member items, none of the legislative leaders take that rationale seriously.



Neither LBJ nor Barry Goldwater particularly distinguished themselves as pillars of enlightenment during the Walter Jenkins scandal.–the best you could say is that each could have been worse.



Despite the oh-so-neutral and balanced title, most of Kristof’s policy prescriptions either are being articulated only by Democrats or at least some wing of the Democrats.  And the executive branch is already run by the  moderate middle.



The “Second Hispanic Candidate” against Charlie Rangel in NY 13 is a supposed “community activist” who leads the "United Women in Action Coalition."  

Reality Check:

There was once a “community activist” from the Bronx named Yolanda Garcia, but she died in 2005.  Died

Further, on the Ms. Garcia filed her petitions, the only Google entries for the "United Women in Action Coalition" lead back to the article I link here.

Garcia is another Richie Soto candidate  with no money, who will get on the ballot and do nothing to win. Since there are no other races on the ballot, everyone will already know who they are voting for for Congress before they get to the polls, and no one will have heard of by that point, so the votes drained from Espaillat will be severely limited.


Notes on others who filed for Congress:

NY 3: Grant Lally, best known for being defense lawyer for the Queens GOP’s indicted Vice Chair has called his  GOP primary opponent, Tea Party loon Steve Labate, a “two time loser,” even though it is Lally rather than Labate who’s lost two races for Congress.

NY 5:  Greg Meeks, who in a just world would be considered a pathetic joke, is challenged for the second time by Joseph Marthone, who, even in an unjst world qualifies as such.

Last time out I spent pages going on about Marthone’s wretched website. Those in the mood for a laugh should check out this year’s model.   

NY 7: As I said before:

“Why is Jeff Kurzon running for Congress?

 Because a district populated largely by low income Latinos and Asians cannot be trusted to represent itself and needs the guidance of someone of superior breeding who graduated from Phillips Exeter.


“Egomaniacal lawyer specializing in headline grabbing frivolity and bundling money from the young and entitled, announces for Congress without articulating any cognizable rationale, beyond This is the moment for a new generation of leaders who will stand up.”

NY 11: Former Councilman Dominic Recchia faces off against Ruben Diaz acolyte Rev. Erick Salgado. Having once overrated Salgado’s electoral prospects, I will not be so foolish twice.

NY 15: Jose Serrano is once again challenged by Mark Escoffery-Bey, a candidate of questionable sanity, who actually seems sane compared to the third candidate, Sam Sloan.


If Chaka Fatah's seat in Congress ever opens up, this guy has my support.


Like a holocaust survivor, a woman who's had her clitoris amputated and has been targeted for murder is to be forgiven her vehemence. We need not embrace her hatred, but she is worthy of our rachmonis.


I'm not sure, but I think there are now more placed in the city where you can buy vinyl lps than there are where you can buy books.



Not fer nuthin, but I endorsed Mark Green against both Cuomo and DeBlasio and defended him in his fights with Rev. Al–but somehow, no matter how right he is here, it's hard not to think the phrase "sore loser"


Everyone should stop carping about this and sue—hire the firm of Whitefish, Pike and Chrain.



A constitutional amendment to clarify the Second Amendment?


And all we need to accomplish this simple reform is to get 2/3rds of both houses and 3/4ths of the state legislatures to agree to it–it's so easy; why didn't anyone think of this quick-fix before?






Jury nullification is merely an unintended consequence of the rule against double jeopardy. Tell Rodney King or Kato Kalein how this is a good thing.





Got up, went downstairs, looked out on the deck and figured I was still dreaming–or did it just rain the day's supply of manna:


Instead of penalties, it probably would have been smarter to make everyone who refused to get health insurance sign a waiver saying they were doing this with the full understanding that they were ineligible for insurance for a two year period, so there'd be written proof of their informed stupidity.


I think Eldridge’s Communications Director should be advertising for a candidate.


It's Louisiana–if dead people can vote, they can certainly have sex.


Written by Nelson Muntz.


Really, the idea that a system based upon blackballing and elitism can be reformed by eliminating only one of its evils is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Society won't be reformed when Greek organizations admit black people–society will be reformed when Greek organizations disappear.



NYS Democratic Party Co-Chair Stephanie Miner draws herself a nice hot bath and does a Frankie Rive-Angels:


How is Ceceilia Berkowitz a “failed candidate”? There’s no evidence she even circulated a petition—and she did not get even one write-in vote in either the primary or general election

Azi says Ceceilia Berkwitz was no Mindy Meyer; and he's right. Mindy  at least made the ballot and got a few  votes.


Everyone stop and take a breathe. 

There actually seems to be a silver lining here; both sides of the Ukrainian/Russian conflict harbors its share of anti-Semites, but the favorite tactic du jour of both sides seems to be to link the other side to Jew hatred in order to discredit them.


Did Officer Obie make the arrest?


I called it home for 13 years (1989-2002). I began my time there by ending my second longest relationship within six months of moving in, and ended my time there by beginning my longest relationship, marrying Domestic Partner and conceiving Dybbuk (not necessarily in that order). The south side (complete with that wonderful sign, "Burials, Cremations, Foreign Shipping") graces the cover of a pretty good mafia novel. For most of my time there, the Cusimanos forgot I existed and only raised the rent once. 

At the beginning, the immediate area included a tough dive bar ("Richie's) next to a methadone clinic, a pretty good Arab place (Almontasers), a Toy Store called "The Laughing Giraffe at the Monkey's Wedding" owned by a woman who looked liked the lady who sold rabbits ("for Pets and Food") in "Roger and Me," and an Arab lady who sold schmattes who made DP’s wedding veil. These days, the only thing that survives from those times is Sam’s (here too). I know property values went up, but can anyone say the area improved?

On the plus side, the year I moved there, the Waterfront Alehouse opened on the Cobble Hill side of Atlantic. 

Good times.



New York Post: "After a stint in the state senate, in 1970 [Basil Paterson] ran as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, the first black candidate to run statewide on a major-party ticket."

Just for the record, "the first black candidate to run statewide on a major-party ticket" was Manhattan Borough President Edward Dudley, who ran for State AG in 1962(!!!), which was three years before Basil Paterson first ran for the State Senate.

Typically, when this was pointed out, Podhoretz refused to run a correction.


My mind boggles about the Common Core. Leading the charge in the education world against Common Core is Diane Ravitch, the patron saint of the teachers' unions, while leading the charge for it is Michelle Rhee, usually considered a conservative hero for her valiant efforts to fight the unions and other to improve schools in places like DC–and yet, movement conservatives have mostly been at war with common core. What am i missing here?

Generally, I favor things which make the schools accountable–while the NY version of the Common Core program is not without its problems, it attempts to hold educators and administrators accountable for results, which beats the status quo ante,—so I think repeal is a mistake. And I think conservatives underestimate how much President Obama and Arne Duncan have taken on the educational establishment and the unions here—conservatives are so set upon making the President the anti-Christ that they don't seem to get how much Obama's rocked the liberal boat on education.

Proving a Michael Kinsley’s famous statement, “a gaffe is when a politican tells the truth.”



Chelsea’s pregnancy a political ploy?

Well actually,  in matters of l'amour, the Clintons seems to have a record of doing what the heart, or other organs, want, rather than what would be in their political interests.




Well,give Kristol credit, his idea would be Clinton-style  triangulation.



Dutton Peabody: "And then, with the westward march of our nation, came the pioneer and the buffalo hunter, the adventurous and the bold. The boldest of these were the cattlemen, who seized the wide-open range for their own personal domain, and their law was the law of the hired gun.

But now, today have come the railroads and the people. The steady, hard-working citizens, the homesteader, the shopkeeper, the builder of cities. 

We need roads to join those cities, dams to store up the waters of the Picketwire, and we need statehood to protect the rights of every man and woman, however humble."

Watching TCM last night, it occurred to me that the whole question of Cliven Bundy was resolved when Ransom Stoddard beat Custis "Buck" Langhorne for Delegate at the Territorial Convention.

John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart were both Republicans, but they understood this; why can’t today’s GOP?  “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” Trailer


By Reihan Salam’s criteria, Strom Thurmond was not a racist.



Bundy: "Welfare for brown cattle; slavery for brown chattel"



I have to say that while I generally support an affordable component as part of any zoning changes or variances to allow for the construction of luxury housing, I fail to see why it is necessary in the case of either the LICH or Brooklyn Bridge Park sites. In both cases, the luxury housing being proposed would already be supporting another public good, in one case a park; in another case a hospital. Having thus subsidized a public good, there seems no necessity to expand the project in either case, especially given their proximity to historic districts.



As is typical, in considering possible ways to replace Grimm as the GOP nominee Goldfeder comes up short (no pun intended). It's Staten Island Jerry, –someone could just order a hit, and Mickey Suits would be sleeping with the fish.


Though I strongly support a two-state solution, I think Kerry is wrong. The lack of a two state solution won't invariably lead to apartheid–there are other possibilities, some of which make apartheid look like a lesser evil. 

Without a two state solution, Israel will have four options. Botha, Milosevic, Arafat or Moses. 

That is, they can chose either apartheid, ethnic cleansing, living in a state run by Fatah (actually, Fatah is the optimistic version of that scenario), or praying that G-d parts the sea.

My friends on the Zionist right sometimes are honest enough to embrace Botha or Milosevic (only Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin is honest enough to acknowledge the possibility of Arafat), but mostly they pretend that Hashem will save them.

I am reminded of the sad old joke about the Jew sitting on his roof during the flood waiting for Hashem to rescue him.

Good luck with that one.


Half a kilo is better than no kilo at all.


Hate to brake it to you, but anyone currently writing about the gentrification of Cobble Hill is at least two decades late.