Tag Archive: Michael Bloomberg

Late-Nite Teevee: 9/11 Museum Dedication

The 9/11 Museum was dedicated today in a softly-lit, well-orchestrated and somber ceremony seven stories underground at what was called “the site” for weeks after, and then as President Bush began to beat the war drums, became known as Ground Zero. As ceremonies go, this one was beautiful and  minimally nationalistic. But even dressed in the grandeur of the dedication, the day itself is remembered as confusing, chaotic, unthinkable and devastating. Anyone living in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut knew who was missing by watching whose house suddenly had cars parked outside at all hours. The rest of us were deeply watching the news, some for the first time in their lives, watching the first responders, their ranks devasted, the steelworkers, the military personnel, the volunteers who rushed in to help. They were magnificent, is the only way to say it.

Here’s video of the dedication. You’ve already heard at the last minute Idina Menzel, scheduled to sing Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” immediately following Christie’s remarks, did not in fact do so. Awkward moment averted. Myself, I lost it right at the start when fresh-scrubbed children sang Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere,” none of them alive when it happened, 70 feet underground, sweet honey in the rock.

Skip ahead to 16:58, which is where the ceremony begins. Obama at 26:00. Cuomo at 38:20. Christie at 41:38 (the substitute song “Amazing Grace” following by 9/11 widow and Broadway star LaChanze). Guiliani at 52:38. Pataki 1:00:18. But really, the best stuff is in between.

This, Too, Is Terrorism

promoted by Rosi

This native terror attack isn’t directly New Jersey, though the attack in this case is on an issue that is important to our people.

Mayor Bloomberg received threatening letters laced with the deadly chemical ricin and the anonymous writer was set off by hizzoner’s stance on the controversial gun control debate.

The poisonous correspondence was opened on Friday in the city’s Gold Street mail facility in lower Manhattan after something in the way the letters were addressed raised suspicion.

Member’s of the NYPD’s Emergency Services unit were exposed to the chemical inside of the envelope, which also contained a letter that threatened the mayor’s life.

On Sunday the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns received similar ricin laden threats, officials said.

Well, it’s not NJ except for it’s a terrorist attack against an organization with Mayors representing more than 3 million New Jersey resident.  See the 110 Mayors in NJ who have signed on after the jump.

Has Sandy Changed Christie’s Future?

Based on the initial post-Sandy reaction to the Christie-Obama bromance imagery, I do not see how Chris Christie has a chance to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016 (assuming that President Obama wins tomorrow – otherwise, this whole topic becomes moot).  His nonpartisan approach to governance during this crisis will be an even bigger albatross around his neck than Romneycare was for Romney and Christie will not have the luxury of taking on several sgtbatguanocrazy teabagging wingnut opponents, dividing what represented between 60-70% of the Republican primary election voter universe.

He will most likely be in a one-on-one with Paul Ryan who has undoubtedly been a very effective running mate for a terribly flawed Romney candidacy.  Winning a primary election in a one-on-one with a significantly more conservative candidate would have been hard enough pre-Sandy, but post-Sandy, there is just not enough SuperPAC dollars to change the mathematics of the Republican Party in the 21st Century, which probably has more in common with the Democratic Party of the 19th Century.

That said, there are other ways that Christie could become a Presidential candidate in 2016 whether he runs for re-election next year or not, although the path is clearer for him if he doesn’t.  If he and the people closest to him recognize the fact that he cannot win a Republican primary election in 2016, he could take advantage of the goodwill that he built up during and since the storm came and went by aligning himself with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the No Labels crowd, who tried and failed to build energy around the idea of a bipartisan ticket through their Americans Elect effort this year.

NYC Marathon is Canceled #Sandy

After rising outrage that resources that could be used to assist and protect struggling New Yorkers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just canceled the NYC Marathon after what must have been a difficult emergency meeting with city officials and race organizers, the New York Road Runners.

Protest against keeping the Sunday date for the Marathon was driven largely by social media – photos posted by BuzzFeed of the devastated Staten Island neighborhood near the race start by the Verrazzano Bridge,  Facebook groups like this one, and an active and angry conversation on Twitter, like this today, with nearly 4,000 retweets:

The NYC Marathon’s generators could power 400 homes in Staten Island! POSTPONE the NYC Marathon http://bit.ly/Uos8GY  PLEASE RETWEET

A long time ago, the New York City Marathon founder Fred Lebow, a legend in the sport, taught me how to run distance. I was not a natural runner, but I had just finished bicycling nearly 5,000 miles across the U.S. and he thought I was a fun challenge to teach. My respect for him, even after his death – even with cancer, he made runners history – is paramount. I helped marshal the Marathon one wonderful time, and race-walked it twice. More serious runners than I will ever be regard the NYC Marathon as an essential part of popularizing running itself.

But I’m glad it’s canceled. Elite runners may already be in the city, or bunked in waiting in Jersey hotels. I’m sorry for that. But the NYC Marathon is only a little about them. What it always has been is the joyous expression of a city – the city our state looks over at – opening to welcome strangers with springy shoes and sweat pouring down their backs. Thousands of New Jerseyans run the NYC Marathon.

Now, generators set aside for the Marathon’s finish line might find their way to hospitals, shelters and homes. Police deployed to keep visitors safe might now be redirected to protecting neighborhoods. And I hope some of the visiting runners will fan out over the region, give blood if they can and pitch in. That would be awesome.  

9/11 Memo to Gov. Christie: Not Everything is About You

Like everyone, I’m still dumbstruck by the events of September 11, 2001. I was in Detroit, not here. Detroit, sharing a river, bridge & tunnel with Canada, is the nation’s most vulnerable area to illegal entry. City was in lockdown. Travel between the two countries at dead-stop. On Woodward Avenue, National Guardsmen on jeeps with rifles on their shoulders.

But I’ve always believed that September 11 didn’t happen to America, it happened to New York – and also to New Jersey & Connecticut. Because the people who died in the World Trade Center were our people. I can’t imagine what it was to be here. In the middle school, kids throwing up whose parents worked in NYC. The flyers. The smoke and steam visible from our cities on the Hudson.

With the 10th anniversary coming, felt as deeply near the Pentagon, Christie’s usual bombast seems particularly unwelcome now. In the last few days, Christie has called Mayor Bloomberg, whose city deserves respect right now, a Napolean a dictator and a putz. I realize part of what he’s is after is to get recognition for Donald DiFrancesco, who was ever so briefly sitting as governor when 9/11 happened. That he wants a role for David Samson, Port Authority Chair, and not inconsequentially his appointee. That some of it is wanting to make sure NJ has a role in the commemoration, as we certainly had a role in the loss.

But, even giving the Governor that benefit of doubt, most of his embarrassing kicking and screaming is simply typical Christie conduct.

But as we come up to the worst national day in most of our lives, it’s time for the Governor to tuck away his tantrums, and show respect – with his own behavior – for that loss. It’s not the time for ungentlemanly name-calling or jockeying for position. Gov. Christie is the biggest of big wheels – okay, Governor, we all get it, bully for you. But arguing about the program? People died – try to keep your eye on the ball. Grow up a little before September 11, 2011. Try to remember that not everything is about you.

Postscript: At a presser this morning at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, the Governor denied calling Bloomberg any of those things. I don’t believe him for a minute.

Snowpocalypse? NO!

Where in America can there be a moderate rainfall and the weather report lists it as “partly sunny?”  Where in America can a foot of snow on the ground be categorized as a “trace?” That, my friends, describes the weather outlook for Syracuse, NY.

I lived in Syracuse for 32 years before moving back to my home state of New Jersey. The area is a wonderful place to bring up a family. It is a diverse community with ample cultural, sporting, and recreational attractions. It is a microcosm of America with traffic jams, nearby rural isolation, and the transformational challenges facing a city that was once dominated by manufacturing jobs. The people are wonderful, and regardless of political leanings or ethnic differences, they always rally around the Orangemen’s exploits. But the one thing that sucks in the Salt City is the weather. There’s a dearth of sun in the spring and fall, and a plethora of snow in the winter.  Average snowfall is north of nine feet per year.

Yet, the city has found a way to cope with the white stuff, and there are lessons to be learned for Governor Christie, Mayor Bloomberg, and New Jersey’s municipal officials who have not yet found the recipe for handling the snow. The city’s population is 140,000,  putting it about the same category as Paterson and Elizabeth.

As recently reported in the New York Times on a 70-inch snowfall this winter,

Through all of this snow, public schools in Syracuse closed for only two days, and the airport shut down for 15 minutes. Piles of cleared snow grew to two-story heights, but the roads were plowed and kept open.

So what is Syracuse’s secret? To find out, I spoke with Pete O’Connor, the city’s Commissioner of Public Works.

Does Bloomberg want to play in NJ’s Gubernatorial sandbox?

From Politico:

Even as he’s running in his own re-election contest, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being urged by members of both parties to get involved in the New Jersey governor’s race, according to a source in position to know.

Supporters of both Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, and Chris Christie, a Republican, have reached out to Bloomberg in hopes of picking up his endorsement and some of his money.  

A Bloomberg adviser said the two-term mayor — who is close to a sure bet to be elected to a third term next month — has not ruled anything in or out.

But it’s not the major party candidates that would receive the biggest boost from the Republican-turned-independent — it’s Chris Daggett, the independent candidate in New Jersey who is now polling in the low double-digits and who has helped turn the campaign into a dead heat.

Asked if it was possible for Bloomberg to come out for Daggett, the mayor’s adviser repeated: “Nothing ruled in or out.”

I wonder how a Bloomberg endorsement would factor in the race. For Daggett it could potentially be a bigger deal than Christie or Corzine. There has been no love loss between Corzine and Bloomberg dating back to the congestion pricing plan a few years ago. Corzine supporter Cory Booker and Christie backer Rudy Giuliani were both with Mayor Bloomberg today, so I wonder if the endorsement issue came up? It’ll be interesting to see what he does, if anything and what it means to the race.

Bloomberg on Booker: He’s got a tougher job than I do

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on Meet the Press with David Gregory this morning. Here is some video from the discussion including this first clip, where the two talk about the stimulus impact on Cities:

In this second clip, David Gregory presses Booker and Bloomberg on whether middle class taxes will need to rise to pay for everything:

And here’s the third clip where the Mayors discuss preparations for Swine Flu:

Cory Booker to endorse Bloomberg

Cory Booker is crossing over the river today to endorse Mayor Michael Bloomberg at an event in Harlem. That means Booker, one of the best-known African-American mayors in the country, will be backing a white Republican in a northeastern urban campaign, over an African-American Democrat, city comptroller Bill Thompson.

Bloomberg, who left the Republican Party two years ago in a move widely seen as testing the waters for a presidential run, is running as a Republican again, after campaigning for an amendment to NYC’s term limits law, which allowed him to run for a third term.

The two big-city mayors have plenty in common, including economic pressures, which Booker has handled with furloughs and pay cuts and Bloomberg with budget cuts and layoffs.

But the enormously-popular Newark mayor now becomes a key element – and big prize –  in Bloomberg’s vigorous moves to capture African-American support.

And that’s support that Bloomberg’s Democratic opponent, Thompson, certainly must wish he had.

Thompson’s behind in the polls, but his stump speeches are about how Barack Obama inspires him, and how he models his campaign on the President’s. And over here, in New Jersey, Cory Booker’s the African-Ameican politician most-associated with the president, who Booker backed early.

Bloomberg is solidly ahead in the polls. Booker’s endorsement will probably only add to his lead. But I wonder what effect it will have on morale inside African-American Democratic circles over on the other side of that river?