Daily Archives: 02/25/2012

Congressman Engel Spent $40,096 on Now-Fired Lobbyist to Ensure Positive Redistricting Outcome

Times Union Reports: Following population data from the 2010 census, the state will lose two U.S.  House seats from its current 29. The redrawing of those districts is close to  completion, according to members of LATFOR, the legislative panel that controls  the once-a-decade redistricting process.

State records show six potentially imperiled representatives paid a total of  $169,527 to lobbyists for work on redistricting in 2011: Democrats  Joseph Crowley of Queens, Eliot  Engel of the Bronx, Brian  Higging of Buffalo, Kathy  Hochul of Genesee County and Carolyn  McCarthy of Long Island, plus Republican  Richard Hanna of Oneida County.

But what are the elected officials getting for their money? It’s not  something they like to talk about in depth. Read more »

Video: Rick Santorum Says he ‘Fell Short’ in Giving Charity

Son of RFK, Uncle of House Candidate Joseph P. Kennedy, Charged With Kicking a Nurse

The Blaze Reports of a recent incident with Douglas Kennedy; a son of Robert Kennedy and uncle to the young House candidate Joseph P. Kennedy: A police report obtained by New York NBC affiliate WNBC-TV said Douglas Kennedy, 44, took his infant from the newborn unit of Northern Westchester Hospital Jan. 7 against the orders of nurses who said the baby needed to stay there.

A nurse said Kennedy, a Fox News reporter, argued that he wanted to take the baby out “to get fresh air.” When they tried to stop him, Kennedy — holding the baby — allegedly twisted one nurse’s wrist and kicked another in the pelvis, knocking her backward.

As he did so, Kennedy fell to the floor himself before getting up and running “down the stairs with the infant until he was stopped by security and escorted back to the infant’s room,” the police report said.

Jewish Week Writer Rips Gestetner Updates for ‘Big Smear’ of Kennedy Grandson

Doug Bloomfield Writes in The Jewish Week: When Joseph P. Kennedy III announced his candidacy for Congress, an ultra-Orthodox Web commentator decided to portray him not as the grandson of Bobby Kennedy, who was assassinated by a Palestinian Arab for being too pro-Israel, but as the “Great grandson of Jew-hating Hitler admirer.”

That has to be the most outrageous example of hate speech I’ve seen in a long time. Read more »

Clinton to Muslims: Ignore GOP Campaign Rhetoric

Speaking at a town-hall style event in Tunisia, the North African nation that sparked the “Arab Spring” revolts, Hillary Clinton said the partisan remarks made during campaign events “certainly don’t reflect the United States, don’t reflect our foreign policy, don’t reflect who we are as a people.” Clinton’s remarks came in response to a question from a member of her audience who said he was troubled by some of the comments, which he considered anti-Muslim, made by candidates running for president: “If you go to the United States, you see mosques everywhere, you see Muslim-Americans everywhere. That’s the fact. So I would not pay attention to the rhetoric,” she said. AP Via CNBC

Video: Jeb Bush Says GOP Debates are Troubling

NYT: Turner’s Chances in Keeping NY9 as a Seat are ‘Improving’

Reports the NYT: It appears Mr. Turner’s prospects of preserving the district, which stretches from southern Brooklyn to southern Queens, are improving. Just last week, he went to Albany and made his case before Dean Skelos, who, as the Republican majority leader of the State Senate, is a crucial figure in drawing the new lines. He told Mr. Skelos what he had done in Washington during his time there and expressed his desire to keep the position. Mr. Skelos, in turn, offered encouragement — but no promises.

What is helping Mr. Turner’s chances, according to people monitoring the discussions in Albany, is the symbolic power of his victory to the party nationally.  Mr. Turner defeated David I. Weprin, a scion of a Democratic family in Queens, in a race in which Democrats mobilized some of their biggest names and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mr. Turner turned the race into a referendum on the policies of President Obama.

“What Bob Tuner showed is that Republicans can win in a Democratic district,” said Representative Peter T. King, a senior Republican from Long Island who has taken Mr. Turner under his wing. “He’s got this reputation as a giant killer now. And the giant was not just David Weprin. It was the entire Democratic Party apparatus.”

140K Coalition Troops in Afghanistan Retrained in Handling Religious Materials

A senior Pentagon official apologized Friday to Washington-area Muslims for the burning of Qurans at a military base in Afghanistan. Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, said the military is investigating what occurred and that all 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan are being retrained in the handling of religious materials. Lavoy apologized multiple times during a brief speech during prayer services at the ADAMS Center in Sterling, one of the largest mosques in the country. AP Via Weekly Standard

SHOCKER: U.N. Says Iran Accelerating Bomb Work; U.S. Intel Sees No Move to Build Bomb

NYT Reports: Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies. Read more »

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