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Crain's New York Business has published an article concerning how "Occupy Wall Street has stoked popular support for keeping the state income tax surcharge on couples earning more than $300,000 and singles making more than $200,000."

On the website, some comments that follow the article are not in support of Occupy Wall Street, calling the movement one of "anti-capitalists" and reminding the reader that "We don't live in Communist Russia, or even Europe." (Gee, thanks for that.)

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This is a recollection of that day in the former CFD [Community Free Democrats] clubhouse at 90th and Amsterdam [on Manhattan's Upper West Side]. An evil crime and tragedy of Biblical proportions was occurring 10 miles south of us, and we had to hold our little corner of the world together as best we could.

I've included the memories of CFD members who responded to my request for reflections pertaining to Primary Day. Some declined; they still find it too painful.

Just about everyone began by mentioning the color of the sky.

Democratic District Leader Joan Paylo (69th NY State Assembly District) has written a compelling narrative about September 11, 2001, which was Primary Day in New York.

I urge anyone interested in grassroots Democratic operations, local history, New York City history, Manhattan Democratic politics, excellent writing, or narratives of 9/11 to read this remarkable short work. (Click here to go to CFD's homepage linking to the PDF of Joan's narrative.)

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It's rumors that only three NY State Senators, all Republicans, are undecided on how they will vote if gay marriage is brought to the floor of the Senate possibly tomorrow: Kemp Hannon (, Stephen Saland (, and Andrew J. Lanza (

But their potential opposition is becoming less tenable as arguments mount against keeping same-sex couples excluded from marriage’s rights and responsibilities. Here are some that I have highlighted in the past.

I emailed each of the above state senators and bullet-pointed these arguments.
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This gilded miniature galleon stands 3 feet high, and

is in fact an elaborate, automated clock. [It] played music, fired its cannons and trundled across the table at imperial banquets. Clocks like this were important status symbols in the courts of Europe in the 1500s and this clock is based on the great European ships that sailed the oceans during this period. It is unlikely that the clock's creator, Hans Schlottheim in inland Germany, ever saw an actual galleon.


The American republic's ship of state is best described as presently

27%3 votes
0%0 votes
45%5 votes
9%1 votes
9%1 votes
9%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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Detractors of the proposed Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan are worried about--well, I'm not sure they mention with great reasonability what it is that they're worried about. But, one thing is for sure: they manage to reveal their ignorance about what it means to have a community center in downtown Manhattan. For them, it means only proximity to Ground Zero, and it seems to mean nothing else that might possibly be considered in light of just how Manhattan neighborhood-based non-profit institutions work.

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My friend Bob Zuckerman has released the first animated political ad ever used in a New York City Council race.

Please take a few seconds to watch the video then forward it to your friends and post it on Facebook.

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Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 07:49 AM PDT

By Partisanship

by IseFire

The Rachel Maddow Show's August 18, 2009, "Parable of the Pizza Order and Health Care Reform," (link below) inspired me to offer a non-parabolic version of sorts, entitled, "By Partisanship."

In the past 5 years, America's health care insurance companies' profits rose 1000% while consumers saw their cost of insurance go up 200-300%. [1]  More than 50% of the personal bankruptcies in the US are because of an individual's health care costs. Of those bankruptcies, more than 75% are people who do have health insurance.[2-footnote] On average, 14,000 Americans a day lose their health insurance.

So, something needs to be fixed, and even most Republican opponents of reform--including Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA), Rep. Mike Pense (IN)--recognize it and say so publicly.

The Obama Administration and the Democratic majority in Congress thought it would be grand to get a compromise health care reform bill that some Republicans could support, even though such support might not be absolutely necessary for legislative success, because for the most part, the President and the Democratic majority been elected in 2008 by fairly solid margins.

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Help make history by joining as a Facebook Fan of my friend, New York City Council candidate Bob Zuckerman, a progressive Democrat, who would be Brooklyn’s first out, gay member of the City Council.

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According to an article in Crain's New York Business, there are a few green shoots on Wall Street, and possibly the beginning of some manner of Wall Street 2.0. Maybe. But my worry is that what is being observed is not a totally new operating system (to stay with the computer metaphor), which is what's needed, so much as an update downloaded to fix a few bugs. I.e., that things will pretty much be "business as usual," which is not good necessarily very good for the middle class, but will, of course, be great for the very wealthy.

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Because of the passage of Proposition 8--which candidate Obama did but little to resist and belatedly--November 4, 2009 was bittersweet for literally 10,000s of LGBT Obamaniacs who'd given countless hours and dollars to Obama 2008.

"Well," many LGBT supporters of Obama said to each other with a tired grin at election-watching parties that night, "at least there is the inauguration to look forward to!"

Now the President-elect has again pulled a Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary moment. There will be not one out gay person on stage at the inauguration. But, there will be Rick Warren, a leader of the religious right who described himself as no different than James Dobson except in tone.

This situation reminds me of the occasional production of Aida at the Met when the elephant is brought out during the otherwise stirring "Triumphal March," and then proceeds, under that hallowed proscenium, to take a giant shit on the stage.

Here are two things you can do to protest the Warren:

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On the day of the Queen's speech (an excellent 4 minute background video here concerning this annual event) in which she outlines her Government's programs (video of this year's speech here) came a horrible revelation from the Speaker of the Commons: the Metropolitan Police raided the Shadow Immigration Minister's office without a warrant, and the Speaker basically just assumed (not unreasonably) that they had a warrant. Regardless... Members' gasps about 1 minute into his statement are telling as to this situation's severity.

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A Bronx judge has thrown out the first legal challenge to Gov. David Paterson's move to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

From the AP:

In a ruling Tuesday, state Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings said the policy is a "permissible, if not mandated, step toward the objective of equality" for gays. Her finding comes as thousands of gay New Yorkers are expected to take advantage of a new Massachusetts law letting them wed there.

Mr. Paterson's counsel told state agencies in May that a recent appellate court ruling required them to recognize gay marriages legally performed elsewhere.

An Arizona-based Christian legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit saying the issue should be decided by the state Legislature, not the governor.

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