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brooklynite

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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 69,956

Journal Archives

Eric Adams edges out Yang for first time in mayoral poll

Politico

Eric Adams is leading the field of mayoral candidates in a new poll, marking the first time Andrew Yang is not the top contender since he shook up the race with his unexpected entry in mid-January.

Adams, the Brooklyn Borough president, was the first-place pick for 21 percent of the respondents in a three-day survey conducted by Washington, D.C.-based firm GQR, according to a copy of the survey obtained by POLITICO. Yang followed at 18 percent, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer had 15 percent support.

The poll of 500 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted over the course of three days last week, during which Stringer’s campaign was rocked by a 20-year-old accusation of sexual assault.

No other candidate cracked double digits, and 11 percent of those polled reported being undecided ahead of the June 22 primary to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio.


Adams would be a terrible choice. The unknown factor is second/third rounding ranked-choice voting.

Scoop: Biden weighs posting LA Mayor Garcetti to India

Axios

President Biden is considering naming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to a high-profile ambassadorship, possibly India, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The potential exit of the Democratic executive for the nation's second-largest city would come as L.A. faces record homelessness and a court order to find shelter for a massive Skid Row population by the end of September. It could further destabilize California politics amid a recall attempt against Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat.

The big picture: Garcetti was a co-chair of Biden's campaign and remains a key political ally. India, with 1.4 billion people, is the world's most populous democracy — giving its political and economic future outsized stakes.

The Biden administration has signaled India will play a key role in helping to counter China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.


Would you WANT to go to India now?

"A shot and a beer"

https://twitter.com/GovMurphy/status/1389991461756850177

Broadway To Reopen Sept. 14, Says Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Broadway League "Cautiously Optimistic"

Source: Deadline

UPDATE, with Broadway League comment New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that Broadway will reopen on Sept. 14, with some tickets going on sale beginning tomorrow. Theaters will be open at 100% capacity, the governor says.

The surprise announcement comes just days after Cuomo said Broadway would not be included in a planned May 19 reopening of many New York City businesses and venues. Cuomo said on Monday that Broadway, which has been shut down since his order on March 12, 2020, would need more time to reopen than other industries due to the logistics of theater producing.

Both Cuomo and The Broadway League had previously indicated that September was the target reopening month, but the governor’s announcement of Sept. 14 at a press conference today was the first projection to pinpoint a specific date.

As of yet, no Broadway production has set a specific September opening date, though some shows have, in recent months, put monthly blocks of tickets on (and off) sale with the caveat that refunds would be provided if reopening did not occur. Today’s announcement puts ticket sales on firmer ground, and at least several major Broadway productions, possibly including Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked, are expected to announce box office reopenings within the next week.




Read more: https://deadline.com/2021/05/broadway-reopen-september-14-andrew-cuomo-tickets-on-sale-tomorrow-1234750270/

Blue Origin to auction off first New Shepard seat to the highest bidder

Space Explored

Over the last year, many have thought about when will Blue Origin finish testing their New Shephard rocket and finally launch their first crewed flight. Well, the wait is finally over.

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company is trying to break into the space tourism industry with actual flights to space. The flights will be launched on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket from their launch site in Texas. Today Blue Origin announced that their flight for July 20th will have a crew on it.

The flight will hold up to 6 commercial astronauts in the rocket’s crew capsule but 1 will be awarded the seat in an auction for charity. Starting today, if you have the capital to afford it, you can place your initial bid online to get a seat.

This is not a normal silent auction like you might see at a school fundraiser, it will be a month and a half long process for bidding. The auction starts today with sealed bids, you submit your bid online, and it is kept secret. You can bid any amount you’d like, this phase lasts till May 19th. On that day the bids become unsealed and anyone will be able to see what you bid, to continue in the auction you must outbid the highest unsealed bid.

Finally, we get to the moment that determines the winner, a live online auction on June 12th. The highest bidder after the auction is finished will pay and get a seat on the first New Shepard crewed mission. The proceeds of the auction will be donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future foundation.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid gains chance to form government, oust Netanyahu

Source: Washington Post

JERUSALEM — Yair Lapid, a former news anchor and leader of Israel's centrist opposition, was picked to negotiate a new governing coalition Wednesday, opening the possibility of Israel getting its first government not led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in more than a decade.

President Reuven Rivlin tapped Lapid to make the next attempt to form a government one day after Netanyahu failed to assemble a parliamentary majority after 28 days of effort. Under Israel’s system, Lapid also has four weeks to craft a power-sharing plan. If he falls short, the president could open to the process to any member of the Knesset or call for Israel’s fifth election since the spring of 2019.

Lapid will face a stiff challenge in trying to find common ground among the range of anti-Netanyahu parties elected in March. As a bloc, they would control enough seats to secure a majority. But ideologically, they range from the far right to the far left of Israel’s political spectrum. They also include Israeli Arab parties that traditionally play no part in supporting governing coalitions but that may be needed this time.

What unites them is anger at Netanyahu’s refusal to step down after he was indicted in 2019 on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. His opponents accuse the prime minister, who has failed to secure a governing majority in four elections, of clinging to power to stave off his legal peril.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/yair-lapid-israel-government/2021/05/05/fedd2fdc-ad3b-11eb-82c1-896aca955bb9_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter




Earmark intrigue splits Senate Republicans

Source: Politico

At least six GOP senators plan to violate their conference's toothless earmark ban and more than a dozen others won't commit either way, citing fears that they're relinquishing power to Democrats if they don't participate, according to a POLITICO survey of all 50 upper-chamber Republicans.

Less than 30 Senate Republicans have definitively sworn off earmarks as Democrats revive the practice of congressionally directed spending this year. Ten said they were still chewing on the issue, while several didn't comment or refused to say whether they will honor the earmark prohibition that remains in place — although technically unenforceable — for the entire Senate GOP.

The fact that half a dozen Republicans are willing to openly flout the ban suggests that Washington is returning to its traditional horse-trading ways after President Donald Trump’s free-spending dismissal of the nation’s $3 trillion deficit wiped away much of the tea party's influence on the GOP. Earmark abstainers, including a number of 2024 hopefuls, can claim the moral high ground by bucking a practice that's landed lawmakers in prison and that conservatives call a “gateway drug” to wasteful spending. But the GOP's most vocal earmark critics aren't quite leading the day, particularly after House Republicans ended their own ban.

The six Republicans who said they expect to request earmarks run the gamut electorally. Two of them are retiring next year, one's in store for a tough 2022 election and three just won reelection in 2020. For them, and those who have not committed either way, there is one main dilemma adding to the desire to disobey the ban: fear of ceding the budget field to Democrats, who could divert millions of dollars in federal funding to local projects in their own states, while Republican-led states get left out.




Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/05/senate-republicans-earmarks-485373



At least six GOP senators plan to violate their conference's toothless earmark ban and more than a dozen others won't commit either way, citing fears that they're relinquishing power to Democrats if they don't participate, according to a POLITICO survey of all 50 upper-chamber Republicans.

Less than 30 Senate Republicans have definitively sworn off earmarks as Democrats revive the practice of congressionally directed spending this year. Ten said they were still chewing on the issue, while several didn't comment or refused to say whether they will honor the earmark prohibition that remains in place — although technically unenforceable — for the entire Senate GOP.

The fact that half a dozen Republicans are willing to openly flout the ban suggests that Washington is returning to its traditional horse-trading ways after President Donald Trump’s free-spending dismissal of the nation’s $3 trillion deficit wiped away much of the tea party's influence on the GOP. Earmark abstainers, including a number of 2024 hopefuls, can claim the moral high ground by bucking a practice that's landed lawmakers in prison and that conservatives call a “gateway drug” to wasteful spending. But the GOP's most vocal earmark critics aren't quite leading the day, particularly after House Republicans ended their own ban.

The six Republicans who said they expect to request earmarks run the gamut electorally. Two of them are retiring next year, one's in store for a tough 2022 election and three just won reelection in 2020. For them, and those who have not committed either way, there is one main dilemma adding to the desire to disobey the ban: fear of ceding the budget field to Democrats, who could divert millions of dollars in federal funding to local projects in their own states, while Republican-led states get left out.


U.S. fertility dips to its lowest rate since the 1970s

Source: Axios

The fertility rate in the U.S. dropped by 4% last year compared to 2019, the lowest it's been in nearly 50 years, according to provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Why it matters: The data corroborates previous surveys that predicted a "COVID baby bust," with women reporting they were postponing pregnancy and having fewer children, as well surveys indicating less sexual activity overall.

By the numbers: There were 55.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 last year. It is the sixth straight year the number of births in the U.S. have fallen, CDC data shows.

There was an overall decline in all age groups between 15 to 44. Brady Hamilton, the lead author of the study, called those drops "unusual" and "extraordinary." Births had been rising for women in their 30s, he said.


Read more: https://www.axios.com/us-fertility-dips-to-its-lowest-rate-since-the-1970s-48382972-80ba-4221-9e59-fc503d3f6b67.html

No. 2 House Republican backs Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

Source: Axios

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is openly supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as House Republican conference chair, according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: Scalise's public endorsement of Stefanik marks a new escalation in House Republicans' internal feud over Cheney, who voted to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and has continued to criticize the former president.

The rift has threatened to derail Republicans' chances of taking back control of the House in the 2022 elections. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) — the leader of the largest conservative caucus in the House — suggested to Axios last week that Cheney could be ousted within a month.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was caught on a hot mic on Tuesday saying he's "lost confidence" in Cheney and "has had it with" her behavior.


Read more: https://www.axios.com/steve-scalise-liz-cheney-stefanik-house-republicans-4c267cc2-5d18-4507-a6c0-cc21e320cb6f.html

Netanyahu misses deadline to form government in Israel

Source: Politico

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has missed a midnight deadline for putting together a new coalition government.

His failure to reach an agreement late Tuesday raises the possibility that Netanyahu’s Likud party could be pushed into the opposition for the first time in 12 years.

The matter now bounces back to Israel’s figurehead president, Reuven Rivlin, who is expected to consult with leaders of the parties elected to parliament in March before deciding how to proceed.

The turmoil does not mean that Netanyahu will immediately be forced out as prime minister. But he suddenly faces a serious threat to his lengthy rule. His opponents already have been holding informal talks in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a power-sharing deal.


Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/04/netanyahu-israel-government-deadline-485380
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