Seven years ago, when Ground Zero was just a hole in the ground and the world seemed convinced that nothing good would ever be built there, the author began the epic story of the rebuilding of downtown New York. Now, as the “Freedom Tower” reaches its full height, the inside story of boondoggles, self-dealing, common corruption, and why it’s all taken so long.
By Scott Raab
Published in the September 2012 Issue
On this September 11th, 2012, for the first time, no public official will speak at the ceremony at Ground Zero. This may be due to last year’s tenth-anniversary event, when the crowd offered George W. Bush a brief yet rousing huzzah and gave Barack Obama the silent treatment. It may be that like the Oscars, the 9/11 commemoration tends to run long, what with the reading of nearly three thousand victims’ names, and stilling the pols will save time while offending absolutely no one. New York’s mayor, Mike Bloomberg, suggested the names need not be read, since each is etched into the parapets surrounding the memorial pools, but those names, read aloud by friends and family, will echo again across the sixteen acres where they died.
Last year, the Memorial Plaza opened on September 11, the first completed project on the site and one of very few feel-good moments during a decade of rebuilding marred by blown deadlines, public backbiting, and billions of dollars in cost overruns. The plaza finally provided the kin a mourning place, and it also seemed like solid evidence of momentum.
That momentum died not long after last year’s ceremony, when the Port Authority of New York & New Jer-sey, led by Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, the governors of the two states, stopped paying the contractors trying to finish work on the Memorial Museum, which was scheduled to open on this year’s anniversary. Forget the details for now and focus on a simple fact: The Port and the politicians who run it are pigs.
The memorial means nothing to them beyond winning a fight for control of the museum’s money and operations — the same fight that every project on the site has inspired.
That has been the underlying and unyielding truth of Ground Zero since September 12, 2001.
This is truly the best reason for dumping the politicians: Ground Zero is not so much a place of remembrance and honor as it is a battlefield. Last year’s ceremony featured readings by Obama, Bush, Christie, Cuomo, Rudy Giuliani, and the two sad-sack governors who held office in 2001, New York’s George Pataki and Donald DiFrancesco of New Jersey. Pataki is the yutz responsible for nearly all that has gone wrong in rebuilding the site, but they couldn’t not invite him. DiFrancesco’s connection to Ground Zero was why he fled office: He took a large low-interest loan from a pal he helped put on the Board of Commissioners that presides over the Port Authority. DiFrancesco was not invited to last year’s observance until Governor Christie threw one of his many tantrums and Mike Bloomberg agreed to stick DiFrancesco at the bottom of the batting order.
Poor George Pataki: Never the brightest bulb in the chandelier, he once had hoped that the rebuilding might lead him to the White House. So it was understandable that he might be feeling proud — maybe even a little wistful — at last year’s ceremony. The dignitaries are assembled by the stage, waiting for Obama and Bush, when one of them overhears Pataki say to Cuomo, “Isn’t this a great day? Just beautiful — and look how this has all turned out.”
And Andrew Cuomo says to Pataki, “This is the biggest waste of money anybody’s ever seen. Who would have ever spent this money? If we’d known what this was going to be like, nobody would have ever done this.”
Read it all HERE.
Fifteen-year-old high school student Jack Andraka likes to kayak and watch the US television show Glee.
And when time permits, he also likes to do advanced research in one of the most respected cancer laboratories in the world.
Jack Andraka has created a pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster and more than 1,000 times less expensive than the gold standard in the field. He has applied for a patent for his test and is now carrying out further research at Johns Hopkins University in the US city of Baltimore.
And he did it by using Google.
The Maryland native, who won $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May for his creation, cites search engines and free online science papers as the tools that allowed him to create the test.
The BBC’s Matt Danzico sat down with the teenager, who said the idea came to him when he was “chilling out in biology class”.
This is sharia folks. via Blazing Cat Fur: Arrested for walking my dog….
“I was arrested at the rally for, “offending Islam” by walking in a PUBLIC park with my dog. Apparently, Muslims do not like dogs. I was warned by a few demonstrators not to go near them. Of course I ignored them and reminded them this is Canada, not Pakistan. Well I was assaulted and returned the favor in kind.
At that point I was jumped by four COPS, dragged off and hand cuffed. Oh my the police were so angry! They said I was, “insensitive” and “inciting a riot”. 30 minutes later they cut me a big deal. No charges if I left. So I left. Imagine this happening in Canada? Walking a licensed dog on a leash at the park in front of our Provincial Legislature and being arrested for that simple act!”
Mr Gauthier was treated for shortness of breath following the public investigation of his interactions with a 17-year-old teen he met on Craigslist.
Partial Schedule — Charlotte, N.C.2012 Democratic National Convention
Prime Time Saturday
4:00 PM – Opening Flag Burning Ceremony – sponsored by CNN
4:05 PM – Singing of “God Damn America ” led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright
4:10 PM – Pledge of Allegiance to Obama
4:15 PM – Ceremonial ‘I hate America’ led by Michelle Obama
4:30 PM – Tips on “How to keep your man trustworthy & true to you while you travel the world” – Hillary Clinton
4:45 PM –Al Sharpton / Jesse Jackson; seminar “How to have a successful career without having a job.”
Hey, I am better than Paul Ryan, says the big assed woman married to the president! Find out under the picture why.
She says she works out every day! HERE.
Hmmm…something to think about. Oil Prices dropping down to 2008 levels in time for the election?
An 80-year-old man went to the doctor for a checkup and the doctor was amazed at what good shape the guy was in. The doctor asked, “To what do you attribute your good health”?
The old timer said, “I’m a golfer and that’s why I’m in such good shape. I’m up well before daylight and out golfing up and down the fairways.”
The doctor said, “Well, I’m sure that helps, but there’s got to be more to it. How old was your father when he died”?
The old timer said, “Who said my father’s dead”?
The doctor said, “You mean you’re 80 years old and your father is still alive? How old is he”?
The old timer said, “He’s 100 years old and, in fact, he golfed with me this morning. That’s why he’s still alive, he’s a golfer.”
The doctor said, “Well, that’s great, but I’m sure there’s more to it. How about your grandfather? How old was he when he died”?
The old timer said, “Who said my grandpa’s dead”?
The doctor said, “You mean you’re 80 years old and your grandfather’s still living! How old is he”?
The old timer said, “He’s 118 years old.”
The doctor was getting frustrated at this point and said, “I guess he went golfing with you this morning too”?
The old timer said, “No, grandpa couldn’t go this morning, because he got married.”
The doctor said in amazement, “Got married! Why would a 118-year-old guy want to get married”?
The old timer shot back, “Who said he wanted to”?
By Thomas Sowell at JewishWorldReview
There are some very serious issues at stake in this year’s election — so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees. Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.
The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.
For example, the merits or demerits of President Obama’s recent executive order, suspending legal liability for young people who are here illegally, presumably as a result of being brought here as children by their parents, can be debated pro and con. But such a debate overlooks the much more fundamental undermining of the whole American system of Constitutional government.
The separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches of government is at the heart of the Constitution of the United States — and the Constitution is at the heart of freedom for Americans.
No President of the United States is authorized to repeal parts of legislation passed by Congress. He may veto the whole legislation, but then Congress can override his veto if they have enough votes. Nevertheless, every President takes an oath to faithfully execute the laws that have been passed and sustained — not just the ones he happens to agree with.
If laws passed by the elected representatives of the people can be simply over-ruled unilaterally by whoever is in the White House, then we are no longer a free people, choosing what laws we want to live under.
When a President can ignore the plain language of duly passed laws, and substitute his own executive orders, then we no longer have “a government of laws, and not of men” but a President ruling by decree, like the dictator in some banana republic.
There have been many wise warnings that freedom is seldom lost all at once. It is usually eroded away, bit by bit, until it is all gone. You may not notice a gradual erosion while it is going on, but you may eventually be shocked to discover one day that it is all gone, that we have been reduced from citizens to subjects, and the Constitution has become just a meaningless bunch of paper.
Afghans fired rockets into an American base damaging parked plane of chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff We need a president with the BALLS to IMMEDIATELY pull ALL our forces out of that shithole country!
Whoa…obama’s money man is pissed at him?
[A]s Sheldon Adelson has shown, a single billionaire donor has the potential to make a critical difference in an American Presidential race. For this reason, there has been intense interest, on the Democratic side, in gauging the intentions of George Soros, who is ranked seventh on Forbes’s list of the wealthiest Americans. Over the past thirty years, no benefactor has contributed more to liberal causes. Campaign donations have been a small part of his philanthropy, but in 2008, four years after he made his record campaign donations, he gave five million dollars to help elect Barack Obama. This kept expectations high for 2012.
Soros declined to comment for this article. But several people familiar with his thinking suggest that Soros—who was born in Hungary, and who has made his fortune in global investments—is currently preoccupied with other issues, such as the fate of the European Union, and is not inclined to take an outsized role in the 2012 Presidential campaign. As an advocate for greater government transparency, he is reportedly uncomfortable with the burgeoning role that secret donations now play in U.S. elections. In addition, confidants say that, although he still supports Obama, Soros has been disappointed by him, both politically and personally. Small slights can loom large with wealthy donors. When Soros wanted to meet with Obama in Washington to discuss global economic problems, Obama’s staff failed to respond. Eventually, they arranged not a White House interview but, rather, a low-profile, private meeting in New York, when the President was in town for other business. Soros found this back-door treatment confounding. “He feels hurt,” a Democratic donor says.
“They pissed on him,” a confidant says. “He didn’t want a fucking thing! He didn’t want a state dinner, or a White House party—he just wanted to be taken seriously.”
Things You’ll Never Hear a Mother Say
- “How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back”?
- “Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too.”
- “Just leave all the lights on. It makes the house look more cheery.”
- “Let me smell that shirt. Yeah, it’s good for another week.”
- “Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to feed and walk him everyday.”
- “Well, if Timmy’s mom says it’s okay, that’s good enough for me.”
- “The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m running a prison around here.”
- “I don’t have a tissue with me, just use your sleeve.”
- “Don’t bother wearing a jacket. The wind chill is bound to improve.”
I say, continue calling them illegals! They are breaking our laws by illegally entering our country! I say, deport every damn one of them, at once (yes, it can be done@) and then shut off the border completely with mexico.
A small group of immigrants gathered in Woodbury Monday to protest the use of the word “illegal” to describe those who have entered the United States without documentation.
“By saying illegal, they’re assuming that we broke a criminal law,” said Jackeline Saavedra, 27, of Bay Shore, a Touro Law Center student who identified herself as undocumented. “Not everybody enters illegally.”
Coordinators said they prefer the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”
Osman Canales, 23, an immigrant rights advocate in Huntington who organized the protest, said using the word “illegal” criminalizes a whole community. “It’s a racist word against our community, so we’re just here to raise awareness,” he said.
The protest mirrored a larger effort nationwide to push media outlets and people in general to stop using the word “illegal” when referring to immigrants.
The “Drop The I-Word” campaign was organized by The Applied Research Center, a New York City-based racial justice think tank. Its goal, according to its news website, Colorlines.com, is to “eradicate the slur ‘illegals’ from everyday use and public discourse.”
Campaign coordinator Monica Novoa said that in two years, 14,000 people have signed the group’s pledge.
“Using a phrase like ‘illegal aliens’ or ‘illegals’ . . . reinforces the notion that you could treat another individual as less than a human being,” said Alina Das, assistant professor of clinical law at New York University. “One action — whether it’s a crime — shouldn’t be used to define a whole group of people or one individual.”
Don’t want the dog too get too fat, or obama may want him for dinner!
In a surprise appearance at the first ever “kids state dinner” Monday, President Obama told the young winners of the first lady’s healthy recipe competition that the family dog was on a diet.
“I only have one request for you, and that is try not to drop any scraps on the floor,” Obama told the group of assembled junior chefs in the East Room. “Because Bo… Bo is on a diet right now and he will eat anything that he sees, especially some of the tasty meals that you guys have prepared.”
Wait, rewind. Bo is on a diet?
Whispers can only guess that FLOTUS is behind this. Over the past three years, Michelle Obama has made solving childhood obesity her goal as first lady, including launching a national exercise campaign called Let’s Move! and planting a White House organic garden. Last week, she jokingly told Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas not to eat an Egg McMuffin.