When Passengers Spit, Bus Drivers Take Months Off

They do it because they can.

From The New York Times:

It could be the cutbacks to the city’s transportation system, or a general decline in urban civility. Perhaps people are just in a collective bad mood.

What else could explain why New Yorkers — notoriously hardened to the slings and arrows of everyday life here — are spitting on bus drivers?

Of all the assaults that prompted a bus operator to take paid leave in 2009, a third of them, 51 in total, “involved a spat upon,” according to statistics the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released on Monday.

No weapon was involved in these episodes. “Strictly spitting,” said Charles Seaton, a New York City Transit spokesman.

And the encounters, while distressing, appeared to take a surprisingly severe toll: the 51 drivers who went on paid leave after a spitting incident took, on average, 64 days off work — the equivalent of three months with pay. One driver, who was not identified by the authority, spent 191 days on paid leave.

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After beating up Wall Street ‘fat cats,’ President Obama ready to take their money in NY fund-raiser

This is so typical of a politician; talk trash about someone in order to get votes and political support, then suck up to the people you talked trash about, because they are the real ones who put the politicians  in power.

From NYDailyNews.com:

President Obama has been happy to beat up on Wall Street “fat cats,” but tonight he’ll be even happier to take their money.

The President is slated to headline a superswank, $50,000-per-couple fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan‘s gilded St. Regis hotel on Fifth Ave.

The high-dollar affair will feature fine French food, a bevy of Wall Street titans and 23 Congress members – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Not everyone is thrilled that Obama and Pelosi are looking to use New York as a campaign ATM at the same time that they are trying to rein in Wall Street, the city’s biggest job and tax generator by far.

At least one ex-congressional campaign committee giver said he’s decided to boycott the event and will send his money to the GOP instead.

“I’m a New Yorker first,” said the once loyal Dem, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of inciting the White House. “We are depending on our congresspeople to defend New York, not to just go along with Nancy Pelosi for the ride.”

Kathryn Wylde, president of the business-backed Partnership for New York City, was considerably more welcoming – but still drew a link between Wall Street’s health and its ability to bankroll political campaigns.

“We are really happy he’s coming and hope he brings good news,” said Wylde, adding pointedly, “New York’s future as a place to raise money hangs in the balance!”

Organizers said they expected 185 guests to fill out St. Regis’ main ballroom, where Obama will hold forth beneath a vaulted, cloud-dappled ceiling and gilded chandeliers.

Ticket prices start at $15,000 a head, or $30,000 a couple, which will get you dinner and a picture with the Prez.

Couples that shell out a full $50,000 also get to attend a VIP reception with Obama, who earlier in the day will be chatting up factory workers in Buffalo.

The food, at least, should be five-star: A topnotch lineup of chefs from the French Culinary Institute in SoHo – including Jacques Pepin, Alain Sailhac, Jacques Torres and Andre Soltner – are prepared to do the honors.

The chairman of the event is Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.), who earlier this year was persuaded by Obama not to run in a primary against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

“It’s always an honor to chair an event with the President of the United States,” Israel said, “and it’s an even bigger honor to host him in New York.”

OOPS! CHARLIE FORGOT THIS $1M HOUSE

From The New York Post:

By CHARLES HURT Bureau Chief

Last updated: 9:29 am
August 28, 2009
Posted: 2:59 am
August 28, 2009

WASHINGTON — Rep. Charles Rangel failed to report as much as $1.3 million in outside income — including up to $1 million for a Harlem building sale — on financial-disclosure forms he filed between 2002 and 2006, according to newly amended records.

The documents also show the embattled chairman of the Ways and Means Committee — who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee — failed to reveal a staggering $3 million in various business transactions over the same period.

This week, Rangel filed drastically revised financial-disclosure forms reflecting new, higher amounts of outside income and numerous additional business deals that had not been reported when the reports were originally filed.

In 2004, for instance, Rangel reported earning between $4,000 and $10,000 in outside earnings on top of his $158,100 congressional salary.

But the amended filings show that after the sale of a property on West 132nd Street, his outside income that year was somewhere between $118,000 and $1.04 million.

The forms filed by House members provide for a range of value on such transactions, so the precise number isn’t publicly known.

Rangel also lowballed his income by as much as $70,000 in 2002, $46,000 in 2003 and $117,000 in 2006, records show.

Only in 2005 did Rangel reveal his total outside income.

Members of Congress are required to disclose all their assets and outside income in an effort to expose possible undue influences.

Rangel’s office insists the Harlem Democrat did not conceal any outside income from the IRS and is paid up on his taxes.

The Post revealed yesterday that Rangel is in arrears on New Jersey property taxes — for property that for more than 15 years he failed to disclose to Congress and the public.

Another area of wide discrepancy in his financial-disclosure forms is where he’s required to list financial transactions.

Every year between 2002 and 2007, Rangel failed to include all his deals for the year, according to records.

On his 2002 and 2003 financial-disclosure statements, Rangel did not include any transactions whatsoever, according to papers on file with the House clerk.

But the amended records filed this month show as much as $310,000 in business deals in 2002 and up to $80,000 in transactions in 2003.

In 2004, Rangel left off his disclosure form as much as $430,000 in stock transactions, amended records show. One of those deals he did include as a transaction on his original disclosure was the sale of the brownstone on West 132nd Street.

But in the same report, Rangel failed to include proceeds from that sale as outside income. That has been revised in the amended report.

Despite the reported sale, city records still show Rangel is the owner of that property.

His nephew, Ralph, who appears to live in the building, wouldn’t answer questions yesterday. Rangel’s office declined numerous requests yesterday for explanation.

The problems with Rangel’s 2004 disclosure report were so glaring that apparently they caught someone’s attention, forcing Rangel to write a letter correcting his failure to fully disclose transactions that year.

“I listed only the real-estate transactions in which we were involved in calendar year 2004 on the transactions schedule because I was not aware of such details as the date and magnitude of the transactions involving our securities holding in the Merrill Lynch account,” he wrote in a May 2006 letter to House Clerk Karen Haas.