Watch out Santa. A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows 47 percent of Americans believe there is a “War on Christmas.” For years conservative pundits, particularly Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, have argued that secularization efforts including encouraging generic “holiday” celebrations rather than Christmas festivities amount to an assault on the Christian holiday.
Harlem restaurateur Sylvia Woods was a legendary chef, but she was also a key figure in the Uptown political scene. At her funeral service at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon today, many of the high-powered regulars from Woods’ eponymous restaurant showed up to share their remembrances and pay tribute to Woods as a pioneering African-American businesswoman, an ally in the civil rights struggle and, of course, a superb chef.
“Every protest, every movement, every plan, every law started with a breakfast, or lunch or a dinner at Sylvia’s,” former Governor David Paterson explained.
GOP Councilman Eric Ulrich announced his candidacy for a State Senate against incumbent Joe Addabbo this morning, putting a new seat in play that previously lacked a strong challenger.
“Today, I am excited to announce that I will be a candidate for State Senate in District 15,” he said in a video posted on YouTube. “This was not an easy decision for me to make and I had every intention of running for reelection next fall. But the stakes are simply too high. While I’ve been able to accomplish many great things at the local level, I believe I can accomplish even more.”
Manhattan Borough President Stringer showed off pictures of his newborn son, Maxwell Eliot Stringer (left).
Congress narrowly avoided another shutdown.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wants Trinity Church to let protesters occupy its vacant lot on Canal Street.
Former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey owns the web site Bloomberg2012.com.
Herman Cain canceled a dinner with influential New Yorkers today as he admitted skeletons in his closet are causing him to reevaluate his White House bid. New York Post columnist Cindy Adams was supposed to host the event at her home Sunday for a select group of politicians and media mavens. She told NY1 about the circumstances behing the snub.
A palpable dread hung over the Democratic Party for the past week. They had lost a Congressional seat that has been in their hands since Warren G. Harding was president. Much of the reason had to do with Bill O’Reilly. Not thatBill O’Reilly, the Fox News guy, but the one that local Republicans refer to as “our Bill O’Reilly,” a genial Silk Stocking scion of conservative royalty. He was the mouthpiece for Bob Turner’s upstart campaign and the strategist who may have given the G.O.P. a template for how to end their electoral drought in New York State—and just maybe re-take the White House in 2012.
Republican Bob Turner’s campaign spokesman, Bill O’Reilly, sent out a statement, asking, “Is it appropriate for a mosque to be built in the shadow of the World Trade Center?”
The question was posed one day after Weprin — who supported the proposal — was endorsed by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman — who opposed it.
Raising this issue is an attempt by Turner to get Weprin to defend an issue that struck a nerve with some socially conservative New Yorkers, and, presumably, to drive a wedge between Weprin and some of the district’s many Jewish voters.
Update: A reader notes Weprin had a more nuanced position than Turner may be suggesting. Weprin supported the developer’s right to build the facility — Park 51 it’s called — at it’s current location. But Weprin actually favored then-Governor Paterson’s idea of working out a compromise to move it further away from Ground Zero.