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Today in History: Robert Moses

Friday, March 20, 2009

Robert Moses

On March 20, 1955, Robert Moses, master builder and commissioner, joins in a dedication of the Brownsville Boys Club, offering his views on juvenile delinquency and the need for cooperations among city agencies.

'This is a significant occasion, it ...

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Natasha Richardson Dies at 45

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson

The actress Natasha Richardson, whose career highlights included the film 'Patty Hearst' and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of 'Cabaret,' has died.

A statement issued Wednesday evening by a publicist for Richardson's husband, the actor Liam Neeson, described Neeson ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show: The Other Side of Desire

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In his book, The Other Side of Desire, New York Times Magazine staff writer Daniel Bergner investigates different kinds of sexual desire through four case studies.

Listen to an entire interview here.

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SEC: Madoff Accountant "Pretended" To Audit Him

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The fallout from Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme widened today, with the arrest of his longtime accountant on fraud charges. David Friehling is accused of helping the disgraced money manager ...

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Eliot Spitzer on AIG

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Former AIG insurance giant chief Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg was sued by then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who accused AIG and Greenberg of cooking the firm's books to deceive regulators and investors. (AFP/Getty Images)

Former AIG insurance giant chief Maurice \'Hank\' Greenberg and then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. (AFP/Getty Images)


Eliot Spitzer, columnist for Slate and former governor of New York, talks to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about AIG bonuses, CEO compensation, the NYS budget, and other matters of the day.

Brian Lehrer: What put AIG in your sights as New York attorney general?

Eliot Spitzer: We were approached by some sources who said that AIG, which was at the time guided by Hank Greenberg as CEO, was, to speak in street vernacular, juicing its books by creating false reinsurance contracts that would appear to add capital to its balance sheet. Now that sounds all very complicated but, what it really means is they were playing games with their accounting in order to look stronger than they were. Hank Greenberg, there are tapes that prove this, was very, very concerned with any, even minor, fluctuation in their stock evaluation.

These contracts, it was alleged, were designed to make them look better in the eyes of Wall Street. We investigated, brought a civil case to settlement of $1.4 billion. At the time, $1.4 billion seemed like a lot of money. It was the biggest financial settlement ever. The board removed Hank Greenberg because he invoked the Fifth Amendment, when he was asked about this. Four people were charged criminally and convicted for basically playing games. But it lead us to inquire and to probe into the inner workings of the company and what we saw was a mess.

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St. Patrick's Pick-me-up

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

(Kathleen Horan)

(Kathleen Horan)


Everyone may be Irish today, but given the tough economic times some are wondering if its really a good time to be celebrating. Before setting out on the St. Patrick's Day parade route, Mayor Bloomberg said the answer was simple: yes, more than ever.
'People need a pick-me-up,' says Bloomberg. 'People need to know that we can get through this together. All we need to do is treat everybody today like their Irish, next time like their Italian, the other like they're Hindus.'

(Kathleen Horan)

(Kathleen Horan)


It's a parade of firsts and lasts for St. Patrick's Day in New York. Warren Levinson reports.

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Cuomo Holds AIG's Feet to the Fire

Monday, March 16, 2009

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been taking AIG to task since October 2008 when he demanded it explain many payments and expenses including bonuses, stock options and junkets. (Getty)

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has ...

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Senator Gillibrand Meets with Lobbyists -- and Tells Us!

Monday, March 16, 2009

(Getty)

(Getty)

In an early meeting with journalists after her appointment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand noted she was among the first members of Congress to post her schedule -- including meetings with lobbyists and so-called 'private meetings' -- on the internet. She's barely got a website up and running (spokesman Matt Canter says a more complete one is coming within the week). But we asked anyway, who has she met with? (We were curious if anyone was lobbying her on the stimulus funding, and our interest was piqued by the conspicuous presence of former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, who IS lobbying on stimulus funding, , at the press conference announcing Gillibrand's appointment.) Canter sent us over this list -- anything on it look interesting to you?

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Today in History: Terry Anderson

Monday, March 16, 2009

Terry Anderson

On March 16, 1985, Terry Anderson, an Associated Press bureau chief, was taken hostage in Beirut, Lebanon. He was held captive for over six years by Hezbollah. Of all the hostages, Anderson was held the longest. Here he is ...

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MTA Alert: Delays in 1,2,3,4 and 5 Trains

Monday, March 16, 2009

A water main break in lower Manhattan is causing subway and traffic disruptions. The break occurred on Varick Street about 12:20 p.m. and is causing delays on the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 subway lines. The Department of Environmental Protection says it has shut off water in the area. Two lanes have been closed to traffic while crews work on the problem.

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Today in History: Tammany Tiger

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast's Tammany Tiger from Harper's Weekly, Nov. 11, 1871

On March 13, 1955, Tammany leader Carmine De Sapio spars with New York State Attorney General Jacob Javits on ethics in ...

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What 'Shovel Ready' Really Means

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Despite the hype over shovel-ready projects, and a list 787 transit projects that are "ready-to-go within 90 days", it's going to take well over a year before the $8.4 billion that the federal stimulus bill allocates for mass transit is actually spent.

Last week, the Federal Transit Administration put out its regulations on spending that money (PDF). They stipulate that half of the money allocated to a particular state or transit agency must be "obligated" within the next six months, and the rest of it in the following six months.

But "obligate" means simply this: that the FTA agrees that the local transit agency is planning to spend the money in an appropriate way. It does not mean that the agency has to have put the project out to bid by that point, much less that it be put under contract.

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Madoff Victims: A Bittersweet Day

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Investors Dewitt Baker (R) and Judith Welling, who had invested with financier Bernard Madoff, outside Manahttan federal courthouse. (Getty)

Investors Dewitt Baker (R) and Judith Welling, who had invested with financier Bernard Madoff, outside Manahttan federal courthouse. (Getty)

Bernard Madoff was led ...

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Nuisance Taxes Begone

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No tax on gym memberships either.

No tax on gym memberships either.


Governor Paterson says he’s rescinding 137 so-called 'nuisance taxes' in the state budget. They ranged from taxes on haircuts to iPods. Karen DeWitt has more from ...

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Rep. Weiner: Decide on Mayoral Race in June

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

weiner
Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner says he'll decide in June whether he will run for mayor. Weiner, who represents parts of Queens an
Brooklyn, said in a letter to supporters that the nation's economic crisis 'is a time for problem solving' in Washington. He said he'll decide during the Congressional summer break, quote, 'the best political course.' A potential Democratic rival -- City Comptroller Bill Thompson -- already has hired a campaign manager. Mayor Bloomberg also has hired staff for his re-election bid.

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Today in History: A Raisin in the Sun

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Margo Alexander

March 11, 1959 - The drama “A Raisin in the Sun” opens at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater. In this audio clip, Patricia Marx interviews playwright Lorraine Hansberry on the semi-autobiographical tale.

Excerpt:

'What it involves is an examination of ...

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Rooting for Bank Robbers

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

bankrobber

From heist movies in the Great Depression to 1967's 'Bonnie and Clyde' to a new film about John Dillinger, Hollywood has had a longstanding love affair with bank robbers. Leonard Lopate looks at populist ideas in a few of these movies and why, even though they're criminals, many of us end up rooting for the robbers. Film critics David Thomson and Mark Harris join Leonard to talk about 'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975), 'Bonnie and Clyde' (1967) and “The Bank Dick” (1940).

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Harlem, Boroughs Win

Monday, March 09, 2009

Anyone who has been commuting from the Bedford Avenue L stop for the past 10 years must have noticed something funny happening. Not only has the platform, once pretty civilized, has become become painfully crowded, but when the train comes, there's no room to squeeze on. The nonpartisan think tank ...

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Republicans Release Alternative Budget Plans

Thursday, March 05, 2009

capitol
Senate Republicans were the first at the state capitol to release their alternative to Governor Paterson’s state budget, WNYC's Karen Dewitt reports from Albany.

The Senate Republicans, who are in the minority in that house by just one seat, rejected both Governor Paterson's dozens of new taxes and fees to raise revenues and a plan circulating in the legislature to raise taxes on wealthy. 'You can't tax your way out of this situation,' says Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos.

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Today in History: Winston Churchill

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Churchill on the campus grounds of Westminster College with President Harry Truman March 5, 1946.

Churchill on the campus grounds of Westminster College with President Harry Truman March 5, 1946.

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech, 'Sinews of Peace', at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. In it, he uttered the famous metaphor, 'the iron curtain', that resonated for decades and has recently been resurrected to discuss the current economic crisis in Europe.

'From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

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