Bill de Blasio urges teachers union to divest $13 million in gun firms from pension funds

Link: https://nypost.com/2022/05/31/bill-de-blasio-tells-teachers-union-to-divest-in-gun-firms-from-pension-fund/

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Former mayor — and congressional hopeful — Bill de Blasio is calling out the state teachers union for investing $13 million of its pension funds with firms that manufacture guns and ammo following the shooting massacre of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.

De Blasio is urging both the New York State Teachers Retirement Fund and the NYS Common Retirement Fund representing state and local government workers and retirees — separately overseen by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — to divest their holdings in the weapons industry.

The holdings of the two pension funds combined in gun and manufacturing firms add up to $26 million.

The NYS Teachers Retirement Fund has assets in Sturm Ruger, Vista Outdoor Inc. Olin Corp. (Winchester Ammo) and National Presto Industries, records show.

….

The state comptroller’s office said in a statement that already divested gun companies after Sandy Hook.

Author(s): Carl Campanile

Publication Date: 31 May 2022

Publication Site: NY Post

New York pension money ‘held hostage’ by Vladimir Putin, Russia

Link: https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/ny-pension-money-held-hostage-by-vladimir-putin-russia/

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New York employees and taxpayers are unwittingly financing Russian companies and the oligarch pals of Vladimir Putin with at least $519 million invested in assets now frozen by the war-mongering dictator, The Post has learned.

City and state pension systems have pledged to sell off the holdings in protest of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, but Moscow has prohibited foreign investors from dumping the stocks.

“Putin is a thug and he’s holding our money hostage,” said Gregory Floyd, a Teamsters union leader and trustee of the New York City Employee Retirement System, NYCERS.

New York City’s five pension systems – covering teachers, cops, firefighters and other city employees – have invested a total $284.5 million in 33 publicly traded Russian stocks, according to records released to The Post by city Comptroller Brad Lander’s office. 

On Feb. 25, the market value of the Russian assets was $185.9 million, nearly $100 million less than the purchase price, the latest available records show.

Author(s): Susan Edelman, Thomas Barrabi

Publication Date: 14 May 2022

Publication Site: NY Post

If you’re vaxxed, you’re more likely to be killed by lightning than die of COVID: study

Link:https://nypost.com/2022/02/08/lightnings-more-likely-good-odds-for-vaxxed/

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Those odds can be gauged from a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They tracked more than 1 million vaccinated adults in America over most of last year, including the period when the Delta variant was surging, and classified victims of COVID according to risk factors such as being over 65, being immunosuppressed or suffering from diabetes or chronic diseases of the heart, kidney, lungs, liver or brain.

The researchers report that none of the healthy people under 65 had a severe case of COVID that required treatment in an intensive-care unit.

 Not a single one of these nearly 700,000 people died, and the risk was minuscule for most older people, too. Among vaccinated people over 65 without an underlying medical condition, only one person died.

In all, there were 36 deaths, mostly among a small minority of older people with a multitude of comorbidities: the 3% of the sample that had at least four risk factors.

Author(s): John Tierney

Publication Date: 8 Feb 2022

Publication Site: NY Post

Soaring US road deaths reflect the same lawlessness as murder surge does

Link:https://nypost.com/2022/02/06/soaring-road-deaths-reflect-lawlessness-in-the-us/

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Yet even as roads have grown more crowded, this trend has continued: 2020’s total 38,680 traffic deaths were 7.2% above 2019’s.

For the first nine months of 2021, road mileage driven wasn’t even 2% below 2019 levels. The 2020 reason for higher traffic deaths disappeared. People could no longer drive at 100 miles per hour because there was no one else around.

Yet traffic deaths were nearly 18% higher than two years before. The 12% increase between the first nine months of 2020 and 2021 was the highest hike in that period in recorded history, say federal regulators

When 2021’s full numbers are in, they’ll likely exceed 42,400 traffic deaths — the worst total in 16 years. Traffic deaths are supposed to fall every year, as road design and cars grow safer (although bigger cars are bad for pedestrians).

…..

This isn’t a universal phenomenon: Road deaths are down in France and Britain from 2019.

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: 6 Feb 2022

Publication Site: NY Post

Dem tax rift: Sanders rips Pelosi, Schumer for backing repeal of SALT cap

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/05/10/sanders-rips-pelosi-schumer-for-backing-repeal-of-salt-cap/

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​Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking on the leaders of his own Democratic Party — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — for supporting a repeal of the cap on deductions for state and local tax on federal income taxes.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer (D-NY) — who represent two of the highest tax states — back repealing the $10,000 cap instituted by former President Donald Trump on SALT deductions, which Sanders said “sends a terrible, terrible message” to working-class people.

…..

“We could reverse that for 2018 and 2019 so that people could refile their taxes” and get a refund, Pelosi told The Times in March. “They’d have more disposable income, which is the lifeblood of our economy, a consumer economy that we are.”

Author(s): Mark Moore

Publication Date: 10 May 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Data proves it: Pandemic is no excuse for NYC’s rising tide of violent crime

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/05/09/pandemic-is-no-excuse-for-nycs-rising-tide-of-violent-crime/

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So he [NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio] hasn’t acted with much urgency as the murder rate rose 47 percent last year, to a total of 468 people killed, and has risen this year, so far, by 17 percent. 

…..

In London, the global city that most closely resembles Gotham, the murder rate plummeted last year. It fell to 126 from 150, down 16 percent. 

Why? Well, that’s obvious: It was the global pandemic. “Many, many crime types have reduced as you would expect,” said Met Police chief Cressida Dick, noting that fewer people were outside to fight with each other. 

How about Italy, hit hard and early by the pandemic? There, murders fell by 14 percent, to 271 from 315. 

France with its troubled banlieues? The country’s murders were down 2 percent in 2020, to 863. 

….

But these are all safe countries anyway. So what about cartel-ridden Mexico? There, murders fell by slightly less than half a percent last year, to 34,523 — the first decline in six years. 

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: 9 May 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

How taxes turned margarine pink, made ships sink, and more strange results

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/04/03/how-taxes-made-margarine-pink-ships-sink-and-more-odd-results/

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Book listing: https://amzn.to/2PxVkFz

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Unmarried men in ancient Greece and Rome were taxed, as were British bachelors from 1695 to 1706. Some states in the US even had a similar policy into the 20th century. 

But what about those men who were unlucky in love? Were they to be “doubly cursed, embraced by the taxman but spurned by womankind?” the authors write. 

In some places, bachelors were made exempt from the tax if they could prove they had asked a woman to marry but were rejected. 

In Argentina around 1900, the tax gave rise to “professional lady rejectors” — women who, for a fee, would swear to authorities that a man had asked for their hand and that they had refused. 

Author(s): Reed Tucker

Publication Date: 3 April 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Cuomo admin. kept COVID tests from nursing homes as gov’s kin got them

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/28/cuomo-admin-kept-covid-tests-from-nursing-homes-as-govs-kin-got-them/

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Troubled by reports of COVID-19 running roughshod through nursing homes early in the pandemic, Jack Wheeler, the manager of upstate Steuben County, requested in April 2020 that the state Department of Health provide enough tests for every resident and staff member of three facilities in his jurisdiction.

The DOH, however, only came through with enough supplies for one of the three facilities, Hornell Gardens, with the precious diagnostic tests then hard to find, Wheeler told The Post.

That lackluster response came, as The Albany Times-Union reported last week, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly pulled strings to secure tests for bigwigs connected to his administration, as well as relatives including his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, and their elderly mother, Matilda.

Author(s): Bernadette Hogan, Aaron Feis

Publication Date: 28 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Federal probe into nursing home COVID-19 death coverup circles closer to Cuomo

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/19/federal-probe-into-nursing-home-covid-death-coverup-gets-closer-to-cuomo/

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Investigators have contacted lawyers for Cuomo’s aides, interviewed senior state Health Department officials and subpoenaed the governor’s office for documents relating to the alleged data coverup, the sources said.

The New York Times first reported the probe earlier Friday, citing four unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Health officials are being grilled about nursing home-related COVID-19 case and death data the state submitted last year to the Justice Department, sources told The Post.

Author(s): Larry Celona

Publication Date: 19 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Schumer spokesman: Federal pandemic relief eliminates NYS deficit

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/08/schumer-federal-pandemic-relief-eliminates-nys-deficit/

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The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by the US Senate wipes out New York State’s projected budget deficit — possibly negating the need for hefty tax hikes or spending cuts, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office said Monday.

“Ok. Thanks to @SenSchumer NYS budget deficit for this year is…..Zero, nada, niete, zilch (NY terms),” Schumer spokesman Angelo Roefaro tweeted.

The American Rescue Plan provides state government coffers with $12.6 billion in unrestricted aid, a measure championed by Schumer, the New York senior senator. The measure passed the Senate in a 50-49 vote and is expected to clear the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Tuesday and delivered to President Biden for approval.

Author(s): Carl Campanile, Bernadette Hogan

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

COVID vaccine czar to face complaint after ‘inappropriate’ calls about Cuomo

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/14/covid-19-vaccine-czar-to-be-subject-of-complaint-calling-about-cuomo/

Excerpt:

A longtime lieutenant to Gov. Cuomo — who is now overseeing New York’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout — called around county officials to gauge their loyalty to the governor amid sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it emerged Sunday.

Larry Schwartz, who formerly held the highly influential position of secretary to the governor, undertook the phone campaign in the past two weeks as more than a half-dozen women have come forward to accuse Cuomo of inappropriate remarks or behavior.

“Last Friday, I had a conversation with Larry Schwartz who reached out to discuss whether I was supportive of the governor,” Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told The Post.

Author(s): Carl Campanile, Aaron Feis

Publication Date: 14 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Schumer spokesman: Federal pandemic relief eliminates NYS deficit

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/08/schumer-federal-pandemic-relief-eliminates-nys-deficit/

Excerpt:

The American Rescue Plan provides state government coffers with $12.6 billion in unrestricted aid, a measure championed by Schumer, the New York senior senator. The measure passed the Senate in a 50-49 vote and is expected to clear the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Tuesday and delivered to President Biden for approval.

Asked if the geyser of pandemic relief eliminates the needs for tax hikes or spending cuts, Roefaro told The Post, “the statement speaks for itself.”

Roefaro continued, “How NY decides its budgetary policy is a matter for the state legislature and the administration. Our job was to deliver resources to help NY confront and overcome Covid and it’s impacts, including the fiscal impact. And we did that fully and completely.”

Author(s): Carl Campanile, Bernadette Hogan

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post