Drop a ball on Times Square! Drop a bomb on Gaza!

An agitprop video from the Israeli government. See the Forward's "YouTube Yanks Israeli Army Videos."

Who would have guessed that, with the end of the disastrous Bush regime in sight, we would have been so gloomy on New Year's Eve 2008?

You'd think this would be a time of celebration, or at least some happy whistling to ourselves as we sweep out Dick Cheney's accumulated droppings from the past eight years.

But the dropping's not done, and the deepest suffering is yet to come, as the fallout from Wall Street's wreckage turns from flurries tonight on Times Square into a blizzard next year throughout the country.

It figures that Arctic temps are swooping in to make this an especially cold night in the city.

Global warning: It's hot in the Middle East, where bombs are dropping on Gaza (with Mayor Mike Bloomberg's support). And, to put it mildly, it's intemperate elsewhere: Aside from the numerous places like the auto junkyard in Detroit, builders and contractors will soon be dropping even those skilled workers who never drop tools. At this rate, things will be so bad by next Christmas that even Jesus's dad wouldn't be able to get a carpentry gig.

The shakes aren't typically a warning sign of an onrushing depression, but everybody's got them, especially bosses. The city's dropping Snapple from its vending machines, and one of Mike Bloomberg's aides is dropping his feverish P.R. campaign to give Princess Caroline Kennedy the vacant Senate seat. (See the Post's "MIKE'S AIDE COOLING HIS CAROLINE PUSH."

A whole lotta droppin' goin' on. As usual, few of those who are dropping the ball aren't themselves getting dropped.

And then there are those millions of Americans who wish that Bernie Madoff would simply drop dead. If it does happen, I hope it's on my watch.

Now it turns out, as the Madoff yarn keeps unraveling, that his outrageous behavior is dearly costing a slew of organizations like Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First (see this Bloomberg list), in addition to the big and small charities we already knew about.

So, Happy New Year to civil libertarians everywhere!

Madoff's not the only source of grief. Many journalists are being dropped every day — prompting a jeremiad (in both senses of the word) for Nat Hentoff, a modern-day Jeremiah who I'm pretty sure was a contemporary of the prophet himself. (For Hentoff, I'll drop an IBM Selectric typeball tonight in Times Square; it's the most I can do.)

Whatever you drop, hang onto your laptop. You need it to click on these stories ...

NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Bloomberg: 'Americans Under 70 May Find 2008 Was Their Least Favorite Year'

N.Y. Times: 'Glamour Still Rules, but With Fewer Debutantes'

Subtle signs of the recession were on display at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria.

N.Y. Post: 'UNREAL ESTATE PLUNGE: FISCAL CRISIS HITS HOME AS LOCAL PRICES FALL 7.5 PERCENT'

Crain's New York Business: 'Foreclosure suit filed against developers'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Gaza Strip invasion is right thing to do, Mike Bloomberg says'

N.Y. Times: 'No Mug? Drug Makers Cut Out Goodies for Doctors'

Jewish Daily Forward: 'Even With Aid, Groups Scramble To Cope With Post-Madoff Mess'

N.Y. Post: '"SOFT" DRINK SALES: CITY YANKING SNAPPLE'

Crain's New York Business: 'Big projects mask declines in construction spending'

N.Y. Times: 'Village Voice Lays Off Nat Hentoff and 2 Others'

N.Y. Post: 'CONEY GRINCH BOOTS BOUTIQUE'

N.Y. Times: 'After Unofficial Tally, Senator Trails Rival in Minnesota Race'

Crain's New York Business: 'Yeshiva revises Madoff losses to just $14.5M'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Bernie Burns Bacon: Actors Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick among Bernie Madoff victims'

N.Y. Times: 'SAT Changes Policy, Opening Rift With Colleges'

Jewish Daily Forward: 'YouTube Yanks Israeli Army Videos'

YouTube has removed videos that the Israeli army posted as part of a public relations effort to rally world opinion behind its operation in Gaza.

On December 29, the IDF began posting videos of its aerial strikes. The rationale was that it wanted to support the claim that it is not targeting civilians, but rather Hamas targets -- especially rockets destined for Israel.

N.Y. Times: 'Madoff Spotlight Turns to Role of Offshore Funds'

N.Y. Post: 'SPINNING WHEELS OF JUSTICE'

You go, Equinox! A Manhattan judge has let the gym chain off the hook in a lawsuit over an infamous spin class that went bad when one spinner attacked another for grunting and yelling things ...

Bloomberg: 'Macy's, New York Times Haunted by Debt Loads From Ill-Timed Stock Buybacks'

Macy's Inc., Gannett Co. and New York Times Co.'s attempts to prop up their stocks with debt- funded buybacks have left them saddled with higher borrowing costs as they work to pay off loans.

N.Y. Post: 'GET SET FOR A COLD LANG SYNE: ARCTIC TEMPS IN TIMES SQUARE FOR NEW YEAR'S BASH'

Bloomberg: 'Texaco Toxic Past Haunts Chevron as Judgment Looms'

N.Y. Times: 'In 2009, Economy Will Depend on Unlocking Credit'

N.Y. Times: 'Ad Agencies Fashion Their Own Horn, and Toot It'

N.Y. Times: 'Still Paging Mr. Salinger'

N.Y. Times: 'As Another Memoir Is Faked, Trust Suffers'

N.Y. Times: 'Films Reach Theaters a Drib Here, Drab There'

Bloomberg: 'Dollar Heads for Biggest Annual Drop Against Yen in Two Decades'

N.Y. Daily News: 'CHURCH-FLEECE PONZI RAP'

 


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