Mike Bloomberg launches preemptive trip to Israel; invasion of NYC unlikely


Waltz With Bashir, a movie that sprang from a previous Israeli invasion of Lebanon, won Best Picture from the National Society of Film Critics.
A free Madoff Watch T-shirt to the reader who suggests the best title for the first movie spurred by Israel's current invasion of Gaza.


On an overseas trip while Rome burns, Mike Bloomberg is acting as if term limits remained intact and he couldn't run for another term.

The mayor's in Israel, having a "blast," as the Post puts it, during the invasion of Gaza.

While the rest of the city's inhabitants are facing an onrushing New Depression, Bloomberg is occupied with the occupiers. Focusing primarily on getting his aides to make sure he stays alive, the mayor's not exactly concentrating on the crisis back home. How does a New York City mayor keep schools, health clinics, transit service, and libraries from being slashed? He dunno.

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Meanwhile, a woman was slashed while jogging behind Gracie Mansion. If Bloomberg had been at home, he (or his valet) might have peeked out the window and shooed away her attacker.

Lots of other news follows, for the all the good it will do you. Plus, at the end of this aggregation, see a cluster of Madoff Watch items...

NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Editor & Publisher: 'Media Commentary Muted as Israel Invades'

N.Y. Post: 'BLOOMBERG HAS 'BLAST' IN ISRAEL: TAKES SHELTER AFTER ROCKET ROCKS HIS "BOOM!" TOWN VISIT'

Wall Street Journal: 'U.S. Transition Slows Negotiations Over Gaza'

N.Y. Times: 'Gaza Hospital Fills Up, Mainly With Civilians'

Bloomberg: 'Israel Troops Drive Deep Into Gaza; Sarkozy Leads Truce Effort'

N.Y. Times: 'Activist Unmasks Himself as Federal Informant in G.O.P. Convention Case'

Vanity Fair: 'The Good, the Bad, and Joe Lieberman' (James Wolcott)

Bloomberg: 'Journal of a Plague Year: Faith in Markets Cracks Under Losses'

N.Y. Times: 'The End of the Financial World as We Know It' (Michael Lewis)

N.Y. Post: 'SLAY RAPS IN CRANE TRAGEDY'

It has been a year of record misery: the largest bankruptcy, bank failure and Ponzi scheme in U.S. history; $720 billion in writedowns and losses by financial institutions; $30.1 trillion in market valuation wiped out.

Bloomberg: 'Buffett Has "Nowhere to Hide" Amid Berkshire's Plunge'

N.Y. Times: 'For Israel, Chance to Strike Before an Ally Departs'

N.Y. Post: 'QNS. SLASHER HUNT: WOMAN, 86, BRUTALIZED IN HER BED'

N.Y. Times: 'Woman Slashed While Jogging in Park Behind Gracie Mansion'

Vanity Fair: 'The Ultimate Bubble?'

Media Week: 'Kathy Griffin In Hot Water Over Comments on CNN'

Gawker: 'Kathy Griffin's "Dicks" Banned From Times, "Magic Negro" OK'

Bloomberg: 'Engines of Recovery Flame Out as Economy Seeks Obama-Fed Rescue'

N.Y. Times: 'Blood Sugar Control Linked to Memory Decline, Study Says'

Wall Street Journal: 'Israel's Ground Assault Marks Strategy Shift'

N.Y. Post: 'GRAN GETS BOOT FOR CHRISTMAS'

Gawker: 'Scientology Founder Slams Drugs That Might Have Saved Travolta's Son'

Bloomberg: 'Obama Moves to Counter China With Pentagon-NASA Link'

Crain's New York Business: 'Stress and the city: New York is gripped by fear. Are we headed back to the bad old days of the 1970s?'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Mayor Bloomberg whisked into bomb shelter in Israel as rocket fire erupts during solidarity trip'

N.Y. Post: 'FISHY NUPTIALS FIASCO'

A proud father wanted the best for his daughter on her wedding day, but the fairy-tale event turned into a $100,000 fiasco that ended with the blushing bride kneeling over the toilet vomiting...

N.Y. Post: 'FUMING MAD: SUIT OVER WEDDING MONOXIDE'

A Long Island couple whose wedding celebration evaporated in a cloud of carbon monoxide is still furious over unpaid expenses for the ruined reception...

Daily Beast: 'Carnival of the Shameless: What do Dubya, Blago, Bernie Madoff, and Roland Burris have in common? No regrets!' (Christopher Buckley)

N.Y. Post: 'NARCO COP 'ROID SLAP'

New York: 'Stephon Marbury May Soon Destroy Celtics'

N.Y. Daily News: '"I'm not guilty," yells bus driver'

New York: 'The Catastrophe Capitalist: Short-seller Jim Chanos is having the time of his life through this crisis'

Muckety: 'Ties to former Paterson aide may help Caroline Kennedy'

Crain's New York Business: 'Thacher Proffitt: case closed: Downward spiral touched off by mortgage crisis claims its most prominent legal victim'

Crain's New York Business: 'Residential permits down 74% in November'

Crain's New York Business: 'Majority of arts groups cutting back'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Analysis: Gov. leaving Kennedy in limbo'

N.Y. Post: 'SUPPORT FOR BUS MATRON: DISPATCHER FINGERED'

Crain's New York Business: 'Hard Times: News brand shops assets to cut debt'

In the past year, The New York Times Co. has slashed the dividend it pays investors by 75%, cut the companywide head count by 8%, raised the newsstand price of the flagship paper while merging its sections, and consolidated two New York area printing plants into one.

Big steps, but apparently not big enough. The world's foremost newspaper brand ended 2008 with its stock price down more than 60%. To raise $225 million to pay down long-term debt, the company is planning a sale-leaseback of part of its Renzo Piano-designed headquarters. It is also actively shopping its minority stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Like every other newspaper publisher, the Times Co. is grappling with an unprecedented collapse in print advertising and a dramatic slowdown in online ad growth. In the first nine months of 2008, revenues fell 7%, to $2.2 billion. Meanwhile, net income--which was boosted in the year-earlier period by the sale of the company's broadcast unit--plunged 92%, to $27.3 million. The company, which has roughly $1 billion in debt, is negotiating with lenders over the more than $600 million in loans that are coming due this year and next.


Bloomberg: 'SEC Said to Examine More Ponzi Schemes After Madoff'

FOX News: 'Report: Former Madoff Employees Selling Memorabilia on eBay'

New Yorker: 'Cheat, Pray, Love'

Crain's New York: 'Milberg rides Madoff: Scandal-plagued law firm rebuilds image, representing Ponzi scheme victims'

Huffington Post: 'Madoff Employees Still Being Paid Despite Nothing To Do'

Wall Street Journal: 'Why the Bernie Madoff Scandal Is a Good Thing'

Wall Street Journal: 'Madoff Gives Prosecutors Details of His, Firm's Assets'

Muckety: 'Even Dr. Doom invested with Madoff'

Wall Street Journal: 'How the SEC Can Prevent More Madoffs: Bolster its risk-assessment and enforcement staff'

Wall Street Journal: 'Madoff Chasers Dug for Years, to No Avail'

Wall Street Journal: 'Madoff Took Funds Near Arrest'

ABC: 'The Safeguard Madoff Victims Missed: How Custodial Accounts at Banks Can Help Avoid Madoff-Type Schemes'

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