Sunday, March 25, 2007

xposted from Sisyphus Shrugged: Giuliani campaign punks the AP, and are you sure about that 9/11 leadership thing?

Liz Sidoti on the latest events unfolding in the Rudy and Judi show, the bedroom farce America's watching
Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani has been married three times and, as it turns out, so has his wife. The campaign confirmed Friday that Judith Nathan Giuliani was married twice — not once — before she wed the former New York City mayor in 2003. It was Giuliani's third marriage, and, until Thursday, had been thought to be his wife's second.

Giuliani asked voters to judge his private life in the context of his performance as mayor of New York.

"I was able to handle the worst attack in the history of our country, while all these things the press is caring about were going on," Giuliani said, when asked how conservative voters might judge his personal conduct. "So I think when people look at it fairly, they will see it has nothing to do with job performance."

Mrs. Giuliani told The New York Post in an article on its Web site Thursday night that Giuliani was, in fact, her third husband. Her first marriage was to Jeffrey Scott Ross in 1974, when she was about 20. They divorced in 1979.

She then met and married Bruce Nathan. They divorced in the 1990s.
I guess Ms. Sidoti figured it goes without saying that the Giuliani affair came before her second divorce.

Even leaving that aside, there are a few problems with Ms. Sidoti's account (which presumably came from Mr. Giuliani's campaign).

The first would be that back in the day, when Mrs. Giuliani was newly redivorced, she gave the New York Times a slightly different chronology
Soon after she earned her nursing degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1974, Judith met Bruce Nathan, who came from a rich family and is now a sales manager for a wall-covering company based in New Jersey.

Now me, I lean towards the Times' version, in which the couple formerly known as the Nathans met a bit earlier than her first divorce, because it synchs a little better with this
It was Dec. 8, 1974, when then-20-year-old Judith Stish, fresh out of nursing school, ran off with Jeffrey Ross to the Chapel of the Bells in Las Vegas, according to a copy of the marriage certificate unearthed by the Daily News.

The couple separated after four years of marriage and, citing an "irretrievably broken" relationship, divorced in Florida on Nov. 14, 1979, according to court records.

Five days later, Judith married husband No. 2, wallpaper salesman Bruce Nathan, the records show.

Mrs. Giuliani is clearly a fast worker, but I don't think she's quite that fast.

Now, as amusing as it is following the trashy saga of the Giulianis unfolding, if you take a look at the last two occupants of the White House, it's pretty clear that an uncomplicated marital life and competence are not necessarily related.

So let's look at the latest news on his performance after the attacks, shall we?

You may have heard that the firefighters aren't too happy with Mr. Giuliani because they feel that his administration caused the rubble of the WTC to be dug up and carted away without all the bodies having been recovered.

Well, they weren't wrong.
The pulverized remains of bodies from the World Trade Center disaster site were used by city workers to fill ruts and potholes, a city contractor says in a sworn affidavit filed Friday in Manhattan Federal Court.

Eric Beck says debris powders - known as fines - were put in a pothole-fill mixture by crews at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, N.Y., where more than 1.65 million tons of World Trade Center debris were deposited after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I observed the New York City Department of Sanitation taking these fines from the conveyor belts of our machines, loading it onto tractors and using it to pave roads and fill in potholes, dips and ruts," Eric Beck said.

Beck was the senior supervisor for Taylor Recycling, a private contractor hired to sift through debris trucked to Fresh Kills after the trade center attacks. Before the arrival of Taylor's equipment at Fresh Kills in October 2001, the debris was sifted manually by workers using rakes and shovels.

Not wrong at all.
The papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan relied in part on affidavits from four people who participated in the recovery efforts at the Fresh Kills Refuse Site on Staten Island.

Plaintiffs who brought the case against the city in 2005 include World Trade Center Families for Proper Burial, a group of about 1,000 families who believe their relatives' remains are at Fresh Kills.

Court papers said the city failed to deliver on a promise to sift all debris through delicate screens to find body parts, human remains and personal belongings as small as a quarter inch in diameter. Only about 63 percent of the 1.65 million tons of debris recovered from the trade center site were subjected to the sifting screens, the court papers said.

In one affidavit, former police Sgt. John Barrett said supervisors at Fresh Kills pressured workers to sift through piles hurriedly. He said he once refused to sift quickly, only to see two other piles carted away and dumped without having been sifted at all.

In another, construction worker Eric Beck, who worked at the landfill from October 2001 through July 2002, said recovery workers found as many as 2,000 bones a day in the early months, along with personal belongings including keys, wallets, pictures and jewelry. But he said some debris that had been through the quarter-inch sifting equipment was later loaded onto tractors by the city and used to pave roads and fill in potholes.

Since the families sued, more than 1,200 human remains - ranging from small slivers to full arm bones - have been recovered from an abandoned skyscraper near the trade center site, the landfill of a service road at ground zero and underneath a former destroyed church.

Mr. Giuliani's campaign (and a number of friendly 'news' stories) point out that the firefighters (including, presumably, those who died) tilt towards the Democrats.

Now, while I certainly think that it can't be repeated enough that the real heroes of 9/11 support the Democrats, I'm afraid Mr. Kincaid of Accuracy in Media would call this a coverup by the liberal media.
One of the biggest stories of the presidential campaign is being ignored by the major media. It's how the president of the firefighters union engineered an endorsement of John Kerry for president without asking his members about it. It turns out most of the members of the union are Republicans who support Bush.

Harold Schaitberger, the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the IAFF, has received tons of publicity and has been shown repeatedly with Kerry at campaign events. These appearances convey the impression that the firefighters who performed heroically on 9/11 have abandoned Bush. But it's Schaitberger who abandoned his members.

During the Republican convention, the union representing New York City's 8,600 firefighters endorsed Bush. But stories about this development tried to diminish the significance of the endorsement by noting that the international union, the IAFF, had endorsed Kerry. The stories failed to explain, as we did in a recent Media Monitor, that Schaitberger made this decision without polling his members. Instead, a few members were asked about the characteristics they wanted in a president. On that basis, Scahitberger decided to endorse Kerry. Schaitberger admitted to MSNBC's Chris Matthews that there are more Republicans than Democrats in his union.

"Thank you so very much for your work on exposing these facts." That's how a professional firefighter and member of the IAFF local 2876 of South Kitsap Fire District 7 in Washington state responded to our Media Monitor on this matter. He told us, "I am so sick and tired of union 'leaders' talking for us, so much so that I don't pay into the PAC [political action committee] fund anymore because it does not represent my views or the majority of those of my co-workers either. No one in our department, to my knowledge, received or heard of a poll regarding who we supported. I am a proud firefighter for Bush as are, I believe by straw poll, a great many of my fellow firefighters, including our VP. "

Using the same old ploy, a Newsday story about the firefighters' endorsement of Bush claimed that, "the International Association of Fire Fighters unanimously endorsed Kerry and its members have since often campaigned with him." But that once again ignores the fact that the endorsement was delivered without polling members of the union. Not surprisingly, the New York Times compounded the error. It declared, "A year ago, the nation's main firefighters' union, the 260,000-member International Association of Firefighters, became the first large union to endorse Mr. Kerry." That falsely implied that these 260,000 members had voted to endorse Kerry.

The Firefighters for Bush website continues to ask firefighters whether any of them were ever consulted by Schaitberger about the Kerry endorsement. One posted the following answer: "I don't think anyone but Schaitberger's opinion counts at all. The IAFF is stealing our dues to support Kerry." Another said, "It's disgusting a portion of our dues go toward campaigning against President Bush." This is the story that the media should tell.

You're more than welcome, Mr. Kincaid. Any time.

So the firefighters? Practically teeming with Republicans. Fierce Bush-supporting Republicans.

Who, it appears, really, really don't like Rudy. Here's a quote from Mr. Cassidy, the head of the NY local which prominently endorsed Mr. Bush during the '04 Republican convention here in New York
Stephen J. Cassidy, the current president of Local 94 whose name appears on the press release endorsing Bush in 2004, has reportedly criticized Giuliani in the past. An October 12, 2002, Newsday article quoted Cassidy as saying that "[a]lthough Giuliani is 'the most despised man in America' among firefighters," they would not stage "an overt protest" at a memorial service that day. Instead, Cassidy told the paper, "We decided that this is a solemn day for our families and our fallen brothers so we decided to tell them they should sit on their hands," rather than having "uniformed firefighters stand and turn their backs on the former mayor."

The family group, by the way, is not asking for money. They're asking for the debris to be sifted and the remains disposed of in some way other than as paving.


(Actually posted by Julia.)

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