The Morning Read: Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Berger Commission will recommend closing five hospitals in New York City and four more statewide, according to The Times and The Sun.

They are: St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital and Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan; Victory Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn; New York Westchester Square Medical Center in the Bronx; and Parkway Hospital in Queens.

Stephen Berger, the commission’s chairman and David Sandman say that closing hospitals is just one step, and that reimbursement policies must also be fixed.

Mike Bloomberg’s meeting yesterday in City Hall with black leaders to discuss the police shooting of Sean Bell was “extraordinary.”

The Post looks at the cop who fired 31 of the 50 shots at Bell and his friends.

The Sun looks at Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott’s role in City Hall’s response.

Errol Louis says Ray Kelly is failing in his job to protect the public.

Some state employees in Albany were given “survival packages,” on how to get health insurance in case they’re not retained under the incoming administration.

Some Republicans hope for another Jeanine Pirro candidacy.

Two Democrats in the City Council turned down their pay raises.

State lawmakers may vote to give themselves a 20 percent pay raise.

Joseph Mondello of Nassau will be unopposed when GOP leaders gather in Albany Thursday to pick a new state chairman.

George Pataki is headed to Afghanistan.

2008 Democratic contenders have to adjust to a new timetable of early caucuses and primaries.

The WSJ [subscription] looks at four of the president’s options for Iraq: withdraw troops, add troops, leave them unchanged, or start a draft.

The Justice Department will examine its warrantless surveillance program.

And Foreign Policy magazine has a list of this year’s political assassinations.

– Azi Paybarah