The Week That Was

After nearly three weeks of deliberations, state education chancellor David Steiner granted Cathie Black a waiver for her application to become the city's new chancellor of public schools.

She was met with much criticism because of her non-existent education background. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also took a hit in his favorability rating since he announced her as his pick to replace Joel Klein when he leaves the post in January.

"Despite her lack of direct experience in education, I find that Ms. Black's exceptional record of successfully leading complex organizations and achievement of excellence in her endeavors warrant certification."

 

Rep. Peter King called for Attorney General Eric Holder to pursue legal action against WikiLeaks founder Julien Assanage, citing his violations of the Espionage Act.

"There should be no misconception that Mr. Assange passively operates a forum for others to exploit their misappropriation of classified information," King wrote.

King also wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—who was mentioned in the most recent document drop as encouraging diplomats to essentially spy—urging her to count the organization as a terrorist group.

"WikiLeaks engaged in terrorist activity by committing acts that it knew, or reasonably should have known, would afford material support for the commission of terrorist activity."

 

Cathie Black made two media appearances on her tour of New York City public schools Tuesday, stopping at an elementary school in the Bronx. Black and her handlers were careful to avoid any interaction with the press until after she was officially granted her waiver from the state education chancellor.

Mayor Bloomberg stood next to Black in the press conference, calling her "chancellor-elect or whatever."

After touring P.S. 109 and reading to the children, Black answered more questions from the press.

"That was yesterday and today is today and I am the new chancellor," she said, dismissing the firestorm that took place over her appointment by Bloomberg.

 

Gov. David Patterson's emergency session of the legislature closed Tuesday with nothing accomplished. The governor called the session to address the state's drastic budget deficit, which tops out at $315 million, yet the legislators did not take any steps to seriously address the issue. As a result, the budget deficit is expected to reach $9.2 billion in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo took issue with the state Democrats' role in the mess. "They failed the people of New York once again," he said.

 

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Rep. Charlie Rangel emailed supporters on Wednesday asking them to call their respective congressmen, pleading for their help in his looming censure verdict scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

"I have spent my entire life standing up for those in need and now I am asking that you please stand with me in this hour of need," Rangel said in his email.

In spite of the ethics investigation, which lasted two years, Rangel still holds a significant amount of goodwill from his peers, due to his 40 years of service in the House, and up until the vote, his allies were scrambling furiously to shore up support for him.

 

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Despite all of his efforts, in the end the House of Representatives decided by an overwhelming margin to censure the dean of the New York delegation. Charlie Rangel remained defiant until the very end, suggesting that his punishment was unprecedented in the history of the House since he did not benefit personally from his misdeeds. Rangel blamed the vote on the politicization of the debate surrounding him, and afterwards suggested that the headline the next day should read: "Rangel Found Not Guilty of Corruption and Self-Dealing."

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