The Morning Read: Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Baker Commission is recommending a gradual troop pullback.

Ray Kelly’s handling of the Sean Bell tragedy could yield “a political payoff if he indeed runs for mayor,” something he hasn’t ruled out.

A fourth witness to the shooting incident is sought.

Malcolm Smith says that “we will only hamper the investigation” if it’s looked at “as a racial incident.”

Good news for Albany is bad news for Eliot Spitzer, says Bill Hammond.

“He’ll never be able to keep a lid on spending if the Legislature has a $1.1 billion surplus burning a hole in its collective pocket. And he’ll never be able to rally public support for reform if the public gets that things have calmed down in Albany.”

The hospital closing recommendations were endorsed by Eliot Spitzer and George Pataki.

Pataki also said yesterday that Iraq today is worse than when he saw it in 2004. He also ruled out a pay hike for state legislators.

Despite overseeing electoral losses in his backyard, Nassau GOP leader Joseph Mondello will be elected state party chairman today.

Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson said she and another campaign aide pulled out of panel discussion yesterday because they were tied up working with transition work for the incoming AG.

The local economy is really good.

A Bronx lawmaker helped steer $50,000 to a non-profit run by his chief of staff.

Where is Hillary?

The conservative Weekly Standard thinks the liberal Charlie Rangel may salvage international trade.

— Azi Paybarah The Morning Read: Thursday, November 30, 2006