The Morning Read: Thursday, January 24, 2008

A $25-an-hour Department of Sanitation photographer and a $95,000-a-year Department of Transportation spokesman were among the people hired after it was announced the city would only make "critically necessary" hires, reports Kirsten Danis [clarified].

Michael Bloomberg will call for $300 million worth of cuts in education today, reports Grace Rauh.

Bloomberg criticized Washington politics yesterday, in Washington.

But he was softer on citizens affected by the subprime crisis.

In blasting George W. Bush’s economic stimulus package, Bloomberg “promptly threw cold water on the rare burst of bipartisanship,” writes Russell Berman.

George Soros doesn’t like the stimulus package, either.

Business Week reports that Bloomberg and "Andrew Sheekey" visited Silicon Valley on a fact-finding trip recently.

Danny Hakim says Eliot Spitzer is working to give legislators a pay raise, despite the state’s economic woes.

Headline writers at the New York Post are enjoying the part of Spitzer’s budget that would raise revenue from seizing illegal drugs.

The problem with these kinds of plans is that, “in order to make the laws constitutional, states must create at least the theoretical opportunity for drug users and dealers to pay the tax legally."

Spitzer’s budget has been attacked from both ends of the political spectrum.

Barack Obama is still leading Hillary Clinton in South Carolina.

But African-Americans voters are split between the two of them.

And those voters are both rich and poor.

Obama says Hillary changed her position on NAFTA.

NPR fact-checks the Clinton-Obama squabble.

Michael Powell witnesses Rudy Giuliani’s support sliding in Florida, even though the candidate doesn’t seem to think so.

Canadian press picks up on Giuliani’s decline.

Suddenly, Rudy is Mr. Nice Guy–which may be part of his strategy in case he doesn’t win.

It will be interesting to see how Giuliani’s collapse affects the price of Giuliani’s old car.

Both David Yassky and Jim Gennaro have environmental bills coming forward.

Stanley Schlein got fined $15,000 for doing business on city time.

New York City expands amnesty for residents disputing a water bill.

Does Mitt Romney have any friends on the campaign trail?

Gail Collins says Barack Obama is change, Hillary Clinton is redemption, and Bill Clinton is chaos.

Eric Zorn writes about Barack and Hillary, “I used to think I could support either one of them, but now I’m so disgusted I could never vote for (him/her).”

Gerard Baker thinks the Clinton dynasty must end.

Conservative economist E.J. McMahon writes, “In fact, Spitzer has not discovered a way to make New York state government slimmer while adding billions to its bottom line.”

Steve Forbes makes the case for Giuliani’s tax cut in the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times editorial board really wants a congestion pricing plan, but isn’t sure exactly which one.

The Daily News editorial board writes of Hillary, “She is indulging in the partisan-style politics that Americans are desperate to leave behind”.

Kevin Sack finds voters who are nostalgic for 2000.

Young voters act like regular young people, finds Peter Applebome.

Take care when reporting in Newark. The Morning Read: Thursday, January 24, 2008