Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, effective at the end of today, a White House spokeswoman announced.

U.S. stocks rebounded in a volatile session, while the dollar cut losses and bond yields rose to session highs, as reports emerged about Bannon’s departure.

A number of conservatives are not at all happy that the president decided to part ways with Bannon.

After declaring “WAR” following news of Bannon’s ouster, Breitbart News’ senior editor-at-large wrote that Trump risked becoming “Schwarzenegger 2.0.”

Also out: Carl Icahn.

A day after the deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona, Trump said radical Islamists “must be stopped by whatever means necessary” and urged U.S. courts to give him the right “to be tough.”

The mother of Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville, said she refuses to speak with Trump after watching his remarks Tuesday about the violence there, during which the president said there were “very fine people” on both sides of the protests.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a push to bring more minorities into the State Department, denouncing racism and hate speech as “antithetical to the American idea” while stopping short of singling out Trump’s comments on Charlottesville.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, has excoriated Trump for his equivocating response to the violence in Charlottesville, posting a call on Facebook for the president to apologize for causing racists to “rejoice.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, who long ago earned a permanent place on Trump’s enemies list, has launched a new crusade to censure the president for boosting white supremacists.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he has no plans to become Trump’s Energy Secretary – an idea that was floated as a way to let the state’s Republican governor name a successor and advance the president’s stalled agenda in Congress.

A federal appeals court has upheld New York State’s denial of water permits for the proposed Constitution Pipeline which would run through Central New York to Schoharie County.

A “modest” celebration will be held to mark the opening of the first span of the new Tappan Zee (AKA Mario Cuomo) Bridge.

Chelsea Clinton weighed in on the controversy surrounding the re-emergence of Confederate statues as a political debate and compared those remembered in the statues to “Lucifer.”

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is asking a Manhattan federal judge to delay the sentencing date in the case against him for texting a minor sexually inappropriate messages.

Public Citizen is the fourth government watchdog group to sue the Trump administration over White House visitor logs. The group sent requests, spanning from April to July, seeking to obtain visitor records for four key offices, which the Secret Service either denied outright or didn’t bother to respond.

Spurred by fear of Trump’s immigration policies, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking asylum and crossing illegally from upstate New York into Canada. There were 800 asylum seekers in June, 3,000 in July and 4,000 so far this month.

Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has joined the pro-Trump super PAC America First, making him the latest campaign veteran to join an outside group aimed at boosting the president’s agenda.

The already short-staffed Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office is losing another forensic pathologist at a time when its caseload of autopsies fueled by the opioid drug overdose epidemic is soaring, and plans to use more contract pathologists from New York City.

The two alligators that were recently captured in the Tioughnioga River near Whitney Point will make their “media debut” Monday morning at the Animal Adventure Park.

Cosmopolitan magazine deemed Cornell in Ithaca one of the most 30 beautiful college campuses in the world.

A fully functional 18-karat gold toilet, designed by the puckish Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and installed in a single-occupancy restroom at the Guggenheim Museum will be removed next month.

According to Tina Fey, sheetcaking is a thing.

Federal Court Upholds DEC Blocking Pipeline

A federal court ruled Friday in favor of the Department of Environmental Conservation after it denied a water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline.

“Our actions are based on the merits and we’re pleased this ruling upholds this principle and –specifically – this agency’s work to uphold New York’s strict water quality standards,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We hope this his sends a loud message that New York will not rubber stamp any project that fails to protect public health and our environment.”

The ruling was cheered by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and environmental groups, but criticized by business groups that had wanted to see the pipeline approved.

“New York must be able to do what’s necessary to protect our environment – and we’re glad that the court agreed,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

“It would be unacceptable for a pipeline – or any project – to pollute our waters and undermine New Yorkers’ health and water resources. Today’s decision marks a major win for New Yorkers, and for the State’s right to take the actions necessary to protect the public and our environment.”

Federal regulators in late 2014 had approved the pipeline conditional that it receive proper water quality certification from New York environmental officials. After a review, the DEC denied the certification, arguing Constitution did not provide enough information to demonstrate it would meet the state’s water quality regulations.

“This momentous decision protects our communities and environment from a 124-mile pipeline that would have carried fracked gas from PA to Canada,” said Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper. “Countless communities, over 1,000 acres of forests and farms, and nearly 300 vulnerable waterways are no longer under threat.”

Supporters of the project said they hoped it would still come to fruition.

“Although we are disappointed with the court’s decision, we remain confident that the Constitution Pipeline will provide a bridge to New York’s energy future, and should be approved and built,” said Darren Suarez, the government relations director at The Business Council.

In a statement, the company called the pipeline project “a transformational opportunity” for the northeast and would create both short and long-term employment.

“In today’s decision, the Second Circuit recognized the jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit, and the D.C. Circuit has recently acknowledged FERC’s authority to make the ultimate decision under the Natural Gas Act,” Constitution said. “While we would have preferred an immediate path to construction, we are pleased with the court’s resolution of this jurisdictional issue.”

Citizen Action Joins Anti-Con Con Coalition

Citizen Action of New York on Friday was the latest group to join the push against holding a constitutional convention.

The group is joining a disparate coalition known as New Yorkers Against Corruption that includes labor unions, environmental groups and right-leaning organizations as well such as the Conservative Party and the Rifle and Pistol Association.

“The Constitutional Convention process has no rules, so all the of rights that protect us could be in jeopardy,” said Jessica Wisneski, the deputy director of Citizen Action of New York.

“CEOs and the super rich will use their power and influence to take away the rights that our Constitution guarantees. We can’t just give them free reign to rewrite the rules of our democracy. The State Constitution goes even further than the U.S. Constitution in providing everyday New Yorkers with critical protections and rights.”

The convention question, which appears on ballots every 20 years, will be put toward voters this November in a referendum.

Supporters believe the convention will allow for an opportunity to make needed changes to the state’s governance. Opponents, however, contend the process is costly and could be hijacked by special interest groups.

Farrell Makes Resignation Official

Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell will officially resign from the Assembly on Sept. 5, according to a letter sent to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Thursday.

“It has been an honor to work for almost 43 years for the people of my community and this state,” Farrell wrote in the letter, “alongside my fellow members of our conference and all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

Farrell had indicated earlier this week to The Daily News he would be stepping down from his post in the Assembly. Farrell wrote in the letter he will “especially miss” his colleagues on the committee, where he was chairman for 23 years.

The longtime Ways and Means chairman was honored in June by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a reception at the executive mansion. Lawmakers in July approved a bill naming a park in Manhattan after Farrell. The legislation also renamed the Tappan Zee Bridge after the late Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Farrell’s resignation is the end of an era in many respects for the state Legislature. A courtly and popular figure on both sides of the aisle, he was praised earlier this week by Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

“When we were colleagues in the Assembly, it was a daunting task to have to debate someone with such a great command of complicated budget issues, but Denny always did so with civility and respect,” Farrell said. “He helped elevate the public discourse and I am hopeful we can all continue that legacy now that he is retiring.”

Farrell 8-18-17 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Putting Con Con Question Front And Center

From the Morning Memo:

When voters head to the polls in November, Evan Davis wants the question of whether to hold a constitutional convention literally front and center.

“It’s not a yes or no thing. It’s a everyone-voting kind of thing; everyone having an opportunity to cast their vote,” said Davis, a former counsel to Governor Mario Cuomo.

He’s suing the state Board of Elections in order to require that question over whether to hold a convention to revise the constitution be placed on the front of voters’ ballots. A ruling is expected in the coming weeks.

“This is the first time that the issue of where the constitutional convention question should be on the ballot is before the courts,” Davis said.

The question of where to place ballot questions hasn’t been a problem in recent history. But when New York changed from lever voting machines to paper ballots, some worried whether voters would miss the referendum questions.

“We want everyone to vote, and we believe that if you put the question on the back, some people are going to miss it,” Davis said.

For the New York Public Interest Research Group, the question of ballot placement — and informing voters of the once-every-20-year vote on the convention — is a key one as well.

“This is part of the problem with any of these constitutional questions or any sort of referendum, is how do voters know when they get to the polling place is what should they be looking for, and what do they think about those questions when they get there,” said NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.

NYPIRG does not officially have a position on the convention vote. But Horner says the group has the chance to act as a referee of sorts when it comes to sorting out the facts and fiction of a convention.

“It’s important to sort of play the role, to the extent that we can, call balls and strikes on this issue, because there’s going to be a lot of information coming out from proponents and opponents,” Horner said.

In the past, New Yorkers have rejected holding a convention, and the last one was approved in 1967. No changes to the constitution, however, were approved.

Heastie Hedges on Hate Crimes Expansion

From the Morning Memo:

During a CapTon interview in his Capitol office yesterday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie declined to immediately sign off on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s so-called “Charlotteville provisions” that would change the state’s hate crimes law in response to the violence in Virginia last weekend.

Cuomo announced this week that he wants to add new offenses of rioting and inciting to riot when the actions target protected classes to the existing statute. The penalties for engaging in rioting that’s deemed a hate crime would carry tougher felony sanctions under the governor’s proposal.

Heastie said his office has received proposed bill language from the governor, and it is currently being reviewed by staffers. But, no doubt aware of the fact that most proposals calling for increased criminal penalties tend to be a tough sell with his Democratic conference, the speaker is treading cautiously on this one.

“We always want to try to weed out hate, and we don’t ever want to look like we’re sympathetic to people who incite hate,” Heastie said. “But we just have to go through the bill and make sure there’s no unintended consequences.”

“Hate crimes is something that we’ve always looked seriously at, but the increasing of penalties for certain classes, we’ve started to have problems with that, because we don’t want to make it seem like one person’s life or the crime that happens to them should have a stiffer penalty than say you or I. So, those have been some of the challenges that we’ve had. I told the governor that we would look at the bill.”

Heastie also weighed in on the push in New York and elsewhere to remove Confederate-related statutes, street names and other references, saying he supports removing busts of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the CUNY Hall of Heroes in the Bronx, perhaps re-installing them in a museum. But he worries about the effort to “wipe out” history, even if the memory of certain difficult or unsavory moments is painful.

The speaker shied away from commenting on the racial divide in the Senate Democratic conference, which was making headlines prior to the Charlottesville riot. He reiterated that he would prefer to see Democrats united in that chamber, and suggested his colleagues across the Capitol should focus on what unites them, rather than what divides them.

On the subject of whether those who have befitted from campaign contributions from hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, who was forced to apologize after making remarks on Facebook that compared Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who, like Heastie, is African American, to the KKK, the speaker said that is an individual decision that should be made by the recipients – whoever they may be.

Buffalo Teachers Not Making Endorsement For Mayor

From the Morning Memo:

The Buffalo Teachers Federation is only endorsing one candidate, so far, this election cycle. That’s Democrat newcomer April Baskin, who’s involved in a four-way primary to replace Betty Jean Grant on the Erie County Legislature.

BTF President Phil Rumore said Baskin seems to be in tune with the issues.

“The thing that was impressive with April was, she comes from the west side but she’s talking about joining and working together with the west side and the east side, not being for one or the other but sort of bringing that community together,” he said.

The union is not planning to make an endorsement in the Buffalo mayoral primary which features three Democrats, Grant, incumbent Byron Brown, and city Comptroller Mark Schroeder. Rumore said Schroeder was the only candidate who interviewed and teachers had some concerns about some of his answers.

“The mayor really, if he had come for it, he might’ve gotten our endorsement. He might not. He would’ve had to answer some very strong questions, for example his support for education hasn’t really been there but he didn’t even ask for our endorsement, so he didn’t get it,” he said.

Meanwhile, BTF is starting to look ahead to next year too. The union broke rank with the state organization New York State United Teachers, when it endorsed law professor Zephy Teachout instead of Governor Cuomo.

“We have had very few disagreements with our state affiliate. That was one of them,” Rumore said. “We even disagreed with the Working Families Party. The Working Families Party endorsed Governor Cuomo. I’m one of the founders of that party. We disagreed with them. That was very close. In fact, I made the motion to endorse Zephyr Teachout at that party, at that meeting.”

The union president said the organization will be looking at all candidates and making a decision based on what’s best for education and what’s best for Buffalo. He said right now it’s too early to predict if there will be a competitive primary.

Former state Senator Terry Gipson and actress Cynthia Nixon have expressed interest in challenging the governor.

Here And Now

Good morning and TGIF! Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, but has nothing public planned. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is making an appearance in western New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio is out of town and on vacation.

Your schedule:

At 9:45 a.m., Speaker Carl Heastie with Assemblyman John McDonald will tour the Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street, Albany.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Claudia Tenney will hold a listening session on flood concerns in the Mohawk Valley. MVCC Utica, Schafer Theatre, Utica.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci will announce funding for 2 new accessible vehicles through a grant funded by the New York State Department of Transportation. BRiDGES, 873 Route 45, New City.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Rob Ortt will join Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Senator Chris Jacobs, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello and several community representatives and agencies tomorrow in a community-wide effort to raise awareness and promote social acceptance of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Clet Hall Dining Commons, 5795 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.

At 3:30 p.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses “Suffrage in NYS: The Next 100 Years” as Part of Heritage Lecture Series. Chautauqua Institution, Hall of Philosophy, 1 Ames Avenue, Chautauqua.


Thirteen people were killed in Barcelona when a van plowed through a popular pedestrian walkway, which authorities are calling a terrorist attack.

The NYPD’s counter-terrorism unit is increasing security at locations in the city that are affiliated with Spain after a terror attack in Barcelona left at least 12 people dead and wounded at least 80.

James Murdoch, the son of media titan Rupert Murdoch, blasted President Trump in an email to friends and pledged to give $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.

Trump on Thursday defiantly opposed the removal of Confederate memorials and revived a debunked story about a World War I era general.

In Maryland, workers began the removal of a statue honoring Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, who presided over the Dred Scott decision.

After Trump’s controversial reaction to Charlottesville, a top economic advisor in the White House is said to be deeply upset, but it’s unclear if he’ll depart the administration.

Instead of galvanizing lawmakers into action, the president’s criticism directed senators has caused members of his own party to circle the wagons.

The leader of the city’s largest charter school network sent a blistering letter to parents and staff members, saying she no longer supports President Trump.

The Office of the Inspector General released a scathing report on the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.

Mayor Bill de Blasio may be on vacation, but he cannot get away from criticism that he does not pay his fair share when it comes to the MTA.

Thursday was a big day for the future Moynihan Station, as ground was broken to transform the landmark Farley Post Office in Midtown into a new transit hub.

The project is part of a $1.6 billion plan to convert the building into a new train and transit center on the west side.

With the first Democratic primary debate for mayor less than a week away, candidate Sal Albanese is attacking Mayor Bill de Blasio for his ties to a prominent lobbyist.

Plans to locate shelters across the city have faced some stiff opposition, but a new shelter in the Bronx for gay and lesbian young adults has opened without controversy.

The Environmental Protection Agency hosted a public hearing on plans to remove radioactive waste in Queens.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will conduct a 90-day review of “symbols of hate” on city property following violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

After the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, there is now an increased effort across the country to remove Confederate statues. But one place that won’t see those statues go away anytime soon is the U.S. Capitol.

Carl Paladino, now removed from his elected position on the Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education, said “it’s not over ’til it’s over” when reached by phone.

More than 500 patients at the Buffalo Veterans Affair Medical Center may have received procedures with unsanitary instruments.

A former counsel to Gov. Mario Cuomo is suing the state Board of Elections to require the question of whether to hold a constitutional convention be placed on the front of the ballot this November.

It’s back to school in a little more than three weeks and Irondequoit is making some changes to try to slow down traffic in school zones.

Cornell University officials said Thursday that they could confirm all of their students in Barcelona are safe and accounted for following a terrorist attack.

A pro-Trump rally planned for Syracuse on September 9 is in limbo after the mayor’s office confirmed the permit for the gathering was denied.

It might not be complete yet, but in the course of about a year and a half, a site on West Street in Utica looks completely different due to a state-funded project with a price tag of nearly $14 million; an affordable housing complex for the Rescue Mission of Utica.

The coyote suspected of attacking a woman in Washington County has been caught.

The Glens Falls Civic Center plaza is now known as “Bill Dineen Way” in honor of the late hockey coach and his contributions to the area.

The United States attorney announced that nearly three dozen gang members in the city have been arrested after a major bust in Poughkeepsie.

A man in prison for molesting hundreds of people was denied parole, but sexual assault survivors fear he will be released soon.

A section of a Long Island highway will officially be re-named after the late NYPD Det. Steve McDonald, who died earlier this year.

Pharma company Mylan will pay out nearly $500 million in settlement claims for shorting the federal government and states for EpiPen rebates.

Despite President Trump’s opposition on the campaign trail, a proposed merger between telecom AT&T and Time Warner achieved a major milestone this week.

After supporting white supremacist groups speaking in Virginia, the ACLU is wrestling with its long-standing support for free speeches versus the racial violence unleashed by the groups this weekend.

Plans were unveiled on Long Island for LGBT-friendly senior housing with a 75-unit affordable housing complex.

An audit released by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos found there was questionable oversight of Sandy recovery contracts.

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski is calling on state officials to block what he says is an illegal tax refund plan by the village of Spring Valley.

Democratic mayoral candidates in a debate Thursday evening squared off on the city’s finances and youth programs.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continued his summer tour of upstate New York on Thursday, this time with a swing through the Capital District.

The Justice Center has charged someone with abuse, but the charges themselves remain largely vague.

The state Board of Elections says New Yorkers must register by the end of the day Friday to vote for the Sept. 12 primaries for state and local offices. Mail-in registration forms must be postmarked by midnight.

Falafel tots, salt potato pizza and apple cheesecake eggrolls are among the offerings of 40 food trucks competing at the New York State Fair next month.


Under fire for defending racist activist groups, President Trump said on Twitter that he was “sad” to see United States’ history torn apart by the removal of “our beautiful statues and monuments,” echoing a popular refrain of white supremacist groups that oppose the removal of Confederate monuments.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for the statues of Confederate leaders be removed from the US Capitol following the violence in Charlottesville.

Taking down statues of Confederate figures is “just like” removing a monument to victims of the 9/11 attacks, said Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, adding that the white nationalist and far-left protesters in Charlottesville over the weekend were “equally as bad” and “disgusting.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, say the Lee Barracks at West Point should no longer bear the Civil War general’s name.

The rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion to Judaism has released a letter to the congregation of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s longtime synagogue condemning the persident’s widely criticized statements about the violent protests in Charlottesville.

The city of Syracuse has denied a permit requested by ACT for America to hold a rally next month to support Trump’s immigration, refugee and border policies, according to a spokesman for the mayor’s office.

Trump is headed back to the rustic presidential retreat Camp David, the site of many historic discussions and private meetings between presidents and foreign dignitaries.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took direct aim at the president for his Charlottesville remarks, name checking him in a Daily News OpEd, and writing: “No, President Trump, there can be no moral equivalence between white nationalists and activists who protest against racism.”

The NYPD said it was “closely monitoring” a terror incident in Barcelona that caused multiple deaths and serious injuries.

Mylan and federal investigators finalized a $465 million settlement of charges the drugmaker overcharged the government for the injection allergy medication EpiPen, resolving an issue that fueled nationwide debate over soaring drug costs.

Republican NYC Councilman Joe Borelli pens an OpEd dismissing the idea of a Cuomo presidential run in 2020, writing of his lack of popularity among liberals: “It’s hard to buy a coffee in Manhattan without bumping into a Bernie bro, but other than Chris, you won’t meet a ‘Cuomo bro.'”

Republicans trail Democrats by 10 points on a generic House ballot, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out today.

Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz, who had aligned herself with Trump due to his pro-charter stance, emailed parents and staff to denounce the president’s response to a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the New York courts system who earned $172,000 last year, was abruptly fired after he accidentally called a reporter and was heard telling others that “I barely show up to work.”

After 25 years of talk about turning the main post office in Manhattan into an extension of Pennsylvania Station, construction toward that ambitious and expensive goal is about to get underway.

The New York State Police, facing questions over a plan to divert troopers to New York City from upstate counties, have sought to restrict the release of information that would show staffing changes across the state.

Eastman Kodak is laying off a couple dozen non-union employees in Rochester, according to a filing with the NYS Department of Labor. Kodak spokesperson Nick Rangel said 35 employees will be let go by Nov. 7.

Twitter has suspended The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news website, from their platforms, joining a list of technology companies that have refused to host the site.

The Citizens Budget Commission today issued a report on overtime spending in NYC government, finding it grew 62 percent from $1 billion to $1.7 billion from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2016.

Nearly two-thirds (264) of the 420 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the FDNY during 2016 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

AG Releases Report On Police-Involved Shootings

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Thursday released its first report on his office’s role in reviewing, investigating and prosecuting cases in which police kill unarmed civilians.

The report summarizes the 11 incidents the attorney general’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit have investigated.

So far, one police officer has been charged by state prosecutors while the unit is investigate five separate matters. Five additional cases have been closed by the investigations unit.

“As the state’s Special Prosecutor in these difficult cases, it is my role to make sure each case is investigated thoroughly and fairly,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

“Over the past two years, our Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has worked day and night to build a highly responsive, durable, and respected team that is always prepared to follow the facts wherever they lead. By working alongside community stakeholders and local law enforcement agencies, we’ve built the trust and network we need to get the facts and evidence required to act judiciously and effectively.”

The unit was formed through an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015, spurred in part by incidents such as the choke-hold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

Sip Biennial Report 2017 0 by Nick Reisman on Scribd