Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
IDC caught in the Trump crossfires
One of Long Island’s two Democrats in the State Senate, Todd Kaminsky is considered a ripe candidate to join the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference whose growing numbers keep Republicans in control of the chamber. But Kaminsky continues to deny the rumors, and told The Point he has not been invited to join nor does he want an invitation.
“It’s completely made-up,” he said.
And it’s probably even more unlikely after the bruising Jose Peralta got Friday night in Jackson Heights at an overcrowded meeting with constituents, some of whom called him a “traitor.” The turnout and the anger is prompted in part by a new campaign to discredit the IDC as the “Party of Trump” — see their website here http://noidcny.org — and the growing political grassroots activism at local levels in the Age of Trump.
Rita Ciolli and Randi F. Marshall
Bets went Gaga
It’s no secret that the Super Bowl generates a lot of odd bets, like the color of Gatorade that will be dumped on the winning coach’s head (none was dumped, bettors will have their money returned) and whether the game will go into overtime. It did Sunday night, for the first time in 51 years, paying those who took the chance between 6-1 and 9-1.
But some of the most intense pre-Super Bowl prognostication, as we shared in Friday’s Point, involved whether Lady Gaga, the notoriously liberal singer, would go gaga and politicize her halftime show by mentioning President Donald Trump (even money) or do or say something that would cause the crowd in Houston to boo her to be booed, which would have paid 9-1.
Beyonce’s performance last year, when the costumes evoked the Black Panther Party, and she seemingly signaled support for the Black Lives Matter movement, evoked a wave of controversy after the game.
But Gaga, the singer/songwriter/dancer/weird wardrobe world champion, instead led off with the most inclusive possible message, opening with a medley of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” before reciting a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first song of her own she sang was “Poker Face,” which paid correct bettors 10-1. The hair was blond, a heavy favorite that would have paid correct wagers only 25 cents for every dollar bet. And those who put down hard-earned cash in the belief that she would appear with a snake, paying 80 cents for every dollar risked, were sadly disappointed.
Get the ball rolling
-- Just when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had retired the trophy for most hostile on-stage couple of the year, along came NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft after the Super Bowl Sunday night.
-- Moves by the Trump administration to roll back regulations that will allow more methane into the air and let coal mines pollute streams are being hailed by the fossil fuel industry as a "victory." A word not really considered a synonym for dirtier air and dirtier water.
-- President Donald Trump’s nominee for army secretary, Vincent Viola, withdrew because he was unable to separate himself from his business ties. Which is different from being unwilling.
-- Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump’s criticism of the federal judge who put a stop on his immigration ban by saying Trump was just “speaking his mind.” He’ll be using that one a lot.