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Trump reading list
And then there was another: Friday morning, New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik announced on Twitter that he is writing a book about President Donald Trump “as a TV/pop-culture character.”
The book-writing gigs Trump has facilitated might be just as bountiful as the Labor Department’s rosy jobs announcement Friday morning.
Dozens of Trump-related books have already been rushed out to the reading public, from Joshua Green’s “Devil’s Bargain,” about the rise of chief strategist Steve Bannon, to Newt Gingrich’s “Understanding Trump,” both on The New York Times bestseller list.
Like most markets, this one must get glutted eventually, and the publishing winds are already beginning to move toward the “in the age of Trump” books. But journalists and politicians and failed 2016 presidential candidates alike are still hopeful for six-figure advances and big-league Nielsen BookScan numbers, given the excitement for books from Sens. Jeff Flake and Al Franken. Editors hope the enthusiasm will hold for forthcoming works by the likes of journalists Katy Tur, Amy Chozick, Ben Bradlee Jr., and, of course, ringmasters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
Then there are the manuscripts people hope will provide juicy tidbits. Earlier this week, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer signed on with political book whisperer lawyer Bob Barnett. And former FBI Director James Comey netted a reported multimillion-dollar contract for a book that may have “yet-unheard anecdotes,” according to the publisher.
As fellow debut author Preet Bharara — the former federal prosecutor is writing about “the search for justice” — might say, “Stay tuned.”
Shaking up the status quo in Suffolk
Liuba Grechen Shirley might have gotten burned in her recent foray into Suffolk Democratic politics, but that hasn’t quelled her activist fire.
To recap: Grechen Shirley, of Amityville, announced a run for an open Babylon Town Board seat because Suffolk County party chairman and town Supervisor Rich Schaffer was not contesting it. Schaffer had agreed to back Anthony Manetta, the former Suffolk Industrial Development Agency executive director who was running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. However, Grechen Shirley pulled out of the race when Schaffer told her he would back town worker Claire McKeon for the Democratic line.
But McKeon failed to turn in any petitions by the deadline, saying she had fallen short, a surprising development considering Babylon’s formidable party machine. Grechen Shirley said in a statement she was “beyond disappointed.” Her frustration was compounded by her decision not to turn in the petitions she had collected to run on the Working Families Party ballot line because, as she told The Point, “I wanted to support Claire if she was going to run.”
Now Grechen Shirley and her quest for actual competitive elections may take on Schaffer in different arenas. She is co-founder of New York’s 2nd District Democrats, a group dedicated to electing progressive Dems and turning out GOP Rep. Peter King.
To do that, Grechen Shirley, a consultant on women’s economic empowerment and development, said the group will collect signatures for various members to run for the Democrats’ county committee, the real seat of party power.
“The party should be more principled and more transparent, and be building the grass roots and cultivating young leaders who can step up and win elections,” she said.
Zeldin to the rescue
After functioning for six years on a sinking budget of less than $4 million — the high-water mark was $7.8 million in 2010 — the Long Island Sound Program was eliminated outright in President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 fiscal year budget.
Then, like the body of water it hopes to save, the program made quite a recovery.
The House Appropriations Committee not only restored funding, but it also set a record $8 million for the program, which implements the plan for the Sound’s restoration. There are still several steps remaining in the annual budget process, but local environmentalists are celebrating.
“There’s more than irony, there’s amazement and astonishment, but it’s what happens when you have bipartisan support for your efforts,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which organized a bus trip to Washington to lobby the New York and Connecticut delegations.
But more significant, it’s also what happens when one of your representatives is a member of the majority party in the House. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) went to bat for the program, and Republicans are determined to do what they can to help him retain his seat.
“The whole message was, A, it’s a nonpartisan issue; B, we’re paying very close attention; and C, you’re going to look like a crazy man if you let this happen,” Esposito said.
Zeldin didn’t. Nor did the GOP.
Save the Sound. Or save a seat.